Sabine Scene: February 2021

This is not a monthly column that you would ever expect to read in the best fishing magazine in Texas, nor is it one that I anticipated writing any time soon. Unfortunately, Covid has thrown a kink in those plans.

I just completed my forty-ninth year of hiring out to take folks fishing and always thought that the decision as to when to call in the dogs would be on my own terms. However, that all changed on December 10, 2020.

My daughter called that morning and suggested that I get tested as several church members had just tested positive. We have worn masks and given Covid a wide berth since losing a friend back in June, but much to my surprise, while exhibiting little more than a slight cough, I indeed tested positive.

My initial thought was that I would act responsibly, quarantine, and just find something exciting to do around the house for the next fourteen days. Two days later, however, everyone in the family had tested positive and were suffering different degrees of discomfort.

The grandkids never missed a beat, my daughter, son-in-law and wife were now coughing and running a low grade fever and I was feeling a little worse than expected. The following evening, I was lying in a hallway in the ICU making God promises I will never be able keep for just one more breath!

The inability to inhale one more time is not only life threatening, but scary as well. I have since learned that the only thing worse is watching a loved one or friend go through the same thing knowing there is nothing you can do to help them.

While I seem to be improving and still have every intention of dying on the water, the doctor assured me prior to leaving the hospital that it won’t happen with clients in the boat. That proclamation wasn’t as alarming as it could have been as I was already concerned about passing a Coast Guard physical to renew my license. That is no longer a concern.

My Mom and brother are still in the hospital, but I am convinced that even with pneumonia, I am steadily improving and will continue to get better. The dog and I are back to walking three miles a day with an added pause or two, but shortness of breath might be the new normal and is a minor problem.

After several failed attempts, I wasn’t sure that I could ever type these words, but if even one of you now takes Covid more seriously we have a chance of putting it in the rear view mirror much quicker. It is not going to go away by itself!

A very good trout bite has recently slowed down due to the rain, marsh-draining north winds, and some really muddy water from one end of Sabine Lake to the other. Capt. Chuck, Capt. Johnny, and some very dependable fishing friends have been keeping me abreast of what is going on every night. Nothing like fishing vicariously!

Further confirmation of the effects of the unneeded glut of fresh water is that Capt. Johnny recently hooked what he first thought to be another near record redfish on a swimbait. The month before he had missed the lake record by only ounces, but this hard-pulling redfish proved to be a beautiful twenty pound channel cat.

Even the redfish have been hard to come by of late, but I think things will bounce back quickly with a little drier weather. As usual, look for the south end to improve the quickest, but never drive by a marsh drain spilling clearer water into the main lake.

I have no idea as to how this will all out play out as Everett has always relied on some of the best guides on the coast reporting on their respective venues. That fact is not lost on the hoard of coastal fishermen that eagerly await each new issue.

If indeed this is it, I cannot possibly thank Everett and Pam enough for the opportunity to not only share information and tips, but encourage folks to take kids fishing as well. They are the future and the biggest joy of our life.

As I mentioned before, I will continue fishing and intend to always be only a phone call or email away for the latest on Sabine Lake. I pray that the vaccine will be available to you and your family ahead of the Covid.

Take the kids fishing!