Thomas Carl Vidrine might have set the standard by which all future “lucky” south Louisiana fishing trips are measured.
A couple of weekends ago, Vidrine was fishing in the Catholic High Alumni Fishing Rodeo out of Port Fourchon Marina.
Like a couple dozen other fishermen, he decided to head to the rock jetty along Caminada Pass to look for the heavy speckled trout and “rat” redfish, the 16-27 inch-long fish that make up one of the rodeo’s Calcutta species (the combined weight of three reds that work inside those measurements).
“Earlier in the day I lost a rod overboard and actually found it while I continued to fish, then I caught the redfish. It was just my lucky day!” Vidrine said.
The “lucky” redfish turned out to be one of the specially tagged redfish in the Statewide Tournament and Anglers’ Rodeo.
The Baton Rouge fisherman noticed the tag, checked it in at a certified weighstation and is in line to claim the third prize among 10 offered by S.T.A.R.-sponsor, the Coastal Conservation Association-Louisiana.
Vidrine will take home a 2110 Sport Nautic Star bay boat rigged with a Mercury 150-horsepower, four-stroke outboard on a trailer supplied by Mike Gerald’s Baton Rouge Trailer Depot.
Last week, a fourth tagged redfish showed up, but David Nelson, a New Orleans native living in Rockwell, Texas, came back to fish Lake Pontchartrain with longtime charter skipper and former S.T.A.R. winner Kenny Kreeger.
Nelson wasn’t entered in the tournament and missed the chance at claiming the third of nine boats offered in the tagged redfish division.
S.T.A.R. director Rad Trascher said that because the federal season on red snapper closed June 29, the winner of the Red Snapper Division and the Whitney Bank-sponsored $5,000 tackle package is the 26.35 pounder caught by Jaevon Riley of Moss Point, Miss.
Teal hunters were big winners after the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission acted on updated U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service information about teal populations continuing to rise beyond historically high long-term numbers.
Teal hunters will have their daily limits increase from four to six for the special September teal season, and commission voted for Sept. 14-29 dates for the special 16-day season. Hunters also will be allowed to take rails and gallinules during those dates.
There were no changes, except for calendar adjustments, for the 15-birds-per-day dove season. A note is that the first full weekend in September falls after Labor Day, so the opening day for North and South zones will be Sept. 7.
Another change is that hunters will be allowed to have a three-day possession limit for migratory birds and waterfowl.