Colburn “DO IT IN ORANGE” TOURNEY THIS WEEKEND
For the first time since the two month run on big trout that didn’t slow down until late March, the bragging size trout were once again on the prowl last week. The numbers weren’t as impressive and the bite was on the brief side each day, but the rumor of three thirty-inch trout in a single week was motivation enough for most anglers!
Not surprisingly, by the time Sunday morning rolled around area boat launches were packed with anglers hoping for a possible swing at the trout of a lifetime. Cell phones and internet can be very valuable assets for fishermen, but they can prove to be a pain in the butt as well. I am not much on either one, thus I may have been the only trout enthusiast between Houston and Lake Charles that had not read about or heard the reports.
I was in a tackle shop in Lake Charles Thursday night after fishing most of the day and there were several fishermen ganged up and already talking about a thirty inch trout that had been caught on Sabine that same morning. By the time I got home I had three voice mails and a pile of emails either confirming the catch or asking if it were true.
I don’t think that any of the more hard core anglers that paid their dues on those bitterly cold and windy days between January and late March doubted that we would experience at least a short run of big fish in the early summer. Most of their big trout were caught and released without any fan fare, but the average fisherman is not tough enough or not mad enough at the fish to have endured those conditions even if they had heard about those fish.
Warmer weather, more favorable winds and one or two glowing reports is all it takes, however, for most folks to merit gassing up the bay boat and hunting the biggest crowd of fishermen on the lake. More than one boat in a single spot does indicate there are fish there….doesn’t it?
I personally saw only one of the trout everyone is talking about, but I have since spoken with fishing friends that saw at least one of the other two. The longest of the three, if not the heaviest as well, was caught by an angler fishing a seven inch worm under a popping cork after running out of live mud minnows. His fish may or may not be headed for the taxidermist, but it did leave the lake in his cooler.
The other two fish were caught by anglers drifting soft plastics and both were released on the spot. One of the fish was measured and photographed while resting on top of the net without ever putting her in the boat. That fish appeared to be closer to thirty-one inches.
Sammy Hall sent me a picture of the 30 inch trout that Richard Netherly caught while fishing with him and while pictures can be deceiving, I have no doubt that their fish was easily over ten pounds. I talked with other anglers that were fishing nearby and they were convinced it was a double digit trout.
Hall added that they had to work at reviving the big trout, but she finally got her second wind, righted herself and sped away to recuperate. At least from a guide’s standpoint, the only thing more gratifying than catching the trout of a lifetime is putting someone else on that kind of fish. Congratulations to Richard and Sammy!
That is as much as I know about the three trout in question. Amazingly enough, not one of those trout were taken by anglers entered in the CCA STAR tournament.
We endured a tougher wind Monday and Tuesday and I have received no more emails or pictures on the phone, but that does not surprise me. We may not see another trout like those three in a long time, but it is nice to know that at least two of them are out there still putting on weight and making more genetically superior baby trout.
The river bass fishermen may not get the same boost on the eve of this weekend’s bigger than ever “Do It In Orange” fishing classic as the river is still running high and off colored, but that won’t slow down the teams looking to earn a very good two day paycheck. With a total of $22,500 in prize money up for grabs in four divisions as well as a $500 gift certificate from David Self Ford for all thirty winners the field could be the largest in the tournament’s history.
For more information on entering the event call The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce at 409-883-3536 or tournament chairman, John Gothia at 409-882-1217. Mailed entry fees must be received by June 13.