Orange Grove sac-a-lait bite on fire

Guide provides tips to load up on slabs out of Houma

Another unseasonably mild winter — even by South Louisiana standards — has been a boon for sac-a-lait anglers, who’ve been reeling in slabs almost since late last year.

“We’ve got all phases of the spawn right now,” said Capt. Anthony Kyzar, with Cajun Fishing and Hunting Charters out of Houma.  “We have fish on beds, fish that are post-spawn and fish that are pre-spawn.

“It’s probably been happening since the last week of December …. And with the full moon last week, we’re still getting new waves of fish.”

Kyzar said clear, dead-end canals in the Orange Grove area are holding fish — but timing your trip is key.

“I find at the real popular canals we’ve been catching them, if I can get in there first thing in the morning and be the first boat to make a pass in there, I’ll catch 20 or 25 fish on the first pass — but that’s the fish that moved up the evening before,” he said. “I can go to the same canal every three or four days and catch 20 fish up on the bank spawning.”

Bank condition is another good indicator of where fish might be located, he said.

“The easiest thing is we’re looking for nice clean banks that don’t have any salvinia on them, because they want to be somewhere nice and clean where they can move all the way up,” Kyzar said.

Lure presentation — Kyzar favors the black-and-chartreuse Matrix Mini on a 1/32-ounce jighead under a cork — is also key.

“If your bait is sitting on the bottom, you’re wasting your time. You need to adjust it to where your cork is standing up nicely and your bait isn’t on the bottom,” he said. “The sac-a-lait won’t feed down. They want to feed up, so it’s better to be too shallow than to be too deep.”

Overall, Kyzar said a big key to catching more fish is covering more water.

“All these canals look good, but it seems like the sac-a-lait will be in just one 20- to 50-yard stretch,” he said. “They won’t be anywhere else. So that’s the thing – you have to fish every inch of the canals. You have to cover a lot of water.

“It’s the old 90/10 rule: 90 percent of the fish are in 10 percent of the water down here.”

With water temperatures already approaching 70 degrees in some places, Kyzar said he expects the action to continue until around the end of March.

“It’s going to take a really bad cold front to change things, and I don’t see one in our future,” he said.

For more information, contact Capt. Anthony Kyzar at 985-870-5909.

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Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and