Captain Dickie Colburn – For The Record

The pro anglers fishing the first qualifying tournament of the year on the Elite Redfish Circuit are back on Sabine. The Pt. Arthur Convention Center will host this event, but the anglers will be plying the same waters they fished in the Classic hosted out of Orange only two weeks ago. The tournament kicks off Friday morning.

Even with the benefit of having fished the area so recently, I don’t see the winner posting a heavier winning weight than Clark Jordan brought to the scales.I do, however, look for more anglers to limit for two reasons.

While we continue to get far more rain than we need, the saltier incoming tides are now more responsible for higher water than excessive rainwater and flooding.We have been all over the marshes over the past week and the water could not be prettier.

Secondly, a large percentage of the field was thrown a last minute curve ball at the Captain’s meeting when they were told that that much of the water they had scouted in Louisiana all week was posted and off limits for the tournament. Their first day of competition was unexpectedly reduced to another day of scouting and three days of big winds only compounded the problem.

Some of the panic was due to misinterpretation or poor communication as they avoided areas on Day 1 that they could have legally fished. Some of that was cleared up after the initial weigh-in and the weights improved after that. I have no idea what is behind the problem, but I have guided in this ecosystem for over forty years and I have seen more new posted signs this week alone than I have seen in all of those years combined.

After having to cancel the March tourney due to flooding, The Triangle Tailchasers took advantage of picture perfect weather and hosted a record breaking tournament out of Anclet’s Marina last Saturday.The club welcomed several new members as well and I feel certain that the winning weights garnered the attention of the visiting Elite anglers.

Kevin and Michael Vaughan absolutely blew a field of very good local anglers away with a three fish stringer that weighed 25.77 pounds anchored by a 9.30 kicker fish.Those totals are even more impressive considering the fact that the club allows only a 27-inch maximum length.

Corey Sattler and Tim Thompson had to settle for second place finishing four pounds off the pace with a very solid 21.69 pound catch.The top five teams all finished with 20-pound plus catches and it took an eighteen pound catch just to finish in the Top 10.

The tournament produced not only records for heaviest stringer and largest fish, but five fish over eight pounds were weighed in for the Big Fish side pot as well.It should come as little surprise that the Vaughans now own both records based on their past performances.

Jim Morrissey, the individual that diligently records and documents the results of every event reported that in looking over the top ten weights posted since 2014, the Vaughans own three of them. Robbie and Justin Trahan’s 23.26- pound record catch lasted two years and this new weight will be even harder to chase down.If nothing else, you know who you have to beat to win a Tailchaser tournament.

The club once again thanked their sponsors and supporters which include not only the folks at Ancelet’s, but Sarge’s Custom Rods, Neches River Wood Works and Del Pappas.Aside from the prize money the Tailchaser Club also gave away seven Yeti Ramblers as door prizes.

I don’t know how Sealy’s annual Big Bass Splash could possibly fly under the radar, but at the very least it received less local attention than usual.The irony lies in the fact that for the first time in the history of the event, a lady angler took home the first place trophy, boat, truck and check.

Tonya Woytasczyk of Dayton slid a huge 12.04 pound largemouth over the side of her boat on the opening day and hung onto the lead for the remainder of the weekend. No one ever gave her winning bass a serious challenge as Mike Gibbs of Hemphill finished second with a 9.77 pound bass.

While the Dayton angler’s performance was the highlight of the tournament, Fred McMahon left his fellow competitors feeling very good about the bass fishing community as well.After winning a Triton boat in a drawing, he gave it to another competitor, Albert Jenkins, after learning that he had fished the entire tournament off a dock, not a boat like everyone else. Wonderful gesture and a great ending to a fabulous fishing weekend!