Wind and high water making it tough
At some point on virtually every fishing trip a client will invariably ask, “How many days a week do you fish?” If that question is asked on the second day of a two day booking, it is usually because everything but the catching part is less fun than it was the day before.
Not a whole lot of folks spend eight hours on the water two days in a row and their body parts tend to balk the second day.
I would be very comfortable with four days a week, but unfortunately it never works that way.
That would give me four days with clients, one day to scout new water and the weekend off as I hate to fish weekends.
My latest run has hardly resembled that schedule as I got backed up with folks that I canceled due to the wind that howled all spring and summer.
I have fished clients on all but four of the past thirty-four days and after taking this weekend off I am looking at another string of consecutive days.
The weather could change those plans, but we have fished several funky days in the latest run.
Most of them already got canceled once or twice and they are determined to go fishing come hell or high water.
They got to experience both three of the past five
Once on the water I couldn’t be happier regardless of how many days in a row I have fished, but I can do without the alarm clock going off at 4:00 a.m. thanks to daylight savings time the stops at the gas station to fuel up, launching the boat and sitting in the dark waiting on customers that are invariably just a little late for a multitude of reasons. On the other end of the day it’s the fish cleaning, boat washing and putting together tackle that suits the skills of the next group that makes a hot shower an anticipated event.
While too many clients are better than too few, the inability to scout out new fish and try new patterns is tough to overcome.
No client wants to pay money to go hunt fish so you just keep beating up on the same patterns and the same lures until it all comes unglued and one day there is no need for a filet knife at the end of the trip.
I basically wasted two excellent fishing days recently simply because I was locked into a bite that had been ridiculously good over the previous five or six days and I couldn’t adapt.
When the clients lost confidence, rather than stay in the area and change colors and retrieves, we bolted and tried live bait which proved to be a big mistake.
It isn’t that fishing live bait isn’t productive, but you have to do your homework to make that program work as well and I hadn’t fished live bait this year.
The following day, in conditions better suited for eating gumbo and watching football on the tube, we went back to what had worked earlier in the week and caught some very nice trout.
The trout were holding a little deeper and they wanted a slightly larger tail fished on a very slow retrieve.
When all was said and done, we quit because we chose to quit with the fish still biting.
Aside from all of the wind this has been a really crazy year on Sabine.
Every pattern has been late to develop and we are still waiting on some significantly colder weather to rescue the fall fishing.
We caught incredible numbers of the largest trout we have seen in a long time throughout the winter and the spring, but the summer was tough and the easy fall bite just hasn’t materialized.
We are seeing more gulls working on most days, but the ratio of keeper trout to throwbacks is not good.
Very seldom have we culled any numbers of keeper fish if the first few trout we catch under a group of birds are small.
If you are lucky enough to work a flock by yourself and the first trout or two are solid fish you can still do well until you lose the school.
Usually one redfish means several more before the school scatters, but that hasn’t been the case either.
That has happened once or twice for us, but more often than not, our limits have been filled only after covering lots of water.
I do believe that better numbers of redfish are finally starting to school more frequently on the south end of the lake and that is a start.
I do not believe that the most recent north wind dropped the lake level a single inch as the marshes are still full following last Thursday’s monsoon.
The bite is decent enough, but we won’t experience the easiest fishing of the year until they get sucked down to the mud at least one time!
Dr. Michael Olson with a nice trout caught in miserable weather. RECORD PHOTO: Dickie Colburn