We are looking at another dose of cold weather this week, but the modest warm up at the end of last week proved to be a shot in the arm for local fishing. Daytime temperatures were not all that warm, but more importantly the thermometer stayed above the 40 degree mark at night.

By the time the weekend rolled around, surface temperatures in the lake were as high as 58 degrees and the water on Sabine lake had cleared up nicely all the way from Coffee Ground Cove to Blue Buck. Both Cow bayou and Adam’s were still dirty, but the river and Black’s were both on the mend.

We chose to wade fish and had a very good outing on a rare Sunday trip, but we also saw a lot of fish caught by folks drifting flats in 4 to 6 feet of water. Most of them were fishing tails rigged on quarter ounce lead heads. Perhaps the best news of all for the trout fishermen was that there were a lot of trout to be caught.

A howling east-southeast wind limited most of the drift fishing to four hundred yards off the shoreline, but the speed was perfect with the aid of a drift sock. Kelly Johnston and wife, Elaine, limited on redfish drifting the southeast bank of Coffee Ground early with Swim Baits before opting to run further south late Saturday evening.

“We started in front of Green’s and made one continuous drift almost all the way to Garrison’s without starting over,” said Kelly. “The trout were bunched up when you found them, the best action was in about 5 feet of water, and there were a lot of small fish, but we kept two limits of trout up to three pounds and threw back at least that many. We caught most of the trout on pumpkin-chartreuse tails.”

Aside from the improved water clarity, the trout were finally either numerous enough or tough enough to compete with the redfish. Every time we caught one or two redfish in a row I just knew the trout bite was over, but that didn’t happen. The reds may well have run off the big trout as we never caught a fish over four pounds, but the trout in the 2 to 3-pound class hung in there and competed all day long.

I was also not at all surprised that the bite in Black’s picked back up as well. We ran back in through East Pass at the end of the day and the water looked much better. Monday morning, Jason Theriot told me that he and a friend limited on reds up to 25-inches Thursday and Friday and kept 13 flounder over the two day period up to four pounds.

They did the best on an incoming tide fishing the 8 to 10 foot breaks in the bends of the bayou. “We tried the drains, but the fish were holding deeper along the outside bends in the bayou,” Jason stated. “We would find pretty big schools of reds, but the flounder were scattered. We caught everything on GULP shrimp in several different colors.”

We may have finally turned the corner, but we are not done with the last of the cold fronts and a couple of days of rain could easily muddy things back up again. Hopefully we will not see a repeat of the non-stop gale force winds that all but wiped out spring fishing until early May last year.

We have endured our fair share of rain this month, but I spoke at a CCA chapter meeting in Houston last week and was shocked when I crossed the Trinity River on Highway 90. I have never seen the water that high and a clerk at a convenience store said it had actually dropped a little. Everything on both sides of the highway between Liberty and Dayton was underwater!

The Saltwater Anglers League of Texas will host their annual membership drive and crawfish boil Sunday, Feb. 28th from noon until 3 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Lincoln Avenue in Groves. You can eat crawfish and sign the whole family up for $45. The S.A.L.T. club caters to the family, hosts a club tournament each month, promotes conservation and affords families with or without a boat the opportunity to learn more about saltwater fishing in this area.