Lake Vernon is one of Louisiana’s hidden treasures. The lake has depths ranging up to 50 foot. Most channels run between 15 and 22 foot. There are many humps and points, all of them full of stumps. There is not much of any grass in Vernon, but the lake produces not only quantities of bass but also quality bass. One of the best things about the lake is there is not much fishing pressure. There are two reasons many anglers do not fish Lake Vernon. One reason is that it is only about ten minutes from Toledo Bend. Many anglers will just drive the extra ten minutes to go fish the Bend. The other reason is that it is very hard to navigate. The lake is full of stumps, and there are not that many marked boat runs. The ones they do have are narrow and not all that helpful to boaters. Many anglers do not want to put there high dollar bass boats in this lake. The good news is the parish just bought a stump cutter and plan to cut more boat runs, and make the ones they have now wider and deeper.
It is not uncommon to hear of eight to twelve pound fish being caught out of Lake Vernon. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department says the lake is one of the best lakes in its district as far as numbers and size for bass. The lake also offers great cat fishing. Crappie fishing is fair to good at certain times of the year. During the summer months, bream can be caught by the dozens.
Bass fishing is at its best in the spring, but this lake offers some of the best summertime night fishing there is in Louisiana. Vernon is classified as a quality lake, which means there is a slot from 14 inches to 17 inches. All fish caught within this slot must be returned to the water. You can keep 8 fish, but only 4 may be over the slot.
The baits that boast most of the catches on Lake Vernon are spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and Texas-rigged worms. Shore line fishing can be productive, but finding good points and humps next to creek channels is the way to put a good limit of fish in your boat. When the fish move up shallow in the spring, you can catch them on flukes, jerkbaits, buzzbaits, and swim blades. During the prespawn, Carolina-rigs, Texas-rigs, jigs, diving crankbaits, and spinnerbaits are the way to go. Occasionally, lipless crankbaits can get you a limit quick, but most anglers avoid them because of all the stumps and laydowns. When summer sets in, go to the night bite. Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits along the shore lines can produce some good numbers at night, but if you are after the hawgs fish the points and humps on the main lake with a Texas-rigged worm. In early fall, the schoolers are out and you can literally go out and catch fish until you are tired of catching them. To fish the schoolers, throw a Little George or a Rinky Dink. Winter bass fishing on Lake Vernon can be slow, but catching a big one is highly likely at this time of the year. Slow down your offering, and fish brush hawgs and jigs next to the creek channels.
To get to Vernon Lake take Highway 8 West out of Leesville, and go down about five miles until you see the sign for Vernon Lake Dam. Take a right on the next road past the sign, and go down about two miles until you hit a sharp curve to your left. There is a road that goes straight, do not take that road, stay towards the left. Go down about another mile, and the public launch at the spill way will be on your right. Good Luck.
Jared LeBlue is a member of the Events Staff here at Ultimatebass.com, and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.