With local tournaments scheduled for the next three weekends, area
anglers are keeping their fingers crossed and one eye on Toledo
Bend.Whatever happened to those light afternoon showers that last just
long enough to hold down the temperature?

Most of the state had already been taking a pounding, but the
lightning-laced downpour that raced through the area last week conjured
up fears of more flooding for Harvey’s hardest hit victims.It seems that
it is all or nothing anymore and the “all” is a little worse each time!

Effectively predicting the lake level on Toledo Bend and managing
generating schedules that best protect the folks downstream has become a
crapshoot at best. The suggestion to simply hold the level ten feet
lower is not a viable option.

The lake continued to rise with eleven gates open at the two foot mark
early this week and that was upgraded to three feet in order to check
the glut of additional water.Just that one additional foot produced
another 10,000 cubic feet of water per hour.You don’t have to tell folks
that live below the dam what that means.

In last week’s event we received a pretty substantial hit locally as
well, but major storms have washed across the state just a little north
of us for the past several weeks as well and other impoundments can only
hold up so much rainfall.

The river is still on the rise and that will once again wreak havoc on
salinity levels, but the upcoming river-based tournament is still three
weeks away.A lot can happen weather wise between now and then, but we
could be in much better shape by early June. Maybe!

Ronnie Moon, an angler that has decided that both the angling and
maintenance on the north revetment wall go hand-in-hand will host the
2^nd annual revetment wall clean-up tournament this weekend.The initial
event was hugely successful and Moon is hoping for an even better
turnout this weekend.

Moon has definitely figured out how to make cleaning up discarded trash
more palatable.The fishing portion of the event will pay a $100 for the
largest trout, flounder and redfish and there is no entry fee to
participate.Drinks, links and door prizes will also be a part of the
11:30 weigh-in.

Fishing will start at 7:00 and every contestant will be issued a
clean-up bag, gloves and a free ticket at the S.A.L.T. Club house prior
to staking out a productive spot along the wall.All contestants mush
fish from the wall.

The north and south walls legitimately offer the bank fishermen the best
opportunity for catching a big speck, red or trout year round.Chances of
success are dependent on wind direction and water clarity, but there is
no better place on Sabine Lake for folks without a boat.

Shrimp fished under a popping cork get the nod, but artificials and soft
plastics can score as well.I would also be quick to give a Gulp tail
rigged on a jig head a shot as well.

While I am always shocked by the amount of litter that a small portion
of anglers continue to leave behind, I was even more pleasantly shocked
by how clean the levee was following last year’s event.Even while
fishing it only takes a few minutes to police your area, bag up any
trash and bring it back to the S.A.L.T. Clubhouse.

With access to potentially productive fishing holes so limited, it is
disappointing that any angler would be so careless as to leave it worse
than he or she found it.Saturday’s tournament will afford a great
opportunity to make a difference!

The 45^th Annual S.A.L.T Club Memorial Day tournament is also right
around the corner and recent changes will make it more
fisherman-friendly than ever before.The biggest changes will be in the
off-shore category and more opportunities for contestants to cash a
check. You can already pick up entry forms and all of the rules at area
dealers and I will cover those changes in next week’s column.

The first weekend in June a team tournament benefiting eleven year-old
Logan Shiner will be hosted out of the Orange City Boat Ramp.This will
be a team tournament with a $150 entry fee.First place money is $2000
and there will be not only food available, but several other things
going on as well.You don’t have to fish to help Logan out!


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