October is transition month for fishing

Published 1:29 am Sunday, October 11, 2009

October is a major transition month for fish. Fishermen and ladies that follow this summer to fall transition will catch fish, lots of fish.

Cooler, longer nights are lowering water temperatures. Fish will move to the cooler, shallow water to feed much like they do in the spring.

In fact the same patterns that produce in the spring will work in the fall. Currently the average surface water temperature is about 75 degrees. By mid-October the threadfin shad will spawn on some of the area lakes and that will further increase the fish activity in shallow water.

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With hunting season open and recreational boating fading away there is a lot less traffic on our lakes and rivers.

All these factors contribute to the fact that fall fishing season is second only to spring. October has many pluses and very few negatives.

Despite a rise that brought the level of the Old Rivers up by about ten feet over the past week or so I am still hearing good reports from the white perch fishermen and ladies.

At Deer Park and the Old River near Vidalia, the perch moved up with the rising water and you can catch a limit by fishing the green willow trees in shallow water. The bass in the Old Rivers are holding tight to the points and bluff banks.

Try crankbaits, soft plastics and jigs with a plastic trailer for big Old River bass. The Mississippi River stage at Natchez today is 30.1 feet and falling. If the long distance river forecast holds up by this coming Thursday we could see a level of 28 feet, the perfect stage for white perch fishing on the Old Rivers.

Across the levee on the landlocked lakes the bass continue to move and feed in shallow water. Lakes Concordia and St. John are producing some nice size fish as well as numbers. Try the north flats of Lake Concordia.

A few shad have spawned and more will spawn in the flats as water temps continue to drop. The bass are feeding like crazy on the shad and when the fish are up, you can catch load up by casting Rat-L-Traps and small surface lures. When the bass go back down, try pitching and flipping jigs and soft plastics to the shallow cypress trees.

Lake St. John’s bass population is receiving very little fishing pressure. Try either end of the lake and the shallow flats between the piers. As water temps continue to drop more baitfish will be holding in these areas.

Lake St. John is home to some big hybrid striped bass. The stripers like to roam the main lake open water during the summer. In the fall the hard fighting hybrids will leave the open water and follow the shad to the flats between the piers.

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