Junior Southwest Bassmasters of Denham Springs and their adult sponsors showed why they pick the weeks after school lets out for the summer to hold their once-a-year, two-day travel tournament.
They picked Lake Concordia near Ferriday for their destination, and the youngsters’ catches showed their prowess with a rod and reel in their hands.
Alex Heintze, a member of the defending National Bassmaster High School champions, brought in a two-day, 10-bass limit weighing 21.37 pounds to take the 15-18 age group title in the 28-youngster field.
He was upstaged by Hanson Chaney, who blistered the 11-14 age group with a 10-bass limit weighing 30.89 pounds, a better than a 3-pound average. It was one of several club records set last weekend, club sponsor Jim Breaux said.
Dillon King’s 6.03-pounder was the weekend’s big bass, and Caden Sellers won the 7-10 age group with a 3.34-pound total.
John Chaney won the Adult Division with 33.39 pounds.
Breaux reported most of the bass were were caught on frogs early, crankbaits and “shakey-head” jigs later in the day.
For more on this young angler-oriented group, call Breaux at (225) 772-3026.
If you haven’t read it already, then know that Gonzales touring pro Greg Hackney’s first-day catch Thursday was disqualified in the Bassmaster Elite event on Cayuga Lake in New York.
Hackney went into the seventh Elite Series tournament of the year with more than a 20-point lead in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race — he won that title in 2014 — and when he brought in 17 pounds, 8 ounces for the first day, it appeared he solidified the AOY lead.
Then came the news: “Greg Hackney’s Day 1 catch was disqualified for fishing in an off-limits area,” B.A.S.S. tournament director Trip Weldon said. “There are several of these off-limits areas on Cayuga Lake. These areas were marked and confirmed with law enforcement. Then we took several steps to make the anglers aware of the areas, including posting them at the pretournament meeting Wednesday night.”
B.A.S.S.’ announcement included the advisory, “On glacier lakes in New York, state law says all man-made marinas and boat basins are private property. There are 11 such areas on Cayuga.”
Hackney could not be reached for comment after he fell back into the pack with Alabama pro Gerald Swindle taking the AOY lead. Hackney was allowed to compete Friday, but finished last in the 100-plus angler field. Only the top 50 anglers moved to Saturday’s third round. None of the fishermen from Louisiana advanced to the third round.
The four-day tournament ends Sunday.
The Bend repeats
It’s rare when a lake is named Bassmaster’s No. 1 bass lake in the country once, and it’s never happened to the same waterbody two years running — until now.
The Bend, the near 60-mile long reservoir on the Louisiana-Texas border, repeated atop the Bassmaster’s 100 Best Bass Lakes listing, and became the first lake to earn the lofty spot more than once.
“More than three months of research went into this year’s rankings,” Bassmaster Magazine editor James Hall said, adding the list of lakes comes from B.A.S.S. Nation members, state fisheries biologists, the 3,500-member B.A.S.S. Council and from B.A.S.S.’ 650,000 Facebook fans.
“Then, we scoured the Internet for current catch-rate data, using the results of more than two dozen tournament organizations and several state ‘lunker’ programs to narrow the field to 100. It’s a brutal process, but the results give bass anglers the ultimate bucket list of lakes for 2016,” Hall said.
“Our panel of judges who finalized the rankings were absolutely blown away by the production of Toledo Bend the past 12 months,” Hall said. “The lake has yielded 139 certified bass over 10 pounds with a 14.15-pounder topping the list. Plus, a 38-pound limit and countless limits in the 30-pound range have been weighed in during tournaments over the past year.”
Hunting on the web
Want to know about the upcoming hunting season, including migratory bird and migratory waterfowl dates and zones? Go to state Wildlife and Fisheries’ website: www.wlf.la.gov, because the recently ratified dates, rules and regs are posted there in advance of the pamphlet in August.
Wildlife Division spokesman Steve Smith said the website posting has complete information for the 2016-17 season, including major changes in the resident and migratory bird hunting; dates and regs on state wildlife management areas and federal lands in the state; a first listing of the upcoming dates and zones for migratory bird seasons; the state’s 10 deer hunting areas, including the new Atchafalaya Basin area; and, other major changes for the 2016-17 season.
From last season
Simsboro hunter Steven Ray is the winner of a Thompson Center breech loading rifle with scope and case in the state Wildlife and Fisheries-sponsored Validate to Win Contest.
Ray earned his way into the contest when he validated/reported using one of the state-issued deer tags on a seven-point buck he took Dec. 19. Bowie Outfitters donated the grand prize, and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation awarded four other hunters with lifetime hunting licenses.
LDWF’s rules were simple: “Any hunter who validated his/her deer tag information within seven days after harvest was automatically entered in the contest.”