Bernice, LA Fishing: Experience Angling in a Sawmill Town

Bernice is an excellent area for fishing adventures. 

Bernice, LA Fishing: Experience Angling in a Sawmill Town
Bernice, LA Fishing: Experience Angling in a Sawmill Town
Team Guidesly

July 18, 2022, 5 min read

Updated on July 15, 2022

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Bernice is a small town located in Union Parish in Louisiana. It is part of the Monroe Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bernice was founded in 1899 as a sawmill village, just after Captain C.C. Henderson built the first railway in Union Parish, the Arkansas Southern Railroad. The railroad allowed the harvesting of wood from the area. Bernice was known as the "big woods" because of the large pines found in the area. Bernice is the youngest European-American village founded in Union Parish. It is also known as an agricultural trade center.

Bernice was part of the Louisiana borderland and pine forests. The old houses located in the Bernice area become the location's attraction. Among the oldest homes are the R.T. Moore/Gresham/Stenzel House, known as the "Sweet Onion," and McCuller Log Cabin, built circa 1865. Aside from astonishing houses, Bernice is an excellent area for fishing adventures.  

Bernice Fishing

old boat near shore at daytime

Are you heading out to fish in Bernice? Then the first location you should visit is Bayou D'Arbonne Lake or simple Lake D'Arbonne. Lake D'Arbonne is the biggest artificial lake in Northern Louisiana. It has a combined assessed area of 15,250 acres. Lake D'Arbonne State Park, a park maintained by state authorities, is found on the lake. The lake was built in the early 1960s when the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development created a spillway and dam across Bayou D'Arbonne. The lake's primary purpose is to provide recreational opportunities and future water supply to the surrounding regions.

Lake D'Arbonne is well-equipped with a parking space for anglers, boat ramps, piers, docks, and a picnic area, making it a family-friendly fishing location. Anglers usually do bank fishing in this fishing spot. Largemouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, flathead catfish, blue catfish, bluegill, and spotted bass are the common catches in Lake D'Arbonne. They also go fly fishing and drift fishing in the lake. Kayaks are available for rent for those interested in kayak fishing. The biggest fish caught in Lake D'Arbonne was a 15.31 pounds largemouth bass caught by Wisconsin's Ed Stellner in February of 2000. 

North of Bernice is where anglers can find the Corney Bayou. It is also called Cornie by some. It is a stream that has an elevation of 79 feet. It is located near Mill Creek and Fourmile Creek. The most popular species caught here are largemouth bass, white crappie, black crappie, flathead catfish, striped bass, freshwater drum, and bluegill. Fly fishing and bank fishing are the standard techniques for anglers fishing in the area.

Another must-visit fishing site is Stowe Creek, located near Lake D'Arbonne. Fishing in Stowe Creek gives anglers a chance to score trophy largemouth bass, white bass, spotted bass, and black bullhead. While bank fishing is the typical technique used in the area, anglers can also go baitcasting and fly fishing. The creek welcomes anglers of all ages.

Meanwhile, the most prevalent species caught in Cane Creek are largemouth bass, white crappie, black crappie, bluegill, blue catfish, white perch, flathead catfish, and spotted bass. 

There are other lakes surrounding Bernice that anglers can explore and visit. Anglers are encouraged to use their best judgment when determining where they can fish. When heading out to fish, deciding what kind of bait you will be using and what type of fishing equipment you will need is essential. 

Fishing ordinances in Louisiana can change throughout the year. It is vital to check the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries before fishing for the most up-to-date rules and regulations for the current season.


Top 10 Fish Species in Bernice, LA

The top 10 fish species found in Bernice, LA, are largemouth bass, crappie, blue catfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, bluegill, spotted bass, white perch, white bass, and black bullhead.

Seasonal Fishing

Bernice's fishing season is open year-round, but it is essential to cast your line on the seasonality of fish you want to catch. Largemouth, spotted, and white bass are ready to be caught year-round, but spring is the prime season for bass fishing. Largemouth bass begin their spawning season during spring, while spotted bass and white bass spawn every mid-March to late May. Spring is generally the best time to fish, and it is also the best time to target some crappie. Crappie have a fascinating spawning activity; they spawn depending on the water temperature but generally prefer the warmer waters during the spawning period. In general, catfish are active and best caught during the summer season, but they are available year-round. Blue catfish's spawning season occurs during spring or summer when the water temperatures are perfect. Channel catfish start their spawning season during the early weeks of the summer, while flathead catfish commence their breeding activities from late May through August. Spring and the early summer days are the most suitable seasons to hook bluegill. It is also the time when they start to spawn. White perch relocate from large estuaries into rivers in April through June to spawning, making it the best time to catch them. The best season to target bullheads is when the water temperature reaches 55 and 70 degrees. Late spring or early summer is the spawning time of black bullheads. They excavate nests in mud bottoms and start to spawn.

A Day To Spend in Bernice

Tourists looking for a quick getaway in a small, cozy town will surely enjoy their time in Bernice. Bernice is a place you wouldn't want to miss with its century-old houses and beautiful pines.

1. Book A Fishing Charter

Creeks, bayous, and rivers near Bernice offer the best fishing actions for anglers, whether professional or just starting to cast their lines. Bernice has various fishing charters in the area and neighboring fishing sites that anglers can book at any time. Fishing charters will assist and guide anglers as they contest the Bernice and Union Parish fishing locations.

2. Museum Visit

The Bernice Depot Museum is a converted 1899 railroad station that features displays on railroading, such as the memorabilia of Rock Island and a 1938 wooden caboose called 'The Captain Henderson.' The museum also displays a collection of Bernice memorabilia. It also serves as a tourist information center for Bernice.

3. A Quick Trip to the State Park

Lake D'Arbonne State Park locates in a hilly area bordering Lake D'Arbonne in Union Parish. The state park is a favored site to play disc golf, fish, camp, and hike. Lodgings at the park include campsites, cabins, and lodges. The Lake D'Arbonne State Park is the lone state park in Louisiana with tennis courts. Aside from physical activities, tourists can also appreciate sightseeing as wildlife is abundant in the mixed pine-hardwood forest area of Lake D'Arbonne State Park.

Fish in Bernice and beyond.