Bass art for Thursday, March 9

Lance Amedee holds the 9.26-pound largemouth bass he caught with teammate, Derek Wheat, to win the big-bass kitty in the 2017 Anglers Against Autism bass tournament. Anglers will be gunning for giants like this one when Anglers for Autism comes around March 3. Launch will be from Doiron's in Stephensville and the weigh-in and cook-off is set for later that day at Cabela's in Gonzales.

ADVOCATE PHOTO BY JOE MACALUSO

It was about this time last year when the deer and duck hunters put down rifles and shotguns, even their bows, and picked up rods and reels and headed out to their favorite bass spot.

OK, so some of them fished sac-a-lait.

No matter, sitting in a deer stand or a duck blind had worn thin, and a warmer-than-usual winter had these two prime freshwater species more than willing to take a wider-than-usual variety of artificial lures.

It was about this time last year, too, when bass fishermen got excited about the Anglers Against Autism tournament, a move to raise money for youngsters and their families battling this dreaded malady.

Last year, the AAA folks moved into the first-week-of-March slot vacated when organizers of another long-standing bass competition, the Childrens Hospital benefit, decided to end its run.

It meant, too, that “Moonie” Bergeron (does anyone know his given name? I think it’s Craig), his wife Angela, and Keith Thibodeaux, who with Gene David were the original organizers of what was a fall bass tournament, could step up to make this south Louisiana’s first big-money fishing contest.

BTW: David lends a hand to push for the annual Kiwanis’ False River bass tournament coming up March 18.

So this year’s Anglers Against Autism comes up March 3, and it’s time for two-angler teams to get their registration dollars up for the $10,000 check that’s go to the winning team.

And, it’s time for all you would-be cooks in the Capital City area to get your ducks in a row — or whatever else you decide to prepare — for the AAA’s Wild Game and Seafood Cook Off that runs the same day at the tournament’s weigh-in site at Cabela’s in Gonzales. Maybe the best part, other than the funds this event raises for Baton Rouge’s Emerge Center, is that you can taste all the dishes some pretty darned good cooks prepare that day for a $10 ticket.

To register for the cook-off, and for details, go to website: surveymonkey.com/r/18aaacook.

So, back to the fishing part: The stunner about last year’s fifth-annual AAA gathering was that pre-tournament scouting had most among the near 300 anglers ready to weigh in big stringers and giant largemouths.

While the 18.01-pound winning five-bass catch was a respectable stringer for south Louisiana, it didn’t come close to the 22-25 pound totals of a couple of past late-winter tournaments around here.

What made last year’s event special was a procession of giant largemouths coming from Atchafalaya Basin waters.

Ronnie Fuentes and Connor Doss started the oohing and aahing with a 6.36-pounder, a sure bet to take the $500 set aside for the day’s big bass.

Oh? Not that day, because about 20 minutes later Chris McVoy and Mike Kee showed up with a giant, an 8.18-pounder.

OK, but they couldn’t count their money yet, because the buzz grew louder and louder when Lance Amedee and Derek Wheat were in line with another monster bass, and cashed in with a crowd-erupting 9.26-pounder.

Anglers can get in the mix with a $205 entry fee (the $5 is launch fee) and check-in begins at 4:30 a.m. March 3 at either the Verret or Spillway landings at Doiron’s in Stephensville followed by the 3 p.m. start of the weigh-in at Cabela’s. There’s the big money first-place prize and more payouts depending on the number of entered teams, money for the three heaviest bass and Bergeron’s $300 bonus to the team weighing a three-pound (exactly) bass.

Brandi Monjure is handling tournament sponsorships. Call her at (225) 343-4232, Ext. 1897 or email: bmonjure@emergela.org.

Website information and registration: emergela.org and surveymonkey.com/r/18aaa.

On False River

The March 18 Kiwanis Open marks the 38th year for the False River tournament set to go from the Morrison Parkway public launch in New Roads. It’s a pick-your-partner event with a $150 early entry fee (it’s $175 tournament day). Kenneth St. Romain at (225) 718-1319 is the contact or email: kstromain1831@gmail.com.