Backs of dead-end canals offer action
Want to get your hands on some nice-sized bass in December?
Head to Morgan City and fish the Stephensville side of the East Atchafalaya Basin Protection Levee, particularly the dead-end canals in the Oxy Field and along Bayou Sherman, Bayou Lewis and the Crackerhead. The Oxy Field, especially, is one of winter’s hotspots for bigger bass, according to an all-around outdoorsman who has fished the region his whole life.
Bill McCarty of Morgan City said even though he’ll be in a deer stand much of the month, he does get out to slam the steel home on bass when the opportunity arises.
“Typically, you’re not going to catch a whole bunch, but the ones you catch will be good ones,” McCarty said, noting 5- and 6-pounders are common. “I used to go there quite a bit when I was tournament fishing, when I was looking for a kicker.”
Bass fishing success heats up in the winter after a stretch of three or four days of warmer weather. When the water temperature warms up and gets above 55 degrees on balmy afternoons, females get active, he said. As a result, the bite is on most of the time, weather and water conditions permitting.
McCarty goes after the bass with black/blue ½-ounce Stanley Jig, or a watermelon/red Zoom Brush Hog or a gold/orange jerkbait. He’ll put a large electric blue Zoom trailer on the jig, although he is a firm believer in pork chunks, which are almost impossible to find these days.
At the time of his report, a 7 ½-inch Culprit red shad plastic worm was getting bass to bite in those areas, particularly pipelines, he said. Also, the veteran angler gave his December report right after he finished cleaning 40 sac-a-lait he caught in the Turtle Bayou pipelines east of Morgan City — where he’s been catching slabs since the beginning of October.
Look for clear, green water, where you can see the bait 12 to 15 inches deep (at least 12 inches), he advised, when you go fishing for bass in the Stephensville area in December. He concentrates his efforts on 3- to 5-foot depths and casts to visible cover, adding that the back end of those dead-end canals (the last 300-400 yards or so) usually offer more action. Also, he said from beau coup experience, east-west canals generally are more productive than the north-south canals.
“You want a little current as possible,” he said.
Along Bayou Sherman and Bayou Lewis, target any “knockouts” (often called shotgun pockets at Toledo Bend), which are indentions along the shoreline — as well as any dead-end canals off the main bayous.
Another Stephensville area to target is Doiron’s Canal, right behind the store, McCarty said.
“You can always catch fish in there.”