The season’s first major cold front brings wide ranging changes for freshwater and coastal action, not the least of which is northerly wind, breezes stiff enough to move lots of water throughout south Louisiana.
We’ll come to dread 20-knot north winds later in the year and the action-killing high barometric pressure cold fronts bring, but this first front has the potential of increasing catches during the next several days.
You’ll have to stay inshore, and beware of crossing open water, but north winds mean finding pond/lake-draining run-outs that usually lead to finding a mother lode of fish, mostly redfish and bass in brackish-water marshes, and more aggressive bass, sac-a-lait and goggle-eye in freshwater areas.
Water temperatures won’t fall too much on nighttime temps reaching into the 50s — abundant sunshine during the day will keep water temps stable — and shallow-water fish become aggressive on the moving water.
Expect 10-20 knot north-northwest winds through early next week with high skies and much cooler mornings. There’s a slight rise in the Mississippi River, but nothing that should inhibit catches in the Venice area.
With the Atchafalaya Spillway at its lowest water levels in seven months, there’s not a lot of water to be moved from the swamps through run-outs. That means looking for bass after finding water in north-south running canals getting pushed into bayous and larger canals.
Topwaters and buzzbaits are the usual morning-time lures, then spinnerbaits and bream- or shad-colored square-billed crankbaits after the sun gets up.
With clear skies, look for sac-a-lait in heavy brush near these same intersections and on the down-current side of brush tops. Even points with heavy grass will hold sac-a-lait and that’s when you can cast Roadrunner-like baits across the grass to find sac-a-lait and bass. You can also use chartreuse/black Beetle Spins.
Other places to try are the Florida Parishes rivers and bayous: Winds move water in the Pearl, Tchefuncte and Lacombe, and even in the Tickfaw and Amite. Target points and run-outs with spinnerbaits, square-billed crankbaits and soft-plastics.
Beware of getting into open water in the Verret Basin. Bass and sac-a-lait action in Grand Bayou, Four Mile Bayou, Belle River and the Intracoastal should be strong enough to keep you from the perils of crossing the big lakes.
Along the coast
There are enough redfish in the marshes to keep any angler busy under these conditions. The MRGO, the Biloxi Marsh, Hopedale, Delacroix, Cocodrie and the Dulac-Theriot areas can yield first-rate redfish action with a bonus of bass in most of these spots on soft plastics and heavy wire spinnerbaits.