Blue Jay Fishing Rodeo Goes Big for 25th Anniversary

Posted June 20, 2017 / Last updated June 26, 2017

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For the 25th Anniversary of the annual Blue Jay Fishing Rodeo, a variety of demonstrations and activities made the day more than just a rodeo. It was a true Blue Jay family event.

View the 2017 Blue Jay Fishing Rodeo Photo Gallery

Watch the 25th Annual Blue Jay Fishing Rodeo Video

Perhaps the folks most impressed with the new additions were young children, who could get their face painted and carry a balloon animal on their way to the snowball stand for a frozen treat. It wasn’t just the kids, though, who benefited from this years festivities. The featured award for 2017 – the Founders Award – honored those people without whom the fishing rodeo would never have gotten off the ground 25 years ago.

This year’s cooking demonstration featured the winners of the Food Network’s “Clash of the Grannies,” Harriet Robin and Anne Leonard, better known as the NOLA Grannies. The pair from the New Orleans School of Cooking whipped up a quick and delicious version of the New Orleans classic shrimp and grits. They also remained on hand to sell and sign their recently release cookbook, “Across the Table.”

Essential players in bringing the Fishing Rodeo to Jesuit were honored with the Founders Award – C.J. Steeg '61, Ted Ruddock, Mike Rodrigue -71; Jay '86, Pat, and Ryan '91 Quinlan on behalf of the late Billy Quinlan; Adrian Colon '83 on behalf of his father Adrian Colon '53; Rookie Leopold '61; Eddie Koehl '63; Jimmy Commagere; and Br. Billy Dardis, S.J. '58.

Essential players in bringing the Fishing Rodeo to Jesuit were honored with the Founders Award – C.J. Steeg ’61, Ted Ruddock, Mike Rodrigue ’71; Jay ’86, Pat, and Ryan ’91 Quinlan on behalf of the late Billy Quinlan; Adrian Colon ’83 on behalf of his father Adrian Colon ’53; Rookie Leopold ’61; Eddie Koehl ’63; Jimmy Commagere; and Br. Billy Dardis, S.J. ’58.

The 25th Anniversary commemorative collared shirt was also a smash hit. Attendees had the option of selecting the dry wick T-shirt with the rodeo logo or opting up to the collared shirt at registration.

Other recent additions from the recent past have gained traction to become emerging fishing rodeo traditions. The Ray Coates ’44 Mullet Toss Contest was back for the third year, and the “Father & Daughter” category for the second.

With all the fun going on, one just might forget that the day is all about fishing! Scales opened promptly at 2:00 PM, and some 200 anglers came from waters all over south Louisiana to compete for a trophy. The weigh-in festivities were held under Blue & White Big Top adjacent to the Wally Pontiff, Jr. Pavilion at John Ryan Stadium. Fried shrimp and fish from Koz’s Restaurant were also available under the pavilion.

Assisting chairman Mike McMahon ’85 were committee members Art Brewster ’87 (door prizes/shirt design); Tom and Ben Bagwill ’12 (set-up/tear down); Larry Canada, Michael Heier ’05, and Chris Mills ’80 (weighmasters); Carol Besselman and Amy McMahon (registration); Br. Billy Dardis, S.J. ’58  and Ryan Gootee ’91 (awards); Andy Fuller ’96 (trophies); Jim Hotard ’81 (mullet toss);  Gary Discon ’75, Rookie Leopold ’61, Mat Grau ’68, and Jude Trahant ’80 (prizes/awards); D.J. Galiano ’07 (logistics/music); Jeremy Reuther (registration/promotion); Angelle & Ernest Pierre (clean-up crew); and Floyd and Peggy Guidry (stadium operations).

2017 JESUIT FISHING RODEO RESULTS

Division 1 (19 and older)

Category 1st 2nd 3rd
Bass Andrew Bruzdzinski 3.90 Jamie Bonck 1.05 Tony Cyprus, Jr. 1.00
Flounder No Entries
Black Drum Msgr. Christopher Nalty 10.15 Michael Veters 9.80 Zack Robert 8.05
Sheepshead Melissa Griffin 7.55 Charles Schibler 6.85 Michael McMahon 6.25
Speckled Trout Ike Ryan 2.50 Fred Debram 2.45 Lenny Labiche 2.40
Redfish (16″-27″) Lenny Labiche 8.60 Jamie Bonck 7.75 Richard Donnes 7.75
Red Snapper Kyle Dimarco 15.90 Chris Owen 15.60 Zack Robert 13.30

Division 2 (18 and under)

Category 1st 2nd 3rd
Bass Colin Bruzdzinski 2.75 Matt Lacour 0.60 Nicholas Lacour 0.45
Flounder No Entries
Black Drum Hunter Rousselle 7.90 William Simon 7.25
Sheepshead John Discon 7.25 Connor Discon 5.75 John Discon 5.45
Speckled Trout John Discon 3.15 Connor Discon 3.05 John Discon 2.45
Redfish Genesis Prosper 8.65 Connor Discon 7.60 Peyton Cox 6.65
Red Snapper Patrick Spiers 18.60 Parker Edwards 16.90 Matt McMahon 14.60

Division 3  (All)

Category 1st
5-Trout Stringer Team Miranda 14.40
Biggest Fish Msgr. Christopher Nalty 30.60
Father & Daughter Melissa & Carl Griffin