The Record Newspapers - Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

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By Capt. Dickie Colburn
For The Record 



Last updated 7/21/2020 at 12:07pm

Albert Bates with nine pound bass.

I can't imagine that we will see another 12.4-pound bass caught this

summer, but Toledo Bend did give up at least two more double digit fish

this past week.Both fish were caught in the afternoon hours.

Jason Simms' lunker hit a Carolina rigged watermelon-red flake Centipede

in twenty-six feet of water and Carol Duplantis duped his prize with a

deep diving crankbait in fourteen feet of water.Jason's fish weighed

10.02 pounds and Carol's bass weighed 10.42 pounds.

You certainly can't fault Duplantis for falling in love with his new

found weapon."I won a little tournament back in March with a Norman DD22

crankbait and I am still fishing it most of the time.I can't stand

dragging a Carolina rig around when I can't find any grass and this lure

will catch them over a bare bottom."

He added that he fishes only two colors."A crawdad pattern was good when

it was colder, but I haven't fished anything but Sexy Shad all summer,"

added Duplantis."The best part of using this lure is that I don't have

to navigate the wooded creeks.I have fished the deep points on major

flats like Tennessee Bay all the way to McGee's and caught fish."

You'll also have to pardon Simms if he doesn't agree with Duplantis'

assessment of the Carolina rig."I don't get to fish a lot and I have

never found a better technique for fooling bass in deep water.A little

grass or brush helps, but I have a lot of confidence just dragging it

around while drifting open flats and deep tree lines."

The south Houston angler said that he has caught several bass over eight

pounds on both Toledo Bend and Rayburn the past three years, but was

beginning to think he would never break the ten pound mark."The only

time she cleared the water was when I lifted her up on my scales before

easing her back in the water.Maybe I'll catch her again next year in the

Big Bass Splash!"

Albert Bates has been on a mission this summer to do whatever it takes

to locate and fool big bass on the two impoundments and it appears that

he is closing the gap very quickly.A month ago he texted me a picture of

an 8-pound fish that he had just caught at night on Toledo Bend and last

week yet another picture of a nine pound fish he had caught and released

on Rayburn.

He said his two most important findings are that there is no substitute

for learning to use quality electronics and that, in his opinion, only a

few areas consistently attract big bass."I have found that I can fish

the exact same structure and depth in one area and never catch a bass

over three pounds while another similar area continues to hold larger fish."

Bates said he has yet to figure out that part of the equation, but there

is no doubt that he is quickly shortening the learning curve.The same

day he caught his nine pound fish he released two more over the six

pound mark.That would be a good start to a winning five fish limit in a


Everett Johnson recently told me that he has never seen this much

fishing pressure in the Matagorda area.Long waits at the launches and

boats constantly running around are the new norm.In spite of that, they

are still catching quality trout.

That has not been the case here on Sabine Lake.It gets a little crowded

south of the Causeway and along the north revetment wall on occasion,

but very few folks are even looking around in the main lake.

While the trout we have located in the main lake have been more

numerous, size has still been a problem. The catching has been a lot

more fun, but limiting on keeper size fish has been a challenge.

All of this could change, however, in the very near future.On the

positive side, we are starting to see larger schools of shad all over

the north end and it usually doesn't take the Ladyfish and redfish long

to find them.

On the negative side, we are now looking in the face of what has been an

exceptionally wet time of the year for us ever since Harvey devastated

the area and too much fresh water is a game changer.In fact, we have

consistently gotten beaten up so badly ever since Harvey that more area

fishermen are concerned about their homes flooding than the size of the


Wear your mask!


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