Outdoors Blog



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 →

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 →