At least 15,000 expected for Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

At least 15,000 expected for Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo

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Grand Isle, La. -- Grand Isle Mayor David Carmadelle said he is expecting 15,000 to 20,000 people on the island before the Tarpon Rodeo winds down this weekend.

The annual fishing competition draws people from all over and is a boon for Grand Isle businesses.

The fishing is fierce as sport fishermen try to outdo each other. A stop at the rodeo's weigh station early afternoon found large fish already on ice.

"The biggest fish that we've weighed was a Warsaw grouper and we weighed it this morning. I believe the weight was right around 87 pounds," said rodeo weighmaster Martin Bourgeois.

"It brings all kinds of economic opportunities and people come down here and have a great time," said Lee Polino, a bait shop worker.

"It's the once-a-year annual thing that everybody looks forward to... Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo, it's been going on for years," said Mark Scardino of Hardtime Fishing Charters of Grand Isle.

At the Starfish Restaurant on Highway 1, customers were pouring in and the rodeo was on everyone's mind.

"Very fierce... it's a lot of people in the rodeo," said Trey Harrison of the fishing competition.

Among the locals taking in the sights was 88-year-old Patricia Bradberry.

"I like the crowd of people but my son won't let me go in the bar and do my thing... shake my booty," she said jokingly.

Island Daiquiris has perfected its items for the rodeo crowds.

"Tonight and tomorrow night it's really going to pick up. I mean, the island, the traffic is really starting to get real busy and... it should do real good for the economy," said Dylan Readenour, manager of the establishment.

The rodeo began in 1928.

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