STICK, STRING AND JIG STARTED IT ALL FOR MITCHELL

When he was a kid growing up in rural Lincoln Parish, Sontus Mitchell had his eye on a pond behind his Choudrant home. Fashioning a fishing rig of sorts out of a stick, piece of string and an old fishing jig, he lobbed the lure into the pond and was rewarded by hooking and eventually landing a 5 pound bass.

“That was when my interest in bass fishing took off and I’ve loved I ever since,” the 38 year old state trooper with the Louisiana State Police said in explaining how he fell in love with fishing for bass.

Mitchell is a regular participant in area bass fishing tournaments where he is rapidly making a name for himself as an angler whose name regularly appears near or at the top of the leaderboard on tournaments.

In the recent Majestic Big Bass Classic held on Lake D’Arbonne, Mitchell’s wife, Destiny, had to have been all smiles as Sontus emerged as a big winner taking home a fist-full of cash in the tournament.
Mitchell was declared the over-all winner of the best stringer with a total of 24.03 pounds. In addition, Mitchell won a couple of the two-hour events, had the third largest bass caught in the tournament at 8.82 pounds and had another two-hour third place finish for total winnings of over $3500.00

We chatted with Mitchell after his impressive weekend of fishing to pick his brain a bit on how he managed to locate, hook and land big bass with the three largest averaging over six pounds each.

“The number one thing for me is to first be able to locate where the fish are hanging out and then offering them what they want to get them to bite,” he said.

Instead of first targeting big bass, Mitchell looks for what the bass are looking for, and
that involves finding bait fish.

“I look for the big schools of shad the bass are feeding on and when the water temperatures start to warm up, the bait fish will likely be near deep water. I located a big school in 12-13 foot water and they were suspended 8-10 feet deep,” he added.

Once the bait fish are pin-pointed, Mitchell knows that this is where bass will likely be
hanging out.

“Bass will be suspended beneath the school of bait fish and I’ll usually start with offering
them a big plastic worm, a Carolina-rig or a crank bait. I checked the first couple I caught and
found threadfin shad in their throats so I knew they were actively feeding. My Sixth Sense crank
bait with a chartreuse belly and blue back looked like the shad they were eating so I stayed with
it to catch my fish,” Mitchell said.

In order not to put too much pressure on the school of bass, Mitchell has a plan that
seems to work for him.

“I’ll catch a fish or two, then leave to fish other areas before returning to where I know
they’re feeding. This way, I’m not putting too much pressure on the fish,” he said.

Does he have future plans to turn his ability to catch big bass into a profession by fishing
the pro circuits?

“I’ve thought about it but my job and my family are priority and I’ll just enjoy fishing
local tournaments,” he added.

From what started with a stick and string to develop into one of the most successful bass
anglers in the area, Sontus Mitchell is enjoying the heck out of the way he’s doing it.

“Sontus Mitchell, local big bass expert, shares his secrets on catching big bass.”

FISHING REPORT

BLACK BAYOU – Bream and crappie are still doing quite good fishing around the trees and
bushes. No report on bass. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – Bass anglers are hoping the fish will be biting as the Ronald McDonald
tournament will be held this weekend. The river is falling and fishing is improving. Bass are best
fishing the cuts with current and crappie fishing is best in the river lakes. For latest information,
contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Bass fishing has been best up Corney Creek with topwaters, baby Brush
Hogs and spinners picking up fish around the grass and lily pads early mornings. During the day,
look for balls of shad along the channels as bass should be feeding. Crank baits, soft plastics with
Carolina rigs working best. Crappie are still hanging around on the flats around Jake’s and
Terrell Island with shiners and jigs picking up some good fish. Bream are on the beds and fishing
worms or crickets is working good. 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 is good on crickets and worms fished
in the shallows. Crappie fishing has been best fishing around the lighted piers at night using
shiners with some really nice sized fish being caught around deep brush on shiners or jigs. Bass
have been best fishing around the lights at night with the Bomber Fat Free Shad working well on
bass as well as stripers. For latest information, call Misty at Kel’s Cove at 331-2730 or Terzia
Tackle at 278-4498.
CANEY LAKE – Crappie are around the deeper tops in 17-18 foot water and have been fair on
shiners and jigs. Some bass have been caught fishing oversized plastic worms around the 12-20
foot drops. They are also doing well at night fishing around the lights on dark colored spinners or
soft plastics. Bream fishing is good 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 –The crappie bite has slowed but plenty of eating-sized catfish are
being caught. Bream are fair to good and bass are fair early and late. For latest reports, call
Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – Bass have been fair to good while catfish are fair and bream and crappie
have slowed. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water continues on a slow fall and catfishing has been very good.
Crappie are fair but some big slabs are being caught along with plenty of barfish. No report on
bass. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.


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