Extremely dirty water and just enough wind most days to limit running around the open lake has made things tough recently on Sabine lake anglers.Falling back into an even dirtier river has not been a viable option either.

The majority of the bass caught in last week’s SETX High School tournament were caught in the Neches and Taylor’s bayou. The water doesn’t look a whole lot better in the Neches, but the drains and back lakes are in much better shape than those on the Sabine.

Every year local anglers circle March 15^th on their calendars as that is the date that the Game Reserve is open to anglers, but even the marsh canals have not been magical thus far.The ultimate prize is a limit of thick sided flounder, wind or no wind, and seemingly every drain holds a bonus redfish on a good outgoing tide.

Once again, the biggest problem of late has been the dirty water.It is also very much on the fresh side, but fresh water doesn’t bother redfish and flounder nearly as badly as it does the trout population.While waiting for the bite in the Game Reserve to improve, and it will, several local fishermen have taken advantage of the big spring tides by fishing the protected shorelines in the lake.

Even with less than six inches of water clarity, the flooded Roseau cane is holding very decent concentrations of flounder.The program isn’t as user-friendly as it usually is this time of the year simply because you can’t see the small schools of shad parading down the shoreline.

The ability to see the baitfish helps eliminate dead water as the fish are never very far behind them.They are there right now, but until we can see them we are forced to target points or any structure that provides an ambush spot for the fish.The best news of all is that when we catch one it has been of the large variety and he or she is usually with friends!

Thus far we have done much better with the smaller paddle tails or Chicken boy lures rigged on horse head jigs with a small blade attached.The extra flash seems to help as does a heavy dose of fish attractant.We are literally crawling them across the bottom rather than hopping them.Remember….you will miss far fewer strikes setting the hook too late than too early.

Braided line is also an undeniable asset when fishing this program.The absence of stretch not only telegraphs the lightest of bites, but insures quicker and more secure hook sets as well.We fish our braid with 2 to 3 feet of mono leader.The mono is a little less visible and much easier to tie a loop knot with!

Don’t be surprised when redfish patrolling the shoreline for their next crab or mouth full of tiny shad crash the party.They will inhale these same small jigs as well as a three inch Swim Bait.Swim baits like the Usual Suspect are very effective for flounder in a little clearer water, but you basically have to keep them moving enough to keep the tail vibrating for them to really do their thing.

I made one unsuccessful trip down to the Causeway reef earlier this week and failed to put any kind of pattern together.It doesn’t take long for me to get enough of “bad” so I haven’t been back.It wouldn’t surprise me, however, if the trout show up pretty soon with these big incoming tides.

The south end of Toledo Bend produced two XL post spawn bass for local anglers last week.Orangefield head football Coach, Josh Smalley, showed me a picture of his step son, Christian’s, 11 pound plus bass and it definitely filled up his cell phone screen.The fish had to be a major surprise for the youngster as it hit a sexy shad colored crankbait in five feet of water!

Sixteen year old Colton DeLatte took a little more conventional approach in duping the largest bass he will probably ever catch.Colton was fishing by himself in his kayak when he stuck a 12.35 pound bass on a Carolina rig in 14 feet of water.“I was just paddling real slow and dragging the bait behind the yak when the fish hit,” said Colton.

The depth of the water and the technique come as no surprise, but I can’t say the same for his choice of lures.Colton was fishing one of Bass Assassin’s new Salty Snacks, a lure designed to catch saltwater fish.When asked why he decided to try that particular lure in fresh water he said, “We usually chase redfish in the marsh behind my house and it was the only bait I had.”