There’s been a lot of talk about how tough the fishing is on the Sabine, in terms of getting a big bite at least. Several anglers have noted catching 30 to 40 fish a day. So the fishing, in terms of getting bit, is actually quite good.
But, in terms of weight, this place is as challenging as any other and tests the skill set and mental fortitude of every angler that dares set out on its waters. And it’s fisheries like this that prove something my dad always told me growing up, the cream always rises to the top.
For those who don’t get the expression (and I don’t claim to have ever watched this play out in person), when milk is taken directly from the source and left to sit, the richer cream always rises to the top. So, in application for conversational purposes, this means that the best of the best, over time, inevitably make their way to the top. This is very evident when the fishing is tough, as no one ever lucks up and wins one of these.
Look at the last two winners of the Sabine Elite for instance, Jason Christie (2021) and Greg Hackney (2018), arguably two of the best 10 or 15 anglers in the world today. Christie’s winning weight of 43-15 was the second-lowest winning weight of all time for the Elites. Skeet Reese, another Classic winner and venerable hammer, posted the third lightest winning weight on West Point in 2013. Mike Iaconelli, Classic Champ/Angler of the Year/etc/etc, won on the Delaware River in 2014 with only 47-14. Want to know who is really, really good at getting a fish to bite? Look at who wins on a tough fishery.
Five-time Bassmaster winner Kevin Short posted the lightest Elite winning weight ever on the Mississippi River in 2009. A river rat and an expert at getting bit on tough fisheries, Short knows a thing or two about grinding it out too.
Brock Mosley currently has 42 pounds, 4 ounces on BassTrakk. If he doesn’t cull up and holds on to win, this will be the new lightest winning weight in Elite Series history. Considering he finished second here in 2021 with a near identical weight, and is close to closing the door here this week fishing a hundred miles in a different direction from last time, the cream has risen to the top once more.