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Strategy pays off for anglers

Advocate staff photo by JOE MACALUSODoug Martin, left, and Tony Landry hold the five live bass they weighed in to win Saturday's 4th-annual Anglers Against Autism bass tournament near Pierre Part. Teams could fish either the Lake Verret Basin or the Atchafalaya Spillway, and Landry said they fished the Lake Verret side. Included in the Martin-Landry catch is a 6.42-pound giant that took first in the tournament's big-bass standings. The respective teams of Bryan Mistretta and Vic Calvarusso and Stephen and Jamie Smith finished second and third in the big-bass standings, and with Martin and Landry, all three teams donated their big-bass winnings back to the Emerge Center to help children with autism. All bass were released alive into the Atchafalaya Spillway.

Their’s was a simple plan: Find moving water, not necessarily clear water in the Lake Verret Basin, and throw spinnerbaits until their wrists were sore and their arms fell off. What neither Doug Martin nor Tony Landry could expect was the result for Saturday’s 4th-annual Anglers Against Autism bass tournament. Nobody expects, not in… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Are you ready for a big change?

Ready or not, here comes the big change folks have been praying for throughout our long summer months. With a prediction to wake Saturday morning with temperatures in the 50s, we can expect this first major cold front to change freshwater and coastal fishing for the next several months. The… Continue reading →

Fishing results

Anglers Against Autism PIERRE PART — Saturday’s top 12 teams from the 4th-annual Angling Against Autism bass tournament held from Doiron’s Landing (weigh-in Stevie G’s) with angler, total weight of 5-bass stringer weight in pounds and prize winnings. Also listed are the top 3 teams in Big Bass: Top 15: 1, Doug Martin-Tony Landry,… Continue reading →

Outdoors Calendar

THURSDAY LOUISIANA WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Louisiana Room, state Wildlife & Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. NEW ORLEANS CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER: 5:30 p.m., Hilton Riverside, 2 Poydras Street, New Orleans. Call John Driscoll (504) 329-6310 or Mike Benge (504) 523-2245. THURSDAY-SATURDAY BASSMASTER SOUTHERN OPEN: Lake Norman,… Continue reading →

Louisiana’s outdoors art takes center stage

Advocate staff photo by Joe MacalusoChris Weaver shows off his latest carving, a full-sized king mackerel that will be on display next weekend for the annual Louisiana Wildfowl Festival the annual carving show sponsored by the Louisiana Wildfowl Carvers & Collectors Guild at the Castine Center in Mandeville. Weaver comes from a family of waterfowl decoy carvers, but has taken to retrieving large pieces of driftwood from the Mississippi River to carve offshore fish species.

After John J. Audubon’s extensive documentation of Louisiana’s wild birds that showed up in his paintings, there’s little argument that Louisiana’s next foray into outdoors art came when waterfowl hunters decided to turn out a spread of their own decoys. Several decoys dating from before the Civil War and fashioned from carving cypress, tupelo gum and sweet gum… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Hunters who care have shared

About 20 years ago, a group of Baton Rouge area folks decided it was time hunters stepped forward to show how involved they could become in our Capital City are communities. There have been changes during the past two decades since Richard and Judy Campbell called friends and hunting buddies to form Hunters… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

MONDAY 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 NEW IBERIA CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED HAPPY HOUR: 6 p.m., Clementines, 113 E. Main Street, New Iberia. No fee. Call Jason Foster (985) 637-3469. THURSDAY LOUISIANA WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Louisiana Room, state Wildlife… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Conditions changing by the week

Just when it looked like we were in for a run of consistent patterns, the change in seasons, combined with wind and rain have continued this year’s run of a topsy-turvy conditions. Think about it: Except for the January-February cold stretch, have we had more than two weeks this year when temperature, wind,… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

Thursday DA’ BAYOU CHAPTER-DELTA WATERFOWL BANQUET: 5:30 p.m., Foundry on the Bayou, 715 West 1st St., Thibodaux. Tickets $50, $75 couples, $500 & 1,000 tables. Call Luke Allen (985) 227-2650. FRIDAY-SUNDAY BUTTERFLY BLAST: 8 a.m.-dark, all days, Allen Acres, 5070 La. 399, Pitkin. Butterfly, moth & hummingbird viewing, counts &… Continue reading →

Fishing results

Jr. Bassmasters BAYOU PIGEON — Saturday’s age-group top 3 results from the Jr. Southwest Bassmasters-Denham Springs club tournament held from the Bayou Pigeon Public Landing in the Atchafalaya Basin with anglers, their hometowns, number of bass weighed in parentheses (5-bass limit), total weight in pounds and big-bass leaders: 15-18 years old: 1, Braden Blanchard, St Amant (5)… Continue reading →

Greg Hackney catches Angler of Year

Photo courtesy Bassmaster -- Greg Hackney

ESCANABA, Mich. —Greg Hackney has claimed a spot among bass fishing’s immortals Monday. The Gonzales touring pro angler brought in a five smallmouth bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 2 ounces — a stringer that gave him a 35-4 total, a weight that was good enough to hold off challengers for the Bassmaster Elite’s Toyota Tundra Angler of the… Continue reading →

AOY Championship postponed again

ESCANABA, Mich. — Gonzales national pro angler Greg Hackney will have to wait until Monday to hold off the competition and become Louisiana’s first-ever Bassmaster Angler of the Year after B.A.S.S. officials postponed the AOY Championship Sunday for the third consecutive day. High winds and waves have plagued waters in Little Bay de Noc off… Continue reading →

Hunting and Fishing Day set Saturday

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLANDFalconer Steve Eskine demonstrates how he trains his red tail hawk, Angel, to hunt for him during a recent Louisiana  National Hunting and Fishing Day. Raptor demonstrations are a part of the Saturday's 32nd-annual celebration of the special day set for the Waddill Wildlife Education Center on North Flannery Road in Baton Rouge. Other festivities also are planned for state Wildlife and Fisheries sites in Woodworth, Monroe and Minden. Chidlren are the focus of all NHFD activities.

There was no secret that the target was the family for Louisiana’s festivities surrounding National Hunting and Fishing Day, set aside by Congress in 1972 for the fourth Saturday in September. Since Louisiana’s first event in 1982 in Monroe, and the next year in Baton Rouge, attendance has grown, then waned, then sparked again in recent years to the… Continue reading →

Weather delays Bassmaster AOY Championship

File photo Gonzales angler Greg Hackney holds two of the bass he took in the Bassmaster Elite Series on the St. John's River in Florida earlier this year. After breaking a 10-year-long string of qualifying for Bassmaster Classic, Hackney has the lead in the Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year standings after seven of 2014's eight Elite Series events.

ESCANABA, Mich. Heavy winds and even heavier water conditions forced a second postponed day Saturday in Bassmaster AOY Championship on Little Bay de Noc on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It means Gonzales touring pro Greg Hackney will one have less day to hold off challengers in his bid to win the Toyota… Continue reading →

Macaluso: It’s time to stand and be counted

Very few outdoors folks around the country could have more reason to celebrate this National Hunting and Fishing Week than those of us who cherish what Louisiana offers in its fields, forests, swamps, marshes, bayous, rivers and near-coast and offshore waters. For the 32nd year, state Wildlife and Fisheries will honor this week… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

SUNDAY SIXTH ANNUAL ST. MICHAEL’S CHURCH OPEN TEAM BASS TOURNAMENT: 3 p.m. weigh-in at Belle River Public Launch, Belle River. BASSMASTER ANGLER OF THE YEAR CHAMPIONSHIP: Final day, Little Bay de Noc, Escanaba, Michigan. Website: www.bassmaster.com. MONDAY RED STICK FLY FISHERS FLY-TYING SESSION: 7 p.m., Orvis… Continue reading →

High winds over Little Bay de Noc off Lake Michigan force B.A.S.S. to cancel second day of AOY Championship

File photoGonzales angler Greg Hackney holds two of the bass he took in the Bassmaster Elite Series on the St. John's River in Florida earlier this year. After breaking a 10-year-long string of qualifying for this year's Bassmaster Classic , Hackney has taken the lead in the prestigious Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year standings after seven of 2014's eight Elite Series events.

High winds sweeping over Little Bay de Noc off Lake Michigan forced tournament officials to cancel Friday's second day of the first-ever AOY Championship in Escanaba, Mich. In Friday's early morning hours, 35-mile-an-hour south winds push five-foot waves into the bay created what Bass Anglers Sportsman Society tournament director Trip Weldon said was unsafe boating condition for… Continue reading →

Greg Hackney one day closer to Angler of the Year title

ESCANABA, Mich. Gonzales pro angler Greg Hackney is one day closer to claiming the Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year title on the Bassmaster Elite Series trail after weighing in a five-bass, 19-pound limit after Thursday’s first round of the circuit’s AOY Championship. Going into Friday’s second of three days on the… Continue reading →

Macluso: East wind not good; Basin sound

Rains and violent weather up north is an indication that we’re in the last days of Louisiana summer, and we’re seeing that rainfall show up here and in the rising rivers. And that prompts a question: Ever notice how there’s seldom anything good that comes during those two or three weeks when the… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY CCA ASCENSION CHAPTER BANQUET: 5:30 p.m., Trademart A, Lamar Dixon Expo Center, Gonzales. Tickets $60, $30 spouse, $25 youths, $500 tables. Call CCA (225) 952-9200. DEER SEMINAR: 6 p.m., Bowie Outfitters, Perkins Road, Baton Rouge. Food plots, bow-hunting, season outlook. UPPER LAFOURCHE CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED SPONSOR BANQUET: 6 p.m., Carmel Inn, 400 East 1st Street, Thibodaux. $300 sponsorship,… Continue reading →

Fishing results

Saltwater Series LAFITTE — Saturday’s top 10 teams from the Louisiana Saltwater Series-Redfish with anglers, their hometowns, weight in pounds of their two-redfish catch and winnings for the top 4 teams. Redfish must measure a minimum of 16 inches but less than 27 inches: 1, Sean O’Connell-Bruce Lindheim, Mandeville, 16.23 pounds, $3,350.… Continue reading →

Tropical disturbance no big concern

Photo provided B.A.S.S./Gary TramontinaGreg Hackney holds the champion's trophy after winning the Bassmaster Elite Series event on Cayuga Lake in upstate New York in late August. The win, his fourth on the Bassmaster tournament trails, shot the Gonzales pro angler to a 15-poind lead in the Angler of the Year standings going into the year's final Elite Series event set to open Thursday on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

You knew we couldn’t make it more than a couple of years without a scare from the tropics, but this week’s tropical disturbance isn’t anything to spark the fears of any recent storm. Saturday afternoon’s update didn’t show much disruption along the state’s coast from the tropical wave that moved off Florida’s west coast into the Gulf of Mexico… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Greg Hackney gets shot this week

Photo provided B.A.S.S./Gary TramontinaGreg Hackney holds the champion's trophy after winning the Bassmaster Elite Series event on Cayuga Lake in upstate New York in late August. The win, his fourth on the Bassmaster tournament trails, shot the Gonzales pro angler to a 15-poind lead in the Angler of the Year standings going into the year's final Elite Series event set to open Thursday on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Maybe it’s because you’ve been around baseball players for most of your young, then into your working life that’s it’s difficult to write about what Greg Hackney is tackling this week. Hackney is one of two touring pro anglers from these parts. He lives with Julie, his wife, and their three children in… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

TUESDAY CCA-NORTHSHORE CHAPTER FALL FISHING SEMINAR: 5:30 p.m., Tchefuncta Country Club, 2 Country Club Park, Covington. No fee members, $5 nonmembers. Food included. Call Adam Guillory (504) 460-7345. WEDNESDAY WEST BANK CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED BANQUET: 6 p.m., Four Columns, 3711 Westbank Expressway, Harvey. Tickets $60, $100 couples, $30 youths, $720 tables. Call Mark Callais (504) 235-8504 or Clark Nodier (504)… Continue reading →

Teal numbers are higher than 2013, but remain lower than average for Saturday's special season opening day 

Photo provided by CRAIG GAUTREAUXBoyd Causey and his yellow Labrador retriever, Huck, show off a three-hunter limit taken during the first split of the East Zone Waterfowl season. From a blind near Port Barre, Causey, Port Barre hunter Anthony Spier and Craig Gautreaux from Plaquemine took eight different species for their six-duck-per-hunter limit. Species included gray ducks, bluewing and greenwing teal, mallards, a canvasback, a redhead, a shoveler and a ringneck duck. Most of the ducks were taken within the half hour before and 15 minutes after sunrise.

Hunters taking to the rice fields and marshes in the state’s southwestern parishes for Saturday’s opening day of the special September teal season will find the majority of the teal have migrated into the state during the past two weeks. State Waterfowl Study leader Larry Reynolds reported Thursday that the southwest area held an estimated 90,000 bluewing… Continue reading →

Tony Landry finds late-summer success

Photo provided by PEGGY JOHNSONA big giantAutumn Fidler holds open the mouth of the 11-foot alligator she took on a fundraising hunt in the Delacroix marshes. Fidler, from Conway, Ark., was among eight

Like most folks with two jobs and baseball-playing youngsters at home, Tony Landry stays busy. Until last weekend, when he took the chance to dip both feet into the Sportsman’s Paradise. “It helped to have a good guide,” Landry said after taking first-place money with fishing partner Willie Couch III. Boyhood friends, Landry and Couch decided to fish Saturday’s… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Bass folks get timely invitation

Bass fishermen take note: If you need an invitation to return to the Atchafalaya Spillway, or for the more adventuresome trips to Venice waters in and off the Mississippi River, then look for Mother Nature’s card in the mail. The envelopes were posted over past weekend. There’s action aplenty now that the rivers… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY EAST ASCENSION CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED MEMBERSHIP BANQUET: 5:30 p.m., Trademart A, Lamar Dixon Expo Center, Gonzales. Tickets $50, $90 couples, $25 youths, $500 tables. Add $10 at door. Supper, live/silent auctions, raffles. Call Charlie Labouisse (225) 266-2909 or Jay Hatcher (225) 715-6395. LAFAYETTE AREA SPONSORS/DUCKS UNLIMITED: 6 p.m., River Oaks Event Center, Lafayette. Sponsorship $350. Call John Gherardi… Continue reading →

Fishing results

Photo provided by PEGGY JOHNSONA big giantAutumn Fidler holds open the mouth of the 11-foot alligator she took on a fundraising hunt in the Delacroix marshes. Fidler, from Conway, Ark., was among eight

Save Our Lake NEW ORLEANS — Saturday’s final results from the two-day Save Our Lake & Coast Fishing Rodeo held from the New Canal Lighthouse with special division and category winners. Weights are in pounds and ounces. The “Biggest Fish” category was an entry of species other than the Open Division regular specie categories: OPEN DIVISION… Continue reading →

It’s blast-and-cast time in Louisiana

Photo provided by JAY NOELLast of the summer redfishYoung Baton Rouge fishermen Josh Noel, left, and Ethan Smith will long remember their summer after taking the top two Youth Division-Redfish places in the annual LDW Fishing Rodeo held from Bridge Side Marina on Grand Isle. Noel took first with a solid  9.8-pound catch, and Smith, a 7th grader at St. Thomas More Catholic, finished second with a 5.2 pounder. Noel is a 7th-grade student at St. Luke's Episcopal. Redfish have been the mainstay catch for Louisiana inshore and coastal anglers throughout the summer

Oh boy! It’s blast-and-cast time. Yep, come Saturday, there’s every reason to believe you will find late-morning fishermen clad in camo. And it’s not because they want to sneak up on redfish, flounder and, hopefully, the first speckled trout to venture into the coastal marshes. The special September teal season opens its 16-day run Saturday,… Continue reading →

Macaluso: LaCreel shows a better way

It was just one item among the 15 for Thursday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting, but for Louisiana’s offshore fishermen, the “Update on Red Snapper & the LaCreel Survey” simply is more fuel to the fire in our state’s continuing discussion with federal agencies to manage fish stocks. When boiled down, this too-long… Continue reading →

Louisiana Conservation Connection helps landowners manage wildlife, ownership problems

In the age of one-stop shopping, a plan unveiled during Thursday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting will provide landowners with a one-stop spot to help them manage their lands for wildlife and to solve other ownership problems. Wildlife and Fisheries secretary Robert Barham introduced the new program, the Louisiana Conservation Connection, a combined effort of the LDWF,… 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 Bengal Tiger Chapter-DELTA WATERFOWL BANQUET: 5 p.m., JL’s Place, 1115 Bob Pettit Blvd., Baton Rouge. Tickets $35, $50 couples. Call Josh Zumo (225) 939-9585. WEDNESDAY SLU CHAPTER-DUCKS UNLIMITED SPORTSMAN’S NIGHT OUT: 6 p.m.,… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Go early to beat p.m. storms

The challenge is ahead for the annual Save Our Lake and Coast Rodeo in the Pontchartrain Basin come Friday and Saturday. It comes amidst the months-long bad vibes coming from fishermen for the prized Lake Pontchartain species, the speckled trout. Yes, the lake is holding a lot of fresh water, and, yes, that’s not good for summertime speckled trout,… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY LOUISIANA WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Louisiana Room, state Wildlife & Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. DELTA WATERFOWL-POINTE COUPEE CHAPTER DINNER: 6 p.m., Scott Civic Center, New Roads. Tickets $60, $80 couples, $30 youths includes state dinner, live/silent auctions, dinner. Tables available. Call Daniel Olinde (225) 718-1071. Email: daniel51089@yahoo.com. DUCKS UNLIMITED-NEW ORLEANS SPONSORS: 6:30 p.m.,… Continue reading →

Hunting season set for nine-month run

File photoInshore charter skipper Mike Gallo shows the range in the size of redfish available in the marshes of the Pontchartrain Basin, notably in the Biloxi Marsh, The Rigolets and canals, bayous and shallow bays between Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne. Fisherman will be going after fish like these and other species like speckled trout, flounder, sheepshead, croaker, white trout, catfish and black drum during the Friday-Saturday run of the 17th annual Save Our Lake & Coast Fishing Rodeo. Fishing waters will be limited to the Pontchartrain Basin, and the weigh-in will be held at the New Canal Lighthouse in New Orleans.

Most of the rest of the country is celebrating this holiday weekend by putting the lid on summer. Not here. Not for several weeks. We’re going to take to the fields across our state Saturday in what Yankee brethren would consider sweltering weather to celebrate the opening of the hunting season. Doves are first on the list, followed… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Katrina a milestone in our history

If you don’t remember where you were and what you were doing nine years ago today, you didn’t live here. Two days into the developing disaster that was to mark as big a milestone as statehood (1812), the Battle of New Orleans (1815), Pearl Harbor (1941), D-Day (1944), Kennedy’s assassination (1963) and… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

MONDAY Labor Day holiday THURSDAY LOUISIANA WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Louisiana Room, state Wildlife & Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. DELTA WATERFOWL-POINTE COUPEE CHAPTER DINNER: 6 p.m., Scott Civic Center, New Roads. Tickets $60, $80 couples, $30 youths includes state dinner, live/silent auctions, dinner. Tables available. Call Daniel Olinde (225) 718-1071. Email: daniel51089@yahoo.com. DUCKS… Continue reading →

Duck calling results

GUEYDAN — The Aug. 24 results from the State Duck & Goose Calling Contest in Senior, Intermediate and Junior divisions and the Gueydan Duck Festival Duck & Goose Calling Contest in Senior and Junior divisions. The winners in the State Duck Calling Contest qualify for the Nov. 28-29 World Championship in Stuttgart, Arkansas. State Duck Calling Senior… Continue reading →

Lottery hunts applications open

Lottery hunt applications for deer, duck and squirrel on 10 Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ wildlife management areas are open, and prospective hunters need only apply. Three WMAs — Sherburne, Richard Yancey and Camp Beauregard — are easily accessible to southeast and Acadiana area hunters. The recently renamed Yancey WMA is the old Three River-Red Rivers… Continue reading →

Atchafalaya Spillway proves special when conditions right

Photo provided by JIM BREAUXJackson Landry is all smiles after taking first place in the 7-10 year-old age group in Sunday's Junior Southwest Bassmasters tournament from the Belle River Public Landing. The young Baton Rouge angler holds his two bass that weighed out at 3.92 pounds with his big bass, a 2.48 pounder, leading his age group. Five of the top six youth anglers, three each in the 15-18 and 11-14 age groups, had five-bass limits in the most successful event of the year for the Denham Springs-based club.

If a late-August weekend translates into terrific fishing in September, south Louisiana better prepare for one heck of a celebration. The youngsters who showed up at the Belle River Public Launch for the final Junior Southwest Bassmaster’s tournament of the summer showed how productive the Atchafalaya Spillway can be when the water “gets right.” The top three anglers in… Continue reading →