Rayburn, T-bend are user-friendly again
Okay….Toledo Bend and Rayburn can use even more rain, but we have gotten a little more than we need locally. In fact, if it doesn’t slow down pretty soon we might be catching crappie at the jetties by the end of the month!
We battled Mother Nature a couple of days last week and were not rewarded for our tenacity. We still caught a few reds and flounder, but the wind eliminated any possibility of our figuring out the trout. Diminishing salinity levels will keep them moving and the unseasonably high surface temperatures mean they may be anywhere from 2 to 25 feet deep.
The shallow bite is going to be the most difficult to figure out as the only reason for the trout to spend any time in skinny water is the presence of bait fish. They will even abandon the security afforded by the higher salinity levels of deeper water to briefly feed on the shallow flats, but no bait equates to no fish!
If the daily rains continue, the two most promising patterns will be jigging the deep breaks along the ICW and the ship channel and drifting the deeper reefs on the south end of the lake. At least for the short term, the deep water bite will be more consistent the farther south you fish .Incoming tides should also improve the odds of catching as they will usher in a little saltier Gulf water.
The bottom line is that it is going to be a challenge for the trout fishermen for a while. Slow down your retrieve, opt for bulkier lures that present a larger profile and more vibration, fish darker colors and don’t give in to dirty water. I wouldn’t expect big numbers any time soon, but a big trout is only one cast away!
You won’t hear anyone complaining about the never ending rain around the lakes. Both impoundments are still on the rise, more launches are opening each week, and both the bass and crappie are doing their thing. In spite of the weather, or probably because of it, highway 87 north was once again a busy thoroughfare this past weekend.
Aaron Keith and his wife, Lena, limited on bass up to 8-pounds 7-ounces Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning fishing Six Mile and Sandy Creek. Friday and Saturday evening they also crappie fished and kept 22 slabs up to 2.3- pounds. Aaron said they easily caught over 75 crappie, but threw back everything under a pound. They caught most of their bass on Whacky worms and crankbaits and all of the crappie were caught on 1/16th ounce Road Runners with black-chartreuse curly tail bodies.
Allen Poe said the boat traffic in the creeks forced them out on the flats Saturday, but they still caught and released 12 to 15 bass up to six-pounds on Traps and Baby Brush Hogs. Because they are fishing a tournament next week, Allen asked that I not mention the area or the depth, but he was willing to share that an east wind kept them on the Louisiana side of the lake.
Justin DeJean said that he had done well all week in the Indian Mounds-El Camino Bay area, but backed off due to the fishing pressure on Saturday. “It was the first time I’ve seen that many boats in a long time,” he said. “I have a tournament next week and have done well in practice so I chased white perch for two days rather than beat up on the fish I’ve found. ”He added that he had to run south of Housen to find a decent white perch bite.
As promised, I talked with Doug Patterson and he provided me with all of the particulars for the Third Annual Wild Game Dinner set for 5 p.m. on March 24. The event will be held on the First Baptist Church property located three miles north of I-10 on MLK. Look for the pavilion and a pasture full of trucks on the west side of the highway just as you exit the last major curve. If you think you are lost, just roll down the window and follow the mouth watering aroma of the smoke escaping the grills and barbeque pits.
Starting at 3:00 p.m. there will be pre-dinner fellowshipping and activities that include guest speakers. The feature speaker is Pastor Steve James of Trinity Baptist in Lake Charles. James is an avid outdoorsman that has hunted big game all over the world. There will also be several drawings for some great door prizes that include everything from a gift certificate for deer processing to fishing rods. A limited number of tickets are still available for $5 each. For more information or tickets contact the church office at 886-7461.
I have an alternative to losing another fishing day to rain and wind for those of you that got your paper in time to read this. This is a pretty late notice, but I am going to spend all day Wednesday at Daley’s Hunt N Fish talking about the fishing on Sabine.
There will be three specific one hour sessions scheduled over the course of the day, but we will still talk fishing between those meetings as well. It beats sitting in the house watching it rain so bring the kids and fishing questions and come join us. Any hot tips you can share will be appreciated as well. It won’t be a wasted trip even if you don’t like to fish as Keith has promised free cold drinks, drawings for door prizes and 15 percent off any item not already on sale for everyone that attends one of these sessions!