If you like wind, then you’re going to enjoy this Easter weekend.
Another cold front is on its way, and if it’s anything like last week’s cold front, then we’re in for some mighty trying days both in freshwater and in coastal waters. And 3-to-6 foot seas don’t help anyone preparing to get after the abundant red snapper found in the early trips since the state opened the recreational season.
Bass and speckled trout have been difficult to catch only because of the constantly shifting winds that muddied waters across the southern parishes, and high barometric pressure that came through with last Friday’s cold front.
The front delayed the run of bluegills to the banks and spaces between shallow-water grassbeds to get ready for their spawning rituals.
Rain and 10-15 knot southerly winds are in Friday’s forecast, to be followed by westerly then 15-20 knot northeast winds Saturday with better chance of rain. Look for clearing and cooler conditions Sunday, but with 10-to-15 east winds before rain chances increase Monday.
It looks like the first big slug of water from the snow melt will taper off this week. The Mississippi River is cresting at 36.4 feet on the Baton Rouge gauge and will hit 14.3 feet Friday at New Orleans before starting on a very slow fall Saturday. The Atchafalaya at Bayou Sorrel will settle in at a high 8.9 feet through the rest of the week.
A frog-topwater-spinnerbait bite under the calm and mild early last week morphed into heavy jig-and-pig and “punching” soft plastics weekend, a pattern that lingered the first days this week. The front and the hard north winds followed by southerly winds took bass — sac-a-lait and bass, too — off the feeding patterns established during the previous two weeks.
There was some action on frogs and slowly worked topwaters in places where muddy water was blowing through heavy timber or grassbeds and water coming out on the other side of these obstacles was clear and filled with baitfish and other morsels bass were eating.
Marsh action settled down, yet bass continued to hang around runouts and drains in the Copasaw and Turtle Bayou canals. Goggle-eye there were taking small spinnerbaits (anything chartreuse) and bluegill and other sunfishes were eating black/chartreuse tubes worked under a cork.
Along the coast
There’s little doubt that redfish are available on the east side of the Mississippi River. They’re hungry and taking hard plastics like MirrOdines and MirrOlues, a variety of soft plastics (must have a chartreuse tail) on a jighead or under a cork, and live minnows when you can find them.
Trout have been finicky, but only because the wind doesn’t allow them to stay on baitfish schools.