Cindy to have little impact on Deep Sea Rodeo

Fishermen that are heading into the gulf on Friday for the start of the 70th annual Southwest Louisiana Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo had been more than a little concerned about the tropical storm that came through last week.

Tournament director Louis Vallee was one of those.

After everything settled down he did say that by tournament time it shouldn’t have much if any effect on the water offshore.

“I’m thinking that it might improve the fishing offshore,” he said. “Something like this will move the water around but just may not make much of a change. The rain that we had and the runoff will probably make inland fishing a little harder.

“I don’t remember having a rodeo like this, coming immediately after a storm, but it’s different from year to year. Seems like we’re always worried about some activity in the gulf.”

Fishing in the three-day tournament in public accessible water begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday and will end at 6 p.m. on Sunday. Weigh-in at the sponsoring Southwest Louisiana Fishing Club headquarters off I-210 on the northside of the bridge will only be on Sunday from noon until 6 p.m. 

Over the last few weeks fishing has been good offshore.

Vallee and son Chad were aboard the “Sea Tiger” a week ago, fishing off Grand Isle and scored what he said were “more fish than he wanted to clean.”

He said they ran in seas three to four feet, catching their fish about seven miles offshore.

“The water was a clear green,” Vallee noted, adding that the two of them boated mangrove snapper and ling, one weighing 47.5 pounds.

His boat will be one of those spectators and other fishermen in the event will be lining up to watch come to weigh-in at the tournament on Sunday.

Among other captains expected to be among those bringing in the larger catches are Sherwood Gill, Mike Pratt, Steve Nelson, Keith Monroe and Jaysen Gautriel.

The tournament has 30 divisions that include just about every species of fish, even the red snapper that was added back in since the government gave Louisiana fishermen 39 more days of snapper fishing in federal waters this year.

Special prizes awarded at the event are those for outstanding tag and release fisherman, outstanding lady angler, outstanding off shore angler, outstanding junior angler, outstanding offshore boat and outstanding tag and release boat.

One other is the Red Kohnke memorial award for the fisherman catching the redfish with the most spots.  Kohnke wrote an outdoor column for the American Press for over 20 years and was a valued member of the fishing club.

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This year the tournament will have a new weigh master, that being Josh Parks. Also helping out during Sunday’s weigh-in will be Stephen Brown and Ed and Marilyn Dawdy. 

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One note on the hunting side is that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has announced that it has begun accepting applications for this year’s lottery teal hunts on the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area.

Persons 18 years or older can apply and each applicant selected will be allowed to bring one guest. Available hunting dates are Sept. 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, 27 and 30.

Applications, which are available on the LDWF web site, must be received by July 25 and those earning a slot will be notified by mail.  There is a fee of $5 to enter the lottery and then a fee of $250 to hunt.

Locally more information on the teal lottery hunt can be obtained from Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1.