I took a trip to Yucatan.  Not the Mexican hotspot for senior trips and vacations but to Lake Yucatan in Newellton, La.  The lake is a live oxbow of the Mississippi River located in the east central part of the state. 

Driving up for a club tournament, I was told the lake is in Newellton which is about an hour’s drive from the house.  As usual I left early so I’d have time to spare if I had trouble or typical tournament morning mishaps.  As I get close to Newellton, I turned the gps on to guide me the rest of the way.  I wasn’t prepared for the “23 minutes” the map said I had left.  Newellton isn’t that big.

Crossing the bridge at Lake St. Joe and driving another 10 miles that took almost 25 minutes because of unfamiliar territory and winding gravel roads, I finally emerged out of the darkness and saw taillights.  The familiar red glow of angler’s trucks and boats in line to launch. 

Having never been to this lake or launch I walked up to talk to a few guys and get the lay of the land.  First person I see is a gentleman helping guide my fellow club members in the launching procedure.  Another gentleman was guiding the parking of trucks, making sure there was room for everyone including the many duck hunters that showed up this particular morning.

First Trip to Yucatan Lake

December 2020, Volume 120

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After all boats were in the water and the day of fishing began my focus turned from the ramp and landing to the business at hand.  Fishing new territory is always a fun challenge. 

 

Locating fish and a pattern give way to finding bigger fish.  A variety of lures and techniques put fish in the boat, I chose to use crankbaits on various points. 

Everyone has a story of “the one that got away” and this lake and tournament would be no different.  I was unlucky enough to have two fellow anglers witness my biggest fish of the day (I’d say a 7 pounder easily) swam off with my 10XD crankbait completely chocked in his mouth.  Turns out a net is something you should never loan out!

Returning to the landing I got to witness more hospitality and talk with the folks at Yucatan.  As it turns out, Gene and Sharon Lachney own Yucatan Landing but it’s ran mostly by the parents of the couple.  They come over on the weekends, help out with tournaments and things and just enjoy being at the campground. 

Sharon told Bassin’ in the Boot, “We always want people to feel at home and enjoy themselves.”  I would say from my experience they more than live up to that.  She added, “We are making improvements slowly to the campground and ramp.”

The folks of Yucatan were right there with us through the weigh in and made us feel right at home.  Taking pictures, applauding each angler’s efforts and making small talk; nothing short of great southern hospitality.

 

How did the tournament go, you ask? I managed to find 5 good fish but not enough to win as the lake gave up numerous 3, 4, 5 and even a 6.53 pound big bass.  The winning total for the day was 21.56# with 17.13#, 15.44#, 15.12#, and 13.23# sacks rounding out the top 5 places.

 

I couldn’t help but think I’ll be back here not just for the fishing but for the hospitality the folks of Yucatan showed us!  Find them on Facebook under Yucatan Landing or give them a call at 318-467-2259 to find out more or to get directions, you’ll need them!  Be sure to tell them Bassin’ In The Boot sent you.  Geaux Bassin’

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Tyler White accepting the big payout after joining the club and breaking into the running big bass pot the morning of the tournament.  Pictured alongside the remaining top five sticks for the day.

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The sunrise blast off was an easy success thanks to the hospitality and help getting everyone in the water on time by the Yucatan Landing folks.  A beautiful start to a day that would yield some beautiful bass like this 6.53 # beauty hauled in by local angler Tyler White.