January 2017 - Volume 37, Number 1


There’s something for almost every angler, saltwater or freshwater, in this review of new fishing-boat models.

Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part Sportsman Boat Showcase. Next month, top aluminum boats will be featured.

Fishing boats are different animals to different fishermen. The same boat won’t work across the spectrum of lakes, inland rivers, coastal rivers, coastal backwaters, the inshore ocean or gulf and the offshore bluewater.

Killing deer in the Atchafalaya Basin is definitely a challenge, but these veteran hunters share their keys to success — both on private and public land.

Jonathan Cheely walked behind his father Jamie in knee-deep water and rain to make an afternoon deer hunt near Bayou Boutte in the Atchafalaya Basin swamp.

Over the past few years, the father-son team had become almost inseparable, as the younger Cheely decidedly became a deer hunter.

If you’re having trouble catching D’Arbonne crappie, this angler has the answers. And he doesn’t mind sharing all of his secrets.

Facing an empty livewell? Don’t know where to turn to catch a mess of crappie? Feel like giving up? Don’t despair.

Just call Sam!

Many North Louisiana residents have probably seen long-running television advertisements for a local attorney with a catchy jingle and a prompt to “Call Sam” to cure all of your legal troubles.

This Cypremort Point angler doesn’t cross his fingers and hope to catch limits of specks. Instead, he trolls until he finds schools, and then he mops up. And that tactic works across the coast.

Like gold, speckled trout are where you find them.

Ahh, but that’s the rub: finding them.

They are aggressive fish — not that hard to catch, but you gotta find them. Like roving wolves, they are mobile, and they are fast.

Ever wonder why that buddy of yours goes missing every January? It’s probably because he knows late-rutting bucks are cranking up and they are waiting in ambush. Here’s why you should get out there, too.

An old bass angler once told me he could tell what the fish were biting any time of year by looking at the empty pegs at his local tackle shop.

Assuming he could rummage around and find a few of the missing baits in his tackle box, he was confident he could get on some fish.

A massive paper mill discharge wiped out the fishing on the Pearl River in 2011, but this picturesque maze of water has recovered. In fact, the bass fishing is probably better than it’s ever been. Here’s how to capitalize.

When we pulled up to the rugged little launch off to the side and under the Highway 90 bridge over the Middle Pearl River, Chance Morse got out of the truck and strode closer to the water’s edge.

The big guy squinched one eye at the bridge.

Winter means you have to slow everything down and force-feed bass, right? Wrong. These pros tell you how to catch the fish of a lifetime when the chill is on.

“Cold water” and “lethargic” seem generally accepted as conjoined thoughts when dealing with winter bass.

However, savvy anglers know that, despite the chill, there remains real potential for some stellar bites during the early goings of a new year.

There are just a few days remaining of the 2016-17 deer season, but you still have time to nail that wallhanger like this 190-class hammer taken by Hayden Cassels.