Outdoors Blog



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 →

Reds hot on coast; bass hit in Basin

It’s the last weekend in August, and can anyone remember this stretch of time during the past nine years? Yep, three of those years we were smack dab in the middle of having names like Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike and Isaac burned into our memories. Wednesday’s two tropical-like, low-pressure systems in the western Gulf of Mexico… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

FRIDAY FRIDAY NIGHT COOKIE JAR BASS TOURNAMENT: 7 p.m.-midnight, SandBar Landing, 6716 False River Rd., Oscar. Fee $30/boat. Friday nights through Sept. 15. Call Guy Perkins (225) 293-3402. SATURDAY LOUISIANA NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FEDERATION OPEN CALLING CONTEST: 9-11 a.m. registration, Bass Pro Shops, Denham Springs. NWTF-sanctioned contest. Winners advance to nationals. Call Bobby Berthelot (601) 657-0707. Email: bberthelot@nwtf.net.… Continue reading →

Fishing results

LASS EMPIRE — Saturday’s top 10 teams and top Youth Division anglers from the Louisiana Saltwater Series-Redfish tournament held from Delta Marina with anglers, their hometowns, total weight of two redfish in pounds (redfish must measure a minimum of 16 inches but less than 27 inches long) and prize winnings: Top 10: 1, Stephen Sierra, Madisonville-Scott Benoit, Crown… Continue reading →

Hunters on countdown for opening day

Football season — already! But what that means is hunting season is here, too. For dove hunters, the season opens Sept. 6, so this is the last weekend to make sure all is in order. That means hauling out the shotgun, cleaning any rust and residue from last year, making sure the shell bucket is cleared… Continue reading →

Gonzales’ Greg Hackney qualifies for Bassmaster Classic

UNION SPRINGS, N.Y. Greg Hackney, the national touring pro angler from Gonzales, brought in the day’s top stringer, a five-bass catch weighing a tournament-best 23 pounds, 15 ounces, to take the four-day Bassmaster Elite Series tournament Sunday on Cayuga Lake. Hackney earned $100,000 for his four-day, 85-pound total. He led… Continue reading →

Soil preparation key to a successful deer food plot

Photo provided by DAVID MORELANDA doe and her two fawns forage in a food plot during the late summer. The image was captured on a game camera to record deer activity in the food plot. Food plots not only provide high-quality sustenance during periods of inadequate food sources, but can also be a way into areas for the hunting season.

One of the fundamental questions hunters grapple with each year is how to effectively and consistently get deer into shooting range. Of course, constructing food plots — parcels of land full of browse the animals feed on — has become a common practice that, indeed, lures in large numbers of deer. But a hunter choosing to… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Snapper issue won’t go away

This continuous squabble over red snapper is the most confusing, contentious and confounding problem in more than 40 years of paying close attention to fishing, hunting and public access issues. You know the latest: Reef Fish Amendment 40, the plan to divide the annual recreational red snapper quota among Gulf of Mexico private… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

SUNDAY HUNTERS FOR THE HUNGRY GET READY FOR BOW SEASON DAY: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Waddill Wildlife Education Center, 4142 North Flannery Road, Baton Rouge. No fee Kids’ Clinic, bow tuning, shooting tips. $10 3D range, $20/team 3D 2-archer Shoot, $5 Long-Shot competition. Lunch provided. Door prizes. Website: tangi.abitaweb.com. STATE DUCK/GOOSE & GUEYDAN DUCK/GOOSE CALLING CONTESTS: 10 a.m./ducks, 1… Continue reading →

Ride the Bull 5 event keeps growing

Photo provided by KRISTEN WRAYRide the Bull 5, held Saturday out of Bridge Side Marina on Grand Isle, attracted more than 700 kayaks and other paddlecraft fishermen for the one-day event to take bull redfish from Caminada Pass. The event that started with 60 kayakers in 2009 has become the country's largest single kayak fishing event. Saturday's field consisted of kayakers from 17 states and anglers from Germany and New Zealand.

Grand Isle has the oldest continuous saltwater fishing event, the International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo, in the country, and, after 732 fishermen showed up Saturday, the largest kayak fishing event in the U.S. Ride the Bull 5 pulled paddlers from 17 states and two foreign countries. It’s no secret that RTB has claimed a world spot among… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Heat is on; keep an eye on tropics

It’s late August and it’s time Mother Nature turns up the heat. That’s what’s coming this weekend, and it comes with the advisory for fishermen to take along plenty of liquids, not the alcoholic kind, to make sure to stay hydrated when the temperature hits the upper 90s for the first time this summer. That’s not all: It’s time… Continue reading →

Fishing results

Ride the Bull GRAND ISLE — Saturday’s top 10 from Ride the Bull 5 Extreme Kayak Rodeo with anglers, their hometowns, and the weight of their redfish in pounds. All paddlecraft fished for bull redfish in Caminada Pass: Top 10: 1, Kalley LeRoy, Denham Springs, 26.14 pounds. 2, Eric Waller, Poplarville, Miss., 25.66. 3, Michael Ussery, Lacombe, 25.42. 4,… Continue reading →


THURSDAY-SUNDAY BASSMASTER ELITE SERIES: Cayuga Lake, Ithaca, N.Y. Last in 8-tournament series to determine 2015 Bassmaster Classic qualifiers. Website: www.bassmaster.com. GUEYDAN DUCK FESTIVAL: Includes fair, pageant, parade (Saturday), skeet shooting (Friday-Sunday), retriever trials (Saturday, 7 a.m.), Cooking Contest (Sunday), State Duck & Goose Calling Contest (Sunday) & Gueydan Duck and Goose Calling Contest (Sunday). Call (337) 536-6456. Email: duckfestival.org.… Continue reading →

Hunting season closing in

Photo provided by GARY LIPHAMDecades-old duck decoys like these provided by Candice Vizier will be the stars of the 3rd-annual Baton Rouge Antique Decoy Show set Saturday, Aug. 23 at the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center in Baton Rouge. This year's show will honor decoy carvers from the Bayou Lafourche area and their historic contributions to the art of carving and to the waterfowl hunting heritage of Louisiana. Clockwise from top left, these wooden, handcrafted decoys include a pintail, a mallard hen, two mallard drakes and a greenwing teal drake.

As difficult as it is to believe, three weeks hence the first shots of the hunting season will have been fired in fields across the state. The dove season is scheduled to open Sept. 6 in the state’s North and South zones, and the special September teal season will begin its 16-day statewide run the next Saturday, that’s Sept.… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Monday huge for red snapper fishermen

What’s happening Monday evening in Baton Rouge is called a “public hearing.” The big fear among recreational red snapper fishermen is there will be a lot of talking, but not much hearing by the folks who’ll decide when hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of recreational fishermen across the Gulf of Mexico will… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

SUNDAY SOUTHERN SPORTSMAN’S FESTIVAL & EXPO: Final day, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Alario Center, Westwego. Admission $10, $5/ages 7-16, free/6 & younger, $5 military. Seminars, boating, tackle, waterfowling, hunting & fishing. Website: www.southernsportsmansfestival.com. MONDAY GULF OF MEXICO FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL PUBLIC COMMENT MEETING: 6 p.m., Hyatt Place, 6080 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge. Sector Separation for Reef Fish Amendment 40, to… Continue reading →

Fishing results

Bassmaster Elite PHILADELPHIA — Sunday’s final top 12, heaviest bass and top overall one-day stringer from the four-day Bassmaster Elite Series held on the Delaware River with anglers, their hometowns, number of bass weighed in parentheses (5-bass daily limit), total catch weight in pounds and ounces, and prize winnings. Also listed are Louisiana anglers. The 109-angler field… Continue reading →

Greg Hackney on target for BassMaster Classic

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.

Greg Hackney is a man on a mission, and the target is more than a return to the Bassmaster Classic field. With the last regular-season Bassmaster Elite Series tournament ahead next week — a four-day excursion on Cayuga Lake near Ithaca, N.Y. — and the first Toyota Angler of the Year Championship in mid-September in Michigan waters, the… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY CCA LOUISIANA-COMITE CHAPTER BANQUET: 5:30 p.m., Kristenwood, 14025 Greenwell Springs Rd., Greenwell Springs. Tickets $60, $20 spouses, $25 youths, $500 tables includes 1-year CCA membership. Call Nolan Reynerson (225) 952-9200. BLACK BEAR RESEARCH PUBLIC MEETING: 6 p.m., Community Center, 800 Beech St., Tallulah. Update on black bear research. Call Maria Davidson (337) 948-0255. FRIDAY FRIDAY NIGHT COOKIE JAR… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Redfish the constant along coast

Advocate staff photo by John Ballance St. Amant fisherman Todd Gautreau shows off his 21-pound bull redfish at the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo on July 24.

If all the fishermen across the country could count on any one species the way we’ve counted on redfish this year, there’d be millions of happy anglers. While speckled trout continue to bedevil coastal fishermen, redfish are everywhere from the lower reaches of the Pearl River to runs off the lower Mississippi River, to the marshes and inside… Continue reading →

Video: Funeral of "The Picketts"

Outdoors writer Joe Macaluso and Videographer Gary Krouse witnessed the removal of the last piling from the Picketts and the dismantling of the main platform, Ship Shoal Block 26. These structures have produced trout for over 50 years, but now...… Continue reading →

Advocate On The Outside: Fishing Caillou Bay

Guides and recreational fisherman, across the La. coast have talked about the lack of and the small sized speckled trout this summer. Outdoors writer Joe Macaluso and Videographer Gary Krouse take you to Caillou Bay for a different report.… Continue reading →