Fall fishing continues to improve
Regardless of your choice of venues, if you like catching more than fishing, you need to get to your favorite fishing hole as quickly as possible. I don’t know if the fish are biting in the local farm ponds and rice canals as well, but it is happening everywhere else!
It was certainly no secret that the bite in Sabine Lake had been improving daily and that bite has only gotten better in that we are once again finding more 16 to 20 inch trout mixed in with the redfish. Flocks of cart wheeling gulls are the most obvious calling card, but more and more anglers are now content to stay in a given area well after the birds move on.
That tactic not only saves gas, but enables you to stay with a school of fish rather than running through them and scattering the bait. There has been no wrong lure this week, but the better approach for larger trout has been to slow down and keep your lure closer to the bottom. By the time you read this, however, they will probably be hitting topwaters and tails fished under a cork.
With little or no rain and an extended outgoing tide almost every day, the bite in the ship channel, ICW and both rivers now rivals the action in the open lake. A client from Houston fished out of his own boat the day before fishing with me last week and he and his partner caught two limits of flounder up to five pounds bouncing Gulp mullets off the bottom in the ship channel.
They spent the entire morning fishing the east side of the ship channel from the Causeway to Lighthouse Cove. “We lost a lot of jig heads and Gulp,” Louis reported, “but we easily released as many keeper size flounder as we kept.”
Apparently the flounder bite has kicked off everywhere. I was in Daley’s Hunt N Fish on Tuesday and talked with two groups that were fishing East Bay and another group that had just returned from Cameron. The bite in the Cameron ferry area was still hit and miss, but the two ladies that were fishing East Bay couldn’t buy enough Gulp fast enough.
I don’t know that a retail tackle shop can possibly order Gulp fast enough to meet the demand this time of the year. While it will catch fish when nothing else will….it is not cheap, but that is apparently no deterrent for area fishermen.
I watched three different customers stack buckets and individual packs on the counter and the cheapest tally was $109. “We order it by the case,” said Keith Daley, “and it is not unusual for us to not even have a chance to hang it on the rack.”
The DuPont Outfall attracts both a morning and evening crowd as both the redfish and flounder continue to frequent that perpetual buffet of shad and mullet. The bonus this week was a decent number of solid specks showing up as well. Not surprisingly, even with all of that live bait available, the folks that are now fishing Gulp are doing equally well if not better.
Chris Burns said the afternoon crowd got scattered one day last week when a big jack crevalle crashed the party, yep a sure nuff’ jack, and proceeded to drag the young lady attached to the other end of the rod all over the ICW for an extended period of time. She finally won the battle and boated the 37-inch bruiser!
Trey Smith fished the river Sunday and found the bass biting on a variety of lures.“It was a good day,” said Smith.“I caught numbers, probably 30 to 40 bass, and a few solid fish as well. ”He emailed me a picture of two bass that he caught on a single cast that amply substantiated his modest assessment of the day!
Tuesday night, Aaron Leger, sent me a picture of five fish he caught fishing the river that afternoon. Three of them were slot redfish, but it was the two bass that were even more impressive. One of the fish weighed 4.58 pounds and the other weighed 4.0 pounds.
Leger said that he caught every fish on a Bill Lewis Slap Stick. “The redfish would hit it when it was sitting on top, but all of the bass I caught hit it when I pulled it just beneath the surface. He added that he caught and released redfish all afternoon!
And to top it all off, John Mallory, walked over to the house last week with three pictures of a once in a life time bass. The big bass inhaled his plastic worm in 12 feet of water right at dark. He was fishing the south end of Toledo Bend and the 11 pound 12 ounce fish was his personal best.
“I have been fishing Toledo Bend for a lot of years and maybe I have been doing it all wrong,” he added with a sly smile. “I switched gears and held my boat in shallow water so that I could work the worm back up the moss break.” I am betting he starts with the same approach on his next trip!
Trey Smith with a pair of solid bass taken on the river this week. RECORD PHOTO: Dickie Colburn