While the fishing on Toledo Bend continues to be well worth the drive, the catching part of fishing has been tough here on Sabine Lake. Fishing the deep brush piles for crappie has been exceptionally good up on the Bend and the folks that have figured out the spooning pattern on whites and yellow bass aren’t complaining either.

Jason Brock said they quit tending brush piles once they figured out how to cash in on the yellow bass that suspend along the deep tree lines.“It is just about automatic regardless of the weather conditions if you know what you are looking for on your depth finder,” says Brock. “We like to eat the yellow bass better than the whites, but it’s the non-stop action that keeps you dropping that spoon over the side.”

Brock said they easily caught and released over 200 fish last weekend after limiting on bass up to four pounds each morning.“We would limit in less than two hours fishing Whacky worms on the main points south of Toro Bay, go in and eat breakfast and bring the kids back out to jig for yellow bass. It is just too easy to even think about riding herd over brush piles that everyone else eventually finds anyway!”

“Too easy” is not the case here on Sabine Lake. It isn’t like it is just terrible every day, but it is virtually impossible to put together a consistent pattern. One day the revetment walls are reasonably productive only to be a waste of time the next day. Depending on the wind, the gulls will work over pods of shad in the mid-lake in the afternoons, but most of the trout chasing the bait to the surface are small specks and sand trout..

The ship channel and jetties have been the most dependable areas, but they are by no means a guarantee. The water is still dirty and higher than usual above the interstate and all of that water eventually makes its way south. Clearing incoming tides have been the key to that bite on both sides of the jetties.

With the fifth annual Cops Helping Kids tournament only two weeks away and the OCARC event right on its heels, lighter winds and a little less rain would be a blessing for the fishermen. Those are two fantastic events that benefit folks that are most appreciative of community support.

If you haven’t fished one of the previous Cops Helping Kids tournaments then you have no idea how much fun a tournament can be. It is a team event with very good money up for grabs in every division and I think the Captain’s meeting the night before is as much fun as fishing the next day. The competition is stiff, but it is still a family oriented event that attracts numerous teams consisting of only family members.

The organizers feed you a steak dinner the night of the Captain’s meeting and feed you again the next day at the weigh-in, they have raffles, silent auctions…you name it. I know there are a lot of numbers you can call to join in on the fun and get more information, but the only one that I am sure of is Tony Viator’s at 409-284-7934. The tournament is scheduled for July 26th out of Dick Dowling Park with the Captain’s meeting set for the 25th at the Port Arthur Civic Center.

We have still got 53 days to go with a ton of cash, boats and college scholarships up for grabs in the CCA S.T.A.R. Tournament. Anything can happen, but I think the upper coast trout division was won right off the bat with a 9lb. 4 oz. trout. I am equally sure that Mike Eckhardt sweats his leading trout out every day, but it will be hard to beat.

At the same time, there are still three tagged redfish swimming around out there that can win you a boat, motor, trailer and truck. That entire package was parked in front of David Self Ford right here in town most of last month.

I also believe that most of the leaders in the adult divisions have posted fish that are going to be very difficult to beat. A 6 pound 9 ounce gafftop is susceptible to getting bumped, but a 6 pound 12 ounce flounder and an 8 pound 3 ounce sheepshead will be tough to top.

The kid’s division is a different story, however, and there is a ton of scholarship money still up for grabs. The leading gafftop weight of 6 pounds 13 ounces in the STARKIDS division is strong, but the leading flounder is currently only 2 pounds 9 ounces and the leading sheepshead is a 6 pound 10 ounce fish.

In the STARTEENS Division I think both the trout and flounder divisions are still wide open. The leading trout is a very respectable, but not unbeatable 6 pounds 10 ounces and the leading flounder is only 3 pounds 5 ounces. We are talking about a heck of a lot of college money still up for grabs and it only costs ten bucks to take a swing every day for the rest of the summer!