Due only to the relatively small number of local anglers competing in the SETX Series twice a month, their afternoon tournaments are more akin to a “poker night out” than a fishing competition.The two fish limit (1 trout-1 redfish) format is just perfect for a short afternoon event, but thus far it appears that the entry fees ($200 per team for two tournaments} are a little steep for anglers hoping to learn as well as compete.

Everything is relative, however, as the winners cash some very respectable checks for a few hours of fishing. Entries were down a little in last week’s event, but the winning total was the best of the year and, not surprisingly, that was due to the fact that the winners weighed in a respectable 3.60 pound trout!

Reid Reynolds and Kyle Wagstaff not only won the event with an eleven pound total, but the side pot as well for the largest trout. Steve Simmons said that because there is only one event remaining a team can still enter for the one event fee of $100.That tournament is scheduled for August 23^rd .

Whether you choose to fish these affairs or not, they have certainly been a barometer as far as the catching goes on Sabine Lake.Teams are forced to fish only the afternoons so they take whatever tide change they get, but all of these guys are very efficient fishermen.

Salinity levels continue to rise and water clarity in the river as well as the lake can’t get much better, but locating and consistently catching trout continues to require a lot of looking and a world of casting.An unbelievable amount of bait cruising the surface helps with the search, but the gafftop and lady fish are never far away from these mobile buffets.

Every time I think I have put a pattern together, those fish are nowhere to be found the following day and the bite is very brief.When you find keeper trout you better stay put and get it done in a hurry as no bite lasts very long.

Easily, the most consistent bite for keeper size fish has involved keeping your lure in the top column of water.They will, at times, eat a topwater, but more often than not we have done better fishing a tail under a cork, a minnow type jerk bait or swimming a tail on a 1/16^th ounce head.

Depending on the wind, throwing anything rigged on a 1/16^th ounce head very far is a challenge, thus the reason for arming yourself with a spinning rod.It is also much easier to cast a popping cork with a two to three foot leader.I prefer a 7 foot medium action Laguna rod with a 2500 Shimano reel spooled with 20 pound braid.

I always incorporate two to three feet of 20 pound mono for leader material as well.I like the fact that it is more difficult to see than braid and knots are much easier to tie, especially a loop knot.With the exception of hard baits that come with a metal loop attached to the nose, I tie every lure on with a loop knot.It greatly enhances lure action.

There is no doubt that we have done better swimming the five inch tails, Assassin rat tail Sea Shads and Down South tails get the first shot, but not every angler can effectively keep his or her lure in that top two to three feet of water.

The second best option is to fish a tail under a cork with a leader that will keep the lure at that depth.You also have the advantage of a little extra noise which helps the cause in rougher water.Jerk baits that dive that depth when pulled down are effective and fun to fish, but they will work you to death!

When we have been able to find the fish a little deeper we have done better with four inch Sea Shads and Lil’ Johns rigged on 1/8^th ounce heads.We are also staying with the shorter tails when fishing the cork.

Everything in the tackle box will work when you find yourself in casting range of a school of surface feeding redfish.I keep a Hoginar tied on one rod as it is easy to cast a long way, but four inch Swim Baits like the Usual Suspect work as well.When chasing them on the shoreline both of those baits work as well as Traps and spinnerbaits.

Fall isn’t far away!