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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.

June 27 at 3:57pm
The author's dad, Allen Crawford, helped drag a mess of huge goggle-eye out of the Atchafalaya Basin last Monday.

Atchafalaya Basin fishing turned as river drops

If you're in South Louisiana and want to catch some bass or panfish, all you need to do is head to the Atchafalaya Basin. Water levels have finally dropped, and that means the runouts are holding bass, crappie and bream.

I learned that first hand while on vacation last week, during which I spent four of the five days fishing the Spillway from the Flat Lake area all the way to upper Bayou Sorrel.

June 27 at 10:41am
Doc Waldo and his dad, Winfred, clean fish for the fish fry.

How you can learn crappie-fishing tactics online

Remember when fishing was just for fun? When you loved to hang out with other fishermen and swap baits and stories?

June 15 at 7:00am
Mark Weldon’s must-haves include a pink headed jig, Hi Vis Gold line on a Tiny Deadbolt reel and one of his 250 crappie rods.

Rx for summer crappie

It’s lucky that Mark Weldon is a “doc” because there is something seriously wrong with him.

June 15 at 7:00am
Doc Waldo shows off a 1-pound Black Bayou crappie.

Why ‘Waldo?’

There is a story behind every angler’s online name. Here’s Mark Weldon’s.

June 15 at 7:00am
Giving crappie a bigger range of choices in terms of jig and grub colors on double rigs can increase your catch rates.

How to double up on crappie

With the exception of largemouth bass and catfish, guide Maynard Edwards of Lexington, N.C., has given up on using just one bait or lure at a time.

“I double-rig everything now,” Maynard said. 

June 06 at 10:00pm
Dr. Ray Jones shows the type of bream that Black Bayou can produce during the summer months.

Black Bayou Lake

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.

June 03 at 3:15pm
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
Josh Roussell (center) spends as much time as possible on Lac Des Allemands this month because he knows he’s going to kill the bream — and likely catch some other fish, as well.

Bream biting at Lac Des Allemands

The bream bite at Lac Des Allemands south of Edgard was already starting in late April, but Baton Rouge angler Josh Roussell said by this month you almost can’t strike out.

May 26 at 4:44pm
They aren’t as glamorous as a big bass or a slab crappie, but channel catfish provide a great fight for fishermen and excellent table fare.

Lake to table - Lake D’Arbonne’s catfish are hard to beat

The appeal of catching an 8- to 10-pound bass or a cooler full of slab crappie brings most visitors to the 16,000-acre Lake D’Arbonne in Farmerville.

May 19 at 11:08am
Crappie fishing under Pendleton Bridge can get fast and furious with numbers coming quickly into the boat.

Where and how to nail Toledo Bend crappie

In early May, Johnson spends much of his time beneath Pendleton Bridge over public artificial reefs.

May 15 at 7:00am
Veteran Toledo Bend guide Jerry “JT” Thompson predicts larger crappie sizes for the summer of 2016 based on the crappie taken this spring.

2016 Toledo Bend summer crappie forecast

Before this spring’s historic flooding on Toledo Bend, longtime guide Jerry Thompson of Living the Dream Guide Service (318-256-8991) was finding some hefty slab crappie.

And he doesn’t see that changing any time soon.

May 15 at 7:00am
Johnson said Toledo Bend crappie can often average a pound during catches is May through July with at least a couple of 2-pounders taken weekly.

Toledo Bend public reefs are crappie magnets

Fishing guide Shane Johnson said May and June are the best months to catch numbers of crappie off the artificial reefs under Pendleton Bridge.

May 15 at 7:00am
One of the prizes of small creek or bayou fishing is tasty sunperch like this one.

Best fishing hotspots on the state’s only national forest

Public access to small bayou and stream fishing in North Louisiana is almost unlimited when you consider the resources available in the five ranger districts of the Kistachie National Forest, located within an imaginary triangle between Winnfield, Natchitoches and Alexandria.

May 15 at 7:00am
With numbers like this, Rhett Buteau needs a stopwatch to keep track of his catch and stay within the limit.

Jeanerette angler is ‘overboard’ for sac-a-lait

Rhett Buteau admitted a little guiltily that he is obsessive about fishing.

“I’m probably a tad overboard, as any sac-a-lait (crappie) fisherman can get,” Buteau said. “It’s all I think about. I log every trip. I record date, catch, water level, moon phase, color of bait and style of bait. I tie my own jigs.

May 15 at 7:00am
Well heads are easy to fish and can be approached from any angle. Note that his jigging rod is a fly rod and fly reel.

How to fish different crappie cover

Although crappie — or sac-a-lait as Rhett Buteau knows them — will move into often move into open water, particularly late in the evening when they are feeding on midges, they are generally considered to be fish that like to hug cover.

May 15 at 7:00am