High water can be good

Published 12:33 am Sunday, May 10, 2009

Just when we thought we were not going to have high water this year, the Mississippi River proved us wrong.

The river stage at Natchez on Friday was around 48 feet, which marks the flood stage at Natchez.

While most homes are within the protective levee system, the people that live in the communities of Deer Park, Old River, Vidalia and Lake Mary are affected by the rising water.

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The crest date has changed several times this past week.

Currently the predicted date is May 20 at 50.1 feet, but that could change if the rain up river continues.

While it is a huge inconveniencet for those affected by the high water levels, we normally have a great year for fishing once the water recedes from its high level.

Right now, if you know where to go and how to fish the backwaters, you can catch some huge bream and bass.

There are acres and acres of flooded willow trees across the levee. To narrow it down, try fishing the flooded banks of the barrow pits and backwater lakes, as well as the gravel roads leading to the homes, camps and fields.

The bream spawn on the gravel roads, and for the most part they receive very little pressure from fishermen.

Toward the end of this month we should see a fall coming down river.

When that starts there will be many run-outs — water draining from the barrow pits into the old rivers.

That’s where you can catch some nice bass, white perch, white bass and bream.

If you don’t know the area, just follow the birds. The white and blue herons feed on shad that hold in the running water. Just watch for the herons and you’ll find the flowing waters and the fish.

The bream spawn is still going on.

Try any of our landlocked lakes as well as Okhissa Lake at Natchez State Park.

The bream spawn is about 50 percent complete, so there is plenty of time to load the freezer with these hard-pulling pan fish.

The bass are on a good early morning/late evening surface bite.

Try chuggers, poppers and walking lures around the cypress trees or along the edges of any moss or lily pads that may be in the lake.

Buzz baits will work as well.

Once the sun gets up, try casting to the thickest cypress trees — the trees that offer the most shade.

If you can get a lure into these tight places, you can catch some nice bass all day on top water lures. A

s the water continues to warm up more and more boaters will take to the water. Wear your life jacket, practice safe boating and help us make this an accident free season.

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