LA: LDWF’s Management Efforts Result in Record Catches at 2011 Bassmaster Classic

Classic scheduled to return to the Sportsman’s Paradise in
2012

Across the state, anglers are landing trophy-size bass as a
result of management efforts by the Louisiana Department of
Wildlife and Fisheries. Bassmaster Classic competitors were no
exception this past weekend as record stringers were brought to the
scales. The heaviest weights were caught by tournament winner and
bass fishing superstar, Kevin Van Dam.

Van Dam wowed the crowds with a cumulative weight of over 69
pounds, the heaviest ever in a Classic with a 5-fish daily limit.
He primarily fished the waters of Lake Cataouatche, a popular
fishing spot previously stocked by the LDWF with Florida largemouth
bass.

Years ago, the freshwater lake fell on hard times after tropical
storm systems pushed brackish water into the area. The lake’s
productivity was minimal, especially in terms of a bass population.
Through stocking efforts, in conjunction with fertile Mississippi
River waters, through the Davis Pond Freshwater Diversion Project,
the department was able to stimulate a productive ecosystem and
generate a lively bass population in the lake. The spot’s
productivity amazed even the best bass anglers in the world at this
year’s Classic.

Throughout Louisiana, anglers routinely report trophy bass
exceeding 10 pounds. This was not always the case. The department’s
management efforts, including the Florida bass stocking program,
are largely responsible for this surge in production.

Bass fishing opportunities in Louisiana rank in the top tier
nationwide. However, it’s the diversity of fishing experiences that
makes Louisiana special. The Louisiana Delta, site of the
Bassmaster Classic is a great example. “Fishing in coastal
Louisiana is an experience that’s unique from all other waters in
the country,” said Mike Wood, LDWF’s Director of Inland Fisheries.
“On any given cast, anglers can tangle with a red drum, flounder,
and maybe even a trophy largemouth bass.

Perhaps this is the reason the Sportsman’s Paradise was selected
as the host site for the Classic again in 2012. Shreveport will
welcome the 42nd annual Bassmaster Classic next February.

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