MEMORIAL DAY CLASSIC THIS WEEKEND
Last updated 5/21/2019 at Noon
The S.A.L.T. Club will host their 45^th Annual Memorial Classic Fishing Tournament this weekend and several changes in the current format will assure that the event is both bigger and better.All weigh-ins and award ceremonies will take place at the club house on Pleasure Island.
After all these years they bumped the entry fee up to $50, but they also increased contestants’ chances of making the winner’s stand.
While lots of folks enjoy very decent paydays due to winning catches, this event has always been family oriented.
It is not about Dad and a friend baling out on the family to go fishing for a couple of days! The new rule changes very much reflect that goal.The biggest change in the Adult Division is the addition of four offshore species: kingfish, ling, jack crevalle and Dorado.
A single entry fee will cover both inshore and offshore species.
Adult division payouts will increase from 25 to 52 places.
Five places will be paid out for redfish, trout and flounder as well as the afore-mentioned offshore species.Top money for each of those fish is $750.
There are several more opportunities to win that include flounder, redfish closest to 21 inches and the redfish with the most spots.Children under 16 cannot place more than once in a single category, but they will be able to place with each of the species this year.
The ladies were not forgotten as they will also receive a $100 bonus check for the largest red, speck and flounder.All in all it’s a lot of money up for grabs for every family member! You don’t have to fish to take advantage of the weigh-ins and family atmosphere.There is a good chance that you may see a species of fish that you have never seen while enjoying a Boss Burger hamburger or hot dog and a cold drink.The S.A.L.T. Club also welcomes and appreciates volunteers.
Orange anglers can get an entry fee at Rambo’s or Burton’s Boat Works or simply go online.Sign up, enjoy either or both days and discover how a fishing tournament can last 45 years! Jonathan Simon continues to welcome a growing number of bass fishermen every Tuesday evening for his Sabine River Shootouts.Even the increased glut of fresh water exiting Toledo Bend has failed to slow the catching too badly of late.Trey Smith summed it up best when he recently stated, “Two years ago you could win most of these tournaments with six pounds and now you can’t even place!” Much too much water pouring down the Sabine has forced most of the anglers to fish the surrounding marshes rather than the bayous or river itself.The higher water in the marsh ponds make them easier to access in bass boats and they are currently holding lots of bait, redfish and, more importantly for the tournament fishermen, bass.
Unable to fish Sabine Lake due to a howling south wind that will not let up, we recently turned to the marshes hoping to dupe at least a few redfish.We did, in fact, manage to do just that, but in the process we fooled far more bass than redfish.The bait of the day proved to be a watermelon-black flake frog.
I also talked with Jason Samms who was catching more than his fair share of small reds and bass fishing Black’s and the Shell Cut.Jason said he has not fished with anything other than a chartreuse Lil John rigged Wacky style the past two weeks.
Hopefully, the improved bite will continue, but local fishermen will have to weather even more fresh water headed our way.The SRA was forced to re-open all eleven gates and generate 24 hours after last week’s downpour and that is in addition to the previous release only last week.
Over the next few days, the possibility of even more local rain in combination with tides running two feet above normal all but insure that we will see the river above flood level in Orange.Twenty to thirty mile winds are doing us no favor either as they slow outgoing tides and intensify incoming tides.
I am well aware of the fact that catching a fish is not very high on the priority lists of Harvey victims that have endured enough flooding to last a lifetime.We have no way of knowing what the new “normal” will be for the future, but it certainly appears that it could include more high water than we ever imagined!