, Port Arthur, Texas

January 30, 2013

OUTDOORS COLUMN: Bassmasters talk Sabine River Challenge

Chester Moore, Jr.
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — From March 14-17, the top professional fishermen in the world will take up the “Sabine River Challenge”.

    This is the first event of the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series bringing huge names and incredible fishing skill to Southeast Texas.

    I have been in contact with many of anglers in recent weeks and have asked what they think of the area and tournament prospects.

    Mike Iaconelli: I grew up fishing rivers and I love river fishing tournaments. Looking at the area you see it is a giant mass of water and eliminating unproductive areas is going to make it a challenge. This is doubled when you consider it is a coastal area.

    There are a lot of factors in these tidal areas that change by the hour and the Elites know how to fish these areas. It is a totally unknown area for virtually everyone on the tour and that will make it exciting. I can’t wait to get down to Orange and fish.


    Shaw Grigsby: There will be a big contrast from the Lake Falcon event and this one in terms of weight, however this will be just as exciting and interesting.

    The anglers in the Elite Series tend to go into areas and find more big fish than some might expect and with all of the water to fish down there someone is going to find them. It is going to be a fun, interesting start to the season.


    Rick Clunn: These types of tournaments really push anglers and kind of give anglers a clean slate because no one has a true home field advantage. Studying the area and having visited it back in the fall, I can say there are some areas that look really good and fit my style of fishing.

    There are plenty of areas that receive pressure but you have an opportunity to get into areas few anglers fish and those could hold the kind of fish it takes to win.


    Gerald Swindle: This area is a mystery to us but we are all excited about getting down there to fish.

    There is plenty of water to cover and different kinds of habitat that could call for a variety of styles. The x-factor will be the weather but that’s everywhere we fish. Someone will get on the fish in a big way and I will do my best to be that man.


    Dennis Tietje: I am very familiar with this kind of fishing and the fishing in this region. This is right up my alley. Last year I took a health hardship and sat out the season and I could not be happier to start off at the Sabine River Challenge.


    Kevin VanDam: Looking at the maps you can see this area is a maze of water and the key will be eliminating unproductive water and finding those key areas that hold bigger fish.

    In a coastal river system like this you have salinity, tide schedules and many other factors to consider which keeps us on our toes. I thrive in this kind of tournament and can’t wait to get down to the Sabine. The best anglers in the world will be there and the level of competition will be second to none.

    For the best coverage on the Sabine River Challenge read our outdoors page every week.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI and watch him online at