Chef Pass bass

Gobs of marsh bass can be caught this month and many double-ups can happen like pictured. (Photo by Chris Macaluso)

Base your approach on weather, water conditions for success

Anglers in Louisiana, by and large, love to target speckled trout. But in March, when fishing can be tough, other species are oftentimes on the menu to fuel a fishing addiction, too.

Avid angler Chris Macaluso loves to target Chef Pass bass this month, and he bases his whole approach on the weather conditions.

“Sometimes in March, the water temperature can be in the low 50s, the water low and dirty,” he said. “That does isolate the fish in certain spots.”

When the water is low, Macaluso likes to focus on the mouths of the marsh drains and the ditches and he fishes certain lures.

“You’re going to have to stick with soft plastics and something that is moving slowly,” he said. “You don’t want to throw anything big, either.”

Macaluso recommends throwing crawfish-imitation baits, and he likes the Zoom finesse worm in Junebug color.

Tidal keys

Tidal movement is always key for marsh fishing, and when Macaluso finds the water to be low and chilly, he greatly prefers fishing an incoming tide.

“Your rising tide bite is usually better when you’re dealing with that low water,” he said. “When you have water that’s cold, those mud flats will warm up during the day, and if you start getting a good rising tide, it makes the fish more active in the afternoon.”

When the water is cold, finding the warmest water around can make a big difference, according to Macaluso.

“If you can find water that’s 60 degrees as opposed to 55 degrees, the fish are going to be more active,” he said. “You want to look for the warmest water you can post-front.”

More options

When Macaluso fishes around warmer, higher water in March, he finds the options on where to fish and what to throw are a lot more abundant.

“If you’ve got more water in the marsh, you can throw all kinds of stuff,” he said. “You can fish fun topwater baits.”

Those topwaters include buzzbaits and poppers over the grass, and he likes to fish on marsh points.

Marsh bass are known to be small, which is why some anglers shy away from them. This is typically true when you catch them in the middle of summer or winter, according to Macaluso, but not so much in March.

“You can catch a little bigger fish, especially if you throw soft plastics,” he said. “You can catch some fish that are pushing 4 pounds.

“There are areas with docks and manmade structure that hold bigger fish than the marsh drains.”

About Joel Masson 177 Articles
Joel Masson is an avid angler who has fished South Louisiana his whole life. He lives in Mandeville and can be reached at