Big Muddy’s level makes for good fishing

Published 11:05 pm Sunday, June 10, 2007

Thanks to a very favorable level on the Mississippi River at Natchez the pressure over the next couple of months will not be as bad on Lakes Concordia, St. John and Bruin.

The river stage at Natchez is 26.6 feet today. That is a good level for fishing the Old River lakes at Deer Park, Vidalia, Yucatan and Lake Mary. When the level at Natchez drops below 35 feet the fishermen will focus more on the live oxbow lakes and less on the land-locked lakes.

The Old River lakes are loaded with bream, white bass, crappie and black bass.

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At this stage the bream will be holding in the flooded green willows along the island side of the Old Rivers.

Try fishing small spinners on an ultra light rig or crickets and red worms under a cork.

If you’re catching a lot of small fish just go deeper. The big fish tend to hold under the smaller fish

The white bass are easy to locate and fun to catch. Try the mouth of the ditches and drains with small Rat-L-Traps, tail spinners and jigging spoons.

Bright colored Bandit crankbaits will catch the Old River white bass as well. Sea run stripers travel up the Mississippi River to spawn in the Old River lakes.

The sea run stripers are rare but they often show up anywhere you find the white bass.

At 26 feet the crappie should be holding just out from the green willows on the dead stumps, snags and lay downs. Try tube or hair jigs in 8 to 12 feet of water.

If the jig bite is slow try small live shiners for the big slabs.

Some prefer to drift fish for the crappie by using multiple poles in rod holders rigged with various color jigs and shiners. It’s a quick way to catch a lot of fish in open water.

The black bass could be in shallow water of deep or anywhere in between. At 26 feet the bass have plenty of cover to hide in.

Try fishing big deep diving crankbaits like a Bagley DB3 along the bluffs, points and around the mouth of the drains and ditches.

Heavy jigs and big soft plastics will work as well.

If you had rather fish shallow water go back in the thick flooded green willow trees and fish buzz baits, Zara Spooks and spinnerbaits.

If the backwaters are covered in duck seed try plastic frogs.

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