At first blush, you might not have been overly impressed by the weights posted Thursday on Day 1 of the Central Open here on the Sabine River. When many B.A.S.S. tournaments are held on fisheries where 8-, 9- and 10-pound bass are common, well, we’re all spoiled to an extent.
But I’m here to tell you that 390 anglers and co-anglers worked their butts off yesterday on this vast delta straddling the Texas and Louisiana border. You could see it in their eyes when they got off the water. There were a lot of tired guys at the weigh-in and there are sure to be more today when Day 2 is complete and the field is cut to 12 pros and a dozen co-anglers.
Let’s face it, there’s nothing that can be done about weather (just ask meteorologists.) I live in south Louisiana, and I can count on one hand the number of days in the past two months that it has not rained. That means the water here on the Sabine River is high. And it’s cloudy in places. And yes, it’s hot – though 89 degrees at noon today is a touch cooler than it was yesterday.
The angler who wins here likely will be the one who doesn’t let any of Mother Nature’s curveballs affect him. He’ll be the guy who keeps his head down and keeps casting, while sweat beads on his forehead and his throat cries for a cold drink. He’ll be the guy that in spite of what Mother Nature hath wrought, will stick it out until the end. Maybe it’ll be a 6-pounder that pushes a fresh face into the lead. Or maybe it will be a steady sack of 3-pounders that helps the lead for another.
Do the math – The limit is five bass. Multiply by 3 pounds and you have 15 pounds, which is exactly the weight our leader (T-Roy Broussard of nearby Port Arthur, Tex.) posted on Day 1.
Here are a few more numbers to keep in mind: 50 and 49-6.
The number 50 is exactly how many pounds of bass Chris Lane weighed when he won the 2015 Bassmaster Elite here on the Sabine River. And 49-6 is total in pounds and ounces Todd Faircloth posted in 2013 when he won the first Elite Series event ever held on this waterway.
What’s most important to remember about those numbers is that they were four-day totals. And those tournaments were held in March when bass-catching conditions are decidedly better in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana.
The Central Open being fished on the Sabine this week is a three-day event. So if you break it down, 37 or 38 pounds could quite likely be all it takes for someone to punch a ticket to the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’s Sporting Goods.
A handful of anglers have caught that much weight in one day in other B.A.S.S. events through the years, so the overall weight here may not be particularly eye-catching.
But you know what is? A berth in the Classic. And that’s what’s on the line.