Plenty of options for summer fishing in Natchez

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 29, 2008

As June winds down and the weather continues to heat up, the fish will become even more predictable.

When fishing during the summer months, the normal early morning and late evening bite is the rule.

You can catch fish during the mid-day hours if you’re willing to deal with the sun beaming down on you and frying your skin.

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Many fishermen and ladies — including me — had or still have some type of skin cancer.

Over the years I’ve had a couple rounds with squamous cell cancer.

Basal and squamous cell, the two most common forms of skin cancer, can lead to something you don’t want to mess with, which is melanoma.

The best advice I can give anyone is to have regular checkups and wear plenty of sun block with an SPF of at least 40.

The best reports from the bream fishermen are coming from the backwaters, the flooded woods along the Mississippi River.

The problem with this is there are thousands of acres of water in the woods right now.

To narrow the backwaters down takes a lot of time on the water.

Fish near the flooded barrow pits and small backwater lakes along the Mississippi River.

Today’s river stage at Natchez is 46.3 ft. and falling slowly.

This is an unusual level for the season.

Normally, the river stage would be down to at least 35 feet, allowing us access to the boat ramps on the Old River bend lakes.

Those ramps are now about 10 to 12 feet underwater so it’ll be awhile before we can launch a big boat in the Old Rivers.

The forecast predicts a slow fall over the next five days, bringing the stage down to about 45.5 by this coming Thursday.

In the meantime I spoke with several veteran backwater fishermen that are quietly loading up on the big bream.

They’re fishing the flooded banks of the backwater lakes and barrow pits.The bream, the big bluegill and red ears, are holding in 4 to 5 feet of water.

That tells me they are still spawning.

The river bream spawn later than the bream in our lakes.

The best reports on numbers of bass and white perch are coming from Bayou Louis.

This man-made bayou was formed many years ago by a dam across a naturally flowing bayou.

The water is a bit stained, but that’s a good thing.

Off-colored water tends to keep the fish holding shallow and tighter to cover.

Try casting Bandit crankbaits for the bass. Small spinnerbaits and jigs work well around the cypress trees.

The most popular launch site on Bayou Louis is called The Rocks. Indians built a rock dike across the bayou to access the land on the west side of Bayou Louis.

The rock dike is underwater now and it can hold some nice bass at times.

Try jigging spoons, deep diving crankbaits and heavy jigs when fishing the rocks, which is easy to find if you have a good sonar unit.

For big bass, fish the Natchez State Park and Lake Concordia.

Try heavy jigs and soft plastics with a pegged slip sinker fished under the thick over hanging limbs of the many cypress trees on Lake Concordia.