With the major rivers finally getting to fishable levels, a couple of warnings to hand out about the Atchafalaya Spillway, notably that a sandbar that’s been building in Grand Lake for three years is high enough that it stretches across the lake, and that the months of high water has left this great Basin filled with hydrilla and other invasive aquatics.

There are bass to be caught in the Spillway, other species, too, but if bass are the target, then “punching” heavy grass and mats of water hyacinth — it involves using one-ounce or heavier sinkers and soft-plastic “creature” baits — is a method you need to learn through the late summer and into the fall.

The Verret side continues to produce bass in deep holes. The first bass reports from Venice are the ponds and runs are producing first-rate catches.

The hot news along the coast is the run on billfish and other blue-water species just a little more than 50 miles south of South Pass.

Weather

A high-pressure system will dominate with light northerly winds and light seas through Friday before a shift to 5-10 knot southeast winds and slightly rougher conditions nearshore and 1-3 foot offshore conditions through the weekend.

Morning lows in the 60s will go away Saturday. Expect afternoon highs in the lower 90s with a slight chance of afternoon rain.

Freshwater

There is some nonpunching Spillway action on baits like D-Bombs, Brush Hogs, Sweet Beavers and lizards in the run-outs and along canal banks with moving water from the run-outs. If you can find places with little grass, then spinnerbaits and buzzbaits are working in the early morning.

Patterns in Belle River and the Intracoastal Canal are the same: Work banks where you find shad early in the morning with white or white/chartreuse spinnerbaits and small buzzbaits, then go with plastics deep and slow along drop-offs and in the deeper holes.

Not much on sac-a-lait to report from either place.

With the Mississippi River below 15 feet at Baton Rouge, consider Old River for sac-a-lait. Work black/chartreuse or blue/white tubes around trees on the island side, and around buttonwoods on Alligator Point.

The MRGO’s north end and Violet Canal are giving up bass on plastics, swimbaits and small crankbaits.

The coast

North winds shut down trout action, but a return to southeast winds should help this weekend. Again, use live croakers along the beaches and live shrimp under a cork inside. Topwaters in the surf produced trout and redfish from Breton west to the Timbaliers and along Last Island until Monday, and that should be a solid pattern on the wind shift. Mangrove snapper are thick around platforms in 50-80 foot depths.