Despite high winds and water, the Louisiana Saltwater Series broke records this weekend, with the largest participation in tournament history with 66 registered boats.
Taking home first place were brothers Kyle and Kevin Lawrence, who are no strangers to the LASS and have been with the tournament since its inception.
“We found three ponds that we liked that held good fish and good water, and hit those three on Saturday,” explained Kyle. “We hit the best pond that morning and caught the big fish before 7:30 a.m. We struggled a little during the day to get the next big fish onboard the boat. Around 1:00 p.m., after a few tense moments of chasing our second fish around the boat, we got it in the net and onto the measuring board.”
One of the tournament’s primary objectives is to tag fish to collect scientific data. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries staff successfully tagged 140 fish at Saturday’s tournament, bringing the grand total of fish tagged during the 2012 redfish series to 554.
The top finishing teams, taking home over $12,000 in cash and prizes, include: 2nd place, Sean O’Connell and Joshua Romig; 3rd place, Bobby Monsted and Aaron Gelfand; 4th place, Britt Ordes and Steve Wicks; 5th place, Scott Ritter and Bobby Abruscato; 6th place, Tripp Dargie and Shannon Thomas; 7th place, Michael McElveen and Rob Folsom; 8th place, Ray Reiser and Larry Kirby; 9th place, Kris Robert and Benny Sanchez; and 10th place, Skip Floyd and Joey Babineaux; 11th place, Miles LaRose and Damian Mason; 12th place, Kyle Rodrigue and Jeremy Mouch; 13th place Tony Grose and Christine May. The team of James H. Craft and James T. Craft brought in the lightest stringer, weighing 5.09 pounds, earning them a $260 prize.
Ben Bird took home first place in the tournament’s youth division.
For redfish tournaments, teams may consist of one, two, three or four members. For teams consisting of three or more members, only two of the members may be 16 or older. There is a $200 entry fee per team for each event. There is a 90 percent payout for the first six events with 10 percent retained for the championship. Payout is determined separately for each event based upon the total number of boats entered.
The next redfish tournament is scheduled for Saturday, July 14 in Slidell at Rigolets Marina. For complete information, including rules, regulations and registration go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com.
Image courtesy of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries