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Area dealt with wicked cold front

That was a wicked cold front. For the second time in 25 years I had to postpone the annual J.R. Roberts Memorial Team Bass Challenge.

The roads were not too bad but the boat ramps were iced over. I checked several ramps on the local lakes, and they were covered in an inch or so of ice.

The event will be Feb. 12 on Lake Bruin. The lake is open today for pre-fishing but will go off-limits to all contestants from Monday Feb. 7 until tournament morning.

You can enter the tournament Monday through Friday of this coming week at Eddie’s Marine or on tournament morning at the Lake Bruin State Park. I hate to postpone a bass tournament, but the weather offered us no choice.

Several bass clubs are scheduled for the Feb. 12 event, and so far three of the four I know about have moved their dates so their members can fish in what has become the largest bass tournament in this area. Even with the sunshine we had Saturday trolling motor brackets, rod guides and reels would have froze up and made it a miserable day.

Needless to say, water temperature has crashed and the bass fishing is extremely tough. Despite all the negatives, many contestants still wanted to fish while others thanked me for postponing the tournament. I think postponing the event was the right call.

We had contestants registered from Monroe to New Orleans as well as Jackson, and I wasn’t sure of the road conditions north of us. Hopefully everyone can make it on the 12th and the weather will cooperate.

As far as fishing reports for this past week, it was tough. Prior to this cold front, surface water temperatures were already in the mid 40s. I have not been on the water this week, but I would guess the water temps to be about 38 to 40 degrees. That is extremely cold water for our area lakes.

Only a handful of people fished this past week, and most of those were inside floating boathouses on Old River loading up on big slab white perch with heaters on.

The Mississippi River continues to hold at a very unseasonal low level and that’s where the big slab white perch are coming from, the live oxbows connected to the river. Normally the river stage would be well above the 20-feet mark but so far the level remains low and the Old Rivers are producing some nice size bass and white perch.

The long distant weather forecast for the coming week looks a lot better than this week. We may see some cold rain about mid week but if the forecast holds up we will be OK for the Memorial tournament on Lake Bruin.

The bass will probably back off the shallow cover so be sure to fish the deeper piers with manmade brush piles. Winter fishing is like fishing in reverse. Try the deep areas early when water temps are at the coldest then move shallow around noon when the sun warms the shallows a few degrees. Good luck to all next weekend on Lake Bruin.

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