The challenge is ahead for the annual Save Our Lake and Coast Rodeo in the Pontchartrain Basin come Friday and Saturday.

It comes amidst the months-long bad vibes coming from fishermen for the prized Lake Pontchartain species, the speckled trout.

Yes, the lake is holding a lot of fresh water, and, yes, that’s not good for summertime speckled trout, but biologists working the lake in August — remember the ongoing speckled trout telemetry project — are finding trout. It’s just that the trout aren’t finding many hooks.

If you’re fishing this rodeo, then try live bait on the bottom around the bridges. You’re not going to catch a limit. Nobody is, not there, not in the Grand Isle-Fourchon area, nor along the Mississippi River, but there are enough trout around, and certainly enough redfish, drum, sheepshead and white trout to make for a competitive two days.

If trout is on your mind, then the most consistent areas have been south of Cocodrie, Dulac and Theriot. Working live croakers and shrimp around platforms, reefs and along Last Island chain beaches have produced specks, white trout and redfish.

In freshwater, the Atchafalaya Basin is solid.

Words to the wise are to get out early in the morning to avoid getting caught up in afternoon thunderstorms.

Weather

Light winds and seas will dominate the weekend, along with high probability of afternoon storms.

Look for southeast winds Friday with a shift to the north late Saturday and Sunday when the high pressure system over us through Saturday jogs to the east. Look for lows in the mid-70s and highs in the lower-90s.

The major rivers continue to run at summertime lows, but inland rivers and bayous are up after daily rains.

Saltwater

Very little change for the coast and marshes. Redfish dominate catches, and speckled trout action remains slow, except in the lower Terrebonne area.

With light seas predicted, this weekend holds promise for getting to platforms in 60-100 foot depths for mangrove snapper, cobia and some grouper, and to the bluewater floaters (platforms) for tuna, small wahoo and the usual heavy September run on billfish.

Freshwater

For the third straight week, sac-a-lait action improved in the Atchafalaya Basin. That’s good news after a slow four months. This species is holding to the usual patterns. They’re in shallower water in low-light hours, then move to the depths around brushtops after the sun gets high in the sky. Shiners and black/chartreuse tubes are taking sac-a-lait in clear-water spots. Use blue/white tubes in murky water.

Frogs and swimbaits over grass are working on bass in the early morning. “Punching” grass with heavy jigs works after 9 a.m.