Sabine Lake reds and trout are back

Bruce Butler of Amarillo caught Toyota ShareLunker 565 from Lake Alan Henry on A

It’s been a tough few weeks for fishermen on Sabine Lake in the hunt for reds and trout. The water has been muddy enough to walk on, but the good news is that it’s finally beginning to clear up a little bit.

Guide Colby Denbow with Sabine Lake Lodge has been catching reds and trout on the lower end of the lake. He’s also catching a few flounder in the pass.

“It’s been tough, that’s a fact,” says Denbow. “But the fish are here; it’s just a matter of finding them, and putting a lure on them. One of my go-to tactics right now for both trout and reds is to fish Down South jigs on the bottom on the lower end of the lake. Best colors have been white and chartreuse. These particular jigs have a fast tail action, and I think that’s what the fish keying on. We’re hooking up with fish by drifting with the wind and current. But we’re also jumping on slicks as soon as they pop up.”

Denbow says he’s been catching reds at the jetties with jigs and topwater plugs. He was out there a few days ago, and the reds were actually schooling on the surface.

Lake Alan Henry ties Sam Rayburn with ShareLunker entries

After over four months with no entries into the Toyota ShareLunker program, Bruce Butler of Amarillo ended the dry spell with a 13.13-pound fish from Lake Alan Henry.

“Butler caught the season’s second ShareLunker about 4 p.m. April 13 from the reservoir southeast of Lubbock,” says TPWD’s Larry Hodge. “No other details on the catch are available.

“ShareLunkers are no stranger to either Lake Alan Henry or Butler. In 2004, Butler caught ShareLunker 364, a 14.8-pounder, also from Alan Henry. That fish came during a spate of catches from the lake that saw it produce 22 ShareLunkers between 2004 and 2007.”

Lake Alan Henry is now tied with Sam Rayburn for second place in the number of entries into the ShareLunker program with 26. Only Lake Fork, with 257, has produced more.

Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between Oct. 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program. ShareLunker catches can be reported 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the season by calling (903) 681-0550. If poor cellphone service prevents use of the voice number, anglers can leave a phone number (including area code) at (888) 784-0600.

Lake Conroe lands 2017 Bassmaster Classic

The world championship of bass fishing — the 2017 Bassmaster Classic — will be held in Houston for the first time in the event’s 47-year history.

The announcement was made during a press conference in Houston’s Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros and where 52 of the world’s best bass anglers will weigh their fish during the March 24-26, 2017, event.

The fishing competition will take place on Lake Conroe, a 21,000-acre impoundment of the San Jacinto River in Montgomery and Walker counties noted for producing big largemouth bass.

Also during Bassmaster Classic Week in Houston, the nation’s leading fishing tackle and boat manufacturers will take part in the annual Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo, to be held March 24-26 in the George R. Brown Convention Center. In recent years, tackle and lure companies have been using the Classic Expo as the venue to introduce their newest products to bass fishing fans. The 2017 Expo will cover more than 300,000 square feet, the largest in Bassmaster Classic history.

The 2017 event will mark only the second time for the “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing” to be held in Texas. Hank Parker won the 1979 Classic on Lake Texoma on the Texas-Oklahoma border. Conroe has never hosted a Bassmaster Elite Series event; however, many of the stars of the Elite Series are familiar with the lake. Superstar pro Rick Clunn, a four-time Classic Champion, worked as a bass guide on Conroe during the early years of his 42-year career in professional fishing. He is off to a strong start toward qualifying for what would be his 33rd Classic — he won the season opener of the Elite Series in March on Florida’s St. Johns River. Clunn will be 70 years old when the 2017 Classic gets under way.

The Classic champion will earn $300,000, part of the more than $1 million in prize money to be paid out to the anglers.