Classic approach nets big win for the LBA’s Angler of the Year

Dicky Fitzgerald of Charenton, who recently wrapped up the Angler of the Year title in the Louisiana Bass Anglers, added to that accomplishment Oct. 17 when he won the LBA Classic in the Atchafalaya Basin out of Myette Pointe. Fitzgerald topped a 15-boat field of qualifiers, all fishing alone, with these five bass weighing 13.05 pounds.

MYETTE POINT — Fresh from wrapping up the Angler of the Year title in the Louisiana Bass Anglers, Dicky Fitzgerald added the coup de grace to 2021 by winning the bass club’s Classic on Oct. 17 in the Atchafalaya Basin.

The 52-year-old Charenton bass angler charged out in his 22-foot Sportsman’s Fabrication aluminum boat at safe daylight and returned with the five heaviest bass in the 15-boat field. Each Classic qualifier fished alone.

Fitzgerald relied on years of experience to win the Classic, something he didn’t expect to do at all.

“I didn’t really have a clue. I caught a few fish scouting, nothing big. I just went fishing, basically,” he said.

“I started out in Bayou Benoit fishing trees until late in the morning on Kajun Boss spinnerbaits, mainly, and some on Chatterbaits. I ended up in the Myette Point Areaa and finished up with 13.05 pounds.”

He caught 30-plus bass in those area under trying conditions with high winds challenging boat position and, sometimes, accurate casts.

“I never expected that that day with conditions like that. Heck, we had a front come through and the wind was really blowing hard 10- to 15-mph. I wasn’t sure what the day would bring.”

His was a comfortable margin of victory. He finished a little more than 2 pounds ahead of his close friend, Bubbie Lopez of Centerville, who finished runner-up in the AOY race for the second straight year, whose five-bass limit weighed 10.96 pounds.

R.J. LeBlanc was third with 10.26 pounds.

The day’s biggest bass, a 3.24-pounder, was caught by Jerry Marcotte.

Fitzgerald, a State Farm Insurance agency in Morgan City, said he fished around cypress trees from shallow to approximately 4 feet deep.

“I didn’t catch anything deeper than that,” he said.

Why Bayou Benoit?

“I look for something different. I went one day during the week, caught a few, and went from there,” he said.

His winning limit was anchored by a 3.22-pounder, which was oh-so close to being the biggest bass of the day but earned second-place money.

He enjoyed winning the Classic as much as winning AOY in 2020 and 2021.

“Oh, it was awesome. It kind of topped off the year. Oh, yeah,” he said.

Fitzgerald, a Hanson Memorial High School graduate, actually clinched his recent bass club championship before the regular-season finale held Oct. 3 in the Atchafalaya Basin. He amassed 805 points to finish ahead of Lopez, who had 745.

The top two finishers were followed by Hunter Neuvielle, 627; Levi Louviere, 619; Seth Comeaux, 609, and Marcus Curry, 565.

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