For the majority of our area students school is almost over for the year, for some it’s already over. The much anticipated free days of summer are now upon us and it’s this time of the year that is tailor made for taking a youngster fishing. During the school year everyone is confined to schedules that only allow free time on the weekends, which coincidentally is when everyone else is free. The crowds are much larger on the weekends and who knows if the fish have figured out what Saturday and Sunday mean. It is awfully difficult to get the fish biting and your free time to happen at the same time.

With a wide open calendar and a little bit of flexibility in schedules, parents can treat their kids to a great day on the water during this time of the year. Weather patterns begin to stabilize as the long summer season here in east Texas takes command. Lighter winds mean more comfortable outings as well as plenty more options for places to fish. During the spring most fisherman are confined to areas that aren’t whitecapping so a large portion of our local waters tend to be “off limits”unless you can stand some rough seas. 

Several seasonal programs come into play during this time of the year which can really produce some super fishing. One of the more popular ways to catch fish is to use live bait, either under a cork or fished on the bottom. Fishing live bait on Sabine Lake means mostly throwing shad or mullet because they are much easier to come by.

Occasionally live shrimp are available at Baileys Fish Camp or the Causeway Bait shop but you need to call to check on availability since supplies can vary from time to time. Most local anglers who throw live bait have become handy with a cast net in order to catch their bait, this can be a great way to get a kid involved. I know I have spent several hours just explaining what different kinds of fish or other critters are to children on my boat during the last couple of years.

Another summer program that may come back into play this year is chasing schooling fish. Last year we had an unbelievable summer chasing flocks of gulls that were feeding on brown shrimp which were driven to the surface by schools of hungry trout and redfish. This wide open action is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to getting kids interested in the sport of fishing, lots of fish and very little down time. If you happen to get in on some of that crazy action you will understand what I am talking about.

Whatever way you decide to chase fish this summer please be sure and take a kid along, they will always remember the trip. Get some good information and ask questions so your time on the water can be as good as it possibly can. After all, catching fish is just a small part of the game when you think about it, being with your kids and spending some quality time together is what it’s all about.