The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries wants kids to add fishing to their list of favorite outdoor activities, so with spring right around the corner, they are hosting two youth-targeted fishing events in New Orleans City Park: Youth Fishing Clinic, March 22 and the Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival, March 29.
Youth Fishing Clinic
Prior to the annual Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival, the Department will offer a free, Youth Fishing Clinic designed to teach youth basic fishing techniques and offer tips on how to fish City Park. The clinic is scheduled for Saturday, March 22 from 8 a.m. to noon, and the first 50 individuals to register will receive an order of beignets from Morning Call and a rod and reel, courtesy of CCA Louisiana.
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Old Casino Building, and all participating anglers must be 16 and younger and accompanied by an adult. Participants should also bring their own gear.
Big Bass Rodeo & Fishtival
Held in the park since 1946, the Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival has grown into one of the most popular family fishing events in the country. The event is scheduled for Saturday, March 29, and events kick off at 6:30 a.m. Unlike high caliber bass fishing tournaments, this nonprofessional rodeo provides fishing categories and activities for all ages and is a great opportunity to teach novice anglers about the sport of fishing.
The 2014 event also marks the introduction of a brand new fishing event, Boats on the Bayou, a division for non-motorized boats including kayaks and canoes. This event takes place on Bayou St. John and is limited to the first 100 registrants.
“A key barrier to learning how to fish is a lack of fishing opportunities close to home,” explained LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “This event will provide New Orleans area residents with an opportunity to learn more about the great fishing that City Park has to offer – which we hope will hook them on a lasting appreciation for the sport.”
Fisheries staff will be on hand at the Fishtival to offer advice and assist anglers in learning how to fish. Information will also be available detailing local fishing resources, fishing basics and fish identification. Other exciting features include a mobile touch tank, fish tagging demonstrations and photo opportunities with Robbie the Redfish.
The Department will also introduce the LDWF Youth Fishing Program at the event. You can compete in various activities to receive a Big Bass Rodeo patch (scouts only) or sticker.
Additional details and online registration can be found on the Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival website: http://www.neworleanscitypark.com/big-bass-fishing-rodeo-and-fishtival. Registration fees range from $5 to $10, depending on the age of the angler.