Bream spawn around Lake Concordia
Conditions are returning to somewhat normal in the local fishing scene.
What a year this has been considering we are only about four months into 2014. We had a prolonged cold winter followed by a lot of cold rain and numerous sever cold fronts that pushed the water temperature down into the upper 30s and low 40 degree range. The bass and white perch spawn was delayed about a month form normal.
It is mid-April now, and we still have some bass and perch spawning. The bream should have been on the beds around April 1, but that did not happen.
I saw the first nice catch of bream this year yesterday, and they came off Lake St. John. I am sure you can do the same thing on Lake Concordia and several of our other lakes.
The bream and catfish are spawning right now. Our annual Easter cold front is expected, but like everything else this year, the cold front that passed early this week was more severe than normal.
Since the normal mid-April cold front came through a week early, we could possibly see yet another cold front this month. Water temperatures in the wind protected pockets, coves and ditches that receive the most sunshine off the main lake warmed to about 70 degrees prior to this front, while the main lake water temp averaged about 65-67. This crazy cold front hammered the water back down to the low 60s but the sun is out, and the water is warming up fast. All these cold fronts combined with right at 12 inches of rain in the past 3 weeks left our lakes high and muddy.
For a couple days, Lakes Concordia and St. John were closed to all boat traffic then reopened with a no wake order issued by Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office on the west side of the Mississippi River. The no wake order has been lifted from both lakes, but keep in mind there is always a no wake zone 200 feet out from any pier and 300 feet from the shoreline. When you are in that close, it is a dead idle zone meaning out your motor and gear and slow idle.
The Lake St. John Committee is working on putting buoys out so all will know where the no wake zone is located. The buoys are much needed on all our lakes before the heavy ski, pontoon and fishing boat traffic cast off. Many people are not even aware of the no wake zone.
The catfish bite was the deal this past week and will continue to be good the rest of the spring and on into the summer months. They are catching lots of catfish on the lakes and rivers. Cut skipjack seems to be the bait of choice, and I finally found a source to buy them from. I am selling more than 100 pounds of skipjack a week. For those that don’t know a skipjack, it’s that small fish you see jumping 5 to 6 feet out of the water numerous times thus the name skipjack. They are a member of the herring family and have a real oily meat that attracts catfish.
Live goldfish are selling good too. You will catch more blue and channel catfish on dead bait and flathead catfish on live bait.
The Mississippi River rose fast to about 45.5 feet. If the predictions are correct, the river will hold around 43 to 45 feet for several days.
From there, we will just have to keep an eye on the river gauge and predictions and see what happens. We could be in for a high water year. The snow melt has yet to come downriver. If they get a lot of rain up north when the snow melts, we could see a very high Mississippi River stage in May and June. That will be a wait and see deal.
As the weather and water warms up boat traffic increases, be careful on out area lakes and help us make this an accident free boating season.
Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.