Lake Bistineau near Minden is 7 feet below its normal level due to the winter drawdown, which helps rid the reservoir of noxious aquatics like giant salvinia. But while the lake is down, the fishing is up.
“Bistineau is good for bass fishing right now, and I don’t see that changing until the weather does,” said guide, bass pro and lake regular Homer Humphreys. “We’ve been making some really good trips, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where to go. The lake is basically down to the old river and bayou channels in most places, and that’s where the fish are. It’s always a lot easier to locate and catch fish when they are in a confined area.”
It’s not exactly like shooting fish in a barrel, but the concept is the same.
“The bass are going to be somewhere in the bends of the old original channel, and according to the weather and the fishing or boating pressure, they are going to either be right up on the shallow shelf or suspended just off the flat bank in the deeper water.”
Humphries (318-422-1192) recommends getting there early to take advantage of the topwater bite on a Pop-R.
“We’ve been working the bends of the river channel and tossing the bait right up next to the bank,” he said. “Sometimes, they are up there in a couple of feet of water. If they aren’t there, keep fishing it out to the stumps and right over the drop-off into the river channel.”
Humphries said there aren’t a lot of giants being caught, but 3- to 4-pounders are active enough to keep fishermen busy. The smaller fish are also active and sometimes schooling out in the open areas close to deep water.
“We work the Pop-R by throwing it out, letting it sit a second and then twitching it. Stop it every once in a while and twitch it some more,” he said. “Don’t pop it real hard or loud — just enough to make a little noise. They’ve been crushing it. We fish it with braid or mono so the line floats and keeps the bait working better.”
When fish go deeper to feed, Humphries has been switching to plastics like a Zoom Ol’ Monster worm in plum or plum apple colors. They also are eating up the Sweet Beaver in just about any color. Don’t use too big of a weight, just enough to keep the worm down. When it’s cloudy, Humphries always pulls out his favorite spinnerbait, a Homer’s Clown. He designed the bait and likes to fish it with Colorado and Indiana blades in solid white.
With the lake down, the best access is at the Port O’ Bistineau on the upper end, but you can put in on the lower end at Rick’s, but be careful. Humphries likes to fish the mid-lake area in November, but if you aren’t used to the lake use caution. There are stumps in the channel.
“I like to fish there because there aren’t as many people,” he said. “The just don’t want to run there from either end, and if you don’t know it, I don’t blame you. The fishing is good there, for sure.”