How the Fishing for Memories Rodeo began

The Fishing for Memories benefit rodeo based out of Intracoastal City is the biggest of big deals for the combined Menard-Boothe family.

“The rodeo has played a huge role in this family,” Amanda Menard said.

“It’s bigger than Christmas,” husband Dennis interjected.

“It is our Christmas,” Amanda added.

It is the only event for which Dennis, who is an offshore logistics coordinator on a semi-submersible drilling rig 80 miles off of the coast of West Africa’s Angola will interrupt his 28-days- on, 28-days-off schedule.

The June rodeo, now with seven years under its belt, was organized by Holly and Carrick Boffy in 2009. The rodeo’s formation, Holly said , was prompted by Carrick’s fond memories of fishing in the Abbeville Kiwanis Tarpon Rodeo that operated from the 1950s into the 1990s.

After hearing him mull over it for years, she told him they could keep talking about it or they could start their own rodeo.

With that, they dove into it head first. They held the rodeo at the same location as the Kiwanis rodeo, what is properly called the Abbeville Harbor & Terminal Public Boat Launch but what everybody still calls the Maxie Pierce Boat Launch.

Maxie Pierce built the original boat launch, operating a grocery store adjacent to it. The launch has passed into public ownership, but Maxie Pierce’s Grocery Store is still operating.

Pierce was also Carrick’s grandfather. The Boffy’s decided to dedicate all proceeds from the rodeo to the Louisiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s disease claimed the life of Maxie Pierce in 2006, giving special meaning to the rodeo for Carrick and Holly. Both have other family members stricken by the tragic disease.

The rodeo offers $500, $250 and $125 cash prizes for first, second and third places in 14 categories of inshore and offshore fish. Holly is especially proud of the lifetime fishing licenses that the rodeo offers to the winners of its four Youth Division categories: Catfish, Croaker, Redfish and Speckled Trout.

“Dennis (Menard) called us right, off as soon as he heard about us putting it together,” said Holly. “He had memories of the Kiwanis rodeo, too.”

“Dennis’s family is one of our big motivations to keep doing this,” added Carrick. “It makes it fun to see people get excited about something you started.”

Amanda and Dennis’ whole family have become dedicated rodeo volunteers. They deliver ticket packages to sales locations, hang rodeo posters, distribute flyers, and round up sponsors and auction items.

The majority of the rodeo’s participants are from the Acadiana region, but fishermen and fish caught from anywhere in the state are welcome, Carrick said.

The rodeo has shown steady growth, from about 250 participants its first year to 576 last year.

More information on the rodeo can be obtained online at or by calling Carrick Boffy at 337-254-4880.

About Jerald Horst 959 Articles
Jerald Horst is a retired Louisiana State University professor of fisheries. He is an active writer, book author and outdoorsman.