After the deluge lingered from the weekend into Tuesday, and with rain in the coming weekend’s forecast — it’s coming with another not-so-cold cold front — fishermen won’t have difficulty finding water.
Finding clear-enough water will be the problem. If you’re planning to work the east side of the Mississippi River, you’re going to find high water, too. It’ll come from the rain runoff through the Florida Parishes rivers and the volume of rain, and continuing east winds will keep tides running well above the norm.
And if you’re running to lower Lafourche Parish and Grand Isle, know that rains and high tides (from the tropical system) put water over several places along La. 1 south of The Fourchon, and you could face that same predicament Saturday and Sunday.
After heavy rains and high tides, and with more coming, it’s a tough call for a true hot spot into next week.
Rain/thunderstorms chances are up Saturday and Sunday with a forecast of 5-15 knot east winds Friday, 10-20 knot southeast winds Saturday, then 10-15 southwest winds Sunday. Expect lows in the mid-60s with highs near 80 Saturday into early next week.
Rain and winds will push the Mississippi River up to a 4.2-foot reading by Monday at New Orleans, while the Atchafalaya is falling from early week rains and is predicted to drop from 4.5 to 3.4 feet Friday through Monday on the Bayou Sorrel gauge.
The Atchafalaya likely is the best stretch of water, because fall hot spots like the bayous and rivers on the north shore, the Pearl River and the Verret Basin are running muddy water and only began recovering from weekend rains Wednesday.
Moving, falling water in the latter locations should afford first-rate action on catfish, a species that comes alive after rain washes lots of food from the banks. Work run-outs and points (moving water) with “stink” baits, or soak inexpensive hotdogs (cut in 1-inch pieces) in anise oil and put them on the bottom on a short-leader Carolina rig.
Spillway canals hold the best chance for bass and sac-a-lait. You’ll be able to find some clearer water (though not clear) somewhere in longer canals. These conditions favor larger baits, something that moves water to attract bass bites, and that’s why you should use double Colorado blades on spinnerbaits rather than a willowleaf-round blade combination.
Shiners and blue/white tubes (black/chartreuse in clearer water) should work for sac-a-lait.
Along the coast
Nothing new about redfish moving into ponds in high water/high tide periods, and that’s where the best action will be this weekend. It’ll be too rough for small boats to fish/traverse open water, so working ponds and canals will be the best spots.