As of today, the second day of June and less than a week after Memorial Day, Teche Area saltwater fishermen are looking ahead to the next big event on the calendar, the 66th annual Iberia Rod & Gun Club Saltwater Fishing Rodeo.
It just wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without the IR&GC Saltwater Fishing Rodeo at Cypremort Point. Several generations of anglers feel that way every year. After all, it is one of the oldest and more popular saltwater fishing rodeos along the Louisiana coast.
IR&GC officials, led by IR&GC president and fishing rodeo chairman Brock Pellerin of Jeanerette, are doing their utmost to deliver another successful event this year at Cypremort Point. They are well into preparation for the three-day holiday fishing rodeo that will start on Thursday and end on Saturday. That’s the 4th, 5th and 6th for calendar-marking purposes.
The 37-year-old Pellerin is in a familiar, happy place as the countdown begins. Every year at this time his family enjoys staying weekends during May and June in their 36-foot fifth-wheel RV they haul to Grand Isle.
“I’ve been fishing, man. I’ve been catching some speckled trout, probably 100 or so speckled trout, some good specks, too. You don’t have to measure. I’ve been catching some 4- to 5-pounders,” he said about his first four weekends at home away from home.
Pellerin is catching them on live shrimp he gets from Bridgeside Marina on his way to the rocks at Caminada Pass. He makes the trip in the morning without cranking up the outboard motor of his boat.
“I don’t even put a foot in the boat. I fish in my golf cart, go to the rocks. I’ve been here a month (weekends) and I’ve caught all kinds of fish and I ain’t burned a lick of gas in the boat,” he said with a chuckle.
As always, the IR&GC fishing rodeo is on his mind. The IR&GC has been meeting at least once a month since January, most recently a few weeks ago to finalize the brochure, Pellerin said.
He is looking forward to this year’s Thursday through Saturday format that features a band on Friday night and two bands on Saturday at fishing rodeo headquarters under the pavilion along Quintana Canal. And he has been relieved of his cooking duties by volunteers.
“I ain’t gotta worry about stirring the pot,” he said, noting Murphy Meyers, a candidate for Iberia Parish sheriff, will cook for Tuesday night’s free captain’s supper at the Veterans Memorial Building in Lydia.
Also, Gotta Have Faith Charters, a local charter boat service owned by Gerrit “T-Blu’ Landry, volunteered to cook on Friday and Roberta Boudreaux, another candidate for Iberia Parish sheriff, plans to cook on Saturday.
The only question mark is water conditions. Vermilion Bay and surrounding waters are fresh and muddy and probably will remain that way after the gates are opened at the Morganza Spillway.
DON SHOOPMAN is outdoors editor of The Daily Iberian.