It’s late August and it’s time Mother Nature turns up the heat.
That’s what’s coming this weekend, and it comes with the advisory for fishermen to take along plenty of liquids, not the alcoholic kind, to make sure to stay hydrated when the temperature hits the upper 90s for the first time this summer.
That’s not all: It’s time to keep an eye on the tropics. Forecasters are predicting at least one tropical storm to be in the Gulf of Mexico this time next week.
The word for this hot weekend is to head out early and return before noon, and it appears bass, sac-a-lait and goggle-eye in freshwater, redfish along the coast and all the deep-water species are cooperating during those early hours.
A note, too, about amberjack: This is the final weekend of the recreational and commercial seasons on greater amberjack. Federal managers also closing the season at 12:01 a.m. Monday.
High pressure will give us light, mostly easterly then southerly winds and light seas through the weekend before a low-pressure system pushes in from the north Monday. Look for morning lows in the middle 70s with afternoon highs in the upper 90s in the interior parishes and the low to mid 90s along the coast.
The major rivers are at summer lows.
It appears sac-a-lait have oriented to the usual summertime structure — brushpiles, tree tops and other deep-water structure — in the Atchafalaya Spillway and that means targeting these great-for-the-table game fish will be easier in the last week. Black/chartruese jigs in clearer, moving water is a big factor and now that the Atchafalaya River is low, the fish move with the sun. That means hitting shallower areas in the early morning, then moving to the deeper ends of the brush and grass as the sun gets higher in the sky.
Bass have moved into the grass. Use frogs and swimbaits early, then go to “punching” soft-plastics like D-Bombs, Brush Hogs and Chigger Craws when the sun gets over the trees.
The Pearl River is clearing. Buzzbaits and spinnerbaits work early. After shad move off the banks, use hard-plastic shad-colored lipless/lipped crankbaits.
Redfish continued to dominate inshore catches, while speckled trout have turned on to shrimp east of the Mississippi River and in the Vermilion Bay area, and are eating croaker and pogeys in Central Coast waters along beaches from Four Bayous west to Raccoon Island and around structures in the bays and coastal lakes.
Platforms in open water south of Theriot, Dulac and Cocodrie are holding specks. Use live croaker or avocado/red glitter artificials worked off the bottom.
Wait for the falling tides, then get to the passes and use cracked crabs on the bottom to tackle a bull red.