Our nights are cooling down finally

Published 2:17 am Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cooler nights and mornings continue to lower surface water temperatures on our area lakes and rivers.

Mid day highs are still in the 90’s but the water is slowly cooling down. As the water cools down baitfish will move from the deep water areas and hold near the shore.

Game fish will bunch up on shallow cover like logs, stumps and brush piles and ambush the shad as they move to thin water. Crawfish will be active as well.

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Fall is a great time to fish. It’s a transition season. For months the surface water temps have been scorching hot, topping out mid day in the 90s. Over the past two weeks surface water temperatures have dropped a full ten degrees. The average water temp today is about 84.

That’s good news for the fishermen and ladies. Another plus is the pleasure boat traffic will decrease and the lakes will be much quieter. Summer is officially over on the 23rd of this month. Fall has many positive factors.

Hunting season in one form of another will open and that will further decrease the fishing pressure on our lakes as well. With less pressure, cooler water and a shad spawn in the near future, you can bet the fish activity is about to increase.

The Mississippi River continues its unpredictable ways. A week or so ago we had a sharp fall come downriver that dropped the level from 30 to 23 feet. The fall was followed by a slight rise and the level went back up to 25 feet.

The river stage at Natchez today is 22.9 and slowly rising. Looking at the long distance forecast the rise will probably stop on Wednesday of this coming week and the level will fall again.

The normal river stage for mid to late September is about 12 to 14 feet so we’re well above the norm. At 14 feet the Old Rivers land-lock from the Mississippi River and there will be very little cover to fish around.

The higher than normal river stage is a good thing for us. We are on Deer Park today fishing the finally event of the 2009-2010 season with the Miss-Lou Bass Club. Limits of bass from 1 to 2 pounds are fairly easy to come by but the big bass are hard to locate.

Hopefully today will be different. Once the surface water temperatures drop below 80 degrees the big fish will show up in shallow water.

If you’re interested in joining a bass club Miss-Lou will start a new year in October. Just contact me at Eddie’s Marine in Vidalia or Henry Butler at the Sports Center in Natchez. Joining a local bass club will help you learn the area lakes and rivers.

Most members would be glad to share their knowledge with new members. Miss-Lou Bass Club has the highest average draw of all the many clubs in this area. Some of the other clubs year will also end in September while a couple other clubs fish from January to January.

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