When Spring is in the air in Northwest Louisiana the boats are on the water.  The fish are biting and even those who only fish a few times each year, know that now is the time to go!

Course I'm not sure if we know just how good we've got it here in our neck of the woods.  I did a little research and found that people all over the country wish they had access to some of the lakes we've got right here in our backyard.

In fact, I've listed what I consider to be the 5 Best Fishing Lakes Around Shreveport/Bossier and there's really not a bad one in the bunch.

  • #5 - Cross Lake.  This was a tough call because certainly Black Bayou Hosston and Cypress/Black Bayou are also incredible fisheries, but Cross Lake's tradition of yielding some incredible crappie, catfish and bream make it enviable to scores of lakes in other parts of the world, but it's the stocking program with the Florida bass (frequently in the double digit weight) that make it a solid call for the Top 5.
  • #4 -  Red River.  Finished at #77 on BASSMaster Top 100 bass fishing lakes in America.  Couple that with regular catches of catfish weighing well over 50 pounds and crappie consistently pushing the 2 pound mark, this is truly one of the best fisheries in the country
  • #3 - Caddo Lake. #19 on Fishhounds 50 Best Catfishing Lakes and Rivers in America.  Course it's chock full of huge crappie and bream beds that will make kids dream of their next trip to the lake, it's the HUGE Florida bass catches that keep bass anglers feeling they are only a cast away from a new State record.  And with a lake record bass weighing 16.17 pounds, they might just be right.
  • #2 - Lake Bistineau.  #27 on the BASSMaster Top 100 bass lakes in America and rightfully so.  Though the salvinia issue with the lake makes fishing tough at times, this beautiful old cypress lake can still cough up some massive fish when she wants to.  However, it's the pan fishing that makes this one stand out to me.  Launching around the Port O' Bistineau in the early part of the year, you can nearly walk boat to boat as anglers fill their freezers with crappie by the dozens.  Some of the best crappie fishing anywhere and the summer Redear Bream beds will make a fisherman of anyone.
  • #1.  Toledo Bend.  No doubt "The Bend" is not only the best fishing lake around here, it's one of the best lakes in the world.  With accolades like #1 on BASSMaster Top 100 bass fishing lakes in America, #20 on Fishhounds 50 Best Catfishing Lakes and Rivers and #23 on Fishhounds 50 Best Crappie Lakes and deemed Louisiana's Best Bream Fishing Lake by Louisiana Sportsman, Toledo is an all around fish Mecca.

If you're headed out this weekend, just be careful.  Be considerate of those places still suffering from the recent flood waters and take a kid fishing.  I can't imagine what my life would have been like if my Dad and Uncles had never taken me.