Judging from weekend report from Grand Isle, recreational fishermen had a whale of time doubling down on amberjack and red snapper.
CCA’s event produced 99- and 88-pound amberjacks and the SaltyKids Fish Fest’s top amberjack tipped the scales at more than 83 pounds.
The recreational amberjack season opened last Thursday and offshore anglers were able to combine catching the two species when the recreational red snapper weekend season began Friday.
Dr. Ryan Perry was good enough to supply the info on this second annual Friday-Saturday rodeo held from Sand Dollar Marina.
Perry and many other volunteers came up with the idea last year when the organizers found a need to raise money for youngsters at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital Trauma Center.
“The weather was spectacular all weekend, except for a brief downpour during the final weigh-in, and the good conditions led to great catches offshore,” Perry said.
“We really had nice fish across the board offshore, and some huge smiles on the faces of the participants,” he said.
Perry noted strong catches of red snapper, mangrove snapper, grouper, mahi mahi, blackfin tuna and cobia, but echoed what most inshore fishermen came away with from the weekend — the bite was off on “keeper” speckled trout, but not for redfish.
“In our second year we saw roughly a 50 percent growth in participation as well as funds raised,” Perry said. “And for the second straight year we were able to get enough donated to cover the remainder of the overhead ourselves. Every single dollar we took in via registration, sponsorship, and donation went straight to the kids at the Trauma Center.
“It's a huge testament to my generous family and friends that saw the miracles OLOL performed to save my daughter, Molly,” he said. “They've bought into the cause hook line and sinker, and there's no way I could do it without them.”
Angling for Angels
Another fundraiser, this one on the freshwater side. Brady Mouch spearheaded a bass tournament to raise money to combat Angelman, a rare neurological disorder. His daughter, Lily, suffers from this malady, a severe branch in the autism tree.
“The money we raised went straight to Chicago where they are working on a cure,” Mouch said. “They’ve been able to cure it in mice, and we’re told they’re getting close to human trials.”
The “they’re” is the Foundation of Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics.
Weigh-in was held at the park near the old locks in Plaquemine, and Mouch said he was gratified by the number of bass fishermen who turned out to support this cause.
“We were not expecting 61 boats in this first year and for the silent auction,” he said. “We had three places to check in in the morning, and the guys could fish in any waters connected to the Atchafalaya and Verret basins, but water south of (U.S.) 90 and north of (U.S.) 190 were off limits.”
Mouch said he figures most of the 179 bass weighed came from the Verret Basin, and said he congratulated the fishermen who showed up for the No-Bass Pot, a pass-by the scales for anglers who figured they could not come close to the Top 10.
“We lost only eight fish from all fish weighed,” Mouch said. “And that’s pretty good for this time of year.”
An update from the Verret area is the bass action continues in the first three hours after first light, and the catfish continue to provide lots of action.