Higher river a good thing in the long run

Published 12:32 am Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Mississippi River level at Natchez is holding steady at 49.3 feet. That is a bit high for the season but in the long run the higher river level is a good thing.

Once the water goes down we will have plenty of fish to catch from the Old Rivers. The higher the river is and the longer it stays at a higher level, the better the fishing will be once the river starts to fall. You can catch fish at the current level if you know where to look.

The bass, beam and white perch scatter out in the backwaters and while not impossible to locate, it can be difficult to find the fish in the mass of flooded timber. For bream and bass try the flooded banks of the barrow pits and backwater lakes.

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Gravel roads leading to the boat ramps and camps offer a great place for the bream to spawn so you can find the pan fish there as well. Keep a close watch on the river stage.

Right now there is a fall in the forecast that will come down river by mid week. The forecast predicts a drop of about five feet but that could change if more rain falls north of us. Hopefully the rain will slack up and we’ll see a favorable stage for fishing the Old Rivers around the second week of June.

At 38 feet you can launch from the boat ramps on the Old Rivers. Right now those launch ramps are about 10 to 15 feet under water. At 38 feet and falling, the bream fishing will kick off.

That’s not to say you can’t catch the bream right now. The fish are there, you just have to weed through the flooded backwaters to locate the fish. If we get a fast fall on the Mississippi River the barrow pits will be running into the Old Rivers.

Anywhere you find current you’ll find the game fish. Ditches, culverts and all the drains coming off the island side of the Old Rivers will hold some moving water once the fall comes down river. That’s where you’ll find the game fish.

For now, most of the area fishermen and ladies are on the landlocked lakes. I heard good reports on the bass fishing from lakes St. John, Concordia, Bruin, the Black River Lake Complex and Bayou Louis.

The crappie fishermen are doing quite well on the 4-Rivers near Jonesville. The only problem we have on the 4-Rivers area is getting into places like Haw-haw Bayou, Towns Lake and Rosin Creek.

Normally these areas would be dredged out by now, but they are not. During the higher river stages slit builds up at the mouth of these backwater river lakes and makes it very difficult to boat over the shallow water and into the lakes. Have a great, safe holiday weekend.

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