Little secret, big fish

Corey Wheat hefts a bull redfish taken from the waters south and east of Venice off the Mississippi River. Big reds are cruising the ponds and along points in the larger bays and are taking the same lures anglers are casting in search of largemouth bass. The complete story of the bass/redfish run in the Venice area will come in Thursday's Outdoors.


It was a big month when Cade Fortenberry and Colby Miller were selected as Bassmaster's top high school anglers in Louisiana.

Now, it's a big year after the two young men were chosen to be among the 12 bass fishermen named to the Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team announced late last week. There will be more on this in later issues.

Fortenberry is from Prairieville, and Miller calls Elmer home. Elmer is southwest of Alexandria.

Texas and Arkansas also had two anglers each on the team. Other states represented included Alabama, Tennessee, New York, Illinois, South Carolina and Missouri.

Boating education

Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' managers call it Lagniappe Day, but anyone 33 and younger who plans to drive a boat with more than a 10 horsepower engine can look at Saturday as a chance to become "legal" on the state's waterways.

State law requires all boaters born after Jan. 1, 1984, to successfully complete an approved state boating course (and you're also required to carry the certificate when driving a boat powered by any engine or motor in excess of 10 horsepower).

Boating Education Lagniappe Day offers the course in all corners of the state. The list of sites was carried here in late March, and for folks in the Capital City area, there's a change.

Saturday's course will be offered at Bass Pro Shops in Denham Springs. This class was moved from its original site at Cabela's in Gonzales. All sites will take in at 8 a.m. with lunch provided, and will end in the late afternoon.

Since space is first-come, first-served, you might want to register on the LDWF's website:

While the originally published list included a course in Henderson, the LDWF's website shows all 30 spots have been filled, and there's a waiting list, and, as of Friday, only three of 40 spots are open at Bass Pro Shops.

Other locations include:

  • Manchac Fire Department, 30221 U.S. 51, Akers.
  • St. Tammany Parish Library Madisonville Branch, 1123 Main St., Madisonville.
  • Galliano Fire Station District 3, 1762 West Main St., Galliano.
  • LDWF Region 1 Office, 9961 U.S. 80, Minden.
  • Academy Sports + Outdoors, 111 Constitution Drive, West Monroe.
  • Academy Sports + Outdoors, 3205 S MacArthur Drive, Alexandria.
  • First Baptist Church, 2030 U.S. 171, DeRidder.

There are no fees, and the course covers such topics as choosing a boat, hulls, engines, legal and equipment requirements along with navigation rules, charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing and personal watercraft and more.

Making DU’s list

Some 18 chapters in Louisiana made the cut when Ducks Unlimited came out with its list of top affiliated chapters in three categories last week.

DU singled out five groups for the Chairman’s Roll of Honor for raising between $250,000-$1 million during 2016 and included the local chapters from Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette and Shreveport. Stepping up in the big time was the LSU-based Tiger Chapter on the Baton Rouge campus.

St. Tammany West Chapter of Covington and local chapters in Abbeville, New Iberia, Lake Charles and West Monroe made the President’s Elite list for volunteer groups raising between $100,000-$250,000 during the year, and will be honored during DU’s 80th national convention opening in late May in San Antonio.

Eight other state chapters earned spots on the President’s Roll of Honor ($65,000-$100,000). These included the East Ascension Chapter in Gonzales, the Upper Lafourche Chapter in Thibodaux, Slidell Chapter, the West Bank Chapter in Gretna, the Luling-Des Allemands-based chapter in St. Charles Parish, the Avoyelles Park Chapter in Marksville, DU of Terrebonne based in Houma and the Sulphur Chapter.