Slow times on the lakes for locals

Published 12:01 am Sunday, November 30, 2014

I heard a few good fishing reports from local white perch experts and some reports from the bass anglers this week.

Most of the reports were good. The best catches of white perch that I saw pictures of and know exactly where they came from were caught from the Black River/Horseshoe Lake Complex. The Complex’s water level is low, but the fish are still there. All the landlock lake levels are a bit low, but that does not hurt a thing. I like low water when the water temperature is below 60 degrees.

This man had pictures of 18 or 20 perch, and some were huge slabs. He said those fish were holding in fairly shallow water. That is all I can say about that. I don’t want to put a lot of people in the area he is in since he was nice enough to share his report and pictures. He did say the surface water temperature on the Complex this past Thursday was 54 degrees at noon. That is below average for the season but perfect for fishing. There were not a lot of people on the lakes this week. The few people that fished that I spoke with caught fish. I fished yesterday, but I am writing this article Saturday morning, so I really don’t know what I caught, yet. I will be launching my boat as the sun is coming up. It was a bit chilly Saturday morning, but that’s what good winter clothes are made for.

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The high was supposed to be around 70 degrees yesterday and again today. That will feel good. I can’t recall very many Novembers this cold.

Another customer/friend stopped by the shop Friday evening. This man has chased white perch for decades with the same passion I have for pursuing largemouth bass. No hunting. No golf. We just have a fishing habit with no other hobby. Fishing can be an obsession for some, but it is great therapy. Some people think of fishing and think a straw-hat, a five gallon bucket to sit on, a cane pole, line, cork, hook and some type of bait. That is fishing, but that is not what we do.If you ever get a chance to ride one day with a veteran bass tournament angler while he or she is competing and watch what we do for eight or nine hours. It looks like hard work because it is.

The locals that consistently win and place in the club tournament scene have a lot in common. They work really hard when fishing. To some that is not what fishing is about and that’s fine. Fishing should be relaxing, sometimes. If you have the competitive blood in you, it’s like you against the fish ,and you want to win. The day after a tournament I can’t hardly walk. Bass tournament fishing is physical. Several of us have the surgery scars to prove that. Wore out elbows, wrist, knees, backs, etc. Bass tournaments will work you hard if you always swing for the fence. You might deploy and steal your trolling motor 100 times in a day and fire off the outboard, run 200 yards and shut down and fish. Repeat that for eight to nine hours.

The bump and run pattern (going from one spot to another) does not work as well as it used to. Our area lakes are so small most everyone that fishes a lothas figured out where everyone else fishes. Secrets are getting fewer ever year. Over the past five years I found it is best to get on a good shoreline if on the cypress tree/pier lakes and see how far you can fish. A bass every quarter mile is now common and sometimes you don’t catch that and other times you do better than that. This is my 36th year of tournament fishing and I have cut way back on the number of tournaments I compete in. The high payout circuits don’t come here anymore but we have numerous bass clubs that anyone can join. I don’t travel like I used to either.

The days of fishing from Texas to Georgia are history for me. From now through February, you can catch more and bigger fish than any time of year on our local lakes.



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