Usually when a hostess calls for “Jones, party of...” a dozen different people named Jones stand in unison. Not on the bayou. I haven’t met another Jones yet. But I have met a Thibodaux (heck, I live there, too), Boudreaux  and a passel of Zeringues. Seriously. A month ago I couldn’t properly pronounce Naquin and didn’t know which way was up or down the bayou. All of these details have since been ironed out, and my wife Amanda and I are at a time and place where the pronunciations and bayou-specific directions are second nature.

We moved from Alabama about three months ago and settled in Thibodaux (no joke). In a previous life, I was responsible for covering bass fishing tournaments for a national organization and spent time in Shreveport on the Red River, Many on Toledo Bend, Morgan City in the Basin and New Orleans for work and play. Each time I visited a different city or town, I couldn’t believe it was in the same state as others I’d been to. In stark contrast, I briefly lived in the cornfields of Illinois, and from one end of the state to the other, what exists are quaint and friendly towns that are largely the same and inhabited by the same kind of people. That’s not a slight in the least, it’s just a fact. 

When I leave my house in Lafourche Parish and head north, I’m flabbergasted (there’s a $4 word) at how quickly my surroundings  and the culture change. This fact is remarkable and endearing. 

Each time I had previously traveled to Louisiana and headed back to former homes, I left enchanted. Regardless of where I was or what I was doing, without exception I always had the passing thought, “it’d be cool to live here one day.” Now that I actually am, it’s far better than I ever dreamed. 

Louisiana is “The Sportsman’s Paradise,” right? Oh, yeah, I get it now. Swarms of trout, arm-breaking redfish, beau coups ducks and my personal favorite, deer, are all represented in abundance. I used to live in Florida, which calls itself the “fishing capital of the world.” How nice. Well, they can keep that. I much prefer living here in Louisiana, the “fish catching — and eating! — capital of the world.”

It’s my sincere pleasure to be taking over Louisiana Sportsman Magazine, and I look forward to sharing my adventures in our state with you in these pages and at LouisianaSportsman.com. Along the way I plan to update and refresh the content to make it more relevant and exciting in this intensely digital world. You won’t want to miss an issue. Finally, don’t be a stranger if you’ve got an idea, comment or crawfish boil to share. I look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,

David H. Jones

davidj@lasmag.com