So much for picking a more favorable weather day to track down that trout of a lifetime. Over the past week you had the option of either fishing under a clear sun filled sky with a howling north wind that starched the vinyl flags at local car dealerships or fishing in rain gear in a stiff southeast breeze from “can til can’t”!

I have been guiding for forty-two years and I am still amazed at the number of folks willing to pay a guide fee to endure such discomfort in the name of fun. If you have never made cast after cast standing waist deep in 49 degree water in leaky waders you either have good sense or your waders don’t leak.

Unlike more pleasant times of the year, the obsessed angler that occasionally hits a home run in the winter is rightfully reluctant to share any information and I couldn’t agree more with their tight lipped policy. If you hope to strike gold, you shiver your way through nine tough trips out of every ten logged across the next two months.

In the event that there is not a trout residing in Sabine Lake large enough to tempt you to even look in the direction of your fishing tackle take heart in the fact that upcoming Boat and Tackle Shows are held indoors. The Houston Boat Show is in full swing in the Reliant Center right now and will run through Jan. 13.

The number of tackle reps participating has fallen off some over the years, but if you are boat hunting there is no better opportunity to compare apples to apples while talking with factory reps as well as the sales people. Four stroke engines that continue to get faster, lighter and more fuel efficient and electronics that will do everything but actually catch the fish are on display in mind boggling numbers.

If visiting with guides, tournament pros and tackle manufacturers is what you are looking to do, then mark your calendar for the 38th annual Houston Fishing Show to be held at the George R. Brown Center March 6-10. Not only can you pick and choose hourly seminars hosted by both fresh and saltwater guides, but get a sneak preview of new tackle and lures as well.

Whether you buy a new rod or reel at the show or not, it is an excellent opportunity to get feedback from folks that fish every day. Invariably, I spend more time talking about techniques than anything else, but cost is no guarantee that a rod and reel is balanced or will do what you want it to do. Not unlike the Boat Show, this is an opportunity to compare apples to apples when shopping for a rod or reel.

While on the subject of marking your fishing calendar, Jim Morrissey recently sent me the Triangle Tail Chaser tournament information for 2013 along with a few upgrades that were made following a very successful and well attended 2012 season. They will kick off the year with an open tournament on March 9 followed by five qualifying events scheduled March through August.

Membership fees have been reduced to $20 this year with side pots and door prizes still up for grabs at every event. For more information you can go to their much more user-friendly web site for 2013 at

It is still early in the game for this event, but as promised, Tony Viator announced that the 4th annual Cops Helping Kids Tournament has been moved up a weekend to July 26 and 27. Last year’s tournament was scheduled on the same weekend as the annual OCARC tournament and Viator stated at that time that this year’s date would be moved to accommodate anglers wishing to fish both benefit events. The OCARC will continue to host their tourney the first weekend in August.

If you did not fish the Cops Helping Kids Tournament last year then you need to go ahead and make plans to do so the weekend of the 26^th .The entry fee is very reasonable, the prize money is substantial and the steak supper at the Captain’s Meeting the night before is worth the entry fee alone. For more information you can contact Tony Viator at 409-284-7934.

The Orange County CCA Chapter will hold their first meeting of the year Monday night, January 14, at 6:30 p.m. at Robert’s Steak House. This is yet another opportunity to eat, stay warm and talk fishing. President, Scott Bandy, and his dedicated group of volunteers have grown the chapter every year and welcome local anglers concerned with conservation and the future of our coastal fishery.

For more information call Scott at 409-988-3667 or Matt Still at 713-626-4222.