May was good month for white perch fish

Published 12:03 am Sunday, May 31, 2015

The month of May was a good one for the white perch fishing.

I saw more big slab white perch and heard more good stories about catching perch this month than I have in a long time. An extremely cold, prolonged winter delayed the white perch spawn until April, and things really fired up in May. The good news is the perch bite is still going on. The fish aren’t as bunched up as they were, so you may have to cover more water, but you can still catch some fine white perch.

The number on location for perch is the Black River/Horseshoe Lake Complex. Other waters produced, but the complex was consistent this year.

The females have spawned out, so most of the shallow perch caught from visible cover are male fish. June will change that. The perch should began moving offshore holding on any sunken brush piles feeding huge schools of shad in the complex.

The bass fishing is about what it has been for several years now. Many of our lakes are producing numbers of largemouth bass, but not many big fish. The bream spawn was a bit strange this spring. The bream were slow to start spawning, and it seems like the spawn did not last long. Lakes Concordia, Bruin and Lake St. John as well as the Black River/Horseshoe Lake Complex are still producing right now. The last game fish in this area to spawn is the catfish. That is going on right now.

The Mississippi River stayed right at flood stage for almost two months before a late May fall came downriver dropping the level from approximately 48 feet to 39 feet. We were hoping for a river stage of 38 or less but that did not happen. The rain came, and the rain stayed with us just about e day this month. Of course, the rain here does not affect the river stage in this area, but it does south of here. Our water came from up north through all the Mississippi River tributaries. The fall turned into a rise recently, and we are still on a slight rise. The stage today at Natchez and Vidalia is approximately 42.5 feet. The predictions say the rise will continue to about 44 or 45 feet before we see another fall. It is possible for this current rise to exceed 46 feet. We will just have to wait and see. Looking at the river prediction charts it may be mid-June before we see a good river level for fishing the Old Rivers. The live oxbow lakes are still connected to the big river. The Mississippi River has been in the live oxbows for months, and that is a good thing for the gamefish. Right now the bass, bream, white perch and white bass, as well as some sea-run striped bass, are scattered in the flooded woods, which makes them difficult to locate. That will change when the gauge at Natchez hits 35 feet and falling.

The fish will pull out of the hundreds of acres of flooded green willows and will not be so hard to locate. That will be our next big happening in the fishing scene in this area. Just keep an eye on the river stages. At 35 feet, the bream fishing is great, the bass fishing is fair, the white perch will still be difficult to locate, and the whites and striped bass could show up anywhere at any time.

Hopefully we will have a sharp fall come downriver in a couple weeks followed by either standstill or slight rise around 32 feet. That would keep the Old Rivers at a good level for fishing.

 

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