March 2006 - Volume 26, Number 3


This section of Kisatchie National Forest is the best bet for hunters looking to bag a spring turkey.

With over 600,000 acres, Louisiana’s Kisatchie National Forest can seem an overwhelming place to find a turkey, much less to end a hunt successfully.

This lake fell on hard times in the late 1990s, but it’s come back with a vengeance, giving anglers everything they could ever hope for.

EDITOR’S NOTE — This is the third installment of a 12-part series exploring the best bass-fishing areas in the Bayou State.

Jody Perrault and Travis Brown struggled to bring their sack of bass to the scales at the conclusion of the Bass Busters Team Trail kick-off tournament at Lake Concordia last February.

Many Toledo Bend anglers concentrate springtime fishing on the shallows, but this guide focuses on the ditches bass use to reach those spawning grounds.

The wind whipped across Toledo Bend the day after a front passed, and Joe Joslin wasn’t look forward to running north from his camp to the relative protection of Six Mile Creek.

Golden Meadow anglers take home the gold and silver this month.

It was still dark in the pre-dawn hours of a Thursday morning when I shook hands with Capt. Chad Dufrene and we sat down for breakfast at Rose’s Café in Golden Meadow. Rose’s is one of those colorful local eateries that offers good food (especially breakfast), hot coffee and lots of local banter.

Lake Pontchartrain seems to have escaped an environmental disaster, and the speckled trout couldn’t be happier.

The first thing that stood out to me was just how clear the water was. I mean, this was Lake Pontchartrain — post Katrina. I was expecting to see my baits coming back coated with a filthy, oily film. The fact that I could see my jig shimmying 3 feet down was a big surprise.

Folks living in the northern portion of the state don’t have far to look when seeking good fishing waters.

Granted, we’re not as water-logged up this way as the folks down south with their marshes and coastal bays, lakes and bayous. Even so, we have plenty of prime fishing waters in North Louisiana.

If you really had to, could you catch enough trout and redfish to feed yourself? These guides are confident they could -- if they had these baits along with them.

Time travel is a scary proposition.

For one thing, you never know if the portal you slide down is two ways. I mean, really, when you’re vaporized from one era and reconstructed in another, is there any guarantee you’ll be able to get back to where you started?

And even more importantly, do you really know where you’re going to end up?

Kirk Douglas didn’t.

March, April, May and June are the prime months for lunker trout on Calcasieu Lake. Here’s everything you need to know to put a trophy on the wall this season.

Kirk Stansel was worried when he finally made it back to his lodge after Hurricane Rita tore through Southwest Louisiana in September. His facilities were a wreck, and the lake resembled a rich latte.

Did the big trout for which Calcasieu Lake has become known survive?

Artificials or live baits: Which catches the biggest or the most redfish and speckled trout? The answer may surprise you.

Those fish aren’t gonna hit that plastic,” my fishing buddy said emphatically more than a decade ago.

All morning we’d caught speckled trout, some weighing 6 pounds. We almost had our limit of these gorilla-sized specks when we ran out of live finger mullet, mostly 4- to 6-inches long, only slightly longer than the middle finger of a man’s hand.

These two experts know more about turkeys than the Butterball corporation. Follow their advice to bag a bird this season.

I was in my sixth decade of life before I was even remotely interested in spring turkey hunting.

I had made a single foray with Ruston’s V.E. “Blue” Parkman once where we heard a turkey gobble on Jackson Bienville Wildlife Management Area. However, the gobbler eluded us, and as he departed, so did my interest in turkey hunting.

Hear that? That's the sound of millions of bass moving to the beds.