Finding winter crappie at Louisiana’s Chicot Lake

“It’s been awhile, but I think it’s at least started,” said angler Glynn Lavergne referring to winter crappie fishing at Louisiana’s Chicot Lake. “From now on until mid-March, we’ll find a few good sac-a-lait (cajun french term for crappie) every week. I love this time of the year on Chicot.”

It's winter crappie times at Chicot Lake. Find hyacinth patches and alligator weeds where these fish will seek cover at this time of the year.
It’s winter crappie times at Chicot Lake. Find hyacinth patches and alligator weeds where these fish will seek cover at this time of the year.

The very first fish in the boat however was no indication of his hype.

“That’s definitely not a picture fish,” I indicated disapprovingly.

Tossing back a few more throw-backs into the waters, it was time to move back to the north section of the lake.

Arriving to the east side, we found a few hyacinth patches and began catching good fish. We were vertically jigging black/chartreuse-tail and white/chartreuse-tail Stanley Wedgetail Crappie Minnows and tube jigs of the green and gold-glitter variety, and sac-a-lait would hit them on the fall.

“They poisoned here for hyacinths, and we lost some good sac-a-lait habitat as a result,” lamented the angler.

“Other anglers don’t like the hyacinths I know, but they could have left a few more clusters for us sac-a-lait anglers here,” reasoned the fisherman.

When it was all over at about 10:30 am – we caught a few decent fish.

“This is not a bonanza,” I complained.

“I know, but I think it’ll get better,” replied Lavergne. “It started late this year here, but as it gets colder – there may be more cooperating fish.”

According to Lavergne , he will find fair numbers of fish in depths ranging from 18- inches to five- feet of water on any given cloudy day after fronts have moved through.

“I’m talking about catching from one- to two- dozen keepers, and many throwbacks,” said Lavergne.

“They’ll range from three-quarters of a pound upwards to 1 ½- pounds on the average,” said the angler. “And that’s an average, because sometimes we have taken a few two-pounders as well.”

Experienced Chicot Lake anglers will catch from one- to two- dozen keepers, and many throwbacks. They’ll range from three-quarters of a pound upwards to 1 ½- pounds on the average.
Experienced Chicot Lake anglers will catch from one- to two- dozen keepers, and many throwbacks. They’ll range from three-quarters of a pound upwards to 1 ½- pounds on the average.

As for tackle, Lavergne will use flyrods at 8 ½- feet in length outfitted with underhand baitcast reels. On eight-pound mono, the anglers will tie white and white/chartreuse Stanley Wedgetail Crappie Minnows as well as tube jigs of varying colors to include: green/gold flake, pumpkinseed, black/white, blue/white and other varying combinations.

Interestingly, the baits will be tied to the usual 1/32 oz. jighead with a loop knot to provide better action in the water.

Vertically jigging is not the only way to catch sac-a-lait here, as Lavergne will often cast these offerings under a small pin stopper that can be adjusted for depth.

“If you can find a few good treetops, you’ll also find a few fish,” said Lavergne. “But believe me, good treetops are hard to find on this lake if only nature puts them there.”

Throughout the morning, we also witnessed good numbers of mallards and wood ducks frequenting areas on both sides of the lake.

For more information regarding fishing Louisiana’s Chicot Lake, visit the Chicot State Park website at http://www.crt.state.la.us/parks/ichicot.aspx. Their Facebook url is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chicot-State-Park/209208832431949?fref=ts

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