Lake Claiborne was completed in 1967. Even before that time, Hood’s father had property on the lake, and the two of them have actually walked all the way across what he calls the Little Lake area of Claiborne, which is the large open area north of the Big Lake but still south of the two large arms that extend far to the north of the spillway almost all the way to downtown Homer in Claiborne Parish.
The lake is different from most smaller Louisiana reservoirs in that its average depth is 17 feet. It has 40 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of around 40 feet in front of the spillway.
Claiborne has a very balanced striper population. While many of the schooling stripers weigh 1 to 3 pounds, there are also 5- and 6-pounders caught on a regular basis.
According to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries data, the lake was stocked with 2,400 striped bass in 1966. Subsequent annual stockings built up a good population of true striped bass, but as they got bigger and bigger fishermen became concerned that they were eating too much of the forage in the lake.
The department relented and stopped stocking stripers, moving to hybrid bass stockings.
Captain D and a host of other local and area fishermen are glad they did.
“I fish for just about everything, but there is nothing more fun to catch or that puts up a bigger fight than a striper,” Hood said. “I’m just hooked on it.”
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