Fish the lake no one seems to love

Get off the bank, and drop anchor in the middle of large lakes to greatly increase your duck harvest this winter.

I don’t know why so few anglers seem to love Northeast Louisiana’s Poverty Point. It’s loaded with trophy-sized Florida-strain bass, it’s managed for trophy bass and although crappie fishermen love it, many bass fishermen never have heard of it.

Poverty Point is located 3 miles north of Delhi in Richland Parish, north of Interstate 20. This dammed-up reservoir spans about 1,000 acres, and you can catch trophy bass weighing up to 10 pounds in its waters.

The lake, which has been open for approximately 3 years, has little cover in it. However, it contains an old creek channel and some old sloughs that still have standing timber in them.

The bottom of this lake once was a cotton field. Before it was flooded, mounds were built out in the lake, and some old levees are around it. The main creek channel runs the length of the entire lake, and the underwater sloughs off the creek channel were old cypress brakes.

Stay on top

Louisiana has decent weather in November, and you often can enjoy topwater bites all day at Poverty Point. I’ll begin fishing with a black Strike King buzz bait and a Zara Spook early in the morning on 50-pound-test braided line and a 6-10 Quantum PT Series Kevin VanDam Casting Rod. I’ve always preferred a black buzz bait over other colors in cooler weather. I’ll fish the buzz bait and the Zara Spook around shallow-water cover like wood, grass or any other visible cover.

October was hot this year, and the bass activity greatly increases as the weather cools.

Normally when temperatures cool, the bass’s mouths are more firm than they are in warmer weather. At this time of year, shad will return to the surface and hold near the banks. They’ll be in shallow water and the bass will follow the shad, like they do in the spring.

I’ll throw the buzz bait and Zara Spook all day because the bass will be extremely active on the surface. I’ll fish the topwater baits both on cloudy and sunny days because the bass are feeding up for the winter.

Change your bait

Usually, Louisiana’s weather is mild until December or January, which is when the bass often become dormant. Because of this, November is a major month for bass to store up food and fatten up before cold weather hits and their body temperatures drop.

If my buzz bait and Zara Spook aren’t getting the job done, I’ll change to a Strike King Denny Brauer Premier Pro-Model Jig in either a 3/8- or a 1/2-ounce size. I’ll especially depend on this lure if the state gets a freak cold front in November. I’ll fish this jig along creek-channel drops and wood cover close to creek channels. I’ll also find bass on ledges.

The real secret to fishing the jig successfully in November is to use it to help locate bass. I’ll begin by fishing the jig on the lake bottom along drop-offs. However, if I can’t get a bite, I’ll fish the jig through the limbs of standing timber because bass will suspend in the water at this time of year.

Since Poverty Point is a relatively new lake, many of the trees out in the middle of the lake still have plenty of limbs. If I find that the bass are suspended in those tree limbs, I’ll change to a white or a white/chartreuse Strike King Premier Pro Model Spinnerbait with a double willowleaf blade.

Weather is the biggest factor in helping me decide how deep I’ll fish. If the weather is warm, and the water is 60 degrees or warmer in November, I’ll fish shallow water. However, if a cold front comes through and the lake’s water temperature dips below 50 degrees, I’ll fish on the bottom.

I’ll begin by fishing shallow and then will move out into standing timber to fish for suspended bass. If I can’t catch fish, I’ll fish a jig on the bottom.

The break point for finding bass on this lake usually is a water temperature of 60 degrees. When the water is 60 degrees or more, fish shallow. But if the water temperature is below 60 degrees, fish deep.

The clean flats

This lake is full of clean flats, and bass will chase shad on those flats during the first days of November. I’ll fish the Strike King Redeye Shad during early November.

If I’ve caught bass on the surface with the Zara Spook or a black buzz bait, and the bass stop biting, I’ll assume the fish are holding just beneath the surface. Then I’ll fish the Redeye Shad.

In clean water, I’ll use a chrome/blue or a chrome/black Redeye Shad, but if this area has had an unusually high amount of rain, I’ll change to a gold, a chartreuse/black or a fire tiger-colored Redeye Shad.

Most of the fishermen at Poverty Point have turned into hunters in November, so you won’t see many boats there besides those of crappie fishermen.

This lake has a very productive crappie fishery. You’ll find the most cover at the north end of the lake, so fish from the middle to the upper end of the lake. This area also is where you’ll see the two largest sloughs coming off the creek channel.