We are still fighting the wind tooth and nail most every day on Sabine, but the catching has improved drastically over the past eight to ten days. Each incoming tide has ushered in a little more clean water and the trout have responded in kind.
Small groups of birds have been working very early in the morning over trout chasing both shrimp and ribbonfish to the surface. The average size fish has been very good with most of the trout averaging three-pounds. Our best fish last week was just over six-pounds, but we saw better fish than that caught and released.
If you have not fished the lake in a while, you will not be impressed with the clarity, but eight-inches to a foot is all we need and we have been getting that on most days. The flounder bite is much improved as well. We have had no problem catching 12 to 15 keeper flounder per trip.
We found the larger flatfish last week about 20-feet off the shoreline in 2 to 3 feet of water. We would catch several good fish before they quit and then keep moving and fan casting until we located another pod of fish. Any time we worked tight to the bank, we caught much smaller fish. A slow-rolled quarter-ounce spinnerbait or a four- inch Sea Shad has worked well on both the flounder and redfish.
The water in the river is in great shape and the bass fishermen are taking advantage of it on the better tide changes. Good numbers of bass up to three-pounds were eating black-neon Senkos and perch colored shallow running crankbaits around the Port and Conway’s Bayou Tuesday and Wednesday.
The following just had to happen to someone and Ralph Morresy emailed me to let me know that he gets the prize. He was not at all sure that he had even gone about building his brush piles correctly, but he planted two of them in the Buck Creek area Friday evening hoping to attract some fish for his granddaughter.
“We arrived bright and early the next morning in spite of the less than favorable weather with a crappie jig tied on one pole and a live minnow on the other,” said Morresy. “We got hung up a few times, but never got a bite on the first brush pile.”
It took them a little while to relocate their second brush pile, but they finally got set up and the fish were there. “The problem was,” laughed Morresy, “They weren’t crappie.” His nine-year old granddaughter almost had her rod jerked out of her hand by an eleven-pound channel cat that they eventually wrestled over the side of the boat.
Twenty minutes later one of the rods with a crappie jig tied on bent double and the drag on the little spinning reel started screaming. “The fish was pulling on it so hard that I couldn’t get it out of the rod holder,” stated the excited Grandpa. “When it finally got to the end of the line it broke the knot and was gone.”
“Crystal wasn’t too disappointed at our misfortune,” he added. “As a matter of fact, she announced with great conviction that she did not want to catch whatever it was that pulled that hard.”
The story only gets better. Ten minutes later, it is déjà vu all over again, but they manage to extract the rod from the rod holder this time. Round and round the boat they went before the fish showed signs of tiring. “Neither of us could believe our eyes when a fourteen-pound striper finally ran out of gas.”
“We hadn’t caught the first crappie,” said Morresy, but we were having quite a day until an elderly gentlemen eased along side our boat. “Are y’all having any luck,” he asked as he crowded right in a long side of us.”
“I didn’t want to be rude, but as bad as my brush pile might have been, it was still producing a few fish,” said our slightly agitated angler. “I have a brush pile right here and I don’t think there are enough fish around for both of us to fish here,” he told the suspected pot licker.
With that, the old man smiled, reached down with a gaff hook on a length of pvc pipe and retrieved a Styrofoam container tied on a piece of nylon cord. He then took off the lid, packed it full of dog food, and lowered it back over the side.
“They’ll be here tomorrow,” he announced as he quietly eased away from Morresy’s boat. This has been one of my better brush piles for the last five years!” He then motored away without ever looking back.
“I don’t know where my other brush pile was or is, but it was obvious that I was trying to run him off his,” said Morresy. “I was so embarrassed that we picked up the anchor as soon as he was out of sight and fished in our cove the rest of the weekend.” I feel certain that fishing was not on Jim Ehlert’s mind Sunday as his grandson, Clayton, was scheduled to start on the mound for the 36-7 Texas Aggies. If he was not at the game in person, I am equally sure that he was parked in front of the television as the game was carried on FOX. The former LCM standout has posted excellent numbers this year for the Number Six ranked club in the nation. He was looking to collect his sixth win of the year against only two losses while carrying an excellent ERA of only 3.21 against some of the top collegiate bats in the country. That had to be even more exciting than battling a big striper for Grandpa Jim!