Grass holds key to Caernarvon bite

There’s going to be a big stringer of bass caught if somebody goes to Delacroix, but local bass tournament angler Jason Pittman doesn’t know if a big sack could be duplicated three days in a row.

“I would expect somebody to go to Caernarvon maybe on the last day of the tournament if they’re trying to swing for the fence,” said Pittman. “The only problem is that might not be the right day based on the conditions. There are fish to be caught. I don’t think it will produce the numbers of big stringers, but it may produce the consistent smaller stringers.”

Perhaps the only problem with Caernarvon will be getting there. In fact, if a competitor decides to head to Caernarvon by way of running down toward Venice and crossing over at Ostrica to run back up the Pencil Canal, Pittman says he better be on top of the bite because he’s looking at having only two or three hours to fish.

“Somebody could lock into the river at Harvey or the Industrial Canal and then lock back out of the river at the Intracoastal Canal, but that would be two sets of locks to negotiate,” Pittman continued. “If you don’t hit it right, you could lose your entire day.”

Because of the February full moon being around the 18th, the online columnist believes this Classic is setting up to be a spawn tournament. At Caernarvon, that means bass will be in the canals or around the points of the canals. He pointed to the dead-end canals off the major lakes like Lake Lery and the Crow’s Foot as being two potential hotspots.

The thing to realize about Caernarvon is that it hasn’t been getting the respect it had before Hurricanes Katrina, Ike and Gustav. The absence of the grass had as much to do with the tough fishing as anything else.

“The grass is coming back, though,” Pittman said. “The diversion has been on all year with the oil spill, and all that fresh sediment has come with the fresh water, so the grass has come back. This grass could open up some things for somebody willing to weigh the risk of running to Caernarvon with the reward.”

Since he expects the grass to come into play, Pittman says two of the better search baits should be spinnerbaits and Rat-L-Traps. As for whacking the fish once they are found, most locals rely on junebug or watermelon-red Zoom Speed Craws punched through the mats.

“The main thing they’ll have to watch over here is the north wind,” Pittman said. “That wind will blow the water out and make the boat running and the fishing tricky. Think about it. If the bass were on the bank in 2 feet of water, and the north wind blows, everything’s gone, and it’s game over.”

During this time of year, Pittman says 12 to 15 pounds is realistic, 15 to 18 pounds would be a good day and 18 to 20 pounds would be knocking it out of the park.

Click here to read more about what Pittman has to say about the 2011 Classic.

Previews of the other areas Classic anglers are likely to fish are available on the dedicated Bassmaster Classic Updates page.

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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