Bass tournament to help juniors _lowres

Photo provided by JIM BREAUX Justin Watts took home big-bass honors for this 4.66-pound largemouth in the Junior Southwest Bassmasters-Denham Springs two-day tournament held on Lake Concordia. The Denham Springs teenager's catch was the largest in the field, even beating out the sponsor anglers competing in the Adult Division. Chris Childers, also from Denham Springs, won the 15-18 year-old age group with a 10-bass catch weighing 20.77 pounds to lead all anglers.

Building on the successes of the Junior Bassmaster program in Denham Springs, the club is trying to help this year’s most successful junior anglers — its high school champions — compete at the highest level.

That effort spawned Saturday’s benefit bass tournament. It’s to help the top two teams from the recent B.A.S.S. state high school championship, winners Cade Fortenberry and Braden Blanchard of St. Amant High School and runners-up Dillon King and Kody Kelly from the Livingston Parish Bassmasters high school team to defray expenses of traveling and fishing the National High School Championship set next month on Kentucky Lake.

Also included are the team of Alex Heintze and Justin Watts, the Livingston Parish Bassmasters team members who qualified for the nationals after a 16th-place finish in an Alabama qualifier earlier this year.

Saturday’s tournament fee is $100 for the pick-your-partner day with $30 of the fee going into the pot for the six young anglers. Check-in will begin at 4 a.m. at the Belle River Public Landing on the Atchafalaya Spillway side of the levee. Launch for the fishermen taking to the Lake Verret Basin will be at Pizanno’s on La. 70 at the Belle River bridge.

Organizers John Chaney and Jim Breaux said anglers will be treated to post-tournament jambalaya, door prizes and a raffle. For details, call Chaney at (225) 413-5142 or Breaux at (225) 772-3026.

Showing the way

The Junior Southwest Bassmasters celebrated Father’s Day weekend on Lake Concordia and, in a couple of cases, the youngsters showed up their dads or guardians.

Chris Childers won the 15-18 age group with a two-day, 20.77-pound total. Heintze’s 19.85-pound, 10-fish total was second. Both bettered catches in the Adult Division, as did Watts’ 4.66-pound big bass.

The young anglers reported using a frog pattern early, then going to shakey-head jigs after the sun got high in the sky.

Blue Jays’ treat

Lake Pontchartrain veterans speckled trout catchers retired physician Bob Weiss, Dudley Vandenborre and Chink Dimas will be on hand Saturday afternoon for the annual Jesuit Fishing Rodeo weigh-in at the school’s baseball field in Jefferson.

Tip from the pros

Metairie’s Eddie Adams and Madisonville’s Dwayne Eschete overcame engine troubles to win last week’s two-day IFA Redfish Open and said they ran 100 miles from Houma to waters east of the Mississippi River to win top money.

Eschete said they fished the outer edges of the marsh and, because of the wind, relied on drifting the marshes and sight-fishing with a Berkley Gulp! on a quarter-ounce jig in clear, shallow water. The difference in fishing the interior marsh and the “outer edges,” he said, was that they scouted on a southeast wind and high water, but found a southwest wind pushing water from the marshes on tournament day.

The runners-up Alabama’s Michael Tindal and Florida veteran Bryan Watts said they ran only 10 miles from the Houma launch to catch their two-fish-per-day, 35.01-pound total. Like the winners, they said they were sight-fishing skinny water with Berkley Gulp! and other soft plastics.

Third-place anglers, Florida’s Marty Simmons and Keith McBride, said they caught their four reds on jerkbaits and soft-plastic tubes in a lake 20 minutes from the landing.