Fishers brave windy conditions

Published 12:01 am Sunday, March 10, 2013

Despite a very windy day Saturday, there were a lot of fishing boats on the water.

For the first time in months, I did not have a bass tournament, and I did not go fishing Saturday. Reports started coming in off the water via text, and the majority of reports were not good. The water clarity on Lake Concordia had a lot to do with the lack of numbers. But, if you are looking for that one big bite from a trophy bass, Lake Concordia is still the only place where a 10-pound-or-better largemouth bass is possible on the Louisiana side of the river.

Dale Jamison fished Lake Concordia last Monday for about eight hours and only got one stroke on his CrawGator jig — but that fish weighed over 11 pounds. That’s early March fishing for you.

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Actually, early March this year is very much like mid-February. With more than 23 inches of cold rain from Jan. 1 until now, the surface water temperature only climbed to 60 degrees once. That was in mid-February, and the fishing was great.

The bass fishing was good, but it was hard work. Bites were few and far between, but the bites we had came from big bass. We caught several heavy five-bass tournament limits pitching and flipping CrawGator jigs.

Cold fronts and seven more rainy days rounded out late February. The surface water temperature crashed to about 52 to 53 degrees. The absolute worse thing that can happen when the bass and sac-a-lait move up to start looking for suitable spawning areas is a 5- to 8-degree drop in water temperature and bad water clarity. Cold, muddy water offers some of the worst fishing conditions. I have no problem with muddy water as long as the temperature is around 58 or higher. If the water temperature is below that and muddy, bites are hard to come by.

Then again, when faced with those conditions, any cast could result in the largest bass of your life. That’s because the females are full of roe, and they put on a lot of body fat in preparation for the spawn. The bass and perch are at their heaviest weight of the year right now.

Okay, fast forward to this weekend. Surface water temperatures topped out mid-day at 60-65 degrees on some lakes. Again, I had things to do and am not a member of any of the bass clubs that fished Saturday, so I was not on the water. All of the water temperature and other reports on the lake conditions came from long-time friends.

We have yet another cold front about to hit us early this coming week with a slight chance of rain, but the cold fronts are losing their bite. The water will slowly warm up regardless of the March cold fronts. The bass and perch are so full of eggs they will have to make a move to the spawning areas this month. If not — and we get a lot more rain and several cold fronts — we would lose a whole year’s worth of fish because of a bad spawn. I seriously doubt this will happen.

Next Saturday, we will be on Lake St. John, and the timing could not be better. A new benefit will cast off just before daylight out of Spokane landing. The Concordia Parish Academy Gators bass tournament is something new to us, and I am certainly glad to see someone host a tournament besides Eddie’s Marine. Since I recently sold my SeaArk Team Stealth bass boat and have one on order, I am boat-less, but that does not mean I won’t be fishing. I have a full Mossy Oak Break-Up camo rig coming soon.

I am going back to camo this time. I feel it helps to catch fish by blending in with the trees and not sticking out in bright colored boats. Andy Magoun and I are teaming up to fish the CPA Gators event next Saturday. That will be a fun and interesting day.

It’s been several years, since I have fished with anyone, especially in their boat. The prize money looks great, with first place taking home $1,200, second $800, third $600, fourth $400 and fifth $200, plus the big bass division. That payout is only based on 40 entries.

I have the entry forms available at Eddie’s Marine in Vidalia. Come fish with us next Saturday on Lake St. John/Spokane Landing. Good luck to all!