CYPREMORT POINT — In about as wacky, inconsistent, bummer of a year as this has been, the one constant is that Keith Delahoussaye of New Iberia and Quentin Comeaux of Delcambre would bring winning “slot” redfish to the electronic scale for each Southcentral Fishing Association tournament they teamed up to fish in 2020.
Delahoussaye and Comeaux did just that July 18 for the third time this year after another productive, long boat ride from here to Carencro Lake on the eastern side of Four League Bay. When they returned with a boxful of redfish, two of them the right size for the 16- to 27-inch slot tournament held out of Quintana Canal Boat Landing.
Those two redfish weighed 15.95 pounds, which netted them the first-place prize of $665. It also wrapped up the Angler(s) of the Year title, the first for Delahoussaye and second for Comeaux.
“We’re a good team. Quinten’s a hard fisherman. He doesn’t give up. He pushes me, I push him,” Delahoussaye said after he and his tournament partner turned back the 19-boat field.
“It feels great. Like I told you before, some of the best redfishermen around here … those guys (SFA members),” he said.
Comeaux, a 36-year-old production operator for Hilcorp Energy Co., said, “Ah, it feels good. That’s what we hope for at the beginning of the year.”
Winning three of the four regular-season tournaments definitely was the key. Comeaux missed the second tournament and Delahoussaye fished by himself, targeting redfish inside Marsh Island. They both used it for a drop tournament and finished with three firsts.
“Three for three. That’s a good year,” Comeaux said.
Carencro Lake has been a gold mine, full of the kind of redfish that win “slot” format fishing contests.
“We’ve been on good fish all year. If you can catch 16 pounds a tournament, you stand a good chance of winning (the tournament),” Comeaux said.
The 66-year-old Delahoussaye, who retired as a law enforcement officer from the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in 2014, and Comeaux won by more than 1 pound. Their closest challenger was the boat carrying Brooks Amy, Perry Scott and Jacob Fisher, whose two redfish weighed 14.40 pounds for $380, which Amy immediately donated to the family of the late Troy Delahoussaye.
Shane Doucet, Jacob Comeaux and Dustin Broussard finished third with two redfish weighing 14.25 pounds worth $190.
Josh St. Germain and his wife, Brandy; Heith St. Germain and his son, Kiptyn, and Glenn St. Germain, Josh and Heith’s father, were fourth with 13.15 pounds for $152.
Jeff Guillot, Troy Delahoussaye’s brother-in-law, Cory Neveaux, Daniel Prince and Taylor Delahoussaye, Troy Delahoussaye’s daughter, finished fifth with 12.90 pounds worth $133.
Saturday’s winners almost didn’t go to their season-long hotspot on the eastern side of Four League Bay. They prefished that area the day before the tournament, Friday, and put only three redfish in the boat.
Prospects looked dim. They seriously considered fishing in and around Vermilion Bay on Saturday.
“We caught three fish all day. There was a north, northeast wind, 6-7 mph, which makes it good in the Bay. We talked about it … what got us here. We kept beating it until we found fish,” Keith Delahoussaye said.
“We were going to fish here (Vermilion Bay area) with that little north wind blowing. We’ve been catching fish over here, 6 and 7 pounds. (But) we said, ‘We’re going to live or die. We’re making the long run,’ ” Comeaux said.
Their 1- to 1 ½-hour run cruising at approximately 45 mph as the sun was rising over the horizon was stopped short, though, by a storm. That wound up being a positive rather than a negative.
“I tell you, we got lucky this time. We stopped before we got too far. We stopped at a sandbar around Wax Lake Outlet to let it pass. We fished the shallows and ended up catching a few nice ones,” Delahoussaye said.
One of those ‘nice ones’ was a 26 ½-inch fatty that may have been one of the two 26 ½-inchers they brought to the electronic scale manned by Matt Landry.
That was lagniappe.
“We stopped on the sandbar and my first cast I caught the 26 ½. In the middle of nowhere. I told him (Delahoussaye) after I caught that, ‘It’s going to be a good day!’ ” Comeaux said.
“We ended up leaving from there and went to Carencro Lake,” Delahoussaye said.
They had to work to catch the redfish they did. The redfish weren’t set up as predominantly in the shallows as they were during the two tournaments they won earlier.
“We caught a few fish early. We jumped around, caught a few fish here and there. The fish really turned on around lunchtime. I guess we caught 15, 20 altogether,” Comeaux said, noting they fished mostly with shrimp and some crab under a popping cork.
The difference-maker was the 8.35-pound redfish that won the Calcutta of $280. Delahoussaye stuck that one and put it in the boat.
“Heck, it was at the end of the day I caught the 8.35, about 12:30 that day. I turned around and caught one 7-6 (or a little heavier). Quentin’s and my fish were close together, right around 7-6,” Delahoussaye said.
“When he caught that last (big) fish, Keith weighed it and it was over 8 pounds. I knew we had a good chance. I knew we had another one close to 8 pounds in the box,” Comeaux said.
That was more than enough for the win and the championship.
Now the 2020 AOY anglers have another goal and that’s to win the SFA Classic on Aug. 15. To a man, they feel they will be challenged mightily for two reasons: water conditions are changing in and around Carencro Lake and better “slot” redfish will start showing up in Marsh Island.
Delahoussaye said, “We’re going to shoot for it. The Classic will be a different story. The Worm and the T on Bayou Blanc and the Dynamite Cut will all be putting out in the latter part of July, August. The same places we’re catching redfish (Carencro Lake area), we can’t even find fish. I think they’re going from shallow to deep water, out to open water and deep holes.”
“There will be some bigger stringers for the next tournament. That’s what I’m thinking for the next tournament,” Comeaux said.