It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, but a significant number of the teams fishing the Redfish Cup out of Kemah elected to take their chances on the Sabine jetties. We have been covered up for the past week with sponsor wrapped boats so it came as no surprise to local anglers that they would return on tournament day.

The first day leaders passed right on through the jetties and posted an 18-pound stringer fishing the marshes on the east side of the lake. The jetty fishermen trumped them on day 2, but they still made the finals for Sunday and all weights are zeroed going into the final day. I would have to give the nod going in to Eric Rue and Larry Puckett as they posted 16-pound plus stringers both days fishing the Calcasieu jetties.

I talked with Capt. Chuck Saturday evening while he was returning from the event. He took time from his frenetic schedule to fish the tourney as an alternate for Century Boats and they had a very solid first day. Had he not been in a big rig I feel certain that he, too, would have made the run back here as he knows these marshes as well as anyone. I look forward to the “rest of the story” in his column this week.

It was a long time coming, but I was both pleased and surprised to see that they were dragging for submerged debris on the north end of Sabine most of last week. They really combed the areas behind Stewts and Sidney Island which makes me breathe a little easier when running across those flats.

We pulled a lot of partially submerged debris into shallow water or up on the shore when possible and marked items we couldn’t move for several months following Ike’s devastation. Even at that, I know of at least two fishermen that damaged their rigs running between Stewts and the tip of Pleasure Island.

Rob Tortorice demolished the lower unit on his big Yamaha this winter just south of Stewts and was unable to mark the spot. It was almost dark when he hit the object and getting back to the launch was top priority at that point.

Gil Faber ran over something very hard and sharp in his 22-foot Ranger and sliced the bottom open from just in front of the console all the way to the trim tabs. His accident occurred in 1000-yard cut about 200 yards out into the lake. Rob said that whatever he hit was made of metal also.

Hopefully, the winds will no longer be a problem as the fishing really lit off in the lake this past week. Once the north wind settled down each morning we were able to run more of the lake and the fish were cooperating. Because the lake was so flat, you really did not need the gulls to help you locate fish.

The further we worked out in to the open lake, the better we did most days. We would key on shrimp skipping across the surface, an occasional gull picking up ribbon fish, and pods of surfacing shad. We really caught a lot of solid trout up to five-pounds and everywhere we fished we were covered up with schools of slot reds. Most of them were on the lower end of the slot, but I prefer that length anyway.

We fished topwaters only because they produced a little larger fish, but the best bite for us came via the Swim Bait and longer Assassin rigged on a 1/16^th ounce head. It is much easier to slow that Spook or Top Dog down once you have a limit in the box!

I also got two great reports from the short rigs Saturday afternoon.

They fished only plastics and limited on even larger trout than we were catching. They also reported catching good numbers of sand trout, but we haven’t seen many sandies in the lake thus far. We are, however, catching a few croaker up to about a pound or so any time we have fished Gulp both under a cork or simply rigged on a jig head.

The CCA STAR tournament is in full swing and runs the entire summer. You not only help support CCA by signing up the kids and yourself, but also have an opportunity to win a lot of money every time you hit the water. A single cast could win you or your youngsters anything from a truck or fully rigged bay boat to a $50,000 college scholarship!