Whoa, have you seen the weather forecast? It’s not good for freshwater nor saltwater, and it’s not because of the rain coming early Friday, nor a rising barometer, nor a chilly 40-degree Saturday morning.
Strong north winds are going to cause all the problems: Already low water levels are going to get even lower on north winds predicted at 25 knots Friday evening. That will be trouble for saltwater marshes and freshwater areas, especially the Atchafalaya Spillway and the Belle River-Lake Verret system, and bring wind warnings to big lakes and oxbows.
Wind-driven waves predicted to hit 3-4 feet on Lake Pontchartrain and Calcasieu Lake, 4-6 feet in nearshore areas and 7-9 feet offshore mean finding calm water will be a massive chore.
And, if you do find water in the wind’s lee, you’re likely to find dirty water has pushed into most waterways across south Louisiana.
Despite the wind, there’s a rise headed to the unusually low Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers. The Mississippi at New Orleans was at 1.9 feet Tuesday - the lowest in more than four years - and will move to 2.3 feet by Sunday. The Atchafalaya at Morgan City was at 1.4 feet Tuesday and is predicted to hit 1.7 feet by Saturday, then start on a slow fall.
Atchafalaya Spillway reports cite low water for the decline in catches. Gamefish species have pulled away from the bank and have scattered along breaks and around any cover - mostly brushtops and grass - at the first break-line in lakes, bayous and canals.
With a hard rise in barometric pressure, you can be sure that structure along drop-offs and along deep-water points will hold bass and sac-a-lait better than the cypress and tupelo gum trees and mats of water hyacinth that held the bulk of the action until last week’s first hard cold front of the season.
Action on spinnerbaits, frogs and topwaters dropped off, too. Bass favored Texas-rigged soft plastics (a mix of worms and “creature” baits) in brushtops and one report indicated Carolina-rigged crawfish, Sweet Beavers and small lizards worked on points in the Pigeon and Old River areas.
Venice is holding bass, too. Work Texas-rigged redshad worms and slow-rolling spinnerbaits along lines of roseau cane and around points in runs on the east side of the river south and east of Venice. There was some action on bass and redfish in the river, but winds will make fishing rip-rap-lined banks too hazardous.
Flounders up to six pounds continue to dominate reports from the Pontchartrain bridges and Lake Borgne. Trout are iffy all over.
Unknown Pass near Lake Borgne has been the most consistent trout area, but getting there will be a problem this weekend.