DANGEROUS BUT PRODUCTIVE
Our early morning meeting on the north revetment wall on Pleasure Island
had nothing to do with fishing, but Marvin Freeland brought a rod and a
few lures just in case.By the time I arrived, he was precariously
navigating the unstable rocks with a keeper trout in hand.
“I only need one more fish for a limit and I haven’t been here thirty
minutes,” he shouted.“I have another rod in the truck if you want to
I passed on his gracious offer and was immediately thankful that I
did.Marvin never caught his fifth keeper.That fourth fish slipped out of
his hands and in attempt to retrieve it he suffered a hard fall in the
oversized rocks lining the levee road.
His $500 Waterloo rod-Shimano reel combination bounced one time before
disappearing a few feet out into the lake and the fish was no longer of
any concern.By the time he climbed up on the road the cut on his elbow
and forehead were bleeding pretty badly and his shin had very little
A dirty towel and bottle of sunscreen did little to abate his
misery.Fortunately, a nearby fisherman rushed to his aid with a small
bag of ice, two clean towels, and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.“I have
some band aids in the truck,” she said, “but I think you are way past
the band aid stage.”
Following ten minutes of casting in an attempt to snag his rod, not
surprisingly, Marvin yielded to the pain and drove away in search of the
nearest real medical help.When our Florence Nightingale also spotted his
cell phone lying in the rocks, I thanked her for her help and gave him a
little time to get home before delivering it and checking on his condition.
“Don’t get crazy on me!” I offered to drive him to a first aid station,
but he was more concerned with the inconvenience of leaving one of our
trucks than his injuries!”
The fall resulted in six stitches over his eye, three on his elbow, a
shin wrapped with an ace wrap from ankle to knee and a broken cell
phone.That night, however, he still managed to climb the stands to watch
his grandson play a High School football playoff game.Anything short of
death is no excuse for missing a game on Friday night!
Only two weeks before, yet another friend took a tumble while trying to
cast to the birds in almost the same spot and eventually fell in the
lake.His partner fished him and his rod out of the water, but he was
pretty skinned up.By the time I arrived he had almost dried out, but I
know he was sore the next day.
He attributed his fall to old age and bad knees, but the fact is that
the rocks that make up the wall are dangerous to navigate for
anyone.Some of them are not stable and all of them have sharp edges.
Regardless of the inherent danger factor, area anglers are going to
challenge those rocks as long as they are allowed to access the levee
road and that is as it should be.The revetment walls on Pleasure Island
offer the best shot at not only numbers, but big trout as well for bank
fishermen on Sabine Lake.
With the exception of two drains and the meager remnants of burned out
fishing piers, there is little need to race to a particular spot.The
bite can take place anywhere along the walls and this time of the year a
flock of feeding gulls can be the determining factor as to where to start.
There is no doubt that the most consistent technique involves fishing a
live shrimp under a popping cork, but artificial lures like the Corky
and Swimming Image can be just as effective at times.For that matter,
proven topwaters like the She Dog, Skitterwalk and Super Spook have
their days as well.
I know quite a few very accomplished trout fishermen that frequent the
wall when they have very little time to fish simply because the
potential of that venue.At the same time, virtually every one of them
can relate a story about their own fall or another that they witnessed.
The south wall is much more forgiving than the north wall, but usually
not as productive. If you don’t have a boat and don’t care to wade,
these walls are your best shot at catching quality trout.Just be careful
and pack a first aid kit with your lures.Someone else may need it!