Last Wednesday, Mother Nature paused long enough to catch her breath and Sabine Lake slicked over for the first in the past five weeks. Surprisingly enough, she was content to serve up only a modest blow across the next two days and by the time the weekend arrived, area bay fishermen were chomping at the bit to get on the water.

After two solid months of daily gale force winds and gas prices that discouraged even attempting an iffy outing, the bite was on and the word was out. The bottom line was that at least through Friday afternoon there was no wrong place to be as long as you were on the water. Anyone with a boat was a great fisherman once again!

There were no magic baits or areas that you just had to fish to be successful. The jetties were red hot, the entire Louisiana shoreline was on fire, the drift fishermen working the flats on the north end were confident that they had found the Mother Lode, and you had to take a ticket to fish along the revetment walls.

Larry Colley summed up the incredibly user-friendly bite the best when he surmised, “I knew something was going on in the lake when all of the popular spots on the Intracoastal looked like a ghost town for two days!”

About the time that I was going to report that I had stumbled up on a magic color in a TTF Flats Minnow, it became apparent that nearly every color in the tackle box would work. Even more amazing was that for every fisherman that thought he had solved the mystery with a secret topwater bait, there were three others catching them on everything from suspending crankbaits to tails of every description.

Then, before the weekend angler could even launch his or her boat, Mother Nature was back at it again and by the time Sunday rolled around, much of the lake was once again buried in whitecaps. Undaunted, anglers that could successfully navigate to reasonably protected water quickly discovered that the bite was still on minus the fishing pressure.
The same wide variety of baits continued to work on both reds and trout and color became a factor only where the water had silted up overnight. Many of the jetty fishermen simply moved to the other side of the rocks to fish while the lake fishermen opted for the opposite shoreline.

If there was any surprise other than the fact that the fishing was unexpectedly easy, it was the average size of the trout. Two to three pound fish were the norm and I received e-mails with pictures from five different fishermen with trout over 8-pounds. All of those fish were caught during the weekend and three of those fish were caught by bank fishermen!

The fish obviously have to be present, but these phenomenal catches in the same winds that have all but shut down fishing recently, lend support to the belief that confidence is always far more important than choice of lures. Even the right color or lure fished in the right spot will not work as well if you do not expect to catch a fish every cast.
There is a significant difference in “believing” your lure will catch a fish and “expecting” it to catch a fish!

The Triangle Tail Chasers will host their third of nine scheduled tournaments Saturday, May 14 out of Port Neches Park. They will meet at Sanderson’s in Nederland at 6:30 Thursday night where you can pre-register and learn more about the Club. The Texas Slam earns the big money with the side pot in this event earmarked for a”blackjack redfish,” a legal red closest to the 21-inch mark. For more information you can access their web site at or call Michael at 409-670-2471.

I haven’t talked with Darin Johnson, President of the Sabine-Neches CCA Chapter, this week, but the deadline for signing up for their free Kids tournament on Pleasure Island is May 13 so time is running out.The cut off for this initial event is limited to the first fifty entries. It is a half day event starting at 7 a.m. on May 21 with the awards ceremony set for 11. Hotdogs, chips and drinks will also be served at that time!

In the event that they have not yet reached their cutoff, you can still sign up by calling Darin at 409-790-9855 or filling out an entry form at Daley’s Fish n Hunt on Jade Avenue in Pt. Acres.

Trey Smith also called last week to remind local bass fishermen that Jonathan Simon will crank his afternoon bass tournaments on the river up again starting Tuesday, May 17. The popular tournaments will all be Tuesday evening affairs and will be based out of the public boat launch on Simmons Drive.

The entry fee is $40 per boat and all bass must be weighed in alive. Each boat will be allowed to weigh in three Texas legal bass.