Surveying the Sabine weather outlook

It's Texas and it's the middle of June, so yes, it's hot. The temperature had reached 87 degrees by 9 a.m. 

on Thursday morning during the first day of the Bass Pro Shops Central Open #2 here in Orange -- the southeast Texas city that sits on the Sabine River. The thermometer is supposed to climb into the 90s each of the three days of this tournament too, which means the heat literally will be on the 200 competing pros to find the biggest bass.

One thing we haven't see yesterday or today, however, is rain, which has been in abundance for at least two months along the Gulf Coast. Strong rain bands emanating from the Gulf of Mexico in that time have raised water levels throughout the region. That made finding clean water difficult and had anglers predicting that conditions would be tough in this event.

What cannot be understated, however, is the 12-inch minimum length on bass caught in the Sabine River and surrounding marsh and tributaries the anglers will fish this week. That's down from a 14-inch low end which was in place the previous times B.A.S.S. hosted tournaments on the waterway. That 12-inch standard is in effect in five coastal counties stretching from the Sabine River to Galveston.

Two inches may not be a lot, but it could make a big difference in the number of limits brought to scales later today at the City of Orange  Expect heavier bags this go-round as a result.