Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories on the 2021 inductees to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Induction ceremonies are Aug. 28 in Natchitoches.
Bo Dowden’s joyous scream that day along the choppy St. Lawrence River in upstate New York could almost be heard all the way back in Natchitoches.
The professional angler had just hauled in a 6-pound, 6-ounce largemouth bass for his fifth and final fish on a blustery, rough day on the water — which clinched his first professional bass fishing tournament victory.
It also happened to be at the sport’s most prestigious event — the 1980 Bassmaster Classic.
“I was really happy when I stuck my thumb in that fish’s mouth,” Dowden said. “When I grabbed it, I knew I had won the darn tournament. There was no way that anybody could catch me at that time.”
Yes, it was a bit of an embellishment that anybody heard Bo’s “YAHAAHOOOOOOOO” back in his hometown. While it would make a good fish tale, it was…