This time last year, there were so many boats on Lake D’Arbonne trying to catch a white perch you could hardly shake a stick at them! This year, there weren’t that many, for a couple of reasons. First of all the fish just haven’t bunched up and started biting yet. There are some good catches being made by the folks that really stay with them. They are in deeper water around the big bunches of shad around 18-22 feet deep. Most of the good fish were caught on the edges of the channel, not right out in the middle.
Monday morning the wind had subsided and it was almost eerily calm, but the 50% chance of rain didn’t materialize early and there were quite a few boats at both bridges, Jake’s and at Lester’s. Apparently only a few fish were caught, mostly real early, but more than 20 boats stuck with it well past noon. Up at the Bernice bridge by Lester’s, the shad were working the surface like schooling bass and while the fish weren’t doing much, the seagulls (or I guess Lake gulls) were having a feast.
But the big reason the holiday weekend wasn’t very “fishy” is because Mother Nature brought us high winds every day and the norm was whitecaps on any big part of the lake. And even where there weren’t whitecaps, it made tough fishing conditions except for very early.
We got the same kind of reports from other areas as well. It was a beautiful weekend, but I think there were more turkeys eaten than there were fish caught. The crappie are biting pretty good around the brushtops at Lake Claiborne, especially around the spillway area. Those fish are in the 20-foot depth range as well.
Ouachita River crappie are fair around the tops along the river bank and deeper creeks. You have to fish right up in the tops and fish the jigs slowly. Some reports of good bass catches were made up Bayou D’Arbonne. Other best bets are the boat slip areas at Poverty Point Reservoir and deep water crappie on Caney Lake. The big bass there seem to be on vacation, but it won’t be long until some of those start to show up in fishermen’s livewells.
Wednesday: We’ll bring you the all-important Holiday EATING report!