A stiff North wind does the trick
It wasn’t some magical phenomenon that ignited the “lights out” fishing on Sabine Lake this past week.All it took was a good outgoing tide and a few days of stiff north winds to lower water levels and flush even more bait into the bayous and open lake.
If there was any surprise at all, it was the fact that every pattern improved at the same time.The gulls continued to work over schools of trout and reds all over the lake in spite of winds that made chasing them a little difficult.There were, however, enough gulls working the more protected bayous and Intracoastal to keep local anglers chunking and burning gas!
Lots of undersized trout made this program a little frustrating, but just about the time you were ready to try another program…….. the next flock of gulls would be working over 16 to 19 inch fish. We never discovered a specific bait, retrieve or technique that would consistently fool the larger trout.A Vudu shrimp or four inch Sea Shad fished under a cork would work just as well as the same tail or a Usual Suspect Swim Bait fished a little deeper in the same school of fish at the same time!
If you stayed with it, however, and didn’t get run over by another boat, by the end of the day you would have more than enough trout for a fish fry and a red or two for the grill as well.There was no doubt that most of the folks on the water were happy to stick with chasing gulls!
At the same time, the live bait fishermen were catching reds, flounder and some very large trout fishing both finger mullet and shad in the river and the Intracoastal.Very few anglers that stopped to catch bait at the DuPont Outfall even bothered to leave the area.The redfish were stacked in the mouth of the Outfall, but the anglers forced to anchor a little further down the shoreline caught their share of reds and some nice flounder as well.
And, while on the subject of flounder, it is no secret that folks willing to trailer their rigs to the south end of the lake are in the midst of enjoying a phenomenal flounder run.The majority of those anglers are driving across the Causeway and launching on the Louisiana side of the lake in order to keep the more liberal ten fish limit.
Craig Poche chases flounder year round and he says you better arrive well before daylight if you want a parking spot both at the launch and on the water.“I thought it was crowded in front of the Chenier LNG terminal last year,” he said, “but it has been even worse this year.” Poche and a very small group of close fishing buddies have sought out less crowded spots along the ship channel recently and have done just as well or better.
“The conditions have to be just right for us to catch any flounder at all and we are not experiencing any of those thirty to forty fish runs on the best of days,” reports Poche, “but I can’t imagine anyone catching any larger founder than we have.We limited only two out of four days last week, but between the four of us our best fourteen flounder weighed sixty-two pounds!”
Unlike a large percentage of the armada anchored up on the more popular spots, he and his friends fish Gulp baits exclusively.They rely on the longer more bulkier version of the Swimming Mullet in both pink and chartreuse and rig it weedless on a 3/0 Kahlehook.They fish it on a Carolina rig with a three foot leader and enough weight to keep it on the bottom depending on strength of tide.
At the same time all of this is going on, the redfish bite predictably improved for the lure fishermen as well.Spinner baits were easily the most productive choice, but crankbaits weren’t far behind.The hottest choices were Traps and wide bodied crankbaits that run three to five feet deep.Chrome and bone were the hottest colors in the Traps while Sexy Shad and Fire Tiger got most of the attention in the crank bait department.
Meanwhile, after fishing with customers Thursday I squeezed in a short evening trip and we caught trout up to six pounds wading a shallow flat with a Corky Fat Boy and the new Soft Dine XL.We knew the fish were there even before we made the first cast as we saw them ambushing mullet near the shoreline.The larger Soft Dine is easier to cast in the wind and more user-friendly for folks that just hate to fish the Fat Boy.
Every year Corkies tend to disappear in local tackle shops just about the time they get red hot.I mention that because we were unable to find any of the colors we were looking for at Academy last week.The good news was that Daley’s Hunt N Fish received a huge order the following day and Simon Outfitters also had two of the better colors still in stock!
Pictured – Redfish mixing in with trout under the gulls.