Good news in future for fishers

Published 12:01 am Sunday, March 2, 2014

March has arrived.

If the forecast was correct, a cold front should be passing over us with air temperatures around freezing by Monday night.

The bass and white perch spawn is running about 3 to 4 weeks later than normal. This winter has thrown the biological clock in the fishing world off big time. That left us human fish chasers above water trying to figure out how to catch fish that just don’t want to eat.

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February was more like January, and March will be like February. We are having to ignore normal patterns that change with the seasons because of the prolonged cold weather this winter.

It’s like Mother Nature was teasing us in February. Bass and white perch spawn about the same time or I should say, started spawning, because all fish do not move shallow and spawn at the same time.

That would cause too much competition in the limited spawning areas. We were teased with air temperatures in the 70s for a couple early weekdays. The fish just began to awake from being practically lethargic behind the last cold front that passed and began to feed.

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, a cold front swept down on us just in time to smack air temperatures down to the mid to upper 20s, which in turn lowered water temperatures and shut the fish down.

This vicious cycle has been going on for four to five weeks. January was nowhere near as tough on the fishing as February was. It feels so good to write about February of 2014 as history.

Now we have to deal with March, and this month is casting off like last month. The cold air will lose some of it’s punch and the length between the cold fronts should begin to get longer.

Some fish moved up on the area lakes last weekend. It was just another tease. A mean cold front passed midweek this week dropping air temps down to 25 and hammering water temps back down to the low 50s.

I fished with a local bass club Saturday. We were on Lake Concordia with 25-30 of some experienced bass anglers. Lake Concordia was on a Florida bass stocking program for several years in the 1990s. The program is long gone now, but some huge bass remain in the lake.

The numbers are nowhere where they used to be, but any strike on Lake Concordia could be from an 8- to 12-pound bass. It would be rare, but it is possible.

A huge 7-pound fish showed up at the scales last weekend on Lake Concordia. It is a safe bet that someone will have a nice bass or three today. The tournament limit is only five bass over 12 inches. With 8 1/2 hours to fish, you would think that would be easy. It used to, but it is not easy anymore on any of the landlocked oxbow lakes from Lake Providence in North Louisiana to False River Lake in South Louisiana.

The good news on the west side of the big river is the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have plans to stock some of our lakes with a few Florida bass fingerlings in April of May of this year.

They will start with priority 1 lakes and stock fish until they run out in lakes all across Louisiana with hopes of producing more trophy bass in the future like Texas, California, Alabama and Florida.

Trophy bass also generate millions of dollars from anglers visiting those states. It’s one of those “better late than never” deals.

I’ll have more information in future columns on the stocking program. Good luck and remember: Our fish are loaded with eggs so please practice catch and release on the public lakes. We are in bad need of a good spawn. Thanks!