“Amoco.” That word should conjure up the image of a gas station sign beckoning motorists to come to the pump and gas up.
“Amoco Canal.” Those words should bring to mind a bream fishing heaven on earth, er, water, at Henderson Lake.
Located on the south flat in front of the private boat landings along the West Atchafalaya Basin Protection Levee and just east of The Boulevard, which also holds its share of bream this time of year, Amoco Canal draws bream and bream fishermen to it like a magnet in May.
Men, women and children have been waiting for this magical month, when anyone can dunk crickets, worms or the right-colored tube jigs and load an ice chest with bream and even chinquapin.
No one knows that better than Mitch Mequet of Cecilia, who owns Cypress Cove Landing and Houseboat Adventures, both going strong in their 14th year under Mequet and his wife, Laurette.
The Mequets know all about the potential of Amoco Canal — after all, that’s where the majority of bream fishermen go who launch from their boat landing.
With the water level slowly falling as of the first week of April, the 54-year-old Mitch predicted the time would be ripe in May for putting the hook to panfish along Amoco Canal.
He said bream were moving in to spawn at thte time of his report, being caught along the levee wherever sunlight reaches the water through the trees.
That key tip is important to remember along Amoco Canal, too.
“Amoco Canal will be a better spot. I think it will be one of the hottest places,” he said. “The lake should be at 12, 13 feet in May. I’m thinking the Dogleg (Canal) and Phillips Canal (Little Bigeux area), as well.
Amoco Canal isn’t that wide and is easily recognizable by the line of trees and mounds on both sides of the mostly north-south canal. After so many yards, though, it has a distinctive 45- or so degree turn to the northeast.
That turn, a place locals call Bird Island, can be one of the hottest bream spots, and it’s at its best when the water’s high.
There are scattered cypress trees and cypress knees mixed with willow trees along mounds where the bream go up to lay their eggs in late spring.
The mixture of trees and knees and mounds is the ticket all along the Amoco Canal. If the water’s high enough, fish shallow over the mounds, especially where sunlight reaches the water in openings. If it’s low, concentrate on the knees, root systems and such.
For those who like artificials, Mitch and Laurette’s favorites are red/blue/chartreuse, red/black/chartreuse and red/olive/chartreuse tube jigs tipped with tiny pieces of worm.
“I think we’re going to have a good bream season,” Mitch said. “ I think it’ll be a better bream season this year than it was for sac-a-lait.”