The S.A.L.T. Club will host their 45^th Annual Memorial Classic Fishing
Tournament this weekend and several changes in the current format will
assure that the event is both bigger and better.All weigh-ins and award
ceremonies will take place at the club house on Pleasure Island.

After all these years they bumped the entry fee up to $50, but they also
increased contestants’ chances of making the winner’s stand. While lots
of folks enjoy very decent paydays due to winning catches, this event
has always been family oriented. It is not about Dad and a friend baling
out on the family to go fishing for a couple of days!

The new rule changes very much reflect that goal.The biggest change in
the Adult Division is the addition of four offshore species: kingfish,
ling, jack crevalle and Dorado. A single entry fee will cover both
inshore and offshore species.

Adult division payouts will increase from 25 to 52 places. Five places
will be paid out for redfish, trout and flounder as well as the
afore-mentioned offshore species.Top money for each of those fish is $750.

There are several more opportunities to win that include flounder,
redfish closest to 21 inches and the redfish with the most
spots.Children under 16 cannot place more than once in a single
category, but they will be able to place with each of the species this year.

The ladies were not forgotten as they will also receive a $100 bonus
check for the largest red, speck and flounder.All in all it’s a lot of
money up for grabs for every family member!

You don’t have to fish to take advantage of the weigh-ins and family
atmosphere.There is a good chance that you may see a species of fish
that you have never seen while enjoying a Boss Burger hamburger or hot
dog and a cold drink.The S.A.L.T. Club also welcomes and appreciates
volunteers.

Orange anglers can get an entry fee at Rambo’s or Burton’s Boat Works or
simply go online.Sign up, enjoy either or both days and discover how a
fishing tournament can last 45 years!

Jonathan Simon continues to welcome a growing number of bass fishermen
every Tuesday evening for his Sabine River Shootouts.Even the increased
glut of fresh water exiting Toledo Bend has failed to slow the catching
too badly of late.Trey Smith summed it up best when he recently stated,
“Two years ago you could win most of these tournaments with six pounds
and now you can’t even place!”

Much too much water pouring down the Sabine has forced most of the
anglers to fish the surrounding marshes rather than the bayous or river
itself.The higher water in the marsh ponds make them easier to access in
bass boats and they are currently holding lots of bait, redfish and,
more importantly for the tournament fishermen, bass.

Unable to fish Sabine Lake due to a howling south wind that will not let
up, we recently turned to the marshes hoping to dupe at least a few
redfish.We did, in fact, manage to do just that, but in the process we
fooled far more bass than redfish.The bait of the day proved to be a
watermelon-black flake frog.

I also talked with Jason Samms who was catching more than his fair share
of small reds and bass fishing Black’s and the Shell Cut.Jason said he
has not fished with anything other than a chartreuse Lil John rigged
Wacky style the past two weeks.

Hopefully, the improved bite will continue, but local fishermen will
have to weather even more fresh water headed our way.The SRA was forced
to re-open all eleven gates and generate 24 hours after last week’s
downpour and that is in addition to the previous release only last week.

Over the next few days, the possibility of even more local rain in
combination with tides running two feet above normal all but insure that
we will see the river above flood level in Orange.Twenty to thirty mile
winds are doing us no favor either as they slow outgoing tides and
intensify incoming tides.

I am well aware of the fact that catching a fish is not very high on the
priority lists of Harvey victims that have endured enough flooding to
last a lifetime.We have no way of knowing what the new “normal” will be
for the future, but it certainly appears that it could include more high
water than we ever imagined!

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