Back in 1986 when the spillway system was created to stop the flow of Caney Creek, Caney Lake was created. At the time very few people could have envisioned the roller coaster life the lake would endure. After all, aren’t lakes just supposed to hold water and be the back drop for picturesque sunsets? Well, for the thousands of people who have enjoyed this small 5000-acre waterway over the years, Caney Lake is all about the sunsets, and a whole lot more! Here is a little history. Created by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to become a trophy bass fishing lake, Caney quickly showed it was up to the task. As of the year 2020, six of the top ten biggest bass ever caught in the state of Louisiana have come from Caney’s fertile waters. From the beginning the lake had all the ingredients needed to produce the kind of fishery the state had hoped for but the first decision was to implement a slot limit on the bass that were caught from the lake. The idea was for the slot to allow those fish in the “15-19 inch” slot a better chance to spawn and reproduce without the risk of being removed from the lake. State law mandated that any fish caught within the slot had to be immediately released. The lake also had a wide range of depths, a good forage base, excellent cover and more than anything else an abundance of aquatic vegetation in the form of hydrilla, coon tail moss, dollar pads and milfoil. In the first ten years of the life of the lake, everything worked according to plan. Not only was the lake producing giant bass, the crappie and bream populations became popular among anglers as well. When Greg Wiggins caught the state record bass of 15.97 in February of 1994 (a record that still stands), the lake was prospering, not just from a fishing standpoint but from a real estate boom as well. Land was being bought and houses and camps were being built as quickly as the double-digit bass were being caught. A California gold rush in the form of a bass fishing producing empire. The lake and everything associated with it was booming. The gold rush didn’t last long however. The same year Wiggins state record bass was caught, under much opposition from the area fishermen, the DWF released 12,000 grass carp into Caney to combat the aquatic vegetation problem the land owners had quickly identified as a potential problem for their non-fishing recreational pursuits on the lake. The numerous meetings and heated debates between DWF officials and anglers about the use of grass carp became legendary. However, the concerns of the fishermen fell on deaf ears and by 1997 the aquatic vegetation that had made the lake the big bass capital of Louisiana, was all but gone. Many theories about the lakes demise were tossed around but the bulk of the blame was placed on the DWF and their use of grass carp used to combat the lakes aquatic vegetation issues. At the height of the lake's popularity, visitors from all over the country came to stay on and fish the lake in hopes of catching the fish of a lifetime. How soon that would change. In a matter of just a few years, a once thriving fishing entity became a virtual ghost town. The stores located on both ends of the lake suffered dramatic losses. One store located on the highway at the spillway turn off road named “Little Bucks” closed down permanently. The fishing dollars that once fueled the success on and around the lake were gone. While the business aspect of the lake suffered due to the decline of the fishery, those who lived on the lake remained. Bad fishing or not, the idea of owning a lake side house or camp was still in people’s best interest. With the basis of our story having been put in place, let’s fast forward twenty years. The lake has rebounded very nicely as the fishing is as good as it has been since its original opening. The original slot limit for bass was lifted in 2018 and the creel limit was raised to 10 per day with no length limit placed on them. The lake still produces large bass and it isn’t uncommon for 25 lb. stringers to win local one day tournaments. The lake also holds a healthy population of crappie, bream and catfish, making it a good all-round fishing lake. The aquatic vegetation has returned and the lake continues to flourish. The water remains clear due to the filtration of sediment due to the grass in the lake. Recently there has been talk about ways to control the abundance of grass found in the lake but through trial and error as well as learning from past mistakes, the amount of control and the methods have been effective. On each end of the lake there are stores that located right on the water. Boat ramps are in abundance around the lake. Jimmie Davis State Park is a popular vacation spot with campsites, cabins and two lodges for larger family gatherings. There is a playground as well as a beach that is a popular draw during the summer months. Caney Lake isn’t just a lake for fishing. It has everything any water enthusiast could ask for. Besides the renewed success of the lake, the real estate market remains strong as well. The lake doesn’t flood, the areas around the lake are well kept, the resale value of the homes and properties remain at a premium. This hidden gem is just waiting for the next someone to discover it! So, what is there not to like about Caney Lake? You will be hard pressed to find someone who could give you a negative answer to that question! Come over to Caney Lake and give it a look! It has something for everyone.
Looking for a camp or want to live on Caney Lake? Look at our updated Real Estate Tab to find out what is for sale. Looking for land to build your dream home or purchase on ready to move in next month check out our website. Nothing like your own private place on the lake with family and friends to make memories.
After being on Caney Lake in Jonesboro you may need a bite to eat. Hungry for an awesome fish plate or cheeseburger with fries? There are 2 restaurants Laine's Landing and Hook's Marina, both sitting on waterfront property.
Sit and eat, or get it to go as you are playing on the lake.
Jimmie Davis State Park
Support our State Park by booking a cabin or renting an awesome RV spot.
There are Airbnb's homes and rooms to rent on the lake. Located about 30 minutes from Ruston , Louisiana and LA Tech
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