Football, Mass help raise funds

Photo provided by MARK HUNTDuring the calmParker Hunt holds a giant bull redfish he took on a trip with his twin brother, Grayson, and his dad, Mark Hunt, earlier this month near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Fishing out of the Venice Fishing Lodge, the Baton Rouge family used artificial baits, mostly soft plastics, to take reds and near limits of speckled trout on one of the few April days that been free of 10-30 knot winds, rain and heavy seas. The 15-year-old twins, freshmen at Catholic High, caught several bull redfish like this one.
Photo provided by MARK HUNTDuring the calmParker Hunt holds a giant bull redfish he took on a trip with his twin brother, Grayson, and his dad, Mark Hunt, earlier this month near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Fishing out of the Venice Fishing Lodge, the Baton Rouge family used artificial baits, mostly soft plastics, to take reds and near limits of speckled trout on one of the few April days that been free of 10-30 knot winds, rain and heavy seas. The 15-year-old twins, freshmen at Catholic High, caught several bull redfish like this one.

Every Saints fan knows Stan Brock.

He was one terrific offensive lineman for 13 of his 16 years in the NFL.

He’s one terrific guy, too. For the past handful of years, he’s figured out a way to direct the effort he gave on the field to the folks who give their all every day for all of us.

Brock’s Black & Gold Classic, a two-day skeet shoot and fishing rodeo, is more than a gathering of sportsmen to Bridge Side Marina on Grand Isle. Brock’s sends all the proceeds to the Green Beret Foundation and the Navy SEAL Foundation.

Brock coached at West Point. He said that was among the highlights of his football career.

Seth Nieman played for Brock at The Point.

“He played right tackle for me,” Brock said. “He is a Green Beret and returned last year missing a leg. That’s why this is very important to a lot of great people.”

This year’s Black & Gold Classic begins Friday morning, May 17 with a sporting clays competition at Grand Isle. A dinner, shooting awards and auction will be complemented by the Kyle Turley Band (you remember the Saints’ Turley, right?)

Saturday, May 18, is set aside for the fishing rodeo. Weigh-in is 3 that afternoon with another dinner, passing out the fishing awards and an auction.

The fees are $2 per sporting-clays target. There’s a minimum of 25 targets.

Individual fishermen can enter for $25 but must provide their own boat.

There’s a two-day corporate teams’ fee: $1,750 per three-person team gets that team into the shooting event with a former Saints player and a guided fishing trip Saturday, again with a former Saints player.

Dalton Hilliard, Hokie Gajan, Bobby Hebert, Derland Moore, Morten Andersen and Dan Pastorini have signed up. Brock said there are more on the way. The top guides on Grand Isle have committed to the Classic.

For details, call (985) 787-2419. Online registration is available at: http://www.blackandgoldclassic.com.

More for the island

Baton Rouge’s Catholic radio station, WPYR-AM, has come up with an unusual fundraiser for that same weekend at Grand Isle.

It’s a fishing retreat. Two mornings of fishing for 16 men with afternoons spent in reflection, discussion and Mass led by EWTN’s the Rev. Mitch Pacwa. All accommodations and meals will be provided for the Thursday afternoon through Sunday morning retreat.

Call WPYR (225) 448-3754 for details.

Naturally, speckled trout is the priority here, and this rodeo annually crowns the state Master Trout Angler after three days of weighing to determine the top eight daily specks. There are three-day overall awards in eight other species.

The rodeo ticket is good for Saturday night’s dinner and dance, Sunday’s noon lunch and drawings for $3,000 in cash and prizes.

It’s at Bridge Side, too. For information, call Bob Seven (985) 787-2968.

The results

Winners and complete results of the last two weeks of bass fishing, and the Louisiana Saltwater Series’ latest tournament will be published in Thursday’s Advocate Outdoors.

Greater concerns

Southwick Associates is a leader in surveying fishing and hunting information and runs AnglerSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and HunterSurvey.com.

It was the company Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries turned to for its first economic impact study of commercial fishing and recreational hunting and fishing activities in our state in the mid-1990s.

Its latest annual survey raises concerns about what federal and state governments and private landowners are doing to restrict access to fishing waters.

The survey showed 2012 was better than 2011 in terms of access: Some 17 percent of fishermen said they had to cancel a fishing trip or cease fishing a location in 2012 because of reduced or banned access. It was 20 percent in 2011.

Freshwater was the biggest source of concern. The survey showed that 71 percent of the access complaints involved freshwater fishermen.

All that notwithstanding, Southwick’s Donna Leonard reported that 22 percent of affected fishermen said they spent more days fishing last year than the year before, and 32 percent said they fished as much in 2012 as 2011.

“Despite the efforts and resourcefulness of some anglers to find new fishing areas after losing access to others, it is clear that such challenges are causing us to lose anglers each year,” Rob Southwick said. “Whether it is due to fishery closures, closed ramps or land previously used to access a lake or stream changing hands and becoming closed to the public, this remains a persistent issue. Fisheries managers, anglers and the industry need to continue working together to resolve these problems.”