Keys to picking off Chicot Lake spawners

Chicot Lake can be a persnickety fishery, but there are plenty of bass swimming in the reservoir north of Ville Platte to reward time spent on the water.

And Opelousas angler Kyle Guidry said this month is one of the best opportunities to catch them.

The only problems are the lake is of relatively uniform depth from bank to bank, and is packed with cypress and gum trees presenting likely targets.

So what are the keys?

“It’s a place where you can put the trolling motor down and put it on 80 (percent power) and flip the trees as fast as you can,” Guidry said.

There are a few areas that sometimes hold clear water, providing true sight-fishing options. However, Guidry said it’s not something he counts on.

“The water in Chicot gets clear (in some areas), but it’s that black water,” he said. “It makes the fish hard to see because they’re dark and blend in. It has to be very sunny.”

So he’s lucky if he sees a bass moving on its bed; most of the time he’s fishing blindly.

One thing he doesn’t do is go to the banks. Instead, he sticks with flipping the seemingly innumerable trees.

But, while any of the thousands of flooded trees can hold big spawners, the angler said there is a way to narrow down the options and up your chances of success.

“I will not pass up a tree growing sideways,” Guidry said. “Every tree I see that is at an angle, there is a bedded bass on that tree.”

He also said laydowns are great options.

His go-to bait is a black/red jig.

“If I’m going for (high numbers of) bites, I’ll go black/blue,” Guidry said. “You’ll catch some quality fish with black/blue, but when I go black/red, the quality is always there.

“I don’t get the number of bites as with the black/blue, but I catch better fish.”

While heavier jigs are in vogue, this angler said he sticks with 3/8-ounce versions.

“I like slow falls,” Guidry said.

If the bite is finicky, Guidry switches to a Mister Twister Buzz Bug. He said he also can catch them on a swim jig at times.

“I’ll shake the rod tip, giving (the swim jig) a little flutter as it swims,” Guidry said.

Tackle includes 7-foot-6-inch or 7-foot-3-inch Power Tackle medium-heavy rods paired with 8.1:1 Daiwa Tatula reels spooled with Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon.

What is a little surprising, given the cover he fishes, is the line size he chooses: 15-pound test.

“I am not afraid to throw 15-pound InvizX,” Guidry said. “I have used it around docks on Toledo Bend, and I’ve pulled fish off cross beams without any problems.”

About Andy Crawford 863 Articles
Andy Crawford has spent nearly his entire career writing about and photographing Louisiana’s hunting and fishing community. While he has written for national publications, even spending four years as a senior writer for B.A.S.S., Crawford never strayed far from the pages of Louisiana Sportsman. Learn more about his work at www.AndyCrawford.Photography.