If Greg Bass appears to be sitting a little taller in the saddle the next time you are over at Daley’s Hunt N Fish, it’s because he and his partner, Marshall Hughes “walked the walk” this past weekend in the Do It In Orange Tournament. The Nederland team put together a solid two day tournament limit of six bass that weighed 13.22 pounds to hold off the second place team by less than a pound and earn the first place check of $2000.

I think most everyone knew where we were fishing, especially after the first day,” stated Bass, “but we just hung in there and flipped every inch of the shoreline with Creature baits. It was a little frustrating the second day because we culled at least two limits of keeper size fish and still couldn’t catch that kicker. We knew we were sitting on a very skinny lead.”

Their concern was justified as the second place team posted a strong 6.92 pound limit Sunday and very nearly caught them. “Marshall and I had been doing our homework and felt pretty good about our chances going in,” added Bass. “Like everyone else we knew catching a big fish where we were fishing was going to be tough, but we were able to catch good numbers of keeper fish. Our total weight wouldn’t blow you away, but we culled five limits in two days.”

Thirty-four of the fifty-two teams entered had to be impressed with their ability to catch those kinds of numbers as only eighteen teams weighed in a single bass. As you would expect, Sunday was much tougher than Saturday as only ten teams brought a bass to the scales!

Gary McElDuff and his partner, Kit Carson, had a super second day performance to capture first place money in the trout division. After finishing in fourth place Saturday and trailing the leaders by two pounds, they put together a three fish limit that weighed 17.75 pounds and won it all with a two day total of 29.92 pounds. When all was said and done in the trout division it took a 23 pound catch just to finish in the top 5 and 16.5-pounds to earn the tenth place check.

The numbers in the redfish division were equally impressive as the father-son team of Robbie and Justin Trahan posted the leading weight on Saturday and blew the field away the next day. They were .12 ounces ahead when they left the dock Sunday morning, but closed the deal with two redfish that weighed in at 15.87 pounds for a winning total of 30.13 pounds.

If local reports and tackle shop conversations have seemed a little over the top in regards to the trout fishing on Sabine, this tournament only gave those accounts even more credibility. The talk has not been about the numbers, but the size of the average trout on Sabine ever since the frostier days of January.

How many times have you caught three trout that weighed as much as two upper slot redfish? The difference in the weights of the fifth place finishers in both divisions was less than a tenth of an ounce and the heaviest one day total was posted in the trout division!

I talk with guides and devoted trout fishermen from nearly every venue on the Texas coast every week and every one of them are just amazed at the average size of our trout thus far. If the wind will ever quit blowing and the shrimp bale out of the marshes it will be interesting to see if the trout under the gulls are larger as well. I don’t expect them to be as solid as those fish patrolling the flats and the ship channel, but if more of them are in that 16 to 19 inch range than 12 to 15 inches it will be a fall to remember.

With the bite on the Causeway reefs yet to come around and the gulls still working very inconsistently, the north end of the lake has been under siege of late. The Louisiana shoreline got hammered throughout the winter months and the revetment walls took a hit in the early spring so we have pretty much been beating up the lake one small area at a time. Hopefully, the wind will get a little more user-friendly and the pressure will get spread out all over the lake by the end of the month.

I recently fished with a prototype of one of the new jig heads that Egret is coming out with in the very near future for their VuDu Shrimp. It is significantly stronger and didn’t seem to negatively affect the action so all is well. I still don’t understand why some folks felt like they got duped with the lighter original hook. One look at the hook and I knew that we were going to have to back off the drag, but the fish liked it too much not to use it!

In most cases it was more of a case of anglers asking the lure to do something it wasn’t built to do. Many of the local fishermen that wore the big trout out on the revetment wall with the lure discovered early on that over powering it with braid or a twenty-pound leader was the wrong approach. They backed off to 10 and 12 pound test mono or fluorocarbon, tied the shrimp on with a loop knot to give it more action and caught more and bigger fish than those that refused to scale down.

I’ll bet the last of the few Vudus that I have left that when the new ones are available, those same folks will still use lighter leaders and back off the drag. At least for the short term I am more concerned with colors as I got blown away by a client fishing root beer one day last week and he wasn’t sharing with me or his partners!