River flooding causes changes in McDonald Big Bass tourney

The Student Division lets young anglers get in on the action against their peers.
The Student Division lets young anglers get in on the action against their peers.

Prolonged flooding in Louisiana even has Ronald McDonald looking for high ground. Actually it is “his” fishing tournament, the Ronald McDonald Annual Big Bass Classic on the Ouachita River, that is having to rise above the floodwaters.

The tournament will go on June 8-9 as scheduled, but fishermen need to be aware of some major last minute changes. Last year, more than 900 anglers fished the event which is the major fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House facilities and activities in the region.

The biggest bass winner of the two day competition takes home $10,000 cash and there are hourly payouts of $2,250 per hour plus other cash and prizes. The first lucky angler to catch a bass weighing exactly 6.00 pounds would receive a $10,000 bonus. There is also a separate student division with cash and prizes.

Richie Moore with his 6.08-pound bass that won the Overall tournament and McDonald’s Challenge in 2018.

Many boat ramps along the Ouachita are underwater or unsafe as is the main area normally used for the tournament weigh-in, so the following changes have been made for this year’s event.

The main Lazarre Park Registration, Tournament and weigh-in location have been moved from the river to Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe. Lazarre Park is underwater, is closed and will not be accessible by vehicle.

The Crossett Harbor Remote Weigh-In Station will be open near the entrance road to the harbor. Crossett Harbor Pavilion is underwater and is expected to be for the tournament. All fish caught in Felsenthal must be taken to the Crossett Harbor Weigh-in location.

New fishing waters have been added at Lake D’Arbonne for this year’s tournament.  Due to limited access to the Ouachita River, the Committee has decided to allow fishing on Lake D’Arbonne. The remote weigh-in location will be D’Arbonne Pointe.

You can register at the The Honey Hole, Toledo Tackle or The Ronald McDonald House in the Monroe/West Monroe area or online at: www.rmhbigbass.com.

Kinny Haddox
About Kinny Haddox 283 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, lakedarbonnelife.com and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.