This time of year, falling river levels serve as Mother Nature's Kirby to suck bass out of their hiding places way back in Louisiana's legendary swamps. The fishing is often downright epic.

To get in on the action, I teamed up this week with Madisonville bass pro Jeff Bruhl to offer crankbaits and Texas-rigged soft-plastics to bass in the East Pearl River complex. Recent thundershowers in Central Mississippi caused a rise on the river, so conditions were far less than ideal, but we still had good success on fish that wouldn't win tournaments but were fun to catch.

Conditions will improve dramatically on the East Pearl over the next few weeks as the summer gets some age and hints of fall greet anglers each morning.

Hot baits during our trip were a Bandit 200 crankbait and 4-inch black neon-colored Berkley Power Bait Chigger Craws Texas-rigged with 1/4-ounce bullet weights.

The East Pearl River is most easily reached from a public launch just west of Pearlington, Miss. Hot fishing is found both north of the launch in the cypress swamps and south in the spartina and roseau marsh.

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