Category Archives: Turkey Report

HIP Fee waived; On-line licenses still have $2 fee

Screen Shot 2020-08-30 at 5.37.26 PMThe Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said today that a $2 fee assessed when registering online for the Harvest Information Program (HIP) will be waived beginning Sept. 1, 2020.  LDWF said the fee waiver was the result of ongoing negotiations with the vendor that covers online services for HIP certification. LDWF did not receive revenue from that assessment. No refunds will be provided to those who have already paid the $2 online transaction fee.

Customers who obtained their HIP certification online beginning June 1, 2020, were required to pay a $2 online transaction fee to the vendor to cover online services. Transaction fees for on-line license purchases have been in effect since 2006.  Purchasing hunting and fishing licenses online will still require payment of the $2 transaction fee.

HIP had been available at sporting goods stores and other retail outlets, but the department found that hunters were not always asked the required registration questions.  Answers to those questions are necessary to determine the species hunted and relative harvest success for each migratory bird hunter.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services uses that basic information to obtain scientifically valid samples of hunters through a separate mail out harvest survey.

LDWF, as part of a multi-state pilot study coordinated by the Wildlife Management Institute to address invalid registration data, limited HIP certification to online or in-person at LDWF headquarters in Baton Rouge.

Persons 16 years old or older, who hunt migratory birds, must have a HIP certification on their person while hunting.  Migratory birds include mourning and white-winged doves, snipe, woodcock, rails, gallinules, ducks, geese, and coots.

It’s the Louisiana Hunter’s Bible

Gun. Shells. Decoys. Bags. License. Clothing. Hat.  The checklist for hunting is long, especially if you want to be prepared for about anything. And the season is about to get underway. Here’s another little thing you don’t need to leave home without.

It’s the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries 2020-21 Hunting and WMA Regulations.  You think hunting is simple? Nope. There are 70 pages of rules, regulations, limits, stipulations and requirements. Make sure you understand the ones that apply to what and where you are hunting. And make sure you have your HIP registration!

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Visiting Bussey? Come see us!

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Here’s some good information from the Bastrop/Morehouse Chamber of Commerce in case you are visiting Bussey Brake. It’s a good list of where you can find some things you might need to go fishing for a day or even stay awhile!  And of course, you’ll want to come by and check us out at Simmons’ Sporting Goods!  Welcome to Morehouse Parish!

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Another 10 pounder out of Bussey!

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Make that TWO 10 pound bass out of Bussey Brake the first week!

Alton “Dallas” Brown tried to go to Bussey Brake on opening day last week, but the line was too long. But he made it back this past Tuesday and he’s glad he did. He caught a 10.64 pound lunker, the largest he’s ever caught.

“Isn’t that something?” he said. “I mean, really, I’ve gone all over the place trying to catch a 10-pounder and never have. I’ve been to Lake Fork over in Texas numerous times with a guide. But I ride right up from my house and catch this 10 pounder in this little lake. That’s just awesome, man.”

Right down the road from Simmons’ Sporting Goods. Come see us…and those Bussey bass, too!

Hunting rules, regs now online at LDWF site

Screen Shot 2020-07-21 at 3.14.24 PMGet Ready! Hunting season isn’t that far away. And a great place to start getting ready is at our Simmons’ Sporting Goods Tent Sale — underway NOW!  Check out the upcoming LDWF rules and regulations news below:

The hunting rules and regulations for the 2020-21 season are now available on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LWDF) website. Go to to see this year’s hunting seasons, rules and regulations.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved notices of intent for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 hunting seasons, 2020-21 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons and rules and regulations, 2021 general and WMA turkey hunting season and rules and regulations, and 2020-21 migratory bird hunting season and rules and regulations at its May meeting.

The LDWF hunting regulation printed pamphlet is expected to be available in late August.  Please contact your local LDWF Field Office for any assistance or clarification of seasons, rules or regulations at

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Bussey’s first ten pounder reported

It was bound to happen. After several hundred lunker largemouths were released in Bussey several years ago, they were bound to start showing up bigger and better than people expected. And they have.

In fact, the “new” Bussey yielded it’s first reported ten pounder this past Saturday. The 10.84 lunker was caught by Brandon Johnston on a 10.5 inch June Bug Red colored Zoom worm. The lake was just reopened to public fishing the Wednesday before.

Here ya go! Take a look.  Who’s next?


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Bussey opens with a bang!

Bussey Brake reopened for the first time in almost 10 years Wednesday, July 15, 2020.  And it was a hit. Or since it’s fishing, maybe you’d call it a “THUMP”.  Either way, first-day fishermen lined up early and stayed late to fish the refurbished 2,200 acre reservoir north of time. The gates opened at 6 a.m. and the first boat got in line at 1:05 a.m.

That was Jeremy Cooper and his dad James. They wanted to be the first to fish the “new” Bussey and they made it, but just by a few minutes.  Ian Carter his Dad, John Leamon Carter, were second in line.

“Us and some friends had started messing with each other about who was going to be first and the time kept getting moved earlier and earlier,” Jeremy said. “We finally decided we would get there at 1 a.m. so we could be first. We slept in the truck a little bit and then visited with the other early birds. It was worth it.”

Here are just a few scenes from opening morning, courtesy of the Bastrop-Morehouse Chamber of Commerce, which was on hand along with the LDWF to welcome the latest visitors to our parish lake!

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Bussey opens Wednesday, July 15!

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If you plan on being there Wednesday when Bussey Brake opens back to the public, here’s some things you need to know from LDWF biologist Ryan Daniel.

  • Be aware that you will have to fill out a WMA self-clearing permit before fishing. You can do that on paper at the boat dock or on the LDWF app ( ** see more at the very end of this article ** ).
  • Know and follow limits and size restrictions. Take a measuring tape of some sort if you plan to keep any bass or crappie. Enforcement agents will be monitoring this closely.
  • Bring your favorite baits and patience. I imagine there will be quite a crowd on hand opening day. Be patient and safe. Make it fun.
  • You will find several things new on the reservoir, including marked boat lanes for the first time ever. While these boat lanes are safe for running, they may also have people fishing on the edges. Be courteous. Slow down and stop your wake. There’s also a new windbreak in front of the launch which protects anglers from winds while loading and unloading.
  • Screen Shot 2020-07-14 at 10.10.27 AMBe ready to see a new Bussey that does not look in any way like the old Bussey. Even the water seems to be a prettier blue. It’s kind of shocking, to be honest. The old lake appeared mostly wide open, but with huge stump fields right under the surface. The stump fields are still there, but much of the lake now resembles a maze of willow lined bayous and cuts like you see in the Atchafalaya Basin. In other spots, the huge lilly pad fields look like some big Florida lake. And the brush and wide variety of aquatic vegetation looks a lot like shallow areas of Toledo Bend in the early days. That’s pretty good company.
  • Fishing will probably be tough right now. No, fishing will be tough right now. Make sure you realize that. There is a lot more water than there are fish. Read that again. Ryan accurately calls Bussey “an emerging fishery”, which means it’s just getting started. There are some great fish in the lake, but there are long stretches with no fish. Where there are fish, there’s an abundance of cover that gives them lots of places to hide. You’ll understand more when you go, or look at the pictures below. If this were a tennis match, it would definitely be ADVANTAGE, FISH! Long term, that’s a good thing.
  • An example. If you are expecting to fish some around the rock-lined levee. That’s a laugh. The levee rocks are not even visible because of a thick layer of grown up willows and other brush that grew up around the edge during the drawdown. Great for fish. Tough for fishermen.

More good news? Bussey will continue to get better and better. In the next 3-5 years, it should peak as a fantastic reservoir. There have been a ton of bass, bream, crappie fingerlings and shad stocked there. Three years ago, some hatchery brood fish — bass in the 3-5 pound range, were stocked. We caught (and released) several good bass, including one that was probably one of those original brood bass. If you catch a big one, you should consider releasing it. You can only keep one bass over 16 inches each day anyway. In fact, the more fish of every kind that you release, the sooner the lake will reach it’s potential. The fish looked great. They are very healthy. If you catch a tagged bass, let LDWF know. Some of the original brood stock were tagged and it would be nice to know if they are caught.


Since Bussey Brake is a WMA, all the standard WMA regulations will apply. Visitors will have to check in and fill out a self-clearing permit at a kiosk before they visit the lake. Please note that Bussey Brake is NOT currently listed as a selection on the WMA app. It will be added at a later date when the app is updated. In addition, visitors will need to insure they are properly licensed. For more information about license and permit requirements, visit:

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$10,000 crappie

Competitive crappie fishing has become a pretty big deal!  There’s a Crappie Masters national qualifier tournament on the Ouachita River in our backyard July 17&18 and the river will be buzzing with activity. The winners of the pro crappie match will take home $10,000!  It’s open to anyone. To find out more, check out Crappie Masters on the web or Facebook if you are interested in entering. Here’s more:

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