|Small Tract Toms — Turkey-hunting tactics for small properties
179 Views - Posted: March 01 at 7:00 am
My return to turkey hunting after a 15-year hiatus was truly haphazard.
I had recently leased a 150-acre tract of land near Folsom for deer hunting and was scouting for deer sign in late winter trying to learn the lay of the land. What I discovered was startling: The deer lease was full of turkey sign, and I spotted several turkeys during my scouting trips.
With spring fast approaching, I thought a little turkey hunting might help me get more familiar with the new lease, but realistically my expectations were fairly low.
I was in for a real surprise.
|Wetland Warriors — Battling coastal erosion by hunting nutria
171 Views - Posted: March 01 at 7:00 am
“The coyotes ate all the rabbits! The ducks got short-stopped! And the squirrels all live in woods leased by deer clubs who hate squirrel hunters! So how’s a kid supposed to scratch his hunting itch nowadays?”
Artie was in another of his moods at Doc’s camp.
“Oh, I don’t really mean hunting itch,” he continued after a hearty swig and a thunderous belch. “I mean blasting and killing itch. Oh, I know, I know. It’s not really ‘blasting and killing;’ it’s ‘harvesting,”’ he added with a smirk. “And I know, I know: It’s not all about the shooting. It’s about ‘the camaraderie, about learning sportsmanship and conservation principles, about watching the beautiful sunrise, the pretty roseate spoonbills, about blah, blah, blah.’ Sure — sure.
|Barrier Bulls — How to catch bull redfish at Breton Island
477 Views - Posted: March 01 at 7:00 am
So, I’m at this media event, at Theophile Bourgeois’ lodge in Lafitte. Bourgeois invited all his sponsors and a few media guys to spend a couple nights at his place, where he’d provide food and lodging, give us all a chance to mingle and talk shop, and then pile us into a fleet of bay boats to see if we could do more than talk the talk.
Fishing stories, product discussions and general conversation lasted late into the night between the couple dozen of us there, and after an early breakfast came the boat assignments. Call it the luck of the draw, but my assignment was to take a seat in Bourgeois’ Cessna float plane along with Mercury Marine’s Kevin Brown and Power-Pole’s Robert Shamblin for a flight out to the barrier islands for some March wade-fishing for bull reds.
|Small-boat DuLarge — How to catch reds, specks with a mud boat
645 Views - Posted: March 01 at 7:00 am
Marty LaCoste likes things a little quiet.
According to my son, it’s so he can whisper to the fish exactly what he wants them to do.
When things get a little bit too loud, those trout can’t hear him as clearly.
That’s why the “Trout Whisperer” — my son’s nickname for LaCoste — went out and bought an 18-foot-by-60-inch Gator Tail aluminum boat with a mud motor on back.
|Spread out — Using multiple baits for crappie fishing
872 Views - Posted: March 01 at 7:00 am
Any chef worth his salt understands the phrase mice en place, which means “everything in its place.”
This wisdom of order and placement also benefits crappie anglers seeking to cook up a hot day of slow trolling action.
We’ll save an in-depth bait analysis for later and focus here on the elements of deployment and presentation. Long-lining off the back of the boat might work in deeper, open-water scenarios, but the closer and more-controlled presentation of slow trolling — aka tight-lining — works best in most Louisiana crappie haunts.
|The Cajun and the Beast — How to catch snapping turtles
661 Views - Posted: March 01 at 7:00 am
The huge, scaly beast — its massive body partially supported by the water — swim-crawled its way along the soft, mucky bottom. Its bear-like, long, black claws stirred up clouds of half-decayed vegetation and silt.
Bubbles of swamp gas rose lazily to the water’s surface.
The alligator snapping turtle was on the prowl — looking for something to eat. It wasn’t choosy. Acorns would be fine; so would crawfish, clams and even the stray crab. A smaller turtle, one whose shell it could crush with its massive cleaver-like jaws, would be tops on the list.
|Bream busting in Boeuf — Tactics for bream fishing in Lake Boeuf
509 Views - Posted: March 01 at 7:00 am
One hundred-thirty years of experience.
That’s what my friend Dirk Matherne, no spring chicken himself at 58, had fixed me up with. It was a little intimidating, listening to the two silver-maned old lions comparing notes with Mike Adams, a Raceland dentist and Lake Boeuf lover.
The younger of the pair, at only 73, was Steve Bourgeois. He’s been fishing the lake for 63 years. His uncle, Andrew Blanchard, at 82 didn’t start fishing the lake until he was 15, so he only has 67 years of experience.
|The jewel in the city
354 Views - Posted: March 01 at 7:00 am
I was in the heart of the urban jungle.
It was 4:30 in the morning.
The neon sign on the Morning Call coffee shop in New Orleans City Park blazed brightly, so it seemed open. But everything was dead quiet — no cars in front; no people visible inside.
I ventured to the door, half-expecting it to be locked. It swung open, revealing an impressive mounted largemouth bass on the wall of the foyer. The label beneath it said it was 7 pounds, 14 ounces and had been caught by Mike Laviolette.
|Marsh Punch-out — How to punch grass mats for big bass
413 Views - Posted: March 01 at 7:00 am
Back in 2009 during the Bassmaster Central Open held in the Atchafalaya Basin, Elite Series angler and local favorite Cliff Crochet punched grass mats to earn his first trip to the Classic.
The Pierre Part pro proved the technique, when employed correctly and used under the right conditions, can be a deadly tactic for putting weight on the scale.
Basically fishing in his own backyard, Crochet employed the tactic with precision in the waters he grew up on. He used a heavy tungsten weight, a flipping hook and braided line — all basic elements required to punch grass for lunker bass.
|Toading at Toledo — Keys to fishing frogs for bass
415 Views - Posted: March 01 at 7:00 am
In Grimm’s Fairy Tales there is a story about a princess who made a deal with a frog who had secured her lost golden ball from the depths of a well.
All the frog asked in return was for the princess to love him, entertain him and let him be her constant companion.
The princess agreed, but once the ball was returned, she suddenly jumped up and returned to the castle without the creature.
The frog responded by visiting her castle and eventually gaining entrance. The king, upon hearing the terms of the deal, encouraged the princess strongly to make good her promise since she had given the medieval amphibian her word.
77 Views - Posted: March 01 at 7:00 am
Toledo Bend already has turned out a number of double-digit bass, and Sulphur's Johnny Walker -- who has several lunkers to his credit -- tells you how to get in on the action.
|Habitat work can improve turkey hunting success
229 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
In Southeast Louisiana, hunter Mike Williams loads his Remington 870 12-guage with 3 ½-inch magnum shells for longer shots in open areas and 3-inch magnums for dense areas with lots of cover.
But these days he finds he’s using more of the latter than he’d prefer.
The fix, he said, is a return to the prescribed burns that he recalls as common some 25 years ago. Not only is a clear shot to his liking, but the big-picture benefit of better turkey habitat would likely do wonders to boost the local populations that have struggled to recover since Hurricane Katrina.
|Tips to up your turkey hunting odds
266 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
Whether he’s on a private lease with his Horseshoe Hunting Club or vying for a good position on public lands near the Pearl River, Franklinton’s Mike Williams wants his back against a big tree, log or the roots of a fallen tree.
As for positioning, he wants a good view of what he calls the prettiest spot in the woods.
“An adult gobbler is looking for a place to show off with his strutting and gobbling,” he said. “Nine out of 10 times, it’s going to be the prettiest place that you know of in the woods. It’ll be fairly open with thickets close by so he can get back in a safe spot to get away from predators.
228 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
During his years of turkey watching, LDWF biologist Jimmy Stafford has seen a few memorable moments.
For example, albinos rarely reach adulthood because their lack of camouflage makes them easy targets for predators. Nevertheless, Stafford has seen full and partial albino adults walking the Louisiana woods.
And, even though, a clutch of 11 to 12 eggs is about average, he’s seen hens lay up to 22 in a single nest. Typically, hens cannot successfully incubate so many, but that doesn’t prevent sightings of massive poult gatherings.
|Of hounds and hunters
243 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
Sharp is extremely fond of watching his beagles running — to the extent that seeing the dogs work really makes the hunt for him.
“I usually stay with the dogs,” the hunter said. “In fact, I would rather watch them than find a lane to shoot rabbits. want to see what each one is doing, how they’re trailing and how they are braying. I find this especially important when hunting with the younger beagles.
“Since I breed beagles, I am always looking for traits of a better beagle.”
|How to prepare fish
464 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
he key to filleting sheepshead is using a sturdy-bladed boning knife and cutting over and around the thick rib bones by going into the fish from the top rather than from behind the gills.
With an electric knife, it’s easiest to start from the tail and fillet forward.