It’s been difficult to get a handle on fishing across the state during the past days. Winds have been a problem, if only because southerly winds tend to stack water in the marshes and send redfish and bass moving into hard-to-get-in ponds and backwater areas.

Mild temperatures and higher water levels tend to push trout into the shallower marshes along marsh edges and they get a little harder to catch, too.

Open water has been the best place to find trout, but, then again, you have to fight the wind.

Now that a cold front pushed through Tuesday, and the wind changed direction, fishermen will have another obstacle in the coming days — extra low tides.

The 20-30 knot northerly winds definitely will push water from the marshes — southeast winds will return Sunday — but next week’s tides do not bode well, if only because moving water has been the key to this fall’s best coastal catches.

Snapper update

Even with the open recreational red snapper season — remember it’s open every day — it appears our state’s private rec anglers will fall short of the 816,439 pounds allowed in their 2019 quota.

For the weekend leading up to Thanksgiving, rough weather sent the catch to zero. State marine fisheries managers are gathering data for December’s first week, but tough conditions are likely to keep most, if not all, tied up at the dock this weekend.

Through Nov. 24, LA Creel's estimate is 790,117 pounds, or 26,322 pounds under the quota. Any leftovers in the quota will be divided among the five Gulf States for the 2020 season.

USFWS seeks comments

Administrators of the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, wants to initiate recreation user fees for its refuges and wants your comments.

Here’s what they want to do: $20 annual and $5 daily permit fees for Bayou Sauvage, Big Branch Marsh, Bogue Chitto, Delta, Bayou Teche, Cat Island and Mandalay national wildlife refuges; and, $40 lottery alligator tags on Atchafalaya, Bayou Sauvage, Bayou Teche, Bogue Chitto, Delta and Mandalay NWRs.

The announcement indicated the fees “will be used to maintain and promote visitor amenities on SELA public use locations.”

A series of 5 p.m. “public forums” continue Dec. 12, Plaquemines Parish Library in Buras; Dec. 13, West Feliciana Parish Library; 5114 Burnett Road, St. Francisville; Dec. 17, SELA headquarters, 61389 La. 434, Lacombe; and Dec. 18, East New Orleans Regional Library, 5641 Read Blvd., New Orleans.

The comment period will end Jan. 9. You can submit written comments to: Project Leader, Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex, 61389 Hwy 434, Lacombe, LA 70445.

A unique gift

Know a bass fisherman who can’t wait for their next trip or that next TV fishing show,or the latest edition of Bassmaster Magazine?

Bassmaster is offering a ride-along in one of its nine major tournaments next year. For $99, an avid angler can climb into a boat with Elite Series pros, even in the 50th Bassmaster Classic, to spend two or three days on the water. They can’t fish, but according to B.A.S.S. “are encouraged to take photos, send blog posts to Bassmaster.com, serve as an extra set of eyes for tournament officials, and operate the BASSTrakk scoring system.

The ride-along title, "marshals."

There’s some SWAG, too: a dinner and a meet-and-greet with Elite Series anglers, Bassmaster marshal apparel and products from tournament sponsors.

Here’s the schedule (remember the fee is $99 per tournament): Feb. 6-9, St. Johns River, Florida; Feb. 14-17, Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee; March 6-8, Bassmaster Classic, Lake Guntersville, Alabama; April 2-5, Lake Eufaula, Alabama; April 16-19, Santee Cooper, South Carolina; May 29-June 1, Sabine River, Texas; July 23-26, St. Lawrence River, New York; July 30-Aug. 2, Lake Champlain, New York; and, Aug. 20-23, Lake St. Clair, Michigan.

For more, go to the B.A.S.S. website: Bassmaster.com, or call (877) BASS-USA.