Meridian Star

July 12, 2013

Delta Oxbows

By Mike Giles
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Easing alongside a thick grass patch on an old Delta oxbow near Yazoo City, I detected a swirl alongside a small pocket in the grass. I cast my H2/0 frog up onto the grass and worked it back in short hops until it cleared the grass and I let it sit for a few seconds before cranking it back towards the boat.

    Wham! A hungry Delta bass smashed the frog and headed for the salad patch. I pointed my rod tip towards the frog, reeled in the slack and drove the steel deep into the jaws of the bass. As the rope stretched taught and stopped the fish just before he buried in the grass, the enraged bass exploded through the surface and wallowed there for a few seconds before diving back down again. After several minutes of surface explosions followed by a short tail dance on the water I finally wore the feisty bass down and brought it into the boat.

    My first bass of the day came alongside a thick mat of grass on another sultry summer morning in the Mississippi Delta. A quick picture was in order and the bass was released to grow up and give another angler an opportunity to feel the thrill as I had.

    Although the day dawned hot and muggy, a cooling breeze wafted across the lake and made the morning bearable, though there was not a sign of any surface activity. I continued working my frog along the edge of the grass, paralleling it on the edge until I spotted holes or pockets in the grass. I’d work the frog to the edge of a pothole and then hop it into the opening and let it lay for a few seconds before twitching it and moving on.

    On one particular cast I stopped the frog in the middle of a small pocket for a few seconds and twitched it just a bit and another bass pulverized the tasty frog! After another short battle I whipped the bass and brought him into the boat, admired him a minute and then released him back into the salad patch to grow some more also.

    Once the sun got up the topwater bite died and I switched tactics. With miles of cypress and grass to work it was imperative to cover as much water as possible to determine a pattern or find the fish. I tried a few plastic worms and creature baits without success when I noticed shad flickering off a grass point.

    Picking up my shad colored spinnerbait, I cast it a few yards out from the grass bed point and began my retrieve. The lure only made it a few feet past the center of the grass patch when another stocky bass nailed it and the route was on! Over the next few minutes I worked the area over pretty well and caught several chunky bass in the three and a half pound range, perfect tournament sized keepers in the Magnolia State. My tournament days are long past, so I enjoy catching any size bass and catching lunkers is just icing on the cake.

    As the day wore on, the bite slowed somewhat but the bass did bite, right up into the heat of the day. My pattern was to run that shad colored spinnerbait, tipped with a twin tailed trailer, or zoom brush hog around every piece of laydown structure or cypress knee that I could find. There was no rhyme or reason to why some areas had bass and others didn’t, but I found a few areas with bass and I’d just work them back and forth a few times and pick up bass on each milk run.

    Then it was on down the lake for more action. While I usually like to fish plastics, the bass were keying on movement and flash on this trip, and my shad colored spinnerbait was just the ticket!

    If you’re looking for some hot bass action, then look no further than the Mississippi Delta. It's chock full of oxbow lakes with hungry bass! Wolf Lake, Little Eagle and Bee Lake are all good bets when it comes to catching hot summertime bass!