You don’t have to know the difference in a largemouth Bass and an anvil to know that the visiting Bassmasters are generating a heap of excitement in Orange County this week. Wrapped vehicles and boats fill hotel parking lots and local fans pack restaurants and local launches for an up close view of their favorite pro.

This is the third time they have fished the Sabine River out of Orange, but it will be a different ball game for the best bass fishermen in the world. The pros that chose to fish only Texas waters in the last two events will find themselves sharing that water with the entire field this week. Due to the confusion surrounding navigating posted waters in Louisiana, the Association has declared Louisiana waters off limits.

The pros can fish either side of the river channel, but can no longer fish in the cuts, bayous and marshes within the Louisiana state boundaries.Aside from the fact that it will eliminate a lot of aquatic real estate, it also eliminates many acres of productive marsh as well.

Taylor’s Bayou, the Neches and bass hideouts even further west will absorb a great deal of the added fishing pressure, but it’s the Sabine that has enjoyed the phenomenal increase in big bass.While anglers can weigh in twelve-inch bass for the first time, numbers alone will not produce a winner this year.

At the same time, the tournament will not be over for those anglers that don’t do well the first day.They can make up ground in a hurry with the kind of fish that have been making local weigh-ins all year long!

Local anglers have consistently weighed in bass in excess of nine- pounds and five fish stringers ranging from sixteen to twenty pounds have been the norm.Things have changed for the better since the pros were last here!

Most of the pros that I have visited with are resting their hopes on flipping tight structure or fishing frogs over surface vegetation.That same frog and the Whopper Flopper duped some incredible bass this spring, but the lion’s share of those fish were caught in the marsh.

Regardless of where they elect to fish these guys will figure it out and make every weigh-in exciting.The heat will be a factor to consider for the daily crowds, but I will not be at all surprised if they don’t break the attendance record they set at the last event.

This an important economic boost for the community and a welcome diversion for folks that still haven’t completely recovered from Harvey’s devastation.If you have the will to hold back a little on the boudain, gumbo and funnel cakes, there will also be live concerts and Art in The Park on Saturday while you wait for the pros to return to weigh-in.

This event is exciting enough to even keep local saltwater fishermen off the water for the weekend, but the catching has been slowly improving.The heat and afternoon winds can temper your enthusiasm, but the water has cleared up some and the bite has gotten a little more consistent.

By far the best bite has been the product of fishing live or fresh bait both on the bottom and under a popping cork.We’ve caught just enough trout on tails and swim baits to assure us that they are still around, but its decent one day andterrible for two!

At least for us, the ship channel has provided the most consistent bite for small keeper trout and a few slot reds.Our crank bait bite slowed a little this week, but four inch Assassins and Mirrolure Lil’ Johns bounced off the bottom in 8 to 12 feet of water on an outgoing tide wasn’t a bad Plan B.

James Sparrow reported that they will kick off the first of six bi-monthly tournaments at 5 p.m. June 7^th .The tournaments are two fish events (1-trout and 1 redfish.)For more information you can go to their facebook page or drop by Outcast Tackle in Groves.