Jasper, Tx Feb. 4th- In just over 3 seasons, we have all learned one thing when it comes to HS Fishing in Southeast Texas........ its unpredictability! SETX Secretary Ted O Dell of Buna summed it up best on Saturday when he said "It's simply unlike any other sport. Nothing is guaranteed,
there are so many variables that come into play during a tournament. The ones who can adapt and overcome those variables will be the ones who find themselves at the top of the SETX Angler of the Year standings at the end of the season. Consistency throughout the season is the key." SETX Treasurer Daniel Hoke took that a step further and said this about the young anglers of SETX. "The fish don't care what gender you are, whether you are seasoned or a novice, your age, how big your school is or where you are from. It is simply a matter of applying what you have learned from past experiences, or taking a little advice from a seasoned veteran. A little luck never hurts either", concluded Hoke.
Overcast skies and temps in the mid 40's greeted 500 SETX anglers and their families this past weekend as the Ford SETX HS Championship Series presented by Skeeter Boats hosted the second of five qualifying tournaments this spring at Lake Sam Rayburn. With lake levels hovering just below pool level, Big Sam is poised for another strong spawning season as the fish begin their annual migration from the deeper waters into the hundreds of creeks and backwaters on the old pond. Tournament Director and emcee John Salamone offered up his thoughts. "Every bass fisherman knows what is about to happen on this lake. In many places on the lake, the fish are already there, but the quality is sometimes lacking. Even with our warmer than normal winter, many fish will remain in deeper water and I suspect that is where many of the better fish will come from this weekend."
Tackle Addict First Place Team- 18.73 LBS- Evadale- Kyler Kirkland and Ashton Granger- Boat Captain
Evadale Tx may not be the largest town or the largest school in SETX, but you would not know that by looking at their fishing team. 17 teams and over 30 kids comprise the Evadale HS Bass team and one of those teams, the team of Kyler Kirkland and Ashton Granger captured the 2nd leg of the Ford SETX HS Championship Series presented by Skeeter Boats this past Saturday with a near 19 LB bag of Rayburn bass. "The boys had a pretty smooth day" said Boat Captain Brian Shook. Launching near Caney Creek, the Evadale team was able to bag a limit by 8:30 fishing the Caney Creek area. "The boys focused on 6-12 foot of water that had grass, ditches, or drains. Carolina rigs strapped to Power Tackle rods and Lews reels were the ticket" said Shook. The team managed 14-15 lbs and knew a good finish was possible, but a late day flurry after a quick move across the lake to Veach Basin was the final piece of the puzzle the team needed to secure the win. "We pulled up to a spot in Veach and Kyler quickly nailed a 5 LB fish and it wasn't long before Ashton was hooked up with a 4 LB fish of his own. That was obviously key in the eventual outcome" concluded Shook, as the team was able to cull a couple fish in the 2-3 LB range. The team wished to thank R-1 Bass and Mr Casey Sobczak of 6th Sense Lures for their support.
Second Place Team- 17.79 LBS- West Sabine- Daren Dew- Boat Captain Jason Dew
Fishing alone isn't always a bad thing. Just ask the father-son team of Daren and Jason Dew. Launching their Phoenix boat at Mill Creek, on the south end of the lake, the team from West Sabine had a good plan based on some pre fishing they had done the day before. "We found some fish on Friday that we felt would give us a good chance for a high finish on Saturday, said Captain Jason Dew. We found 5 or 6 different areas in the Mill Creek area, all in the 30-35 foot depth range, that was holding some quality fish." said Captain Dew. Having bagged a limit by 8 am, Daren was able to cull up throughout the day as the team rotated those 5-6 areas using a drop shot with 10 lb fluorocarbon attached to a Lews spinning reel. The team also reported success using a 1 oz jig. A behemoth 8.34 LB fish anchored the near 18 lb bag. "He caught that fish on the drop shot and the Lews equipment was key in getting that fish in. There isn't much room for error with that kind of fish and 10 lb test" concluded Dew. The team wished to thank Ann's Tackle Shop, Phoenix Boats, and Lews for their help.
Third Place Team- 17.30 LBS- Lumberton- Remington Boykin and Jace Bridges- Boat Captain Jeff Bridges
It has often been said that bass fishermen tend to "overthink" things when it comes to bass fishing and that simplicity is often overlooked, but not for the 3rd place team of Remington Boykin and Jace Bridges of Lumberton HS. "We had a simple plan today, just stay near the places where we know the fish are headed to" said Captain Jeff Bridges. This time of year, that means spawning areas. Launching at Jackson Hill, the team headed to the Deer Stand area, where they were able to catch a couple of fish. Around 9 am, the team moved up the Attoyac. "We focused on main and secondary points, timber, or any bottom changes close to spawning areas" said Bridges. It was on one of those timbered points where the team was able to nab their anchor fish of 7.62 LBS. "We had a couple more hooked up that would have helped us, but the timber was able to keep the fish from making it into the landing net" concluded Bridges. A late day move to Mudd Creek was productive as the team was able to cull up using carolina rigs and cranks in grass located in the 6-12 foot range. The team wished to thank Mr Brian Thomas, all of the SETX sponsors, and the SETX volunteers.
Rounding out the top Ten
4th Place- 16.87 LBS Brennon Davis and Bret Herrin- Kirbyville
5th Place- 16.08 LBS Kyler Morse- Bridge City
6th Place- 16.05 LBS Emily Hamilton and Robby Hughes- Huntington
7th Place- 15.98 LBS Kameryn Henderson and Tyler Shearin- LCM
8th Place- 15.36 LBS Gavin Broadway and Brett Creel- Barbers Hill
9th Place- 15.09 LBS Joe BeeBee and Chad Mrazek- College Park
10th Place- 14.70 LBS River Lee and Thomas Martin- Rains
Top 3 Big Bass
1st- 10.57 LBS- Dylan Colvin and Bryson Gore- Silsbee
2nd- 8.34 LBS- Daren Dew- West Sabine
3rd- 7.62 LBS- Remington Boykin and Jace Bridges- Lumberton
The SETX board wanted to make sure they sent out many THANKS to the all the volunteers who helped last Sunday. Your time and your patience is absolutely necessary for the success of this organization. We simply cannot thank all of you enough for your efforts. THANK YOU ALL.
Lastly, the board wanted to make sure that all of you take the time to go by the many sponsor booth's at the tournaments and say "HI" and "thank you" for supporting the young anglers of Southeast Texas. As always, please remember these companies when it comes time to make your own personal purchases!! They are supporting us, so please support them. When out and about, let these people know you support them because they support SETX HS Fishing.
THANK YOU TO ALL OF THE SETX SPONSORS for helping make SETX the premiere HS Fishing Trail in the country!!!
South Texas Ford Dealers Assn, Skeeter Boats/Yamaha, Tackle Addict, Costa, Lews, Coastal Field Services, Academy, 6th Sense, Livingston Lures, Rat L Trap, Gopher Industries, Culprit, Bass Cash Bash, Winn Grips, Big Bite Baits, V&M Lures, Happy Trails RV's, Stubb's Cycle, Whataburger, Gator Guards, Southeast Texas Starter, A-1 Glass, Crystal Heigley and the Allman Real Estate Team, and Obsessed with Nature Taxidermy.
Story by Jet Donovan