It is that time of the year again and I couldn’t be happier.Seemingly overnight, those red and gold placards announcing the upcoming annual OCARC fishing tournament appear on every corner lot in Orange.

The event, itself, is a much anticipated happening each year, but more importantly, I know that regardless how tough the fishing has been all summer…..it will start improving the day of the tournament!

This cannot simply be written off as the rants of some old “has been” fisherman as this assessment is well supported by factual data.This year’s event will mark the popular tournament’s 31^st year and over the course of that incomparable run, weather has played a major factor only twice.Even more importantly, a dismal summer of catching inexplicably turns around and stays that way right on through the fall.

When I finally realized that Director, John Thomas, and the folks down at the OCARC had something on Mother Nature, I lobbied for the tournament to be move to the first week of June to assure us of a productive summer.No such luck, however, but I can all but promise you that the catching will turn around August 3^rd .

With the exception of a rule change that all bass must be weighed in alive, the entry rules and format are unchanged as there is no reason to further tinker with something that obviously works.First place in the bass, flounder, speck and redfish divisions is worth $250, the redfish with the most spots pays an additional $250 and 32 fishermen will earn a check in a dozen categories.

Gopher Industrial started sponsoring the Appaloosa Red category a few year back and it put every contestant in the game as length and weight were of no importance as long as the fish was a Texas legal specimen. This is truly a family event as every youngster that weighs in a fish will receive a trophy.

While the main objective of the two day affair is to raise money for a service organization that supports itself, it has always promoted family and getting youngsters involved in fishing. There is no better excuse for having to go fishing on a Saturday morning.

The event will kick off at 5 p.m. on the 3^rd with the weigh-in set for 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon.Contestants can start having their catches certified at 3 p.m. at the Orange City Boat launch.The entry fee is still only $30.For more information drop by the Center located on the corner at 8^th and Park or call 409-886-1363.

The Orange County CCA Chapter still has a few tickets and possibly a table or two remaining for their upcoming banquet on August 9^th .The fund raiser and celebration takes place at the Convention and Expo center located on Hwy. 1442.Things kick off around 6:00 p.m.

A southwest wind that refused to quit blowing made fishing Sabine Lake a little tough this past week.There were still some decent trout caught off the Revetment wall and Neches flats as they were somewhat protected, but it was an inconsistent bite.

We are possibly looking at lighter winds this week and more available water should yield better catches.Topwaters, five inch tails rigged on sixteenth ounce heads and tails fished under a cork have all produced both trout and redfish.

Steve Simmons over at Outcast Tackle recently asked me if I had fished a plastic frog called a Cajun Croaker made by Cajun Lures and I hadn’t even heard of it at that time.Frog type lure are certainly no secret and come in a variety of shapes and forms……most of which work very well.

The only Frog I have ever fished is the Ribbit with a 4/0 worm hook rigged weedless and, for the most part, used it only for seducing redfish buried up in vegetation.You haven’t witness a topwater explosion until you have a redfish decide it wants your plastic frog.

Having said that, as a result of getting forced back into the protected waters of the marsh, I tied one of the Cajun Croakers on and two casts later I had a new favorite frog.It has a little longer legs, casts easier and the sound the feet make is just perfect.While buying three more packs, I met a Toledo Bend bass fisherman that said he now fishes it exclusively on the back of a buzz bait rather than a skirt.

Because the legs are a little longer we had to wait a split second longer before setting the hook, but we missed very few fish.The marsh bass like it as much as the reds.