FIRST SPLIT OF 2019/2020 DUCK SEASON ENDS WITH A BANG
A very productive first split of duck season ended yesterday. Our hunters from all of the country came to southwest Louisiana and harvested over 4300 ducks in 30 days. Our hunters ended with good numbers of Gadwall, Teal, Canvas back weigeon and others. Our two managed marshes are in great shape and this and 13 day rest should bring in even more ducks to result in a super second split. Call toll free at 888.762.3391 or just click here to check availability and book a blind.
Trout and redfish are being caught as far north as 210 bridge all the way to west cove on Mirror lures little john along with Hackberry Hustlers, Berkley gulp and live shrimp. Drifting oyster reefs for trout has been the best with slot redfish coming from the marsh. As usual on calm days you can catch oversized redfish at the Cameron Jetties on cracked crab and cut bait fishing on the bottom.
Here are a few pictures from the last week and you can see them all be clicking here:
Check out our Duck Hunting video then call 888.762.3391 and come see it for yourself
Don’t miss this opportunity to arrange one of our VERY POPULAR trips we call our Blast and Cast. What could be better than blasting away at ducks in the morning and catching redfish and Trout in the afternoon? – The only thing I can think of is Tina’s fantastic GUMBO.
Call toll free at 888.762.3391 and check availability.
HERE ARE OUR SPECIALLY PRICED HUNTS MANY OF YOU HAVE ASKED ABOUT
SPECIALLY PRICED DUCK HUNTING DATES FOR THIS SEASON
OUR MARSH IS HOLDING A LOT OF DUCKS THIS YEAR
Every year during the holidays we offer our very popular inclusive duck hunting trip to our private marsh in southwest Louisiana
Normally the cost of this trip would be $970.00 for two (2) hunters. The trip includes all meals, lodging, duck hunt and more.
This year we are offering this trip for $ 700.00.
Along the Gulf coasts of Texas and Louisiana, when big flocks of sea gulls hold over shrimp and shad pushed to the surface by schools of hungry speckled trout and redfish, the fishing is going to be off the charts. And seasoned anglers look to the sky for telltale signs leading to exciting dawn-to-dusk action.
It all starts with the migration of shrimp and shad from the backwater marshes and estuary lakes that feed into the bays. That’s usually the result of falling water temperatures associated with the first mild cold fronts in late summer and early fall. The migration moves to the bays, and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico, with fantastic fishing often lasting well into November, or until the first hard cold front of the season moves through.
“When we start seeing the first flights of teal moving along the coast toward their wintering areas in Mexico, gulls are going to be holding over trout, and reds gorging on shrimp and shad,” says Capt. Jerry Norris, a longtime guide in Sabine Lake, on the Texas-Louisiana border. “The dove season opens on September 1, and the early teal season opens right after that, coinciding with the time when speckled trout and redfish become easier to find and catch.”
There are several bays where flocks of gulls tend to hover over hungry trout and reds. The No. 1 spot in Louisiana is Calcasieu Lake. The best places in Texas are Sabine Lake, East Galveston Bay, West Galveston Bay and East Matagorda Bay. All are easily accessible, with good boat ramps.
Typically, when the action under the birds begins, it’s with 13- to 15-inch male trout. But as the water temperature cools with passing fronts, trout in the 2- to 4-pound range move in. “During the first couple of weeks in September, we’ll be fishing with soft plastics rigged on ¼-ounce jig heads. The lures imitate shrimp that fish are feeding on,” says Capt. Jim West, who has been guiding on the Galveston Bay system for decades. “We not only have reds and speckled trout under the gulls, but also huge numbers of big sand trout,” he adds.
It’s easy to tap into the action. It only requires launching your boat and locating feeding flocks of sea gulls. The tool to keep you on the fish is a good pair of binoculars to spot gulls dipping and diving. In most situations, the first one or two boats to arrive will catch a few solid fish. Once more boats move in, the fish spook, and it’s time to find another flock of birds.
“The best way to approach a school of feeding trout is to shut down the outboard about 50 yards from the birds,” Norris says. “From there, ease to within casting distance with the trolling motor. Determining which way the fish are moving is very important, and being quiet is key. Once I get into the action, I try to position the boat so that it drifts with the current or wind alongside the feeding fish. When it’s done right, everybody in the boat hooks up. It’s fun fishing.”
Hanging Around Pays
Something else to keep in mind is that the fish won’t leave a good supply of shrimp or shad when disturbed, but rather will go to the bottom, away from the surface noise. After other boats leave to find another flock of gulls, anglers in the know stick around the area and work jigs along the bottom, a game plan that frequently produces 4- to 6-pound trout and, frequently, redfish in the 20- to 28-inch class.
Lures of Choice
Soft-plastic jigs are the top overall lures for taking both trout and reds under birds. Silver spoons, topwater plugs and crankbaits are also good. A topwater often delivers the heavier fish. Such a lure can be cast well ahead of the boat, and that’s normally where the big, wary big trout feed near the surface.
“I’ve always got a topwater lure tied on, ready to fish,” says Matagorda guide Charlie Paradoski. “It’s definitely the best option for catching bigger trout and reds under the birds. A Super Spook works well; so does a MirrOlure She Dog. The color is really not that important, but some of my favorites are bone, pink-and-silver, and chrome-and-blue.
“Some of our best catches of big trout take place in late October and into November, and that’s the best time to use a topwater plug. If the water surface is slick-calm, scale down to something like a Super Spook Jr. If it’s a little rough, go with a larger plug like a MirrOlure Top Dog.”
Good imitations of shad and pogies migrating from the marsh to the Gulf, silver spoons are effective on their own. But a ½-ounce silver spoon trailing a D.O.A. paddle-tail grub is deadly. The flash of the spoon combined with a grub in pearl or chartreuse will catch the larger fish, especially when the lure tandem is allowed to sink toward bottom. It’s a true redfish magnet, plus it can be cast out of sight, which is particularly important when you run into a school of reds. Of course, you have the option of fishing a spoon without a trailer. But if you take the treble hook off and add a single, straight-shank 2/0 hook and trailer to the spoon, you’ll more than likely catch heavier fish.
On Sabine Lake, it’s not at all unusual to see reds gorging on shad. Most are in the 25- to 30-inch class, and they make something akin to a boat wake when chasing a school of baitfish on top. Once a school is spotted, you either crank up the outboard and run to them, or determine the direction of the fish and cut them off. Redfish will hit just about anything they see, but the spoon with a trailer is especially good.
Try the Shrimp
Most of the trout will be feeding on shrimp, so be sure to carry a supply of lures that imitate the crustaceans. It’s not unusual to see a big shrimp skipping across the surface, fleeing for it’s life. One of the most productive soft plastics is the original 4-inch D.O.A. shrimp. It comes pre-rigged and weighs ½ ounce. It’s easy to cast, and both trout and reds will eat them all day long. The 6-inch D.O.A. jumbo shrimp, which weighs 1¼ ounces, is another great choice. It can be cast a long way and resembles some of the big shrimp migrating to the Gulf. Some of the best colors are chartreuse with silver glitter, glow with a gold-rust belly, moss green with a red tail, pink-and-glow, and purple with a chartreuse tail
Late August and September is when the action under the birds begins. Toward the middle of September, it starts to pick up. And come October, it’s not unusual to see huge flocks of gulls picking baitfish and shrimp off the surface. By the end of October and the first week of November, the action begins to wane. But that’s also when some of the heaviest trout start to show up under the birds. As the migration of shad and shrimp begins to peter out, you will no longer see the big flocks of gulls. Then, you might see only a half-dozen birds over a school of trout. But even if you spot just a single gull hovering over one particular area, go to it. You just never know. It could be suspending over a pair of reds, or an entire school.
Gulls aren’t the only birds that lead you to fish; terns and pelicans will also. Terns, aka liar birds, are much smaller than gulls and quite often appear to be over fish when they’re really not. Conversely, if you see pelicans diving into the water, definitely do not pass them up. Even a single pelican crashing into bait will more than likely be over trout.
Once the word spreads about the action under the birds, it’s guaranteed to put plenty of boats on the water. It’ll be chaos at times. When a flock of birds is spotted, it often becomes a boat race to see who gets there first. If other boats are on a big flock of gulls, it’s OK to move in, but with the trolling motor so you won’t spook the fish.
Some days the fishing can be crazy—a fish hooked on just about every cast. It’s definitely all right to catch-and-release reds and trout all day long. In fact, during September it’s not unusual to catch 25 or 30 undersize trout in a few hours of run-and-gun fishing. Be sure to handle and unhook undersize fish with care, and don’t ice too many keepers during the frenzy. This is a time when game wardens are not in the habit of writing warning tickets.
MARK IT DOWN NOW
OUR 22ND YEAR
This week we took delivery of 3 of the new four stroke engines from Mercury Marine and look forward to many more in the future. We have been running Mercury engines for over 30 years and look forward to another 30 years.
A couple of our hunters last week asked me about a duck recipe that was made with Coke. I looked it up because we published it 5 or 6 years ago and found it back from 2013. It is a great dish that Captain Guy Stansel makes and it is GREAT
6 to 8 small ducks – You can get them during Teal season right here at the lodge
HR&G all purpose seasoning – Pauline has it – call her toll free at 888.762.3391
1 – tsp. onion powder
1 – tsp. garlic powder
1 – tsp. black pepper
¼ cup of olive oil
1 – bunch of green onions chopped
2 – large onions course chopped
1 – large bell pepper chopped
16 oz. Coca-cola
12 to 24 ounces fresh small button mushrooms (lot of mushrooms is best
Season ducks with HR&G seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper. Brown ducks in oil for one hour or until dark, turning often so they won’t burn. Add green onions, chopped onions and chopped bell pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. Add coca-cola and enough water to cover the ducks. Cook on medium/high for 2 hours. Add mushrooms, cover and cook on low for 45 minutes.
Serve with rice and corn bread.
You are going to love this dish.
THIS WILL BE THE MOST TENDER AND TASTY DUCK YOU HAVE EVER EATEN.
My Thought – – – – “You can’t go back and change the beginning…….. But you can start where you are and change the ending”
WE WOULD LIKE TO INCLUDE SOME OF YOUR SPECIAL PICTURES IN OUR NEW SITE. WE ARE ESTABLISHING AN AREA TO HIGHLIGHT OUR CUSTOMERS AND PICTURES OF THEIR EXPERIENCE HERE AT THE LODGE.
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