Outdoors Blog



A sneak peek into July’s action: Specks thin out; redfish everywhere

Old-timers think of the Fourth of July holiday as the early break in Louisiana’s summer. Ask young families about our nation’s grandest celebration and you find out it’s summer’s midway point, about halfway between the end of one school term and the start of another. It’s also a time when the state’s coastal charter skippers start… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY LOUISIANA WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Louisiana Room, state Wildlife & Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. Main agenda item: dove & teal seasons; proposed 2015-2016 waterfowl seasons. THURSDAY-SATURDAY 67th annual GOLDEN MEADOW-FOURCHON TARPON RODEO: Moran’s Marina, Fourchon Road, Port Fourchon. Tickets $35 adults, $20 children/ages 4-12. Included Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. King of the Catch… Continue reading →

Fishing results

BELLE RIVER — Saturday’s top 10 teams from the Junior Southwest Bassmaster fundraising bass tournament with anglers, number of bass weighed in parentheses (5-bass limit), total catch weight, winnings and big-bass winners: Top 10: 1, Gary Haney-Todd Campbell (5) 21.42 pounds, $800. 2, Chase Martinez-Toby Bouchereau (5) 13.51, $400. 3, TrĂ© Gautreau-Garrett Strickland (5) 12.06, $300.… Continue reading →

Macaluso: It’s calming down for the holiday

OK, anybody have an idea how to build an ark? We could follow the biblical instructions, but those seem light on complete blueprints. Looks like we’ll get a break from the torrents of the last week with the prediction of high pressure building over the coast. A return to southerly winds means a push of clear… Continue reading →

Shrimp season closure coming Thursday

All state inside waters, except Breton and Chandeleur sounds, will be closed to shrimping effective at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 2, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced Monday. A June 19 inside-waters closure put most of the waters from Freshwater Bayou east to the Louisiana-Mississippi state line off limits to shrimp. Monday’s action closes shrimping in… Continue reading →

Fun & Fitness Calendar

BASEBALL BREC UPPER DECK BATTING CAGES: Open daily, BREC Milton Womack Park, 6201 Florida Boulevard, Baton Rouge. Call Richard Bentley-Smith (225) 273-6403. Email: rsmith@brec.org. BASKETBALL LUNCH BUNCH: Noon, Tuesdays/Thursdays, Istrouma Baptist Church gym, Baton Rouge. No fee. Call ML Woodruff (225) 295-0775, Ext 118. FOOTBALL BATON ROUGE RIVERBOAT BANDITS TRYOUTS/PRACTICES:… Continue reading →

Watson angler caps offshore trip with unusually colored mangrove snapper

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Shannon Ross, from Watson, holds a rare, lightly colored mangrove snapper. When he caught the fish June 20 at the Triple Rig seven miles south of Belle Pass, he said the near five-pound fish was nearly white and much lighter in color than the red mahogany color common the the species off the Louisiana coast. State marine biologists said the species exhibits a wide variety in its color, and that Ross' catch was the lightest colored mangrove seen in year's of surveying offshore catches.

Forrest Gump can add fishing to his mama’s adage about life and chocolates, “You never know what you’re going to get.” Offshore fishing is like that: Drop a baited hook off the Louisiana coast and, well, you just never know what you’re going to take that offering. Ask Shannon Ross. He was doing his summertime thing a week… Continue reading →

Macaluso: E15 simply not viable option

There’s probably some basic scientific proof somewhere proving that adding ethanol to the gasoline powering our engines helps the environment. It’s also likely that if you ask the Corn Growers of America — OK, that trade/lobby group’s name is Growth Energy — that ethanol will be, if it isn’t already stated in their… 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. TUESDAY BASIC ARCHERY INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATION COURSES: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Westminster Christian Academy, Opelousas; July 14, Hope Baptist School, Alexandria. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ National Archery in the Schools Basic Archery Instructor course. Designed for instructors working… Continue reading →

Bass tournament to help juniors

Photo provided by JIM BREAUX Justin Watts took home big-bass honors for this 4.66-pound largemouth in the Junior Southwest Bassmasters-Denham Springs two-day tournament held on Lake Concordia. The Denham Springs  teenager's catch was the largest in the field, even beating out the sponsor anglers competing in the Adult Division. Chris Childers, also from Denham Springs, won the 15-18 year-old age group with a 10-bass catch weighing 20.77 pounds to lead all anglers.

Building on the successes of the Junior Bassmaster program in Denham Springs, the club is trying to help this year’s most successful junior anglers — its high school champions — compete at the highest level. That effort spawned Saturday’s benefit bass tournament. It’s to help the top two teams from the recent B.A.S.S. state high school championship, winners… Continue reading →

Fishing results

Jr. Southwest Bassmasters FERRIDAY — Sunday’s final age-group results from the two-day Junior Southwest Bassmasters-Denham Springs tournament held on Lake Concordia with anglers, their hometowns, number of bass weighed in parentheses (5-bass daily limit), total catch weight in pounds and age-group big bass winners: 15-18 Age Group: 1, Chris Childers, Denham Springs… Continue reading →

Officials to crack down on drunk boaters

When you get a “named” weekend, something like Louisiana’s recently celebrated Free Fishing Days weekend, it’s usually to commemorate something special. Not when it comes to Operation Dry Water weekend set Friday through Sunday, and not when Enforcement Division agents in the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries join with wildlife division officers across the country to… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY NEW ORLEANS FLY FISHERS MEETING: 7 p.m., Whitney Bank, 1441 Metairie Rd., New Orleans. Call Sean Gilthorpe (504) 259-2329. THURSDAY-SATURDAY CREOLE CLASSIC: Bridge Side Marina, Grand Isle. Call marina (985) 787-2419. FRIDAY FRIDAY NIGHT COOKIE JAR BASS TOURNAMENT: 7 p.m.-midnight, La. Express Landing, False River (south end), Jarreau. Fee $30/boat plus launch fee (maximum 2 anglers). Weekly… Continue reading →

Macaluso: West winds no good along coast

What? A June cold front? Yes, that’s what the weather folks are predicting, and, no, it’s not time to take out the long johns, but the westerly winds that’ll come with Saturday’s system certainly will impact the weekend. The good news is that we’ll see a drop in morning temperatures Sunday and into the first days of next week.… Continue reading →

Family comes first at St. Tammany Family Fishing Rodeo

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  -- Grace Gallaher, 9, poses  for a photo with her grandfather, Joe Ruffino, after catching a catfish Saturday, June 20, 2015, during the Family Fishing Rodeo at the St Tammany Fishing Pier near Slidell. More than 100 anglers vied for first-and second-place awards in various fish and age categories. The event was sponsored by the St Tammany Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism, and The Leadership Northshore Geaux Fish @ The Pier, project team.

Father’s Day and fishing go hand in hand, much like Mother’s Day and apple pie. Realizing that, St. Tammany Parish Culture, Recreation and Tourism hosted the first Family Fishing Rodeo on Saturday — mere hours before families around the country will gather for a Father’s Day celebration. The event was held at the St. Tammany Fishing Pier,… Continue reading →

Macaulso: Father’s Day special for outdoorsmen

What a great time to be a father, and for those fortunate among us, a grandfather. This is a very special day for outdoorsmen. Who among us hunters and fishermen owe so much of what we do and have to the men who guided us into the swamps, marshes and forests, and… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

MONDAY RED STICK FLY FISHERS FLY-TYING SESSION: 7 p.m., Orvis Shop, Bluebonnet Boulevard, Baton Rouge. Call Pete Bongiovanni (225) 313-3813 . Website: www.rsff.org. WEDNESDAY 23RD BLUE JAY FISHING RODEO REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Noon for June 27 open-water rodeo. Weigh-in, John Ryan Stadium, 100 Blue Jay Way, Jefferson Parish. Fishing begins at 6 a.m. June 26. Fee $40 adults, $25 ages… Continue reading →

LDWF changes Basin bass limit

Atchafalaya Spillway bass regulations will change again come Saturday to the same as statewide regulations. The new creel limit will be 10 per day with no size limit. After changing from 20-year-long, 14-inch minimum size and a five-bass daily creel limit, the state Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a temporary, seven-fish, no minimum-size limit for black… Continue reading →

Even bad weather can’t foul up Swollfest Rodeo

Too bad Mother Nature didn’t want to join in the annual Swollfest Rodeo party on Grand Isle last weekend. Organizer Dr. Nick Rauber said everything, save mom’s cooperation, made it another spectacular fund-raising year not that Swollfest closes in on $1 million raised for charities, notably the American Diabetes and Muscular Dystrophy associations among others. “We… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY CENLA CHAPTER-CCA BANQUET: 5:30 p.m., Riverfront Center, 707 Main Street, Alexandria. Tickets $65, $35 spouses, $25 youths, $500 tables. Call CCA Louisiana (225) 952-9200. FRIDAY FRIDAY NIGHT COOKIE JAR BASS TOURNAMENT: 7 p.m.-midnight, La. Express Landing, False River (south end), Jarreau. Fee $30/boat plus launch fee (maximum 2 anglers). Weekly Friday night event through Sept. 11. Call… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Improving fishing conditions welcomed

Rains to the west and heat to the east, and it appears the blustery conditions that hampered coastal action over last weekend will ease. The outlook for the weekend is good. Trout are everywhere, and the constant southerly winds pushing saltwater into the marshes — and coming on the heels of the tropical depression’s surge along areas west of… Continue reading →

Fishing results

Swollfest GRAND ISLE — Top 3 anglers in divisions and categories from the annual Swollfest Fishing Rodeo: Overall Swollest 1, Harry Hawney, 80.65 pounds (Warsaw grouper). 2, Hunter Charvet Sr., 64.71 (yellowfin tuna). 3, George Wood, 57.21 (alligator gar). Offshore Division Yellowfin Tuna: 1, Hunter Charvet Sr., 64.71. Dorado: 1, Hunter Charvet, Jr., 4.5. 2, Charvet, 3.41. 3,… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

Photo provided by ST. TAMMANY CRTA Pontchartain pier bullPeter Cazeaux holds the 30-pound-plus bull redfish he took recently while fishing from the St. Tammany Fishing Pier near Slidell. St. Tammany Parish is holding its first-ever Family Fishing & Rodeo from sign-in time at 6 a.m. through a noon weigh-in Saturday. Redfish are among the seven competitive categories in Adult and Children divisions..

TUESDAY LAFAYETTE KAYAK FISHING CLUB MEETING: 6 p.m., Pack and Paddle, 601 E. Pinhook, Lafayette. Call (337) 232-5854. Website: lafayettekayakfishing.com. THURSDAY CENLA CHAPTER-CCA BANQUET: 5:30 p.m., Riverfront Center, 707 Main Street, Alexandria. Tickets $65, $35 spouses, $25 youths, $500 tables. Call CCA Louisiana (225) 952-9200. FRIDAY FRIDAY NIGHT COOKIE JAR BASS TOURNAMENT: 7 p.m.-midnight, La. Express Landing, False River… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Big day set for St. Tammany fishing pier

Congratulations to St. Tammany Parish’s Culture, Recreation and Tourism for taking a giant first step for south Louisiana fishermen. Saturday, at the St. Tammany Fishing Pier, the parish on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain is staging its first Family Fishing & Rodeo. It will be a celebration, and follows… Continue reading →

Jamie Laiche gives Louisiana anglers a clean sweep

Photo provided by Craig Lamb/B.A.S.S.Jamie Laiche of Gonzales caught 38 pounds, 1 ounce to take the title Friday at Ross Barnett Reservoir near Ridgeland, Miss. during the Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Central Divisional. Laiche became the Louisiana qualifier for the national tournament.

RIDGELAND, Miss. — Make it a clean sweep for Louisiana. Jamie Laiche of Gonzales and an Ascension Area Anglers member, St. Amant High School anglers Braden Blanchard and Cade Fortenberry, and the Louisiana state team outfished 14-angler teams from seven other states to bring home first places Friday from the Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Central… Continue reading →

Fishing results

BASS Nation Central RIDGELAND, Miss. — Friday’s final top 10 from the three-day, eight-state B.A.S.S. Nation Central Divisional held on Ross Barnett Reservoir with anglers (Louisiana anglers in bold), their hometowns, number of bass weighed in parentheses (five-bass daily limit), total catch weight in pounds and ounces. Also the complete Louisiana team, overall team standings, state qualifiers for… Continue reading →

Jamie Laiche leads Louisiana anglers in Central field

RIDGELAND, Miss. — Jamie Laiche from Gonzales heads into Friday’s final round of the B.A.S.S. Nation Central Divisional in second place and leads the 14-angler Louisiana team after his second-day catch shot him to a 26-pound, 6-ounce total Thursday. Texas team angler Albert Collins, in with a 27-3 total, leads the field composed of 14-angler state teams… Continue reading →

Moon pattern pushes peak fishing later in day

A note to add to your fishing knowledge came during last weekend’s Catholic High Rodeo, a tip to fishing the next three summertime full moons. More than half the fishermen who wanted to talk complained about the lack of action, but what happened was that high tide didn’t come until late morning, and, by then, the folks who busted… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY JUNIOR SOUTHWEST BASSMASTERS-DENHAM SPRINGS BASS MEETING: 7 p.m., Bass Pro Shops, Denham Springs. Call Jim Breaux (225) 262-0929/(225) 772-3026. THURSDAY-SATURDAY SWOLLFEST FISHING RODEO: Sand Dollar Marina, Grand Isle. Weigh-ins 5-7 p.m. June 12-13. Tickets $60, $15 12 and younger. Blue Water, Coastal, Inshore, Women’s, Children’s, Kayak & “Belly Buzzard”… Continue reading →

Fishing results

IFA Redfish Tour LAFITTE — Top 10 finishers from the Cabela’s IFA Redfish Tour event with anglers, hometowns when available, the weights of their two-redfish catch and prize winnings: 1, Jacob Leininger-Jeff Rogers, Slidell, 18.21 pounds, $25,995, $2,597 contingency awards. 2, Chad Dufrene, Purvis, Mississippi-Barnie White, Brewton, Alabama, 17.82, $3,302, $1,294 contingency awards. 3, Chris Kennedy, Metairie-Chris… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Heavy winds expected this weekend

There’s no way to compare notes for the upcoming days with what happened under last week’s near-calm seas, light winds, full moon and strong tides during the only weekend of the federal red snapper season. That’s because we’re in for a windy, rough weekend along the coast. Possibly the only saving chance for a trip now through Sunday is… Continue reading →

Recreational anglers gain vital foothold

Photo provided by SAM BARBERARep. Garret Graves, R-La., came home to Baton Rouge this wekeend,then gravels to Fourchon for the annual Catholic High Alumni Fishing Rodeo. Graves, in his freshman session in the U.S. House of Representatives, has authored or co-authored several bills to allow greater recreational fishing access to Gulf of Mexico species in federal waters. He took this red snapper in federal waters off the Louisiana coast. It was one of a five-angler red snapper limits. The group added 10 more mangrove snapper to their catch.

PORT FOURCHON — Recreational fishermen who call the Gulf of Mexico home gained a vital foothold in their angling future when the U.S House passed HR 1335 last week. This legislation reauthorizes the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the federal measure that governs the country’s commercial and recreation marine fisheries activities. Mostly ignored… Continue reading →

Could recreational anglers got more days?

This just in: The guys and gals in charge of federal fisheries management announced that recreational fishermen across the five Gulf States landed 3,866,531 pounds of red snapper in 2014, a catch 28 percent under the federally set annual quota of 5.39 million pounds. Whoa, wait just a piscatorial minute: You mean to tell us that National… Continue reading →

Calendar for Sunday, June 7

THURSDAY LOUISIANA WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Louisiana Room, state Wildlife & Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. CAJUN CHAPTER-CCA BANQUET: 6 p.m., South Crowley KC Hall, 226 Elm Street, Crowley. Tickets $60, $30 spouses, $25 youths, $480 tables. Call CCA Louisiana (225) 952-9200. FRIDAY ANNUAL SENIORS BASS TOURNAMENT: 5:30 a.m. registration, Paizanos, La. 70 at Belle… Continue reading →

Free fishing days come at right time

Advocate staff photo by John Ballance  --  Offshore fisherman James Holt, from Morgan City, shows off the business end of a 29-pound barracuda he caught near an oil platform off the Louisiana coast on the second day of the three-day 2014 International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo. Holt's catch took over the top spot on the GITR leaderboard, but faced heavy competition to take the first-place trophy by the time the scales closed. The Grand Isle Rodeo, the oldest competitive saltwater fishing event in the country, headlines the state's list of summertime rodeos, but shares the summer's headlines with other such events that take place throughout the state's coastal communities.

Like all the other oddities Louisiana affords to residents and tourists alike, it’s not so odd to note Louisiana’s coastal fishing summer starts when some other folks in our country are just getting into spring. It’s no big news that summer’s heat comes early to the Sportsman’s Paradise, so when the state’s tens of thousands of anglers… Continue reading →

Calendar for Thursday, June 4

THURSDAY LOUISIANA WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Louisiana Room, state Wildlife & Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. CAJUN CHAPTER-CCA BANQUET: 6 p.m., South Crowley KC Hall, 226 Elm Street, Crowley. Tickets $60, $30 spouses, $25 youths, $480 tables. Call CCA Louisiana (225) 952-9200. FRIDAY ANNUAL SENIORS BASS TOURNAMENT: 5:30 a.m. registration,… Continue reading →

It’s giant catfish time at the river

Photo provided by MARK ROYERRECan't hold this oneThis giant blue catfish might have been a little too heavy for 12-year-old Michael Boyerre to hold and show, but he and friend James Kersey hauled in the big blue from the Mississippi River on Michael's first springtime fishing trip to his uncle's camp in Buras. The St. Paul's Episcopal sixth-grader said he using 15-pound test line to take on the catfish, and said he and James, a seventh grader at Boothville-Venice Elementary, caught another 20 pounder the next day. Catfish are showing up along the banks of the Mississippi River and fishermen are cautioned about wading into the dangerous current the still-rising river's spring floodwaters.

Ever see a Redfish House? How about Speckled Trout, Red Snapper, Sac-a-lait, Bass houses? OK, we’re talking about restaurants, not homes for wayward fish. Yet, when you travel across the Deep South, into the Missouri Valley and the lands drained by the Ohio River, chances are you’ve seen one, or many more eateries that serve… Continue reading →

House concurrent resolution 15 bad for hunters, state

Just when you think it’s safe to roam the gardens surrounding our State Capitol, the Legislature shows up and we outdoors folks have to guard our wallets. The latest move comes from what Rep. Jack Montoucet, D-Crowley, certainly believes is an honest effort to help discover a solution for our state budget woes… Continue reading →

Calendar for Sunday, May 31

MONDAY PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD DEADLINE FOR CAT ISLAND NWR MANAGEMENT PLAN: Comment for the next 15-year Comprehensive Conservation Plan & Environmental Assessment for Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge. Plans posted: www.fws.gov/southeast/planning/ under “Draft CCP Documents.” Call Kent Ozment (601) 442-6696 or Tina Chouinard (731) 432-0981. Email comments to: kent_ozment@fws.gov. TUESDAY ACADIANA FLY RODDERS PROGRAM: 6:30 p.m., first Tuesday monthly,… Continue reading →

Lake Pontchartrain hot spot again for speckled trout

Photo provided by RANDY YOUNG--Allie Young took a break from her college studies and finals to come home to Baton Rouge and join her father Randy Young for a Memorial Day Weekend adventure to the Bayou Dularge area and landed this monster redfish. The St. Joseph Academy alumna estimated the bull red weighed at least 30 pounds. Redfish ranging from undersized 13-14 inches all the way up to 40 pounders have been taken from Lake Pontchartrain west to Grand Terre and Grand Isle and over to Terrebonne Parish waters in the month. Redfish are taking a variety of lures and live bait and have been feeding even during periods when speckled trout seem to have disappeared.

There’s something going on in Lake Pontchartrain, and it’s something that lots of “lake” fishermen haven’t seen in a long time. For the past 10 days, reports begin like this: Redfish are everywhere on the bridges. The Causeway is loaded with ‘em ... so many of them that it’s hard to catch speckled trout. There’s lots of… Continue reading →

Water high, but not Texas high

No matter how much we complained about water levels around here in recent weeks, we’re not living in southeast Texas, where our neighbors to the west should be checking out the biblical specs for ark building. Except for the major rivers, water levels are either on the way down, or are predicted to… Continue reading →