Among the smiles Thursday night at the S.T.A.R. Banquet, Ed Sexton’s was the biggest.
The former LSU baseball player’s grandson, Charles Gordon, took possession of a new 14-foot bateau, trailer and 15-horsepower outboard.
“It’s important to get young people on the water,” Sexton said. “It’s big for our family.”
Even bigger is that Sexton’s is the first family to have three generations of S.T.A.R. entries to win a boat. Sexton won for a speckled trout he caught in the first years of the summer-long rodeo. His son-in-law, Charles, won for a 9-pound trout caught in the 2002 S.T.A.R. and Charles added to the run when his name was drawn from among the entries in Youth Division-East. The Youth Division is divided into four groups. To qualify, youngsters had to present a 14-inch or longer speckled trout at one of tournament’s 31 weighstations.
“He’s caught some big trout,” Sexton said, nodding to his grandson seconds before young Charles Gordon confirmed that he’d caught trout over seven pounds and had a 5-pounder this year. Sexton finished second in Speckled Trout-East with a 7.92 pounder.
Scotty Broussard furnished another story from this year’s 101-day fishing fest: He won the 19-foot NauticStar/Mercury outboard bay boat for his 6.16-pound speckled trout, the top fish in the Southwest Division.
“I caught the fish on a pier at Cypremort Point,” Broussard said. “I just wanted to tell people that you don’t have to fish from a boat to win.”
Broussard said he owns boats, but “there’s nothing like taking a cup of coffee and a rod and reel down the pier to catch fish in the morning.
“I use a Norton Sand Eel in the LSU colors (purple/gold chartreuse),” Broussard continued. “If the big one doesn’t work, then I go to the smaller one.”
The flat fish run
If you like catching — and eating — flounder, then get to the bridges spanning Lake Pontchartrain now.
The railroad trestle bridge is holding large flounders — caught one at five pounds and missed one even larger Friday — and lots of them.
Ditto for The Causeway.
Live shrimp on a Carolina rig is productive, but some are hitting a variety of soft plastics worked slowly along the sandy bottom. Depending on current, use 3/8-ounce to ?-ounce jigheads. Watermelon and avocado-red glitter colors with tails dipped in chartreuse dye produced along with Gulp! Molting Shrimp.
More for youngsters
Photographers 12 and younger can enter the National Wildlife Federation’s Kids Photo Contest. Monthly winners will be published in the NWF’s Ranger Rick magazine.
There’s no fee to enter, nor do kids have to be Ranger Rick subscribers, but they must have permission from a parent or guardian to enter.
The NWF website, http://ww.nwf.org/rrbestshot, has guidelines and hints to help young photographers take the best possible outdoors photos.
Follow the ducks
Ducks Unlimited has a new mobile app waterfowl hunters can use on iPhones and Androids for the upcoming season.
DU’s Waterfowl Migration “App” gives real-time migration and hunting reports; a new “Waterfowler’s Journal” is available; and there are separate DU site applications.
For details, go to website: http://www.ducks.org/.
Wanna see Troy?
The History Channel’s “Swamp People” celebs Troy Landry and his son, Jacob, will be at Hood Northlake in Covington from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Friday for photos and autographs.