For the Record

Capt. Chuck Uzzle

 

Easily one of the most alluring features of Sabine Lake area is the 

fact that you can catch so many different species of fish in a relatively small 

area. The brackish water holds both fresh and saltwater fish in good numbers as 

well as quality. It’s never uncommon to see a stringer of fish include flounder, 

redfish, speckled trout, and an occasional really nice largemouth bass. 

The potential for all these fish to be in the same body of water makes 

each strike that much more exciting because you never know who will show up to 

crash the party. 

Speaking of not knowing who will show up, it’s really going to get interesting 

as the summer progresses and we remain stuck in these dry conditions. In 

years past when we have had dry spring seasons with little or no significant run 

off from either Toledo Bend or Sam Rayburn a whole new group of fish begins to 

show up. Species like Jack Crevalle, sharks, rays, and even tarpon will make the 

trek up the river as the saltwater slowly creeps farther inland. These party 

crashers often show up and make their presence known in the form of screaming 

drags and great “the one that got away” stories. Nothing gets your attention 

like the prospect of getting spooled and actually having to chase a fish down. 

In areas where lots of local anglers congregate it’s often an absolute circus 

when someone hooks up with a stud jack in the middle of the armada of boats. The 

chase scene that ensues is like something from the Bourne Identity, boats 

weaving in and out avoiding everything from anchor lines to fishing lines. 

Nothing like the prospect of catching “the big one”, it’s why we fish. 

Speaking of big fish and areas where people congregate you can bet that this 

month there will be some great fish taken at the jetties. A few very dedicated 

anglers will take advantage of the ultra early bite before the masses reach the 

rocks. Good tide changes a few hours before dawn and all the traffic is a 

winning recipe to help tangle with some big fish, especially trout. There are 

very few strikes that are as vicious as speckled trout at the jetties on 

topwater plugs in the dark. I used to wonder what those boats were doing heading 

back to the dock as the sun was just breaking the horizon until I got a chance 

to try out the pattern myself. All I can say is the reward is well worth the 

effort. 

Now if fishing in the dark is not your favorite don’t worry because you can 

still be successful during daylight hours with a just a small variation to the 

pattern. Topwater plugs worked in and around the rocks will still produce some 

fish when the sun comes up but swim baits will just flat wear those fish out. 

There are several styles of swim bait you can use and they all work. The 

conventional plastic swim bait with a paddle tail is a great option, especially 

when it’s fished on a light jig head to allow for a slower fall and more subtle 

presentation. The other “swim bait” is a shallow running crank bait like the 

Swimming Image, Mann’s 1 Minus, or Rapala. These plugs are really user friendly 

and allow the fishermen the opportunity to dig around in and or bounce off the 

rocks triggering brutal strikes from some hefty speckled trout and redfish. The 

other great thing about all the swim baits is that they allow you to cover lots 

and lots of water in a short period of time making you much more productive.