For more than 20 years, the weekly Dog Fight tournaments at Evangeline Parish’s Chicot State Park have been a traditional form of recreation for anglers from Ville Platte, Mamou, Opelousas and other nearby rural communities.
Currently the tournaments are conducted on Tuesday evenings at Chicot Lake from 5 p.m. until dark, and anglers compete for the heaviest three-bass bag.
On Tuesday, May 24, former FLW pro angler Jeremy Guidry of Opelousas teamed up with Keith Guidry of Grand Prairie in an effort to bring a winning bag to the scales.
Launching at tournament start and immediately venturing to the north end of the lake, Jeremy started casting a Spro Frog while Keith flipped worms and jigs near cypresses.
“I was throwing that Spro frog when an alligator decided to start following it,” Jeremy said. “I cast off to the side to get the bait away from the gator.
“I made another cast to some cypresses right after that, and a bass came up and hit it pretty hard. It wasn’t even five minutes after we started fishing.”
The alligator was still nearby, and Guidry was somewhat anxious about the reptile grabbing the fish. He had to bring in what he felt was a very hefty bass away from the gator’s attention.
“I was able to work the bass right up to the boat,” he said.
Then another problem occurred - a major malfunction with Guidry’s rod.
“I was pretty pumped up by then, but fortunately Keith was able to grab the line and the bass came into the net he had waiting,” the angler said.
Guidry figured the bass was about 9 pounds, and was happy the lunker had been saved from the chomp of the Chicot Lake gator.
Jeremy was casting his Spro frog tied to 65-pound braided line spooled to a Shimano Curado reel on a 7-foot Dobyn 705C rod.
The bass was placed into the livewell while the anglers fished the remaining hour or so of the tournament.
“The fishing was pretty tough after I caught that fish,” Jeremy said. “Later, Keith caught a 2-pounder, and finally I finished with a 3-pound bass taken the last five minutes of the tournament.”
When the anglers brought their bag to the scales, Guidry’s lunker weighed an impressive 10.17 pounds. The angler’s three-bass bag was pegged at 15.02 pounds — good enough for first place, about 2 pounds clear of the second-place team.