This past weekend at the Sabine River I didn't quite finish where I would have liked, but I'll take 33rd at every event. That would be enough to make the post season, qualify for the Bassmaster Classic and make a decent amount of money. Like a lot of the guys out here, I knew nothing about the Sabine River, and I made the most out of it. Overall, I feel good heading to Falcon Lake.
It never ceases to amaze me that I continue to learn even after over 20 years of fishing. During practice I really got on them with a UV Flippin' Tube from TightLines, but the water was getting muddy. I had confidence in that bait, but it never panned out. On Day 1, I had one bite on that tube and I lost it. Just a few yards away, another angler caught four fish flippin' a jig. I also saw Paul Elias flippin' a jig, and he caught one.
On the second day, I tied on a jig at 10:00, still with no fish in the boat. I left to find a new area, and I immediately caught two fish and finished the day with four fish and 11 pounds. I used a MESU Bait company Raptor Jig.
Ever since I was young, when things got tough I always downsized my baits and line size. Now I realize that's not always the answer. In dirty water, sometimes it takes something bigger and bulkier to get their attention. That's what they wanted on the Sabine.
On the third day, I had three bites on the jig, but two of the three fish were short (there was a 14-inch size limit), so I only weighed one fish. The tidal influence with that much water flow really turned my pre-fishing bite off. That's the thing about this sport; some things are out of your control.
Congratulations to Todd Faircloth, who again showed us how to catch them on a river. Todd is an excellent angler, good friend and he really earned that win on a tough fishery.
Finally, I'd like to give a big shout out to Orange, Texas. The crowds there were amazing. My hat is off to them for really showing up. They were easily the best crowd I've ever seen at an Elite Series event, and they made us all feel like superstars. All in all, the Sabine River Challenge was the perfect name for the event. It was certainly a challenge!