March 2011 - Volume 31, Number 3


When it comes to pressured gobblers, this public-land hunter has seen and done it all, and he’s had remarkable success.

It’s the 27th day of turkey season. Tim Haik is dressed in camouflage while waiting on customers at Seal’s Auto Service, his service station on the corner of Cleveland and Main Streets in Franklinton. He has missed hunting one day so far.

Set a row of catfish baits just off the Vermilion River, and you’ll catch enough to feed your neighborhood.

It was late February. The day was a beautiful blue respite from the drizzly overcast weather of the week before. The 70-year-old man across the table from me had the creased, tanned skin of an outdoorsman. He turned his head to gaze out the restaurant’s huge picture window at Toledo Bend Reservoir, and a cloud passed over his slightly rheumy eyes.

Eating-sized catfish abound in this overlooked Southcentral Louisiana waterway.

Perhaps it’s the pure enjoyment of a long boat ride. Maybe it’s the pioneering spirit to explore that drives us. Or maybe it’s trying to find a honeyhole a friend pointed out on a map.

Retired LDWF biologist Tommy Prickett is making the most of his retirement, particularly this time of year, when the Tchefuncte River sac-a-lait are biting like mad.

On May 31, 2004, Thomas Edward Prickett retired from the prestigious job of Chief of the Wildlife Division of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. In his 33 years with the department, he worked on the brown pelican restoration project, the shrimp mariculture project at the Grand Terre Lab, served as Quail Study Leader and then as Chief of the Fur and Refuge Division before heading up the Wildlife Division.

The lightweight mirror panels of the GhostBlind will only reflect the surrounding area directly in front of the blind, so no matter where you hunt, it matches the terrain perfectly. The 12-pound blind can be set-up in less than a minute, making it easy to relocate, and is perfect for surveillance. Whether you use a rifle, shotgun, crossbow or traditional bow, the GhostBlind was designed to allow for shooting from a seated position.

If the thought of spawning crappie automatically makes you want to move to shallow water, you’re missing out on the real slabs.

Die-hard crappie fishermen look forward to spring every year because that’s when those delicious fish are easy to pattern. When the dogwoods start to bloom, you know the crappie will be heading to shallow cypress trees or brushy banks to spawn.

This retired biologist knows concealment is priority one when turkey hunting.

How often has the following scenario happened to you?

We couldn’t close out the season without reporting on these beauties.

Bucks were still falling when the February issue of Louisiana Sportsman was sent to the printers, and there were some real monsters taken too late to be included in the annual Deer of the Year story.

This group of South Louisiana anglers looks forward all year to their annual trip to Toledo Bend.

Some aspiring bass anglers from around Paulina graduated together in the late 1980s. They started making a yearly run to Toledo Bend, while trying to get noticed enough to be accepted into the biggest local club there was at the time, Road Runner Fishing Club.

They’re big, they’re bad, and they’re biting right now!

March can be a challenging month for inshore anglers. It’s the one month of the year a psychiatrist would diagnose as bipolar. Or maybe they’d say it has identity issues, or commitment issues because March is fickle, and just can’t make up its mind whether it wants to be winter or spring.

Lorpen’s new over-the-calf Snake Boot sock called The Bayou is a blend of Merino wool and Modal yarn, making it soft to the touch, while providing excellent moisture management. This 17-inch tall sock not only moves perspiration away from the foot, it also offers cushioning in the shin and sole for added comfort. Other features include Lycra cuffs so the socks don’t slouch, and a seamless toe seam to prevent irritation. This sock is perfect for fall, winter or early spring activities.

This Grand Point bass angler passes lots of great fishing spots to get to Lake Cataouatche, because the action there is like an irresistible lure to him.

After releasing his third bass of the morning, Matthew Hymel wondered aloud if I had learned my lesson yet. Although we had met for the first time only two hours earlier, he was starting to get a sense of just how hard-headed I can be.

The Taurus Raging Judge now fires the larger, more powerful 28-gauge shotshell. Available in blued or matte stainless finish, with a 6 ½-inch barrel, the Raging Judge in 28-gauge comes equipped with the distinctive “Raging Bull” cushioned insert grip for reduced felt recoil. Additional features include a single-action/double-action trigger and highly visible fiber optic front sight.

Ready for some actual hunting? Then hit the marsh levees, and load up on fun-to-hunt and delicious nutria.

The oysters were fat, cold and super salty — positively addictive. One little pinch and the tail meat — covered in bright-yellow fat — slipped from the shells of the big Belle River crawfish. The grilled wahoo, drenched in lemon-butter, shamed any rendition of Maine lobster. The steaming cauldron of teal, quail and andouille jambalaya was ravaged mercilessly by salivating guests scooping with huge spoons.

ZipVac portable vacuum seal storage bags from CTI Industries are resealable, go-anywhere bags that protect and keep food and wild game fresh-tasting more than five times longer than their regular freezer life. The ZipVac System features reusable, freezable, microwavable, boilable, patented ZipVac bags, a portable, rechargeable vacuum pump and a manual pump. ZipVac also keeps valuables and survival gear dry and safe for outdoor enthusiasts.

Even avid saltwater anglers, like Joe Lavigne of Independence, take advantage of the incredible freshwater action Louisiana offers in March.