There’s a saying in Louisiana: If you don’t like the weather, stick around; it’s about to change. You might be able to say the same thing for one of Louisiana’s hottest bass fishing resources—the Red River.
The Red River is constantly changing—rising, falling, flowing from water releases at the locks, or still waters from no releases at the locks. There’s the river itself, plus countless acres of backwater lakes to fish in. So all that change is a good thing.
No matter what the conditions, the Red River has gained national attention as a productive fishery. The Bass Anglers Sportsman Society has held two BASSMasters Classics here and numerous other national tournaments make regular stops here. Why? There are great facilities. The fishing is excellent. And there is plenty to do in Shreveport-Bossier and other areas up and down the river all the way to Alexandria when you’ve had your limit of fishing.
Here’s a quick guide to fishing the Red River:
When you cross one of the big bridges across the Red River in Shreveport or Alexandria, the river's appearance doesn’t exactly scream “great fishing." The water is a reddish color, there are not many trees or stumps and the river has been altered considerably including a series of locks and dams. But don’t let that fool you. The river is made up of five pools, all of them containing plenty of bass in the 3 to 8 pound range. The river lakes area is also great for bass. Public boat launches are available beginning north from Hwy. 2 east of Vivian through Bossier city, Coushatta, Natchitoches, Alexandria/Pineville all the way to Marksville thanks to the largest navigation and recreation project ever in north Louisiana.
Fishing bait to try: Summer fishing means crankbaits and plastics for Red River bass. Shad and chartreuse colors are good for crank baits. Purple, black and motor oil colors are good in plastic worms. Topwater action is great in the backwater lakes.
Give the Red River a shot. It’ll leave a smile on your face and fish in your livewell.