Barring any unexpected  cold fronts, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro and Sportsman TV host Greg Hackney expects bass and sac-a-lait fishing to explode across south Louisiana over the next 10 to 14 days.

“All these fish have  held off because of the cold weather we’ve been having, and we’re finally fixing to have the warm weather coming,” Hackney said. “Honestly, the fishing in our area will be just about as good as it gets.

“You want to be in a dead end in the marsh somewhere fishing because it’s fixing to go down, there’s no doubt.”

On recent trips to the Spillway, Lake Verret and Bayou Des Allemands, Hackney said the bass in all three areas have been out a little deeper than normal, but have already moved into the dead ends to spawn.

“So basically, they’ve been off the banks and they’re fixing to move up on the banks and get after it,” he said. 

Combine that with a warming south wind, and a perfect storm is brewing.

“The water is going to come back and fill up, and when it does, it’s warming up, so put all that together and these fish are going to move right up on the bank,” he said. “They’re going to be on wood, like cypress trees and willow lay downs -something hard in the shallows is where they’re all going.”

They’ll be aggressive early on and gorging themselves before the spawn actually begins, so Hackney prefers a moving bait early on in the cycle.

“You’re going to want to be using a shallow-running crankbait, a swim jig, a bladed jig or spinnerbait to cover a lot of water,” he said. 

But once water temperatures from top to bottom reach 60 degrees and spawning actually starts, the fish become more concerned with guarding an area instead of eating, and Hackney changes tactics.

“When they’ve been up there for about a week, then I like some type of creature bait on a light slip sinker flipped and pitched around that wood on the bank,” he said.

Because of this year’s frigid winter, south Louisiana anglers will get to enjoy a more concentrated pre-spawn and spawn, he said.

“Actually this winter is kind of a blessing. Some years in the past, there would be spawning fish in January. Normally, there would be a few that would spawn and get pushed back and they’d go back-and-forth, back-and-forth,” he said. “But we haven’t had any of that, so all these fish have just been sitting there waiting.

“They’re all going to come at once and we’re going to get to see them go through this whole cycle like they do in other places.”

Typically, Hackney said the February full moon is when the best fish in our area come up to spawn, but with water temperatures still chilly, he expects they will spawn at the next moon phase.

“We’ve all been trapped in the house by this bad weather, so we’re going to come out and they’re going to come out at the same time, and I think it’s going to make for some good fishing over the next couple of weeks.”