It’s the last weekend in August, and can anyone remember this stretch of time during the past nine years? Yep, three of those years we were smack dab in the middle of having names like Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike and Isaac burned into our memories.
Wednesday’s two tropical-like, low-pressure systems in the western Gulf of Mexico stirred those memories. One is moving into southern Texas and the other, nothing more than a wave, is set to arrive in our waters Friday.
That’s not good news for the coast on this Labor Day weekend. While it could put the quietus on offshore trips, inshore trips should be OK. And that means taking redfish. From the Biloxi marsh to Buras and Venice, west to Grand Isle, The Fourchon, Cocodrie and Theriot, there’s enough redfish in canals and bayous to celebrate this last of summer’s holidays.
Freshwater holds promise, too, but all fishermen are going to have to be wary on the threat of thunderstorms across south Louisiana through Sunday.
The system pushing in from the Gulf will bring 5-10 knot southeast-south winds with 1-2 footers in open waters east of the Mississippi River, but 2-4 footers along the Central Coast. Offshore winds and seas will be stronger. There’s a good chance you’ll find a thunderstorm from Friday afternoon through Monday. Expect morning lows in the mid-70s with afternoon highs in the low-90s.
Nothing has changed for speckled trout: They’re still hard to find in big numbers, and the best spot continues to be in Terrebonne Parish’s western waters out to Raccoon Point. Live shrimp and live croakers are best.
Redfish are everywhere, though better in Caminada and Barataria bays and over into the marshes near Dulac and Theriot. Use cracked crab on a Carolina rig. Plastics, gold spoons and live bait under a cork are taking reds east of the river, and swimbaits continue to produce reds and bass in the Delacroix area.
With the Atchafalaya River steady (at 2.9 on the Bayou Sorrel gauge), bass have found their summer homes, and the fishermen have found them living on schools of shad near grassbeds mostly on the Spillway’s south end. The same is true in Belle River and Lake Verret.
Frogs and weedless topwaters are the tricks in early morning. After that work light-colored swimbaits (even white is good) along the outer edges of the grass. Punching grassbeds with creature baits works, too, but only after the sun gets high in the sky. The trick is find heavy grass near a point with moving water.
Goggle-eye are taking crickets and Beetle Spins around outside stumps in moving-water bayous and deep canals. And it’s in deep location canals where veterans are finding sac-a-lait and using black/chartreuse tube under corks and on jigheads around heavy brushpiles.