Unfortunately, the weekly Sabine River Shootouts take place every Tuesday afternoon and I send in my column at noon the same day.  That means the previous results are exactly one week old by the time you see them in The Record!

That is apparently the only minor problem for the popular weekly event as crowds grow and the winners continue to post very solid weights.  It is absolutely pouring this morning which will necessitate changes in game plans to some degree, but they didn’t let a muddy river and falling water level slow them down last week.

Many of the regulars were expressing concerns over the fact that the high water that has enabled them to access more marsh was finally dropping out and the bass would be harder to fish in the shallow grass.  That may well have been the case, but it still took a solid stringer to earn first place money.

Zane Gunter and Gavin Deshotel cashed the first place check with a very respectable three bass total weighing 10.65 pounds.  Myron Waldrop and David Burman finished second with 8.06 pounds. Shane and Steven O’Blanc took home third place money with 7.61-pounds and cashed the Big Bass side pot as well with a 4.14-pound bass.  Cullen Simon won the Kids Division again with a 1.71-pound fish.

I can’t imagine numbers not being down some if these thunderstorms hang around much longer, but this is a determined bunch of local anglers.  Last week 25 teams weighed in 14 limits of bass up to four pounds and that is strong considering they only fish a short period of time in the afternoon.

Like Trey Smith pointed out in a recent conversation, “There’s no time for scouting new water.  You better have a game plan when you leave the dock!”

As a rule, “I didn’t know I needed a license” or “I didn’t know how long the fish had to be” are wrong answers to any questions a Game Warden might have concerning your catch.  I do not want to embarrass either angler by mentioning their names, but I met a pair of anglers last week that were truly clueless as to what they had even caught!

I was walking my wife’s dog at the City launch when the two fishermen returned to the dock.  After trying to explain that the dog was a golden doodle and not a giant poodle, I asked if they had caught any fish.  

They were both obviously pleased that I had asked that question and responded in unison, “We killed them today!”

“We usually don’t catch anything, but today we caught some bream, three red snappers and a big grinnel.  At least I think they call it a grinnel,” the older angler quickly added.

“I have no idea what they caught,” I whispered to Buck or No…Buck, depending on how hard he is stretching his leash at the moment, “but I don’t believe they caught red snappers on the river with frozen shrimp.” Once they got their boat on the trailer, I asked if I could see their fish.

Much to my surprise, their catch was totally legal, but it wasn’t due to their familiarity with any laws concerning fishing.  They did indeed have ten or twelve bream in the partially melted ice, but the three snappers were slot redfish and the grinnel was, of all things, a largemouth bass in the four to five-pound class!

“We started to throw that grinnel back because I heard that they aren’t good to eat, but neither of us have a job right now.”  I didn’t point out their fish identification shortcomings as they had broken no laws, but I hope they don’t acquire a taste for that first grinnel!