The fourth event of the Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Series was held at Port Fourchon Marina in Port Fourchon on Saturday. Despite a week of afternoon thunderstorms and rising temperatures, typical of a Louisiana spring, 39 teams blasted off from Belle Pass in different directions in the hopes of landing two great redfish. The 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 clear and sunny day filled with great memories. When the scales opened at 1 p.m., a steady stream of anglers lined up to see if their fish were large enough to contend for the top prize. During the weigh in, anglers, friends and families enjoyed a jambalaya, fish and dessert lunch provided by Chris Moran and the staff of Port Fourchon Marina.
Friends Bobby Monsted, III, and Aaron Gelfand, both residents of New Orleans, have fished several events since the tournament’s inception. Taking home top prize for the first time this year with a total weight of 15.38 pounds claimed them an opportunity to compete in the LASS Championship in October.
In order to compete in the Championship, teams must either finish within payout in one of the qualifying events or compete in at least four of the six qualifying events.
Anglers also took home Shimano sublimated jerseys, Shimano reel and tackle bags, a Stick-It Anchor Pin, annual memberships to SeaTow and a Frabill net. These are just a few of the items from our great sponsors that are awarded to anglers as 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. Anglers were also treated to breakfast of donuts donated by Krispy Kreme, another one of our supportive sponsors.
The awards ceremony started with the recognition of the first place youth, Christopher McElveen, who also took home the first place youth win in the Lafitte Redfish Tournament. McElveen weighed in a beautiful 5.85 pound redfish at Saturday’s weigh-in.
The top finishing teams, taking home over $6,920 in cash prizes, include: 2nd place, Jacob Leininger and Jeff Rogers; 3rd place, Chris Kennedy and Steven Hooter; 4th place, brothers Gary and Gus Wilson; 5th place, Paul Dufrene and Curtis Duet; 6th place, Jack Johnson and David Naron; 7th place, Brandon Treadaway and Kevin Bergeron and for the team with the ‘smallest fish’, the team of Richard Ziegler, Sr. and Chris Barbot.
A total of 71 redfish were tagged and released by Aquarium of the Americas staff as part of the Louisiana Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program, where anglers become citizen scientists for the agency, collecting invaluable data.
Two live speckled trout and two live redfish were also tagged and released during weigh-in at the first Louisiana Saltwater Series youth event of 2013, held at Grand Isle State Park during the Department’s annual Free Fishing Weekend. This was an opportunity for everyone including LASS Redfish Series anglers to bring their families with them to enjoy a fun filled weekend together. Redfish series anglers Chad Carlton and Scott Guileyardo brought their families down for the weekend, and while they competed in the Redfish Tournament in Port Fourchon, the remainder of the family enjoyed the Fish Fest at Grand Isle State Park.
“What a great time with my boys! From check-in to door prizes, we enjoyed every second. I loved that my boys were able to participate in this event while my husband fished in the Redfish Series Tournament,” said Leslie Carlton.
There were 53 participants in the Youth Tournament at Grand Isle State Park. The beautiful, sunny day was accompanied by calm surf that was perfect for fishing from the beach or even a little wade fishing. The children and their families enjoyed a day packed with fishing and fun, educational activities such as seining, cast netting, fish tagging, fish ageing, fish id, fish prints and minnow races. Anglers and their friends and families also enjoyed hot dogs sponsored by The Friends of Grand Isle.
The next LASS event is a Redfish Tournament, scheduled for Saturday, June 29 in Delacroix at Sweetwater Marina. The next LASS youth event will be in November at Myrtle Grove Marina. LASS will also be hosting its first ever kayak tournament in July of 2013. For complete information, including rules, regulations and registration go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com.
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.
Logo courtesy Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries