Another weekend of strong east winds means trips to protected areas.

Except for cutting off the offshore action, that’s not all bad. Speckled trout are moving into the marshes to join the giant numbers of redfish and an increasing number of flounder and small black drum cruising into canals, bayous and inland bays and lakes.

Bass catches remain solid in the Atchafalaya Spillway and the areas around Lake Cataouatche, Lake Salvador and the Venice area.

Weather

The overnight cold front will move into the Gulf of Mexico by Friday with a much stronger cold front in here Tuesday.

Friday and Saturday are best for Lake Pontchartrain. Stronger east winds will rough up coastal areas late Friday. Expect choppy inshore conditions, 2-4 foot nearshore and 4-6 foot offshore seas by Saturday.

Morning lows will be in the mid-50s and afternoon highs in the mid-80s.

The Mississippi River, at a 3.6-foot reading at New Orleans, is the lowest the river has been in nearly two years.

The coast

East winds swell water levels everywhere east of the Mississippi River, but that’s helped the action in places like the Biloxi Marsh and Delacroix. With water levels up, reports are that you can find clear water in ponds and the back ends of canals. That’s where you can work on redfish with gold spoons, live shrimp under a cork, shallow-running crankbaits and heavy-duty spinnerbaits.

Near the mouths of canals and in clear-water bayous, use live shrimp under a cork or on a Carolina rig to find speckled trout, flounder and small black drum.

Redfish and bass are holding in the roseau cane-lined runs off the Mississippi River and its passes south of Venice.

Spinnerbaits will take both species in ponds. Flipping Gulp! Shrimp and Ripple Shad or Texas-rigged redshad worms around the canes is working, too.

Reefs behind Grand Isle are producing trout and flounder and the bridges are holding lots of sheepshead. Use live shrimp.

At Cocodrie, small trout are moving into the marshes and redfish are holding on oysterbeds, over shells and on moving-water points around the Caillous and the Bayou Sale area.

Freshwater

High-pressure fronts are beginning to affect the bass catches, but it hasn’t slowed bass, sac-a-lait or goggle-eye catches.

The fronts have pushed fish tighter to cover. Look for brushtops, heavy grass and piles of water hyacinth to hold the most fish (because those areas are holding the most baitfish).

Frogs over the grass is a good midmorning tactic. Spinnerbaits worked through the brushtops and long grass lines is productive. “Punching” grass and hyacinth with heavy sinkers, Sweet Beavers and other “creature” baits is working, too.