NEW ORLEANS (press release) – On Saturday, March 26, New Orleans City Park hosts its 73rd annual Big Bass Rodeo, the oldest freshwater rodeo in the country. Be sure and visit the free Fishtival with exhibitors, vendors, raffles, and more!

The traditional Big Bass Rodeo is a bank-fishing only event but in 2014, we added a new division called Boats on the Bayou for kayakers and other non-motorized vessels to fish for various species in Bayou St. John. In 2016, Battle for the Bass was presented by Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries as a school competition for 7th through 12th grade students.

You don’t have to fish to enjoy the Fishtival! Bring the entire family, and while your angler casts around City Park, you can catch a good time at the Fishtival. There will be a DJ playing music, activities for all ages, great raffles, and a host of educational exhibitors. The Fishtival highlights many of the state’s fishing resources with interactive demonstrations and information.

Questions? Email Alayna McGarry at

Tournament: 6:30am-Noon
Fishtival: 9am-Noon

Entry Fees
Big Bass Rodeo:
Adults – $10
Kids (12 & under) – $5

Boats on the Bayou:
Pre-registration – $20/per
Day-of registration – $30/per

Battle for the Bass:
Pre-registration – $5/per
Day-of registration – $10/per

More detailed information here and below.

What are the categories?
There are five different fishing categories:
1. JUNIOR ANGLERS – 12 years and under catching single heaviest of (A): bream, perch or cichlid or (B): bass
2. BASS ADULT – 13 years or older, single heaviest bass
3. CICHLID & BREAM TRIM – Team event (1-5 members) to catch bream, cichlids or perch; any age
4. CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE – Only for past winners of Bass categories; any age

Bonus: Catch-a-Cat or Gar! One prize is awarded to each heaviest gar or catfish. Any age may participate. Must be registered in above category to qualify.

$500 PRIZE FOR HEAVIEST BASS: $500 in Puglia’s gift cards awarded to any age participant that catches heaviest bass.

How do I register?
There are two ways to register: Online or on-site

Online Registration
You can pre-register online between Monday, January 31st and 5pm on Thursday, March 24th. Please note that those wishing to compete in the Cichlid and Bream Trim team event can only register on the day of the rodeo at the registration booth. If you pre-register online before 12 noon on Monday, March 21st, your wristband will be mailed to the address listed on the registration form. Anyone that pre-registers after this date and time will have to pick up their wristbands at the WILL CALL booth during the registration hours on the day of the rodeo. The WILL CALL booth is separate from the general registration line.

On-Site Registration
If you do not pre-register online, you can register at the rodeo on March 26th between 6am and 8am. Registration will be held at the Casino Building next to Popp’s Bandstand on Dreyfous Avenue in New Orleans City Park. Each category will have a registration table. Save time and print out the registration forms ahead of time. Registration forms can be found under the “Downloads” below.

What else do I need to know?
• Each registrant will be given a colored wristband that identifies the category entered. Please wear your wristband at all times—you must present it to the Weigh Master when you submit your fish to the Weigh Station.
• Each participant must register individually. All registrants must read and agree to the rules & regulations contained in the registration packet. See download below.  Payment constitutes agreement to the rules. The name and age of the registrant must be included to process registrations.
• The rodeo is a “rain or shine” event, no refunds are given and we will not re-issue lost wristbands.
• Cichlid & Bream Trim Team Members: all members of your fishing team must be registered. One representative for the team may register everyone but the registration must include each member’s name and age. Please have your registration fee for all members ready along with completed form. Only one form is needed for a team.
• Fishing begins at 6:30 am and ends at 11 am. Anglers must be in the Weigh Station line by 11 am for their fish to qualify to be weighed.
• There will be volunteers on hand to help answer any questions you may have during the registration process or throughout the tournament.
• Be sure to visit our Facebook page. We will post interesting tidbits about the rodeo, fishing, etc.

Where can I fish?
All lagoons in the Park are open to fishing except the Louisiana Children’s Museum campus, Bayou Oaks North and South golf courses, the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art or any current construction sites. Bayou St. John is considered part of City Park and is open to fishing. This is event is only bank fishing! No boating vessels are allowed in lagoons within the Park.

Email Julie at with questions.