CYPREMORT POINT — Heading into the third and final day of the 66th annual Iberia Rod & Gun Club Saltwater Fishing Rodeo, there’s a new leader in the race for Best All-Around Fisherman in the Inside Division while the first-day pacesetter remains the same for the individual title in the Junior Division.

And the race for the Inside Division Boat Captain’s Award flip-flopped from Thursday to Friday, setting the stage for an interesting finish when the scales closed at 1 p.m. Saturday at fishing rodeo headquarters under the pavilion along Quintana Canal.

Kyle LeBlanc, who’s fishing with Matt Migues aboard Migues’ 15 ½-foot Eric Romero aluminum hull, caught a clutch 1.11-pound flounder Friday that took over first place and, more importantly, gave him three fish on the leaderboard after two days in the Inside Division. He stuck a 1.04-pound flounder and a 7.79-pound “slot” redfish on the leaderboard on opening day Thursday.

LeBlanc, who has accumulated 422 points, passed up first-day leader Lainie Moss, who slipped back to the runner-up position with 348 points. Moss, who’s fishing with her husband, Brandon Moss, still had the first-place redfish, a 29.9-pounder, and a second-place garfish, a 39.1-pounder, in the Inside Division.

But the Miss Communication, Moss’ boat, surged into the lead for the Inside Division’s Boat Captain’s Award, overtaking first-day leader Lil Saint, captained by Glenn St. Germain. Miss Communications went into the day of reckoning with 443 points while Lil Saint has 379. Bon Temps, skippered by Lynn “The Bear” Hebert, has 214.

The top three anglers in the race for the Junior Division’s Best All-Around Fisherman stayed one-two-three with Faith Landry, 13, leading the way again after Friday. The Iberia Middle School eighth-grader, fishing with her father, Gerrit “T-Blu” Landry, friend Evie Sherville and her father, Nick Sherville, amassed 458 points after two days of fishing in the heat and subpar water conditions challenging anglers in and around Vermilion Bay.

Faith was followed closely in the race by Matthew Latham, who is fishing on the Bon Temps with his grandfather, Charles Latham, and Chris Hebert, Hebert’s brother-in-law. Matthew has 306 points.

Faith’s friend, Evie, was in third with 224 points. Evie added a 28-pound garfish that settled into third place Friday.

“I didn’t add anything today. Evie did,” Faith said before the scales closed at 6 p.m. Friday with The Brittany Pool Band poised to play live music on stage at fishing rodeo HQ. Also, red beans and sausage cooked by the Pomp.pdoo Crew of Gerard Olivier, Clint Derouen and Belinda Olivier for Gerrit Landry’s Gotta Have Faith, was served after 5:30 p.m.

Faith, who created a buzz around the scale on the Fourth of July when she weighed a 70.1-pound garfish, 4 pounds off the fishing rodeo record in the Junior Division, took the long, hot second day without much action in stride, although they did bring four big garfish and a redfish to the scales manned by Mackie Boudreaux, who’s in his 25th year as weighmaster, and T.J. Bonin. She was hopeful that she’d finish on top but, she said, winning isn’t everything.

“I mean, honestly, it’s about going out and having fun. It’s not about winning,” Faith said. “It’s a family tradition, too, a big part. It’s really fun to go with Evie and her dad, Nick.”

One of the happiest and proudest young anglers Friday afternoon was Riley Louviere, the 10-year-old son of Chris Louviere of Sorrel. The youngster brought in a 38.3-pound drum that took over first place in the Junior Division.

Also fishing with the Louvieres was Riley’s friend, Brayton Hebert of Franklin. They were in an 18-foot Bonita, a 1978 model refurbished by a few years ago Chris Louviere and his brother, Vincent Louviere. The youngsters each brought in a bull drum to take to the scales.

There were tales of fresh, muddy water in a majority of the popular areas in inside waters as well as those of sharks and clear but fresh water in areas.

And Emeri McLean, the daughter of Jason and Marty McLean of New Iberia, shared a story from Thursday when they visited fishing rodeo HQ on Friday. She hooked a big garfish and while she was reeling it in when an alligator attacked it.

“They both went up in the air,” Emeri said, noting there wasn’t much of a garfish left for her to reel in.

The McLeans, fishing the annual three-day holiday weekend event for the eighth year, also took out Blake Bourque in their 22-foot Epic. They didn’t hang around the pavilion long.

“I lost a 60-pound garfish at the boat. We’re about to go back,” Jason McLean said. “He (the monster garfish) took me under the board when I was going to land him.”

How fresh is the water? Heith St. Germain, who was out with his wife, Tara, son, Kipton, and daughter, Karli, for the second straight day, caught beau coup channel catfish while fishing in Vermilion Bay, according to his brother, Josh St. Germain, who went out again with his wife, Brandy, and their sons, Noah, Luke and Ethan.

Keo Khamphilavong and his crew found clear but fresh water — they could see 4- to 5-feet deep – and sharks, including a 4- to 5-foot shark. Khamphilavong fished with his brother-in-law, Marshall Lopez, and Randy Migues, his buddy who fishes with him in the Southcentral Fishing Association.

“We could see sharks passing under the boat,” Migues said after the day spent in his 22-foot Blazer Bay.


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