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Spring brings urge for people to fish

Spring-like weather this week triggered the urge for people to fish. I have never witnessed so many boats on the lakes and highways this early in the year.

Normally all we see are the diehard bass tournament anglers and the white perch fishermen and ladies that know this is the best time of year to catch big fish and a lot of fish.

Lake conditions made a drastic change from last weekend to this weekend.

A major transition in fish behavior and activity was spawned by warmer water temperatures this week.

Water temperatures that were bumping 40 degrees last week jumped to the low 50s, and I bet we will find some wind protected areas as warm as 55 to 57 degrees today.

Saturday I was on Bushley Bayou just north of Jonesville fishing with Concordia Bass Club.

This little bayou lake is better known for outstanding white perch fishing but it is home to some nice bass.

Today I am on Lake Bruin fishing with the Miss-Lou Bass Club hopefully catching some nice bass as you read this.

Lake Bruin is a great place to be in mid to late February as long as the surface water temps are in the 50s.

It’s pre-spawn season for the large-mouth bass and white perch.

The male fish are moving to thin water looking for a suitable place to build a nest. Males are usually smaller and a lot more aggressive.

Many think it does not hurt a landlocked lake to catch and keep the male bass but it does.

The males build the nest.

When water temperatures hit 57 degrees or higher the sows, the big female fish, will start roaming the shallow flats looking for the best nesting areas.

Once she locates a nest she’ll lay her eggs and leave the area.

The male bass then moves in and guards the nest. If you catch and keep a male bass that’s on a nest the turtles, bream and crawfish eat the eggs.

That’s why the males are so easy to catch.

This is the time of year all bass fishermen and ladies need to practice what I call CPR … Catch, Photograph and Release.

Let the fish live and we’ll have more fish to catch in the near future.

From now through April is the best time to catch the largest bass of your life as well as big slab white perch.

Catch and release is not as important with white perch because they lay more eggs than a bass.

It is a good thing to let the small white perch live.

While many Louisiana and Mississippi people have the old attitude, “If it bites my hook and has eyeballs and a tail I’m going to kill and eat it.”

Thanks to popularity of catch and release more anglers, more sportsmen and ladies now realize that this is not an inexhaustible resource.

Do your part and join this huge group of anglers during this year’s spawn. Let them live to fight another day.

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