Avoiding the cold rain at all costs
Published 12:01 am Sunday, December 28, 2014
Fishing in a cold rain certainly handicaps the angler more than the fish. Fish don’t care. They are already cold and wet.
Ten to fifteen years ago, I fished no matter what the weather was doing. These days if I am not catching for cash I won’t fish when it’s 90 to 100 percent chance of cold rain. If the forecast was correct on Friday, it should have rained Saturday and it should be raining right now.
If the cold front passed a bit faster than predicted, we could see sunshine and high winds today.
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Since the holiday I have not spoken with anyone that fished. Friday would have been an excellent day to be on the water just ahead of the predicted heavy rain. Saturday may or may not be good.
A local bass club with twenty or so boats fished Lake St. John yesterday but I can’t report on the results until next week. One thing is for sure Lake St. John’s bass have received very little fishing pressure the past couple months.
There should be a strong Rat-L-Trap or suspended jerk bait pattern going on not only on St. John but Lakes Concordia and Bruin as well. The lakes were low before the rain and clear. There may be some stained water around any ditches and drains but there will be plenty of fairly clear water in the mid lake areas on all the landlocked oxbow lakes. The jig bite may be on but you never know about the jig.
Some winter months the number one cold water lure which is the jig, just does not produce very well. You can get more strikes when the jig bite is slow if you do what I can’t make myself do which is scale down on your jig head weight and line size but not so much as line size as jig weight.
Sometimes the slower fall of a little 3/16th or a fourth ounce jig will catch more fish than the big power lures I like to use. My preference is an 11/16th or three-fourths ounce jig with a big, bulky trailer that moves a lot of water fished in two feet down to 30 feet of water. That is one reason I like to stick with heavy jigs.
You can use the big lures in many depths with multiple retrieves. If the bass are on the cypress and piers with a slack wind, the lighter jigs will out fish the heavy jigs. Of course scale your jig trailer down too on the smaller jig.
A Zoom small chunk has won many tournaments in this area. On the heavy jigs I like a bulky trailer like a Zoom Big Chunk especially if the water is stained to muddy. If the fish are on the bottom in water deeper than 12-15 feet I go with a more streamlined trailer like a Zoom Pro Chunk.
None of the trailers are ready right out of the package. An unmodified trailer will catch a few fish but I found ways to modify trailers that give bass something they don’t see day in and day out during the colder months. If you are interested just catch me on the water and I will show you what I mean.
I am not sure if the recent rain muddied up the bayous on the Black River/Horseshoe Complex. If the water is not real muddy (and it may be) several perch anglers were catching big slab white perch in the bayous.
It is past time for Lake St. John’s white perch to show up. It has been a slow couple years of not so good perch fishing on St. John so this winter may be great. The problem is not many people fish the lake for white perch.
That is to your advantage. Lake Bruin is producing bass and perch but Bruin always produces during the colder months. If you are on the water next week and see me, stop by for a talk and we will try to figure out what the fish doing or…what they are not doing.
Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.