It’s hammer time on Chicot Lake

Mike “Pickle” Fontenot of Ville Platte holds one of the hawgs he has caught fishing Chicot Lake.
Mike “Pickle” Fontenot of Ville Platte holds one of the hawgs he has caught fishing Chicot Lake.

Prespawn should be on this month

Chicot Lake’s bass — big and bigger — are ripe for the picking when the second month of the year rolls around.

That’s why Mike “Pickle” Fontenot of Ville Platte is itching to get out on his home lake in February, as are so many other bass anglers in south central Louisiana.

Chicot Lake, the 2,000-acre manmade lake in Evangeline Parish, has a well-deserved reputation for giving up double-digit bass any time of the year.

“Oh, I’m ready. I’m ready, man,” said Fontenot, who has pulled out a 10-2, a 10-6 and a 10-13 all on jigs, as well as “a bunch of 9s and 8s” in his 30 years fishing the lake nestled in the hills of Lake Chicot State Park.

Tie on a ¼-ounce V&M black/blue/purple jig with a Zoom Speed Craw, or a black/red flake Brush Hog, and head to the “second line” of cypress trees nearest the shoreline in coves if the water temperature’s still on the cool side, Fontenot said — and get ready to set the hook on a hawg.

During that prespawn time, dark-colored Senkos, such as watermelon/red or green pumpkin/red also put bass in the boat.

“Those three baits, that’s what I go to,” he said.

Fontenot, 54, and others target the second line of cypress trees — those generally in 4- to 5-foot depths — before the water warms well into the 60s. That’s where they find staging bass, those that are on the verge of moving into the shallows to spawn.

The coves on the north end, in the Spillway area, can be very productive under those conditions.

“A lot of those trees sitting in 4 feet of water, I’ve caught good fish there,” he said. “It all depends on the water temperature.”

As the water warms into the 60s and the spawn gets going full speed, Fontenot heads to the back of the numerous coves on the upper end and in the mid-lake area, concentrating on the many points and shorelines 2 feet deep and skinnier.

Clusters of cypress trees often pay big dividends then, he said.

Later in the spring, he has had plenty success on the south end, fishing the coves in the Blue Springs area. Another one of his favorite springtime targets are the coves and their many points behind the state park’s rental cabins.

The prime time for bassin’ success, especially for hawgs on Chicot Lake, is on the full moon in January, February, March and April.

The bigger bass move up to spawn on those full moons, he confided, adding that he caught each of his double-digit bass from the lake on a full moon; one in September, one in December and one in January.

The biggest, the 10-13, came on a full moon in late January.

Don Shoopman
About Don Shoopman 269 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.