I was not surprised by the impressive number of fishermen that took advantage of the Grand Opening sale at the new Daley’s Fish n Hunt store this weekend, but at the same time I did not expect to see so many folks from Orange and Bridge City walking the aisles. There were also a lot of people that drove in from the Houston area simply to take advantage of the big discounts on high dollar items like Shimano reels.

The Shimano rep was in the store both days and apparently the word was already out that at least two of their more popular reel models would no longer be available. Daley’s got wind of it early and ordered everyone they could get their hands on for their customers. Needless to say, they went very quickly. If you had to pick up some tackle anyway, it was an excellent time to do so as they also drew names for hourly prizes that included everything from lure packages to rods.

The Port Acres store could not have opened at a better time for local anglers as it has gotten harder and harder to find any selection in our larger retail outdoor departments. More than one Orange shopper pointed out that it is all but impossible to find not only any variety of lures, but terminal tackle as well at home. Even the Academy Stores have reduced their color selections and no longer carry the variety of brands they once handled.

Tal Cowan was on hand both days with his popular line of TTF products and he put a twist on a problem that many of us have had on Sabine lately. I pointed out that while his plastics may well be the most durable on the market, I have been fishing my way through several packages in less than an hour recently due to fish biting the tails off on the initial strike.

Seemingly oblivious to my complaint, he picked up several different samples of his two color tails lying on the table and gave both ends a significant tug. When they failed to pull apart he stated with only the slightest trace of a smile, “Those are small blue fish biting the tails off your baits and they are a valuable asset in my business!”

Blue fish are not the only species biting things in half in the lake right now.We had two more trout bitten in half by sharks on the north end of the lake last week and Dale Perry had an excellent trout bite put to sleep by two porpoises that invaded the area he was wading.

Capt. Chuck told me a month ago that he had encountered a small school of rays just south of Coffee Ground Cove and we found the same thing off the tip of Stewts early last week.There were more rays in that one school than I have seen in a lifetime of fishing Sabine.We need some rain before the sharks start eating bass above I-10!

Speaking of bass, it took only one bad tournament before the team of Trey Smith and Hunter Gothia were back on the winner’s stand in the afternoon river series. “It was tough, which I think favored Hunter and I.” said Smith, “and we really had to grind to catch our fish.”

Smith added that they only caught six bass all evening and were able to cull only one fish. They still managed to weigh in a 3 bass limit that weighed 5.38 pounds and collected a $528 check for their efforts. Jonathan Simon and Kevin Vaughn took second with two bass weighing 4.34 pounds and Bobby Trahan and Glenn Trantham took third place money and the big bass pot with a 2.54-pound bass.

The field continues to grow each week in the popular event as 33 teams fished last Tuesday. If you like convenient and competitive bass fishing, the city boat ramp on Simmons drive is the place to be on Tuesday afternoons. Blast off is at 5:30 so you need to get there early to sign up and launch.

The Triangle Tail Chasers were also back on the water Saturday for their monthly tournament. Fifteen teams fished the event and at the end of the day there was a dead even tie for first place. The odds of that happening are just fantastic not only due to the fact that they record their weights to the hundredths of an ounce, but more so because they weigh in 2 flounder, 2 trout and 2 redfish.

The Jordan brothers and the team of Mire and Havard split first place and second place money with identical 22.10-pound weights. Both teams had all six of their fish. If you were in the right place at the right time you found yourself covered up with redfish, but for the most part, trout were easier to come by than redfish for the majority of the teams.

The July tournament is going to be a shared benefit event with a much larger purse than usual. Damon Silva said they will have all of the information out by the end of next week.