Beat the heat with summer variety
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
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.