Put a map in front of most northeast Louisiana bass anglers and ask them to point out good bass fishing spots, most would skip right over Bayou DeSiard in Ouachita Parish. But, the 28-mile long bayou that meanders through Sterlington and Monroe is full of bass. And this time of year is when they start to turn on.

One person that doesn’t overlook DeSiard is Gary Calloway. When it comes to an out-of-the-way spot for a special trip, the marine technician at Wood Marine in Ruston would quickly point to the thin blue line on the map that represents Bayou DeSiard.

“Actually, it is a pretty popular spot this time of the year,” Calloway said. “Some of the bayou is cut off by earthen dams, but there are large stretches that are easily accessed and it is a beautiful place to fish. You’ve got grass beds, standing cypress trees and lots of boathouses and docks that all hold fish this time of the year.

One of the more popular stretches are the north end along Hwy. 165, which is accessible by a dirt ramp on the east side in Sterlington and also a concrete ramp near the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in Monroe. The area below the University of Louisiana-Monroe is also a popular stretch and can be reached by concrete ramp at Conley’s Boat Dock. There are also several other access points on the bayou.

“Some of the bigger fish are caught around the cypress trees,” Calloway said. “But don’t overlook the boat docks. Fish are in a post-spawn pattern now and they’ll hang by cover and look for an easy meal.”

Baits like Super Flukes, Sweet Beavers and and any creature bait in black and blue or watermelon red are good choices, he said. Around the trees, white or chartreuse spinnerbaits work well. His favorite is a War Eagle with gold double willow leaf blades. Topwater lures also work well this time of year. His top choices are Rattlin’ Rogues or Torpedo topwaters.

The grass beds are beginning to come to life this time of year as well. Spinnerbaits or plastic worms work there. Those same beds can become a nuisance in the coming months as they tend to fill up some of the smaller areas of the bayou. There are also mats of duckweed that dot the bayou. They can also hold good fish.

There are a lot of smaller 1 to 2 pound bass in the bayou, but this time of year it isn’t unusual to see 5 and 6 pounders or larger as well.