It's a craft fair, a car show, a color run, an ag farm, a fair, and a fittest man contest. It is also full of food, fun, and music. Every event is family friendly so that your little ones can have good, clean fun.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be a big weekend as the Family Festival will be hosted at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, Louisiana. Formerly known as the Extreme Ranch Rodeo, the South Louisiana Family Festival was created with families in mind.

It's not just a rodeo anymore. It's a craft fair, a car show, a color run, an ag farm, a fair, and a fittest man contest. It is also full of food, fun, and music. Every event is family friendly so that your little ones can have good, clean fun.

New to the long-running event is the Louisiana Bass Nation Spring Qualifier High School bass tournament weigh-in for over 180 teams, comprised of over 300 young male and female anglers competing for prizes and awards.

All points earned in this event will help these young anglers to qualify for the National Tournament where they could win a college scholarship. The teams are made up of two high-school anglers and an adult captain.

The role of the adult captain in the boat is only to drive the pair around and to keep them safe. The young anglers make all the decisions of where to go and how to fish. There will be teams from our Ascension Parish high schools, sponsored by Ascension Area Anglers competing, as well as teams from all over the state.

The fishing will happen at Doiron’s Landing in Stephensville, and the anglers can fish either on the Atchafalaya Basin or Lake Verret areas. The weigh-in will take place behind the Rodeo arena at 4 p.m.

The team captains will drive their pair of anglers up to the stage where they will exit the boats with their fish to be weighed. I have the honor of emceeing the event and will be interviewing the anglers to introduce them to the crowd and find out how they caught their fish.

The dream of all the young anglers is to one day walk across the stage of the Bassmaster Classic to weigh in the winning stringer of bass and hoist the Classic trophy. So come out and support these young folks as they get the opportunity to experience this phenomenal Family Festival this weekend. For more information please call Eugene Hoover at 225-206-0750 or Jeff Lee at 225-571-5939.

It starts on Thursday night at 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. with the Ag Farm Adventure, the fair, and live music. On Friday night it opens again at 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. and adds three more events: the Red Barn Petting Zoo at 6 p.m., Vendor Rowe that features plenty of local vendors at 6 p.m., and the Ranch Rodeo, one of the big events, starts at 7 p.m.

Saturday is the big day that starts off with the Kid’s Fishing Rodeo from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Admission is free. The Jambalaya Cook-Off gets kicked off at 8 a.m. with lots of local cooks vying for the top spot. You’ll get to eat these great jambalayas when they are done.

Another feature event, the Extreme Car & Truck Show, kicks off at 9 a.m. in the 4-H Building. At 10 a.m., Vendor Rowe, the Extreme Color Run (you get painted with colored dust), Ag Farm Adventure, Red Barn Petting Zoo, the fair, and live music all gets underway.

The Extreme Fittest Man competition that features an obstacle course begins at 11 a.m. Mutton Bustin'/Stick Horse Rodeo for the kids gets underway at 1 p.m. The High School Bass weigh-in starts at 4 p.m. Lastly, the festival features the Extreme Ranch Rodeo featuring two-time national bull riding champion Chris Shivers at 7 p.m.

Bull Riding is highlighted, but there will also be Bronc Riding, Cattle Branding, and much, much more. All the information on the events and ticket pricing can be found on the South Louisiana Family Festival Facebook page, www.lafamilyfestival.com or www.lamardixonexpocenter.com. Come on out and enjoy an unforgettable time with friends and family.

Furthermore, Ascension Outdoors TV headed to Belle River, La. last Saturday for some fishing provided by Settoon's Construction in a 40-acre lake. Brett Courtney was our host and guide for the day.

It was pretty much a perfect day as the barometer was falling just before our cold front this week, overcast and very comfortable temperatures. The water was 65 degrees, which means the bass could very well be on their beds, ready to spawn.

Due to recent rains the water was high and a little off-colored, but we felt right at home with the stained water. Everything was right, so the only missing piece of the equation would be the angler’s skills. No pressure here.

Things started off a little slow as I caught the first bass on a Greg Hackney, Strike King bladed jig. Goosie caught the second one on a black/blue jig. We fished for a little while. We picked up a couple of nice bass on a Lunker Lure Triple Rattleback spinner bait, before Goosie picked up his sac a lait rig and caught two nice ones.

My decision to switch to my all-time favorite plastic resulted in a couple of more bass. The Strike King Rage Tail Craw in June Bug color was the selection that eventually turned the tide on the bass.

We came up on a spot that got us a few strikes with no hook ups. Turned out to be a culvert that was underwater, so we didn't see it right away. I made the statement that it might be sac a lait hitting our baits so Goosie picked up his jig under a cork and caught a whopper.

Success came our way as we boated 19 of the biggest sac a lait I've ever seen in one catch, some well over two pounds. Along the way, the bass picked up pretty good. We ended up catching 15 or so bass. Goosie had the big bass over 4 lbs and the biggest sac a lait as well. Thanks again to Settoon's Construction and Brett Courtney for a great day on the water.

For some family fun this weekend don't forget about the Family Festival and especially the High School Bass Tournament weigh-in at Lamar Dixon. Remember to keep the slack out and set the hook hard. Have fun in the outdoors, be safe, and may God truly bless you!

Lyle Johnson is a free-lance writer, co-host of Ascension Outdoors TV and Curator of the Louisiana State Fish Records. He can be contacted at reelman@eatel.net.

Outdoor Calendar

EASL Monthly Meeting: 3rd Monday every month, East Ascension Sportsman’s League meeting held at Chef KD’s on Highway 74 starting at 7 p.m. A meal served and special speaker will be in attendance.

Ducks Unlimited Firearm Frenzy: March 8, 5-9 p.m., Cabela’s, Gonzales. 50-gun raffle. Ticket packages $20-$500, includes 1-year DU membership. Call Paul Matherne 504-481-0878 or Alden Gautreau 225-235-1062.

Fly-Tying Class: March 9, 9 a.m.-noon, Ascension Parish Library, 708 South Irma Blvd., Gonzales. No fee. Learn to make basic bream, bass and saltwater flies and sac-a-lait jigs. Must bring materials. Call Darrel Crawford 225-253-4127. Email: wimpflies@gmail.com.

Delta Tau Delta Bass Classic: March 23, Benefitting Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation location at Spunky Monkey on Highway 70 in Belle River. Contact Tournament Director Alex Landry at 225-717-9299 or alex.landry@selu.edu.

Trinity Outdoor Disabled Adventures Bass Classic: April 6, Trailer Bass Tournament with weigh-in at St James Boat Club. Find all info on their Facebook Page Trinity Outdoors Disabled Adventures, LLC.

Prairieville Broncos Bass Tournament: April 6, Doiron’s Landing Stephensville. Team tournament $160 entry fee. Captain’s meeting April 4 (location TBA). Call Scott Watson 225-610-0699, Karen Watson 225-270-1565 or email prarievillebroncosfootball@yahoo.com.

Need an event publicized? Contact Lyle at reelman@eatel.net.