While a number of the top bass pros in the United States were all over Orange County this past week scouring the river and bayous in hopes of putting together a winning pattern, Cory Rambo and Rusty Clark were taking advantage of a much easier bite a little further to the north.

This area is off limits to the Bassmaster Elite field after this week and they were squeezing in as much information gathering as possible prior to returning to Orange for their first tournament of the year March 14-17. While they were extremely complimentary of the accommodations and the openness of the local fishermen, to the man, they agreed that the Sabine River tournament will be a challenge.

And, while they were logging miles on their wrapped bass boats, (a number of them have already decided to make incredibly long runs in hopes of locating a more consistent bite), local pros, Rambo and Clark, were cashing in on the pre-spawn bite on Sam Rayburn. After a very successful year in 2012, they continued their consistent 2013 run with a five bass sack weighing 25.01-pounds. Their second place finish in the Bass N Bucks event earned them a $4500 check and solidified their position atop the leader board in the angler of the year chase.

Rambo said they caught most of their bass on a 1/2 ounce chartreuse and white River 2 Sea spinner bait in 4 to 6 feet of water. The team of Todd Castledine and Jason Bonds won the tournament with 27.81 pounds. For most of the huge field it was not about catching bass, but finding the right five.

The top six teams all had over twenty pounds, 68 teams weighed in five bass limits and the average weight of the 347 bass weighed in was 2.82 pounds. Rambo and Clark are sponsored by West Ltd., Daley’s Hunt N Fish, Ranger, Castaway, Minn Kota, River 2 Sea, Humminbird, G&G Enterprise, Castaway Rods and Premier Yamaha.

On the local saltwater scene, Aaron Hommel and Adam Jaynes bested the six team field in the Gulf Coast Redfish Tournament hosted out of Ancelet’s Marina Saturday. The Pro Cure team weighed in two reds for a 12 pound 5 ounce total and took home a $540 check for their efforts. The duo earned a $450 check for their fourth place finish in last month’s Gulf Coast Trout Series tournament with three trout that weighed 14.77 pounds.

It was good to see the parking lot full of trucks and boat trailers last weekend at Ancelet’s Marina. They re-opened for the fishing season on the 4th after two very busy months of processing deer for local hunters and turning out hundreds of pounds of sausage at their market on Twin City Hwy.

I talked with Tyler Ancelet a little while Saturday morning and he said they were already in good shape on mud minnows and finger mullet and live shrimp aren’t far behind. They absolutely spoiled Sabine Lake anglers last year with their one stop facility. If you aren’t lured in by the launch, covered deck, easy parking, tackle, drinks, snacks, and ice you will still fall victim to the aroma of boiled crawfish most evenings.

Tyler said the boiled crawfish will be a Friday through Sunday thing for now, but the demand will surely expand those plans again this year. You can sit on the covered deck and eat them, which is a mistake as it invariably leads to ordering one more tray, or call in for a take home order and they will have them ready when you arrive.

The Sabine Lake Abandoned Crab Trap Collection will take place this Saturday and the TPWD can use your help in ridding the lake of ghost traps. These unmarked traps not only continue to kill both crabs and fish when they are no longer marked, but all too often wind up wrapped around the prop on an unsuspecting angler’s lower unit.

For more information on time and the collection site you can call director, Jerry Mambretti at (409)983-1104 (ext. 222).Saturday afternoon Daley’s Hunt N Fish will also be hosting a fundraiser to help rebuild a fishing pier in the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge. There will be drawings for everything from Yeti coolers to Go Pro Hero 3 cameras. For more information give them a call at 409-736-3999.

Wrapped boats were in every area hotel parking lot all week.