Finding a stable body of water — one that isn’t on a hard rise or already unfishably high — can be a priority for bass anglers in one of the prime fishing months of the year.
That’s Bill McCarty’s objective in April. Usually, the Morgan City outdoorsman goes to the Bayou Teche at Patterson, a long, winding, deepwater portion of the bayou with locks on one end at the Atchafalaya River and on the other end at the Calumet Cut.
McCarty said the Bayou Teche will be a viable option this month. As of the end of February, the Atchafalaya Basin was taking its annual bath as the river jumped to 4.7 feet at Morgan City in early March, and was forecast to rise to 5.7 feet by March 6. Flood stage is 6 feet.
“The way the water situation is setting up to be, a stable place would be the Teche. I think the Bayou Teche will be the best bet for April,” he said.
Bass fishing should be in full swing. Anglers have a choice to fish the north shoreline, which is shallow leading to a dropoff and lined with cypress trees, or the deeper, populated side on the other shoreline.
And for those who don’t target bass, bream and sac-a-lait can be plentiful.
When McCarty fishes for bass, he’ll start on the “tree side” early and fish with either a 3/8- or ½-ounce chartreuse/white or black/white Delta Lures buzzbait, or a 3/8-ounce chartreuse/blue/white Humdinger double-bladed spinnerbait with either a willowleaf blade or an Indiana blade, depending on the water color.
Later, he’ll switch to the other side and target docks.
“Typically, I like to go from Cameron (Cameron Ironworks) toward Berwick, or Cameron toward Patterson. Divide it. Early, it seems going toward Patterson is better. Later it seems better toward Berwick,” McCarty said.
A blue shad or albino Fluke is his favorite lure to start probing the length and width of docks, he said, following up with a chartreuse/black or Tennessee shad or crawfish-colored mid-range Bandit crankbait. If he isn’t getting any takers close-in, he’ll back off and crankbait the structure because many people sink objects, such as Christmas trees, around docks to attract sac-a-lait and other gamefish.
If things are tough, he’ll rely on a 6-inch straight-tail plastic worm under a 1/8-ounce worm weight. Green pumpkin or red shad is the preferred color, he said.
Sac-a-lait can be caught around those docks, too, on Beetle Spins, either white with a red dot or yellow. He’ll cast and retrieve around the shady side, where most of the slabs congregate, he said.
Bream, which usually move into the cypress trees to spawn in late April, can be caught on crawfish-colored Basin Jigs with a chartreuse Crappie Nibble. Fish 1 ½-feet deep and enjoy the action when they get on their beds.