Water expected to cool down
Published 12:01 am Sunday, November 8, 2015
Well, we had yet another very wet weekend for fishing.
The area land-locked lakes water clarity was just settling from the last big rain before Friday’s rain.
It was so dry prior to the last rain some of the lakes did not get muddy, but this rain will run off since the ground is soaked. That is OK, though.
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We need fresh water in our lakes. I was on Bruin mid-week, and the water was clear. We caught a few small bass, but I was not there to fish as much as guide a client around the lake and show him some areas that produce bass and perch in the winter months.
Unlike its sister lakes, Lake Bruin has a sandy bottom. The lake might get stained in the mid-lake area and muddy on southern most end, but the water settles down faster than it does on other oxbow lakes. I made the drive to Bruin, so I could pass by Lake St. John. St. John’s mid-lake water clarity looked good.
Personally, I would rather fish stained to almost muddy water with the water temperature above 65 degrees than fish clear water. The bass are easier to catch from shallow cover in stained water. It is just the opposite in cold water when I target fish in deep water if deep water is available.
My worst nightmare is deep fish in cold muddy water. That combination just doesn’t work well. The surface-water temperature on Bruin ranged from 69 to 72 degrees. That is a lot warmer than it was a year ago to date. This time last year we had a major cold front pass that left us with air temperatures in the low to mid 30s that hammered water temperatures down. The forecast predicts highs in the 50s next week, so the water is about to cool down some more. Our very best bass and white perch fishing casts off when water temps drop below about 60 to 62 degrees.
There was a bass club tournament on St. John yesterday, but I have yet to hear the results. With the overcast sky and rain, they probably caught some nice bass. There was also an open circuit event held on the Black River/Horseshoe Complex yesterday. The complex is a watershed meaning just about all the runoff from the rains end up in the complex, so they probably had a tough day. Today, there is another open tournament on Lake St. John. I will have the results from those three events in next week’s column.
November is a transition month. You can find fish in shallow water for sure, but some will fish will begin to move a bit deeper as cold fronts pass. I would much rather pattern the deep fish simply because not many use sonar to locate offshore fish. The less pressure on the deep fish means they are easier to catch but harder to locate.
For now you are better off sticking with the shallows until the water temps drop several more degrees. The fish may be scattered in the shallows, and you will have to work and cover a lot for water to catch any numbers.
Rat-L-Traps and jigs are my go-to lures, but other lures will work. If the water clarity is good, surface lures will still produce. This recent front should push fish out to the 10- to 15-feet depths by next weekend if the water clarity is good.
The Old Rivers are not receiving any fishing pressure. I go by the boat ramps at the Old River near Vidalia just about every day and see very few trucks and trailers.
November is a good month for the Old Rivers as long as the river is not real high, and it is not. The Mississippi River at Natchez today is around 19.5 feet. There is a slow rise coming downriver that may bring the level up to about 20.5 feet by Wednesday. That is still low for the season.
Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.