Look to Lower Atchafalaya for plenty of good bass

When Morgan City’s Barry Henry wants to catch bass in November, he heads to the Atchafalaya Basin and fishes close to his hometown, along Big Bayou Sorrel and Little Bayou Sorrel.

Chances are in November, you’ll find a lifelong Morgan City resident catching bass mostly on points and in the grass in the lower Spillway.

Barry Henry has been doing that successfully this time of year for many years and plans to do it again, thankful he lives in a region that has so many bass fishing opportunities inside and outside the Atchafalaya Basin.

His primary go-to spot is Big Bayou Sorrel, Little Bayou Sorrel, plus the canals and bayous that intersect it along its winding course east to west. As the days turn into weeks in November, bass tend to get out of the main body of water in favor of the bayous and canals.

“Anywhere on Sorrel, fish the points. Start off on the points of Sorrel,” the 51-year-old fluid engineer for Pro-T Company of Broussard, formerly of Morgan City, said in October, warming up to his favorite subject — bass fishing.

Changing approach

As the water gets cooler and cooler, he changes his approach to putting bass in the boat.

“If they’re not on the points, one of the things to look for in November is canals (bayous) with grass,” he said. “Once the temperature starts falling, they get farther and farther down the canal. Any canal with grass in it, you’ll find fish.”

Big Bayou Jessie and Little Bayou Jessie immediately came to mind, he said, as did the “month canals” like Bayou April and Bayou May on the northern side of the Sorrels.

“All those month canals, it seems like the farther you go north the more grass you get,” he said. “The colder it is, the farther back it (the grass) will be. In the dead of winter they’ll be in the back of the deadends.”

Go bladed

His top artificial lure is a 3/8-ounce back/blue or chartreuse/white Z-Man Jackhammer Chatterbait, although most bladed jigs are effective, he said.

“I like a Jackhammer more than anything else,” he said. “I like to fish with a Chatterbait because I can cover water and rip it through the grass,” a tactic that can trigger bites.

His other favorites are a green/white (Baby Bass) 5-inch Senko, Texas-rigged because that method seems to work more efficiently in the grass, and a 3/8-ounce white or chartreuse/white Delta Lures Spinnerbait with a Bass Pro Shops Cajun Trailer.

Usually, he’s fishing those three artificial lures in 2- to 3-foot depths. Typically, the nation’s last great overflow swamp is at a low level in late fall/early winter and that has been the case this year.

There are other points and bayous that offer the same pattern north of the Sorrels, such as the Zig Zag and, farther north, Bayou Pigeon.

However, Henry’s first stop is either Little Bayou Sorrel or Big Bayou Sorrel.

“That’s why I like the Basin,” he said. “It’s got so much area you can cover.”

About Don Shoopman 493 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.

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