Daily thunderstorms laced with some frightening lightning and gustier south west winds than forecast by local weathermen made the catching a little more difficult for local anglers this past week. As strange as this may sound, even with the extra runoff the Sabine River is still much clearer than the lake!

The teams fishing south in the Tail Chaser Tournament hosted out of Ancelet’s Marina last Saturday were forced to deal with some nasty weather even earlier than predicted. The bulk of the system didn’t roll across the north end of the lake until just before weigh-in.

In spite of the less than favorable weather, the top five teams all weighed in stringers in excess of twenty pounds and four of the teams managed to weigh in slams. A slam consists of two trout, two flounder and two redfish and that is a difficult feat under tournament conditions.

Catching three different species is the easier part when you consider the factors involved not including limited time and the weather. At what point do you decide your two trout are large enough and race off to a totally different location in hopes of catching your redfish and flounder. If one or the other is not in the new area it’s off to the races again and time is running out. If you are fortunate enough to fill your slam with time left on the clock, which of the three categories do you try to upgrade?

Apparently the top five teams had the answers to all of the above questions and team Jordan, Jake and Jeremiah, figured it out better than any of the others. They earned the first place money with a slam that totaled 24.83 pounds. Bubba Sparrow and Casey Hagen finished second with 22.46 pounds followed by Broussard and Frederick, Bates and Vietch and Reeves and Beagle.

For the first time this year the team of Havard and Earp failed to make the top five, but they will still be one of the two teams with an opportunity to win the year-end championship on Aug. 24. The championship is based on the best four out of the five events fished and they are in a dog fight with Bates and Vietch!

The side pot in this tournament was for the heaviest flounder and it was double good as no team won it the past month. Beagle and Reeves took home the bonus money with a 2.69 pound fish. Blake Yarbrough, Stephen Havard and Bubba Sparrow also won gift cards from Daley’s Hunt N Fish. Ancelet’s once again got the teams out of the rain for the weigh in and Darren Johnson of Del Papa provided refreshments.

Easily the fastest growing and most anticipated saltwater tournament of the year is finally here with the Captains Banquet for the Cops Helping Kids event set for Friday night at the Bower Civic Center in Pt. Arthur. Tony Viator said they will start serving steak dinners at 7 p.m., but the doors will open an hour earlier. If you still haven’t signed up you can enter as late as the night of the Captain’s Banquet.

“We already have two hundred teams signed up,” stated Viator at the first of the week, “and I will not be at all surprised if we sign up as many as 50 more. There are at least twenty teams that fished the event with us last year that haven’t signed up yet that I know will be there.”

Aside from the auctions, raffles, door prizes and food at both the banquet and weigh –in, the prize money is considerable with the top five stringers in the trout, redfish and flounder divisions ranging from first – $1000, second – $750, third – $500, fourth – $300 and fifth – $200. There will also be side pots for the heaviest trout, flounder and slot red, heaviest six fish slam (two of each category with only one trout over 25) and the redfish with the most spots.

There is even a $350 Dead A** Last pot of $350 for the lightest two fish stringer of redfish with a 21 inch minimum. The bottom line is that anyone can win, it is a fun event that you can fish with the kids, and area children’s charities will be the biggest winners of all!

While the Cops Helping Kids field can fish any public waters, the majority of the teams will take their chances somewhere between the end of the jetties and the rivers on the north end of the lake. While the wind could be a determining factor, the daily rains have not done much to alter the bite thus far.

Added fishing pressure could disrupt some game plans, but some of the better fish that we have caught over the past week came out of the Intracoastal and that definitely expands the playing field. The ship channel, on clearing tide changes, has also produced the kind of fish that it will take to win. Because size, not numbers, is the key to winning money any gull activity in the open lake will be of little value.

With the OCARC tournament scheduled for the following weekend I would suggest keeping your hotspot a secret for one more week!

I think the winning redfish and possibly even the flounder will come out of one of the surrounding marshes, but the larger trout have been holding in much deeper water this past week.