• 93°

S.A.L.T fishing tournament hoping for strong turnout this weekend

The Annual S.A.L.T. Classic Fishing tournament on Pleasure Island will take place this weekend if the weather permits.

As of Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service forecast for Saturday shows a 50 percent chance for rain in the Port Arthur area with winds 5-10 mph.

Sunday’s forecast shows a “likely chance” of showers and thunderstorms after 1 p.m. Saturday.

The 45-year traditional classic was pushed back from Memorial Day weekend to add more events, said Roger Bertrand, Saltwater Anglers League of Southeast Texas treasurer.

“This weekend we brought back the offshore,” Bertrand said. “We have also added a bass division, which hoped with get more entrance. We found out that there are two or three pretty good sized bass tournaments on (Lake Sam) Rayburn this weekend. There are several people that fish that have kids in the 10 to 11-year-old All Stars and are out of town. You can’t control that or the weather. You can just hope and pray for the best.”

The start of red snapper season and the wind conditions also played a role in the tournament being pushed back, Bertrand said.

“Everyone was telling us that it is too windy in May,” he said. “That was a big reason for us to move it.”

The treasurer said the move might not be permanent but added they will try it for a few years to see if it helps improve participation.

The organization did not have the tournament in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“It is great (to have it back),” Bertrand said. “Hopefully, we have a good turnout. We have people watching the weather and I think people are a little nervous. Last I heard, we only have in the neighborhood and 60 to 80 people. Two years ago, it was 161. We try to always hit around 200 as our goal.”

Kids 16 and under can participate for free and registration is not required.

Weigh-ins will be held Saturday and Sunday, with prizes being awarded after the final weigh in.

The tournament will include prizes in multiple categories onshore and offshore.   This year, for the first time, bass entries will be included in the tournament.

More than $15,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded. Among them are a $1,000 grand prize drawing, $1,000 kids lifetime fishing license drawing, as well as rod/reel combos and trophies for kids.

For information search S.A.L.T. Fishing Tournament on Facebook.