CYPREMORT POINT — During his finest hour, for the second straight year, a Sorrell saltwater fisherman wasn’t thinking about himself so much as the reasons he was clutching the Boat Captain’s Award.
Josh St. Germain, 39, was misty-eyed, his mind on yesteryear, when he discussed the latest family venture on an appropriately named boat Sunday afternoon a few minutes after hardware was distributed at the end of the two-day 60th annual Kay-Cee Saltwater Fishing Rodeo. He was thinking about his paternal grandfather, the late Don St. Germain, also known as “Moose.”
“It’s nice,” St. Germain said about winning the cup with his wife, Brandy, and three sons, Noah, Luke and Ethan, aboard the Quality Time, a 21-foot Mako.
“I just keep getting closer and closer and closer to my grandpa’s status. Between him and my dad (Glenn St. Germain), they taught me and (his brother) Heith everything we know about it. Without them, we wouldn’t be anywhere near where we are. Now we’re passing it on to the next generation,” he said.
With St. Germain at the helm, Quality Time went out this past holiday weekend and successfully defended its Boat Captain’s Award after sticking nine fish on the final leaderboards in the Inside Division and the Kids Division for a two-day total of 543 points. It wasn’t even close as Coming to My Line skippered by Brad Romero Sr. was a distant second with 209 points and Fish Stormer was third with 188 points.
Quality Time also boasted the Best All-Around Fisherman in the Kids Division. Noah, the oldest of the hard-fishing boys at age 14, held on to claim the huge trophy in a highly competitive field of young saltwater fishermen from the Teche Area.
The St. Germains were gunning for another Boat Captain’s Award and they got it after leading wire to wire at Cypremort Point.
St. Germain, a foreman for Southern Constructors, was proud of his crew. His oldest son gave credit to the boat captain.
“I guess when you fish it enough you know they’re going to be there … you’re hoping it’ll be there. The tide’s got to be right, the wind and the fish have got to cooperate and you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time. It’s a whole lot of luck,” the proud skipper said.
Noah amassed 246 points to finish just ahead of Hayden Amy, with 188, and Matthew Latham, 153. He was a Best All-Around Fisherman for the second time since wrapping it up in the Fourth of July fishing rodeo in 2015.
“They both feel really good,” the West St. Mary High School student/athlete said.
“It was a tough one between me and Hayden. We were close. One fish made a difference. If he had one more fish on the board, he probably would have beat me.”
Joining the teenager as a Best All-Around Fisherman on Sunday afternoon was a surprised, pleasantly surprised, Keo Khamphilavong of New Iberia. Khamphilavong, 54, won the trophy in the Inside Division.
Khamphilavong was chit-chatting with fishing buddies under the pavilion along Quintana Canal the day before Labor Day Monday when his name was called at as the Inside Division’s Best All-Around Fisherman.
“I was surprised. I didn’t think much of it (possibility of winning Best All-Around Fisherman). We just wanted to go fishing this weekend and catch speckled trout. It turned out good for us,” Khamphilavong said.
Khamphilavong finished with first- and second place speckled trout (1.23- and 1.04 pounds, respectively, and a third-place flounder (.55 pounds) that probably sealed the deal for the title.
He accumulated 148 points, 20 points ahead of Brad Romero Sr., who stuck first- and second-place sheepshead on the leaderboard (2.98 and 2.78 pounds, respectively), and 28 points ahead of Jeff Reaux, who had the first-place redfish at 28.1 pounds.
Khamphilavong, a local contractor, fished the fishing rodeo with local angler Randy Trahan. They had a limit of speckled trout Saturday, missing some heavier fish at the boat, before cutting their trip short at 1 p.m. and caught 20 speckled trout, again dropping some big speckled trout at the boat, Sunday before the 2 p.m. weigh-in.