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Summer fishing is slow, fall brings hope

July is winding down, thank goodness.

With the brutal month of August ahead of us, all my fishing thoughts are about September. We are certainly ready for the major transition of late summer to fall and a day on the lake with no sweat. By mid-September, the nights will become cooler and the water temperature will slowly begin to drop.

The fish that have been so inactive all summer will come to life. The shallows will be loaded with baitfish and where there is baitfish you will find the game fish.

We have to get through the long month of August first. I don’t look for anything to change during this next month. We will have the same short-lived early morning bite, followed by a slow, if not impossible, midday bite, unless it’s cloudy or raining.

The extremely low water levels level won’t change in August unless we get some major rain. It would take a tropical depression or hurricane for us to get enough rain to raise water levels.

The Mississippi River stage at Natchez is at a record-low level of 10.3 feet with no rise in the immediate forecast.

The Old Rivers at Deer Park, Vidalia and St. Joseph are now landlocked from any influence by the river. It would take a six- or seven-foot rise to reconnect the Mississippi River to the old river bend lakes.

I seriously doubt we’ll see a significant rise until late November.

I am hearing a scattering of good reports from the bass and white perch anglers. The best reports are coming from the old river bend lakes. Some fishermen and ladies have a knack to figure out how to catch fish, despite adverse conditions.

A few perch fishermen on Deer Park are trolling bright colored Bandit 200 series crank baits on a long line with some weight attached to the line that holds the crank bait. On a long cast, the Bandit 200 series will dive to about 8 to 10 feet on a 10- to 12-pound test line.

By adding weight to the line and trolling with a lot of line out, this little crank bait can reach the 18- to 20-foot depths.

That’s where the white perch are on the Old Rivers, or should I say, that’s where some of the white perch are.

Yesterday, I spoke with another group of guys that are catching perch from visible cover using a single jig pole and a jig. So you can use multiple poles and/or rod and reels and troll for perch holding off-shore or use a single jig pole and fish the shallow visible cover to catch enough perch from the Old Rivers to make it worth the sweat.

Many have turned to night fishing for bass, but I have yet to hear of any good reports from those that fish in the dark.

My dad was a night fisherman, but we rarely fished the summer nights.

During the summer, heat rises from the water at night and there is usually no wind. That makes it a hot, humid, sticky mess and bites are hard to come by.

We had many successful night-fishing trips, but all were in the fall and early winter months. On the area landlocked lakes; Lakes Concordia, St. John and Bruin, the water color has turned to a pea green color. That’s probably an algae bloom.

Algae blooms rob deep water of oxygen, so if you tackle one of these lakes think suspended or shallow bass. It is a rare deal to find bass on Lakes Concordia and St. John holding any deeper than 10 feet.

Lake Bruin is a bit clearer, so there are some deep water opportunities on Bruin.

Hopefully August will roll on by. We have some great months of fishing to look forward to.


Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at fishingwitheddie@bellsouth.net.