CYPREMORT POINT — While hard-fishing, skilled crews in some boats caught numbers of redfish in the Southcentral Fishing Association opener March 13, Keith Delahoussaye and Quentin Comeaux were content with picking off a handful of quality “slot” redfish.

Their modus operandi was run and gun in and around Marsh Island in Comeaux’s 24-foot Hayne powered by a 300-horsepower Yamaha. With low water conditions challenging the 16-boat field, pretty much ruling out duck ponds, they concentrated on drains and moving water and if the fish didn’t bite in a reasonable period, well, it was time to go.

“You can ask Keith. I don’t like to stay in one spot. If I’m in one spot 15, 20 minutes and I don’t see a fish pass by, we’re moving. Over the years we’ve got spots that normally have fish in them. If we hit all the good spots, some of them should produce,” Comeaux said.

Delahoussaye, 66, of New Iberia, and Comeaux, 37, of Delcambre, put eight “slot” redfish in the ice chest and released two oversized redfish. The best two “slot” redfish weighed 15.30 pounds, enough to win the tournament and start defense of the Angler(s) of the Year title they won in 2020.

“Oh, it’s good. It’s good. That’s our first fishing trip of the year together,” Comeaux said.

Right behind them was Gotta Have Faith’s crew of skipper and SFA director Gerrit “T-Blu” Landry, Brady Derise and Jeremy “Tooky” Lasseigne. Their top two “slots” weighed 14.15 pounds for second place and $220.

Third place was claimed by Ryan Savoy, who was fishing alone and came back with two “slots” weighing 14.10 pounds for $160.

Kyle LeBlanc and Matt Migues’ best two “slot” redfish tipped the scale at 12.90 pounds for a fourth-place finish worth $125.

Jorey Renard, Jed Broussard and Kenny Toups were fifth with 12.85 pounds for $112.

Brooks Amy, his son, Haden Amy, his stepfather, Perry Scott, and his friend, Jacob Fisher, boasted the biggest redfish of the day. The Calcutta winner weighed 7.95 pound and was worth $220.

“I sure didn’t think we’d win. We got lucky again. They (a few other competitors) had fish that bust. Some guys caught limits. We just weren’t where they had a lot of fish, you know? We had fish that were just fat — one a little over 26 and another right over 26,” Delahoussaye said, noting the “slot” limit is 16 to 17 inches. “Like I said, it takes luck to win a tournament. You’ve got to catch the right fish. It’s not always the 27-inch fish that wins. You can have won 26 ¼ and weigh that fish.”

The redfish bit on shrimp about 12 inches under a popping cork, he said.

“All our fish were caught in Marsh Island. But we had a hard time finding fish in the island. We caught the most and best fish in Lake Michael. Hell. We ran all the way to the pass (Southwest Pass) from Lake Michael and back to the interior of the island.”

At Lake Michael, they caught four of the eight “slot” redfish they kept and weighed two of them.

Comeaux, a production operator for Hilcorp Energy, said the key was to make the most stops.

“We just fished our normal spots. The water was so low. The fish were spooky with the low water,” he said.

They boated one redfish at 27 ¼ inches. It weighed 8.4 pounds, Delahoussaye said, and would have been the Calcutta winner if it was inside the slot.

The team that won three of the four regular-season tournaments last year in a coronavirus-interrupted season as well as captured the SFA Classic was proud to win the first tournament of 2021.

Delahoussaye, who retired as a sergeant with the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division in 2014, said, “It’s going to be tough but we’re going to shoot for it. It’s a good start but those guys will be tough to beat. T-Blu and them have got a good crew and will be tough to beat.”

Can Delahoussaye and Comeaux repeat as AOY?

“That’s the way to start off … with a first place. The next tournament is the draw tournament. That’s always different. I don’t like it that much it is what it is,” Comeaux said.

The SFA’s next tournament is scheduled to be held April 10. The high end of the “slot” (instead of 27 inches) will be drawn before the takeoff at 6 a.m. from Quintana Canal Boat Landing.

Weigh-ins for the remainder of the schedule are at 3 p.m. under the pavilion along Quintana Canal.

For more information call T-Blu Landry at 380-0387.

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