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Fish the Miss-Lou

May 2020, Volume 113

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When you think Louisiana Bass Fishing your mind automatically turns to Toledo Bend.  The huge reservoir is no doubt some of the greatest bass fishing in the state, the country and even the world. The vast Louisiana marshlands are loved by many especially the guys in the southern part of the state.  But I live in an area that might just rank in the top few locations for bass fishing based on the number of different locations you can fish.

From my home in Vidalia, La there are around 30 different water bodies available within an hour’s drive give or take.  In the area we have Lake Concordia, Lake St. John, Lake St. Joe, Saline Larto Complex, Black River Lake Complex, Wallace Lake, Bushley Bayou, Lake Bruin, Four Rivers at Jonesville, Tensas River, Lake Louie, Old River Vidalia, Old River Deerpark, False River, Atchafalaya River Simmesport, to name a few and that doesn’t include the 2 or 3 areas in Mississippi.

Located in Ferriday, La are Concordia and St. John.  Two oxbows very close to one another that fish as if they were miles apart.  The deeper, larger, and longer Lake St. John has shallow flats on the south end of the lake with an “island” and grass lined banks while the middle and heart of the lake is lined on both sides with docks and piers and offers a multitude of places for fish to stage and hide.  The north end of Lake St. John is a submerged cypress forest where Jacob Wheeler won the 2019 General Tire World Championship of Major League Fishing.


Our partner Patrick Engerran, owner of Tangi Fishing Rods on Lake Bruin for the J.R. Roberts Memorial Tournament.


Bassin' In The Boot's Big Bass Thursdays second place fish on Lake Concordia with a 4.14# big mouth, caught by Charles Anderson.

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My home lake, Lake Concordia is an old oxbow like many on my list.  It offers a variety of bass fishing options from flipping and jigging to frogs and buzzbaits with cover and conditions like cypress trees, grass lined banks, docks and piers, and submerged grass in the north end of the lake.  Lake Concordia has 3 launches open to the public but a personal favorite of Bassin’ in the Boot is on the south end of the lake.  Lakeview Lodge, 1424 Fisherman Drive in Ferriday, La is what I like to call “a little slice of heaven here on Earth.”  With lake access via a well maintained ramp, a pavilion and fish cleaning station, a back porch across the whole place, and several piers you will instantly feel right at home here.  Paul and his wife Angel live on the property and are the most hospitable of hosts and usually have the grill fired up on the back porch while watching those LSU Tigers play something!  Lakeview offers at least 13 different options for rooms ranging from doubles to the big house (sleeps up to 16) and has camper/RV slots to rent as well.  This is the destination of choice if you’re interested in staying and fishing the many lakes in our area. 

If you’re heading out of town to fish maybe at Larto, Bruin, or Lake St. Joe you’ll want to stop by UPAK in Ferriday for all of your ethanol free gas and tackle needs.  The locally owned convenience store has a variety of items to suit your snacking needs but the real gem is located in the back.  With live bait as well as a huge assortment of tackle and lures the Cole’s are eager to serve the fishing community in the area.  Stop in and tell them Bassin’ in the Boot sent you!

Sunrise on our home lake, Lake Concordia.

The trip north out of Ferriday will lead you to Bruin, Lake St. Joe, Louie, Tensas River and a few other areas to fish.  Most everyone in the Louisiana bass community has heard of Lake Bruin but few know of a smaller, shallower lake just north of Bruin, Lake St. Joe.  Located in Newelton, Louisiana the shallow oxbow can be an experience of a lifetime offering the chance at near double digit bass while pitching cypress trees or punching lily pads.  An often overlooked and under fished lake is just the place to add to your collection of best bass stories. 

In the south end of Concordia Parish lies the Horseshoe and Black River Lake Complex.  With several launches the complex stretches for miles as the parish watershed all heads that way in its effort to get to the Gulf of Mexico.  The launch at Taunton’s Marina on the edge of Horseshoe and the endless network of bayous that feed it offers a central landing spot and RV camper dock. 

The Saline-Larto Complex in Catahoula Parish is a huge, vastly spawning water way that stretches from just south of Jonesville, La nearly to Alexandria.  The oxbow, Larto is joined to Saline by what seems like hundreds of miles of canals and bayous.  At just over an hour’s drive from Ferriday this complex is sure to become a favorite.  Check in with Uncle Bud’s Cabins and Boat Launch we covered in previous editions of Bassin’ in the Boot.  Also in Catahoula Parish are several smaller lake opportunities with some great fishing.  A personal favorite of mine is Bushley Bayou, pronounced “Bursley”, with only 1 launch open to the public in the backyard of a residence you’ll want to get directions no doubt.  The bayou is a series of runoffs and collection of water shed that runs through a weir into the Ouachita River.  The endless coves and pockets allow for an intimate encounter with nature and the bountiful bass nearly jump in the boat!

So if you’re looking for some of the best variety of bass fishing in the state look no further.  The area surrounding Concordia Parish is it!  Give Lakeview Lodge a call and book your room, stop by UPAK and fill up the boat and truck, and get ready to enjoy a week or weekend in the “Oxbow Country” of Louisiana.  Geaux Bassin!

Loose boundary of the "Miss-Lou" area and beyond, with over 30 waterbodies within one hour of Vidalia, LA.

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