CYPREMORT POINT — Troy Delahoussaye’s family and friends returned to the pavilion here alongside Quintana Canal where less than a month ago they waited, prayerfully, for someone to find him, bring him home to his loved ones, in the midst of an agonizing and prolonged search and recovery mission.
They were called to the site this time by the Southcentral Fishing Association, which wanted to dedicate its fourth and final regular-season tournament to the memory of the 47-year-old hunter and fisherman who died in a boat crash in Vermilion Bay. The dedication before the weigh-in also included the presentation of a generous money donation from people and businesses in the Teche Area.
One lifelong SFA member, Delahoussaye’s brother-in-law, Jeff Guillot of Lydia, fished the tournament, his first in a few years. Guillot said he, the rest of the family and friends deeply appreciated the action taken by SFA president Gerrit “T-Blu” Landry and the rest of the tight-knit fishing club to pay tribute to the man he called “the brother I never had.”
Guillot, 46, found his brother-in-law’s body June 22 after days of searching in and around Vermilion Bay. The U.S. Coast Guard called off its search that encompassed a reported 1,782 miles on June 21.
An estimated 20 relatives and friends attended the SFA weigh-in at 3 p.m. July 18. Nineteen SFA boats participated in the regular-season finale.
Before the weigh-in, Landry talked about Delahoussaye, a lifelong SFA member like Guillot, gave a donation of more than $5,000 to the family to help defray funeral expenses, then asked for a moment of silence observed by all on a hot and sunny day at the Point. Delahoussaye’s widow, Becky, and his father, Ronnie, were among those in the crowd.
“That was great. It was an effort by many people asking for donations. It was a group effort. I went to many businesses myself. Everybody was pretty generous,” Guillot said a few days after the emotional scene.
When Ronnie Delahoussaye got up slowly from his chair after the brief event, his eyes were filled with tears.
Guillot and Troy Delahoussaye go back a long way. They have fished and hunted together as long as he could remember, he said. Delahoussaye, operations technician who works 28/28 now during this coronavirus pandemic for BP Offshore, and Guillot also worked similar jobs in the oil field industry, he said, noting the boating accident victim worked for BW Offshore.
He said his brother-in-law/friend’s death really hasn’t sunk in for all, including him.
“I don’t think so. Not everybody. It’s almost like he’s just at work. I’m doing all right. It’s just waiting for him to come home from work, ya know?” Guillot said. “We hunted together. We own a camp together on Bayou Patout and we’re neighbors.”
The brothers-in-law also worked together for a dozen years in the oilfield industry when they were younger, he said. They also fished, and won, tournaments held by SFA.
Guillot fished last weekend’s SFA tournament with Cory Neveux of Erath, who survived the boat crash that killed Delahoussaye, and with Delahoussaye’s daughter, Taylor Delahoussaye. They finished fifth with 12.90 pounds.
The donation to the family overwhelmed him.
“That was pretty generous of all the people who donated, you know?” Guillot asked rhetorically.
“I’d just appreciate if you’d thank everybody for the family. We appreciate all the people that donated, not just for that tournament but the bunch of people who donated to the search and rescue,” he said.
Also, Guillot emphasized the family thanked everyone who assisted in the search for Delahoussaye, his family, friends, Pinnacle Search and Rescue, the Cajun Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, sheriff’s offices from St. Mary, Vermilion and Assumption parishes, and the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, plus all who provided air support.
Delahoussaye also leaves behind sons Brennan Delahoussaye and Landon Delahoussaye, and his parents, Ronnie and Glenda Delahoussaye.