Wesley Miller worked for 23 years as a nurse in the Shreveport/Bossier area. He loved this profession but he also loves to fish.
“I started guiding crappie anglers while working as a nurse and as my guiding business began to take off, I had a feeling I could make guiding my primary profession so I gave up nursing to go into fishing full-time. It’s been going like gang busters ever since,” said Miller.
As the sport of crappie fishing has really taken off, both for recreational as well as tournament fishing, we visited with Miller to get his take on what is going on around the lakes in our area now that the spawn is basically over and the fish are not where they were a month ago.
“The crappie are in transition now and moving from the shallow spawning areas to deeper water where they’ll set up for their hanging out locale in summer. Most are not in the deepest areas just yet where they’ll be later and I’m finding my fish in 8-10 foot water hanging around brush. You might also find them around the mouth of the feeder creeks, sloughs or bays right now,” he said.
When a crappie is spawning in shallow water and a jig or shiner plops down where they’re nesting, they’re likely to smack it hard. Those in post-spawn mode are usually not quite as aggressive, according to Miller.
“The fish after spawning are not usually as aggressive as they are during the spawn. However, those that spawned a month or so earlier will be very aggressive; they’re trying to put on weight by feeding heavily to restore what they lost during the spawn,” Miller noted.
Another point Miller made about enticing post-spawn crappie to bite is to consider the size of the lure offered to the fish.
“Not only are crappie done with spawning but other species, like bass, bream and shad will have also spawned. Crappie feed heavily on the fry of these fish and your best bet is to ‘match the hatch’ and fish something similar in size to the newly hatched fish. I use very small jigs, no more than an inch long, when targeting post-spawn crappie. I try to offer them something like they’ve been eating and my jigs will usually be in a shad color,” he said.
Miller noted that right now, mid-mornings until noon seem to be the best time to find the fish more aggressive.
“I usually don’t have a lot of luck fishing early mornings because the fish need time to sort of ‘wake up’ before they get down to business of feeding,” he added.
When he’s not guiding, he spends his time tying his own jigs that he uses exclusively on his guide trips.
Miller named some of his favorite water bodies where he likes to fish, and most lakes in north Louisiana are included in the list.
“I like Grand Bayou, D’Arbonne, Bistineau, the Red River and Cypress Bayou but all our lakes will produce plenty of crappie,” he said.
Any crappie angler interested in engaging the expertise of one of the most successful guides in the area can contact him at 318-465-1668 or visit his Facebook page. You can also catch him at Big Sasquatch Outdoors.
“I enjoyed my career in nursing,” Miller said, “but how can you beat making a living going fishing every day?”
BLACK BAYOU – Fishing has improved. Bream are starting to bite around the beds. Crappie are fair to good around the trees on shiners or jigs. No report on bass. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – The river has started falling and this should create some good fishing over the next week or so. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Crappie are in a post-spawn mood for the most part and although a few males are still hanging out in the shallows, best fishing has been out on the flats where the fish are scattered. Shiners or jigs should work on these fish. Bass fishing has been best on plastic frogs, jerk baits and square bills. The bream are on the beds and biting crickets and worms with gusto. 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 are on the beds and fishing has steadily improving with the Isaac Creek area producing some good catches of big bream on crickets. Crappie have slowed down a bit, especially during daylight hours with best fishing taking place at night fishing around the lighted piers with shiners. Catfishing has been good on trotlines and set hooks using gold fish or crawfish for bait. A good many catfish and bream are being caught below the spillway. For latest information, call Misty at Kel’s Cove at 331-2730 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
CANEY LAKE – The crappie are moving out onto the flats and are scattered. Some can still be caught drifting shiners or jigs over the flats. Bass are moving away from shallow spawning areas and settling in the creeks on humps and ledges. Crank baits or soft plastics are working best. The ticket here this week is the bream fishing which is going great guns around the lake on crickets or worms. 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.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Bass are fair on soft plastics. The crappie bite has slowed but plenty of catfish and bream can be caught. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN –Catfishing is good while others are fair. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is falling and should be down enough to launch by this weekend. Should be good fishing just ahead. still too high for launching. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.
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