Post-spawn bass are still hungry
Fishing for big bass during the spawn on Caney Lake is legendary, but just because that bite is over doesn’t mean it’s time to put up the bass rods.
“You can catch big bass almost all year long on Caney,” West Monroe’s Jeff Pearson said. “They won’t be quite as heavy without the eggs, obviously, but there are some healthy bass that any fisherman would love to catch.”
Late spring gives anglers one last chance at post-spawn fish before they hit their deepwater summer patterns and things get tougher.
And the best place to look for them this time of year is on the secondary points, and then work out to the main-lake points.
Pearson recommended shaky heads with watermelon trick worms or light Carolina rigs with watermelon or other light-colored worms.
“The moss is coming back in Caney, and with Polarized sunglasses you can see the bottom in a lot of areas, “ he said. “You can cast the lure out into the lighter spots between the mossy spots, and that’s where you’ll catch fish.”
Anglers should note that the Jackson Parish lake has an eight-fish daily limit with a protected slot limit of 15 to 19 inches. No more than two fish may exceed 19 inches.
As the weather warms, dollar pad fields also provide good opportunities. Pearson recommended using white buzz baits or plastic frogs in these areas. When the frog bite is on, lure color doesn’t seem to matter.
Also, other walking lures like Zara Spooks will get explosive strikes in the pad areas.
But bass aren’t the only Caney Lake fish that are hungry this time of year: Crappie move out of shallow areas and get on brush in deep water or suspend along the outside edges of creeks.
And bream fishermen can find the fish bedding around shallower areas with grass.
One of the most-popular panfish are the huge shellcrackers (aka chinquapins) for which the lake is known. It’s common for 1-pound-plus fish to be caught on the shell beds.
The lake has numerous areas where mussels bed up, and the chinquapins stay in those areas for months.
The best baits are little Beetle Spins or red worms fished right off the bottom.
You have to spend some time looking for the beds, but most of them are popular with other fishermen so you can see areas they are fishing, Jeff said.
You can also locate beds by throwing a plastic, Texas-rigged worm off the points. The worm feels like it is dragging over a gravel road, and you’ll notice the worm weight all scratched up from the shell beds.
The most heavily fished areas of the lake are the two largest arms: Smith and Boggy creeks.
These creeks flow through two big coves, which also have numerous inlets and points in them.
Other popular areas include Clear, Hancock and Cypress creeks.