THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX
“I have been waiting on colder weather to dig out my Corkies,” said Adam
Benz, “and I guess this qualifies as colder weather!”
The air temperature was only in the low forties, but the spray blowing
off the tops of the white caps felt much cooler.A decent trout bite the
evening before had convinced us to give the flat a second chance and it
was proving to be a bad decision.
Long casts directly into the stiff north wind were required to
efficiently exploit a small patch of shell, but Adam had already
experienced one too many backlashes and was casting toward the open lake
with the wind at his back.Without questioning his new game plan, I
headed back to the boat and a more protected area.
While I whole heartedly agree with Adam’s fervor for the Corky in colder
weather, we basically wasted the next hour and a half trying to feed the
fish both a Fat Boy and a Softdine XL.Different colors and different
retrieves were of no help.
Before giving up on the only stretch of semi-protected water on the
entire lake, I clipped off a dayglow Corky and tied on a one-eighth
ounce jig head adorned with a four inch morning glory Bass Assassin Sea
Shad.I would never have given it a shot had I not talked with Blade
Broussard earlier in the week.
They, too, waded and while they caught no trout, they managed to feed
several slot reds a shorter tail rigged on a jig head.At that point in
our trip, redfish were more than welcome to join the party.Fortunately,
Adam hooked a nice red early on as we would not have given the Assassin
a fair shot, especially the four inch version.
I swim the longer rat tail Assassin rigged on a 1/16^th ounce head a lot
in the colder months, but never the smaller bait.At no point was the
bite good enough to write home about, but we finished the evening with
two limits of reds and released five 16 to 19 inch trout.I love to eat
trout, but the Sabine lake trout population needs our help right now!
While cleaning fish at the end of the day, Adam pointed out how close we
came to missing out on a pretty good bite for two important reasons.The
first and most important was the willingness to share information with
In reviewing past logs, it is amazing how many pieces of structure or
productive areas are highlighted with the name of another angler that
shared that information with me.I know a number of fishermen that refuse
to swap information out of fear that it will be a one way conversation.
Countless days of more fishing than catching make it very difficult to
share a bite that you have worked so hard to find, but you don’t have to
draw a map to help a fellow fisherman.Just the type of water you are
fishing or a particular color is not only appreciated, but a head- start
More often than not, that favor will be returned time and again.As your
network expands, so will your catching!
Adam’s second point was in regards to the necessity for the right
clothing this time of the year. If you are shivering you are no longer
concentrating on the task at hand.A cold boat ride to the next spot or
even a little chilling spray can immediately diminish your focus.
Without a doubt the wind is always the major culprit.Quality rain gear
not only keeps your multi-layers of clothing dry, but reduces the chill
factor as well. While they are not as easy to put on or take off, bibbed
rain suits afford far more protection for the hunter or fisherman.
With a little cooler water and rain possibly headed our way this
weekend, you may be better served changing hooks and cleaning up your
Corkies than braving the elements.In the event that you just can’t help
yourself, however, the evening bite has been more user-friendly the past
few days than it has in the morning.
Last, but not least, make an effort to fish with a friend.The simplest
mistake on the water can end tragically when fishing by yourself in
frigid weather.It is also nice to have someone to chat with while you
are silently praying for one more bite!