“I was conflicted after your report,” moaned Gerald North as he huffed
and puffed while struggling to pull his wader boot over his left foot.“I
love to wade, but every year my feet seem to get a little further from
my hands.”

Due to the modest cold front it was the first time this year that I
hadn’t wet-waded, but while the water is still warm enough to wade in
shorts, it is miserably cold when you climb back into the boat.

The only reason we had chosen to wade rather than drift the flats or
work the shoreline was that Gerald is obsessed with trout.As a matter of
fact, every time we fish he insists that I keep or release every red or
flounder we catch!

I have, on rare occasions, stumbled up on a few trout drift fishing over
the past several months, but the few times I have waded were much more
productive.Standing waist deep in the water launching wasted cast after
cast is truly a grind, but when the trout decide to join the party it
beats the heck out of drift fishing.

My waders didn’t help ward off the cold much Tuesday morning due to the
wind-blown rain sneaking in just beneath my chin.I was still doing
little more than casting and changing lures when Gerald set the hook on
the first of two slot redfish.In quick fashion, he cursed them, released
them and headed my way.

“Did you see those two big trout I just put back,” he teased. I was
shivering and not in the mood to even respond. Then, while pondering my
next lure change, my topwater suddenly disappeared and I was attached to
a fish through no fault of my own.

When I finally brought the fish to hand we were both pleased to see our
first seventeen inch trout.“That does it for me,” I yelled at Gerald.“I
proved I can catch a trout, I win the contest and I am going back to the
boat.”

Before I could take a half dozen steps he was fighting another trout
while motioning me to come back at the same time.Over the next half hour
we kept seven solid trout before they moved on to less dangerous
water.We quit as well shortly thereafter. We loaded up the boat, put on
a dry shirt and drove over to Judice’s for a shrimp basket.

I am yet to figure out why, but I have drifted the same areas that have
produced a few trout while wading and not caught the first trout.We
haven’t caught trout every time we waded, but we have still done better
than we have fishing out of a boat.

With all of the small bait and shrimp in the lake it is a little early
to think “Corky” as your first choice of lures, but we have done pretty
well with the Soft-dine XL.It catches better on a slow retrieve and that
is easier to do when standing in one spot making multiple casts.

We are now running into more small flocks of terns and gulls pecking
away at bait driven to the surface by the fish, but for the most part we
have caught only small specks, sand trout and reds under them.That
action, not surprisingly, has been the best on an outgoing tide.

While it continues to get very little attention, the flounder bite has
been the most improved.We have caught some very nice flat fish on
everything from Swim baits to 4-inch Assassins fishing both the
shoreline and 6 to 8 foot breaks in the bayous.

While most folks choose to fish live shad on a Carolina rig in deeper
water, we have caught some very nice fish with the same set up in 2 to 4
feet of water.We only fish the Carolina rig in water that shallow when
we see bait running the shoreline and can’t get the flounder to hit a lure.

Having said that, I watched a couple catch three flounder in the two to
three pound class fishing the DuPont Outfall while we were throwing a
cast net.Those fish were 15 to 18 feet deep!

If you haven’t fished Sabine Lake in a while don’t forget that the Game
Reserve and the bayous leading into it are now officially closed through
next March.