Outdoor Corner: Duck, Duck, Bass

Lyle Johnson

I spent a little time last week traveling to Lake Charles to help prepare some meals for some folks. Things are still quite grim, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, for real. Electricity is being restored as lights are being turned back on, and businesses are reopening.

(L to R) Goosie Guice, Waylon Wild and Greg Martin with 20 teal bagged with Spoonbill Adventures Guide Service.

Sandwiched between those trips was a stop off in Welsh to film an upcoming episode of Ascension Outdoors TV seen on Eatel channel 4 and 704, on Facebook and You Tube.

Nine year old Preston Martin from Sulphur, La holding the bag of ducks he and his party killed hunting with Spoonbill Adventures Guide Service.

A teal hunt with Spoonbill Adventures Guide Service was on the menu for this outing with Goosie and an old-time friend of ours, Greg Martin. A previous column highlighted the success of the teal season to our west, but we would be facing the remnants of tropical storm Beta.

Cole Melancon and gang; Ben Parker, Brandt baker, Colton King, Landon Lieux, Dylan Brock, Brennen Edmond, Reid Babin, Zane Zeppuhar and Griffin Edwards pose with their limit of teal killed on opening morning in Venice.

The weather was iffy at best, but we were sure that Glardon Hoffpauir and the crew would do their best to put us on the birds. As we prepared to leave the lodge heading for the blind, it looked like we might have a couple of hours with decent weather and maybe no rain.

After a short truck ride, we hopped on the four-wheeler for the ride to the blind. These hunts are in rice fields, which makes it real easy hunting. We got dropped off at the blind while Glardon parked the bike out of sight and walked back to the blind.

The decoys were in a flooded rice field, the mojo’s (decoys with battery operated wings that turn) were switched on, and the five of us were eagerly waiting for legal shooting time and the first teal to fly in the decoys.

Glardon, Greg, Goosie and Waylon Wild (Glardon’s protégé and guide in the making) manned the guns, and I would be shooting ducks this day with a video camera. After it got legal shooting time and daylight enough to see, it seemed like an eternity before the first bird came to the decoys so Goosie took him out.

Teal are not usually as wary as other ducks, making them respond to calling and decoys but this day was somewhat difficult. As time went on we began to see more and more teal, some flocks of 15 or more birds. They were a bit skittish and didn’t decoy well at all. Many times they were just out of gun range which made for very high heart rates for everybody concerned.

These are the times that the skills of the caller is put to the test. It was an awesome thing to watch them in action as it seemed the ducks were flying away but a volley of calls turned them around for another pass. Glardon and Waylon put on a calling show.

Their skills with the calls along with their patience that was tried by fire time and again afforded our group with enough good opportunities to bag 20 teal. There was also a spectacular miss as one poor teal landed in the decoys.

Glardon informed the rest of the crew and we stood up to make it fly, surely to be dispatched quickly. The four hunters just about shot out all 12 shells and that poor duck is probably still flying.

The regular duck season will open Nov. 21 in the East Zone, where Spoonbill Adventures Guide Service is located. Now is the time to book a trip to make sure you get in. Along with some great guided hunting, lodging is available with food and drinks included. For pricing and availability, Glardon can be contacted at (337) 368-5969 or you can find them on Facebook.

Last Saturday marked the 19th annual Jacob Dugas Memorial Bass Classic held out of Doiron’s landing in Stephensville. 106 teams of anglers signed up to help raise money for the Dreams Come True Foundation of Louisiana and compete against one another for the $5,000 first-place award.

Bill & Chance Shelby with their bass that tipped the scales at 17.88. They also took big bass honors with a 5.40 lunker.

Jacob “Jake” Dugas went to school at East Ascension High, a true Spartan to the end. In 2001 Jacob competed in two Central Division Bassmaster Opens, finishing in the money on Fort Gibson Lake in Wagner Oklahoma.

That’s when he was diagnosed with cancer, courageously fought cancer, but finally succumbed to this awful disease in 2002. His love for bass fishing has carried on in this bass tournament through the efforts of his great friends and family.

Those 212 anglers were blessed with a great day of weather along with some stiff competition. According to a fishing app, Saturday was rated a 14 out of 100 according to the moon phase tables which is not so good.

Somebody must have forgotten to tell the fish and the anglers this news as loads of five bass limits were brought to the scales to be weighed. The team of Bill and Chance Shelby certainly didn’t hear about the bad conditions. The pair hoisted a five-bass limit that tipped the scales at 17.88. They also took big bass honors with a 5.40 lunker.

Willie Couch II and Willie Couch III took the second spot with five bass at 16.96 along with a 4.24 for second-place big bass. Philip Waguespack and Ted Mayon took third with five bass at 16.30. fourth Kody Kelly and Hanson Chaney five at 15.86, fifth Jarrod Aucoin and Lenny Acosta, with five at 15.50.

Rounding out the top 10: sixth Jason Pourciau and Hunter David five at 14.64; seventh Chucky and Randy Son, five at 13.82; eighth Brett Chatelain and Jade Lambert, five at 13.22; ninth Dylan and Troy Tempanaro, five at 13.06; 10th Tim Templet and Cliff Crochet, five at 12.92. Brennan Huter and Greg Diamond, third-place Big Bass at 4.10.

Dreams Come True of Louisiana is a non-profit organization that grants dreams to Louisiana children between ages 3 - 18 who has a life threatening illness. Dreams are granted to children living anywhere in the state of Louisiana. Our volunteers will travel statewide to grant dreams.

Their mission is to restore the beauty found in the dreams of children. They provide happiness, support and encouragement to very special children and their families as they endure hardships inherent with the struggles of facing a life-threatening illness.

This a great group of people doing great work in our state and a great choice for an organization to get involved with. So until next time, remember to keep the slack out and set the hook hard. Have fun in the outdoors, be safe in the outdoors and may God truly bless you!