But all the hoopla was secondary next to the real focus of the event. Dreams Come True raises money to grant the wishes of terminally ill young people from kids to teens.
The threat of some pretty bad weather didn't keep the crowd away from Lamar Dixon or the anglers that partook in the 1st annual Dreams Come True Bass Classic this past Saturday.
The forecast was awful, and there was enough rain along with lightning and thunder to cause the volunteers to relocate some things early in the morning but that didn't dampen the spirit of the crew or the folks attending the event.
The rain and bad weather went away around noon at Lamar Dixon, but the anglers participating in the tournament weren't quite as fortunate. Some had to run away from storms, some had to find shelter, and just about all of them got pretty wet.
The weather didn't stop the fish from biting either. This was a trailer tournament so the anglers could travel where they wanted within the set boundaries. The Lake Des Allemand area had several teams fishing there. Lake Verrett had a few boats fishing that area. A fair amount travelled all the way to Venice, and at least one boat fished the Chalmette area.
Venice turned out to be the pay-off area as the team of Chris Day and Tim Carmouche used a variety of baits to pull a 15.04 stringer of five bass from the boot of Louisiana. The pair used a chatter bait, a spinner bait along with pitching some soft plastics like a speed craw and took home the $1325-dollar 1st place award. Day and Carmouche added a side pot of $500 cash and a sack of crawfish donated by Hole in the Wall Seafood.
Second place honors went to the team of Beau Fitch and Jeff McMorris. The pair caught their fish in Grassy Lake. A chatter bait accounted for all five of their fish, including a 4.32 lunker that earned them the 2nd place big bass award that paid $65 coupled with the $740 for total weight.
Donald Rebstock and Ridge Roussel came in third place with a five-fish stringer that weighed 14.51 in the Des Allemand area. They brought home a check for $400 for their days' work.
Finishing in fourth place was the team of Drew Cavell and Harry Tabiolo with five bass weighing 13.72 that earned them $185 for their efforts. Ian Madere and Brayden Blanchard hauled the big bass of the day to the scales that weighed 4.62 and a check for $155.
There were many other competitions throughout the day that kept patrons interested. They started off early Saturday morning with jambalaya cooking, crackling cooking and crawfish boiling contests. It was exciting for sure.
Winners for the other contests are as follows. Crawfish boiling: 1st Team Vallazzo; 2nd Bill Byrd of Vicious & Delicious; 3rd Jared Moncreaux and Taft Kleinpeter of Back in the Hole. Jambalaya: 1st place Justin Courville; 2nd Tyler Bourque; 3rd Woody Woodard. Mini Pot: 1st Selena Himel; 2nd Jared Bourque; 3rd Bart Himel. Cracklin Winners: 1st Patrick Rome; 2nd Jimmy Bercegeay; 3rd Snook Trabeau. Queens Crawfish Eating Contest: 1st Malorie Langlois.
Local bands highlighted the entertainment along with beauty contests. But all the hoopla was secondary next to the real focus of the event. Dreams Come True raises money to grant the wishes of terminally ill young people from kids to teens.
Our area loves to support all the local and national charities. This one is not different. The money raised last Saturday will go toward making the dreams come true for 75 to 80 Louisiana kids. It was awesome to see so I hope to see you there next year!
Louisiana State Fish Records
The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association has been the only keeper of the State Fish Records. I happen to serve as the Curator of the records, and there have been a few changes to the process that needs to be passed along.
OK, so here's the Reader's Digest version of how to do it. The applications are on our website at www.laoutdoorwriters.com under the records tab at the top of the home page. They must be filled out by hard copy and mailed in to the address provided or scanned for email.
The name of the angler, species of fish, date caught along with the weight, length and where the fish was caught is first in line. Next if the fish was caught offshore, the name of the boat, captain and the port where the boat landed is needed. The type of rod, reel, line pound test, along with bait used, rounds this part off.
The scale is next. It can be done anywhere a certified, inspected-by-the-state scale is located, a grocery store, marina or even a seafood dock, or a tournament weigh-in location. The location doesn't matter as long as the scale is certified by the state. All that's needed is where you weigh it, name and model, digital or standard along with the certification number and inspection date.
The applicant's information is next, then two witnesses need to sign and supply their info as well. The bottom of page one is reserved for the biologist's documentation. The big change takes place here. The previous application called for a physical examination of the fish by a biologist. That will only happen when a new, top (#1) fish is being registered. Second thru 10th place can be done by photo unless not identifiable, then the fish would have to be presented to a biologist.
We will soon put a link on our webpage to all the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries biologists to help get that accomplished. So, just what does it take to make the "Top Ten" list of our state records. It's not quite as hard as it might seem.
The records are separated by fresh water and salt water as well as rod and reel and fly rod. There is even a pond section for five species although pond fish are not eligible for Fish of the Year as most are private.
Not all the categories have ten entries so all one would need to do is catch one and enter the fish to qualify. Some are new categories and have very few entries and none of the pond divisions are full.
If you fish very much, a visit to the website to get acquainted with the rules and check out the records would be a great way to spend a little time and find out what's going on. You never know, you just might land a fish that would put you in the "Top Ten!"
Remember to keep the slack out and set the hook hard. Until next time, have fun in the outdoors, be safe, and may God bless you!
Lyle Johnson is a free-lance writer, co-host of Ascension Outdoors TV and Curator of the Louisiana State Fish Records. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EASL Monthly Meeting: 3rd Monday every month, East Ascension Sportsman's League meeting held at Gonzales Fire Dept on Orice Roth Road starting at 7 p.m. A meal served and special speaker will be in attendance.
Wednesday Evening Bass Tourney: Every Wednesday at Canal Bank from 5 p.m. until dark. Fee $40/boat, one time registration fee of $40 going toward the Classic Tournament. Weekly event through spring, summer. Call Canal Bank for information 225-695-9074.
Westside Bassmasters Veterans Open: May 11 Safe daylight, Doiron's Landing (either side), Stephensville. Registration 5 a.m. $150/boat. No fee for veterans. Donations benefit Wounded Warriors Project. Weigh-in jambalaya, soft drinks, door prizes. Call Darren Hernandez 225-413-6139 or Joel Bezet 225-776-6538.
NBAA South La Bass Mafia Tourney: May 11 Canal Bank Landing, Diversion Canal, Head of Island. Two-angler teams. Entry fee $100. Annual membership $40. First in 8-tournament series. Email: Darren Anders: email@example.com.
Red Stick Fly Fishers Program: May 13 at 7 p.m., Joe Herring Room, Wildlife & Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. Call Gary Elbourne 225-505-4997. Website: rsff.org.
Anything Outdoors Helping Kids Frog Rodeo: Postponed until June 15 due to high water. Save the date!
Need an event publicized? Contact Lyle at firstname.lastname@example.org