There’s nothing Saturday, at least not an LSU football game, to stop families from a near 40-year-old celebration of Louisiana’s National Hunting and Fishing Day.
Although four sites around the state have been selected, there’s only one spot in the southeast to take advantage of the fishing, firearms, wildlife and hands-on activities for kids of all ages — it’s an 8 a.m.-1 p.m. run at the Waddill Wildlife Education Center, 4142 North Flannery Rd. in Baton Rouge. The center is between South Choctaw Drive and Greenwell Springs Road. There’s ample parking and shuttles will run folks to and from the center’s main building.
There’s an added bonus to this year’s event at Waddill: adult-sized catfish have been stocked in the ponds, and Wildlife and Fisheries’ Inland Fisheries Section has suggested folks bring rods and reels and ice chest to take their catch home — limits will apply to catches.
Best of all, it’s free.
The Waddill site affords youngsters the chance to fish, paddle canoes (with an adult) and try their hand at shotgun, rifle, blackpowder and archery ranges. There will be exhibits and enough information to take home to learn about Louisiana outdoors.
If you’re traveling this weekend, other locations include:
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, 480 Richmond Place Drive, Monroe (9 a.m.-2 p.m.);
- The LDWF’s Woodworth Shooting Range, 661 Robinson Bridge Road, Woodworth (8 a.m.-1:30 p.m.);
- The LDWF’s Bodcau WMA Shooting Range, 168 Ben Durden Road, Haughton (9 a.m.-2 p.m.)
“It’s all about the kids,” LDWF secretary Jack Montoucet said in a release. “Getting the next generation involved with nature and exposing them to a wide variety of options and activities is important. Our events provide a taste of what’s available in our Sportsman’s Paradise.”
Caleb Sumrall, the young national touring pro, came in with the Bassmaster Elite’s heaviest bass, a 5-pound, 7-ounce catch, but, like the other six Louisiana anglers in the field, finished out of the big money in last weekend’s stop at Lake Tenkiller in Oklahoma.
It was the final regular-season stop for the 75 Elite Series anglers. Now, the top 50 in in the standings have headed to Lake St. Clair in Michigan for Sunday’s start of the Angler of the Year Championship. It’s there where the top 42 anglers will qualify for the 2020 Bassmaster Classic set next March in Birmingham, Alabama.
After the Tenkiller tournament, three among the Louisiana crew made the AOY cutoff:
Sumrall holds No. 28 in the standings, while Raceland’s Tyler Rivet has the 41st spot and Baton Rouge’s Derek Hudnall is No. 46 and must climb four spots to claim a Classic berth.
Rivet was the state’s top man on Tenkiller. He finished 18th and earned $10,000. Sumrall finished 21st and Hudnall was in 40th place.
The AOY championship will run through Tuesday, and daily weigh-ins will be available on the Bassmster website: bassmaster.com.