In late June, all Nickie Monica could rustle up was a now two-year-old Admiral of the Fleet shirt.
“It’s getting a little old and tattered,” Monica said. “You’d think the rodeo committee could get me a new shirt.”
Yeah, one with Monica’s correct title, even if it’s a year late.
Monica, the state representative from LaPlace, is the International Grand Isle Rodeo’s president, the top spot in the pecking order for the nation’s oldest fishing contest, and last week, he was assured he would sport the appropriate title on shirt when he officially opens the 84th annual IGITR on Grand Isle on Wednesday night.
Fishing begins at sunrise Thursday and Monica said it’s been a long time coming.
“The oil spill, oh man, the spill cost us that year. We’ve come through hurricanes and storms and never cancelled a rodeo, but the spill took away our fishing spots last year and I know hundreds of people have told me they can’t wait for this year,” Monica said. “They’re coming. It should be a good time and great fishing.”
Rodeo officials confirmed Friday that entries are up 20 percent over what they were two years ago, the last time the event was held under the rodeo pavilion on the east end of Grand Isle and at the Sand Dollar Marina weighstation.
At the same time, miles east of Grand Isle, the Faux Pas Rodeo will welcomed back a growing number of anglers for its 13th annual “faux do-do.” Though the fishing categories are not as numerous as the IGITR, the Faux Pas has three Grand Slam Calcutta events that demands fishermen weigh three different species of fish in each of three divisions to claim hefty csh prizes. Rodeo headquarters and weighstation is Venice Marina.
Scoggins on top
Terry Scoggins holds the lead going into today’s final round of the first leg of the Toyota Tundra All-Star Week, the summer headliner on the Bassmaster Tournament Trail on Lake Jordan in Wetumpka, Ala.
The 12 anglers will use today’s catch to qualify for eight berths in next weekend’s showdown on the Alabama River where there’s a $100,000 winner-take-all purse.
Full results and Sunday’s final weigh-in can be found on website http://www.bassmaster.com/.
INTERNATIONAL GRAND ISLE TARPON RODEO
WHERE: Sand Dollar Marina & Rodeo Tent, east end of Grand Isle.
WHEN: Thursday (sunrise), July 28 through 6 p.m. Saturday, July 30.
TICKETS: $25. Fishermen must be entered before fishing. Rodeo ticket must be presented upon weighing catch.
WEIGHSTATION HOURS: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday.
BIG GAME DIVISION: Tarpon (more than 4.5 feet), dolphin (more than 20 pounds), blue marlin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, yellowfin tuna (more than 50 pounds).
SHORELINE DIVISION: Barracuda, bluefish, bonito, cobia, jack crevalle, grouper, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, spadefish, tripletail.
INSIDE DIVISION: croaker, gafftopsail catfish, black drum, flounder, redfish (anglers limited to 1 redfish 27 or more inches long throughout the rodeo), redfish stringer (5 redfish, 16 inches long but not longer than 27 inches), sheepshead, speckled trout, white trout.
TAG AND RELEASE DIVISIONS: Big Game and Tarpon (five places).
AWARDS: First tarpon weighed; top three heaviest fish in all categories, except five places in tarpon, tarpon tag and big game tag and release; and two places in blue marlin. All-around angler in big game, shoreline and inside divisions.
CHILDREN’S DIVISION: 12 and younger, no fee. Scales open under rodeo tent 11 a.m.-2 p.m. daily. Gafftopsail catfish, croaker, channel mullet, hardhead catfish and white trout.
CHILDREN’S CRAB RACES: Ages 5-10. 2 p.m. daily under Rodeo Tent. Children must bring own crab to race.
FAUX PAS LODGE FISHING RODEO
WHERE: Venice Marina, Venice.
WHEN: midnight Thursday, July 28 through 6 p.m. Saturday.
TICKETS: $35. Team event. All team members must be signed before the rodeo.
CAPTAIN’S MEETING: 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m., Tuesday, South Port Hall, 200 Monticello Ave., New Orleans.
WEIGHSTATION HOURS: 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Thursday; 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. Friday; 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturday.
Top three places in individual categories. Inshore, rig and offshore divisions have first-place Calcutta and Grand Slam Calcutta cash for heaviest aggregate weight of all 3 species in each division.
INSHORE DIVISION: Speckled trout, redfish (under 27 inches) and flounder.
RIG DIVISION: Cobia, king mackerel and mangrove snapper.
OFFSHORE DIVISION: Tuna, dolphin and wahoo.
Plus blue marlin tag and release; live redfish division (under 27 inches, largest stringer of three redfish), inshore tagging division (boat with most tagged speckled trout and redfish); and Stranco Lots A Spots Award ($500, redfish with the most spots).