Young anglers have the chance to show off their fishing skills Saturday during the Fifth Annual Perch Jerkin Classic where camaraderie and competition will rule the day.
The tournament, which will take place at Lockport’s Bayou Side Park, is thanks to three community members, Jarrod Brunet, Brandon LeBlanc, and Josh Adams, who have hosted the event annually since 2014.
Tournament Director Jarrod Brunet said he did not see a lot of children’s tournaments around as he got older.
“I grew up fishing with my father and grandfather and took a passion for it. I remember fishing my first tournament as a child and still hold those memories. I had hoped in recreating those memories for today's youth.” Brunet stated.
Jarrod's hope has come full circle, and now community kids from up and down the bayou are building those memories as well.
Jarrod knew he would need help in bringing the tournament to life, so he reached out through Facebook to see if there was any interest in putting together a kid friendly fishing competition. It did not take long for Josh and Brandon to respond, both full of enthusiasm and the willingness to help. The rest, as they say, is history.
Participation has grown each year substantially since the event's inception.
Jarrod stated, "It’s hard to give an average number of participants because we are constantly growing in size. The first year we were expecting close to one hundred but only had thirteen. Every year after that it more than doubled. Last year’s event had over fifty. We are hoping to keep growing in the future.”
Each year the tournament becomes more fine-tuned.
“The first year was the hardest. This was something none of us have done, but with dedication and the help of our sponsors, we made it possible. Every year we've acquired new sponsorships and more people wanting to participate,” explained Jarrod.
We asked if he had a most memorable moment during any of the previous year's tournaments and Jarrod said it is difficult to pick just one.
"The best memories come each year when children's faces light up when called to accept their prize. Another great moment is when the kids see the blow-up water slide. That has been a big hit throughout the years," Jarrod said.
“For anyone reading, I would like to say thank you to our community and our sponsors for your help in making this possible. We couldn't have done it without your support. Also, if anyone would like to sponsor or donate to our organization feel free to contact us. Our event is always open to the public, and everyone is welcome to come,” said Brunet.
There is still time for late registration! The late entry fee is $25 per child, ages 3 to 9 and 10 to 15. Categories include Heaviest Bream Stringer (5 fish total), Heaviest Sac-a-lait Stringer (5 fish total), Lunker Bass (1st place only), Lunker Catfish (1st place only).
Do not despair if you do not have a boat to take your child out in! Children can fish from the banks of Bayou Lafourche or at Bayou Side Park. The event’s goal is to get more children interested in fishing and gain appreciation of the outdoors.
Weigh-in will be held at the Lockport Bayou Side Park under the pavilion along with the awards ceremony. Weigh-in will start as participants return to the park. Scales close at 2 p.m. All fish entered must be alive to count.
There will be prizes for all kids entered, music, food and drinks and a waterslide for the kids.
Proceeds from the tournament benefit St. Jude’s Children Hospital.
For more information, contact Jarrod Brunet at firstname.lastname@example.org or (985) 860-4177; Brandon Leblanc at BrandonLeB15@gmail.com or (985) 859-0221; or Josh Adams at email@example.com or (985) 860-4228. Be sure and like their Facebook page under Annual Perch Jerkin’ Classic!
Posted on Tue, June 5, 2018
by Holly McKeon Contributing Writer