TROUT SLOW TO REBOUND
It wasn’t the first bass I had ever caught on a She Dog, a small topwater lure designed to fool trout and redfish, but it was the first bass I have ever caught that far south in Sabine Lake.After catching and releasing three slot redfish just south of Madam Johnson Bayou, a fourteen inch bass joined in the fray. There was no doubt that it was a marsh bass that had extended his or her hunting grounds into Sabine lake, but this fish was eight hundred yards off shore chasing small shad.It was the only bass we caught, but how many do you have to catch to confirm the fact that the salinity level is a tad weak in the main lake! Even with the salinity level on a slow rebound, however, the redfish continue to make the day for local anglers as does the steadily improving flounder bite.While the redfish bite has really been consistently good, they are not actually jumping in the boat as reported by several local anglers.
You still have to be in the right place at the right time, but the “right time” has lasted significantly longer of late.In fact, after locating a small school of feeding fish on the surface, you can remain in the same area well after the frenzy ceases and continue to catch fish.Even if you elect to leave the area to look for more fish it is a good idea to mark that spot on your GPS. They are not too difficult to locate when they are blowing holes in the surface or any time you can locate a small group of gulls hanging around a small area too long.Faced with way more wind than expected one afternoon last week, the reds found us in the whitecaps and we were doing better than deserved when the bite suddenly stopped. We retraced our trail on the GPS and made several more drifts, but never got the first strike.We had all but decided to leave when a small pontoon boat joined our drift and immediately caught two nice reds.We repeated our drift one more time and still failed to fool a fish while they caught two more. When they idled past to start another drift we noticed that they were dragging live bait on a Carolina rig.We had no live bait, so Larry switched to a five inch Gulp Jerk shad and I tied on a Hoginar. We didn’t drift fifty feet before he stuck a nice red and I pulled a fish off. The important learning curve was that these schools are holding very tight even when they are not on the surface.In fact, when there are no signs of fish to key in on, we are returning to fish the waypoints that we have marked on the GPS and it has paid off several times. Stopping to cast net live bait may be a good idea as well! The flounder are also more tolerant of low salinity levels, but our better bite has taken place in deeper water rather than the usually dependable shorelines.For that reason alone, the ship channel and ICW have provided a much more reliable bite on a weak tide change. Jim Bannon said that they anchored up in twelve feet of water and caught only two keeper flounder while casting toward the shore for three hours last Friday.That program had yielded limits of flounder up to four pounds three days in a row. Rather than quit early and go home and mow their yards, the irresponsible duo elected to drift a short distance, re-anchor in three feet of water and cast toward deeper water.They were cleaning two limits of flounder less than two hours later.“We had been missing the prime spot all morning long,” said Larry.“The fish would hit just as the tide drifted our bait up against the shell break.” At least for the folks that I have talked with, the speck bite continues to be a challenge.They are occasionally running into schools of small fish containing very few keepers.When you hit a tide just right and get a good parking place, Light House Cove has yielded a few limits of small keepers.The lion’s share of the four pound plus trout that I have heard anyone talk about have all come off the jetties!