One of the things that has always impressed me is our area anglers pull together like the rest of our local communities to support these very worthy causes.

No, it's not going away! In Louisiana we are blessed with many opportunities to hunt. This years' hunting seasons are a long way from being over, but the shift to bass fishing (especially the circuit of charitable bass tournaments) may have many anglers itching to hit the water.

Plenty of our local anglers take time off of the water to spend some of it in the woods or marshes hunting for their favorite animal or bird. But when Jan. 1 hits, the fishing bones get to stirring for those who took a break.

One of the things that has always impressed me is our area anglers pull together like the rest of our local communities to support these very worthy causes. Usually, no matter what the weather might throw, these guys and gals turn out in force for some heavy competition and money-raising for folks in need.

One of the most popular events and usually the first one on the schedule is "Fishing for Tucker." This tournament is in its tenth year and has become one of the most popular tournaments of the season. The date for the early season event is February 1. One of the big changes will be the location.

For nine years, Cabela's in Gonzales has graciously hosted the Tucker Tournament but this year all the activities will be held at Doiron's Landing in Stephensville. We'll get to the changes a little farther down the line.

Tucker Townsend was a preemie, born at 27 weeks gestation, weighing just 1 pound and 11 ounces. That's about the same size and weight of a 14" bass. He spent over 8 months in the NICU at Woman's Hospital and went home with a tracheotomy tube, ventilator, and a feeding tube.

Tucker has many health problems because of his premature birth, such as developmental delay, autistic characteristics, GI issues, and microcephaly. These issues led his parents to seek out mitochondrial testing, which led to a diagnosis of a Mitochondrial Depletion Syndrome in July 2010.

He's made great strides in his health and everyday life in general. A lot of this progress has been funded by this bass tournament and all of the folks who sponsor and participate in the event. The Ascension Area Anglers Bass Club has taken the privilege and responsibility of putting on the "Fishing for Tucker Townsend" open bass tournament.

The registration fee and payout will remain the same: $100 per team. The payout for the first place team will be determined by participation: $1,000 with 50 teams registered and $2,000 for 100 teams, and $500 will be awarded for Big Bass.

This year the pre-tournament Captains Meeting location will be held at St. Mark's Catholic Church (Fr. DeMaria Activity Center) at 42021 Hwy 621, Gonzales La. on January 30 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. All the rules will be discussed and your questions answered.

All anglers must be registered by 8:00 p.m. at the conclusion of the Rules Briefing. Entries received after 8:00 p.m. on January 30 will be assessed a $25 late fee. You will also be able to enjoy a world-class bowl of chili prepared by Chef Eddie Hymel.

Anglers must launch at Doiron's Landing either Behind the Store, Behind the Old Carwash, or on the Spillway Side). Trailering: Anglers are allowed to trailer their boats to switch sides between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. ONLY.

Anglers will be allowed to switch sides of the levee once. Anyone switching sides must have their boats checked by a tournament official behind the store by the Pavilion prior to re-launching. Failure to have your boat checked prior to re-launching will result in automatic disqualification.

Boat numbers will be assigned in order of entries received. We will have a traditional blast off with 25 boats per flight. Flight check-ins will be staggered in 15-minute intervals beginning with the 1st flight check in at 3:00 p.m.

You can get an entry form at www.fishingfortucker.com and any other information you might want. You can also email fishing4tucker@gmail.com or go to their Facebook page or by calling Ryan Lavigne at 225-921-9332 or Eddie Hymel at 225-610-9962. This is a great cause to support and a good time fishing as well.

Ascension Area Anglers would like to invite anglers and the public out to help raise funds for Tucker Townsend. "We at Fishing for Tucker would like to personally thank our great sponsors, volunteers and most of all, the anglers who support us year in and year out. Without the continuous support of you anglers, our cause could not have proven its success." A HUGE Thank You to everyone who has helped reach an impressive $158,426 donated for Tucker since the event's inception in 2011.

?This is a true testament to the generosity and all around goodness of South Louisiana Fishermen and the South Louisiana Community as a whole. It has never been more clear that "No man ever stood so tall as when he stooped to help a boy."

Another event on the schedule is a benefit tournament that will support Anything Outdoors Helping Kids. This tournament will be taking place on March 14 with a few changes from last year, so stay tuned as we will update the details closer to the tournament date.

So until next time, remember to keep the slack out and set the hook hard. Have fun in the outdoors, be safe, and may God truly bless you!

Lyle Johnson is a free-lance writer, co-host of Ascension Outdoors TV and Curator of the Louisiana State Fish Records. He can be contacted at reelman@eatel.net.

Outdoor Calendar

EASL Monthly Meeting: 3rd Monday every month, East Ascension Sportsman's League meeting held at Gonzales Fire Dept on Orice Roth Rd. starting at 7:00 p.m. A meal served and special speaker will be in attendance.

Squirrel, Quail & Rabbit Season: Through-Feb. 29, open statewide on private lands only. Daily bag limit 8 and possession limit 24.

Duck Seasons: Through Jan. 26, East Waterfowl Zone. Dec. 21-Jan. 19, Coastal Waterfowl Zone. 21-Jan. 26, West Waterfowl Zone.

Fly-Tying Demonstration: Jan 11 @ Ascension Parish Library in Gonzales from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Darrell Crawford-instructor, bring your own materials. Call Darrell Crawford 225-253-4127. Email: wimpflies@gmail.com.

Fly Tying 101: Jan 11 @ ORVIS: 2-4 p.m., Orvis, 7601 Bluebonnet Boulevard, Baton Rouge. No fee. Hands-on clinic covering basics of fly tying. Materials and tools provided. Registration required. Call 225-757-7286.

Fishing for Tucker Bass Classic: Feb 1 held out of Doiron's Landing in Stephensville. Entry fee $100 per two angler team. $2000 first place payout based on 100 boats. All info on www.fishingfortucker.com or call Ryan Lavigne @ 225-921-9332.

Need an event publicized? Contact Lyle at reelman@eatel.net