2009 Fish of the Year Awards
Each year the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association Fish Records Committee selects anglers from the submitted records from the previous year to be nominated for the Fish of the Year. Nominees are then closely reviewed and a vote is taken. The Fish Records Chairman then announces the winner to the Executive Director and membership. Awards are presented in both Rod & Reel and Fly Fishing.
The two winners this year received their prestigious awards at the LOWA Annual Convention Awards Banquet on August 7, 201 at the Holiday Inn in Convington, Louisiana. Their “fish tales” are recounted below.
Bill Walters–Rod and Reel Division
Imagine 1,149.50 pounds of anything. How about 1,149.50 pounds of Mako Shark. Texas dog trainer Bill Walters took a much needed break from his Granbury, TX business to take a trip down to the Gulf with fishing guide Capt. Bill Staff. Their trip started out of Port Fourchon, LA, and headed south for 70 miles and what a trip it turned out to be!
Bill Walters was fortunate enough to have the stamina and willpower it takes to reel in almost 1,150 pounds of fighting shark. With that feat he beat out former record holder, Lane Foil’s 765-pound Mako, by almost 400 pounds! For landing the new state record, Mr. Walters will receive the Fish of the Year Award for 2009 in the Rod & Reel Division.
Eric Dumas–Fly Fishing Division
No denying that being a fishing guide does give one a slight advantage, but when it comes to fly fishing, things equal out. Lake Borgne fisherman, Gray Parker, didn’t get to enjoy his first place Tripletail record for long as a week later, fishing guide, Capt. Eric Dumas (Living a Dream Guide Service) from Mandeville, LA, beat him out of first place by over 3 pounds.
The elusive Tripletail is hard enough to catch on rod and reel, much less lured by a hand tied fly and proper lure placement around the Tripletail’s favorite hangout, the baited crab trap and float. Capt. Eric overcame the odds and landed his new Louisiana state record 13.55 pound Tripletail on Lake Borgne in September of 2009. For this feat he was selected as the LOWA Fish of the Year Winner in the Fly Fishing Division.