The popular Triangle Tail Chasers circuit averaged a consistent 29 teams for their first three tournaments, but less than half that number showed up for Saturday’s event hosted out of Ancelet’s Marina. The A&M tournament undoubtedly had some impact on the smaller turnout, but it could well have just been plain old good sense that limited the field!

You had to really be mad at the fish to fight the weather this past weekend. The rain and accompanying gusty winds were problematic enough, but most of the showers produced lightning as well .In spite of all of that, the thirteen teams that fished their way around the storms posted some very solid weights.

For any of you still unfamiliar with the club’s slightly different and challenging format, the winning weight can include the total weight of two Texas legal reds, two trout and two flounder. Three of the teams that fished Saturday managed to bring the slam to the scales and ten of the thirteen teams weighed in at least one fish.

Steven Havard has really had a hot hand this year and he teamed up with Kory Earp to win once again. They finished with 22.25 pounds to narrowly edge out the team of Bryan Frederick and J Rod Broussard. The second place team weighed in 21.89 pounds. Robby Trahan and his son, Justin, finished in third place less than a half pound behind the winning catch. Albert Bates and Chris Wolford won the largest flounder side pot with a 2.78 pound flatfish.

The Trahan’s solid outing enabled them to maintain their slim lead in the club’s “team of the year” chase while the “angler of the year” is up for grabs as well. Both titles are based on points rather than weight and the Trahans currently lead Havard and Earp by a razor thin four points for the team of the year award. The Trahans have 391 points followed by Havard and Earp with 387 points. The next four teams are all within 18 points of the lead.

The race for the title may be even closer than it appears as each team’s total points will be based on the best four of the five tournaments fished. The top two teams left the others very little catch-up room, but the two leaders will have to get it done one more time to ice the title. Rain or shine, you can rest assured that next month’s turnout will be a good one!

If you are looking for a reason to “just have to fish” at least once a month and enjoy saltwater fishing then joining the Triangle Tail Chaser’s is for you. The entry fees are modest, the members share information and tips that help you catch fish throughout the year, and the competition is a bonus for any angler that wishes to experience that challenge without having to commit a week’s vacation and a pocket full of money.

The door prizes aren’t too shabby either. The Trahans finished one place out of the money Saturday, but still walked away with a new Boga Grip. The monthly meetings often feature guest speakers and there is always something good cooking at Ancelet’s Marina on a Saturday afternoon.

I talked with David Self pro, Trey Smith, last week and he said the bass fishing on the river was double tough last week. I haven’t talks with Jonathan Simon of Simon Outfitters, but I think he weighed in the only keeper bass in the Tuesday afternoon series on the river.

Smith felt like at least a part of the problem was the tide. “I had a couple of real good mornings on numbers of fish in an area only to return to that same area in the evening on a different tide and do nothing,” he stated.“There is bait everywhere on one tide and you don’t even see a shad flip when it changes!”

I personally cannot wait for the pros to fish this end of the river next spring. Not only will it be a big event for Orange, but one of them just might figure out how to catch more than one or two keeper bass a day on the Sabine. The lower coast pros did just that several years back for Sabine Lake fishermen and trout fishing has taken front and center ever since.

The catching was improving even on the north end of Sabine prior to the latest round of showers, but has slowed down some since. It wasn’t enough to affect the salinity or water clarity so the bite should improve very quickly.

Don’t forget that your Texas fishing license expires at the end of this month. The new ones are out and go into effect as soon as you purchase them.