CYPREMORT POINT — Anglers who love to fish and love to fish competitively dream about a nice payday in a fishing contest.
Luke St. Germain’s dream came true on Monday, the final day of the annual Cypremort Invitational Fishing Association Tournament that started July 6. Competing against veterans, the 12-year-old Sorrell resident topped the Redfish Division with a bull red weighing 32.83 pounds.
That winning redfish, caught Aug. 30 in Vermilion Bay on the first day of the Kay-Cee Saltwater Fishing Rodeo at Cypremort Point, is worth $500.
That’s a lot of money, St. Germain said Thursday. Catching that bull red was the highlight of his summer and the cash award something new and significant for the student at B. Edward Boudreaux Middle School in Baldwin.
“I just feel so excited, so happy that I actually get to win a prize that’s not a trophy, or a fishing rod, something I can tell about, an achievement, something I can use,” St. Germain said.
“I plan to use it on some baseball equipment to help me on pitching skills and stuff like that …. It can help me get in college, pay off debts, help pay off our house, even get my own boat,” he said.
His parents, Josh and Brandy St. Germain, “messed” with him after the tournament ended Monday, he said with a laugh.
“They said I lost first place. I said, ‘OK. I dropped down to second? That’s all right,’ ” he said.
Then they broke the news that he did, indeed, finish atop the Redfish Division leaderboard ahead of Kenny Benoit’s 30.64, Aubrey Sutton’s 29.90, his father’s 29.66 and Lynn Hebert’s 28.87.
The Speckled Trout Division’s winner also stayed atop the leaderboard for the longest time. Gerrit “T-Blu” Landry of Patoutville reeled in a 3.25-pound speckled trout Aug. 16 that finished first for $500.
Landry’s top speckled trout was followed in the standings by a 3.17-pouner caught by Brady Derise, a 2.75-pounder caught by Lorrie Ardoin, a 2.55-pounder caught by Matt Migues and a 2.38-pound caught by Raymond Bonin.
St. Germain remembers the battle with the winning bull red. He was on the family’s 21-foot Mako, Quality Time, with his parents and brothers, Noah, 14, and Ethan, 11.
It started about 8 a.m., 30 minutes after they began fishing at Boxcar Reef. One of four fishing rods baited with cracked crabs started bending and, since it was his turn, he set the hook.
After the bull red was safely in the boat, he said, “I was worn out. I had to wait 30 minutes to an hour before I could feel my arm again.”
Landry, lead operator for Texas Petroleum who owns Gotta Have Faith Charters, was fishing with Brady Derise at Tee Butte the day he caught the winning speckled trout on Gotta Have Faith, his 23-foot Key West.
The big speckled trout bit at 10 a.m. Derise caught the second-place speckled trout at 1 p.m.
Landry, who specializes in catching redfish, showed his prowess on speckled trout. He was just glad to compete.
“It’s good. It’s been a while since I had a chance to fish it,” Landry said. “I started fishing speckled trout more this year. I just happened to get on a school of trout for three-four days and it had some nice ones in it, some 3-pounders.”
The all-around outdoorsman said he thought it would stay on the leaderboard but was unsure if it would finish on top.
“I didn’t know how the last two weeks would play out with trout coming into the Bay,” he said.