Blast, cast during action-packed Labor Day

By Bruce McDonald

September 09, 2010 at 10:19 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Chase Petit, Americo Sheppard Jr, and Dalton Tregre pose with two doves during the hunt.
Chase Petit, Americo Sheppard Jr, and Dalton Tregre pose with two doves during the hunt.
Labor Day usually means taking it easy around the BBQ pit.

In south Louisiana for outdoorsmen, we fish and hunt!  Labor Day is a time for hunters to break out the old shotgun and head to the fields and shoot the elusive gray ghost - doves.


In the morning on Labor Day, Hunter and I headed for Lake Cataouatche around 11a.m.  We brought a couple of boxes of worms and went to the cuts on the north side of the lake. 


The water was running around 7,400 cubic feet per second through the Davis Pond Diversion. The water looked clear in the last cut before the La. Cypress Canal and the wind was blowing out of the southeast at 15 miles per hour, making three feet waves in the lake. 


We decided to fish in the protection of calm water behind the grass beds and lilies. Finding calm water we dropped our anchor in a strong moving current. Rigged live-bait style, barrel swivel, ľ ounce weight, and #4 hook, I baited the hook with earthworm and threw down current. Hunter fished for sac-a-laits and bass. He used the traditional red/white/ chartreuse mini jig under a cork and for bass he threw the watermelon baby brush hog.  


Within minutes of dropping the anchor, I had rigged the catfish line and set one of them out. Our goal was to catch 12 keeper catfish.  Before I could set the second rod in the rod holder, I had a good catfish on the line.


I put the second rod in the rod holder and reeled in the first fish. The second rod went down before I could re-bait and cast out the first rod. I quickly set-up the first rod and reeled in the second fish.


I asked Hunter to help me with catching the catfish. 


Within 15 minutes we had caught our 12 catfish and decided to fish sac-a-laits around the grass beds in the middle of the lake. We went out to the middle of the lake and gave it a good try but the winds were too strong. 


We made a few casts with our  red/white/chartreuse mini jigs under a cork and did not catch a fish. It was 1 p.m. and we called it a day.


On our way home, Americo Sheppard Jr., called to set-up a dove hunt in Hahnville. Both Hunter and I were excited because it's been six months since rabbit season. 


We were itching to pull the trigger on some doves. 


After cleaning the fish and boat, we met Americo Jr., Americo Sr., Dalton Tregre, Big Z, Little Z, Chase Petit, and Cody Morales in the Hahnville fields at 3:30 p.m. As we arrived, Americo Jr. said; "Birds are moving pretty good!"


As we entered the field, a small thunderstorm blew up. It cooled everything off. The field had become muddy and hard to walk in. We quickly surrounded the big field and on occasion a pop would go off from one of the hunters.


We managed to kill 10 doves. 


The rain had hurt our attempts of a good hunting afternoon. Americo Jr. had a big smile on his face when he told the group his grandmother was going to cook the doves. 


"She smothers them down with onions, celery, and bell peppers,” he said. “It makes a brown gravy, which I put on rice.


“Can't wait for grandmas cooking!"


What a great way to spend Labor Day, fish in the morning and hunt in the afternoon.


In the Southern Zone, doves opened Saturday and will stay open until Sept.12 for the first of three splits. The daily bag limit for doves is 15 and the state is split into two zones.


South
Sept. 4-12
Oct. 16-Nov.28
Dec. 18-Jan. 3


North
Sept. 4-19
Oct. 9-Nov. 7
Dec. 11-Jan. 3




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