At a time when much of the country shivers during cold fronts while waiting for Christmas and New Year’s Day, Robbie Latuso, a pro fisherman from Gonzales, catches bass in an area southwest of his hometown — and a number of them are deep into the spawn cycle.
“My best bass memories in December are in the Lake Verret system,” said Latuso, 55. “I’ve caught bass over there in December spawning. Everybody else is in the Spillway, having given up on it that time of year.”
The owner of a ServiceMaster Restore franchise, he’s been busy since Hurricane Ida but hopes to shake loose for some trips to Verret this month.
“I haven’t stopped since Ida,” said Latuso, who will concentrate mostly on the canals around Verret in Assumption Parish, east of the West Atchafalaya Basin Protection Levee. The Crackerhead canals and canals along Grand Bayou, plus Bay Alcide and the Oxy Field, and locations along Bayou Cheramie and Bayou Sherman, are his among his favorite spots in December.
Crackerhead and canals connected to Bayou Cheramie and Bayou Sherman are perhaps the odds-on favorites for Latuso to fish in December.
“It’s a good time to go. Everybody starts deer hunting. You’ve got LSU football. So you’ve got a lot of people off the water,” Latuso said.
Most assuredly, he will be on the water, either by himself, with his son, Logan, or with another fishing buddy. He has fished the region with his son so often over the years that the younger angler reaps more bites in more places.
“Oh, yeah, he knows it better than me now. I can’t beat him down there anymore,” said Robbie Latuso, who knows from experience the first bass to fire in the December spawn are the big ones.
“I’ve caught so many that were about to bust with eggs that I know they were spawning, or about to,” he said last December in a bassmaster.com interview.
Latuso recalled a trip 10 or 15 years ago when he and a buddy nailed hawgs in the Lake Verret system on a big spinnerbait with a No. 7 turtle-back blade. The big, hungry bass were feeding on big baitfish.
“That was fun. It was definitely a good time,” he said.
What to use
Anglers can get in on the good times with an assortment of lures, including topwaters, he said, because typically, Old Man Winter hasn’t frosted south central Louisiana.
“You might catch on jigs,” Latuso said. “You might catch on soft plastics. Anything you want.”
If Latuso has his druthers, he’ll have a fishing rod with a ½-ounce chartreuse/white or chartreuse/blue/white Delta Lures spinnerbait with single or double Colorado blades tied on when he visits the Lake Verret.
“Play it by ear the size, the vibration. See what they like,” he said.
Whatever he’s got on the business end of his fishing rod, he’ll target mainly wood in 2- to 5-foot depths. Hardwoods, cypress trees, stumps, deadfalls, you name it. Latuso prefers to pick out the most dominant cypress trees in a protected area and pepper them with casts from every possible angle.
He will keep a sharp eye out for mats of vegetation, either lily pads or grass beds, which are begging to become punching targets.