As most of the area hardcore duck hunters continue to battle the elements in search of full straps, many waterfowlers will take a break and head out to Sabine lake for some of the great redfish action. December usually signifies the end of our fall fishing run on speckled trout and flounder, but the redfish seem to really get cranked up for Christmas.

This year has been anything but normal for us on Sabine, our trout are still schooling and surprisingly enough there are still plenty of flounder being caught. All of this is good news for the fishermen who have some vacation left for the end of the year!

Although we are still experiencing some good fishing overall, the thought of tangling with a rod bending redfish is what most anglers are after right now.

It is almost a fall or winter ritual to see bass fishermen from the Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn “migrate” south like a flock of geese to get their line stretched by a copper colored bully from Sabine Lake. Large groups of redfish routinely roam the lake at this time of the year abusing whatever bait they can find along with dealing some damage to both an anglers tackle and their pride.

The huge populations of redfish in our local waters are the direct result of several different factors. Sabine lake has been a beneficiary of an outstanding stocking program for quite some time. The stocking program has been extremely successful to say the least, but the banning of commercial netting has been perhaps the biggest factor.

Redfish populations as well as speckled trout have seen an unprecedented increase in overall size, quality, and numbers of trophy fish. Hopefully this trend will continue for years to come.
Since both of our big storms, hurricanes Rita and Ike, the general population of redfish in Sabine Lake has really been on what appears to be a massive upswing.

Many folks including myself believe that during the storms huge amounts of newly hatched redfish and mature redfish alike were deposited into our local marshes where they have stayed and in turn flourished. That of course is an opinion or “shade tree biology”, whichever way you want to describe it.

All I know is that our fishery, especially redfish, is about as good as it’s ever been and that certainly makes for a much brighter future for all anglers.

As colder temperatures approach us you can bet when the speckled trout begin to get a little more finicky that the redfish will certainly be there fill the void. The winter is an excellent time to catch good numbers of redfish even in the harshest conditions.

As an added bonus to chasing these fish during the colder months it won’t be uncommon to run across a striped bass or two. Both of these hard fighting fish will aggressively eat artificial lures and live bait alike when the temperatures outside drop down to where only the most die hard anglers brave the elements. The calendar may say the end of the year is close but it really means there are new opportunities.

Take care on the water and have a safe and very Merry Christmas.