Local Fishing with Capt. Dickie Colburn

Dickie Colburn – For The Record

The talk in local tackle shops and fishing department aisles is more about bass fishing on the river than anything going on in Sabine Lake and for good reason. Backwater areas off the river and bayous continue to clear up and not only are local bass fishermen catching better numbers, but larger bass as well.

After returning from a tough morning of looking for trout in the lake last week, I ran up the river just to check out the water clarity.I ran only as far as the I-10 bridge, but the water was already looking much better, especially around the drains.I did stop just long enough to answer a call and in that brief period of time, watched a young angler catch and release three bass that all looked to be keeper fish.

He was pitching a jig or pegged craw worm in the mouth of a small drain and the bass were apparently stacked up and feeding.The tide was running out and the water exiting the cut was noticeably darker.

There are at least two different groups hosting local tournaments each week and Simon Outfitters will also be kicking off their popular weekly circuit in the very near future.While I couldn’t be happier to see the number of 14-inch bass improving, I have been down right amazed at the number of bass over five pounds that were caught last month alone.

Elliott Atkinson won a river tournament two weekends ago with 15.97 pounds and his kicker bass weighed 6.47 pounds.If that last name rings a bell with any of you “over the hill” bass fishermen…. it should.It came as no surprise in talking with Elliott when he stated, “My Grandfather had the same name and he liked to bass fish as well.” “Yes, Elliott……I would say that he very much liked to bass fish!”

Elliott’s grandfather was better known as “Chief” and he was, without question, the first and last name in bass fishing in this area for years. He flipped, pitched and doodle socked his way through countless big bass before those revolutionary techniques were even given a name.Over the years, his sons have not only passionately shared his love of the sport, but obviously passed along his fishing acumen and innovative skills as well.

And now that legacy continues with 19-year old Elliott.Judging by his recent performances in weekly river tournaments, two wins in the last three events, he has done little to disprove the “good genes” theory.I only know what I hope to find should I someday make it to that big pond in the sky, but I have to believe that Elliott has Chief standing on the front deck of his bass boat with his rod in hand and a knowing smile on his face!

While there is definitely more fishing pressure, I think a lot of catch and release on the part of local anglers has helped and I can’t help but suspect that all of the fish released during the Bassmaster Elites has helped as well. They brought bass back to the Sabine River that were caught from Houston to Lacassine.

The Triangle Tail Chasers hosted their second Open trout Tournament Saturday and once again Mother Nature cut them no slack.The combination of poor water clarity due to the recent gale force winds and a stiff south wind that all but eliminated fishing any clearer water on the Louisiana shoreline made it double tough.

The top four teams all managed to scratch out their four fish limits, but it was apparently difficult to find the larger trout. Cutt and Brunson Ableson won the event with a net weight of 11.97 pounds.Their two pound bonus for keeping all of their trout alive resulted in a 13.97 total. None of the other teams were able to post a double digit

The team of Eddie Roberts and Brian Quebedeaux took home the big trout post with the only speck in excess of five pounds to be weighed in.Their winning trout weighed 5.13 pounds.In spite of the tough conditions, the TPWD was still able to collect 23 trout to take back to the Sea Center for breeding stock.

The Orange County CCA Chapter meets at Robert’s Steakhouse at 7:00 pm Monday night.They welcome new members and will discuss the recent successful crab trap clean-up and plans for this year’s banquet.