VIRUS SHUTTING DOWN TOURNAMENTS
Last updated 3/24/2020 at Noon
The March 16th release by the SRA was both inevitable and necessary depending on how bullet proof you may feel you are in regards to the spread of the coronavirus.
In a nut shell, gatherings of fifty or more are now prohibited and that pretty well eliminates any major tournaments in the near future As of today, boat launches are still open to recreational anglers, but that could change as well depending on the spread of the virus.The Louisiana Annual Oilman’s event was canceled last weekend, as was the Texas Team Trail event.
The Bass Champs event on Lake Fork has also been postponed until July 19.
The SRA release read as follows: “The Sabine River Authority, by recommendation of the Center for Disease (CDC) to limit the exposure and spread of COVID-19, has restricted the use of facilities for events consisting of 50 or more people through May 11, 2020.
/The Toledo Bend Tourist Center is closed to the public and all Park Offices are closed to the public, however Park Offices will remain operational through their drive through windows, telephone, or email.The Sabine River Authority office located at Pendleton Bridge will remain open for business./ The Sabine River Authority will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates accordingly.For information call 318.256.4112 or visit our website at http://srala-toledo.com” The virus recently took on a more personal aspect when Kenny Pledger, a Housen Bay resident, asked me why Ken Smith had not posted in a while.Smith, a professional angler posts one of the most informational reports from both Rayburn and Toledo Bend on a weekly basis.
His blog includes interviews and “how to” videos as well as accurate reports.He is well read and has quite a following! On the heels of a bad couple of weeks of coughing and fever, according to his most recent blog he feels stronger and is hoping that he has survived a bout with the virus.He plans on continuing his self-imposed quarantine until he is certain.
“It’s not going to happen around here or up on the lake,” rings a little hollow in this case.Smith is very popular and draws crowds just launching his boat.Aside from eating at a marina, the most obvious question is “Who did I shake hands with or help launch their boat?” I intend to keep on fishing, but I will wipe down the gas nozzle and take a pass on shaking hands at the lake.At least for a while, I will fish alone rather than taking a chance on giving it to someone else or bringing it home.I respect the imminent danger, but I will take my chances with a speck or bass spreading the virus! In the meantime, I feel somewhat guilty for posting the best catching report I have had in a while.I don’t recommend lining up shoulder with other anglers, but the trout bite on the revetment wall has been lights out.A Vudu shrimp under a popping cork and a three inch Usual Suspect in Bunker Shad (color) have really been hot choices.
At the same time, both wade fishermen and those that prefer to stay in the boat, have been catching quick limits of trout on topwaters and five inch tails rigged on 1/8th ounce heads.They are catching the fish in three to five feet of water and they are swimming the plastics.
Eddie Hudson sent me a text last week saying they have really been hammering the big catfish on the south end of Toledo Bend.He is now working from his camp and it sounds as though his work schedule is pretty flexible.
There were three 10’s weighed in on the Bend last week, but I don’t think the lunker bite will last much longer.Having said that, the bite in general has been very good on a wide choice of lures.The Wacky worm usually gets first call, but square bills and jerk baits are also duping bass guarding their beds and resting in the shade in water from two to four feet deep.
Jason Mere says he may never throw anything else on Toledo Bend, but a four inch paddle tail rigged on a jig head.“I put it on the hook sideways when drop-shotting with it two months ago and now I am just casting and cranking the shallows.” He added that three colors have worked well for him, but one of them is akin to magic when cranking shallow cover.He was not into sharing that bit of information.