This week’s rain helps fish in area lakes

Published 12:15 am Sunday, August 22, 2010

The rain this week raised water levels several feet and really helped the fish in our area lakes.

The landlocked lakes were 2 to 3 feet below normal pool level, water temperatures were in the mid-90s and we were very close to a major summer fish kill.

The rain saved that from happening. Some of the bayou lakes like Black River and Horseshoe Lake may be tough to fish with all the fresh water, but give it a few days to settle out and the fishing will be good.

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Lakes Concordia, St John and Bruin needed about 2 to 3 feet of water and that’s what we got.

Water temps dropped several degrees, the rain added oxygen to otherwise stale water, and I’m hearing a lot better fishing reports from several area lakes and rivers.

The Mississippi River level was getting right for fishing the Old Rivers, but there is slight rise coming down river today that might slow the fishing down this coming week.

The river stage at Natchez today is 31.1 feet and rising. That’s up about a foot from a few days ago. The slight rise will bring the level up to about 31.6 by Tuesday. That is still a good level for the bream fishing and catfish really like rising water.

The heavy rain filled the barrow pits so finding a run-out, a drain, this weekend was not a problem. The water from the pits flows into the Old Rivers so despite the rising river level the bass and white bass fishing was good this weekend.

Just take a boat ride and watch for moving water coming from the pits. The run-off should last a couple more days. The white bass were schooling like crazy and feeding near the surface on the Old River lakes.

Tail spinners, Rat-L-Traps and spoons will catch the white bass and an occasional sea run striper. I spoke with several customers that caught 10 to 15 bass from the Old River at Vidalia on red shad colored plastic worms fished near the mouth of the drains.

One guy had a six and a five pound bass, and both of those fish hit a plastic worm. The crank bait bite for black and white bass is still working on the Old Rivers. To do it right, rig one rod and reel with a crank bait that will cover the shallow waters — from 2 to 5 feet.

A Bandit 100 series crank bait in chartreuse or shad patterns will work just fine. Try the shallow diving lure in the ditches and drains. Rig another rod with a crank bait the covers the 6 to 10 foot depths.

The mid-range lure works well when the Mississippi River level drops to about 28 feet down to 20 feet. Right now crank the mid range lures near the mouth of the drains and across the points and around the bluff banks.

If you’re after big old river largemouth bass and you are willing to work at it, try the hard pulling big crank baits that dig down to 15 to 20 feet of water. You may not get as many strikes when using the big lures, but the strikes you get will usually be from big bass.

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