Weather Hampers Tail Chaser Event
A stiff and consistent 15 mile per hour wind escalated to 25 to 30 miles per hour in less time than it took to re-tie a lure.It was a “Gotcha” move on Mother Nature’s part and I speculated aloud that the approaching tropical depression may have arrived sooner than predicted.
“How can you tell,” snapped Brett Melancon while chasing his cap across the floor of the boat, “It rains and blows like hell at some point every day….doesn’t it?”Like everyone else that has caught trout with any consistency over the past month, we were fishing the ship channel only a short distance away from the launch, but that run wasn’t short enough ten minutes later.
The rapidly approaching black clouds that sent us packing unloaded the moment I stepped out of the boat and I couldn’t have been any wetter had I fallen in the channel by the time I tied off the bow rope. Brett knelt behind the console to avoid the sting of the driving rain while I shielded my eyes and sloshed across the parking lot to get the truck.
The two hours prior to the soaking had been very enjoyable.The predicted threat of the possible tropical depression dry docked most of the more intelligent fishermen and the absence of fishing pressure proved to be to our advantage.We limited on trout up to three pounds in the first hour while releasing a couple of fish in the five to six pound class.
We never anchored the first time, but kept our jigs bouncing off the shell in six to eight feet of water while drifting the east side of the channel. Only because he already had enough fish for a weekend fish fry, Brett also released two very nice flounder over the four pound mark.Both of those fish, as did most of the trout, ate four inch Sea Shads rigged on a 1/8^th ounce Assassin Swim Bait Hook.
While drying off at the gas station, we talked with two other anglers that came in right behind us, but were no wetter.They had eleven trout in the box that were all in the 3 to 4 pound class and they said they had been catching trout that size for a week regardless of how hard the wind blew.Their best fish was an 8.4 the day before, but they had released at least one fish over seven pounds every trip.
They added that they found the larger trout while fishing with finger mullet, but opted to fish with a Vudu shrimp when they ran out of live mullet.When the trout bit the artificial shrimp better than mullet, they quit chasing live bait every morning.Depending on the strength of tide, they were adding a small split shot about a foot up the leader and free-lining it just off the granite.
Brett noticed that they had also removed the standard head in the shrimp and replaced it with a stronger 3/0 hook.Because I hope to never have to fish the jetties, I swapped them four packs of Vudu shrimp for a spool of Power Pro braid.They wouldn’t hear of me simply giving them the shrimp, thus the reason for the trade.
At least from their perspective, color was also critical as I had at least twenty packs to choose from.They wanted one color and one color only as it had produced far better than anything else they had tried.It wasn’t anything off the wall, but that was the only information they requested I not share!
The number of entries in the Triangle Tail Chasers tournament was lighter than usual last weekend, but that was to be expected due to the miserable weather.You really had to want to fish to battle the conditions last Saturday!
For the first time this year they paid out only two places and two winners in the side pot.Robbie Trahan won the event with 20.54 pounds followed by the team of Tony Viator and Paul Patin with 18.83 pounds. Brian Frederick and Jeff Simmons finished third by less than a half an ounce.They did, however, win the blackjack side pot barely nudging out Steven Havard and Kory Earp.
Havard and Earp lost a significant portion of their fishing time due to helping out fellow tournament fishermen that had motor problems.No tournament is more important than helping out anyone stranded on the water and Havard and Earp were the real winners for the day!
As usual, the club along with its sponsors, Jorgensen marine, Neches River Wood Works and Del Papa provided door prize winners with everything from $100 gift certificates to Yeti 30 oz. ramblers.Ancelet’s Marina once again hosted the event and their recently completed covered weigh-in station made that task much easier for anglers and media as well!
The next tournament is set for July 18^th and that will be the final qualifying event for the championship to be held in mid-August.It’s not too late to join in the fun!