While such behavior would not serve either party well on an everyday basis, Warren Dell was pleased that his nine -year old son, Adam did not heed his advice Saturday morning.

After spending most of the day at the ballpark, Karen and I were enjoying Marsha Ball’s performance at Art in The Park, when Mr. Dell approached me with a picture of his son on his cell phone. “We just got back from Toledo Bend,” stated Dell, “and I was wondering if you knew any of the local taxidermists.”

According to the elder Dell, they had been crappie fishing in Clear Creek on the south end of Toledo Bend and doing pretty well when his son opted to change tactics. “We had 12 to 15 keeper crappie that we caught fishing a black-chartreuse tube jig under a cork. We were casting up against some floating grass, but Brandon wanted to take off his cork
and throw out the other side of the boat.”

“I never actually saw him take the cork off,” laughed Dell, “but before I knew it, his drag was screaming and so was he!”

Convinced that Brandon had very little chance of landing whatever was tugging on the tiny hook and six pound-test line, Warren could only coach the youngster. “We didn’t have a net on the boat, so there was little else I could do.”

When a big bass began to tire and rose to the surface, Warren started screaming as well. “I have never caught a bass over five pounds and my boy had this big old fish right there beside the boat. I didn’t know where to grab it without losing it, so I put my rain jacket in the water, and he just slid the fish right up on it.”

Brandon’s bass weighed 8.70 pounds and put an early end to a promising crappie trip. “We put the fish in an ice chest in the back of the truck and he was still worried it would jump out all the way back home.”

The spawn is very much in full swing and most of the shorelines of the major creeks on the south end of the lake are covered with bedding bass. While there have already been a number of double-digit bass taken off The Bend this spring, I have not talked with anyone that has taken a bass that large off a bed.

Not surprisingly, the bait of choice has been a Whacky Worm, but two good reports out of Indian Mounds and El Camino bay were the result of free-floating lizards or Carolina rigging flukes earlier in the week. Those fish came out of 3-5 feet of water and every bass was taken off a wind-blown open lake point.

“The coves were full of people either fishing beds or hiding from the wind,” reported Gerald Landry. “We fished Flukes rigged on light Carolina rigs and just caught a ton of fish all day long. Our biggest bass would not have weighed six pounds, but my partner did lose two very good bass right at the boat.”

While Sabine Lake has been virtually unfishable due to all of the wind of late, local anglers have done surprisingly well fishing for bass on the river. In spite of the badly off-colored water in both Adam’s Bayou and the lake, Black’s, stretches of Cow Bayou, and the river have very decent water clarity.

Spinner baits, tube jigs, and jig-craw worm combinations in black-red flake or motor oil have all been good choices. The south end of Cow bayou produced two bass over four pounds Tuesday afternoon. Those fish, as well as several smaller bass, hit white-chartreuse single spins.

The steady stream of crew boat traffic in Adam’s Bayou has all but eliminated any fishing activity between the bridge on DuPont Drive and the Intracoastal. If you have to travel that stretch of the bayou, be aware of the fact that there is now a designated “no wake” zone around the DuPont docks.

Wind or no wind, the annual Texas Marine Big Trout Tournament Series is scheduled for April 12th out of Walter Umphrey State Park on April 12th.
The second event of the series will be hosted out of Galveston on May 31. Both tournaments benefit the Children’s Miracle Network & Shriners Children’s Hospital.

The annual event has continued to grow each year, as has the prize money. This year there will be $43,800 in cash and prizes up for grabs for the two tournament series. The first 100 entrants will also be eligible for a prize drawing of $300 worth of Texas Marine boating accessories.

All hourly prizes are guaranteed. The first place trout each hour is worth $500 cash while second and third place will earn $200 and $100 gift cards respectively. The overall first place prize for the largest trout caught in either of the series events is a Ranger 173 Ghost with a 90-hp. Yamaha engine. The winner of the Sabine event will have to sweat it out a month to see if his or her big trout bests the Galveston fish in May!

Hourly weigh-ins will take place every hour on the hour from 8 am through 3 pm. The entry fee is $109. You can sign up on-line at www.texasmarine.com or pick up an entry form at the dealership in Beaumont. For more information, call 409.898.7632.