The 18th Annual Faux Pas Lodge Rodeo is set to roll next week out of Venice Marina, and this year’s event features a brand new five-fish red snapper stringer division made possible because the state waters line has been pushed beyond the old 3-mile boundary.

“Now that they moved state waters out to 9 miles, everybody is catching snapper. You might be fishing the South Pass rocks trying to catch trout and reds and you go one or two miles offshore with some bottom structure, and there’s just tons and tons of snapper,” said Kleo Blue, rodeo coordinator. “It’s just something that everybody’s doing down in Venice, and we’ve been getting a lot of play with it so far.”

Ticket sales have been brisk, and Blue is expecting another solid turnout next week.

“We’re actually ahead of where we’ve been at this time,” he said. “We’re expecting our standard 150 to 180 boats.”

Once again this year, weigh-in results from Venice Marina will be posted in real time at www.fauxpaslodge.com to keep everyone updated on the leaderboard.

“If you’re sitting at your camp or on your boat at 7 o’clock and somebody weighs-in a new fish that jumps on the board and you hit refresh, you’ll see it,” Blue said. “So even people at home can follow it.”

Fishing begins at midnight Thursday morning, July 28, and scales will be open at Venice Marina from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday. For the complete list of rodeo rules, click here.

Major categories for 2016 include inshore, offshore, rig, live redfish, speckled trout five-fish stringer, the red snapper five-fish stringer, blue marlin tag and release, redfish with the most spots, live three-redfish stringer and swordfish.

The entry fee is again $45 per angler, and you can create an account to register by clicking here. Any outstanding entry forms with payments must be turned in by Tuesday evening, July 26, at the captains' meeting at Southport Hall in New Orleans to be eligible to participate in the rodeo, Blue said.

Registration includes a Battlewagon Bucket for each team or boat, and each angler receives a T-shirt, visor and towel, Blue said. 

Festivities for the rodeo officially kick off next Wednesday with the annual Wish to Fish for kids, which is conducted in concert with Children’s Hospital and the Miracle League.

“We have 10 guides who donate their time and take two kids and a chaperone out fishing for the day. They donate not only their time, but their gas, their expertise and their boat,” Blue said. “And Hotard Coaches donates a 55-passenger bus to bring them down to Venice. 

“The smile on those kids’ faces are priceless, so it’s really becoming a major part of our rodeo.”