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Jeremy Mercer, the Duck Unlimited Regional Director from Pennsylvania and his buddy, Paul Bramble from Maryland, made the trek south to test the water for reds on fly recently. After discussing their timeframe, we decided on Jan 30th and 31st as their target dates.

After listening to their requests, I scheduled their trip with Capt. Bryan Carter aboard his Hells Bay flats skiff. With the fronts rolling through, it was touch-and-go for a few days, but their trip came off without a hitch.

They caught/released numerous trophy sized redfish along with some bruiser black drum -- all on fly and all sight casted in skinny water.

Paul emailed me and said they had a blast -- so much so that they are now looking into property in Plaquemines Parish! Now they know why we call it "SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE."

Thanks guys, and we hope to see you again soon.

February 23, 2009 at 6:35pm

<B>NEWS RELEASE Tuesday 9/16/08 2:00pm -Plaquemines Parish Update</B>

Highway 23 is still under water from south of the Alliance Refinery to West Pointe a la Hache. However large trucks are being allowed through to service the oil industry and supply other businesses in the south end.

Water continues to recede and pumps are operating to clear Highway 23 as quickly as possible. The water is receding into the marshes through various cuts in the levee made to expedite the flow and through two new breaches discovered after the water began receding.

Highway 23 could be opened to traffic tonight or sometime tomorrow. It depends upon how quickly the water flows out. Meantime, the convoys on the Mississippi River Levee around the flooded Highway are continuing. Crews are working to fill the breaches at this time. One is nearly 200 feet long and 40 feet deep and is located near West Pointe a la Hache. The other smaller breech is about 40 feet in width and is located just south of the original breech in Pointe Celeste. Parish President Billy Nungesser has authorized the use of slabs broken up and discarded from Hurricane Katrina to be used to fill the levee breeches.

According to President Billy Nungesser-top priority is getting that Highway open. “Every day our residents don’t have access to their homes and their livelihoods…we lose. Because many are just leaving the parish and not coming back.”

September 16, 2008 at 3:46pm

L.D.W.F. CONTINUES SEARCH AND RESCUE EFFORTS

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) received several search and rescue (SAR) calls through the night and dispatched SAR teams to those locations at first light this morning.

SAR crews rescued an additional 17 people last evening from the north end of Grand Caillou Rd. in Houma to bring the total to 135 people rescued yesterday from Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson, Vermilion and Terrebonne parishes.

In Southwestern Louisiana, an estimated 50 to 75 SAR personnel from LDWF, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and Federal Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams are working the area.

SAR crews in this area dispatched 26 boats to Vermilion Parish to sweep the area looking for people needing assistance from Intercoastal City to Forked Island. Seven boats were sent to work from Forked Island through Sweet Lake, Hackberry, Grand Bayou and Cameron. An additional 15 boats were dispatched to the north of Calcasieu Lake to work the flooded areas from Westlake, Vinton, Sulphur and the Hackberry area.

In Southeastern Louisiana, SAR crews are still concerned about Lafitte and Pointe a la Hache. Lafitte is still inundated with water, but the water has gone down 2 feet overnight. LDWF is receiving SAR calls from Jefferson Parish, but did not receive a SAR call from Plaquemines Parish. Several hundred people are voluntarily remaining in Lafitte.

The SAR collection point at the Chennault Airport in Lake Charles was closed at noon today and moved to the S.K. White School location.

Agents from Ohio will arrive this morning and be staged in Houma.

September 14, 2008 at 7:12pm

John Johnson, Tim Johnson and his 10-year old son Brandon, all of Brandon, MS. racked up an impressive catch while bottom fishing this past Saturday in Venice.

They limited out on big sow snapper then topped off the box on their 26 SeaCat with this fine warsaw grouper. It was Tim that got the big warsaw and he stated it put up quite a fight. The Johnson's are regulars around the dock in Venice.

Congrats on a great catch guys!

Susan Gros

July 14, 2008 at 8:47am

SHRIMP SEASON TO CLOSE IN PORTION OF ZONE 2

The 2008 spring inshore shrimp season in a portion of Shrimp Management Zone 2 extending from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line to the western shore of Bayou Lafourche will close on Tuesday, June 24, at 6 a.m.

The remaining portions of Zone 2 west of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island and east of Bayou Lafourche and all of Zones 1 and 3 will remain open until further notice. State territorial waters south of the Inside/Outside shrimp line, as described in Louisiana R.S.56:495, will also remain open to shrimping.

Zone 1 includes state waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River and Zone 3 includes state waters from the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island to the Louisiana/Texas state line.

The closure was announced today by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham and was based on recommendations made by LDWF Marine Fisheries Division biologists.

The number, distribution and percentage of small juvenile white shrimp within the area to be closed have progressively increased in recent weeks. Analysis of current LDWF shrimp trawl sampling data indicates substantial white shrimp population increases this week and these waters are being closed to protect these developing shrimp.

June 19, 2008 at 9:55am

YOUTH ANGLERS ALLOWED TO TAKE UNDERSIZED BASS DURING MEMORIAL AND LABOR DAY WEEKENDS

In an effort to increase participation in freshwater fishing by the state's youth, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) will allow the take of undersized black bass by anglers 15 years of age and younger during the Memorial and Labor Day weekends on select waterways.

The dates of the suspension of bass size restrictions for youth anglers are May 24-26 and Aug. 30-Sept. 1. This suspension will take place in the Atchafalaya Basin, Lake Verret-Palourde Area and Lake Fausse Point-Dauterive Area.

The normal 10 bass per day limit from these areas will still apply to all anglers during these weekends. Anglers 16-years-old and older will still be required to observe the 14-inch minimum size limit during these special youth fishing weekends.

For more information on these areas and questions about the youth fishing weekends, contact Mike Wood at 318-343-4045 or by email at mwood@wlf.louisiana.gov.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Inland Fisheries Division staff and the Freshwater Fisheries Recreational Task Force supported and suggested this youth angler bass suspension to the LWFC.

May 22, 2008 at 10:57am

The 5th Annual Boat Stuf Owner's Tournament was a roaring success this weekend. The event which was held at Venice Marina under the newly constructed pavillion was well attended. Friday night, anglers feasted on "Pastalaya" prepared by Louisiana Sportsman's own Otis Taylor.

Jimmy and Beth Fisackerly and their staff put on a GREAT event with prizes for inshore and offshore divisions.

Pictured are some of the winners with their catches of note.

13-year old Dominic Cusanza who attends St. Georges Epispicol School in New Orleans swept the Redfish with Most Spots category with a 37-spot redfish. He fished on a 22 Pathfinder captained by Denis Devenport. HIs dad, Sal is also pictured with the beautiful fish. Congratulations to Dominic!!

Also got to spend some time with Beau and Bennett Bratton and their dad Clay. The boys had a ball fishing for redfish, speckled trout and even added a black drum to their ice chest. Great job guys!!

May 19, 2008 at 10:12am

THREE TIPS FROM THE BOAT U.S. FOUNDATION THAT COULD HELP
BOATERS AND ANGLERS LOOK AT LIFE JACKETS IN A WHOLE NEW WAY

National Safe Boating Week May 17 - 23

ALEXANDRIA, VA, May 12, 2008 - Small boats such as open runabouts, personal watercraft, Jon boats and paddle-powered craft are popular on U.S. waterways because they are affordable and easy to use. However, they can also be the most deadly. According to U.S. Coast Guard statistics, of the 474 drowning deaths in 2006, 42% (201) involved boats under 16 feet.

With National Safe Boating Week coming up May 17 - 23, the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water has three tips that may help encourage boaters and anglers to don a life jacket every time they hit the water.

A 2007 BoatU.S. Foundation study of California boaters showed that about three out of every five say that they would wear a life jacket if it were more comfortable. However, while comfortable designs are here today, many boaters may not know what is available. Newer vest-style life jackets allow complete freedom of movement with broad arm cutouts and buoyancy pockets placed low on the body, allowing for unimpeded movement. Many of the newest inflatable life jackets are no larger than a fanny belt pack, and fit comfortably around the waist. Neither of these modern styles get in the way of driving a boat, casting a lure, or paddling.

The same California study showed that boaters understand the need to put a life jacket on when the weather goes bad. But that's not when most boaters or anglers get into trouble. U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that most boating accidents occurred when conditions were calm (waves less than six inches), winds light (less than six miles per hour) and visibility was good.

Remember the days when few motorists chose to wear a seat belt? In just a short time most American motorists have adjusted to using them - largely without complaint - and highway deaths have decreased dramatically. Boaters need to consider the fact that by making wearing a life jacket routine, waterway drownings would follow a similar trend.

To learn more about life jackets, go to http://www.BoatUS.com/Foundation/toolbox The BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit education and research organization primarily funded by the voluntary contributions of the 650,000 members of BoatU.S.

May 14, 2008 at 11:52am

2008-135
LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES ANNOUNCES PUBLIC MEETINGS FOR POST-HURRICANE COMMERCIAL AND CHARTER BOAT FISHERIES ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) invites Louisiana resident commercial fishermen, certain commercial fishing vessel license holders and wholesale/retail seafood dealers with trip ticket reported sales or purchases of seafood between September 1, 2004 and August 31, 2005, prior to Hurricane Katrina, to participate in informational public meetings beginning May 20. To qualify for assistance you must have reported LDWF trip ticket sales or purchases of any type of the following seafood during the qualifying period AND have held one or more LDWF licenses as follows:

1. Sales of shrimp, oyster, crab, or saltwater finfish and held a Resident Commercial Fisherman’s License; and/or
2. Sales of shrimp, oyster, saltwater fish or menhaden and held a Resident Commercial Fishing Vessel License ; and/or
3. Sales of freshwater finfish or wild caught crawfish and held a Resident Commercial Fisherman’s License and resided in any of the 26 LDWF-defined hurricane impacted parishes; and/or

4. Purchases of shrimp, oyster, crab, or saltwater finfish and held a Resident Wholesale/Retail Seafood Dealer License; and/or

5. Purchases of freshwater finfish or wild caught crawfish and held a Resident Wholesale/Retail Seafood Dealer License and resided in any of the 26 LDWF-defined hurricane impacted parishes

Louisiana resident charter boat operators who held a LDWF charter boat fishing guide license in the qualifying period (Sep 1, 2004 – Aug 31, 2005) also qualify for personal assistance payments. Information packets have been mailed to individuals and entities that LDWF has identified in the commercial fisheries sector from pre-storm trip ticket records, and eligible charter boat operators will receive packets by early June

The LDWF uses trip tickets to collect commercial landings and associated harvest information by trip. Trip tickets dated during the eligible period but submitted after September 1, 2007 will not be considered.

Attendance at these meetings is not mandatory. Program staff will be available to provide information about the program and answer questions. The dates and locations of the meetings are:

Cameron – Tuesday, May 20th (5:00 p.m.)
Cameron Parish Courthouse
119 Smith Circle
Cameron, LA 70631

Abbeville – Wednesday, May 21st (2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.)
L.S.U. Ag Center
1105 West Port Street
Abbeville, LA 70510

Chalmette – Wednesday, May 28th (5:30 p.m.)
Chalmette High School Cafeteria
1100 E. Judge Perez Drive
Chalmette, LA 70043

Lafitte – Thursday, May 29th (2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.)
Lafitte Auditorium
4953 City Park Drive
Lafitte, LA 70067

Houma – Tuesday, June 3rd (2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.)
South Terrebonne High School Cafeteria
3879 Highway 24
Bourg, LA 70343

Belle Chasse – Wednesday, June 4th (2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.)
Belle Chasse High School Theatre
8346 Highway 23
Belle Chasse, LA 70037

More than 8,000 information packets have been mailed to individuals and entities that LDWF has identified in the commercial fisheries sector from pre-storm trip ticket records, and eligible charter boat operators will receive packets by early June. LDWF urges everyone who receives a packet to open it immediately, follow the enclosed instructions, and return all required forms using the business-reply envelope provided by the October 31, 2008 deadline.

The South Central Planning and Development Commission (SCPDC) and affiliated planning districts will receive and process all information about this assistance program. Any questions concerning eligibility, requests for information, etc. should be directed to the SCPDC by calling 1-800-630-3791 (toll-free) or 985 655-1051 (local) or mailing SCPDC at P.O. Box 1240, Gray, LA 70359-9902 or visiting the SCPDC Web site at www.scpdc.org/fisheries assistance.

May 13, 2008 at 4:44pm

L.D.W.F. TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY

National Hunting and Fishing Day is Saturday, Sept. 22, and in Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will mark the day with its 23rd annual celebration. The department will also hold events in Minden, Monroe and Woodworth.

“One of the best ways we can create a better public understanding of hunting and fishing is to create a better public awareness of the important role that outdoors men and women have played in conservation and improving our natural resources,” said LDWF Public Information Assistant Director Thomas Gresham. “National Hunting and Fishing Day helps to build appreciation and increase participation in outdoor sports. It is also an opportunity for people with no previous experience to learn about the values and enjoyment of outdoor pursuits.”

LDWF invites people of all ages in the Baton Rouge metro area to celebrate this year’s event at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center. The Baton Rouge event offers hands-on activities including canoeing, fishing, sports shooting and duck and goose calling. This year the department will again have a catfish pool where very young anglers can catch their first fish and get souvenir photos.

The Waddill Outdoor Education Center is located at 4142 Flannery Road. This event is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, contact the LDWF public information office at 225-765-2925.

This year’s event also offers numerous outdoor demonstrations and exhibits including Ducks Unlimited, Coastal Conservation Association, Red Stick Fly Fishers, Louisiana Bayou Bluebird Society, Louisiana Hiking Club, Louisiana Wildlife Federation, plus many more.

National Hunting and Fishing Day is open to the public and all activities, food and drink are free of charge. A tasting booth will feature area chefs preparing and serving wild game and fish dish samples to the public. Soft drinks are provided by the Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling Company, and Associated Grocers and Flowers Baking Company will provide hot dogs.

The event is sponsored in part by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, The Advocate and Louisiana Fish Fry Products.

September 18, 2007 at 5:46pm

<B>L.D.W.F. TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY</B>

National Hunting and Fishing Day is Saturday, Sept. 22, and in Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will mark the day with its 23rd annual celebration. The department will also hold events in Minden, Monroe and Woodworth.

“One of the best ways we can create a better public understanding of hunting and fishing is to create a better public awareness of the important role that outdoors men and women have played in conservation and improving our natural resources,” said LDWF Public Information Assistant Director Thomas Gresham. “National Hunting and Fishing Day helps to build appreciation and increase participation in outdoor sports. It is also an opportunity for people with no previous experience to learn about the values and enjoyment of outdoor pursuits.”

LDWF invites people of all ages in the Baton Rouge metro area to celebrate this year’s event at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center. The Baton Rouge event offers hands-on activities including canoeing, fishing, sports shooting and duck and goose calling. This year the department will again have a catfish pool where very young anglers can catch their first fish and get souvenir photos.

This year’s event also offers numerous outdoor demonstrations and exhibits including Ducks Unlimited, Coastal Conservation Association, Operation Game Thief, National Wild Turkey Federation, Louisiana Wildlife Federation, plus many more.

National Hunting and Fishing Day is open to the public and free of charge. The Waddill Outdoor Education Center is located at 4142 Flannery Road. This event is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, contact the LDWF public information office at 225-765-2925. The event is sponsored in part by local businesses.

July 31, 2007 at 5:35pm

BP AMERICA DONATES SOLAR POWERED BUGGY TO HONOR L.D.W.F ARTIFICIAL REEF PROGRAM COORDINATOR

BP America today donated a solar-powered Bad Boy Buggy to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in honor of Rick Kasprzak, the agency’s original Artificial Reef Program Coordinator.

Kasprzak, who passed away on May 27, 2007, was an LDWF fish biologist specializing in reef fisheries and artificial reef development. Groups from around the world sought his input and guidance on artificial reef issues and invited him to participate in national and international reef forums. He had been in charge of implementation of the reef program for the state since its inception.

“Rick has been the Artificial Reef Program and will be sorely missed by all of his coworkers and the fishing public,” said LDWF Deputy Assistant Secretary John Roussel. “He certainly set a great program in motion that we intend to carry on for the future.”

Kasprzak’s careful, tireless and highly successful efforts to make sure that many retired oil and gas platforms would be appropriately sited and available as premier Louisiana offshore fishing destinations will benefit anglers from across the Gulf for generations to come.

“Rick not only had many years of pro-environmental service to Louisiana, but he was visionary in his administration of the Rigs-to-Reef program,” said BP America Government Affairs Director Karl Connor. “He ran a program that addressed the energy industry’s problems while maintaining viable offshore ecosystems. His dedicated service was an environmental win-win for all concerned.”

July 18, 2007 at 6:23pm

<b>GOVERNOR BLANCO SIGNS HOUSE BILL 919</b>

LDWF Conservation Fund to Receive Additional Mineral Revenues

Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco has signed House Bill 919, passed during the 2007 Legislative Session, which provides for additional funding for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Conservation Fund.

The bill permanently commits mineral revenues from the Attakapas Wildlife Management Area to the Conservation Fund. In fiscal year 2008-09, when the added revenue is initially directed to the fund, the department would receive a projected $18 million. Those funds will offset rising departmental expenses that include the expanding invasive aquatic weed program, equipment and supply costs, salaries and benefits.

“HB 919 did in fact stimulate the discussion of the growing funding concern from the department’s standpoint and alerted everyone involved in the legislative process that LDWF needed immediate assistance to continue to serve its vital role in fish and game management for the state,” said LDWF Secretary Bryant Hammett. “The tremendous support for this bill from legislators, conservation groups and outdoorsmen, and the governor’s concern for the fiscal future of the department, insured passage of this very important legislation.”

LDWF funding comes primarily from the Conservation Fund, which contains license sales revenues and mineral revenues from department-owned properties. In fiscal year 2005-06, the fund provided 62 percent of funding for all department expenditures as part of a $73 million budget. The remaining finances are derived from federal grant funds, interagency transfers and other statutory dedications.

July 13, 2007 at 12:15pm

<B>SHRIMP SEASON TO CLOSE IN ZONE 1 – BRETON AND CHANDELEUR SOUNDS TO REMAIN OPEN</B>

The 2007 spring inshore shrimp season within Shrimp Management Zone 1 except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line (LA R.S.56:495.1) will close on Monday, July 16 at 6 p.m. Effective with this closure, all state inside waters except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds will be closed to shrimping. State territorial waters south of the Inside/Outside shrimp line, as described in LA R.S.56:495, will also remain open to shrimping.

Zone 1 includes state waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River.

The closure was announced today by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Bryant O. Hammett, Jr. and was based on recommendations made by LDWF Marine Fisheries Division biologists.

The number, distribution and percentage of small juvenile white shrimp within the area to be closed has progressively increased in recent weeks. Analysis of current LDWF shrimp trawl sampling data indicates substantial population increases this week and these waters are being closed to protect these developing shrimp.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will consider opening dates for the 2007 fall inshore shrimp season at its next monthly meeting scheduled for 9:30 a.m., Aug. 2 at LDWF Headquarters in Baton Rouge.

July 12, 2007 at 3:01pm

Four year old Chad Voiselle of Metairie had to call in the "big guns" to help him catch his FIRST FISH ever by himself.

He set out this afternoon with my neighbor, Steve Bucher, with his "SUPERMAN" fishing pole in hand with one goal in mind,

"I want to catch a fish by myself on MY fishing pole," said the youngster as he boarded Bucher's 22 Skeeter.

A short while later, I saw them motor into the canal with Chad beaming from ear to ear.

"I reeled him up like this and he was pulling me hard," said Chad as he demonstrated his winning fishing style.

He turned to his mom and said, "Now we can make a fish stew!"

Congratulations Chad on catching your first fish -- a nice 18-inch redfish!!

July 06, 2007 at 9:03pm

SAFETY TIPS FOR PARENTS ON P.F.D's FOR CHILDREN

Louisiana has always been known for its numerous waterways and the enjoyment that can be derived from time spent on the water with family and friends. Recreational water sports are fun for boaters of all ages, especially kids. One piece of equipment that can make a day on the water a happy memory rather than a tragedy is a personal flotation device (PFD).

Here are few a tips adults need to know about personal flotation devices for children:

It is required by Louisiana law that any child 12 years old or younger wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device that is properly sized and fitted and is in good serviceable condition while a vessel is underway. It is highly recommended that children wear PFD’s at all times when on boats or near bodies of water.

For a PFD to work properly, it must fit snugly on a child. A good way to check for a good fit is to pick the child up by the shoulders of the PFD. A properly fitted PFD will not allow the child’s chin and ears to slip through the PFD. Remember to fasten all straps, zippers and ties.

PFD’s with a safety strap that fastens between the legs can prevent the device from slipping over the child’s head and are highly recommended.

Test a child’s PFD in the water immediately after purchase. Teach the child to relax in the water while wearing the PFD. A struggling child makes it hard to float safely in a PFD. The struggling child may not stay face up even with a properly fitted PFD.

Remember that no one can watch a child every second. A child can drown in minutes with adults around. Wearing a PFD can prevent such a tragedy and make water sports memorable and enjoyable.

For more information on personal flotation devices or recreational boating, visit the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Web site: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/regulations/requiredequipment/

July 03, 2007 at 2:21pm

A REMINDER TO EVERYONE THAT LOUISIANA FISHING LICENSES EXPIRE THIS WEEK (ON SATURDAY JUNE 30TH).

DON'T FORGET TO RENEW YOURS BEFORE HEADING OUT THIS WEEKEND.

IT IS ALSO A GOOD TIME TO CHECK EXPIRATION DATES ON FLARES, FIRE EXTINGUISHERS AND OTHER DATED SAFETY EQUIPMENT IN YOUR BOAT</B>

June 28, 2007 at 8:37pm

The Venice Inn Motel, a 61 room facility located at 42660 Hwy 23 in Venice just reopened after being totally remodeled post-Katrina. They currently have 50 rooms available nightly.

I stopped by there yesterday afternoon and peeked into one of their rooms...very neat and clean, has 2 double beds, a small refrigerator, microwave and coffee pot. The room rate is $85 + tax per night.

Give them a call at 985-534-7424 to book a room next time you head to Venice to go fishing and help support the rebuilding of Plaquemines Parish!

June 20, 2007 at 8:35am

Pictured is 13-year old Sean Ally of New Orleans with a dandy mangrove snapper he caught on Friday while fishing Venice aboard the "COUGAR" with Capt. John Coulon.

Sean told me it only took him "20 seconds" to land the toothy mangrove, but those of us that have fought one this size know it may have been a bit longer of a fight!

Fishing with a large group from the Hook Line and Sinker Fishing Club, Sean shared with me that he is just getting started in fishing after relocating to New Orleans to live with his Grampa.

"I really like it...it's different," said Sean as he proudly showed me his day's catch.

Looks like he is off to a GREAT start...

Congratulations on your trophy mangrove, Sean!

June 17, 2007 at 9:08am

The 3rd annual Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic, presented by Gulf Coast Hatteras and Hatteras Yachts is now in the record books. Inclement weather at the start of the week left us with 39 boats, fishing for a total available purse of $471,723.53.

Tuesday, May 29, the festivities kicked off with a Dock Party, hosted by the good people at Venice Marina at their new Crawgators Bar and Grill. Loads of good food, along with Tommy Bahama Rum, Mango Rum Punch, Woodford Reserve Bourbon were all a big hit. The Tournament welcomed new Diamond Level Sponsors Pacific Fins Resort from Guatemala and new Gold Level Sponsor Night Vision Technologies displaying their wares on Ambient NAV monitors. Thanks go to Peter Meagher of Ambient NAV for turning the entire marina wireless and that great cellphone signal booster.

Wednesday, with the winds whipping from the East, the registration continued, followed by a Captains Meeting and ffestive Kick-Off Party, co-sponsored by our friends at LeBeouf Brothers Towing and Southern-Scrap Recycling. The event was a big hit with Boiled Shrimp, Creole Jambalaya, and the best Bread Pudding in the world; courtesy of Gold Level Sponsor, Acme Oyster House. Thanks go to Brown-Forman, William Grant and Sons, along with Republic National Distributing for sponsoring our Open Bars—no drink tickets here!

Thursday, May 31, with the winds laying down somewhat, Gulf Coast Hatteras and Hatteras Yachts sponsored the Hatteras Hangover Clinic featuring TABASCO Bloody Marys and strong New Orleans style coffee. A fine south Louisiana tradition known as the Blessing of the Fleet was conducted by Father Jerry from Port Sulphur.

With fishing starting at 12:01 am, Friday morning, the phones and radios started ringing with Swordfish releases by both the 45’ Cabo, "Bushwhacker" and the 50’ Viking, "Pass-It-On". As daylight broke on June 1, the day after the Full Moon, the Blue Marlin were biting with multiple hook-ups and releases being called in. Then, at 11:30am, the "Bush Whacker" continued their good luck, boating a 104 inch Blue Marlin, with Darryl Elias as the lucky angler. The 104 inch Blue weighed in at 401.8 pounds and would hold up to take home first place, paying the crew of the Bush Whacker $68,823.53 from the Base Entry payouts.

Friday continued to see some remarkable fish, with the 61’ Weaver, "Tar Baby" weighing in a whopper of a Wahoo at 90.8 pounds, followed shortly by a 169.4 pound Yellowfin Tuna caught by Vincent Pisciotta fishing onboard the 59’ Bertram, "Miss Mary IV". Also weighing in on Friday was Matt Jackson with a 132.0 pound Yellowfin Tuna fishing on the 56’ Viking "Done Deal", with Owner/Captain/Sponsor Jon Gonsoulin at the helm.

Saturday, June 2 the fish continued to bite with more hook-ups, spit-hooks, and releases, along with numerous nice meat fish. The 30’ Albemarle, Balancing Act had several local boys from Venice Marina weighing in 48.8 pound Dolphin, caught by Bill Delabar, which captured 1st Place in the Dolphin division. 2nd Place Dolphin went to Dr. David Coy at 45.8 pounds, fishing on the 55' Hatteras, "Surprise", Captained by Frank Frelich, with third place going to Stephen Brierre, fishing onboard the 52’ Hatteras, "Murphys Law", Owned and Captained by Murphy Foster, with a 40.6 pound Dolphin.

1st Place in our Tuna division stayed with the crew of the "Miss Mary IV" at 169.4 pounds, with 2nd Place going to Jeryet Bourg, fishing on the 60’ Hatteras, "First Choice", weighing in at 158.2 pounds, with Matt Jackson from the "Done Deal" hanging on to 3rd Place with his 132.0 pound Yellowfin.

A whopping 90.8 pound wahoo stole the show in the Wahoo division with angler Brett Armstrong on the rod fishing aboard the 61’ Weaver, "Tar Baby." 2nd Place went to Gordon Moss, fishing on the 44’ Topaz, "High Risk", weighing in at 76.4 pounds, with 3rd Place going to Jeremy Steele on the 48’ Viking, "Steele Away", weighing in at 63.4 pounds.

The Tag/Release Division was won by the crew of the 48’ Cabo, "Revolution", from Houma, Louisiana, with three Blue Marlin releases, Captained by Jermie Ball and Team Leader Heinke Trapp. They are now qualified to fish the IGFA Offshore Championship next year in Cabon San Lucas. Second Place in the Tag/Release Division went to the crew of the 56’ Viking, "Reel Addiction", with two Blue Marlin releases, followed by the crew of the 50’ Viking, "Pass-It-On", with three Swordfish releases. All Tag/Release Division winners received gorgeous inlaid teak step boxes from our Diamond Level Sponsor, Release Marine.

Top Youth Angler went to 15 year old Grayson LaBorde, fishing on the 40’ Cabo, "Zephyr", with his first Blue Marlin release (and they even got a tag in it, then Grayson got his swim for his first Blue Marlin). Grayson was awarded a Top Youth Angler trophy, along with a portable Sony Playstation, and numerous other sponsor gifts.
Top Female Angler went to Lainey Jones for the 2nd year in a row, fishing on the 60’ Bonner, "Big Adventure", with one Blue Marlin release along with numerous Yellowfin Tuna and Dolphin also weighed in.

The Top Billfish Boat this year went to the crew of the "Revolution". They are our first winners of the C. R. Bob Potter Memorial Trophy. Mr. Potter was one of our Founding Sponsors and passed away last year on June 9. Mr. Potter will be missed dearly, but his smile and character will be forever remembered with this perpetual trophy. Special thanks go to Billy Potter at Area Wholesale Tire for helping us continue this tradition in memory of his loving father.

The gala Awards Party Saturday night was a BIG HIT with Acme Oyster House outdoing themselves with Red Beans and Rice, Gumbo, Raw Oysters, more Jambalaya, Crayfish Etouffee, Natchitoches Meat Pies, and more of their world-famous Bread Pudding. Thank You Acme!

The Charity Auction, which benefitted both CCA Louisiana and The Billfish Foundation had some wonderful items and raised almost $8,000.00 for these two fine marine conservation charities.

All our Base Entry Winning Captains received a gift bag stuffed with numerous Hatteras gifts, Maui Jim Sunglasses Gift Certificates and other prizes compliments of comefishLa.com, along with TABASCO gift bags. To the winning Captains-ENJOY THEM.

With a total of 12 verified Blue Marlin releases, 5 verified Swordfish releases, 1 verified White Marlin release, and 1 Blue Marlin on the dock, left us with a 92% release rate.

"I would like to thank our loyal sponsors, the Best of the Best, without whom we could not have put on our 3rd annual Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic," said Steve Thomas, Tournament Director.

"Please support them as they truly represent the finest manufacturers and products available. In closing, I would like to thank the Plaquemines Parish Council and Parish President Billy Nungesser for their support," said Thomas.

He went on to say, "The sportfishing industry is just one opportunity to help Plaquemines Parish with their rebuilding program — Thanks go to all of you for helping keep Venice on the fishing map. See you next year and bring another boat with you; let’s make it bigger and better every year!"

June 05, 2007 at 4:05pm
A comment titled: High and Dry in Alabama in response to a report titled: May God Be with us.

Fellow LA Sportsman Readers:

It is surreal that 3 years ago I sat at this PC in a hotel in Monroe, LA. and watched as our world in Plaquemines Parish and across south Louisiana and Mississippi was changed forever.

Rebuilding down south in the Parish has been slow, but the Sportsmen and women prevailed and were lucky to once again enjoy some of the BEST fishing on the planet in Venice.

As I did for Katrina in 2005, I left quickly on Friday with my two dogs to beat the rush and this time headed to Birmingham, Al (elevation 100+ feet!)

Let's all pray for the storm to weaken somewhat and go anywhere BUT the west side of the Mouth of the River or the entire Westbank and beyond will be underwater.

Susan

August 31, 2008 at 1:56pm
A comment titled: I Believe You in response to a report titled: This Fish Liked The Rice Crispy Treats

I for one believe your story...because I have done something similar to get a fish to bite.

Near one of the platforms in Venice I used Crunch & Munch to "chum" some Bermuda Chubs to the surface. Once I got them interseted in the popcorn kernels, I cast a "Sneaky Pete" fly, which is small and yellow and looked like popcorn. The chubs fell for it and I actually landed two state record bermuda chubs on fly that day.

So empty the pantry and use whatever it take to get a bite!

Congrats on a nice bull dolphin.

Susan Gros

July 31, 2007 at 7:36pm
A comment titled: Pretty Work! in response to a report titled: Dularge Trout Fishing

Those are some nice trout...I've been offshore so much lately I don't know what it's like to catch nice specks like those. One day hopefully I'll make it over your way...

Susan

July 03, 2007 at 2:25pm
A comment titled: Congrats to Captain Hunter and Crew in response to a report titled: Fishing to Hear Tournament

John L:

Next time we plan an "offshore adventure" for you, I hope the seas are a bit kinder :)

Great catch by a GREAT captain and crew...I told you Hunter was tops!!

That big Warsaw Billy landed really gave him a work out, and they are EXCELLENT eating to boot!!!

Susan

May 07, 2007 at 1:38pm
A comment titled: What Kind of Line? in response to a report titled: Laura's Lucky Lure

It is Ande 6# clear. We use if for our IWFA Tournaments and it tests right at 6# breaking strength. That big red is just one of four that size I landed/released within a one week span of time.

I am really comfortable with 8# test, but it took some getting use to to switch to the 6#.

Oh by the way, we "bow up" on these fish and put plenty of pressure on them.. The rod is what takes the abuse and if you have a great rod, you can land a horse.

Mine is a Quantum Cabo PT series spin outfit.

Hope that helps!
Susan Gros

May 04, 2007 at 6:54pm
A comment titled: Monday in response to a report titled: FISHING TO HEAR - WINNING TICKETS

BTTT-Winners announced!

April 16, 2007 at 8:20am

OVER $10K WAS RAISED BY YOU GUYS AND GALS AS A RESULT OF YOUR EFFORTS ON LOUISIANA SPORTSMAN SITE OVER THE PAST 12 DAYS.

THE GRAND TOTAL WAS OVER $80K....WE ADDED ANOTHER $3200 AT THE DOOR TONIGHT AT CAFE' 615-DA-WABBIT.

THANKS TO EVERYONE THAT BOUGHT TICKETS, MADE DONATIONS AND SENT THEIR BLESSINGS TO KYLE.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS!! (ACTUALLY WE ARE ALL WINNERS FOR HELPING A 6-YR OLD CHILD TO HEAR AND SPEAK :)

April 15, 2007 at 6:47pm

Doors open at 3 p.m., drawing at 5 p.m. As soon as the 20 lucky winners are drawn I will get online and post them, as well as call the phone number listed on each ticket stub to inform them they won.

We look forward to meeting some of you guys and gals at Cafe' 615-Da Wabbit (see map on the website www.fishingtohear.org)

Good Luck to Everyone!

Susan ~ Christina ~ Darryl

April 15, 2007 at 9:47am
A comment titled: Weather At Myrtle Grove in response to a report titled: WOW!!!

12 noon and the rain and winds just reached Myrtle Grove. satellite TV out and I'm sure the electricity won't be far behind.

Pretty nasty.....

April 14, 2007 at 12:04pm
A comment titled: Professional Sport Shop-Today! in response to a report titled: FISHING TO HEAR RODEO FUNDRAISER-BUY TICKETS NOW

Darryl wil be at Professional Sport Shop with a supply of tickets this morning from 9 a.m. till 12 p.m.

If you are in the downtown area, stop by and pick up a ticket.

Drawing tomorrow, 3-5 p.m. at Cafe 615' Da Wabbit in Gretna.

Thanks!!

April 14, 2007 at 6:58am

Last Chance!!

Darryl will be at Professional Sport Shop on Julia Street-downtown New Orleans tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. till noon with a supply of raffle tickets.

If you are going to be in the area, please stop by and purchase one.

Darry's cell is 504-909-8959 if you want to call first.

Also listen to WWL-870 a.m. as we'll be on the radio Outdoors With Don Dubuc at 6:50 a.m. Saturday morning.

April 13, 2007 at 7:42pm
A comment titled: Give 'em What They Want! in response to a report titled: Big O

Doesn't matter what we like to target...it's what the customer wants, and that is just what they got.

Did you guys catch any reds with those horrible sores we've been seeing on fish from the West side??

Great catch and some real beauties!!

PS Got your ticket yet for Fishingtohear??

April 13, 2007 at 7:35pm
A comment titled: Oh Boy! Oberto RFC Ticket Sale in response to a report titled: FISHING TO HEAR RODEO FUNDRAISER-BUY TICKETS NOW

Bob and all...

The ticket sales went well, although I got there late due to the Belle Chasse bridge being in the "up" position for a VERY long time. By the time I got there, they were discussing the rules,and shortly thereafter everyone started to leave.

I did manage to sell a bunch, and some of the out of town captains said," If my ticket is pulled, please live auction my trip at the drawing to raise more $$$."

Thanks to EVERYONE that has made this a success..and I mean EVERYONE. Donations of $5.00 have rolled and believe me, every $$$ counts.

Looking forward to meeting everyone Sunday at the drawing.

Susan

April 13, 2007 at 9:39am

OK....I'll go ANYWHERE to sell these tickets. It is 6:30 p.m. and I am at Boomtown with FOUR BOOKS of tickets and I'm NOT LEAVING until all these out of town anglers captains buy them.

I'll set up a "toll booth" between Lafitte balst off and the fish-rich waters of Venice :)

April 12, 2007 at 6:36pm
A comment titled: Captains are Welcome in response to a report titled: FISHING TO HEAR RODEO FUNDRAISER-BUY TICKETS NOW

Charter captains are welcome to win...

There are many inshore captains that have NEVER been offshore, as a matter of fact, I recently had one of them accompany me on a tuna trip to the Lump.

You are right....a chance at TWENTY $1600.00+ offshore trips for a $20 bill..can't beat that!

Hope to see you at the drawing on Sunday. Winners need not be present and winning tickets/names will posted here after the 5 p.m. drawing.

www.fishingtohear.org

April 12, 2007 at 10:51am
A comment titled: Another $ale in response to a report titled: FISHING TO HEAR RODEO FUNDRAISER-BUY TICKETS NOW

George Hepting of Marrero just called, and his ticket is in the mail.

See how simple it is??

Thanks...let's keep it rolling!

April 11, 2007 at 8:18pm

OK...We're getting down to the wire, so I'm going to start naming names :)

How about it Paradise-Plus Lodge ? (I know Rick is in...)

Where are you Bryce "WB" Michel-Topwater Lodge?

How about it Ryan Lambert-Cajun Fishing Adventures?

Capt. Theophile-Bourgeois Charters--will HAND DELIVER :)

And how about all the captains in town with the wrapped boats that are fishing the Oh Boy! Oberto Redfish Cup?

We'll take an out of town check :)

Let's Make it happen!!

April 11, 2007 at 8:00pm
A comment titled: UPDATE FOR KYLE in response to a report titled: FISHING TO HEAR RODEO FUNDRAISER-BUY TICKETS NOW

Update on our efforts...Christina says we reached $7700 as of last night, and hits on the website are still ocming in.

I know Dennis Bardwell is working the folks over in Pontchatoula, so I'll meet up with him to write their tickets later today.

Thanks again for everyone's help in this final push...lets stick together and get this done!

April 11, 2007 at 8:38am
A comment titled: Nice Reds! in response to a report titled: Get em while ya can!

We need some of those for the ladies IWFA Tournament...keep 'em hemmed up :)

Susan

April 10, 2007 at 9:10pm
A comment titled: Bump-Tues a.m. in response to a report titled: FISHING TO HEAR RODEO FUNDRAISER-BUY TICKETS NOW

Still some tickets left. Visit www.fishingtohear.org

Drawing this Sunday, April 15th 3-5 p.m. at Cafe' 615-Da Wabbit.

20 Offshore Charter Trips to be given away.

April 10, 2007 at 9:25am
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