My grandfather told me that people who rub crystal balls must sometimes eat glass. When one rubs the ball this year to get a prediction on the upcoming speckled trout season, he almost gets the feeling that it might be better to just eat the glass up front and give up on the rubbing. What has been a cold, wet winter has thrown something of a shadow over the 2010 speckled trout season.
Capt. Theophile Bourgeois pulled his camouflage neck gaiter above his lips before he started talking. Trying to hear what he said through the gaiter, over the growl of his outboard and through the hood of my own 100 m.p.h. rain suit was difficult. I put in more effort than I do when my wife starts talking during a Saints game, but I heard just as little.
In the dense night air of the remote northwestern Terrebonne Parish freshwater marsh-swamp, gills might have been more appropriate for breathing than lungs. The searing surge of light from the Q-beam illuminated a big white styrofoam float bobbing and dancing ahead on the surface of the still bayou water.
It was a drizzly, miserable December 2009 night in Marrero, a small river town across from New Orleans on the west bank of the Mississippi River.
The kayak was a definite tip-off. The fly rod even more so. Now while Eddie and Pelayo talked him up after we parked behind him on Lacombes Lake Road, I nonchalantly slipped around to the back of his Prius to view the obligatory HOPE bumper sticker.
The red snapper fishery off the Louisiana coast was once a dream world that lured a new captain named Tommy Pellegrin into making a living pulling the succulent fish from around the many rigs and wrecks littering the Gulf.
Old habits die hard. Dont believe me? Go ask Bass Anglers Sportsman Society founder Ray Scott, who spearheaded the catch-and-release phenomenon in the 1970s how much trouble he had convincing a bunch of backwoods bubbas to release bass back into Lake Guntersville rather than Lake Crisco.
Scott finally had success perhaps too much of it.
My story begins a week prior to the opening of the 2009 turkey season. I had not had the opportunity to scout and listen for gobbling activity on the small tract of land in East Feliciana Parish that I hunt, so the Friday before the youth weekend, I left Baton Rouge with the my cameras in hopes of hearing and photographing some turkeys.