FIRST LASS WIN FOR FAITHFUL ANGLERS TONY GROSE AND SAL FONTANA, SR.
July 1, 2013 - Sweetwater Marina in Delacroix was the venue for the fifth event of the LASS Redfish Series this past Saturday, brought to you by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, Shimano and The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Even with the increasing chance for thunderstorms and hot temperatures on the water, 74 teams registered for a chance to compete for the win in Delacroix. This is the largest and most impressive turn out for a redfish event since the inception of the Louisiana Saltwater Series in 2010. The Delacroix event also brought in 31 anglers from out-of- state including anglers from Arkansas, Georgia, Texas, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama. And for the first time the LASS welcomed four sponsor teams from Crescent Crown Distributing who came out to take part in the Redfish Series to join the anglers and see what it’s all about. This catch and release format challenged anglers to catch a limit of two legal redfish using artificial lures only.
Best friends Tony Grose, of Arabi and Sal Fontana, Sr., of Metairie, have fished the Louisiana Saltwater Series since its inception. Taking home top prize for the first time this year with a total weight of 16.34 pounds claimed them a spot to compete in the Louisiana Saltwater Series Championship in October and put them one step closer to the Team of the Year.
In order to compete in the Louisiana Saltwater Series Championship teams must either have a finish in one of the qualifying events within the payout for that event or compete in at least four of the six qualifying events.
Anglers also took home Shimano sublimated jerseys, Shimano reel and tackle bags, a Stick-It anchor pin, annual memberships to SeaTow and a Frabill net. These are just a few of the items from our great sponsors that are awarded to anglers as extra fish raffle prizes. Teams are allowed to bring in extra fish in addition to their weigh-in fish to be entered into drawings for special prizes, with the number of entries determined by the number of extra fish brought in to be tagged.
The awards ceremony started with the recognition of the first place youth, Drake Garrison, who took home the first place youth win after fishing in his first Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Tournament ever. Drake weighed in an awesome redfish that weighed 7.33 pounds. The LASS Delacroix event had 12 youth anglers that came out to participate making it our top event for youth participation for 2013 so far. The Louisiana Saltwater Series recognizes all of its youth participants at each event and it is a great component of the event seeing how excited they are to weigh in their fish being cheered on by everyone there.
The top finishing teams, taking home over $12,050 in cash prizes, include: 2nd place, Stephen Sierra and Scott Benoit; 3rd place, Steve Smith and John Garrison; 4th place, Michael McElveen and Rob Folsom; 5th place, Jason Leblanc and Kory Matherne; 6th place, Chris Kennedy and Steven Hooter; 7th place, brothers Joe and John Barcelona; 8th place, Matthew Whitman and Ryan Schellhaas; 9th place, Nash Roberts, IV and Luke Landry; 10th place, father and son, Barnie and Steve White; 11th place, Scott Ritter and Bobby Abruscato; 12th place, Ray Reiser; 13th place, Mac McElroy and David Thibodeaux; 14th place, Beau Weber, Sr. and his grandson Sean Thornton, and for the team with the ‘smallest fish’, the team of Eric Dumas and Allen Krake.
A total of 209 redfish were tagged and released by LDWF staff as part of the Louisiana Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program, where anglers become citizen scientists for the agency, collecting invaluable data. This was a record number of Redfish topping the 202 Redfish tagged and released for the two-day LASS Redfish Championship in 2012! Anglers and their friends and family enjoyed beverages provided by Crescent Crown Distributing as well as hamburgers sponsored by Sweetwater Marina.
The next LASS event will be a jack crevalle kayak tournament scheduled for Saturday, July 20th on the New Orleans Lakefront near The Blue Crab Restaurant. The next LASS Redfish event will be on August 10th at The Delta Marina in Empire and the next LASS youth event will be on November 2nd at Myrtle Grove Marina. For complete information, including rules, regulations and registration go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com .
The Louisiana Saltwater Series is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana's wildlife and fish resources.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov  on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb  or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.