The third event of the LASS Redfish Series was held at Seaway Marina in Lafitte on Saturday. Despite a dreary week of thunderstorms, high winds, and a cold front that followed, 52 teams dispersed across Barataria Bay and other areas along the coast of Louisiana in the hopes of landing two great redfish. This catch and release format challenged anglers to catch a limit of two legal redfish using artificial lures only.
Many teams were eager to weigh in their fish caught on what turned out to be a gorgeous day filled with sunshine and great memories. When the scales opened at 1:45 a steady stream of anglers lined up to see if their fish were large enough to contend for the top prize.
Friends Nash Roberts IV of Bucktown and Luke Landry of Arabi have fished the Louisiana Saltwater Series since its inception and are the reigning 2012 LASS Champions. Taking home top prize for this event with a total weight of 16.93 pounds, the duo made this their second first place finish for 2013 having also won the Season Opener in Slidell.
“The Tournament Series has been a great success and is growing every year”, Luke Landry said. About the day, Landry added, “We were very skeptical about the winds today but Mother Nature finally gave us a break. The weather was beautiful allowing us to sightfish all day. Redfish were tailing in every pond we fished. We caught nearly 40 fish with the two tournament winners coming in the last 20 minutes of fishing.”
“Thank you Wildlife and Fisheries and a very special thanks to Louisiana Saltwater Series and all of the anglers who participated”, Luke Landry remarked.
Christopher McElveen, youth angler, took home a rod and reel package sponsored by Shimano for winning one of the extra fish raffle prizes. Teams are allowed to bring in extra fish in addition to their weigh-in fish to be entered into drawings for special prizes, with the number of entries determined by the number of extra fish brought in to be tagged. Other great prizes that were up for grabs were reel bags and tackle bags sponsored by Shimano, SeaTow Annual Memberships, Frabill nets, and Stick it Anchor Pens just to name a few. Anglers were also treated to breakfast of donuts donated by Krispy Kreme, another great sponsor of 2013.
The top finishing teams, taking home over $8,980 in cash prizes, include: 2nd place, Hal Robichaux and Kristian Wadleigh; 3rd place, Beau Weber, Sr. and his grandson Sean Thornton; 4th place, Steve Smith and John Garrison; 5th place, Todd Dufour and Don McMaster; 6th place, Jeff Cleveland and Martin Roy; 7th place, Barnie and Steve White; 8th place, Jacob Leininger and Jeff Rogers; 9th place, Jason LeBlanc and Kory Matherne; 10thplace, Pat Reichley and Kevin Olmstead and for the team with the ‘smallest fish’, father and son team of James T. and James H. Craft. The awards ceremony was rounded out with recognition of all youth anglers and Christopher McElveen took home first place youth by weighing in a beautiful 6.38 pound redfish.
With this event, the 2013 LASS Redfish trail reaches its halfway mark of the season and competition is heating up for the 2013 Team of the Year Top Ten Race to be awarded in October. In order to compete to be named Team of the Year or fall within the Top Ten Standings, taking home additional cash prizes, teams are required to fish each event and accumulate points according to how they place in each individual event in the LASS Redfish Series.
A total of 94 redfish were brought in, tagged and released as part of the Louisiana Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program, where anglers become citizen scientists for the agency, collecting invaluable data.
The next redfish tournament is scheduled for Saturday, June 8th in Fourchon at Port Fourchon Marina. LASS will also be hosting a youth event at Grand Isle State Park to make the trip a family affair for the Free Fishing Weekend in Louisiana on June 8th as well. For complete information, including rules, regulations and registration go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com.
Logo courtesy Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries