Storms cause problems

Published 12:05 am Sunday, April 5, 2009

April cast off with cool weather and high water levels, which is a good thing.

Fluctuating water levels help the fish in the long run. The cool weather will slow the bass and white perch spawn down as well, making it last a bit longer than normal.

The bites will be hard to come by for a few days, but once the water settles down and the fish adjust, we will be in for some fine days on the water this month.

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Heavy rains over the past week or so raised water levels several feet. Any patterns that had developed have been thrown out the window for now.

The spawning areas have anywhere from 2 to 5 feet of fresh water. This will push some fish toward super thin water, way back in the thick of things.

For bass, if you are targeting the shallows, it’s time to break out your heavy tackle. Try pitching and flipping the newly flooded cover with any one of the numerous lures designed to work through thick shallow cover.

During the early morning and late evening, you can pick off the active fish — those that are feeding — by casting spinnerbaits and small shallow diving crankbaits just outside the thick stuff.

The top water bite was just kicking in when all this rain fell, so it will take a few days of sunshine before the bass will start looking toward the surface for a meal.

April is one of the better months for surface action. Just watch the surface water temperatures.

When the temps get back in the mid- to upper-60s, the surface action will kick in.

Any one of the many popping and walking lures will catch big bass in April.

The white perch fishermen were really loading up on some fine limits before the rain. Since the water levels have jumped, the good reports have all but shut down.

That will change once things settle down.

The white perch are still spawning, so we have good action coming up this month.

By mid-April the bream will make the move to shallow water to begin the spawn. This could happen any day now.

Of course there are numerous ways to catch the hard pulling panfish. The old-fashioned way, a jig pole baited with a cricket, is hard to beat.

If you don’t like to fool with live bait, you can do just as well by casting small spinners on an ultra-light rig.

Just keep your retrieve speed slow as possible and you will catch the bream on artificial lures.

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