October brings good changes

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 30, 2007

Get ready for a major change in fish activity. October is a great month for fishing our area lakes and rivers.

The bass and crappie will be easy to pattern and successful patterns last longer.

Another plus for fall fishing is pleasure boat traffic slows down as water temperatures cool off.

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The huge schools of shad that spent the summer suspended over deep-water out in the middle of the lake will migrate to the shallows in the fall. Hungry bass, stripers and crappie will greet the baitfish.

If you like to catch fish that challenge your tackle try the big hybrid stripe bass on Lake St. John.

The striped bass will follow the shad so concentrate your efforts in thin water. You can spend hours casting the open areas between the piers to locate the hard pulling hybrids or just let the birds lead you to the fish.

Just idle around until you find a concentration of blue and/or white herons sitting on the docks or wading in the shallows. Fresh water gulls are good guides as well.

Fan cast Rat-L-Traps in shad or bream patterns in the open areas between the piers. For some unexplainable reason hybrid stripers tend to run in groups of the same size.

You may find a school of three- to four-pound fish or a group of seven- to eight- pound fish but rarely will you catch big fish around the smaller fish and smaller fish around the big fish.

Largemouth bass tend to feed with the striped bass so don’t be surprised if you catch some nice bass along with the hybrids.

Small bright-colored, medium-diving crankbaits, silver jigging spoons and tail spinners will catch the hybrids but it’s hard to beat the Rat-L-Trap.

While Lake Concordia is home to a few striped bass it is the largemouth bass that draw the attention of anglers on this old oxbow lake.

For some reason the coontail moss has practically disappeared. In past years when there was a lot of moss in the lake the bass fishing was great.

The fish are still there but they are difficult to locate. Lower water temperatures will push some bass into the north and south flats.

Try surface lures early and Rat-L-Traps after the top water bite dies.

If you don’t have much luck in the flats try pitching jigs and soft plastics around the numerous cypress trees in the mid-lake areas.

Lake Concordia has always been a great cold-water lake so look for the bass bite to get better as we move on into fall and winter.

Thanks to a low river level the Old River bend lakes are now land locked from any influence from the Mississippi River.

Deer Park and Minorca produce a lot of crappie and bass in the fall and receive very little fishing pressure.

The oxbow lakes land lock when the river stage at Natchez drops below 14 feet. The river stage today is 12.4 feet.

The low water levels means a lot of fish holding cover is on dry ground. The good news is the cover that remains in the water will hold concentrations of game fish.

Eddie roberts writes a weekly fishing colum for the Democrat. He can be reached at fishingwitheddie@cox.net