March cold fronts make it tough to catch fish

Published 1:16 am Sunday, March 16, 2008

With half the month behind us March has been a tough one to catch fish. Mother Nature has her timing down with these cold fronts.

Like clockwork every Friday a front would pass, lower water temperatures and send the fish into a “lock jaw” mode just in time to mess things up for the weekend.

As we move into the second half of this month the fish activity will increase and they will become a bit more predictable.

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The main deal right now is water temperatures. Back in February the shallows warmed up to about 60 degrees creating a good shallow bite for the white perch and bass.

Then the cold fronts would come through, lower the temps into the mid 50s and wreck havoc on whatever pattern you had established. Of course this is typical in the spring. Not only do you need to know where to go and what to throw, you need to know when to go.

Your timing needs to be perfect to catch fish in late winter and early spring.

If you’re on the water ahead of a cold front the fish will be active.

Once the front passes they’ll shut off faster than a coot trying to dodge an 80 mph bass boat.

The fronts will slowly lose their punch but wind will still be a factor.

Saturday we had wind gusts up to 25 mph and that made it tough on the fishermen in those small boats they were using.

Over the years many people have ask me why we need a 50 kilometer 21 foot bass boat with a 250 horse power outboard and a 36 volt 109 pound thrust trolling motor.

That may sound like overkill for fishing but on days like Saturday the guys in the big rigs could fish anywhere they want regardless of the wind.

Lake St. John is apparently turning on.

The pier owners are hanging yo-yos around the shallow walk way leading out to the main pier.

These weird little mechanical fishing devices work great when you need a quick mess of slab white perch and catfish. If you don’t have a pier don’t let that stop you from yo-yoing.

Just hang several dozen from the cypress trees and set them at different depths. You’ll find out real quick what the best depth is and when you do set all your hooks at the most productive level.

Please remember to take the yo-yos up when you leave. I hate to see fish dangling from unattended yo-yos.

The bass are making a major move on Lake St. John and all our other area lakes as well. Check the shallow flats on either end of the lake.

Pitch and flip Paca and Jigs with a NetBait trailer for the big sow bass. You can increase your numbers by putting the jig down and going with a NetBait Paca Craw or Action Cat.

The jig is good for big bass but fewer strikes. The soft plastics will catch the numbers and an occasional big fish.

A few of the most productive colors are Watermelon Crawfish, Delta Neon and Summer Craw.

The bottom lures are still the most productive for now but we are only a few degrees away from a great top water bite.

The surface lures will start producing any day now and there’s nothing better than watching a five pound bass blow up on the surface at the crack of dawn except maybe if it’s a 10 pounder.

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