Two things: The first is how our marshes are going to react to this first major cold front of the season? The second is coastal fishermen need to be aware that duck hunters are in the marshes.
It’s time for fishermen to give waterfowl hunters first shots at the launches in predawn hours, and don’t go rushing into areas where you know duck hunters have set up for their mornings. Give them those first morning hours to have fun with their sport. The fish aren’t going anywhere.
About the cold front: The barometric pressure is predicted to hit 30.30 inches Friday and stay there through Sunday. This high reading usually slows the action and sends fish to deeper water.
And it’s safe to say there will be water movement on 15-25 knot north winds. Most times, on fall’s first big blow, the best places to work are run-outs from marsh ponds and lakes. Weirs usually are perfect spots, because they are designed to hold water, and water getting pushed from the marshes is held for longer periods than spots where a couple of days of north winds will have shoved ponds and shallow lakes to low levels.
Ponds on the east side of the Mississippi River and along big lakes’ western shores could begin filling as early as Sunday afternoon on a shift to easterly winds.
You can use the same strategy in freshwater areas, but, for safety’s sake, stay away from open lakes.
Temperatures in the 40s and low 50s and afternoon highs in the 60s come on the strong north winds. Expect rough conditions in open water across the state. The next rain rolls in late Monday and Tuesday when afternoon highs hit 70 in advance of another cold front.
Rain runoff from the north is pushing up the Mississippi River, but expect the north winds to push water from the Atchafalaya Spillway.
The marshes south of U.S. 90 and the Atchafalaya continue to produce solid bass and sac-a-lait catches. The high skies and bluebird conditions will produce the exact opposite effect from what been seen during the overcast of the past 10 days. Look for bass and sac-a-lait to find dark, heavy cover. It means finding sac-a-lait along the deeper structure (brushtops, heavy grass) after the sun gets up. Sac-a-lait have been holding on off-the-bank grass in the marshes south of Bayou Black Marina.
Bass, too, like to hide in heavy grass and under mats of water hyacinths. Spinnerbaits will work in the early morning, but “punching” with heavy jigs likely will be the rule for later action.
Along the coast
Rough conditions on Lake Pontchartrain won’t allow trips to get after the speckled trout showing up at the bridges, but there are trout, redfish, some flounder and bass in rivers and bayous on the north shore of the lake. Soft plastics with red glitter have been working on jigheads and under corks.
Trout, redfish and bass continue to hang along and off the NRGO rocks north of Campo’s Marina, and trout have made a strong push to The Wall on the Intracoastal in St. Bernard. Gulp! Jerkshad/Shrimp are working there. Theriot is a trout and redfish hot spot.