Bet on (Bayou) Black bass

There’s an area that Bill McCarty never passes up when he wants to put bass in the boat in May.

The all-around outdoorsman from Morgan City loves to target the Bayou Black area where, as the water continues to warm in late spring, bass move from the deadend canals into main ones like Bayou Penchant, Bayou Copasaw, Minors Canal and the main canals of Orange Canal.

While he runs there much of the time from Morgan City, there are other access points at Bob’s Bayou Black Marina, the Bayou Bouef Boat Launch at Amelia and Cannons Boat Launch along Southdown Mandalay Road.

McCarty prefers fishing the area on an outgoing tide and/or a windy day, and said the bassin’ success usually is best early and late in the day. Look for moving water because with the warming weather, bass tend to look for a place to cool off.

“It’s a whole lot better falling than if it’s coming up,” he said.

Target drains, scattered grass beds and willow trees whenever possible. Also, bass can be found in indentions in clumps of reeds that grow along the water’s edge.

Early in the day, McCarty likes to throw a Stanley Ribbit, a white plastic frog. Later he’ll switch to a ¼-ounce chartreuse/white Humdinger spinnerbait, and have a Senko ready as a comeback bait.

Around drains he works either a red shad Culprit plastic worm or a June bug-colored Speed Craw. He remembered a day last year when he and buddy Joseph Hebert caught 4-pound plus bass on back-to-back casts at a drain in the Bayou Black area.

Most of the time the bass will be in 2- to 5-foot depths, McCarty said, although during the early morning hours they often can be picked off the flats and in 1-foot depths before the sun eases over the horizon and they move out.

There’s a bonus around the Bayou Black area’s drains most of the time. McCarty, an avid bream and sac-a-lait fisherman, always brings a sac-a-lait pole with him and enjoys a little rod-bending lagniappe.

“A lot of times, sac-a-lait are there. You can make it a combo trip,” he said. “As it warms up, sac-a-lait tend to go to the drains. You can catch 15 to 20 at a time.”

For sac-a-lait, he uses a blue/white or blue/silver Pop-A-Chop adorned with a chartreuse Crappie Nibble.

About Don Shoopman 560 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.