There are just some weekends when Mother Nature decides to give fish a respite from fishermen’s pursuits — and she’s sending a strong message that this appears to be that weekend.
After days of rain, heavy winds and rough seas, there’s more and heavier rain through Saturday and more wind and extra-choppy days through Monday.
The current forecast is a 180-degree shift from last Saturday’s light southerly winds and light seas when coastal and offshore catches gave us peek into what’s ahead under similar wind and sea conditions.
Thanks to reports from Rennie Carter and Tim Parrott, we found out that big trout along the barrier islands and abundant red snapper almost within sight of the coast will take offerings under what were the best conditions we’ve had in a couple of months.
Carter’s near 8-pound trout among a near limit catch of specks proved there is opportunity along the Central Coast. Parrott’s photo of a limit of snapper off Grand Isle backed up Jimmy Berrigan’s late-February report of a snapper limit that came from 45-foot depths east of the Mississippi River.
So what’s an angler to do?
For fly fishermen, there’s Saturday’s Red Stick Day (check the Outdoors Calendar), and for bass fishermen determined to chase that winning 20-pound stringer in last weekend’s Children’s Hospital Classic, there’s Saturday’s Trinity Outdoors tournament (check the Calendar, too).
A near 100 percent chance of rain through Saturday comes after small-craft warnings through early Friday morning before 10-20 knot southeast, then southwest winds take hold and linger into Monday with choppy inshore conditions on the east side of the Mississippi River and 4-8 foot nearshore and offshore seas along and off Central Coast waters.
All south Louisiana rivers and bayous are rising.
The good news is south winds will refresh the coastal marshes. The bad news is the south winds will swell water levels in the rivers.
Lake Fausse Pointe is the hottest bass spot and produced several solid stringers last weekend. Canals in the Verret Basin and marshes south of U.S. 90 are holding bass and panfish. Rain and winds have made finding clear water difficult and winds definitely have put predator fish off their feeding patterns.
Consider cleaning and oiling the reels you used throughout the fall and winter in the coastal marshes. Salt build-up can ruin reels, and salt can pit rod guides.
For the rods, get an old pair of nylons (or pantyhose) and run them around the guides. If the sheer nylon pulls, then you know the guide is pitted and you can have that guide replaced. It’s better to find out now, than to have line break on a monster trout next month.