Local anglers fishing during the evening

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 27, 2010

Most local anglers are beating the heat and weekend pleasure boat traffic by fishing in the dark.

Night fishing can be very productive over the next few months. There is nothing fun about sitting in boat under a bright cloudless sky in 100 degree temperature not catching anything.

The good news is the fish do about the same thing we would like to do during the mid-day heat: nothing.

The fish are not very active during the day and feed more at night. During the mid-day hours on some lakes the game fish will move to the thickest cover available, the cover that offers the most shade.

On lakes Concordia, St. John and Bruin, that cover consists of cypress trees with thick overhanging limbs and piers built low to the water. Both types of cover will test your casting skills and there is no guarantee the fish will bite even if you can get a lure to the fish.

Once the sun goes down, the fish will move out of the cover to feed. It’s hard to beat a simple spinner bait when night fishing the landlocked oxbow lakes. The lure is easy to cast will allow you to cover a lot of water.

Over the past few years, many land owners have installed underwater lights called Monster Lights around and under their boathouses. The lights make it easy to catch the bass, stripers and white perch at night simply because the fish will come to the lights.

The largemouth bass tend to hang just outside of the lights and ambush small baitfish. Try weightless soft plastics or plastics with small slip sinkers. Light jigs with small trailers will work as well. At times when bottom lures are not producing around the lights, try dark colored shallow diving crank baits like a Bandit 100 series.

The bass will suspend around the lights and some nights they will take bottom lures and sometimes they won’t. The big hybrid striped bass in Lakes Concordia and St. John like to feed around the lights. Rat-L-Traps in bream and shad patterns will catch these hard pulling fish.

If the running lures aren’t producing the stripers, try live bait like minnows or gold fish. There’s not much of challenge fishing under the lights with live bait but it’s a great way to entertain the kids and beat the mid day heat. Normally by June we would be fishing the Old Rivers and the live oxbow lakes, but this has been an unusual year.

The Mississippi River level is staying higher than we need to fish these waters. The stage at Natchez today is 41.2 feet and steady. We need a level around 35 feet and falling to turn the Old River fish on.

A fall should be coming downriver soon and we’ll get off the wore out landlocked lakes and enjoy some great fishing on the Old Rivers.