The sixth and final event of the LASS Redfish Series was held at The Delta Marina in Empire on Saturday. Forty-eight teams departed from Empire; some heading into the Mississippi River towards Delacroix while others ran through the Empire Floodgates toward the Venice area, to find two perfect fish that would put them in first place. Before leaving to find their fish, anglers enjoyed donuts for breakfast sponsored by Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. This catch and release format challenged anglers to catch a limit of two legal redfish using artificial lures only.
When the scales opened at 1:00 teams were eager to weigh in their fish to see if they were large enough to contend for the top prize.
Friends Nash Roberts, IV, of Bucktown and Luke Landry, of Arabi, have competed in the Louisiana Saltwater Series events since its inception in 2010. Roberts and Landry who are familiar with the LASS Stage this year claimed the top prize in Slidell, Lafitte and now Empire for the 2013 season. The team brought in two beautiful Delacroix Redfish weighing in at 16.25 pounds. This win bumped the team up into second place in the Team of the Year Standings and they qualify to compete in this year’s Championship at Venice Marina on October 18th & 19th. On top of the first place prize, Roberts and Landry also took home the $500 Standard Mapping Contingency Prize for the second time in 2013.
In order to compete in the Louisiana Saltwater Series Championship teams must either have a finish in one of the qualifying events within the payout for that event or compete in at least four of the six qualifying events. The competition was heavy among several of the teams with this event being the last opportunity to try to make the cut to be invited as a qualified team to fish the Championship Event.
Anglers also took home Shimano sublimated jerseys and fishing shirts, Shimano reel and tackle bags, a Stick-It anchor pin, annual memberships to SeaTow , a Shimano rod and reel, Swamp Swatter gift packages 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.
The awards ceremony started with drawings for extra fish prizes and the recognition of the first place youth, Drake Garrison, who also took home the first place youth win at the Delacroix Redfish Tournament. Drake weighed in an awesome 7.84 pound redfish at Saturday’s weigh in.
The top finishing teams, taking home over $8, 540 in cash prizes, include: 2nd place, Steve Smith and John Garrison; 3rd place, Jason LeBlanc and Kory Matherne; 4th place, Jacob Leininger and Jeff Rogers;5th place, father and son, Barnie and Steve White; 6th place, Sean O’Connell and Josh Romig; 7th place, Paul Smith and Kyle Mitternight; 8th place, Stevie Nick and Ben Tiblier; 9th place, father and son, James T. and James H. Craft and for the team with the ‘smallest fish’, the father and son team of Ted and Brad Tassin.
A total of 140 redfish were tagged and released by Audubon 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. Anglers and their friends and family also enjoyed beverages sponsored by Crescent Crown.
The next LASS event will be a tarpon tournament scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, August 24th and 25th in Venice at Venice Marina. The Championship Redfish Series Event will be held at Venice Marina on October 18th and 19th and everyone is invited to come out to see which team will take home the Champions of 2013 Title. The next LASS youth event will be on November 2nd at Myrtle Grove Marina. 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.
Image courtesy Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries