Well, I knew it was bound to happen. I fished on a lake on Saturday and we caught so many fish they’ve CLOSED THE LAKE!
We had to go through Haile and high water to do it, but it happened.
It’s been years since I’ve been on Finch Lake just outside of Haile, but I got a grand tour Saturday from a man that grew up fishing the lake, Neal ”Rip A Lip” Pace. We had to spend some time locating them, but we got on some big old bluegills in the backwaters of the river. When you get way off the beaten path like that and get up in the flooded woods, it’s like another world. Many places it’s too thick to even fish, but when you find that right spot and it opens up, it’s on.
OK, seriously, the whole lake is not closed, but the main ramp and parking area on Finch Lake Road is closed for about a week. The water is still 6-8 feet high and falling fast. Access to the concrete ramp is difficult. Small light boats, canoes and kayaks can still launch, but no big boats right now. You can normally reach Finch Lake through Harrell Lake off the Hooker Hole Road, but Harrell has a tremendous amount of current right now as the lakes and backwater fall back into the big river. There is also a “drop off the side of the road” spot to put in off the Public Landing Road that goes to the Corps Finch Lake Bayou landing on the river.
Here’s the Facebook message posted Sunday about the landing ramp. You can keep up with lake news at https://www.facebook.com/Finchlakecampground/?fref=ts
But let’s get back to fishing.
Finding the bluegills when the water is falling takes some time. The best bet is to fish within sight of the banks, or as close to them as you can get and find good water. You should avoid areas with very much current for the bluegills.
The old gravel roadbeds and gas line trails that meander through the edge of the lake offer great spots for the bream to bed and any old pipeline, well head or opening gives you access to great fishing grounds. As the water falls on out, the edges of the lake and flooded cypress or tupelo gum flats are your best bet.
If you are after bass, you might want to take a look at some of that current. Find it breaking around points or over an old road bed. Crappie are also abundant in the lake but take a little bit more looking. They seem to be on the move now with the water.
Neal took me on a guided tour of most all of it. We could have really loaded the boat if we would have stuck with fishing, but I brought home a sink full of good ones large enough to filet and fill a gallon freezer bag. We used crickets, but you can also use red worms, catalpa worms or even small, black artificial jigs and spinners.
Do use caution if you fish this lake. Right now it looks wide open, but hundreds of century old stumps are just waiting to meet the bottom of your boat and outboard motor across most of the big lake.