PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

March 15, 2013

Jasper angler leads Bassmasters

ORANGE — The second day of the Bassmaster Elite Series “Sabine River Challenge” saw big changes on the leaderboard.

    A strong south wind changed the fishing in dynamics in some areas and the opening of refuges in Louisiana gave anglers who do not mind a long run some unique opportunities to score on big fish.

    Jasper native Todd Faircloth was an odds on favorite to win by many local anglers and today he showed why. He caught a super impressive 16-pound 8-ounce bag raising his total to 26 pounds, 15-ounces.

    Thursday’s leader Dean Rojas caught five fish and was able to stand strong at second place with a total of 26-pounds, 8-ounces. Third place belongs to Louisiana favorite Cliff Crochet who has a 25-pound two-day total.

    “Big Show” Terry Scroggins is in fourth with big help from his 6 pound, 1-ounce lunker that took big fish of the day honors.

    Living legend Kevin VanDam made the other anglers uneasy creeping into eighth place with 20-pounds, 6 ounces.

    “A tournament like this has a lot of dynamics. Fishing a tournament is always like putting together a puzzle and when you have so much water to fish and much of it has tidal influence, it makes things challenging. You just have to stay positive and be willing to make the right adjustments,” VanDam said.

     The third day of competition sees the field cut to 50 anglers and number two all-time money winner Skeet Reese said he was happy to make it.

    “I went back and did the same thing I did on day one and it didn’t work out too well but I made the cut and will go back tomorrow focused and ready to do my best,” he said.

    The biggest talk of the day was fan favorite Mike Iaconelli crashing his boat in the Neches River system. He and his marshal were unscathed but the boat had to be pulled out off of the trees. There have been several boat incidents but the maintenance crew said it is not out of the norm.

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Sports
  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    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 cmooreoutdoors@gmail.com. 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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  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

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From the Fieldhouse blog