Touring bass pro Tyler Stewart of West Monroe has had a lot of bass fishing highlights in his young career. Another one came Sunday, March 16, when Tyler landed his personal best largemouth bass — a 12.74 pounder. And it came from Bussey Brake Reservoir, just north of Bastrop. Stewart was fishing the shallows looking for spawning bass when he felt a mushy feeling on his black and blue colored Googan Bandito Bug, so he did what all experienced bass anglers do. He set the hook. Nothing happened. Nothing moved. Then, a tug. Stewart had hooked into a 12.74 pound largemouth that is the biggest ever officially weighed and reported on the 2,200 acre lake north of Bastrop. It was also Stewart’s “PB” as they call it — his personal best biggest bass.
“I flipped the Bandito Bug up in a bush and when I picked it up, it was just kind of spongy…mushy,” he says. “When I set the hook, I didn’t even turn her. Then, there was a slight tug. Then a real pull. I knew it was a good one. I had to pull it up over another bush and when it rolled, my fishing partner Matthew Colvin saw it. I reeled a couple of times and told him to get the net. I didn’t have to. He was already standing there with it in his hand because he saw the fish swirl and knew it was a giant right after I hooked it. It was pretty exciting.”
Stewart was fishing in only about two or three feet of water and there wasn’t anything special about the bush he cast into. He said he was just flipping the bushes and dropped it in the right spot. Stewart had the fish weighed on certified scales and returned it to the lake to hopefully use the fish’s genetics to create even more big bass.
Stewart encourages all anglers to practice catch and release with the big bass at Bussey where it can become a top bass fishing lake for years to come.
Prior to hunting turkey, all turkey hunters, regardless of age or license status, must obtain turkey tags. They must also have the tags in their possession while hunting turkey. Immediately after harvesting a turkey, the hunter must tag the turkey with the appropriate carcass tag before moving it from where it was killed. The hunter must record the date and parish of kill on the carcass tag and record the date of kill on the corresponding tag number on the harvest report card portion of the turkey tag license.
The hunter must keep the tag attached to the turkey while keeping the turkey at camp and while transporting it to the hunter’s home or a cold storage facility. Hunters who keep the carcass or meat at camp must also comply with resident game possession tag regulations (see below).
Harvest information collected through tagging and validation provides an additional index for turkey population levels; we use this information when considering changes to seasons and bag limits.
Replacing Lost Tags
Hunters can obtain duplicate tags to replace lost tags for a fee from any license vendor. Hunters who have harvested turkeys prior to losing their remaining tags must remove and discard the duplicate tags to account for the original tags that have been used and validated. Hunters must record these validated turkeys on the duplicate turkey tag license.
You must tag any part(s) of a turkey that has been divided with the name, date, address, and LDWF license number of the person who harvested the turkey. You must write this information legibly in pen or pencil on any piece of paper, cardboard, or material which is attached to, secured to, or enclosing the part or parts. You may use the Resident Game Possession Tags provided in the most recent regulations booklet for this purpose.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division is once again reminding all boaters to practice safe boating as we approach the spring and summer boating season.
The reminder comes after two more boating fatalities within the past week, bringing the number of Louisiana boating fatalities in 2021 to seven. At this time in 2020, there were only two recreational boating fatalities.
“We haven’t even gotten into the prime boating season in Louisiana yet and we are seeing fatalities climb at an alarming pace,” said Col. Chad Hebert, the head of the LDWF Enforcement Division. “We are urging boaters to please adhere to all safe boating laws and practices.”
On Feb. 28 a person fell off of a personal watercraft without wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) and drowned in Vermilion Parish. Then on March 6, a boat with five people on board struck a railroad bridge in Lake Pontchartrain, near New Orleans, that resulted in one fatality and four people being treated for serious injuries at an area hospital.
“A life jacket is the life- saving equipment on a boat. Please, please use it,” said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “We want more people enjoying the water, but there are safety rules that are important to follow.”
The LDWF Enforcement Division encourages everyone to wear PFDs (commonly called life jackets) and have a sober operator while on the water. They also recommend that all boaters take LDWF’s boating education course. It is required for anyone 16 years old and younger to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved and properly fitting PFD while underway on a vessel under 26 feet in length. Also, everyone on a vessel less than 16 feet in length, propelled by a hand tiller motor, must wear a PFD while underway. There must also be a PFD for each person on board a vessel and anyone riding on a personal watercraft must wear a PFD.
Operating or driving a vessel in Louisiana while intoxicated has the same penalties as operating a vehicle. A DWI on the water can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel while impaired. Boaters are encouraged to take the LDWF-approved safe boating course. It is mandatory for anyone born after Jan.1, 1984, to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower. LDWF certified over 9,610 boaters in 2020.
To register for the course, visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/boater-education.
Bussey Brake, located right up the road from Simmons’ Sporting Goods, is showing out again. Last year right after it was re-opened, it rocked the fishing world giving up at least two 10 pound PLUS bass. This winter, the crappie are making waves as well.
Now, two three-pound plus crappie, including a 3.60 slab that will be No. 2 white crappie in the Louisiana State Fish Records have been caught in the past two weeks. Congratulations to Anthony Griffith of Bastrop on that catch and to J.C. Morgan, formerly of Bastrop, for his 3.32 whopper that will be No. 6 in the state black crappie records.
And look for more to come!
A reminder: Simmons’ Sporting Goods blog is now located here 12 months a year.
Check in every week for reports from our great outdoors!
It wasn’t a great last day of the season, but we did okay. And we talked to a lot of folks that killed some ducks. Overall, you’d have to be happy with that. We didn’t get but eight, but we saw quite a few ducks. It was mostly teal flying and not a lot of big ducks. That’s what we heard from others, too. We had a huge wind, but that sun just never popped out. That would have helped a lot.
Overall, it’s been an above average season. We had some tough days, but a lot of good days and a few great days. The weather never pushed huge numbers of ducks down our way, but we made the most of what we had. Most folks don’t hunt in the evenings, but there will be quite a few that get in that last hunt Sunday afternoon since you don’t have to worry about messing up tomorrow’s hunt! After that, the 2020-2021 duck season is in the books, or should we say, the duck bag. There are still a few special hunts left and some goose hunting, but the main body of work for the ducks in the East Zone closed today as the sun set.
We always hope the end of duck season will be something special, but sometimes the season just goes out with a whimper. Saturday was weak. We killed ten teal and a speck, not what we were hoping for. But we’ve seen worse days. It was the same with pretty much everybody we talked to. Six here, eight there, 10 here….it wasn’t a good morning.
Sunday’s the last day so we’ve got to give it a shot. We are going to a spot we haven’t hunted but a couple of times and hope the ducks are in there. That seems to be the best deal if you’ve got that option. Whatever you do, be safe and go try and get ’em.
After the regular season closes in the East Sunday, Jan. 31, there are two more duck days for special groups in the East Zone. Make sure you follow regulations and are up -to -date on the requirements if you participate. There’s a Youth only hunt February 6 and a Veterans only hunt February 7.