What do you do when you are a fishing guide logging 200 to 250 days a year on the water and you decide to take a day off? You go fishing!

Knowing well in advance that the grandkids were going to baby sit us for a week, my wife constructed an itinerary that included a great supper every night while watching Disney channel, never ending board games sandwiched between baseball practices, and daily shopping sprees culminating with a trip to Houston for an Astro game as the grand finale!

The one day that I was not guiding, Tata also scheduled in a family fishing trip. Ten year old Andrew has made his fair share of trips and now considers himself to be the first mate, but this was the initial outing for his younger sister, Whitley. You just know this was the kid’s idea as Tata hasn’t even ridden in my last three boats, but she would have paddled them out in a pirogue if they asked.

It was a welcome change not having to ferret out trophy trout or limits for clients with higher expectations. It was also a welcomed return to the essence of fishing. We are right in the middle of one of the best big trout bites that I can ever recall in the month of June, but there we were drifting with a GULP shrimp on a hook and squealing with delight every time a pesky gafftop or croaker buried the cork.

As a matter of fact, Whitley would have readily yielded her rod with a fish on the hook for a shot at netting someone else’s fish.

Before the unusually cool morning gave way to the windy mid-day heat, I would discover that a six pound trout rated no higher than a 5-inch crab in the grand scheme of things.

After catching and releasing more croaker and gafftops than I thought existed, I got in a few casts while they snacked and re-checked their running score. It took only a cast or two before a big trout inhaled my Assassin tail and corn chips hit the floor as they both scrambled for the net. It came as no surprise that we were able to beat it off the hook at the boat, but they were more than ready for their second attempt.

A few cast later, we boated a six pound trout that required all four small hands on the net and Tata’s unbiased refereeing to drag it over the side. Releasing any size fish was not an issue, but they wanted to do it on their own terms. For me, the morning was reaffirmation that a passion for fishing is not based on catching, but anticipation. Anticipating that next explosive strike or the slightest quiver of a cork is the undeniable addiction to fishing.

We made a long sweeping run around the lake and finished in the bayou just long enough for me to see if the flounder were doing anything. After quickly hooking a nice flounder and a four pound trout so deeply that we couldn’t release them, we called it a day. Oh yes….and we released a couple of trophy crabs as well!

The speckled trout are very much in the middle of their spawn and as heavy as they will be all year long. There has been a substantial number of 7-pound plus trout taken off Sabine recently and because of their incredible girth, it doesn’t take much length to achieve that weight. Most of the big fish were taken on plastics or topwaters, but the live bait fishermen have accounted for a few as well.

If you haven’t entered yourself and the kids in the CCA STAR tournament you are missing out on a fabulous opportunity. I am shocked that a teenager from this area has not entered a trout over the minimum six pound mark. That one fish could earn them a $20,000 scholarship. I think the best shot at a winning gafftop will come off the jetties, but we have caught and released just a bunch of 6 to 7 pound trout up on the north end over the past two weeks.
A client that was not entered released an 8-pound 9-ounce trout last week that would still have him in second place at this time. I also had a teenager release a 7-pound gafftop that probably would not hold up all summer, but would be in first place right now. Ironically enough, both of those big fish hit a chrome-blue MirrOdine XL.
You have a legitimate shot at some big money right here on Sabine Lake. Sign up today and every bite this summer will be even more exciting!