The International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo — billed as the oldest fishing tournament in the United States — will get underway next Thursday, July 28, at sunrise.

Anglers can once again compete in big game, shoreline and inside divisions, as well as a tag-and-release tarpon and a tag-and-release big game division, plus a five-fish redfish stringer, according to rodeo coordinator Heather Martin. 

Kids will also be able to participate in five categories in the children’s division: hardhead catfish, gafftop catfish, croaker, channel mullet and white trout, she said.

All fish entered in the rodeo competition must be registered and weighed at rodeo headquarters at Sand Dollar Marina, with legal fishing waters including all Louisiana inshore and offshore territorial waters and the Gulf of Mexico.

The official scales at Sand Dollar will close at 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and at 6 p.m. on Saturday. The pavilion, located next door, opens to the public each day at 11 a.m.

Weigh-in for the children’s division will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sand Dollar scales, Martin said. 

“Their weigh station will be with the adult weigh station this year,” she said. “It was under the pavilion, but this year we moved it back out with the adult scales.”

All registered participants are eligible to win the rodeo’s grand prize: A Model 2170 center console Blazer Bay boat, complete with a 150 Mercury motor, a trolling motor and a trailer. 

Mail-in registration is closed, but tickets are plentiful on Grand Isle, and Martin said registration also can be completed each day at the pavilion. 

Ticket outlets on Grand Isle include Blue Water Sports, Bridge Side Marina, Camardelle’s Seafood, Nez Coupe Gift Shop, Sand Dollar Marina and Sureway Supermarket, plus Songy’s Sporting Goods and West Marine in Houma. 

Additionally, tickets can be purchased at Puglia’s Sporting Goods in Metairie, and at TYD Store and Tackle, Moran’s Marina and Griffin’s Ice and Fuel in Leeville/Fourchon.

Basic tickets are $50 each and include a chance for the boat, a tarpon rodeo cap and a program, Martin said. Upgraded tickets also can be purchased for $125 and include a special cap, a fishing shirt, a koozie, a rodeo poster, a towel, plus a second chance for the boat. 

Musical entertainment over the three-day stretch will include Snapper and the Fishsticks on Thursday, the Top Cats on Friday and the Wiseguys on Saturday.

Daily crab races for kids from 5 to 10 years old will take place daily at 2 p.m. at the pavilion, and entrants must bring their own crab. 

For a complete listing of all fishing categories and rodeo rules, click here