Shallow-water bass-fishing milk runs work all winter

The thing to know about fishing a place like the Saline-Larto complex is that there are so many great-looking targets it becomes a chore to figure out where to start or where to go next.

Although the middle of Toledo Bend is nothing like Saline-Larto, Zack Gagnard compared the two, as far as finding biting bass is concerned.

“You might have 20 deep spots at Toledo Bend, and you rotate them throughout the day and maybe fish each spot two or three times,” he said. “Sooner or later, you’re going to time it right and be on a spot when bass have pulled up to eat and catch 20 pounds in one spot.”

Gagnard believes the same principle, which some anglers have called making a milk run, applies at Saline-Larto.

“Sometimes I might run 45 miles fishing a lake that’s only 3 miles long,” he said. “Only, at Saline-Larto, I’m rotating cypress trees and boat docks instead of deep creeks and ledges.

“And instead of looking for groups of fish, I’m looking for one big fish at each spot.”

On a typical tournament day, Gagnard said he might fish 40 different cypress trees three different times in the same day.

“Basically, I just keep running trees until time’s up,” he said. “Not too long ago, I made my sixth trip to a cypress tree and caught a 6-pounder. That was during the winter in January.”

With so many cypress trees to fish, Gagnard prefers the isolated trees that hardly anybody would stop and take the time to probe.

“The more trouble they are to get to the bigger the fish they hold,” he said. “Most people aren’t going to idle across a lily pad flat to fish one tree way back in a pocket, but that’s exactly why there’s likely to be a big bass on that tree.

“The more isolated trees you can run in one day, the better your chances of catching a big sack.”

About Chris Ginn 778 Articles
Chris Ginn has been covering hunting and fishing in Louisiana since 1998. He lives with his wife Jennifer and children Matthew and Rebecca along the Bogue Chitto River in rural Washington Parish. His blog can be found at