"Fishing seems to have gotten a lot tougher. I think what that all boils down to is how much the fish are actually feeding,” says Barry Waldron, president of the Harvester Bass Club.
He and Carl Hoyt know this river and the fish in it better than just about anyone. They're on the water on a near daily basis with the Harvest Bass Club, and right now the fishing is about as bad as it gets.
"Usually fishing has been a lot better. This is probably one of the years I've heard the most about fishing being tough and for an extended period of time,” says Hoyt.
The Harvester Bass Club holds weekly tournaments. On average their members will catch 150 to 200 bass per event. Lately though the numbers are down significantly, and members have a new challenge to deal with.
"We had one with 100 degree plus temps a few weeks ago and I believe a eight or ten fish came in that were dead,” explains Waldron.
Today Waldron and Hoyt logged more than 700 casts in about an hour and a half and only had only one fish - this northern pike - to show for their efforts. The problem is they weren't looking for pike, they're after bass. But they say that's just how it goes during these dog days of summer.
Waldron and Hoyt say there are still fish to be caught, but now is not the time to be picky.
"Throw a worm on the bottom, and you can catch perch, catfish, just about everything. Early morning hours are best, then of course late evening,” says Waldron.
The Harvester Bass Club releases all of their fish back into the Mississippi and do everything they can to keep stress levels down for the fish they’ve caught.