John N. Felsher's Waterfowl Hunting Adventures
|Articles and photos on
this website are for the
viewing pleasure of
patrons of this site.
All articles and photos on
this site are protected by
the copyright laws of the
United States. Any
unauthorized usage is
strictly prohibited. If you
wish to purchase an
article or photo, contact
John N. Felsher as listed
in the contact section.
|Articles and photos on
this website are free for
your viewing pleasure,
but it takes money to
keep this site up and
running. If you would care
to help keep this site up
and running for the use of
all outdoors patrons, you
can make a cash
contribution. If you care to
donate, contact John N.
Felsher as listed in the
|How you can
help keep this
Cajun Resort offers sportsmen
great 'cast and blast' adventures
TOP: The late Danny Duet
and Karen Lutto fire at
ducks while hunting at the
Cajun Resort marshes near
Golden Meadow, La., in
this 2004 photo. Duet died
in 2005 and was like a
grandfather to my children.
BOTTOM: Eric Holbrook
shows off a redfish he
caught in the marshes of
Cajun Resort near Golden
Meadow, La. Many people
visit Cajun Resort for "cast
and blast" trips in which
they hunt ducks in the
morning and catch fish in
the afternoon. They also
come for the fabulous
Cajun cooking at the lodge.
People arrive at Cajun Resorts, a sportsman’s haven near Golden
Meadow, La., as strangers. They tend to leave as family.
Since the 1970s, Danny “Big D” Duet, his wife Poppy, sister Dolly and
brother Toby, ran Cajun Resorts, a 15,000-acre private wilderness
paradise rich in fish, birds, alligators, otters, nutria, raccoons and other
wildlife adjacent to the 33,488-acre Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife
Management Area southwest of New Orleans. Repeat customers comprise
about 95 percent of the visitors, a fact that says much about the hospitality
of Cajun Resorts.
Until late 2004, the Duets housed their guests on a cluster of barges
supporting quarters converted from an old offshore platform. The old lodge
offered tight, but comfortable accommodations in a rich tidal marsh that
held untold numbers of redfish, speckled trout, flounders, sheepshead,
drum and other species.
As people entered the lodge, the pungent aroma of Cajun spices
immediately greeted them. Poppy, Dolly and the staff prepared sumptuous
meals while Danny regaled visitors with stories told in his thick Cajun accent
– a few even true! Toby tended to the chores of maintaining the equipment
and keeping the operation running.
The food alone made the 20-minute boat ride through the marsh worth
the trip. Often, these magnificently spicy meals featured shrimp, fish or
crabs caught earlier that day from the same teeming waters. Frequently,
hunting guests dined on ducks they bagged that morning.
In late 2004, the Duets opened a new million-dollar lodge on stilts
driven into a small parcel of dry land a few hundred yards from the barge
flotilla. Visitors must still arrive by boat through winding channels traversing
brackish coastal marshes, but they can now spread out through the larger
facility built from cypress planks. The lodge can accommodate up to 27
guests in seven rooms. Most rooms have queen-sized beds.
“The lodge was built out of cypress to give it a Cajun look,” Big D
explained soon after opening the new facility. “We decorated it like the old
Cajun duck camps. We want it to be a family place, not just a hunting and
fishing lodge. We want to give the non-hunting or non-fishing spouses
something to do. It’s a great place just to sit back, relax and enjoy.”
Less than a year later Hurricane Katrina battered southeastern
Louisiana on Aug. 28, 2005. Three weeks later, an even bigger storm,
Hurricane Rita smashed into southwestern Louisiana. Situated between the
two storm tracks, neither hurricane actually made a direct hit on the lodge,
but the one-two punch greatly affected the operation.
“Katrina didn’t hurt us much at all,” Poppy said. “The lodge is 11.5 feet
off the first deck. We had water only up to the first deck. Hurricane Rita did
a lot more damage. After Rita hit, we had about 8.5 feet over the deck.
Some things under the lodge just floated away with the storm surge.”
The real problem involved logistics. Katrina closed the New Orleans
airport, about 90 minutes northeast of the nearest landing to the lodge.
Sportsmen couldn’t arrive by car very easily either because the storms
severely damaged some bridges and closed many roads. Authorities
restricted travel for months. Even after the New Orleans airport reopened,
few people bothered with fishing for long periods as they rebuilt their lives
and infrastructure along the Gulf Coast.
“The lodge building sustained minimal damage, not enough to stop us
from picking up customers and fishing,” Poppy said. “We had some water
leaking through the roof and had a little water damage. The real problem
was that our customers couldn’t fly into New Orleans, so they couldn’t get to
us or get out. We spent our time cleaning up, repairing everything and
The team suffered an even more devastating blow later that same year
when Danny, died on Dec. 12, 2005, at age 58. Two other family members
also died within months. The team could repair the lodge and buy new
equipment, but could never replace Danny, the heart and soul of the
operation. After visiting the lodge many times, my sons came to think of Big
D almost as their grandfather after my father passed away in 1995.
“We make every person feel at home, like a part of the family,” Danny
once said and proved it every day. “We’ve had corporate executives who
were really stressed out when they arrived. After two or three days, they
are relaxed and don’t want to leave. I think it’s great that people bring kids
fishing and hunting these days.”
Poppy, Toby, Dolly and the rest of the crew rebuilt the lodge, reopened
and made plans to carry on with Danny’s dream. They took their first post-
storm charter in January 2006. They will carry on the tradition in Danny’s
“I lost my good friend and soul mate,” Poppy said. “Danny’s been
everything to me. It’s been rough, but the experience has made me a
stronger person. This lodge was Danny’s lifelong dream and we’re going to
keep it going.”
Each morning, the staff awakens sportsmen for a delicious breakfast of
strong, hot Cajun coffee, homemade biscuits, sausage and eggs. Anglers
take off to the marshes, literally at their doorstep, to cast for redfish and
speckled trout in waters bristling with fish about 20 miles north of the Gulf of
Mexico. During the fall and winter, many people choose the “cast-and-blast”
option, a package that includes hunting ducks in the morning and fishing in
For the cast-and-blast option, duck hunters climb into mudboats for
short rides to their assigned blinds already waiting with decoys. Each blind
typically consists of a platform anchored in the marsh. Most can comfortably
accommodate two or three adult hunters. Hunters call to mallards, pintails,
gadwalls, teal, wigeons, shovelers, scaup, known locally as “dos gris,”
redheads and other ducks found in the lower Mississippi Flyway.
At the southern terminal of the Mississippi Flyway, Louisiana
traditionally attracts more wintering ducks than any other state. In some
years, Louisiana hunters kill more than 2 million ducks, often a million more
than Arkansas or Texas, usually the states with the second highest harvest
rate. Sportsmen in Louisiana frequently bag more ducks than Canada and
Mexico or all the states of the Atlantic Flyway combined in a season.
After bagging birds, the hunters return to the lodge for brunch or lunch,
depending upon how the birds flew that morning. After a brief nap or post-
lunch rest, they head back into the marshes to lunkers until dark. Quite
often, three anglers return to the lodge before the evening meal with a limit
of 75 trout up to 6 pounds and 15 redfish up to 18 pounds. They might also
catch flounder, black drum, croaker, sheepshead and several other species
thrown in for “lagniappe” – Cajun for a “little extra.”
Sometimes, the best action occurs after dark. Using the cover of
darkness to hide from predators, small forage animals frequently move at
night. When the tide flows strongly, the surface could boil with redfish and
trout smashing shrimp, small crabs and other creatures.
“Sometimes, it almost looks like an aquarium with fish busting
everything they can hit under the lights,” Toby said. “On a falling tide with
the new moon, when shrimp are moving out, it gets exciting under the lights.
The new moon is best for shrimp to move under the cover of darkness.
When they pass under the lights, fish see them and gobble them up.
Shrimp eyes glow red at night. A glow-colored artificial shrimp with
fluorescent eyes works very well. Sometimes, fish get into such a frenzied
state that they hit nearly anything that touches the water.”
The safety of darkness and abundant bait also brings big fish closer.
Big reds and trout lose a bit of their wariness after sunset. Occasionally,
they smash prey almost at the feet of dock-bound anglers. This gives
anglers using fly tackle an excellent opportunity to entice big reds and trout
at extremely close range. An angler can usually drop a feathery shrimp or
crab imitation on the water and hammer frenzied fish at point-blank range
before turning in for the night.
“We guarantee a good time,” Poppy said. “All a person has to do is
bring a smile.”
With rich, spicy food such a driving reason to visit Cajun Resorts, future
guests might consider dieting for several weeks before arriving. We
guarantee you’ll gain a few pounds at the lodge.
For booking trips, call Cajun Resort at (985) 691-5179. On line, see