Outdoors Blog



Heavy rainfall diluting saltwater levels and impacting the food our coastal fish like most ... brown shrimp

Advocate staff photo JOE MACALUSOAlex Heintze, a teenage member of the Junior Southwest Bassmasters of Denham Springs, shows off two of the bass he took to finish second in the Co-Angler Division of the recent Pro Bass Challenge. High school anglers, like Heintze, will show up on south Louisiana waters this week for the first Louisiana High School Bass Championship. Weigh-in is set to begin at 4 p.m. Saturday at Bass Pro Shops off South Range Avenue in Denham Springs.

Wonder what the effect of all the water, the runoff from all the rain that’s descended on south Louisiana, will have on fishing during the coming months. First, consider the effect is has on the critters fish like speckled trout, redfish, flounder, sheepshead and drum eat. What about freshwater, and the bass, bluegill, sac-a-lait, catfish and goggle-eye? With the… Continue reading →

Macaluso: No wonder CCA filed the lawsuit

Maybe before us senior-aged fishing guys pass rods and reels to another generation of recreational anglers, this constantly contentious issue about red snapper will be resolved. Until then, we’re going to have to battle several forces, notably the Environmental Defense Fund, commercial interests and some restaurant associations, which consistently have thrown up roadblocks to our ability to take advantage… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

MONDAY RED STICK FLY FISHERS FLY-TYING SESSION: 7 p.m., 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 ACADIANA CHAPTER-CCA BANQUET: 5:30 p.m., Boustany Center at Heymann Center, Lafayette. Tickets $65, $35 spouses, $25 youths,… Continue reading →

Norris Cole brings valuable experience to Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans' Norris Cole (30) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets' Deron Williams (8) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 10, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) ORG XMIT: NYAH118

At age 26, Norris Cole found himself an elder statesman as the New Orleans Pelicans entered the NBA playoffs against the Golden State Warriors. Cole, who is in his fourth season, came to the Pelicans on Feb. 19 having been in three NBA Finals with the Miami Heat, winning championships his first two years in the… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar for April 23

THURSDAY BAYOU CHAPTER-CCA BANQUET: 5:30 p.m., Civic Center, Houma. Tickets $60, $30 spouses, $25 youths, $480 tables. Call CCA Louisiana (225) 952-9200. university of louisiana-lafayette/ducks unlimited banquet: 6 p.m., Cajun Field (home side), Lafayette. Tickets $30 students, $50 nonstudents, $500 tables. Call Cole Placek (337) 322-9316 or Dave Suter (337) 316-2388. FRIDAY… Continue reading →

LSU fishing team has big dreams

Advocate staff photo by JOE MACALUSO -- LSU Bass Fishing team members Adam Gotangco, left, of Lafitte, and Jarod Hughes of St. Amant.

Jarod Hughes has a dream. So does Adam Gotangco. This time, sharing a dream could forged a friendship that could last a lifetime. As far as college students go, it’s not unusual to make life-long friends from different areas of the state, even the country. And, if you ask former college athletes, they talk about how,… Continue reading →

Let’s all celebrate Patriots’ Day

Wonder why April 19 is labeled “Patriots’ Day?” Check 1775 and what happened in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts: Colonials took up arms against British troops marching from Boston to seize their weapons. The day produced the “shot heard ’round the world” and touched off the American Revolution. It’s not difficult to believe that one day so long ago set… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

TUESDAY LAFAYETTE KAYAK FISHING CLUB MEETING: 6 p.m., Pack and Paddle, 601 E. Pinhook, Lafayette. Call (337) 232-5854. Website: www.lafayettekayakfishing.com. WEDNESDAY EARTH DAY EAST JEFF CHAPTER-CCA BANQUET: 5:30 p.m., Landmark Hotel, 2601 Severn Avenue, Metairie. Tickets $75, $40 spouses, $25 youths, $750 tables. Call CCA Louisiana (225) 952-9200. thursDAY BAYOU CHAPTER-CCA BANQUET: 5:30 p.m., Civic Center, Houma. Tickets… Continue reading →

Senior Bass Tournament postponed because of high water

Photo provided by PORTER TAYLORSpring break redfish Connor Taylor took advantage of last week's spring break to take a family trip to the coast to take this redfish on the north side of the L&N train bridge in Lake Pontchartrain. The St. Thomas More seventh grader caught the 'keeper' red on a live shrimp worked on a Carolina rig. Redfish and speckled trout have moved to the bridges on the southeast corner of the state's largest lake, but constant rain during the last five days have kept trips to a minimum.

Acting on an advisory from the Assumption Parish Police Jury, Wayne Tucker has postponed Friday’s annual gathering of the Seniors Bass Tournament. Assumption Parish’s Office of Emergency Preparedness issued a notice Tuesday declaring no-wake zones “in effect (immediately) for Belle River in the vicinity of all homes, camps, structures, etc. and Pierre Part Bay. This… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Weather dealing us bad hand

There are some days when Mother Nature deals us a hand we cannot play — or sends weather than makes it very difficult to fish, or catch fish. Unless you want to travel north, away from south Louisiana’s freshwater and brackish waters, this is one of those times. The past six days of squalls also have… Continue reading →

Fishing results

La. Saltwater Series GRAND ISLE — Saturday’s Top 10 teams from the Louisiana Saltwater Series-Redfish event held out of Bridge Side Marina with teams, total weight of two redfish in pounds (16 inched minimum and less than 27 inches long) and winnings for the top eight teams: 1, Chris Kennedy-Steven Hooter, 15.85… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY CWPPRA TECHNICAL COMMITTEE MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Louisiana Room, Wildlife & Fisheries state headquarters, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. Coastal Wetlands committee public comments/review of 25th Project Priority List to select 10 “candidate” and up to 3 “demonstration” projects. Call Brad Inman (504) 862-2124. NEW IBERIA CHAPTER-DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER: 6 p.m., Cajun RVera, 713 NW Bypass (La. 3212), New… Continue reading →

Robert Love’s work with whooping cranes recognized

Photo provided by Louisiana Public BroadcastingThe reintroduction and the continued stocking of whopping cranes in the marshes of southwest Louisiana and the dedicated work of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' program administrator Bob Love earned Love the Governor's Conservationist of the Year. Love received  the award recently during the 51st Governor's State Conservation Achievement Awards Program banquet held by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation.

The reintroduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana made national headlines, and the man, Robert Love, who spearheaded, then directed, then coordinated efforts of local, state and federal efforts was rewarded in late March. Love, who manages the Coastal and Nongame Resources Division inside the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, received the Governor’s Award, the Conservationist of the… Continue reading →


SUNDAY SMALLBORE/.22 RIMFIRE MATCH/CRAWFISH INVITATIONAL: Final day, 10 a.m., Palo Alto Rifle & Pistol Club, Donaldsonville. 240 shots for record at 50 & 100 yards in F-Class Prone (any sight, any rifle, any support), Bench Rest & Conventional Prone. Fees $10 adults, $5 juniors. BASSMASTER ELITE SERIES: Final day, City Harbor, Lake Guntersville, Guntersville, Alabama. Live 3:15 p.m. daily… Continue reading →

Think ‘small’ baits for spring’s fishing giants

Advocate staff photo by JOE MACALUSOJeff McMorris, right, stands with Pro Bass Challenge organizer George Shaheen while showing the 6.3-pound largemouth bass he caught in the Pro Bass Challenge held in late March near Stephensville in the Lake Verret area. McMorris's fish was the heaviest in the two-day event and inhaled a small, 4-inch-long lure. Heavy bass and redfish are eating smaller lures this time of year because the baitfish they're chasing are smaller now than they will be in the late spring and summer.

Large baits, large fish. How many times have you heard that mentioned when it comes to targeting bragging-sized largemouth bass or redfish or any of the other species Louisiana fishermen pursue? Now, in the first weeks of the season most other folks called “spring,” a season we could more precisely label “pre-summer,” that’s not the case. Evidence is… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY CCA NORTHSHORE CHAPTER BANQUET: 6 p.m., Castine Center, 63350 Pelican Boulevard, Mandeville. Tickets $65, $35 spouses, $25 youths, $500 tables. Call CCA Louisiana (225) 952-9200. 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-SUNDAY BASSMASTER ELITE SERIES: City Harbor, Lake Guntersville, Guntersville, Alabama. Live 3:15 p.m.… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Rainy days to dampen bream action

After surviving March with few problems — except for the rising Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers — it looks like we’re going to battle another adage, the one that goes “April showers brings May flowers.” Oh, the pain of it all, because, for most of us, rain means cutting grass most definitely will cut… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

TUESDAY OYSTER MEETINGS: 9:30 a.m., Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board; 11 a.m., Oyster Task Force Legislative Committee; 1 p.m., Oyster Task Force. Suite 210, University of New Orleans’ Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans. ACADIANA FLY RODDERS PROGRAM: 6:30 p.m., Grace Presbyterian Church Hall, 415 Roselawn, Lafayette. Call Richard Latiolais (337) 354-8957. THURSDAY CCA… Continue reading →

Macaluso: We need the Mississippi River’s rich deposit

Happy Easter! And with Easter comes springtime, if only for a few weeks, if that, in our south Louisiana climes. And with springtime comes flooding, not just from local rains, but from the ice and snow accumulated in the dozens of states the Mississippi River drains for the past four… Continue reading →

LWFC seeks recreational designation for reef sites

Acting on a bill passed three years ago in the state Legislature, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took its first steps to establish and label 31 inshore and nearshore artificial reefs as Inshore Recreational Reef Sites during Thursday’s meeting in Baton Rouge. Most of the 31 reef locations already have been constructed in joint efforts by… Continue reading →

Brent Bonadona makes ‘game-changing’ move

Advocate staff photo by JOE MACALUSOBrent Bonadona became only the second man to become a repeat winner of the Pro Bass Challenge, and he did it in a big way. Bonadona, Saturday's first-day leader with 14.95 pounds on a five-bass limit, brought in five more bass weighing 15.85 pounds Sunday to finish with 30.8 pounds, more than nine pounds up on runnerup Travis Warthen's 21.35-pound total. Bo Jack Anderson, the first two-time Challenge winner, finished fourth at 20.73 pounds, just a half pound behund No. 3 angler Gerald Spohrer's 21.12 pounds.

Brent Bonadona is a quiet man, and an even quieter fisherman. There’s no boasting, no bragging even though he’s proven himself time and again on south Louisiana’s bass-rich waters. He did it again last weekend. It wasn’t easy. He readily admitted he was befuddled by bass that had quickly turned from an easy-to-find and an… Continue reading →

Fishing tournament results

State High School qualifier WESTWEGO — Saturday’s top 10 teams in the second of two Louisiana B.A.S.S. High School qualifying bass tournaments, this one held out of Bayou Segnette State Park with anglers, their club or high school, number of bass weighed in parentheses (5-bass limit) and total weight in pounds: 1, Jordan Davenpoir-Ian Madere,… Continue reading →

Outdoors Calendar

THURSDAY LOUISIANA WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Louisiana Room, state Wildlife & Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. Metro New Orleans CCA Spring Fishing Seminar: 5:30 p.m., Bent Marine, 8001 Airline Drive, Metairie (enter from Airline Drive entrance). $5 donation, no fee for women’s children, includes supper. Prospective speakers: Sam Barbera, Mike Gallo,… Continue reading →

Joe Macaluso: Cold front a big story this week

If you like wind, then you’re going to enjoy this Easter weekend. Another cold front is on its way, and if it’s anything like last week’s cold front, then we’re in for some mighty trying days both in freshwater and in coastal waters. And 3-to-6 foot seas don’t help anyone preparing to get… Continue reading →

Brent Bonadona leads Pro Bass Challenge

With 10 grand on the line, Brent Bonadona decided to make a grand move Saturday on what is unfamiliar water for a devoted Atchafalaya Basin bass angler. Like the other 100 fishermen in the 15th annual Pro Bass Challenge, Bonadona, in the Pro Division, was thrown for a loop when water in the places he’d scouted in… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

SUNDAY PRO BASS CHALLENGE: Final day, 4 p.m. weigh-ins, Albertson’s Jones Creek Road at Coursey Boulevard, Baton Rouge. Benefits Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank & Blue Star Mothers. TUESDAY 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 PONTCHARTRAIN BASIN FLY FISHERS MEETING: 6:30 p.m., Beach… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Youngsters get ready for contests

OK, all the young hunters and anglers out there. Besides hunting turkeys and heading for the first bluegill run or latching onto a monster redfish — or maybe trying to find the elusive springtime speckled trout — what are you going to do with the time off you have around the Easter holidays? How about picking… Continue reading →

City Park Rodeo results

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  Conrad Cheramie, 16, of Metairie reals in his line Saturday, March 28, 2015, during the 68th annual Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival at City Park in New Orleans. More than 500 anglers turned out for the event, the oldest freshwater rodeo in the country.

City Park Rodeo NEW ORLEANS — Results from the 68th annual City Park Big-Bass Rodeo & Fishtival with divisional winners and their catches in pounds: BOATS ON THE BAYOU Bass: 1, Devon Beltz, 2.95 pounds. 2, Chris Hood, 1.7. 3, Luke Beslin, 1.39. Trashbash: 1, Maurice Valerio, .3… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Chill, winds back in the picture

Hope you didn’t believe that springtime means cold fronts and strong north winds would be eliminated from our forecasts. Not so: A cold front brings strong, north winds and rough seas into Saturday morning, and that means lots of water will get pushed from the marshes, a condition that should affect freshwater and coastal catches. And, at least through… Continue reading →

Fishing results

LASS-Redfish SLIDELL — Top 15 teams from Saturday’s Louisiana Saltwater Series-Redfish Tournament with anglers, total weight of two redfish (longer than 16 inches, less than 27 inches long) and winnings: 1, Paul Dufrene-Jay Cedetal, 16.56 pounds, $3,200. 2, Lance Reynolds-Nicky Savioe, 16.42, $1,650. 3, Kris Robert-Benny Sanchez, 16.10, $1,190. 4, Jacob Leninger-Hal Robichau, 16.03, $940. 5,… Continue reading →

Gobblers fair game Saturday

Photo provided by LDWF/Sam BarberaOpening tournament winnersThe year's first winners, Paul Dufresne, left, and teammate Jay Cedetal, hold the two eight-pound redifsh they caught to win the Louisiana Saltwater Series-Redfish tournament held Saturday out of Slidell in conjunction with the Boat-N-Fishing Show. Their two fish weighed 16.56 pounds and was barely two ounces better than the runner-up team of Lance Reynolds and Nicky Savoie and their 16.42-pound total. Dufrense and Cedetal won $3,200. The next LASS-Redfish event is set for April 11 out of Bridge Side Marina on Grand Isle. For more on the LASS series go to website: www.lasaltwaterseries.com.

If turkey hunters remember last spring, and recall the cold and winds that lingered throughout their season, then Saturday’s opening day in the state’s three turkey hunting areas shouldn’t come as a shock. Opening morning temperatures are predicted to dip into the low 40s with moderate northerly winds. Yet with a much-warmer spring than those days… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY NEW ORLEANS FLY FISHERS MEETING: 7:00 p.m., Whitney Bank, 1441 Metairie Rd., New Orleans. Call Sean Gilthorpe (504) 259-2329. CCA-WESTBANK CHAPTER BANQUET: 6 p.m., NOLA Motorsports, 11075 Nicolle Boulevard, Avondale. Tickets $65, $35 spouses, $25 youths, $500 tables. Call CCA-Louisiana (225) 952-9200. FRIDAY-SUNDAY BECOMING AN OUTDOORS WOMAN: Camp Grant Walker, Pollack. Wildlife & Fisheries agency event.… Continue reading →

Greg Hackney places fifth in Elite’s 2015 opener

ORANGE, Texas Gonzales pro angler Greg Hackney began defense of his 2014 Angler of the Year title by finishing fifth Sunday in the first Bassmaster Elite Series event of the year on the Sabine River. Hackney’s four-day run produced a total of 42 pounds, 14 ounces, good enough for a $14,000 check,… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

SUNDAY BOAT-N-FISHING SHOW: Final day, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Northshore Harbor Convention Center, Slidell. bassmaster elite series: Final day, Sabine River, Orange, Texas. Live weigh-in website: www.bassmaster.com. MONDAY RED STICK FLY FISHERS FLY-TYING SESSION: 7 p.m., Orvis Shop, Perkins Rowe, Bluebonnet Boulevard, Baton Rouge. Call Pete Bongiovanni (225)313-3813 . Website: www.rsff.org. WEDNESDAY DUCKS UNLIMITED TIGERS DINNER: 6 p.m., 4-H Mini-Farm,… Continue reading →

Fishing results

Kiwanis Pointe Coupee NEW ROADS — Top 10 results of Sunday, March 15 35th-annual Kiwanis of Pointe Coupee Open Bass Tournament with anglers and their catch in pounds and ounces, and top 2 big-bass finishers: Top 10: 1, Chuck Ballard-Derek Lejeune, 18 pounds, 5 ounces. 2, Sam Adrian-Brad Bouy, 16-3. 3, Cory Chustz-Randall Chustz, 16-2. 4,… Continue reading →

City Park Big Bass Rodeo set for Saturday

Advocate photo by KYLE ENCARRobert Meyers shows off his 5.48-pound largemouth bass that won Joe Courvelle Award for the heaviest bass in the 2014 City Park Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival held on waters in and around City Park in New Orleans. Courcelle was the the rodeo's weighmaster for years. The 68th-annual event, believed to be the longest running freshwater fishing event in the nation, is set for Saturday.

For the 68th year, the New Orleans City Park Big Bass Rodeo is expected to draw hundreds of participants to the park for a day of friendly fishing. This year’s rodeo will be held Saturday: Fishing will be allowed between 6:30-11 a.m., and there are divisions for anglers of all ages who will attempt to hook a variety… Continue reading →

Macaluso: It’s spring and time to go fishing

Ah, springtime, and there’s always room for fishing updates, especially now with the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers holding lots of floodwaters (with a certainty of more to come), the fish biting in the marshes and the recreational red snapper season open. Snapper season opened Friday under light seas and mild winds, and the six reports that came in… Continue reading →