The historical Red River flooding event of the summer was a disaster for many in terms of damages to homes and businesses.
The river reached its peak of 37.14 feet in June 2015 – the highest crest recorded in seven decades.
Recreational fishing took a severe hit on one of the nation’s finest fisheries, as Pools and other areas were closed resulting in limited angler access for much of the summer.
During the flooding, the force of the increased tons of water combined with strong river currents toppled trees and spread shoreline debris into various stretches of the river.
Fall fishing activities have now returned on the Red, and anglers are once again finding bass, crappie, catfish and other freshwater game species.
The crappie on the river have begun their usual fall transition to shallow waters, but there are some changes.
“There’s a lot of new structure, lots of laydowns in areas,” Thomas Lewis of Montgomery said.
“And we’ve been catching both specks (black crappie) and white perch (white crappie) in some new places in Pool 3.”
The 47-year-old angler said that some days are better than others – but the crappie are moving shallower as they do every fall.
“One day, I caught 28 fish and on another 13,” Lewis said. “And some of the white perch (white crappie) have been huge.”
“But they are now moving shallow.”
Lewis has been launching out of Midway Marina in Maurice and finding new laydowns and other structures providing relief from the river current.
These new eddy hotspots are now prime crappie habitat as these fish wait in the new environment to ambush small shad and other forage.
“I’ve been fishing over 10 feet of water and catching the fish suspended in 6 feet,” Lewis said.
The angler has made other observations such as he has taken the black crappie on top of the new laydowns and the white crappie (white perch) below the structure.
“You’ll catch more white perch in the current, and the specks (black crappie) in the clearer waters,” he said.
He uses his own homemade, 1/32-ounce hair jigs in black/chartreuse and brown/orange to catch these fish.
“There’s just plenty structure in the river now with the flood having moved trees all over,” Lewis said.
“The crappie can be really thick in there on some days.”
Lewis has also been taking some catfish on the river on other days.
For more information and reports on fishing Pool 3 on the Red River for bass, crappie or catfish, contact Midway Marina at 318-646-0097 and visit their website at www.midwaymarinastmaurice.com.