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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

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Wind slowed fishing, but Tarpon ’15 still a good time for all

Wind slowed fishing, but Tarpon ’15 still a good time for all

Weekend winds were stiff, which prohibited the fishing from being as good as it could be at this time of the year.

But that doesn’t mean that the 2015 International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo still wasn’t one for the ages.

Event organizers, anglers and partygoers all said that the weekend-long event was a success, one filled with fun for everyone involved.

Thibodaux native Brett Candies scored the big prize, weighing a 165-pound, 14-ounce tarpon to take the title for the fish that is the namesake and crowned jewel of the rodeo.

Thousands of others didn’t fish at all, but attended for the food, music and spectacle that is one of the biggest parties in Louisiana.

“It’s always a great event and this year was no different,” rodeo organizer Tommy Ory said. “When you’ve been doing something for so long and when you see so many returning faces every, single year, you know that you must be doing something right.”

The winds stayed high throughout the rodeo, which meant that a below-average amount of fish were caught to be weighed. But there still were plenty keepers caught in the three-days of fishing.

In the Big Game categories, Houma native Jay Voisin won the title as Best All-Around Angler after he placed first with a massive, 146-pound, 2-ounce yellowfin tuna. The fish trumped the 126-pound, 12-ounce fish that William Sigmon caught, which finished as the runner-up.

Also winning in the Big Game categories were Pierre Part native Scott Settoon Jr. in blackfin tuna, Cut Off native Cullen LeBlanc in dolphin and Gonzales native Brad Duplessis in wahoo.
Duplessis said winning first place at such a prestigious rodeo is something he’ll never forget. His winning wahoo weighed 52-pounds, 8-ounces.

“It’s a great feeling,” Duplessis said. “To catch the biggest fish in something is something I’m obviously very proud of.”

In the Shoreline Division, Chackbay native Hunter Andras caught the biggest fish, registering a 82-pound, 12-ounce grouper to win the title.

The closest battle on the scales came in Spanish mackerel where Denham Springs native Trace Day and Brusly native Cole Rivault tied – each weighing a 2-pound, 14-ounce fish.

Because Day weighed his first, he takes home the first-place title. Galliano woman Priscella Duet finished third, finishing just two ounces behind.

“It’s always fun to see the competition among the anglers,” Ory said. “Some of these are really, really close. The crowd always gathers around the scales and people really enjoy seeing where their fish stand and who is winning on the big board.”

In the Inside Division, it was a family affair in many of the competitions.

In croaker, Hammond’s Louis McKinney Jr., won first, second and third places, weighing one fish at 3-pounds, 6-ounces and two others and 3-pounds.

In saltwater catfish, Grand Isle native Mary Jackson won the title with a 6-pound, 4-ounce fish. She also finished third with a 5-pound, 8-ounce cat.

Paradis native Michael White Sr., won the title for redfish, weighing a massive 36-pound, 6-ounce fish. In five-red stringer, Metairie native Gus Wilson won with a string that weighed a combined 36-pounds, 14-ounes.

He outlasted Terrebonne Sheriff Jerry Larpenter, who finished runner-up with a 36-pound, 4-ounce string.

Larpenter owns the all-time rodeo record for redfish stringer.

“I’ll try again next time,” Larpenter said with a smile when asked of his runner-up finish.

Larpenter wasn’t the only lawman smiling on the weekend. The Grand Isle Police was, too. They say that citizens cooperated to make the 2015 rodeo a hit.

Police said that there weren’t any major issues with the rodeo, touting that those in attendance were well behaved – especially considering that the island lost power on Saturday night after a strong thunderstorm rolled through the area.

On Saturday night, the Ying Yang Twins performed, and as-always, all of the island’s hotels, restaurants and businesses benefitted from a huge surge in population.

“It’s always one of the best times of the year,” Baton Rouge native Fred Adams said. “I’ve been coming for 15 years, and I hardly ever fish. The people are friendly, and it’s just an amazing event. You don’t see too many things like this around the state – or even around the globe.”

Tarpon – Brett Candies – 165-pound, 14-ounce
Tarpon Tag and Release – Hunter Tieken
Blackfin Tuna – Scott Settoon Jr. – 30-pouns, 8-ounces
Dolphin – Cullen LeBlanc – 46-pounds
Wahoo – Brad Duplessis – 52-pounds, 8-ounces
Yellowfin Tuna – Jay Voisin – 146-pounds, 2-ounces
Blue Marlin – NONE WEIGHED

Amberjack – Season closed
Barracuda – Jonathan Lindley – 24-pounds, 4-ounces
Bluefish – Ivy St. Romain – 3-pounds, 12-ounces
Bonito – Jason McNeil – 15-pounds, 12-ounces
Cobia – Larry Gates – 54-pounds, 2-ounces
Grouper – Hunter Andras – 82-pounds, 12-ounces
Jack Crevalle – Ivy St. Romain – 27-pounds, 10-ounces
King Mackerel – David Wilson – 35-pounds, 8-ounces
Spanish Mackerel – Trace Day – 2-pounds, 14-ounces
Mangrove Snapper – Cory Vial – 10-pounds, 8-ounces
Red Snapper – Spencer Delatte – 15-pounds, 6-ounces
Spadefish – Tim Higgens – 2-pounds, 12-ounces
Tripletail – Steven McCann – 6-pounds, 0-ounces

Croaker – Louis McKiney Jr. – 3-pounds, 6-ounces
Saltwater Catfish – Mary Jackson – 6-pounds, 4-ounces
Black Drum – Dr. Jonathan Babin – 46-pounds, 8-ounces
Flounder – Caden Comardelle – 2-pounds, 4-ounces
Redfish – Michael White Sr. – 36-pounds, 6-ounces
Redfish Stringer – Gus Wilson III – 36-pounds, 14-ounces
Speckled Trout – Raymond Galatas – 5-pounds, 0-ounces
White Trout – Jerry Ordoyne – 1-pound, 0-ounces
Sheepshead – Joe Wrubleski – 7-pounds, 10-ounces