If you set your sights on bass this weekend, then you’ve got options. The marshes south of Bayou Black are loaded with bass. The Verret Basin, the Pearl River and the MRGO area are solid second choices.
On the coast, redfish provide action on both sides of the Mississippi River, and trout have showed up in Four Bayous and along the beaches east of Grand Isle.
A weak cold front moved in and the west wind push of the past six weeks is over, at least for several days. Expect north and east winds with light seas Friday before stronger east and southeast winds prevail through the weekend with mostly 1-3 foot waves along the coast and 2-4 footers offshore.
It’s still hot, so remember to hydrate: Morning temperatures will remain in the upper-70s along the coast with afternoon highs in the lower- to- mid-90s (not near 100 of the last week).
The Mississippi River is falling fast (33.8 to 29.5 feet at B.R.; 13.1-10.5 at N.O.), but the Atchafalaya River is on a very slow fall.
Tidal movement is the key in the Bayou Black marshes and the MRGO area. Swimbaits, and that includes soft-plastic “sticks” freelined or rigged with small crimp sinkers in front of the lure (depending on current flow and wind) is the key around the rocks along the MRGO near the Violent Canal locks.
Small buzzbaits and spinnerbaits, the “sticks” (best worked on medium weight spinning tackle) and Texas-rigged worms are working near runouts off the ponds in the Bayou Black marshes, notable off the Brady and Intracoastal canals.
Buzzbaits and spinners work early in the Pearl system. Go to shad-colored Rat-L-Traps and crankbaits around and off points later in the morning.
White/chartreuse spinnerbaits work early in the Verret area around grass and structure, then go deep with watermelon/red and pumpkinseed (dip tails in chartreuse dye) soft plastics. Look for areas where bass have access to deep water for the best action from sunrise to 11 a.m.
Along the coast
It’s evident the marsh is loaded with redfish from the Biloxi marshes and areas along the MRGO south of the rock dam, the reefs and rocks in the Barataria Basin south to Grand Isle, and the marshes in the Bayou Dularge-Theriot area.
Work open-water reefs and rocks with live shrimp under a cork early in the morning (soft plastics work, too), then head into the marshes with swimbaits and gold spoons after the sun gets up and the reds retreat into the grassbeds.
Trout are working the beaches on the rising tide and like live croaker on Carolina rigs.
And with the season open after a two-month closure, amberjack catches are off the charts, and mangroves are plentiful around offshore platforms.