February 2016 - Volume 36, Number 2


During a season that featured consistently warm temperatures, torrential rainfalls and deer-season closures, Louisiana still produced some stud bucks. Here’s a look at the best of the best.

The 2015-16 deer hunting season has been one of ups and downs, with temperatures fluctuating on seemingly a daily basis. When it got hot, it stayed in the 80s for longer stretches than hunters wanted.

Want to get in on the big-bass fishing at Toledo Bend? This guide said Alabama rigs are great tools — if you have the proper gear and know how and where to fish them.

It felt like I was inhaling icicles. And I pulled my head back into my cozy, warm cabin at Big Bass Marina.

A vicious February cold snap had thundered down from Alberta the previous afternoon. The thermometer on my truck read 31 degrees when I arrived at the marina, and it had gotten even colder overnight. 

Miller’s Lake is a black crappie mecca, and this Duson angler has it all figured out. Use his tips to fill limits of the delectable fish.

“It looks like it going to be perfect tomorrow,” the Cajun-accented voice on the telephone murmured conspiratorially. “It’s supposed to be a high of 55 degrees, a little bit of rain in the morning and then it clears up till late that night when it rains heavily with that front. The barometer will be falling.

The coldest month of the year means Cypress Bayou Reservoir just east of Benton is the place to be for big crappie. Here’s all you need to know to fill your ice chests.

Do you like to catch crappie? How about watching huge B-52 bombers roar low overhead?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then Cypress Bayou Reservoir is the place for you.

The portion of the Atchafalaya Basin within the guide levees gets most of the attention from bass anglers, but this grandfather-grandson team know just to the west is more consistent fishing. Here’s how they take advantage of that.

I sat quietly in the boat in front of the camp on Bird Island Chute. The swamp smelled fresh in the winter air. I thought about how good the caviar was the previous night.

Wait a minute ….

Caviar? In a swamp? In Louisiana?

The Pearl River offers some great bass-fishing opportunities — even when the weather turns cold. And this Florida Parishes angler knows exactly how to target them.

On a gloomy February day, Jeff Bruhl was fishing waters he knew better than the chips in his truck windshield.

Pulling up to a big drain with a falling tide rushing out of it, Bruhl cast his red-shad worm to an old, massive cypress tree. He let the bullet weight pull the soft-plastic to the bottom and meticulously worked his worm, almost dragging it along with short hops.

The menu at Dularge this month features trout, reds and sheepshead, but you have to slow things down. Here’s how and where this veteran guide keeps catching limits.

So, I waited all night for the call that never came. I was so sure it would come — certain even. But it didn’t.

Pick your days this month and load up on sheepshead at shallow rigs just off the coast — no matter where you launch.

“My name is Chadwick, and I’ll be your waiter for this evening,” the poor guy said, with an accent that was obviously not local. “Tonight’s special is grilled bay snapper, topped with crab meat and served with braised brussels sprouts.”

I say “poor-guy” only because we’d arrived at the ritzy restaurant in a party limo. The poor limo driver would know what I mean.

If you had to pick one month to turn your attention to crappie, February is it. And you'll find all you need to know to stack your freezer with tasty fillets.