The Ouachita River that divides Monroe-West Monroe has been a favorite fishing spot among sportsmen for decades. Home to several bass tournaments, including ESPN Outdoor Bassmaster Weekend Series, Ronald McDonald Big Bass Classic, the CASA Celebrity Classic, and more. Even after several large tournaments, this year still has great fishing potential. The river is open year-round, but the best fishing for big bass is done from October through March. Anglers can mainly catch smallmouth and spotted bass, but will find the occasional walleye, largemouth bass, rock bass, catfish, or bluegill. As the summer heats up, Lake D’Arbonne in Farmerville will become a hot spot for night fishing. Many record catches of bass, crappie, catfish, and bream have been reeled in at this 15,250 acre lake located in Lake D’Arbonne State Park. The lake is also open to water skiers and pleasure boaters and hosts several fishing tournaments, including the recent Majestic Big Bass Classic.
National Wildlife Refuges and Wildlife Management Areas:
Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Richland Drive off 165 North -- 3 miles north of Monroe
Fishing, hunting, wildlife observation, photography, education. Lake, visitor center with exhibits, trails, pier, deck with scope.
D’Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge
Hwy. 143 in Union Parish - 10 miles north of West Monroe
Hunting, fishing, wildlife observation & photography. Boat launch, observation tower & walking trails. Scenic Bayou D’Arbonne.
Handy Break National Wildlife Refuge
North of Bastrop off Hwy. 165 on Cooper Lake Road
Wildlife observation tower overlooking wetland. Interpretive panels.
Ouachita Wildlife Management Area
In Ouachita Parish -- 6 miles southeast of Monroe
Please see current hunting regulation book for season dates and restrictions.
Russell-Sage Wildlife Management Area
Within the Bayou Lafourche flood plain -- 7 miles east of Monroe
Hunting, fishing, horseback riding, hiking trails, birding, camping, trapping, and ATV trails.
Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge
I-20 to Waverly exit; north to Hwy. 80; east to refuge
Visitor Center with exhibits, ATV & hiking trails, hunting, fishing, wildlife/bird watching, educational programs, canoeing.
Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge
Along the Ouachita River - Union and Morehouse Parishes
Hunting, fishing, wildlife observation & photography, interpretation. Boat launch & accessible fishing pier. Scenic river road.
Wildlife & Fisheries Office
368 CenturyTel Drive, Monroe
National Hunting and Fishing Day--Join the local Wildlife & Fisheries for a day full of education, fun, and entertainment for the outdoorsman of all ages on the fourth Saturday in September.