User Profile

Recent Entries

You have 1088066 hits.

Latest Comments

No Latest Comments at this time.


You are currently viewing archive for March 2013
Posted By Hawgsrus

ORANGE, Texas — “Everything’s bigger and better in Texas.”
That’s what Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, said Sunday as he won the Sabine River Challenge presented by STARK Cultural Venues out of Orange, Texas, trumping Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., by 6 pounds, 10 ounces.
“It means a lot to me to win here,” Faircloth said. “I won one in Texas in Amistad, but that’s not real close to my home. Winning here in front of my home crowd is special. I’ve got a lot of family and friends here, and a lot of people I grew up fishing with and against.”
Faircloth’s win — his fourth Bassmaster Elite Series title and second in Texas — was a victory in a four-day tug-of-war with Rojas. Rojas led the first day, then Faircloth took the lead away from him on Day 2. The third day, Rojas got it back and led Faircloth by 3-9, a considerable deficit on the stingy and tough Sabine River system. But Faircloth pulled away on Day 4 by weighing a 14-9 limit, easily getting the best of Rojas, who had a single fish Sunday that weighed 4-6.
Faircloth’s final weight in the season opener of the Bassmaster Elite Series was 49 pounds, 6 ounces. His prize was $100,000 and an instant entry in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic. Faircloth also took the lead in the season-long points race to win the sport’s coveted 2013 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year award.
“I’ve got the Classic made now, so I’m not worried about points to qualify,” he said. “I can kind of roll the dice if needed — maybe gamble. I’ve never been in this position in my career.”
Rojas stumbled, and the reason was simple.
“I just couldn’t get them to bite today,” he said. “I lost one keeper, but I don’t think it would have been enough. I did the best I could; I fished a great week, but it just didn’t happen.”
Rojas finished with 42-12, ahead of Terry Scroggins of San Mateo, Fla., second with 41-1; Ish Monroe, fourth with 40 pounds; and Bill Lowen of Brookville, Ind., fifth with 38-3.
With 3-9 to make up and overtake Rojas on Sunday, Faircloth made an important correction: He slowed down “and focused on the areas that seemed to hold the better fish,” he said.
One advantage Faircloth had was that Rojas was sharing water with two other anglers, while he had an area to himself.
“When you’re splitting the fish in one area like that, it’ll catch up with you sooner or later,” Faircloth said.
Faircloth targeted fish in an area he described as a “bayou off a bayou” off the Taylor River. It was a flat, baylike area 3/4-mile long and 400 to 500 yards wide. He worked that same area back and forth for four days. Most of the fish were probably on spawning beds, but he couldn’t actually see the beds.
“It’s a vast, wide-open area, and the fish were scattered throughout it,” he said. “I marked my trails on my GPS, and if I didn’t get bit, I wouldn’t work that trail again.”
He said he caught most of his fish on a 5-inch Strike King Swim’n Caffeine Shad soft jerkbait. He alternated between pearl-blue/glimmer-back and watermelon-red color patterns. He used a 1/16-ounce weight to Texas rig the bait. But if he missed a hookup on a hit, he grabbed a rod rigged with a 5-inch Strike King Ocho stickworm in the double header color, also Texas rigged, but with a 1/8-ounce weight. He was able to keep the Ocho in the strike zone longer to get the missed fish, he said.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By Hawgsrus

ORANGE, Texas — When asked if he had ever competed on the Sabine River, site of the March 14-17 Bassmaster Elite Series season opener, Elite Series pro Dennis Tietje chuckled.
“Only for about 30 years,” he replied.
He’s in the minority because the Elite Series has never had an event on the Sabine. Most of the 100 competitors don’t know what to expect in this week’s Sabine River Challenge presented by STARK Cultural Venues out of Orange, Texas.
That means Tietje has been getting a lot of phone calls from his fellow Elite Series pros angling for his secrets.
“Sure, they call — but I don’t tell them anything,” he said, the smile still in his voice.
“I was totally shocked when I first heard the Elite Series was coming here. I never dreamed I would compete at the Elite level where I learned to fish,” Tietje said.
“It’s a lot like Atchafalaya, but I think it’s going to fish differently,” said Poche, who now lives in Alabama. “The largemouth size limit for the Sabine event is 14 inches, and that’s going to make it tough on a lot of guys to get a limit. And I don’t think we’re going to be catching a lot of 4s and 5s.”
He, Faircloth and Tietje described an area south of Orange, off the main Sabine River, where huge spreads of backwaters, bayous and feeder rivers and creeks in both Texas and Louisiana hold black bass. The Neches, Calcasieu and other rivers are fertile fishing grounds. The Intracoastal Waterway connects some of the waters. North of Orange, anglers will find more of a traditional river, but some of the same types of backwaters.
The size of the tournament waters means an angler’s morning choice about where to find fish will likely be the only choice of the day.  
“In the backwaters, it’s like a maze, so many canals and cuts. You really have to pick an area and go with it,” Poche said. “There’s so much water, you can’t run from area to area.”
Especially in the river system’s lower reaches, the tides will play a big role, Poche said.
“You have to catch that water moving,” he said. “The tides will position those fish. It’ll be all timing — and getting the right bites [by larger bass] because there are a lot of smaller fish there.”
He predicts that the majority of the tournament’s catches will come from the backwaters, and the spawn will play somewhat of a role.
“I think there definitely will be fish in all stages of the spawn. I don’t think they’ll be too far from where they live in summertime — around moving water. But moving water won’t play as big a role as it would in summertime,” Faircloth said.
Tietje also scouted the river before cutoff, just to brush up. His main challenge is to fight off “fishing the past,” a syndrome that can trip up any local favorite who can’t resist returning to once-lucrative spots, even though conditions are nagging at the angler to try something else.
“There’s not as many big fish as there was before the hurricanes, but we’re going to catch fish,” Tietje said. “Mother Nature has a way of bringing a fishery back real fast, and with the restocking programs, there’s a lot of fish, and anglers are going to catch a lot of fish.”
“There are tons of bass, but many haven’t made it to 14 inches yet,” Tietje said. “You might have an angler catch 50 or 60 fish — and one keeper. But if the weather’s right, we’ll have a lot of limits. That’s the main thing: Mother Nature will dictate the tournament’s outcome, depending on rainfall, wind and temperatures the week of the tournament. None of us will know until the tournament starts.”
There’s no admission charge for any Bassmaster event, and access to is free.


Courtesy of BASS Communications.