A WINNER IN EVERY CATEGORY
Another OCARC tournament is officially in the books and while there were no record breaking catches weighed in, every check was cashed in every category.That is quite a feat in itself when you consider the fact that the twelve categories cover both fresh and salt water!
Aside from Director, John Thomas, his volunteers and all of the folks that make up the OCARC, no one had a more enjoyable day when all was said and done than Rickey Adams.His game plan was obviously a good one as he placed in four categories and pocketed $650 in dominating the saltwater division.
Adams nudged out Cooper Smith and Jay Delk by less than half an ounce in winning the redfish category with a 7.84 pound fish.Prior to the tournament Thomas paid tribute to longtime volunteer, Stan Armstrong, by re-titling that category in his name.Armstrong passed away earlier this year.
Adams cashed another $250 check by winning the “Appaloosa Red” pot as well. His winning fish had eight spots.He completed his multiple trips to the pay out window with the winning black drum and the third heaviest flounder.
Darren Bland earned the top prize in the flounder division with a 2.58 pound fish and Mark Dagenhart easily walked away with the $250 check for his 4.12 speckled trout.It has been a while since I have seen a trout over four pounds which is not a good thing.Big trout have been missing in action for much too long!
Roger Bertrand is also $250 richer for his first place finish in the bass division.Bass are the only fish that have to be weighed in alive adding to the difficulty in winning that category.His fish weighed 2.76 pounds.
Matt Pruyne and Lela Hyatt also cashed three checks.Hyatt won the coveted “Don Hubbard” mudcat and sun perch categories while placing third in the bass category.
Easily the most impressive catches belonged to those chasing the top prize in the Sarge’s Catfish category.Greg Savage won it with a beautiful 18.82 pound fish, but Ann Borel finished right on his heels with a 17.10 cat and Milton Newton cashed the third place check with a solid 12.91 fish.
The winners of the other categories were Erin Loright- 1.0 white perch, Kamren Nation- 1.56 croaker, and Austin Borel-7.62 grinnel. It is a given every year that in order to win the “Janae Borel” grinnel category you will have to beat a member of the Borel family and that happens very seldom.
Congratulations are in order also for every youngster that weigh master, Joe Persohn, presented with an OCARC tournament trophy.Every child that weighs in a fish wins one and there were lots of kids sporting a smile at the end of the day!
It was also very pleasing to see the number of croaker and perch that were weighed in Saturday. Not only are these fishermen-friendly fish for the entire family, they are excellent table fare.Several of the visiting Bassmaster Elite fishermen mentioned the incredible number of goggle-eye and bream that crashed their bass fishing party back in June.
Fried goggle-eye rank only behind white perch and flounder for me and they are fun to catch on a fly rod or a light action spinning rod.I also like the fact that I don’t have to hustle up earthworms or crickets to catch them.They will readily hit everything from a plastic worm to a small topwater lure.
While the trout bite remains a challenge at best, the redfish bite cannot get a whole lot better than it is right now.Live bait fishermen can anchor up and wait them out with live finger mullet, shad or fresh dead shrimp.A Carolina rig fished on deeper drops along the ICW or mouths of the bayous has been the ticket with any tied movement at all.
The bite in the lake has been a little more frustrating only because you invariably leave an area only to learn that they started schooling on the surface no sooner than you drove away.There is no “wrong “lure when you find them blowing holes in the surface.A Hoginar is hard to beat, however, in that you can easily cast it a long way and all you have to do is crank it back in to attract a redfish!