Weather keeps fish moving
The first week of December was so warm many hunters gave up on going to the woods fighting mosquitoes and took to the water.
That is a good thing. Good reports on the bass and a few reports on the white perch are coming from all directions.
Lake St. John surprised many over the past week or so by producing numbers of bass in the two- to three-pound range with an occasional four- to five-pound fish in the mix.
Shallow diving crank baits, Rat-L-Traps and jigs along with a host of other lure types will work.
I probably should say a host of these lures were working, but if the weather forecast holds up for this coming week the predicted cold front will be somewhat of a game changer.
This weekend the air temperature topped out in the upper 70s. That warmed the shallow water up big time.
In mid-November, surface water temperature dropped to a low of about 59 to 60 degrees. Right now the water temperature is back up to the upper 60s and low 70s. Fluctuating water temperatures will keep you on the move to keep up with the fish.
One day the fish may be shallow holding in a foot or two of water and the next day they are gone. That’s December in the Miss-Lou. We should be used to it.
The deep water bite was just starting to kick off in mid-November before the water warmed back up. Now it’s a hunt and peck sort of thing.
You may have to cover everything from shallow water to the mid-range depths to locate the active fish. The really deep water bite has yet to produce very many fish.
With the lake levels so low, it is fairly easy to locate the bass and perch. I don’t mind the low water levels during the cooler months. As long as we can launch a boat, we can catch a lot of fish while the lakes are low and water temperatures are below 70 degrees.
To me this approaching cold front is a good thing. I like deep water fishing. Cold fronts will push some of the fish out of the shallows to the ledges and manmade brush piles. I said some of the fish, because there will always be some fish in thin water no matter how cold or warm the water.
The same thing is going on at Lakes Concordia and Bruin. Pier platforms are a good two to three, if not four feet above the water’s surface. That allows us to present lures far back under the piers where it normally takes a trick cast to put a lure.
The cypress tree bites on the oxbow lakes may be few and far between, but those fish are usually large. The numbers will come from the piers.
Saturday we were on the Saline/Larto Complex fishing the second stop of the Top Rod Series. This series offers bass tournament anglers a chance to fish for higher payouts, and you are on your own, meaning this series of tournaments is singles only, one person per boat.
That and the $125 entry fee brings out the best of the best in bass tournament anglers. I predict lots of five bass limits and a few heavy weight sacks since the barometric pressure is low.
The Saline/Larto Complex is loaded with numbers of bass. Last December a small club event I competed in weighed in six bass over five pounds. It took 22 pounds to win. I recall this because I had 19 pounds for second, a high five for big bass of the day, and it took 18 pounds to place third.
The water level was a bit higher last December than it is now, but the fish don’t change zip codes. They may move next door but they certainly don’t leave the lake.
The next stop on the Top Rod Series will be Jan. 6 at Lake Bruin. Contact me for more information.
Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.