Features from March 2018

Columns - March 2018

  • Bomber’s Jointed Wake Minnow
    Russell Garner remembers the days in South Texas and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast when anglers modified jointed Redfins to make a “wake” bait that redfish found hard to resist.
  • Captain of the kitchen
    Balsamic Shrimp has a distinct sweet tang from the honey and the balsamic vinegar, but there is no sour component in its taste profile.
  • Demo, demo, demo
    Spring is coming this month, and kayak anglers welcome the warm weather and hot fishing action. Kayak fishing continues to grow in popularity, and it’s a great time to be in the market for your first kayak — or to upgrade from an entry-level model.
  • Gearing up for gobbules
    Longtime readers of this column know that I often refer to sunfish as “gobbules” (pronounced gah-bools). Many might wonder how the term originated.
  • Hunting and trapping feral hogs
    Whether we call them nuisance animals or outlaw quadrupeds, the laws addressing the take of those less-than-desirable species are more liberal than ever before. That’s a good thing made necessary by the ever-increasing number of feral hogs.
  • Meet the best-tasting grouper: yellowedge
    In recent years, a whole new world has opened up for offshore fishermen. Beset by lengthy season closures for gag and scamp groupers, red snappers, amberjacks and even triggerfish, as well as tight bag limits and restrictive size limits, many offshore fishermen began to wonder if owning a boat was worth it.
  • No turkey hunting in March
    Yes, that’s right — for the first time in the lifetime of this author there is no turkey hunting in Louisiana in March. Of course, I grew up hunting in North Louisiana in the 60s and there were no turkeys to hunt in those days. LDWF was trying to restock birds in that area but for various reasons, the restocking effort was not working.
  • There’s no better time than now to prepare
    As I write this, another year’s deer season has come to a close. For many hunters, this is a sad time, as thoughts of a long offseason become reality. 
  • Waypoints for Big Lake
    The Calcasieu Lake area is located almost entirely in Cameron Parish south of Lake Charles. It is part of the estuary of the Calcasieu River, and is just north of the Gulf of Mexico. It is more commonly referred to as Big Lake.

Outdoor Updates - March 2018

  • Avoyelles hunter knocks down giant 240-inch ‘Rougarou’ buck
    When Amanda Smith departed for her deer stand on Jan. 13 in Avoyelles Parish, her husband Scotty jokingly told her not to come home unless she was bringing back some fresh venison.
  • Bistineau angler catches, releases 12-pound monster
    Last Wednesday, Jan. 24, Hunter Vaughn and his grandpa Jack Elkins decided to make a quick late-afternoon fishing trip on Lake Bistineau. Neither knew it at the time, but they were about one hour from encountering the biggest bass they’d ever seen.
  • Blond gadwall killed in Delacroix
    Prairieville hunter Michael Campo thought his hunting season in Delacroix was wild when he shot a goose the day after Thanksgiving — but things really became weird Jan. 16 when he rolled a gadwall sporting feathers reminiscent of Donald Trump's signature blond comb-over.
  • Hunter shoots rare white-headed mallard drake
    On Jan. 16, Brock Baudoin of New Iberia took friend Brennan Hebert duck hunting at Wax Lake Outlet just before Cajun country was about to enter into the grips of frigid Arctic temperatures. 
  • Two busted for alleged night-hunting in Washington Parish
    Agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, working together with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, cited two men on Jan. 27 for alleged night-hunting violations in Washington Parish and Walthall County, Miss.

Field Notes - March 2018

  • Efficient fishing key to more bass bites
    Consistently building hefty stringers of bass requires maximizing the time spent on the water — and Pierre Part’s Cliff Crochet said that means working every piece of cover for all it’s worth.
  • Elite’s Lowen jumps on the ‘Xpress’ train
    Veteran Bassmaster Elite Series shallow-water specialist Bill Lowen is on a mission to change anglers’ perceptions — particularly tournament bass fishermen — on the advantages of an aluminum boat.
  • How to keep livewell bass healthy
    Livewells have come a long way over the years. But everyone sometimes struggles to keep bass healthy because ammonia can build up and water temperatures can rise inside the enclosed space over time — especially during brutal summer months.
  • Make Gulp “jerky” for longer lasting lures
    Berkley Gulp products have certainly earned a spot in my tackle box.
  • Top 3 tips for finicky speckled trout
    Louisiana inshore anglers dream of that often elusive fast-paced trout bite — one so fast and furious specks hit anything tossed into the water. 
  • Watch your line for more bites
    Jig fishermen know one of the keys to catching more bass is concentrating on the fishing line — with any anomaly indicating a fish has picked up the lure, even if the strike isn’t felt.

Hot Spots - March 2018

  • ‘Bed’time stories on Caney lake
    Tyler Stewart graduated from college, finished his apprenticeship and is taking his skills into the workplace. And the point of this? That can help you catch more fish.
  • Destination Delacroix
    Capt. Chad Dufrene (985-637-6357) is trying to think positive after this year's brutal winter.
  • Frigid winter likely means delayed trout transition
    Unlike the last couple of years with relatively mild winters, Mother Nature brought her full force down on South Louisiana this time — and the speckled trout that endured those frigid conditions likely will take a little longer to transition out of the marsh this year.
  • Head outside from Hopedale
    Capt. Sal “Gotcha Hooked” Fontana (504-812-7773) said he heads outside this month out of Hopedale to hunt both specks and reds in deeper water.
  • How to catch spawning bass at Toledo Bend
    When I see a big ol’ bass on a bed in March at Toledo Bend, one of the techniques I use to get her to bite, even though she really doesn’t want to, is “soak” the soft plastic I’m casting.
  • Keys to False River spawning bass
    False River hasn’t been on anyone’s radar for years, since it was dropped from the state Quality Lakes system in the wake of siltation that wrecked what once was a legendary fishery.
  • Keys to picking off Chicot Lake spawners
    Chicot Lake can be a persnickety fishery, but there are plenty of bass swimming in the reservoir north of Ville Platte to reward time spent on the water.
  • Redfish prowling Venice bays
    Winter makes for tough fishing at the mouth of the Mississippi River, but things are on the upswing this month as redfish invade the exterior bays around Venice.
  • Score big with Henderson Lake sac-a-lait
    If anglers want to catch sac-a-lait in March at Henderson Lake, they should go to the borrow pits along the East Atchafalaya Basin Protection Levee.
  • Search salvinia for springtime crappie
    Spring crappie techniques are generally pretty standard — single-poling, jigging trees, spider-rigging and the like. But sometimes you can meld crappie methods with a bit of a bass approach and pick up a mess of crappie faster than you imagined.
  • Spring success around Dularge
    In fishing, many factors can determine your success, but in a transition month like March, temperature can be among the most critical elements.
  • The perfect spot to find Golden Meadow specks
    Golden Meadow guide and 4 Horseman cork owner Capt. Aaron Pierce does very well with speckled trout in two places this time of year: Catfish Lake and Bayou Blue.