Proud anglers took the stage showing off their trophy catches at Saturday's Northshore Boat-N-Fishing Show in Slidell, host to the first live weigh-in in Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Tournament history. According to LASS Tournament Director Mandy Tumlin, 25 of the 47 participating teams entered in the tournament came to scales with fish to be weighed, tagged and released. The field of anglers was led by first place finishers Nash Roberts, IV and Luke Landry, both of the New Orleans area, whose catch weighed in at 15.22 pounds, winning them a $2,500 purse.
"The fish were on a typical cold weather pattern," explained first place finisher Nash Roberts, IV. "We caught more fish on the tournament day then we did in practice, with several fish over the slot limit."
This is Roberts and Landry's third year to participate in the tournament, but there was no shortage of new faces to the series, with nine teams participating for their first time.
A total of 74 redfish were brought in, tagged and released as part of the Louisiana Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program, where anglers become citizen scientists for the agency, collecting invaluable data.
Tumlin said the kick-off tournament for the Louisiana Saltwater Redfish Series, a six-event tour plus a championship, "never fails to draw the crowds." She said despite the weather, the anglers and their families "had a great time," finding good fishing, friendly people and lots of entertainment.
The top finishing teams, taking home over $8,360 in cash prizes, include: 2nd place, Chris Pike, Jr. and Darin LeBlanc; 3rd place, Jason LeBlanc and Kory Matherne; 4th place, Joe and John Barcelona; 5th place, Steve Smith and John Garrison; 6th place, Matthew Whitman and Ryan Schellhaas; 7th place, Gary and Gus Wilson; 8th place, Ben Saucier and Adam Shields; and 9th place, Pete Denham and Pete Miller.
Beyond the standard 100% payout cash prizes, brothers Gus and Gary Wilson took home a brand new trolling motor sponsored by Mercury by preregistering for all six tournaments, qualifying them for a special raffle. Roberts, IV and Landry also took home a rod and reel package sponsored by Shimano for winning one of the extra fish raffle prizes. Teams are allowed to bring in extra fish in addition to their weigh-in fish to be entered into drawings for special prizes, with the number of entries determined by the number of extra fish to be brought in to be tagged. In addition to their winnings, Roberts, IV and Landry also bagged a $500 contingency prize sponsored by Standard Mapping.
The next redfish tournament is scheduled for Saturday, April 20 in Lake Charles at Calcasieu Point Landing. For complete information, including rules, regulations and registration go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov
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