As an outdoors-minded guy, there have been several things that have earned a special spot in my memory bank. Getting introduced to turkey hunting is one as well as being so captivated by the sport that I hunted turkeys around the country, ultimately collecting a coveted Grand Slam by taking four sub-species of gobblers.
Another thing that has really impressed me is something that happened five years ago when the initial banquet of the newly formed Lincoln Parish Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited was held. The excitement level was as high as I ever saw for such an event and not only was this a crowd pleasing event for the mass of folks who filled the Civic Center, the national organization took notice and the following year, the president of Whitetails Unlimited flew down from headquarters in Wisconsin to present awards to this chapter for all it had accomplished.
The following year, another successful event was held with similar results. Then two years ago as plans were being made for another smashing event, here came COVID which shut just about everything down, including the annual WTU banquet. Last year, the nasty pandemic continued its choke hold keeping banquet plans on the shelf for two straight years.
Now that COVID is on the wane for the most part, the planning committee for the Lincoln Parish Chapter put together a plan for a banquet this year with fingers crossed that something like COVID wouldn’t throw a monkey wrench into the plans.
Hallelujah…..the banquet is on this year! Friday August 12 is the date set for the event which will take place in the Ruston Civic Center.
Brandon Williams is Chapter President and we visited with him recently to get the low-down on what is being planned.
“First of all,” Williams said, “we’re excited to be back. We were not sure how it was going to go once we started planning but the excitement level seems to be out there with lots of interest shown. In fact,” he said “we have already sold almost all the tables we have so we expect a big crowd like we had when we started this five years ago.”
One thing about fund raising banquets that gives a negative feel, especially those that provide a meal, is having to stand in a long line to be served. That won’t happened at this year’s WTU banquet.
“We’ll be having a pork chop dinner catered by Log Cabin here in Ruston so all you have to do is pick up your box, return to your table to enjoy the meal. Also,” Williams continued, “we have the program streamlined so you won’t have to wait until 10:30 or 11:00 for the program to end. We hope to have everything done to allow us to be finished by 9:00 or so.”
The banquet, in addition to raising funds for whitetail deer, will be able to keep much of the funds raised to be used locally.
“We fund lots of activities for our local 4-H shooting teams, we put funds behind the new archery range at Lincoln Parish Park and we contribute to Med-camp for the physically challenged youngsters.
“One thing that makes our banquet so popular is that it’s a family-friendly event that wives and children will enjoy,” Williams said.
If you don’t already have your ticket, you can purchase one at the door or contact Williams at 245-9778 or any of the committee members. To see how a successful banquet is put on, you need to be there Friday night.
CANEY LAKE – Crappie are fair fishing shiners or jigs around the deeper tops. The bass are schooling with some caught on topwater lures with soft plastics taking some beneath the breaking schools. Also some bigger bass are hitting 11 inch plastic worms and deep diving crank baits on under water humps and drop-off. Bream fishing is fair around the lake on crickets or worms. No report on catfish. For information contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Bream and crappie fishing is still fair around the trees and bushes. No report on bass. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – Bass fishing has been fair fishing the cuts with Carolina-rigs. Crappie fishing has been slow to fair. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Best bet for bass is to fish early mornings around grass and pads with topwater lures. Later in the day, try soft plastics and crank baits around the shade of the trees. Some are also being caught in the channels on deep diving crank baits. Crappie have moved to the deep channels and fishing for them is fair on shiners or jigs. Bream are fair in the sloughs while catfish continue to bite fishing night crawlers or cold worms off the banks. For latest information, call Anderson Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – More big bass have been reported caught this week with a 12.04 pounder coming in. Best fishing for bass has been early mornings, late afternoons or at night. Bream are fair on crickets and worms. Crappie fishing has been best fishing around the lighted piers at night using shiners with some hanging around deep brush and hitting jigs and shiners. No report on
catfish. For latest information, call Kel’s Cove at 927-2264 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Catfishing is good with mostly pan sized being caught. Other species are slow. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – Catfishing has been good on yo-yos. Bass are fair while bream and crappie are slow. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is on a 5 foot rise with crest and slow fall early next week. James Miles has been catching bass while catfish have also been biting. Others are slow. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.
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