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Comments sought on Amendment 40

Photo provided by SHAUN BERTRANDColby Bertrand strains to hold an amberjack the crew aboard the 24-foot 'Trial Run' estimated to weigh 100 pounds from a mid-January trip with his dad, Shaun, and four other anglers out of Cypress Cove Marina in Venice. The group hauled in four other amberjack, three scamps and several almaco jacks to complete their trip.

Other than conflicts over the federal data on red snapper to include under-reporting of the red snapper population in the Gulf of Mexico and recreational sector overfishing, the only steps taken during the first three days of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in Point Clear, Alabama, was to close the gray triggerfish season Feb.… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY COASTAL WETLANDS PLANNING, PROTECTION & RESTORATION ACT PLANNING TEAM MEETINGS: 8 a.m., Regions I & II, USFWS Southeast Louisiana Refuges Complex, 61389 La. 434, Lacombe. Call Brad Inman (504) 862-2124. NEW ORLEANS FLY FISHERS MEETING: 7:00 p.m., last Thursday montly through November, Whitney Bank, 1441 Metairie Rd., New Orleans. Call Sean Gilthorpe (504) 259-2329. SATURDAY ORVIS FLY TYING… Continue reading →

Fishing results

Junior SW Bassmasters Results from the Jan. 18 Junior Southwest Bassmasters-Denham Springs tournament with age groups, anglers, their hometowns, number of bass weighed in parentheses (5-bass limit) and total catch weight in pounds. Also age-group big bass winners: 15-18 Age Group: 1, Cade Fortenberry, Praireville (4) 5.52 pounds. 2, Braden Blanchard, St. Amant (3) 4.35. 3,… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Cold fronts, wind shifts and big changes for fishing

Cold front Tuesday. Cold front Thursday. Cold front Sunday. Add in winds that will circle the compass during the next four days and rain coming in late Saturday and lingering into Sunday, and there’s no way south Louisiana fishermen can come close to having a clear look at what they will face into… Continue reading →

Feds expected to up snapper count

Advocate staff photo by JOE MACALUSOA must-have for outdoorsmenKelly Haydel found a useful product for all outdoorsmen and showed it Wednesday at this year's Shooting, Hunting and Outdoors Trade Show. It's a Ray-o-Vac power supply for a cellular device. It holds four AA batteries and, when plugged into a cell phone, provided as much as four hours of power.

With the 17-member Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council set to meet this week in Point Clear, Alabama, word from a handful of council members and council watchers is that the federal fisheries managers will reveal shortcomings in red snapper stock assessments. For at least a decade, fisheries biologists from the five Gulf states and several universities… Continue reading →

Joe Macaluso: BRAF to outline lakes’ future

There’s enough urban sprawl across our landscape that demands we pay attention to maintaining and optimizing our urban parks. Baton Rouge and New Orleans have theirs. Both name them “City Parks,” and the Crescent City has an equally valuable resource in Audubon Park’s uptown acres. Anyone who’s ever walked, jogged and… Continue reading →

Outdoors Calendar for Sunday, Jan. 25

Advocate staff photo by JOE MACALUSOA James River Armory display at last week's Shooting, Hunting and Outdoors Trade Show is of reconditioned M1 Garands and M14 rifles the James River staff has taken from U.S. military weapons no longer in servicemen's hands. The two reconditioned Garands shown at the top of the photo have been outfitted with scopes. Shooting enthusiasts can attend Saturday's M1 Garand Clinic at the Southwest Mississippi Gun Club near McComb, Mississippi. Successfully completing the clinic, which includes live-fire of the Garand comes with the option to purchase this World War II classic rifle from the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

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 nonmembers, $5 juniors. $15 annual Civilian Marksmanship Program membership. MONDAY RED STICK FLY FISHERS FLY-TYING SESSION: 7 p.m., Cabela’s, Gonzales. Call Pete Bongiovanni (225)313-3813 . Website: www.rsff.org.… Continue reading →

Cold-water fishing means changing tactics

Photo provided by LOUISIANA OUTDOOR WRITERS ASSOCIATIONA record catchDaniel Landry shows off the 2.62-pound white crappie, one of two species of sac-a-lait in Louisiana waters. Landry's catch landed a spot in the State Top 10 Fish Records. Most freshwater species are heaviest during the next three months, and most weights among the state records in species like largemouth bass, spotted bass, white and black sac-a-lait, bluegill, redear sunfish (chinquapin) and warmouth (goggle-eye) show up in the state records during January, February and March. Complete state fish records and record-fish applications are available on the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association website: www.laoutdoorwriters.com/records.

Fishing Louisiana in winter has fans across the country. There are few places that afford anglers the chance to take liberal limits of five redfish and 25 speckled trout — OK, 15 trout in the Calcasieu Lake area — and have chance to catch bass in the same area. That holds for several spots along the coast: spots like… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

SATURDAY CENLA FLY FISHING FESTIVAL: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Kees Park Civic Center, 2450 La. 28, Pineville. Free. Fly fishing programs, tying demos, exhibitors, casting clinics. Sponsored by Kisatchie Fly Fishers. Call Glen Cormier (318) 937-5855. Website: www.kisatchiefly.org. FLY TYING AT BASS PRO SHOPS: 9:30 a.m.-noon, Conference Room, Bass Pro, Denham Springs. Call Ron Brooks (225) 271-3100. ORVIS… Continue reading →

Changes may help duck hunters

Photo provided by RANDY BARKSDALECollin Harris, left, was hunting with his dad, Bryan, in the marshes bordering the lower reaches of Calcasieu Lake in Cameron Parish in the state's Coastal Waterfowl Zone. The 9-year-old hunter was in on bagging a mixed bag of mallards, pintails, gray ducks and shovelers. The West Waterfowl Zone closes Sunday, while the 60-day Coastal and East Waterfowl zones seasons runs their courses Sunday, Jan. 25.

There are only seven more sunrises in this next in a line of 60-day duck seasons, and that’s only if you’re in the state’s Coastal and East zones. The West Zone is closed Monday. If you’ve been fortunate enough to have ducks this season, and there are some among us who haven’t, then you might consider some… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Will new Congress take stance?

Unless and until Congress changes the Magnuson-Stevens Fish Conservation and Management Act, the federal mandate with a long name, Gulf of Mexico recreational fishermen will continue to have their pockets picked. That’s because when it comes to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s management tactics and schemes, recreational fishermen have suffered far… Continue reading →

Outdoors Calendar

MONDAY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES FEE-FREE DAYS: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-managed refuges. Fee waiver does not cover concessionaire/license fees. 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 SPACE COAST BIRDING AND WILDLIFE FESTIVAL: Through… Continue reading →

Snapper tops Gulf Council agenda

Red snapper issues top the agenda for the Jan. 26-29 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting set for the Marriott Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama. The council’s Data Collection Committee will convene at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 26 to discuss reporting for the new charter boat reporting system for red snapper, and the Reef Fish Management Committee… Continue reading →

Ground attack often works best for post-rut bucks

Photo provided by BARRY JOFFRIONAtchafalaya trophyGabrielle Joffrion took this giant 8-point buck on a hunt with her dad, Barry, right, in the Atchafalaya Basin. Taking to a stand in the northern reaches of the nation's largest overflow swamp, the young huntress was fortunate to find the deer moving during the peak of rutting period. The modern firearms season ends Sunday in this area with a Jan. 19-31 primitive weapons season follows. The archery season in State Area 6 runs through Feb. 15.

With the primary rut over, it might be time to change tactics to finish the modern and primitive firearms season.… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Weekend to bring much-needed sunshine

We need sunshine! And south wind. And the biggest news for the coming weekend is a Saturday that holds the promise to reverse the gloom and doom of the past two weeks. Patience will be your best asset: Finding redfish has not been a big problem in the coastal marshes, and freshwater folks are finding enough sac-a-lait around deep… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY BAYOU COAST KAYAK FISHING CLUB MEETING: 7 p.m., Conference Room, Cabelas, Gonzales. Call (225) 743-3400. Website: www.bckfc.org. saturDAY JUNIOR SOUTHWEST BASSMASTERS-DENHAM SPRINGS BASS TOURNAMENT: Site TBA. First in 11 tournament series. Boys & girls ages 7-18 in 7-10, 11-14, 15-18 age groups with parents or guardian. Call Jim Breaux (225) 262-0929/(225) 772-3026. MINIMALIST CHALLENGE VII KAYAK FISHING TOURNAMENT:… Continue reading →

Outdoors notebook: LDWF seeking comments on proposed season dates

Photo provided by MARK SPARACINOPublic lands successVeteran outdoorsman Paul Sparacino shows off the 7-point, 180-pound buck he took during the last days of 2014 on the Richard Yancey Wildlife Management Area in Corcordia Parish. Sparacino said the bucks were in the prime of the rut and this buck responded to a grunt call.

A series of public hearings has been set to accept comments on the proposed resident-game seasons outlined during Thursday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting. The good news for south Louisiana deer hunters is there are no proposed changes in their 2015-2016 season dates. That can also be bad news, especially if there was, and is, dissatisfaction with the… Continue reading →

Proposed hunting dates

Proposed Louisiana resident-game 2015-2016 hunting dates on private lands from the format outlined Thursday by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Wildlife Division. Dates are for Archery, Primitive Firearms and Modern Firearms’ still-hunt and with or without dogs deer seasons without regard to bucks-only nor either-sex hunts, along with squirrel, rabbit and quail seasons. The dates for squirrel,… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar for Jan. 11

THURSDAY BAYOU COAST KAYAK FISHING CLUB MEETING: 7 p.m., Conference Room, Cabelas, Gonzales. Call (225) 743-3400. Website: www.bckfc.org. SATURDAY JUNIOR SOUTHWEST BASSMASTERS-DENHAM SPRINGS BASS TOURNAMENT: Site TBA. First in 11 tournament series. Boys & girls ages 7-18 in 7-10, 11-14, 15-18 age groups with parents or guardian. Call Jim Breaux (225) 262-0929/(225)… Continue reading →

No major changes for hunting seasons

The best news for resident-game hunters for the 2015-16 seasons is there’s no news, at least no big news for south Louisiana lands. When biologist Steve Smith presented the state’s Wildlife Division’s proposals for the next seasons on deer, squirrel, rabbits and quail during Thursday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting, the hefty list of seasons and regulations… Continue reading →

Legendary lure maker Carl "Cotton" Cordell passes away at 86

. The man who introduced "alphabet" lures to the world of bass fishing passed away Thrusday in Hot Spring, Ark. Carl "Cotton" Cordell, who manufactured the "Big O" plastic crankbait among many other now famous hard-plastic lures, was 86. A biography published when Cordell was inducted into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame… Continue reading →

Arctic front set to push more waterfowl our way

Photo provided by STEVE MONTZOne for the wallRiverside Academy sixth-grader Braedon Montz six shows off the 8-point buck he took in in the days leading up to the Christmas holidays. The 12-year-old's first buck weighed out at 205 pounds and was the highlight of the hunting season for the young hunter.He took the trophy with a shot from his 7mm.08 rifle near Greensburg.

Wind chills in the single digits won’t last long, not where most of us south Louisianans live. But if there’s something else we can bet on, it’s that when those conditions invade our otherwise more than bearable winter climes, it’s that ducks by the thousands punch their tickets for our coastal marshes when Arctic cold penetrates as far south… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Staying home solid option this week

Wind, bone-chilling cold and the chance for freezing rain Friday are made for duck hunting, not fishing. There’s little need for an extensive weather forecast, only to know that we’re looking at 15-25 knot northerly winds coming behind the Arctic cold front that has settled in over south Louisiana with rain returning Sunday,… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY LOUISIANA WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Louisiana Room, state Wildlife & Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. Main agenda item proposed 2015-2016 resident-game hunting seasons. JUNIOR SOUTHWEST BASSMASTERS-DENHAM SPRINGS BASS MEETING: 7 p.m., Bass Pro Shops, Denham Springs. Call Jim Breaux (225) 262-0929/(225) 772-3026. SATURDAY FLY TYING CLASS: 9 a.m.-noon, Ascension Parish Library, 708 S. Irma… Continue reading →

2015 hunting dates

DEER/MODERN FIREARMS: Through Jan. 4, State Deer Area 1, with/without dogs, either-sex take allowed. DEER/MODERN FIREARMS: Through Jan. 4, State Deer Area 4, with/without dogs, bucks only, except either-sex take allowed Jan. 4. DEER/MODERN FIREARMS: Through Jan. 4, State Deer Area 7, with/without dogs, bucks only. DEER/MODERN FIREARMS: Jan. 5-18, State Deer Area 1, still hunt only, either-sex take… Continue reading →

2015 Outdoors calendar

Photo by SEIGO SALTO/B.A.S.S. -- Greg Hackney from Gonzales became the first Louisiana bass fisherman to win the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title during the Bassmaster 2014 national tournament tour. Along with Pierre Part national touring pro Cliff Crochet and Brett Preuett, the Carhartt College Series Classic qualifier from the University of Louisiana-Monroe, Hackney is headed for the Bassmaster Classic set for South Carolina's Lake Hartwell in late February.

Events for this calendar are provided by associations, organizations and governmental agencies. THURSDAY LOUISIANA WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Louisiana Room, state Wildlife & Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. Main agenda item proposed 2015-2016 resident-game hunting seasons. Other meeting dates scheduled: Feb. 5, March 5, April 2. FAMILY EVENTS JAN. 19 — NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES FEE-FREE… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Wind, rain bodes ill for fishing weekend

About the only offering we can make heading into this first of 2015’s weekends is a prayer that these next few days will be the worst among this year’s next 51 Saturdays and Sundays. Unless you find sheltered waters, and they’ll have to be very sheltered, the coming days likely will be best… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

TUESDAY ACADIANA FLY RODDERS PROGRAM: 6:30 p.m., Grace Presbyterian Church Hall, 415 Roselawn, Lafayette. Call Richard Latiolais, (337) 354-8957. WEDNESDAY PONTCHARTRAIN BASIN FLY FISHERS MEETING: 6:30 p.m., Beach House Grill, 124 Girod St., Mandeville. Call Corey Tohme, (985) 624-9331. Website: pbasinflyfishers.blogspot.com. THURSDAY, JAN. 8 LOUISIANA WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Louisiana Room, state Wildlife & Fisheries… Continue reading →

Front to boost duck, deer hunting

Photo provided by DANA WESTMORELANDMeredith Schmitt, 10, show off a 7-point, 185-pound buck she took on a hunt with her dad, George, and uncle Jerry Schmitt near their uncle's hunting club in Addis. Despite the weekend rain, the final holiday week of the year holds promise for south Louisiana whitetail hunters. The rut is on in most areas near the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers, and bucks are chasing does during this peak of the breeding season.

Hunters and fishermen have lots on their plates for the final days of 2014. Early news from state waterfowl biologists is that the mid-December aerial survey of the coastal marshes and the interior lakes, swamps and ag fields in the state’s East Zone is equal to the millions of ducks counted in November, and far above… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

HUNTING SEASONS NOTE: Consult the 2014-2015 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet for complete seasons/regulations on private, state and federal lands. DEER/MODERN FIREARMS: Through Jan. 4, State Deer Area 1, with/without dogs, either-sex take allowed. DEER/MODERN FIREARMS: Through Jan. 4, State Deer Area 4, with/without dogs, bucks only, except either-sex take allowed Dec. 28, Jan. 3-4. DEER/MODERN FIREARMS: Through Jan. 4,… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Snapper, weather top stories in 2014

The custom for the last Sunday of the year is to attempt to figure out where we are today compared to where we were 362 days ago and put it in a neat package — and 2014 ain’t that easy. Once again, the top outdoors story is the continuing battle over red snapper.… Continue reading →

Notebook: Hunters for the Hungry can use deer, fish donations

Photo provided by SAM BARBERA -- Former LSU baseball player Justin Bowles holds a five-pound speckled trout he took last week on a Lake Pontchartrain trip to The Causeway with San Barbera. The two fishermen took their 25-per-man limits on 'opening night

There’s a line in an old prayer to St. Francis that reads, “It is in giving that we receive.” Those words have driven, at least in part during the past 20 years, Hunters for the Hungry efforts to share food with the less fortunate first in the Baton Rouge area and now in communities across our state. The annual… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Hearings offer a ray of hope

Merry Christmas. This wish comes with the hope that this Christmas, and the outdoors adventures that surround this best of all holidays, are the most productive and safest for you and your families. This wish also comes with the hope that some semblance of common sense invades the multi-tiered federal… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

HUNTING SEASONS NOTE: Consult the 2014-2015 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet for complete seasons/regulations on private, state and federal lands. DEER/MODERN FIREARMS: Through Jan. 4, State Deer Area 1, with/without dogs, either-sex take allowed. DEER/MODERN FIREARMS: Through Jan. 4, State Deer Area 4, with/without dogs, bucks only, except either-sex take allowed Dec. 21, Dec. 27-28, Jan. 3-4. DEER/MODERN FIREARMS: Through… Continue reading →

No-fee boat launch opens in Leeville

Photo provided by JIM BREAUX The year's Big Kahuna Alex Heintze shows off the year's heaviest bass among the age-group winners in this year's Junior Southwest Bassmasters of Denham Springs. This 5.64 pounder earned him the award at the club's annual awards fete held last week at Bass Pro Shops. Heintze also earned the King Fishermen title in the 15-18 year-old age group, an honor shared with Justin Watts from Denham Springs in the 11-14 age group and Wyatt Campbell among the 7-10 year olds competing in the club's monthly tournaments with their dads and other adult anglers.

There’s good news for the folks who like to fish Leeville-area waters. Janet Rhodus sent word that the Leeville boat and kayak launch is open with two slips for boats and two spots to launch kayaks. There’s room for 60 vehicles/trailers and she said “tons of extras.” There’s also a fishing pier for handicapped anglers. The best part is… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY Louisiana Oyster Task Force Special Meeting: 1 p.m., Suite 210, UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans. Main item: proposed oyster lease moratorium legislation. HUNTING SEASONS NOTE: Consult the 2014-2015 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet for complete seas ons/regulations on private, state and federal lands. WOODCOCK: Dec. 18-Jan. 31, statewide. GEESE/CONSERVATION ORDER/COASTAL & WEST ZONES: Through Dec.… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Trout here to stay in marshes

When an avid trout fisherman says he’s got more specks than he knows what to do with, you’ve got to take that report seriously. Those words came Tuesday morning: They came from a kayak fisherman working “skinny” waters on the west side of Galliano. For powerboat folks who can’t… Continue reading →

Rut appears ‘on’ in southeast parishes

Photo provided by MIKE GRACENo missing this timeAmanda Grace lived this year knowing she missed a chance at taking her first-ever deer, a big 8-point buck, during the 2013-2014 whitetail season, but she didn't miss earlier this month when she took her first deer, a doe, that ambled within range while she was hunting with her dad, Mike. The weekend also produced a first-ever whitetail for her nephew, Cayden. Cooler conditions and bucks showing the initial signs of the rutting season in the southeastern parishes should provide hunters with better-than-average hunting conditions through the rest of the month.

His phone call came with all the usual angst of a pensive deer hunter. “Where are the deer?” It’s not that Jimmy Robinson wanted for action. He’d already taken a bucks and doe in the during the early November chill that swept across southeast Louisiana. But the days after Thanksgiving had become his can’t-miss time, a… Continue reading →

Macaluso: A small win for sportsmen last week

Precisely at a time when fish are biting across the coast, it’s good news Congress made is clear last week they’re not going to side with environmental groups when it comes to eliminating lead from fishing tackle and ammunition. In Tuesday’s debate on the omnibus federal spending bill, a majority in the House… Continue reading →

calendar

Joe Young, of Centre Hall, Pa., walks to his hunting spot at Rothrock State Forest  in Huntingdon, Pa, on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014.  Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania hunters began tramping into the woods this week for the first day of the state's major deer hunting season. (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark ) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT

Calendar deadline Friday, Dec. 26 is the deadline for submitting activities and events for The Advocate’s Outdoors 2015 Calendar scheduled to be published Sunday, Jan. 4, 2014. 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… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

MONDAY RED STICK FLY FISHERS FLY-TYING SESSION: 7 p.m., Orvis Shop, 7601 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge. Call Pete Bongiovanni (225)313-3813 . Website: www.rsff.org. HUNTING SEASONS NOTE: Consult the 2014-2015 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet for complete seasons/regulations on private, state and federal lands. SNIPE/WEST ZONE: Second split, through Dec. 14. DUCKS/WEst ZONE: Through Dec. 14, first split. BLUE, SNOW,… Continue reading →

Calendar deadline set

Calendar deadline Friday, Dec. 26 is the deadline for submitting activities and events for The Advocate’s Outdoors 2015 Calendar scheduled to be published Sunday, Jan. 4, 2014. 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… Continue reading →