Though some would like to keep it a secret, word is spreading fast about the explosion in action in the Atchafalaya Spillway.

With Atchafalaya River levels falling below flood stage on all but Morgan City’s gauge, we can plan for what should be top-shelf bass, sac-a-lait, bream and catfish trips into the basin.

On the saltwater side, the wane of the month’s full moon will be offset by favorable weather conditions, which means coastal catches should stay above average on constant southerly breezes.

Weather

Hot with afternoon showers. Expect 5-10 knots south, then southeast winds with 1-2 foot seas through Saturday before a drop to 5-knots southeast winds and near-flat conditions into Sunday and Monday. Offshore seas will run 1-2 feet.

Fresh water

Lots of small bass are showing up for the first handful of folks working the southern end of the Atchafalaya Spillway. Watermelon red worms and Brush Hogs are taking bass along with lipless crankbaits worked around grassbeds and stumps. Find clear or mixing water pushing from the back ends of canals and gold jerkbaits, Pop R’s and Chug Bugs are taking larger bass. Work mixing-water points with crankbaits. Reports on big Spillway bass - two over 6 pounds last week - are on crawfish imitations.

No reports on Spillway sac-a-lait, but if bass are feeding on the south end, then sac-a-lait should start taking black/chartreuse (clear-green water) or blue/white (murky water) tubes jigs in the upper Bayou Sorrel and Bayou Pigeon areas.

Lake Verret-area and Bayou Black-area bass are solid in the morning on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits.

With water falling in the Mississippi River, Old River sac-a-lait are moving from the “inside” cypress trees on the island side to cypresses in four or more feet of water. The Mississippi River gauge in Baton Rouge will hit 25 feet by Monday, which means sac-a-lait will be pulling out to the buttonwoods on the levee side. Work black/clear sparkle or black/chartreuse tubes with weed guards in these heavy bushes between Old River Landing and Willow Point.

Salt water

Take your pick: Redfish around islands and along banks in the marshes with the hope of finding a few speckled trout, or head to the bays and islands along the Central Coast. Live shrimp appear to be the top offering, but a wide range of soft- and hard-plastics (top waters) are taking trout along the barrier islands and the platforms and reefs from Four Bayous Pass west to Timbalier Bay and Lakes Pelto and Barre.

Lake Pontchartrain’s salinity is rising, and trout are around the bridges. Darker colored plastics on three-eighths ounce to half-ounce jigs are working there.

David Cavell

contributed to this report.