Just when it looked like we were in for a run of consistent patterns, the change in seasons, combined with wind and rain have continued this year’s run of a topsy-turvy conditions.
Think about it: Except for the January-February cold stretch, have we had more than two weeks this year when temperature, wind, water and rain have been the same? Not hardly. For fishermen, that means you have to change strategy and tactics almost every time you venture from a landing.
Two weeks ago, the Atchafalaya River was at a summer low, water was moving out and the bass were setting up in a fall pattern that looked like it would last well into November.
Not now. Local rains last week combined with rain in the Midwest began swelling Spillway water levels last week, and the bass have been more difficult to find. On the other hand, sac-a-lait have started to move to shallower water and have become easier to find.
Not good. Moderately strong 10-20 knot east winds will dominate the weekend with seas running 2-5 feet nearshore (heavier along the Central Coast) and 4-5 footers offshore with a strong chance of rain Saturday afternoon through Sunday.
Look for morning lows in the 60s with afternoon highs in the mid-80s.
The Mississippi River will begin falling on the Baton Rouge gauge (from 15 feet to 13.5 by Monday) with the east winds keeping the river level near the 5-foot mark on the New Orleans gauge. The Atchafalaya reading will hover near the 3.7 mark on the Bayou Sorrel gauge.
Larger Spillway bass continue to take spinnerbaits around cypress trees and Chatterbait-like lures are working near grassbeds on points and around cypresses from Bayou Pigeon south into the Flat Lake area.
The latest Spillway sac-a-lait reports are that the fish have moved to shallow water, mostly because of the decreasing angle of the sun to the water (fall arrived Monday) and because rainfall has cooled off water temperatures. Working the middle of canals (4-7 foot depths) in the Grand Lake area with black/chartreuse tubes (clearer water) and blue/white (muddier water) on a jighead produced 15-25 fish per trip during the past 10 days. Look for grass off the banks for the best catches.
Sac-a-lait in the Des Allemands area are working the same patterns with the addition of using chartreuse Roadrunners around grassbed edges in 2-5 foot depths.
Delacroix continues to produce bass and redfish on weedless gold spoons, swimbaits and topwaters.
It’s transition time along the coast. Some trout remain in the Last Island/Lake Pelto area. Redfish are dominating catches from Shell Beach to Buras and west into the Lafourche and Terrebonne marshes.