The fishing report on Black Bayou Lake north of Monroe was simple just two months ago: No Fishing. The 2,000 acre lake was closed due to catastrophic flooding in the entire region. But as water levels drop and fishing at the lake becomes more normal, it’s just in time for one of the lake’s premier bites — big bream.
“Black Bayou Lake is a fantastic bream fishery,” says Dr. Ray Jones, a lake regular. “The high water this year spread out the fish and the vegetation in the lake, but for the summer bite, I don’t anticipate any changes unless Mother Nature has another weather event up her sleeve.”
That means finding open areas in the vegetation on the lake and fishing red worms or crickets on or near the bottom as the weather heats up.
“Most people fish their bait under a cork about a foot or so above bottom this time of the year,” Jones says. “I like to fish mine right on the bottom, so most of the time I fish without a cork. I think you catch bigger fish that way. Sometimes when the bait is up higher, you have to fish your way through the little ones.”
Two of the most popular areas for bream (and more open water) are near the railroad track on the west side of the lake and the old Oliver Boat Dock area on the southeast corner. The Fourth Lake area is also popular, but in summer the vegetation may be too thick. All the major points around to the left out from the ramp on the refuge are also good spots, Jones says.
There is one special bait that you can also fish here that can bring you bonus bream.
“Most of the anglers who fish here regularly know about taking a little net and catching grass shrimp up in the lily pads,” he adds. “The big chinquapin or shellcracker bream love those. The chinquapins don’t stack up like they do in the spring, but some good ones can still be caught in the summer.”
Bass fishing is also good on Black Bayou Lake around the vegetation mats and cypress trees. Topwaters work early in the morning and an old standby here is the Wobblehead worm rig. There are also a few die-hard crappie fishermen who stick with it in the summer, but fishing is normally pretty slow in June.
As a reminder, this lake is a part of the Black Bayou National Wildlife Refuge and special regulations do apply, such as the restriction to 50 horsepower or less outboard motors. A public boat launch and parking is available near the Visitor Center located just off Hwy. 165 five miles north of Monroe.
For more information and a lake map online, click here.