At 65, this avid crappie angler hailing from Savoy has fished every square inch of Chicot's 2,000 acres. He clearly understands the lake's capacity to deliver solid slab crappie on a monthly basis.
And Lavergne proved that recently when he and his grandson Chris had a very memorable morning.
"We ended up keeping 66 fish ranging from ¾ to 1 ½ pounds," he saidr. "We found the fish in coves south of South Landing, including Lightning Cove, and a few others on the east and west side of the channel.
A few days later, at dawn's early light, Lavergne motored again south via the lake's main channel. Leaving the channel marker buoys, his boat weaved between stands of cypress and tupelos to find coves on both the eastern and western sections of the lake.
Working meticulously, Lavergne cast a pearl (white) Creme 1 ½-inch tube dangling a foot below a similarly sized float stopper into a hole of floating duckweed near a vast stand of American lotus.
Just as soon as the float touched the water it went under.
"I told you they were here," said Lavergne, hoisting a ¾- pounder aboard. "They're mostly keepers, and they stay together here for a while. Later on, we'll start catching smaller ones and the best fish will be gone."
Throughout the morning, Lavergne found fillet-sized crappie time and again casting in clusters of duckweed, submerged timber and laydowns in 3 to 4 feet of water. Just as he predicted, the fish remained at the sizes ranging above.
For a while after the sun cast its first rays in one of the coves, the action was unstoppable. Just as soon as he had placed a fish in the cooler and cast again, the slip float again vanished.
But this nonstop action ended suddenly as if a switch was turned off about ½ hour after it began.
"Weird, isn't it?" Lavergne said.
The slab crappie were taken on four lures: the above-mentioned Creme pearl tubes;,chartreuse/white-tailed Creme tubes, pearl/white Wedgetail Minnows and salt-pepper silver/chartreuse Wedgetail Minnows.
And just as Lavergne predicted, the bite slackened at about 9:30 a.m., with mostly throwbacks taken thereafter.
When it was over, there were 30 keepers in the cooler out of an estimated 50 caught in the coves.
A caveat is due here, however.
Lavergne is catching these slabs when most other anglers are reporting horrible, fishless days on Chicot. In fact, many local anglers will figure it's not even worthwhile to fish for crappie at Chicot Lake during the heat of August.
"They're missing out," said Lavergne. "I work hard on stealth, sensitive tackle and lure presentation because I find that these fish can be finicky and wary. For example, most anglers here would never throw white colors in these stained waters; I will change things around often because I know well there are good fish in this lake.
"They have to be somewhere, and they will take some type of lure."
For more information regarding Chicot Lake, visit the Chicot State Park Web site.