Area lakes looking good for fall

Published 12:01 am Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fall is in the air, sort of. Let’s just say fall is in the air late at night, in the early a.m. and at dawn.

This is typical late summer and early fall Miss-Lou weather, and it is getting right for fishing, some good fishing. It is a bit cooler at night and fairly hot by mid-day. However, this has no effect on the mosquitoes.

If you fish and you are on the water at night or early in the morning, you know without a doubt we have a bumper crop of mosquitoes this year.

Most of the time we have mosquitoes right up to December depending on how much frost we get. I can handle the mosquitoes. It’s those crazy gnats that I don’t like. Thank goodness most of those have hatched and gone.

Officially the first day of fall is Sept. 23. Unofficial in our area, I would say fall will cast off about Oct. 23.

The area lakes are looking real good. The lake levels are a bit on the low side but thanks to a very wet summer, the water level held at a decent height which helps water quality, which in turn will help the fishing this fall.

One exception to the water level is the Black River/Horseshoe Lake Complex, but I don’t think of a drainage complex as landlocked. The water in the complex is low.

Last weekend, it was tough on one bass club to catch the bass and white perch. It only took seven pounds to win. That will change fast. When the surface water temp drops into the 70s and even 60s, the complex will turn on as will all our other waters. On Lakes Bruin, St. John and Concordia and the Black River Lake Complex a good surface lure bite will come into play as water temps drop.

Catching bass on surface lures is neat and one of the most exciting way to catch the bass. You get to see the strike. The walking, popping and chugging lures will all work but it is the walking style lures that fool the big bass. A CrawGator jig trailed with some kind sort swimming chunk will catch a lot of fish from now all the way through the winter months.

If I’m fishing deeper than 8 feet or the water is really cold, the heavier 11/16th is a better choice of jig weight. The strikes you get on a jig are usually few and far between, but the average size bass caught on a jig is almost always heavier than fish caught on other lures. Probably because it’s a slow moving bottom lure unless you’re swimming the jig which is what we like to do when the water is like it is now, still a bit warm.

Swimming a jig or just retrieving it faster than normal is what I will be doing in about 3 hours. It’s 4 a.m. Saturday as I type this.

We are getting ready to direct (and I get to fish it too) the Julie Brown Harvey ALS Benefit Open Bass Tournament on Lake Concordia. We are launching and conducting the 2 p.m. weigh-in out of Lakeview Lodge. If you are not fishing this one, stop by for a bowl, of jambalaya for a $6 donation. Judging from the phone calls Saturday and the amount of boats already at the ramp, it looks like we’ll have a good turnout. The entry fee is only $50 a boat and we already have $500 for first place. I am not sure how many places will be paid. I will post the results and pictures on my personal Facebook page this evening. The lake has not been fished hard so we should see some big bass at the scales, but more importantly, we are casting for a great cause, a family in need. Thanks in advance to all the fishermen and ladies that participated.


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