The New Orleans City Park Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival is back and better than ever for the 69th time in 2016, and this year’s event features a brand new “Battle for the Bass” competition for area high school anglers.

Combined with the fact that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries recently released 300-plus pounds of mature bass into City Park’s lagoons and bayous — with some 6- and 7-pounders — and this could be a record-breaking year for the rodeo, which will be held on Saturday, April 2 in City Park.

The traditional Big Bass Rodeo is a bank-fishing only event, with five categories: Junior Angler, Adult, Fly Fishing, Cichlid and Bream Trim and the Champions Challenge, which is only open to past bass winners. There is also a bonus prize for anyone catching the heaviest gar or catfish. Fishing times will be 6:30 to 11 a.m.

The entry fee is $10 for adults ages 13 and over, and $5 for youth ages 12 and under. 

The Boats on the Bayou Division is back for kayakers and other non-motorized vessels in Bayou St. John with four categories: bass, redfish, trout and Trashbash (any other fish.) Fishing times for this division will be from 7 to 10:30 a.m., with one live weigh-in station on Bayou St. John at Filmore Avenue. All registrants will be in a drawing at the awards ceremony for a brand new Hobie kayak (winner must be present to win.)

Entry for the Boats on the Bayou Division is $15 plus a $1 online processing fee.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, a rodeo partner, is introducing the Battle for the Bass high school competition, in conjunction with the Berkley High School Fishing Club Program. The top team will receive a fishing package from Berkley, and each student from the top three teams will bring home a Battle for the Bass plaque.

All high school students are invited to participate in the Battle for the Bass, and the entry fee is $5 per team member. Call Danica Williams at 504-628-7282 with questions.

Rounding out the rodeo is the “Fishtival” with music, special activities for children, great raffles, a host of educational exhibitors and new and used fishing gear for sale at great prices from 9 a.m. to noon . The Fishtival also highlights many of the state’s fishing resources with interactive demonstrations. 

More detailed information, online registration, registration forms, complete rules and regulations, fishing maps and more are available by clicking here.