I made it to Percy Quin and Lake Tangipahoa in time for the start of the big bream contest. Catch Cormier was running the show and, as I suspected, it was a very laid back, no pressure affair – just my style. “Go out and catch some bream, take some pics, and we’ll see who’s got what and afterwards there will be some prizes.”
I took off for the northern part of the lake and found shallow water with lilies and vegetation and loads of grass carp. I spent a little bit of time trying to fool one and had a rod at the ready, but I wasn’t really all that prepared for carp so I focused more on targeting bream. I started with a popper-dropper setup and things were pretty slow early on in the lake. I caught my first bluegill off some vegetation closer to the river channel and decided maybe it was best I stick to the deeper water if I wasn’t having any luck in the shallows.
I took the popper off and put on a bobber so I could fish the dropper even deeper and continued to target the vegetation and structure closer to deep water and I then started catching more fish. I had heard there were some big redear in the lake and I was really hoping to run into one, thinking I’d need at least 9″ to compete in any sort of big bream contest, but the best I could muster was a 7.75″ bluegill. Oh well, let’s go see what everyone else caught. As it turned out that 7.75″ bluegill was good enough to tie for first place, lol. The sunfish gods had rewarded me for the many years of targeting these fish!
I met up with Brian, my cabin bunkmate for the next two nights, and really enjoyed his company over the weekend. Be sure to check out his blog over at Down South Fly Fishing, he’s been putting out some great content this year. He made some bomb fajitas that night with limited resources (I totally dropped the ball on food or any cookware for the weekend) and we discussed a wide variety of things. Strategy for the next day’s big bass tourney was anyone’s best guess. The wind was howling through the chimney of that old cabin as temps began to plummet. Fish were going to be put off, there was no way around it. I had some 7wt sinking line and some streamers that I figured I’d dredge through the deepest parts of the lake to say I gave it my best shot. Being a mostly fair-weather fisherman had me pretty unprepared for the next day’s event.
Back in April I got out on a very unassuming local drainage ditch in the kayak and had a really productive panfish trip. The ditch was in surprisingly good shape, water fairly low and clear, a sign that we had not had rain in a while. This waterway gets loaded with trash after every storm because frankly folks around here are spoiled with water and really don’t put much thought into how their actions impact their local watersheds or what lives in them. I had taken my kids to the adjacent park a few times to get them out of the house during the pandemic and noted that the water was in good shape and bream were starting to bed in the ditch.
The bayou has a good variety of sunfish, something we definitely take for granted here in south Louisiana. I was able to catch bluegill, longear sunfish, red spotted sunfish(stumpknocker), warmouth(goggle-eye), redear sunfish(shellcracker), green sunfish, and largemouth bass. All caught on a slow sinking spider
I had continually written off fishing here in the past, but thanks to this trip I will probably add this local option to my list of places to hit each Spring, provided the flow looks good. I didn’t anything of size, but I love the diversity.
I never got around to writing a report until now, but back in June I found the time to wade fish a Feliciana parish stream with the long rod. I made it on the water as the sun was rising and actually caught a bass on one of my first few casts. The action was slow after that, but it was, and has always been, time well spent and a great way to beat the summer heat.
The usual suspects were around – spotted bass, longear sunfish, and bluegill, but I also had the pleasure of catching another shadow bass. This was likely the biggest I’ve ever caught too. He came off some submerged timber in the very middle of a deep bend in the creek I was fishing. True to form, he hit a dead drifted crawfish pattern I was running behind a big hopper. It’s always fun to catch these guys as they are pretty unique.
Google Earth tells me I fished maybe half a mile before I was ready to call it a day and turn around to head back home. It never fails that when I’m fishing I think I’m covering at least a mile, but in reality it is always much less. It’s funny how that works. It makes you wonder about all the untouched water that lies beyond a mile or two from an access point? How much better is the fishing if I put in the work to get there?