Forty-three year old Wesley Miller is a busy fellow. He lives along Dorcheat Bayou between Doyline and Sibley in Webster Parish. As a professional, Miller is a registered nurse who happens to be a serious outdoorsman and has made his name in at least two ways.
Last year, Miller put an arrow through a huge 13 point buck that scored 165 6/8 inches, a buck that stands in fourth place on the all-time trophy list for archery in Louisiana. As much as he loves to deer hunt, there is another passion that is taking most of his time now to the point that he has put his nursing career on hold for the time being. He is one of north Louisiana’s most popular and busiest crappie guides.
“I decided that if I was going to be serious about guiding, I decided to lay my nursing job aside to see how guiding works out. So far, “said Miller “I have been as busy as I want to be guiding clients on several lakes and waterways across the state.”
We caught up with Miller recently to pick his brain a bit on what it is like to be a full-time fishing guide and how he manages to put clients on big crappie on a regular basis and especially this time of year.
“Right now I’m finding fish in different places and different situations in every lake we fish. Some lakes I’m finding fish on brush piles and on others the fish are suspended in open water. I have to hunt them differently every day,” Miller said.
A recent guide trip to Grand Bayou Reservoir near Coushatta is an example of how a guide who knows his business has to adapt to changing conditions.
“I was on Grand Bayou a few day ago and found schools of fish out in open water with 40 to 50 fish in each school. Using my Live Scope, we would catch a couple out of one school, move around and find another school and catch a few active fish out of it. We were down there again yesterday and every fish we caught was over a brush pile. With this new technology, you go to a spot and if there aren’t active fish there, you go to another spot and try something else. It can change from day to day,” he said.
What about looking for crappie now that the weather is beginning to cool down? Is there a pattern you can depend on to fish for early fall crappie?
“I have found that crappie will move some when weather changes but in reality, the only time when fish really change locations is during the spring spawn. Other than that,” Miller added, “crappie will be generally in the same spot all year, maybe a little deeper or more shallow but they won’t move very far.”
Miller has some favorite jigs he and his clients use and these are jigs he ties himself and they seem to work well day in and day out.
“When I tie my jigs I use hackle feathers instead of straight-tail feathers. They look more like the gills on a bait fish than the straight ones. I also make my jigs quite small, usually less than two inches long because they look more like bait fish than larger ones,” he said.
Switching gears, Miller deer hunts on family property in Webster Parish, an area where he got the big one last year.
“I live ten minutes from my family farm and since I’m guiding so much, I probably won’t get to deer hunt as often as I’d like,” he said. “I should still be able to hunt afternoons and those mornings when the weather is so bad we can’t fish. Bad weather days are often your best hunting days anyhow.”
If you’re interested in booking a guide trip with Miller, you can reach him at 318/465-1668 or find him on Face Book at Big Sasquatch Outdoors.
CANEY LAKE – Bass are fair with best catches coming on the deeper points on jigging spoons, tail spinners and crank baits. Crappie continue to be fair with best catches made around the deeper tops on shiners or jigs. Bream have moved a bit deeper and are fair on worms and crickets. No report on catfish. For information contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
OUACHITA RIVER – The water level is at a stand-still again this week. Bass have been best in the mouth of cuts on shad imitations and in river lakes around stumps on jigs and soft plastics. Crappie are around the deep tops in the river fishing jigs 15-20 feet deep in 25 foot water. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Bass have been fair fishing around the boat docks early and late on a variety of lures including jigs, soft plastics and spinners. Crappie fishing has been best fishing the deep holes out on the flats fishing shiners or jigs 15 feet deep in 18-24 foot deep water. Bream fishing has slowed while catfish are still biting cold worms fished off the banks.. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Bream fishing is fair on crickets with most caught around the piers and boat docks. Stripers are schooling and are hitting topwater lures with white bucktails taking some beneath the surface. Bass fishing has been best at night fishing around the lights with plastic worms and Shakey heads. Also some are being caught on topwater lures as well as jigging spoons. Crappie fishing is best fishing 10 feet deep in 14-17 foot water on shiners or jigs. Catfish are fair on cold worms. For latest information, call Misty at Kel’s Cove at 331-2730 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
BUSSEY BRAKE – Cooler temps and brisk breezes have slowed things down. Bass are fair around the grass and trees on Wobble heads, crank baits and Rat-L-Traps. Crappie are scattered and fair; bream fishing is fair to good on worms and crickets. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Bream fishing has been fair to good on crickets and worms. Bass are fair on soft plastics. Crappie are slow. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Catfishing has been fair with mostly smaller fish being caught. Crappie are slow to fair. No report on bream or bass. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – The lake is being lowered and fishing is slow. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is falling with a slight rise coming next week. Crappie, bass and catfish have all been good this week. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.
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