Hurrah, the recreational red snapper season opens Friday, and this a reminder to all heading into the Gulf of Mexico about the need to have a state-issued, fee-free Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.

The ROLP is a requirement of this federally approved Exempted Fishing Permit season. Catch and bring in red snapper without it and you’re open for a citation.

And, the Wildlife and Fisheries folks charged with monitoring LA Creel, the data collection program for several offshore species, is asking fishermen to use its Electronic Reporting Program “to provide important, real-time catch data.”

Under the EFP guidelines, fishermen have the option to send in real-time electronic reporting with the ROLP’s smartphone app, or the mobile, or the desktop report on the ROLP website.

Otherwise, state fisheries managers use weekly email or phone surveys to determine red snapper catch rates.

Here, too, all fishermen returning to Louisiana docks need to know they need basic and saltwater fishing licenses in addition to the ROLP.

The website: rolp.wlf.la.gov.

S.T.A.R.

CCA-Louisiana’s Statewide Tournament and Anglers’ Rodeo begins its 20-plus years of a summer-long saltwater extravaganza Saturday for the Memorial Day weekend. You must be entered to win, and, usually, there’s a tagged redfish caught on the opening weekend. Catch one of those babies and no S.T.A.R. ticket means no 2019 Chevy Silverado.

The sign-up website: ccastar.com.

The Juniors

Hopefully, sometime in the near future, we’ll be able to stop complaining about, and battling, all this high water.

For now, just deal with it. It appears bass coastal fishermen have found solutions, like Saturday when the Junior Southwest Bassmasters and a small field for the Fishers of Men South Louisiana Team tournament found much more than anyone could expect of the flooding conditions in the Amelia area and Verret Basin.

When Jim Breaux recounted the 47 young JSB anglers’ adventure from the Bob Thibodeaux Memorial landing in Amelia, he was understating the conditions — “(we) found plenty of high water.”

With their adult fishermen, the youngsters made chicken salad from chicken feathers: All the top finishers in the three age-group categories along with the guys who topped the Adult Division had five-bass limits among the 27 youngsters who brought in limits.

In all, 174 bass hit the scales, and David Gummow’s 12.27 pounds — he won the 15-18 age group — led all the junior anglers, but the big bass came from the 11-14 age group when Trent LaBauve weighed in a 3.43-pounder.

From the results, it was easy to figure out there were lots of small 12-inch bass caught, but it’s testimony to the action when 12 limits, even those from the 7-10 age group and its leader, Jack Varnado’s 5.86-pound stringer, topped the leaderboard.

Once again, this crew relies on a variety of lures. Breaux reported, “Most of the fish were caught on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, Whopper Ploppers, frogs, Ochos, Sinkos, Speed Craws & D-Bombs.”

For more on this Denham Springs-based club, call Breaux at (225) 772-3026.

Fishers of Men

South Louisiana series director Bridget Michel decided to hold the tournament from Bayside in Pierre Part, and the No Wake zone extending south into Lake Verret, and the top catches certainly exceeded expectations under these extraordinarily high-water conditions.

Tom and TJ Goins brought in the big bass, a 4.45-pounder, that helped them win with 14.79 pounds.

A dead-fish penalty pushed Alex Perret and Cary Beard past Steve Fontana and Brad Bouy for the next two spots. In all, 23 of 30 teams had five-bass limits.

“We caught 45 bass, all on a white buzzbait, and all in Lake Palourde,” Fontana said, adding Goins was in that lake, too. “The shad are spawning around the (flooded) trees and the bass are in there busting shad. That’s why we decided to throw the buzzbait. It was a great day, even though the water came up and was muddy.”

As of Tuesday, water in the Verret Basin continued to rise on the strong southerly winds.