The Record Newspapers - Hometown News For Orange County, Texas



Last updated 8/6/2019 at Noon

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 bass.

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 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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