PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

July 31, 2013

OUTDOORS COLUMN: OCARC tournament kicks off Friday

Chester Moore, Jr.
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — The 26th Annual OCARC fishing tournament begins Friday evening and this year should be another banner one for the popular event.

    Annually it draws more than 300 participants and tournament director John Thomas said that despite the economic situation it is obvious people still want to fish and participate in this long-standing tradition.

     “We’re really happy that we’ve grown to having more so many participants. Participation and enthusiasm has been great,” Thomas said.

     A big part of the reason for the tournament’s success is its family-friendly atmosphere and that more than any other event in the region, it reflects the unique fishery we have in Southeast Texas.

    This is the second longest running tournament in the area (behind SALT) which is a testament to the unique format and the wonderful people who host the event.

    As usual, the tournament features cash prizes totaling $2,700 for 11 species running the gamut from fresh to saltwater. The entry fee remains $25.

    First place speckled trout, largemouth bass, flounder and redfish all pay $250.00 apiece. Second place anglers earn $100 while third takes home $50. Anglers should note that no 28-inch redfish or those requiring a trophy tag can be weighed in. Only redfish from 20 to 27 inches are legal in this tournament.

    There will also be a $250 prize for the redfish with the most spots.

    All fish must be legal under Texas regulations. No “Louisiana size” fish will be allowed.

    There are categories giving $100 for first place, $50 for second and $25 for third for grinnel and perch among other species. The “Don Hubbard” mudcat category pays $50 for first place only.

    The entry fee is $25.

    There is still time to sign up at OCARC headquarters in Orange. Call 409-886-1363 for more information.

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    Don’t forget you can still pick up copies of “Real Outdoors of Southeast Texas” free at numerous locations in the area. The second issue features stories on the local “Swamp People” stars and bank fishing destinations in the region.

    We are seeking photos for the Braggin’ Rights section so send you bags and catches to rmacke@panews.com.

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    A reader recently asked if we have “lynx” in Southeast Texas.

    The Canadian Lynx (Lynx lynx) is the snowshoe-footed bobcat cousin with the big tufts on their ears.

    Lynx of that variety are not native to Texas or anywhere near us. We do however have Lynx rufus, the bobcat that is very common in the area. Some bobcats have long ear tufts and they vary greatly in body size so they are occasionally mistaken for the Canadian lynx.

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    Several emails have come through regarding the rumor of “yellowfin tuna” being caught in Sabine Lake.

    That is one species I can virtually guarantee will never into our estuary.

    The fish people are referring to is the jack crevalle.

    These big, hard-fighting fish venture into the lake from the Gulf every year. They look sort of like a tuna with their yellow fins and silver/white body but their taste is nothing like it. Jacks are known to have very poor food quality. It is best to let them go for another angler to fight.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail cmooreoudoors@yahoo.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.)