I ran into Trey Smith over at Daley’s Hunt N Fish Friday morning and he wasn’t overly excited at the time about the weather forecast for the following day. He and his partner, Hunter Gothia, were headed to Rayburn to fish a Bass Champs event and a massive weather cell was on the same course.

Trey later said that Saturday was as bad as predicted.“We not only got rain and lightning, but a big wind to go along with it all day long!”Unable to put a productive pattern together obviously made the rain feel even colder and the wind more cutting for the Bridge City team. I can sympathize with them as I have been there and done that!

In spite of the horrendous weather or maybe because of it, the Louisiana team of Jerry Silmon and Brett Hortman won the tournament with a very impressive five fish catch weighing 29.61-pounds. Mike Garrett and Jarod Sheldon took home the big bass money with a 9.09-pound fish.

Rusty Clark of Sam Rayburn and Cory Rambo of Orange stayed on a roll and got it done once again as they took home the fifth place check with a solid 20.82-pound stringer. Jonathan Simon and AP Castino of Orange also had a good tournament as they cashed the ninth place check with 19.36-pounds.

Carolina rigs and football head jigs accounted for the deeper fish, but slow rolled spinner baits and Traps fished over the shallow grass were responsible for good numbers as well as size. If you are waiting for the spawn to get started you are obviously late as a lot of the larger females are already staging.

On the salt water scene it was the same song second verse for the Orange team of Aaron Hommel and Adam Jaynes. “We could deal with the wind and rain,” said Jaynes, “but lightning sent us scrambling for cover more than once during the day. In a nut shell…it was scary!”

After a week of struggling to find any trout at all, Hommel and Jaynes were pleased just to weigh in three fish for a 10-pound total.“You always want to place in the money, but consistency is equally important when fishing a series,” pointed out Jaynes. “We didn’t finish in the money this time, but the ten pounds earned us enough points to keep us in second place for the year.”

All of the fresh water proved to be the stumbling block as the few big trout that they found in practice had moved. “We got very few bites and I can’t say that we even got a shot at a big trout, but we knew it was going to be tough before we ever launched the boat.”

Because of the travel time involved in making it to the weigh-in, the Orange duo loses a couple of hours of fishing when they fish Sabine. That hasn’t been a problem thus far, but Jaynes pointed out that they may fish a whole lot closer to the weigh-in site next month. “We’d love to fish here again, but if it keeps raining we’ll have to run to the short rigs to find any salt water on Sabine.”

The teams that chose to fish the Matagorda area dealt with the same conditions early, but the weather passed through and their big trout showed up for them. Roger and Joe Friedrichs posted an incredible three trout stringer weighing 19.09-pounds that included two fish over the seven pound mark. After buying their boat in the Calcutta and winning first and third in the big trout pot, the duo walked off with a $6026 check. That tends to make inclement weather much more bearable!

Even after earning the second place check of $2789, Ray Malone and Ryan Sweezy must have still been somewhat disappointed. They had to have felt pretty confident driving back to the scales with 18.49-pounds of trout on a day when most sane folks wouldn’t even consider fishing and not win. It took very respectable 13.41-pounds to finish in the top five, but the weights fell off pretty quickly after that.

The redfish were still doing their thing on Sabine following all of the rain, but the trout have gotten even harder to find for most of us. Calmer winds will help a lot of the silt settle out in the open lake, but the bayous and the rivers are still pumping in a lot of cold muddy water with more rain on the way.

This is really pretty typical for Sabine this time of the year, but we had gotten spoiled with the water clarity, compliments of a year long drought. The good news is that while we will struggle a little locally both Rayburn and Toledo Bend are finally building levels. With the current levels as low as they are right now, you can look for a parade of double digit bass to make their way to the scales again this spring.