With the Backwater Challenge Tournament set for this weekend, a lot of
spectators as well as competitors were more than a little interested in
the leader board at last week’s OCARC event. Obviously, the two
categories that garnered the most attention were bass and redfish.

For the first time in the history of the OCARC event, the winning bass
was worth $750 and that didn’t go unnoticed by some of the top river
fishermen in the area.Based solely on recent Sabine River Shootouts, I
predicted it would take a fish over 4-pounds to win and Stephen Vaughn
answered the bell with a 4.15-pound bass.

John Thomas and the folks from the Center hosted 293 anglers and while
it was on the hot side, the weather could not have been more
accommodating.When all was said and done, it took very respectable fish
to win the four major categories.

Charlie Gonzalez won the redfish money with a 7.98-pound fish, Brennan
Pitts took trout honors with a 3.92-pound trout and Mason Fullbright
collected $250 for his 2.11-pound flounder.

It came as no surprise that Andy Borel won the catfish category, only
that he did it with a record 25.98-pound fish.It also surprised no one
that he caught the top grinnel as well, a category that the Borels have
owned for years.

River Brown won the bream division with a .57-pound fish, Erica Wright
won the white perch division with a solid 1.33-pound fish, Bentlee Hall
took croaker honors with a .88-pound fish and Dayne Bellard won with a
12.71-pound black drum.

Cecil Byers proved that he can still catch the right fish by winning the
Appaloosa Red pot with a fish sporting ten spots.Lela Hyatt won the
coveted Don Hubbard mudcat check with a 1.32-pound cat.

Also, of more interest than usual, the popular Sabine River Shootout
continued to yield super results.Shane Cormier and Jacob Johnson cashed
the top check with an 11.67-pound bass and Glenn Hagan and Gary Robin
teamed up to finish second with a very solid 9.59-pounds anchored by a
6.48-pound big bass.Bronson Kemp won the Kids Division with a 1.30-pound

Mike Chargois and Jim Foster won the Shootout the week before with an
11.67-pound catch.Chargois apparently has a pretty good pattern working
as he also finished a close second in the OCARC event.

Most interested in these two tournaments were the teams fishing the much
anticipated Backwater Challenge tournament this weekend.The same folks
that did such a fantastic job with the Cops Helping Kids tournaments in
the past are back as promised.

The format has been changed as well as the host location, but it will
still support southeast Texas children’s charities.The event will kick
off with a Captain’s meeting Friday night at the Events Center on Green
Avenue in Orange. At least one member of each team must be there.

The Captain’s meetings don’t pay as well as catching the right fish, but
they are no short on entertainment which includes a steak supper and
auctions.First place in both the redfish and bass categories are worth
$7500. A team can weigh in three 12-inch minimum bass and two 20 to
28-inch redfish.

Based on a 250 team field, there will be a lot of money up for grabs
with 20 teams earning a check in both categories.High school teams are
also eligible to fish the event as long as a non-fishing older Captain
is in the boat.

The entry fee is $300 per team and you can sign up at the Captain’s
meeting or go online at gttallc.com.You cannot sign up the day of the
tournament.The City Boat Ramp will be a busy venue Saturday and one the
entire family can enjoy.

If you get there early enough, you can still buy a ticket at the door,
but corporate tables are sold out for Thursday night’s Orange County CCA
Chapter Banquet.The banquet kicks off at 6:00 pm at the Convention
Center on hwy. 1142 just south of I-10.

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