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Can’t beat jig fishing in cold front

Despite a crazy week of weather last week and this week, there were some people out on the lakes who caught fish.

On Dec. 1, several area bass tournament anglers competed in a bass club event on the Black River/Horseshoe Lake Complex. The complex is a watershed lake and not a great place to be after a lot of rain. You can still catch fish, but it is never easy on a drainage lake after a cold rain.

We launched on Cross Bayou before daylight. Surface water temperature was 43.9 degrees in the bayou, and the water was extremely muddy.

Horseshoe Lake was muddy and cold, but once we ran down Workinger Bayou, the water cleared and was much warmer. The surface temp in that bayou and in Black River Lake was a full 10 degrees warmer at 55 and warmed even more before the 3 p.m. weigh-in. It did not take a lot of heavy weights to win.

The tournament limit is five. Greg Myers, Robby Roberts and I caught over 60 bass total, but our best five weighed in the 12-pound range. That was a tight race. I won it with 12.71, Myers weighed in 12.54 for second place and Robby had 12.15 for third.

That tournament could have gone either way for any of the top three. Big bass of the day was just as close. I weighed in a 3.58 to win the big bass bucks. Robby had a 3.33 and Myers a 3.21. Considering the weather and considering the top three boated over 60 weigh fish, it was a good day to fish for numbers but not big bass.

My larger fish came from 8 to 12 feet of water, while the numbers of small fish were a bit shallower. I expect the deep bite to get even better with the passage of this recent cold front and more cold rain.

We were back on the Complex Friday competing in an open-circuit event. I expect conditions were a bit different from the Saturday before. The water level rose fast then fell, and now it is probably rising again. That will keep you on your toes trying to figure out where the fish will be.

The air temperature this weekend was colder than last weekend, so I do not expect the water to be any warmer.

The top three in the last tournament caught their fish on Crawgator and Elk River jigs. You just can’t beat jig fishing in cold water. You can crawl a jig slowly across the bottom or swim it for suspended fish.

A lot of the strikes will occur on the initial fall, so you have to be a line watcher to successfully fish the jig. Strikes on a jig can be very light or very hard and anywhere in-between. Sometimes you just get a feeling that something is not right, set the hook and catch a bass.

On the landlocked lakes, some heavier bass were caught, but the numbers were really low. There was a closed bass club tournament on Lake Concordia Friday and another club will be on Concordia today. Of course, the south end of Concordia where we get a lot of run-off from the rains will be muddy, but as you run north, you will find stained to clear pockets and that’s probably where these two events will be won.

News from the white perch fishermen has been hard to come by. That is probably because not many are fishing right now, but they will when the lakes settle down a bit and clear up. The deep water perch bite will happen early this year with this unusual cold weather we are having.