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Duck season off to flying start

Advocate staff photo by GARY KROUSEOpening week haulOutdoors writer and media show host Don Dubuc, left, joined former Baker, LSU and New Orleans Saints player and Saints broadcast analyst Hokie Cajun, center, for a trip with Ryan Lambert, right, from Lambert's lodge for Thursday's hunt on the east side of the Mississippi River across from Buras. As has been the case for opening-week Coastal Zone duck hunts, these hunters' take included teal, pintails, gray ducks, a wigeon and a lone poule d'eau. A cold front bringing rain and north winds moving across the coastal parishes Sunday will be reinforced by another, but dry, cold front predicted for Tuesday. The fronts should move more ducks into the state and the winds and chillier temperatures should move more birds into the range of shooters for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday week.

The best way to assess the first week of the duck season is the eyeball test. Because thousands of eyes were on the skies across south Louisiana for the past eight days, this first week passed with flying colors — colors like gray as in gray ducks, blues as in bluewing teal and greens as in shovelers and greenwing… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Early cold puts us back on duck map

If you want to be a duck hunter, not a sky watcher, then Louisiana is the best place to be. That wasn’t the case for the past four Novembers. But when the waterfowl-hunting stars align, like they have during the past two weeks, our state becomes the one spot in Canada and the… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

MONDAY RED STICK FLY FISHERS FLY-TYING SESSION: 7 p.m., Conference Room, Bass Pro Shops, Denham Springs. Call Pete Bongiovanni (225)313-3813 . Website: www.rsff.org. FIN-ADDICT FLY FISHERS MEETING: 6:30 p.m., Spahr’s Seafood Restaurant, 1400 W. Tunnel Blvd, Houma. Call Stephen Robert (985) 850-0082. Website: finaddictflyfishers.blogspot.com. THURSDAY THANKSGIVING DAY AROUND THE CORNER DEC. 4 — LOUISIANA WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION… Continue reading →

Video: "Advocate: On The Outside - Back On Ducks!"

Even more ducks in this edition of "The Advocate: On The Outside" with Advocate outdoors writer Joe Macaluso and videographer Gary Krouse. Click here to see the video. Continue reading →

Video: "Advocate: On The Outside - November Duck Count"

La Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries Waterfowl Study Leader, Larry Reynolds, explains the types and numbers of ducks in our 2015 duck seasons, first split. Click here to see the video. Continue reading →

Early duck reports promising

Photo provided by RANDY BARKSDALERemembering dadRod Haydel, left, and his wife, Pam, shared Saturday's opening-day hunt in the state's Coastal Zone with Randy Barksdale, right, in celebration of the life of Rod's dad, renowned call maker Eli Haydel, who passed away earlier this year. It's the first hunt in more than 30 years without Eli Haydel at the camp near Calcasieu Lake. The three-hunter limit included gray ducks, pintail, teal and shovelers.

Louisiana East Waterfowl Zone hunters are praying their Saturday opener goes as well as last weekend’s first chances at ducks the wild waterfowlers had in the state’s Coastal and West zones. Camo-wearers hunting on private lands and leases across the Coastal Zone couldn’t contain themselves when they reported over-the-top hunts. And why not? State Waterfowl Study leader Larry Reynolds’… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Wind, rain weekend’s bug-a-boo

The National Weather Service put a “vigorous” label on the next major change, and with 15-25 knot winds first from the east, then southeast, then south, then southwest Friday through Sunday. That means we’ll have to find redfish and speckled trout on rising water levels along the entire coast. That’s not as tough as it sounds, except… Continue reading →

Sports clays results

Photo provided by RANDY BARKSDALERemembering dadRod Haydel, left, and his wife, Pam, shared Saturday's opening-day hunt in the state's Coastal Zone with Randy Barksdale, right, in celebration of the life of Rod's dad, renowned call maker Eli Haydel, who passed away earlier this year. It's the first hunt in more than 30 years without Eli Haydel at the camp near Calcasieu Lake. The three-hunter limit included gray ducks, pintail, teal and shovelers.

GaitWay ‘Shatterin’ Clays PORT ALLEN — The top three teams from the 100-shooters, 13-station 3rd-annual “Shatterin’ Clay for GaitWay sporting clays event held at Hunters’ Run Gun Club to benefit the GaitWay Therapeutic Horsemanship Program. 1, Turner Industries, Kane Altazin, Joel Gautreaux, Remi Brown, Jamie Taylor. 2, Cora Texas Sugar Mill, Frank Randazzo, Scott Kessler, Josh O’Dwyer, Brad… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

SUNDAY SOUTH LOUISIANA HIGHPOWER CLUB MATCH: 8:30 a.m., Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Range, 9300 St. Landry Rd. Gonzales. NRA 200-yard/50-rounds match course. Fee $12 members, $15 nonmembers, $5 juniors. $15 annual Civilian Marksmanship Program membership. Final 2014 match. Email: SouthLAHighPower@hotmail.com. MONDAY RED STICK FLY FISHERS FLY-TYING SESSION: 7 p.m., Conference Room, Bass Pro Shops, Denham Springs. Call Pete Bongiovanni (225)313-3813… Continue reading →

Anthony Davis powers Pelicans past Kings 106-100

Associated Press photo by RICH PEDRONCELLI -- New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, center, receives congratulations from teammate Ryan Anderson, right, after scoring late in the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings last Tuesday in Sacramento, Calif. The Pelicans won 106-100.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Anthony Davis had 28 points and nine rebound to help the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Sacramento Kings 106-100 on Tuesday on Tuesday night. Ryan Anderson hit four 3-pointers and scored 22 points for the Pelicans, who outscored the Kings 31-15 in the third. Tyreke Evans had 18 points, and Eric Gordon… Continue reading →

Western duck hunters fare better on opening day

Photo provided by JESSICA LEONLaney Leon proved that patience and persistence pays off when he took this 190-pound, 10-point buck on a hunt last weekend near St. Francisville. The 12-year-old from St. Amant said his 45-70 primitive weapon misfired seven times before he got off the shot that took this trophy whitetail. It was his first deer since the untimely death of his father, Lance, shortrly after the last deer season.

The chatter was deafening, but only if you were hearing it from the southwestern marshes Saturday, the opening day of the state’s Coastal Zone duck season. Although there were several good reports, the guys hunting the southeastern marshes weren’t as talkative, certainly not across-the-board excited as the wild waterfowlers busting the skies in the rice fields… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

WEDNESDAY TIGER CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED SPORTSMAN’S NIGHT OUT: 6 p.m., LSU 4-H Mini-Farm, AgCenter Drive, Baton Rouge. Call Alonda McCarty (386) 527-8337. Email: wanderlustaw@gmail.com. Website: www.ducks.org/Louisiana/events. AROUND THE CORNER NOV. 23 — SOUTH LOUISIANA HIGHPOWER CLUB MATCH: 8:30 a.m., Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Range, 9300 St. Landry Rd. Gonzales. NRA 200-yard/50-rounds match course. Fee $12 members, $15 nonmembers, $5 juniors. $15… Continue reading →

Macaluso: A few guidelines for submitting photos

Early last week, Jessica Leon sent a photo of her son, Laney, after he’d taken a magnificent buck. There was a story to tell about Laney and his trophy 10-pointer, but the photos she sent with her email couldn’t be published. It wasn’t that there was something wrong with the… Continue reading →

Cold fronts mean more ducks

Image provided by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and FisheriesRichmond, Va. wildlife artist Guy Crittenden's paniting of a pair of bluewing teal was judged the winner in the 2015 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition announced earlier this month. It's this image that will be the state's duck stamp for the 2015-2016 waterfowl hunting season. Crittenden placed second in the previous two state artwork contest, and his other works won this year's state competitions in Connecticut, Michigan and Oklahoma.

Two cold fronts and seven days can make a big difference in the way Louisiana duck hunters look at the opening weekend of their seasons. A week ago, wild waterfowlers were moaning over the lack of ducks in the state’s West and Coastal zones, which open the first splits of a near 20-year-run of 60-day seasons Saturday.… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY ATCHAFALAYA BASIN PROGRAM PUBLIC MEETING: 6 p.m., Morgan City Auditorium, 728 Myrtle Street, Morgan City. Public comment for Fiscal Year 2016 ABP annual plan. La. Department of Natural Resources website: www.dnr.louisiana.gov. EVANDELINE PARISH CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER: 6 p.m., Civic Center, 704 N. Soileau Street, Ville Plate. Call Gerard Smith (337) 363-5180. SOUTH LAFOURCHE CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER: 6 p.m.,… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Cold winds continue to plague coast

Another weekend, another cold front, and this one comes with another round of strong winds and much colder temperatures. While that’s good for duck hunters, this one likely will more adversely affect fishing than any of the past five through here during the past two weeks. Even worse, another front… Continue reading →

Modern taxidermy: An art form that’s come a long way

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIGProfessional taxidermist David Cavaretta is surrounded by samples of his work at his office in Denham Springs.

Editor’s note: David Cavaretta, owner of Bayou Taxidermy and Hunting Inc., is a 30-year-plus professional taxidermist and big-game guide. His work can be found in trophy rooms and museums around the world. Today’s professional taxidermist requires many skills in the methods of reproducing raw animal skins and products into works of art for display… Continue reading →

Preparing your trophy for the taxidermist

You’ve just pulled the trigger on the trophy of a lifetime, or netted that fish you’ve seen only in a dream. No matter the quarry — whitetail buck, mallard duck, giant bass or speckled trout — it’s the next steps that will determine whether that outdoor adventure becomes a memorable trophy. Taxidermist David Cavaretta said… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

MONDAY RED STICK FLY FISHERS PROGRAM: 7 p.m., Louisiana Room, Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. Call Greg Brignac (225) 892-4352. Website: www.rsff.org. TUESDAY VETERANS’ DAY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES FEE-FREE DAYS: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-managed refuges. Fee waiver does not cover concessionaire/license fees. VERMILION CHAPTER/DELTA WATERFOWL BANQUET: 5:30 p.m., V.N. Hall, La. Hwy. 338, Abbeville. Call… Continue reading →

Video: "The Advocate: On The Outside - World Series Trout"

The World Series in baseball may be over but, the World Series Trout may have just found their way into Lake Ponchartrain. Chris Macaluso and Advocate Videographer Gary Krouse show you how, between the cold fronts. Click here to see the video.Continue reading →

Fall cold fronts have pluses and minuses

Photo provieded by JOHN BLAKEAvid Baton Rouge coastal fisherman Michael Montalbano shows off a 24-inch-long speckled trout he took from waters near a platform in Lake Pelto in the coastal waters of Terrebonne Parish in extra-calm winds and seas after a late-October cold front. When conditions allow during the fall and winter months, reefs, structures and platforms in Lake Pelto and Lake Barre hold hefty specks that will take large soft-plastic lures and hard-plastic jerkbaits.

Oh boy! Duck season is here. Make that oh boys and oh girls, because the youngsters get the first shots at the migrants Saturday and Sunday. It’s youth-only day Saturday in the state’s West Migratory Zone — the second youth-only day will come Jan. 24 — while young hunters in the state’s Coastal Zone will have both Saturday… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Trout, reds on between cold fronts

There’s another double-cold front weekend ahead and it means trips will have to come with a heavy jacket, fighting heavy winds and a risk of running aground after days of north winds move out lots of water . Take heart, because the rebound from last weekend’s double fronts came in the form of terrific action on redfish and… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY LOUISIANA WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Louisiana Room, state Wildlife & Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. LAFAYETTE AREA CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER: 5:30 p.m., Heymann Center, Lafayette. Call Beau Phares (337) 962-2128 or Ted Schoeffler (337) 962-3995. ATCHAFALAYA BASIN PROGRAM PUBLIC MEETINGS: 6 p.m., City Hall, Henderson & 6 p.m., Nov. 13, Morgan City Auditorium,… Continue reading →

Fishing results

Fishers of Men BERWICK — Saturday’s top 10 final results from the two-day Fishers of Men District 6 Championship with anglers, their first- and second-day catches in pounds in parentheses, number of bass caught (5-bass daily limit), total two-day catch in pounds and prize winnings: 1, Gene David-Garrett Kemp (12.76/14.62) 10 bass, 27.38 pounds, $2,968.50. 2, Sandy Gaudet-Winston Michel… Continue reading →

Fronts rough on coastal fishing action

File photoInshore charter skipper Mike Gallo shows the range in the size of redfish available in the marshes of the Pontchartrain Basin, namely the Biloxi Marsh, The Rigolets area and canals, bayous and shallow bays south of Lake Pontchartrain and along the shorelines of Lake Borgne and Lake St. Catherine. In November, fishermen can also find speckled trout, flounder, sheepshead and black drum.

When football schedules left the door open for a weekend filled with fishing promise, Mother Nature came along and slammed the door in our faces. It wasn’t so much the cold morning from the season’s first major cold front that did it. It was 20-25 knot north winds and the wind-driven seas that kept all but the foolhardy from… Continue reading →

Macaluso: It’s been a good run for La. anglers

Before south Louisiana runs headlong into the hunting season, we need to celebrate a terrific fishing year. OK, so there’s lots of catching up to do to close out 2014. The good news is that reports show an increase in the speckled trout action from what otherwise was a dismal spring and summer. Our great news came from three… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

Photo provided by MARGARET EICHELBERGERVery special weekendConnor Rushing made the most of the special youth-only deer-hunting days in the Capital City area when he took this 200-pound, 8-point buck last weekend. The Central Middle School seventh-grader reported high trophy buck's inside antler spread measured 18 1/2 inches. The primitive weapons, bucks-only season opens Nov. 8, and the modern firearms season opens Nov. 15 in most south-central and southerastern parishes.

WEDNESDAY BATON ROUGE AREA CHAPTER/DELTA WATERFOWL BANQUET: 6 p.m., LSU 4-H Mini-Barn, Highland Road at South Stadium Drive, Baton Rouge. Call Jonathan Walker (225) 276-6380/(225) 810-3294. Email: jwalker@mmcre.com. JEFFERSON PARISH CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER: 6 p.m., Jefferson-Orleans South, 2536 Edenborn Avenue, Metairie. Call Pierre Mouledoux (504) 650-0592 or Garrett Pizzaloto (504) 430-1348. THURSDAY LOUISIANA WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING: 9:30… Continue reading →

Fishing results

IFA Redfish HOUMA — Final top 10 from the Oct. 24-25 IFA Redfish Tour Champioonship with team anglers, their total two-day catch (two redfish per day) in pounds and total prize winnings plus additional sponsorship winnings: 1, Geoff Page-Rick Murphy, 35.29 pounds, $44,990. 2, Kris Howell-Brett Norris, 35.12, $28,279. 3, Mike Taylor-John Roberts, 34.51, $5,468. 4, Kelly Causey-Blake Payne,… Continue reading →

Video: "The Advocate: On The Outside - The Picketts Artificial Reef"

With the loss of the production platforms and wellheads, in Caillou Bay, known as 'The Picketts', Advocate Outdoors Writer, Joe Macaluso and CCA Louisiana Director, David Cresson explain the 14th artificial reef in Louisiana. Click here to see the video.Continue reading →

Macaluso: Fronts to alter all patterns

We’re in for the season’s first “double whammy” weekend when Wednesday’s cold front will be reinforced by another stronger cold front set to blow in here sometime Friday. For coastal fishermen it means lots of water will be blown from the marshes, and with rough seas predicted through Sunday, the marshes will be… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY NORTHSHORE CHAPTER/DELTA WATERFOWL BANQUET: 6 p.m., Benedict’s Plantation, 1144 North Causeway Blvd., Mandeville. Call Joey Gauthier (504) 621-4917. Email: joeygauthier@charter.net. NEW IBERIA CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED SPONSOR DINNER: 6 p.m., Gougenhim Buidling, New Iberia. Call Jason Foster (985) 637-3469. LAKE CHARLES CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER: 6 p.m., Lake Charles Country Club, Lake Charles. Call Ryan Boyd (337) 274-2267. FRIDAY COMMUNITY CLINIC… Continue reading →

Buck breeding calendar most complete ever

Working with decades of data compiled by countless state wildlife biologists, Louisiana deer hunters have the most complete breeding calendar ever released by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. It’s not that breeding dates across the state’s deer hunting areas have never been known — former State Deer Study leader David Moreland revealed breeding dates hunters call… Continue reading →

Couple finds hazard off Barataria Waterway

Photo provided by RUDY VALENCIANO A record for the table Eric Valenciano said he heard about the fall run on pampano along the Louisiana coast and decided to get in on some of the action on a fly rod. This is a 4.4-pound pompano he caught on a shrimp imitation last week. He sent this photo to his dad, Rudy, who located the Louisiana State Top 10 Records on the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association website to find that the state-record pompano take on on fly tackle is 2.62 pounds. By the time Rudy was able to contact his son, Eric told him the fish already was prepared for the table.

Jennifer Brown took time earlier this month to write about a near tragedy she and her husband endured in the Lafitte area. Brown said they started “exploring the Texaco Canal and spots near there ... and we ran into a problem, literally.” Her story went like this: “We had just entered into what we thought was the opening to… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

MONDAY RED STICK FLY FISHERS FLY-TYING SESSION: 7 p.m., Conference Room, Cabela’s, Gonzales. Call Pete Bongiovanni (225)313-3813 . Website: www.rsff.org. FIN-ADDICT FLY FISHERS MEETING: 6:30 p.m., Spahr’s Seafood Restaurant, 1400 W. Tunnel Blvd, Houma. Call Stephen Robert (985) 850-0082. Website: Finaddictflyfishers.blogspot.com. WEDNESDAY CARENCRO CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER: 6 p.m., Community Center, 5115 N. University Avenue, Carencro. Call Ellis Guilbeau… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Ugly fight ahead over red snapper

After what happened last week in Mobile, Alabama, there will be no easy solutions for the problems recreational fishermen are facing when it comes to fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Thursday’s 10-7 vote to approve Reef Fish Amendment 40 proves the 17-member Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is being controlled by… Continue reading →

GMFMC passes controversial Reef Fish Amendment 40

Reef Fish Amendment 40, a move in the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to divide the annual recreational red snapper quota in the Gulf’s vast federal waters between private anglers and “for-hire” charterboat operations, passed by a 10-7 vote in the final hours of the council’s quarterly meeting Thursday in Mobile, Alabama. The approval of the… Continue reading →

Council to decide snapper take Thursday

Advocate file photo -- The Toups family of Geismar, from left, Brandon, Lee and Peyton Toups, show off red snapper they caught in the opening days of the 2013 recreational red snapper season. Just hours after the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved an 11-day 2014 recreational red snapper season in federal waters Thursday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries secretary Robert Barham announced a year-round recreational red snapper catch in state waters.The new season structure will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, April 14.

The fate of Reef Fish Amendment 40, and the 2015 recreational red snapper season in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico,will be decided Thursday, the final day this week’s Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in Mobile, Alabama. “It’s going to be a very close vote,” Camp Matens said Wednesday. Matens, of Baton Rouge,… Continue reading →

Macaluso: It’s time to hit Florida Parishes

It’s highly unusual to see our major rivers rise in October, and the rises in store for the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers will remove some of the better fishing waters from our list of fall’s top can’t-miss freshwater and coastal spots. But that gives us a chance to explore other waters, places like the Florida Parishes’ rivers, the… Continue reading →

Fishing results

S.T.A.R winners Final results from the 2014 CCA Louisiana Statewide Tournament and Anglers’ Rodeo with categories, anglers, their hometowns when available and weights of their catches. Prizes will be awarded Thursday night at Live Oak Arabians in Baton Rouge. A drawing from among the entries were awarded in the Youth Division: Tagged Redfish: Jake Duet, Cut Off. Red Snapper:… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY COASTAL WETLANDS PLANNING, PROTECTION & RESTORATION TASK FORCE MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Corps of Engineers office, 7400 Leake Ave., New Orleans. Call Brad Inman (504) 862-2124. S.T.A.R. BANQUET: 5 p.m., Live Oak Arabians, 6300 Jefferson Hwy., Baton Rouge. Awards for first-place finishers in CCA-Louisiana summer-long Statewide Tournament and Anglers’ Rodeo. Live/silent auction & dinner. Tickets $50. Tables $500. No… Continue reading →

GMFMC could vote to further reduce recreational snapper take

File photoA S.T.A.R. winnerArdent red snapper pursuer John Langlois, kneeling at left, from Baton Rouge will take home the prize package for the 26.14-pound red snapper he caught during the annual Swollfest Rodeo at Grand Isle on the last weekend of the abbreviated nine-day federal Gulf of Mexico red snapper season in early June.  Langlois led the

The big news for Louisiana saltwater fishermen this week is how Reef Fish Amendment 40, the issue of carving out an annual quota for for-hire/charter boat businesses from the annual allowable recreational red snapper take in federal Gulf of Mexico waters. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s agenda calls for “Final Action on Amendment 40… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Amendment No. 8 needs attention

For anyone who casts a line from a boat in our coastal waters, casting a vote for Amendment No. 8 should be a slam dunk come Nov. 4. True, the election is two weeks away and this ballot has bigger fish to fry, but absentee voting begins Tuesday, and the more than a dozen amendments deserve… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

SUNDAY INAUGURAL COLLEGE & HIGH SCHOOL SALTWATER CHAMPIONSHIPS: 2 p.m. weigh-in, Falgout Canal Marina, La. 315, Theriot. TUESDAY LA. HUNTING AND FISHING ADVISORY EDUCATION COUNCIL MEETING: 1:30 p.m., state Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. CHURCH POINT/RAYNE CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER: 6 p.m., Civic Center Ballroom, 401 Gossen Park Drive, Rayne. Call Jarrod Gardiner (337) 344-9640.… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge’s Steve Lessard wins Hobie Fishing World Championship

Photo provided by Hobie KayaksSteve Lessard holds the awards Saturday for catching the biggest fish, a 105 centimeter-long pike, and the award for claiming the title in the three-day 4h Hobie Fishing World Championship held in The Netherlands. The championship field had 47 anglers representing 19 countries.

Steve Lessard departed Baton Rouge early last week, and returned home a week later a world champion. Make that “World Champion kayak angler” after he battled tough conditions on foreign waters, a top-flight, 47-man field from 19 countries and fished for three species he’d never caught. For three days on the Vinkeveen Plassen, a series of three… Continue reading →