Plummeting Mississippi River setting up for solid fall fishing

Capt. Davey Miles with Cajun Fishing Adventures shows off a nice redfish just minutes before a bad storm forced him to leave Breton Island last Friday. The good news is the Mississippi River has finally fallen to more normal late-summer levels, which should mean solid fishing this fall downriver.
Capt. Davey Miles with Cajun Fishing Adventures shows off a nice redfish just minutes before a bad storm forced him to leave Breton Island last Friday. The good news is the Mississippi River has finally fallen to more normal late-summer levels, which should mean solid fishing this fall downriver.

Saltwater finally moving in closer means shorter trips for specks

Ol’ Man River dropped more than 3 feet in the last week alone — and for the first time in a long time the Mississippi’s gauge at New Orleans is now finally back in the single digits.

The river currently is at about 6.9 feet, and it’s forecast to stay just above 6 feet well into the first week of September. Considering it measured almost 14 feet on Aug. 1, things are definitely moving in the right direction.

“What we’re starting to see now is the saltwater move in closer,” said Capt. Davey Miles, a guide with Cajun Fishing Adventures in Buras. “It’s bringing in more bait and more fish. Freshwater that had been inundating the area is finally moving out.

“That’s good news, especially for speckled trout.”

Trout action

Coming off last week’s full moon, trout action has been sporadic at best out of Buras, but Miles said conditions are rapidly improving.

“Fishing around a full moon can be tough. When that moon is out there, they’re feeding at night,” he said. “But everything looks like it’s getting back on schedule now. And if the river gets low enough, saltwater will actually back up into it, and we’ll catch speckled trout in the rocks in the diversions.

“The trout bite this spring and summer definitely wasn’t on schedule. Most of the trout were west, in places like Fourchon and Grand Isle. But a month ago, we weren’t catching any trout. All of a sudden, they shut the Spillway, and one day we caught three. The next day it was 10. Then 17.

“So they’re not stacked in yet, but they’re coming.”

Miles usually targets specks with Z-Man’s Trout Trick or EZ ShrimpZ, either tight-lined or under a popping cork, with 40-pound Seaguar braid and 30-pound fluoro leader.

“If you have good tide movement, you can tight-line because that makes the bait a little more active,” he said. “But if you don’t have the right conditions, you have to have a cork to keep that bait suspended a little longer.”

Bull reds

Big bull reds typically move in near Buras around August’s full moon, but this year Miles said they’re a little late in arriving.

“We’re still waiting on the roe mullet,” he said. “But the water is getting a little cleaner every day.”

Z-Man Jerk Shadz and Trout Tricks in atomic sunrise and shrimp creole have proven effective for big reds so far, but Miles said the bulls aren’t really particular.

“We’re just waiting on them to get here. It doesn’t really matter what you’re throwing,” he said. “As a matter of fact, when they turn on, I take my expensive corks off and put on a cheaper one because they hit the corks, eat them and they pop off – they totally destroy them.”

Patrick Bonin
About Patrick Bonin 1333 Articles
Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and LouisianaSportsman.com.