I talked to a couple of anglers out at Lake Martin this afternoon, and from what the guys at the launch said, the sacs were biting this morning at dawn, despite the front that passed through this weekend. Fish have moved from the 8ft staging depth up into 4ft or less. A good chop settled in about 10am and the high sun turned them off.
Damian Miguez and Chad Vaughan were throwing buzzbaits for bass when I showed up, but had only just arrived and had no fish on the dock yet. The post-spawn is a tough time in the cypress trees.
There were far fewer anglers than I would expect on a mild spring Sunday. I guess it was mowing day?
My good buddy Guy Cuccio and his son spent Good Friday pursuing the sacs on Lake Martin in St Martin Parish. It was a great day to be on the water and apparently the crappie decided to cooperate. Congrats on some great looking fish!
Just a couple more images from Friday's trip. It's a shame I have to work tomorrow while Chris spanks them again.
Took a trip to Chicot with Chris Cole and his pal Johnny from work. Started the day off rather slow with the bream action, but managed to get into a few sacs towards the early evening.
Went out to Chicot with Chris Cole and his pal Johnny from work. Started out slow on bream but managed to boat a few sacs on tube jigs in the early evening. Saw a few bass on beds, so should be worth the effort to give those a try.
In Lake Martin every March in St. Martin parish, the crappie can keep you entertained for hours if your timing is right. While the fish usually don't strain the state record as they do each spring in Spanish Lake or False River, the cypress groves can provide plenty of enjoyable afternoons when the fish move into the shallows.
Recent cold weather seems to have delayed things a while, as my Sunday afternoon trip showed the fish were not holding in the cypress yet, as only a smattering of bluegill got involved with my blue and white jigs. I changed over to black and chartreuse just after noon and ended up catching several small bass.
It was a fine day to be outside, but only few sac-a-lait caught from the fishermen I spoke with. It should be only a matter of time before they turn it on.
Decent mixed bag of teal and woodies to round out the year. 4-man hunt near LeBeau. It is astounding to see how many blue wings are still here.
Make a scouting trip on upper Fordoche and in some potholes on the western end. I couldn't find the magic depth in any of my usual spots. This season has definitely been a challenging one for me, one of my toughest ever. There were a good bit of woodies moving around and a few family groups of ringnecks this afternoon but I didn't see any mallards or gadwalls. Things didn't look too promising, and my favorite spots at Sabine NWR have been lackluster. I plan on giving it a try at my buddy Damien's property on the edge of the Lafayette parish line later on this week. Good luck to all and stay safe.
Congrats to Jonathan Giles with this nice 8-pointer the week of Thanksgiving.
My nephew Tim McDaniel and his father Jonas hunted their farm Saturday, Sunday, and Monday with several other friends. The groups of hunters took 27 teal on Saturday, 28 teal on Sunday, and finished with only 5 on Monday. Of Sunday's take, my nephew Tim got his first banded bird, a blue-wing from New York. Congrats, Tim.
I hunted opening day with Calvin Chaisson south of Houma with limited luck, bagging two teal and two mottled ducks from two hunters. Mosquitoes were horrible out there. Didn't see any pintail or mallards.
I got a decent report from Sabine NWR from Chris Cole and Mike Reagle, but compared to previous opening days, it was definitely a step down. Mostly gads and teal.
Damien Simoneaux did better than usual in the Little Prairie area, and told me earlier that it definitely surpassed the previous opener, and if the trend continues, should be a good season out that way. Limited out with teal and grays on the opener, and on Sunday, 3 hunters with 15 birds, pintail, teal, and grays.
Make no mistake about it, this is usually the front that brings the first good group of ducks to Louisiana's marshes and swamps, and if the reports out of the breeding grounds are even half-truths, we should be poised for a good opening weekend. The amount of rain that fell with this recent front, however, may have some public-land veterans rethinking their opening morning strategies. I know that for me and hunting partner Garret Lamson, we just may have to hit the drawing board in the Indian Bayou WMA.
Usually if the river gauge is at about 12 feet, the spots that we hunt back in the woods hold some water. That usually isn't until the second split. Deer hunters I spoke to recently said that the river gauge was at 14 feet, and that was prior to our recent inundation with rainfall.
Sabine NWR veteran Chris Cole and I have been discussing the water levels this week and how it may affect that marsh for the opening day. He thinks that the gadwalls are definitely going to cooperate, as they aren't as depth-dependent as mallards or pintails. In previous seasons I personally have found that the latter birds will sometimes move to the landlocked potholes well off the main sloughs in periods of higher tide.
One area that will likely be affected by the recent downpours will be the rice belt between Lake Arthur and Kaplan. Today while driving out there most of the rice fields that I saw were soaked. In previous years Louisiana Sportsman forum members have reported the birds being spread out due to the large amount of water. Let's cross our fingers that this rain is not going to be a trend that leads to that result this season. I know there are a few hunters in that area that didn't think they would have any water on their lease that are now all smiles from this front. I would be interested in hearing how this water has affected other areas, if anyone would care to contribute. Good luck this season and don't forget to take a kid for youth weekend, even if it isn't your child.
I will be heading out to LeBeau on Thursday to check and see if Saturday morning is going to be a go. Hopefully this thread stays up and I will just add the report to it. So let's hear from the duckmen from the different regions of the state. Where are the teal?
Thought you might enjoy this photo from Johnny Giles of Comer, Georgia of a nice catfish he noodled up from under a log near the Broad River area. Congrats on a good fish.
I went out to Rockefeller Saturday afternoon with Chris Cole. The high heat and swarms of biting flies were not enough to keep the crowds away. Shrimp were slow to come by, and the majority of the crabs were smallish. There are a good bit of redfish in the refuge right now, and the right plan will no doubt end in limits. Mullet were working well but the bite quickly turned to fresh shrimp.
Water level in Henderson has been pretty constant in the past several weeks, and the old Kern's landing launch on the western levee is indeed reporting good bream catches. The bass action has been spotty at best, with most fish being 10 inches and below with an occasional 2+ lb fish being the most solid fish I have heard being caught. Most people are pitching crickets at bream around the treetops and sunken humps. The north flats have been the most productive areas from what I have heard at the dock.
Earlier this month, Chris Cole and a few buddies took a trip up to South Dakota to get involved with some snow geese during the conservation season. I was unable to attend due to work, and now am kind of wishing I would've just quit my job and went. Chris and the gang took many geese over the several-day hunt and were witness to a several bald eagles and flocks of wild turkeys. I am definitely going to burn some vacation next March.
Managed only 4 sparse sac-a-lait in the cypress out at Lake Martin this morning. Only a couple other people fishing ahead of the front, but that isn't too out of the ordinary during the work week. Released all fish as none were even in the one-pound range. Will try again two days after the front, hopefully things improve.
Hunted today in my little hole in the woods with my brother-in-law Garrett Lamson. Beautiful woods, nice morning. Not much flying. Had two woodies pass over early. Managed to pull down two drake mallards and a hen mallard.
Good numbers of birds in the area. Mallards, teal, gadwall, spoonies, and woodies with a few mergansers to boot. Looks like some good ducks finally showed up. Just need a good quiet weekday to set up on them properly.