December 2016 - Volume 36, Number 12

Features

While most Louisiana anglers turn their noses up at bull reds, this guide says they offer great winter action. And a New Orleans chef knows they make excellent table fare — if prepared correctly.

When the guide slid the landing net under the fish, the chef’s face lit up like a Hollywood marquee.

Was it a tender-fleshed and delectable speckled trout? No.

Was it a savory, mild-tasting red snapper. No.

It wasn’t a flounder, tripletail or grouper, either.

Don’t let bad weather keep you off of your stand during the rut. Instead, be in the woods to catch deer moving before and after fronts.

I peered out my living room window only to see fog and a persistent rain. It was the day after Christmas, and I was anxious to get back to my deer stand after spending Christmas day with my family — but the weather was just not cooperating.

A lingering warm front was stuck in place, waiting for the next cold front to sweep it away and bring perfect deer-hunting weather during the peak of the breeding season.

Cold days come even in Louisiana, and unprepared anglers can spend long, miserable days chasing bass. Here are how the pros fend off the bitter cold so they’ll be ready to set the hook.

Diehard anglers will brave some pretty uncomfortable conditions for that chance of bending a rod. But understanding how cold weather can affect your equipment and your performance stands essential to your winter pursuits. 

The plug was pulled on Lake D’Arbonne in September, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fish it this month. In fact, what it really means is that crappie will be concentrated and vulnerable to anglers’ baits. Here’s how to mop up.

They are going to have to do a lot more than just drain Lake D’Arbonne to keep Ronnie Turner from chasing crappie this December.

The West Monroe angler isn’t going to suspend the crappie season just because the lake is missing a little water.

For the first time in a generation, anglers won’t be able to bank on the Hot Water Canal to catch specks and reds near Chalmette. But that doesn’t mean you should stay home. Here’s one guide’s tips for targetting the area this winter.

For Chalmette-area wintertime anglers, the Hot Water Canal was about as close as you could get to a sure thing. 

Warm, toasty water from Entergy’s Michoud generating facility discharged into a nondescript, otherwise unremarkable canal adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway near the Green Bridge.

If you’re looking for consistent action for speckled trout and redfish, just head to the little town of Pointe a la Hache. And this guide tells you how to fill the box.

So another December arrives ­— a month of endings, to be sure, but also of beginnings.

Autumn ends, but winter begins. It’s the beginning of another madhouse Christmas month, but the end of another year.

Deer activity always crashes at some point in the season, so what’s a die-hard hunter to do? These tested buck killers say it’s just a matter of making key adjustments.

The dog days of summer have nothing on the dog days of December.

Anybody fishing during the dog days of summer knows before launching his boat that tough fishing lies ahead. 

The dog days of December arrive with a lot less fanfare and a lot more frustration because deer hunters expect deer to be moving.

If you keep seeing ducks fall into a pothole that is hard to get to without spooking the birds, you need to try this hunter’s approach and prep a kayak for stealth.

The hunt didn’t last long. Good hunts never do.

The ducks never had a chance.

Just before daylight, Lafayette dentist Tony Soileau slipped his camouflaged kayak across the pond’s open water and maneuvered it into an island of flooded buttonwood bushes surrounded by a fringe of dry, brown indigo.

Every hunter has some maxims used to determine best times to be in the woods, but are these guidelines based on facts? These biologists share the truth behind some of the common beliefs.

It’s the middle of hunting season and you glance at the weather forecast for the weekend: There’s going to be a full moon.

So you tell your buddies at the camp that you’ll be sleeping in on Saturday morning and heading to your stand around midmorning. That’s when the deer will be moving, you tell them.

The season is at the halfway point, but there's still a lot of deer hunting left. And if you do everything right, you can tag a trophy like 14-year-old Alexis Marks.