FISHING SMARTER PAYS DIVIDENDS
FOR THE RECORD:
Capt. Dickie Coburn
The revelation for local anglers in regards to consistently catching trout and redfish in Sabine lake when the wind seemingly howls every day has been that the fish are still there and can be caught.It is absolutely critical that you do not challenge Mother Nature when she is in an especially bad mood, but you can still safely catch fish on days best suited for drying the wash on a back yard clothes line.
Aside from the inconvenience and perhaps being forced to fish an area that you did not intend to fish, the first thing that takes a hit is your confidence.The boat is usually rocking and rolling, the water clarity of the day before is often reduced to a few inches and maintaining any control over lure presentation is a challenge.
It is important to remember two things. The trout and redfish are still going to feed sometime during the day and even a tough day on the water beats mowing the grass or shopping with the wife.When forced to fish these less than favorable conditions it is also important that you pay attention to tide changes and major and minor feeding periods.
Those two things are going to occur regardless of the weather conditions.Excessive wind direction can accelerate or slow the velocity of a tide change, but it is still going to move and that is critical to catching fish even on a perfect weather day.
If you have a lot of time and a load of patience, at some point during the day you will probably catch fish relying on nothing more than tide changes.Most local anglers either can’t or opt not to fish that long when the bite is slow. If, however, time is not a consideration, do not leave the house without checking the solunar table for major and minor feeding periods.
The best case scenario is that one of the two will line up with a good tide change and that you will be in the right place with the right lure at the right time.For that matter, you can even get it done on occasion with the wrong lure during a major of minor feed.The tide may start moving a little earlier or later than the charts predict, but you can bet the bank on the solunar table.
One of the hardest aspects of guiding is convincing clients to hang in there and fish a particular area when I know the fish are there, but they are not biting.I will eventually move in hopes of locating more cooperative fish, but I will not make the mistake of running around during a major or minor feed.
One day last week, an old friend, Keith Cloessner, joined me to learn a little more about fishing tails under a cork.It had been years since we shared a boat on Toledo Bend and he was both surprised and pleased when I told him he could sleep in a little longer before meeting me the following morning.
He hoped to learn a little more about the finer points of fishing tails under a cork, but the more important lesson may have been the importance of paying attention to the solunar table. After two hours of very little catching, I refused to leave an area for two reasons.I knew the fish were there and we were only twenty minutes shy of a major feed.
Almost to the minute, my cork disappeared beneath the surface and we caught trout for the better part of the next hour. For my money, even if you can only fish a few hours, I would try to schedule it around a major or a minor.It may well mean that you can sleep a little later or return a little earlier.Does any fisherman ever return a little earlier?
As the weather continues to warm the bite will get more user-friendly, but that doesn’t mean that the wind will give us a break.Be safe and don’t give in to the inconvenience of more wind than you care to fish.Pay attention to tide changes and the solunar table and you will catch fish on days that you never before opted to fish!