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Articles written by Capt. Dickie Colburn


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  • Right Bait At The Right Time

    Capt. Dickie Colburn For The Record|Updated Oct 26, 2021
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    I was walking out the gate at the end of a recent junior varsity game when a young man called out my name. He was already asking a question as he approached which was of no use since I now strain just to hear a train whistle. “I would like to ask you something,” he said in a much louder and clearer voice. “I have these two soft plastic tails that are my favorites, but the trout aren’t biting them. Are they the wrong size or wrong color or what?” I don’t know how many high school youngsters are walking around with plastic tro...

  • More Questions Than Answers

    Capt. Dickie Colburn, For the Record|Updated Oct 12, 2021

    I am assuming it could best be compared to the weekend golfer that has already exceeded 100 strokes and is yet to even tee off on the 18th hole. His goal at that point has been lowered to simply finishing a miserable morning and selling his clubs. He then somehow magically birdies number 18 and suddenly can’t wait to play tomorrow! Larry Mosely asked if I would like to catch a few slot reds he’d found on the north end of the lake and he didn’t have to ask twice. Not surpr...

  • Numbers improving faster than size

    Capt. Dickie Colburn, For the Record|Updated Oct 5, 2021

    “No excuses for not joining us,” was a rude way to open a phone conversation. “We are driving over Monday or Tuesday and prove to you that the trout bite is better than you have been reporting,” announce David Simon of Pearland. “Johnny caught and released two trout over four pounds somewhere around Garrison’s last Thursday and that was good enough for us to hold our first mini-tournament in over a year,” he stated. I agreed to fish with them and the field grew to a whopping...

  • Old counts for something

    Capt. Dickie Colburn, For the Record|Updated Sep 28, 2021

    OLD COUNTS FOR SOMETHING “Out with the old and in with the new!” That time tested adage is worthy of a little closer scrutiny when applied to fishing! Graphite rods, low profile reels, electronics that take the guess work out of locating fish and high performance boats that can handle the roughest conditions are just a few of the innovations that have made us all better fishermen. I cannot, however, say the same thing about both fresh and saltwater lures. When I was smitten wi...

  • Cooler weather equals hotter bite

    Capt. Dickie Colburn, For the Record|Updated Sep 21, 2021

    Cooler days and lighter winds have contributed to more “catching”, both in Sabine Lake and up at Toledo Bend. Even when salinity, water clarity and good tide changes all line up on Sabine Lake, there is still no substitute for light winds. Fishing where you “want to fish” rather than where you “have to fish”, is a critical factor regardless of conditions. The best bite in the world is useless when white caps are rolling across the flooded grass you hoped to fish. And, while...

  • Trying To Dodge Another Bullet

    Capt. Dickie Colburn For The Record|Updated Sep 14, 2021

    Everything regarding our current monthly storm event is still “iffy” as we are well aware of the potential consequences of a rain maker that decides to park on top of us. Even as I am writing this column, our power is blinking on and off! There is no doubt that fish adapt to the conditions Mother Nature throws their way, but they have really been challenged over the past three years. In the last two weeks the trout that had been holding on the beaches and jetties went from moving into the lake to wondering what the hell is...

  • Trout Bite Steadily Improving

    Capt. Dickie Colburn, For the Record|Updated Sep 7, 2021

    “We had kinfolk from Kansas drive down this weekend just because I promised them we would catch speckled trout without ever launching a boat,” said Paul Withers. “I never thought about the possibility of a tent or volleyball goal every fifty feet which demolished my Crystal Beach program!” “We managed to find a little more space at McFadden Monday morning and they were able to take home a couple of bags of fillets. There aren’t many speckled trout or reds in Kansas so their fi...

  • Melting down for Reds

    Capt. Dickie Colburn, For the Record|Updated Aug 24, 2021

    It was probably a dead heat as far as the amount of water we had consumed versus the amount of gas we had burned while hoping to locate a few redfish and it wasn’t getting any cooler. There wasn’t a breath of wind which actually helped the cause. I was all but ready to call it a day when John Miller, a visiting construction foreman from Atlanta, pointed in the direction of a handful of terns and a lone gull circling a small area. Before I could even make out what he was pointi...

  • Local catch improving

    Capt. Dickie Colburn, For the Record|Updated Aug 17, 2021

    I cannot tell you exactly how long this phenomenon has been occurring, but it seems to be back on schedule in spite of recent storms and the devastating freeze.It occurred so often, in fact, that any time the bite in Sabine lake was poor in the late summer, local anglers counted on the annual O.C.A.R.C. tournament to flip the switch. Time and again, the Center Director, John Thomas would confidently state just prior to the tournament, “Don’t worry…they’ll start biting again th...

  • O.C.A.R.C. Event Yields Quality Fish

    Capt. Dickie Colburn For The Record|Updated Aug 10, 2021

    The 33rd annual O.C.A.R.C. weigh-in started a little differently for me than the previous thirty-two and it wasn’t for the better. No sooner had I parked my truck than I noticed a young woman nearby crying on her cell phone with her two sweating toddlers and an irate wiener dog only making the situation worse. The young Mother had a flat on her mini- SUV with no idea what to do. After getting everyone a bottle of water, including Fritz the wiener dog, we managed to locate the instructions as well as the spare. That alone i...

  • Viator-Reeves win Sabine Redfish Series

    Capt. Dickie Colburn, For the Record|Updated Aug 3, 2021

    Team Oyster Rash’s, Justin Lowry and Jake Adame, managed to outlast a brutally hot day and out fish the field in the final Sabine Redfish Series event of the year last Saturday. Three other teams finished within three pounds of their winning three fish total of 20.92 pounds. The big winner in the final and deciding event was Team East Texas Safe Floor as they earned the $10,000 check for winning the Anglers of the Year award. Team members, Tony Viator and Jeremy Reeves closed...

  • O.C.A.R.C. Tournament Time

    Capt. Dickie Colburn For The Record|Updated Jul 27, 2021

    “We kinda found the fish by mistake,” said Jason Bell.Ronnie Tate and I were burning up and ready to call it a day when we had to run to the back of a cut in Cow Bayou to hide from a thunderstorm headed our way. ” The lightning laced storm mercifully skirted their hiding place and they resumed fishing under a more user-friendly cloudy sky.“ A tide change probably helped us, but Jason caught two keepers right off the bat on a grape Wacky worm. When we figured out that the bass were hanging on the color change we really...

  • Rain Not Slowing The Catching

    Capt. Dickie Colburn For The Record|Updated Jul 20, 2021

    It is OCARC tournament time again!John Thomas and his special needs clients are set to host their annual fishing event August 6th and 7th. Just as in past years, the tournament will start at 5:00 p.m. on the sixth with weigh-in set for 5:00 p.m. the following afternoon. Certification for eligible winning fish will start at 3:00 p.m. You will have to excuse Thomas and his hard working group of clients if they seem a tad giddy about this year’s event. For the first time in the history of the tournament they will be working u...

  • Dunn Strikes Gold On Rayburn

    Capt. Dickie Colburn For The Record|Updated Jul 13, 2021

    The pandemic interrupted one of the longest running saltwater tournaments in the state of Texas last year, but it is "game on" again starting at 5:00 p.m on the 16th and concluding at 2:00 p.m. on the 18th. The S.A.L.T. Club will renew its annual event this weekend and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. This year's tournament not only caters to the entire family, but also features several new categories and $18,000 in cash and prizes as well. Some lucky youngster...

  • No Single Magic Lure

    Capt. Dickie Colburn For The Record|Updated Jul 6, 2021

    Every fisherman, whether he or she prefers salt or fresh water, owns a lure that is their “go to” lure. When that lure fails them, their confidence usually bottoms out and everything else in the tackle box is relegated to little more than a piece of plastic. Having guided for nearly a half century, I have techniques that I feel that way about, but no single lure. I am convinced that if you hope to catch your favorite species consistently on artificial lures, it is unwise to bank on a single technique, lure or color to get...

  • Big Day for Viator and Reeves

    Capt. Dickie Colburn, For the Record|Updated Jun 29, 2021

    Tony Viator and Jeremy Reeves squeezed the most out of a very tough fishing day and won everything there was to win in last weekend's third qualifying event in the Sabine Redfish Series. The east Texas Safe Floor team won first place money with a 20.96-lb. stringer, the big fish side pot with a 9.26-lb. red and the most spots side pot with nine. The fact that only ten of the twenty-one teams managed to weigh in fish was a testament to the difficulty of the day. All of these...

  • Old but not forgotten

    Capt. Dickie Colburn, For the Record|Updated Jun 22, 2021

    “Have you got a second,” asked the approaching gentleman that appeared to be nearly as old as me.“My name is Harold Steele. I know you don’t remember me, but I want to return something you gave me a long time ago.” “My grandson was digging through my old tackle boxes and he found a lure that you gave me while fishing on Toledo Bend in the early seventies. I told him he could have everything else, but I was going to give you the lure back after all of these years. I knew I woul...

  • Respect The Heat

    Capt. Dickie Colburn, For the Record|Updated Jun 15, 2021

    “Hey y’all, I’m not having fun anymore,” announced Julian Holland’s wife, Lynne. “I no longer give a hoot whether we have a fish fry at the house tonight or not.” At the time of her expressing her disdain for both Sabine lake and ever accepting her husband’s invitation to share a day on the water, we had three trout and a slot redfish in the ice box. As meager as it sounds, it was only 9:30 in the morning and we had steadily caught and released a number of smaller fish wo...

  • Respect The Heat

    Capt. Dickie Colburn For The Record|Updated Jun 15, 2021

    “Hey y’all, I’m not having fun anymore,” announced Julian Holland’s wife, Lynne. “I no longer give a hoot whether we have a fish fry at the house tonight or not.” At the time of her expressing her disdain for both Sabine lake and ever accepting her husband’s invitation to share a day on the water, we had three trout and a slot redfish in the ice box. As meager as it sounds, it was only 9:30 in the morning and we had steadily caught and released a number of smaller fish working the birds since first light. “I have never d...

  • Kayaks Merit Consideration

    Capt. Dickie Colburn For The Record|Updated Jun 8, 2021

    Rather than totally waste an unexpected trip to Merryville earlier this week, I took a less than direct route trying to get a feel for just how much standing water has yet to make its way into Sabine lake. The short answer is LOTS! As a matter of fact, in some areas it wasn’t just standing, but moving through the woods fast enough to create eddies around the pines. We aren’t really feeling the pain right now, but even a modest storm prior to drawing down these levels could leave a lot of folks around here filling sand bag...

  • Redfish doing their thing

    Capt. Dickie Colburn, For the Record|Updated Jun 1, 2021

    It looks as though more rain could come into play this week, but the folks that were able to fish last weekend were treated to some of the most user-friendly weather in a while. More importantly, a large percentage of them caught fish! As expected, the trout bite was a challenge and more than one trip to Rayburn was cancelled due to launching problems, but Sabine Lake and Toledo Bend more than made up for that minor inconvenience. Ben White and his two son-in-laws immediately...

  • High Water Yields New Pattern

    Capt. Dickie Colburn, For the Record|Updated May 25, 2021

    “It was fun, but there was a price to be paid in the end,” said Larry Smith. Determined to fish even after finding the launch near his camp on Rayburn underwater, he and his nephew decided to leave the boat on the trailer and wade the flooded woods. “It was just crazy how far off the main lake we were wading in water up to our knees,” added Smith. “We initially tried to stay as dry as possible, but after walking into an unseen ditch or two, we just said to hell with it and sp...

  • Flooding Will Change The Game Locally

    Capt. Dickie Colburn For The Record|Updated May 20, 2021

    Prior to the recent flooding, I thought that conditions could not have been much tougher for the teams fishing the second of four tournaments in the Sabine Redfish Series last Saturday. If nothing else, the high water altered more than one game plan as only sixteen of the thirty-four teams weighed in fish.After four days of torrential rains and even higher water, it looks as though they were fortunate to get this one in. The tough conditions apparently didn’t bother the w...

  • Flooding will change the game locally

    Capt. Dickie Colburn, For the Record|Updated May 18, 2021

    Prior to the recent flooding, I thought that conditions could not have been much tougher for the teams fishing the second of four tournaments in the Sabine Redfish Series last Saturday.If nothing else, the high water altered more than one game plan as only sixteen of the thirty-four teams weighed in fish. After four days of torrential rains and even higher water, it looks as though they were fortunate to get this one in. The tough conditions apparently didn’t bother the w...

  • Higher Water Changing The Bite

    Capt. Dickie Colburn For The Record|Updated May 11, 2021

    Not that it is something new for the teams that show up every Tuesday afternoon to compete in the Sabine River Shootouts, but it looks as though they will have to add even more rain to the already challenging conditions this afternoon. The river is high and off-colored, Toledo Bend is running both generators 24/7 with five gates open and additional rain won’t make it any easier. High water was apparently no problem last week as it took almost twelve pounds to cash the first place check and the big bass just missed the six p...

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