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Deepwater Doozie

It’s easy to outrun those huge tankers when they’re chugging upriver. They’re like us after a huge champagne brunch. You can almost hear them groaning as they churn slowly upriver, fully-laden, low in the water, every yard gained an agonizing effort.Read More...
July 01, 2005 at 2:38 pm
1711 Views

Jurisprudence, Cote Blanche-Style

What is it about the flash of gold in green tinted water that makes so many of us go bonkers to the point of embellishment?

From Point Chevreuil to Point Maroon, the shell beaches and grassy banks of Cote Blanche Bay produce a lot of those flashes. What is more, flashes with distinct black spotted markings — I might add.
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July 01, 2005 at 2:15 pm
2704 Views

Red State

The first day of the 2004 Redfish Tour Open Championship was fishing about how most everybody had scouted it.

The tremendous amount of water pushed into the Hopedale/Delacroix marsh had brought in plenty of fish, but had seemingly emptied it of the 8- to 10-pound fish needed to finish highly.

A run to Venice was no sure thing either, with most of the delta still a muddy mess from the glancing blow from Ivan.

Chad Dufrene and I scratched through a very long first day to weigh two very average fish, enough to be in striking distance of one of five invites to the Pro Championship awarded to the top finishing teams, but our numbers of fish seen, much less caught, dictated a different plan.
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July 01, 2005 at 2:14 pm
2592 Views

Reef Raider

Only a slight ripple tousled the water as Erik Rue streaked across the wide-open reaches of Calcasieu Lake.

Wind had whipped the water body into a froth for a week, but had died to a whisper the evening before, providing plenty of time for the water to clean up.

Rue was excited after his long hiatus from the lake, but he was forced to hold back on the gas. It was the maiden voyage of his newest boat, and he had to break in the motor.

Still, as the sun’s first tentacles of light embraced the lake, the veteran guide had a rod in his hand, working a Norton Sand Eel over Long Point reef.

I took up a position and cast out, fully expecting to feel the familiar crust of the shells along the bottom.

But my jig met no resistance as I bumped it along. In fact, it was difficult to feel any bottom.

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July 01, 2005 at 2:12 pm
2110 Views

Redfish on Bull Minners

A pre-sunrise sheen flowed across the water like a micron-thin coating of mercury, mirroring scattered clouds cruising above the calm waters of Bayou Long.

The water was so still that even the tiniest baitfish created enough surface disturbance to attract instant attention from keen eyes peering out from under an angler’s long-billed cap. Polarized sunglasses shielded the angler’s vision, cutting through the steely glare and scanning for signs of redfish from high atop a poling platform the way an osprey watches for the makings of a mullet breakfast.

“Look, there’s a tail showing on the edge of that flat,” said Marty Authement. “Let’s sneak in close enough and try to make a cast.”
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July 01, 2005 at 1:49 pm
2295 Views

Plan B

You only turn 26 once.

That line of reasoning was enough incentive for Leslie Owens to plan a blowout birthday bash.

Some women might opt for a night out with the girls at a swanky restaurant or hopping nightclub.

Others would prefer cheese and wine with close associates at an art gallery.

But Owens, a transplant from Savannah, Ga., appears to be assimilating quite nicely to the South Louisiana way of life.
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July 01, 2005 at 1:47 pm
3535 Views

XXD: All it’s quacked up to be?

If you’re a duck, there are three places you want to avoid: 1) a Chinese restaurant, 2) the wrong church in Ponchatoula, and 3) my neighborhood pond when I’m out casting.

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July 01, 2005 at 1:39 pm
2471 Views

Grandfather Rigs of Black Bay

It’s funny how our memories retain bits and pieces of our past, and how we are able only to remember mere fragments of the days, years and decades gone by.Read More...
July 01, 2005 at 1:30 pm
4290 Views

Timbalier Time

Boats stream across Timbalier Bay as the weather
warms up and dreams of big trout draw anglers to the
barrier islands, but guide Chad Dufrene doesn’t follow the
pack.
Instead, he makes the short run from Bobby Lynn’s to the
first islands between Lake Raccourci and Timbalier Bay.
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May 30, 2005 at 2:47 pm
2971 Views

Volume 25 - No. 5 - May 2005

May 30, 2005 at 9:14 am
863 Views

The Lafitte Lowdown

Maybe it’s just me, but it sure seemed like a long winter. Some of the poor folks up north dubbed it “the winter that wouldn’t die,” which sounded more like a pathetic plot in a Grade B movie than a weather condition.

And even though this winter finally lost its frosty grip on the thermometer, it left behind these blustery, nagging, unending winds specifically to pester and harass us fishermen.

But the long winter drought is over, the sun has steadily warmed up the water, the shrimp are beginning to make their annual appearance, and the trout are slamming baits all over the Southeast Louisiana coastline.Read More...
May 30, 2005 at 9:02 am
2458 Views

Not a Novelty

The small cove on the eastern end of Calcasieu Lake looked much like any other stretch of uninhabited shoreline. It wasn’t so much of a cove as a dip in the largely featureless stretch of bank. The location was, however, precious enough to Capt. Jeff Poe that the distant sighting of a boatful of waders had elicited a sharp reaction over the hum of the 200 Yamaha, almost enough to make him turn off of his path. But near perfect wind conditions for the location made it any easy decision after a moment of thought. “The thing about it is this: I can almost guarantee they didn’t trolling motor in there,” he said of the waders. “For some reason, they don’t think running a big engine in that shallow water scares fish. I’ve seen ’em do it a hundred times.”Read More...
May 25, 2005 at 12:11 pm
1174 Views

Map Feature: Sabine Lake

The heavy fog, which had inundated the extreme southwestern part of the state, was just beginning to break when the 9-pound redfish began its assault on the southern end of Sabine Lake, trying in vain to render the colorful MirrOlure useless for the remainder of the day.Read More...
May 25, 2005 at 12:06 pm
11758 Views

False Bottom

The bass rod bowed as if I’d hooked a big largemouth and was trying to wrestle the fish out of thick lily pads.

But I wasn’t fishing fresh water.

Instead, I was positioned at an oil rig off the Louisiana coast that receives as much pressure as any in the entire Gulf.

As I reeled in my line and battled the fish, I couldn’t believe I’d caught an 8-pound snapper the first time my bait went to the bottom. My buddy and I fished with a tactic and bait most snapper fishermen never would use.

We baited our hooks that day with plastic grubs most anglers fished with inshore for speckled trout, redfish and flounder. In less than an hour, the two of us limited out on snapper by only fishing three rigs.Read More...
May 25, 2005 at 11:18 am
1921 Views

The Scoop on the Skinny

Spring inshore fishing can be such a tease. Specks are ready for their reproductive business, but extreme changes in the weather make fish extremely mobile, rendering even the most up-to-date information obsolete.

But that compares little to the games redfish play as they ease into the warm-weather pattern. Reds are more than willing to mass in the shallow ponds and show themselves in all their bronze glory, but getting them to bite is an entirely different matter.Read More...
April 24, 2005 at 4:27 pm
1316 Views

Poor Man’s Lobster

The morning hadn’t gone well. We’d only caught one speckled trout — the only bite we’d had.

“Let’s go over to the jetties,” I suggested to my fishing partner. “Maybe we can take some flounder or a stray redfish over there.”

On the first cast, my buddy caught a sheepshead and asked, “You want to keep this thing?”Read More...
April 24, 2005 at 4:13 pm
7581 Views