Located in east central Louisiana is Lake Bruin, an oxbow lake created by the change in direction of the Mississippi River. Bruin is approximately 3,000 acres, stretching for nearly 11.25 miles and is about .5 miles wide. Being part of the Mississippi River system, Lake Bruin has all depths of water. From the shallow bank lines to 15 to 20 feet of water at the end of some docks, to water in excess of 50 feet in the lake. This oxbow lake is shaped like a big horseshoe with the two ends being very close together. Lake Bruin is located just outside of the small Louisiana town of Saint Joseph.
Lake Bruin is located just a few miles off of U.S. Highway 65 that travels north/south through eastern Louisiana, approximately 25 miles south of Interstate 20 at Tallulah, Louisiana. From Highway 65, turn east on Louisiana Highway 128 into the town of St. Joseph, and then turn north on Highway 606. Traveling Highway 606, you can drive the entire length of the lake on the inside of the oxbow; or, you can turn on Highway 604 to travel the outside of the lake. There are several places to stay around the lake, with the largest being a 53-acre state park. The park has approximately 25 campsites, both improved and unimproved. In addition, the park has three fishing piers, boat launch, a boat shed, rental boats, swimming area, bathhouse, picnic tables, barbeque pits, and a large covered pavilion.
While this lake provides many options for water activities, fishing is one of the best reasons to make a trip to east central Louisiana. Fishermen can wet a line for many different species including bass, bream, crappie, catfish, and even go for gar or buffalo if they chose. Bass fishing on Lake Bruin is good all year long. The lake has all kinds of structure that provides the angler with many different options. Both sides of the lake are lined with boat docks and cypress trees, grass can be found all around the lake, each end of the lake is a shallow flat, and you can also find brush piles that provide the bass with excellent hiding places.
Bass fishing on Lake Bruin is good all year long; so no matter when you decide to make a trip, the chances of putting bass in the boat are good. Wintertime usually means jig fishing around the cypress trees and boat docks, but you can't rule out a Carolina rig, rattletrap, or crankbait. Spring is an awesome time of year to visit Lake Bruin. Springtime makes the bass hungry and the spinnerbait is one of their favorite dishes. Look for shallow water and keep the trolling motor going. While the spinnerbait is an excellent bait in spring, you also want to have Texas-rigged plastics and crankbaits in your arsenal. Jerkbaits are also a must have for springtime fishing on Bruin. Summertime brings hot weather to Louisiana and the fishing gets hot just like the temperatures. Of course, the early mornings and late evenings call for topwater baits close to the bank and in areas with grass. You’ll also need to have Texas- and Carolina-rigged plastics ready, as well as deeper diving crankbaits. Night fishing can also produce excellent catches of bass with black spinnerbaits and plastics on boat docks. When the weather starts cooling down in the fall, the fishing gets better. Topwater action in fall is at a premium on Lake Bruin. You definitely want to have buzzbaits in your tackle box, along with other topwater baits like the pop-r, spook, and torpedo; and don't forget to bring some spinnerbaits.
The key to fishing on Lake Bruin is to keep your bait in the water. Whether fishing boat docks, seawalls, cypress trees, grass, or brush piles; the chances of catching bass are extremely good. In my opinion, Lake Bruin is one of the most beautiful lakes in Louisiana and it has some of the clearest water you will find anywhere in the state. You can't go wrong planning a trip to east central Louisiana, just outside the little town of St. Joseph, on scenic Lake Bruin.
WRITERS NOTE: My family started taking summer vacations to Lake Bruin in the early 60's, with my first visit being at the age of 10, and those continued throughout my high school years. Our summer revolved around my dad's vacation and the trip to Lake Bruin. The memories of those week-long trips will stay with me forever. The summertime trips were filled with fishing, swimming, skiing, and trying to squeeze as much fun as possible into 7 days. I learned to water ski, saw my first bass tournament, and truly fell in love with bass fishing on Lake Bruin. Our summertime trips found my dad and me on the water every morning before daylight for some bass fishing. We always carried fly rods and would fly fish for bream before heading back to the cabin for breakfast. During the day, my time was reserved for swimming and skiing, but the evening time was designated for fishing. There were a lot of firsts for us in fishing on Lake Bruin. That is where we first tried a bait to fish across the grass…nope it wasn't a lunker lure, it was an herb dilly. (And if you remember that lure, you are dating yourself). We also tried worm fishing for the first time on Lake Bruin. And one of my fondest memories of all involved my dad and worm fishing. One morning in the late 60's, my dad hooked into and landed a very nice largemouth bass; the biggest I had ever seen. Only having a "de-liar" to check the fish, we weren't really sure how much it weighed. Once we got back to camp, we got a scale from the owners of the campsite and found that the bass weighed 5 pounds, 10 ounces. Now I know that today, that is not coming close to being a "special" catch; but in the late 1960's, that was a HAWG. Of course, we took the fish back to Baton Rouge and my dad had it mounted. Up until the day he died, just looking at that fish brought a smile to his face. From his five grandchildren to every other child that came to their house, my dad grinned from ear to ear each time he lifted one of them up to get a close up look at HIS bass and to stick their fist inside the open mouth of that big ole fish. Now, almost 40 years after that most memorable morning, that bass still hangs on the wall in my mom and dad's old house where my nephew and his wife lives.
Lake Bruin…let it make some memories for you.
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