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In a still shot from a video, Detective Jason McRight with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office talks to Elite Redfish Anglers at their captains' meeting in Orange, Texas last month about Louisiana's laws concerning trespassing and private waters.

Video: Captains’ meeting rankles tournament redfish anglers

Capt. Steve Smith, a Lafayette-based charter guide who works out of both Cypremort Point and Big Lake, also fishes the Elite Redfish Series across the Southeastern U.S.

But when the tour visited the Sabine River in Orange, Texas, last month, Smith opted to stay away from his home state's waters  — not because the fishing was better on the other side of the river, but because he didn’t want to take a chance of being accused of trespassing on private property in Louisiana.

May 19 at 8:22am
The substantial profile of a dark colored jig is something bass can find in muddy water.

Bait choices for muddy-water bass

Fishing guide Darold Gleason follows a simple yet effective plan of covering water with reaction baits to locate active areas.

Once he finds a promising spot, he’ll slow down and pick it apart.

May 15 at 7:00am
With numbers like this, Rhett Buteau needs a stopwatch to keep track of his catch and stay within the limit.

Jeanerette angler is ‘overboard’ for sac-a-lait

Rhett Buteau admitted a little guiltily that he is obsessive about fishing.

“I’m probably a tad overboard, as any sac-a-lait (crappie) fisherman can get,” Buteau said. “It’s all I think about. I log every trip. I record date, catch, water level, moon phase, color of bait and style of bait. I tie my own jigs.

May 15 at 7:00am
Laydowns are fished both along their edges and in the interior of the branches. This particular laydown rapidly produced nine sac-a-lait, one behind the other.

When and where to fish Atchafalaya Basin crappie

The Atchafalaya Basin is huge and its habitats are complex. Besides the main channel of the Atchafalaya River that runs the length of it, the Basin has major and minor bayous, pipeline and oilfield canals, sloughs, coves, lakes and back-swamps. 

May 15 at 7:00am
The Matrix Mini allows anglers to scratch the angling itch when trout are lethargic.

The Matrix Mini

Chas Champagne wishes it would have been as simple as pointing a futuristic-looking device at one of the most-popular speckled trout soft plastics on the market and reducing the size significantly, like in the 1989 movie “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.”

May 13 at 10:47am
The bream bite should be on fire by the time May opens, and only get better as the weather warms.

Henderson Lake is a bream heaven

“Amoco.”  That word should conjure up the image of a gas station sign beckoning motorists to come to the pump and gas up.

“Amoco Canal.”  Those words should bring to mind a bream fishing heaven on earth, er, water, at Henderson Lake.

May 02 at 11:28am
Shane Johnson displays the largest Toledo Bend sac-a-lait taken by four anglers fishing public artificial reefs under Pendleton Bridge and brushpiles just north offshore.

Pendleton Perch — How to catch Toledo Bend crappie

It was the day of the full moon of May 2015, and New Iberia’s Shane Johnson was pumped.

“This trip could not have worked out better with timing,” the 43-year-old Toledo Bend guide said.

May 01 at 7:00am
Rhett Buteau is totally absorbed by the pursuit of sac-a-lait, fishing for them over 120 days a year, mostly in the Atchafalaya Basin.

Ten feet high and fallin’ — Best Atchafalaya Basin sac-a-lait tips

“In a perfect world, it would be 10 feet on the Butte La Rose gauge with a slow fall, year around,” the rakish young man told me with an infectious grin. 

The Butte La Rose gauge on the Atchafalaya River is what most fishermen — whether for sac-a-lait, bass, bream or catfish — go by to decide when and where to fish the vast Atchafalaya Basin.

May 01 at 7:00am

Cover

Crappie fishing is still on fire at Toledo Bend and the Atchafalaya Basin this month, while speckled trout have invaded the coast. And we give you everything you need for success.

May 01 at 7:00am

Cover

Crappie fishing is still on fire at Toledo Bend and the Atchafalaya Basin this month, while speckled trout have invaded the coast. And we give you everything you need for success.

May 01 at 7:00am
Mike Wood has been involved in the Florida bass program at Caney Lake for decades. Here he shows off one of the first 10-pound lunkers that came from the lake years ago.

The making of a fisheries leader

As a young Northeast Louisiana University (now ULM) biology major, Mike Wood figured out fairly quickly what he wanted to do in life.

April 15 at 7:00am
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2016-17 waterfowl season dates at its April meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge.

2016-17 duck season dates set by LWFC

Four months ahead of the typical August announcement, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2016-17 duck season dates — along with hunting season dates for other species and the general and WMA hunting rules and regulations — at its April meeting on Thursday in Baton Rouge.

April 08 at 11:00am
Apple snails lay their bright pink eggs on hard surfaces above water, like this decoy. Babies hatch in weeks and fall in the water, where they are disbursed by wind, currents and vegetation. There is no pesticide available as of now to target the snails.

Invasive apple snails wreak havoc in Orange Grove marsh

Mike Arcement put decoys out on his 2,000-acre lease in Orange Grove southwest of Houma the weekend before duck season started last November, and by opening day many of them were already covered in bright pink egg cases.

Submerged aquatic vegetation on the lease — key forage for ducks — was practically non-existent by the time the season started, as well. 

The culprits in both cases were apple snails, an invasive species that arrived in Louisiana about 10 years ago and readily consumes aquatic plants. 

March 22 at 9:27am
Billy Billeaud’s favorite lures are, from left to right: a Texas-rigged Brush Hog, a swim jig with a swim bait trailer, a Texas-rigged Sweet Beaver, a flipping jig with a chunk trailer, a bladed jig with a craw trailer. Note the predominance of dark color

How to pick a jig

Billy Billeaud fishes four styles of jigs: flipping, bladed, swimming and football models.

March 15 at 7:00am
Billy Billeaud loves wood and never passes up a laydown, tree top, or stump.

Equipment for bass fishing in the Atchafalaya Basin

Billy Billeaud doesn’t arm himself lightly for bass fishing in the Atchafalaya Basin.

March 15 at 7:00am
Spotted gar, here identifiable by the spots on the snout, are Louisiana’s most common gar species. <br />

We got gar - Louisiana has four species

In a state laced with streams, rivers, bayous, lakes and marshes, pretty well anyone who spends time outdoors knows that Louisiana has a lot of gars.

March 03 at 2:20pm