Regardless of your plans for the holiday weekend, you still had to be excited about back-to-back days of steady soaking rains.With the exception of a powerful north wind strong enough to blow a watermelon off the picnic table, Monday proved to be a slightly cooler return to the dry conditions that have plagued us all summer.

While there wasn’t much of a cooling effect with the blustery north wind, it did significantly lower the water level in the marshes surrounding Sabine Lake. At this point it is still difficult to tell what percentage of the shrimp population migrated into the bayous, but those that did not move found themselves stuck in the mud!

For obvious reasons, there was very little fishing pressure this weekend, but the two reports that I got were better than I would have expected. Shane Bourne and his girlfriend, Kaley, fished the drains off the Entergy Outfall from 8:00 until 3:00 on Saturday and finished the day with five slot reds, six trout, and ten flounder up to 21-inches long.

“We saw the flounder jumping out of the water in one drain and just anchored up and started throwing at them, “said Shane.“We caught four reds and a trout before we ever caught the first flounder. I was throwing a chartreuse Kelly Wiggler with a piece of shrimp on it until Kaley started catching a flounder almost every cast on a Little Fishie.”

The Lit’l Fishie is one of those baits that worked so well in the past that we just stuck it in the tackle box for no good reason and forgot about it a long time ago. It is a Crème lure that is actually an earlier version of the newer Swim Baits with fins. They were throwing the 2.5-inch model.

“I don’t know how many reds and flounder we threw back before we used up all of our Lit’l Fishies,” added Shane, “but I know we put back at least 15 to 20 keeper flounder!”One thing is for certain…….Kaley either really likes Shane or really likes to fish to sit in a boat in that weather all day long!

Jason Theriot had much the same experience with the flounder early Saturday morning, but just couldn’t make them bite.They fished in Black’s Bayou and according to Jason, “just caught the heck out of redfish all morning long.”He said they were throwing spinnerbaits and a small Strike King crankbait in Sexy Shad until they, too, started seeing flounder striking on the surface around the cuts.

“We tried everything including live bait and Gulp and only caught one keeper flounder,” said Theriot.“It was really frustrating. Sometimes there were three or four fish jumping in the same cut and we could not get them to bite.”

He also added that they caught a lot of small trout on a beetle under a popping cork and that same crankbait. They left the dock in the rain and returned in the rain and I did not see the first sign of a raincoat in their aluminum boat. I also saw no girlfriends or Lit’l Fishies so that may have been why they did so poorly on the flounder!

Both of those reports support speculation that lots of bait moved out of the marsh this weekend. Cooler weather would make it even more enjoyable for the fishermen, but the more important benefit of the stiff north wind is the purging of the shallow back lakes.

I will not be at all surprised to find the gulls finally working over shrimp in the open lake by the end of the week. Cooler night time temperatures should also help the catching as well.

The summer long CCA S.T.A.R. tournament is officially a done deal and winners all across the state can finally exhale. With the exception of catching one of the first five tagged redfish, all other early leaders literally sweated out their potential winner on a daily basis all summer long.
And, while it would be nice to win a fully rigged boat, motor and trailer, the kids have a lot at stake as well. They may or may not worry about it that much, but with $20,000 to $50,000 scholarships hanging in the balance, their parents are a nervous wreck by the time labor Day rolls around.

The one category that was most in danger of getting nipped at the finish line this year was the STAR KIDS flounder division. Dylan Gill brought a 3-pound 11-ounce fish to the official scales early on and it eventually held up for a $50,000 scholarship.

You couldn’t even launch at many of the local landings Monday due to low water, but that shouldn’t be a problem by mid -week. It makes for a little longer ride to the lake, but the public launch on Simmons Drive is a great Plan B for launching anytime the water is all blown out of the bayous. It also has to be very low for the Hwy. 87 launch on Cow Bayou not to be an option as well.