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May ends on strong fishing note

The month of May ended on a good note in the fishing scene. The surface lure bite for largemouth bass went wild over the past week or so.

Lakes Concordia, St. John and Bruin’s bass were looking toward the surface to feed. That is as good as it gets when bass fishing.

With surface lures, you get to see and not just feel the strike. Lake Concordia produced five bass tournament limits from 24 pounds to several 16- and 14-pound limits. That is tournament limits.

Last Saturday, Doug Schexnayder of Vidalia won a local bass club with a nice four pound average of five bass weighing 20.40 pounds.

On the same day, some non-tournament guys caught five at 24 pounds and 20 pounds, and many people had a three-pound average with five bass. The state limit is 10 bass per person with no minimum size requirements, so a six-inch bass is legal, sad as that is.

Back in the 1990s, these fish were protected on Lake Concordia with a slot limit of 15 to 19 inches. Anything caught within the slot had to be released, which means all these fish would not have been legal catches. They are now.

Most bass clubs release their catch, but there are many bass leaving the lake to be released in Lake Crisco. That’s legal, so there is nothing that can be done about that.

Two boats fished four days and took home a 125-plus bass. That’s why a five-pound bass is now considered large when the lakes used to be loaded with eight, nine and 10-plus pound bass.

It was great to have a trophy bass lake in our area. Maybe one day we will have that again.

I am just glad to see this nice population of three to four-pound fish in the lake. Hopefully, most of these bass will be released and allowed to grow.

On other lakes, the white perch fishing is fair, and the bream fishing is not so good. The bream spawn was short this year.

You can pick one up here and there, but it is hard to find a concentration of bluegill and chinquapin.

I am not sure why the bream spawn did not last very long, but one thing I know for sure: the catfish have gone nuts this year.

We went through 480 pounds of skipjack, a bait fish that catfish eat, and I lost count at about 2,000 goldfish that went out the door. Cold worms will catch the catfish too.

Currently, we are sold out of everything but cold worms. I will be stocked back up on all bait next week.

The rivers and lakes are producing a lot of catfish. The Mississippi River is on a slight fall.

The river stage at Natchez should be around 38 feet by June 4. It is pretty safe to say we will not have a flood this year.

Practice safe boating. Our lakes are packed with boats so be safe and have fun.

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