Looking for that special bed

Published 4:17 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I am told that the economy is bad and it seems that everything that has been tried to fix it has failed.

One thing they could do is set up a roadblock between town and the lake and charge a fishing tax for every person headed in that direction. That won’t help us much, but would work to bring more revenue to the treasury. They won’t do that, thankfully, but I am sure that they will try some things that make even less sense.

I know that I usually advocate throwing back the caught fish so as to try and catch them another day and keep a good population in the lake, but with the way things are now folks may have no choice but to eat the fish they catch in an effort to keep the grocery bill as low as they possibly can.

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With all the things that are wrong with a lot of us and staying on a diet to keep a lot of other things from going wrong, we may need to eat more fish than we do.

Being from the Deep South, the only way to cook a fish is to fry it. We have all eat fried fish all our lives, but in later years, we find that we need to stay away from the fried food and learn to use the grill as well as the oven to prepare those fish.

The first time you get really hungry you will find that a baked or broiled piece is pretty good and has no resemblance to the piece of cardboard that you have been told about.

Don’t get me wrong, fried is still the best. It’s just the other ways of preparing the fish may let you live a little longer and you can still have a fried one now and again. My hear doc told me to eat anything I wanted, just don’t eat it every day.

The second week this month was the week that saw the fishermen begin to go to the lake in numbers.

It was also the first week this year that saw the temperatures stay up and give us some warm days and nights that were not cold, in the 50s. Temperatures like that will make the fish bite and the spring fishing come along like being pulled by a team of big horses.

The spring patterns are showing themselves making folks mighty happy that they took the time from a busy schedule to go to the lake. Going to the lake is key as the shallow back ponds and coves off the mail lake are the bodies of water that warm up first. These areas will attract the bedders first as they look for warm water to bed. A sandy bottom in any of these shallow areas will warm first as the white sand reflects the sunlight back through the water warming it quicker.

Clear water is good and warms quickly. Most of these back areas are clear as they are a long ways from the lake that may change every few days. Just remember shallow, clear, back from the main lake and with a sandy bottom is a good place to start.

As we move further into the year and the temperatures get warmer and warmer, the water will have the right temperature for bedding fish in deeper spots. You will not be able to see the fish when they spawn in deeper water, but they will still prefer a sandy bottom on which to lay their eggs. A silt or muddy bottom will allow the eggs to sink down into the bottom and not many of the eggs will hatch. Sand supports the eggs and the fanning of the fish keeps the eggs from getting covered over by any silt that may drift by. Fish look after their beds and will attack anything that comes to visit.

Right now it is the bass that are bedding. It seems that most of the crappie have bedded, and the bream and shellcracker will most probably wait until next month. We have passed the full moon this month and it will be on the ninth of April before we see the full moon again. There were some panfish taken around the full moon this month, but I don’t think they were bedding, just hungry.

Many of the bass tournaments have been turning up some good fish and we expect that to continue. Local fishermen are taking their share and that will also continue. Born and raised in the deep south is all it takes.

Be extra careful on there, especially on the rivers. Trees are floating down with the current and are dangerous. We have had another boating accident with serious injuries. Let’s try and make that the last one. Get well quick, Rusty.