Outdoors Blog



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 →

Ava Lemoine among big winners in Youth Journalism Contest

Photo provided by Louisiana Outdoor Writers AssociationThis photo of fishermen on a pier at dusk captured by Ava Lemoine was judged first place in this year's Youth Jourmalism Contest.. Lemoine, a 9-year-old St. Aloysius Catholic School student from Baton Rouge, finished third in the 2013 contest's Photo Category. Lemoine, along with four other young photographers and five young writers each in Senior Essay and Junior Essay categories, were honored Saturday night in Houma during the annual Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association awards banquet. The three divisions attracted more than 70 entries from all corners of the state. Louisiana members of Safari Club International, The Advocate and LOWA sponsored the long-standing annual youth writing/photography contest.

After successive top finishes, 9-year-old Ava Lemoine has established her name among the top young south Louisiana photographers. The St. Aloysius Elementary student placed among the top five in the judging for 2012 and 2013 statewide Youth Journalism contests and backed that up with the winning entry in this year’s YJC with a photograph of fishermen… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Losing an old friend, The Picketts

HOUMA While other Central Coast speckled trout fishermen have struggled with day-to-day catches, the folks working Terrebonne Parish’s coastal waters have come through this summer with many fewer complaints. It’s not that the recreational and charterboats are loading the boat with limits every day. We didn’t limit-out Friday,… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

SUNDAY HERCULES FESTIVAL ON THE BAYOU & FISHING RODEO: Final day, Agriculture pavilion, LA Airbase, Houma. BASSMASTER ELITE SERIES: Final day, Delaware River, Philadelphia. Seventh in 8-tournament series to determine 2015 Bassmaster Classic qualifiers. Website: www.bassmaster.com. MONDAY RED STICK FLY FISHERS PROGRAM: 7 p.m., Louisiana Room, Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. Call Greg Brignac (225)… Continue reading →

Commercial, recreational activities covered on LWFC agenda

Thursday’s Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission agenda ran the gamut of the state’s commercial and recreational activities, and it included shrimp, oysters, fish and waterfowl. The first two dominated the commercial side, and the last, focusing on the 2014-2015 duck and goose seasons, broke with tradition when the commission voted in the latest opening day for Coastal Zone… Continue reading →

Redfish plentiful along Louisiana coast

Photo provided by Stephanie ChenierCorsentino's 'toothy' rodeo recordDylan Corsentino holds his rodeo-record 49-pound, 14-ounce barracuda he caught during last weekend's 64th-annual Terrebonne Sportsman's League Rodeo held out of the East Park Recreation Center near Houma. The 20-year-old LSU student from Baton Rouge also took first place with a 49-10 king mackerel. When those two catches were combined with his first places in grouper and mangrove snapper and other spots among the top three in amberjack, bonito, jack crevalle and cobia, Corsentino earned the rodeo's Best Offshore Fisherman award. He reported catching the barracuda at a rig in the South Timbalier Block 164 area. If approved, the barracuda will stand second in the State top 10 Fish Records List. Corsentino was fishing with Taylor Hancock, David Martin and Dale Bergeron Jr.

The folks who target redfish aren’t moaning and groaning about the lack of action this summer like what’s heard from the speckled trout fishermen across the eastern half of the state’s coast. That’s because it’s apparent there are enough redfish more than willing to chase anything and most everything fishermen are throwing at them. Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Rivers fall, action up in Spillway

And the beat goes on for frustrated speckled trout hunters at the same time freshwater fishermen are reveling over the dramatic falls in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers. Terrebonne Parish waters hold the only consistent trout reports this summer, and the only place where soft-plastic artificials are attracting strikes, but even in places… Continue reading →

Fishing results

IFA Redfish Tour LAFITTE — Saturday’s top 10 teams from the final regular-season IFA Redfish Tour-Louisiana Division event with team members, the total weight of their two-redfish catch in pounds (redfish measuring 16-inches long but less than 27 inches long) and prize winnings for the top three teams: 1, Scott Ritter-Bobby Abruscato, 18.65 pounds, $29,414 plus $2,680 Anglers Advantage.… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

LOUISIANA WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Louisiana Room, state Wildlife & Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. Main agenda item setting 2014-2015 waterfowl seasons. CCA WESTSIDE CHAPTER BANQUET: 5:30 p.m., Grant Civic Center, 24700 J. Gerald Berret Blvd., Plaquemine. Dinner, live/silent auctions, 1-year CCA membership & special $100/ticket 22-foot bay boat raffle.… Continue reading →

Weigh-in location moved for tournament

Weigh-in location moved for tournament The launching/weigh-in location for the long-standing Friday Night Cookie Jar Bass tournament has moved to the SandBar Landing, 6716 False River Road in Oscar. The weekly event had been held at the Morrison Parkway Public Launch in New Roads for the past 10 years. Hours are 7 p.m. to midnight every Friday night through… Continue reading →

Areas closed to fishing set to reopen Monday

Photo provided by BRAD ZITOWhat a haulParker Zito is all smiles after spending a day on the water with his dad, Brad, and longtime fishing friend David Olinde. 'We finally found some big fish (speckled trout),' Brad Zito said. 'On the first day of the (late-June) Catholic High (alumni) Rodeo, we managed only one trout.' This trip turned the tide for these anglers, but shows the ups and downs, the one-day-bad and the one-day-good scenario most trout fishermen are suffering through during this summer along the Louisiana coast.

After more than four years of waiting for the waters to clear, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced late last week that some areas closed to commercial fishing and some recreational activities will reopen one-half hour before sunrise Monday. These areas were closed in June 2010 when the BP-Deepwater Horizon well continued to spew oil into the… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Red snapper move gets panel’s ‘no’

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s Reef Fish and Red Snapper Advisory panels met last week in Tampa, Fla. Word from the Red Snapper Panel’s meeting was the committee voted 6-5 against Reef Fish Amendment 40, the council’s move that would separate the recreational red snapper fishery into private and for-hire sectors.… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

SUNDAY JUNIOR CHOUPIQUE RODEO: 9 a.m.-noon, St. James Boat Club, U.S. 61 at Blind River. Kids up to 15 eligible. Registration 25 cents. Fishing from the bank only. Largest fish & most fish categories. Door prizes. Parent/guardian must accompany children. Call Boat Club (225) 869-8966 or Craig Calcagno (225) 206-2476. IFA KAYAK TOUR/LOUISIANA: 3 p.m. check-in, Team Lafitte… Continue reading →

Youth, experience winning combo at Faux Pas Rodeo

Photo provided by GAYLE RHODEThese eight fishermen, from left, Rafe Guidry, Geoffrey Rhode, Scott Leger, Rene Luminais, Hunter Caballero, Josh Bodenheimer, Brittin Eustis and Woody Reilly, formed the Paradise Outfitters team that swept the Offshore Division in last weekend's 16th annual Faux Pas Lodge with this giant 140.3-pound yellowfin tuna. This catch took the Tuna category and the Tuna  Calcutta, and anchored their win in the Offshore Grand Slam Calcutta, which is a combined weight of tuna, wahoo and bull dolphin catches during the rodeo's three-day run out of Venice Marina. Paradise Outfitters' combined weight was 171.3 pounds, just ahead of the Supreme Automotive team's 164.4 total pounds for the three species.

What happens when you put three young, but experienced charter captains with five young anglers whose enthusiasm comes up just short of measuring on a Richter Scale? You win the Offshore Calcutta in the 16th annual Faux Pas Lodge Rodeo. That happened Saturday when Paradise Outfitters skippers Hunter Caballero and Scott Leger teams with fellow deep-sea… Continue reading →

Cold fronts in July? Bring ’em on

What can you say about a summer when a morning in late July feels like late September? Nothing except, “Bring it on!” We can expect a couple more cool mornings ahead, because another cold front is pushing its way through to the coast. This one is predicted to stall, and that pushes up… Continue reading →

Fishing results

Faux Pas Lodge VENICE — Saturday’s final leaderboard from the 16th annual Faux Pas Lodge Rodeo with categories, team names and weight of catch in pounds: Inshore Division Redfish: 1, Cajun Militia, 9.2 pounds. 2, Titos, 8.52. 3, Decoy Outdoors, 8.45. Trout: 1, Big Clown, 6.65. 2, Big Clown, 6.15. 3, Phinns & Pheathers, 6.05. Flounder: 1,… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

thursday-saturday BASSMASTER NORTHERN OPEN: Lake Champlain, Plattsburgh, N.Y. Last in 3-tournament series to qualify winners for 2015 Bassmaster Classic. Website: www.bassmaster.com. FRIDAY FRIDAY NIGHT COOKIE JAR BASS TOURNAMENT: 7 p.m.-midnight, Morrison Parkway public landing, False River, New Roads. Fee $30/boat. Friday nights through Sept. 15. Call Guy Perkins (225) 293-3402. SATURDAY EASL’s 54th Kids Fishing Rodeo: 6:30 a.m.… Continue reading →

Tarpons plentiful at Grand Isle

Advocate staff photo by John Ballance -- Arthur Cook Jr., of Lake Charles, shows off his red snapper weighing 15 pounds, 6 ounces takes second place Saturday at International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo.

GRAND ISLE — There are as many ways to celebrate the three days of the International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo as there are fishermen who annually enter the country’s oldest continuous saltwater fishing event. That’s about 1,200 this year. Despite a spectacular run on tarpon — there were 10 caught over the… Continue reading →

Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo Report

Advocate staff photo by John BallanceThe tails of the five redfish in the record-setting stringer caught by Jerry Larpenter.

GRAND ISLE — Saturday’s final leaderboard from the three-day 94th-annual Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo with categories, anglers, their hometowns (when available; boat name in the Tag & Release divisions) and weight of catch in pounds and ounces (the Redfish Stringer category is the total weight of five redfish measuring less than 27 inches long but longer than 16… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Aug. 18 big day for fishermen

Aug. 18 is just another day among the 365 for this year. . Just another day. Right? Not if you’re among the tens of thousands of Louisiana’s saltwater fishermen. You need to mark this day on your calendar, because folks from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management… Continue reading →


LOUISIANA OUTDOOR EXPO: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Cajundome & Convention Center, Lafayette. Tickets $8 & $11.50. www.laoutdoorsexpo.com. RED STICK FLY FISHERS FLY-TYING SESSION: 7 p.m., Conference Room, Cabela’s, Gonzales. Monthly event. Call Pete Bongiovanni (225)313-3813 . Website: www.rsff.org.… Continue reading →

Driving Grand Isle

The Advocate’s outdoors sportswriter Joe Macaluso and photo editor John Ballance were in Grand Isle for the annual Tarpon Rodeo. While there, they took a driving tour of the island.… Continue reading →

Big catches highlight second day of Grand Isle rodeo

Advocate staff photo by John Ballance  --  James Holt from Morgan City shows off the business end of a 29-pound barracuda, that took over first place in the category during Saturday's second day of the 2014 International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo.

GRAND ISLE —Grant Lynch is accustomed to seeing side-by-side racing in what he does to make a living. But side-by-side tarpon turned out to be one of life’s great treasures Thursday. Lynch is the chairman of International Speedway Corp., the operators of the Talladega Motor Speedway, and he traveled from his Alabama home earlier this week… Continue reading →

Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo report

Advocate staff photo by John BallanceCharles Blair of Baton Rouge, Stephen Guillot of Orlando, Florida, and Lee Bollinger of Lockport pose with three black drum caught in the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo.Two of the three fish made the leaderboard, taking first and second.

GRAND ISLE — Friday’s second-day leaderboard from the three-day 94th-annual Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo with categories, anglers, their hometowns (when available; boat name in the Tag & Release divisions) and weight of catch in pounds and ounces (the Redfish Stringer category is the total weight of five redfish measuring less than 27 inches long but longer than 16… Continue reading →

Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo continues

The Advocate’s Joe Macaluso reports from Grand Isle where the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo is underway. Today saw beautiful weather for the fishermen participating in the event, a sharp contrast to the rain and squalls on the first day.… Continue reading →

Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo report

Advocate staff photo by John BallanceKim Day of Denham Springs, left, and Stephen Collins of New Roads strain under the weight of a first-place yellowfin tuna, a first-place blackfin tuna and a first-place barracuda during the first day of the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo on Thursday.

GRAND ISLE — Thursday’s first-day results from the three-day 94th-annual Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo with categories, anglers, their hometowns (when available) and weight of catch in pounds and ounces (Redfish Stringer category is the total weight of five redfish measuring at least 16 inches but less than 27 inches):… Continue reading →

Cheramie leads Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo after first day

Advocate staff photo by John Ballance  --  Grand Isle International Tarpon Rodeo's 1st tarpon weighted in at 99 lbs 6ozs caught by Kurt Cheramie of  Houma Louisiana. Cheramie's son Corey caught the biggest tarpon in the 2013 Grand Isle International Tarpon Rodeo

GRAND ISLE – It took a well-known boat in the south Louisiana tarpon fleet to save an otherwise stormy first day of the 2014 International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo. And they did it for the second year in a row. Kurt Cheramie, aboard the Rock-n-Roll, the boat owned by brothers John and Jeff DeBlieux, brought in… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Favorable tides ahead on new moon

Welcome the month’s new moon Saturday with all the good that it means for catches along the coast and the interior freshwater areas. This moon phase is one of the most productive; it brings strong tides, and that means more baitfish movement and longer periods when predator fish will be actively feeding.… Continue reading →

Video: Chasing Yellowfin Tuna

In this edition of "On The Outside" Outdoors Writer , Joe Macaluso and Advocate videographer , Gary Krouse chase Yellowfin Tuna, in the Gulf of Mexico, with Capt Peace Marvel and members of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership… Continue reading →