NOTE: This week’s writings focus on the history of high school bass fishing tournaments on D’Arbonne. The entries are dedicated to our Military and Veterans. God Bless you and God Bless America!
Everybody in the bassin’ world and the fishing publications are all excited about a “NEW ” type event — high school bass fishing tournaments. Well, guys, guess what? You are way behind – like nearly 40 years!
On April 26, 1975, Ouachita’s Bubba Carter and Tommy Matthieu won the first annual North Louisiana High School Bass Tournament out of the old Jake’s Boat Dock on Lake D’Arbonne right here in Farmerville. We’re sharing stories from those tournaments as part of the 50th birthday celebration of Lake D’Arbonne.
The first tournament drew 160 anglers from these schools: Ouachita, Ruston, Neville, Wossman, West
Monroe, Bernice, Bastrop, Farmerville, Carroll, Ridgedale, East Union, Prairie View and Parkway (Shreveport).
Here are some of the details, taken out of an article about the winners from the Monroe Morning World newspaper (yes, that was it’s name back then):
* Carter and Matthieu were Ouachita’s only entry, but teamed up to catch 11 pounds, nine ounces to win. Ruston’s James Huckaby and Dennis Foster came in second with 9-15. Ruston’s top four fishermen – Huckaby, Foster, Robby Myers and David Johnson – teamed up to win the school team honors with 16 pounds, two ounces.
* Ridgedale’s Trey Peavy and Roy Washer were third in the competition and Neville’s Jacky Cole, Gary Roberts, Corky Davis and David Finley were second in the school team competition.
* Bob Lane of Neville won the big jackfish trophy. Parkway received a special “Roadrunner” award for traveling the longest distance.
* In the coaches division, Bastrop’s Frank Zametto and Ed White won first followed by West Monroe’s Stan Johnson and Pat Antley. Wossman’s Ray Gambino and Charles Rohner were third.
* The winner’s prizes include new Speed Stick fishing rods, lure packets and a trophy!
* The entry fee was $2.50 per fisherman.
* The originator of the event and the tournament director for the first tournaments was yours truly, a young sports reporter for the newspaper at that time.
We’ll have more about the high school tournament each day this week…. Here’s an April, 1975, column from former Morning World Sports Editor Paul Martin, the man who the current News-Star’s top sports award is named after now: