Big Fish In Spite Of Heat
Last updated 7/14/2020 at 11:42am
I don’t know that the weather can get much more unbearable as far as the
heat is concerned, but local anglers appear to be handling it quite well!
Even on the saltwater side and Lord know there isn’t much shade at the
jetties or middle of Sabine Lake, local anglers have fared well on the
tournament scene.Last weekend Eddie Roberts and Brian Quebedeaux teamed
up to finish fourth in the Showtime on Sabine tournament which is one of
the scheduled events on the popular Elite Redfish Series.
The local duo lost .75 pound for one expired fish and Roberts added that
they definitely had a couple of shots at winning the whole shooting
match.This circuit consists of several of the top redfish pros in the
Prior to that event, the LSCO college bass team made a long hot trip to
Ft. Gibson Lake in Oklahoma and it proved to be worth the extra sweat
for Trent Buchholz and Grady Doucet. The pair teamed up to finish third
with 17.1 pounds and earn a spot in the National Championship later this
Brett Fregia and Jack Tindel also finished twenty fourth and have
already earned their invitation to the big dance!
Undoubtedly, Branden Rannekleiv of Reeves, Louisiana logged the most
amazing catch of the summer thus far when he brought a 12.41-pound bass
to the annual Big Bass Splash event on Toledo Bend last weekend.The
tournament could have gone down to the wire as less than a pound
separated the next four places, but Reeve’s monster bass was nearly four
pounds heavier than the second place fish.
That may well be the heaviest bass ever caught in one of Sealy’s
tournaments and certainly for a Toledo Bend event.Even getting a swing
at a bass that size this time of the year is unheard of and more
especially while fishing in the heat of the day.
Ironically enough, Rannekleiv and his partner were unable to fish their
first choice as another angler was already on that spot when they
arrived.Rather than leave, they motored further down the same ridge and
settled on a small point in the same 18-feet of water.The massive fish
found Branden’s plastic worm and the rest is history.
Sealy, who has seen far more than his share of big bass over the years,
speculated that the fish could have very easily topped the fifteen pound
mark had it been caught in the early spring.The bass measured just a
hair under 30-inches in length with a 23-inch girth.
Over the years, the winning bass is usually caught early the first day
and the leader is unable to sleep for the next two nights.Not in this
case.I feel pretty certain that Rannekleiv slept quiet well Saturday
night dreaming about the new boat, truck and pile of cash he would
collect Sunday evening!
It is always somewhat gratifying to pass along a tip or information that
helps another angler experience one of “those”trips and that is what
happened last week.Alan Teal sent me a text and picture of two bass he
caught last Thursday on Toledo Bend.
“I would have never tried jigging a worm in crappie brush piles, but
there were boats running everywhere and I had nothing to lose,” said
Teal.“I started a night trip early and immediately ran across schooling
fish on a tree line.”
While fishing them he spotted the brush pile on his depthfinder.“As soon
as they went down I started jigging the brush and a six-pound bass hit
it on the second drop.”
That was the only bite he got so he left and returned to the same spot
later that night.“I caught another six pounder that may have been the
same bass,” said Teal, “but I also caught seven more bass in the three
to four pound class.”
He also added that he switched from a worm to a brush hog that night.“I
don’t know if the bait would have made a difference that afternoon,” he
said, “but I’ll call if it does.I am going looking for more brush piles
The field for the weekly Sabine River Shootouts has thinned out a little
the past couple of weeks as have the winning catches.Heat and fear of
coronavirus will have that effect, but the bite continues to be solid
enough.The only thing missing has been the four-pound plus fish, but you
still need three solid bass to earn a check.
Matt Beaux and Chase Koonze won last week’s tournament with 6.48 pounds.
Chase and Chance Stone took home big bass money with a 3.16