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The Tchefuncte River is about 70 miles longs and ends it’s flow in the largest lake in Louisiana, Lake Pontchartrain.  The word Tchefuncte according to various sources is derived from a Choctaw word, Hachofakti, describing the American Chinquapin, a species of chestnut trees.  The Choctaw used the tree for medicinal relief of headaches. 

The Tchefuncte gave me a headache; well so to speak. It was a blistering cold morning in January with the temperature hovering near the freezing mark when I showed up in Summit, MS to meet up with partner, friend, and rod building guru Patrick Engerran of Tangi Fishing Rods.

Patrick had invited me to fish the Florida Parish Anglers’ Tournament season with him.  I eagerly agreed always wanting to fish new waters and parts of the state I seldom get to fish.  The Tchefuncte River I had never been on, in fact, I wasn’t real sure where it even was other than in Southeast Louisiana, somewhere. 

Leaving the McComb area we drove down I-55 to I-12 and turned east towards Covington.  Many of our South Louisiana readers know exactly where we were headed but for our readers who have never been there it’s a different kind of launch.  With concrete and metal piers bordering tight launching lanes, boat docking for no more than 5 rigs, and limited parking, I started to realize I was no longer in “Oxbowland”. 

We launched the boat and sat for over an hour in the Skeeter as others launched and prepared for a day on the water.  As daylight broke I begin to see the silhouette outline of cypress trees full of Spanish moss lining the banks of the river.  At this point I start to feel a little more comfortable, there’s cypress trees how hard can finding a bass be?

Tchefuncte River

February 2021, Volume 122

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The “blast off” was more of an idle out to the main channel before running down the river about 10-12 miles to our first stop.  Normally that run wouldn’t be bad but in freezing temps 60+ mph had me looking forward to the few scattered “no wake” zones.  As we passed huge lakefront property homes, a campground and even a yacht club we settled on a point and began to fish.

Soon I learned the tidal currents and conditions make bass hunting a touch tricky here.  I upgraded the weight of my shakeyhead to lessen the currents affects on my bait and reduce by false hooksets.

The shoreline had no shortage of cypress trees to flip along with laydowns and old pier pilings from yesteryear ship building and repair in the area.  No shortage of targets to flip to while targeting bass.  Cold and windy conditions made the trip a touch uncomfortable physically but overall a positive experience.

We caught fish through out the day and ended up with 3 keepers but we knew it would not be enough to warrant walking up to the scales.  In a world where 2.5 pound bass are plentiful but the over 5 club is few there just happened to be a 7# bass weighed that particular day.

Awesome fishing experience in a body of water I have never fished is what this trip was all about.  I enjoyed the new scenery and spending time in the boat with an angler familiar with the area.  I plan to fish the year with Florida Parish Anglers and that includes stops on the Tickfaw, Bayou Lacombe, Bayou Liberty, Manchac, and Venice; all places I have not fished before. 

Atypical of most bass habitats in the northern portion of the state, numerous larger vessels frequent the Tchefuncte river.


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Members of the Florida Parish Bass Anglers Club await weigh in results at the 4th Street Launch in Covington, LA.


Rounding a turn in the Tchefuncte river with tournament traffic made for an interesting day on the heavily trafficked area.

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