While saltwater enthusiasts are just now moving into the most fishermen-friendly months of the year, most bass fishermen are putting the final wraps on a very good 2014 and prepping for the upcoming hunting season.I think it is safe to say, however, that this has been a year of competitive bass fishing that the team of Corey Rambo and Rusty Clark hate to see draw to a close!

Rambo, of Orange, and Clark, of Sam Rayburn, have been one of those teams that you knew you had to beat to win it all at every tournament for the past several years.Especially tough on Rayburn, they have virtually camped out in the winner’s circle on more than one circuit while earning multiple “team of the year” titles.

Having already won “team of the year” on the Angler’s Quest circuit on Rayburn in August, Rambo and Clark were playing with house money in last weekend’s Skeeter Bass Champs Championship on the Red River.In spite of a tough venue much different than the expansive man-made impoundments, the duo tweaked their approach and ground out a two day total of six bass weighing 20.45 pounds.

That effort earned them not only another title in 2014, but a Skeeter FX-20 valued at $72,000 in addition to sponsor money as well.Their six fish limit bested the second place team of Adam Miranda and Taylor Darden of Brownwood by 2.11 pounds as well as a huge field of 222 teams.

When Rambo wasn’t teamed up with Clark fishing the impoundments in 2014 he was honing his skills right here at home on the Sabine River.He and his partner were regulars in Simon Outfitters Tuesday afternoon events and they won that title as well.He may have yet another tournament or two to fish before the year is done, but even if he doesn’t……2014 has been a year to remember!

The front that just plowed across Sabine Lake Monday afternoon has not had any significant impact on the fishing as of yet, but it did lower the surface temperatures a little.While it would have kept us at the dock for the short term, we did not get enough sustained north wind to push some of this water southward.Less water will translate to more fish!

Even with the higher water, there is no doubt that the live bait fishermen are consistently catching larger, if not more, trout than their counterparts are with artificials.In talking with several of those fishermen that I see anchored up on the river or ICW almost every day, they are convinced that it is a mistake to fish only finger mullet or shad.On any given day, and sometimes over the course of the day, the bite will be much better on one than the other.

You may want to add baby hard head catfish to the menu as well.Over a two week period I have cleaned three flounder in the four pound class that had at least one small catfish in their stomach.Cheri Boullion caught a flounder that pushed the six pound mark a couple of weeks ago and that fish had eaten a hardhead as well.I don’t know that fishing with even a small hardhead, however, is worth the risk of getting stuck!

Even though they haven’t done much to lower the levels, we have had some excellent outgoing tides and most of the live bait fishermen prefer to fish when the water is leaving rather than returning.While points and drains along the river normally draw the biggest crowds, some of the most consistent catches are coming off small piles of submerged rock or subtle structure changes along the main river channel.

Dalton Perry said he limited on trout up to four pounds three days in a row and caught redfish until he got tired of fighting them fishing a spot that he discovered only last week.“I have ridden past that stretch of bank a thousand times and never even slowed down,” said Perry.“I stopped there with my granddaughter the first day to get out of the wind and try to catch a few croaker.Her first fish was a three pound trout and I haven’t fished anywhere else since.”

We are starting to see more gull activity in the lake, but most of the trout under them are of the small variety.Sticking with them will yield a lot of bites and a lot of catching, but very meager fish fries.That will change as more bait is pushed out into the lake with the passage of another front or two.

We are still catching most our better fish on the three inch Usual Suspect, but we made a minor change fishing a tail under a cork last week that also produced bigger fish.I replaced the four inch paddle tail rigged on an eighth ounce head with a five inch tail threaded on a 4/0 worm hook and the slower fall of the lure apparently made a difference.

Most any lure fished under a cork will keep you in the game.Never be afraid to experiment out of fear of failing to catch a fish.If limiting is the only reason you are fishing I wouldn’t recommend spending much money on fishing tackle!