Blue Jay Anglers Limit Out on Good Times at Annual Fishing Rodeo

Posted June 19, 2018 / Last updated August 3, 2018

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The Kuebels – Jake ’18, Rick ’82, and Andrew ’18 – enjoy the afternoon at John Ryan Stadium.

In south Louisiana, there are few moments more precious than time spent out on the water with family and friends. This Father’s Day weekend, Blue Jays of all ages had the opportunity to spend time together with loved ones at the 26th annual Blue Jay Fishing Rodeo. After a big day of fishing, participants reported to John Ryan Stadium on Saturday, June 16, to weigh their fish, enjoy delicious food, learn from a master chef, and much, much more.

View the 2018 Blue Jay Fishing Rodeo Photo Gallery

Watch the Video from the 2018 Blue Jay Fishing Rodeo

Mike McMahon presents the Lifetime Acheivement Award to Joe Macaluso '65

Mike McMahon presents the Lifetime Acheivement Award to Joe Macaluso ’65

Lifetime Achievement Award

Receiving special recognition this year for his contributions to outdoor sporting culture in southern Louisiana is long-time sports writer Joe Macaluso ’65. In addition to covering sports at the prep, collegiate, and professional levels, Macaluso has led the effort for outdoor sports coverage for The Advocate and co-hosted the weekly hunting and fishing TV show “Paradise Louisiana.”

Macaluso has also been a recipient of the Governor’s Conservationist of the Year in the Communicator Category and received the Arthur Van Pelt Lifetime Achievement Award from the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association in 2010. He was also named to the Louisiana American-Italian Sports Hall of Fame in the media category in 2011.

A true Man for Others, Macaluso uses his gifts as a writer to encourage people to enjoy the great outdoors but also to reach out to those who are less fortunate. In a recent article, Macaluso wrote, “Remember there are youngsters who do not have a caring and loving mother to bring them through their young lives. They, beyond all, need our help more today than ever.” Congratulations, Joe Macaluso, on receiving this special honor!

Special Features

Other 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 fourth year, and the “Father & Daughter” category for the third.

Fried shrimp and fish from Koz’s Restaurant were also available under the pavilion, and guests received a long sleeve, dry-fit fishing shirt as they arrived at the registration tables.

Cooking Demonstration
With alumni director Mat Grau encouraging him, Bro. Billy Dardis, S.J., weighs in on the spiciness of the dish prepared by celebrity chef David Whitmore '90.

With alumni director Mat Grau encouraging him, Bro. Billy Dardis, S.J., weighs in on the flavor of the dish prepared by celebrity chef David Whitmore ’90.

This year’s cooking demonstration featured David Whitmore ’90. David is the chef de cuisine at Jack Rose, the restaurant in the Pontchartrain Hotel (formerly the Caribbean Room) revamped by Brian Landry ’94. Whitmore recently teamed up with Landry and Farrell Harrison ’03 to compete on the Food Network’s Iron Chef Showdown.

Staying true to theme, Whitmore cooked up a sauteed shrimp dish served with pasta. Guests came forward to share a word with Whitmore after the demonstration, and, perhaps most importantly, to taste his delicious culinary creation.

With all the fun going on, one 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.

Fishing Rodeo Committee

Assisting chairman Mike McMahon ’85 were committee members Art Brewster ’87 (door prizes/shirt design); Tom and Ben Bagwill ’12 (set-up/tear down); Michael Heier ’05, Chris Mills ’80 and Billy Arnold (weighmasters); Carol Besselman and Amy McMahon (registration); Br. Billy Dardis, S.J. ’58  and Pat Morris ’90 (awards); Andrew Fuller ’96 (trophies); Ryan Gootee ’91 and Gary Discon ’75 (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 ’01 (registration/promotion); Angelle & Ernest Pierre (clean-up crew); and Floyd and Peggy Guidry (stadium operations).


Division 1 (19 and older)

Category 1st 2nd 3rd
Bass Andy Bruzdzinski 4.15 Jarod Cyprus 1.8 Bern Lacour 1.45
Flounder No Entries
Black Drum No Entries
Sheepshead Rich Donnes 6.10 Fred DeBram 4.65 Dennis Miller 4.45
Speckled Trout Tony Bruce 4.60 John McQueen 2.85 Melissa Giffin 2.50
Redfish (16″-27″) David Boyd 7.50 Art Brewster 7.45 Jude Trahant 7.40
Red Snapper Gary Discon 16.9 Gary Discon 16.7 John McMahon 12.1

Division 2 (18 and under)

Category 1st 2nd 3rd
Bass Colin Bruzdzinski 3.75 Noah Relan 3.00 Matt Lacour 1.80
Flounder No Entries
Black Drum Timmy Peterman 1.90
Sheepshead Bradley Deichmann 6.20 Carter Morris 3.45
Speckled Trout Timmy Peterman 3.85 Myah Discon 3.00 Hunter Pearce 2.45
Redfish Jake Kuebel 6.9 Win Schibler 6.6 Eddie Perrin 6.55
Red Snapper Carter Morris 10.3 Dominic Gennaro 10.25 Cooper Sudderth 9.9

Division 3  (All)

Category 1st
5-Trout Stringer Bob Weiss 24.45
Biggest Fish Christopher McMahon 25.6 (Cobia)
Father & Daughter Melissa & Carl Giffin

Mullet Contest

1st 2nd 3rd
Noah Relan Hunter Bouchie Oliver Thomas