D’Arbonne Lake, Louisiana

D’Arbonne Lake has two main river channels that allow a fisherman to run way up into the far reaches of the creeks. The main lake has so many options it’s difficult to mention them all. There are a few open water flats but most of the lake is choked full of visible and submerged stumps and tree. The great thing about the lake is a well-marked channel that allows safe travel. But make no mistake because wondering out of the channel when motoring quickly leads to trouble.

Spider rigging is Josh Gowan’s number one tactic for this guide and tournament fisherman. Here what fishermen look for at D’Arbonne.

Spider rigging is Josh Gowan’s number one tactic for this guide and tournament fisherman. Here what fishermen look for at D’Arbonne.

            “You can literally do every tactic here to catch fish,” says Josh Gowan, who finished second here in a Crappie Masters spring tournament here and has started a guide service on the lake. “It has big fish. The number of fish with their size makes it an outstanding lake. On a good day, it’s no problem to catch 50 fish a day.”

            “The spawn is obviously tied to temperature trends so timeframes can vary, but early to mid-March is the typical spawn time. Simply treat the fish movements similar to what you would in any other lake,” says Gowan. “The fish move up out of the channels. Weather patterns can have them moving up or down out from deep water but find the fish in pre-spawn or spawn and fishing action can be outstanding.”

            Gowan often uses a single-hook rig just because the wood cover is so dense. Fewer hang-ups result in more time fishing instead of tying rigs.

            “I spider rig here. It worked great this early spring and works in the summer and other seasons. The timber here still has limbs so getting a bait through it isn’t easy. A lot of cover is placed here too. Local anglers like to put tops in upside down, weight it and tie it to a tree during low water.”

            Gowan says, “A Navionics South chip helps to fish and get around on the lake. There are stumps and more stumps so stay in the channel when motoring.”

            “Summer temperatures here are hot. Did I mention they are really hot! I’m not sure anyone can totally get use to it, but the fishing is still good from now, through the summer and in the fall. The key to fishing when summer hits is to drink plenty of fluids and get your fish caught before it gets too hot.”

            “Accommodations here include a lot of really good launch ramps around the lake. It’s unbelievable what good access there is to the lake. Darbonne Pointe has beautiful cabins and so does the State Park. It’s a laid-back place with nice people in the community. Come down and enjoy the fishing.”

            Contact Info: Guide Josh Gowan, 573-579-0212, lakedarbonnecrappieguide.com.

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