Bossier City’s Nick DeWolf spent a lot of time selling real estate, so he understands the concept of good times to buy and sell. He’s also a crappie fisherman who knows when the time is right to make an offer to crappie on north Louisiana lakes.
Right now, Grand Bayou Lake is a “buyer’s market” — a good time to bait your hook and make an offer to some big crappie.
The lake’s official name is now John K. Kelly Grand Bayou Reservoir; the 2,700-acre lake is outside of Coushatta, formed when the old Grand Bayou was impounded in 1996. The lake has the old bayou channel and several smaller creeks running off it, and those are good crappie neighborhoods to check out this time of year, especially on the spillway end of the lake.
“We are getting to the time of year when the water temperature is in the high 70s, for the most part, and those bigger fish are going to go as deep as they can,” DeWolf said. “At Grand Bayou, they will move down that main channel toward the dam or one of the other deep channels. A lot of times, they will be on the bottom, but if not, they will be pretty close to the edge of that channel. That’s the pattern through most of the summer.”
DeWolf said that the heat will occasionally start to stress the crappie, and they can be slow to bite, so he switches to smaller jigs and slower presentations.
“If they aren’t hitting the regular-size jigs, you have to go smaller,” he said. “We have caught them here on 1/32-ounce jigs and like just three strands of hair on the jig in the hotter months when they get finicky. I mean, it’s almost like a hook with just a little fuzz on it. I know it sounds crazy, but if they can see it, they’ll bite it.”
His favorite jig colors are gray or gray with a little touch of chartreuse or silver. He fishes a J6 jig made by Jeffery Rodrique in St. James Parish and also an ACC jighead and Bobby Garland plastic trailer in red/silver or chartreuse. He said it needs to look like a little minnow, but be just a little off-color.
Minnows work well on the lake, too, but DeWolf sticks with hair jigs most of the time. He likes a sturdy, ACC Crappie Stix rod that allows him to flip the fish.
All crappie aren’t deep on Grand Bayou Lake in June, just most of the big ones. If you just want a mess of fish or don’t have fancy electronics, you can fish under boat docks using a slip cork and catch plenty of crappie. DeWolf suggests a slip cork set-up with a hair jig that will stay about 2 feet deep.
Night-fishing is also good on Grand Bayou Lake throughout the summer.
One word of warning for anglers here this time of year. DeWolf said don’t play games with thunderstorms and accompanying high winds. The lake is wide open and gain get dangerously rough in a short period of time. And if the wind is blowing try to fish the calm end or side of the lake.
Grand Bayou has overnight accommodations and a boat launch at the 84-acre Grand Bayou Resort on Hwy. 784 out of Coushatta. You can reach them by calling 318-932-0066.