Caddo Lake is the largest lake in north Louisiana with more than 25 acres of water sitting on the Louisiana/Texas border. It’s speckled with Louisiana’s well-recognized Spanish moss trees and filled with trophy-size largemouth bass fish. It’s one of many fishing holes along the Boom or Bust Byway that takes you away from the city’s crowds and into a byway bliss. However, other fishing locations can’t offer you a cruise on Caddo Lake with Allen’s Guide and Tour Service.
Allen’s Guide and Tour Service allows visitors to fulfill their natural, historic, and adventuristic appetite with a quiet, informative, eye-opening experience on Caddo Lake. Led by Boom or Bust Byway native, fishing expert, and tour guide, Mark Allen, he takes visitors onto his boat for a one-hour, four-hour, or eight-hour cruise on the lake to unwind with a peaceful day of fishing, sightseeing, learning and more.
I’ve never been fishing, and I’m afraid of live fish. I’ve never been on a boat, and I cannot swim. A fishing adventure on a huge body of water would have been a reluctant experience for some in my shoes, but I was showered with enthusiasm the moment I saw the scenery. The boat was docked at the edge of the lake, and I was welcomed aboard by Mr. Allen. I told him that I was excited and afraid, and he assured me that I would have fun and learn more than I bargained for.
We hopped in the boat, and the byway lands began to recede as we entered the thicket of Spanish moss, whispering waters, and crisp morning air. The scenery grew more impeccable as we floated, along with the sounds of birds chirping, the boat’s engine purring, and water stretching farther than my eyes could see. I sat in awe for the first 15 minutes just to take it all in. The indescribable location set the relaxing tone for my first fishing experience, but it gets better.
Mr. Allen is equipped with everything a first-time, intermediate, or expert fisherman would need. He has a variety of fishing poles, an extensive artificial bait selection, life jackets, and more. He is intentional about his touristic fishing expeditions, but also delivers that small-town, wholesome conversation that we all love. Mr. Allen guided me to all the heavy biting areas which were always close to a hub of trees. After many comical attempts, I learned how to cast and reel my fishing pole near the tree trunks without catching my line in the moss.
Although I didn’t hook a fish, Mr. Allen did. With his catch, I learned how to perform the popular fish-catching pose, but it wasn’t a simple task. He extended the fish for me to hold. The idea of holding this disgracefully flapping fish was terrifying. Mr. Allen laughed hysterically as I shrieked in terror. After several attempts, he remained patient as I mustered up the courage to reach for the fish with my eyes closed. I felt him place my hand on the bass and rest my thumb inside of the bass’s lip on a row of ridges. The flapping stopped, so I opened my eyes to find a tranquil fish with its mouth gaped open in my right hand. I had no words. I was just astonished. Soon after I mastered the fish-holding technique, we released “Tommy” back into Caddo Lake. Yes, I named the fish. This was an experience that I talked about for days after it happened. There’s a serenity on that lake you can’t get anywhere else.
Mr. Allen is the perfect guide for this fishing excursion. He has a lifelong passion for the sport of fishing and a deep appreciation for the fish and its environment. You can’t find his knowledge of Caddo Lake in a book or on your own boat. Add this activity to your road trip today! Byway visitors can book appointments year-round with Allen’s Guide and Tour Service by phone at 903-530-0611. Just remember to dress warm. The temperature is cooler on the water. For more information about Allen’s Guide and Tour Service, visit his website at www.caddolakeguideservice.com or send a message on his Facebook page.