Little Tensas Bayou

Bassin’ in January often can’t be beat in the Atchafalaya Basin, particularly in and around Little Tensas Bayou. That’s where Adam Marceaux of Morgan City caught this bass.

Bayou Pigeon hotspot produces good quality bass this month

One of Adam Marceaux’s favorite places to catch bass in January isn’t far from his hometown of Morgan City.

The accomplished bass tournament angler, who turned 40 on Christmas Eve, heads to the Bayou Pigeon area — specifically Little Tensas Bayou, the deadend locations and pipeline along it in the Atchafalaya Basin.

Marceaux puts four rods on deck, each with a different artificial lure, and sticks with those to put bass in the boat.

“That time of year I like to use a jig, a spinnerbait, a Chatterbait and a punchin’ pole,” said the veteran bass angler who last year claimed a three-peat as Angler of the Year in the highly competitive St. Mary Elite Bass Club.

Those baits produce consistently, weather and water conditions permitting. Game’s on as long as the river stage stays low.

“I find in January you might not catch a whole lot of fish, but you catch better quality fish,” he said.

Pre-spawn bass

Little Tensas Bayou’s deadends generally hold bass that move in and spawn first. Other bass are in pre-spawn, close to the spawning stage, as they are in the marsh below the Intracoastal Waterway and on the other side of the East Atchafalaya Basin Protection Levee.

“Some are getting ready to spawn and others are feeding. Shad get back in the deadend canals. Fish that ain’t spawning yet got more bait to feed on,” Marceaux said, noting bass in the deeper canals and bayous with dropoffs move up and down the water column to eat.

Moving down the shoreline

The Morgan City native feeds them a black/blue Cajun Tackle House LLC Chatterbait, or a slow-rolled ¼-ounce chartreuse Humdinger with a single gold Colorado blade, or a black/blue 3/8- or ½-ounce jig with a sapphire/blue Zoom Speed CrawChin3s3. He’s partial to a punchin’ rig consisting of a black/blue Zoom Super Hog on a Strike King Hack Attack No.4 EWG hook tied to 80-pound braid under a 1-ounce weight.

He throws the moving baits and jig as he’s moving along a shoreline with a few lilies and stumps out from the bank.

“When I get to lilies off the bank in 2- to 3-foot of water, I pick up the punchin’ pole,” Marceaux said. “You always have one little crease of lilies that stick out more than others. Those are ambush points for them.”

Until the nation’s last great overflow swamp becomes unfishably high, that’s where he’ll be hookin’ and boatin’ bass. He often fishes with his buddies, Beau Theriot and Bubba Nini, both of Morgan City.

“I find in the early months in the Spillway, the farther you get off the river (Atchafalaya River) is where you’ve got a little more mixture in the water. It’s not so muddy. I find you get a better reaction bite,” he said, noting water temperatures also hold a little better than closer to the river.

After January, it’s a different story for Marceaux, who builds boat docks and drives pilings for C&C Cypress Construction. He tows his boat north to fish other lakes that aren’t affected by high water.

About Don Shoopman 505 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.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply