We’re coming to a point in the year where there is a lot less water to fish because there’s a lot more water overall.
Paradoxical, ain’t it, but freshwater catches suffer when rainfall boosts water levels in local bayous and rivers, and when the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers go, on what appears now, to be a slow and steady rise.
Combine all those factors that with an extra strong cold front — chilly morning temperatures and strong north winds — and the chance for a memorable catch along the coast and in the interior marshes suffers because there’s not enough water, and species like redfish and trout depart the shallows for the safety of deep water.
The prediction of heavy winds and seas following the cold front’s 25-30 knot north winds should be enough to keep the offshore crews in port for the next four days.
Wednesday night’s strong cold front is predicted to stall over the northern Gulf of Mexico and bring rain back into the forecast Sunday through Tuesday.
Expect lows around 30 Friday and Saturday with warming afternoon highs and rough seas along the coast and a heavy chop for inland waters. North winds will shift to the northeast and east for the weekend and run 10-15 knots. Pontchartrain conditions will be extra rough and the water won’t settle enough until the middle of next week.
The Mississippi River will hit 21.8 feet at Baton Rouge and 7.6 feet at New Orleans by Monday. The Atchafalaya at Morgan City is predicted to jump from a 2.7-foot reading to 3.3 by Monday.
Remember, there’s a chance of much colder and nastier conditions north of the Baton Rouge area.
The best bet will be to go with black/blue jigs-n-pigs and dark-colored creature baits worked slowly around brush and other structure along drop-offs and points.
Don’t let the Atchafalaya’s rise stop you from heading into the Basin. Sure the Pigeon area muddies when the river rises, but afternoon sun should help offset some of the effects of the 40-degree-plus drop in temperatures that came with the cold front. Finding clear water (or clearer water will be a must), and that means heading south into the Shell Cuts and the Bayou April area. There continues to be some bass and sac-a-lait action off Bayou Cowan.
Canal systems in the Verret Basin holds the best chance for bass and sac-a-lait. The good action on catfish in the bayous will decline on the cold front, but should return next week. Choose your favorite catfish bait and fish jugs or multiple lines.
Redfish in the main canals will be the best bet. There are some trout in the canals and cuts in the Delacroix-Hopedale and Theriot areas. Live cocahoe minnows and dark soft plastics worked on jigheads on the bottom will be your best bets.