Red hot bassing at Bayou Black

Barry Henry is all smiles after hooking up with this nice bass in the Bayou Black area in November.

Watch Atchafalaya River gauge; at 4.0 feet or less at Morgan City, the action is great

An accomplished Morgan City bass angler recently shared a hot fishing spot and one of his hottest artificial lures for November.

Bill McCarty pointed bassers to the Bayou Black area, specifically Bayou Penchant and Bayou Coppersaw, for what traditionally is some red-hot bassing this time of year. McCarty is a regular visitor there, especially after the first couple of cold fronts pass through the region.

It’s prime-time bass fishing as long as the Atchafalaya River stage at Morgan City remains under 4.0 feet, McCarty said, warming up to one of his favorite subjects. In fact, he said, “typically under 3.0 feet is a good depth for down here.”

Where to catch bass in those major bayous?

McCarty said to target anywhere two big bayous, or big drains, empty into either Bayou Penchant or Bayou Coppersaw. Or, he said, fish the channel swings, typically the outside bends, where there is a difference in depth. He likens that pattern to fishing a reservoir — either side of a channel. If there is some vegetation present, such as hydrilla along the shoreline, that’s even better.

“I always try to fish the deeper side,” he said.

Also, it’s better to fish a falling tide. Use Shell Island on the tide chart as a reference point and add an hour.

McCarty and his fishing buddies put bass after bass after bass in the boat on two artificial lures most of the time. First, he offers them a ¼-ounce chartreuse/blue/white Humdinger spinnerbait with a gold willow-leaf blade and a chrome Colorado blade. Later, he’ll fish with a pumpkin green/chartreuse Yum Dinger or similar soft plastic, under a 3/16-ounce weight — or on a weighted hook — around the edge of any weeds or lilies.

Whenever the water is green and pretty, cypress trees and  knees along the Intracoastal Waterway near Bob’s Bayou Black Marina, can harbor plenty of bass, according McCarty. A chartreuse/black Bandit 100 series crankbait or a chartreuse/white 3/8- or ½-ounce bladed jig or spinnerbait with a white grub trailer will do the trick.

Orange Grove

Another area hot spot is Orange Grove east of Bayou Black. It is on the north side of the ICW between Houma and Morgan City, just west of Mandalay Bay National Wildlife Refuge about 12 miles west of Houma.

“There’s a ton of dead-end canals down there,” he said. “Typically, the first few cold fronts get them started, gets the water stirring.”

Fish the back 200 yards or so of a dead-end canal, he advised. Look for canals with less current than others and for water clarity of 12 to 18 inches, ideally with grass beds or scattered grass beds.

The Orange Grove area also gives up plenty of sac-a-lait this time of year. Putting slabs in the boat is a good way to end a bass fishing trip.

Fish with blue/white and smoke/white Lucky Strike jigs under a cork along drop-offs about 4 feet off the shoreline. Also try pearl chartreuse, black and chicken-on-a-chain Wedgetail Crappie Minnows, he said.

Don Shoopman
About Don Shoopman 294 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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