Fighting the hot weather to catch a mess of fish isn’t one of the most popular things going on in our area right now. But those that are putting up with the heat are catching some good fish. Mind you, it isn’t like the spring, but fish are still reportedly being caught on area lakes. I have to say reportedly, because I’m one of those not into fighting the hot weather to catch a mess of fish.
Assuming the fish have come back out of hiding after last weekend’s Fourth of July Fireworks display on ramp road, it’s a good time to catch a mess of bream or bass on Lake D’Arbonne. Bream are on the flats and the deeper humps, especially where there is some grass. There have been quite a few fish caught off the banks as well, both fishing from the bank and working the bank grass beds from the boat. Worms seem to be working best for the good ones. Worms also increase your chances of catching catfish, which this lake seems to be full of. White perch fishing is really slow, but if you are willing to slow swim a jig out in the 15-18 feet deep sloughs, you can catch a mess for supper.
Bass are doing a bit of schooling, but aren’t staying up long. Best areas for big bass are along the creek channels on the humps early and late. Big Texas-rigged worms and other big plastics are working best. Most people don’t like to spend the money on big 12-15 foot deep divers, but they are great this time of year also. Crank them down until they bump cover, then slow down the retrieve. At an average of $5 – $8 apiece, you might want to invest in a lure retriever as wells.
The proof is in the pudding and the 22.51 pounds that Mike and Randy Brister of Ruston caught to win the Peach Festival bass tournament on D’Arbonne proves the big ones are still biting. Corey (Chatham) and Courtney Harris (Eros) were second with 20.17. Lane McGaha (Dubach) and Shane Hood (Arcadia) were third with 20.14; Dennis Lannan (Bernice) and Jerry Pate (Downsville) were fourth with 19.83; and Ivan Daigs and Matt Wills of Ruston were fifth with 18.43 and also had big bass at 7.52!
Lake Claiborne is still rolling with schooling hybrid stripers, but seeing them and catching them are two different things. Fishermen have been frustrated by casting right into schools with jigs, small spinners and spoons with little reaction from the fish. The best thing to do right now is downsize as much as possible. There are still some good catches, but not as good as a month ago.
Bream fishermen at Black Bayou in Monroe and Cheniere Lake in West Monroe are still catching good bream, but grass has really taken off in the lakes. Best spots are around clumps of trees where the light hasn’t hit the aquatics as good and there are still good sized openings. Worms and crickets are working. Bass are fair on Black Bayou early and late.
The Ouachita River is producing some fairly good catches of crappie in river lakes. Bass fishing is good around the points and in current. The river has been on a fall and fishing seems to be picking up. Now that the holiday boaters have gone home, you might want to give the river another try. At least you can find some shade!