I had what is likely my last phone conversation of this year with Trish Yasger, the MDC spoonbill expert. The season ends Thursday so it’s now or never.

I was telling Trish about one of my past times in Louisiana and she decided to uninvite me to take her fishing in Louisiana or Mississippi. I asked her if she thought I was was a little crazy for catching alligators on rod and reel. No, she thought I was a lot crazy.

But I never actually put one in the boat that was over two feet long.

Except for the time a Cajun boy named Maurice Blondeaux caught about a six footer in Chef Pass on some kind of bass surface lure. He had subdued the beast and had put it to sleep by holding it on its back in both hands.

I asked if you could scratch their tummy while they slept and proceeded to touch the gator on its belly before Maurice could tell me not to do that. The gator instantly started flopping its tail and rolled over and  out of Maurice’s grasp. Fortunately it hit the top rail of my bass boat on its way into the water.

Chef Menteur Pass is one of two fairly narrow places where water, depending n the tidal flow, rushes into or out of Lake Pontchartrain into Lake Borgne on its way to the Gulf and runs over 100 feet deep in places. The other pass is the Rigolets. So I was glad the gator abandoned the boat so we didn’t have to.

I think that was that day at slack tide (no flow) when I got a strange bite on a plastic worm by a railroad abutment on Chef Pass. When I set the hook, the critter didn’t run like a bass. It wasn’t. It was about a two foot long eel. I was going to remove it from my hook with a .357 Magnum. Maurice said, “Don’t hurt him. My dad catches those.” So he grabbed it behind the head, unhooked and released it.

– When I first met Kimball in the Bossier Press, I told her about catching my first gator on Cross Lake. She was with me when I caught my last gator, an 18-inch baby, on Bayou Catherine just off the Intercostal Canal. She held it and we tried to feed it chocolate chip cookies which it promptly spit out as it blowed at us. When we released it unharmed, it lazily swam off.

– Kimball and I were watching Larry’s Country Diner Saturday night with Larry Gatlin guest hosting.  Of course, there was an appearance by Nadine, their answer to Minnie Pearl.  During her routine, she said that she had gone out before the sun got hot to sweep the porch, the steps and the sidewalk. She said she told her husband, Homer, “That broom almost blistered by hands.” She said Homer replied, “Next time take the car.” KL