December 2017 - Volume 37, Number 12

Features

Lake Pontchartrain is where many a speckled trout angler’s dreams of limits go to die. Fish are there this month, but the bite can be finicky — and knowing subtle nuances and being able to read conditions are keys to success.

As December rolls around — and lots of Lake Pontchartrain anglers are in deer stands and duck blinds pondering awkward office Christmas parties, lame bowl game matchups and how much fried turkey they can consume in the coming weeks — Capt. Kris Robert stays laser-focused on what he does for pretty much the other 11 months of the year.

In the winter, Big Lake’s estuary can get pretty frigid — and many anglers head for their deer stands and duck blinds. But those in the know hit these spots for wintertime battles with redfish, hybrid stripers and speckled trout.

On a chilly 39-degree December morning, Big Lake’s Ray Christy had a smile on his face when he launched from the public landing at Riverside Park in Westlake.

The Delta National Wildlife Refuge at the mouth of the Mississippi River is a haven for ducks and hunters alike. Here’s what you need to know if you go, including the latest on the roseau cane die-off.

At exactly 6:09 a.m. what was obviously a hen gray duck hovered close in over the coot decoys. Chip Crews chopped it down with one shot. 

Pursuing bucks in the marshes of Louisiana isn’t for the faint of heart. But tough, uncomfortable conditions weed out lots of hunters, and just about any deer is a trophy.

Gary Williams doesn’t consider himself a trophy deer hunter — but he definitely enjoys the challenge of harvesting his own meat. 

As the rut progresses at varying rates across the state, big bucks can become even more elusive as hunting pressure mounts. Try these tips to knock down a big December deer.

While December may be the chronological middle of the road for Louisiana’s deer season, it could be the beginning, middle or end of your season depending on where you hunt as it pertains to the stages of the rut.

Don’t let the chocolate-colored waters fool you. Another warm winter could mean plentiful bass amongst the cypresses, cuts and drains of this Acadia Parish river this December.

Steeped in a mixture of legend and historical fact — with some folklore thrown in — the Mermentau River in Acadia Parish just might be a pearl amongst many fishing gems in Southwest Louisiana.

Shreveport’s Scott Gill busted this impressive 158-inch Claiborne Parish 8-point on Nov. 1. Check out some other big Louisiana deer that have gone down this season in the Sportsman’s Big Buck Roundup on page 24.