If the last time you saw Nicky Savoie he was in a LSU football uniform, then you wouldn’t have recognized him Saturday.
It was just about the time LSU was springing that stunning come-from-behind win over Auburn in Tiger Stadium that Savoie — the 6-foot-5 deeply sunned man clad in shorts, long-sleeved fishing shirt and wearing a big smile — walked to the scales with teammate Paul Dufrene to rally from a third-place spot to the IFA Redfish Tour championship at Venice Marina.
They began Saturday’s last of the two-day championship with a two-redfish total weight of 16.97 pounds, but were about four ounces from the top spot.
Savoie, from Lockport, and Dufrene, from Cut Off, secured the win with a pair of under 27-inch reds weighing 17.18 pounds for a 34.15-pound total.
The effort earned them a $5,000 bonus for taking the Team of the Year title — for the second consecutive season — and a fully rigged Ranger 220 Bahia boat rigged with a 150-horsepower Mercury outboard worth about $43,000.
According to the IFA, Savoie and Dufrene ran from Venice Marina to Delacroix and sight-fished with Berkley Gulp! and soft plastics in grassy ponds.
“We were catching a lot of 27-and-a-quarter (inch redfish), which was a little heart-breaking,” Dufrene said. “You would think it was the perfect fish, but then it would be quarter (inch) too big. You just got to know that you have to keep at it and that you will get that right one.”
That “right one,” an 8.4-pounder, came about 12:45 p.m. Sunday, and that’s when Dufrene said, “We knew with that we had a pretty good shot."
South Alabama anglers Bobby Abruscato and Scott Ritter finished second with a 33.6 total to win a Ranger RB190 rigged with a 90 Mercury outboard, plus $2,240 in Anglers Advantage cash, the $750 Berkley Gulp! Big Redfish Award plus Penn Reels’ $1,000 for catching the tournament's largest redfish on Berkley Gulp! and a PENN Reel. They said they caught their four redfish off Tiger Pass.
Chad Dufrene and Barnie White had 33.14 pounds for third place worth $6,106 along with contingencies of $750 from Humminbird and $1,500 from Minn Kota.
Ed Nixon sent along an apology. He sent the wrong phone number for the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Office’s firing range. The correct number is (225) 389-8268.
Nixon’s message is important for hunters: EBRSO annually opens its range for sight-in days. This year, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. daily, range officers will be there Oct. 27-31 to get modern rifles on target for the upcoming deer season. The range is on West Irene Road off U.S. 61 just south of Zachary.
Make sure to have the scope mounted correctly on the rifle, and show up at the range with the bolt open and the chamber empty. The range officers will use only factory ammo, and it’s always best to bring the cartridge you’re going to use in that rifle during the hunting season.
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ managers closed the commercial king mackerel season in state waters at noon Monday. They said they based the action on their data and National Marine Fisheries Service information showing commercial fishermen had reached the 1.136 million-pound take for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico.
The announcement also indicated the commercial king mackerel was closed in federal waters Jan. 21.
The LDWF release also stated, “While there are relatively few king mackerel harvested or targeted by Louisiana recreational anglers, a substantial commercial fishery exists, which typically lands 800 to 900 thousand pounds annually at Louisiana ports. A significant portion of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana ports is shipped to markets in the northeast United States.”