For most part, spawn is over
The largemouth bass spawn for the most part is over. A few females will still visit the shallows to lay their eggs, but as of now I believe the spawn is about 90 percent complete.
That was the strangest spawn I have witnessed in my 37 years of fishing the area lakes. We had a very cold winter with extremely low water temperatures all the way through mid-March.
The cold water temp delayed the spawn big time. The bass usually move up in mid February but that did not happen. So we had high hopes that March would be the month to catch big trophy bass from shallow waters. That didn’t happen either.
I can count on one hand the number of big bass, bass more than 7 pounds, that I know were caught this year.
In other words, this was a bad spawn and we will feel the results of this in about three years when the 2010 year class of bass reach a catchable size.
Lake Concordia, which was so well known back in the 1990s for producing bass up to 13 pounds, only produced four or five bass more than 7 pounds this year… that I know of. We need better regulations on Lake Concordia if we want to experience the great fishing of the 1990s again.
Until then it’s cast and blast and hope for a few bites. The bream are spawning on all the area lakes. I heard good reports from Concordia, Lake St. John, Okhissa Lake and Lake Bruin as well as most all our area lakes. Just fish shallow with crickets and keep an eye out for bream beds. Artificial lures work as well as live bait for the bream.
Try a 1/32nd ounce black and yellow beetle spin rigged on an ultra light spinning rig with six- to eight-pound test line. Retrieve the small spinner just fast enough to keep the little blade turning and you can catch the bream on this small lure. Like the bass the white perch spawn is just about over.
Just because the spawn is over does not mean the best fishing is over. In fact, I had much rather fish for post spawn fish than spawning fish. When fish are bedding, at times they are too preoccupied to bother with eating an artificial lure.
When the fish come off the nest they are hungry and much easier to locate and catch. I have good reports from the white perch fishermen and ladies at Lake St. Joe, Bayou Louis, Lake St. John and the Black River/Horseshoe Lake Complex.
Even though the spawn is about over, water temperatures are still a bit cool so the fish are holding shallow. The surface average water temperature today is about 70 degrees. That’s the perfect water temperature for largemouth bass and white perch as well as the bream.
Our lakes are crowded with fishing boats and it won’t be long before the pleasure boats will be out and about. Please be careful on the lakes and practice safe boating.
Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at email@example.com.