Chuck Uzzle: Conquer the conditions and the crowds
The beautiful weather that is associated with the summer season has two definite sides, one that is pleasant and the other that is just down right nasty. During this most unstable time of the year it is often beneficial to have several different fishing options in order to make your trip successful.
This time of the year really was made for the folks who like to drift live bait under a popping cork or along the bottom. This popular technique accounts for some outstanding action during the year. Perhaps the only drawback to this program is the fact that most of this done in the main lake where the winds can be downright brutal at times. As long as the weather permits a safe and pleasant condition this is one of the best methods for catching fish on Sabine Lake, especially when kids are involved.
Now if the wind picks up and makes the main lake off limits you still have several options left. The big reef at the south end of the lake offers up some tremendous fishing for speckled trout and flounder as well as also being somewhat protected from the wind. Soft plastics on lead head jigs drifted over the oyster reefs is the most popular form of chasing trout in this area.
Flounder fishermen do very well down there with live finger mullet or mud minnows fished on a carolina rig. Perhaps the only drawback to fishing the reef is traffic. At certain times this place can get jam packed with boats as well as folks fishing from the bank and the piers.
Now if the thought of sharing the water with a healthy number of anglers is not what you desire, don’t worry. The big equalizer at this time of year is the deeper water that surrounds Sabine Lake, the Sabine and Neches rivers along with Inter coastal and the ship channels are all holding really good numbers of fish and few fishermen. On a recent scouting trip into these areas I found fish at several stops. By locating the drop off and setting up where you could fish shallow or fish deep you can find a pattern that will work well for you. Main points along the river or smaller points that are less noticeable near the deep water seemed to be like magnets for both trout and redfish. Live bait on a small 1/2 ounce carolina rig was just the ticket for this type of presentation.
Fishing in the rivers requires a little more thought on your setup as well as some tidal movement. When you decide that you want to fish a particular area be sure not to stir up the area and always approach as quiet as possible. The best method that we found once we anchored up was to let your bait be carried gently with the tide while free spooling line from your reel. Cast up current and let the bait come down in a natural manner and you will draw more strikes. If current is slow or not present you need to concentrate on the presence of bait, even in slack conditions you can find fish as long you can you find bait in the area.
By using a deep water pattern you can avoid fighting crowds and be treated to some outstanding fishing as well. Also at this time of the year you will have a backup plan if windy conditions will not let you out on the open water, this is a no lose situation.