It’s yet another exciting year for tournament fishing in coastal Louisiana, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Louisiana Saltwater Series reigns as the state’s premier tag-and-release redfish tournament. The series kicks of this weekend with a unique twist, a live weigh-in at the Northshore Boat-N-Fishing Show in Slidell at the Northshore Harbor Convention Center.
Whether you are fishing as part of the series or just a fan of the sport itself, the live weigh-in is sure to be an exciting event for adults and children alike. The weigh-in is scheduled to begin on Saturday, March 2 at 4 p.m.
The tournament continues to captivate anglers throughout the Gulf Coast by offering some of the most select prizes in the south, including 100 percent payout for the top finishers. Over $168,000 in prize money has been awarded since the tournament’s inception.
According to Tournament Director Mandy Tumlin, the field will be comprised of both professionals and amateurs. “We have always held to the fact that we don’t cater just to the professional tournament fishermen,” explained Tumlin. “The heart of the competition is not only to promote tagging, but to encourage youth and families to get involved in the sport – with a chance, of course, to hook some great prizes.”
Originated in 2010 by the Department, the tournament has tremendous success in supplementing the agency’s Louisiana Cooperative Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program, with over 2,100 fish tagged and 107 recaptures in four years.
The 2013 Louisiana Saltwater Series consists of six tag-and-release redfish tournaments culminating with a no-entry championship in October. The 2013 redfish tournament schedule is as follows:
March 2 The Dock/Dockside Bait and Tackle, Slidell;
April 20 Calcasieu Point Landing, Lake Charles;
May 4 SeaWay Marina, Lafitte;
June 8 Port Fourchon Marina, Port Fourchon;
June 29 Sweetwater Marina, Delacroix;
August 10 The Delta Marina, Empire and
Championship, October 4 and 5 Venice Marina, Venice.
Each redfish tournament includes two-man teams with a $200 entry fee for each event. Up to two anglers under 16 are allowed to participate per team. The tournament is a 100 percent payout series. 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.
A youth division is also available for no additional cost to introduce our young anglers to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation. Youth division participants compete against one another in the youth division, and all youth anglers will be recognized.
LASS staff are continually monitoring the weather and conditions forecasted for Saturday, and will make a determination on including an additional launch site within the same water basin by Friday, March 1 at noon. This announcement will be communicated to anglers and the public on the tournament’s website as well as the Department and tournament Facebook pages. The safety of our anglers is our primary concern.
For complete information, including rules, regulations and online registration go towww.lasaltwaterseries.com. Online registration will close tomorrow, Thursday, February 28 at noon. A $20 fee for all onsite tournament registrants will be incurred per team.
Tournament sponsors include Shimano, PowerPro, Daybrook Fisheries, Plaquemines Parish, Mercury Marine, Standard Mapping, Faux Pas Prints, Marsh & Bayou, Swamp Swatter, Frabill, Stick It Anchor Pins and YETI Coolers.
The Louisiana Saltwater Series is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fish resources.
Image courtesy Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries