April 2016 - Volume 36, Number 4

Features

Weather can still be a trip-wrecker in April, but follow this guide’s advice to learn how you can still put together plenty of reds and trout without burning a lot of fuel.

With not a ripple on the surface or a cloud in the sky, Capt. Charlie Thomason took his bay boat down a shoreline of Hopedale. 

Lake D’Arbonne is known for producing boat loads of crappie for anglers in the know. This Sterlington Middle School coach provides pointers that will have you catching perch in no time.

John Odom is a big guy — 6-foot, 4-inches and 290 pounds “after a recent diet,” he informed me.

On the telephone he sounded like a pretty standard-sized guy, but with his powerful, sloping shoulders and fluidly graceful movements he looked like a football player, which is what he was.

This retired state fisheries biologist shares his favorite Northeast Louisiana lakes —and talks about what opportunities and challenges face today’s anglers.

Mike Wood is a biologist by profession. But when you boil it all down, he’s a fisherman first.

That was apparent when a bass tapped my 6-inch black grape worm and I set the hook, only to reel up an empty hook.

Think it’s too cold to hit the Elmer’s Beach surf? Then you’re going to miss out on the swarms speckled trout patrolling the shallows. Here’s how to capitalize.

“Cripes Sammy! How can you take it?” I asked. “The water has got to be freezing cold in April.”

Sammy Romano flashed his famous ear-to-ear grin.

“Man-up! You just man-up to it!” Romano said. “Besides, it’s not really cold until you get out.”

Everything you need to know to catch trout, reds and more over shell reefs.

Rockefeller, po boy, half shell — it doesn’t matter how you like your oysters, you’ll love their fish-friendly appeal.

Indeed, with abundant forage, breaks and ambush potential, shell reefs peppering the coastal shallows present prime fishing opportunities.

Toledo Bend has risen to celebrity by producing dozens of double-digit bass each year. And these experts tell you the best spots and exactly how to catch one of these beasts.

OK, a lot of the fame and celebrity we see in this world boils down to a whole lot of overblown self-promotion.

Not so for Toledo Bend.

Rachel Barr set out to complete a wild turkey world slam before graduating high school — with archery equipment. Here’s how she did it and how you can follow in her footsteps.

You’re a high-school senior, a female and you have something you want to get done before graduation.

Make cheerleader?

Lake Pontchartain gets all the attention, but its little brother just to the east can offer some fantastic fishing. Here’s a seasonal guide to catching fish at Lake Borgne.

It seems that in every family there is one child who gets all the attention. The kids are outspoken, witty and interesting. At family gatherings, they keep everyone entertained.

Then there is the other child: quiet and bashful, sitting in the shadows.

Before you can bag a trophy gobbler, you’ve got to know where to find one. Here’s how to turn a turkey’s mind-set into an asset.

Turkeys have the reputation for being notoriously difficult to kill, especially for novice hunters.

But with enough time spent in the woods it’s likely you can consistently bag birds each spring.

Despite the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway earlier this year, the trout are eating at Lake Pontchartrain’s Causeway. And this guide shares one of the best ways to feed them.

Imagine my surprise when I got a late-February call from Capt. Andy Jones, who said he was not just catching trout on the Causeway but that he was spanking them — and nice trout, at that.

Big trout will be patrolling the beaches at Elmer's Island, just waiting for surf anglers to show up. And bass anglers can't go wrong heading to Toledo Bend this month, where bass will gang up in hay grass to feed on shad.