With the exception of a brief respite this past week end, area saltwater fishermen have been throttled by daily winds that have eliminated virtually all of Sabine Lake. As you would expect, the churning whitecaps keep the silt suspended and water clarity suffers even after Mother Nature pauses to catch her breath.

Nothing seems to chip away at angler confidence more than water clarity or, more specifically, the lack thereof. When they can’t see a hot pink Corky or limetreuse Assassin two inches beneath the surface… they are done!

Last weekend was a prime example of the benefits of not letting water clarity seal your fate. Friday morning Dwayne Staudenmier found trout up to six pounds in the chocolate colored water on the east side of Sabine. The following morning, Lyndon Runnels and a friend caught four keeper reds and released nine trout up to six pounds fishing dirty water on the south end.

The only surprising aspect of those two reports for me was that they both caught their fish on topwaters when they could get bit on nothing else!

If water clarity is a show stopper for you, I would recommend switching gears a little and taking advantage of the spawn on Rayburn and Toledo Bend over the next two months as you will be hard pressed to find a day when the wind isn’t howling or it is calm, but the water clarity has paid the price. Regardless of wind direction or strength, there is always a protected shoreline or creek to fish even if you have to trailer around the lake. More importantly, you will still be fishing prime water rather than just hiding and out and fishing the only water available.

The best news of all is that the bass are currently as over weight as they will be all year long and they are aggressive. And, while most bass fishermen are comfortable with the catch and release concept that affords them a legitimate shot at a double digit fish, it is equally easy to catch smaller bass for a fish fry at the camp.

Over the past three days I received emails or pictures on my phone of six bass over nine pounds that were caught the previous week on either T-Bend or Rayburn. I thought it was a little unusual that five of the six were caught on Toledo Bend.The largest weighed 11 pounds 6 ounces and the smallest weighed nine pounds seven ounces.

While it is the ultimate fishing thrill to catch any bass that size, the fact that all of these fish were caught in six feet of water or less really gets the adrenalin flowing. Three of the bass were caught by fishermen Whacky Worming. Two of them were fishing with a Zoom Senko and the other was using one of the new Bass Assassin Lit’l Tappers.

The largest of the six bass ate a Berkley Havoc jerk bait while one of the 10’s ate a cherry bomb Trap and the other fell for a black Strike King spinnerbait. The folks that caught the 10-6 on the spinner bait also caught six more bass between five and seven pounds. The part of their report that may not appeal to you is that they caught all of these fish after dark on a very chilly night!

We are looking at significantly cooler weather for the upcoming weekend, but these big spawning fish are not going to move far this late in the game. They may not be aggressive, but they will simply move into the nearest cover that provides a little more warmth and they will still bite. Slowing your retrieve and making multiple casts to the same area will serve you well once the front passes through.

The Triangle Tail Chasers will kick off the 2013 season with an Open Tournament on Saturday, March 9 .They will deviate just a bit from their usual format in that this will be a “trout only” event with each team allowed to weigh in three trout with only one over the 25-inch mark.

The entry fee is $120 per team and a team can consist of one to three fishermen. The tournament will be held out of Port Neches Park with the Captain’s meeting to be held the night before at Daley’s Hunt N Fish. Along with the prize money there will also be some very nice door prizes drawn for as well.

The club’s first regular event of the year is set for March 27 .All of the regular season events are “slam” tournaments. Each team can weigh in two trout, two reds and two flounder. You can get more information concerning this event and dates for upcoming tournaments by going to their website at triangletailchasers.com on the net.

Chris Romano opted for Lake Falcon last week and it paid off with this 11 pound bass!