Even thinking about fishing has been very difficult for me this week following the tragic Borel boating accident on the river last weekend. I know very few individuals that have any greater love for fishing and the outdoors and sharing that passion with his friends and family than Andy. There just aren’t any words to express our sorrow for the Borel family, but know that we are keeping you in our prayers.

While catching fish on Sabine lake has been a challenge for most local anglers thus far this summer, the action has improved over the past week. The trout bite on the jetties and the rocks lining the ship channel has been more consistent for those fishing live shrimp than artificials, but a mixed bag of everything from Spanish mackerel to redfish has at least kept things interesting.

The gulls have been a little more active of late, but most of the fish under them have been smaller specks and sand trout. When you least expect them, the reds and jacks have been schooling as well. That bite is very unpredictable, but it is a lot of fun when you are in the right place at the right time.

In the event that you find yourself in the middle of a school of jack fish be prepared to do as much chasing with the troll motor as cranking on the reel handle. Even an eight to ten pound fish will spool a conventional bait caster in a hurry on the first couple of runs. Breaking one off on purpose is not a bad option if you were catching keeper trout or reds when it crashed the party. If not, you may still be fighting that same jack well after your school of more desirable fish has moved on!

The afternoon thunderstorms have short circuited our trips almost every day this week. One bolt of lightning, no matter how far away, should not be ignored. Even if there is no lightning around and your line hovers above the water following a cast it is time to reel it in and leave!

Night fishing for the bass fishermen on Toledo Bend continues to improve and it hasn’t just been a numbers game. Don and L.T. LeBert limited Wednesday and Thursday night on fish up to eight pounds fishing black neon ringworms in 14 to 18 feet of water in Arnold’s bay. Don said their bite started just before midnight both nights and lasted about three hours.

The Swanns are never far behind the bass when they start doing their thing at night and last weekend was no exception. Stacy and her husband, Charles, were mining some of the spots that have paid off for them for years and Stacy duped their largest bass of the night. Their best five bass weighed a tad over 26 pounds. The Swanns don’t miss many weekends of fishing the Bend across the summer and it is easy to see why!

Don’t forget about the upcoming Cops Helping Kids tournament supporting the Garth House and other children’s charities. The Captain’s meeting which includes a steak dinner, auctions and drawings for door and raffle prizes is set for 6 p.m. July 25th at the Port Arthur Civic Center. The tournament will kick off at sunrise the following morning with the weigh-in starting at 12 p.m. and ending at 3 p.m. at the Dick Dowling State Park.

For more information or tickets call Tony Viator at 284-7934 or Brian Warhola 718-8623.

The following weekend, John Thomas and the O.C.A.R.C. will also host their annual fishing tournament. I will have all the details in next week’s column, but a visit in the mean time to the Center on 8th and Park in Orange would be a head start in getting signed up.