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Lake life

Best fishing report of the year?

I've been blessed with a few good "fish fry" catches this week.

I’ve been blessed with a few good “fish fry” catches like this one this week.

This fishing report shapes up as the best so far in 2015. For one thing, there really haven’t been that many good fishing reports. But mostly, it’s because the fish are starting to bite on Lake D’Arbonne and some other area lakes.

The long, cold, wet, dreary winter is taking one last gasp today and has left cooler than normal temperatures, as well as muddy waters. Fishing is nothing like the fantastic spring we had last year, but it is picking up. In fact, quite a few nice crappie are being caught. Some good bass are also being landed and the catfish are seeming to begin their spawning run. None have peaked yet, but at least the party has started. The water’s warming and they gotta do what they gotta do…

Monster crappie like this one caught by Tiffini Harrell are what we're looking for!

Monster crappie like this one caught by Tiffini Harrell are what we’re looking for!

First, the crappie.

Big groups of fish have still been showing in the channels, as could be witnessed by the lines of boats around the Hwy. 33 and Hwy. 2 bridge areas this past weekend. However, a couple of days ago, the bite slowed to the point that most of the fish seemed to disappear and the chat room crappie anglers are all asking, “Where are the Fish?” Looking out over the waters from both bridges yesterday, you could also ask, “Where are the Fishermen?” They were mostly gone from the channels as well.

One of the new hotspots, for boats at least, is in the flats out from Stowe Creek. No less than 50 boats were there Wednesday and quite a few Thursday even after the mild cold front and sprinkles hit. And there was another “boat show” around Terrell Island. I don’t know if these folks were catching or just congregating.

Some catches of good crappie are reported. Not really many livewells full, though. The fish that are being caught deep seem to be at the 14-18 feet depths in 20-25 feet of water. There are also crappie on the move in 10-15 feet of water, apparently moving toward the shallows to spawn. The bite there is from 6-9 feet deep on jigs and shiners.  And, for you folks who like the shallows, there are fish there, too. Mostly its males, getting the nests ready. But some fish have already spawned. We have caught fish that have just a remnant of eggs left in them, which means they have spawned out. Groups of aggressive males have been caught around the shallows, some as shallow as a foot. There aren’t large groups of slabs being caught, but we’ve seen some real monsters. Lots of fish in the one to one and a half pound range are coming in.

It’s still hit or miss, though. Our latest cold snap will probably have more of an effect on fishermen than fish, so don’t let that stop you if you have cabin fever and a hunger for some fresh crappie filets. If this report seems like it is all over the map, it is. That’s because the fish are all over the map, too.

Bass fishing has also picked up. Some really nice fish are being caught. Again, we aren’t seeing big numbers, but fish are in the spawn.

Albritton & Dalrymple with their winning catch

Albritton & Dalrymple with their winning catch

Most good catches are shallow. Fish have been right up on the bank in the brush and around trees and are being caught on soft plastics and spinnerbaits. Seventy fishermen took part in the Fishers of Men tournament on the lake last weekend. Jamie Albritton and Scott Dalrymple landed five fish weighing 20.78 pounds including a 6.97 pounder. That’s a whopping good catch! You’ll recall that Monk Anderson won the King of King’s tournament with a 6.84 pounder.  Spinnerbaits in shallow water are good producers as jigs and lizards.

The other biggest news in fishing comes out of Poverty Point. Crappie fishing there may have been slower than any other time in the history of the lake as far as numbers, but some goliath crappie are being caught in the mid two to lower three pound range. Bob Wells landed a 3.28 pounder there that should be the fourth largest ever in the state of Louisiana. Some of the area’s best fishermen are having to work to catch 6-10 a day, but have shown some really big fish this past week. One thing is for sure. If you don’t get your hook wet, you won’t get a bite.

Here is a quick look at some other waters:

The Ouachita River is almost at flood stage and fishing is not good. There are a few folks catching bass and white perch in the river lakes, but fishing is tough and there aren’t but a handful of people fishing there. Be careful on the river right now. There is a lot of debris and the current is tricky.

Caney Lake has produced some good bass and they are in shallow water for the most part. Crappie fishing is still fair in deep water, but fish are moving up here, too. This is the time of yer that the big chinquapins start bedding and can be caught on worms. Look for them on the shallow flats.  At Claiborne, some crappie are being caught shallow on jigs and shiners. There are a lot of yo yo fishermen reporting success here, too. Bass fishing has been slow at Claiborne. Fish are in transition here, too, with some still deep and some shallow.

Black Bayou crappie are doing good to fair. The crappie are shallow and are being caught on shiners and jigs in the open areas near the bank.

Bob Wells with a 3.28 crappie from Poverty Point

Bob Wells with a 3.28 crappie from Poverty Point

Today’s Final Cast: Here’s a bit of interesting reading that you might enjoy: List of the top crappie lakes in the country…

http://wired2fish.scout.com/story/1529384-the-top-10-trophy-crappie-lakes-in-america?s=537

Be safe out there…and have fun!

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