Three south Louisiana anglers will compete against their peers this week for something more than bragging rights, and, just a week before the LSU football team takes on Alabama, the three must venture into “enemy” territory to seek fame.
For Jason Pecoraro, it’s a chance to compete on bass fishing’s biggest stage, the Bassmaster Classic.
For Blake Betz and Christopher Chandler, it’s chance to earn college scholarship money.
For Pecoraro, it’s started Thursday on Lake Wheeler near Decatur, Ala. It’s the Cabela’s Bassmaster Federation National Championship, a tournament in a tournament that will determine six spots in next February’s Classic on Grand Lake of the Cherokees near Tulsa, Okla.
While there’s a 56-angler field — qualifiers from 47 states, 7 foreign countries and Paralyzed Veterans of America qualifier Tony Choe — the accomplished Youngsville angler has to beat only eight other fishermen, the qualifiers in the federation’s eight other Central Division states to win his way into the Classic. He doesn’t have to beat the field, but winning helps the bottom line, because the FedNation champ takes home a $53,465 prize package of a Yamaha-powered Skeeter boat rigged out with Humminbird electronics and a Minn Kota trolling motor. He also earns a spot on the big-money 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series.
Betz, a member of the Ascension Area Anglers, and Chandler, a Jr. Southwest Bassmasters member, will compete Saturday on Wilson Lake in the Bassmaster Junior World Championship.
Betz earned his spot in the 15-18 age division after taking the state competition with a 7 pound-15 ounce catch, while Chandler is in 11-15 age group. The JWC will launch near 7 a.m. Saturday and will weigh-in at the same site as the FedNation, the Ingalls Harbor, 701 Market St. NW in Decatur.
Daily 3 p.m. weigh-in will be streamed live on the B.A.S.S. website: http://www.Bassmaster.com.
Dredging of the sediment trap on the Dog Leg Canal inside the Attakapas Island Wildlife Management Area in the Atchafalaya Spillway began Wednesday.
The state Department of Natural Resources release indicated the $220,523 project could take as long as four weeks. The work side is about two miles north of Myette Point on the east bank of the Atchafalaya River. The expected result is continued trapping of sediment and improved Atchafalaya River flow into the spillway’s swamps.
“The construction of this project is a great start toward improving the water conditions off the east bank of the river in the area near Grand Lake,” Atchafalaya Research and Promotion Board chairman Gerald Alexander said in the prepared release.
The Joseph Harbor and East End Locks Road are open on the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge after completion of a $2.6 million project that replace the old boat launch and bulkhead and improved the access road. Joseph Harbor is three miles east of refuge headquarters off La. 82.
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