Located northeast of Ferriday, sits a lake that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, especially this time of year. Lake St. John is an oxbow off the Mississippi River nestled in the far eastern portion of Concordia Parish.
The lake gets a lot of attention during the summer months for recreational water sports, but July can also be a great time to catch largemouth bass. Because of the boat traffic, especially on weekends, it’s a good idea to fish early and late to beat the crowd.
Lake St. John covers approximately 2,200 acres, sprawling six and a half miles from north to south and a half mile across. With an average depth of 12 feet and maximum depths of around 37 feet, the lake checks off every box of what a bass fisherman looks for in the summer. You can normally expect to find the water clarity to average around the 3 foot range in the summer months.
Lake St. John is a lake that Steve Johnston of West Monroe has had circled on his bucket list for a long time. Most folks don’t just fish St. John as a trophy bass lake, but it does give up eight and nine pounders in the spring. It has a good population of all sizes of bass, too, and it isn’t unusual to catch five to seven pounders even in the summer.
Since it’s a typical oxbow, it has your usual targets to consider, especially cypress trees. Lots of cypress trees.
“I like to focus on the isolated cypress trees off the bank in 3 to 4 foot of water,” Johnston said. “My favorite bait to throw is a Yum Dinger in the Red Bug color.”
Red Bug consists of a red body with blue glitter. The Yum Dinger is a 5” soft plastic stick bait that Johnston likes to fish with a small 2/0 weedless hook fished with an O-ring.
“I like to pitch it against the cypress trees and just let it sink slowly and as it sinks it makes a fluttering motion,” he said. “If a bass doesn’t hit it on the fall, I’ll reel it in and throw it against another tree.”
This method resembles a dying bream and that’s what the bass are feeding on this time of year. The cypress trees offer the perfect hiding spot for the largemouth bass looking to ambush those unsuspecting bream. And St. John is full of all shapes and sizes of bream.
Boat dock heaven
There’s another tried and true type of fishing spot that St. John has plenty of. If you like fishing docks, Lake St. John should be at the top of your list. That’s where Johnston will end up when the cypress tree pattern isn’t producing.
“I usually target the ends of the boats docks out in deeper water focusing on brush tops,” Johnston said. “A June bug lizard fished Texas rigged is my bait of choice for this pattern.”
If you’re looking for the most convenient location to launch your boat, look no further than Spokane Resort. Located at 4269 Hwy 568, the resort sits right in the heart of Lake St. John. Not only do they offer a boat launch, they offer lodging if you’re looking for a place to stay. You can also stock up on bait and groceries all in one spot before accessing the lake.
Even though Lake St. John is most known in the summer for its annual Fourth of July Flotilla, it can still be a great place to land that bass of a lifetime, all while taking in the beautiful scenery the lake has to offer.