More fishing than catching
Two consecutive days without rain would have to be considered a major drought after what we have sloshed our way through over the past month. Local saltwater fishermen have taken the biggest hit courtesy of the additional fresh water and the SRA is still running one generator with five gates open on Toledo Bend due to a rising lake level.
As you would expect, the river is high as well and rushing into Sabine Lake at a pretty stiff pace. The local bass fishermen participating in Simon’s weekly river tournaments, however, continue to get better at dealing with the runoff conditions.If the weatherman didn’t miss his forecast too badly, they were finally at least able to leave their rain gear in the rod locker yesterday evening.
Because the press deadline for The Record and their weigh-ins don’t coincide, the Tuesday evening results run a week late.I never thought they would get last week’s tournament in as it was still raining sideways when I spoke with Jonathan Simon around noon, but enough of the system blew through to make it a safe, if not soggy by blast off time.
“We sweated out the weather all morning,” said Jonathan, “and we were really pleased that thirty four teams showed up to fish.” It was a super tough afternoon as Kyle Bordelon’s one bass won first place and the big bass pot as well.His winning bass weighed in at a very solid 4.24 pounds!
The second place check went to the team of Darren Youngblood and Joey Childers with 3.77 pounds while Kade Beats and John Dickerson cashed the third place check with 3.14 pounds.Simon said that flipping and pitching dark craw worms was the ticket once again.Most of the field reported catching a decent number of small bass, but are very much looking forward to fishing more normal conditions.
Nolan Pearce and Dave Lund prefer to spend all of their fishing time chasing redfish and trout somewhere between East bay and Big Lake, but they said to heck with all of the fresh water and fished Toledo Bend Friday and Saturday.“We really just wanted to relax and beat up on a few crappie,” said Lund, “but the area we thought would be good was really off-colored so we ran south and bass fished for a day and a half.”
After catching only small bass fishing frogs and weightless lizards over the shallow grass the first morning, they moved to the outside grass breaks in 12 to 15 feet of water and in Lund’s words, “Caught bass like we knew what we were doing.” Nolan caught our first four pound bass bouncing a black neon tube off the bottom, but I dug out a deep diving sexy shad Killer B crankbait and we caught fish in the three to six pound class until we got tired of catching fish.They never really quit biting, but cranking on that deep diver all day long is not relaxing!”
Dave said the bass were holding on the same pattern the following morning, but they were tired of cranking by noon. Because they have no intention of making a return trip any time soon they were willing to share exactly what they found that was so productive.
“We figured the bite out by fishing deep points of grass running out off the Texas Islands, but the best concentrations were holding on the same type structure on the north side of Indian Creek,” stated Lund.It seemed like we would hang up in the grass for just a second before every strike.”
He sounded pretty serious when he also said, “If you know any local bass fishermen that know where the redfish are in the Sabine Lake area tell them to pass it along and you give us a call.” Nolan also mentioned that they didn’t keep a single fish, but they looked like they had already spawned.
The white perch bite on the south end of the lake is apparently much better than it is on the north end due to better water clarity.Walter Seals said they trailered from just above the Negreet Creek area to stroll the deeper grass on the south end three days last week and did well enough to warrant the return trips each day.
“My water at the camp is really dirty right now, but the water down around the dam was in good shape,” reported Seals.“We didn’t just kill them down there, but we caught 20 to 30 nice fish in a couple of hours of strolling each morning.”He said the cloud cover extended their bite an hour or two on the third trip.They fished Road Runners with chartreuse curly tails.
I also got a good report on the white bass and surprisingly enough it wasn’t from J.D. Longlois for a change.I will, however, guarantee you that once he finds out they are starting to move back on the deep water humps he will be digging out his jigging spoons.He really has that program wired and according to him, catching the tasty pan fish is all about good electronics and the right spoon!
Photo – Kyle Bordelon first place and big bass one fish 4.24 Darren Youngblood and Joey Childers got 2nd 3.77 and Kade Beats and John Dickerson got 3rd with 3.14. We had 34 boats and had 16 keepers weighed in. Flipping any type of dark color in craw was the key. This was the winner, a 4.24 River stud.