New Hook Expands Arsenal
It is amazing what a couple of days of sunshine and a light north wind will do for your attitude if nothing else.It can’t stop the massive amount of water still running downhill from Toledo Bend, but it gave us an opportunity to fish parts of Sabine Lake that we haven’t been able to fish since the end of April.
Depending on where you launch on the north end of the lake the ramps may still be underwater, but at least it wasn’t raining and the wind wasn’t a limiting factor.The water clarity is still very much on the poor side, but the bayous on the Louisiana side of the lake have cleared up a little and the water running out of the marsh drains looks better as well.
Because I was scouting and not guiding we were able to fish a lot of the Game Reserve and we found the small flounder and redfish doing their thing on an outgoing tide.A lot of the flounder were undersized, but we caught several in the 15 to 17 inch class.We also caught and released at least two limits of slot reds.The redfish were just pounding away at small schools of shad hugging the flooded grass.
The same trout that had been providing our only bite in the worst of conditions were still holding over deeper shell as well.In fact, we were able to fish more of the small isolated shell pads closer to the north end for the first time and caught a few fish there as well.The one thing that hadn’t changed was the need for a slow retrieve.
In order to generate a lot of bites we still had to just crawl our plastics over the shell rather than swimming them on a little quicker retrieve.The strikes were on the subtle side but we still managed a very decent hook up to strike ratio.Regardless of where we found fish we did much better with lighter colors like pearl or limetreuse ghost.
I just recently started swimming all of my Sea Shads on the new Swim Bait jig hook that Assassin came out with and it truly converts every paddle tail plastic in your arsenal into a legitimate Swim Bait.The problem with a conventional jig head or belly hooks with the lead on the shank is that the lure either spins or turns over on the retrieve.The lead on the shank of this new hook is shaped like a small spoon which enables the bait to track upright with the slightest wobble.
The other advantage, especially when fishing over shell, is that the barb is skin hooked in the back of the lure rendering it weedless.Just the point of the barb tucks in the plastic and while we are now hanging up far less, we are also having no problem connecting on the hook set following a strike.
I find that the same 1/8^th ounce model works just as well on the 3.5 or 5 inch tails.We have been fishing a lot with the 5 inch Diedapper recently, but it fits the smaller Sea Shads nicely as well.I have fished the gold and the black body and I can’t tell that the color makes any difference.
They are a little hard to find right now, but once more folks discover how well they work, area tackle shops will get them in a hurry.Unlike a conventional Swim Bait, you can simply replace the plastic tail when it tears up and not have to tie on another lure. If you just can’t wait and order some on line…..I would suggest starting with the 1/8^th ounce model.It will fit any length of plastic while I find that the larger hook on the ¼ ounce does not fit the smaller plastics as well.
I have no reason to try the new hook on a rat tail or any straight tail plastics, but after handing out a few samples at a seminar at Daley’s last week I received two emails from folks that did just that.The first said that he used it with a MirrOlure provoker in Keith Lake Monday and limited on trout up to six pounds.
The second e-mailer said that he and his wife wrecked bass up to four pounds on Toledo Bend Sunday afternoon swimming a white ice Super Fluke rigged on the new hook.“We found the bass blowing up in scattered grass in six feet of water and they just crushed it.We used up a whole pack of flukes, but never hung up the first time!”
Let’s hope the sun continues to shine for a while and all of Sabine Lake gets more fishable.It is an exciting thought as so much of the lake hasn’t even been fished for over a month!
With the water still very high the ICW and local bayous are just full of floating logs and timbers that have washed off the shoreline.Just because they were not there yesterday does not mean that they are not there today and they are constantly on the move as well.
We have also already had two recent boating accidents that could have been prevented and there will be even more traffic on the water with school out and improved weather.Slow down, be aware of your surroundings and enjoy a summer of fishing with the kids!
Photo – Less rain equals more catching on Sabine right now.