Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

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Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby Idahoryden » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:38 pm

I'm heading down from the Northwest just to hunt/fish the Pass a Loutre for 3 days/nights with a buddy of mine who lives just outside of New Orleans. We have been planning this trip for almost a year and the conditions are beginning to look a little different than we orginally anticipated. We have hunted and fished all over North America together and are competent boaters and outdoorsman. However, I just want to glean some wisdom off of some other experienced outdoorsman as this is both of our first time down to the Mississippi Delta. We anticipate wind, tide, and dry land access issues and are researching heavily to make sure we don't get ourselves in a place we can't get out of. We will be taking two kayaks with us down there and leave the boat in larger channels where possible. Apparently duck counts are typically in the 100,000's + range and the reds can stack up really nicely if you can find their schools. All in all, we aren't looking for any spots as we'll find 'em on our own. We would just like to get some more info about conditions, unforseeable issues, expectations, and any wisdom we need in order to have a safe and successful trip. My buddy has an 18 ft. aliminum (high side) semi hull jon boat with a 65 jet on the back. The jet has been an issue for him in the Biloxi Marsh at times as the mud can clog up the impellar once he gets off plane. We are taking an extra 5 hp outboard kicker along for safety issues. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys and wishful limits for you all.
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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby Swamplife » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:45 pm

Be careful in the river down there! At times there is heavy ship and large crew boat traffic that throw large swells. Also the tide can drop as much as 3ft in some places. I've seen hunters set up camp on high tide and wake up to find their boat high and dry on the mud bottom. We limit out on ducks, specs and reds almost everytime we go. Good Luck!
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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby Idahoryden » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:15 pm

Sincerely appreciate the feedback. We anticipated the issues with high/low tide and have dealt with that in other places we have fished/hunted. But, the wind and mud will be a new addition. I've been on the Columbia River when the barges and tug boats come through, so you just watch out and stay out of the main rollers. We've heard nothing but great fishing and hunting reports, so we are looking forward to the adventure. I think the setback is going to be finding a dry camp spot that we aren't going to wake up to floating on water in our sleeping bags or a stranded boat in low tide. The reports for the winds are looking like they'll be up to the 20mph range. I imagine this is going to have some affect on water depth, maneuverability, fish schools, etc. Should be an adventure, none the less! Thanks again for the post. Always appreciate any feedback.
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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby Swamplife » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:24 am

There are very nice park like camp grounds on the WMA.
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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby Indawoods » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:17 pm

there are 3 campgrounds on the WMA. If I were you I would choose the one farthest west, as it is on a main channel, and passing boats will spot you if you have trouble, you won't be stranded.

South pass has had some serious mid-channel shoaling since last spring's high water, stay to the east when you can or follow other boats. Pass a L'outre (the pass itself, not the WMA) is not maintained by the Corps or dredged, stay to the OUTSIDE of the curve and DO NOT cut across the turns or you will beach.

A hard South wind going against the river current makes for some butt pucker grade rollers in the channel, especially in that boat. Your boat is undersized for this trip, and I'm on the adventurous side.

The fog is no joke. If it rolls in on you, take your time navigating.

I hope you have GPS.
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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby Idahoryden » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:05 pm

Good feedback Inda. Sounds like, weather permitting, we'll be ok since my buddies "jon boat" is oversized so the description is a little misleading. I agree that if the wind is pushing 5 foot rollers that it would not be wise to head out on the main channel. Thanks for the info on maneuvering around on the cannals. We will make sure to keep that in mind. The good thing for us is that we only need about 8 inches of water to run once we are on plane so that should add to our benefit over most boats out there. I think we'll just plan on leaving the boat in the canals and kayaking in from there. We've got a GPS fish finder/navigation unit with maps, as well as a hand held back up and a CB radio. I do think we will try and stay more west, however, just like you said; especially since it's our first time out there.

All the reports I read down there talk about good limits gadwalls (Grey ducks as you guys call them), GWT, and a few divers. Are there any other ducks that you guys are shooting/seeing out there beyond those?
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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby Indawoods » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:44 am

widgeon and pintails are plentiful. you need to be able to identify a Mottled Duck, as you are only allowed one each per day. Look at lots of pics. divers will fly in off the gulf when the wind kicks up. you can kill anything down there, but rarely will you see mallards. snow geese are an option.

Most down there run surface drives, your outboard will not compete with them, so I wouldn't even try. (8 inches won't help you) Find a pothole that is walk in only on a map and hunt the incoming tide. there are several east of the campground I mentioned south of the cut that goes back into the marsh. or plan on kayaking in a mile or more.

seriously use caution in a boat that small down there. that river is NO JOKE.
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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby USMC_Aggie » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:33 pm

It is going to be my boat that we will be taking down with Idahoryden. It is your standard aluminum boat that we will be running, it is not a jon boat at all. It's an 18ft Xpress boat, very similar to a grizzly tracker. Is that really too small a boat to safely make the river fun if the wind isn't too bad?

I went tuna fishing out of Venice Marina last year and it appeared I saw some similar boats on the way out. The last thing I want to do is get into a dangerous situation. I have used my boat in the Missouri river up in Kansas City, but obviously the Mississippi is a whole different level.

Also, is hunting out of pirouge a bad idea? I hunt he biloxi marsh 99% of the time and that seems to work well for me there. Your last post made it sound like we would have to do some extensive paddling. Are there not potholes off the main channels that we can kayak through? Would walking in be our best bet? I am not sure how we would set our decoys in the mud if we walked in?

Thanks for all the info. We will be making the run down mid morning on Saturday and coming out on Monday. I guess if you see a capsized green Xpress boat floating down the river stop by and say hi!!!
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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby Indawoods » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:52 am

USMC_Aggie wrote:It is going to be my boat that we will be taking down with Idahoryden. It is your standard aluminum boat that we will be running, it is not a jon boat at all. It's an 18ft Xpress boat, very similar to a grizzly tracker. Is that really too small a boat to safely make the river fun if the wind isn't too bad?

I went tuna fishing out of Venice Marina last year and it appeared I saw some similar boats on the way out. The last thing I want to do is get into a dangerous situation. I have used my boat in the Missouri river up in Kansas City, but obviously the Mississippi is a whole different level.

Also, is hunting out of pirouge a bad idea? I hunt he biloxi marsh 99% of the time and that seems to work well for me there. Your last post made it sound like we would have to do some extensive paddling. Are there not potholes off the main channels that we can kayak through? Would walking in be our best bet? I am not sure how we would set our decoys in the mud if we walked in?

Thanks for all the info. We will be making the run down mid morning on Saturday and coming out on Monday. I guess if you see a capsized green Xpress boat floating down the river stop by and say hi!!!


18 foot is OK, UNLESS the wind kicks up straight out of the south, against the current, or a crew boat flies by WOT. Just use abundant caution. Pirogues are fine, but every hole you can access has already been hunted. you can walk in to a pothole (shallow water) 50 yards and hunt unmolested birds. Scout hard and hunt where the birds tell you too hunt. hunt strong wind or incoming tide.
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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby Idahoryden » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:02 pm

Wow... what a crazy trip that was. We made it down perfectly fine into the Pass a Loutre with no issues, set up camp, and did some scouting until dark; but this trip turned sour fast. My buddy ended up having stroke like symptoms that he believed was stemming from a migraine. I ended up having to load up all our gear and run the Pass a Loutre and the Mississippi in the dark. That was a hairy ride... Got him to the ER by midnight and that was the end of our trip down there. Never even got to to hunt or fish after that run.

Some really great people down there in Louisina, I'll tell you that much (definitely a few knuckleheads as well). Two guys that were camping in the same campground really helped out a ton with getting us out of there fast and giving me some directions and pointers for running at night. Wouldn't advise that to anyone, but with the potential severity, we didn't have much choice. If either of those guys are on here and read this, I owe you one and sincerely can't thank you enough. Look me up on here anytime if either of you decide to you ever want to hunt big game or even ducks up here in Idaho. I'd be obliged to take you out after all of that.

Shot my first Mottled or Black Duck while in the Biloxi Marsh though, whichever one it was. I'd be willing to bet even an expert would have a hard time distinguishing between those two species. At any rate, just glad to be alive and well after that one.
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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby benelliquackerstacker » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:57 pm

Glad you guys got out of there safe. Your gaurdian angels musta been working overtime. I am guessing your buddy is ok though?
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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby dog walker » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:30 am

Glad y'all made it out ok.

As far as the bird harvested in Biloxi wma there is a 99.99% chance it was a mottled duck.
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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby Indawoods » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:02 pm

Hope you get to make it back down.

You shot a mottled duck. Very, very few true blacks here.
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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby Rick Hall » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:15 pm

Idahoryden wrote:Shot my first Mottled or Black Duck while in the Biloxi Marsh though, whichever one it was. I'd be willing to bet even an expert would have a hard time distinguishing between those two species. At any rate, just glad to be alive and well after that one.


Don't bet too much, they're really not that much alike.

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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby Idahoryden » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:51 pm

Mine definitely must have been a Mottled duck. That's the first picture anywhere on the internet that I've seen a black duck and mottled that look different. Every other picture we've looked at makes them look identical. Mine had really bright orange feet, much like that of a northerner, which looks just like the first picture.

Also, my newest pet peeve..... Swamp Gnats. Those things suck and I'm still clawing at my hands and wrists from the bites that I got a week ago now. Deet had virtually no effect on those things. I truly think I'd rather play another round of Midnight Mississippi River Chicken with another Carnival Cruise Liner than have to mess with those things again.

And yes, my buddy is ok. Just a really severe Migraine that came out of nowhere. Never seen anything like that before.
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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby dog walker » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:55 pm

Gnats are the DEVIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Get you some victoria's secrets body spray in stripper vanilla and it helps keep them off
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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby Indawoods » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:57 am

I apologize profusely for not warning you about the gnats. They are a plague on the very soul.

They just get drunk on deet and high on permethrin. And then they get a ravenous, insatiable appetite.
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Re: Pass a Loutre WMA Hunt

Postby Indaswamp » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:49 am

Idahoryden wrote:Mine definitely must have been a Mottled duck. That's the first picture anywhere on the internet that I've seen a black duck and mottled that look different. Every other picture we've looked at makes them look identical. Mine had really bright orange feet, much like that of a northerner, which looks just like the first picture.

Also, my newest pet peeve..... Swamp Gnats. Those things suck and I'm still clawing at my hands and wrists from the bites that I got a week ago now. Deet had virtually no effect on those things. I truly think I'd rather play another round of Midnight Mississippi River Chicken with another Carnival Cruise Liner than have to mess with those things again.

And yes, my buddy is ok. Just a really severe Migraine that came out of nowhere. Never seen anything like that before.

best thing for gnats is a product made by Avon called "Skin so soft"-no a joke. you can buy it pre-mixed with OFF in most stores, or you can buy it from Avon.

BTW-it's a neat experience sitting in a duck blind at 5 in the morning as a Carnival cruise ship goes by with a bunch of drunk college girls partying on the upper deck dancing to M.C. Hammer....flash the Q-Beam and yell out "Show me your **** " and it gets really interesting. :lol3: :beer:
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