Despite some terrible early season weather, constantly changing winds, and some relatively hard run off from heavy rains the conditions on both our local lakes are ahead of schedule. On several trips in the last weeks I could not believe the amount of bait in our estuaries or the clarity of the water in some places, both were impressive to say the least.

The main bodies of the lakes as well as the surrounding marshes are full of life, the early season shad populations and shrimp numbers are enough to give even the most skeptical angler cause to smile.

There is no doubt that the mild winter we had really helped out this situation, the marshes are months ahead of schedule on the amount grasses present and baitfish production. During one scouting trip I could not help but marvel as I watched clouds of small baitfish and small shrimp scurry among the lush grass.

Needle fish as long as your arm are thick in the bayous along with a very healthy population of mullet and crabs. The stage is set for some excellent fishing and perhaps some better quality fish than we have seen in a couple of years.

Both Sabine Lake and Calcasieu have become a little more angler friendly in the past week thanks to some drop dead gorgeous weather. Anglers from across the river have started seeing some really good trout show up on main lake reefs in the open water.

There have been several good trout caught including one super fish that stretched the tape over 30” in length. Unlike earlier in the year when school trout were the norm it appears the better fish, over 4 pounds, are becoming much more common.

Sabine Lake anglers who have been pinned to the shorelines due to high winds are discovering hungry trout and reds as far up as the north end of the lake. The lions share of fish continue to come from the Causeway reef and the surrounding shell in that area. The quality of fish being caught down there is more than good enough to make you forget about having to deal with the crowds.

Since we have had a break in the winds a few anglers have taken advantage of the jetty fishing, the results have been good there as well. Big redfish and drum are still crushing crab and mullet, the speckled trout are also showing in decent numbers. If you are looking for a show head to the rocks with a topwater or Swim N Image and hang on, some great trout will be caught down there on that pattern. You may even run across a Spanish Mack or two, especially as we get closer to the summer months.

The forecast looks extremely promising and the conditions should do nothing but reinforce the potential. With much more predictable weather on the horizon all anglers should be really looking forward to their next trip on the water.