Hot August shallow crappie

 

Chris Berzas photo Savoy’s Glynn Lavergne will find shallow Chicot Lake crappie even during the sizzling days of August when many anglers will just not consider making such a trip.
Chris Berzas photo
Angler Glynn Lavergne will find shallow Chicot Lake crappie even during the sizzling days of August when many anglers will just not consider making such a trip.

There is no way the heat of August will stop Glynn Lavergne from finding sac-a-lait in Evangeline Parish’s Chicot Lake tucked aesthetically within Louisiana’s Chicot State Park.

At 67 years-of-age, this avid Louisiana crappie angler hailing from Savoy has fished every square inch of Chicot’s 2,000 acres for most of his years. He clearly understands the lake’s capacity to deliver solid slab crappie on a monthly basis.

And recently the angler had a very memorable morning catching more than just a few slabs.

“We ended up keeping 66 fish ranging from ¾- to 1 ½-pounds,” he said. “We found the fish in coves south of South Landing including Lightning Cove and a few others on the east and west side of the channel. They were in just 3- to 4-feet of water.”

A few days later at dawn’s early light, Lavergne and I motored south via the lake’s main channel. Leaving the channel marker buoys, his boat weaved between bountiful stands of cypress and tupelos to find coves on both the eastern and western sections of the lake.

Working very meticulously with his tackle, Lavergne cast a pearl (white) Crème 1.5-inch tube jigs placed 14 inches below a similarly sized float into a hole of floating duckweed near a vast stand of American lotus.

Chris Berzas photo Nearly all of Lavergne’s  Chicot Lake crappie can be found in coves south of South Landing in coves located to the east and west of the main channel.
Chris Berzas photo
Nearly all of Lavergne’s Chicot Lake crappie can be found in coves south of South Landing in coves located to the east and west of the main channel.

Just as soon as the float merely touched the water – it went down under.

“I told you they were here,” Lavergne said as he hoisted a ¾- pounder aboard. “They’re mostly keepers, and they stay together here for a while. Later on, we’ll start catching smaller ones and the best fish will be gone.”

Throughout the morning, Lavergne found filletable crappie time and again casting in clusters of duckweed, submerged timber and laydowns in 4 feet of water. Just as he predicted, the fish remained at the sizes ranging above.

For a while after the sun cast its first rays in one of the coves, the action was unstoppable. Just as soon as he had placed a fish in the cooler and cast again, the slip float vanished on the very next cast. This nonstop action ended suddenly as if a switch was turned off about 30 minutes after it began.

The slab crappie were taken on four select lures: the above mentioned Crème pearl tubes; chartreuse/white-tail Crème tubes; pearl/white Egret Baits Wedgetail Minnows; and salt-pepper, silver/chartreuse Egret Baits Wedgetail Minnows.

Chris Berzas photo Chicot Lake's beauty derives from a rich cypress-tupelo lake environment.
Chris Berzas photo
Chicot Lake’s beauty derives from a rich cypress-tupelo lake environment.

And just as Lavergne predicted, the bite slackened at about 9:30 a.m. with mostly throwbacks taken.

When it was over, there were 30 keepers in the cooler out of an estimated 50 caught in the coves.

A caveat is due here however.

Chris Berzas photo Although Chicot State Park boasts of a healthy crappie population as portrayed even on park entry signs, make no mistake that these fish are often extremely finicky and tough to catch any time of the year.
Chris Berzas photo
Although Chicot Lake boasts of a healthy crappie population as portrayed even on park entry signs, make no mistake that these fish are often extremely finicky and tough to catch any time of the year.

Lavergne is catching these slabs when most other anglers are reporting horrible days when fishing at Chicot. In fact, many local anglers will figure it’s not even worthwhile to fish for crappie at Chicot Lake during the heat of August.

“They’re missing out,” he said. “I work hard on stealth, sensitive tackle, and lure presentation because I find that these fish can be very finicky in the heat.

“For example, most anglers here would never throw white colors in these stained waters,” the angler said. “I will change things around often because I know well there are good fish in this lake.

“They have to be somewhere, and they will take some type of lure,” he added.

For more information regarding Chicot Lake, visit the Chicot State Park website at http://www.crt.state.la.us/parks/ichicot.aspx.

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