As you travel down Highway 11 on your next commute to work or another destination be sure to take notice of how many boats you see along the canal that parallels the highway. Chances are you won’t see any. What many have chalked up as a shallow, muddy, saltwater canal that’s only use is to support the new phase of post-Katrina camps, is also an under fished hot-spot for marsh bass. Sure, the water is brackish and the shoreline gives you the urge to throw those gold spoons that work so well when fishing for redfish, but if you fight that urge and fish freshwater style, you might be surprised at just how many bass you can put in the boat. Texas rigged plastics are the ticket right now along Hwy 11 and Slidell angler Daniel Sissac has been catching limits of bass everyday along the unsuspecting waterway. Daniel launches right before the Hwy 11 Bridge and says that you don’t need much to put a few bass in the boat these days. Sissac uses a 9 ft. Bass Hound to navigate the canal and on a recent trip he decided to take his friend, Dat Tran, who is a self-proclaimed “saltwater guy”.
As the day started, Daniel said he was helping Dat out but couldn’t help but get his line in the water. “I showed him how to rig his line with a plastic worm and just as I finished, I heard a bass break about ten yards from where we were. I immediately trolled over there and I grabbed my rod. Much to Dat’s surprise, I set the hook only seconds after the lure hit the water. I was fighting the bass until he ran to a piling that was lying on the water. I kept tension on the line and trolled to go get him,” he said. Daniel says he thought they had their first fish in the boat but the fish wasn’t done fighting. “Just as I got close enough to grab him he found one last bit of gusto, jumped, and threw the hook! He was about 2.5 lbs. and hooking that fish on the first cast really excited Dat,” Sissac said. After settling from the excitement Daniel redirected his attention to his friend. “I explained to him how to work the worm on the bottom and after a little instruction he set the hook on his first bass. With zeal and excitement, he landed his first bass! It was a small one but it was all he needed to boost his confidence. I congratulated him, took a photo, and he released the little guy,” Sissac said. It didn’t take long before the duo was thick into the bass and Dat finally caught a keeper. We continued fishing, and it wasn't long before I saw him fighting another fish. This time, the fight was a lot better, and so was the fish. His second bass was a chunky 1 3/4lbs., and this one went in the well. I could tell at this point that he was hooked! We kept fishing until just before sunset and we ended up with four in the well and released another fifteen or so,” He said. One obstacle that poses a problem for anglers fishing the Highway 11 Canal is the bridge that connects Carr Dr. to the Highway. Daniel says navigating under that bridge can be burdensome but if you target certain conditions, getting under it isn’t too much of a challenge. “We've seen many people get stuck or hit the bridge and I think there are still a few pilings left from the old bridge.
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“ Katrina also deposited some debris on the bottom so it can be quite the experience. I like to try and get past it when the water is super low,” he said. Daniel added that he thinks he might have converted Dat over to freshwater,” He WAS a saltwater fisherman and his tackle reflected that, but he was still able to catch just about a day's limit on his first trip. I think there will be many more trips with him, and I can’t wait to get back out on the there!”