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Lake life

Kenny with an “e” fishing report

Here’s our latest Kenny with an “e” fishing report, with a heavy mention on ice (also with an “e”)

K&M Coffee, Corks and Camo’s Kenny Kavanaugh has seen something he never even dream would happen. He stood on the back porch of his house, looked down at his boat dock and watched Lake D’Arbonne freeze over, especially on the north end where he lives. Then, the roads got so bad they had to close the store for most of the week. They finally got back out Sunday afternoon, but they had to get four-wheel drive vehicles to go get employees to run the store. The lake has thawed, but there is still ice everywhere on the backroads and in the woods. That will change in the next few days.

“I would have never believed that” he said. “Or I wouldn’t have believed it would snow that much or be cold that long. It literally shut down the lake for fishing for almost a week.”

Today (Sunday) was pretty much the first day anybody could get back out, much less on the water, and with this coming weekend’s Crappie Masters Louisiana State Championship coming up, there’s lots of interest on what this will do to the fish. With LiveScope, fishermen don’t have to catch a whole bunch. They just target seven big fish every day. And while it is slow with the cold weather then sudden sunshine, it should keep getting better the rest of the week. The water will come up some with all the melting snow, but shouldn’t have an impactful affect on the lake level.

Sunday, the North Louisiana Crappie Masters, the local club that is also sanctioned under CM, fished D’Arbonne. Wesley Miller and Justin Smart won the tournament with 11.10 pounds – not what you expect on the ‘Bone this time of year. It was the only double digit catch with 30 teams of some of the top D’Arbonne crappie anglers and a few visiting pros. Everybody fished everywhere and couldn’t get anything done. Big fish was a 2.50 caught by Lance Bilberry and Heath Rogers. People could find the fish, but they wouldn’t move to take a bait, live or artificial. Only three people in the tournament caught a 7-fish limit. You can find out more about their tournaments on the North Louisiana Crappie Trail Facebook page.

It was pretty bad to have that group on the lake and only one double digit catch. My guess is the crappie have been frozen up and not biting all week, but as the water temperatures get up into the 50’s again later this week, they could go on a feeding frenzy in the next couple of days with it warming up. We had reports of the water temperature down in the upper 30’s and lower 40’s. That explains a lot. The shad and the crappie are really bunched up. When temperatures get that low, it can cause problems on a lake by killing a lot of shad. Shad can’t survive in those types of temperatures. And as any good crappie angler knows, follow the shad and you find the crappie!

Another fisherman that reported in to Kenny on Sunday was Oklahoma’s Robert Carlisle, a consistent winner on the pro crappie tour. Carlisle said the ride down to Louisiana was difficult after he started hitting Louisiana roads and then catching fish was even tougher Sunday when he got on the lake. Another traveling tour pro, Frank Haidusek, drove in from Kansas yesterday and couldn’t believe what he saw on the lake — and on the way to it. Frank and his partner, Austin McClure caught 6.67 pounds Saturday in the local CM tournament. Here’s an interesting fish story. Dusty McGehee and his son Anders ended up in the top ten and had maybe the biggest thrill of the day when the Ruston team landed a whopper largemouth on their crappie gear!

Crappie Masters week will be big for Farmerville and the entire area. There will be 80-100 teams competing with a lot of cash on the line, not just crappie. K&M will be open at 5 a.m. every morning and stay open until 8 p.m. every night through the tournament. They will be loaded with shiners, fishing tackle and plenty of crappie baits.

They also have something for the fishermen to get the bite going. Their new breakfast burritos are a huge hit as are their low calorie fat free (okay, that’s a big fish story) cinnamon rolls. But one thing that is true is that they are delicious! Fishermen can fuel up early to make it through a long day fishing.

Big Frank Haidusek reached town safely and went fishing!
The Union Parish view from Robert Carlisle’s truck Saturday

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