The Wilkes had their way with the redfish last week.


Dickie Colburn – For The Record

When I saw Jim Morrissey’s number pop up on my phone I initially thought that he had yet another stat to report concerning last weekend’s Tailchaser Open Trout Tournament. If it weren’t for Jim, the results of virtually every redfish or trout tournament held on Sabine would never get shared with anyone that wasn’t on hand for the weigh-in. He does a fantastic job of not only updating live weigh-ins, but getting the final results to the media as well..

This call, however, was one that all area trout fishermen would welcome.“Hey, Mr. Colburn….I’ve got some great news that I know you will be glad to hear. The lake level on T-Bend is down to 172 feet and they are closing the gates for now!”

Mother Nature may have other ideas as to how long the SRA can maintain the reduced water flow, but this could not have come at a better time for Sabine Lake anglers. Amazingly enough, the trout have yet to abandon the lake in search of higher salinity and less fresh water will only improve the catching.

The Tailchaser tournament field was already on the thin side due to the current water conditions, but the teams that fished posted some very solid four fish totals. Those numbers were even more impressive considering the 20 to 25 mile per hour winds that raked the lake all day long.

Brian Quebedeaux and Eddie Roberts won the event with 18.58 pounds narrowly edging out the second place team of Cutt Ableson and Trey Prye by less than half a pound. The top five teams all posted double digit weights and Prye and Ableson earned the side pot money for big trout with a 7.16 pound fish.

While the weigh-in was held at Ancelet’s marina, the teams were allowed to fish any public waters. I think the top two teams both traveled with Roberts and Quebedeaux getting it done on Calcasieu. The final totals were a little misleading in that each team was awarded a half pound bonus for each fish released alive and the top five teams were able to release all 20 fish!

The next open tournament is set for February 27th . With improved conditions there will be a much larger field and I expect to see even more impressive catches at that final weigh-in. If you and your partner would like a shot at a nice payday start scouting tomorrow and plan on fishing the next event.For more information check out the Tailchaser web site.

It is a success story that deserves being told in far more detail, but I was blown away as I eased off Nederland Avenue and turned into the Daley’s Parking lot Saturday morning. There was no place to park!

The lot and the store were packed and it was a virtual sea of black with members sporting Saltwater Boys Kayak Fishing Club jerseys. The gala event was actually a membership drive and the atmosphere would have enticed you to sign up if even you had never seen your first kayak.

While free hotlinks, boudain, drinks, and drawings for everything from coolers to a kayak were enough to keep you on hand all afternoon, it was the relaxed interaction of the club members (men, women, boys and girls) that made it quite evident why this club has grown so fast. They have a great time in a family atmosphere.

Jusselin Rabalais, the individual that got it all started said that a seemingly innocent idea that started with he and his brother three years ago has now expanded to a local Chapter with over 200 members, make that 270 after Saturday, a new chapter in Houston and another to start in Corpus Christi later in the year.

I learned more about the differences in one kayak and another in one afternoon than I had learned in my life, but this club is as much about sharing and charity as it is competition. That fact was highlighted when they presented Boys Haven with a $6000 check from money earned in their tournament last year.

You don’t have to own a kayak to join in the fun, but the SWBKFC is a great resource should you choose to pursue the sport. For more information you can go to their website at SWBKFC.com or attend a monthly meeting at Daley’s in Nederland.