The Record Newspapers - Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

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By Capt. Dickie Colburn
For the Record 

Just What We Needed


Last updated 9/22/2020 at 9:25pm

It’s Tuesday morning and you would be hard pressed to find a single Orange County resident that isn’t at least a little concerned as to what

Beta will do before moving on.Not after having dealt with Harvey!

Only three weeks ago, a client in the Houston area called to see if our home had survived Laura and what he could do to help.I made the same

offer to him this morning only to learn that there home was already flooded and they were holding up with their kids in Montgomery.

There was a time in Orange when long-time residents would occasionally ask, “Do you remember Audrey back in 1957 or even hurricanes as recent

as Rita and Ike.”Between tropical storms and hurricanes, asking the same question has now seemingly become a yearly issue.

Darrin Powell told me after losing his home in Imelda, “It’s not a good thing when the desk clerk running a motel in Longview remembers you from

your last evacuation!”

Depending on where you live in the county, the water has yet to produce extensive flooding, but we are looking at another forty-eight hours of

rain.Hopefully, the system will move more northward at a quicker pace.

The recent fish kill in the Sabine River was apparently due to an oxygen deficiency caused by the leaves and vegetation blown into the river by.

The river had been on the low side for a while and the reduced flow did not help matters. The SRA is constantly faced with managing water levels

on Toledo Bend while trying to stay a step ahead of Mother Nature and the discharge rate had been trimmed back for a while.

As of Tuesday morning, the lake level was 168.5 feet and the current water flow was a little over 7600 cfm with a single generator running 24

hours.Had the lake level been higher and a glut of water already rushing downhill, the flooding would have been much worse with Laura.

One of my biggest concerns with Beta’s approach are the miles of ditches in the county full of debris and deadfall.Even a modest amount of

rainfall can produce flood conditions when the water has nowhere to go, but up.

Most of the area boat ramps are currently underwater which make launching a boat a wading event at best and downright dangerous if you

are forced to deal with the algae coating the concrete. For that reason alone, fishing would not be very high on my priority list this week!

When all is said and done, salinity levels will definitely take a hit, but the water clarity remains surprisingly good.Aside from the fact that

the extra water will scatter the bass, that bite should hold up much better than the trout or redfish bite.

A substantial number of Toledo Bend guides are still not booking trips, but I think the big impoundment is your best bet for securing enough

fish for a fish fry.For the most part, the larger bass continue to be very difficult to locate. Even those anglers making a living in deeper

water are catching smaller bass on average.

Dale Thibodeaux said that he and his Dad easily caught and released over forty bass this past weekend and there largest fish would not make the

four pound mark. “Two months ago we were regularly catching four to seven pound bass on the same spots,” reported Thibodeaux.

The bite that is improving daily is the crappie bite and that is good news for the folks that tend brush piles year round.The average size has

remained good and the numbers are now improving as well.

Dale Martz would tell you that the catfish bite isn’t bad either.“ The kids and I fished a brush pile with shiners last week and we kept a

dozen white perch and ten catfish. It’s been a long time since I ate catfish, but that won’t happen again!”

Most of the white perch anglers I have talked with are using tube jigs rigged on 1/16th ounce heads. Twelve to fourteen feet deep over brush

piles in 26 to 28 feet has been the ticket.

Here’s hoping you and the inside of your house can stay dry one more time!


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