Practice safe boating on Labor Day weekend

Published 12:31 am Sunday, September 6, 2009

Labor Day weekend is the final boating holiday of the year so please help us make this a safe one.

The lakes will be crowded with a mix of pontoons, ski boats, jet skis and fishing boats.

Keep in mind the new boating law I mentioned last week is in effect now. It’s a good law that could possibly save lives.

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This new law states that anyone 16 years of age or younger, onboard a vessel less than 26 feet, is required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device while the vessel is under way.

The law previously stated that anyone under the age of 12 was required to do such. This year’s boating season started out on a sad note with several deaths by drowning but thank goodness all has been well since those accidents.

The most important thing is to make sure your boat is safe with all the required equipment on-board, and if there is alcohol on-board there better be a designated captain of the vessel that is not drinking.

DWIs on the water carry the same stiff penalties as DWIs on the highways. So don’t drink and drive a boat.

The weather is great this week. The first day of September greeted us with a cool, dry morning and put a little pep in everyones step. You can bet the fish feel the same way.

The first drop in water temperatures on the area lakes will really excite the fish.

Over the past few months the Old Rivers were getting all the attention and the good fishing will just get better on the Old Rivers but we now have other waters that will began producing some good fish.

Now that it’s September the landlocked lakes — Concordia, St. John and Lake Bruin, as well as the rest of the waters not affected by the Mississippi River — are cooling down a bit and the fish will be a lot more active this month.

Of course this is Louisiana and we will have some hot days this month but the nights will gradually cool down and water temps will slowly drop.

Think shallow this month. The first layer of water cools down first and that is where most of the baitfish will be.

Find the baitfish, the shad and small bream and you’ll find the game fish. The bass fishing will really pick up this month.

It’s a transition month much like winter to spring summer to fall is a great time to fish.

Have a great safe holiday weekend.

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