Bass Fishing

Low water helping Ouachita River bass bite

Anglers in northeast Louisiana don’t usually think about bass fishing the Ouachita River this time of year with good reason. High water levels usually push the fish so far back into the woods that it takes a machete and a chainsaw just to get to them. That’s not the case this spring, though, as my longtime friend and I found out this weekend.
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Freshwater Fishing

Take a redear roadtrip to Caney

Anglers looking for a good road trip this weekend couldn’t make a better decision than to head up to Caney Lake in Jackson Parish to tangle with the giant chinquapin that’s turning the lake into a panfishing paradise. Caney guide Eddie Halbrook said that the fish are as big as he’s ever seen. He had five over 2 pounds just yesterday. […]

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Shrouded Gem

Folks living in the northern portion of the state don’t have far to look when seeking good fishing waters.

Granted, we’re not as water-logged up this way as the folks down south with their marshes and coastal bays, lakes and bayous. Even so, we have plenty of prime fishing waters in North Louisiana. […]

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Chilly Chinquapin

Eddie Halbrook could hardly contain his excitement. He had discovered how much I like catching chinquapins only months earlier, and he wanted to let me know he was on them again. […]

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Mojo Management

For more than 35 years, Mike Centanni didn’t simply hope to kill deer — he expected to.

“From the time I was 15, I killed at least one deer every year,” the St. Amant hunter said. “Most of the time, I killed more than that.”

And he loved it, but about four years ago, that all changed when Centanni joined a club in Concordia Parish.

Even then, he managed to squeeze the trigger on a buck at least once a year. But two years ago, the streak ended.

“That was the first year I didn’t kill a deer,” Centanni said.
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Bass Fishing

Cool School

The memories of the summers of my youth growing up in rural North Louisiana are as vivid today as they were then — no school for three months, shoes and shirts tossed in the closet, cut-off jeans the only required apparel until September.

Summer meant chores, such as picking and shelling purple hull peas and butterbeans, cutting okra and shucking corn.

However, not every waking moment of a rural summer meant there was work to be done. Once the chores were behind, it was time to engage in something imminently more interesting and exciting than shelling peas.

Once I got the green light from mom, I’d grab my old True Temper steel rod with the green-handled Pfleuger reel spooled with black braided line and head for the creek. Tying on a Hawaiian Wiggler, River Runt or Dalton Special, it was me against the bass that lurked around the cypress knees and sunken logs.

I cut my bass-fishing teeth in just such a simple setting, and it’s an activity I still cherish today. […]

Bass Fishing

Number of Nice Ones

The time of year was mid-summer. The time of day, dawn. The fishing hole, Lake D’Arbonne.

Arriving at Gill’s Ferry Landing in the gathering light of a summer morning, it was with a sense of urgency that I backed my boat into the water, parked my truck and headed up D’Arbonne Bayou.

It was one of those mornings that had B-A-S-S written all over it. Ditto for the spot I was fishing.
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All in the Family

In a world full of eroded family ties, North Louisiana is a place where the true family spirit can still be found. This section of Louisiana that has been titled “Sportsman’s Paradise” by the Louisiana Office of Tourism could more aptly be called “Sports-family’s Paradise.” […]

Bass Fishing

Sweet Home Alabama

I fell in love with the Ouachita River exactly one week after I pulled up stakes in South Louisiana and headed north. This affair began as my first trip to the river ended with a 7-pound bass on the proverbial “last cast.” […]

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Red-Hot Summer

Before turkey hunting totally messed up my mind, I always looked forward to spring and the opportunity to trailer my boat to a nearby lake to do battle with big, sway-bellied spawning bass, crappie hanging out around the roots of shallow cypresses or my favorite, finding a bed of bream.

For sheer fun, nothing quite rivals sitting comfortably in your boat two pole-lengths from a bed of writhing, darting, active bream.

A cricket, red wiggler or small crawfish skewered on your hook is all that is required to enjoy an exciting outing on your favorite lake.

Once the spring spawn is over, however, the bream pack their little bags and migrate. Don’t they? Nobody fishes for bream in the heat of summer or the dead of winter. Do they? […]

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The Patron Saint of Bream

The cricket skittered across the water’s surface, frantically trying to reach the nearest tree. Ripples that telegraphed its position to every fish within yards radiated from the insect with every kick of its legs.

The insect would pause every few inches, either to catch its breath or to allow the damning wavelets to dissipate. Then it would continue its voyage, drawing nearer to safe haven with every powerful surge.
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Lessons Learned

Out of nowhere, the allure of hunting wild turkeys in spring snuck into my bloodstream one April morning in 1992 over in Alabama. […]