Capt. Dickie Colburn – For The Record

Due to the low salinity level in Sabine Lake and a howling south wind that seems to blow every day just because, this reminder is probably more pertinent for area bass fishermen than saltwater enthusiasts.Your non-resident Louisiana fishing license expired June 30^th !

It is easy to overlook with the July Fourth weekend and vacations, but the Game Wardens don’t forget.It has been my experience that they are somewhat lenient for the first two weeks of July, but I wouldn’t push my luck.There isn’t much productive water for local anglers to fish that isn’t in Louisiana.

While the saltwater fishermen have really struggled since early March, the bass fishermen have enjoyed a rebounding fishery very reminiscent of the 70’s and 80’s. The surrounding marshes as well as the river have just been red hot for not only numbers, but size as well.

On the saltwater side, Plan B when the lake has been unfishable for one reason or another has always been to either run farther south to the ship channel and jetties or fish the ICW and bayous north of the lake.The trout continue to be a no-show on the north end which is currently forcing the most persistent anglers to deal with the wind and crowds south of the Causeway.

Tony Viator and crew are rapidly putting the final touches on what has become the most anticipated tournament of the summer and the tougher conditions should make this the most wide-open event ever. The seventh edition of the popular “Cops Helping Kids” charity tournament hosted by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Association is set for July 22^nd and 23^rd .

Every penny raised is used to support local children’s charities and organizations making this a “win-win” event for everyone involved.Not only is there significant prize money up for grabs, but more importantly, the two day affair makes you feel good about simply being a part of the fishing fraternity.

I enjoy the Captain’s meeting at the Port Arthur Civic Center the night of the 22^nd more than the actual tournament.The steak supper and auctions alone are easily worth the price of an entry fee, but for me it is the opportunity to visit with local anglers more concerned with bettering the life of a child than winning any prize money!

Even if you have no intention of wetting a hook on tournament day, I encourage you to come out and show your support for the countless hours of volunteer work on the part of Viator and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Association.For more information about becoming a sponsor, purchasing a ticket or simply making a donation go to www.copshelpingkids <http://www.copshelpingkids>. com or call Ryan Warhola at 409-718-8623 or Erik Borman at 409-504-5532.

I will have more about it next week, but the OCARC will also host their 27^th annual Fishing Tournament out of the Orange Public boat ramp the first weekend in August.This charity event is the lone fundraiser for the folks at the Center and they look forward to it as much as the fishermen.

It is hard to believe that after this fantastic run of successful events, the entry fee is still only $25 and kids under 16 fish for free.That means that for less than the cost of a baby sitter for a day, Dad can go fishing and earn an “atta-boy” at the same time for giving Mom a day off!

More on it next week, but until then for more information or tickets drop by the Center located here in Orange at Park and 8^th or give them a call at 886-1363.

And, while you still have a little time unless you are one of the members working every day to make it all happen, the Orange County CCA Chapter Banquet is once again set for the Convention and Expo Center on hwy. 1142 on August18^th .Individual tickets are $60 each and include not only a great supper and auction, but a year’s membership in the CCA as well.

There are also sponsored tables available for 8 to 16 people that include memberships, gifts, a banner and a full page advertisement.The size of this event has literally exploded over the past couple of years so I would recommend contacting Scott Bandy at 988-3667 or Louis Moore at 988-4845 in the very near future if you want to be a part of this fun-filled evening.-