As the Mississippi River level continues to fall in New Orleans, the water is just now starting to turn green near Venice, and that can only mean one thing this time of year.

Redfish are about to make their annual push into the river, and Capt. Owen Langridge said it could literally happen any time now.

“It will be in the next two, three or four days if the river doesn’t come up any,” said Langridge, who operates Big O Charters out of Venice. “If it stays where it’s at or keeps falling, they’re going to move in. 

“All they want to do is chase those crabs in the river.”

When the river stage hits 5 feet in New Orleans, Langridge said that’s typically the magic number for the Mississippi to start turning green near Venice.

The river was at 4.1 feet in New Orleans today, and is forecast to be down to 3 feet by Wednesday.

“It happens because the river gets low enough that the flow slows down and the silt that’s been carried all the way from Minnesota to New Orleans falls to the bottom,” he said. “The current slows when it gets down to about 3 feet in New Orleans. It’ll get so clear you can see down 3 to 4 feet.

“And once those redfish get a taste of that green water in the river, they’re going to come in like gangbusters.”

Right now, they’re staged close to the mouths of passes as they prepare to move in, he said.

“Once they hit that river, they’re going to scatter,” Langridge said. “You end up fishing the passes like you’re bass fishing in a spillway, just going along with your trolling motor and throwing that cork with market bait or throwing spinners with spoons.”

Trout-wise, the bite has been tougher, and Langridge recommended live or artificial shrimp about 18-inches under a popping cork on the north beach in East Bay, or Carolina-rigged live shrimp at the Sandy Point and main pass rigs.