Now that rain-swollen rivers are settling back into their banks, freshwater fishermen can think about freshening their tackle to make a run at bass, bluegill, sac-a-lait and catfish, and coastal guys and gals can venture farther from their home bases without the fear of thunderstorms chasing them back to a safe dock.

After a week of heavy rain, there’s a window of several days when fish turn. Winds and rain tend to scatter baitfish and shrimp, and the weather system that settles in after the rain allows bait to gather in to larger masses. That congregates predator species, triggering a feeding frenzy — and it’s “game on” for anglers.

Now that you don’t have to worry about when LSU is playing baseball — check out the Ragin’ Cajuns to see if we can get a Louisiana team to Omaha — we can turn our attention to south Louisiana’s summertime pastime, and check out this weekend’s big rodeo, The Swollfest, on Grand Isle, and get after the red snapper before the federal-waters season ends Monday.

Weather

A high-pressure system will settle over south Louisiana through early next week. Southerly winds will dominate. Expect 5-10 knot winds and lighter (1-2 foot ) nearshore and offshore seas with a calm-to-light chop on the big lakes and bays. Look for lows near 70 and highs near 90 with a slight chance of afternoon showers.

The Mississippi River is on a slow fall. The Atchafalaya River is predicted to fall from a 6.8-foot reading to 5.8 feet on the Bayou Sorrel gauge by Sunday.

Freshwater

With the Mississippi River on a fall, look for bluegill action in the Ball Park area behind Mondieu Lake at Old River. Take crickets, and fish on a weighted hook in the still-flooded timber. It’s a bit early to look for sac-a-lait in the flooded buttonwoods along Old River summer-low line, but sac-a-lait should be there in the next 10 days.

With the Atchafalaya River falling, bass and goggle-eye should pull to the run-outs. Grand Lake, the Pigeon area and Shell Cuts should provide enough action on spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and frogs to keep bass fishermen happy. Work grass beds and open areas between stumps and the natural banks of canals for goggle-eye and bream.

With the rain gone, look to the Pearl River, especially the Middle and West Pearls, to give up solid goggle-eye and bluegill numbers on crickets. The Gulp! Cricket has been a solid producer for the last past two years under the conditions.

Bass like lighter colored spinnerbaits, and when you can find shad, use shad-colored crankbaits.

The coast

Trout in the 4-5 pound range are showing up around platforms and the beaches near South Pass south of Venice, but the action is slow and the average boat catch is 10-15 specks. Redfish are everywhere there.

For trout numbers, the real hot spot has been waters to the west of the river to Four Bayous and the Timbalier waters west of Grand Isle. With tides pushing to the beaches in the morning, work the Timbalier rocks and the barrier islands in the early hours.