It’s Bass Week in south Louisiana.
It began Sunday morning with the 40-year-old-plus Kiwanis Bass tournament on False River, continues Friday with the opening round of the three-day Bassmaster Classic, and ends Saturday with the 74th annual Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival in New Orleans’ City Park.
As do most late-winter bass tournaments, the Kiwanis event always seems to contend with the effects of Mother Nature’s last cold-weather blast.
The anglers showing up at Morrison Parkway in New Roads had to contend with lower temperatures and a rising barometer, conditions that generally give largemouths a case of lockjaw.
Somehow, this year, that doesn’t matter much because most of them showed up to remember Gene Andre, a guy who loved to fish False River, who battled to restore this oxbow lake to a must-fish location, and who, everyone who knew him, knew he would help his neighbors. Yes, Andre’s heart was as big as the giant of a man he was.
He lost his years-long battle with cancer earlier this year, and the outpouring of heartfelt condolences to his wife, Jeanie, and his family and friends was so widespread — and loud — that it was heard far beyond his south Louisiana home.
Weigh-in is set for 3 p.m. at the Morrison Parkway public landing in New Roads.
There’s a rooting interest in this year’s Bassmaster Classic, because two south Louisiana guys are in the 55-angler field taking to the Tennessee River out of Knoxville, Tennessee, this week.
Greg Hackney has too many Classic appearances to count. He calls Gonzales his hometown and it would be more than deserving if he hoisted the Classic trophy and carried home the $300,000 top prize next Sunday.
Tyler Rivet, of Raceland, is a Classic rookie who’s coming off a big win in the Bassmaster Elite Series to open the 2023 season, and added another top-10 finish in the second series tournament earlier this month.
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