No matter how much we complained about water levels around here in recent weeks, we’re not living in southeast Texas, where our neighbors to the west should be checking out the biblical specs for ark building.

Except for the major rivers, water levels are either on the way down, or are predicted to be falling sometime during the weekend, and it means the no-wake zones set in April for Belle River and Pierre Part Bay have been lifted.

While we’re grieving for Texans, the week-long deluge hit our western parishes, too, and Toledo Bend is on the rise. The Red River is high and muddy, too, and you can scratch those two places off your weekend list.

Lake Pontchartrain continues to provide action on redfish and speckled trout, and waters north of Grand Isle in lower Barataria are holding lots of keeper specks.

Because the inshore shrimp season opened, water clarity might be a problem for areas from Caillou Boca east to Lake Borgne.

Weather

A front is moving through and should quiet heavy rains, but it’s predicted to stall at the coast and leave us with 10-15 knot southeast winds (1-2 footers east of the Mississippi River; 1-4 footers along the Central Coast) into Saturday with winds shifting to the east Sunday and dropping into the 5-10 knot range with calmer nearshore and offshore seas.

Pontchartrain’s forecast is 10-15 knot southeast winds (1-2 footers Friday, Saturday), then a wind shift to the northeast at 5-10 knots with near calm waves Sunday.

Expect lows near 70, afternoon highs in the upper 80s and an average of a 40 percent chance of rain every afternoon through Tuesday.

The Coast

It’s clear that Lake Pontchartrain is filled with lots of food, lots of small crabs, and the redfish are in the lake to take advantage of this bounty. The report is that any crab-like imitation, any soft-plastic lure with olive green, white and pink/red (the colors of a small crab) afford the chance to catch redfish limits.

Speckled trout and flounder are mixed in with the redfish around the bridges, including The Causeway. Blue moon/chartreuse and camo colors work, too.

The reefs and rocks behind Grand Isle are holding trout, and there’s been some activity on school trout in the Casse Tete Island area and west into Timbalier Bay.

The water along most barrier islands has been too rough and too murky to make for the banner surf-fishing, topwater action from the middle of the month, but there have been some mornings when 2-4 pounders are taking mullet-colored Zara Spoons and floating Mirr-O-Lures.

Live shrimp and avocado/red glitter and H&H double-rigged chartreuse Beetles work on specks up to 18 inches around Lakes Pelto and Barre reefs and the oil/gas platforms. Less than 12-inches-long “throwbacks” are mixed in catches west of The Fourchon.