TIME TO START THINKING “FLOUNDER”
In the world of fishing it doesn’t take long for even the best kept secrets to get exposed.I say “exposed” indicating there was never any intention of the fortunate anglers ever sharing what they found with another angler.At least to date, however, consistently catching big trout in Sabine Lake remains a well-kept secret!
Long before we were forced to deal with the effects of Harvey on the trout fishing, even the most accomplished area trout anglers were struggling to consistently catch fish over five pounds and catching a seven pound fish was a happening.Sadly enough, that continues to be the case.
Not that long ago the “who’s who” in the trout fishing world descended on Sabine Lake due to the well-advertised glut of big trout.Five pound trout never turned the first head, at least one seven pound trout was expected most days and the chances of catching something over the coveted eight pound mark were very good.
The wettest hurricane on record, T-Bend’s massive unexpected release that flooded homes all the way to I-10 and copious amounts of rain over the past four years have negatively affected not only the trophy trout, but the numbers of solid keeper fish as well.As you would expect, or at least hope for with the confidence that it will happen again, the numbers appear to be making a rebound.
I occasionally talk with Mark Foreman of the Parks and Wildlife Department and he says their netting efforts are telling the same story.“We are just not seeing the size and numbers that we did a few years back.”
I am convinced that the number of trout that make the five pound mark are more limited than we think and anything larger has lived a charmed life.Tournament anglers and the folks obsessed with catching only the largest trout available are not to blame as they practice catch and release and take very few fish out of the pool.They know a five pound fish will probably never grow to become a double digit fish once it is on ice!
On the heels of the latest mild cold front, the trout fishing is still the number one topic in the local tackle shops.A seventy-eight year old resident of Groves that prefers to remain anonymous after hearing several other opinions, said that he just couldn’t believe this trout thing was such a big deal.
“As youngsters, we would rent seines and head to the beach on weekends to catch anything that got in front of our nets.We were selling fish to make spending money and we threw away as many dead fish as we sold.Ice and storage was limited so we left everything we couldn’t get in the ice chest.”
The trout and redfish obviously survived that practice so what is going on today?Unlike a net, a trout has to at least be feeding to get caught on a rod and reel.Only time will tell!
Prior to last weekend, the second most discussed topic was the anticipated annual flounder run.There was even some talk questioning the size of the flounder currently being caught until 88 individuals signed on to fish last weekend’s Sabine Pass Lion’s Club flounder tournament.
To say the event was a success would be akin to saying Harvey dumped a little rain on the area. The numbers of quality fish weighed in were absolutely incredible.They left little doubt that while the actual migration has not kicked off…..size is not an issue!
Kristopher Latil set the bar a little too high for the rest of the field when he brought in a 23.25 inch fish that weighed a whopping 6.25 pounds.“If that wasn’t strong enough,” reported an obviously impressed Jim Morrissey, “wait until I give you some of these other numbers!”
“We had three fish over five pounds weighed in and the top seven flounder were all over four pounds. Sam Evans weighed in a 5.48 pound fish and Anthony Ly took home third place money with a 5.15 pounder.”
“It was the biggest flounder I have ever seen weighed in,” said Morrissey “and I have worked a lot of weigh-ins over the past several years.Incredibly enough, 19 of the top 27 fish were released alive including 8 of the top 10.”
The migration may not have started, but I would say all is well in the flat fish world and it’s time to start thinking “flounder”.