Get ready, saltwater fishing rodeo fans, Noah St. Germain, Luke St. Germain and Ethan St. Germain have their fishing poles ready and are coming back for more hardware when they fish the 60th annual Kay-Cee Saltwater Fishing Rodeo that gets underway at sunrise Saturday.
The boys who stole the show last September at fishing rodeo headquarters at Cypremort Point plan to be back aboard Quality Time, the family’s 21-foot Mako, to help defend the Inside Division’s Boat Captain’s Award. Don’t let their ages — 14, 12 and 11, respectively — fool you. They were catching fish as soon as they could walk in a boat with their parents, Josh and Brandy St. Germain.
“We are planning on fishing, all five of us. We’ve got to defend our title. That’s the plan. We’ve got to try,” said the mother of three, who has worked as the accounts receivable manager the past 12 years at Leam Drilling Services.
“They are super excited and as a matter of fact, Noah asked me today if we are fishing it,” she said.
Josh, the 39-year-old skipper who works as a foreman for Southern Constructors, is excited too.
“Yeah, I can’t wait. That’s what’s on all our minds. I tell the kids, ‘You better have your A game on.’ Those boys helped us win that,” he said.
Brandy, his wife, agreed and said, “Well, the kids are the reason we got it. We (parents) didn’t do well but the kids did great. They had a blast. Hopefully, they can do it again this year. I hope the weather holds out so we can fish it.”
Inclement weather prevented the St. Germains and many others from fishing the second and last day of the fishing rodeo in 2018. However, they had enough fish on the board to still win the Boat Captain’s Award in the Inside Division.
Can they do it again?
“Anything’s possible. It’s just fishing still sucks. It’s still hit and miss. But we’ve got just as much chance as anybody else. Fishing is just to be in the right place at the right time,” Josh said.
Brandy, 36, enjoys the Labor Day Weekend holiday fishing rodeo because, she said, “It’s very laid back, friendly. We just enjoy fishing it all the way around.”
Saltwater fishing might, just might, be improved by the time of the sunrise start of the fishing rodeo. As so many anglers have pointed out, the Atchafalaya River stage has been falling fast the past few weeks at Butte La Rose, a development that should lead to a higher salinity and less turbidity in and around Vermilion Bay.
Atchafalaya River water levels have been unseasonably high for months, including to around minor flood stage levels in May, June and July. The fresh, muddy water pours into inside waters via the Wax Lake Outlet.
The recent drop in the river stage has given everyone hope.
“They (other anglers) started catching speckled trout in the reefs. That’s a positive,” the skipper said.
Scales are scheduled to be open noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, the first day, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Awards for the top three fish in each category of the Kids Division, Inside Division and Kayak Division will be presented at 3 p.m. Sunday, Giorgio said. The fishing rodeo hit the streets the first week of August, he said.
Fishing rodeo tickets are available at Himel Marine, Dago’s Mobil & Grocery, Fortier Boat Works, Hebert’s Mini Mart, Iberia Outboard & Marine and Bayview Marina. Ticket prices are $15 for the Inside Division and Kayak Division and $5 for the Kids Division (ages 1-14).
Eligible fish in the Inside Division and the Kids Division are speckled trout, redfish, sheepshead, flounder, drum and croaker. The Kayak Division’s eligible fish are redfish, speckled trout and flounder.
Josh St. Germain was hopeful of getting on the water this weekend with some or all of his crew but was skeptical because of the forecast for rain. His preliminary game plan is to fish near-offshore waters and also go after “the inshore bite. Typical Louisiana.” Where?
“Pretty much the conditions will dictate where I go, what I fish for. More than likely, redfish, drum and speckled trout. If it’s calm enough, I’ll go hit the rigs (in Cote Blanche Bay) for sheepshead, and go to Dry Reef,” the Sorrell outdoorsman said.
“We’ve got to take them to the right spot,” his wife said.
The boys should do the rest.