You can’t beat Caddo Lake for bass fishing

Shreveport’s Casey Craft holds a beautiful Caddo Lake bass.

Cypress trees in shallow water will produce bass year-round

Caddo Lake, located in Northwest Louisiana, stands out as a prime location for largemouth bass fishing, particularly in the summer months. Despite varied local legends about its formation — whether from an earthquake or the ‘Great Raft’ log jam on the Red River — one fact remains clear: the lake is a bass fisherman’s paradise.

While most lakes become less productive in the heat of the summer, Caddo tends to continue producing consistently. With an average depth of eight feet and as home to the largest cypress tree forest in the world, its unique environment is ideal for largemouth bass.

When it comes to catching bass on Caddo Lake, Shreveport native Casey Craft likes to keep it simple. He fishes from a 1996 Weldbilt aluminum boat with a 25 horsepower Mercury outboard. His choice of electronics is also out of the ordinary. He simply chooses not to use any at all.

“I don’t have a single graph on my boat, never have,” Craft said. “I know where the fish are from years of experience fishing the lake.”

He also uses a standard set of 6’10” Lews Custom rods with Lews Tournament Pro reels.

Reinforcing his commitment to keep things simple, Craft sticks to three individual baits.

“I have my main three baits: a Cotton Cordell Jointed Red-Fin in silver and black, a 3/8 spinnerbait in a white/black/silver color combination, and a watermelon red Senko,” he said. “If none of these work, it’s just time to go home.”

Pick a tree

Armed with this equipment, Craft heads out to his secret spot, which just so happens to be the easiest thing to find in the lake: Cypress trees in shallow water.

“I don’t have a difficult tactic when it comes to bass fishing Caddo Lake,” he said. “I like to fish around trees that aren’t engulfed in moss or weeds. Any trees that are two to six feet deep always produce year-round.”

Once you catch a fish around one tree, there is a strong chance that there are more holding in the general area.

“Sometimes I catch bass grouped up good in an area, most times I am catching a couple or more an hour,” Craft said.

While Craft doesn’t pay much attention to water temperature, or many of the other things that most fishermen obsess over, he does watch the weather.

“If the barometric pressure is 29 or anything under 30, and light to medium winds from the south or west, you can bet you will catch bass all day long,” he said.

Water clarity on the lake can vary in multiple places from crystal clear to extremely muddy. However, his bait selection allows for both of these variables.

“I can go fish muddy water and use my spinnerbait and do good, and if the water is clear, you better believe I’m throwing my red fin,” Craft said.

The secret to Craft’s success on Caddo Lake is a point that he likes to reiterate, “keep it simple.” So, don’t forget the sunscreen, and give Caddo Lake a chance this summer. You may be surprised how easy catching summer bass can be.