The Terrebonne Sportsman’s League held its 16th annual Youth Fishing Rodeo at the Pointe-aux-Chenes Marina today, reeling in 116 kids to spend the day making memories and having fun on the water.
Roy Labat, president of the Terrebonne Sportsman’s League, said that although the total number of kids ages 4-15 who registered was below 2014’s record 194 entrants, he and the league are still “very pleased with the turnout.”
“We have bigger fish coming in this year because more people were fishing from boats than on the shore and some people were out fishing before dawn,” Labat said.
Not only did the league provide rods and life vests for kids who didn’t have their own, but food, drinks and prizes were also given out free of charge.
Norris Hotard of Montegut brought his fiancee and four kids for their third year of fishing in the rodeo and said the event is great for children because it’s unique and fun.
“The kids love to come. Everyone has fun,” Hotard said. “You always hear about bass fishing tournaments, but not so much salt-water fishing tournaments like this one, and never for the kids. It’s great.”
At the end of the day, the top three for seven categories were announced and trophies and participation certificates were handed out to all the kids who fished.
Here’s a list of the winners in each category and the weights of the fish brought in.
Trout – Hunter Tracy – 2.25 pounds. Redfish under 27 inches – Trey Borque – 7.48 pounds. Drum under 27 inches – Blake Chartier – 8.88 pounds. Sheepshead – Nina Carlos – 5.07 pounds. Catfish – Nina Carlos – 42.6 pounds. Miscellaneous – Paul Roth – 28.4 pounds, Gar. Crab from point to point- Benton Trosclair – 9 inches. There were also awards handed out for the Best Overall Girl and Best Overall Boy.
Trey Borque was first place in redfish under 27 inches and third place in trout, winning him the Best Overall Boy award.
Nina Carlos won first place in sheepshead, swept all three places in catfish and was third place in redfish under 27 inches, which overwhelmingly won her the Best Overall Girl award.
Carlos, 13, is from Gray and caught a 42.6-pound catfish. She said she was happy she caught it and it was difficult to reel into the boat.
“It was really exciting. I almost fell out of the boat,” Carlos said.
The main goal of the fishing rodeo, according to organizers, is to get kids to discover how fun fishing is and make memories with their families. The other goal, according to Terrebonne Sportsman’s League Secretary/Treasurer Troy Bonvillain is to get kids “hooked on fishing and not drugs.”
The Youth Fishing Rodeo is held on the first Saturday in May every year and Lebat said they league is already excited for next year.
“We look forward to seeing everyone again and maybe seeing some new faces next year,” Labat said.
— Staff Writer Dan Boudreaux can be reached at 857-2204 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @dan_boudreaux.