Duck Lake bass

Bubbie Lopez lips a chunky bass from Duck Lake on the lower end of the Spillway.

If the water stage is right, this spot will give up quality fish

As a Centerville bass angler and many others wait for the Atchafalaya Basin to fall to a fishable level in 2024, there are a myriad of destinations for them to consider in their pursuit of bass between the levees.

Bubbie Lopez, a 58-year-old production operator for Perdido Energy LLC, undoubtedly will be counting the days until he can get into one of his favorite spots to fish in July. It’s Duck Lake, which is located just east of the Atchafalaya River and northwest of the more widely known and popular Flat Lake on the lower end of the Spillway. As of May 30, it may take a while for the river to fall.

“I don’t go around Flat Lake too much,” Lopez said.

For good reason. When Duck Lake is at or near its best it has given him quality bass during non-tournament and tournament trips. He hooks and boats many 2- to 3-pound bass in and around there.

“It changes every year,” he said. “Some years it’s good. Some years it isn’t that good. One year you might catch. One year you might not.”

For the record, Lopez said, last year’s bassin’ success “wasn’t too good” in the Duck Lake area, much to his chagrin.

The magical numbers on the Atchafalaya River stage are around 11.0 feet at Butte La Rose or around 3.0 at Morgan City. A slow fall is preferable.

“The water was so low last year,” he said. “A couple years ago it was good.”

Three lures

Of course, Lopez plans to give it another shot this month and he will most likely rely predominantly on three artificial lures.

Much of the time he taps the lake’s bass population early in the morning on black buzz baits if the water’s clear and chartreuse or white buzz baits for stained water conditions. After the sun gets higher in the sky he’ll switch to either flippin’ around a black/red or June bug Zoom Super Hog or Zoom Z Hog, or retrieve a pumpkin green, delta or chartreuse/blue/white 3/8-ounce Z-Man Jackhammer Chatterbait.

Lopez, who year in and year out competes for AOY in the Louisiana Bass Anglers and recently helped start the Southern Bass Club Association, targets cypress trees “pretty much” most of the time on both sides of Duck Lake. He turns his attention to the south side when the water’s higher and, after it drops a little lower, to the north side. His preferred depth is 2- to 3-feet around the base of the cypress trees.

Lopez enjoys some of his more productive bass fishing days when the main bayou is high and moving. That’s especially true during the dog days of summer starting in July, which is why he seeks out bass in the cooler waters of the main bayou.

Basically, moving water accompanied by black water seeping out of the swamp doesn’t necessarily lead to subpar bass fishing results, he said, noting once again it depends on the year.

About Don Shoopman 567 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.