Volume 34 Number 4 - April 2014


Theophile Bourgeois loves topwater fishing more than any other kind of fishing and his favorite lure is bone-colored Badonk-A-Donk. 2014 Speckled trout forecast
With the frigid temperatures of winter in the rearview mirror, anglers are looking to put some trout in their freezers. Here’s what to expect as you hit your favorite areas.

April is here at last—time for any red-blooded coastal fisherman to start thinking about the fish.


Jerald Horst

Sulphur’s Jared Adams caught this impressive 12.86-pounder in Toledo Bend’s Hausen area on Feb. 9. Bend Bonanza — Keys for bass fishing the Toledo Bend spawn
Toledo Bend has already been pumping out 10-pounders this year, but there’s no better time to catch lunker bass than this month.

Half-ounce Rat-L-Traps were about as rare from Alexandria west to Toledo Bend last month as a Republican at an Obama rally.


Chris Berzas

Lake Henderson, which sprawls on both sides of Interstate Highway 10, has a variety of productive habitats for Murphy Royer’s favorite fish. Candy from a baby — Best crappie-fishing tactics
Many complain that crappie are finicky, making catching them a hit-or-miss proposition. But this expert has it all figured out.

Zounds! This guy is good.


Jerald Horst

If the second phase of the spawn happens in April as Dennis Tietje expects, the pockets, coves and creeks will be full of bass like this one. Delayed Gratification — Why Toledo Bend bass fishing will turn on this month
The bitter cold that gripped the state the past few months is actually good news for Toledo Bend anglers looking to catch bedding bass. Here’s why.

If there has ever been a colder winter at Toledo Bend, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Dennis Tietje cannot remember it.


Chris Ginn

Capt. Mike Gallo and his wife Jackelyn with a beautiful Biloxi Marsh speckled trout. Fishin’ the ’hood — Springtime fishing tips for reds and trout
When a live shrimp finds itself in the wrong part of the Biloxi Marsh, things can get violent. And anglers can use that knowledge to put a lot of fish in their boats this month.

Whenever I fish with Capt. Mike Gallo, we always bring a third man along. There’s plenty of room in his 24-foot bay boat, plus it means an extra set of hands and a third line in the water to increase our chances of catching something ...
Rusty Tardo

Remember that sunlight will throw your shadow across whatever you approach, so use angles to your benefit. Glare Cutters — How to manage sun glare for more fishing success
Glare from sunlight bouncing off the water can be an angler’s worst nightmare ­— especially when sight fishing. Here are some ways to manage that problem.

Seeing is believing, but you’d better believe that too much of a good thing — namely, sunlight — can make it tough for you to see what you’re seeking.


David A. Brown

Tip with “maaw-ket” shrimp, cast over the abundant oyster beds in this area — and HOLD ON!  Plan A, B and C — Fishing tactics for redfish, drum and sheepshead
April is one of those transition months that can be tough to fish ­— so you have to have plenty of options. Here’s how to score in Port Sulphur and Empire.

“Redfish in April?” Artie laughed as Doc mentioned our forthcoming fishing trip. “Man, redfish ain’t ‘runnin now! Dey run in da fall! You guys gotta be outcha mind!


Humberto Fontova

Spawning season offers the best opportunity for trophy catches, but pay attention to the detail work. Spawn Specifics — Pro tips for fishing the bass spawn
Bass will be up shallow this month for the annual spawn, and that means the big girls are available to catch. But what are the best tactics? These fishing pros tell you everything you need to know.

When bass move shallow to make the next generation can be a time of great opportunity or a time of great frustration.


David A. Brown

Rudy Horne (left) and Jacob Coldiron rely on heavy surf fishing rods for snagging. Springtime diversion — Catfish snagging tips
Looking for a different way to put some fish on the bank? These veteran snaggers share the secrets to their successes.

There are about as many ways to catch catfish as there are ways to cook them. Rods, yo-yos, jugs, trotlines, nets, traps and limb lines are all employed by Louisiana sportsmen.


Terry L. Jones

The barges of Fourchon are visible behind Steve Shook, who is posing with a speck well over 5 pounds. The Free-liner — Trophy trout expert shares the secrets to success
Capt. Steve Shook has been known for decades for catching huge trout, and he’s now sharing the secrets to his success.

Speckled trout have always been the premier gamefish in Louisiana’s coastal marshes, and big speckled trout — the kind that are 7 pounds and larger — are the stuff of which dreams are made.


Jerald Horst

Bundled against the Sabine Lake chill, Lake Charles angler Alex Bel tends to the Paul Brown Original’s trebles. Wading Wonderland — Wade-fishing tips for Big Lake, Sabine Lake specks
Calcasieu Lake and its cousin Sabine Lake are known for producing lunker trout, and there’s no better way to target these trophy fish than to abandon your boat. Here are some keys.

You won’t find too many speckled trout anglers who like wind. Wind muddies the water. Wind makes even simple things more difficult.


John McQueen

Youth hunter Dane Humbles and the author with Dane's gobbler. Young turks — Tips for youth turkey hunting
Keeping young turkey hunters interested in the sport is all about action, and sometimes getting a turkey close enough for a shot requires some extra effort. Here’s how one youngster bagged his first gobbler.

Twelve-year-old Dane Humbles tightened his grip on the shotgun and sighted down the barrel as the big gobbler closed the distance in a quick trot.


Keith LaCaze


The trout season is kicking off and bass should be on their spawning beds this month. So it's the perfect time to dust off the boat and get out on the water.

Photo By Chris Ginn


Ask Captain Paul
Who doesn’t want a fishing edge?

Captain Paul Titus

Creature Feature
Are goliath groupers fish or footballs?

Jerald Horst

First Cast
LWFC should sue for artificial reef funds

Andy Crawford

Fly Lines
Shellcracking the code

Catch Cormier

Game Warden
Protecting Louisiana’s wild turkeys

Keith LaCaze

Grunts & Gobbles
Forage plantings critical for deer

Dave Moreland

Happy Trails
Our kids are the future of hunting

Bill Garbo

Lure Review
Two new standout crankbaits

Don Shoopman

Marine Electronics
Manufacturing luck

Allan Tarvid

Paddles 'N Puddles
Kayak tournaments plentiful in 2014

Chris Holmes

The Shootist
Ruger’s SR22 — Small, accurate, fun

Gordon Hutchinson

To read everything from the April 2014 issue of Louisiana Sportsman Magazine, download the digital edition today.


New Products

Lunar Tables

Tide Guides