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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.

July 01, 2005 at 1:39 pm

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

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
Instead, he makes the short run from Bobby Lynn’s to the
first islands between Lake Raccourci and Timbalier Bay.
May 30, 2005 at 2:47 pm

Volume 25 - No. 5 - May 2005

May 30, 2005 at 9:14 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

ReAction frog sounds like a buzz bait.

The guru of soft-plastic lure manufacturing always figured he probably had another hit on his hands with the Ribbit.Read More...
April 24, 2005 at 3:54 pm

Dirty-Water Reds

We’d just passed the Blue Angel at the entrance to the Naval base when I finally started dozing off. The truck cab was dark and the radio low.

Fleetwood Mac’s base-line thumped softly from the speakers. Stevie Nicks was purring away, singing me a personal lullaby, it seemed: “Thun-der only hap-pens when it’s RAIN-ing.”

Spring Break, 1977. Some sweet memories indeed. The gals all loved that song.

“Players only love you when they’re play-ing.”

As if chicks on Spring Break aren’t themselves playing, even in 1977. Memo to MTV: You guys didn’t invent fun.

Pelayo was driving, and seemed lost in his own world. Eddie was already sacked out in the back. The low hum of Highway 23 beneath us and the gentle rocking from its dips all added to the irresistible snoozy ambiance. My bunched-up jacket made a nice pillow as I snuggled in.

Hummmmmm ... delightful.

“FISHING LICENSE!” came a harsh bellow from behind me. I was jolted awake — and dammit! — just as Stevie in her wet T-shirt had started rubbing the suntan lotion into my back. “I gotta get a fishing license, man!” Eddie blurted.Read More...
April 24, 2005 at 3:19 pm

A Fickle Lady

In the days before any European set foot in the New World, the shorelines surrounding Lake Pontchartrain were inhabited by several Native American tribes. Bayougoula, Mougoulacha, Chitimacha, Colapissa, Quinipissalive and the “corn-gatherers,” or Tangipahoa Indians, fished the big lake they called “Okwa-ta,” the wide water. Read More...
April 24, 2005 at 3:08 pm

2005 Speck Forecast

As a biologist, Jerald Horst has cut out the livers of speckled trout, and examined them under microscopes.

He’s run his fingers through gravid ovaries packed with ripe, orange roe.

He’s opened stomachs to discover their contents.

But there was nothing scientific about Horst’s reaction last month when a trout as long as a man’s arm carved a hole in the water with its gaping maw, and sucked in his She Dog.

The sounds were loud enough to be heard on the other side of the small marsh lake — first from the fish crashing the bait, then from Horst, who jumped to his feet and squealed like a schoolgirl who just caught a glimpse of her favorite boy-band member.

After several earlier near-misses from other fish, Horst practiced great restraint in letting the big trout take the bait for a second or two before yanking the rod upward like Paul Bunyan starting a swing of his axe.

The light-action rod bowed like a noodle, its tip seeming to crawl along the line, refusing to miss a moment of the action.

A veteran angler who has logged more hours than he’d ever admit in the surf at Grand Isle, Fourchon and Elmer’s Island, Horst had caught bigger trout in his life, but this one was special, just like all fish lured to the surface by a topwater plug.Read More...
April 24, 2005 at 3:06 pm


In medical parlance, flat-lining carries some very negative associations.

It’s slang for a heart that’s not beating; and in the hospital emergency room it means death, doom and despair.

In the month of March, there’s usually quite a bit of despair among Southeast Louisiana anglers — and among speckled trout anglers in particular.Read More...
March 24, 2005 at 12:12 pm


If you’re a native Louisianian, I’ve got news for you: You’re a weirdo.

You probably don’t realize it, but trust me — you’re weird.
February 23, 2005 at 12:57 pm