The Atchafalaya River is influenced by the Gulf of Mexico tide, and that affects water movement far into the swamps.
But there is more to learning how to fish the vast waterway than just knowing the tides. Wind and river levels go into a pot with tidal movement when searching for prime fishing spots.
Usually, by the summer season, the Atchafalya River should bottom out. After spring floods and snow melts are over, tide, wind and river stage are used to determine where to fish.
Wind can impact water movement, but reading tide times and ranges is the best key to lower estuary fishing. Knowing when the water will move because of high and low tides helps the angler find moving water and fish.
But where you are in the Basin has a lot to do with how much water movement can be expected. Upper reaches of the swamp, say the Bayou Pigeon area north, only see a few inches of change if the tide range is a foot or more. If you’re fishing the Flat Lake area, however, the Morgan City gauge is pretty accurate.
“By summer, the water is as low as it gets,” said Sellers, who regularly fishes the Bayou Pigeon area in the upper Basin. “Points with moving water or where a bayou or canal intersect are good areas to fish in the summer.
“Points with cover and moving water will be the first areas to try.”