One look at the thermometer says it all; summer is here and will be here for a while. Those cool crisp mornings that were so common during the spring are all but a memory now, sweating like a family of rats in a wool sock before 7 a.m. is something we will get accustomed to for the next several months.

All those prayers for the wind to stop blowing will soon be answered and the fishing congregation will be begging for a breath as the summer heats up and Texas Gulf coast fishing gets hot as well.

The month of April and the first part of May were down right tough for us on Sabine and Calcasieu, the winds that were so 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 will soon be 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 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. These next two months will be prime for chasing redfish and the big schools that will still be together. The morning temperatures will encourage some really active feeding and the fish will almost readily show themselves as they pay no attention to anything but their next meal. The early bites will be aggressive and then taper off until good tide changes trigger them to feed.

The early bird fishermen who enjoy the jetties will probably see the lions share of good trout for a while, that pre-dawn topwater bite is about as fine as it gets. Working the rocks with a topwater plug is one of the most unpredictable and exciting methods of fishing there is because you just don’t know what kind of creature is going to inhale that plug. Everything in that part of the world pulls hard and strikes violently, big trout, bull reds, jacks, and even a tarpon or two will show up and run away with all your line and your favorite plug. I have no idea why but it just seems like those fish that hang around the jetties pull harder, we always say the trout are wired up 440 as they just go ballistic when you hook one. That jetty pattern is a favorite of many local anglers and I can’t say as I blame them either, it seems like you always come back from there with at least a great story and most of the time with some good fish.

Besides being able to look forward to some much better weather for fishing many younger anglers will be looking forward to school being out. Graduation invitations in the mail signify the end of the school year is near and that summer vacation is just around the corner. 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; help 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.

One last thing to remember when it comes to taking kids fishing, make sure it’s fun. Don’t expect their attention span to be the same as yours, cater the trip to them. Remember that they may not be as excited about the trip as you are; the goal is to make them want to keep coming back. If they want to go look at things or fish a while and then play a while let them. Bring plenty of good things to eat and remember it’s all about them. The summer months will provide anglers of all different skill levels an opportunity to succeed. There will also be plenty of different methods to choose from and places to use them. Some of the best fishing of the year is upon us and I hope each of you take advantage of every chance you get to enjoy the time on the water.