Tournament More than a Nice Payday

For the first time in quite a while, I felt reasonably confident about our chances of catching some solid trout as I unhooked the straps and prepared to launch my boat Monday morning.We had found a few fish in more than one spot for a change and caught decent numbers of trout two days in a row.

As I headed back to the truck my cell phone rang and I started digging through pockets in hopes of locating it before it quit ringing.“Capt. Dickie….This is Clyde and I am just calling to see if it is raining at your place.I haven’t picked up Bill and J.W., but it is just pouring here and we’ve already rescheduled four times anyway.If it isn’t already raining it looks like it is headed your way.”

I have fished these three friends several times a year for over 20 years so I was a little peeved only in the fact that they were supposed to be at the launch in thirty minutes and they hadn’t even left the house facing a two hour drive.We rescheduled once again and I was glad that I hadn’t mentioned the last minute call when I later noticed that I had missed theirtwo earlier calls at 4:30 that morning!

Bad went to worse when I eased back in the house to finish off a pot of coffee and check out the KOGT web site to see how the local baseball teams had fared.I usually check the obituaries first to make sure my name isn’t listed, but I was reasonably sure that I was still alive based on the way the day had started out.

Immediately following an election recount article was an advisory for persons living in the basin below Toledo Bend reservoir stating the SRA was going to have to crank up both generators 24/7 in order to control the lake level.At that time the lake was still rising and in all likelihood they would have to open five spillway gates as well.Will it ever end?

As bad as I hate it, it wasn’t like I hadn’t already gotten advance notice that this would happen.One of the parties that fished with me last week all live in the Dallas area and they insisted that we fish that day because we had more water headed our way.They had just gotten twelve inches of rain and ponds on their land that were dry a month ago were now overflowing. Unfortunately for Sabine Lake fishermen, water still runs downhill so here we go again!

With tougher fishing conditions headed our way this week, both saltwater and freshwater fishermen still got in their licks this past weekend.The Saltwater Boys 3^rd annual benefit redfish tournament enjoyed a last minute rush and over a hundred anglers signed up the night before at the Captain’s meeting at Daley’s Hunt N Fish.It is always fun when you get that many good fishermen together in one place and watch them for fish for one more piece of information.

While the wind was not their friend, it took very nearly a nine pound average for two redfish to earn the first place check of $2000.The team of Tony Viator, Fletcher Pipkin and Ryan Warhola cashed that check with two fish that weighed 17.79 pounds and it took every ounce.Lane, Lee and Larry Daughdrill finished second with 17.42 pounds earning $1250 for their efforts.Tyler Roberts and Billy Bouse finished right on their heels with 17.01 pounds and won $750.

The difference maker for the winning team was a 9.11 pound red that also won them an additional $540 of side pot money for the biggest red.And, while the fish only earned them the side pot bounty of $285, Jared Adams and Michael Fesco opened some eyes with a very solid 7.41 pound trout.The team of Aaron Gautreaux, Ben Williams and Reggie Godeaux won the $225 flounder pot with a 2.36 pound fish.

When all was said and done, the tournament generated over $7000 in proceeds that were donated to Boys Haven and the Grubbs Foundation.Yet another good job by a great organization that continues to give back to the community.Next up……the COPS HELPING KIDS tournament scheduled for July 24^th and 25^th .

On the fresh water scene, Steven and Kevin Vaughan took advantage of clearing water and won first place money in Simon’s River Circuit with 5.74 pounds of bass.Mike and Reese Soliz won both second place and big bass money with one fish weighing 3.07 pounds.Third place money went to Stephen Cloren and Blake East with 2.76 pounds.

Jonathan Simon said that only eleven fish were weighed in and that most of them were caught flipping Senkos in shallow water.He added that clearer water helped the bite, but that advantage may get washed out pretty quickly!

At the same time, Toledo Bend Bass fishermen hit a home run last weekend in Sealy’s Big Bass Splash.It took a double digit bass to finish in the top three and Gil Leger of Lake Charles won it all with the biggest bass of his life.Leger’s winning bass nipped the second place fish by less than a tenth of an ounce.Orange County anglers made a great showing as well as they captured fifteen hourly checks totaling $8325.

Over the course of the three day event, 919 anglers weighed in 4219 pounds of post spawn bass.This year alone, no less than 84 bass fishermen received replicas for double digit bass caught on Toledo Bend.When you add in the number of ten pound-plus bass never reported by folks that choose to keep it quiet you quickly see why “The Bend” attracts so many visitors!

Photo – Winning team in Saltwater Boys Benefit tournament.