If there’s ever a week to launch coastal fishermen to summer’s piscatorial pleasures, this is it.
It’s the first week of what could be a summer-long recreational red snapper season, and the summer-long, $500,000-in-prizes S.T.A.R. began Saturday.
What comes during the next two weeks are challenges for all saltwater anglers.
The Catholic High Rodeo leads off with the coming Friday-Saturday challenge for an ever-growing event, one which certainly has exceeded the rodeo’s founding members expectations.
If last year is any gauge, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart Baton Rouge school will be among the most well-attended rodeos this year.
Brother Martin, Catholic’s sister school in New Orleans, has its annual rodeo set the same days.
Following the next weekend are the June 5-8 Swollfest Rodeo at Sand Dollar Marina on Grand Isle, and the June 7-8 Cut Off Fishing Rodeo at Moran’s Marina on Fourchon Road.
Then, back in New Orleans, Jesuit High School runs its annual rodeo June 14-15 at the school’s John Ryan Stadium in Metairie.
The annual trek to Moran’s Marina has become one of the school’s leading alumni draws. Maybe it’s because the competition in the two levels of Redfish Stringer, Mangrove Snapper, Red Snapper, Speckled Trout and Offshore Grand Slam calcuttas. The winning team takes home most of the $50 and $100 entry-fee pots, and it’s become a custom for 45-pound-plus, five-mangrove snapper and a 25-pound, five-speckled trout catches.
There are Rig, Blue Water, Inshore species divisions for Adult and Youth levels.
If you haven’t entered, the registration fee is $100, which includes Friday and Saturday meals and refreshments.
Weighmaster Chris Macaluso and his team will be at the scales from 4-6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and there’s a captain's party from 5-8:30 p.m. Thursday at the marina.
Need more? The rodeo’s website is catholichigh.org.
You can start fishing Friday and continue Saturday but know you have to be back at the Elysian Fields Avenue campus by 5 p.m. to weigh fish.
Weigh-in time 3-5 p.m. Saturday, and the first rule is that all entered fish must come from “navigable Louisiana waterways accessible to the general public.”
Entry fees are $40 for the Adult Division and $15 for children and Brother Martin students. Kids 12 and younger fish free.
There are Speckled Trout, Redfish, Sheepshead, Flounder, Black Drum, Largest 2 Redfish (16 inches to less than 27 inches), Bass, Snapper, Father/Daughter biggest fish, Biggest Gar, Redfish with the most spots, 5-Trout Stringer, Smallest “legal” 5-Trout Stringer and Largest non-gar fish and Largest non-gar fish caught by a current school student.
To enter, go to website at brothermartin.com/alumni/alumni-events/fishing-rodeo.
This is the 22nd time Dr. Nick Rauber and his devoted Swollfest staff will take sponsors and fishermen’s money to benefit the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital & Louisiana Cancer Care Coalition. This year’s dates are June 5-8, with the big welcome party the evening of June 5 with fishing action open June 6-8 and weigh-in times at Sand Dollar Marina running 4:30-6:30 p.m. all three days.
The competition had increased over the year so Swollfest is the most well-attended rodeo on Grand Isle, and fundraising efforts have well cleared $1 million.
There’s a Master Board in Offshore, Deep Drop, Inshore and Kayak divisions; a Lagniappe Board in Women’s and Children’s divisions; and, six awards in Overall category, including “Swollest” fish.
For details and entry info, go to website: swollfest.com.
Cut Off Club
South Lafourche High School students benefit from this scholarship-raising rodeo set June 7-8 at Moran’s Marina off Fourchon Road.
Weigh-in times run 4-6 p.m. June 7 and 1-4 p.m. June 8. Tickets are $20 — $15 for the 12-and-younger crowd — and includes meals.
Organizer Roy Dubois and his volunteers have set nine inshore and offshore categories in Adult Division, a special “most spots redfish” category & three categories in Children’s Division. A live auction helps the fundraising efforts.
Call Dubois at (985) 693-7184 or (985) 258-5110, or go to the rodeo’s website: cutofffishingclub.com.
The next edition of the Blue Jay Fishing Rodeo is set for June 14-15, with a 2-4 p.m. weigh-in set for John Ryan Stadium, the school’s baseball field, June 15. Fishing begins at 5 a.m. June 14.
Tickets run $45 for adults — $30 for 18 and younger — and there’s a smaller fee for folks wanting to show up for food and refreshments during the Saturday weigh-in. A note from rodeo boss Mike McMahon is that fishermen “should register by June 7, in order to receive the fishing rodeo shirt.”
The Jesuit crew breaks into age division 19-and-older and 18-and-younger for Bass, Flounder, Sheepshead, Speckled Trout, Red Snapper and 16 inches to less than 27 inches for Drum and Redfish. There are special 5-trout stringer, Heaviest Fish and Father-Daughter categories.
Need more, call Jeremy Ruther at (504) 483-3813, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
More on horizon
If you need more dates, then the 71st Golden Meadow-Fourchon Tarpon Rodeo is set for July 4-6 at Moran's Marina in Fourchon, and the granddaddy of them all, the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo will be held July 25-27 at Sand Dollar on Grand Isle.