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Came home from Friday Mass at St.Jane de Chantal and noticed my dogs(younger son's and ours)had destroyed nice pic of fine Causeway haul from way back in 2007,believe it or not,and pieced pic back together and remember trip like it just happened yesterday.As I recall,my depthfinder was accidentally set on beep mode for fish ID and doggone thing was sounding like a Geiger counter and I stopped alongside particular Causeway span,tossed perhaps the single most effective soft plastic lure out there(Fin-S fish,dipped tails in Chartreuse Spike-It-need to go back to that venerable and incredibly effective lure)and started hauling in fine white trout,perhaps some close to 3 lbs(pic attached)and also hauled in some luker croakers and think the whites ran off specks and remember showing pic to a buddy and he thought the fish were largemouth bass,believe it or not!!!Here's hoping for more trips like this one and gotta believe that there should be some fine fish at the Big Bridge sometime soon and on all my duck trips out in Lake,always sample water and salinity way up there!!!Sight-casting reds not too far away,especially with miserable at best,duck season!!!

Mandevillian

December 28, 2018 at 11:37am

De Nuck and Futz Duck Bustas added Buddy to today's trip and used intelligence gleaned from yesterday's hunt to dictate where to go and paid off,though shoulda been much better hunt,had Buddy and I cashed in on gift flock of greys that shoulda been decimated,failed to drop one.Highlight of trip,besides relatively short paddle to killing blind,compliments of higher-than-typical water levels,was real gift set of two huge greenheads that had no idea we were hunkered down in extremely fine Roseau blind(saw ducks pitching down in pond with Roseau stand in perfect spot on yesterday's hunt)and saw enough to guide next few hunts,though getting to sweet spot takes some effort.Guess with the few ducks and in no way concentrated,pays to spend time paying close attention to not only where ducks emerge at first light but also where they work during shooting hours and set up accordingly.These greenheads decoyed like fools and my personal opinion is the flocked-head Highdon Magnum mallards looked way too realistic for these ducks to resist.Only wished we woulda broken down more cane to allow much greater visibility for us as greys surprised us and had we waited em out,they mighta decoyed just as nicely as the mallards did.Oh,well,not bad way to wrap up extremely frustrating and disappointing First Split.Might scout Joyce WMA for back-up and hunting partner for today used to shoot plenty of woodies in Joyce many moons ago!!!

Mandevillian

December 02, 2018 at 5:46pm

After looking at decent radar pic early this am,de Nuck and Futz Duck Bustas decided dey needed some dat duck bustin' therapy and we each managed two ducks,he got beautiful drake mottled duck and equally impressive drake grey.I am kicking myself for not opening up on 4 mallards that were a tad high but very possible,just do not like sky-busting and these mallards were up there just a tad.I did get burned by fine drake green wing,somewhat redeemed self with hen green wing and later had missiles headed my way,in the form of pair of scaup and took three quick shots,downed one missile and had to put another shell in duck to finish it.Have Abita KC buddy joining me tomorrow and taking his fine 18 60 G3 with 90 Yammie on rear,should get us on de spot sponto,as long as fog aint too bad.Gonna hunt just tad W of where I hunted today and saw fair number of woodies,one flock had greenhead mixed in with them and he wanted no part of my spread.They wanted down in another pond and I aint about to question why just gonna go where,makes perfect sense to me!!Hope to wrap up very disappointing First Split strong,at least I will bust it to get to dem wary ducks!!!

Mandevillian

December 01, 2018 at 2:59pm

With Ole Southfork getting new upper carb done,the Nuck and Futz duckbusters decided a paddle-in hunt to an ole stand-by was in the cards and Futz musta dealt himself a rotten hand as not much wanted to work area and Nuck was on de proverbial'X' big-time and he got his 6 while Futz struggled mightily to get two and we emerged with 8 nice greys,got a drenching-waterproof jackets and insulated waders made de trip easy and our paddle was a great aerobic work-out.Not sure where we gonna hunt Wed/Th kinda depends upon when Southfork ready to pick up and get her back in de game!!Did not see much of anything,save for some teal rockets early and smattering of greys!!Hope springs eternal and hoping greys show up as difficult to fool mottled ducks,mallards do work and woodies sometimes cooperate!Hope other hunters managed a few and love mid-week hunts,nice to not have inordinate amount of hunting pressure,though having hunters spaced strategically helps keep wary ducks from rafting up!!

Mandevillian

November 25, 2018 at 2:35pm

Unfortunately,de ole Southfork still not up to par,even with new set of plugs and chatted with boat mechanic,Chuck Evans,and think she gonna need new upper carb,no big deal since she is such a beast when running right and we had to putt putt to our hunt location this am,had an Abita KC buddy following us and he had his grandson with him,not sure how they did.Me and a dear Medicare Client went one way,Bayoubob another and we set up on tiny island(they are killer,especially for wary ducks like black ducks and mottled ducks)and I had just told my hunting partner to get prepared for some fine and tasty mottled ducks and sure enough,we had beauty of a pair come in,two shots,one from each of us,dispatched fine and big pair of mature mottled ducks(they had absolutely no idea where we were hidden,we were that well-camo'd up with about 20 giant palmettos) and I burrowed out the marsh grass so the 2-man Chapman would sit as low as possible.Saw very few ducks today,not sure where we gonna head tomorrow and luck of all luck,got flat tire on way home and Bayoubob took me to Wal Mart first(spare rim was bent and tire not looking too good)and all they had was white painted rim,opted to head to Academy,got galvanized 4-spoke rim and now de ole Southfork got new shoe on driver side,think passenger side feeling tad neglected!!!Did see some birds working specific areas,gonna head in general direction tomorrow-Happy Turkey Day to all and me and Medicare Client have fat mottled ducks to clean and prepare!!!Attaching pic of incredible blind,gotta be stealth to fool mottled ducks!!!

P.S.Thanks,St.Nick for generous contribution towards new tire and rim!!

Mandevillian,never growing tired of relatively MT Skies!Dem ducks know where de feed is and so do I!!

November 21, 2018 at 4:02pm

Got a few reports from buddies that hunted different spots in Coastal Zone-two from the Delacroix area and one from Venice and all three were excellent reports with one lucky hunter getting their limits by 6:30(not sure if all teal or mixture)and a Venice hunter reported 2 shy of a 5-man limit and another Delacroix/Hopedale hunter getting mosty greys.I fished/scouted with a Medicare client and only managed a fine,though rat red,had four spots-two on each side,and we saw very few ducks,mostly bluewing teal and heard zero shots for the Sat Youth Hunt,not great news for the East Zone Opener next Sat!!Hope folks that had their Opener yesterday fared fine,can't wait for our Opener next Sat!!!

Mandevillian

November 11, 2018 at 7:30am

Had very slight window of opportunity and seized it,hit favorite oak-filled slough in Honey Island and only emerged with two fat tree rats(ole trusty Beretta Extrema acting up-think hammer spring weak)and she would only give me two shooting opportunities and I got both tree rats I was able to get shots at.Had gun professionally water-transfer dipped over year ago,going on two years and my gunsmith was checking her out and noticed some rusting near piston on trigger,said de original Berettas had some issues with dual-piston hammer mechanism and he will go over her(thank God this happened about two weeks prior to opening of duck season)!!!He showed me built-up powder residue in two distinct spots in barrel from 3 inch and 2.75 inch shells(rarely use 3.5's)and he went over barrel with wirebrush and will get barrel mirror-smooth and get trigger mechanism done as well!!At least I emerged with two tree rats,saw at least 6 and only got firing opportunities on the two I nailed(2.75 #5 lead knocks em dead)!!!

Mandevillian

October 31, 2018 at 12:18pm

Been chompin on de bit for this article for quite some time and Abita KC buddy sent me pic of black duck I shot probably about three seasons ago,in local marsh,spot non-disclosed for obvious reasons!!Can't imagine how proud I was that particular day and almost equally proud today,though Wifey said we have not yet gotten our November issue(Can't wait)!!Lady Luck was on my side but luck is often only a small portion of the duck equation as I had to camo better than ever that day and make my spread as realistic as possible(blacks not exactly the dumbest of ducks)and Kevin Hines did a superb job on trophy mount and kudos to John Manion for writing the article,again can't wait to read it.Working harder,scouting smarter,etc is not luck,preparation and luck often meet in opportunities like this hunt and I hope to get some trophies like this one this coming duck season.Good luck to all!!!

Mandevillian

October 24, 2018 at 4:35pm

Got an ole Chapman pirogue,possibly one of first ones crafted by Ron Chapman,and I replaced the rotted cypress gunwales about 23 years ago,fashioned out of 2 by 4 pressure-treated and cut down to size a tad thicker than original(Steve Geraci,shop foreman,commented on how well-built my second gunwales were)and the second ones finally bit the dust and my older son and I built these and I actually ran outta marine 5200 adhesive before I could finish!!Take a look and these are gonna last another 20 years,I will be about 80,hope to still be duck hunting by then!!Want to completely repaint her with duck boat green and camo-stencil her-use her for very stable and mobile duck blind(put about 20 giant palmetto branches around her).Hope them big ducks start showing up and have heard from Lacombe buddy that the doggone blue wings are out in full force vs very few in teal season!!

Mandevillian

October 22, 2018 at 11:32am

Abita KC buddy and I had trip planned for this am,outta Cane,but when we went to launch my Southfork,Cane was extremely high,not unexpectedly and we then turned our attempt to launch at Lake Road(what an appropriate name,today)and our last stop was at Mandeville Harbor where we had some curious looks from two ladies walking dogs(guess they thought we might have been Nuck and Futz trying to fish in hurricane-high Lady P)!!!Launched de ole Southfork,actually had enough water to spin her around and head bow-first down launch(when does that ever occur!!)and we were greeted with gorgeous,though high conditions in Lady P.Started chunking spinner baits in a trenasse,,almost got stuck as water and bayou not easily distinguishable but we cut through thick grass embedded onto prop and made our way back towards mouth of Cane,where I nabbed fine lil bass dat spit Bomber Spinner Bait before I could land him and KC buddy landed fat marsh bass and we worked the pristine shorelines and spotted fine red about to gobble Bomber,let him run for a while before setting hook and netted fine pumpkin of about 23 inches,caught few more bass and we were about to call it quits and saw my line starting to take off,let fish have line then cranked Lew's baitcaster(probably finest and smoothest baitcaster I have ever owned)and had fun with multi-spotted 24 inch red,to go along with three bass and rat red I released.My buddy was taking his grandson to DMV to secure government-issued ID(for hunting/fishing license purchase)and we quit shade before 11 coming home with nice lil box of fish.Bomber and Redfish Magic did de damage and might head back out before end of week.Fun stuff with salty and pristine water,though much higher than normal,hint,hint,and reds might attack once tides recede!!

Mandevillian

October 10, 2018 at 12:54pm

Not sure who has seen what but I have personally scouted the areas I plan to hunt(fish as often as time allows)and I have seen very few teal and noticed the next full moon will be towards the end of teal season and have been told that the major migration of teal typically occurs during a full moon so do not be displeased if your favorite area lacks teal this week end,be patient and hope for the best possibly closer to the end of this teal season.Have three diehards going this week end(might tag along a baitcaster to toss spinners at grass-bed reds)and hope to see at least a teal or two but would not be at all surprised if we are greeted with MT skies!!!

Mandevillian

September 13, 2018 at 10:01am

Had a Medicare Client wanting to join me on redfishing trip and today turned out to be much better than yesterday's trip.Launched fairly early at Cane,emerged at mouth and we were greeted with very smooth seas,made our way towards thick grass beds and started chunking Bomber Spinner Baits at reds or whatever else wanted to play and all we managed to entice strikes from were ladyfish and plenty of them til we hit paydirt in form of fine red,then a rat red and second keeper red was one I sight-casted to,he swiped at lure,missed it and I cast it right on top of his nose,cranked reel maybe twice and he nailed Bomber,thought he had free meal til Zo-Zuri Hybrid 15 lb test caught up with him and we dropped him into box to join another fine red.Both reds were in excess of 20 inches,perfect grilling sized reds and we did spook bunch of fat alligator gars and saw way more reds today vs yesterday(Tuesday was an extra-special day,getting solo limit in shade over 2 hrs)and we spotted a few puppy drum,saw signs of increased redfish activity and hope to get on some reds,possibly next Sat/Sun after chasing blue wing teal!!Think my client had awesome time and promised to get him back out for some fun sight-casting to nice reds in pristine water.Got deer food plot work staring me in de face and plenty more Medicare Training and will take short break this week end and hope weather and water conditions improve ahead of next trip!!

Mandevillian

September 07, 2018 at 4:29pm

Had Abita KC buddy wanting to get in on de consistent redfish action and we had every intention of nabbing some fine reds but dey had other plans and we tossed,tossed,tossed spinner baits and gold spoons at non-existent reds,at least today,but we did emerge with decent bass,on Bomber Spinner Bait and water was mostly very dark and not nearly as pristine and clear as pretty much all other trips,guess ole Gordon disturbed Lady P,at least for time-being.Going back out tomorrow,hoping to redeem self and have client joining me and hope he and I sight-cast to some fine reds!!!Water getting a tad of salinity to it and hope to do some blast-and-cast trips with teal season starting next Saturday.Did steer bass fishing guys towards grass beds but do not think they managed anything!!Hope others fared better than we did and have deer food plot chores ahead of us and most likely will concentrate Mon and Tues on deer food plots.I do have tickets for NShore Delta Waterfowl Banquet(Oct 11th-Tchefuncta Country Club)and just call or shoot text and I will do my best to get tickets for those wanting to attend.Singles-$75,Couples -$100,Sponsor Ticket $300,Sponsor Table of 8 -$650,VIP Sponsor Table of 8-$1200,VIP Gun Table of 8-$2000,early bird(purchase tickets by 9-22-18-entered to win new gun).

Mandevillian

September 06, 2018 at 3:11pm

Was planning on taking John C back to de scene of de crime where we nabbed some fine shallow-water reds this past Friday but got late text notification dat John gonna be lending hand to shrimper with boat I believe in Lake Borgne so I had nice solo trip on my hands,scoped out tidal expectations and wind speed and direction and when I emerged from mouth of Cane Bayou I could not believe how accommodating Lady P was.Quickly hit protected cove,nabbed fat marsh bass and was headed back towards Lake when I felt distinctive thump on Yum Swim n Dinger,black and sapphire,initially thought I had trophy bass except dis bass not wanting to surface,turned out to be beauty of 18 inch red with at least 4 spots on each side,made my way to thick grass beds and sight-casted to 4 beautiful reds,played catch-and release with one fine red of about 26 inches and thought about trying for four more just to see if I could catch-and-release some fine reds but ended up hooking monster that thankfully spit Bomber,hooked a few more that somehow managed to spit hook and spotted at least 5-7 pairs of fine black drum,presumably they are spawning as I saw pairs but they are no where near as reckless as their redfish cousins and spook easily,even though they do chase dat Bomber Spinner Bait almost as aggressively as reds,they just do not close de deal!!!Sight-casted to what kinda looked like big red,turned out to be big alligator gar and I hated donating my Bomber Spinner Bait,tossed him in chest(Abita KC buddy of mine showed me how to clean em).Got drenched in Cane after limiting in about shade over 2 hrs and taking short break tomorrow,back at em Th and Fri,tide was a shade higher today and reds were even closer to shore vs previous trips but there are plenty of fine reds out there,ranging from about 18 or so inches up to beasts over 28 inches.Today I had one over 27,one right at 27 and rest 18-21 inches plus fat marsh bass,not a bad trip no doubt!!!Funny story-think gar musta swallowed Bomber as my older son and I cleaned him and I searched in his toothy mouth for lure and it ended in his belly,along with big mullet,they are no doubt one of the culprits causing 'synchronized mullet dances'!!!

Mandevillian,never getting tired of sight-casting to fine reds

September 04, 2018 at 9:04pm

John C and I have been in contact trying to get together on redfish trip out in good ole Lady P and today was certainly a memorable trip!!Met at Cane around 1:00 pm and chatted with Matt and Kevin with Canoe and Trail and they only had a few yakkers out today.Showed Matt pics from Wed and in retrospect,shoulda taken precaution to strip a few feet of Yo-Zuri 15 lb Hybrid Line(doggone ladyfish have nasty habit of chowing down on fishing lines).John C and I took our time to make our way to best grass beds out there(had strong E winds to contend with)and John was chunking Matrix Mullet and Rapala(did not get name or type of Rapala)and I was chunking favorite Bomber Spinner Bait and John C hooked beast of a red,estimated at over 28 inches(once we netted beast was 30 inch brute)and I had fish snap off my favorite Bomber(looked to be very nice red,judging by how he hit and fought for all of about half a second before doggone line snapped!!).Thankfully,I had the foresight to pick up exact Bomber lure from Bass Pro this past Wed and I simply tied on Bomber and attached copper-colored soft plastic minnow with chartreuse tail(think Marsh Minnow).John C and I casted and casted and emerged with 3 nice reds,each of us had one approaching 27 and he had big beast and thankfully,he donated fish to his captain!!Want to get with him on Delacroix trip(he knows that area quite well)and I did forewarn him that we might emerge with NADA,but dat certainly was not de case.John C,fun fishing with ya and can't wait to hit dem reds again.Think I am gonna rest a bit(fished 4 of last 5 days)and have tons of Medicare Training to catch up on and predicted weather more conducive to shutting self in vs chasing reds,though tough call,especially with the quality of today's catch!!

Mandevillian

August 31, 2018 at 7:05pm

Did not have nearly the window of opportunity that I had been having due to attendance at an Aetna Medicare Meeting yesterday.After dodging monster rainstorm and having excellent lunch with Group Health Insurance Partner,hooked up de Southfork and picked up big bag of ice(good fish measuring device),made my way to Cane Bayou with all her nasty salvinia clogging up the upper portion and ran into Matt and Kevin with Canoe and Trail,they questioned my sanity due to weather conditions(showed Matt my I-Phone radar showing huge Metairie storm basically making a bee line for the Causeway-thankfully it behaved nicely!!).Started looking like it was gonna be a skunkeroo of a fishing trip til an undersized red and his even smaller buddy decided they liked the looks of Bomber Spinner Bait,changed Keitech glass minnow soft plastic to copper colored Marsh Minnow(I think that was the brand)with chartreuse tail.Chunked and chunked dat Bomber(changed the soft plastic due to darker than typical water with the sun hidden and water still gin-clear)and ran into stretch of grass beds that musta been de ticket as I nabbed three reds on almost 3 consecutive casts(sight-casted to two)and kept keen eye on SShore storms.Think tide movement started to really stop around 5 as I did not raise a single red,even though I spotted at least 5 big ole stingrays and did spot huge log of a red,esrimated at over 25 lbs,he is no doubt one of the culprits causing serious and huge bait explosions!!!In process of slowly casting and retrieving,spooked at least 8 fine reds,the water is so extremely clear and I sampled water,to my delight,detected very decent salinity,no doubt the reason the stingrays are hanging around and one of the reds I cleaned had a belly full of crabs.They tend to feed in exact same areas as stingrays and for anyone wanting to scoop crabs,now is definitely prime time,also prime time for soft shells!!Have Peoples Medicare Meeting today or I would be back at it,tossing Bomber to willing and accommodating reds!!

Mandevillian

August 30, 2018 at 8:47am

Been way too much fun tossing Bomber spinner bait to grass-bed reds and soft plastics to bass and had decent window of opportunity today to chase both bass and reds.Launched at Cane,navigated thick matted salvinia and knew I had only a few hours before predicted big ole thunderstorms would roll in from S Shore.Made my way to protected cove,tossed Yum Swimming Dinger,black and sapphire and nabbed two bass,let first guy go(he was a tad small)and hit thick grass beds,tossing Bomber Spinner Bait and tangled with two fine reds,when I nabbed second one,he had at least three similar-sized reds cruising around like they typically do.From bow of Southfork,easy to see exactly where ya need to place lures and I did spook a few reds just before huge,predicted(WUnderground)thunderstorm started rolling in.Have absolutely no doubt I woulda nabbed close to solo limit had the storm not chased me in!!!Have meetings tomorrow and Th or I would return and chase more fine grilling-sized reds with no need to measure a single one!!!They hang out in grass beds,along with the mullets and stingrays and today I spotted at least 5 big stingrays,never a bad sign!!!Probably accidentally spooked at least 5 nice reds,the water is gin-clear where I target them!!!

Mandevillian

August 28, 2018 at 12:35pm

Had some decent time on my hands,scoped out predicted tidal conditions and wind speed and direction and launched outta Cane,again not the first angler at launch and chatted with older fellow and his wife in small flat with trolling motor only as their means of propulsion and for anyone not familiar with the clogged first section of Cane,it can be a nightmare getting through the thick salvinia that is about the consistency of oatmeal,mixed with plenty of chopped-up vegetaion,roots,etc.Joked with them about following in de wake of my Southfork with 50 Johnson chopping away at dense salvinia and vegetation!!!Made my way to protected cove,emerged with two decent bass,missed good one and saw ton of not only extremely healthy gators but huge alligator gars!!Had 6 single-ring crab nets and tossed them,baited with chicken wings,in deeper water and tossed and tossed Bomber spinner bait,emerging with three nice reds,sight-casted to one and the other two attacked lure with plenty of gusto!!!Did spook very nice red or my take mighta been 4 and saw at least 4 stingrays,great sign and they and decent reds feed in exactly same areas and did spot fine alligator and had huge alligator gar take half-hearted swipe(thankfully)at Bomber and this beast no doubt woulda been quite the challenge to fight and not lose extremely effective spinner bait!!Crabbing was a bust and I did see excellent signs for future trips and I make tons of mental notes and have found a decent pattern for sight-casting to feisty and no-need-to measure reds.All three made the 16 inch mark quite easily and I no longer measure reds til after putting em on ice(have excellent visual measuring skills)and most of the reds I have been nabbing have exceeded 16 inches by a minimum of 2-5 inches!!!Headed back tomorrow,hope to nab a few and made my way to Sportsman's in Slidell for some soft plastics and jig heads to attach to Bomber.

Mandevillian

August 27, 2018 at 8:29pm

Been wanting to get BayouBob on some sight-fishing redfish and hit some of my favorite grassy shorelines this past Saturday in search of some fine reds.Started our trip in one of my bass magnets,only thing was we only emerged with two bass and chatted with a regular who has been scooping plenty of nice soft and hardshell Lake P crabs(hint,hint)!!Made our way to about exactly where I have been getting quite a rush watching reds emerge from shallow grassbeds,chasing down Bomber Spinner Bait with nice soft plastic threaded onto small jig head lure came with.Did nab a feisty,though small bass and tossed him on ice,made our way to Big Bridge for all of about twenty minutes of frustration,made our way back near mouth of Cane Bayou and musta made a lucky cast as folks with Canoe and Trail on yak trip saw me nab fine 21 inch red and dat was all she wrote for our Sat trip.Got word from a buddy that he and his fishing party busted up specks and white trout,all tight-lining soft plastics,my absolute favorite way to catch specks(Bomber for reds is quite the rush)!!!Going tomorrow and possibly Tues hoping for repeat of trips a few weeks ago where reds much more prevalent.The water is extremely clear and tagging along 6 nice single-ring crab nets,hoping to catch nice mess of extremely fat Lake P crabs while tossing spinner baits to reds!!

Mandevillian

August 27, 2018 at 12:04am

Was initially gonna have Abita KC buddy join me on what I anticipated to be decent sight-fishing redfish trip but he was unable to join me and I went solo.Not typical for me to get beat at Cane Bayou launch and today there was one tow vehicle ahead of me and I did run into the fisherman,bassing from a flat and I advised them to target some healthy reds,feasting on Bomber Spinner Baits!!Got to mouth of Cane and had serious executive decision to make-head W to Big Bridge or E to protected cove and opted for E towards protected cove.Lady P was glassy calm this am and made for easy ride to protected cove where I initially tossed Zoom Speed Worms,June Bug red,and emerged with two decent bass and nice blue catfish.Made my way towards thick grass beds all along shorelines from Goose Point to Cane Bayou and beyond and had nada to show tossing Bomber Spinner Bait(did have few Ladyfish attack lure,not necessarily a bad sign as they tend to favor saltier water-did spot at least two shrimp jumping,awesome sight).Made my way to Big Bridge for all of about 15 minutes with definitely nothing to show and went back towards mouth of Cane,slightly to East,closer to Goose Point,and had fine,multi-spotted red crush Bomber and I made cardinal error of trying to rear back and set hook,he missed first swipe,grabbed lure on second swipe but not hooked very well and spit hook as I was reaching down to net him(had at least 2-3 spots on each side,gorgeous fish).Not too long after,spotted shrimp jumping,presumably to escape jaws of 8 inch red that I tossed Bomber right to and he grabbed it,looked fine with 4 spots,two on each side-looking like a pair of Wayfarer Ray Ban sunglasses on each side of him!!!Not long after,14 inch red gobbled up Bomber and it looked like I was not gonna emerge with keeper red til almost 21 inch red inhaled Bomber!!!Fun being out there,trying my best to sight-cast but water not nearly as clear as last sight-cast trip.Spotted handful of stingrays(always great sign,especially for reds),flock after flock of mottled ducks,zero teal(they never seem to invade my teal hunting spots til Big Duck Season).Came away with 4 fish,two decent bass,nice blue catfish and shoulda had two fine keeper reds but one self-released and two were undersized.At least enough for dinner!!!Taking BayouBob this Sat,hope the stained water clears up a tad and water was extremely tannic near drains,not at all unusual.Cool seeing shrimp jumping and did spot at least two bait explosions,most likely big reds,possibly sharks!!!

Mandevillian

August 22, 2018 at 3:44pm
A comment titled: Re: Bow hunting on WMAs in response to a report titled: Bow hunting on WMAs

Here is one tip-launch at Little Alabama Bayou and find some promising areas.Many,many years ago I was extremely fortunate to have a gent from the Lafayette area meet me at Sherburne WMA,launched at Little Alabama Bayou and headed to un-disclosed area that he was generous enough to show me and I ended up shooting a banded jake,probably about 20 years ago.The wild turkey population in Sherburne has taken quite a few hits over the past 20 years or so and not sure if they will ever recover like over 20 years or so ago!!Good luck and hope ya find what ya looking for.I will be submitting for 2019 Wild Turkey Lottery and hope we get selected!!

Mandevillian

10 hours ago
A comment titled: Re: Sac-a-lait/bream in response to a report titled: Sac-a-lait/bream

Kinda hard to beat ole T-Funky with all her numerous knee-filled sloughs(hint,hint)and when ya run into sac a lait masters,like Dave Pizzolato(not sure if dat spelling accurate),ya know ya fishing in de right place.Kinda like de Dr.John tune,Right Place,Right Time,or something like dat!!!Get some Crappie Psychic trailers and Crappie Nibbles and see how de masters do it,trust me,you will be amazed at the difference those slight enhancements make!!Good luck and believe we may be tad early but ya gotta go to know!!!

Mandevillian,licking de wounds from miserable duck season!!

11 hours ago
A comment titled: Re: Last Weekend Report in response to a report titled: Last Weekend Report

One of my diehard duck hunters,Bayoubob,used to hunt the Chef area and he has unfortunately not been with me in Big Branch Marsh in her hay-day,Katrina year was the best,think my son and I had close to 140 ducks on all the hunts that year,mostly mallards,teal,greys,widgeons!!!I barely crossed double-digits this year,incredibly poor!!!

Mandevillian,never giving up!!

12 hours ago
A comment titled: Re: Last Weekend Report in response to a report titled: Last Weekend Report

Yep and I might start hunting in other states as well.Have long-time diehard duck hunting buddy headed to Dallas area to hopefully shoot plenty of mallards and hope he does exceptionally well as locally,probably big waste of time but always enjoy the experience!!Took incredible pics of sunrises and had so many memorable experiences like watching bald eagle land in dead cypress tree not too far from me and plenty of blue herons almost land on top of me,I was typically so well-concealed.Crawfish season not too far away and hoping sac a lait,specks,reds decide to cooperate!!!

Mandevillian

Yesterday at 7:40pm
A comment titled: Re: Hoping a Slow Season Gets Better in response to a report titled: Hoping a Slow Season Gets Better

Proud Pop,Conventional wisdom and your experience as well as that of mine would have steered me in your direction and I would have slept in but I was determined to hit a spot in Fritchie Marsh that I hunted many,many years ago,quite successfully.Awoke at around 2:45,headed out de door around 3:15 and launched newer Chapman(pics of custom-fitted front and rear caps on Antique Chapman)around 4:15,made a nice and fairly brisk paddle across Little Lagoon and stirred up at least 200 assorted divers and headed towards an ole stand by,set decoys out and musta had one not secure as little later,into hunt,counted mallard decoys and was missing one of my drakes(saw him way down deep trenasse).Had chances at few teal right after legal shooting,spotted nice pair of mottled ducks that settled down in one of numerous pot holes scattered around and only had decent chance at rocket of a scaup that I hit on second and third shots,watched wind and current take lil jewel into marsh and went after him,unfortunately in vain and wanting to get home and do some work on Antique Chapman,plus get geared up for Saints game(how in the world can a ref miss a blatant call like they did),decided to call it quits around 9:00 and ya would know it,flocks of greys started flying and decided against re-setting up blind(already had decoys put up-retrieved lost drake mallard decoy)and on paddle back to launch,saw fine,mount-worthy drake redhead,apparently just wounded and I never paddle with loaded shotgun.Woulda been easy shot and guess poetic justice with me firing only three shots,dropping scaup and not finding him!!!At least my trip today yielded some intel for last few East Zone hunts and hope to get back out after licking wounds from losing to Rams and not getting any ducks today!!!Been miserable duck season and hoping fishing takes up de slack!!

Mandevillian

Yesterday at 7:34pm
A comment titled: Re: Hoping a Slow Season Gets Better in response to a report titled: Hoping a Slow Season Gets Better

Proud Pop,Funny thing about the strong NNW winds predicted for where I intend to do solo hunt tomorrow(gonna lower water a tad so it will make it easier for me to pass under bridge construction on Ole Spanish Trail)!!!Hunted Fritchie Marsh today and got a much later start than I wanted to(Wifey convinced me to stay in bed til 5,getting me a much later start)and was missing out on at least 3 shooting opportunities(when ya only get maybe 3 shooting opportunities and ya miss out,ya end up with nada)!!!Did see where some greys tended to congregate and hope to cash in tomorrow.Had mallards fly by just before I could blind up and had pair of mottled ducks clearly headed towards me but there were two hunters in pothole N of me and they dropped one and as folks paddled out,saw a few mottled ducks getting antsy!!!Hope and pray that I get a few shooting opportunities tomorrow.If nothing else,at least getting some intel for next Wed,Th,Sat,Sun!!!

Mandevillian

January 19 at 7:16pm
A comment titled: Re: Sac-a-lait/bream in response to a report titled: Sac-a-lait/bream

Not sure if Parish Line Canal holds any sac a lait but should have tons of bream and some fat marsh bass.Launch at Williams Blvd boat launch,head West and it is the canal dividing Jeff Parish from St.Charles Parish,runs straight as an arrow.Good luck!!

Mandevillian

January 19 at 12:40pm
A comment titled: Re: Aerial Duck Survey January 2019 in response to a report titled: Aerial Duck Survey January 2019

lanco1,Thanks again,hit Fritchie on solo hunt,slept in tad waiting to see what weather would do,mistake as I was late setting up,saw nice flock of teal had single blaze by and had pair of mallards that had I been blinded up about 10 minutes earlier,mighta had excellent chance to nab both.Guys S of me decided to paddle around and they jumped up big flock of greys,took note of where they came from and went to and might make return trip tomorrow.Did not fire a shot,was more of scouting/exploring trip and all I had to do was to launch about 30 minutes earlier(took protected route whole way down and just about entire route back)and it was a chore getting under bridge construction on Ole Spanish Trail.Since I was paddling,I needed to take protected route and if there is decent launch nearby,could take Southfork.The ole launch where we typically launch 'rogues is useless for flatboats since impossible to pass under bridge!Thanks,again and got out just in time before rain started coming down!!

Mandevillian

PS Did see guys N of me drop huge mottled duck,one of fine pair that soared over them and I did see handful of mottled ducks,probably in response to guys paddling out!!

January 19 at 12:38pm
A comment titled: Re: Lack of Ducks continued..... in response to a report titled: Lack of Ducks continued.....

international harvester,Amen,brother,love my Big Branch hunts,even though the pickings have been the slimmest of slim in over 20 plus years of hunting out there!Love the fact that mud boat 'jockeys' not allowed(special exemptions for those with private in-holdings)and I pride myself on hunting the most remote,non-pressured areas that USED to hold ducks,just not any lately and might have to scoot Eastwards to some areas that I understand just MAY be holding some greys and assorted other species,other than my favorite divers!!!Many,many moons ago,there was a gent advertising airboat duck hunts in the Big Branch Marsh,not sure how successful this gent was and that dried up about two years after I recalled seeing his advertisements!!There should be decent amount of woodies in Pearl River WMA,might spend some time there before close of East Zone!!Love finding pockets of willing ducks,just have had about zero success this year,save for a few decent mallard trips where the greenies cooperated and I will gladly target mallards over any other species!!!Good luck to all balance of season!!!

Mandevillian

January 18 at 1:26pm
A comment titled: Re: Aerial Duck Survey January 2019 in response to a report titled: Aerial Duck Survey January 2019

lanco1,Thanks for the heads up,used to paddle the Fritchie Marsh quite a few years ago,about the time it got added to Big Branch and we used to have some decent hunts out there til the divers,particularly scaup took over.Might just have to make a hunt or two out there and was hoping against hope that Last Cast and I would be making a nice trip to Pecan Island this Saturday but does not look like dat in de cards and tomorrow's weather forecast,at least by my last check of WUnderground,was not looking too favorable with strong S,SSW winds not conducive to entering marsh via Lake P and persistent thunderstorms from about launch time til noon aint looking that great as well.Might sleep in,watch weather,make de call after about 4:00 am and could scope out ole Fritchie!

Mandevillian

January 18 at 6:58am
A comment titled: Re: Aerial Duck Survey January 2019 in response to a report titled: Aerial Duck Survey January 2019

Kinda doubt very seriously the accuracy of the gadwall numbers,particularly for SE area as not sure anyone hunting the SE portion of Sportsman's Paradise(used to be accurate moniker)has seen any appreciable numbers of gadwalls.Oh well,this season about in de books,time to have amnesia and get over perhaps the weakest of weak seasons in my 20 plus years of chasing ducks and Last Cast and I were hoping to make a hunt in Pecan Island,have not yet gotten confirmation(probably good thing as perhaps their season has dwindled down to nothing more than scaup,thanks but no thanks)and might just have to endure a few more days of 'MT Skies' in my local marsh.Turkey Season and sac a lait and specks and reds gotta make up for this miserable duck season!!!Good luck and hate to cast doubt on data BUT!!!

Mandevillian

January 17 at 8:11pm
A comment titled: Re: Looking for specs/reds in response to a report titled: Looking for specs/reds

I might try some of my go-to grass beds in Lake P as I have been basically wasting my time duck hunting and have noted how pristine the water is out there as well as how thick and lush the grass beds are.I typically catch nice reds out there but not quite this early.Lake P can most definitely be a gem,just ask a few of the fine fishers I have had to opportunity to take for some sight-fishing for reds and nothing beats a Bomber Spinner bait tossed alongside thick grassbeds,once the waters warm a tad.Shallower water definitely heats up a tad quicker than deeper water and where I was nabbing reds,they barely had enough water to float em!!!Good luck wherever ya head to.Got lotta folks more interested in chasing sac a lait in T-Funky and I might suggest that til waters warm up,then all bets off.Trust me,plenty of fine reds so close to home,hard to pass em up!!!

Mandevillian

January 17 at 6:56pm
A comment titled: Re: Lack of Ducks continued..... in response to a report titled: Lack of Ducks continued.....

Thank God Big Branch Marsh,once a mecca for ducks but definitely not this season,outlaws mud boats except for the folks that have private lease-holdings within the Refuge boundaries.Not that long ago,I had a conversation with Mike Downie,Jr,at the time one of the Enforcement Agents out there,and he told me there was a move to allow mud boats on Big Branch and he and I both agreed that it would be the ruination of most of that Marsh,especially the mallard ponds that are more than a chore to get to.Not that many weeks ago,perhaps 3-4,on just about every hunt I made in this one general area,I routinely would see upwards of 70-100 ducks when my buddies,hunting elsewhere would be lucky to see more than about 10 max!!!I started getting a tad closer to this area and finally got to about exactly where these ducks had both been emerging from and heading to and unfortunately,the damn salvinia is ridiculously thick and not sure why it was there but saw oil boom,stretched across a big section of the area tad W and S of where these ducks head to and now there are about zero ducks headed to and emerging from this area.Salvinia,out there at least,is yet another detriment and hope something is done about it pronto or this once pristine area,hard to access except for those like me willing to bust it to get to,will be devoid of ducks,except for possibly gallinules!!!Just last year,about the time Arkansas froze up,Bayoubob and I made a few hunts out there,had to break through ice to set decoys and his pond was loaded up with mallards and on one hunt I had at least 20-30 mallards in one flock circling me-fast forward to this year,no Arkansas freeze-up and definitely no mallards in Big Branch,at least for the most part!!I know we have serious Arctic front headed our way and hopefully just in time to send some mallards our way,greys never did migrate,I never count on greys as their migrations lately about non-existent,at least where I choose to hunt.I personally love the aerobic exercise afforded by a paddle,sometimes as much as 1.5-2 miles and that definitely gets ya away from pressure but when ya got no ducks anywhere,not much point in exerting yaself dat much.I remain cautiously optimistic that with this brutal front headed our way,perhaps a few migrating ducks show up and I have maybe 4 Big Branch Hunts left in this ole body!!

Mandevillian

January 17 at 9:08am
A comment titled: Re: Lack of Ducks continued..... in response to a report titled: Lack of Ducks continued.....

Well,just to be completely accurate,Last Cast and I were in his 20 ft Bay Boat and we drove all over his Reggio property and my eyes are still more than excellent,even at 60 years young,and about all we spotted,other than piles of scaup on open water bays,were a smattering of greys,some teal,and not as many mottled ducks as ya might expect.As far as the grass the ducks want,more than adequate widgeon grass,coon tail,other grass that ducks enjoy and the mallard holes have a distinct grass(T Wayne Brewster hit me on private e-mail last year)and there are about zero mallards where just last year one woulda suspected I was hunting Arkansas in her hay-day,there were so many mallards circling me.As far as social media,so be it,plenty of folks never post and there are tons of ponds where I hunt that NEVER get hunted,at least not on days I hunt NShore Marsh and I typically hunt Wed,Th,Sat,Sun(the only days refuge open to waterfowl hunting).Hope Last Cast and I are able to secure a hunt in Pecan Island Hunt club this coming Sat and hope to get in some decent local duck hunts,though the prospects are dismal at best.I probably hunt almost as hard as lotta guides and this ole body getting worn-out from plenty of DNF hunts and other hunts where the only ducks we spotted were in the stratosphere!!Crazy thing is Lake P loaded up with buffleheads and scaup and where I choose to hunt,rarely if ever see scaup or buffleheads,not that I am complaining!!!

Mandevillian

January 15 at 6:30pm
A comment titled: Re: Hoping a Slow Season Gets Better in response to a report titled: Hoping a Slow Season Gets Better

Just could not resist temptation to attach some pics taken about 10 minutes prior to legal shooting just yesterday,hunting some unbelievable local marsh loaded to the hilt with grass like this place has never had just no ducks and plenty of white pelicans.Was blinded up very nicely,had stiff NNW wind making decoys look alive,all the ingredients,minus the key ingredient,ducks and thinking about not chasing ducks this week end and instead hitting deer stand and too many sightings of deer on the move,coupled with weaker than weak duck sightings and guess ultimate insult was seeing fine doe just make it across bayou while we were traversing Cane to access our chosen spots!!!Pitiful dat we have more than adequate groceries in every pond I choose to hunt and rarely get a shot at anything,save pictures of glorious sunrises and video opportunities(have seen bald eagle land in ole cypress tree)and saw monstrous gator just last week.Maybe Mother Nature will bless us but I aint chasing non-existent ducks this week end as I got money and time tied into fine food plots and hunt real close to home,just like we duck hunt(guess we call it duck hunting)so close to home!!!Maybe break needed and might chase ducks last week of East Zone and gearing up for sac a lait,upgrading Lowrance Unit to one with GPS and Side/Down Scan!!

Mandevillian

January 14 at 10:38am
A comment titled: Re: Lack of Ducks continued..... in response to a report titled: Lack of Ducks continued.....

Last Cast is no doubt spot-on as we drove all around his Reggio property just a week ago and he showed me tons of blinds that have not been hunted in many,many years,guess why-not a chance at a duck and this was fine property that I would be willing to bet was loaded with greys,teal,widgens,etc and probably hardly anyone back then targeted scaup,bet they joked with the guys shooting scaup and now folks target them!!!I only have maybe 22 years hunting experience and where I hunt mudboats never allowed and the hunting pressure is virtually non-existent and still very few ducks-we gotta face it they are NOT migrating here like just a couple of years ago they were.Last Cast and I might start targeting WMA's in other states,possibly NLA but bet LA is off limits for migrating ducks,they have gradually and about permanently shifted or even stopped migrations,instead staying up north with grain everywhere and NO frozen ponds,lakes,etc,forcing them to migrate S where there is abundant grass.Where I hunt,I typically pick up over a lb of grass per decoy,ya can't tell me it is habitat,that is pure and simple BS,it is migratory patterns shifted or stopped all together,trust me there is about zero pressure where we typically hunt and we take pride in not only our concealment tactics but our scouting,targeting non-pressured areas,etc.

Mandevillian

January 14 at 6:41am
A comment titled: Re: Hoping a Slow Season Gets Better in response to a report titled: Hoping a Slow Season Gets Better

Wish Bayoubob and I could report some degree of success but dat would certainly be a lie and we met a hunter who joked with Bayoubob bout de mallards we were reporting about and I showed this gent a few pics from not that long ago when we were shooting a few nice,plump greenies!!Not gonna get any bluebill decoys anytime soon,especially since where we typically hunt,we rarely see bluebills,though someone hunting the Lake could potentially shoot ton of buffleheads and maybe a scaup or two!!Deer club president sent me nice pic of beautiful 8 pt killed on my deer club and Bayoubob and I saw fine doe on E side of Cane Bayou on our way out to hunting spots!!At least I can report dat Chuck Evans got the kinks worked outta ole Southfork and she roars like a brand-new engine,getting us to and fro with a lot less gas and much quicker!!!Not sure how many duck hunts I have left in ole body and might have to hang up waders and Beretta(other than for Honey Island tree rats)and start hitting deer stand!!Good luck to all and might have about 4 hunts left in ole body!!

Mandevillian

PS Another dnf hunt for me,getting ole and Bayoubob at least fired a few shells!!

January 14 at 6:24am
A comment titled: Re: Hoping a Slow Season Gets Better in response to a report titled: Hoping a Slow Season Gets Better

Proud Pop,Bayoubob and I joked bout ya plunking down some coin for bluebill decoys but guess dey paid off in spades,pun intended!!!Wifey makes excellent gumbo with em but the problem is dey stink up de house when she boils em in salted water three times,tosses out water then de-bones dem bluebills and makes gumbo with em.When she makes mallard,teal,wood duck,grey,widgeon,etc gumbo she does not have to boil em in salted water and each duck has a distinct flavor but when she uses bluebills,the meat is bland,guess boiling dem babies in salted water three times takes out the fishy flavor and replaces it with unfortunately a bland taste.With the extreme lack of ducks in our usual haunts,we might welcome bluebills,key word is 'might'!!!

Mandevillian

January 12 at 7:10pm
A comment titled: Re: Lack of ducks in response to a report titled: Lack of ducks

Awesome hunt,no doubt and guess ya gotta make lemonade when ya get dealt lemons and love dat nice bag of ducks!!Did see some ducks,they were just in the stratosphere and even my DC Countdown 2.0 in polycarbonate won't get dey attention!!!Congrats on mighty-fine hunt!!!Last Cast hit Honey Island Swamp today but did not have any luck but he texted me saying they heard lotta woodies!!!

Mandevillian

January 12 at 6:50pm
A comment titled: Re: Lack of ducks in response to a report titled: Lack of ducks

Heard some shooting today vs relatively little shooting and Bayoubob and I chatted with two sets of hunters dat had a drake scaup between them,how bad is dat,and neither he nor I have fired a shot in quite a few hunts!!!Debating upon taking Last Cast and his son to local marsh vs their fine private land and he and I were in fairly close contact,via texts today,and I might just have to do me some exploring,not necessarily this year,but next year,possibly heading to Yancey as timber hunts always seemed like a good idea.I actually hit an area in local marsh that looked a lot like timber with ole cypress trees in it and probably shoulda done me some more exploring Wed but de ole body about worn-out from early wake-up calls,long paddles,and MT skies!!!Hope to finish duck season strong and will be chasing redfish soon enough!!

Mandevillian

January 12 at 3:22pm
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