What a difference a few weeks make, this time last month we were wondering if the wind would ever quit blowing and now, we just need a gust every now and again to make life tolerable. The summer heat is upon us and lots of different methods will soon be in play. Many local anglers will seek the cover of night to beat the heat, while others will enjoy a casual wade along a shoreline. One thing for sure, we should start seeing some unexpected guests, like sharks and jellyfish, so be careful if you get in the water.

The month of April and the first part of May were down right tough for us on Sabine and Calcasieu. The winds that were noticeably absent earlier in the year acted like a bad house guest who came for a visit and decided to stay a while. Besides cursing the wind, we also got a big dose of rain and run off from both the Sabine and Neches rivers. The visibility and clarity went from the penthouse to the outhouse in the span of a few days and it has taken some time to recover from that blow. Hopefully the much more consistent weather patterns of the summer will soon usher in some of the best fishing of the year. We look forward to the calm mornings and the ability to fish much more water in a variety of different ways.

The open lake has become more accessible and much more fisherman friendly as the wind socks and flags begin to lay limp.

The big schools of shad that inhabit the fertile waters of Sabine will be much easier to spot when the waves aren’t breaking over your bow and the water doesn’t look like a stale Yoo-Hoo. Being able to cover more ground is the key and those who venture a little farther into the wide open spaces of the lake will be rewarded with some outstanding fishing and much lighter angler pressure. I’m not real sure about the phenomenon or the “magnetic” pull that the shoreline has, but for some reason most anglers rarely ever get any farther off the bank than maybe a half mile. There is a big part of Sabine that sees very little pressure, it’s like it doesn’t even exist. I have made the analogy for years in seminars that when we were kids all we could think about was being able to cast as far away from the bank as possible because we knew all the fish were out there. Years later, we grow up and buy a fancy, high dollar boat and what do we do? We go back and cast to the same bank where we stood when we were kids. I can’t figure it out. Now don’t get me wrong, there are all kinds of patterns and methods to catch fish and they can be caught in a variety of different places and depths. All I’m saying is be open to a different approach because you never know what you are missing.

Besides being able to look forward to some much better weather for fishing, many younger anglers are glad school is out and summer vacation is here. I thoroughly enjoy it when clients bring their kids. Some of my most memorable trips have been of the family variety. For whatever reason, it seems like when you bring kids on the boat you get a whole new perspective about many different things. Fishing with kids tends to help me get grounded; helps me understand just what is really important. Some of the absolute best conversations I have ever had with my son happened when we were fishing together. It doesn’t really matter what your fishing for or how you go about it, having a kid fishing with you is a treat. Take a break sometime and change-up your technique. Soak some dead shrimp on the bottom and take the time to talk to your kids. The topics of conversations will amaze you and the memories will last a lifetime as well.