Southeast Texas anglers win big time

Southeast Texas anglers win big time

The winners of the 2012 CCA STAR fishing tournament have been announced, and Southeast Texas anglers dominated the scoreboard and prizes.

The winner of the STAR upper coast big trout division is Sour Lake angler Michael Fesco. His winning trout weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces and was weighed in at the SGS Causeway store in Port Arthur. The winning trout for the middle coast division weighed 9-8; heaviest from the lower coast weighed 9-7. Fesco won a 22-foot Shoalwater Legend with a Mercury 150 and McClain Trailer.

In the tagged redfish division, six were caught overall. Of those, three did not qualify.

Bridge City angler Dylan Collazo, 10, won the STAR 6-10 year old gafftop division and a $50,000 college scholarship. His winning catch weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces. It was weighed in at the Sportsman’s Supply in Sabine.

Finishing second in the 6-10 year old bracket was Anthony Bellanger of Orange with a gafftop that weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces. In third was 8-year-old Nederland angler Tristan Brown, 6-10; fourth was Joshua Nguyen, 9, of Bridge City, 6-2.

Winning the Starteens 11 to 17 year old bracket in the gafftop division is 11-year-old Ky Terrell of Orange. His winning catch weighed 6-9 and was worth a $20,000 scholarship.

In the adult gafftop division, Nederland angler Chris Brown took first place with a 7 pound, 11 ounce catch. He won a Bluewave 180 V-Bay with a Mercury 90 and McClain Trailer.

Sabine Lake trout and reds are excellent under the birds

Fishing on Sabine Lake is about as good as it gets and will remain that way for the next several weeks. Right now big numbers of trout and reds are under the birds, and catching them is simply a matter of fishing a jig under a flock of gulls.

Guide Jerry Norris says he’s been doing best by fishing 3-1/2 inch Egret Wedgetails under small groups of birds on the upper end of the lake. His best colors are white or white with a chartreuse tail.

“Reds are mixed in with the specks and sand trout,” said Norris. “We’re catching the better trout while fishing jigs on bottom. If you fish ‘em just below the surface, you’ll likely catch nothing but 12 to 14 inchers.”

Each front that moves through is perking up the action under the birds. As the water temperature drops, shrimp, mullet and shad will move out of the marsh and into the lake on their migration to the Gulf. The action under the birds should stretch into the November.

Operation Game Thief tips can now be sent by text

Just in time for fall hunting seasons, the Operation Game Thief wildlife crime stoppers program has a new tool expected to increase the number of tips received as well as game law violation convictions.

Effective immediately, in addition to calling the OGT 24-hour tip hotline at (800) 792-4263 (GAME), anyone wishing to report a possible game law violation will be able to provide information via texting and could still qualify for a possible cash reward.

Called Tip411, the new program will give the public the option to text information directly to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department communication operators.

This is how the new system works:


  • • From your cell phone, enter 847411 in the “To:” box
  • • Then enter tpwd (not case specific) in the message box, followed by a space
  • • Type a message and send
  • • The dispatcher will then be able to communicate with the complainant if further information is needed

All standard text message charges still apply.

OGT will be keeping records and monitoring how well this new technology works for improving public reporting. The new application has been tested with several different devices, including iPhones, Blackberries and regular cell phones with texting capabilities and is now up and running.

OGT averages 1,500 calls a year, many resulting in the filing of game law violation cases and some of them leading to arrests for felony crimes. This new technology is expected to increase the number of citizen calls received.

Begun in 1981 as a result of laws passed by the 67th Legislature to help curtail poaching, the OGT program offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction for a wildlife crime. OGT is a function of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Law Enforcement division and has been responsible for the payment of more than $200,000 in rewards and the assessment of well over $1 million in fines.

Robert Sloan can be reached by e-mail at sloan288 [at] aol [dot] com.