Ardoin’s short, fat fish atop leaderboard in Cypremort Invitational Fishing Association

The short, fat speckled trout just above the flounder, a 2.94-pounder, is leading the Cypremort Invitational Fishing Association tournament’s Speckled Trout Division with less than three weeks before the last fish is weighed Sept. 30. It was caught by Lorrie Ardoin, foreground, of Lafayette, who was fishing with Ossie Blaize, background.

CYPREMORT POINT — Lorrie Ardoin of Lafayette will be the last to disparage short, fat speckled trout after one fitting that description climbed into first place in the Speckled Trout Division of the ongoing Cypremort Invitational Fishing Association tournament that began July 4.

Ardoin fished July 27 with Ossie Blaize. They caught a small mess of speckled trout, including one he reeled in that was “short and fat,” Ardoin said, and a flounder.

Blaize, a widely known former head football coach at Vermilion Catholic, eventually got on the road back home but made it a point to get in touch with his fishing buddy, an ex-coach himself.

“He called and said, ‘You need to weigh that in,’ ” said Ardoin, who did just that when he went to Dago’s Mobil & Grocery in Lydia. “I called him back and said, ‘You know, that one was heavier than the other one.’ ”

Ardoin realizes chances are slim the 2.94-pounder stays atop the leaderboard through the last day of the tournament Wednesday, Sept. 30.

“That’s not a really big trout. Hopefully, I can get a bigger one, we’ll see,” he said, noting it’s been tough getting 3-plus pounders in the boat.

“Usually, this time of year, you’ll get somebody catch a 4- or 5-pounder,” he said.

The 53-year-old educator knows all about catching big speckled trout.

His 4.65-pound speckled trout won CCA-Louisiana’s S.T.A.R. Southwest Division in 2019 and he took home a 2140 Sport Nautic Star with a 150-h.p. Mercury Four Stroke. He caught it in June, several weeks before the start of the CIFA contest in and around Vermilion Bay.

Riding the crest of that win, Ardoin earned his charter boat captain’s license soon after the S.T.A.R. Now he’s enjoying his second year in CIFA and running Vermilion Bay Charters

“I just joined this tournament (CIFA) last year but it’s been fun. It’s a way to compete with all the guys around here. It’s fun,” he said.

The Redfish Division’s top entry is a 35.20-pounder caught by Kevin Horton, who weighed in the pacesetting redfish on July 26.

Following the first-place redfish in the standings are a 32.58-pound redfish weighed in by Shane Johnson; a 32.14-pound redfish carried to the scale by Ian Broussard; a 31.72-pound redfish caught by Noah St. Germain, and a 27.92-pound redfish weighed in by Luke St. Germain.

Luke St. Germain won CIFA’s Redfish Division last year with a 32.83-pounder he hooked and boated at Boxcar Reef on Aug. 30, the first day of the 60th annual Kay-Cee Saltwater Fishing Rodeo. St. Germain, 12 years old at the time, won $500.

Johnson, who is in second place in the Redfish Division, also has the runner-up fish in the Speckled Trout Division, a 2.83-pounder. The Acadiana Outdoor Charters LLC Charter Boat Captain is followed in the Top Five by Gotta Have Faith Charter Boat Captain Gerrit “T-Blu” Landry with a 2.80-pounder; Ty Bonin with a 2.74-pounder, and Ossie Blaize with a 2.50-pounder.

Ardoin, a long-time educator and former head basketball coach at Abbeville High School and Port Allen High School who now teaches at Green T. Lindon Elementary School in Youngsville, has led twice since the tournament began, the second time with a shorter, fatter fish.

“That fish was only 19 ½ inches,” Ardoin said about the current leader that was 1 inch shorter than one of his speckled trout that hit the leaderboard two weeks earlier, a 2.78-pounder.

“A day or two later ‘T-Blu’ came in with a 2.80,” he said.

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