Overall, hunting season was pretty good in our area. We had much colder temperatures than normal early in the season and that was good for deer and duck hunters. Union Parish is one of the top two parishes in the state for deer hunting and this season did not disappoint. In fact, the busiest folks in the parish the past two months have been the deer processors! The area duck season started slowly with a terrible teal season due to lack of water, but the first split of big duck season was as good as it gets around here. The second split was spotty, but there are still a few weeks to hunt. Hunting the past week has been slow.
For me, it’s time to hang up the camo and start readying the fishing gear. OK, maybe “hang up” the camo isn’t an accurate description. Maybe “pile up” is a better word (OK, dear, I’ll move it. I will. I promise).
FISHING REPORT: Okay, maybe it’s more like a guessing report, since only a hardy few have been fishing lately. It warmed up this weekend, but the wind whipped area lakes to a froth. There will still quite a few folks fishing in protected areas. Here goes my best shot.
D’Arbonne Lake has been high and muddy due to the rains, but looked better this weekend. The white perch have been biting fairly well for most of the past month, even though water even got over the roads in a couple of places as the lake hit 82.5 feet, almost three feet above pool stage. The water is dropping slowly now. Popular spots like the deep channels near the bridges have been producing, but frankly any deep water with schools of shad will hold some good white perch. In fact, if you can locate fish away from the popular hotspots, you are going to catch bigger ones. Reports have the fish suspended from 12-14 feet deep in 20-30 feet of water. It’s a bit early, but it won’t be long until a few head to shallower water.
The best way to catch them is fishing jigs slowly. Keeping them at the right depth is crucial. Once you find fish, make sure you mark the depth that they are biting. Here’s about the best tip I’ve ever gotten on that: Fish where the fish are. If you have to err, fish a little too shallow. Fish will sometimes look up for a bait, but seldom down (Cant’ wait to hear from George on that one). Bass reports are just about non-existent, but the next few weeks as the water stabilizes, they should start to move to shallower structure. You have to fish big baits slowly. No, more slowly than that. The big ones are full of eggs. If you fish just for fun, take it easy with the big old bass when you catch them and if you don’t need them to eat, let ’em go to finish their spawning and make some more bass for later. The great big ones aren’t going to taste that good anyway. And leave a few of the young bucks to make and guard the nests this time of year.
Fishing on the Ouachita River is slow — like cold molasses slow. The water is high and muddy and there aren’t any reports other than a few crappie being caught back up in the creeks on deep tops.
White perch fishing on Poverty Point Reservoir hasn’t warmed up yet, but there are still some catches
around the deep water at the marina area and some of the popular deeper chutes. While numbers are down, there have been some good ones caught. A couple of really big bass in the 10 pound range have been caught the past two weeks.
As usual this time of the year, Lake Claiborne fishermen are having some success on yellow bass and white perch in the open water out from the spillway. Fish are hanging near the bottom. Some smaller largemouths are also biting, but the big ones haven’t begun moving in just yet. Of all the area lakes, the water at Claiborne probably looks a little less affected by the rain.
It won’t be long until we have more details. As regular readers know, I don’t do a weekly report just for the sake of doing it unless we have some accurate reports. You can help. If you want to share information, give us an e-shout at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good fishing. And be safe. And patient…