Sabine River: Fishing wrong place at the right time
Capt. Dickie Colburn
For The Record
The catching had been far too good to take a chance on the weatherman blowing a forecast once again for us to cancel the trip. His educated guess was calling for 20 to 25 mile per hour south winds which would preclude the option of fishing the open lake, but Jason and Delaney were determined to give it a try.
Unfortunately, the weather man did in fact miss the forecast and as usual it was on the low side. By the time I eased out of East Pass at daylight the whitecaps were already crashing into the Roseau cane on the north shoreline. After taking a sheet of chilling spray over the bow we eased back into the Intracoastal to re-evaluate our decision.
“Here is what we need to do,” I offered while looking over the side of the boat at water that had only an inch or so of visibility at best. “We need to run back to Peggy’s on the Bayou, eat breakfast and reschedule this trip for next week after the front blows through. Much to my chagrin, however, they would have no part of that proposal.
“We ate donuts and drank coffee all the way from Houston so we are not hungry,” stated Jason, “and we are willing to try anything to catch fish.” What they did not understand at that point was that there was no “anything” to try. Much to my chagrin, however, after a short debate over a wasted two hour early morning ride versus eight hours of wasted practice casting in gale force winds youth trumped experience and we headed upriver.
The muddy water pouring down the Sabine as a result of the SRA trying to pull the bulging lake level on T-Bend was bucking the gale force wind and water was still rising and spreading out at a steady rate. On top of that, water hyacinth and floating debris lined the semi-protected shoreline making it impossible to fish shallow water.
Just before noon I truly believed that we may finally call in the dogs when Delaney backlashed what was going to be a fifty yard cast, but only five yards of the cast actually made it to the water. After picking out the forty-five yards of tangled loops remaining on his reel he lifted his Rat-L-Trap off the bottom only to discover that a live fish had picked up his motionless lure.
“I’ve got one,” he announced much to our amazement and proceeded to reel in a small yellow bass. “Hey, it’s a fish and I am ahead of you,” was all the taunting his brother needed to doom us to another four hours of casting. He immediately clipped off his Hoginar, tied on the same pearl white Rat-L-Trap and launched it in the same direction.
I don’t know if he also duplicated the backlash thing as I was fighting the troll motor at the time, but before I could get the bow turned into the wind I heard the drag on his spinning reel yielding line to a larger fish. Delaney begrudgingly peeled away the floating hyacinth wrapped around a 22-inch redfish and all was well with the world.
After catching one more yellow bass and two more slot reds in a reasonable amount of time, I motored to a submerged pile of scrap metal in 18 to 22 feet of water that might be holding fish as well. The second time Jason dropped his Trap straight over the side he connected with a big red that pulled off right at the net.
Before he could offer his condolences, Delaney’s rod doubled over and Jason let him net his own slot red while he battled another. Both brothers limited and released several more fish before Jason hung up once more and lost the last of our pearl half ounce Traps. Unfortunately, that was the only color they wanted as Delaney had tried several other colors and a Hoginar with no success while his brother continued to catch fish.
I don’t know that the water was clearer at that depth or what, but even chrome or chartreuse patterns failed to dupe a single fish. The fish also wanted the lure bounced vertically off the structure. We did eventually get to eat a Po-Boy that afternoon at Peggy’s while I suffered through more than my share of verbal abuse for wanting to reschedule.
Make no mistake about it….there was far more luck involved than skill, but once again it proved that the fish are always biting somewhere!
If the weather keeps you off the lake again this week don’t forget about the Houston Boat Show. It is scheduled to run January 8th through the 17th, but will be closed on the 9th due to the Texan’s playoff game.