Henderson Lake sac-a-lait

Laurette Mequet often fills out a limit of sac-a-lait on a trip on Henderson Lake.

An angler who has pulled beaucoup sac-a-lait out of Henderson Lake since she was a toddler knows where she’ll target the tasty species in March.

Laurette Mequet of Cecilia points the bow of her boat to one of three places on the lake this time of year and more often than not comes back with 20-25 sac-a-lait averaging ½- to 1-pound each. She relies on years of experience and many hours on the water.

Going into this March, following the deep freezes in late January, the spawn may be a little later than usual, she said. There’s also the drawdown last fall and early winter to take into consideration.

“Hot dang it. The water will be a little cool. Hopefully, we’ll get snow melt to replenish the water (via the Atchafalaya River),” she said. The  Atchafalaya River stage has been rising and hopefully the early spring rise will keep coming.

“They like to spawn in 55-degree water or higher,” she said. “I’m hoping for a late spawn. It’s usually in March on Henderson Lake.”

Mequet, 61, a veteran sales rep at BoatCity USA in Henderson, said her two favorite spots this month are Phillips Canal and the two borrow pits along the West Atchafalaya Basin Protection Levee — Kern’s Pit and George Dupuis Pit. The pits’ water will be warmer on the levee side, where it’s shallower (providing the water rises significantly), she explained. It’s always a good idea to check water levels before you make the trip. Warmer water also can be found on top of the mounds along the Phillips Canal.

The Boulevard

Before trying either of those spots, however, she and/or her husband, Mitch Mequet, usually dip a hair or tube jig in The Boulevard in front of the private landings.

“There’s a mound right in the center of The Boulevard with cypress trees on it. It’s a quick go-to when you leave the landing. I’ll give it a quick check, then work my way through The Dogleg and then to the Phillips and Dupuis,” she said about her sac-a-lait fishing routine and route.

Mequet generally fishes 2- to 3-foot depths in any of the locations with a red/black/chartreuse, red/blue/chartreuse or red/olive/chartreuse tube jig or hair jig 6 to 12 inches under a bobber. The latter color is especially productive around lily pads. Red/black/chartreuse works best in dingy water.

Along the Phillips Canal, be on the lookout for mounds with grass along the channel.

“They’ll be in there feeding or, hopefully, laying,” she said.

Trees and stumps give up more sac-a-lait if the sac-a-lait have finished spawning, she said, particularly around deadfalls.

Mequet prefers fishing the morning hours along Phillips Canal because after so many hours of boat traffic the water starts to dirty up, she said.

About Don Shoopman 556 Articles
Don Shoopman fishes for freshwater and saltwater species mostly in and around the Atchafalaya Basin and Vermilion Bay. He moved to the Sportsman’s Paradise in 1976, and he and his wife June live in New Iberia. They have two grown sons.