Outdoors Blog




A hunting trip to remember

Photo provided by Steve MastersHector Castro, an LSU student from New Orleans, poses with a doe antelope he took with one shot at 150 yards on the high prairie near Buffalo, Wyoming during an October hunt with the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. He'd only shot a rifle once, and Castro said he took this prize on only his second-ever shot with a rifle.

Garrett Denver Goudeau, had shot a rifle only once in his life before he dropped a Wyoming antelope doe with one shot at 350 yards last month. Hector Castro had also only shot a rifle once — to sight it in — but he also dropped a doe antelope with one clean shot at about 150 yards.… Continue reading →

The Fishing Report.Nov. 26, 2015

After a week of near perfect weather for fishing inside waters along the coast, another cold front is on the way Saturday to break up the five-day streak we had working in our favor. So for this holiday, there’s little reason to get into all the particulars of what has been a solid… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

SUNDAY BASS TOURNAMENT: Safe daylight, Morrison Parkway public landing, False River, New Roads. Team format. Fees $25 membership (thru June 30, 2016), $50/boat. Pay 1 place per 5 boats. Call (225) 938-3187. MONDAY FIN-ADDICT FLY FISHERS MEETING: 6:30 p.m., Spahr’s Seafood Restaurant, 1400 W. Tunnel Blvd., Houma. Stephen Robert… Continue reading →

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries project studies fish movements

Advocate staff photo by JOE MACALUSO Do not disturb This well-marked buoy set along The Causeway near the north shoreline of Lake Pontchartrain is one of several telemetric buoys set in the state's largest lake as part of a program to study the movements of speckled trout in the Pontchartrain Basin.Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists have begun began another project to monitor fish movement in the lake. The buoys receive signals from devices implanted in speckled trout, redfish and bull sharks during the coming months, and record the date and time each implanted fish passes each buoy. The biologists are asking that fishermen not disturb these specially marked buoys.

For as many pluses as fishermen credit for their trips to Lake Pontchartrain in recent years, there are as many minuses. Maybe that’s because only the most dedicated Pontchartrain fishermen know the vagaries of Louisiana’s largest lake. Maybe that’s because the lake changes so often: Rainfall, runoff from a half-dozen rivers and bayous that drain all… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

MONDAY RED STICK FLY FISHERS FLY-TYING SESSION: 7 p.m., Bass Pro Shops, Denham Springs. Call Pete Bongiovanni (225) 313-3813 . Website: www.rsff.org. TUESDAY FLY TYING AT BASS PRO SHOPS: 6-9 p.m., Conference Room, Bass Pro, Denham Springs. Fee free. Call Ron Brooks (225) 271-3100. AROUND THE CORNER NOV. 29 — BASS TOURNAMENT: Safe daylight, Morrison Parkway public landing, False… Continue reading →

Out-of-control feral populations becoming more than a nuisance animal in state

Photo provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service -- Feral hogs on the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge have been identified as a nuisance on public and private lands throughout Louisiana. Biologists and land managers in the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the LSU AgCenter are working on tactics to reduce feral hog numbers throughout the state's diverse landscape, even to the point of allowing the use of helicopters to hunt down the growing number of feral hogs in the state's coastal areas.

While hunters have been in the field, marshes, swamps and forests for the past two months, Saturday marks the first time when virtually all seasons are open to all hunters with all kinds of weapons. Saturday is the opener of the modern firearms season for deer in the southeastern parishes, a day avid deer hunters have marked on their… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY ST. FRANCISVILLE-WILKINSON COUNTY CHAPTER-DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER: 6 p.m., South of the Border, 14945 U.S. 61, St. Fancisville. Tickets $60, $85 couples, $25 youths, $400 sponsors. Call Will Seal (601) 431-0674. 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… Continue reading →

Macaluso Fishing Report: Rain, fronts change the big picture

The second-coldest cold front of the season is settling over south Louisiana, and success during the coming weekend through Thanksgiving week is going to depend on how you adapt to the changes in water levels, water clarity and water temperatures across south Louisiana. Sunday’s slight chance of rain heralds another front pushing in Monday, and we’re going to… 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. JEANERETTE AREA CHAPTER-DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER: 6 p.m., West St. Mary Civic Center, 1472 La. 318, Jeanerette. Tickets $45 singles, $55 couples. Call Garland Lemaire (337) 884-3668. Louisiana Crab Task Force Meeting: 1 p.m., Room 210, Advanced Technology Center, UNO,… Continue reading →

2016 calendar deadline set for Dec. 21

Dec. 21 is the deadline for submitting activities and events for The Advocate’s Outdoors 2016 Calendar scheduled to be published Jan. 3. Please include: Event’s name, time, date and location including the site, address and city. All fees. Age limits or skill-level requirements and any other particulars for the event, including beneficiaries. Full name of contact person with the… Continue reading →

Hitting ‘The Wall’ a good thing in fishing

The sports term “hitting the wall” has negative overtones, but not when it comes to fishing waters south and east of New Orleans. “The Wall” is the newest of the area’s fishing hot spots. It’s the results of billions of dollars in federal funds spent on saving the Crescent City from storm surges through the marshes of St. Bernard… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Our state’s next shot at red snapper coming soon

We’re just days away from another shot at catching — and keeping — red snapper. Yep, Nov. 20 opens a second state-waters-only season off our state’s coast, and state fisheries managers, using their dynamic LA Creel numbers, will allow us to take in the neighborhood of another 80,000 pounds of red snapper from… Continue reading →

Cold fronts should help hunters

Knowing the decades-long trend among duck hunters is to report — even to the point of bragging — when they have ducks, and not say too much — maybe except to complain — when they don’t see many on opening weekend, it’s easy to note that only “good” reports streamed in Sunday and Monday about the Coastal Zone’s… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

JUNIOR SOUTHWEST BASSMASTERS-DENHAM SPRINGS BASS MEETING: 7 p.m., Bass Pro Shops, Denham Springs. Call Jim Breaux (225) 262-0929/(225) 772-3026. DU OF TERREBONNE DINNER & OUTDOOR SHOW: 6 p.m., Civic Center, Houma. Call Jeff DeBlieux (985) 855-9619 or Mickey Thomas (985) 851-3434. LAKE ARTHUR CHAPTER-DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER: 6 p.m., Community Center, 701 8th Street,… Continue reading →

Macaluso fishing report: Get set for first major cold front

Two things: The first is how our marshes are going to react to this first major cold front of the season? The second is coastal fishermen need to be aware that duck hunters are in the marshes. It’s time for fishermen to give waterfowl hunters first shots at the launches in predawn hours, and don’t… Continue reading →

Gonzales’ Jamie Laiche comes up just short in bid to earn spot in Bassmaster Classic

Photo provided by BASS/Thomas Allen -- Louisiana's Jamie Laiche caught 16 pounds, 6 ounces to lead the first day of the Old Milwaukee B.A.S. Nation Championship on the Ouachita River held in Monroe, La.

MONROE — When he approached the weigh-in stage at Forsythe Park, the smile on Jamie Laiche’s face hid the agony he was feeling in his heart. After leading the three-day 2015 Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Championship for the first two days, Laiche, Louisiana’s Nation qualifier from Gonzales, knew rival Albert Collins had matched his first-day, 16… Continue reading →

B.A.S.S. Nation Championship results

MONROE — Saturday’s final top 10 from the three-day 2015 Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Championship held on the Ouachita River with anglers, their hometowns, the divisions they represent, Saturday’s final day catch and number of bass weighed in parentheses (Number of bass/weight; 5-bass daily limit) and total catch weight in pounds and ounces. Also listed are the… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

MONDAY RED STICK FLY FISHERS PROGRAM: 7 p.m., Louisiana Room, Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. Call Joe Kahler (225) 892-4352. Website: www.rsff.org. wednesDAY BATON ROUGE/TIGER CHAPTERS DUCKS UNLIMITED BANQUET: 6 p.m., Parker Coliseum, LSU, Baton Rouge. Call Mike Patterson (225) 572-4070 or Luke Laborde (225) 281-0711. NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES FEE-FREE DAYS: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-managed… Continue reading →

Macaluso: A ‘pay-back year’ to remember

The easiest way would be to disregard the Bart Yakupzack’s comment during Thursday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting. Maybe too easy. There have been times in the 25 years covering the LWFC commission members have brought their personal preferences into discussions covering topics of fishing, hunting, public access, wildlife, forestry and land use… Continue reading →

LWFC approves five-year zones map

With the 60-day, Coastal Zone duck season opener this weekend, the hottest debate among the seven-member Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission for the past three months has been ducks. Not this season’s ducks, but migratory waterfowl for the next three, and the next five years. The “three-year” part came when the commission, then handling duties with six members,… Continue reading →

Laiche retains Central lead in bass tournament

MONROE — Gonzales angler Jamie Laiche retained his first-place spot after Friday’s second round of the three-day Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, but needs a strong finish Saturday to hold off a surge from Texas’ Albert Collins in his bid for a second berth in the Bassmaster Classic. Working the waters off the Ouachita River in an… Continue reading →

Duck hunters will have new zones

Louisiana waterfowl hunters will have different zones boundaries for the five-year period beginning with the 2016-2017 duck seasons after the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission wrangled its way through weeks of public comment to vote on new zones during its meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge. The commission also approved, by a 4-3 vote, to end months of debate over… Continue reading →

Gonzales’ Jamie Laiche angling for spot in Bassmaster Classic

Photo provided by Craig Lamb/BASSMASTER -- Gonzales angler Jamie Laiche holds the champions trophy from the Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Central Divisional held on Ross Barnett Reservoir in Mississippi earlier this year. Laiche, an Ascension Area Anglers member, competes against eight other Central Division state winners this week for a berth in the March, 2016 Bassmaster Classic. State and international champions representing the six Nation divisions are in Monroe, and fishing Thursday through Saturday on the Ouachita River out of Forsythe Park.

Jamie Laiche is a bass fishermen who’s been there and done that, and for the next three days, he’ll be trying to do it again, this time on the Ouachita River. After winning the overall title in the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Central Division tournament on Ross Barnett Reservoir in Mississippi earlier this year, Laiche,… Continue reading →

Duck hunters face rainy opener

Check this weekend’s rainy, windy weather forecast, and someone you know will say something like, “It looks like good duck weather.” But what about duck hunters, who, by the thousands, will invade the state’s Coastal Zone for Saturday’s opening morning of the first split of yet another in a two-decades-long series of 60-day duck seasons. And… Continue reading →

Joe Macaluso: Another rainy cold front ahead

Just when all signs were pointing in the right directions to Sulphur Mine Lake and the action on trout and bass near Venice, two weekends of rain and wind have turned prospects into a guessing game. And there’s more rain and wind coming Friday and Saturday in advance of another cold front, this one stronger… Continue reading →

Outdoors Calendar for Nov. 5, 2015

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. Tickets $65. Call Beau Phares (337) 962-2128 or Kurt Cazayoux (337) 739-4505. EVANGELINE PARISH CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER: 6 p.m., Civic Center, Ville Platte. Tickets $50. Call… Continue reading →

Time to get hunting gear ready

Photo provided by RENNIE CARTERPreston's caught a what?Preston Petersen was fishing in the marshes and open-water areas southwest of The Fourchon the middle of October when he hooked a fish more common to southern Florida than south Louisiana. It's a permit, and it's nearest cousin is the pompano, a species commonly caught in Louisiana's shallow coastal waters, and, like pompano, permit up to 10 pounds are excellent tablefare. The Baton Rouge angler was using live shrimp, a favorite forage for permit, near Calumet Cut and Casse Tete Island. It's the second reported catch of a permit off the Louisiana coast in two years. A member of The Helldivers brought in a permit during the 2014 Golden Meadow-Fourchon Tarpon Rodeo.

OK, so this weekend’s rain has left your outdoors plans high and dry. Better days are ahead, especially for waterfowl hunters, and they’re coming fast. It’s hard to believe that the big duck season opens Saturday in the Coastal Zone, and that means you shouldn’t let this day go by without taking advantage of the chance Mother… Continue reading →

Joe Macaluso: Fishermen’s comments are needed

If there’s one thing the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has demonstrated in the past decade, it’s that most of its 17 voting members care little for what recreational fishermen tell them and council staff. The same is true for the federal fisheries managers, who continue to provide the council with what… Continue reading →

Outdoors Calendar

RETURN TO STANDARD TIME: 2 a.m. GULF COUNCIL AMENDMENT 39 PUBLIC HEARING: 6 p.m., Doubletree, 4964 Constitution Avenue, Baton Rouge. Public comment on recreational red snapper regional management. ACADIANA FLY RODDERS PROGRAM: 6:30 p.m., Grace Presbyterian Church Hall, 415 Roselawn, Lafayette. Call Richard Latiolais (337)… Continue reading →

Deadline to submit events for Advocate Outdoors calendar is Dec. 21

Dec. 21 is the deadline for submitting events for Advocate’s Outdoors 2016 Calendar to be published Jan. 3. Please include: Event’s name, time, date and location including the site, address and city. All fees. Age limits or skill-level requirements and any other particulars for the event. Full name of contact person with the area code and phone number, and… Continue reading →

Whitetails finding bountiful mast crop across the state

Photo provided by STEPHEN LIGHTFOOT Taking to the woods Adam Briedenbach and squirrel dog Dottie show off a morning limit taken earlier this month from private land in Pointe Coupee Parish. With deer season approaching, thereby limiting squirrel hunting activity on most private lands across the state, small-game hunters can take to dedicated acreage on 11 wildlife management areas identified as 'Small-game Emphasis Areas.' WMA rules allow hunters to use dogs in these set-aside locations. Hunters in the southeastern and south-central parishes can find these areas in the Sandy Hollow, Sherburne and Marsh Bayou WMAs. Other WMAs with these set-asides are Big Colewa Bayou, Bayou Macon, Bayou Pierre, Boeuf, Dewey Wills, Richard Yancey, Russell Sage and Walnet Hills. Maps of these areas and hunting regulations can be found on the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' website: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma.

This just in, and it’s another good note for deer and duck hunters. Reports from across the state are our nut-producing trees are giving up another bumper crop. Oaks are dropping acorns in the northern and central parishes, and there are enough acorns remaining in trees across the southern parishes to know that deer are… 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. ANACOCO & VERNON LAKES DRAWDOWNS PUBLIC MEETING: 6-8 p.m., Fairgrounds, 276 HM Stevens Boulevard, Leesville. Sponsored by Vernon Parish Game & Fish Commission. Comments to establish a timeline for future drawdowns to allow for repairs &… Continue reading →

Fishing results: Bassmaster Southern

Bassmaster Southern BAINBRIDGE, Ga. — Saturday’s final top 12 in Boater and Nonboater divisions in the three-day Bassmaster Southern Open (332-fishermen field) held on Lake Seminole with anglers, their hometowns, number of bass weighed in parentheses (5 bass in Boater; 3 bass in Nonboater daily limits), total catch weight in pounds and ounces, prize winnings, Bass Pro Shops… Continue reading →

Macaluso: More rain, higher tides to impact fishing

After the deluge lingered from the weekend into Tuesday, and with rain in the coming weekend’s forecast — it’s coming with another not-so-cold cold front — fishermen won’t have difficulty finding water. Finding clear-enough water will be the problem. If you’re planning to work the east side of the Mississippi River, you’re going to find high water, too. It’ll… Continue reading →

Sac-a-lait doesn’t take back seat at this time of year

In the hierarchy of fall fishing, sac-a-lait takes a backseat to bass in freshwater, and, along the coast, the much-anticipated move of speckled trout into the marshes. Die-hard sac-a-lait anglers don’t understand why, because they know October through January, even in the bitter cold of early winter, south Louisiana sac-a-lait action is hard to beat. The Atchafalaya Spillway… Continue reading →

Want to submit a photo? Here’s how

File photoLaney Leon took this 190-pound, 10-point trophy buck in the St. Francisville area last deer season, and his mom, Jessice, provided the photo. A new rule for publishing hunting photos in Advocate Outdoors requires hunters to have a state-issued deer tag affixed on the deer before taking the photo for consideration for publication. State hunting regulations require hunters to tag their deer before removing the animal from the field.

Photos give us memories to treasure, and Advocate Outdoors has had a years-long commitment to share those memories and acknowledge the accomplishments afield, especially for young outdoorsmen. There are rules and guidelines: The top two rules are that Advocate Outdoors publishes hunting photos of youngsters age 9 and older, and, new this year, if it’s a photo… 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., last Monday monthly through November, Spahr’s Seafood Restaurant, 1400 W. Tunnel Blvd., Houma. Call Stephen Robert (985) 850-0082. Website: finaddictflyfishers.blogspot.com. TUESDAY FLY TYING AT BASS PRO SHOPS: 6-9 p.m., Conference Room, Bass Pro, Denham… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Weekend fishing to be affected by east winds

If you don’t like east winds, don’t plan a weekend trip, because moderate east winds will linger across the coast into early next week. And those east winds mean lots of water stacking up in the marshes — it pushes redfish and flounder into and near ponds — on the east side of the Mississippi River, but will push… Continue reading →

2015 winners and their prizes from the CCA Louisiana statewide tournament

Photo provided by CCA LOUISIANAJonathan Craft is the big winner in this year's summer-long Statewide Tournament and Anglers' Rodeo after catching this specially tagged redfish from his kayak in the Lafourche Parish marshes. Begin a CCA Louisiana member and registering for S.T.A.R., Craft won a 2015 Chevy Silverado pickup for this 17-inch-long redfish. The awards celebration is Thursday at Live Oak Arabians in Baton Rouge.

Category winners and their prizes in CCA Louisiana’s 2015 Statewide Tournament and Anglers’ Rodeo presented Thursday night at Live Oak Arabians in Baton Rouge: La. Division/Tagged Redfish First registered anglers catching specially tagged redfish win 2015 Chevrolet Silverado; next places win 2110 Sport Nautic Star, 150 Mercury four-stroke: 1, Jonathan Craft, 1.62 pounds, reported from Port Fourchon Marina.… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY S.T.A.R. BANQUET: 5 p.m., Live Oak Arabians, 6300 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge. Tickets $50 (no fee 12 and younger), $500 tables. Call CCA (225) 952-9200. SATURDAY INTRO TO FLY CASTING: 9 a.m.-noon, Bass Pro Shops, Denham Springs. Also Oct. 31. Call Ron Brooks (225) 271-3100. GUIDED CANOE TOUR: 2-4 p.m., Chicot State Park, Ville Platte. Canoeing experience recommended.… Continue reading →

Fishing results

Junior SW Bassmasters HENDERSON — Saturday’s age-group results from the Junior Southwest Bassmasters-Denham Springs tournament held on Lake Henderson with anglers, their hometowns, number of bass weighed in parentheses (5-bass limit), total catch weight in pounds and big-bass winners: 15-18 Age Group: 1, Alex Heintze, Denham Springs (5) 11.03 pounds. 2, Justin Watts, Denham Springs (5) 10.26. 3, Brennan… Continue reading →

David Prevost lands what could be state-record tarpon

Photo provided by LANCE SCHOUEST David Prevost, right, from Shriever, was fishing with long-time, tarpon-chasing buddy Jeff DeBlieux, left, late Oct. 15 when he hooked, then landed this monster tarpon weighing 246.6 pounds. It was one of 15 tarpon hooked during the day. Prevost said they got eight of the silver kings to the boat to go along with the nine caught and released Thursday by tarpon veteran "Coon" Schouest in the same area. Prevost's catch was weighed at Dand Dollar Marina, then certified by a state fisheries biologist on Grand Isle and, if and when approved, will stand as the state's record tarpon breaking the more than 20-year-old record of the State's 1993 Fish of the Year, a 230 pounder taken by Thomas Gibson.

Lance Schouest acted like his hair was on fire. Weighing in a tarpon the first morning of the three-day Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo in July, Schouest — OK, so everybody around calls him “Coon” — stopped only long enough to have photos taken and give a one-minute interview about his catch. His parting words that morning… Continue reading →