Best Atchafalaya Basin fishing tactics for chinquapin and bream

Berwick resident Michael Broussard knows a few things about fishing the lower Atchafalaya Basin. It’s like a second home for the naval architect student who works as a draftsman for Conrad Shipyards.

He’ll tell you straight-up that he prefers fishing sac-a-lait, but he realizes chinquapins and bluegills come with the territory because they frequent the same haunts.

So Broussard has several tips for fishing bream in this region.

“About those shellcrackers: When it comes to live bait, they love red worms,” Broussard said. “It’s a good choice for these fish and more durable than crickets.

“But, besides bait, anglers also need to be aware of their water depth. Chinquapins are bottom feeders, so don’t be afraid to fish them deep. They’ll hold to structure, grass beds, brush piles and fallen trees. So essentially, they like to hang around anything they feel protected around.”

Bayou Vista’s Ray Beadle recommended starting by targeting 18- to 24-inch depths.

But if you have a depth finder it’s a good idea to sett your cork to hold your bait just above half the depth of the water.

He said sac-a-lait will go up to hit bait but will never go down.

These fish also have specific preferences in baits.

“If using artificial bait, they seem to prefer colors like red, orange and yellows,” Broussard said.

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About John Flores 148 Articles
John Flores was enticed in 1984 to leave his western digs in New Mexico for the Sportsman’s Paradise by his wife Christine. Never looking back, the author spends much of his free time writing about and photographing the state’s natural resources.