The Big One That Got Away at the Big Bass Rodeo!!!

Well, this one story is, promise and cross my heart, totally for true.

If you don’t believe me, then maybe this picture will show you what I’m talking about.

You have one shot. Where do you throw your lure to catch a bass?

March 26, 2022, I spent the morning at the 73rd Big Bass Rodeo in New Orleans City Park … which is the oldest freshwater fishing tournament in the country.

HAD A GREAT DAY FISHING WITH MY FRIENDS, Simon and his nine year-old son, Blake. They had a blast catching blue gill and fishing for a bass that was just as stubborn as the crazy tale I’m about to tell you.

On the day, I caught three largemouth bass: a 2.05, a 1.85, a .79 … and the last one is the pic of the gal (fourth) that’s hiding under the top algae. I flipped my lure just behind the middle bass’s tail (above) … and wella … hooked the biggest of the three.

I reeled her up to shore, had my hands on her when she threw the hook, flipped out of my hand and onto the bank a foot below. Naturally, I stepped down after it, sank in the mud about a foot, had her in my hands again for one last wiggle and then … SPLASH … I dove half way in after her. In the end, she got away and I was full of mud.

“Look, I pulled the bass man in the water.” 🤣🤣🤣 I could hear her and the two smaller bass laughing at me.

I caught the one on the right, 2.05 lbs. So how much do you think the big gal weighed (on the left)?

Turns out, the top three bass in the tournament weighed in at 5.5, 4.5 and 3.69 lbs. So I wasn’t that upset to have been a towel away from possibly getting in the Top 3 (towel meaning I usually carry a hand towel to grab bass to avoid EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED).

LOL

In the end, I didn’t make the Top 3 in the Bass category , but I did leave with a new Craziest Fishing Tale, with my good friends Simon and Blake.

Til next year, City Park 🎣💙

Dad About Town: 5 Things I’m Loving Right Now

Very cool read about dads and daughters as recently seen in NOLAFamily.com magazine, January 2022. Read article here >

Here’s the article if you can’t see from the image.

Dad About Town – Gary Alipio

5 Things I’m Loving Right Now

Some know creator Gary Alipio as a digital marketer at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. Others know him as children’s book author of The Craziest Fishing Tale on the Bayou and volunteer kidlit advisor for SCBWI. But most know him as DAD of Melina, aged 12, a self-taught illustrator. “She’s fearless with the pencil,” says her dad. Together, they bounce all sorts of artistic ideas off one another, creating things that just need to be shared.

ROAD TRIP

I spent several young birthdays with relatives down at Jean Lafitte Public Boat Launch and Rosethorne Playground. So, when it comes to road trips, crabbing is a fun time and tasty dinner, too. 865 Jean Lafitte Blvd, Jean Lafitte

NAMASTE

Our pandemic hobbies were pretty safe: walking the Lake Pontchartrain levee is our recharge the batteries time. On a good day, you’ll find clovers galore or be graced with the presence of a bald eagle. 

FOODIE

It’s never a question of if but when. Shogun sushi is our go-to for any occasion, especially takeout for staycation movie marathons.  2325 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie

CREATIVITY

I’ll type letters … what my daughter calls writing … while she works magic with pencil on paper or digital pencil on an iPad. “If her creations were real, oh, what a bizarre world we’d live in!!!”

LOCAL

From swan boating to picnicking to fishing, City Park’s Big Lake is a popular getaway for us. Come spring, there’s a fishing pier and shaded trees along Bayou Metairie … plus lots of BASS. 

Whatever you do with your tyke, kid, tween or teen, open their eyes to new experiences … just be prepared to call it quits if they don’t like it. “OH, AND HAVE FUN!!!”

Top 5 Fishing Spots for Kids Around New Orleans

(Source: Macaroni Kid New Orleans, June 5, 2021)
By Gary Alipio, author of The Craziest Fishing Tale on the Bayou

(photo courtesy: Melina Alipio)

Put a few fish on your summer adventures this year!

Now that National Fishing and Boating Week has kicked off (June 5-13, 2021), as the summer heats up, so do the fish bites.

Many think you need to have a boat to take a kid fishing. Not true. There are plenty of prime fishing spots right here in New Orleans to get children outdoors for a morning or afternoon of fishing fun. WHY TAKE A KID FISHING? Fishing teaches patience, a love of nature, and frankly, it gets kids away from the screen and outdoors for a little Vitamin D.

First, you don’t have to have expensive gear. You can visit any local sporting goods store and pick up an inexpensive kids’ fishing pole already set up with a hook for less than $15. Academy Sports + Outdoors, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Puglia’s Sporting Goods will help you with any questions.

Next for beginners, I suggest you pair your rod, reel, cork and hook with these different forms of natural bait like your common earthworms, crickets or night crawlers from your own garden for beginners. You can also find earthworms at Walmart or Puglia’s Sporting Goods on Veterans Highway. For the more skilled anglers, try an artificial spinner bait in the open waters or a plastic worm or crawdad in the weeds or grassy beds.

You Gotta Fish Where The Fish Are!

Here is an avid local fisherman’s Top 5 Local spots for Bluegill, Sunfish, Largemouth Bass and even Catfish caught this spring from the banks.

5. City Park Marconi Fishing Pier 

6500 Marconi Drive, New Orleans | Hook a large worm and use a cork or even fish it on the bottom corkless. This is a great spot for Catfish or Bluegill. If it’s a windy day, try fishing off the bank on either side in the shade.

4. Lafreniere Park Carousel

3000 Downs Blvd, Metairie | Fish the waters behind the Carousel. Bluegill and even small bass have been caught recently using a cork and an earthworm. Also, other areas of the park, look for any moving water from a drain. That’s where the fish will be, and there are several flowing drains in the park.

3. City Park Couturie Forest Fishing Pier 

1009 Harrison Ave., New Orleans | A short walk in one of New Orleans’ hidden secret hiking areas, by taking the path to the left, you’ll find a little park bench and a fishing pier. Pack a lunch and drinks and make it a relaxing hour or two away from it all. If conditions are right, Largemouth Bass are caught mostly in the mornings.

2. City Park Casino Building/Popp Bandstand 

56 Dreyfous Dr., New Orleans | This popular spot for music, playground fun and fresh beignets is a hidden gem for kid fishing. Fish the backside of the building near the two bridges. If you’re lucky, the water is clear and you’ll see the schools of fish with your own eyes. Toss a few pieces of bread to stir up the fish feeding frenzy and then cast your worm in the midst.

1. Big Lake in City Park 

1 Collins Diboll Circle, New Orleans | From boating to birding to fishing, City Park’s Big Lake is one of the most popular weekend attractions. A very short walk from New Orleans Museum of Art, there’s a fishing pier, lots of shaded trees or fish the surrounding waters of Bayou Metairie. Bluegill, Bass and even the occasional Spotted Gar have been caught recently. Be warned: you may just forget you came out to Big Lake for the fishing.

Relax, have fun and don’t let the fishing bug bite too hard!

Fishing Disclaimer: If you’re age 16 or older, you must have a Basic Fishing License to fish recreationally in Louisiana. You can purchase it online and print a copy for your wallet from the Department of Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries. Louisiana also offers a Free Fishing Weekend on the weekend of June 12-13. More info here >

Other References:

City Park New Orleans Fishing Map >

City Park New Orleans Fishing Guidelines & Fish ID >