Basin run-outs light up

Grand Lake a hotspot, local angler says

When the nation’s last great overflow swamp is done taking its annual bath and the water level starts falling, Atchafalaya Basin bass anglers can have a grand time.

A veteran angler who has fished the Atchafalaya Basin since he was old enough to hold a fishing pole saids one of the bassing hotspots will be Grand Lake.

When the Atchafalaya River stage gets around 3.5 feet in Morgan City — either steady or falling — Grand Lake’s pull is irresistible to Bill McCarty of Morgan City.

That could and should happen this month.

So the bass bite should be really on in Grand Lake, McCarty said.

“I would be shocked if it isn’t,” he said. “There should be plenty numbers of fish to be caught, for sure, especially with the water being high.

“They haven’t seen a bait in over four months.”

It’s the kind of large, cypress tree-lined scenic area that gives up 15- to 17-pound five-bass limits, McCarty said.

McCarty, a St. Mary Parish School Board member, starts the day throwing 200 series Bandit crankbaits in chartreuse/black and chartreuse/blue on points.

After the sun comes up, he’ll move into the trees on the east side. That said, he said, “I see people fish the west side, too.”

Look for drains — especially those with nearby mixing water.

Fish a ¼-ounce white Humdinger spinnerbait or june bug or june bug/red Brush Hogs under a ¼-ounce worm weight.

And when the sun gets even higher, head to matted vegetation and flip or punch the green stuff with your confidence bait.

Later in July, some of the best action will be on plastic frogs (McCarty favors Boo-Yah models) in whatever flavor you like. White and green/yellow are top colors.

McCarty, who also loves to fish for perch, said the goggle-eye fishing in Grand Lake should be red hot, too.

About Don Shoopman 559 Articles
Don Shoopman fishes for freshwater and saltwater species mostly in and around the Atchafalaya Basin and Vermilion Bay. He moved to the Sportsman’s Paradise in 1976, and he and his wife June live in New Iberia. They have two grown sons.