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Cold weather brings better fishing

Some heavy-weight bass and big slab white perch are beginning to show up on the end of some fishermen’s line.

Good fishing during mid- to late-November and on into December was an easy prediction to make. The colder the water gets the larger and more fish we catch.

It’s like this every year. Some people store their boats and tackle and head to the woods while a growing number of sportsmen and women have figured out what many of us have known for years — late fall and winter offer the best fishing in this area.

You might cast for bass or jig for perch a couple hours without a bite, then come across the right spot and put several nice fish in the live well.

Lake Concordia is showing signs of good things to come.

The lake produced a couple of nice five-bass tournament limits last week during a club tournament.

I spent last weekend and the holiday with children and grandchildren and missed out on that one, but we had some fun.

It took 19 pounds to win that club tournament and 14 pounds to place. That is the best weights we have seen in competition since this past spring. Hopefully we will see Lake Concordia’s bass population rebound over the next year or so.

Of course water levels are still very low on all the lakes, rivers and complexes. The water clarity ranges from slightly stained to what we call clear.

The lake levels have been low for so long the fish have adjusted and the successful fishermen and ladies have adjusted to the conditions. Just about all the shallow cypress can now be ignored. Some are sitting on dry ground and others are in mere inches of water.

That leaves the outside cypress trees, piers and some offshore man-made cover to fish.

A good thing about the low water level is you can get your lure far back under the piers much easier now. Most pier’s platforms are two to three feet off the water’s surface. It’s a challenge when the lakes rise, and you only have a few inches of clearance below the platforms to skip a lure under the docks.

The same thing applies to the cypress trees. The cypress with low, overhanging limbs that make fishing some trees a challenge are now very easy to fish. Low water also concentrates the bass and perch in certain areas. Find that one little spot, and you can have an easy day of fishing.

The shallow trees are too shallow and the deep trees are now the shallow trees.

The piers seem to be holding more fish on the landlocked oxbow lakes than the trees. Until we get some rain, the depth in which the fish will be holding will be fairly predictable. Catching them may not be as easy. It all depends on the weather conditions.

Fishing ahead of, or during, the passage of a cold front is the best time to go fishing. After a front passes the fish on most lakes can still be caught, you just have to slow your lure presentation down to a crawl.

Some of the area lakes may look alike but they certainly don’t fish the same. Lake Bruin has a history of producing heavy-weight limits of bass and perch behind a front, while the fish in other lakes are not as aggressive.

Fishing for non-aggressive fish requires a lot of patience. Anyone can go down a shoreline casting a crankbait or spinnerbait and come up with a few fish. To catch the big fish, you have to slow your presentation down and make repeated cast to the same target.

Despite the weather conditions and the low water level, the very best time to go fishing is when you can.

 

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