Knights of Columbus Council 3425 saltwater fishing rodeo committee members decided against pulling the trigger too soon on the fate of the 61st annual Kay-Cee Saltwater Fishing Rodeo.
The fundraising event, scheduled to be held Sept. 4-6, was being threatened late this past week by Tropical Storm Ida. TS Ida reached hurricane status Friday and was expected to make landfall as a major Category 3 or Category 4 storm somewhere along the central or southeast coast of Louisiana today or Monday.
Wherever somewhere will be was up in the air throughout most of Friday, which is the reason the Kay-Cees held off on the fate of the three-day holiday weekend saltwater fishing rodeo planned at Cypremort Point. The Kay-Cees, he said, probably will wait until at least Monday to make a call whether to start the event as planned on Saturday at Cypremort Point.
“Well, basically, we’re going to kind of wait-and-see. Nobody knows where this storm is going. It looks like it’s going more to the east,” second-year fishing rodeo chairman Brian Boutte said around mid-morning on Friday.
An easterly shift of the storm, which was organizing and gaining strength rapidly Friday morning, could lessen the full impact of the hurricane in Acadiana. At 7 a.m. Friday, peak storm surge was forecast by the National Weather Service National Hurricane Center at 4- to 7-feet around Vermilion Bay.
Coastal residents from Lake Charles to Slidell have been making plans and preparing for TS Ida.
“Hopefully, we’re spared. I don’t wish it on anyone but I wish it doesn’t come here,” Boutte, a 63-year-old auto technician at Musson-Patout Automotive.
Boutte and fishing rodeo committee members were hoping against hope the region is spared the full brunt of what hurricanes deliver. Last year’s fundraising event was canceled because of coronavirus pandemic concerns and restrictions mandated by state government.
Before Friday, Boutte said, he was leaning to announcing another cancellation. Early projections two days earlier, however, showed the possibility of the storm’s track moving to the east as it roared across the Gulf of Mexico from the northwestern Caribbean Sea near the Cayman Islands at 7 a.m. Friday.
After Ida’s passage, he said, fishing rodeo officials will assess the situation locally as well as in and around Cypremort Point.
“If everything turns out well, we’ll have it,” Boutte said, noting fishing rodeo officials will make every effort in the print and electronic media and social media to get the word out that it’s on.
The holiday weekend event is set to start Saturday and end at noon Labor Day Monday with the awards presentation at 1 p.m. Cash awards will go to the top three places in each category in the Inside Division while trophies will be awarded in the Kids Division.
In the event the fishing rodeo can’t go on as scheduled, Boutte said, it might be postponed to a later date this year.
“I’d probably get together with the committee and pick a weekend,” the fishing rodeo chairman said.