Caney yields another sack of monster bass

Trey Bayles with five lunker largemouths weighing more than 36 pounds caught this week on Caney Lake near Chatham.
Trey Bayles with five lunker largemouths weighing more than 36 pounds caught this week on Caney Lake near Chatham.

Trey Bayles didn’t have to make a cast to know he was, as he said later, “about to have a whole lot of fun.”

The 31-year-old West Monroe angler is always looking for a big bass when he goes to nearby Caney Lake. As he rode down a familiar area watching his side scan electronics, he eased up on a little creek hole where he’s caught several big fish. The area is boosted as a bass haven because there is a bunch of grass on both sides of a little drain.

“As the area started to show up on my electronics, it was pretty remarkable,” he said. “There wasn’t just one or two big bass down there, there must have been 100. It was remarkable, pretty remarkable. I knew what was about to happen.”

At the end of an hour’s fishing, Bayles had put five of the biggest fish in the livewell to see what kind of total weight he could get to. When a friend came by at the end of the trip, they weighed the total bag at 36 pounds “and some change,” Bayles said.

Non-stop action

Here’s the way it went down. When Bayles saw the fish, he stopped his boat, got in position and started throwing a deep-diving crankbait at the spot. On his first cast, he caught a big fish. On his next cast, he caught a big fish. That went on for 15 casts in a row.

“Every one of them was over five pounds,” he said. “I just had to make myself stop casting. We’ve got a little tournament coming up this weekend and I don’t know if they’ll still be some there or not, but I had to leave them. That wasn’t very easy to do. I was just catching fish and throwing them back every cast.”

After he weighed the five big ones that he kept, he released them alive and well right back into the same spot. Bayles didn’t want to be more specific about the exact type and color bait because of his upcoming tournaments.

If you aren’t envious yet, there’s more to this story. Bayles did this same thing last year about this same time, but his bag of fish weighed 38 pounds that day.

What stacked all those fish in one spot so close together?

“It was just like a dream come true,” he said. These big fish are all over the area, but it turned really cold two nights earlier this week. I think that pulled the fish out of the grass and onto this little creek drain. It’s a natural staging area for fish that are getting close to the spawn. In addition to that, there was a huge school of baitfish showing right there as well. I just happened to roll up on the right spot at the right time.”

And there wasn’t another boat in sight, until his friend pulled up, helped him weigh them, took a picture and put them back in the lake.

“Pretty much every time I pull up to Caney, I’m looking for big bass,” said Bayles, an offshore drilling rig worker. “The reason there are so many good ones right now is that that hydrilla has come back. I sure hope they don’t start killing it because if they do, they will kill this kind of fishing dead. I understand some people want the grass away from the piers, but if they try and kill grass in the whole lake it will be a real shame.”

About Kinny Haddox 597 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.