September is a month of transition as water temperatures begin to drop: slowly at first, due to radiative cooling, and a bit more toward the end of the month as cool fronts invade the state.
Just as humans are invigorated by the cooler air, so are fish by cooler water. For bass, it’s a time to school up and feed on shad, especially on lakes in the northern and central parishes. Topwaters like Crease Flies will get strikes, but baitfish patterns or spoon flies used with an intermediate sinking fly line will induce even more bites.
On the coast, this is the last best month for a wide range of pelagic species such as Spanish, kings, cobia and jack crevalle. It’s also the best month for a shot at tarpon on the fly, especially in the Biloxi Marsh and northern area of Lake Borgne.
September is a great time for schooling reds on the beaches, passes, and in interior lakes. If you encounter a “redfish blitz,” then even a bare hook works. Otherwise, fish flies with lots of movement — such as deceivers, seaducers, clousers — and use an intermediate or sinking line to get them down.
Speckled trout action peaks on the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain, where kayaking and wade fishing are popular. Clousers will work best, but poppers will draw strikes from bigger fish. You also have a shot at multi-pound trout this month casting poppers along reefs in Vermillion Bay and in the surf at Holly Beach.
This is also the last good month for Rio Grande perch in the lagoons, ponds and canals around New Orleans and Jefferson parishes. The rios love foam and slow-sinking spiders, as well as wooly buggers stripped slowly. Catching one of the larger “brainiacs” on ultralight fly rod like a 3-weight should be on every fly angler’s bucket list.
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