If all the fishermen across the country could count on any one species the way we’ve counted on redfish this year, there’d be millions of happy anglers.
While speckled trout continue to bedevil coastal fishermen, redfish are everywhere from the lower reaches of the Pearl River to runs off the lower Mississippi River, to the marshes and inside the barrier islands along the Central Coast, to the Oyster Bayou area and west to Calcasieu Lake.
The action’s been so good that five-fish limits are coming in the matter of minutes, not hours, from some waters. Remember redfish must measure a minimum of 16 inches, and you can have only one longer than 27 inches per angler.
In freshwater, bass and goggle-eye are active in the Atchafalaya Spillway and the Pearl River system. Tarpon, tuna, cobia and amberjack are locked-in solid in offshore waters, and billfish are hot for the bluewater folks.
The mini-cold front that blew in is gone and we can expect a return of afternoon rains, morning lows near the mid 70s and afternoons in the low 90s. Look for 5-10 knot southwest winds to dominate the weekend with seas ranging from near flat to 2-3 footers offshore.
There’s a slight rise in the Mississippi River, and the Atchafalaya is at its summer low.
Oyster beds, reefs and sandbars behind barrier islands, and bays, lakes, bayous and canals in the marshes are holding loads of redfish. Hot places are the banks along the MRGO, the Biloxi Marsh and inshore reefs from Four Bayous west to Timbalier. The hottest places are the Delacroix Marsh and the runs off the Mississippi River (for bass, too) and the Theriot area where it’s possible to load up on a five-fish limit before the sun gets high in the sky.
Theriot-Dulac guides are using cracked crab on Carolina rigs. Live croaker under a cork is also a good bet. Live shrimp under a cork works, but draws lots of attention from hardhead catfish.
Cobia and mangrove snapper continue to provide action in the Sandy Point, Grand Isle, South Timbalier and Ship Shoal blocks in 60 feet and deeper waters.
Grassbeds continue to hold bass in the Delacroix, and working weedless topwaters and weedless swimbaits are the trick even after the sun gets high in the sky.
In the Atchafalaya, buzzbaits, small topwater poppers and frogs attract strikes in the early morning before going to small, Texas-rigged crawfish imitations in areas where grass is close to cypress trees and cypress knees. Goggle-eye are taking Beetle Spins and small soft-plastics on outside stumps and trees. There’s some sac-a-lait action around deeper brushtops.
Spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and hard-plastic shad imitations are working on the East Pearl, but only when the tide is moving.