Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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VanArsdel Takes Win at Bistineau

Doyline, LA. At the March 23, 2024, Professional League Tournament on Lake Bistineau, Johnny VanArsdel of Greenwood, LA, takes the win. VanArsdel caught a good fish early in the day to take some of the pressure of the limit off, and his 7.66 lb. kicker is what pushed him over the top with a 5-fish limit weighing 19.56 lbs. His efforts allowed him to take home $2740.00 with a win and the big bass for the event.

The field launched from Bistineau State Park, which had dropping water levels from extremely high amounts of rain. Bistineau is long and narrow and extends across three parishes in the northwest part of the state. The lake is lined with old cypress trees draped with Spanish Moss, offering an abundance of cover for largemouth bass, and every tree looks appealing to anglers who fish here. Bayou Dorcheat feeds into Lake Bistineau and took on an overwhelming amount of water earlier in the week which tossed the level of the lake up 3 feet in a short amount of time. The weather cleared up and Saturday was picture perfect with temps reaching 70 and plenty of sun. When the boats left Saturday morning, the lake level was falling, and the anglers were unsure of the effect it would have on the fish.

Johnny tells us, “I used two baits today. A frog and a black and red tube. I caught one fish on a frog and the rest on the tube. I had two spots I was going to fish today. I had my limit early in the first area and caught my kicker around 9 AM. I went to my second spot, and there were boats all over it, so I turned around and went back where I was. The tree I caught the big one on was on a bed. I couldn’t see her, but I ended up catching the buck on the same tree that was bedded with her. I caught 8 keepers and culled a couple of times, but this time of year, you never know what it’s going to take at the scales. I was really happy to have her, or I would have finished in 2nd place.”


In every location, the anglers fished around Cypress trees. The lake was full of water, just like Caddo Lake a few weeks back, and currents pulled towards the spillway all over it.

In second place, Robert Sparks of Heflin, LA, caught a solid five-fish limit weighing 18.16 lbs. Robert held the lead for a long time. His five fish were worth $240.00 each, and he took home a check for $1200.00.

Robert said, “My day did not start good at all. I missed the first five fish that bit, and I was just praying I would get five more. I didn’t have my limit until 2:00, and I was relieved when I finally got the 5th one in the boat. I was in a really good area, and I knew there were fish there. I didn’t get a chance to practice at all, but I went there knowing I had caught them in the past. They were on the trees in 4 to 5 feet of water, and every one of them came on a black and blue creature bait. I never had a chance to cull, and I feel lucky to get the five bites I managed to get in the boat. After missing all those others early, I was setting the hook hard. I didn’t want it to happen again, so I made sure they were not coming off.”

Paul Wilson of Doyline, LA, had a 5-fish limit of 17.61 lbs. and finished in 3rd place. Paul had not been able to fish much of late and was not sure how his day would unfold but he did very well without a chance to practice.


Paul explained his day. “I had a much better day than I thought I would. I managed to boat 12 keepers today and had my limit by 8:30 this morning. They bit well this morning, and then things slowed down for a while, but they turned back on later in the day. All my fish were caught on a black and blue creature bait also. I didn’t go far and fished in one area all day long. I knew they were there after this morning, so I didn’t see a reason to run all over the lake and try to find another productive spot. This freshwater has them stunned at the moment because the fishing out here has been very good over the past two weeks, but it was really nice to get back on the water.”

Finishing fourth Jacob White of Minden, LA had a solid 5 fish limit weighing 16.74 lbs. just ounces ahead of Colston White of Heflin, LA finishing in fifth place with a 5 fish limit weighing 16.68 lbs.

This was tournament number two of the year for the Louisiana division. Of all the southwest divisions, Louisiana will be the first one to finish out the schedule. The next stop will be the infamous Toledo Bend Reservoir, launching from Cypress Bend Park on April 20th, 2024. At the end of the season, we will crown the Angler of the Year in this division, and the top 200 anglers by points will receive an invitation to fish at the 2024 Ray Scott Championship.

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About American Bass Anglers

American Bass Anglers, committed to providing low-cost, close-to-home tournaments, offers an exciting platform for individual angler progression. With the support of industry-leading companies, ABA continues to advance the sport of bass fishing.

For more information about the ABA Professional League and other series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com or call (256) 232-0406.

American Bass Anglers is proud to be sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, T-H Marine, Power Pole, RT Outdoors, Optima Batteries, Hotel Planner.com, and LurePartsOnline.com.

About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers is dedicated to organizing affordable, local tournaments for weekend anglers while offering opportunities for individual angler advancement. To learn more about American Bass Anglers, including the Team Series, American Fishing Tour, American Couples Series, annual Military Team Bass Tournament, ABA Team Series, Top 150 Solo Tour, and Pro League, all presented by Caymas Boats, please visit www.americanbassanglers.com or call (256) 232-0406.

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