September is a month of transition as water temperatures begin to drop. Slowly at first due to radiative cooling, and moreso as cool fronts invade the state. Cooler water invigorates the fish.
Look for bass to school up and feed on shad, especially on lakes in the northern and central parishes. Shad patterns used with an intermediate sinking line and stripped erratically will induce strikes.
On the coast, action will continue strong nearshore for kings and cobia, while jack crevalle can be found in interior lakes like Pontchartrain and Borgne. Bring a 12-weight for good measure, along with lots of baitfish patterns.
Schooling reds will be plentiful on the beaches, passes, and in interior lakes. If you encounter a “redfish blitz”, then even a bare hook works. Otherwise, use flies with lots of movement — such as deceivers and seaducers — and an intermediate or sinking line to get them down.
Two areas that can be terrific for big speckled trout this month are the reefs in Vermillion Bay and the grass beds in Lake Pontchartrain. Casting poppers in these areas will draw strikes from big snaggletooths.
September is the best month for Rio Grande perch around New Orleans and Jefferson parishes. The rios love tiny poppers, wet flies and red Zebra Midges. Catching one of the larger “brainiacs” on an ultralight fly rod, like a 3-weight, should be on every fly angler’s bucket list.