OUTDOOR CORNER: Fishing tournament to benefit local boy

Lyle Johnson

This is a new year and we’ve had one of the best hunting seasons in a long time. Hunting is beginning to wind down a little and that opens the door for fishing to get underway and January usually begins the bass tournament schedule’

Most of these events are benefit causes and our fishing community usually supports them whole-heartedly. We can expect nothing less this year. On January 29, a new tournament will be held for 4-year-old Tucker Townsend, the son of Christopher and Leigh Townsend.

Tucker was a preemie, born at 27 weeks gestation, weighing just 1 pound and 11 ounces. That’s about the same size and weight of a 14” bass. He spent over 8 months in the NICU at Woman's Hospital and went home with a tracheotomy tube, ventilator and a feeding tube.

He had home nursing for 12 hours a day until he was 3 Tucker said good-bye to the ventilator at age 3 and 6 months later got his trach out but still uses the feeding tube for nutrition as he eats less than 1% of his food by mouth.

Tucker's development has soared since he got his trach removed. He’s gone from saying only one or two words to now saying 3- and 4-word sentences. This summer he attended a special needs preschool 5 days a week, and spends much time in all types of therapy sessions.

Tucker has many health problems because of his premature birth, such as developmental delay, autistic characteristics, GI issues, and microcephaly. These issues led his parents to seek out mitochondrial testing, which led to a diagnosis of a Mitochondrial Depletion Syndrome in July 2010. This means that at a basic cellular level, Tucker's body does not work the way it is supposed to. Even though Tucker appears healthy and energetic to many, Mitochondrial Disorder is considered life threatening and his prognosis is uncertain.

Tucker recently began full-day preschool at Lake Elementary in a special needs classroom, and so far, he loves it. Tucker loves trucks and trains, as well as Mickey Mouse and playing outside, especially with his Daddy. Tucker loves life and brings joy to everyone he meets.

The Ascension Area Anglers Bass Club has taken the privilege of putting on the “Fishing for Tucker Townsend” open bass tournament that will be hosted out of Cabela’s in Gonzales on January 29. This event will raise funds to help the Townsend’s defray some of their medical expenses.

This will be a pick your partner tournament open to all public waters in Louisiana. The entry fee is $100 per team with a 75% pay back to the anglers. Based on a field of 100 boats, ten places will be paid with the top stringer of five bass will take home $2000 and $500 will be offered to the angler bringing the big bass to the scales.

Three check-in points will be available to the teams that will open at 3:00 am; Cabelas parking lot, Pierre Part Store, Pierre Part or the Cracker Barrel on False River Road. Teams can then drive to the location of their choice and official fishing time is 6:00 am. The weigh-in will take place in the front of Cabelas at 3:00 pm. All teams must be checked in by 3:00 pm.

You can get an entry form and any information you might need by emailing  fishing4tucker@gmail.com or calling Ryan Lavigne at 225-921-9332 or Eddie Hymel at 225-610-9962. This is a great cause to support and have a good time fishing as well.

One way you could get prepared for the upcoming fishing season is log on to www.cajuntacklehouse.com and take a look at Jacob Roberie’s new line of “Baby Toe” tungsten weights, hooks and CT1 casting rods that are available for purchase. I’ve had great success this past year using those products, especially the tungsten weights. He’s introducing new products all the time.

Jacob and Doug Blacklock, owner of Kajun Limb Custom Rods in Central made a trip to the Pearl River this week and caught over 30 bass. Most of the fish were caught on his new Thumper Humper spinnerbaits in blue/white/chart in 1/4oz. A few 3 were caught on his new 3/8oz BOHICA flipping jig in brush tops that were suspended in 5 to 6 feet of water. The spinnerbait fish were caught 4 to 5 feet off of banks in 5 ft of water.

The fishing in fresh water has been nothing short of spectacular, especially in the Blind/Amite River basins. Bass and sac-a-lait have really been hitting in the past two months that lends itself to a really good spring spawn and opportunities to catch some nice bass.

A new year and things are looking pretty good on the horizon for a great fishing spring and summer. So, 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.