Sabine weights to keep in mind

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.

Stay tuned.

Two hours of sleep

“Two hours sleep and I’m wired and ready to go.”

T-Roy Broussard told me that this morning prior to takeoff. On Day 1, he said getting 15 pounds was the goal. Mission accomplished. Broussard caught exactly that weight.

Today will be different. 

“I’m not playing around. I’m going to get everything I can.”

Look out. That could mean trouble for the bass in his way. Broussard plans to cover lots of water, running and gunning to a milk run of spots. There are several he planned to hit early and then settle down in a key area around 11 a.m. That’s when it picks up at that better location. 

Bertrand's hot streak continues

Josh Bertrand finished second at the season opener held on Table Rock Lake. He’s in that spot after Day 1 at Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open #2.

That also keeps Bertrand in good standing with the Central Open AOY standings with a second place position. He’s in fair shape on the Bassmaster Elite side, currently in 40tth place.

“It’s going to be tough out there today,” he told me this morning. Bertrand, chosen as one of the top 30 anglers under 30, is from Phoenix, Ariz. He brings some West Coast tidal experience to the Sabine River, and knows anything can happen. 

“Everything tidal is about time and all it takes is one or two good flurries to have a good day,” he added.

“With so many small fish getting caught you’ve got to keep your head down, stay in it, not let the heat and humidity get you distracted.”

Today, getting that key bite will be critical to stay in contention for the Top 12. 

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Today's tide

It’s all about the tide on Day 2 (and 3) at the Sabine River. Here’s a look at the NOAA Tide Predictions chart for Sabine Pass, North.

High tide comes at 10:11 a.m., followed by the low tide at 4:38 p.m.

A few anglers I spoke with at weigh-in told me they favor the rising tide. If so, they were in business from the start. Most guys are running the low tide. They will have their go time during the afternoon. For them, having a late draw will be key. So will being in the right place at the right time. That’s usually an easy thing to do. You simply plan your day to arrive at specific spots when the falling water is at peak. Here, not so easy. Most of the prime areas are getting hammered by lots of anglers. So with timing will be fishing in a crowd, managing that and your fish.

With that in mind, it will be interesting to see how those later flight anglers do at weigh-in time.

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Plus a kicker

Got five for 7 plus a kicker. I'll take it.

Update by Tyler Rivet

Great view for Day 2

Only view better is at the lake house.

Update by Eldon Pipps

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Boat ride with T-Roy

Prior to takeoff I hopped in the boat with T-Roy Broussard. The idea was shooting a BASSCam. I got that and much more.

T-Roy’s co-angler was late getting to the ramp. While loading his gear into the boat the humbled co-angler snagged the hooks of a topwater in his shorts. Not to worry. T-Roy grabbed a pair of pliers and ripped the lure out.

Next came the launch. Someone helping T-Roy forgot to unhook the transom tie-down straps. We didn’t find that out until the boat wouldn’t drift off the trailer. Boat came back out, straps unhooked and things fell into place.

To say T-Roy was fired up was an understatement. I asked him about doing the BASSCam when we finally arrived at the dock to pick up his co-angler, returning with truck keys to head out.

T-Roy asked me to wait. He turned around and embraced his wife and young daughter. They prayed.

T-Roy looks tough on the outside but the man is a humble, Christian with a lot of pride and gratitude for what got him where he is in life. He’s in his element now, even after two hours of sleep. 

Day 1 redfish

Redfish I caught during Day 1 on the Sabine River.