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Published 12:05 am Sunday, July 12, 2015
The July heat is on.
The afternoon showers are becoming less numerous as our area lake water temperature continues to rise. By midday the lake water is topping out in the low 90’s. That is hot but to be expected. This is July, this is the south and it is like this every summer.
The good news is game fish have to eat. Of course, the early morning bite will be the best daytime bite. I have always believed the early bite is the tail end of the nighttime feeding activity. Once the sun gets overhead and burns the active bite off, you can still catch fish if you are willing to work and work hard.
Non active game fish can be enticed to strike several ways. If you are after bass, I cannot stress the fact that repeated cast to the exact same area like a cypress tree, pier or whatever is the way to go. If you know where the fish live, do not just make a coupe halfhearted cast and continue on. Get off the trolling motor, slow down and make repeated casts.
My last time on the water it took five to six cast to each spot to catch a strike. Of course, these were in areas that have held fish for the 35-40 years I have been fishing these area lakes. If you are casting across the front of pier platform or down the sides on a pier in deeper water, the bass may be lying way back under the shade of the dock in tight spots you cannot reach with a lure. The bass will notice the lure, but it may not move. The second cast may draw the fish’s attention, and it may swim out to have a closer look. The third cast will trigger more interest, and the bass will move out even closer to see what all the commotion is about. The fourth cast may draw a strike, but the fish may not take the lure until the fifth or six cast. Six cast is my number for the areas that I know hold fish. If you just breeze by making one cast here and there, you may be overfishing, fishing too fast, so slow way down if you are not catching.
The exception to this multiple cast pattern for summer bass fishing can be thrown out the window if you are fishing just before, during or after a rain. That is when game fish tend to go on a feeding frenzy. Believe me, it would take a large number of books to write all there is about fishing, and I still could not cover all the variables. I think that is what keeps the dedicated anglers addicted to fishing. It is an ever changing deal. What works one day may not work the next. One of the least important yet most asked questions I hear is, “What color lure are the fish biting?” One thing for sure is you cannot catch what is not there, so lure color is way down the line as the most important question.
First would be where then depth. The Mississippi River is still being relentless. We are still on a very slow rise. The predictions for a crest date keep getting pushed further into July. The crest stage continues to change.
Today at Natchez, we should be around 51.0’, Monday: 51.2’ then 51.4’, and 52.0’ on Wednesday. The crest stage prediction is 52.5’ on 07/17. That could change yet again. There is a lot of water up north that has to come downriver.
Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.