After three weeks of wondering why the water clarity in Sabine Lake would not clear up, it did just that in one night.Gusty daily winds are a given this time of the year and contribute to the problem on a temporary basis, but even after the SRA shut the gates on Toledo Bend the water clarity was still more akin to a day old chocolate shake than tea.

I could have caught almost as many fish in the Wal-Mart parking lot as I did in the lake the previous week and while I believe trout will still bite in dirty water, my confidence level was taking a hit. Then, a friend unexpectedly called and said that he found some clearer water that we needed to check out.

At least for me, it proved to be a much needed shot in the arm.The clarity had improved to a foot and a half and we caught and released three limits of trout up to five pounds.We fished only a very small stretch of shoreline and the following day those fish had moved, but more importantly, the water clarity had improved all over the lake.

No one will be happier with the improved conditions and a favorable weather forecast than the Triangle Tailchasers as they will be hosting their second Open Trout Tournament this weekend. They posted some impressive weights last month in spite of the miserable conditions and modest number of teams willing to grind it out.

This is a team event with a four fish limit and a side pot for largest trout as well.Registration is set for Friday evening from 4:30 to 7:00 pm at Daley’s in Nederland. Ancelet’s Marina will host the weigh-in with teams allowed to start weighing in at 2:15 pm.There will be a half pound bonus for each trout weighed in alive.

Jim Morrissey said that Texas Parks and Wildlife will be on hand with their live release trailer to collect trout to be taken back to Sea Center and they encourage teams to save and donate their smaller keeper fish as well. They would ideally like to return to the Center with 40 trout.The fingerlings produced by these fish will be stocked in Sabine Lake.He also added that Wade will be taking orders for boiled crawfish at the registration and yours will be ready as soon as you weigh in.

If you have never eaten Ancelet’s boiled crawfish you have a culinary treat ahead of you.They are as good as any you will ever eat and you don’t have to fish a tournament to order up a batch!

Darin Johnson, president of the Sabine-Neches CCA Chapter, also reported that Saturday’s crab trap round-up on Sabine resulted in a record number of abandoned traps being removed.Texas Parks and Wildlife loaded 121 traps collected by volunteers on their trailers.

Trey Smith might have to conduct an in-house drawing before fishing team tournaments in the future. His ten year old daughter, Maddy, and he fished the Southeast Texas River Champs tournament on the Sabine Sunday and finished second with 12.80 pounds and a five pound kicker fish.It took better than 16 pounds to win the event!

“I couldn’t have been prouder,” said Smith, “but it sure took me a long time to figure out how to make the winner’s circle more frequently.I should have been fishing with a female partner all of this time!”

He and Amie Comeaux just blew the Angler’s Quest field away two weeks ago with a 29-pound stringer on Rayburn and they weighed in a solid thirteen pound catch off the riverSaturday.“She also somehow managed to find a little room on the front deck of the boat and caught her first 8 pound bass on a lipless crankbait on Rayburn last month,” added Trey.

With the Orange Jazz Company fishing tournament set for March 19^th , there is a lot of local interest in the rapidly improving fishing on the river.It has taken better than sixteen pounds to win the last two events and five pound-plus bass have been showing up at most of the weigh-ins.

The OJC fun day event will be much more than a team bass tournament as there is something for the entire family with a redfish division, kickball tournament, food, and vendor booths.For more information or to register early, you can look them up on facebook at OJCFish or drop by Simon Outfitters on McArthur Drive.