East Ascension Sportsman’s League has long history in conservation

Lyle Johnson

The East Ascension Sportsman’s League has been around a very long time. I’m not sure if anyone knows just how long. This year the popular organization will celebrate its 50th anniversary Kid’s Fishing Rodeo on July 31. My association with the club began about as far back as I can remember as my father took me to their Kid’s Fishing Rodeo as a youngster.

The East Ascension Sportsman’s League was named Louisiana Conservation Organization of the Year in 1971, 1972, 1975, 1977, and 1983 and received the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Award - 1992. In 2008 the organization received the Education/Community Group Volunteer of the Year Award from Volunteer Ascension.

Our monthly newspaper, The Sportsman was named Outstanding Conservation Publication in 1978 and 1979. EASL monthly newspaper The Sportsman was awarded the LWF Governor’s Achievement Award - Conservation Communication of 2002.

Among the many projects and activities that make the Sportsman’s League a premier organization is the bass club. Headed by President Mike Achord, they fish ten tournaments a year that include a Classis and Open events.

The Club is very affordable and not only offers a great place for a beginner to learn from some of the best bass anglers in our area, but an opportunity to fish in the best spots as well.

One of the members has been on a tear this year as he’s won two of the last three tournaments. Pete Bourque has dominated the competition by milking the Lake Verret area for all it’s worth. The February launch site was at Bayou Black and Bourque and his grandson Jay Bourque made the long ride to take top honors with a five fish limit that hit the scales at 11.18.

His second victory was sandwiched in between the Lanny Boudreaux Memorial Tournament at Lake Bruin. The launch site for the April event was at Adam’s Landing and anglers could fish either the Spillway side but Bourque took advantage of the Verett area once again.

Jeff, his son was his partner of choice and they milked the area catching around 25 bass on a white spinner bait to get a limit that weighed 10-2. In the bag was big bass of the tournament as well. The 2.62 pounder fell victim to a plastic lizard rigged Texas style.

Chasing the coattails of Bourque and Company was the second place team of Gonnie Gautreau and his partner with 5.64 pounds. Rounding out the top three was the third place team of Terry Molea and his partner with 5.46 pounds.

I think they might try to fish somewhere that Pete can’t get to Lake Verret next month or they might suffer the same fate. Anyone interested in fishing with a great bunch of guys can contact Jim Hebert at 647-1975. You could log on to easlonline.org to check out the East Ascension Sportsman's League for membership. Ten bucks a year to help support the premier conservation organization in our state is a real bargain!

The Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana (CCA Louisiana) and 4-H Clubs have announced a partnership that will create dozens of fishing seminars for kids throughout Louisiana.  The Ascension parish CCA chapter will host one of the seminars at Cabela’s on May 18th from 6 - 8 p.m.

4H Club members, (other youth invited as well) ranging from 8-18 years of age will attend the events where they will learn about fishing techniques, fishing equipment, fishing regulations, different species of fish, conservation and stewardship, safety, fishing industry careers and more. 

Upon completion of each seminar, participants will receive a certificate of merit and a voucher from CCA Louisiana for a complimentary one-year CCA New Tide Membership.  This would be a great way to introduce a youngster to our great fishing and spend a couple of hours of quality time as well.

The weather might prove to be a little bit iffy this weekend but the rumblings of catching crabs in Lake Ponchatrain has been floating around for a week or so. The Bonnet Carre Spillway is always a good place to catch enough crabs for small crab boil and you don’t even need a boat. Remember to keep the slack out and set the hook hard. So until next time have fun in the outdoors, be safe and may God bless you.