Remember all that talk bemoaning the late spring?

Keep that in mind while you enjoy the stifling heat and humidity that is mid June in Mississippi this year.

"We basically are seeing the fishing transition from spring to summer at high speed," said Tommy Brent of Jackson, who spent one day chasing bass on Calling Panther Lake, one on Eagle Lake and another on Barnett Reservoir this week, and has yet to produce a good day. "Where and how I was catching fish two or three weeks ago ... forget it; not happening a bit.

"I think the fish (bass) are finally heading to deep water and the trouble right now is that they are moving pretty quick. Until they get situated, it could be pretty frustrating."

Part of the problem has been one lingering effect of the late spring - a delayed shad spawn, especially at Barnett Reservoir.

"I have not been able to find a single school of shad on the surface, and usually by now, you can't hardly run the lake without seeing schools everywhere," said Wiley Everett, a striper fisherman.

Everett of Brandon has struggled to find any kind of concentration of striped bass on Barnett.

"I have hit all my usual June holes and have not found a big school of stripers this year," he said. "I have caught one here and one there, but not more than one or two on any one spot on any one day.

"Until the big schools of shad turn up, I don't see the big schools of stripers locking up on any one area."

Crappie fishermen are also struggling to find concentrations of fish in all of Mississippi's top perch-jerking holes.

"They are moving out to the deep holes and are hard to find in number," said Billy Reeves of Clarksdale, who has fished Grenada Lake and Sardis Lake in the past week. "I couldn't find them in a wad, but I still caught some nice fish by working the long lake points. I trolled and did better pulling crankbaits than I did with drifting with jigs.

"The crankbaits were more effective on the deeper ends of the points at Sardis, in 15 feet of water and deeper. They caught the biggest fish, but I was able to catch more fish including a bunch of throwbacks on the jigs. At Grenada the crankbaits didn't work as well and I caught just about everything on jigs."

Bream are still being caught around the beds at most of the smaller lakes, including the state lakes system of the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. The action will begin building again to a peak around the full moon (June 23).

"The fish I caught bedding Wednesday were all males and they were still thick," said Joe Watts of Canton, who fished at a private 50-acre subdivision lake. "They haven't started showing the wear and tear that bull bream show after a time on the beds."

Mississippi's two best fishing reports come from the extreme regions of the state - Northeast at Pickwick Lake and South in the Gulf of Mexico.

While bass are also on the move at Pickwick, there seems to be enough at all stages of the transition to provide good action deep, shallow and intermediate. The mid-lake deep-water bite has been the most productive for quality fish, but working the shallow gravel banks or around the grass beds is producing more numbers.

Said one fisherman, "you can win a tournament either way, really. The quality of the fish being caught deep is more consistent but you catch enough shallow that you can cull down to a 5-fish limit of 20 pounds, easily."

In the Gulf, the quick warming over the past two weeks has triggered the tripletail bite in the western reaches of the Mississippi Sound.

"Oh yeah, it's started and we're all picking up a couple of nice fish every trip," said Sonny Schindler of Shore Thing Charters in Bay St. Louis. "We can get out and get on the trout and reds when the winds allow and then stop on the way in and run the courses (crab pots) and spot the triples."

With the red snapper season nearing the halfway point, the reports are consistent. Getting a limit on the rigs is easy enough - it's only two.

"The only hard thing for us was deciding what size we wanted to settle for," said Carl Jennings of Jackson, who booked a charter in Biloxi last weekend. "On Sunday, we had pretty good seas and were able to get out there. The captain found the snapper at the second spot and we caught some nice 16- to 20-inch fish but he wasn't satisfied.

"He was watching his depthfinder and kept seeing fish suspended about halfway down (50 feet in 100 feet of water). He told us to quit dropping to the bottom and try to stop halfway. He also put on live baitfish and we immediately started catching 20-pound fish. It was fun."

Jennings said that after satisfying the 10-fish limit for five fishermen, they finished the day catching about 35 mangrove (gray) snapper.