It’s been a long, hot summer and bass are a lot like people. They have been lethargic, but cooler temperatures have them ready to get out and play.
“That’s what’s going on at Lake D’Arbonne right now,” says local fisherman and tournament angler Todd Risinger. “And the good news is that with cooler water temperatures, the fish don’t have to pay so much attention and they can go wherever they want.”
At D’Arbonne right now, that gives anglers several choices of where to target to catch bass.
“In some areas of the lake, the fish are making their way to the edges of the deeper water,” he says. “And other fish are moving to the backs of creeks. Still others are hanging in the grass beds, so you have several different types of opportunities. The one factor that brings fish to all three of those areas is the shad. Where the baitfish goes, that’s where the fish follow.”
Todd’s top pick for D’Arbonne right now is to go up Corney Creek and hit the big grass flats. The grass is thick right now and it not only provides cover and cooler water temperatures for the fish, it also holds tons of baitfish.
“In the grass flats, it’s hard to beat a Fluke,” he says. “I just throw the fluke out, let it sink, then slowly glide it back through the water. My favorite color this time of year is the Rainbow Shad. It’s white and has colored flecks. If they aren’t hitting it, the next best bet is Watermelon color. You throw both of those and the fish will tell you which they like best. Once you catch on one color, stick with it.”
Another option for the grass beds is a Sexy Shad Spook, but you can’t throw it way up in the grass. You just have to fish the pockets and holes. Todd likes to have enough room to walk the Spook a few feet. He says when you do that in the grass, if there is one there, he’ll knock it out of the water in the fall.
There are some pretty large grass flats up Corney and also a few way on up the D’Arbonne arm of the lake as well as in the back of coves like Stowe Creek. Some of the areas are so thick it is hard to locate shad with depth finders, so fishermen have to do it the old fashioned way and just fish until you find them. Anglers should keep their eyes open for shad flickering on the surface, or in more open areas, you can even see big balls of shad just under the water. When you see that, you know bass aren’t far away.
“A lot of the shad will start roaming toward the backs of creeks, too,” he adds. “They go there for a while, then when it turns a little cooler, they’ll head back deep. Some of the shad just go out deeper, and that’s why you can find bass in all three spots.”
Deeper fish are good on a worm, deep-diving crankbait or Todd’s two favorites, a white War Eagle Spinnerbait or a Morning Dawn color worm on a drop shot rig.
Spinnerbaits are effective when there is a little wind and bright sun.
Fish generally bite on and off all day long this time of year, not just early and late like in the warmer months. One thing that will slow things down quickly, though, is a cold front. He says it takes them a couple of days to get back on the bite after a noticeable front.