Four Louisiana lakes among the best fishing spots in the country, according to a national publication


Bassmaster Magazine’s “Top 100 Lakes” for 2022 includes four lakes managed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Louisiana is no stranger to this annual list. Along with the ever-present Toledo Bend and Caney Lake, which made their third consecutive appearance, Bussey Brake and D’Arbonne Lake are now among the top 25 lakes in the Central Division, which includes 13 states.

Caney Lake is currently ranked No. 4, up one spot from last year. The ranking is largely due to amazing tournament weights, in addition to the large number of bass over 10 pounds caught in recent years. Habitat conditions are currently driving the increase in large fish and overall abundance of bass in this 5,000 acre reservoir in Jackson Parish.

Toledo Bend Reservoir (TX/LA) continues to hold a stable position within the Central Division, ranking 5th overall. A low water period in 2019, which caused the reservoir to drop 7 feet below the pool for 6 months, improved habitat conditions throughout the reservoir for a short window of time. The average weights of winning catches have increased over the past year, with several winning weights of 25 pounds and 5 bass. This reservoir extends along the Texas/Louisiana state line from Desoto Parish to Vernon Parish.

It’s no surprise that Bussey brake broke into the roster this year at No. 15 in the Central Division. Bussey has produced an astonishing number of lunkers since its restoration and reopening to the public in 2020. Most of this production is due to the large number of Florida purebred broodstock provided by LDWF’s Booker Fowler Hatchery. These great spawning fish, combined with excellent habitat, have provided terrific fishing in Morehouse Parish which is expected to continue to improve in years to come. In 2021, the American Fisheries Society nationally recognized Bussey Brake and LDWF for excellence in fisheries management associated with restoration efforts.

Arbonne Lake made his first appearance on the roster at No. 24 in the Central Division. This Union Parish gem is best known for its spectacular catches of crappie, but for years has produced an abundance of quality largemouth bass. Many bass weighing 8 pounds are caught each year, with occasional catches of 10 pounds. It usually takes 20 pounds or more to win most tournaments in the spring.

This honor is due, in part, to the dedication and scientific decision-making of our inland fisheries biologists, a successful largemouth bass stocking program in Florida, and the support of our many partners across local and regional. You can learn more about our management efforts by viewing the Inland Fisheries Management Plans, which are continually updated with the most recent biological information for each water body.

If you get the chance this Labor Day weekend, grab some gear and look at this map to find the freshwater fishing spots closest to your area!


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