DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

SABINE RIVER PREVIEW

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 03/13/2013

Story by Matt Pangrac - Photos by Matt Pangrac and Dave Rush

Orange, TX – The 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series kicks off this week on the Sabine River in Orange, Texas.  This year, The BASS ZONE is introducing a new feature to cover each day of the Elite Series season called “BZ 5.”

The concept behind BZ 5 is simple – talk to Elite Series pros after practice and after each day of competition, ask five pertinent questions, and publish the material in a way so that the reader can get a feel for what is taking place at the tournament in five minutes or less. 

The 5 Preview Facts for the Sabine River:
Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (March 14-17)
Location:  Sabine River – Orange, Texas
Fishery Facts:  The Sabine River meets the Neches River approximately 10 miles south of Orange, Texas to make Sabine Lake.  Shallow, tidal fishery with sloughs, marshes and wetlands.  
Field Size: 101 anglers  
Previous Winner: N/A

Kelly Jordon
What is the X-factor going to be this week on the Sabine River?
“Water level and locks.  There are a lot of locks that are open right now, but the water is falling and I think the one of them is actually closed now and you’ll actually have to lock through.  You can get stuck really easily and not be able to make it back to weigh-in.”  

What conditions do you think will play the biggest role this week on the Sabine River? 
“I think that the biggest thing that’s going to happen is the water is going to warm up a lot during the event.  It’s going to fish a lot differently than it has during practice.”

Kelly JordonWill this tournament be won out of a single area or will the winner have to run and gun this week on the Sabine River?  
“Running and gunning is not possible unless you’re moving around within a single area.  Everybody is going to have to commit to an area, and you better hope that there aren’t too many other boats in that same area so you can move around a little bit.”

How much of a factor is overall experience on tidal fisheries going to play this week? 
“Not very much at all.  The tides aren’t really big here and a lot of the areas are far enough up river that it isn’t affected much by the tides.  It will affect things a little bit, though.  The tide is always a factor because it creates current, but it’s not as big as some places.  The fish are also spawning, so current isn’t going to be as big of a factor as it normally is.”  

What is one piece of equipment that you wouldn’t want to launch your boat without on the Sabine River this week? 
“My push-pole.  Those cypress stumps are tough to get off of.  There have been a couple times when I had to push for more than five-minutes to get unstuck.  That may not seem like very long, but when you’re up there straining and pushing, it’s a long time.”

Billy McCaghren
What is the X-factor going to be this week on the Sabine River?
“It’s probably going to be making a long run.  There are fish everywhere, but I think that you’re probably going to have to get far away from the launch area to catch fish with any size.” 

What conditions do you think will play the biggest role this week on the Sabine River? 
“Probably water movement.  The water was moving pretty good on Monday and the fishing was pretty good.  On Tuesday, the water didn’t move near as much and it was quite a bit tougher.  From the looks of it, we are going to have very little fluctuation on the tide for the rest of the week.  I think that the lack of water movement is going to make quite a bit of difference.”

Will this tournament be won out of a single area or will the winner have to run and gun this week on the Sabine River?  
“I think that the winner will probably be able to run and gun according to the tide.  I’m personally going to just try and find an area and fish because I don’t know how to follow the tide.  There’s going to be a few guys who are used to fishing the tidal fisheries who will be able to jump around.” 

How much of a factor is overall experience on tidal fisheries going to play this week? 
“I think that it’s going to help tremendously.  The guys who know how to find the water movement are really going to catch them.” 

What is one piece of equipment that you wouldn’t want to launch your boat without on the Sabine River this week? 
Probably either my push-pole or my cell phone, just in case I’m one of the unfortunate guys who loses a lower unit out there.  I haven’t been stuck yet this week, but I got stuck a time or two when I came and pre-practiced this past winter.” 

Billy McCaghren and Matt Reed

Matt Reed
What is the X-factor going to be this week on the Sabine River?
“The X-factor is going to be a group of bigger sized fish located a long way away that somebody knows about.  There are a lot of fish close by, but there just aren’t many keepers to be caught.”  

What conditions do you think will play the biggest role this week on the Sabine River? 
“The tide is going to be one of the conditions that will play a huge role.  You’re really going to have to try and figure out where you need to be on what tide in order to make the fish bite.   The tide plays a factor everywhere you go, but it’s a different timing situation depending on what direction you run.”  

Will this tournament be won out of a single area or will the winner have to run and gun this week on the Sabine River?  
“If somebody understands the tide and can run the tide, then they will be able to do it in several different areas.  That being said, I expect that this tournament is going to be won out of a single location.”  

How much of a factor is overall experience on tidal fisheries going to play this week? 
“I think that understanding post-spawn fish on a tidal system will be huge this week.  Most of us don’t get to experience that very often, so we are kind of learning on the fly or not learning on the fly, depending on how things are going.  

What is one piece of equipment that you wouldn’t want to launch your boat without on the Sabine River this week? 
“It’s a little tough to carry, but it’d be nice to have an extra lower unit in the boat this week.”  

Shaw Grigsby
What is the X-factor going to be this week on the Sabine River?
“It would have to be the distance that you’re going to have to run and being able to catch your keepers quickly.   Catching a keeper is primo right now, and that’s probably the biggest X-factor.  You can catch fish, but catching a 14-inch keeper is a little tough.” 

What conditions do you think will play the biggest role this week on the Sabine River? 
“I really don’t think that the weather is going to have a lot to do with the outcome.  I think that it’s going to be solid and consistent and these fish will bite regardless of whatever weather we have.” 

Will this tournament be won out of a single area or will the winner have to run and gun this week on the Sabine River?  
“The winner is going to be moving around quite a bit. I think that there are going to be a couple key areas, but once you whack them, the fish aren’t going to replenish so you’re going to have to move around.”  

How much of a factor is overall experience on tidal fisheries going to play this week? 
“It’s going to be important for some guys and not a factor at all for other guys.  That’s just because there’s so much variable in the water here depending on how far you run.  The further up you go the less tidal influence you have, and the further down you go the more tidal influence you have.”

What is one piece of equipment that you wouldn’t want to launch your boat without on the Sabine River this week? 
“It would have to be my Power-Poles. This is shallow water fishing and I know that I’ll be using them a ton.” 

Dean Rojas
What is the X-factor going to be this week on the Sabine River?
“Catching every keeper that bites.   It can turn into a numbers game if all you want to catch are small ones, but the bigger ones are harder to target and you’re going to have to make the most of each and every opportunity.” 

What conditions do you think will play the biggest role this week on the Sabine River? 
“It would have to be the water clarity.  It really varies depending on what area of the river that you’re fishing.”

Will this tournament be won out of a single area or will the winner have to run and gun this week on the Sabine River?  
“It’s going to be won by a guy who settles in to one or two spots.” 

How much of a factor is overall experience on tidal fisheries going to play this week? 
“I think that it’s going to play a big factor.” 

What is one piece of equipment that you wouldn’t want to launch your boat without on the Sabine River this week? 
“My trolling motor.  There’s a lot of current and tidal movement.  It’s also important to be able to cover a lot of water.”  

Tommy Biffle
What is the X-factor going to be this week on the Sabine River?
“Finding a fish that’s 14-inches long.” 

Tommy Biffle What conditions do you think will play the biggest role this week on the Sabine River? 
“I think that some of the guys who do well this week will have had somebody help them and got some good information on a little hidey-hole where there are a few fish.”  

Will this tournament be won out of a single area or will the winner have to run and gun this week on the Sabine River?  
“This tournament will come down to finding an area that’s holding some fish and making it last for four whole days.” 

How much of a factor is overall experience on tidal fisheries going to play this week? 
“None.” 

What is one piece of equipment that you wouldn’t want to launch your boat without on the Sabine River this week? 
“A spare prop. I thought that Havasu was the worst place that we’ve ever been, but this place ranks right up there.  I went two days without catching a keeper bass.  I caught fish, but just no keepers.”