One thing for sure about coastal Louisiana is that there are some well-known areas where the fishing heats up as soon as the weather gets cold. According to Capt. Papa Joe Bush (504-689-3728 or www.fishneworleans.com), three of those places are the Pen, the Texaco Canals and Lake Salvador.

"Which one of those places you fish should depend on the many aspects of the weather conditions," Bush explained. "The most important one being wind direction and strength. But you can't forget water clarity and level either."

The simple explanation is to fish the area that has enough water to get into that isn't muddied up and that isn't buffeted by howling winds. Either the Pen, the Texaco Canals or Lake Salvador will be fishable no matter what the weather is doing.

"One of these three hot spots should keep you in plenty of fish this month," Bush said. "I like to use a white/glow Old Bayside Shrimp about 18 inches below a Paradise Popper for the trout, and I rig up with a black or purple Old Bayside Mud Minnow with a chartreuse tail without a popper for the reds."

If you're out on the water and find the conditions such that the water is low and the wind is blowing, Bush recommended fishing for black drum and sheephead with market bait. It may not be exactly what you're after, but on a windy day with low water, some fish is better than no fish.