4-Rivers provides many fish

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 3, 2011

March was a not-so-productive month on several of our area lakes, but it was good on other lakes and rivers.

One overlooked river system that produces a lot of bass and white perch, yet receives very little fishing pressure during the spring season, is the 4-Rivers near Jonesville and Harrisonburg, La.

The Tensas, Ouachita and Little River join just about at Jonesville to form the Black River.

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This is one of the few places in the United States where three rivers join to make one.

The 4-Rivers system offers miles and miles of river to fish, as well as numerous small backwater lakes accessible by the rivers.

I’ve heard some really good reports from the few anglers that fish these waters in late March and April, and I am sure those guys and ladies would rather keep this a secret.

While most local bass bangers are frothing the same old oxbow lakes like Bruin, St. John and Concordia, this small group of fishermen and ladies enjoy fishing what I call dumb fish.

Dumb fish are the best kind of fish. They receive so little pressure that the bass in the 4-Rivers system are not lure smart.

Launching from Harrisonburg you can get on a small backwater lake called Town Lake within minutes.

Just north of Town Lake, just a few miles up the Ouachita, there is another very productive white perch and bass lake called Rosin Creek.

Both of these small backwater lakes fish about the same.

Just target the dead stumps, lay downs and standing cypress for big slab white perch and largemouth bass.

You can also launch from Jonesville, boat a few miles north, and fish Haw Haw Bayou.

While the bass in it may not be that big, numbers make up for size.

Largemouth bass are not the species most target in this backwater lake off the 4-River system.

Haw Haw is loaded with big slab white perch and very few fishermen ply these waters. The ones that do fish here load the freezer with slab perch.

For whatever reason, the majority of local anglers and bass club bangers wait until the hot months of late June through August to fish the 4-Rivers area.

That is a big mistake.

By then the good fishing is over.

When water temperatures hit the mid to upper 80s the fishing in the 4-Rivers backwater lakes is tough.

Right now it’s great.

This is a river system, so check the river stage before planning a trip.

Pool stage on the Black River at Jonesville headwaters is 34 feet. That’s where the stage is at today.

That’s a good stage but if we get some rain or they release some water from Arkansas reservoirs to the north and send some water down the Ouachita, a level of about 36 to 37 feet is the best stage for fishing this area.

So if you’re tired of fishing in a crowd and want to fish for “dumb” fish try the 4-Rivers.

You can fish all day without seeing more than one or two other boats if that.