MYETTE POINT — A Suit is in the driver’s seat to win Angler of the Year for a third straight year in the Louisiana Bass Cats.
This Suit, however, is turning back the clock to his AOY-winning days with the old Basin Boys Bass Club, which in its heyday of the late 1970s and 1980s was the biggest, most competitive bass club in the Teche Area. Kevin Suit of New Iberia teamed with one of his two sons July 19 to win the second day of a two-day bass club tournament in the Atchafalaya Basin out of Myette Point Boat Landing.
Through five of eight bass club tournaments, the 60-year-old bass angler has amassed 963 points.
He’s being hard-pressed for the bass club title by his two sons, including the oldest, Ben, 29, and Zach, 25. Zach, who fished both days with his dad that weekend, is bidding to win his first AOY, has 950 points. Ben, the two-time defending bass club champion, is in third behind his younger brother with 910 points.
Kevin Suit’s original goal early in this bass club season, he confided, was to qualify for the Top Six to be able to fish the prestigious annual tournament at Toledo Bend with Ben and Zach.
“For me, it was just a matter of making the Top Six. (Then) I said, ‘Hey, why not go for it,’ ” he said. “With three tournaments left, decisions are going to be very interesting in the Suit household. It’s going to be an interesting last two or three events.”
Kevin Suit, Field & Stream fishing lead, tipped his cap to his sons and other young bass club anglers he fished tournaments with this year, particularly Hagen Riche and Jordy Russo.
“Without those guys, I wouldn’t be on top, that’s for sure, especially fishing out of the back of the boat,” he said. “We’ve got some older fishermen but, in addition to my sons, there are some good young ones, Riche and Jordy. They’ve done a good job of fishing.”
What if he prevails in the tight, tough race and captures the AOY?
“Heh, heh, I’m not exactly sure what it will mean. I’m not there yet. When I get there, I might be able to tell you. I’m not normally at a loss for words but I am on that,” he said.
For sure, he is a competitor. He started fishing bass club tournaments again as a guest with his sons the past few years.
The competitive juices started flowing even more last year when he began fishing all the Wednesday Night Hawg Fights Bass Tournament Series tournaments in and around Lake Fausse Pointe. This year he is fishing the evening bass tournament circuit with his old bass club buddy, Bucky Crowson of Lafayette, formerly of New Iberia.
“Like I said, I started out this tournament stuff (again) fishing with Ronnie Dressel. We fished Wednesday nights. I’m always competitive. Competition-wise, I enjoy it,” he said.
His most recent bass club tournament catapulted him back into the lead in the point standings.
“The first day was good. We had a little more than a 2-pound average. The guys ahead of us all had one 3 pounds or over,” Kevin Suit said.
Indeed. Ben Suit and Jason Jones, who won the first day with 12 pounds, 3 ounces, boasted the day’s biggest bass, a 3-pound, 6-ounce, fish.
Following Ben Suit and Jones in the top three that Saturday were Derrick Romero and Ry Savoy, who also finished second Sunday. On the first day, Romero and Savoy checked in with 10 pounds, 4 ounces. On the second day, they weighed 10 pounds, 15 ounces.
Junius “Nonkie” Dore, fishing alone, was third the first day with 10 pounds, 4 ounces.
On Sunday, Lawrence Kuznik and his guest finished third the second day with 10 pounds, 9 ounces.
Kevin Suit and Zach Suit got a 3-pound plus bass of their own to anchor their 12-pound, 8-ounce, winning limit Sunday. It weighed 3 pounds, 9 ounces, one of the highlights to their day, which went about as well as possible because rafts of lily pads packed into the area they were fishing, said the elder Suit.
His son solved the dilemma quickly.
“Zach picked up his punchin’ rod, put it (soft plastic) through the hyacinths and lilies and, boom, caught one. That kind of dictated how we’d fish the rest of the day,” he said, noting that, like the first day, they had their limit before 7:30 a.m.
Kevin has gotten “fair” at punchin’, learning a lot about the technique from Zach, he said.
“Zach’s good at it,” he said.
They punched up bigger bass to cull to the winning limit.
“We culled out everything we had, upgraded,” he said.
The second-day winners moved away from the area but regretted that move. After a while they mutually agreed to return to the hotspot.
“We looked at each other like, ‘We should have stayed.’ We went back and upgraded again,” he said.