S.T.A.R. redfish catch nabs truck

From the beaches off The Fourchon to the Chef Pass jetties, the biggest prize in the summer-long Statewide Tournament and Anglers’ Rodeo has been claimed.

In late May, Baton Rouge angler Ken Guidry hauled in a specially S.T.A.R.-tagged redfish but turned aside the 2013 Silverado pickup truck because he wanted to be able to fulfill a 20-year dream of winning the rodeo’s Speckled Trout Division. Guidry caught his fish along the Central Coast near The Fourchon.

That opened the door for the thousands of other S.T.A.R.-entered anglers and Hieu Doan was happy Guidry did.

Doan went out Wednesday afternoon trying to take advantage of summer’s long daylight hours. The Venetian Isle resident, a member of CCA’s Delta Chapter — the Coastal Conservation Association is the S.T.A.R.’s sponsoring organization — headed to the Chef Pass jetties, a spot he claims is among his favorite fishing holes.

Not long into his trip, he caught a redfish with a special red tag, and his shot at claiming the prize Guidry turned down. He weighed and registered the 21-inch-long redfish at Rigolets Bait and Seafood off U.S. 90 in Slidell.

“Hieu Doan said he and his family look forward to Memorial Day each year just for this reason, and we are excited about having a tagged redfish division winner from the east side of the state,” STAR Director Rad Trascher said.

Trascher reminded that 48 specially tagged redfish remain in waters across the Louisiana coast. He said the next nine anglers catching one of those four dozen fish will win a trailered Sport Nautic Star boat rigged with a Mercury outboard. The rodeo ends on Labor Day and Trascher said anglers can enter S.T.A.R by calling (877) 422-2782, or by registering at website: http://www.ccastar.com.

Youth writers, photogs

Young writers and photographers have until 5 p.m. July 12 to submit entries for the Louisiana Outdoor Writers’ Association’s annual Youth Journalism Contest.

There are two writing divisions: Junior Essay is for boys and girls ages 7-13 and Senior Essay is for writers ages 14-18.

Essays must be an original, unpublished writing about a personal experience while hunting, fishing, boating, camping, hiking or other related outdoor activity. Essays must be 300-1,000 words long and must be typed, preferably with double-spaced lines.

The Photography Division includes boys and girls ages 7-18.

Photos must be an original, unpublished black-and-white or color photo. Submitted photos must be 4x6 inches, 5x7 inches or 8x10 inches and must be center-mounted on an 8x10 inches board.

Each entry must have name, age, school, home address and home telephone number attached at the top of the essay or photo.

The top three and honorable mentions in each category receive cash prizes.

The contest is sponsored by the Louisiana Chapter of Safari Club International with support from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and The Advocate.

Send all contest entries to: Joe Macaluso, Advocate Outdoors, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Attn: LOWA.

Winners will be honored at the LOWA’s annual convention banquet, Saturday, Aug. 10, in Lafayette. For information, email: outdoors@theadvocate.com.

Hunter ed training

If you’ve thought about helping youngsters get involved with hunting and shooting sports, consider attending the June 28-29 Hunter Education Instructor Training at the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Training and Educational Facility, Pine Street, Pearl River.

Class is 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday, then 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. When you successfully complete the course, you’ll be certified to instruct the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Hunter Education courses.

The LDWF’s Gene Cavalier said there is no charge for the class and it’s open to anyone 19 and older.

Topics will include safe gun handling; wildlife management; responsibility and ethics; and general outdoor safety. Live-fire exercises will be part of the training. You must pass a written exam and be cleared in a criminal background check to get the certificate.

For details and to register, call Cavalier (985) 882-9159 or Amiee Robert (225) 765-2932.

Gulf Council

The open posts on Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council for the coming year were filled last week. Doug Boyd, of Texas, and Leann Bosarge, of Mississippi, were named to represent their states, and Florida’s Roy Williams was named to fill an “at-large” seat.

Louisiana’s three representatives, Camp Matens, Harlan Pierce and Myron Fisher, remain on the council.

Warhawks on top

The University of Louisiana-Monroe fishing team run in the ACA-sanctioned tournament earlier this month propelled them to the top spot in the final 2013 Cabela’s School of the Year rankings.

The ULM Warhawks finished second last year, then came back this year with 907 points to beat the University of North Alabama for the top spot.

The rest of the top 10 includes Bethel University, Murray State, Georgetown College from Kentucky, Arkansas Tech, North Carolina State, Dallas Baptist, Arkansas and the University of Tennessee-Martin. A total of 212 colleges and universities competed for Cabela’s School of the Year award.

“When we ended up second last year, we were at the ACA Collegiate Bass Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake, and it was very bittersweet for the team,” graduating senior Paul Clark said. Clark was the Warhawks’ team president this year.

“On the one hand our young program was the second best in the country (last year), so we were proud. On the other hand, we weren’t satisfied with coming that close and not finishing on top.

“We have a team full of competitors, and we found a lot of motivation on that long drive home to do it better in 2013. We decided on that last day of the 2012 program we wanted to end 2013 as champions,” Clark said.

“We had a serious talk at the end of last season, and we committed then to fish anything and everything that would allow us to earn points for this program.

“We hit all the student-ran sanctioned events in our region, and we logged a lot of miles to get this done.

“Between national competitions with the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, as well as BASS and FLW, our team of ten guys has fished their tails off this year with great success.

“It has been awesome and I’m happy to have been a part of it. It feels good to graduate and leave this program on top,” Clark said.

Nick Ladart will take over for Clark next year and said the exposure for the team and the university will help the team’s ability to compete in the next year.

The Warhawks will be featured throughout the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Television Series.