Sac-a-lait fishing peaks at Henderson Lake

Brad Breaud holds a fat sac-a-lait caught at Henderson Lake. Sac-a-lait fishing success should be fair to good in November.

Target canals, channels with spider rigs

Come one, come all to set your hook on sac-a-lait in November, a prime time for fishermen at Henderson Lake.

“November’s pretty good, because it’s still not cold. It’ll be good with the water low. Fish concentrate in the main areas,” said veteran angler Laurette Mequet.

It’s time to fish dropoffs and deadfalls in South Lake Bigeux as well as Pelba Bay and the main channels — oil-field canals — in the Phillips Canal, according to Mequet, who, along with her husband, Mitch, owns Cypress Cove Landing along the West Atchafalaya Basin Protection Levee.

A drawdown at Henderson Lake that began Aug. 17 was scheduled to end Nov. 2. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and St. Martin Parish government planned the drawdown as part of a management plan to control submerged vegetation.

Water was supposed to lowered at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per day, but heavy rainfall interrupted those plans. The lake was dropping again when October arrived.

Mequet said an average of 18 to 20 sac-a-lait per angler, most of them ½- to 1 pound, can be the norm this month. She advises anglers to fish about 3 or 4 feet deep with 1/32- or 1/48-ounce hair jigs or tube jigs in red/blue/chartreuse, red/black/chartreuse and red/olive/chartreuse. Tight-line or fish under a small cork.

What works?

No matter the water level, dropoffs and laydowns are the No. 1 places to fish as the waters continue to cool.

A tactic fairly new to south-central Louisiana is paying dividends in deeper waters, particularly North Lake Bigeux. Mequet said anglers can troll “spider rigs” — multiple poles — and slowly move across the water with the trolling motor and fish with similarly colored tube or hair jigs. Try one or more poles at 6- to 8-foot depths and others at about 4 feet.

Another perennial hot spot is the railroad pilings that run east-west and parallel to I-10 along the Texaco Canal just before North Lake Bigeux. She suggested fishing with shiners about 4 feet deep along those pilings.

Wherever anglers choose to fish, the water color should be favorable.

“Water clarity should be pretty good,” Mequet said.

The private landing with easiest access during low water is Basin Landing, said Mequet, who advised anglers to be mindful of and to respect duck hunters, particularly on Lake Bigeux.

About Don Shoopman 559 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.