The late season cold front altered the game plan for area fishermen over the weekend, but in spite of a much stiffer wind than predicted and off-colored water in much of the lake, the catching was still on the respectable side.

Perhaps no other group did a better job of meeting the challenge than the 34 teams that fished the Saltwater Boys Tournament last Saturday. This was a redfish only team event and the top five teams all eclipsed the 15 pound mark for their two fish totals.

Unintentionally, at least that is their story and they are sticking to it, the top two teams showed up on the same spot at the same time and apparently for good reason. When all was said and done less than two tenths of an ounce separated the two teams. Wayne Moore, Guy Peco and Mike Baker cashed the first place $1500 check with 16.17 pounds barely nosing out the team of Gary Sheperd and Chad Dejohn with 16.06 pounds. Their second place finish earned them $900.

Both teams were sponsored by Double D Lures. The third place team of Jon Beagle, Pat Beagle and Holt Buchanon cashed a $650 check with 15.73 pounds. Gary McElduff and Kit Carson finished just out of the money with a solid 15.39 catch, but picked up one of the bonus prizes for the red with the most spots. Their winning fish had 16 spots!

The Dead Last bonus was one that you really don’t care to win, but even at that there was tight competition. The team of Jake and Jeremiah Jordan finished the day with 10.10 pounds which was about one finger mullet less than the weight posted by Tony Viator and Ryan Warhola. The irony is that as bad as that sounds I have fished many days when I would have gladly settled for a pair of five pound redfish!

Congratulations to not only the Saltwater Boys and the numerous sponsors of the benefit event, but the teams that participated in spite of the tough conditions as well. It also had to be considered mission accomplished for this first time event with Boys Haven coming out the biggest winner of all.

Cops Helping Kids and Triangle Tail Chasers also did their part in helping to assure the success of the tournament as did Chicken Boy Lures. The proceeds from every lure sold at the weigh-in were donated to Boys Haven. Tony Viator said that Cops Helping Kids would match that total.

There is also some irony in the fact that there were two redfish tournaments taking place with the trout fishing as strong as it has been. Obviously, the pro event hosted out of Lake Charles was much bigger, but nonetheless here we are focusing on the same redfish we cussed for the past several years.

We are smack in the middle of the best big trout bite we have had since 1998 and the redfish are stealing the show. It is also a little strange that quality redfish have been harder to come by than trout over the past three months. The bite in the marsh and on the jetties has been consistently good, but the redfish bite in the lake has been very much hit and miss. That could change, however, before I even finish this sentence!

The flounder and the trout have more than made up for the temporary absence of redfish. The trout action has been well publicized, but we have had very few days of late when we haven’t caught several flounder up to five pounds without specifically fishing for them.

Last week I discovered that you need to pay your internet bill only after I suddenly quit receiving pages of emails regarding the use and availability of the new VuDu Shrimp. I should have known something was wrong. I know that I contributed to the madness, but am not the one to call for availability of the bait.

We are going to host a seminar in the next week or two on getting the most out of the new bait, how to rig and fish it with the cork, etc. and here is what little I do know about availability in our area as of Wednesday. Daley’s unexpectedly got in at least 75 packs in every color Saturday morning, but they were already filling customer orders before putting them on the rack. I feel certain that put a pretty good dent in their supply.

Simons Outfitters also had a few in stock at the time I called and were expecting another order later in the day. They also wanted to remind local anglers that they are still hosting their Tuesday afternoon bass tournaments and will host a trout tournament this weekend. I didn’t get any details, but you can find out more by dropping by the store located on MacArthur Drive.

My answer to the one question I currently answer many times a day, “Have you ever seen a bait dominate the scene like this new shrimp?” is “yes”. Gulp baits may never get surpassed as I know of nothing else that will catch fish while lying dead on the bottom. As far as an unscented bait goes, however, the answer would have to be “no” at this point.

Aside from the fact that it just catches the heck out of fish, the main reason it is in such great demand is that you don’t have to be a dedicated or die hard fisherman to make it work for you. It will catch fish for anyone that can tie one on under a cork, throw it out there and leave it alone.

I am sure we will discover other uses, but why experiment right now!

Kelly Ford fooled this nice flounder with a usual Suspect Swim Bait.