Hannah Roberson with a solid trout on another very windy day! 

Much of Sabine Lake is still a little more off-colored than normal for this time of the year, but the wind gave local anglers a break across the weekend and the catching was a little easier. While both rivers continue to pump fresh water into the lake it obviously hasn’t hurt the salinity levels to any significant degree.

Over a three day period we caught everything from jack fish to trout schooling in the open lake. We also sacrificed two nice trout to sharks that interrupted the tug of war and cut our fish off right behind the gills. The only good thing about that is that we got our She Dogs back both times!

I would also recommend netting any hooked fish as opposed to reaching over the side of the boat and grabbing the leader to land them. One of the two sharks we encountered attacked the trout right at the boat. It was only three to four feet long, but it looked like a great white when it suddenly appeared out of nowhere!

The Triangle Tailchasers Club apparently found the conditions to their liking as they once again posted some very impressive catches in Saturday’s tournament. Brian Frederick and Jeff Simmons took home the first place money with three reds that weighed 22.99 pounds. Trey Browne and Robert Bodle finished right on their heels with 22.01 pounds. Robbie and Justin Trahan cashed the third place check with three reds weighing 20.87 pounds.

Browne and Bodle also cashed the check for the Premier Yamaha side pot for the redfish closest to the 21-inch mark with a 20.93-inch fish. Seven of the top ten catches exceeded the 19 pound mark and the average weight of the reds weighed in by the top ten finishers was a healthy 6.42 pounds. With only two tournaments remaining on the schedule the championship is still very much up for grabs as less than two pounds separate the top three teams.

The Orange County CCA chapter banquet is right around the corner and chapter president, Scott Bandy, says the initial response for this year’s affair has been phenomenal. I didn’t think they could possibly top last year’s banquet, but judging by the number of sponsors already signed up it just might happen.

There may well be no better bang for your advertising buck than sponsoring a table at the banquet or advertising in their program. It is very much akin to having your cake and eating it, too, with several hundred fishermen gathered up in one room eating steaks and bidding on everything from ice chests to fishing vacations!

There are several different sponsor packages that will get you everything from a table for eight to sixteen guests that include listings in the program to gifts and a steak dinner for each of your guests. Redfish sponsor tables for sixteen cost $1500 with speck sponsor tables for eight going for $550. There are also a number of other advertisement opportunities priced even lower.

In order to take advantage of this opportunity and have a darned good time while doing it you need to contact Louis Moore or Scott Bandy as soon as possible as the print date for the program is July 28th. If, however, you simply want to go eat a great steak and have a good time supporting the CCA you can still purchase a ticket for $50. The ticket gets you not only a meal, but a year’s membership in the CCA as well.

As mentioned at the first of the column we had several mornings last week when the wind was a little more forgiving and the catching was a little easier as well. I think it is safe to say that most of the folks I saw on the water were searching out small flocks of gulls or a few shrimp skipping across the surface. Surprisingly enough, the cork and shrimp rig wasn’t nearly as effective as five inch tails fished on one eighth or quarter ounce heads.

Glow chartreuse in a five inch tail and a queen cocahoe minnow in cock of the walk or blue moon worked very well in the clearer water on both trout and reds. We were able to catch our better trout early fishing the flats with topwaters and Usual Suspect Swim Baits.

The ICW has been badly off colored, but we did enjoy one very productive morning bouncing Texas Shrimp Big Minno XL’s rigged on a quarter ounce head off the bottom in 15 to 18 feet of water. As soon as the outgoing tide quit that bite ended and we could not find those fish the following day.

I also got several very decent reports from the jetties. Folks down there were catching everything from Spanish mackerel to trout on topwaters and crankbaits. According to the fishermen that I spoke with the bite was dependent on tide changes that pumped in clearer water. At least two groups fishing only live finger mullet limited on redfish three days in a row as well.