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Lake life

Fishing report

Here’s a quick fishing report: Bass fishing on the Ouachita – excellent; crappie fishing on D’Arbonne – pretty good. You want more?

This past weekend’s big bass tournament yielded a great fishing report on the river. Unlike a lot of fishermen, all these guys were from somewhere else and won’t be back on the River for years, so they were more than willing to share their info. The tournament’s winner, Koby Kreiger of Florida, caught his fish up and down the river starting near Columbia and working his way back up. When he spotted stickups along the river, he would look for shad, then fish the wood tight with a War Eagle spinnerbait or a CP1 & 2 crank bait in shad colors. He also caught some on a Mini-Frenzy rig. He said he caught a fish almost everywhere he found wood and shad together. He had caught some good fish up D’Arbonne Bayou during pre-practice, but the first day of practice there were 19 boats all racing toward the spillway and he decided to cull that idea. Fish seemed to be back off the bayou in the flooded timber and while some of the fish were bigger, they were hard to catch and getting to them was tough.

Runnerup Kent Ware took a different approach, but also caught lots of fish during the tournament. He used a Chatterbait and Rattletrap the first two days, but couldn’t get a bite on them the third day so he caught them on a Ware Eagle spinnerbait. He fished boat docks and man-made structure in the river. He would watch schools of shad move in to the bank from the river, then go fish wherever they went. He caught 20-30 bass a day doing that.The only catch for all the anglers is that fish ran one to two pounds and not much bigger. One thing that did stand out — none of the anglers reported significant catches on worms or other soft plastic lures.

Here’s the formula: Follow shad — catch fish.

At D’Arbonne, the crappie are still in the channels and are getting lots of pressure in some places. you could see 68 boats from the Ruston Bridge Saturday mid-morning. Fish are running small here, too, and most anglers are catching 10-30 keeper fish by being persistent. Jigs are working well in shad colors and some chartreuse. Fish are mostly suspended 12-15 feet deep.

Bass fishing on the lake is good as well, but most of the bass fishermen seem to have traded their crank baits for jig poles.

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