As our kayaks drifted in the swift current of the Chickasawhay River, Jeff Glass pointed out a cut on the left side of the river.

"That's the mouth of Archusa Creek," he said. "We usually catch some right where the water flows into the river."

I maneuvered the kayak near the mouth of the cut, and quickly pitched a Hoot Gibson Jig into the mouth of the creek. As soon as I got the slack out of the line and swam the jig over the ledge, a nice spotted bass jumped all over the lure. The ravenous fish clearly intended to make a quick meal of my offering, and put up quite a fight when I set the hook. The bass hit the jig like a torpedo, and fought me with a fury rarely seen from a largemouth bass. But then again, that's the way the spotted bass fight on this river.

After missing another fish or two, I continued up into the creek in search of yet another bass.

"Sometimes bass will hold along the ditch, all the way to the Archusa dam," said Glass.

Archusa Lake's spillway flows a short distance and empties into the Chickasawhay River to the south. When conditions are right, anglers can really mop up in this old creek run. The creek mouth provided me with my first strikes of the day, and the spot that I caught at the mouth of the cut was a good way to start the day on the river, even when it was a bit muddy from recent rains.

Glass, of Desoto, has fished the river near Quitman for many years. I joined him and his daughter Courtney Turner for a day of kayaking and fishing. Glass had lined up a kayak float for Courtney, and let me accompany them in a kayak. Glass pointed out hotspots, likely fish-catching locations and a few honey holes along the way. It didn't take me long to realize he really knew the river like the back of his hand, and he usually called the shots as far as where the bass would be located.

After listening to the voice of experience, I caught a few bass while trailing along with and behind the father/daughter duo, each in their own kayaks.

"My favorite lure for this river is a broken-back Rapala," said Glass. "You can fish the lure like a jerkbait, or retrieve it straight back to the boat, and draw strikes that way. In the fall I like to retrieve the lure back to the boat in a jerk, jerk retrieve, and I usually have good luck."

According to Glass, each day on the water is a new experience in the fall.

"I like to fish spinnerbaits, stickbaits and worms on the river," he said. "But you never know what they'll like until you get there and start fishing. I've had days when the bass didn't want much of anything we offered. On one fishing trip we weren't having much luck, so we switched to buzz baits, and they really tore them up. We caught bass the rest of the day on those buzz baits."

Fall is the favorite time of the year to fish the Chickasawhay River for Glass and other die-hard anglers who enjoy the fall festival of colors and fast-paced bass action. With plenty of spotted bass, gorgeous natural scenery and pleasant fishing weather, the Chickasawhay offers anglers a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, while catching fish and enjoying our southern outdoors.

If you want to experience some of the finest creek fishing in the country, then try your luck on the Chickasawhay River this fall. There are quite a few honey holes on this section of river and plenty of hungry bass to go with them.

Here are a few of Glass's hotspots, and there are plenty more like them. In between the GPS points and honey holes are plenty of creek bends and banks filled with blown-down trees and stumps that hold bass as well. Fish the following spots and find similar locations, and you'll likely have a fantastic fall fishing day.

 

No. 1: N32 02.488 x W88 44.658 - Leave the launch site at the public ramp just north of the bridge, turn left upriver and fish the stumps and structure approximately 75 yards north of the launch site. After fishing the visible cover, turn around and head south fishing the bridge pilings and any other cover. The first stop is just downstream of the bridge about 75 yards as well. The river narrows here, and the water gets really swift.

"I'll cast into the swift areas and work them real good," said Glass.

Anglers should fish the turbulent water as well as the eddies along either side of the river where the water swirls and actually runs back upstream in places. Many times bass will lay just off to the edge of the swift water and attack baitfish that gets swept past them.

 

No. 2: N32 02.440 x W88 44.819 - Continue fishing downriver, and hit the high-percentage spots like stumps and lay-down logs that break the river current. The current breaks serve as resting spots and ambush points for the feisty spotted bass that inhabit the river.

GPS stop No. 2 is located just downstream of the Quitman Canoe Rentals. When you pass by the camp on the right, you'll see a big cypress in the middle of the river, and the next sharp curve of the river will be coming up fast. Fish the cypress tree roots and lay-down logs along the banks just before arriving at the river bend. Once you get to the river bend, fish the deeper outer bend walls.

"I like to fish the steep walls in the creek bends with jerkbaits or topwaters," Glass said.

Glass prefers fast-moving baits that will entice reaction strikes from the hungry bass.

 

No. 3: N32 02.149 x W88 45.342 - After working the river bend and structure on stop No. 2, continue on through the next long straightway until you come to another bend. This bend lies just downstream of a small island that has a couple of cypress trees smack dab in the middle of the river.

It would be a good idea to fish the current breaks and wood structure along the island as you travel past. Spotted bass are prone to hold tight to the cypress trunks and roots and attack any baitfish that might be swept past, no matter how fast they may come by.

"Again, I'd fish the steep banks and the river bend just before you get to the mouth of the Souinlovey," said Glass. "Fish the mouth of the Souinlovey, as well as the area where the water pours into the main river."

This is a tried-and-true tactic for catching bass on almost any body of water that has a creek pouring into it. Bass instinctively find these prime feeding zones, and they lie in attack mode waiting on any unsuspecting prey to be swept by. At the moment the unsuspecting prey swims by, the spotted bass will attack ferociously, making quick work of even the fastest swimmers.

 

No. 4: N32 00.608 x W88 43.721 - After fishing stop No. 3, continue moving downstream hitting any likely looking fish cover that you can find.

"When you get to the next steep river walls on the southwest side of the river, be sure to fish the walls thoroughly," he said. "We catch a lot of bass that relate to those solid walls."

When you get to the slick grey-colored banks in the curve of the river, you'll likely hear traffic on old Highway 45. There is also plenty of stumps and laydowns along the left side of the river in this area that may hold quality bass as well.

After passing under an old railroad trestle, you'll also come under the old Highway 45 bridge just to the sought of Quitman. Stop No. 4 is located just to the south of this bridge.

"Fish the current as well as the walls on the right side of the river along this area," Glass said.

There's a pretty good stretch of fish-holding water here also.

 

No. 5: N32 00.718 x W88 43.452 - No. 5 is also located just to the south end of the river walls. In fact, No. 5 is actually where another small stream pours into the river.

"I'd make a few casts where the creek pours into the river here," said Glass.

 

No. 6: N32 01.007 x W88 43.295 - After leaving No. 5, you'll travel only a short distance before you encounter another larger creek pouring into the river on the left side.

"That's the mouth of Archusa Creek," Glass said. "Bass will stack up along the creek mouth almost any time of year. If the river is muddy or discolored, like it is today, and Archusa is clear, the bass will hold right at the mudline and attack anything that comes through."

As I maneuvered my kayak within casting distance of the creek mouth, I pitched my old faithful jig-and-Paca-Craw combo into the swift water of Archusa and swam the bait past the ledge. Wham! A nice spot crushed my offering and almost tore the rod from my hands. The diminutive fish put up quite a fight before I subdued it.

"I'd fish way back into Archusa Creek before leaving because bass will sometimes stack up all along the creek," said Glass. "It's not uncommon for anglers to catch several bass up this creek when the conditions are right."

 

No. 7: N32 01.187 x W88 42.402 - "Continue fishing downstream and bypass any long dead stretches of river," Glass advised. "There's just not enough time in a day to fish it all, so we just try to hit the prime spots and spend more time in those areas."

Dobie's Bluff is the next major river bend that you get to. The bluff will be on the left side of the river, and the river flows due south from this point.

"This is one of the deepest holes in the river," Glass said. "There have been some huge catfish taken from this area of the river. Fish the river bend and then fish the downstream side of the rock dam just south of the bluff."

The water on the backside of the dam is in excess of 20 feet deep at various times of the year, and holds good concentrations of bass also.

"Legend has it that two families lived along the river, one on either side," said Glass. "They constructed a dike and took turns harvesting the fish that came through and got caught in their nets. They were fishing for food in those days, and it was serious business. You didn't want to mess with their nets, that's for sure."

 

No. 8: N31 58.893 x W88 42.778 - After leaving Dobie's bluff, you'll encounter some long stretches of slack water that Glass advised moving through quickly. Occasionally you'll find a laydown log or stump that will hold a bass or two, but other than that, it's pretty much a waste of time to linger in the long straight-aways.

Continue moving along until you come under the new Highway 45 bridge. The river narrows again just past the bridge, and there are shoals where the water flows through swiftly.

"Fish the shoals, the current and along the steep walls," Glass said. "We'll catch fish in the shoals areas like this frequently."

 

No 9: N31 58.805 x W88 42.552 - Leaving the shoals area, continue downstream through the straights and hit the stumps and cypress roots on the right side of the river. Key on these, and you'll usually get a few bites as most of this stretch of river doesn't have a lot of fish-holding structure.

I picked up a nice bass here and drew a few strikes along the way as well.

 

No. 10: N31 58.502 x W88 42.303 - Continue fishing south and hit all laydowns, stumps and treetops that are breaking the water. I caught a nice bass off of a laydown log in this spot, and lost one pretty good bass that had his way with me. The lunker spot really ate me up, and I lost him right at the boat.

After leaving this point, you'll see the end of the float destination in the form of a bridge. Just before getting to the takeout point and landing, you'll see Fallen Creek on the left side of the river. Fish the mouth of Fallen Creek before taking out, and you just might catch one for the road.

 

During normal water levels in December, anglers could canoe or kayak this 9-mile stretch of river in about four hours without stopping. However, if you want to fish the hot spots, stumps and laydowns thoroughly, you should plan for a minimum of six to eight hours of fishing time.

For more information on fishing the river, launching your boat, or renting a canoe, contact Robert Donald at Quitman Canoe Rentals (601-917-3973).