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By Capt. Chuck Uzzle
For the Record 

BASSMaster Elites invade Sabine


Last updated 5/30/2023 at 8:47pm

The highly anticipated return of the Bass Master Elite Series on the Sabine River kicks off on Thursday morning and you can bet just like in years past it will be a show like no other. Our little part of the world here in Orange Texas routinely breaks attendance records for Bassmaster events and I would not be shocked if that happens again this weekend. The Elite Series anglers always manage to figure out a pattern anywhere they go, and Sabine is no exception. In fact, if you really want to see who the very best anglers are you can watch these guys when they fish river systems like Sabine instead of impoundments such as Sam Rayburn or Toledo Bend because they have to figure out a whole host of variables such as tides and currents that are non-existent on those big lakes. You get an angler who can consistently catch fish in tidal water, and you have an angler who can win any event they fish.

The Elites should be in good shape as the local conditions continue to improve every day, especially with the light winds that we have been blessed with for the week. Look for many of the anglers to make big runs both up the river and to the east as they have in the past. Taylor's bayou has been a hot spot during each event that's been held here, and I would expect that trend to continue. Some anglers will make big runs to other places as far away as Clear Lake and possibly farther to find their fish. One area the Elites won't be running to is Louisiana and that's because of the ridiculous laws they enforce surrounding waterways and boater's rights to them. Several BASS made the decision to rule out the Louisiana waters until some sort of resolution is reached. Several bills have been brought to Louisiana legislators concerning the subject and every one of them has been vetoed so don't look for any changes in the near future. Having the Louisiana waterways deemed off limits puts a damper on the tournament due to the fact that some prime water and excellent fishing is off limits. It would be fun to see what kind of stringer weights the Elites would post if they could get into some of that water. I guess we'll never know until more rational laws get passed.

In years past it's taken 42-44 pounds to win this tournament and I would go as far to say it'll take that again to win it this weekend. The key will obviously be consistency, solid weights for all 4 days with no big drop offs. Each year we see a couple of anglers throw some big numbers up early in the tournament and then run out of fish only to fall off the leader board. 10-12 pounds a day will put you squarely in the middle of the chase for the first prize check of 100,000 dollars. The tournament will start off with 104 anglers on Day 1 and 2 and then cut to 50 for Day 3 while only the top 10 fish on the final day. Like many other local anglers I am excited to see what these anglers can accomplish on our local waters and it's always nice to see to see our part of the world portrayed in such a positive light. If you ask the Elites they'll tell you they like our area because of all the different options they have to fish, everything from classic tidal rivers, marshes, and deep water structure to shallow backwater ponds and canals make for some interesting choices and patterns. One thing is for sure and that is there will be a hand full of really good anglers who figure out a way to get it done.

Over on the saltwater side of things the bite continues to pick up on both Sabine and Calcasieu as a few birds have been working over schooling trout chasing brown shrimp. The bite at the jetty improves each day as the water clarity gets better on each tide change and the amount of bait showing up continues to build. The quality of the average fish we've been catching certainly is a welcome change from last year at this time and hopefully that trend continues. With June here we can look for more consistent weather patterns and hopefully not have to fight any of the incessant winds we dealt with earlier in the year. The heat will be a limiting factor for many so go early or late if you can. If you decide to fish in the heat of the day please remember to bring plenty of water and sunscreen because you will certainly need it. Also don't forget to bring the kids out now that school is done for another year, share the sport with the next generation and enjoy the time with them every chance you get.



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