North Louisiana anglers hit the Red River
ATHENS, Ala. – The Louisiana North Division 12 of the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series wraps up its regular season April 5, 2014 on the Red River near Natchitoches, La.
The competitors will launch at Grand Ecore Landing, located at 106 Tauzin Island Road in Natchitoches. Anglers may begin fishing at safe light. Registration begins at 4 p.m. April 4. To register for this tournament, see www.americanbassanglers.com/proddetail.php?prod=821.
To enter, anglers fishing the Boater Division pay $200 with co-anglers paying $100. In addition, ABA members enjoy these other these other benefits:
- No more dual membership to fish the Weekend Bass Series.
- No more credit card processing fees for tournament entries.
- Liability insurance requirements have been reduced to an acceptable level for weekend anglers.
- Increased payback at divisional events from 20 percent of the field to 25 percent of the field.
Anglers fishing the Boater Division may weigh in up to five bass. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass. Anglers competing in this tournament will need a Louisiana fishing license. For Louisiana fishing license information, see www.wlf.louisiana.gov/licenses/fishing or call 888-765-2602.
In addition to cash prizes for top finishers, boater and co-angler competitors fishing this tournament and WBS events throughout the season may also win hefty bonuses from such sponsors as Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Royal Purple, MotorGuide and T-H Marine. See the manufacturer web sites for specific details on how to qualify for these bonuses.
At the end of the season, the best WBS anglers from across the nation will fish the 2014 Ray Scott Championship, slated for Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala., from Nov. 15-18. The champion boater will receive $100,000 and possibly up to $50,000 in Triton Gold Bonus money. The co-angler champion will win $50,000 and possibly up to $25,000 in Triton Gold Bonus money.
As a special Ray Scott Championship bonus, the Boater Division and Co-Angler Division champions will each receive entry fees and sponsorship into the one of two professional bass fishing series of the angler’s choice. The sponsorship includes entry fees into three professional events and sponsorship support. This sponsorship will put the champion within striking distance of one of two professional bass fishing championships.
The Red River ranks Number 79 on the 2013 Bassmaster magazine list of the top 100 bass waters in the United States. Once a wild, shallow muddy ribbon often clogged with logs, the Red River now flows through five pools stretching about 250 miles from northwestern to central Louisiana. A series of water control structures created reservoir-like conditions in these pools and connected numerous old oxbows that bordered the old river channel.
Although the control structures attempt to tame natural forces, the river can still run powerful, swift and treacherous at times. High water can inundate logs and rock jetties, creating boating hazards. Many anglers fish the slack water behind the rock jetties with crankbaits or soft plastics.
Despite the hazards, the once raging river now produces excellent bass action and harbors quite a few largemouths in the 2- to 7-pound range. Some exceed 13 pounds. The best fishing typically occurs in Pools 4 and 5 between Shreveport and Coushatta, but Pool 3 between Coushatta and Colfax competes as a close runner-up.
“I heard about at least one 11-pounder caught in Pool 5 in 2012,” said Russ McVey, of Russ McVey’s Guide Service in Doyline, La. (318-464-2277/www.redriverfishing.com). “Tournaments are typically won in Pool 5, but the quality of fish is just as good in Pool 4. In Pool 4, some better areas include the Little Jungle, Big Jungle, the Wagon Wheel and Sullivan’s.”
In Pool 5, many anglers fish Port Lake just downstream from Shreveport. On the east side of the river, the Port Lake oxbow offers good cover and slightly more clear water. About five to six miles south of Port Lake, anglers also fish the Young’s Point area on the west side of the river. Across the river from Young’s Point, White House Lake can hold good bass. Anglers might also fish Caspiana Lake, Bishop’s Point or Little Ninock Lake.
Farther downstream, honey holes include Hampton Lake, Nantachie Bayou and Taylor’s Lake. Pool 3 flooded earlier than Pool 4 or 5 so anglers often fish the main channel and deeper tributaries in this area. Many anglers use 3/8-ounce spinnerbaits in white, chartreuse and white or chartreuse and blue or Texas-rigged soft plastics and jigs in green pumpkin, black neon, plum or junebug.
During a March 2, 2013, tournament on the Red River, Troy J. David, of Ventress, La., won the Boater Division with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 21.75 pounds for a 4.35-pound average. He anchored his catch with a 6.42-pounder that won the tournament lunker title. David caught his fish in Pool 3 with a green jig worked as slowly as he could across the bottom.
In the Co-Angler Division during that tournament, Austin R. Abadie of St. Amant, La., brought in a three-bass division limit weighing 10.99 pounds for a 3.66-pound average. He greatly upped his average with a 5.60-pounder that earned division big bass honors. Abadie caught his fish on a 1/4-ounce Strike King swim jig tipped with a Rage Tail grub on 15-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon line worked around woody or grassy cover.
For more information on this tournament, call Porter Trimble, tournament manager, at 318-201-3474 or ABA at 256-232-0406. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.
About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers is committed to providing low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers, the Weekend Bass Series, the American Fishing Tour or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.