The cool front that moved into the state Saturday not only delivered loads of rainfall, but it packed a punch temperature-wise, too: The mercury dipped almost 20 degrees — not necessarily ideal conditions for a Sunday fishing trip in the Atchafalaya Basin.
And after watching LSU’s devastating loss to Alabama Saturday night, the prospect of catching limits of bass were about as flimsy as the Tigers’ O-line in Tuscaloosa.
But Church Point’s Kyle Guidry was optimistic, anyway.
“There’s going to be some fish, I assure you,” he said.
The 24-year-old angler knew catches had been spectacular in the Northwest Basin just before the front hit — and he didn’t want LSU’s loss to completely dampen our spirits.
So at daybreak Sunday, we launched out of Bayou Benoit landing below Henderson and ran for 30 minutes southeast to the Miller’s Chute network of canals and flats.
The water was definitely high and stained throughout the maze of canals, but the conditions didn’t unnerve Guidry.
“There’s going to be some fish here,” he repeated.
Maybe fish, but not a single other boat. We had the area completely to ourselves – a rare occasion since we were fishing community holes.
Guidry started by picking up his 7-foot, 3-inch Big Bear rod and flipping Gambler Why Not Killer B plastics on a 3/0 hook under a Dominator 3/16-ounce tungsten sinker.
After spending some time moving east in the canal, Guidry was only able to pick up a couple of small fish.
But moments later, he found a special location after noticing a commotion near the banks.
Egrets and roseate spoonbills were sweeping down into the mouth of a cut draining clearer water that was mixing into the canal’s milky surface.
We had found a gold mine — a draining cut in the Basin often means a possible load of bass.
Guidry flipped out into the swirling waters and immediately pulled in a 14-inch fish.
Three more clones of that fish were taken and released on followup casts.
“Let’s try for some bigger fish,” Guidry said, picking up a Big Bear Rod that was 6 inches longer than the first.
Tied on the end of his Seaguar fluorocarbon was a 7/16-ounce Santone swim jig in Matt’s Blue Herren color with a Gambler white lightning EZ Swimmer trailer.
It didn’t take long for Guidry to put a couple of 3-pounders in the boat, as well as several other bass just below that size.
Giving the area a reprieve, Guidry turned his attention to a patch of hyacinth mats opposite the drain we were fishing.
The angler picked up another Big Bear rod, this one equipped with a Why Not attached to a Gambler KO Flippin’ hook under a pegged 1¼-ounce Dominator tungsten sinker. Two more bass were pulled out of the cabbage.
For the day, we ended up catching 35 Basin bass, ranging from 1-footers to quality 3-pounders.
“There’s a lot more bass out there but folks are hunting – not fishing,” Guidry said. “I just wished we had been in a tournament, but we would have probably had a lot more pressure out there, too.”
Guidry said the same conditions can be found in Crewboat Chute, Mama’s Pond, Grevenburg, Mud Cove and Buffalo Cove – when rainfall allows anglers to enter those areas.
All of these locations can be accessed via Benoit Landing and the launch at Myette Point on the Basin’s west side.
“We had a late start to fishing the Basin this summer,” Guidry said. “But there’s some great fall bass fishing because there is just a load of fish out there.”