The Ins and Outs of Vernon Lake Fishing
Vernon Lake is located in Vernon Parish, Louisiana. It is about 52 miles from Alexandria or 10 miles from Leesville. The lake boasts an open channel near the dam, with a wide variety of fishing depths. There is a maximum depth of 50 feet in this 4,200 acre lake. The elevation is 226 feet with a 3 foot water clarity. Many different boat types can be accommodated, from canoes to powerboats. There are tree stumps at the upper end of the lake, so it is best for powerboats to avoid this. There are many boat launches located on Bivens Landing, Hickory Ridge Road, Vernon Lake Road, Vernon Park Road, and Lakeview Landing. Vernon Lake was created in 1963 . At this time a second dam was built across Anacoco Bayou. Annually, the lake is stocked with 100,000 Florida bass.
Types of fish at Vernon Lake
Catfish, as well as Bream, are plentiful in the summer months at Vernon Lake. Fisherman have also found great sources of bass (largemouth and black) at this reservoir, as well as some other varieties of fish, including crappie and panfish.
Fishing Tips for Lake Vernon
To catch catfish at Vernon Lake, use fish bait. Minnows and goldfish are good ones to use. Sinkbaits may also be used. If you do not have these, you can use fresh liver. Other fisherman have also had luck with hot dogs. Advanced fisherman will tell you that homemade bait can be used as well. To make, simply make a dough with flour and water. Leftover meat can be ground up and added to this dough as well. Catfish are huge fans of orange cheese, so shredded up cheese can be added to the mixture. Others have had luck with adding peanut butter, eggs, bacon or sausage.
Bream are fish that are not part of the bass or crappie family. Should you have children that are fishing with you, take note that these fish are easier to catch. They like to feed on worms, pea mussels, and snails. They grow between 1 to 2 feet long, and are a common fish. To catch bream, you will want to find the shallow or still part of Vernon Lake. Sunrise or sunset is the best time to catch these fish. They like to swim in waters that are warmed up by the sun. Little coves are an excellent place to look for bream, as they tend to want to avoid currents. They will hide from predators, so looking for lily pads, weeds, gravel, timber, and rocks is a good idea. They may also be found in the boat dock. The best months to fish for bream are April, May and June.
To catch largemouth bass, you can opt to use buzzbait. The buzzing noise will attract bass from a distance. The best time to bass fish is in the early morning or late at night. Note that bass will look for shelter from the sun if it is shinning. Live bait may also help assist with catching largemouth bass. Consider using worms, crayfish, live minnows, and frogs. Largemouth bass do not like dead food.
To catch crappie in Vernon Lake, many fishers have good luck with artificial bait. Look for crappies in water depths of three to six feet. Dawn and dusk are feeding times for crappie. The line should be kept tight at all times, as if the line is slacking, crappies can tear or shake the hook. It is also best to be steady and slow with your jig, as rushing will deter the crappie.
Where to Stay When in Vernon Parish
Camping sites can be located at the South Toledo Bend State Park. This state park has more then 55 camp sites, as well as cabins. There are both primitive and premium sites to choose from. There are several hotels that are located in Leesville, which is the county seat for the Parish. These include:
- Best Western Stagecoach Inn
1200 N. 6th Street
- Days Inn Leesville
1910 S. 5th Street
- Holiday Inn Express Leesville
122 Express Blvd
- Comfort Suites
11498 Lake Charles Highway
- Country Inn
3020 Colony Blvd.
Vacation rental places include:
- Shady Oak Lodge
305 Joe Drive
- Toledo Bend Many Vacation Rental
100 Bailey's Bluff Drive #1
Bait and Tackle Shops and Boat Rentals Near Vernon Lake
There are a variety of bait and tackle shops and Boat rental places located near Vernon Lake to assist you with all your fishing needs.
- Vicky's Fishing & Hunting
18116 Johnny B Hall Memorial Highway
- Toledo Town & Tackle
11904 Texas Highway
- Bayou Rapids Fiberglass
200 School House Road
- Sewell Marine LLC
12561 Lake Charles Highway
Other Attractions Located Near Vernon Lake
There are many wonderful attractions near Vernon Lake. These include:
- Museum of West Louisiana-This museum is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. The address is 803 S. 3rd Street, Leesville, LA.
- Anderson Farms- Located at 400 Stagle Rd., offers pumpkins in the fall, as well as a hay rack ride.
- Alligator Lake Recreation Area- Recreational area filled with several playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, trails, and a lake for canoing. Located on Artillery Road in Fort Polk.
- Catfish Grove- A fun place for a family. Splash pad, playground, as well as an area to fish in. Located in Fort Polk.