The Southwest Louisiana Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo is a competition to be sure. The size and quantity of fish that roll in to the weigh station Sunday afternoon at the Southwest Louisiana Fishing Club clubhouse will attest to that.
But for most of the anglers involved, fun is the name of the game.
That includes the Chatagnier family, which went out to Big Lake and back Friday afternoon. Father Bert did the boating and let son Jeffrey, 12, and Hayley, 9, take care of the fishing.
Jeffrey hauled in two redfish, a flounder, speckled trout and a croaker while Hayley brought in two reds, a trout and a croaker.
“The redfish had a lot of fight in them,” Jeffrey said. “We were by a bunch of rocks, and they’d always go toward the rocks and you’d get tangled up. So you kind of had to manuver them around the rocks to get them in. So that was kind of difficult.”
The rodeo is a family tradition, though usually from a different perspective. Jeffrey usually helps his mother Marla, who is one of the volunteers who helps at the weigh station.
So what’s better — working or fishing?
“I guess going out to catch them,” Jeffrey said with wisdom beyond his years.
This year’s rodeo — the 75th edition — was pushed back two weeks due to expected poor weather Fourth of July Weekend.
There were rain drops to contend with Friday, but Bert Chatagnier said his family was fortunate enough to dodge anything too serious.
“We left before it got bad,” he said.