Louisiana loses fishing legend

Capt. Theophile Bourgeois, owner of Bourgeois Fishing Charters in Barataria, died in a plane crash in Chandeleur Sound on Sunday, Aug. 18.

The Coast Guard recovered a total of three people from the waters off St. Bernard Parish after the plane crashed some time before 3 p.m, according to Nola.com. They were transported to University Medical Center in New Orleans. Bourgeois died upon arrival. The condition of the two survivors wasn’t immediately available.

News reports indicate the cause of the incident is still under investigation.

Driven by a passion for fishing, Bourgeois founded Bourgeois Fishing Charters in 1992. He was known for flying customers to the Louisiana barrier islands for unique fishing experiences.

A fishing savant, Bourgeois was a staple on the pages of Louisiana Sportsman magazine. His vast fishing knowledge and infectious personality made him a reader favorite.

Tony Taylor, the publisher of Louisiana Sportsman, said, “He was such an awesome person, a great ambassador of Louisiana fishing, and a great fisherman — a part of the fabric that makes us uniquely Louisiana.”

Louisiana Sportsman publisher Tony Taylor (left) on a seaplane excursion with Theophile Bourgeois (far right) to do some wade fishing for trout.

Bourgeois was also a regular on Don Dubuc’s Fish and Game Report.

“He is going to be really missed. He was a great guy,” Dubuc told WWL. “A lot of talent in a lot of ways, a lot of people didn’t realize how much talent and how much good business sense he had and how much he had to come back to recover from storms.”

Todd Masson, a former Louisiana Sportsman editor, took to social media Sunday to share his condolences saying, “There are some Louisiana guides whose fish-finding skills are unmatched. These guys seem to always return to the dock with smiling customers whose mood is buoyed by success on the water and the contentment of knowing they hired the right guy.

“Other Louisiana guides may not be as adept at always locating fish, but they’re master story tellers who keep their clients in stitches all day, providing endless entertainment during the hours when the speckled trout and redfish are less hungry than a guy unbuckling his belt while walking out of a Chinese buffet.

“It’s a rare guide who excels at both facets. Theophile Bourgeois was one of them…. I’ve been scanning my memory banks since I got the horrible news this afternoon, and I literally can’t remember one person ever saying anything bad about Theophile. The man was IMPOSSIBLE not to like.

Todd Masson and Theophile Bourgeois fished together over two dozen times.

“He was a fixture on the South Louisiana fishing scene, and is truly irreplaceable. There will never be another Theophile Bourgeois.”