Outdoors Blog



GMFMC passes controversial Reef Fish Amendment 40

Reef Fish Amendment 40, a move in the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to divide the annual recreational red snapper quota in the Gulf’s vast federal waters between private anglers and “for-hire” charterboat operations, passed by a 10-7 vote in the final hours of the council’s quarterly meeting Thursday in Mobile, Alabama. The approval of the… Continue reading →

Council to decide snapper take Thursday

Advocate file photo -- The Toups family of Geismar, from left, Brandon, Lee and Peyton Toups, show off red snapper they caught in the opening days of the 2013 recreational red snapper season. Just hours after the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved an 11-day 2014 recreational red snapper season in federal waters Thursday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries secretary Robert Barham announced a year-round recreational red snapper catch in state waters.The new season structure will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, April 14. Buy this photo

The fate of Reef Fish Amendment 40, and the 2015 recreational red snapper season in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico,will be decided Thursday, the final day this week’s Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in Mobile, Alabama. “It’s going to be a very close vote,” Camp Matens said Wednesday. Matens, of Baton Rouge,… Continue reading →

Macaluso: It’s time to hit Florida Parishes

It’s highly unusual to see our major rivers rise in October, and the rises in store for the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers will remove some of the better fishing waters from our list of fall’s top can’t-miss freshwater and coastal spots. But that gives us a chance to explore other waters, places like the Florida Parishes’ rivers, the… Continue reading →

Fishing results

S.T.A.R winners Final results from the 2014 CCA Louisiana Statewide Tournament and Anglers’ Rodeo with categories, anglers, their hometowns when available and weights of their catches. Prizes will be awarded Thursday night at Live Oak Arabians in Baton Rouge. A drawing from among the entries were awarded in the Youth Division: Tagged Redfish: Jake Duet, Cut Off. Red Snapper:… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY COASTAL WETLANDS PLANNING, PROTECTION & RESTORATION TASK FORCE MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Corps of Engineers office, 7400 Leake Ave., New Orleans. Call Brad Inman (504) 862-2124. S.T.A.R. BANQUET: 5 p.m., Live Oak Arabians, 6300 Jefferson Hwy., Baton Rouge. Awards for first-place finishers in CCA-Louisiana summer-long Statewide Tournament and Anglers’ Rodeo. Live/silent auction & dinner. Tickets $50. Tables $500. No… Continue reading →

GMFMC could vote to further reduce recreational snapper take

File photoA S.T.A.R. winnerArdent red snapper pursuer John Langlois, kneeling at left, from Baton Rouge will take home the prize package for the 26.14-pound red snapper he caught during the annual Swollfest Rodeo at Grand Isle on the last weekend of the abbreviated nine-day federal Gulf of Mexico red snapper season in early June.  Langlois led the

The big news for Louisiana saltwater fishermen this week is how Reef Fish Amendment 40, the issue of carving out an annual quota for for-hire/charter boat businesses from the annual allowable recreational red snapper take in federal Gulf of Mexico waters. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s agenda calls for “Final Action on Amendment 40… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Amendment No. 8 needs attention

For anyone who casts a line from a boat in our coastal waters, casting a vote for Amendment No. 8 should be a slam dunk come Nov. 4. True, the election is two weeks away and this ballot has bigger fish to fry, but absentee voting begins Tuesday, and the more than a dozen amendments deserve… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

SUNDAY INAUGURAL COLLEGE & HIGH SCHOOL SALTWATER CHAMPIONSHIPS: 2 p.m. weigh-in, Falgout Canal Marina, La. 315, Theriot. TUESDAY LA. HUNTING AND FISHING ADVISORY EDUCATION COUNCIL MEETING: 1:30 p.m., state Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. CHURCH POINT/RAYNE CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER: 6 p.m., Civic Center Ballroom, 401 Gossen Park Drive, Rayne. Call Jarrod Gardiner (337) 344-9640.… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge’s Steve Lessard wins Hobie Fishing World Championship

Photo provided by Hobie KayaksSteve Lessard holds the awards Saturday for catching the biggest fish, a 105 centimeter-long pike, and the award for claiming the title in the three-day 4h Hobie Fishing World Championship held in The Netherlands. The championship field had 47 anglers representing 19 countries.

Steve Lessard departed Baton Rouge early last week, and returned home a week later a world champion. Make that “World Champion kayak angler” after he battled tough conditions on foreign waters, a top-flight, 47-man field from 19 countries and fished for three species he’d never caught. For three days on the Vinkeveen Plassen, a series of three… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY A WILD NIGHT: 7 p.m., Live Oak Arabians, Jefferson Highway. 2014 Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries Foundation fundraiser (Youth Hunter Education Challenge, La. Saltwater Series, Whooping Crane Restoration, etc.) Catered dinner, live/silent auctions. Call LWFF (225) 765-5100. Website: www.lawff.org. MANDEVILLE/COVINGTON CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER: 6 p.m., Castine Center, 63350 Pelican Drive, Mandeville. Call Madison Burris (985) 264-4772 or Paul Myers… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge kayak angler Steve Lessard wins the fourth Hobie Fishing World Championship

Baton Rouge kayak angler Steve Lessard dominated the field for three days and claimed the title 4th Hobie Fishing World Championship that ended Saturday on the Vinkeveen Plassen in The Netherlands. Lessard, a member of the U.S. team, led anglers representing 19 countries for the first two days, then braved a cold front and falling temperatures throughout… Continue reading →

National Weather Service issues boaters, fishermen advisory on rough seas through Wednesday morning

Advocate staff photo by JOE MACALUSODo not disturbThis 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. The program is It is similar to a cooperative survey between LSU and Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists completed last year in Calcasieu Lake. One of the project's aims is to try to determine the migration patterns of trout. Another target is to study the hows and whys Lake Pontchartrain and Calcasieu Lake produce the state's heaviest speckled trout. The buoys receive signals from devices implanted in speckled trout during the fall. Each buoy records the date and time each implanted fish passes each buoy. The biologists are asking that fishermen not disturb these specially marked buoys.

Freshwater and coastal fishermen need to heed the warnings issued Monday by the National Weather Service on a prediction of strong winds and heavy seas both inland, along the coast and offshore waters through Wednesday morning. These rough conditions came prior to and will linger after a cold front that moved through Louisiana during the afternoon hours… Continue reading →

Charterboat captain Charlie Thomason like a fishing professor

Advocate staff photo by JOE MACALUSOCharter captain Charlie Thomason is more at home in his Triton bay boat than anywhere else. He spends days during the fall in the Hopedale marshes pursuing speckled trout and redfish.

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series on fishing the Hopedale marsh with charter captain Charlie Thomason. Get Charlie Thomason started about his chosen fishing country, and you’re in for a treat — and a treatise. Drawing on his LSU coastal environs degree, the veteran charter skipper dissects St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes marshes… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

SUNDAY 25TH WOODEN BOAT FESTIVAL: 10 a.m., Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum & Tchefuncte River, La. 22 at La. 1077, Mandeville. Classic boats, arts, crafts, food & music. Fees $5-$10, no fee for under 12 & active-duty military. Benfeits LPBMM. Call Louise Saenz (985) 845-9200. Website: www.woodenboatfest.org. MONDAY RED STICK FLY FISHERS PROGRAM: 7 p.m., Louisiana Room, Wildlife… Continue reading →

Greg Hackney: First place for nice guy

Photo by SEIGO SALTO/BassmasterGreg Hackney of Gonzales wins the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year on Sept. 22 at the Toyota Bassmaster AOY Championship held on Bays de Noc out of Escanaba, Mich.

Greg Hackney smiles a lot, and has lots more to smile about these days. He talks, and has a lot more to talk about these days. That’s why, a couple of Mondays ago, when this devoted family man from Gonzales was standing on a stage in the far-north town of Escanaba, Michigan, it… Continue reading →

Bass awaken with cooler temps

Photo provided by DAVID CAVELLCalcasieu lunkerBlake Betz was on the Calcasieu River two weeks ago scouting out the waters for the Louisiana Bass Federation's final state-team qualifier for this year when he latched onto this giant 8-pound largemouth. He was 'punching' heavy grassbeds with a black/blue/orange-colored punch skirt on a three-eighths ounce weight with a red/black Missile Baby D soft-plastic bait as a trailer on the lure. Betz, who competes with the Ascension Area Anglers club, didn't find this giant during the two-day event, and finished eighth in the tournament, but his year's totals qualified him second among the 13-angler state team that will complete in the B.A.S.S. Federation's Central Divisional tournament.

The first fundraising bass tournament that fished on the edge of the first big-time cold front of the season showed what most old-time bass fishermen thought it would. Last weekend’s Jacob Dugas Memorial Tournament — it raises money for the local American Cancer Society chapter — produced 47 five-bass limits from among the 75 teams enters in the… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Constant conditions will help fishing

There’s something about constant, consistent conditions that help fishermen target their prospective catches. And that’s what’s ahead this weekend. Last week’s cold front helped to push water lots of water, and there’s nothing like moving water in the fall to spur a freshwater and coastal marshes feeding spree. It seems like fish know… Continue reading →

Outdoor results

CHS Sporting Clays PORT ALLEN — Sunday’s top 3 teams (4 guns) and overall top gunners from the 50-target annual Catholic High Sporting Clays Shoot held at Hunter’s Run Gun Club: Teams: 1, Remi Brown, Don Amedee, George Simon, Jamie Taylor, 187x200. 2, Taylor Newton, David Newton, Chandler Miles, Autley Newton, 181x200. 3, Thomas Sparks, Kraig Peterson, Andre… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY Baton Rouge CHAPTER/DUCKS UNLIMITED Banquet: 6 p.m., Parker Coliseum, Ag Center Drive, LSU, Baton Rouge. Call Grey Hammett (225) 936-2551 or Jonathan Palmer (225) 315-0888. ASCENSION PARISH CHAPTER-DELTA WATERFOWL BANQUET: 6 p.m., Civic Center, 219 S. Irma Avenue, Gonzales. Tickets $25-$60. Tables $500-$600. Call Rickey Johnson (225) 937-3875. E-mail: rajohnson@structural.net.… Continue reading →

Video: Catching redfish and speckled trout in Hopedale

In this edition of "The Advocate: On The Outside," Captain Charlie Thomason explains more about how to catch redfish and speckled trout in the Hopedale and Delacroix marsh with Outdoors Writer Joe Macaluso and Videographer Gary Krouse. Click here to see the video. Continue reading →

Macaluso: Constant conditions will help fishing

There’s something about constant, consistent conditions that help fishermen target their prospective catches. And that’s what’s ahead this weekend. Last week’s cold front helped to push water lots of water, and there’s nothing like moving water in the fall to spur a freshwater and coastal marshes feeding spree. It seems like fish know they need to stock up on… Continue reading →

Charter skippers Charlie Thomason and Greg Boudreaux get results

Advocate staff photo by JOE MACALUSOBayou Charters guide Greg Boudreaux holds a 6-pound redfish he took with a Top Dog topwater lure from a point in the marsh Monday afternoon near Lake John in the Hopedale marsh. Other redfish came on heavy-wire spinnerbaits and the new soft-sided MirrOdine lure.

Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series on fishing the Hopedale marsh with charter captain Charlie Thomason. About 25 years ago, Charlie Thomason’s name kept popping up in weekly fishing reports, and after seeing, and hearing, him for the first time at a seminar, Dizzy Dean’s name came to mind. OK,… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Trout news doesn’t help explain 2014

Knowing all what coastal fishermen went through during the spring and summer, it was good to hear state marine fisheries biologists declare that our speckled trout stocks are, in a word, “healthy.” That news came in a presentation on specks during Thursday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting, and from data compiled since 1985… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

SUNDAY 37TH ANNUAL LOUISIANA WILDFOWL FESTIVAL: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Castine Center, Pelican Park, 63350 Pelican Drive, Mandeville. 1 p.m. auction. Wildlife carving contests of North American species, $40,000 in prize money. 1 p.m. Sunday auction. $5 adults, $1 12-under. Sponsored by La. Wildfowl Carvers & Collectors Guild. Website: www.lwccg.com. TUESDAY PUBLIC OYSTER SEED GROUND PERMIT APPEALS BOARD MEETING:… Continue reading →

Video: "The Advocate: On the Outside" Hope in Hopedale (Part 1)

If you are left scartching your head after looking for redfish and speckled trout during the fall transition, Outdoors Writer, Joe Macaluso and Videographer, Gary Krouse teamed with Capt Charlie Thomason to show that there's "Hope In Hopedale" part one.… Continue reading →

Fisheries scientists report speckled trout populations ‘healthy’

Advocate staff photo by John Ballance Terry St. Cyr from Lafayette shows of a 4 pound 4 ounce trout to go on the leader board with the second and third place in the Speckled category at the International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo.

Through a jumble of technical terms and fish-biology jargon, state marine fisheries scientists told the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission that the state’s speckled trout population is maintaining “healthy” numbers along the Louisiana coast. Using data compiled since 1985, Wildlife and Fisheries’ Marine Section biologist Harry Blanchet said numbers taken from coastal fishermen and LDWF sampling show… Continue reading →

Video: The Advocate On the Outside fishes for redfish in Hopedale

Advocate Outdoors Writer, Joe Macaluso, shows you where you can catch beautiful redfish, two hours from Baton Rouge, and stay in mostly protected waters.… Continue reading →

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 →

Hunting and Fishing Day promises to be full of outdoors activities

Photo provided by JIM BREAUXA winner's big smileWyatt Campbell shows off the bass he caught Saturday during the monthly Junior Southwest Bassmasters of Denham Springs' tournament held out of the Bayou Pigeon Public Landing. The young Baker angler brought in four bass weighing 9.04 pounds to win the 7-10 year-old age group. St. Amant's Braden Blanchard. competing in the 15-19 year-old group, was the overall winner with a five-bass limit weighing 11.53 pounds.

Show up early to beat the crowd and, perhaps, to beat the afternoon rains in Saturday’s forecast because the Waddill Wildlife Education Center is going to be a busy place. It’s Louisiana’s version of National Hunting and Fishing Day, and the last handful of years has produced steady growth in the numbers showing up for the 9 a.m.-3… 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 →