Let me start this week’s column out by expressing my sorrow at what’s happened along our East Coast. The storm is horrible. Here in Ohio it’s been cold, windy, rainy and snowy and yet I find it impossible to complain. There are at least 60 million people who’d trade places with us in a minute. Honestly, I can hardly imagine what those people are going through.
I saw where in some places entire neighborhoods were destroyed. The damage to the roads, trains and subways will take months, if not years, to repair. It’ll take decades to replace the trees and other vegetation. Some of the beaches may never be the same. And, what’s it done to the bass populations, and all the other fish and wildlife? Destroyed much of them would be my guess. Worse, some people lost their lives.
Watching what was happening on TV was a lesson in the wrath of Mother Nature. When she gets angry, we all pay the price. Almost nothing that was built by man was able to control her destructive powers. It shows us how insignificant we humans are when it comes to the big picture.
But there’s another side to her, and I had the privilege of seeing that just the other day. The Sabine River in Orange, Texas, site of our first Bassmaster Elite Series event next year, is a thing of beauty. I’ve read a lot about opening our season down there. It’s a big change from Florida. Some guys say it’s good; some guys say it’s bad. I’m with those who say it’ll be good.
A couple of weeks ago I spent a few days down there checking things out. We’ll be launching very close to the ocean. I’d say we’re within maybe 5 miles of the Gulf. The brackish water means we’ll have a mix of saltwater fish to go with our bass. That might not be popular with everyone but I think it’s kind of exciting. You never know what might be on the end of your line.
The backwater areas are shallow and, as near as I can tell, they all hold a few bass. There wasn’t anywhere I couldn’t get a bite or two. The fish weren’t all that big but they were plentiful and they were hungry. That usually makes for an exciting tournament. Besides, the smaller bass won’t matter much when we get to our second venue — Falcon Lake. There’ll be plenty of weight there to satisfy the hawg hunters.
Overall, I’d say it’s much like New Orleans and the Delta, except that it’s much smaller and will fish really small with 100 Elite guys on it. From what I can see, B.A.S.S. made a good choice. A change of scenery never hurt anyone.
Before I go I want to say again how much I feel for all the people hurt by Sandy, and I want to encourage everyone to pray for the victims and to help them in any way you possibly can. Remember, but for the grace of God…