Start planning for Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo

It’s less than a couple of months away, but committee members have already been at work on the Southwest Louisiana Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo.

Director Louis Vallee said the three-day event will be June 30, July 1 and 2 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

“I’ve been getting a few calls and just want to get the word out early to everyone so they can begin to make plans if they already haven’t,” Vallee said.

It will be the 79th edition of the event. Only twice has the rodeo been canceled, once during World War II (mainly because Japanese subs had been reported in the Gulf of Mexico), and then after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.

“We’ve been having the tournament so long that just about everything has become standardized as for as getting ready,” Vallee said. “Rules and regulations will be similar to last year. Headquarters are at the fishing club at the I-210 park and the categories will be the same.”

He also noted that weigh-in will be only on the final day, a practice that began last year.

“I thought that it went over real good,” he said. “Most of the fish that were weighed in early in past tournaments were from local fishermen. The majority of fish always came in the final day.”

He said tickets to compete in the tournament will be out about 10 days before the tournament begins.

A special on the ticket prices takes place on Captain’s Night at the fishing club house. They are reduced from $35 to $25 for adults that night while junior fishermen (15 years and younger) get free tickets if they are fishing with an adult.

Vallee said even though the event is called Captain’s Night, it is not just for owners or captains of boats competing in the rodeo.

“It’s for everyone that is going to fish. Last year we had between 100 and 150 come to Captain’s Night,” he said.

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Vallee also noted the red snapper division — among others — continues to no longer be a fishing category for the rodeo, but things might be changing.

In a recent release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, it was announced that the department had a motion passed by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council that could eventually grant Louisiana the authority to manage the recreational red snapper fishery in federal waters adjacent to the state.

Right now the state only has control of 9 miles out into the Gulf.

Jack Montoucet, the secretary of the LDWF, said “this motion is a victory for all anglers fishing from Louisiana ports. If this amendment is approved, federal waters will no longer be off limits for large portions of the season.”

Louisiana will be a pilot program for other states on the Gulf if the amendment is approved. The deal runs from 2019 to 2021.

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