Now that summer is over — the season not summer’s heat — it’s time to honor the young anglers among us, the youthful guys and gals who brought so many smiles to older faces for the past near four months.

How many of us whooped and hollered with our youthful companions over catching a small fish which, to the eyes of a youngster, was a trophy? Does a 14-inch fish qualify?

The folks at CCA Louisiana believe so, and honor four 17-and-younger among us who caught a 14-inch-long speckled trout or flounder and entered their catch in the summer-long Statewide Tournament and Anglers’ Rodeo — the S.T.A.R. These four entered their catch in one of the geographical divisions at registered tournament weighstations to become eligible for a drawing for one of four 14-foot Weldbilt aluminum bateaus rigged with a 15-horsepower Mercury outboard on Mike Gerald’s McClain trailer.

The East Division winner is an 11-year-old girl, Marin Field of Baton Rouge; Glenmora 11-year-old Ethan Frazier (fishing the Grand Isle beach) was drawn from the Southeast Division; Foster Searcy of Lafayette is the Southwest winner; and 9-year-old Cyrus Sloane Jr. of Lafayette is the West Division winner.

The young angers will receive their boats during the 24th S.T.A.R. banquet set Oct. 18 at Live Oak Arabians in Baton Rouge.

Help, please

Repeating a plea from Sunday last: The annual Clean Out Your Freezer Day is today. The 15 collection sites in the Capital City area will be manned from 1-4 p.m. and those Hunters for the Hungry men and women are ready to accept your frozen game and fish for distribution to more than 100 shelters and soup kitchens served by the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

Just take a few minutes to go through your freezer and clear out the game and fish you know you won’t eat by the start of the hunting and fall fishing seasons and carry it to one of the collection sites (listed in the calendar). In most cases, your donation is tax deductible.

Food plots

LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill advised homeowners about using fertilizers in his weekly column last week, and his words can be applied to deer hunters planting food plots, too.

Gill debunked the ages-old belief about using specific fertilizers for specific plants.

“To see why this is wrong it’s important to look at what fertilizers are and why we use them. Plants need certain mineral elements they absorb from the soil to be healthy. These essential elements include nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, boron, chlorine, molybdenum, zinc, copper and manganese,” Gill wrote. “All the plants you grow use the same essential elements.”

He explained plant growth and plant health will be affected if the soil is deficient of any of these elements.

“These essential elements are not food. They are not what plants ‘eat.’ … Plants make their own food from air and water through photosynthesis. It is impossible for you to literally feed the plants in your landscape.”

The next step is to have the soil tested, and list the specific types of plants you wish to grow in that soil. An analysis will determine the “balance” of elements — and the right balance of acids to bases (ph) you need to add to the soil for growth and overall nutrition in food plots.

“Small boxes and forms to submit samples are available at your parish LSU AgCenter office and at many local nurseries,” Gill wrote.

For the location nearest you, go to the Soil Testing Laboratory website: lsuagcenter.com/soiltest. Follow the instructions, pay the small fee, mail the sample lab n Baton Rouge and a results will be mailed to you.

Marsh burning

The LSU AgCenter is teaming with Louisiana Sea Grant to offer a fee-free marsh prescribed burning certification class scheduled for 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at the U.S. Geological Survey National Wetlands Center (700 Cajundome Blvd.) in Lafayette.

Preregistration is requested by contacting Crystal Bowman at (225) 922-1296, email: cbowman1@ldaf.state.la.us.