by Justin Sanders
Cross Lake has been called “the dead sea” by many fisherman, and is considered to be a difficult lake to master. This especially applies when it comes to Bass fishing in northern Louisiana, and many anglers would only elect Cross as a last resort. My opinion however, is quite the opposite, and I plan on catching my first wall-hanger on Cross Lake of Shreveport.
As a kid, my fishing consisted of an experienced fisherman saying “be quiet, and stop dragging your tackle box across the bottom of the boat!” “This is a five dollar bait, so don’t lose it.” And “fish don’t climb trees.” I always got bored very quickly when I wasn’t catching anything, which was pretty regularly. My technique included casting a lure into the water, not paying any attention to anything at all.
Eventually I stopped fishing altogether until about 6 months ago, which was probably 15 years after my last cast as a kid. I took my family on a weekend trip to visit my in-laws at Toledo Bend. Sitting outside at the picnic table, I spotted my mother-in-law’s fancy LED light-up spinning real, and decided to make a couple of casts off the bank. I was fishing a road runner and caught a bass on my second cast. I immediately remembered how much fun it was to catch a fish, and I was hooked (no pun intended). After getting back to Shreveport, I called my long time friend Kyle Bryant and asked, “when do you want to go fishing?” Kyle never stopped fishing, and knows a few things about the sport. I believe his record bass to date is over 13 lbs which is pretty respectable in the lakes of northern Louisiana. Fishing with Kyle, I quickly learned several strategies, and realized there was much more to fishing than casting a lure into a body of water. There is even more to fishing than fishing. I love the outdoors. I also spend a lot of time fishing with my older brother now, which has been great.
I’ve fished Caddo, Toledo Bend, Black Bayou, and Cross Lake. Based on the well-known reputation, I spent the majority of my beginning efforts at Caddo Lake, but migrated to Cross Lake for the convenience. Since then, I haven’t looked back. I’ve had tremendous luck in both quantity and size. I keep it simple, fishing trees with plastics mostly. This summer I’ve caught a few 4 pounders, 5.8 pounder, and recently a 6.6 pounder. The big ones are out there. My dad caught an 8 lb bass on Cross when he was a kid, which is why my bench mark for the wall is 8lbs. The quest continues. I’ve found that Cross Lake is a great lake to fish on, and it shouldn’t be a last resort option. The label “dead sea” in my opinion isn’t accurate, and there are plenty of “wall hangers” in Cross Lake. I’ll catch mine…catch yours. Good luck.