° empty

Isaac brings short-lived water rise

The recent tropical storm dropped some much-needed rain to some area lakes and rivers.

Just about everything east of the Mississippi River from Natchez received more rain than needed. Across the river in Concordia Parish, unofficial reports from Lakes St. John and Concordia ranged from only 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches of rain.

It certainly helped with the low water levels, but it was not enough.

The storm dropped heavy rains to the east and west of the parish. The oxbow lakes rose a foot or so but still remain at a low level.

The major drainage for Concordia Parish is the Black River/Horseshoe Lake Complex. Reports from that area said the complex rose about 3 feet as of yesterday. That was needed.

The complex was extremely low. If the water is not pumped out, expect good things to happen on the bayous and lakes that make up this great fishery.

We were hoping the run-off would raise the Mississippi River level as well. Locally and just north of us, the river rose about 3 feet to today’s projected stage at Natchez of 10.1 feet.

Oddly enough yesterday, the river level was at 11.1 feet, so we are already seeing fall come down the river. The forecast now predicts a slow fall back down to about 8.2 feet on Sept. 5.

That is extremely low considering the storm that just passed. The Old Rivers at Vidalia, Deer Park and Yucatan remain landlocked from any influence by the Mississippi River. The good news is all that wind aerated the water.

Prior to the storm, the surface water temperature was in the low 90s. Several lakes were experiencing fish kills that consisted mostly of shad and rough fish like carp and buffalo. The fish kill on the Old Rivers really didn’t hurt the game fish.

Even with these low water periods, the Old Rivers continue to be the best waters to catch bass and white perch. The bass made a move to extremely shallow water during the passage of and just after the tropical storm.

At the current low level, the Old Rivers offer very little in the way of visible cover along the shoreline, but what cover is there held fish.

Spinnerbaits and shallow diving crankbaits will pick off the more active fish. To catch larger bass, slow down and use jigs with a plastic trailer or any one of the many soft plastic creature-style lures.

September is here, and good things will slowly begin to happen on the landlocked lakes. The nights will get longer as the days get shorter.

Keep an eye on your surface water temperature gauge. When the water starts to cool off and drops to the low 80s or upper 70s, a good surface bite for largemouth bass will begin to take place on most of the lakes in this area.

Of course, it will probably be the mid- to late-September before we see a significant change in water temperatures.

Labor Day weekend is here, and this date marks the unofficial end to pleasure boat season. Many will park their ski boats for the remainder of the year. The pontoon boaters will continue to quietly boat around the lakes, enjoying the cooler days. As the pleasure boat season winds down, more bass and perch fishing boats will be on the water — for good reason.

The slow transaction from summer to fall is a great time to catch game fish. Later on this month keep an eye out for schools of shad near the surface. Find the shad and some cover close by, and you can bet the bass will be around.

We just experienced a very long and hot summer. Good things will slowly begin to happen this month on our area lakes and rivers.