Floodwaters in Louisiana are at the forefront of everybody’s mind these days. Even Ronald McDonald. He’s been partially evacuated to higher ground, er…ah…water…. himself.
The Annual Ronald McDonald Big Bass Classic is still on — set for the same dates as always — June 8-9, 2019. But the committee that oversees the event has had to abandon ship on some of it’s tradition. There are some big changes, so if you are going to fish, pay attention. And before anyone starts over-analyzing the details, let me say one thing. These are some great folks and an awesome event for an awesome cause, so I hope the region’s bass anglers will put on their big boy fishing pants, adjust, fish and make the best of a situation that nobody can control.
Here’s the deal: The Big Bass Tournament Committee has closely checked the access to the Ouachita River using the Public Boat Ramps. Some ramps are open; however, they do not feel that enough ramps will be open to allow easy access for a lot of anglers to the Ouachita River. It’s a big event. Last year’s event had over 900 fishermen.
With this in mind, the Committee has made the following changes:
♦️🎣 Lazarre Park Registration, Tournament and weigh-in location have been moved to Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe. Lazarre Park is closed and will not be accessible by vehicle. All festivities normally conducted at Lazarre Park will be conducted at Ike Hamilton Expo Center.
♦️🎣 Crossett Harbor Remote Weigh-In Station will be open near the entrance road. Crossett Harbor Pavilion is under water; however, the Felsenthal Remote Weigh-In will be close to the entrance road at Crossett Harbor. All fish caught in Felsenthal must be taken to the Crossett Harbor Weigh-in location.
♦️🎣 NEW FISHING WATERS AT LAKE D’ARBONNE FOR THIS YEAR’S TOURNAMENT. Due to limited access to the Ouachita River, the Committee has decided to allow fishing on Lake D’Arbonne. The Remote Weigh-In location will be D’Arbonne Pointe located at 147 Old Hwy 15, Farmerville, LA 71241. There will be a map on the group’s website before the tournament. The same rules, that apply to fishing in Felsenthal and the Remote Weigh-In location at Crossett Harbor, will apply to fishing in Lake D’Arbonne and the Remote Weigh-In location at D’Arbonne Pointe.
Obviously D’Arbonne has bigger bass on average, but the river fish are pretty big, too. And this year they should be healthier than ever because the baitfish should be congregated and the water cooler than normal. Some backwater areas are as good or better than the big lake in these conditions.
📢 PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD. Not everyone uses email or Facebook and if you know of someone that is not receiving these notices and wants to be added so they can get updates, please send the tournament a private message on our Facebook page or website giving us their email address.
Register at: The Honey Hole • Toledo Tackle • The Ronald McDonald House or online at: www.rmhbigbass.com
In closing, here’s a note from committee member Mike Wood to summarize what’s going on.
“The river is too high for anglers to use many of the boat ramps. Worse, it’s predicted to stay up through the month of June. So, we will be including D’Arbonne Lake in the tournament waters. We’ll operate weigh-in there like we’ve been doing at Felsenthal for the past couple of years. We’ll weigh fish at D’Arbonne Pointe and give anglers a card with a number designated to that fish. The bass is released back into D’Arbonne Lake. The angler doesn’t learn the official weight of that fish until they submit the card to tournament headquarters (the Ike Hamilton Center). “
McDonald’s TOURNAMENT INFO
Big Bass of the Tournament receives $ 10,000 CASH
Second Place Bass receives $2,500 cash
Third Place Bass receives $1,000 cash
3 Drawings for $1,000 cash each
First exact “6.00” lb. Bass receives $10,000 cash
1st – $500,
2nd – $300,
3rd – $200
1st – $500,
2nd – $300,
3rd – $200
Early Bird Special: Drawing for $1,500 if application is received or postmarked by Saturday, June 1, 2019.
Big Bass Hourly Payout:
1st – $1,000
2nd – $500
3rd – $350
4th – $250
5th – $150
$2,250 Cash per Hour
**** special note: If you are planning on fishing on D’Arbonne, there’s another great tournament up there that is also well run and will give you some good practice time on the lake. It’s the annual Majestic Big Bass Tournament. The Majestic is scheduled for June 1 & 2 out of Ludwig Marine. Dale Taylor, a veteran tournament organizer and fisherman, is in charge of the event. This is a unique tournament in that it is a marathon covering both day and night fishing. Check it out.
Brochures for the Majestic are available in area tackle stores, Ludwig Marine and The Farmerville Flower Shop. You can also contact Dale on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dale.taylor.7923
And while we are talking big bass, here’s another bit of information to put in your net: There will also be a Majestic Big Bass Tournament on Caney Lake this year. It will be held July 20th and 21st out of Hooks Marina! More to come…