The coming weekend will be just about the best late-winter days — if you can call what we had lately “late winter” — we’ve had so far this year.
It’s Red Stick Day.
It’s Anglers Against Autism.
It’s the Coastal Conservation Association’s Louisiana Friday-Saturday convention, and its always anticipated meeting-luncheon-Hall of Fame banquet leading up to Saturday night’s Chapter Cook-off in downtown Baton Rouge.
It’s Saturday’s Lafayette Ducks Unlimited Chapter’s Clays for Conservation at the Wilderness Gun Club.
And, all are an easy driving distance away.
The now 35-year-old Red Stick Fly Fishers will celebrate its 28th Red Stick Day (8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) Saturday at the Waddill Wildlife Education Center in Baton Rouge.
As if you haven’t figured it out already, it will be a day loaded with all things fly fishing. It’s a chance to see how these anglers go about practicing their art. And, yes, fly-tying, presenting the fly and reading the water they fish are artful pursuits.
Some 11 veterans will be inside Waddill’s building and pavilion showing how to tie bugs and other fish-enticing flys to chase fish ranging from the smallest sunfishes to bass and a variety of saltwater species. (The lures these folks tie for redfish are something to see.)
Seminar “presenters” include Wisconsin's Dave Barron, Louisiana veteran Jeff Ferguson, Colorado’s Jonathan Walker and south Louisiana creek/bayou master Brian Roberts.
Fishing and kayak demos are set for the center’s two ponds. RSFF will offer coffee and doughnuts, a jambalaya lunch, and a raffle for top-drawer fly-fishing stuff.
Left out a big addition to Saturday’s fundraiser set for Doiron’s Landing. Yeah, there’s the $5,000 guarantee for the winning team, and the usual $300 bounty for the first team to bring in a bass weighing exactly three pounds.
This year, the organizers got Port Allen Tire & Service to sponsor a Super Anglers Division, and are calling on “volunteer boat owners who would like to take an adult with special needs fishing.” Hours will be 9 a.m. to a 1 p.m. all-species weigh-in with prizes for biggest fish, most fish, smallest fish and a “sportsmanship” award. Call Keith Thibodaux at (225) 938-0941 to sign up.
Rivet & Latuso
The SiteOne Bassmaster Elite win on Florida’s Lake Okeechobee wasn’t the first bass tournament Tyler Rivet won, but it was the biggest and the $100,000 payout will go a long way to helping with expenses and sponsorship offers.
The Raceland angler, now a five-year Elite Series veteran, came from third place with a final-day 18-pound, 13-ounce catch that shot him up to a four-day 86-15 total. Weights dropped from the first two days for all anglers. Rivet’s first- and second-day catches hit 24-5 and 29-2 before he dropped to 14-11 on the third day.
“This is what I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid,” Rivet told Bassmaster. “I remember every day at the (Lake Cataouatche) Tank Ponds during the 2011 Bassmaster Classic in New Orleans, hearing boats coming through the fog and seeing all the big names and thinking ‘One day, I want to do that.’ ”
Rivet said he spent the week in the Kissimmee River, about two miles upstream from the lake: “Nobody else was doing what I was doing and that’s the key to winning an Elite tournament — finding that one little thing off the wall. That’s how it’s won (most) of the time.”
Series rookie Logan Latuso bucked the trend of low third-day catches with a 24-15 bag, then followed with 18-1 on the final day to finish fourth. The Gonzales angler had the last day’s big bass, a 6-14, and took home $26,000.
For coastal fishermen, the top agenda item during Thursday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting in Baton Rouge will be the continuing discussion on limiting speckled trout catches.
The item: “Receive a Report on the Speckled Trout Legislative Oversight Hearing and Discuss Next Steps for Speckled Trout Management Measures” comes after a the joint Senate-House Natural Resources committees rejected Wildlife and Fisheries move to a 15-per-day creel limit and a 13½-inch minimum size on trout.
The rejection came on the minimum-size limit, and the joint committee told the agency’s marine fisheries managers to come up with a different management plan.
Other notable agenda items include an update on the agency’s 2023-2024 budget request; consideration of a notice to regulate motorboat mufflers; take public comment and consider final amendments to thr 2023-2024 hunting seasons; and, to consider a resolution urging Congressional support for feral hog control.
The meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. at state Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters on Quail Drive.
LSU hooking 'em
A big high-five for the LSU team of Walker's Beau Landry and Walker’s Peyton Matherne for their third-place finish (61 pounds, 6 ounces) in this year’s Abu Garcia College Fishing National Championship held on Lake Toho in Florida. If memory serves, this is the highest finish by an LSU team at Nationals. They won $4,000.
The winners came from the University of Montevallo — Peyton Harris and Dalton Head — who came in with a final 27-11 catch and a 66-15 total. The win was worth $43,500 in cash and prizes.
A big win
Gulf of Mexico recreational charterboat fishermen celebrated last week after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit struck down a new National Marine Fisheries Service regulation that would have required round-the-clock GPS tracking of their fishing boats along with reporting of what the fishermen considered to be “confidential economic data.”
A gleaning from the ruling by Fifth Circuit Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod told the story, “in promulgating this regulation, the Government committed multiple independent Administrative Procedure Act violations, and very likely violated the Fourth Amendment.”