Thursday, August 11, 2022

Vlahos' pompano recognized as FFOY

At their annual convention this past weekend, the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association recognized the "Fish of the Year" in both conventional and fly fishing categories.  This year's recipient in the "Fly Fish of the Year" category was Nick Vlahos for his 3.01 lb. Florida Pompano he caught while fishing out of Breton Sound. Ella Douglas of Thibodaux received the "Rod and Reel" honor with a 25.80 lb. Dog Snapper she caught while fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Both fish are new state records.

Nick is a fly designer and commercial tyer, owner of Sandbar Flies. He's best known for his signature pattern, the "Sandbar Crab", but his Sand Flea, Sandbar Mullet, Marsh Mullet and Dock Light Shrimp have also reported to be excellent flies for a variety of marsh and nearshore species.

After his family moved to Georgia, the Baton Rouge native came back home to college at LSU. Here is where Nick began saltwater fly fishing out of his kayak. In the days when our forum was a huge part of the website, Nick was a frequent poster, sharing many of his successes on the water.  

Since the 1940s, LOWA has curated the state fish records, maintaining the top 10 catches by weight of each species, fresh and saltwater. In the 1980s, under the guidance of Pete Cooper, Jr. and Bob Dennie, the Fly Fish Division was added.

Fly anglers who believe they've landed a trophy-sized fish (or for some species, even a decent sized fish) should check the LOWA Fish Records website.  Registration can be printed and mailed, or filled in online. Registration fee is $25.