The calendar gets pretty sneaky this time of year, and with hunting seasons on the wane, south Louisiana outdoorsmen begin working on their boats and shaking the dust and cleaning cobwebs off tackle boxes.
And with March only days away, there’s opportunity aplenty to occupy a fisherman’s time.
It starts March 2, when, for the seventh year, volunteers are working for the Anglers for Autism bass tournament, and Red Stick Fly Fishers member will welcome all comers to its 26th-annual Red Stick Day.
Then March 17, Pointe Coupee Kiwanis will continue its long-standing fundraising tradition with its annual False River bass tournament on the 13-mile-long oxbow at New Roads.
And, on the same weekend, the Bassmaster Classic will run on the Tennessee River from Knoxville, Tennessee.
The Anglers for Autism crew is moving its weigh-in to Doiron’s in Stephensville. Launch/check-in begins at Doiron’s at 4:30 a.m. The two-angler-per-boat fee is $205, and there’s a $5,000 first-place guarantee along with the $300 Moonie Bergeron puts up for the first team weighing a 3.0-pound bass. Yes, it has to weigh exactly three pounds, and you’d think that was a tricky proposition, but one year there were two bass hitting that mark.
While the marsh is off limits for this tournament, Bergeron said the Bateman Island area will be open water.
Not interested in fishing? What about a cooking competition? The A4A guys also have a wild game and seafood cook-off the morning of the tournament at Doiron’s.
To enter, or set up a sponsorship through The Emerge Center-Baton Rouge, then go to the center’s website: emergela.org. To add to the sponsors list, call (225) 343-4232.
• Red Stick Day is moving, too, and going back to the Waddill Outdoor Education Center on North Flannery in Baton Rouge. It’s a full day of fly fishing and kayaks, and it’s free to the public.
• If memory serves, Chuck Ballard and Derek Lejeune brought in five bass weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces to take the $2,000 first-place check in last year’s Kiwanis tournament. After many years on a decline, last year’s prefishing and the winning catch proved False River is ready to regain its stature among the premier bass lakes in the state.
This year, chairman Kenny St. Romain said, first place is getting a bump to $4,000 (if there are 70 boats) and weigh-in is set for 3 p.m. at the Morrison Parkway public landing. A raffle will help boost the group’s fundraising efforts on False River.
Call St. Romain at(225) 718-1319 to register.
• If any bass fisherman wants to go farther down the road, then there is an eight-tournament schedule beginning May 11 at Canal Bank Landing for the NBAA South Louisiana Bass Mafia schedule. Anglers must compete in six tournaments to qualify for nationals. There’s a $40 membership with $100 tournament entry fees. For more, email Darren Anders: firstname.lastname@example.org.
• And, if you want to check out what’s happening at Toledo Bend, then watch the daily weigh-ins for the Bassmaster Central Open at bassmaster.com. The three-day tournament runs Feb. 20-22.