At long last, Southcentral Fishing Association members will have the opportunity to cast for cash.
They languished and anguished while the coronavirus pandemic restrictions on public gatherings prompted SFA president Gerrit “T-Blu” Landry to scratch the season opener and the second regularly scheduled tournaments, March 28 and April 25, respectively.
Last Tuesday, Landry announced the third regularly scheduled tournament will be held as scheduled Saturday out of Quintana Canal Boat Landing at Cypremort Point.
“Yeah, we’re going to go ahead and have the next one. Yes sir. It’s time to get started. We’re going to try to have it … This weather. They’ve got rain (in the forecast) for the next 10 days. It’s time for all that to stop. But right now it’s a go,” Landry said.
The Patoutville charter boat captain who works as a production operator for Texas Petroleum at Weeks Island said SFA members are ready to get out, fish and compete.
“A bunch of people have been ready to go, all the regulars,” Landry said, adding the field should be a good one with around 20 boats.
“I think so. If weather conditions are favorable, I think we’ll have a good turnout, if the weather holds out for us,” he said.
Subpar water conditions may stay that way in and around Marsh Island and Vermilion Bay.
“I don’t know. With all the rain this week, I don’t think the water will get any better. You’ll have to get deep in the island to find clear water,” he said.
The saltwater fishing gods certainly aren’t smiling on the region. There have been high winds almost daily and muddy freshwater intrusion from the Atchafalaya River (16.1 feet Friday at Butte La Rose after hovering around 20.0 feet – minor flood stage – for the past several weeks) on the east side of Vermilion Bay.
The pending season opener is anti-climactic at best. After all, it should have happened the last Saturday in March. But that was five days after Gov. John Bel Edwards tightened the screws on everyone during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic with a “stay-at-home” order that came with social distancing restrictions and limits on public gatherings.
The two tournaments that were scratched may be held after all.
“We still haven’t figured that out. Maybe two in June and two in July and push back the Classic, but nothing’s in writing. We’re just talking about it,” Landry said, adding he and other SFA officials plan to talk to members to solicit input and what they want to do.
The SFA’s fourth regularly scheduled tournament is June 20 with the SFA Classic set for July 18.
Membership fees are $25 annually but $10 boys and girls 15 and under. The tournament entry fee is $100 with a maximum of five fishermen/fisherwomen per boat.
The tournament starts at 6 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. with the weigh-in under the pavilion along Quintana Canal. Entry fees must be paid at the site before 5:50 a.m.
For more information call Landry at 380-0387.