Nation’s Oldest Freshwater Fishing Tournament Scheduled for March 25 in New Orleans

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and New Orleans City Park Conservancy are hosting the 74th annual Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival in New Orleans City Park on Saturday, March 25. There’s still time to sign up for the oldest rodeo in the nation with a fishing category for every age and a FREE family friendly Fishtival. The day also includes the Battle for the Bass, a student fishing tournament, and Boats on the Bayou – a kayak and non-motorized vessel tournament on Bayou St. John.

The Big Bass Rodeo is a catch-and-release shore fishing tournament for anglers targeting the largest bass. For junior anglers (ages 12 and under), the rodeo includes competitive categories for heaviest bass or heaviest cichlid, bream, or perch.

The Battle for the Bass Tournament is for students in grades 7 through 12 to represent their schools in teams of up to five anglers and battle it out for the heaviest two-bass combined weight. The winning team will take home bragging rights for the year, as well as the three-foot Battle for the Bass trophy to display at their school and over $500 in gift cards for Berkley products.

Boats on the Bayou is open to anglers with kayaks and other non-motorized watercraft and offers two competitive categories: Bass and Other with over $1,400 in gift card prizes courtesy of Massey’s Outfitters. Even if you don’t have a kayak, you can rent one for free from Massey’s Outfitters. Register early because kayak rentals are limited!

The FREE Fishtival will take place from 9 a.m. to noon in the grandstand area in front of Cafe du Monde on Dreyfous Avenue in City Park. The event will feature music as well as educational and hands-on activities for kids. LDWF mascot, Robbie the Redfish, will be on hand for photo opportunities.

Prizes will be bigger and better this year thanks to partners such as Massey’s Outfitters, Berkley, Puglia’s Sporting Goods, Gus’ Tackle and Nets, and Marsh and Bayou Outfitters. If interested in having yourself or your business involved in the oldest freshwater fishing tournament in the United States, then there’s still time to help! Individuals or groups can volunteer the day of the Rodeo by assisting LDWF staff or offering an educational activity. If your business is looking to get involved, sponsorship opportunities are available for all three tournament divisions wrapped into this event.

For more information, visit Registration is open and fees vary depending on division. Contact Danica Williams at with questions.

A recreational fishing license is required for participants 18 years and older. To purchase a license online, click HERE.

Photos and b-roll of past Big Bass Rodeo events are available for use by media outlets. To access, visit:

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