Many New Orleans locals don’t realize how great the freshwater fishing is in their very own City Park. Back in 1976, a 12-year-old caught a 52-pound buffalo fish – the largest fish ever caught in City Park lagoons. Just before Katrina in 2005, a junior at Jesuit High School landed a giant 44-pound Blue Catfish. Then in 2013, the park’s largemouth bass record was broken twice in one year, with two monsters each over nine pounds.
Current City Park largemouth record-holder Tim Zissis has been catching bass in the park, as well as in Bayou St John, since 1979. “I’ve caught trout, redfish, flounder and sheepshead in that bayou,” he attests. “I have a crab from that bayou in my refrigerator so big I thought it was a world record. Everything grows bigger there, I think because there’s no pressure – not many people fish there, they just don’t know how great it is.”
City Park’s many miles of fishable shoreline have healed up nicely since Katrina flooded the area with around eight-feet of polluted water. Over the last decade, organizations like LSU, UNO and the La. Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries have worked hard to restore life to the lagoons and bayous, which have been stocked several times over, and are now teeming with many fish species. All of these improvements add up to make this year’s City Park Big Bass Rodeo on March 28, 2015, the biggest and best in the contest’s long, storied history
Established in 1946, City Park’s Big Bass Rodeo is the oldest freshwater fishing tournament in the country, and has now grown to include its second ever Boats on the Bayou division. The park recently took on upkeep of Bayou St. John from the New Orleans Levee Board following a bayou wetland restoration and dredging project that created increased water flow from Lake Pontchartrain. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE PIECE AT NewOrleans.Me…
Or watch this unaffiliated rando landing a lunker in said park: