|Habitat work can improve turkey hunting success
215 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
In Southeast Louisiana, hunter Mike Williams loads his Remington 870 12-guage with 3 Ĺ-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
244 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.
211 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
222 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
445 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.
|Sheepshead make great table fare
434 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
I’d venture that a rig-caught winter sheepshead actually beats a deep marsh redfish as table fare. The saltier the water, the better tasting the fish.
And, as mentioned, the spawn is on for sheepshead roughly from December to April in our near-offshore waters. This, combined with the cold winter waters, means these sheepshead are plenty fat.
You’ll note the meat is almost marbled. This makes the fillets juicy and absolutely delectable, whether fried, grilled, broiled, ceviched — whatever.
|Tackle tips for crappie fishing
685 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
Notwithstanding his penchant for simplicity, Toledo Bend guide Jerry Thompson has given much thought to certain aspects of his terminal tackle and rigging.
Here’s a handful of his preferences:
Cork color — Choices range from the classic red/white to bright neons, but Thompson bases his selection more on ease of operation than aesthetics.
|Homemade crappie rig box
365 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
Bobby Murray loves a hot crappie bite, and he likes to be ready to maximize every opportunity he gets. Suffice it to say, he has plenty of tackle bags to carry all the hardware and baits he needs, but Murray has developed a simple but effective system for keeping key items at close reach.
Starting with a spinnerbait box, he inserts a fitted block of Styrofoam with holes cut for plastic craft tubes (available at Hobby Lobby and other craft stores). The tubes hold prerigged jigheads and baits of various configurations, along with spare heads, bobber stoppers and beads.
|Tandem-rigged baits serve targeted purposes
256 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
How quick are you on the follow-up cast? Can you reel up the first rod, grab a different one and drop a new bait at the point of a missed strike in, say, 10 seconds? A little less? No matter your speed — and assuming you can do it with accuracy — you simply won’t present a follow-up bait faster than a tandem rig.
|Other dynamic duos
237 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
Hollow Body Frog and Buzz Toad: Similar to topwater hard baits, a Spro Bronzeye Frog or a Snagproof Ish’s PHAT Frog can bring out the beast in a bass, but the aggression doesn’t always equal a connection. When that happens, and follow-up tosses go ignored, try switching to a buzz toad like a Stanley Ribbit or a Wave Tiki Toad. For one thing, the toad’s kicking legs make for a more intrusive and irritating presence. Moreover, when you pause a toad, it sinks, so utilize those gaps in lily pads or let a toad descend off the edge of a weed mat and get ready to have your arms stretched.
478 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
Fly anglers want to know where’s that global warming we were promised?
February normally begins the transition from winter to spring here in Louisiana. If normal prevails, expect to see big bass searching for beds this month. Choose large flies that can be worked very slowly on the bottom near bedding areas. Those include Magnum woolybuggers, Sqwirms, Bass Bullies and Calcasieu Pig Boats.
|If you want to go where Tony went
183 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
The marshes of Terrebonne Parish are huge, and offer endless fishing opportunities. Like the fingers of a hand, five major bayous extend toward the Gulf of Mexico from Houma, easily the largest town in the parish.
From east to west they are Bayou Pointe au Chien, Bayou Terrebonne, Bayou Petite Caillou, Bayou Grand Caillou and Bayou du Large.
Launching at the fishing community of Theriot, Bayou Sauveur can be accessed by running southward in Bayou du Large and then eastward after the road paralleling the bayou ends.
|Why buy a handcrafted rod?
224 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
For some anglers a fishing rod is just a fishing rod. Their selection process is simple: They go into a store, pick up a rod without a reel and without any weight to load the tip and whip it up and down.
Others do more.
Lance Dupre of Swampland Tackle in Houma visibly cringed when he described what some anglers do.
“I’ve seen fishermen in tackle shops take the tip of the rod and see how far they can bend the tip back toward the butt,” Dupre said.
|Speedy breasting in the field
231 Views - Posted: January 15 at 7:00 am
Hunters who plan to only use the breasts of their ducks have little need to clean and transport whole birds from the field or camp to their home.
|Quackers on the barbie
234 Views - Posted: January 15 at 7:00 am
Ducks and geese have to be the most difficult of all game animals to cook. They have a reputation for being strong and gamey — almost “livery” in taste.
|Tinkering with the rig
202 Views - Posted: January 15 at 7:00 am
Little things make big differences in all hunting.
Let’s face it: Hunters who succeed time after time ≠— as well as those that don’t — do 99 percent of everything the same. They get up at the same time, shoot the same guns, wear the same clothes, hunt the same areas and use the same calls and attractants.