After a week of near perfect weather for fishing inside waters along the coast, another cold front is on the way Saturday to break up the five-day streak we had working in our favor.
So for this holiday, there’s little reason to get into all the particulars of what has been a solid stretch of trout/redfish-producing days from Lake Pontchartrain to the southeast marshes west through Golden Meadow, Montegut, Cocodrie, Theriot and over into Cypremort Point waters.
For now, trout and redfish are following ages-old patterns of moving into the marshes, and that’s where most of your effort should go.
As for this week’s conditions, expect increasing chances of rain Friday through Sunday before another front settles in Sunday over south Louisiana.
Another advisory will have more a more lasting effect: It’s hard not to be aware of how much rain has fallen across Louisiana during the past month. It’s raised river levels throughout the state, even brought on flood warnings across the central and southern parishes.
But rain falling around here isn’t the big problem. Rain throughout the Mississippi River Basin is, and if you saved your trip to Old River for early December, then you missed your chance to chase sac-a-lait and bass in this oxbow lake.
Ditto for the roseau-lined runs for bass and redfish, and the passes and spillways near the Mississippi River in the Venice area.
Rains up north will bring a push of water into south Louisiana, so much so that the river climbed slightly more than six feet to 19.5 feet — the river starts flowing into Old River just above the 15-foot reading on the Baton Rouge gauge — and its scheduled crest is at 22.5 feet Wednesday. Then it will take at least a couple of weeks to get back to fishable levels again.
At Venice, where the magic river-stage number is 5 feet at the New Orleans gauge, the river hit 6.7 feet Thursday on its way to 7.7 feet next week. There’s a slow fall after that, so we might have to wait another two weeks before we can find the solid fishing levels and conditions of the past month.
Add into this fishing equation that this slug of water is colder than what was here during the past month, and it means we’ll have to be fishing on the bottom with heavier jigheads and slightly smaller soft-plastic lures than we used even two weeks ago.
Even without long stretches of bitterly cold days, fishermen using their electronics are noting colder water temperatures across the marshes, and in freshwater bayous, rivers and the expanse of the Atchafalaya Spillway. The temperature drop came from rains and mid-November’s long stretch of cloudy days.
This should trigger a response from anglers to change their tactics for the coming month leading up to the Christmas holiday.
Deep and slow will be the byword, even during warmer, post-cold front days.