Wader wars signal new era in Sabine fishing
Talk about becoming a victim of your own success, Sabine Lake has now entered the real world and is no longer different than any other venue on the Texas coast. For years it’s always been said that Sabine Lake was far behind the rest of the Texas fishing world, certain tactics and tackle were always in use in other bays long before they ever made their way to our little mudhole we called home. Judging by the traffic and the general attitude among the folks on the water we can no longer make that claim. Our flats and shallow bars have now become as populated as any place in Rockport or Port’O for that matter and it appears that whole world has now fully embraced the wade fishing technique.
This past weekend it was amazing to see the traffic on Sabine Lake that was actually out of the boat and wading, all the typical spots were a wet version of the Wal-Mart parking lot. Sabine had long been a haven for big trout hunters since there were plenty of fish and few fishermen on the water at what could be described as “prime times” of the year for taking a fish of a lifetime. Well those days when you could fish all day and never see another boat, much less another wader appears to be a thing of the past. I know some of you out there are saying “you guys wrote about it in the paper, what did you expect?” I stand guilty as charged; a conspirator who has contributed to the whole mess and all I can do is watch. I do know however that I am not alone in this, check out any of the popular Web sites that have thousands of members and you can read a report on Sabine from just about anybody. That report coupled with pictures drives the masses to jump on Interstate 10, head east to Sabine and try their luck at “big trout lotto.” Normally that’s not a problem; we have plenty of water and plenty of fish to handle most crowd situations but now with more and more local anglers wading it’s much different. In this case it’s a problem because we only have so many areas to wade and all of sudden things start getting testy.
You just thought “bay rage” was bad; try the same situation while wading and it gets interesting in a hurry.
A classic situation that gets magnified is the “new wader” who shows up to try their hand at this new technique and ruins an area because they don’t understand how to approach the area. The new wader runs their boat too close to others or is inconsiderate of the direction other folks are fishing, effectively cutting them off.
Sometimes this is done on accident and sometimes it’s lack of manners. If a wader is relatively close to their boat and is walking away from the boat one could realize that they are in route to an area, be mindful of that just like they were in a boat and drifting. Give them a fair amount of room before you approach and usually things are just fine. Cut off a wade too close and you may find yourself in a heated exchange. I personally don’t believe there is a trout anywhere worth an altercation, especially now with the way people have such low regard for life and most carry some sort of weapon. I will gladly defer in most all of these situations, it’s just not worth it. I have however been witness to some rather tense moments while wading other bays and it’s just not how I want to spend my time on the water.
I guess the whole wading situation is a double edged sword, one side means we have some great fish being caught while the other means we are going to have to deal with increased traffic. I guess the only thing to look forward to are the days when the traffic is light and one can reminisce about the “good old days” as you enjoy the solitude. In the mean time we will just have to get used to the fact the bays are getting smaller and that we have become victims of our own good fortune.