Reports on numbers good but size is not

Published 12:03 am Sunday, August 23, 2015

Boats were everywhere yesterday morning before the sun woke up.

The majority of fishing people were headed to one of the live oxbow lakes; the Old Rivers at Vidalia, Deer Park or Yucatan. I have not heard a single report from Lake Mary near Woodville. Of course, these old river bend lakes are located on the unprotected side of the Mississippi River levee system, so they fluctuate as the river rises and falls.

This is the first year myself and many veteran river and Old River fishermen and ladies can recall waiting this long for the river level to fall to a favorable stage for fishing the live oxbows. The river level has dropped about 20 feet over the past two weeks or so. It is still a bit high if you are after white perch.

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I heard some were catching perch around and inside the floating enclosed boathouses on the Old Rivers, but there were no reports on big numbers and size. That does not mean someone has not figured the perch out.

Many will not tell me a thing when they get on the perch, because they know I will tell you and all our customers who come in the shop for bait and boat work unless I am ask not to spread the info. If you give me a report and don’t want me to write or talk about it, just tell me and I will not. It takes many hours of hard work to locate game fish these days. Some like shortcuts by asking where others are catching. Personally, I will tell you all I do unless a bass tournament is coming up on that water and money is on the line.

I will still give you info on lures, depth and such but not exact location. It is all about location anyway. You can fish hard, long hours with the right lure or bait but if you are not in the right area at the right depth you still won’t catch the fish. I thought for sure the big Old River bluegill and chinquapin would be showing up by now.

The reports on numbers are good, but size is not. The big bream are there. Try fishing deeper and keep your bait just a couple inches off the bottom for the larger bream. I am not a bream expert, but unlike bass and white perch, the bream are much easier to locate and catch. Fishing deeper has always worked for me when the small little bait thieves are thick and holding in thin water.

The cat fishermen and ladies are doing well. I sold over a 1,000 goldfish this past week. Some are fishing with limb lines in the Old Rivers, while others are fishing the big river. Some have trot-lines out to fill the freezer and others like the sport of rod and reel fishing (tight lining) for big catfish. The Mississippi River predictions look great.

A slow fall is a whole lot better than a fast fall and landlocked water. As long as the water is moving on the fall, slow or fast, the fish will be active. I heard some good reports on the Old River bass fishing. The bass can be caught at any level. You just have to spend the time with sonar and a lure in the water to locate the bass. At this level, try fishing way out from the barrow pits drains for bass. The gar had a real good spawn. It is hard to fish any run-outs because of all the gar so back off to the first drop-off, the first major depth change out from the run-outs and fish bottom lures. You may want to avoid bright colored crank baits. The gar will drive you crazy. If the gar are a problem, just hang with bottom lures like heavy jigs and soft plastic lures fished behind a heavy sinker.

Thank goodness this 100-plus degree air temperature has let up a bit. A high in the 90’s actually feels great after that miserable two weeks or so above 100 degrees. September is coming.


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