When it comes to catching big bass there has been no better place in Louisiana over the years than Caney Lake. The roughly 5,000 acre fishing hole in Jackson Parish still holds the record for the largest bass ever caught (15.97 lbs.) and lays claim to having six of the top ten biggest bass caught in the state. udging by recent results the “Jewel of the Piney Woods” may be getting some competition soon for bragging rights.
Three years ago the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries staff from Monroe began working diligently on the Bussey Brake Wildlife Management Area located in Morehouse Parish. Of top priority was getting the 2,200 acre reservoir ready for fishing for the public. On July 15th Bussey Brake was opened and already a bass that weighed 10.01 pounds was caught.
Renovations included restocking important game fish species, the addition of boat lanes, and upgrades to the property. The public will also be able to utilize eight miles of levee surrounding the reservoir for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The WMA features three fishing piers (including a new, Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible fishing pier), a wave break for those without boats to fish from, as well as a three-lane concrete ramp for launching boats. There will also be a site at the south entrance to drag kayaks or small boats over the levee.
Though the reservoir is not yet at full volume, LDWF officials have determined it can be safely utilized at the current water level. It may not reach pool stage (100 feet above mean sea level) until sometime next year. The boat launch will be open, and boaters will be able to safely navigate around the lake utilizing the marked boat lanes and the canals that were dug out to form the levee. Due to the lower water levels, the new boat mooring dock will not be available for use yet; instead, boats can be docked on the shoreline adjacent to the launch.
Area Fishing report
CANEY LAKE – Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Bass are fair fishing around the deeper drop-offs and points on crank baits and soft plastics with some caught at night on dark colored worms or black spinner baits. Catfishing has been fair tight lining cold worms. Crappie fishing has fair fishing around the deep tops on shiners or jigs. Night tournaments are being held Thursday nights at Hooks Marina with a 3-fish limit. For latest information, contact Bateaux on Caney Lake at 259-6649, Hooks Marina at 249- 2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BUSSEY BRAKE – The lake opened for fishing July 15. Hearing reports of some big bass in the 9-10 pound range caught mostly on crank baits fishing edges of the lily pads. No report on crappie; bream are scattered.
BLACK BAYOU – Crappie are slow. Bream have been fair to good on crickets and worms. Bass are fair fishing soft plastics around the grass. Contact 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER –Crappie fishing is best fishing jigs or shiners in the river lakes. Bass are hitting shad imitations around the mouth of the run-outs. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Crappie are fair on the flats fishing shiners or jigs. Bass have been best fishing up the creeks around grass beds on soft plastics and plastic frogs. Some are also being caught along the edges of the channel on crank baits and soft plastics. Bream are fair on crickets and worms but overall they’re slowing down a bit. Catfishing has been good fishing off the banks with cold worms and night crawlers. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Stripers are schooling and fishing has improved trolling bucktails and spoons. Bass fishing has been best at night with a few in the 6-7 pound range caught on dark colored Shaky Head worms. Bream are fair and are running medium sized. A good, many crappie are being caught fishing 12 feet deep in 20 foot water around submerged brush tops. Catfishing is fair on trotlines and tight lining with cold worms working best. For latest information, call Tim Loftin at Kel’s Cove at 927-2264.