Outdoors: It’s fishing derby time!

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Glynn Harris | Special to the Pres-Herald

Ahh, summertime. Even though the weather seems to be hanging onto to weather that smacks of early spring, here it is in June with first day of summer only a few weeks away and I’m still finding a light jacket feeling pretty good on these chilly mornings.

Even so, school is out and for this country boy, that meant that it was time to hit the creeks and go fishing. 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has planned something that anglers or any age all across the state should find exciting. The state agency is hosting what they’re calling a “Tagged Fish Derby” for ponds around the state. 

According to a press release I just received, here’s what it says that should whet the appetite of youngsters and adults alike all across Louisiana.

“Spring is in full swing and summer is just around the corner. Make time to get outside, unwind and spend time with family and friends while fishing one of the LDWF 15 sites participating in the Get Out and Fish community fishing program.”

The department is stocking select ponds around the state with adult-sized channel catfish in the spring and fall and rainbow trout in winter.

Adding a bit of excitement, LDWF is hosting a “tagged catfish derby” at all of the select ponds between Saturday June 5 and Friday June 11. Anglers who catch and report a tagged channel catfish caught in one of these ponds during the June5-11 time will receive a fishing prize pack. All of the ponds will be stocked with these tagged fish and if a tagged fish is caught, you’ll need to get it registered. You’ll need to write this number down and have it with you because that’s the only way you qualify for prizes should you catch a tagged fish. Call 855/728-8247 to report your catch. Write it down; stick it in your wallet; you otherwise won’t qualify to win.

There is a licensing requirement for anglers age 16 or older while those under age 16 fish for free. Daily bag limits will apply.

There are ponds that will be stocked all across the state. Following is listing of ponds where you’ll want to wet a hook, not only to try for a tagged fish but who doesn’t like a platter of fried catfish for the table?

  • Turner’s Pond – Minden
  • Grambling City Park Pond – Grambling
  • Elmore D. Mayfield Park – Ruston
  • Kiroli Park – W. Monroe
  • Polk City Park Pond – Vidalia
  • Purple Heart Memorial Park Pond – Ragley
  • 1-10 Park – Jennings
  • Girard Park – Lafayette
  • Southside Regional Park – Youngsville
  • Bayou Country Sports Park – Houma
  • Zemurray Park – Hammond
  • Bogue Chitto State Park – Franklinton
  • Joe Brown Park – New Orleans
  • Parc Natchitoches – Natchitoches
  • Pearson Lake – Pineville

I can’t think of a better way to get your summer kicked off in fine shape than to feel the tug of a catfish on the line with the prospects of a fish fry for supper.

Glynn Harris’ Outdoors appears Tuesday in the Minden Press-Herald.

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