There are plenty of times that we take the sport of fishing way too serious, we get caught up in the search for trophies and numbers of fish while letting the really important stuff pass by the wayside. The best way in the world to get your views back in line and realize what the sport is all about is to take a kid fishing and learn from them. Adults tend to complicate things for whatever reason that is; we cloud the whole situation with unimportant and trivial issues instead of just soaking up the good stuff. Right now is about the best time in the world to get a young angler out on the water to enjoy the sport of fishing, remember these pint sized anglers could care less what they are catching as long as it will pull. We should all have the same outlook don’t you think?

The Sabine River is a prime place to start because you can load up on a variety of species while only having to travel a short a distance from one of several launches, a fact that makes mom and dad happy as gas prices continue to go skyward. No complicated tackle is needed for the river and just about any bait will do, shrimp, shad, crab, or even squid will accomplish the desired goal as long as it’s reasonably fresh and on a hook. A standard Carolina rig weighted with a 3/8 or 1/2 ounce egg sinker accompanied with a good hook is the perfect way to start; the rig is simple and really shines under these circumstances. Once you get rigged up the next choice is where to fish, any number of marsh drains or points on the river will do, each one seems to have a reliable supply of croaker or catfish as well some specks, redfish, and even flounder. The key to a successful trip is to make sure you have some tide movement and the rest will fall into place.

Now another program that produces well during the summer would be chasing slicks. A slick is a shiny spot on the surface of the water that is made as trout and redfish feed, the slick can be seen and often smelled by those who know what they are looking for. The best way to see what one looks like is look around a crab trap that has just been baited, the shiny spots on the water look just like a real slick made by a fish. Now if you see a slick on the water the rule is the smaller the slick the fresher it is. Be sure to check the area and make sure the slick didn’t come from a crab trap, idle upwind or up current and begin fishing. By fishing slicks anglers can escape the crowds who are chasing birds and often catch better fish, especially redfish. Just recently I ran into some slicks in the mid lake area and found some really nice trout to five pounds as well as a big herd of redfish rooting around the bottom and stirring up a big mud boil. The fish hung around and I caught good trout on each drift through the area for quite awhile. This situation is perfect for kids drifting live bait under a cork, the results are well worth the effort and time it took to run around the lake.

Just to be out on the water with a young angler helps to put things in perspective, the questions they ask and things they say make memories that last a lifetime. Some of the best trips I have ever had since I started guiding were with kids, there is something special about having them in the boat. If you plan on taking kids out with you be sure to carry along plenty of patience and don’t make the trip too complicated. If the kids want to fish then let them fish, if they want to catch crabs or chase shad in the live well then let them do that as well. The important thing is to make it fun. Be sure to bring along plenty to eat and drink, sunscreen, and did I mention patience. Don’t keep them on the water too long, especially if they are ready to go home. If the kids start associating the boat with long uneventful days on the water you may not get them to go back with you and that would be a tragedy. 

Take a kid fishing and enjoy the outdoors whenever possible, it will surely make a difference in how you view the sport and maybe even the world around you.   

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