Gravel

State Wildlife and Fisheries Inland Fisheries Section staff works to deposit a small barge of gravel to set hard-bottom spawning beds for sunfish species on False River. Hard bottoms are needs for species like bluegill and redear sunfish — chinquapin — to lay eggs during the approaching spawning period. Their work is part of the overall master plan to restore water and fish-habitat quality to the Pointe Coupee Parish oxbow lake.

By now every south Louisiana fishermen knows the score: high water almost everywhere and it doesn’t look like there’s any relief in sight.

For now, know “no-wake” zones remain for Belle River and most anywhere in the Verret Basin where wave wash can affect waterside camps and residences. Caution is the word, and getting a citation for violating these zones can cut deeply into gas money for your boat.

Anyone wanting to chase largemouth bass are very limited, but there are places affording the opportunity to have a decent catch-day on the water.

False River is usually a high-water haven, and it’s where Steve Fontana hit the nail on the head about seeing a lot of big fish coming from the Pointe Coupee Parish oxbow.

Sunday’s annual Kiwanis bass tournament proved his point: Spencer Gremillion and Patrick Rachal wowed onlookers with their five-bass limit, a catch topped by the day’s big bass, a 7-pound, 14.4-ounce lunker which gave them an 18-pound, 2.4-ounce total.

And they needed every ounce of that big fish because False River veterans Brad and Steve Buoy came in with a 17-5.1 catch. The Buoys had the No. 3 big bass, a 5-1.

It’s a cinch to know most of the fish came from brushtops around piers and in the flats on either end of the river, but with bright sunshine (and warmer water temperatures) ahead for the next several days, bass usually move from the flats and deeper water structure to the banks. It’s a pattern that’s stood for years, and it makes it easier to target largemouths on wide variety of lures.

If you like an open water system, then take a hint from Media Bass’ South Louisiana Division from Des Allemands.

Vincent Todaro teamed with Alan Yedor for a winning 14.25-pound stringer, nearly a 3-pound average – the big bass was a 4.75-pounder from the Joshua Foret-Jess Robertson team — and, considering the circumstances, it’s an above average catch.

If you hit a little more than a 2½-pound average, like Drady and Donny Blanchard Sr. did with their 10.95-pound, four-bass catch, you finished in the money.

Need more?

Try the marshes on the east side of the Mississippi River. Delacroix, the MRGO, marshes off the Intracoastal Waterway, the Biloxi Marsh and a few spots in Hopedale are providing action on redfish and bass. Jerkworms, heavy-wire spinnerbaits and jerkbaits are working along with the extra-shallow running crankbaits.

Hudnall & Spohrer

Although they earned $10,000 for their efforts, the weekend spent in Knoxville, Tennessee, didn’t turn out the way either Derek Hudnall or Gerald Spohrer wanted it, or dreamed it could be.

Hudnall, of Baton Rouge, and Spohrer, of Gonzales, were Louisiana’s qualifiers in the Bassmaster Classic held on two reservoir lakes on the Tennessee River.

Their catches during the first two rounds Friday and Saturday left both short of making the 25-angler field for Sunday’s final round in the 52-man field.

Hudnall finished No. 33 with a two-day total of 17-5 and Spohrer was back in the pack with a 12-12 total. Back-to-back defending Classic champ Jordan Lee also failed to moved to the final round.

Knoxville’s national touring pro Ott Defoe pulled off the Classic win, coming in with a final day’s 18-14 catch to move from the middle of the top 10 to the $300,000 payday from the $1 million purse. His three-day total hit 49-3, about 20 pounds short of the 69-11 Classic record catch by Kevin VanDam on south Louisiana waters in 2011.

For the time being, it was the final shot for Defoe at a Classic title. He, along with as many as 50 other former Bassmaster Elite anglers, moved to Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour this year. Spohrer is a MLF angler, too, but Hudnall along with six other Louisiana anglers are working the Bassmaster Elite series.

The college side

The Louisiana-Monroe team of Tyler Craig and Spencer Lambert made a splash Sunday in the nine-team Carhartt Bassmaster College Classic held on the Tennessee River waters as the 52 big-money anglers.

They caught only one bass, but it stood as the one-day competition’s lunker, a 3-15. Cole Sands and Bailey Finn of Bryan College won with a 13-11 catch.