The handful of Sabine Lake anglers that have doggedly fished their way through six weeks of fresh water runoff managed at least the hint of a smile last week in spite of the fact that the SRA is still running both generators on Toledo Bend 24/7.Five consecutive days without local rain has been just enough to help pattern trout that have been in a survival mode due to the reduced salinity levels.

The water clarity is nothing to brag about all the way from East Pass to the jetties, but the trout are starting to show up again in spite of that minor inconvenience as they pursue their next meal in more comfortable water.While it has been an extended lesson that we could have done without, we have been forced to learn a little more about how trout adapt to a massive intrusion of fresh water.

Short of speculating that a fish is probably dead if it is floating on the surface or having them actually strike a specific lure, there is nothing cast in stone when it comes to locating and catching fish.Basically every assumption is little more than speculation based on past experiences as you darn sure can’t interview a fish to confirm your theory.

Easily the most important thing learned this time has been that while trout will seek out the heavier salt water which is nearer the bottom, they can apparently find that magic salinity level in water as shallow as six feet deep.That proves that they weren’t all forced to abandon the lake and head for the deeper waters of the Intracoastal or ship channel.

I don’t know if the bait fish became more mobile as well and were constantly on the move or if certain areas in the open lake were a little saltier than others, but there was no doubt that the trout stayed on the move.And, more importantly, when they fed they did it as close to the bottom as possible.The conditions are improving, but the fish we are catching are still holding closer to the bottom and moving at least a short distance every day.

Aside from the fact that we are catching fish on a more consistent basis now, the best news is that the playing field is expanding once again and that the folks that have fished their way through this or no longer piled into a few isolated areas.The ship channel south of the Causeway and the jetties have gotten the most pressure due to the immediate impact of incoming tides out of the Gulf, but good tide changes have also improved the bite as far north as Willow Bayou.

And, while I have never been as concerned with the color of a soft plastic tail as the length and style, there has been no doubt of late that lighter translucent colors have outperformed the darker patterns for us even in water with less than six inches of visibility.The four inch paddle tails like the Assassin Sea Shad which produce a lot of vibration upon retrieve have been our go-to lures in lighter colors like green or violet moon or white with silver flake.The first two colors are clear bodied tails with green or purple flake.

Hopefully, the SRA can cut back on the excessive generating in the near future and everything in the tackle box will work as the trout become more aggressive with more normal water conditions.Until that happens, slow down your retrieve and fish a little further out into the lake.If, however, you are more interested in flounder and redfish, target schools of small shad in the bayous and running the shoreline of the lake.

Jonathan Simon reported yet another solid performance from the folks fishing his weekly river tournament last Tuesday.The bite was a little different as they targeted in any clear water they could find with Flukes and Frogs.Kevin and Steven Vaughan took home first place money for heaviest stringer as well as big bass.Those weights were 4.06 pounds and 2.62 pounds respectively.

They also added to their $1000 payday by winning the side pot as well.Cole Ashby and Donnie Pickard pocketed $420 for their second place finish and Mike and Lee Soliz took home $140 for finishing third.Understandably, the field continues to grow each week as the river tournaments are not only convenient for folks that have to work for a living, but pay out well also!

For more information simply drop by Simon Outfitters on MacArthur drive or just show up at the Public boat ramp on Simmons Drive on Tuesday afternoons and sign up prior to blast off.

Dicky Covington was pleasantly surprised while jigging shiners over a brush pile on Toledo Bend with his Father-in-law Monday morning.What he initially thought might be a nice channel cat turned out to be a 10.8 pound bass.“I caught it with a Zebco 33 that was taped on the handle of a rod with a missing eye,” said Covington.

“We weighed it on my Father-in-law’s digital scales and he insisted that we let her go.I think he made me turn it loose because it was his pontoon boat, his tackle and his brush pile and he has never caught a bass over seven pounds.” If he was foolish enough to share that thought with his Paw-in-law that may well have been Dicky’s last family crappie trip for a while!