Boat ramps on river inaccessible

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Mississippi River just won’t let up to allow access to the boat ramps on the old river bend lakes.

Heavy rains in the Mississippi River Valley continue to send water downriver. It’s a good deal bad deal thing. With the weather this hot, the cooler river water will keep surface water temperatures a bit lower than water temps on the landlocked lakes.

While the current river stage is a bit high for the bass and white perch, it is perfect for the bream fishing. Just this week I heard numerous reports on the bream fishing.

Catches of Old River bream ranging from 75 to 100 in a half day are common. Most fishermen and ladies are fishing the east bank, the island side of the Old River near Vidalia near Short and Long Lakes.

Just go back in the flooded green willows until you get in about 4 to 8 feet of water, drop a live cricket around the willows and you will find the bream. You can do the same thing at Deer Park and Yucatan.

The Mississippi River level is holding between 39 and 40 feet this week and looking at the long distant forecast, I really don’t see that changing much this month. The stage at Vidalia today is 40.0 feet.

That slight rise will not shut the bream down, but it will prolong the white perch bite or should I say “lack of bite.” Looking back one year to date we’re seeing the exact same conditions as last year, and 2009 was one of the best years we had on the Old Rivers in a long time.

Hopefully we will see a repeat of last year’s great Old River fishing. I watch the weather real close paying attention to how much rain the Mississippi River Valley north of us receives because that, of course, determines the river stage in our area. They are getting a lot of rain, so look for the above predictions to change over the next few days.

It is very possible we will see a level of 45 feet in a week and that is very unseasonable. On the bright side that gives us something to look forward to in July and August. The landlocked lakes are heating up fast. Surface waters temperatures are bumping 90 degrees and that will continue to make fishing the oxbow lakes inside the levee system very tough.

Right now you can catch bass early, late and on cloudy days on Concordia, St. John and Bruin, but just keep in mind these fish are lure smart. Throw the bass a curve ball now and then, and you may be surprised at the results. Break out a surface lure during the middle of the day.

Everything you read about bass fishing says top water lures are best reserved for the early and late bite, but the bass don’t read those articles. Target the thickest cover you can find and make repeated cast to the productive looking water, and you may be surprised at the results.