Fall into good fishing in lakes, waters around Mississippi River

Published 1:30 pm Sunday, September 23, 2007

It is official. This is the first day of fall. Now if we can get some seasonal weather water temperatures will drop and the fish will turn on.

Good reports are coming in from several lakes and rivers. The crappie bite is on at the Saline/Larto Complex south of Jonesville. Try the man-made brush piles in Larto Lake with purple/pearl tube jigs or shiners. The crappie bite should be improving on the Black River/Horseshoe Lake Complex as well. As the water cools down Horseshoe Lake will produce some nice size crappie and bass. Try the lakes and if nothing is going on move up the bayous.

For bass it’s hard to beat spinnerbaits and shallow diving crankbaits like a Bandit 100 series in shad patterns.

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The Mississippi River is on a slow fall. The stage at Natchez Saturday was is 17.0 feet. The forecast calls for the fall to continue for the next five days with a predicted level of 15.8 feet by Wednesday. That’s a good level for bass fishing at Deer Park, Minorca and Yucatan. The low water level limits the amount of cover the fish relate to and exposes cover that is normally not visible from the surface.

For bass the shallow bite should be good. Try spinnerbaits, shallow diving crankbaits, jigs and soft plastics fished behind a light slip sinker. More than likely there will be more than one pattern going on at the same time. The Old Rivers offer good shallow water fishing as well as some deep water holes. When fishing deep-water points, bluffs and the mouth of the drains try big deep diving crankbaits, jigging spoons and heavy jigs. Carolina rigged soft plastics will work as well.

Good reports are hard to come by on Lakes Concordia, St. John and Bruin but that is about to change. As the water cools of the shad will move form the open, deep water of the main lake and head toward the shallows to spawn. Watch your surface temperature gauge. When water temps dip into the 70s the bait fish will be shallow and where there’s bait fish you’ll find the bass, crappie and stripers.

Late September and October are good months to catch the big hybrid stripe bass in Lake St. John. When the bait fish move up and hold between the piers the striped bass will follow. Try bream and shad pattern Rat-Traps, spoons and tail spinners. The black bass will be looking toward the surface for a meal. Try surface lures like the Heddon Zara Spook, Rebel Pop R and buzz baits. The Rat-L-Trap will produce black bass in the same areas that hold the stripe bass.

Fall is here. Pleasure boat traffic will thin out and it’s time for some serious fishing.

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