Last Modified: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 7:53 AM
The two issues this past week which prevented many area guides from fishing Big Lake were the Houston Boat Show and strong winds.
Many guides work booths at the show for their businesses and sponsors. Two of our good friends as well as Big Lake sources are fellow guides Capts. Kirk Stansel and Bruce Baugh.
Both were at the boat show and returned to fish yesterday, but winds forced them to cancel. Baugh sent a text early Tuesday morning that he was about to launch his boat and planned to fish the next five days. He reported that there were plenty of birds working before the last front and anglers were catching lots of trout last Thursday and Friday.
Stansel reported solid fish being caught in Turner’s Bay under birds both trout and reds.
Eighteen young bassmasters, ages 7-18, competed on Saturday as a part of a Southwest Jr. Bassmaster tournament on the Calcasieu River.
Every youngster weighed in a bass caught under tournament rules and conditions. In the 7- to 10-year-old group, Wade Roberts was the winner and Tyler Lowry was runner-up. In 11-14 division, first went to Annabelle Guins with Kaleb Buller taking second while Evan Googe was third. In the 15-18 group, it was Alex Corbello in first, Chris Chandler in second and Gabe Jones took third place.
The young anglers reported catching their fish on Bass Kandi T-Craw and BK Speed Bug, Stanley Compact spinnerbaits, jigs and small crankbaits.
There’s a lot of attention on the Sabine and Calcasieu rivers this week as the BASS Elite tournament begins Thursday, with official practice days being earlier this week.
It looks like the weather will be stable and the anglers should not have to deal with flooded conditions. The only other possible issue would be early morning fog with cool air and warm water conditions, and since many of the pro competitors plan to run great distances, that could present a challenge.
However, overall the weather and river conditions looks about as good as it can get for this time of the year so let the games begin.
Lake Area angler Doug Guins, who fishes a lot of tournaments on the Calcasieu River, reported that the water is stained and temperatures are in the upper 50s.
On the Sabine, the water is slightly stained to stained and water temps in the upper 50s, Guins said.
Good reports of bass being caught on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jigs.
I have been watching the water output (generating schedule) at the Toledo Dam with even more interest this week as it will impact the fishery at the bottom end of the river. As of Tuesday afternoon, there was minimal discharge at the dam, and with weather looking stable, there may not be any release from now through the tournament.
However, that could change. There seems to be adequate water level on the lower part of the Sabine. There have been multiple reports of mechanical failures as well as damaged trolling motors and other things that do happen when you put 100 anglers on basically new water. Overall, both rivers are in good shape and should provide an excellent challenge for these pro anglers.