LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - One good reason to retire, is to have more time to go fishing. At least that's what many older folks seem to think.
And the Calcasieu Sheriff's Senior Citizen Fishing Derby is the easiest fishing trip you could ever want. Bring your pole and the Sheriff's Department provides the pond and the bait -- unless you want something special.
One of the first to land a fish was 81 year old Lottie Babineaux. She says, "I love to fish all the time!" She was there with her boyfriend Alvin Ellis. He couldn't catch a fish he admitted. "I hadn't caught anything, she's caught em all." But Alvin was tearing it up when it came to door prizes. If you don't catch a fish, there's a good chance you might catch a door prize. "Sweet, sweet, sweet. All kind of sweets," said Alvin, showing his two door prizes: one cake sampler platter and a container of fudge.
Yes siree, Lottie kept pulling 'em in. Her secret? "Chicken livers." What big daddy catfish could resist a nice, bloody chicken liver? She explained how to properly bait the hook so the liver wouldn't fly off during casting. "Stretch where the muscle's at and turn and turn and turn and catch the muscles in there."
But even those whose fishin' luck wasn't so good enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. 78 year old Lovey Dejean was one. "I haven't caught anything, but to see other people catching them, it make me feel good. At least somebody's getting 'em."
And Francis Simon, well he'll bring home fish and a fish story for the wife...after he stops at the fish market. "I'm going to go to the fish market, buy me a fish and go home and make me a courtbouillion." Reporter: "And what you going to tell the wife?" Simon: "I'm going to tell her, 'Baby, they cleaned the fish out there we caught. They charged a dollar for three.'" When asked about his age he laughs, "I'm 32. Next birthday I'll be 68."
And while Lottie caught the most, Donna Combre Lemelle here caught the biggest: a nine pound 14 ounce carp. Says Donna, "This fish here, he didn't fight me at all. I'm givin it to my neighbor and he's going to put it in the oven and then I'm going to go to his house and maybe eat a little piece of it."
The next Sheriff's Senior Citizen's Fishing Derby will be in the fall.