Crappie fishing picking up on Lake Providence

North Louisiana crappie expert Kirk Townsend can make you a list of what it takes to catch crappie just about anywhere in his area of the state.

Sometimes it is a long, detailed list — but if you are going to Lake Providence to take advantage of the crappie fishing in the next month or so, it’s a short one.

Just put in a little time, charge up your electronics and get your bait in the water.

“Lake Providence is just loaded with crappie. I mean, you see them everywhere on the electronics,” he says. “This time of year, of course, they will be heading to the deeper areas of any lake — and that’s no different at Lake Providence.”

One of the only differences here, Townsend says, is that other than the cypress lined banks and a large collection of boat houses around the shore, Lake Providence all looks the same. It’s wide open and the only way to find crappie structure, baitfish and crappie themselves is to spend some time looking at your electronics.

“We fished there recently from one end of the lake to the other,” he said. “We didn’t catch a lot of big crappie or slabs, but we caught lots of fish near a pound or better. You aren’t going to catch a lot of slabs except in the spring, but if it is action you are after, this is the time and the place.”

In the wide open water, there is one constant this time of year: Where you find structure in the open-looking, deeper water — you will also find baitfish, and then you’ll find crappie.

“I’d recommend just hitting a good area and looking for and marking structure,” he said. “The guys that fish it all the time already know where it is so newcomers will have to spend more time finding it. The north end of the lake is a good bet this time of year, and you’ll likely find others fishing there.”

Once he finds the fish, Townsend goes a bit old school.

“I don’t set up for a lot of spider-rigging or stuff like that,” he said. “I just like to put out a couple of poles and really concentrate on keeping the bait where the fish are.”

Those baits on Providence this time of year would be a mixture of hair jigs, soft plastics, shiners and a combination of the two.

His favorite colors are bluegrass, popsicle and double minnow shiner rigs. On his most recent trip, he tipped black hair jigs with shiners for the best success.

This lake is in the city limits of the town of the same name, Lake Providence. off La. Highway 65 on the western shore of the lake. The city of Lake Providence is on the southern tip of the lake. There are two excellent launching areas, the largest at Bryerly Airport and a smaller one inside the Tensas Basin area.

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About Kinny Haddox 494 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, lakedarbonnelife.com and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.