February 2011 - Volume 31, Number 2


This season’s cold temperatures led to the felling of an impressive number of monster bucks.

Louisiana hunters over the past few years have produced more and more big bucks, and the state’s top deer biologist said there seems to be a simple reason for the increase of monster deer.

Shun the crowds, and you’ll catch plenty of speckled trout in the Sulfur Mine’s shallows.

February is tough on fishermen. The winds blow hard and cold out of the north, the water falls to some of the lowest levels of the year and what water is left in the marsh is not only low but dirty.

Watching a group of trained hawks swoop down on fleeing rabbits is unlike anything else in hunting.

The end for the big swamp rabbit came quickly and silently. Without warning, a shadow fell from the sky into the dense brush. The first shadow was followed by a second one, just as silent. It was slow motion, but at the same time it was over so swiftly and efficiently that I wondered if I really saw anything at all.

A change in tactics makes this arguably the best time of year to target bushytails.

From the piney woods of the north to the alluvial Mississippi River basin’s bottomland hardwoods to the coastal marshes — all across Louisiana there is a certain quietness that seems to take over in late winter. No longer do you hear the mufflers of four wheeler engines running in the woods, or the sound of a rifle shot bringing its result to you at the speed of sound.

On the fertile, immense Louisiana Delta, picking the right spot will determine the 2011 Bassmasters Classic winner.

The last two Bassmaster Classics that were held in New Orleans opened some eyes as to just how good we have it here in South Louisiana. This one will open the rest of them.

From one side of the state to the other, crappie are eating like animals.

Weather and water levels, temperature and color will determine where you’ll find sac-a-lait this month.

This avid sac-a-lait fisherman is spending his retirement catching the best-tasting fish that swims. Here’s how he does it.

As David Pizzolato slid another sac-a-lait into his cooler, he couldn’t help but pine for the future of his favorite kind of fishing.

The stretch of bottomland bordering the Atchafalaya River at Whiskey Bay off Interstate 10 is moist from recent winter rains, ready-made for moisture-loving woodcocks.

Telltale leaves on the ground in layers do not crackle underfoot, the sort of commotion that puts resident wildlife on alert. The air, rinsed by the northern showers, is clear and crisp.

Jonathan Pizzolato boated this healthy sac-a-lait in Belle River. This is the month when crappie anglers statewide begin to smile.