Outdoors Blog



Video: No Fourth of July is complete without the annual Golden Meadow-Fourchon Tarpon Rodeo

In this edition of “The Advocate: On The Outside,” outdoors writer Joe Macaluso talks to some of the major players involved in the 67th annual Golden Meadow-Fourchon Tarpon Rodeo.… Continue reading →

J.J. Tabor’s massive grouper — 206 pounds, 3 ounces — steals the show at Golden Meadow-Fourchon Tarpon Rodeo

PORT FOURCHON — Saturday’s final hours of the 67th annual Golden Meadow-Fourchon Tarpon Rodeo were filled with loads of “oohs” and “aahs.” The first “oohs” came when Zachary’s Gidion Roark hefted a yellowfin tuna onto the scales for weighmaster Marty Bourgeois, who boldly proclaimed the bluewater catch’s weight at 107 pounds, 2 ounces. It… Continue reading →

Strong survey means another liberal season for waterfowlers

Advocate file photo by JOE MACALUSOAmidst a flock of blackbirds are as many as 20 teal taking flight from a pond in the Cameron Parish marshes during a past special September teal season. Louisiana hunters will get another in a long line of 16-day teal season this year running statewide from Sept. 12-27.

Coincidence, maybe, but the stars aligned for ducks hunters Thursday, especially those who can’t wait for September’s special teal season, and for the remainder of the more than 100,000 of Louisiana’s wild waterfowlers. Almost at the same time Thursday morning, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved the 16-day September dates — Sept. 12-27 — and the U.S. Fish… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

TUESDAY ACADIANA FLY RODDERS PROGRAM: 6:30 p.m., first Tuesday monthly, Grace Presbyterian Church Hall, 415 Roselawn, Lafayette. Call Richard Latiolais (337) 354-8957. THURSDAY JUNIOR SOUTHWEST BASSMASTERS-DENHAM SPRINGS BASS MEETING: 7 p.m., Bass Pro Shops, Denham Springs. Call Jim Breaux (225) 262-0929/(225) 772-3026. FRIDAY FRIDAY NIGHT COOKIE JAR BASS TOURNAMENT: 7 p.m.-midnight, La. Express Landing, False River (south end),… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Settlement is just the beginning

Happy Fourth! We Louisianians can celebrate even more now that billions will come from the settlement of the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. Don’t mistake Thursday’s announcement to mean this is the end of the tragic consequences from the months when that well gushed millions of gallons of crude oil into… Continue reading →

Not much change for fall wing shooters

The good news for Louisiana wing shooters is there will be no changes, other than calendar adjustments, for the upcoming special September teal season and dove-hunting dates and bag limits. During Thursday’s meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved another in a long line of 16-day September teal seasons, and, for the second year, a 90-day dove… Continue reading →

Wildlife and Fisheries sets Louisiana teal, dove seasons

Louisiana hunters will have another 16-day special September teal season and, for the second year, a 90-day dove season this year after the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved dates and bag limits at its meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge.
With continental teal numbers estimated to be more than 4.7 million, the floor for a "liberal" 16-day special teal… Continue reading →

A sneak peek into July’s action: Specks thin out; redfish everywhere

Old-timers think of the Fourth of July holiday as the early break in Louisiana’s summer. Ask young families about our nation’s grandest celebration and you find out it’s summer’s midway point, about halfway between the end of one school term and the start of another. It’s also a time when the state’s coastal charter skippers start… 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: dove & teal seasons; proposed 2015-2016 waterfowl seasons. THURSDAY-SATURDAY 67th annual GOLDEN MEADOW-FOURCHON TARPON RODEO: Moran’s Marina, Fourchon Road, Port Fourchon. Tickets $35 adults, $20 children/ages 4-12. Included Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. King of the Catch… Continue reading →

Fishing results

BELLE RIVER — Saturday’s top 10 teams from the Junior Southwest Bassmaster fundraising bass tournament with anglers, number of bass weighed in parentheses (5-bass limit), total catch weight, winnings and big-bass winners: Top 10: 1, Gary Haney-Todd Campbell (5) 21.42 pounds, $800. 2, Chase Martinez-Toby Bouchereau (5) 13.51, $400. 3, TrĂ© Gautreau-Garrett Strickland (5) 12.06, $300.… Continue reading →

Macaluso: It’s calming down for the holiday

OK, anybody have an idea how to build an ark? We could follow the biblical instructions, but those seem light on complete blueprints. Looks like we’ll get a break from the torrents of the last week with the prediction of high pressure building over the coast. A return to southerly winds means a push of clear… Continue reading →

Shrimp season closure coming Thursday

All state inside waters, except Breton and Chandeleur sounds, will be closed to shrimping effective at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 2, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced Monday. A June 19 inside-waters closure put most of the waters from Freshwater Bayou east to the Louisiana-Mississippi state line off limits to shrimp. Monday’s action closes shrimping in… Continue reading →

Fun & Fitness Calendar

BASEBALL BREC UPPER DECK BATTING CAGES: Open daily, BREC Milton Womack Park, 6201 Florida Boulevard, Baton Rouge. Call Richard Bentley-Smith (225) 273-6403. Email: rsmith@brec.org. BASKETBALL LUNCH BUNCH: Noon, Tuesdays/Thursdays, Istrouma Baptist Church gym, Baton Rouge. No fee. Call ML Woodruff (225) 295-0775, Ext 118. FOOTBALL BATON ROUGE RIVERBOAT BANDITS TRYOUTS/PRACTICES:… Continue reading →

Watson angler caps offshore trip with unusually colored mangrove snapper

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Shannon Ross, from Watson, holds a rare, lightly colored mangrove snapper. When he caught the fish June 20 at the Triple Rig seven miles south of Belle Pass, he said the near five-pound fish was nearly white and much lighter in color than the red mahogany color common the the species off the Louisiana coast. State marine biologists said the species exhibits a wide variety in its color, and that Ross' catch was the lightest colored mangrove seen in year's of surveying offshore catches.

Forrest Gump can add fishing to his mama’s adage about life and chocolates, “You never know what you’re going to get.” Offshore fishing is like that: Drop a baited hook off the Louisiana coast and, well, you just never know what you’re going to take that offering. Ask Shannon Ross. He was doing his summertime thing a week… Continue reading →

Macaluso: E15 simply not viable option

There’s probably some basic scientific proof somewhere proving that adding ethanol to the gasoline powering our engines helps the environment. It’s also likely that if you ask the Corn Growers of America — OK, that trade/lobby group’s name is Growth Energy — that ethanol will be, if it isn’t already stated in their… 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. TUESDAY BASIC ARCHERY INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATION COURSES: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Westminster Christian Academy, Opelousas; July 14, Hope Baptist School, Alexandria. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ National Archery in the Schools Basic Archery Instructor course. Designed for instructors working… Continue reading →

Bass tournament to help juniors

Photo provided by JIM BREAUX Justin Watts took home big-bass honors for this 4.66-pound largemouth in the Junior Southwest Bassmasters-Denham Springs two-day tournament held on Lake Concordia. The Denham Springs  teenager's catch was the largest in the field, even beating out the sponsor anglers competing in the Adult Division. Chris Childers, also from Denham Springs, won the 15-18 year-old age group with a 10-bass catch weighing 20.77 pounds to lead all anglers.

Building on the successes of the Junior Bassmaster program in Denham Springs, the club is trying to help this year’s most successful junior anglers — its high school champions — compete at the highest level. That effort spawned Saturday’s benefit bass tournament. It’s to help the top two teams from the recent B.A.S.S. state high school championship, winners… Continue reading →

Fishing results

Jr. Southwest Bassmasters FERRIDAY — Sunday’s final age-group results from the two-day Junior Southwest Bassmasters-Denham Springs tournament held on Lake Concordia with anglers, their hometowns, number of bass weighed in parentheses (5-bass daily limit), total catch weight in pounds and age-group big bass winners: 15-18 Age Group: 1, Chris Childers, Denham Springs… Continue reading →

Officials to crack down on drunk boaters

When you get a “named” weekend, something like Louisiana’s recently celebrated Free Fishing Days weekend, it’s usually to commemorate something special. Not when it comes to Operation Dry Water weekend set Friday through Sunday, and not when Enforcement Division agents in the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries join with wildlife division officers across the country to… 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. THURSDAY-SATURDAY CREOLE CLASSIC: Bridge Side Marina, Grand Isle. Call marina (985) 787-2419. FRIDAY FRIDAY NIGHT COOKIE JAR BASS TOURNAMENT: 7 p.m.-midnight, La. Express Landing, False River (south end), Jarreau. Fee $30/boat plus launch fee (maximum 2 anglers). Weekly… Continue reading →

Macaluso: West winds no good along coast

What? A June cold front? Yes, that’s what the weather folks are predicting, and, no, it’s not time to take out the long johns, but the westerly winds that’ll come with Saturday’s system certainly will impact the weekend. The good news is that we’ll see a drop in morning temperatures Sunday and into the first days of next week.… Continue reading →

Family comes first at St. Tammany Family Fishing Rodeo

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  -- Grace Gallaher, 9, poses  for a photo with her grandfather, Joe Ruffino, after catching a catfish Saturday, June 20, 2015, during the Family Fishing Rodeo at the St Tammany Fishing Pier near Slidell. More than 100 anglers vied for first-and second-place awards in various fish and age categories. The event was sponsored by the St Tammany Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism, and The Leadership Northshore Geaux Fish @ The Pier, project team.

Father’s Day and fishing go hand in hand, much like Mother’s Day and apple pie. Realizing that, St. Tammany Parish Culture, Recreation and Tourism hosted the first Family Fishing Rodeo on Saturday — mere hours before families around the country will gather for a Father’s Day celebration. The event was held at the St. Tammany Fishing Pier,… Continue reading →

Macaulso: Father’s Day special for outdoorsmen

What a great time to be a father, and for those fortunate among us, a grandfather. This is a very special day for outdoorsmen. Who among us hunters and fishermen owe so much of what we do and have to the men who guided us into the swamps, marshes and forests, and… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

MONDAY RED STICK FLY FISHERS FLY-TYING SESSION: 7 p.m., Orvis Shop, Bluebonnet Boulevard, Baton Rouge. Call Pete Bongiovanni (225) 313-3813 . Website: www.rsff.org. WEDNESDAY 23RD BLUE JAY FISHING RODEO REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Noon for June 27 open-water rodeo. Weigh-in, John Ryan Stadium, 100 Blue Jay Way, Jefferson Parish. Fishing begins at 6 a.m. June 26. Fee $40 adults, $25 ages… Continue reading →

LDWF changes Basin bass limit

Atchafalaya Spillway bass regulations will change again come Saturday to the same as statewide regulations. The new creel limit will be 10 per day with no size limit. After changing from 20-year-long, 14-inch minimum size and a five-bass daily creel limit, the state Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a temporary, seven-fish, no minimum-size limit for black… Continue reading →

Even bad weather can’t foul up Swollfest Rodeo

Too bad Mother Nature didn’t want to join in the annual Swollfest Rodeo party on Grand Isle last weekend. Organizer Dr. Nick Rauber said everything, save mom’s cooperation, made it another spectacular fund-raising year not that Swollfest closes in on $1 million raised for charities, notably the American Diabetes and Muscular Dystrophy associations among others. “We… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY CENLA CHAPTER-CCA BANQUET: 5:30 p.m., Riverfront Center, 707 Main Street, Alexandria. Tickets $65, $35 spouses, $25 youths, $500 tables. Call CCA Louisiana (225) 952-9200. FRIDAY FRIDAY NIGHT COOKIE JAR BASS TOURNAMENT: 7 p.m.-midnight, La. Express Landing, False River (south end), Jarreau. Fee $30/boat plus launch fee (maximum 2 anglers). Weekly Friday night event through Sept. 11. Call… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Improving fishing conditions welcomed

Rains to the west and heat to the east, and it appears the blustery conditions that hampered coastal action over last weekend will ease. The outlook for the weekend is good. Trout are everywhere, and the constant southerly winds pushing saltwater into the marshes — and coming on the heels of the tropical depression’s surge along areas west of… Continue reading →

Fishing results

Swollfest GRAND ISLE — Top 3 anglers in divisions and categories from the annual Swollfest Fishing Rodeo: Overall Swollest 1, Harry Hawney, 80.65 pounds (Warsaw grouper). 2, Hunter Charvet Sr., 64.71 (yellowfin tuna). 3, George Wood, 57.21 (alligator gar). Offshore Division Yellowfin Tuna: 1, Hunter Charvet Sr., 64.71. Dorado: 1, Hunter Charvet, Jr., 4.5. 2, Charvet, 3.41. 3,… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

Photo provided by ST. TAMMANY CRTA Pontchartain pier bullPeter Cazeaux holds the 30-pound-plus bull redfish he took recently while fishing from the St. Tammany Fishing Pier near Slidell. St. Tammany Parish is holding its first-ever Family Fishing & Rodeo from sign-in time at 6 a.m. through a noon weigh-in Saturday. Redfish are among the seven competitive categories in Adult and Children divisions..

TUESDAY LAFAYETTE KAYAK FISHING CLUB MEETING: 6 p.m., Pack and Paddle, 601 E. Pinhook, Lafayette. Call (337) 232-5854. Website: lafayettekayakfishing.com. THURSDAY CENLA CHAPTER-CCA BANQUET: 5:30 p.m., Riverfront Center, 707 Main Street, Alexandria. Tickets $65, $35 spouses, $25 youths, $500 tables. Call CCA Louisiana (225) 952-9200. FRIDAY FRIDAY NIGHT COOKIE JAR BASS TOURNAMENT: 7 p.m.-midnight, La. Express Landing, False River… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Big day set for St. Tammany fishing pier

Congratulations to St. Tammany Parish’s Culture, Recreation and Tourism for taking a giant first step for south Louisiana fishermen. Saturday, at the St. Tammany Fishing Pier, the parish on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain is staging its first Family Fishing & Rodeo. It will be a celebration, and follows… Continue reading →

Jamie Laiche gives Louisiana anglers a clean sweep

Photo provided by Craig Lamb/B.A.S.S.Jamie Laiche of Gonzales caught 38 pounds, 1 ounce to take the title Friday at Ross Barnett Reservoir near Ridgeland, Miss. during the Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Central Divisional. Laiche became the Louisiana qualifier for the national tournament.

RIDGELAND, Miss. — Make it a clean sweep for Louisiana. Jamie Laiche of Gonzales and an Ascension Area Anglers member, St. Amant High School anglers Braden Blanchard and Cade Fortenberry, and the Louisiana state team outfished 14-angler teams from seven other states to bring home first places Friday from the Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Central… Continue reading →

Fishing results

BASS Nation Central RIDGELAND, Miss. — Friday’s final top 10 from the three-day, eight-state B.A.S.S. Nation Central Divisional held on Ross Barnett Reservoir with anglers (Louisiana anglers in bold), their hometowns, number of bass weighed in parentheses (five-bass daily limit), total catch weight in pounds and ounces. Also the complete Louisiana team, overall team standings, state qualifiers for… Continue reading →

Jamie Laiche leads Louisiana anglers in Central field

RIDGELAND, Miss. — Jamie Laiche from Gonzales heads into Friday’s final round of the B.A.S.S. Nation Central Divisional in second place and leads the 14-angler Louisiana team after his second-day catch shot him to a 26-pound, 6-ounce total Thursday. Texas team angler Albert Collins, in with a 27-3 total, leads the field composed of 14-angler state teams… Continue reading →

Moon pattern pushes peak fishing later in day

A note to add to your fishing knowledge came during last weekend’s Catholic High Rodeo, a tip to fishing the next three summertime full moons. More than half the fishermen who wanted to talk complained about the lack of action, but what happened was that high tide didn’t come until late morning, and, by then, the folks who busted… Continue reading →

Outdoors calendar

THURSDAY JUNIOR SOUTHWEST BASSMASTERS-DENHAM SPRINGS BASS MEETING: 7 p.m., Bass Pro Shops, Denham Springs. Call Jim Breaux (225) 262-0929/(225) 772-3026. THURSDAY-SATURDAY SWOLLFEST FISHING RODEO: Sand Dollar Marina, Grand Isle. Weigh-ins 5-7 p.m. June 12-13. Tickets $60, $15 12 and younger. Blue Water, Coastal, Inshore, Women’s, Children’s, Kayak & “Belly Buzzard”… Continue reading →

Fishing results

IFA Redfish Tour LAFITTE — Top 10 finishers from the Cabela’s IFA Redfish Tour event with anglers, hometowns when available, the weights of their two-redfish catch and prize winnings: 1, Jacob Leininger-Jeff Rogers, Slidell, 18.21 pounds, $25,995, $2,597 contingency awards. 2, Chad Dufrene, Purvis, Mississippi-Barnie White, Brewton, Alabama, 17.82, $3,302, $1,294 contingency awards. 3, Chris Kennedy, Metairie-Chris… Continue reading →

Macaluso: Heavy winds expected this weekend

There’s no way to compare notes for the upcoming days with what happened under last week’s near-calm seas, light winds, full moon and strong tides during the only weekend of the federal red snapper season. That’s because we’re in for a windy, rough weekend along the coast. Possibly the only saving chance for a trip now through Sunday is… Continue reading →

Recreational anglers gain vital foothold

Photo provided by SAM BARBERARep. Garret Graves, R-La., came home to Baton Rouge this wekeend,then gravels to Fourchon for the annual Catholic High Alumni Fishing Rodeo. Graves, in his freshman session in the U.S. House of Representatives, has authored or co-authored several bills to allow greater recreational fishing access to Gulf of Mexico species in federal waters. He took this red snapper in federal waters off the Louisiana coast. It was one of a five-angler red snapper limits. The group added 10 more mangrove snapper to their catch.

PORT FOURCHON — Recreational fishermen who call the Gulf of Mexico home gained a vital foothold in their angling future when the U.S House passed HR 1335 last week. This legislation reauthorizes the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the federal measure that governs the country’s commercial and recreation marine fisheries activities. Mostly ignored… Continue reading →

Could recreational anglers got more days?

This just in: The guys and gals in charge of federal fisheries management announced that recreational fishermen across the five Gulf States landed 3,866,531 pounds of red snapper in 2014, a catch 28 percent under the federally set annual quota of 5.39 million pounds. Whoa, wait just a piscatorial minute: You mean to tell us that National… Continue reading →

Calendar for Sunday, June 7

THURSDAY LOUISIANA WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING: 9:30 a.m., Louisiana Room, state Wildlife & Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. CAJUN CHAPTER-CCA BANQUET: 6 p.m., South Crowley KC Hall, 226 Elm Street, Crowley. Tickets $60, $30 spouses, $25 youths, $480 tables. Call CCA Louisiana (225) 952-9200. FRIDAY ANNUAL SENIORS BASS TOURNAMENT: 5:30 a.m. registration, Paizanos, La. 70 at Belle… Continue reading →