About the only thing hotter than Mississippi in August is bass fishing at one of the state's many oxbow lakes located along the Mississippi River. These natural lakes, once part of the mighty river itself, are the place to go during the dog days. The connected lakes of Chotard and Albermarle, just north of Vicksburg, are two prime oxbow destinations. Both offer plenty of deep structure and cool feeder springs that bass seek during the hot summer months. The steep eastern banks at both lakes give fishermen a starting place. Bass will move up on the steep shorelines at first light, especially around the cold springs. Topwaters and worms work well there. Once the sun is up, it's time to move to deep timber and either slow down to a jig-and-pig (black and blue only) or toss a crankbait. Two ramps are available on Chotard and one on Albermarle for nominal fees, and all are accessible (look for signs) from the main levee road just north of the Eagle Lake Community. For weekly fishing updates, try the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Web site (www.mdwfp.com) and follow prompts to the fishing report. Contact: Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (601-362-9212).