ORANGE — It starts today.
The top competitive fishermen in the world compete in the Bassmaster Elite Series “Sabine River Challenge” out of the City of Orange Boat Ramp at Simmons Drive.
And when I say the top anglers in the world I mean 2013 Bassmaster Classic Champion Cliff Pace, 2012 Champion Chris Lane, 4-time Classic Winner Kevin VanDam, 4-time Classic winner Rick Clunn, plus other Classic winners and popular anglers like Mike Iaconelli, Shaw Grigsby, Gerald Swindle, Skeet Reese, Alton Jones and Tommy Biffle as well as promising new blood like Brandon Palaniuk.
Those guys will essentially have six-seven hours (depending on where they fish) to locate and execute a game plan to catch five of the best fish they can find. They do not necessarily have to be monster bass but legal-sized ones that are biggest they can catch.
And the limits are anywhere on public water they can fish so the Sabine, Calcasieu and Neches River systems are open as well as gigantic stretches of marsh and the Taylor Bayou system.
There are rumors of anglers making even longer runs and with the Intracoastal Canal in the mix, anything could happen when the prize is $100,000 and a guaranteed berth in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic. In the past anglers have run more than two hours one way to find fish.
“We’re excited to compete here at the Sabine River Challenge. It’s going to be an interesting tournament since no one really has a home field advantage and we have a giant maze of water to fish. But that is what we do,” said Kevin VanDam.
“This field of competitors is the best in the world and we will find the fish.”
The event is put on by B.A.S.S. and the title sponsor is Stark Cultural Venues.