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Sid Havard with two big Claiborne largemouths.

Put Lake Claiborne back on your radar

Bass after bass swirl on the surface of Lake Claiborne as schools of baitfish scatter like bird shot hitting the water, gaining the attention of fishermen across the lake. Those are striped bass chasing shad. It’s probably the most popular game in town during the hot months on this 6,400 acre reservoir.

18 hours ago
Cypress Lake Reservoir and Black Bayou Reservoir near Benton are two of Mark Weldon’s favorite crappie lakes.

Where’s Waldo? — Tips from a crappie expert

Picture this, if you will: About 50 crappie fishermen of all sizes and shapes are all gathered in the same area of the lake in different boats, wearing different-colored clothes and using different baits, all fishing with jig poles.

June 01 at 7:00am
Pictured with his second —and biggest — buck this month, Dan Durrett dropped this 9-point with a 300-yard shot in Lincoln Parish. The deer green-scored 146 6/8 inches B&C.

Simsboro hunter downs two big bucks totaling almost 300 inches in 10 days

Unfortunately nowadays, we hear about schoolyard bullies all too often — a dominating buffoon who creates terror for some youngsters.

December 21, 2015 at 5:57pm
The father and son duo of David and Steve White show the proof that crankin’ and planin’ catch crappie.

A planer approach — How to use planer boards and big crankbaits for crappie fishing

Some folks say crappie are the new bass.

For decades, crappie fishermen have pretty much been cane pole-and-shiner guys, or maybe jig polers with double-rigged lures.

Bass fishermen hace all the fancy equipment and techniques.

September 01, 2015 at 7:00am
Kay Turner, of Ruston, shows off the 12-pound largemouth bass she caught on March 30 on Lake Claiborne using a crawfish-colored Rogue jerkbait.

Ruston angler nabs Lake Claiborne lunker

Winning the Powerball has nothing to do with skill or experience: You choose numbers randomly or use pre-selected numbers like the birthdays of your kids, buy a lottery ticket and then just sit back and watch the drawing on television.

If your numbers happen to come up, you just got lucky — and you suddenly become a millionaire.  

April 06, 2015 at 3:30pm
Jay Stone shows the bottom two 1/16-ounce jigs and two-ounce bell weight on a “kitchen sink” rig.

How to build a kitchen sink rig

Want to try the kitchen sink? Here are the details of the rig Jay Stone came up with to put the maximum number of baits in the right spots to catch suspended crappie.

March 15, 2015 at 8:00am
If you want to get stripers on the line, there’s no better rig than a good spinning reel, a fast-tip graphite spinning rod and a white Rooster Tail spinner.

Best gear

If you want to hear the cry “striper on” often, here’s the gear Captain D recommends.

August 15, 2014 at 7:00am
John Jeffcoat, a regular fishing partner of Donny Hood’s, shows off an 8-pound rod bender.

Four seasons of Claiborne stripers

Persistent fishermen can catch striped bass on Lake Claiborne pretty much all year long. The four seasons of Claiborne stripers vary a little bit from traditional “seasons,” as Donny Hood outlined below.

August 15, 2014 at 7:00am
Port Au Prince has been on the lake since 1966 and features heaps of whole or filet catfish.

Eat, sleep, fish

Whoever came up with the “Eat, Sleep, Fish” T-shirt must have been from Louisiana. That’s because usually everywhere you find good fishing, good food can’t be far away.

August 15, 2014 at 7:00am
While they aren’t as good to eat as smaller stripers, just one like this lunker makes an afternoon trip chasing Claiborne striped bass worthwhile.

History of Claiborne stripers

Lake Claiborne was completed in 1967. Even before that time, Hood’s father had property on the lake, and the two of them have actually walked all the way across what he calls the Little Lake area of Claiborne, which is the large open area north of the Big Lake but still south of the two large arms that extend far to the north of the spillway almost all the way to downtown Homer in Claiborne Parish.

August 15, 2014 at 7:00am
Fishermen often “school” too when the Claiborne stripers bunch up chasing shad on the surface.

Captain D’s Place — Tips for striper fishing on Lake Claiborne

After an hour chasing sparse schools of striped bass across boat lanes, creek channels, coves and finally out into the big lake without a single strike, Donny Hood stopped for a second, calmly set his rod down and moved to the driver’s seat of his 22-foot Blazer Bay bay boat dubbed the Miss Judy.

August 01, 2014 at 7:00am
World-famous artist and fly tier Tim Borski baptized his latest creation on this Louisiana redfish.

Tippets

The first week of April will be Easter break for many students. What better time to take a youngster fly fishing than this month?
April 15, 2013 at 7:00am

Tippets

During September, water temps begin to drop. Slowly at first due to radiative cooling, and then increasingly as cool fronts invade the state.
September 01, 2012 at 7:00am
Most anglers wouldn’t even think of sticking their hand down this creature’s mouth.

D’Arbonne’s Daffy Divers

It was late evening in the early summer. The five men assembled on the back deck of the Petrus family camp, set on a hill slope overlooking Lake D’Arbonne, were engaged in a masculine redneck ritual. Bobby Petrus, a.k.a. “The Claw,” was grilling meat, and all of them were exchanging humorous insults.

The rough-and-tumble humor, mixed with an equal blend of braggadocio and self-deprecation, was delivered with powerful North Louisiana twangs in what a Cajun or a New Orleanian would consider a foreign language.
April 01, 2012 at 7:00am
One of the best ways to approach fishing post-front days is to back out to the mouth of a pocket or cove and fan cast the opening with a variety of lures.

Front Side of March

Bass angler, beware the Ides of March.

Not that you have to look over your shoulder for a group of friends intent on stabbing you 23 times in the back, but for approaching cold fronts that can do enough damage to take you out.

For North Louisiana bass anglers in particular, March can be the best of times, or it can be the worst of times. Just as soon as you think you’ve got the bite pinned down, a cold front blows through and messes everything up.
March 01, 2012 at 7:00am
As soon as the sun was hidden behind clouds the Lake Claiborne stripers sprang into a feeding frenzy.

Cloud Dancers

The Good Lord gave us a glorious sunrise, the glowing orb back-lighting a cloud in the eastern sky that looked for all the world like an angel in flight. I snapped a few photos as the sun slowly nibbled away the cloud bank. In a matter of minutes, the sun did what it has been doing for the past month, sending its searing heat down on us.
November 01, 2011 at 10:03am