If we’ve learned anything from the past week, it’s that sunshine, even after a cold rain, spurs activity in freshwater spots and, to a lesser extent, in saltwater areas.
The difference is water: In freshwater, the less the better, while along the coast southerly winds are needed to push water into the marshes to alleviate the extra-low water conditions that plague our coastal areas during the late winter.
After midweek rains and strong north winds, we can look forward to sunny skies and warm afternoons. Add in south winds that could help refill the marshes, and we could have another spurt of catches similar to what we enjoyed last week, especially in freshwater areas.
The 20-25 knot north winds will be replaced by 5-10 knot easterly then southerly winds through the weekend with morning lows in the lower 50s and afternoon highs in the 60s as high skies come on a settling-in high-pressure system. Look for 1-2 foot coastal seas and 1-3 footers offshore.
A slight chance of rain Sunday comes in advance of a cold front Tuesday.
There’s a prediction of slight rises in the Atchafalaya and Mississippi Rivers, but the rises are so slight that it shouldn’t put a crimp into the action.
Last week’s run of sunshine and warm afternoons spurred bass and sac-lait action in the Atchafalaya Spillway, and there’s every reason to believe the species will move into shallow water again by Saturday.
Surface water temperatures ran from 56-59 degrees in West Fork-Bayou Mallet area Monday, and hit 57 Saturday in Bayou Pigeon. Guys in T-shirts caught sac-a-lait on tube jigs in 2-foot depths in the Pigeon area, and the bass were moving into the shallows and taking black-blue jigs-n-pigs, swimbaits and gold Rogues and Red Fins from Pigeon south into the waters near the upper reaches of Old River.
Water was warmer in clearer water spots and the best action came from bayous and canals that ran out to 6-foot depths where the fish were moving up from deeper water.
Finding clear water in the Verret Basin was the key to similar action. Square-billed, shad-colored crankbaits, slow-rolled, big-bladed chartreuse/white spinnerbaits and pumpkinseed-colored “creature” baits work best.
When winds lay and barometric pressure subsides, the piers at Old River produced some sac-a-lait.
On the coast
Live cocahoe minnows on Carolina rigs and under corks worked on limits of redfish and 6-10 per-angler speckled trout catches. Black/chartreuse and blue moon/chartreuse were the top soft-plastic colors.
The caution is to be aware that low water means lots of mud flats in the marshes, and staying around run-outs in canals has been the best way to find and catch fish.