Rain shouldn’t be major game changer
Ironically enough, relief came in the form of a driving rain that hammered away at our Frogg Toggs and kept the automatic bilge pump running like someone had hit the manual switch.
As miserable as that scenario may sound to anyone less passionate about fishing, it was far better than fighting the swarms of mosquitoes that greeted us at daylight.
Left to kill only those that had managed to find any opening in our rain jackets, we were wetter, but confident that we would survive the winged vampires.
At first light it was difficult to even see the Roseau lined bank only a short cast away for the hordes of mosquitoes looking for any open patch of skin on our face or hands!
Leaving, however, was not an option as long as we had enough strength to cast.
The redfish were driving shrimp around a shallow point, not unlike cowboys on a cattle drive, and every cast in their direction with a She Dog or spinner bait was instantly assaulted.
Even the merciful thunderstorm failed to slow the greedy predator’s assault.
The only real surprise for me was that the first nine redfish that made it to the floor of the boat were all in the slot.
We were limited in the first fifteen minutes with seven hours of catch and release in front of us.
We stayed with the redfish for another thirty minutes changing lures and picking our shots before moving on,
Seven hours on the water was reduced to only four more hours and a short boat ride to Peggy’s On the Bayou after boxing two nice flounder and a few solid trout.
We could have done much better on the trout as well, but a single lightning bolt near Sidney Island prioritized the need to catch any more fish!
It apparently took last week’s twenty-four hour deluge to jump start the fall fishing and now it won’t quit raining, but at least we do not have to deal with another hurricane.
I initially thought the robotic sounding voice on the weather channel was just hung up “rain and thundershowers today and……”, but apparently it is really going to rain all week long.
The fish are not going to quit biting due to the unwanted runoff, but the flounder and trout will seek out salinity levels that best suit them.
The initial move will simply be to move deeper provided there is adequate food and oxygen a short swim away.
The live bait fishermen will be least affected by all of the fresh water.
It is very possible that they will see no change in their bite at all other than the fact that the sand trout usually tend to scatter following a major rain event.
If the water clarity takes a hit as well it will make catching trout a little tougher, but more often than not it is more about angler confidence than the response of the trout to the dirty water.
Even the sight of dingier water will put most trout fishermen on the move without even giving it a try.
That is a big mistake if you had been catching fish in that area prior to the rains!
The big trout enthusiasts of winter and early spring spend the majority of their time duping magnum sized trout with artificials in water with less than a foot of visibility.
Not that it can’t or won’t happen, but the user friendly bite around schools of shad and screeching gulls will probably take the biggest hit initially.
Once again, however, if a particular area has been good simply slow your retrieve down and look for those fish to hold closer to the bottom.
The silver lining to a week of rain is that the shrimp that were still residing in the shallow marshes and backwater will be in a hurry to find more comfortable abodes as well and that means an exodus into the bayous and eventually the open lake.
We have been dealing with exceptionally high tides of late that flooded the marshes, but that was water with adequate salinity levels.
The weatherman finally got his forecasts right over the past week and if he continues his rare hot streak, this weekend’s predicted cold front will change things for the better in a hurry.
At the very least we will be more comfortable while trying to figure out the best available bite.
Two baits that are almost always productive for me when hunting the fish with a slower retrieve are the venerable Hoginar and the larger four inch Usual Suspect.
I dropped by Simon’s Outfitters new location on MacArthur Drive earlier this week and they still had a good supply of both the three and four inch models in several colors.
I have gotten a little paranoid after recently losing a lower unit to braided line, but right now is the perfect time for you to take a flashlight and go inspect your prop shaft for exposed pig tails of unwanted line. It only takes a minute or two and will save you a bunch of bucks and a tow !
Redfish on the move in Sabine Lake RECORD PHOTO: Dickie Colburn