April 2018 - Volume 38, Number 4


Don’t throw out those old wingbones, boxes and slates. With a little TLC, you might have something in your turkey vest that will goad a gobbler into making a fatal mistake.

During a recent hunt in the Homochitto hardwoods of Franklin County, my hunting partner Shane McCullough and I weren’t having any luck luring in a tom. We heard several on the limb, but they were quickly joined by hens and went silent.

Even if you’re a dedicated weekend warrior, there’s always more to learn about catching specks. So be sure you aren’t making these mistakes that can impact the number of fish you put on ice.

We all live for the days when you leave the launch and birds are diving everywhere — and trout seem to fly over the gunnel right into the ice chest.

Pre-spawn catfish are feeding voraciously now in warming springtime waters. Here’s how they fill a box near the “Catfish Capitol of the Universe.”

It was a massacre.

Fish blood, poop, and slime covered the deck of the boat and the interior of the ice chest.

When the crappie spawn is wrapping up on D’Arbonne and Caney, action is usually just about to crank up on a section of the Ouachita River. Here’s how one guide still catches slabs in April.

Stuart Baum loves turning the last calendar page from March to April.

“I like February and March just as much,” he said, “but being able to turn the page to April means I get at least another month of being able to catch spawning crappie.”

‘Green trout’ are on fire in the ponds and marshes off the East Pearl River this month. Here’s one local angler’s plan of attack.

As Jeff Bruhl left the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and went down Interstate12, the sky spit droplets on his truck’s windshield. And as he pulled up to the East Pearl River launch, things even got a little gloomier: His trailer tires were the only ones touching the gravel parking lot. 

If you head to the Atchafalaya Basin dead-ends this month, you’ll likely struggle to put bass in the boat. But Louisiana’s newest Bassmaster Elite Series pro knows just where those fish have gone — and shares his approach to catching them.

Caleb Sumrall and Marcus Curry left the launch full of confidence. After a winter that saw horrifically cold temperatures, the water in the Atchafalaya Basin was hitting the 70s.

After a freezing winter and a wet spring, the spawn marches on at the Bend. Here’s the pros’ plan of attack in April.

To everything (turn, turn, turn).

There is a season (turn, turn, turn),

And a time to every purpose, under heaven.

If your freezer is lacking speck fillets, theses are the three places you need to visit this spring — with local guides sharing tactics on how to put meat in the box.

This winter has been miserable, with frigid temperatures putting speckled trout all along the coast into lethargic moods.

Sure, there are plenty of ways to call in a gobbler — but these proven tactics to kill will help you seal the deal.

It’s no small feat to actually come home with a wily, old gobbler. The bird’s eyesight alone makes it formidable quarry. Even when you’re covered head to toe in camouflage, the slightest mishap can ruin an otherwise solid hunt. 

After a brutal winter, trout anglers across the coast are looking forward to the start of the speck spawn this spring — and the hard-hitting action yellow mouths are famous for. Check out our extensive trout coverage starting on page 20. Cover photo by Patrick Bonin.