Heavy rain washing boat traffic

Published 12:01am Sunday, February 24, 2013

As of Saturday, Lakes Concordia, St. John and the Black River Horseshoe Lake remained closed to boat traffic.

Lake St. John was still open before this last 3-inch rain, but there was an idle only rule in effect.

I now hear the lake is closed until the water level drops. If you plan to fish any of these waters, I would call the local marinas first.

This lake closure deal is a new thing to most of us. I can recall these lakes being closed only once years ago, and that was just after a tropical depression.

In 38 years of fishing these waters, I cannot recall the lake closing in February. The problem is water over the top of some pier platforms.

The boat wakes could do damage to these piers. The wind is already doing enough damage to the low-water docks.

This has a good side and bad side to it. The good news is, the first wave of spawning fish have moved shallow, and there are no hooks there to greet them. These fish are spawning in peace. The bad news is the local marinas and restaurants are losing a lot of business from out-of-town bass clubs that come here in February to fish the beginning of the spawn.

Several north and south Louisiana bass clubs cancelled their February events in this area.

I can recall an unofficial total since January of about 23 inches increase. Despite high waters closing the lakes, conditions will be better off in the long run. Our lakes have been flushed with fresh rain water. The water is running into the lakes faster than it can run out. That is a good thing.

Bass and white perch need higher water for a more successful spawn, and we certainly have the water. Normally by mid-February some of the bass on Lake Concordia are on the beds. They probably are right now. We just can’t fish the lakes to find out because they are closed.

Nothing can be done about the rain. The only solution would be for the parish to spend a lot of money on drainage and weir improvement, and I do not believe that is in their plans, yet.

In the meantime, there are still plenty of places to fish. Many of us are fishing Franklin Country’s little reservoir known as Okhissa Lake.

Okhissa Lake is only 1,100 acres, but it has a main creek channel and several, smaller feeder creeks making this the only reservoir type fishing in the area. Unlike the dish panned bottom of the landlocked Oxbow lakes in Louisiana, this little reservoir offers points, drop-offs, ridges and creek channel bends.

If weather conditions get bad and the water temperature drops, deep water is only a short swim away. On the oxbow lakes the bass won’t move far, but they may be very difficult to catch if the water temperature is dropping.

Other lakes that are producing some nice bass and slab white perch are the Saline/Larto Complex and Lake Bruin.

Despite all the rains, neither of these lakes ever closed.

The bass and perch are fat and full of roe. When we get three or four days of sunshine in a row, the spawn will be wide open.

Next Saturday we will be on Lake St. John (hopefully) fishing a Top Rod Series event out of Spokane Landing.

Contact me for more information of this series of bass tournaments and any bass tournaments in this area.