For The Record- Capt. Dickie Colburn

“Evan, I’m not having fun anymore,” I shouted across a never ending field of icy cold whitecaps.“We’ve only been here fifteen minutes,” he replied.“Give it a chance!”
Had I driven a long way to fish, I possibly would have exhibited a little more dogged persistence, but we were less than a ten minute ride from the boat launch right here on Sabine Lake.Evan had driven in from Conroe to fish the day before and decided to stay another day after doing so well.Unfortunately, he talked me into joining him and it already had all the markings of one of those unforgettable “Shouda been here yesterday” trips.”
Not only did I have to pee, it always happens as soon as you put your waders on, but I missed my jean pocket with my truck keys and they had already worked their way down my waders to just beneath my right heel.Evan wasn’t doing much better as he had slipped down on the launch and developed a slow leak.The water apparently isn’t as cold when you’re thirty-five years old!
“It was this cold yesterday and just as windy,” he pointed out in hopes of convincing me to hang in there.“It is still early and we started catching the trout about an hour later than this anyway.”
I was his age thirty-six years ago and I am no longer as mad at the fish as I was at that age.His pep talk was ignored.I can’t say that I didn’t deserve what I was getting as I had already broken a hard and fast rule that I established years ago. If you have to search out another boat launch because the water is too low….go get a shrimp PoBoy at Peggy’s and go home!
Evan and his brother-in-law caught fourteen trout up to six pounds the afternoon before in nearly the exact same conditions.The wind was blowing just as hard, but it was a little warmer.I accepted his unexpected invitation when he added that they missed even more fish than they caught and it was a patented Corky Fat boy bite.
I was in the boat trying to retrieve my truck keys without completely undressing when he caught his first trout…a really nice speck that looked to be over five pounds.He quickly released it and tried to wave me back in his direction.It didn’t work.
He eventually caught three more trout and a red, before heading back to the boat. “I don’t know why those fish didn’t bite, but we still had fun didn’t we,” he said with a sarcastic smile.
As miserable as our outing sounds and it was indeed miserable, that scene will be repeated time and again this winter.When the incoming tide and the major feed line up during the warmest hours of the evening, it can be as exciting as trout fishing can possibly get.Not only are the fish of the XL variety, but it is possible to stand in one spot and catch fish after fish without ever moving.
Invariably, the first sign that the fish are indeed there and the bite is about to start is the presence of mullet flipping on the surface.I am forever amazed that you can fish one area for several hours and never see the first mullet only to be surrounded by them in a matter of minutes.
Those mullet are the number one entre for magnum trout when the surface temperature dips below the sixty degree mark, thus the reason suspending lures like the Corky, Maniac Mullet and Catch V are so effective this time of the year. The bite can range from the slightest tick to a bone jarring thump that will snatch the slack out of your braided line.In fact some strikes, however, are so subtle that it feels as though your bait has simply gotten heavier.
I would love to paint a more alluring picture for those of you that have entertained the thought of possibly doing a little winter wading, but in truth, it is all about persistence and dressing as warmly as you possibly can.You can drastically increase your odds for success by paying attention to the solunar table and major feeding periods.At the very least I would try to fish the warmer afternoon hours on an incoming tide.
Remember, if the water is too low to launch…..don’t look for another landing!