Louisiana Fishing Rodeos and Tournaments

You don't need a lasso! Just a line will do at these rodeos where you simply have to "geaux fish" to win.


Daily weigh-ins determine the winners and record fish caught at a tournament in Toledo Bend.


2012 Bassmaster Classic competitor Shaw Grigsby signs autographs at the Day 1 Launch at the Red River South Marina.

Shreveport Bassmaster freshwater fishing rodeo competition

A crowd gathers to watch the 2012 Bassmaster Classic at the Red River South Marina near Shreveport.

Morning Launch of boats fro Bassmater in Shreveport

 A crowd gathers for a morning boat launch at the Bassmaster Classic fishing tournament competition.

Hands down, Louisiana is a seafood nation. From crawfish to Gulf shrimp and seafood gumbo to blackened redfish, marine life swims through Louisiana's culture. If you think we find seafood all fun and filets, you’ve clearly never seen a good fishing rodeo. That’s right — we said fishing rodeo. Nope, no lassoing involved. 

Where to Find Fishing Rodeos

Fishing rodeos are large-scale tournaments where folks of all ages hit waters throughout the state in mighty battles for mighty big fish—oh, and mighty bragging rights or the occasional prize topping tens of thousands of dollars. As much a part of Louisiana’s summers as festivals or flip flops, fishing rodeos turn out friendly neighbors, healthy competition and family fun.

Perfect for a summer adventure, Louisiana’s fishing rodeos peak from April to October. There are annual rodeos by themes (for kids, veterans and novices) and on specific dates (4th of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day), but you can also find one just about anywhere. Towns like Houma and Venice and marinas like Cypress Cove or Delta Marina offer rodeos throughout the summer. Events range from the widely popular Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic or the Empire South Pass Rodeo (the second oldest fishing rodeo in the state) to humble affairs. 

Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo

Of course, when it comes to rodeos, size takes the prize. And if it’s the big fish you’re after, go no further than the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo. Located at the tip of Hwy. 1 about 50 miles from New Orleans, this saltwater rodeo is the oldest and best nationwide. It offers fishermen more than 280 species to tackle. Not to mention, Grand Isle is the only state-owned beach on the Louisiana Gulf Coast with some of the best seafood you’ll eat.

More Fishing Rodeo Ideas

While the Tarpon Rodeo draws more than 15,000 fishermen and spectators, rodeos throughout Louisiana offer the perfect weekend getaway. Catch a rodeo one day, then take a cultural trip to New Orleans, or continue outdoor adventures in the Delta National Wildlife Refuge or the Jean Lafitte Preserve.

Over in Toledo Bend Lake Country, the 186,000-acre Toledo Bend Reservoir has been host to the Bassmaster Classic since 1970. Ever since, anglers have reeled in record-breaking catches in this high-stakes event. More casual fishers can head over to North Toledo Bend and South Toledo Bend State Parks on the reservoir to cast a line.

Sara Hudson is a Louisiana-based freelance writer and author for GoNOLA.com