Largemouth bass fishing on Lake Providence is pretty good all year round, but there is an added bonus for fishermen this time of year that could almost go unnoticed.
The 1,380-acre lake is almost all wide-open water except for the shoreline. That makes it a magnet for boaters, skiers and party-bargers most of the year.
Not in December, though. Cooler temperatures slow that down.
So if you’re looking for an out-of-the-way, peaceful fishing trip, Lake Providence should be on your bucket list.
And if you go this time of year, you need to know one thing, K.D. Sandifer said.
“You’ve got to fish wood,” the veteran Providence angler explained. “It’s cypress trees and boat docks.”
Lake Providence is an old oxbow that is about 6 miles long and half a mile wide. It is one of the deeper oxbows along the Mississippi River, with an average depth of around 10 feet.
There aren’t any real drop-offs — just a steady, slow slope from the bank to the middle.
“That’s why the bass relate to the trees and piers,” Sandifer said. “It’s a typical oxbow lake that isn’t open to the river, so there is no flow.
“The good thing is the whole lake will produce fish. Even in the chutes like up at Baxter Point and the Tensas Basin have good fish in them.”
And getting those fish to bite this time of year isn’t complicated, he said.
“Spinnerbaits are one of the top producers, and crankbaits are the other,” Sandifer explained.
Color isn’t critical: Just use your favorite one. On cranks, shad and silver colors do seem to work best. If Sandifer had to pick just one bait, it would be a chrome Rattle-trap.
“The fish will be on the sides of the piers or the ends out by the deeper water this time of year,” he said. “Ladders and extra structure on piers and docks produce multiple fish.
“And when you are fishing the trees, cover them on all sides.”
Even though this is the off season for the crowds, the lake is still busy.
“We have bass clubs from three states that come here and fish tournaments, plus all the regular fishermen,” Sandifer said. “But there is plenty of room.”
Finding Lake Providence is pretty easy, since Lousiana Highway 65 runs right down the western shore of the lake. The city of Lake Providence is on the southern tip of the lake.
There are two excellent launching areas, the largest at Bryerly Airport and a smaller one inside the Tensas Basin area.
And if you need a current fishing report, stop by Great River Sports and Outdoors in Lake Providence.