Amanda Menard and her husband Dennis Menard, Jr. are among those who are all smiles this week because they had a good weekend of fishing.
Amanda and Dennis decided to head east to fish in the Third Annual Fishing For Memories Fishing Rodeo held this past weekend out of Intracoastal City.
Aboard the 23-foot-long “Nauti-or-Knot”, they travelled to Grand Isle in hopes of avoiding bad weather off the coast of
Vermilion Parish, while at the same time, catching big red snappers.
The trip paid off in more ways than one.
They limited on red snapper. Second, some of the fish they caught were large enough to place in the top three in two categories earning “Nauti-or-Knot” the Best Offshore Boat Award in the rodeo.
Thirdly, the Menards’ trip to Grand Isle helped put Amanda, 31, in the Louisiana record book by catching the sixth-heaviest mangrove snapper from Louisiana waters.
Amanda pulled in a 13.5-pound mangrove snapper fishing in 300 feet of water 30 miles off the coast of Louisiana. A mangrove snapper is gray in color with a tint of red. The fish is smaller than its sister fish, the red snapper. The state record for a mangrove snapper is 14.30 pounds caught in 2002. Amanda’s pound fish is the heaviest mangrove snapper weighed in since 2002.
“I was excited when I saw it,” said Amanda, who works for Baker Hughes. “We knew the record was around 14 pounds, so we tried to weigh it in the boat, but the seas were too rough to get a true reading. The scale kept bouncing back and forth at 13 and 14 pounds, so we knew it was close to a record.”
She and her husband were expected to get the fish weighed by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries on Tuesday to verify it weighed 13.5 pounds.
Not to brag, but Amanda had a better day fishing than her husband. Her mangrove snapper easily took first place in that category at the rodeo. She also caught a second-place mangrove snapper that weighed 8.7 pounds. To finish off the day, she weighed in the third-heaviest red snapper at 18.45 pounds. Only a half-pound separated her fish from the winning red snapper (19 pounds) caught by John Nguyen.
As for Dennis Jr., he had two third-place fish. He caught a 7.36-pound mangrove snapper and a 35.7-pound king mackerel.
The “Nauti-or-Knot” won close to $1,600 in prize money, which helped pay for their weekend fishing trip to Grand Isle.
While Amanda did well fishing, she also did well helping raise money for the rodeo. The money raised from the rodeo is given to the Alzhiemer’s Association. Most of the money is raised at an auction after the weigh-in on Sunday.
This year the auction brought in $16,230. Two months before the rodeo, Amanda started knitting a Fishing for Memories queen-size blanket. The red-and-white blanket had a picture of the Fishing for Memories poster on it.
It was auctioned off for $1,600.
Holly and Carrick Boffy are the organizers of the rodeo. They were happy another rodeo was a success thanks to the fishermen, sponsors and volunteers.
“We are grateful to our sponsors, volunteers, and participants!” said Holly Boffy
There were a record 470 fishermen.
Five fishing records were broken this year. Amanda’s Mangrove Snapper shattered the old record by four pounds.
Other new rodeo records are: Black Drum: 52.9 pounds, Kevin Natali; Flounder: 3.22 pounds, Ricky Fontenot; King Mackerel: 42.4 pounds, Eric Lias; and Red Fish, 16.76 pounds, Jared Trahan.
Here of the 2011 Third Annual Fishing for Memories Fishing Rodeo results:.
Best Offshore Boat - “Nauti-or-Knot” Dennis Menard Jr., Amanda Menard, Jimmie Boothe & Dennis Menard III
Best Inshore Boat - “Gitsum” Kevin Natali
1st - Jhy LeBlanc 39.55
2nd - Greg Pitman 37.55
3rd - Lance Breaux 37.05
1st - Eric Elias 42.4
2nd - Danny Jones 37.35
3rd - Dennis Mendard Jr. 35.7
1st - Amanda Menard 13.5* (Amanda’s 13.5 pound Mangrove Snapper will be in 6th place on the state record.)
2nd - Amanda Menard 8.7
3rd - Dennis Menard 7.36
1st - John Nguyen 19.0
2nd - Elliot Sale 18.7
3rd - Amanda Menard 18.45
1st - Kevin Natali 52.9
2nd - Kevin Natali 41.25
3rd - Ed Gunter 36.55
1st - Darius Girouard 48.85
2nd - Charles Toups 32.25
3rd - Keith Luquette 18.54
1st - Butch White .96
2nd - Blake Theriot .94
3rd - Lane Kasperski .88
1st - Ricky Fontenot 3.22
2nd - Chad Richard 3.0
3rd - Ricky Fontenot 2.84
1st - Kevin Natali 6.0
2nd - Paul Hebert 5.08
3rd - David Baker 4.74
1st - Jared Trahan 16.76
2nd - JoeDel Duhon 15.50
3rd - Leslie Clark 15.34
1st - Danton Hebert 53.8 Garfish
2nd - Tammy Kibodeaux 37.3 Garfish
3rd - Danton Hebert 35.95 Garfish
1st - Martin Menard 13.30
2nd - Mazie Kibodeaux 12.66
3rd - Mazie Kibodeaux 12.20
1st - Anna Broussard .86
2nd - Joel LeBlanc .84
3rd - Jordan LeBlanc .74
1st - Lane Toups 6.64
2nd - Mazie Kibodeaux 6.38
3rd - Maci Gaspard 6.14