Rain causing fewer people to go fish

Published 12:01 am Sunday, March 22, 2015

It is a good thing fish do not mind getting wet. The rain certainly bothers the fishermen and ladies more than it bothers the fish.

Now that the air is warmer it is not so hard on us to fish these rainy days, which happens to be the very best time to catch more and larger fish. As of this past Friday, spring is officially here. Some of the signs I look for other than a calendar date that spring has arrived are visible, and some of the signs are not there, yet.

The dogwood trees are blooming and I saw a few red wasps. As a fisherman that tells me the water temperature of the area lakes is between 60 degrees and 65 degrees. That is correct because our lake water temperature now averages about 62 to about 66 degrees, while the rivers remain several degrees colder. The one thing I really listen to and look for is bullfrogs. I have not heard the bullfrogs croaking, yet. We need a few days of sunshine and the bullfrogs will come out of the ground indicating that it is spring. This season cast off with rain. We had a lot of rain the past few weeks on top of an already soaked area. I think of spring rains in a positive way in the fishing scene on some lakes.

We can’t seem to hold water in the Concordia Parish landlocked oxbow lakes so as the water flows out of and over the weirs, all this rain just fills the lakes back up. The higher water levels offer the fish more places to spawn. I would say game-fish, but right now, the rough fish like carp and buffalo are spawning in the same flats and shallow wind protected coves the bass use for spawning. That is not a good thing.

Of course it is still illegal to put webbing out on Lake Concordia and you need a permit to put gill nets in Lake St. John. There was a gill net ban put in place when Lake Concordia was designated by the LDWF in the early 1990s as the highest level the state had to offer for a fishery which is a trophy bass lake. A step under the trophy bass status is what the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries call a “quality lake.” For whatever reason a petition was created and circulated locally and signed by people that did not want a trophy bass lake right here in our area. Those same people now travel (mostly to Texas) to have a good shot at catching a double digit bass and numbers of six to nine pound fish.

After 10 years of having catches of 30 to 50 bass a day, including many fish over nine pounds and an established lake record weighing over 13 pounds that still stands since 1995, we lost the trophy bass status on Lake Concordia in the year 2000.

Instead of dropping Concordia down to a quality lake the LDWF just took it off the list entirely. Getting back to the rain, spawn and higher water levels, fewer people fish in the rain so the perch and bass that are spawning are not being harassed as much and bombarded by a host of weird looking lures. I call lures “fake bait” and they come in many colors, sizes and styles.

I tend to get random when writing about fishing so speaking of lures, that market is insane. There are many new or improved lures introduced to the market each year. Lure builders are still trying to create a bass fishing lure that will catch every fish in the lake. Of course that will never happen because there are so many variables when fishing for perch and bass. There is no fishing lure that is guaranteed to catch fish. Just search the internet for fishing lures or thin it down to a million or so by searching bass fishing lures and see how many links pop up. It boggles the mind. Once you land on a lure model that model will usually be offered in a half dozen or more sizes. I keep my lures simply. My “go to” favorites have been around for decades. It is rare that I try a new lure that earns a place in my boat.

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