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Fishers Set to Tackle Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo

by E.J. Ruane

Tomorrow at daylight, it's Tarpon time on Grand Isle. The International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo is being held this weekend Grand Isle from July 26-28. According event organizer Angela Dorbin, tarpons "jump, they crash, they break tackle and bones." While this may sound like a reference to our beloved Saints, tarpons are one mean fish.

The saltwater rodeo is the oldest of its kind in the country, fishers hail from all over Louisiana, as well as Florida, Mississippi and Texas are all represented. As they go to bed early tonight, these pole practitioners will all be having dreams of a rarified piece of silverware sought the world over.


"The grand prize for the largest tarpon is a sterling silver bowl donated by Adlers," Dorbin said. But she adds, "there are many categories registered fishers can place in".  The event may be named after the tarpon, but Dorbin clarifies, "there are first, second and third place prizes for the three categories of fish categories: tarpon, shoreline and big game."


The Island not only receives publicity from registrants, but also expects a big tourism boost.  The event expects to draw 25,000 people to the city.


"The rodeo creates the largest economic impact on the town of Grand Isle because of the end of summer timing," Dorbin said. Further, Grand Isle Rodeo gives a boost "that sustains the businesses through the end of summer season."


In its 95th year, there are 2,500 already registered to fish but those wishing to take the bait, can register at any of the outlets on Grand Isle.

The fishing competition begins at the break of dawn Thursday morning, but as long as fishers register before, they can compete on any day.


In addition to all the fishing, Grand Isle Rodeo hosts a variety of other events. The Rodeo Pavilion opens for educational workshops, cookouts and other family friendly events. Night entertainment headliners include, Wiseguys, Black Sheep, Amanda Shaw and the Cute Guys, The Creole Stringbeans and Rockin' Dopsie and the Zydeco Twisters.

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