MYETTE POINT — The self-described “kids,” Hunter Neuville of Loreauville and Andre Weber of Jeanerette, one-upped the older, grizzled bass club veterans on July 11 in a Louisiana Bass Anglers tournament in the Atchafalaya Basin.
The 17-year-old Teche Area bass anglers teamed up to bust the bass and bring a dominating five-fish limit to the scale at Myette Point Boat Landing. Their 14.27-pound limit humbled the rest of the bass club field that fished a tournament for the first time this year in the nation’s last great overflow swamp.
Neuville, known for his dream to grow into the sport through the high school bass fishing ranks, and Weber, known for two giant bass he caught this spring on the other side of the West Atchafalaya Basin Protection Levee, put it on the unsuspecting bass club fishermen who have so much more experience. The post-weigh-in commentary told the tale.
“They were saying, like, ‘How are you going to let the kids come in there and whip ya?’ Stuff like that,” Neuville said, with an appreciative chuckle, a few days later. “Ah, it felt good. Kind of showing we’re just not any kids coming in there fishing.”
Bubbie Lopez of Centerville, a long-time, accomplished member of the Franklin-based bass club, wrote in his Facebook post announcing the results at 5:58 p.m. that day, “Hunter just joined the club this week and whooped the old folks’ asses.”
Lopez and Brandon Phillips finished third with five bass weighing 12.40 pounds, just behind the runners-up team of Dicky Fitzgerald and Vernon Colson, whose limit weighed 12.91 pounds.
It was Neuville’s first tournament as a member of the bass club after fishing a handful of them as a guest with either Peyton Grizzaffi of Morgan City or Levi Louviere of Franklin. The Louisiana Bass Anglers contest was the first-ever bass club venture for Weber, who fished in Neuville’s 19-foot Triton.
“I knew I was on fish. I knew we’d have a good bag. I knew the water was rising but I didn’t know if it’d get muddy and if the fish would stay where they were at,” said Neuville, who will be a senior at Highland Baptist Christian School and competes on the HBCS Fishing Team.
“Andre and me caught a lot of fish. We probably caught close to 50 fish. We both caught our fair share of big fish that day,” he said.
“We knew for sure we were going to finish in the Top Three. We had it for a pound,” his bass club tournament partner said.
Weber, who will be a senior at Catholic High School, said, “It was like that for scouting. We were hoping it’d be like this for the tournament. Half of them were over 2 (pounds). The last hour, it really turned on. From 2 to 3, it was on.”
They caught the bass on Kajun Boss spinnerbaits and topwaters in several undisclosed places. They had their five-fish limit at 7:10 a.m., Neuville said, then started culling. And culling. And culling.
“I ended up staying in one spot. Then we went to two other spots we found scouting for the Hawg Fight (Wednesday Night Hawg Fights Bass Tournament Series). By about 10:30, we had about 12-12 ½ pounds,” Neuville said. “We fished those for a while then ran to two more spots. Then, about 1:50ish, we went to the spot we started at and ended up culling all of our keepers but two of them in the last hour.”
The most productive area was a spot that Weber has been fishing and catching since his grandfather, Larry Ransonet of Jeanerette, started taking him when Weber was in diapers, he said. They went there to catch sac-a-lait, mostly, but he would get in some casts for bass with a Beetle Spin.
The win on a stifling hot day in the Atchafalaya Basin was a highlight in an otherwise disappointing year for Neuville. After fishing a few high school tournaments early in the year, coronavirus pandemic restrictions scratched the rest of the schedule through July, at least.
“I only got to fish two or three this year. They canceled a bunch of them. Ah, it sucks. I don’t get a chance to qualify for the state championship and nationals,” he said.
He was hoping against hope that the fall schedule would be resumed.
The two seniors-to-be have been fishing together for a couple years, Weber said.
“I like fishing with him a lot. We fish a lot in the lake together. We fish well together,” he said.
Weber made history this spring when he caught a 7.25-pound bass while fishing alone on March 19 in Lake Fausse Pointe. Three days later he got an 8.50-pound bass on a trip with his brother, Shay, and his grandpa in the lake.
Those big bass were among eight reported caught weighing more than 7 pounds this year in Lake Fausse Pointe. Two were over 7, five were over 8 and was one over 9.