Rain not hampering tournaments
While a fisherman’s idea of perfect weather conditions would undoubtedly result in the cancellation of most outdoor activities for more well-balanced individuals, the entire month of April has still been a challenge for both fresh and saltwater fishermen.Bass and crappie fishermen have had the best of it, but even they have had to fish on some pretty nasty weather days.
Give any serious fisherman an overcast seventy-five degree day with a light rain, less than 10 mile per hour wind and a falling barometric pressure and he or she is as happy as a mosquito in a nudist colony. Overcast skies have been the equivalent of sunny skies since late March, however, and it seems as if it storms somewhere in the immediate area every day.
The fish on the extreme south end of Sabine Lake appear to be adapting to the massive infusion of fresh water, but it has been a bite that is decent one day and non-existent the next.Big winds can raise the risk factor , but the most recent of the daily storms have included lightning as well.
Outgoing tide changes have been the most productive for us of late, especially when fishing south of the Causeway.That area is getting a lot of pressure lately due even more so to fresh water intrusion than bad weather.Rayburn and Toledo Bend fishermen have hardly missed a beat, but the local river fishermen have not had a day when they didn’t have to cope with high water compliments of Toledo Bend generating 24/7, local rains, big incoming tides and a wind that keeps the water stacked up in the surrounding marshes.
In spite of Mother Nature’s unwillingness to back off her hateful ways, a significant number of local bass fishermen continue to beat her at her own game every Tuesday afternoon.Last week, thirty-seven teams managed to bring fourteen keepers to the scales on a day when winning money would have been the only good reason for even considering launching the boat!
Simon Outfitters paid the first place winners, David Smith and Mike Soliz $740 for their winning stringer (5.57 pounds) and big bass (2.46 pounds). Cole and Allan Ashby earned $430 for second place, Cory Rambo and Bobby Vice also earned $460 and Barry Celestine enjoyed a $140 afternoon as well.
Jonathan Simon reported that it required a change in tactics to cash a check last week due to the wind and tide stacking the water up in the major cuts.“Fortunately, the bass held up on the down current side of any hard structure and a square bill crankbait fished around everything from cypress knees to pilings was the winning ticket,” said Simon.
I wrote my column a day early last week in order to try and squeeze in a guide trip the following morning and as it turned out, we sat at the landing and watched it pour for an hour before rescheduling.As a result, I missed the reliable Jim Morrisey’s report on The Triangle Tail Chasers tournament the Saturday before.
Regardless of the weather or wind velocity, if you can get to the redfish you can usually catch them and the teams that fish these tournaments prove it every time they get together.The Tail Chaser events are absolutely the ultimate barometer as to how good or bad the redfish bite is at the time!
Due to an even more miserable weather forecast than usual, the club moved the event from Saturday to Sunday and enjoyed both safer and more user friendly conditions. The move also enabled members to fish the Rudy’s tournament on Saturday as well.
Once again, the top two stringers were separated by no more than the weight of a small crab.Steven Havard and Kory Earp cashed the first place check with three fish that weighed 22.12 pounds.Gary McElduf and Kit Carson finished with 21.94 pounds and Tony Viator fished alone to net third place money with 20.77 pounds.
If the two winning stringers weights were tight, they were nothing compared to the battle between those same two teams for the big redfish pot.Havard and Earp claimed that check as well by one-hundredth of an ounce with a 7.65 red!
Once again nine of the winning teams also won door prizes at the end of the day that included everything from $100 gift certificates to rods and beach umbrellas.The sponsors included Dale Papa, Jorgensen’s Marine and Neches River Wood Work. The club also sponsored three $40 gift certificates to Daley’s.
In addition to their donated door prize, Del Papa also provided refreshments at the weigh-in.The Club hosts their events out of Ancelet’s Marina which will also be the host site of the upcoming Saltwater Boys Tournament on May 16^th .That event will benefit Boys Haven and the Cristin and Katie Grubbs foundation.