PORT ARTHUR —
I have never been big on making predictions in the outdoors world.
On occasion however I have looked at some things coming along and felt compelled to share my thoughts and the response has always been strong.
This week I bring you some predictions for fishing here in the Texas-Louisiana region because of research I have conducted and some interesting discussions had over the past few weeks.
Prediction 1: It will take 8.5 pounds to win the summer long CCA STAR tournament in the flounder division. Last year a 7 pound, seven ounce fish took first place honors and CCA had the largest number of flounder ever entered in the tournament.
We are right at four years since regulation changes were made that will allow many more flounder to reach maturity and that means those fish that were two years old in 2009 will be six years old and that is toward the end of their life cycle. More fish with the genetic potential to reach gigantic proportions will have the opportunity to do so which will make the STAR tournament interesting in the flounder division.
Prediction 2: Toledo Bend will produce a 14-pound bass this spring. We are entering the spawn and this is the time when bass will have their biggest weights of the year.
This old lake has been on the rebound and there have been a tremendous amount of 10-pound plus bass on the lake. Judging from research on Louisiana’s lunker program and the condition of the lake, I think a giant bass or two will be caught this spring.
Prediction 3: Local bass anglers will greatly expand their horizons following the Bassmaster Elite Series coming to Orange March 14-17.
With anglers like Skeet Reese and Kevin VanDam fishing local waters, local anglers will become inspired and start fishing areas they have never targeted locally and using lures they rarely consider.
I fully expect to hear a lot more about drop-shot rigs, wake baits and swim jigs being used in our rivers and bayous and the upper reaches of the Sabine and Neches Rivers as well as the Calcasieu River visited far more often.
Prediction 4: This is more of an observation than a prediction but the reports coming in show a banner year for big trout in Sabine Lake and surrounding waters. Last year many anglers complained of an off year for trout but things are shaking loose differently in 2013. Someone will likely catch a 10-pounder in the coming weeks and by year’s end we will all be bragging about the big trout caught this year.
Prediction 5: Anglers will start spending more time introducing children to the sport. At the dozens of events I speak at annually, it is evident more and more people recognize the need to get kids into fishing.
We have a long way to go to get the kids to turn off the X-Box and pick up the tackle box but those anglers are looking for something deeper in their fishing will begin to see purposefully getting kids to wet a line will not only enhance the lives of the children but could very well revolutionize theirs.
(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at email@example.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or watch his F.L.E.X. Fishing TV online at www.Godsoutdoors.com.)
PORT ARTHUR —
I have never been big on making predictions in the outdoors world.
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The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
• Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
• East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
• Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
• Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV.org)
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