Jasper, Tx March 18- Warm air, warming water, and plenty of sunshine must mean Spring Break in Southeast Texas as many of the young anglers and their families made their way to Rayburn this past week for some R & R, but also to practice for the 4th tournament on the Ford SETX HS Championship Series presented by Skeeter Boats. "We usually make the lake off limits the week leading up to an SETX event, but with spring break, it was a no brainer to open the lake up to practice during the week for the kids and captains" said SETX President Clint Fountain.

While many head to the beaches and shorelines during spring break, many SETX participants chose to take advantage of the open week to prepare for Saturday's event. "There simply is not a better time to be on Rayburn than right now" said tournament emcee/director John Salamone. "The fish are in all stages of the spawn and can be caught using a multitude of techniques right now so we expect to see a lot of fish brought to the scales on Saturday" Salamone concluded. The lake did not disappoint as nearly 1000 fish were brought to the scales. That may seem like a lot of fish, but that number is actually down between 300-400 fish from this time last year thanks to the V&M Lure-Whataburger conservation program which was put into place this season. "This program has reduced the number of fish crossing the stage by about 20% this year" said SETX board member Ted Odell. "It allows those teams with small weights to release their fish on the water after a quick photo and enter a drawing for a chance to win $500. It's a win for the anglers and it minimizes the impact we have on this fishery", concluded Odell. 

In a non tournament related story, SETX learned on Monday that 4 of its members were named to the B.A.S.S. Texas All State Team!! So how many anglers were named to the Texas all state team from across the state you ask? How about four!!! That's right, every single all state member is proud to call SETX home and we are proud for them as well!! Jared Gobel of Lumberton, Trace O Dell of Buna, Hunter Martindale of Jasper, and Hunter Muncrief of West Sabine were all recognized for their efforts by B.A.S.S. All of these young anglers have been SETX members for a while now and regularly find themselves perched among the top of SETX tournaments. B.A.S.S. national HS director Hank Weldon had this to say about the newly crowned all state team in a recent B.A.S.S. article. "Our all-state team is such a strong group of young anglers who have tremendous fishing accomplishments, as well as extensive community service and academic achievements. We are extremely proud to recognize these student anglers, and we congratulate them on their success on and off the water". For more, follow this link https://www.bassmaster.com/news/bass-names-students-2017-bassmaster-high-school-all-state-team


Tackle Addict First Place Team- 21.32 LBS- Silsbee HS- Dylan Colvin and Bryson Gore- Boat Captain Gene Colvin

When most people think of fishing, they think of rest, relaxation, and quiet mornings or evenings on the water. Captain Gene Colvin may disagree with that premise. "Those kids put me to work immediately on Saturday morning. I had plans of doing a little fishing myself, but as soon as Dylan and Bryson started fishing, I was too busy netting fish and then helping them cull just 20 minutes into the tournament." said Colvin. The team knew they were in the right spot before the fishing ever started because the fish were chasing bait before they could make a cast. "That was an agonizing wait for those kids, but it paid off in the end" continued Colvin. By 7:45, the team had their entire weight for the day, anchored by 2 fish in the 5 1/2 lb class. The team reported launching at Caney Creek and not running to far to find their fish. "All of the fish were caught on a whopper plopper and prop type stick baits in shallow water, it was a fun morning" concluded Colvin. The team wished to thank Bryson's father John for the use of the boat and Mr Roy Stanford for the lodging for the weekend. 


Second Place- 20.85 LBS- LCM HS- Jack Tindel and Collin Currie- Boat Captain Jack Tindel

Ever tried to choose between good seafood restaurant or a good steak house? You know either way, you cant lose, but ultimately a decision has to be made. Sometimes bass fishing can be a lot like that, especially this time of year when they can be caught in so many different ways on a world class lake like Rayburn. "Our biggest challenge was trying to figure out what kind of pattern we were gonna focus on and after a couple days, we finally settled on bedding fish on the south end of the lake" said boat captain Jack Tindel. Within a few minutes of the 7 am start, their approach seemed to be validated as the team boated an 8.27 lb Rayburn behemoth. For the next 2-3 hours, the team continued to work the area and another area they had moved to, but nothing was happening. "When you go that long without a bite, a little doubt starts to creep in" continued Tindel. At their third spot, confidence was quickly restored as the team boated 3 fish very quickly and 2 more a while later to complete a limit of 5 fish. "We still had 2 small fish we needed to cull and at around noon, we had a 5 lb fish choke a swim jig in about 3 foot of water that resulted in a 3.5 lb cull. We were able to cull that last small one with a 3 lb fish we caught on a c-rig lizard at around 2 o' clock. We only caught 9 fish, but they were the right 9 today" concluded Tindel. We would like to thank Ms Nellie Miller for her unwavering dedication to the LCM Fishing Team. 


Third Place- 19.99 LBS- PNG HS- Bailey Broom and n Thomas Forsyth- Boat Captain Carson Wells

Starting your fishing day in and around the Canyons area just north of the 147 bridge is usually a pretty good bet when it comes to fishing Big Sam in the spring months and that is exactly where the third place team from PNG started their day. "We began by tossing watermelon-red centipedes in milfoil and buckbrush and that pattern produced a limit within a couple of hours, including a 7 1/4 lb monster. Once it started warming up a bit, we backed off into deeper water, made a quick move up Pophers Creek and started probing drains, points and flats in the Monterey Park area with underspins w/ rage tail swimmers." said Captain Carson Wells. The team was able to catch several more keepers including a nice 4 lb fish to add to the creel. The finish gives the team back to back top 10 finishes, quite an accomplishment in a 500 boat field! The team wished to thank Tom Selman for all the hard work he puts into the PNG HS Team. "We are honored to be a part of such a fine team with PNG and a fine organization with SETX. We also want say thank you to all of the SETX sponsors and volunteers who keep things running smoothly on and off the water. Lastly, a thank you to all the teams and captains that consistently demonstrate sportsmanship and help teach our youth their love for fishing, conservation, and the importance of practicing catch and release." concluded Capt Wells.  


Top 3 Big Bass

1st- 8.37 LBS- Kaleb Barnett and Hunter Martindale- Jasper

2nd- 8.27 LBS- Dylan Colvin and Bryson Gore- Silsbee

3rd- 7.43 LBS- Tyler Stenburg and Tanner Gadd- Deer Park


The SETX board wanted to make sure they sent out many THANKS to the all the volunteers who helped last Saturday. 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.

For full results, or more information about all of our sponsors, please visit www.setxhighschoolfishing.com or visit our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/setxhighschoolfishing/


Story by Jet Donovan