"Lenten winds" causing grief to anglers

TFAE Celebrating Success in Terrebonne Parish
March 14, 2018
Lafourche Booking Log – March 13, 2018
March 14, 2018
TFAE Celebrating Success in Terrebonne Parish
March 14, 2018
Lafourche Booking Log – March 13, 2018
March 14, 2018

April showers bring May flowers. 

We all know that.

But before Louisianans can get to all that, we must first get through our annual Lenten winds – a sometimes problematic time for anglers who have to battle the conditions to get out on the water.

Last week was rough with several days of sun, but winds which whipped and caused choppy conditions.

Before the mid-week cold front, we had stiff south winds. After it, of course, we had stiff north winds.

Either way, it provided uncomfortable conditions for anglers who had to decide whether to try and fight the wind or stay home – even while the sun was shining.

“It stinks,” Houma angler Pete Reese said. “It’s been blowing like crazy and it’s a tease because the fish are there big-time when we have a good day. It’s like that every year in Louisiana. It’s the Lenten winds. Right as the seasons change, we get these kinds of days and it’s just too rough to go out. It’s either too rough or the water is too low or whatever it may be.”

Reese’s words echo what a lot of others are saying out on the water.

Golden Meadow man Ro Guidry said when conditions are calm, he’s been “catching redfish like crazy,” adding that his trick right now is to work minnows in areas that are fishable even when the winds are up – on the side of the road in Leeville and also in passes of the marsh.

“They’re huge. Beautiful fish,” Guidry said. “You can catch them with almost anything, but I’ve been just getting basic bait minnows and passing them in the water. With that colder weather we had last week, they were eating it like crazy.”

Reese said he’s had the same luck in Terrebonne near Cocodrie, working the redfish and speckled trout, which he said have really started to heat up as the weather has gotten a little warmer.

“They’re hitting,” Reese said. “They’re everywhere.”

But other places have not had quite the same luck and are being really affected by the winds.

In Terrebonne’s fresh waters near Gibson, this should be a time where bass are able to be had. But the winds, combined with high waters from the rising Atchafalaya River has made many places unfishable – either because of elevated water levels or because the water is not as clear as it once would be.

“It was looking really good out there for a while,” Houma native Bill Toups said. “But the last few weeks, it’s been next to nothing. It’s too hard to get out there and really, there’s not much out there.”

The bad news for folks along the lakes is that the Atchafalaya is slowly continuing to rise, so that problem will last for a while and will require attention in the future.

But for those looking to get out on other waters, there is a mix of both good news and bad news ahead. The good news is that today and tomorrow are supposed to be relatively calm with warmer weather and low winds. Even Friday should be OK with forecast high temperatures of 74 degrees and winds out of the southeast at 11 mph.

But it won’t last.

Weekend forecasts call for warm, clear weather, but winds out of the south and southwest at 17-18 mph. That will make offshore fishing impossible and some areas not able to be navigable – again. 

“It’s a beautiful and beautiful weather, so you want to rush out and go get some fish,” Toups said. “But sometimes you just can’t. That’s no fun for someone who likes the outdoors like all of us here do – no fun at all.”

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