If you’ve had trouble locating and catching speckled trout lately, blame it on the stretch of westerly winds and the muddy water those winds shoved into the Central Coast’s barrier islands.

No such problems this week, not with the north winds that calmed waters since late Saturday and the run of south and southeast winds predicted for the coming days. It’s southeast winds that push clear Gulf of Mexico water - not Atchafalaya River discharge - to the late-summer places most of you know hold speckled and white trout, redfish, flounder and small drum.

Most folks aren’t having trouble catching bass, not in the Atchafalaya Basin, the Belle River area nor the upper reaches of the Amite River. But stay away from the Pearl River and the fish kill near Bogalusa that’s working its way southward.

Weather

Light winds and seas through Saturday with a bump to 1-2 foot waves nearshore by Sunday and an increase to 2-3 foot seas offshore on the 5-10 knot southeast winds. Expect extra-hot afternoons.

After a slight rise, the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers are falling.

Moderate tides this weekend will push even higher next week on the coming of the month’s new moon.

The coast

Good trout action has improved since Friday, but only for those who found pockets of clear water moving to the beaches along the islands from Elmer’s Island west to Trinity Island. Topwaters and/or poppin’ corks holding a variety of colors of soft-plastic artificials on jigheads and live shrimp worked into the middle of the morning.

Again, the best action is coming from first light into midmorning. It appears rising water temperatures send forage fish and shrimp from the surf out past the sandbars. This breaks up the schools of feeding trout and reds and makes them more difficult to find and catch.

On hard-rising tides, redfish moved into ponds and canals along The Fourchon and in the Leeville area.

Aside from some big trout showing at the Pontchartrain bridges - and bigger trout moving back to Gosier and Breton islands last week - most of the trout east of the Mississippi River are on the small side in places like Lake Borgne and Lake St. Catherine. Live shrimp under a cork is the key.

Freshwater

White spinnerbaits and crawfish imitations are taking fish around heavy cover in Belle River and the Intracoastal in the early morning.

Chartreuse/white spinnerbaits and white buzzbaits are producing bass in the lower Atchafalaya. Find green-clear moving water and crawfish-colored crankbaits, soft-plastic blue/black crawfish artificials and jigs work on bass, too. Sac-a-lait continue to take jigs under corks around dense cover and loads of bluegill are eating crickets around Flat Lake.

Old River sac-a-lait are deep around piers.