High winds, low limits off coast in the South

BATON ROUGE, La. — Years spent studying wheres, hows and whys of catching speckled trout, mostly along the Central Coast — from Coup Abel west across Grand Isle to Cocodrie — and talking to guys who've done the same, have left all of us asking one question:

When is the wind going to stop?

It's not only the winds through April, but the almost constant, or what seems to be constant, westerly winds of the last five years. It might be OK if we had constant southeast winds, but west winds bring problems for all areas of the Louisiana coast.

For years, ardent coastal trout fishermen knew they could expect several days of coastal forecasts reading, "winds light and variable mostly from the southeast and south," and knew they were supposed to be fishing. Trout limits were as guaranteed as guaranteed could be.

When's the last time you read that forecast?

West winds shove muddy Atchafalaya River water into the Central Coast and muddy Mississippi River water into Breton Sound. Even worse is when west winds blow as hard and as steadily as it has for the last six weeks, predator fish like specks and redfish scatter.

That's because the wind breaks up schools of baitfish and shrimp and makes it more difficult to get to the big bunches of trout and reds.

Until Mother Nature turns off the fans, don't head to the coast with thoughts of limiting out dancing through your head.

This article was distributed by the Associated Press.