Catching trophy bass no easy task on Lake Concordia

Published 2:40 pm Sunday, April 8, 2007

This spring the condition of our area lakes and the amount of fish caught is pretty much a repeat of last year.

During the spring of 2006, the bass spawn kicked off with a bang in mid- to late February. Several trophy bass were caught from Lake Concordia and other lakes in the area, but the good fishing was very short-lived.

Everyone thought this year would be better than last, but so far it’s not.

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The bass fishing — and I’m talking big fish — is as tough now as it was a year ago, if not worse. We will just have to get used to it as long as we have such lenient length and creel limits.

In fact, with each passing year the fishing will probably get tougher. The LDWF implemented a 15- to 19-inch slot limit. Anglers fishing Lake Concordia were allowed to keep only two fish over the protected slot and three under the slot.

The lake became well known for its trophy bass population and it was easy to catch 20 to 40 bass a day.

Fishermen and ladies traveled from all over the South to fish the lake and spend their money with local businesses. The local bass club put together a petition to have the slot removed.

Their reason was the slot was not working and they could not keep and eat all they catch and could not weigh-in slot bass from Lake Concordia during their little club events.

I say that was ridiculous. The lake’s bass population has since gone downhill and continues to slide. It’s hard to come up with a five-bass limit.

There is no minimum length and two people fishing from the same boat can legally catch and kill 20 bass of any length. This has really hurt the lake. A few people may disagree with me, but many of the sportsmen and ladies in this area feel like I do about lifting the slot and having no length limit and a 10-bass creel per person.

Just look at the facts. The number of visitors has dropped and they are no longer spending their money in this area. So what if you could not keep everything you catch? At least we could catch fish without struggling like we are now.

Unfortunately, I have a number of negative thoughts today. When Rita and Katrina blew the bass away in most South Louisiana waters, the LDWF focused their stocking efforts on those waters instead of the lakes in central and north Louisiana.

What this means is we will receive a minimum stock of new fish in our lakes — if any at all. Now considering the fishing is extremely tough in south Louisiana, many of the small clubs are traveling our way to fish and we’re not getting any more fish stocked in the lake.

The visitors are not catching many bass, so don’t expect them to come back. This really hurts the marinas and motels in the area.

Hopefully the creel and length requirements will be addressed and changed and Lake Concordia will regain the status as a Trophy Bass Lake.

Until then, good luck. You’re going to need it if you’re looking for a trophy bass in this area. Your best chance to land a bass exceeding 10 pounds this spring would be the Natchez State Park Lake. Strict length and creel limits are in effect on the park lake and it’s coming back strong since the grass carp are just about gone.

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