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75th Annual Big Bass Rodeo Announces Winners

On Saturday, March 23, New Orleans City Park hosted the 75th annual Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival, with almost 500 anglers competing for the championship title and participating in the Fishtival. The 75th year came in strong with one of the best days of tournament fishing in recent years, with anglers bringing in multiple 3 to 7-pound bass to the scales throughout the day.

A super excited Kevin Schilling arrived at the scales early with a 6.90-pound bass, feeling confident he had a first-place winner. And he did, for at least a few minutes, until angler Frank Woolley brought in an impressive 7.76-pound Largemouth Bass, earning him top honors for the day and the Joe Courcelle Award. Frank’s catch set a new tournament record for the biggest bass. The Paul Kalman Award for the Junior Angler’s Bass Division went to Austin Franatovich for his 2.78-pound bass. Team Camo continues to keep their presence on the Cichlid and Bream Trim Team Challenge leaderboard with a combined weight of 6.20 pounds. Damion Frey, with Mission 2 Hook Kids on Fishing, took home the Champion’s Challenge category trophy with a 5.03-pound bass.

For the sixth year, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries hosted the student angler competition, Battle for the Bass. Thirteen different schools battled it out to earn the title and bragging rights for the upcoming year. Team BM from Brother Martin High School beat 29 other teams with a winning two-fish combined weight of 6.87 pounds.

Boats on the Bayou continued to bring experienced kayak anglers to Bayou St. John, but also encouraged novices as well. Courtesy of Massey’s Outfitters, interested anglers could rent a kayak free of charge during the event. Participants could place in two different categories, and the 2024 winner of the Kaye Florane Award and largest bass went to Steve Neece, with a weight of 4.62 pounds.

A complete list of winners is available below. For more information on Big Bass Rodeo, go to www.bigbassfishingrodeo.com or contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov.

Boats on the Bayou

Other Category:

1st Place: Chris Holmes wt. 9.99 Catfish

2nd Place: Daniel Chacon wt. 1.93 Catfish

3rd Place: Robin Bordelon wt. 0.16 Bluegill

Bass Category:

1st Place Kaye Florane Award: Steve Neece wt.  4.62

2nd Place: Chris Holmes wt. 1.95

3rd Place: Aidan Hammond wt. 1.47

Battle for the Bass

1st Place: Brother Martin– Team BM wt.  6.87

Teammates: Luke Shaw, Mathew Graffagnini

2nd Place: Abeka–Metry Bass wt.  6.32

3rd Place: Archbishop Rummel-Team Raiders 1 wt.  3.13

Big Bass Rodeo

Cichlid & Bream Trim (Team Event) Category:

1st Place: Team Camo wt. 6.20

2nd Place: Team Over Kill, Inc wt. 5.23

3rd Place: Team Stop Drop & Reel wt. 3.77

Champions Challenge Category:

1st Place: Damion Frey wt. 5.03

Jr. Angler – Bream, Cichlid & Perch Category:

1st Place: Rylan Jack Dunaway wt. 0.12

Jr. Angler – Bass Category:

1st Place Paul Kalman Award: Austin Franatovich wt. 2.78

2nd Place: Myles Hubbard wt. 1.79

3rd Place: Schockey Lavarine wt. 1.18

Adult – Bass Category:

1st Place Joe Courcelle Award: Frank Woolley wt. 7.76

2nd Place: Kevin Schilling wt. 6.90

3rd Place: Luke Greer wt. 5.40

About the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries:

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.la.gov. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup

About New Orleans City Park

For over 170 years, New Orleans City Park has provided access to abundant natural and cultural resources to residents of the region and visitors from around the world. The Park’s 1,300 acres make it one of the largest urban parks in the United States. City Park is a popular place to fish on the bayou, picnic, experience safe outdoor play, or engage in athletic pursuits—as evidenced by more than 16 million visits each year. To learn more about the Park, visit NewOrleansCityPark.com.

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