It is no secret that the majority of my fishing time is focused on trying to figure out the fish holding up between the I-10 Bridge and the Causeway on the south end of Sabine Lake, but I still at least talk with a pair of Toledo Bend guides two or three times a week.

The only reason I mention that is that one of them, Daryl Hughes, asked me if I knew what kind of a pattern Cory Rambo and Rusty Clark fished to win the Bracket 1 Division in the Bass-N-Buck’s finale held on Rayburn on the 19th and 20th. He found it quite amusing that two pros in my own backyard could win a Z-20 Ranger and Mercury outboard valued at $53,000, the big bass pot, plus a portion of a voluntary side bet and I didn’t even know they fished!

Clark has been a member of that elite group of fishermen that you knew you were going to have to beat anytime you fished a tournament on Rayburn or Toledo Bend for years. Rambo has also moved up that same list very quickly, so it should come as no surprise that they would win the event in their first year of fishing together.

The two day tournament was divided into three brackets and the Clark-Rambo team took the first day lead with 22.24-pounds. Cory also earned the duo big bass money with an 8.73-pound fish. The team of Stephen Johnston and Danny Iles were only a pound off the pace, but the Golden Triangle Industries team posted another solid 13.5-pound weight Sunday under tougher conditions to hold them off by a scant .20 ounce!

The field fished overcast skies one day and sun drenched skies the next, but most of the money was still won fishing the grass in less than ten feet of water. Rambo caught the big fish of the event on a buzz bait. Top waters, plastics and jigs flipped in the heavier grass provided the edge for the winners in all three brackets.

Doyle Tibbets and Pete Shivers, another pair of anglers that have made their fair share of blast offs over the years won Bracket II with a two day total of 37.18 pounds. Teddy Joe Cloide and Wes Dawson took home first place money in Bracket III with 34.89 pounds. Dawson and Cloide have fished as a team for at least the past ten years.

The cloud cover on opening day kept the fish active in the shallow water all day long and a number of teams reported culling their limits several times. The blue bird skies the following day drove the fish tighter to cover making it difficult to close the gap on the first day leaders.

Both Rambo and Clark thanked sponsors Brad Rutledge and Golden Triangle Industries, Castaway Rods, Texas Marine, Ranger Boats, and Stanley jigs for their support. After winning Bracket II, Shivers told the crowd, “Doyle and I don’t have any sponsors…we’re just two old fishermen!”

My belated congratulations once again to Cory and Rusty on their big win as well as to Dave and Tricia Concienne. They just “keep on keeping on” hosting the most tenured and successful circuit in southeast Texas in spite of the tough economy. Sponsorship money has been all but impossible to come by over the past two years, but they continue to provide a first class venue with Bass-N-Bucks.

The rain still has not slowed the bite on the saltwater scene. The birds are working better on the south end than the north end, but the water clarity is good all over the lake. We caught some very nice flounder last week fishing the river with glow-chartreuse Sea Shads.
The redfish bite has not slowed down at all and the average size is improving with the specks. If we can get a couple of cold fronts through here, the bite is going to explode as the shrimp start to exit the marshes.