Tailchaser tournament yields solid catches
The results from last Saturday’s Triangle TailChasers tournament were a good indicator of just how hot the fishing on Sabine has been over the past few weeks. The local anglers that fish this circuit work for a living and are fortunate to squeeze in an afternoon or possibly even one day a week to scout out a winning pattern. Add to that the fact that they are looking for reds, trout, and flounder and the challenge is even more daunting!
Twenty-one of the twenty-eight teams entered last Saturday weighed in fish and five of them brought slams to the scales. The slam consists of 2 legal redfish, trout and flounder. On most occasions, you really have to switch gears to fill out your flounder quota while targeting reds and trout and dealing with the clock at the same time.
Jeremy Reeves and Jon Beagle took home the first place check with 26.28-pounds. The teams of Bates/Sonnier with 23.29-pounds, Adams/Quelle with 23.1 pounds and Hebert/Reynolds with 20.51 pounds all cashed checks as well.
While it doesn’t pay as well, the side pot duel went to the tie breaker before the team of Darren Johnson and Andy Allen could claim victory. In this tournament it was the closest redfish to 21-inches without going over. The team of Tony Viator and Ryan Warhol also had a fish exactly 21-inches in length, but lost out when their fish was nudged out by .04-lbs!
There will be a lot of hoorahing over that win as the members of both teams are not only good friends, but spend a great deal of their free time raising money for conservation and charity events as well. Tony and Ryan are already putting the final touches on their upcoming Cops Helping Kids tournament set for August 4^th out of Dick Dowling Park.
John Thomas and the folks over at OCARC have only to put out their signs for their annual event the same weekend. This tournament has been remarkably successful throughout the years and it is due to not only the efforts of the folks at the center, but the support of the fishermen and businesses in Orange County.
My first impulse would be to say that the catching on Sabine has gotten a little harder recently only because the average trout has been a little smaller, but that is generally the rule rather than the exception this time of the year. When you add to that the fact that more and more redfish are showing up every day, there is very little left to complain about.
Over a two week period, even the most experience trout fishermen were amazed at the average size of the trout they were consistently catching under the birds. A three pound average for ten fish was expected and those fortunate enough to fish on a regular basis were releasing several trout over the five pound mark almost every trip.
The larger trout as a rule were falling for topwaters fished by the folks that didn’t mind a little slower action. At the same time, you could catch far more fish on tails and you would still get a few shots at big fish as well. Ironically enough, when the reds started showing up on a more frequent basis each day, the larger trout changed their feeding patterns to avoid the competition.
We immediately started catching more big trout on the shallow flats bordering the ICW and fewer big trout in the open lake. The one exception to that pattern is that we are still catching our best trout out of slicks in the open lake when the gafftop don’t get to the lure first!
This will undoubtedly require a bit of a reach for you to give it an honest try, but after back to back days of dodging storms all morning, we found birds and ladyfish further south than we had been fishing.The only problem was that we could not catch a keeper trout regardless of what lure we tied on or how deep we fished.
The second day, out of frustration, one of my clients tied on a Corky Devil and started fishing it as slow as you would in the winter. We left the area about an hour later with nine redfish and three limits of very solid trout. We stopped on the way back in about the middle of Coffee Ground and caught and released six more legal trout while two boats drifting the same scattered birds caught only ladyfish and small trout. We later discovered that a pearl-chartreuse Maniac Mullet worked equally well.
I have never thrown a Corky or maniac Mullet under the birds, but you do what you have to do…especially when nothing else works!
Mac Ramsour’s first Sabine Lake redfish was a good one!