Redfish between 16 and 27 inches will be targeted in the first Southcentral Fishing Association tournament of 2020.
The SFA opener is scheduled to be held Saturday, March 28, out of Cypremort Point, SFA president Gerrit “T-Blu” Landry said Friday evening. Landry emailed a full schedule, rules and regulations to all members on Jan. 20.
The veteran redfish fisherman said if there is a decision to postpone the opening date it would be made this week. As of Friday, though, the tournament was on, he said.
Interest is high for the first tournament of the year, according to Landry, who lives in Patoutville. He fully expects at least 20 boats to show up for the 6:30 a.m. start at Quintana Canal Boat Landing at Cypremort Point.
“Yeah, I think we’ll get that pretty easy if we have the right weather conditions and we’re able to have it. I talked to a couple people this weekend. The water’s clearing up in a few spots and they caught a couple fish this weekend in a few areas and Marsh Island,” Landry said, citing COVID-19 concerns in the heart of Cajun Country and across North America. “We’re just going to play it by ear. I think if we do have it we’ll have decent numbers unless the (coronavirus) numbers blow up in a week. We might re-evaluate. It all depends on what’s going on before we decide anything.”
The SFA membership fee is $25 ($10 for boys and girls under 16). Entry into each tournament is $100 per boat with a maximum of five members.
Saturday’s tournament is scheduled to start at 6:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. Registration ends at 5:50 a.m.
Other regular-season tournaments are scheduled for April 25, May 23 and June 20. The SFA Class is set for July 18.
Defending SFA Angler of the Year Erron Derouen of Rynella is among those avid redfish fishermen who are ready to start the season. Derouen rallied to clinch the title on the fourth and final regular-season tournament in 2019.
Derouen, 40, said he has been unable to fish this year because of business demands. He owns Snack-N-Go in New Iberia and E.J.’s Easy Shop in Rynella.
Nevertheless, he said Thursday night, “I am ready. I’m hoping to go next week and look around. I’m hoping next week I can take a ride to see where the water looks decent.”
He plans to fish with Mark Comeaux and Malcolm Migues, both of New Iberia, he said.
“Our plan is to go in the island (Marsh Island) and find a few fish in there,” he said.
Like Landry, Derouen is taking a wait-and-see approach to getting in the opener. He said members are ready to go fishing and, if it’s held, would be encouraged to keep their distance from one another before and after the tournament.
“I hope we get a good turnout with all the stuff that’s going on. I’m sure when we all get together we’ll have 20 boats out there and somebody will find some fish,” he said.
It will be a challenge to repeat as AOY, he added.
“Ooomph. It’s extremely hard. It’s tough today to win one. You know as well as I do it’s hard to find the perfect (slot) fish,” he said, noting the tournament competitors in March also must contend with the high Atchafalaya River, which dumps fresh, muddy water into Vermilion Bay.
Derouen is capable of repeating, Landry said.
“Oh, it’s possible. Erron’s a helluva fisherman. But he ain’t the only one. Anybody in the club can win it,” he said.