Dickie Colburn – For The Record

While it made life outdoors slightly more tolerable, the stiff wind that churned up white caps across Sabine Lake Saturday afternoon made the catching a little tougher for the field of 260 plus local anglers.The wind was not, however, a factor for the anglers that started Friday evening nor was it that bad Saturday morning.

OCARC Director, John Thomas, was obviously pleased with exceeding the 260 entry number for the 29^th annual tournament.“Our business sponsors as well as the fishing community stepped up again and everyone associated with the Center in any way appreciates that support” said Thomas.

Even before the first team weighed in he added, “There is no doubt that we anticipate seeing more redfish than usual this afternoon and for the first time in a long time, more bass as well.The river and the lake were both in excellent shape and his prediction was right on the money.

No one is more persistent in covering all of their bases when it comes to catching quality redfish year round than the Vaughans and not surprisingly, it paid off for them again.They do an excellent job of avoiding the beaten path and targeting areas that most anglers won’t even attempt to fish, but going in I felt like everyone was in the game due to the easier bite in the lake.

Simply cruising the open lake and stumbling up on the right size red fish has been a daily occurrence and catching limits has simply been a matter of being within earshot of a school of surface feeding fish.Having said that, however, I am glad that doing your homework still makes a difference.

Donna proved that the Vaughan men don’t have a lock on catching winning redfish by nudging out Kevin for first place with a very solid 8.09 pound red.He finished only an ounce or two behind her, but she cashed the first place check. She also cashed the “Appaloosa red” side pot check for the red with the most spots.

Big specked trout have been difficult to come by, but Jacob Jordan still managed to win that category with a respectable 4.40 pound trout. Nolan Haney took home the $250 first place check for his first place flounder with a 2.68 pound fish.That, too, is a pretty good flounder considering the heat.

Taylor Guidry truly blew the doors off the rest of the field with his winning 4.04 pound bass. Easily the most impressive aspect of his standout catch, however, was that very few of the local bass fishermen on hand were surprised.The river and the marshes have just been on fire thanks in part to a year and a half of flooding and bass in excess of five pounds are now showing up at local weigh-ins on a very frequent basis.Taylor did, however, get it done when it counted!

On Sept. 1 the legal size limit will be dropped to 12 inches and the bass will draw even more attention from local anglers.That is great news for folks that are more interested in a fish fry than a trophy, but it will only continue to improve if we remember that just because the sign says 75…..we aren’t required to drive that fast.I personally think that it is a good rule change that was far too long in coming.

Joe Jackson won the catfish category with a beautiful 23.74 fish.Ricky Adams won a very competitive black drum division with a 6.14 fish and Robert Gobert won the first place croaker check by .02 ounces with his solid 1.58 pound fish. The Clarks walked off with all of the white perch money as Wendy narrowly edged out her Dad, Craig.

And, while it comes as no surprise to anyone that knows the Borels and their fishing prowess on the river, they cashed eight checks in four categories.Austin set a new tournament record with a huge .75 pound bream and Ann won the grinnel category with a 7.1 pound fish as well as the coveted mudcat check with a 2.11 pound specimen.

Congratulations to both the OCARC on another great tournament and the folks that support that organization throughout the year as well!