Capt. Dickie Colburn – For The Record

While the bass fishermen would very much like to see the lake level a little lower on Toledo Bend, Sabine Lake anglers are benefiting from the lighter discharge of water out of the massive impoundment.The water continues to clear up not only in the lake, but in the bayous and river as well and more folks are now enjoying more consistent catches.

Depending on where you are at the moment, daily local rains have had little effect on clarity or salinity.If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, brief afternoon storms have been significant and accompanied by lightning, but they quickly move through the area.More fishermen are now cussing a strong south wind than rain and that is as it should be this time of the year.

The trout bite continues to extend northward with the improved water conditions, but the jetties have produced the better numbers of trout in the three to five pound class this past week. Jarrod Smith capitalized on the late evening bite two days last week and not only limited, but caught his first trout over eight pounds.

The ship channel continues to yield good numbers of keeper size trout and flounder as well for fishermen bouncing tails off the shallow shell.Depending on wind direction, the main shoreline in the lake has been good for not only solid trout, but redfish as well.

It has been a toss-up as to whether to fish the flooded grass or isolated patches of shell a cast or two off the shoreline.A lot of fish are falling victim to a tail fished under a cork, but Swim Baits and five inch paddle tail plastics are working as well.Slot reds are also showing up not only in the flooded grass, but under small groups of gulls in the open lake.

The fish that we have taken under the birds, both trout and reds, have been full of small brown shrimp.For that reason, shrimp imitations made by D.O.A., Vudu and Target have worked very well both under a cork or free-lined.Running off and hunting more birds when the action slows down is a big mistake right now!

While the report is a little generic in that we have countless acres all the way from Taylor’s Bayou to Calcasieu, the most talked about action has been the improved bass bite in accessible marshes.It has been years since that bite was as good as it is right now.In talking with area biologists they attribute much of it to the duration of high water flooding the shallow marshes.

The river is producing good numbers of quality bass as well for the same reason.It took a sixteen pound sack to earn the first place check last Sunday and that wasn’t the only double digit catch.It also took a bass over six pounds to garner the big bass pot!

The Triangle Tailchasers drew a hot day for their monthly tournament this past Saturday and the bite was anything, but easy.Once again, it proved to be the Vaughan Invitational as Michael and Kevin cashed the first place check with a 3 fish limit weighing 23.73 pounds and Stephen and Scott took home the second place money with 23.10 pounds.

Jim Oliff and Bobby James finished third with 18.52 pounds. Ancelet’s Marina once again hosted the event and door prizes were provided by the Marina, the Tailchaser club and Neches River Wood Works.Del Papa not only donated a door prize, but provided refreshments as well.

Darin Johnson of Del Papa also went the extra mile when he volunteered to drive two contestants fishing the Rudy’s tournament back to Harborwalk to get their trailer after their boat broke down.More evidence as to why Darin draws overflow crowds to his annual Sabine-Neches CCA banquets each year.He works at promoting the CCA and supporting area fishermen year round!

The Crain Camp at Mile marker 7 in Johnson Bayou will once again host the Cheniere Wounded Warrior Tournament this Saturday and they can always use more volunteers to get even more of these heroes on the water.The S.A.L.T. Club will once again be on hand to take care of the weigh-in duties.

The entry fee is $50 per participant.Music, food and door prizes will be provided.While there is prize money on the line, it is more about getting these folks on the water for a day of fishing than cashing a check.For more information call Cindy McGee at 337-764-1163.