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Don Dubuc / Fishing Expert

HOPEDALE, La. - Thursday was great weather if you're a duck or a fish, but not for fishermen. Unless of course you're competing in a tournament for cash and other prizes like the 35 teams participating in this week's HT Redfish Series in St. Bernard Parish. Thursday and Friday are qualifying days with only the top 10 teams earning a spot in Saturday's finals.

The anglers we interviewed Thursday morning were concerned the changes the recent weather produced including high, dirty water, the result of stiff south and east winds switching around to the north. Any pre-tournament scouting trips are pretty much worthless as ponds swelled into small bays causing redfish to relocate.

The key to winning will be adjusting successfully to the changing conditions while on the water. By Saturday the fish should be returning to the pre-storm patterns which calls for even more adjustments.

The two-contestant teams represent anglers - both professionals and amateurs from Florida to Texas. Each team is allowed to weigh two 16-27 inch fish per day. All fish must be caught on artifical bait only and there are weight penalties for any dead fish.

The tournament was originally set at Gulf Outlet Marina on Paris Rd in Chalmette but due to high water from the southeast winds forcing closure of the Bayou Bienvenue locks the tournaments have been moved to Breton Sound Marina in Hopedale with both the Thursday and Friday weigh-ins set for 3pm there. On Saturday the 10 top teams will again leave from BSM but the final weigh-in will be held in Chalmette at 3pm at the LA Crawfish Festival site. All weigh-ins are free and open to the general public.

Listening to the post weigh-in interviews can provide valuable information fo r weekend anglers. I'll be at Breton Sound Marina broadcasting live on WWL 870 radio announcing the final top 10 teams and their totals.

Next Thursday fishing out of Slidell with Captain Mike Gallo!

Hook 'Em Hard!

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