Boats on the Bayou Division

Fish from your own boat!

New Orleans City Park’s Big Bass Rodeo & Fishtival now includes a boating division, Boats on the Bayou. This division allows you to fish from kayaks, canoes or other non-motorized vessels in Bayou St. John. The rules and regulations and fishing times from the traditional Big Bass Rodeo are different for Boats on the Bayou. Please read the rules and regulations fully beforehand. (Please note that the Park lagoons remain off limits to personal watercraft).

What are the categories?

There are two fishing categories to compete in:
1.  Bass
2.  Trashbash—any fish that is not a bass,

Trophies will be given out for the three heaviest weights in each category.
A kayak will be given away via raffle to a Boats on the Bayou registrant. All registrant names will be placed in a basket and the drawing will be held during the Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 28th.  WINNER MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN!

What boats are allowed?
Any non-motorized boat such as a kayak, canoe, flat boat, pedal boat, pirogue, or paddle board. Please read the rules & regulations for details on watercraft allowed, wearing pfd’s, and other registration requirements.
Who may participate?
Anyone 8 years of age or older. Those between the ages of 8-13 must be accompanied on the water by an adult (21 years old).

What is the registration fee?
Pre-Registered fee is $20
On-Site Registration fee is $30

How do I register?
There are two different ways to register:

Online registration
You can pre-register online between February 10th to 5pm on March 26th. Click here to be directed to the registration page.

On-site registration
If you do not pre-register online, you can register at the rodeo on March 28th between 6 am and 8 am. Registration will be located on Bayou St. John near the bridge at Filmore Avenue. Registration table at Filmore will open at 6 am for on-site registration and bib pickup only.  There will be a large sign to identify the station.

Waiver of Liability
All registrants must sign a waiver of liability. If under age 18, waiver must be signed by parent or legal guardian. No one will be recognized as a registrant unless a signed waiver is on file with the rodeo officials before fishing begins. Waiver form may be downloaded below.

How to Receive your Bib:

All registrants will be assigned a numbered bib which must be worn at all times during the tournament. To turn in waiver and receive bib, select one of the following options:

1.  MAIL: signed waiver must be mailed before 12 noon on Monday, March 23rd. Bibs will be mailed to participants that pre-register online before this date.
Mail waiver to:

Natalie Weiss, Manager of Special Events
New Orleans City Park
1 Palm Drive
New Orleans, LA  70124
Attn: Boats on the Bayou

You can also pick up your bib and drop off your signed waiver of liability form at the Filmore Registration table between 6 am and 8 am. This is located on Bayou St. John at the bridge near Filmore Avenue.
What are the fishing times, where to fish, and weighing in your fish?
• Fishing begins at 7AM and ends at 10:30 am.  All fish must be brought to the weigh station by 10:30 am.
• Fishing is open on Bayou St. John beginning at Harrison Avenue north to Lake Pontchartrain. However, South of Harrison Avenue is closed to fishing due to road construction closures. Note: Watercraft are not allowed in the lagoons and bayous within City Park except Bayou St. John.
• Weigh Station will be located on Bayou St. John near the bridge at Filmore Avenue. Weigh Station will open at 7 am.  All fish for Boats on the Bayou will be weighed at this location.

What if I don't have a boat and still want to participate? 

No problem! Thanks to Massey's Outfitters, you can rent one of their kayaks for free to use during the tournament. Perfect opportunity to try out kayak fishing! The number of kayaks to be rented are limited. Sign-up early to reserve yours today!

Parking—to preserve the magnificent oak trees, please do not park under any branches or on the tree roots. Thanks!


Printable Registration Form

Rules & Regulations


Fishing Guide

Fishing Map

    Online Boats on Bayou Reg



The 50-acre Festival Grounds features a one-mile long 18-foot wide asphalt path for walking, jogging, and biking.