Prairieville anglers Kurt and Adam Cook spend pretty much every weekend fishing together, and Bayou Black is one of their favorite wintertime targets.
“The population of fish is just amazing,” Kurt Cook said. “You can come here and catch 20, 30, 40 fish.”
And this month the job gets a little easier for the uncle/nephew team because fronts have pushed water temperatures down, forcing fish to move into dead-end canals in preparation for the annual spawn.
“The whole prespawn/spawn is the deal,” Kurt Cook said.
He said weather is the real key, dictating where fish will be set up along the banks.
“The back ends of canals warm up faster,” Cook said. “If you get a warm January, some fish will move up to spawn. You’ll catch them in 2 to 3 feet of water. Four to 5 degrees makes a difference.
“It’s all up to the weather. It’s 50/50.”
If it’s a cold January, fish will be close to those shallow flats, just waiting for water temps to jump.
“They’ll stay off in that 5, 6, 7 feet of water,” Cook said.
He said warm days will give up bass to crankbaits, but most of their fishing will be done with soft-plastics like Zoom Brush Hogs and Speed Craws.
Another good choice is a spinnerbait with upsized (No. 5) Indiana or Colorado blades.
“I might throw the jig a little more,” Cook said. “It’s really the only time of the year I’ll use a jig. A lot of people throw it all year, but I don’t.”
Bass will be ganged up in the Shell canals near Bob’s Bayou Black Marina and the Orange Grove complex, but Cook said all the canals throughout the system can produce fish.