For The Record-  Capt Dickie Colburn

I canceled or postponed a ton of trips in 2016 due to the flooding and some pretty tough winds, but I never lost a day due to cold weather.That all changed this past weekend.It was C-O-L-D!
There isn’t a fish in Sabine Lake that I want to hunt down when it is 27 degrees at daylight and still in the mid 30’s at lunch.As of today, we are back to having to deal with a howling wind that dictates which shoreline you will fish on any given day, but we can at least feel our fingers now.
I would never have believed that it could warm up this much this fast, but that may well have been the coldest weather we see this winter.While it shut down the fishing for us wimps, it may well have been just what we needed to really kick the “catching” in gear.As of Monday morning the surface temperature had given up 7 to 10 degrees and most of the shallower marshes were reduced to mud flats.
That overdue scenario will immediately inject the deeper bayous and ultimately the lake with an infusion of shrimp, bait fish and hungry redfish.The only downside for the short term is that we were finally putting together some pretty consistent patterns on the trout.
We fished right up until the front arrived last Friday and we couldn’t have asked for better conditions.I just thought it was cold, 47 degrees with misting rain, but there was no wind and a strong outgoing tide.The fish weren’t where they were supposed to be, but when we found them there was a lot of them and they were hungry.
We easily caught and released 15 to 16 solid trout that we could have kept and turned loose a pair of reds as well.I cleaned two trout for supper and both were incredibly fat and full of small shrimp.We caught them with a Catch 2000, a bait that I no longer fish enough, and a Corky Fat Boy.Color wasn’t much of a factor as we caught them on pink, day glow, and black/chartreuse.
As far as not catching them where they were supposed to be goes, we expected them to e shallow, but caught them drifting the flats 4 to 5 feet of water.I wasted a lot of time fishing two to four feet of water in the back portion of Coffee Ground and drains on the Louisiana shoreline as far south as Willow Bayou.While I would like for you to believe that our success was due to expertise and past experience, it was anything but that!
I made a long cast to clear a buried loop of line and prevent a potential backlash and as I was stripping off line I felt a very subtle tap.It turned out to be our largest trout of the day and she was swimming with a lot of hungry friends.There was no shell in the area, no change in depth or bottom consistency…….they were just there.
Locating those fish was pure luck.Hopefully, their main diet following the cold snap will now consist mainly of bait fish and suspending lures like the Corky, Maniac Mullet and Catch V or Catch 2000 will be the ticket.A bait that can get equally hot is the Softdine XL or Mirrodine XL.The Softdine, not unlike the Corky series, is a soft plastic version of the hard plastic MirrOdine.
On the warmer days, do not be shy about tying on a shallow diving crankbait like Heddon’s Swimming Image.The smaller profile can be deadly when the fish are aggressive and it stays in that top column of water as well.When they got so difficult to find in local stores last year, a number of local anglers did just as well with the Echo 1.75 and the KVD square bills.
If you are not into fighting the wind, you still have four days left to drive over to the Houston Boat Show.If you are just window shopping and looking to visit with guides and vendors this show isn’t nearly as entertaining as the Houston Fishing Show in early March.If you are looking for a new boat or RV, however, it is the place to do some comparative shopping provided you or the wife or both of you have very good jobs!