Poverty Point striped bass

Marcus John’s grandson, Haiden, holds a nice Poverty Point striper.

Striped bass swim under the radar, but offer anglers lots of action

Richland Parish’s Poverty Point Reservoir gets its name from the nearby State historic site known as Poverty Point, dating back to almost 1500 B.C. The 2,700 acre impoundment was opened in the early 2000’s and quickly gained recognition as one of northeast Louisiana’s fishing hotspots.

Fishermen from all around flock to this beautiful manmade lake seeking the likes of slab crappie, bream, catfish, and double digit lunker bass, but there is one species of bass in the lake you may not know about. That’s the striped bass.

The secret’s out

West Monroe native and avid fisherman Marcus Johns recently discovered the lake to have a high population of stripers and has been making the trip north of Delhi to Poverty Point, taking advantage of his time off from work at AT&T, where he has been employed for nearly 24 years.

“In September, the stripers will stay schooled up moving around the creeks feeding on baitfish,” Johns said. “I’ll idle over the deeper channels down imaging in 2D with my graph to locate the schools before deciding which approach to take.

“I like to have a few different baits tied on so I can make an adjustment if they change depths.”

Johns said he catches most of the stripers suspended around 12 feet deep in 18-20 feet of water on a Strike King 3XD crankbait in either a chartreuse sexy shad or powder blue back and chartreuse color.

“The lake has a good bit of water clarity, and they seem to like brighter colors,” he said. “I’ll crank it down to 10-12 feet deep then slow my retrieve so I can keep it in the strike zone longer.

“If they move deeper in the water table, I’ll pick up a ½-ounce hair jig, mostly silver and black, but any other color combination that has that flashy appearance will work.”

Johns also noted the stripers tend to bite better mid-day into the afternoon on clear and sunny days. That’s tough in the summer, but gets easier temperature wise this time of year.

Heed the warning

Crankbaits like this one are Johns’ choice for the best striper action because he can get them at the right depth and keep them in the “strike zone.”

Johns warned, “You have to be careful when landing these fish. Their mouths are a lot smaller than a largemouth bass and a mouth full of treble hooks can be dangerous compared to the single hook the hair jig offers.”

Poverty Point had a wind break running north and south when the lake was constructed but over the last twenty years the waves have washed the dirt away. Be very careful navigating on the east side of the lake if you are unfamiliar with this body of water.

Access to the lake can be attained by two locations. The first is the main State Park entrance located on Highway 17 on the south end of the lake. The second is the Marina on the north end of the lake and it is also on Highway 17. Both ramps have a $3 per person fee for accessing the park or boat launch.

The daily limit on the striped bass is restricted to five per day, with no more than two over 30 inches in length.

About Tim Johnston 5 Articles
Tim Johnston, a lifelong Louisiana resident, has been an avid outdoorsman for over 30 years. He lives in West Monroe with his wife Emmy and their three kids.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply