We’ll take a look back at the Sabine River tournament before we get into much else. Things started out promising and then became difficult.


Late on the second day of practice, I found a little area that someone had tried to make an opening in by cutting out a tree with a chain saw, but their saw got stuck and they had to disconnect their blade from the saw to get it free.  The tree was three quarters cut through, so I pushed on it with the bow of my Z521 until the tree gave way. I got in there and got a few bites. I guess I should have waited to find a way in until the last day of practice, because I made it easier for others to find it too.

On the first day of the event, I caught 12 pounds there but had to share it with Dean Rojas and Kelly Jordon. The 12 pounds put me in seventh place in the standings, and I felt good about starting out that way.

I thought about running on Day 2, but decided to stay close because of the fog delay. I wanted to try and maximize fishing time, but that really didn’t work out for me. I was in an area that a few other anglers were, and I watched all of them catch fish but I didn’t. I went back to the spot I’d done so well on the first day, and zeroed. I didn’t think the three of us could have caught all of the fish out of there, but I guess we did. I came to the scales empty handed. That left me in 50th place, but at least I made the cut.

On Day 3, I thought about running to Taylor Bayou, but I heard that some of the leaders were fishing there, so I decided to stay away out of respect for those doing well. Instead, I made a long, 90 mile run to Louisiana to an area that I’d caught a few in on another practice day. After an hour and a half of running, I fished 15 minutes and was told by someone there that it was private property, so I had to leave. I fished another area, but wasn’t able to catch anything, so I ran back and didn’t weigh anything.

It was disappointing to start well and not be able to keep it going, but that’s how a place like that can be. On the positive side, I did get better points than I opened with last year, and had I been 30 points higher last year, Angler of the Year was a possibility.

It wasn’t how I wanted to start the year, but it was better than it could have been.


After the Sabine, I got on a plane and flew to Puerto Vallarta for a family vacation while Lea and Courtney were on spring break. It’s kind of fun to get that much uninterrupted time with my girls. We do all kinds of things while we are there, so I’m able to get them out and about and give Kim some time to just relax for a while.

Those two girls ran me ragged. We spent time at the pool, the beach, went boogie boarding and all sorts of things. They finally said that they’d had enough and wanted to have a day to recoup, but before that, we were on the run.

I got one day to fish inshore with my father-in-law Tom. We took 100 live squid as bait and did some light tackle fishing with my 7’6” Swimbait / Carolina rig rods and 50-pound braid. We rigged the squid on 1/0 TroKar Live Bait hooks and within three hours we had caught 60 to 70 fish and were out of bait.

We caught Pompano and Grouper from 5 to 15 pounds, and they will really give you a battle on that light tackle. They’re kind of like catching the giant bluegill that will crush you if you’re not ready.


Now I’m back in Alabama for the second event of the Elite Series season at good ol’ Guntersville. This event will be the polar opposite of the Sabine. I bet the 50-pound, four-day weight that Chris Lane won the Sabine River with will be in the Top 10 after two days, but it will probably take 27 to 28 pounds a day to win this week.

Obviously, I hope that I’m right there each day when I come across the scales.

What have you caught lately?