The only reason I was even on the road was to purchase some covers for
the outdoor faucets before it really got cold.At that particular moment,
my temperature gauge read thirty-seven degrees and the north wind was
blowing a bone chilling 15 to 20 mph.

I was waiting on the light to change when I spotted Dale Kent gassing up
his Center Console at a convenience store on the opposite side of the
highway.“What are you doing,” I asked with my window cracked just enough
to hear his reply.

“C.J. and I are headed to Big Lake to see if we can fool a big
trout.These conditions aren’t ideal, but the next two days are going to
be as bad or worse and he only has two days off.”

The unplanned conversation quickly moved inside and Dale said that over
the past three weeks he and his friends had caught six trout over seven
pounds wading the north end of Big Lake.“I caught only one trout over
six pounds last year and none the year before,” added the Houston
angler, “so this has been unexpectedly good so far.”

“It is hard to believe that it could possibly get so bad so quickly,”
said Dale.“I never thought I would get excited about catching a seven
pound trout on Big Lake, but that has been my story and we have
continued to fish hard.”

“My first trip over here was fifteen years ago after hearing all of the
crazy reports and we caught only one big trout that day.When we got back
to the landing, however, three other visiting Texas anglers were taking
pictures of twenty-one trout over six pounds piled on an old tarp.”

“I told my brother, Kyle, that day that we better get back as soon as
possible because that just couldn’t last very long,” added Dale.“I was
wrong.It lasted a long time, but we are just now catching a few big
trout again and it will never be like it was back then.”

He showed me a picture of a trout he guessed to weigh eight pounds, but
released it without ever taking it out of the water due to other boats
chasing gulls only a few casts away.“That’s the biggest fish I’ve caught
so far, but we have been getting at least one swing at a good one every

“We are in no hurry,” he added, “so you ought to run home and grab your
waders.If the tide is even half way favorable the last hour of daylight
will be the most productive.”

I thanked him, but passed on the invitation with no reservations
concerning my quick decision.I haven’t spoken with him since, but he was
right about the weather which has done him no favors the past few days.

I don’t think any other fishermen shop with the fervor of dedicated big
trout hunters.I was in Rambo’s Tackle the day after the last modest
front and seemingly overnight the more popular colors in Corkies,
Mirrodine XL’s and the larger topwater lures were already
disappearing.It is really a Catch 22 phenomenon as those anglers never
buy just one or two of a certain color for fear that the peg on the wall
will be empty on their next visit!

The fifty-three anglers fishing the Sabine Lions Club Annual Flounder
Tournament last weekend were greeted with some very difficult
post-frontal conditions.In spite of that, sixteen flounder were weighed
in and fourteen of them were released alive thanks to the efforts of the
S.A.L.T. Club weigh masters and the anglers themselves!

Roland Brown took home the first place check with a respectable eighteen
inch flatfish that tipped the scales at 2.97-pounds.The final weights in
no way reflected how consistent the flounder catch had been prior to the
front.It was strictly a matter of the high pressure and less than
favorable tides temporarily shutting down the bite!

It will be very interesting to see how much the catching on Sabine Lake
is affected following the strongest front of the year.Lower levels and
colder water usually ignite some of the best redfish catching of the year.