LOREAUVILLE — The Suit brothers, Ben and Zach, made an early statement in their first defense of back-to-back Angler(s) of the Year titles on the Wednesday Night Hawg Fights Bass Tournament Series.

Shaking off more bad luck with an outboard motor that broke down and kept them off the water for three of the last four weeks, the Suits came back with a vengeance Wednesday night in the first WN Hawg Fights BTS of 2020. Ben, 29, and Zach, who celebrated his 25th birthday Tuesday, a day before the opener, topped a 32-boat field that fished Lake Fausse Pointe.

Their three-bass limit weighed 9.02 pounds and included the biggest bass of the evening bass tournament that started at 5:30 p.m. and ended at 7:40 p.m. with the weigh-in at Marsh Field Boat Landing. First place was worth $720 while the big bass netted another $160.

That 4.79-pound “hawg” was their second of only four keepers, one that smashed a white buzz bait cast by Zach. It bit between 6:20-6:30 p.m., he said.

“It hit it real good. It came out and jumped (out of the water). My brother asked me if I wanted him to lip it but I said I’d flip it in the boat. It wasn’t the smartest idea” but it was a successful maneuver and they deposited the big bass in the livewell, Zach said.

They high-fived.

“Yeah, it was a short celebration, you know? We knew we had to catch some more fish,” the younger brother said.

He caught another keeper bass that culled their smallest one before they headed back for the weigh-in and put their No. 28 takeoff chip on the new chip board before 7:40 p.m.

Before Zach emptied his weigh-in bag, Mike Louviere and Mike Louviere Jr., both of Loreauville, and most of the field had weighed their catch. Another father-and-son team, Nolan “Pee Wee” Doucet and Jason Doucet, both of St. Martinville, also checked in with three bass.

The Louvieres finished with 8.31 pounds for second place and $430 while the Doucets were third with 7.93 pounds worth $290.

Then Zach, a hunting and fishing sales associate at Academy Sports + Outdoors and a senior at UL-Lafayette, put his two-man team’s three bass in the basket to be weighed by weighmaster Mike O’Brien of New Iberia. Those bass couldn’t be beat on a balmy spring evening.

“Oh, we were a little bit surprised. We thought it’d take more to win. We thought with the warm weather and everything the big fish would be biting,” he said.

Ben, a life health products representative for Erik Guillory State Farm Insurance in Broussard, said he was surprised, too.

“Normally, the first one of the year takes like 11 (pounds) to win. Obviously, there’s just a lot of pressure right now,” he said. “It felt good to get off to a good start for the year. It’s not the easiest thing to show up and beat guys like that because everybody’s good enough to win. You’ve got to show up with your ‘A’ game.”

The fishing, Zach said, “wasn’t great.”

“We caught a lot of little fish, a lot of short fish,” he said.

It took 30 minutes after their arrival at an undisclosed fishin’ hole to put their first keeper bass in the boat, he said.

“We just had to keep fishing and hope they start biting. It seemed they started biting the later it got,” he said.

Ben tipped his cap to his brother and said, “Zach fished his butt off Wednesday night.”

The brothers are in first place, again, in the standings. Being there at the end is of utmost importance.

“Oh, it feels good. Our goal is to always weigh in three fish. We’ve just got to keep going out and trying to catch our limit every time so we can be there at the end,” Zach said.

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