Roberts: Miss-Lou fish better look out in 2004

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 9, 2004

The year 2004 is shaping up to be the best year for bass and crappie fishing in our area since 2000.

Over the past three years, record low water levels and the Largemouth Bass Virus (LMBV) made it a challenge just to catch a limit of bass or crappie large enough to fillet.

Last year many bass tournaments were won with five fish limits weighing 10 to 12 pounds.

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Prior to the problems that began in 2000, it took 15 pounds or more to make a check. Toward the end of 2003 heavier weights began showing up at the scales.

In ’03, Danny Smith of Monterey, La., pulled 19-plus pounds out of Lake Bruin. Smith won a tournament on Lake St. John with another 19-pound, five bass tournament limit.

John Bruce weighed in 19 pounds of Larto Lake bass to win a Concordia Club tournament in fall 2003.

Bruce weighed in a nice fish the same day that Smith had the 19 pounds. Bruce won the lunker pot that day with a 7.00-pound Lake St. John &uot;hawg&uot; weighed-in at Neely’s Spokane Resort.

Speaking of bass clubs, the Concordia Club will cast off a new year on Lake St. John Jan. 24. If you’re interested in joining, now is the time.

If you’re new to the area or just getting into competitive bass fishing, joining a club is a short cut to learning our area lakes. Most members will share information about lures and techniques. Just don’t ask about the area they are fishing.

We fished hard over the holidays and Lake Bruin produced more bass than any of the other lakes we tried.

Lake Concordia was the second best as far as big bass. The Black River Lake Complex is not producing many fish, but that could change.

If we get enough rain to create a current between Black River and Horseshoe Lakes, the fish will turn on.

Lake St. John surprised many fishermen this fall. Heavy weight limits and numbers of fish began showing up in December but watch out in January.

If water temperatures fall below 50 degrees, St. John can be like my wife: very unpredictable. Now I’m in trouble, but what the heck. Christmas is over and I have my &uot;yellow and white&uot; tennis shoes that don’t fit, blue jeans that don’t fit and those double knit striped collar shirts that I’ll never wear.

My family and I wish everyone a very happy new year, and God bless our troops.

Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at