Some nice fish caught at area lakes this week

Published 12:15 am Sunday, September 14, 2008

Despite record high water levels and the closure of some area lakes, some nice fish were caught this week. Lakes Concordia, St. John and Bruin remain closed to boat traffic.

Heavy rains from hurricane Gustav filled the lakes several feet above pool level. Many pier platforms and retainer walls on the three lakes are underwater and waves created by pleasure boat traffic would increase damage.

The lakes could be open late this coming week. It just depends on how much rain we get from hurricane Ike.

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The good thing about this area is the numerous lakes, manmade reservoirs, rivers and the old river bend lakes within a short drive of Natchez and Vidalia.

The fish activity on the Old Rivers at Deer Park and Marango Bend (Old River at Vidalia) is determined by the level of the Mississippi River.

The river stage at Natchez has fluctuated big time over the past two weeks. This will really help the fishing.

The best conditions are on a falling river, but if you do your homework and spend some time on these waters, you can catch some nice bass, bream and white perch from the Old Rivers.

The Mississippi River stage today at Natchez is 24.2 feet with a slight rise coming down river.

The river level should hit 26.5 feet by the middle of this coming week, and then we’ll see a sharp fall.

This week I did heard some good reports from the bass fishermen and some fair reports from the crappie fishermen and ladies. The heavy rains filled the barrow pits creating a lot of run outs in the Old Rivers.

For largemouth and white bass, fish the ditches and drains coming from the barrow pits. Spinnerbaits will pick off the most active fish.

If or when the spinnerbait bites drops off, switch to a crankbait in shad or crawfish patterns.

If you pick up a few bass on the crankbait and the bite slows down, go back over the same area with bottom lures like a Davis Paca Jig with a Netbait or Zoom trailer.

Soft plastics like a Zoom Brush Hawg or Netbaits Action Cat are great mop-up lures that will pick off the bass that are not very active and those inactive fish will usually be the big bass.

The small white perch are biting. Try fishing deeper if you get into a bunch of small fish.

Keep your live bait or lure just off the bottom.

The larger white perch tend to hang below the smaller fish. If that doesn’t work move to deeper water, and try to locate the shad on your sonar unit.

Perch tend to gang up off shore away from visible cover. The bream fishing is good on the Old Rivers as well.

Try crickets or small beetle spins fished just off the bottom near the flooded green willows.

Hopefully the rain will let up and the water levels will start to fall this coming week.

In the meantime you can catch the fish from high and rising water; it just takes a little more work.

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