The good news is there is little chance of rain through the Mardi Gras holiday.
The bad news is the wind coming in with the current cold front and the one predicted to move in Monday.
More good news is, despite the influx of freshwater through the Bonnet Carre Spillway, speckled trout continue to bite in several Lake Pontchartrain and Delacroix locations, at The Wall and along the MRGO.
More bad news is our freshwater fishing brothers and sisters are having a tough time finding, then catching bass and sac-a-lait.
The best tip is to plan afternoon trips to give the run of sunny days coming a chance to warm water temperatures. If you’re determined to catch morning fish, then bundle against the cold. Remember, too, strong north winds push lots of water from the marshes and there’s lots of shallow water across the coast.
Northeast winds at 10-20 knots (15-25 knots offshore) will keep inside waters choppy and push 1-4 foot seas (depending on location) in open-water lakes and bays. Friday’s 4-7 footers offshore will drop only into 3-4 footers into early next week. Look for morning lows in the 30s inland and lower-40s along the coast with afternoon highs in the 50s through Mardi Gras.
The major rivers continue to run high, but Baton Rouge and New Orleans gauges are predicted to fall 2-3 feet by Monday. Predictions are for small rises in the Tickfaw and Tchefuncte rivers, and slow falls on the Amite, Tangipahoa and Pearl rivers.
Sunshine will be our biggest ally. That’s why reported catches appear to be better from late morning and into the afternoon.
Wind will hinder sunlight heating the water, but we should find water temperatures in the 50s. The trout/redfish bite continues to be soft, and that means working soft plastics on the bottom, but it’s possible that hard-plastic jerkbaits will work around seawalls, rock walls and rock jetties (where there’s warmer water) from mid-afternoon.
While the north winds will have pushed most of whatever water it will move from the marsh, expect to find numbers of redfish and lingering trout near run-outs in canals and bayous. The best indication of finding fish around run-outs is to look for baitfish in the area.
Find grass in marshes and slowly reel shallow-running hard-plastic (shad colored) lures for redfish and a bonus catch of bass.
Most of the action in the Verret Basin and the marshes south of U.S. 90 is near points and ru-nouts on soft-plastic creature lures. Same is true for bass in the Pearl River and in the MRGO around hard structure.
With so much dirty water, now is the time to find a friend who has a pond. The best bass and sac-a-lait catches are coming on soft plastics from small waters.