The 17th Annual Faux Pas Lodge Rodeo is set for next week out of Venice Marina, and this year’s version will feature a brand new division and real time text updates to keep participants informed about what’s happening at the scales.

“We’re expecting a full Venice crowd with 150 to 170 boats, and we have a new swordfish division this year,” Kleo Blue, rodeo coordinator, said. “They’ve been catching tons of swordfish in Venice, so for those offshore guys we decided to spice it up and throw swordfish in.”

Participating anglers will be kept up to date on action at the scales this year through text updates, he said. 

“We have real-time weigh-in now, where every participant will receive a text from the rodeo, and they can text back and get real-time rodeo results based on when the scales open and close,” Blue said. “Plus, our website will also have real-time results.”

Fishing begins at midnight Thursday morning, July 23, 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.

“You have to be at the scales by 6 on Saturday,” he said. “If you’re not at least in line at 6, then it’s over.”

Major categories for 2015 include inshore, offshore, rig, live redfish, speckled trout five-fish stringer, blue marlin tag and release and swordfish.

Registration is $45 per angler. Entry forms can be downloaded here, but must be turned in by Tuesday evening, July 21, at the captains' meeting at Southport Hall in New Orleans to be eligible to participate in the rodeo, 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 charter guides from Venice Marina that all donate their time, effort, gas, boat and expertise,” Blue said. “Every kid gets a rod and reel and a whole bunch of different items, including a shirt, visor, bag and hat. We feed them and Hotard Coaches brings them down from Metairie.”

The rodeo typically attracts anglers from all over the Southeast, and Blue said this year is no exception.

“I’ve talked to people from as far as away as Tampa just last night,” Blue said. “The guy is leaving Sunday from Tampa. I get them from all over: Arkansas, Texas, Atlanta, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. We get a handful of boats from all over, but 100 of the 150 boats every year have been there for years and years.

“This year we’re giving away Battlewagon Buckets to every boat. And for $45, every participant is getting a visor and a shirt and a bunch of things in their goodie bag. We try to give back every year — we want people to continue to come.”