Capt. Dickie Colburn – For The Record

After consuming way too much barbeque and homemade peach ice cream, Mason Sawyer decided to climb in his bass boat and watch the fireworks from the open lake.“I couldn’t talk the kids or grandkids into joining me,” said Sawyer.“I think they enjoy the adrenalin rush of lighting the fuse and running for cover as much as the explosions and you can’t do that in a boat.”

Once the fireworks show in front of his own camp had subsided, he decided to fish his way back in and that is when his own unexpected fireworks show began.“I chunked a weightless lizard in the middle of some laydown grass in about six feet of water and a bass was waiting on it. And not just any bass!

“When I finally got my hands on her I was so surprised and pleased that I just held her up for a better look and quickly put her back.I guessed her to be in the eight to nine pound class.My oldest son was the one that drove up to the lake with the truck full of fireworks and I couldn’t wait to tell him what he had missed.”

After catching and releasing enough small bass to keep him out longer than planned, his lizard was once again ambushed by a quality fish.“By the time I got her to the boat she was covered with grass and it wasn’t until I peeled all the grass away that I realized that she was almost as big as the first bass.”

Because he was so close to the camp, he decided to put her in the livewell and call his son and tell him to meet him on the dock. “When I picked her up he immediately dumped the rest of his cup of coffee in the lake and asked how much she weighed,” said Sawyer.

Doubting his Dad’s conservative guestimate, he retrieved his own scale and watched as the numbers settled out at 10.2 pounds.After a quick high five he eased the fish back into the lake and tied up the boat.“He was more excited than I was,” said Sawyer, “so I decided not to tell him that the first bass I caught was bigger than that fish!”

The more normal summer patterns on Toledo Bend have changed a little due to higher and cooler water and less hydrilla than usual.Most of the night fishermen that I talk with are either targeting the lay down grass or staying put on deeper structure breaks and waiting on the bass to come to them

As a rule, night fishermen are more tight-lipped than those that prefer fishing when they can see what they are doing, so you can rest assured that we will never even hear about most of the double digit fish caught and released on T-Bend across the next few months. Had it not been for the popularity of club fishing in the 80’s and 90’s, far fewer anglers would have ever even given it a shot.

This is not to say that there isn’t plenty going on in the daylight hours in spite of the heat. The white perch bite has been especially good, the bass are schooling almost every day and the yellow bass bite is improving as well.Nine year old, Kalie Broussard, got the surprise of her life last week while fishing minnows over a brush pile.

Both her Mom and Aunt, thought it was just another channel cat crashing their crappie catching party when the youngster struggled to even gain any line. Kaylie eventually won the tug-of-war with a seven pound bass with six pound test line and a light wire crappie hook.

As far as the fishing here on Sabine Lake goes, it continues to be a grind for me. My grandson and I took advantage of a dead calm day last Friday and we checked out water I haven’t been able to fish all the way from East Pass to the Causeway. We never caught the first trout north of Willow Bayou and had to settle for only reds and flounder in order to have a fish fry.

The water clarity is not bad, but the salinity on the north end has to be lower than anticipated.If we can continue to dodge major rain events that problem could disappear pretty quickly, but I have no idea how long it will take the trout to resume their old habits!