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Royer makes and ties all his own jigs. The two on the bottom are two of his four favorite colors. Jig-making tips for crappie
61 Views - Posted: April 15 at 7:00 am

Murphy Royer makes his own jigs from scratch.


Royer uses his homemade rake to make holes in vegetation to get to the fish below. Murph’s crappie-fishing poles
122 Views - Posted: April 15 at 7:00 am

Murphy Royer’s confidence in his fishing is almost startling. During my first conversation with him, he asked me when I wanted to go fishing. I asked when the best time was to make a good trip.


Royer fished the entire morning within sight of the elevated interstate bridge to the south. Lake Henderson crappie fishing tips
59 Views - Posted: April 15 at 7:00 am

Lake Henderson really isn’t a lake at all in the classical sense, but more of a backwater area formed in the 1930s by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


The author has caught many thousands of chinquapin on fly rod using only a few adjustments to flies and tackle. Tippets
34 Views - Posted: April 15 at 7:00 am

April is one of the best months for both freshwater and marsh fly fishing. In which water shall you cast your fly?


Chinquapin on fly rod?  Yes, you can!  With the right flies and the right leader, it’s the rule, not the exception. Shellcracking the code
1923 Views - Posted: April 10 at 9:00 am

“When it comes to redears, leave the fly tackle at home.”


Lake Henderson, which sprawls on both sides of Interstate Highway 10, has a variety of productive habitats for Murphy Royer’s favorite fish. Candy from a baby — Best crappie-fishing tactics
671 Views - Posted: April 01 at 7:00 am

Zounds! This guy is good.


Female lake runners have both a smaller body and a smaller red patch on the “ear flap” at the rear of their gill covers. Spawning 101 for bream
494 Views - Posted: March 15 at 8:00 am

When bream fishermen refer to bream “bedding up” they’re not speaking of bream going to bed to sleep. Actually, bedded bream are spawning bream — the most active of bream and, therefore, the easiest to catch.

The term “bream” can be a catchall term for all species of sunfish — bluegills, redears, longears, warmouth, green sunfish and others — or it can be used specifically for bluegills.

We will use it as a catchall here.


Nooch Duran and Mark Fonseca (holding turtle) show off their alligator snapping turtle minutes after its capture. The Cajun and the Beast — How to catch snapping turtles
1323 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. 


Dirk Matherne hauls in a big bull bluegill from his mudboat. Bream busting in Boeuf — Tactics for bream fishing in Lake Boeuf
1133 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.


A well-placed spread allows trolling anglers to easily lift and boat their fish without disrupting the other rods. Spread out — Using multiple baits for crappie fishing
1517 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.


Man-made brush piles on the Saline-Larto complex contribute to it being named the crappie capital of Louisiana. Statewide crappie recap: Saline-Larto complex
2729 Views - Posted: February 27 at 11:15 am

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the seventh and final article in an online series on hot crappie spots across the state that originally appeared in Louisiana Sportsman magazine. Today's article features information on the Saline-Larto complex.


Water levels fluctuate at the Black River Lake/Horseshoe complex, but Eddie Roberts said to focus on the floating docks for success. Statewide crappie recap: Black River Lake/Horseshoe complex
2380 Views - Posted: February 27 at 11:09 am

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the sixth article in an online series on hot crappie spots across the state that originally appeared in Louisiana Sportsman magazine. Today's article features information on the Black River Lake/Horseshoe complex, and we wrap up the series tomorrow with the Saline-Larto complex.


Prime sac-a-lait locations around Bayou Black include Turtle Bayou and 70 Mile Canal. Statewide crappie recap: Bayou Black
2890 Views - Posted: February 27 at 11:05 am

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the fifth article in an online series on hot crappie spots across the state that originally appeared in Louisiana Sportsman magazine. Today's article features information on Bayou Black, and tomorrow we'll take a closer look at the Black River Lake/Horseshoe complex .


For shallow water action during the spawn on Caney Lake, try the Smith Branch. Statewide crappie recap: Caney Lake
2349 Views - Posted: February 27 at 11:00 am

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the fourth article in an online series on hot crappie spots across the state that originally appeared in Louisiana Sportsman magazine. Today's article features information on Caney Lake, and tomorrow we focus on Bayou Black.


Bobby Phillips likes using hair jigs in a variety of presentations in shallow water on Lake D'Arbonne near Farmerville, northwest of Monroe. Statewide crappie recap: Lake D'Arbonne
2070 Views - Posted: February 27 at 10:50 am

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the third article in an online series on hot crappie spots across the state that originally appeared in Louisiana Sportsman magazine. Today's article features information on Lake D'Arbonne, and on Monday we'll take a closer look at Caney Lake.


With water temperatures finally starting to rise, now's the time to target big crappie on Toledo Bend. Statewide crappie recap: Target big ones now on Toledo Bend
2570 Views - Posted: February 27 at 10:30 am

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second article in an online series on hot crappie spots across the state that originally appeared in Louisiana Sportsman magazine. Today's article features information on Toledo Bend. Tomorrow we'll take a closer look at Lake D'Arbonne.


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