When and how to fish Lake Boeuf

Lake Boeuf, a natural lake set in a depression in northern Lafourche Parish has two reputations. First, it is known as a great fishing destination.; second, it has a reputation as a hard lake to fish successfully on a consistent basis.

Steve Bourgeois and Andrew Blanchard explained the fishing cycle that seems to flummox most newcomers to the lake.

“The lake is very productive,” Bourgeois said. “You never know what you are going to get, but it will be quality fish. It is good for sac-a-lait, good for bluegill, good for goggle-eye and good for chinquapin. But it is poor for bass.”

The best fishing for sac-a-lait is in the winter, the two men explained.

It begins after duck season in the canals around the lake in November, but the lake has too much hunting activity to fish during hunting season.

Action with lake runners starts in March when they form spawning beds.

This segues into bluegill and goggle-eye fishing. The lake is shallow — on average 1 ½ to 3 feet deep — and is getting shallower all the time because of the accumulation of dead vegetation on the bottom.

No matter when they fish, both men agree that fishing is best on cloudy days with any wind direction but from the west.

“Go home and cut your grass on a west wind,” Bourgeois said.

Ideal water temperatures to catch lake runners, the most prized species, is 58 to 62 degrees Fahrenheit.

“March and especially April are good months to fish Lake Boeuf,” Bourgeois said. “By early June, you can’t use an outboard motor in the lake because of the grass; you have to have a mudboat like ours to go in the lake.

“By July, when it gets hot, it shuts down completely. Fishing is over.”

During the period of good fishing, the two men work the lake and its environs twice a week and insist that it’s their favorite place to fish.

“We only fish other places when Boeuf shuts down,” Blanchard said, grinning broadly.

About Jerald Horst 959 Articles
Jerald Horst is a retired Louisiana State University professor of fisheries. He is an active writer, book author and outdoorsman.