Guide to Big Bass Fishing at Caney Lake
This small north Louisiana lake is a powerhouse for big bass fishing.
During football season, when you think powerhouse, you most likely look to teams in the Southeastern Conference. When you look for a powerhouse among largemouth bass lakes in Louisiana, you look to Caney Lake in the small community of Chatham. Caney Lake is the place to fish for big bass in Louisiana.
At first glance, the stats on Caney might make it seem to be a lightweight. The lake is only 5,000 acres and is located in a fairly secluded part of Jackson Parish. But don’t be fooled, it’s a heavyweight, just like its largemouths. In the spring and fall, Caney Lake is a lunker bass factory. The 15.97-pound lunker caught by Greg Wiggins in Caney in February 1994 still stands as the lake record. But hardly a month goes by that somebody doesn’t bring a bass to the scales that tops the 10-12 pound mark. In fact, six of the top ten largemouth bass records—all over 15 pounds—that have been caught in Louisiana came from this small impoundment formed by damming Caney Creek in 1986.
Although the lake is small by today’s standards, it clearly offers amazing bass fishing and the records prove it. And the facilities are nice, too. Jackson Parish is called the “Sunshine Parish” because of a native son who became Governor and made the song “You Are My Sunshine” famous. Jimmie Davis State Park on the lake is named after Governor Davis. The park offers two boat launches, 11 fishing piers and numerous amenities for fishermen. There are also public launches at Ebenezer Landing and at the dam, while Brown’s Landing offers launching, a commercial store and a restaurant on the north end of the lake. You can also find out more about the area at the Jackson Parish Tourism website.
So how do you catch these largemouth basses?
Springtime is a great time of year for bass fishing and the best baits are plastic lizards, jigs and Wacky Worms. Dark colors work best on cloudy days and gold flake or watermelon works well when the sun is shining. The fishing presentation needs to be slow. After the spawn, fish move out to the points and can be caught on deep diving crankbaits or worms fished with larger weights.
Unlike most state lakes, Caney is mostly wide open and has clear water. There are some deep spots, but the lake is mostly 5-15 feet deep. Some of the best early-season bass fishing is in the five-finger areas on the northeast side, but just about anywhere along the bank produces fish. Fishing is also good out in the lake along creek channels, humps and off points.
Kinny Haddox is an avid outdoorsman and writer from West Monroe, Louisiana. He is the publisher of LakeDarbonneLife.com and a feature writer for Louisiana Sportsman magazine.