Curtis Simpson has one piece of advice for any bass angler wanting to catch a big largemouth or a big stringer this month — head to the banks at Caney Lake in Jackson Parish.

“This is kind of a funny year because it’s been cold so long, but it’s going to be a bonus for bass fishermen this month,” the West Monroe angler said. “Usually, fish kind of trickle up to the bank at this time of year looking to spawn in 2 to 4 feet of water. But this year, a lot of them are coming up to the bank at once.”

What that means is that you can tie on a buzzbait, Whopper Flopper, Zara Spook or any of your favorite lures and probably get in on the action.  And the good thing is, you don’t have to spend a lot of time with your electronics or scouting. He likes shad color or translucent lures with white or shad color on the top.

“Just fire up the trolling motor and cover some water. Stay in the shallow water,” he said. “In fact, it’s one of those deals that if you stick your rod down in the water and you don’t hit bottom, you are probably too deep.”

If a late cold front or other weather conditions knock off the topwater bite, Simpson said to change to a Senko or a Fluke plastic lure and fish the edges of the grass beds. Either way, fish boat docks, seawalls and piers to find the bass.

Simpson, who is a Phoenix/Mercury traveling tournament pro, says right now Caney is as good as any lake in the country for catching lunkers. It fishes a lot like more famous lakes such as Sam Rayburn or Toledo Bend, just on a much smaller scale. Recently it took five fish weighing 36 pounds to win a tournament there. The recent Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries change in eliminating the 15- to 19-inch slot is letting fishermen bring more big fish to the scales.

Caney is a 5,000-acre man-made lake that is very clear and often tough to fish. But April gives anglers a chance to take advantage of fishing that is “as easy as it gets” for big ones, Simpson says. The lake has several full-service marinas, including Brown’s landing on the north end and Hook’s Marina at the spillway. And the Jimmie Davis State Park offers everything for fishermen and the whole family.