Water came early to Tensas Parish this year. Sloughs and drainage ditches that normally wouldnt fill up until late December were already reaching their breaking points back in October. And deer that normally wouldnt set hoof on a ridge that early had no choice but to leave the bottoms and head for the hills.
My buddy Darren Cooper and I had painstakingly chosen the stand site to cut off a big buck that everyone in the club knew frequented a narrow strip of woods between a large field and the highway cutting through the lease.
The Dulac/Cocodrie area presents a wide range of options for warm-weather speck chasers. From the Lake Barre oil and gas fields to the east to the feast-or-famine run to Raccoon Island and the small cluster of rigs to the west, anglers and area guides have lots to choose from in the sweltering summer months.
Louisiana redfishing is often thought of as the baseball equivalent of small-ball. Tippy, skinny water boats slinking though ponds and broken marsh with a push pole or trolling motor at its lowest setting. Anglers peering through a half dozen species of submerged vegetation, trying to differentiate the colors and motions of the preferred prey from that of mullet, sheepshead and the similarly colored stingray. And then barely daring to utter a harsh whisper when pointing out the telltale push or bright-red pectoral fins before the blunt-nosed bayou brawler comes into full view.
I met Brian McAdam for the first time in the dark hours of a cold morning on Paris Road in Chalmette. We agreed to meet there so I could hop in his truck and make a fishing trip with him and one of his long-time fishing buddies, Wayne Lobell. McAdam said I would easily recognize his truck itd be the one pulling a 22-foot Hanko.
O.K., answer me this: How many of those brochures in hotel lobbies in the French Quarter beckon you to embark on a charming tour of a 5-year-old pure-pine plantation? Or a picturesque tour of a 10-year clear-cut timber tract? Or a breathtaking tour of scenic landscape comprising select-cut timber featuring scenic logging machinery ruts, gorgeous burnt stumps and piles of cut-downs? Or maybe: Come with us and gaze bleary-eyed for four hours down a power-line surrounded by monotonous even-growth pines!
The buck hadnt stopped for more than a few minutes in days, and was simply worn out. The 10-point had been busy chasing does and taking care of business, leaving little time for concern over its physical health.
What exactly are those big bucks doing during the rutting phase? Find out in this issue.