Sabine Scene: August 2017

Sabine Scene: August 2017
Big flounder still providing most consistent bite.

So much for too much fresh water totally snuffing out a trout bite. It has admittedly made it much tougher on Sabine Lake anglers, but in spite of daily downpours we are still running across schools of small specks pushing shrimp to the surface.

We have had so much rain, in fact, that the runoff seldom muddies things up and the clarity goes to pot only after a big wind. Amazingly enough, we had six consecutive days of little or no rain that coincided with the Bassmaster Open hosted here on the river. It was a blessing for the visiting pros and local saltwater fishermen were able to capitalize on an improving bite as well.

In talking with several guides from the mid-to-lower Texas coast that have thus far enjoyed some excellent trout fishing, it is obvious that they can’t fathom the amount of rain we have been forced to deal with. Case in point – after rescheduling the same party three times due to rain, we decided to give it a try once again come hell or high water. It did, in fact, come both!

The weather forecast the night before was for 6- to 10-mph wind out of the south and a 30% chance of scattered showers. Not surprisingly, we found ourselves within the 30% probability zone at daylight so we elected to sit around and eat lunch while waiting for it to blow through.

Two hours later, they made a soggy dash to their SUV and idled across the flooded parking lot. Over the next four hours it rained 6.5 inches and I couldn’t even get back into my neighborhood. Just another day of light rain.

Only two days later, however, the water was pouring through East Pass into the open lake and gulls were already working over small trout again. Can trout eventually become a fresh water species? Several of the Bassmaster pros said they caught trout and bass on the same topwater lures in the same drains.

To trust the success of any fishing trip in the best of conditions to locating gulls ratting out schools of trout is fool’s gold. That bite is still occasionally taking place from the north end all the way to the Causeway, but it is here today and gone tomorrow and most of the trout are small.

The most dependable bite is still taking place from the Causeway to the end of the jetties for both trout and redfish. Depending on tide direction, at some point during the day you can legitimately expect a pretty darned good bite. This is no secret, and fishermen looking to take advantage of that infusion of saltier Gulf water and more bait fish, concentrate their efforts from just south of the LNG terminal to the end of the jetties.

Swimbaits, tails and crankbaits are all good choices when the bite is on. The key to consistently catching is usually more about figuring out the right depth than lure color. Thus the reason baits that can easily be fished at different depths are a good choice.

Even if it continues to rain all summer, the north revetment wall and flats off the Neches will continue to occasionally afford the more persistent anglers a shot at a good day in the presence of solid keeper fish. I have found them there only twice in the past three weeks, but they were predictably crushing a Swimming Image and 4” Usual Suspect both days.

The trout and the reds on the north end of the lake are just now starting to get after plastics fished under a cork. I have offered them nothing other than a Vudu shrimp or Lil’ John recently and caught plenty of fish when I can stay on them.

Because I am not much on fishing south of the Causeway, I spend a great deal of time chasing flounder and redfish on the east shoreline of the lake. The flounder have been both cooperative and large and the unexpected slot redfish only doubles the fun.

The program is simple but effective, and almost windproof. I fish a seven-foot medium action Laguna spinning rod in combination with a 2500 Shimano Stradic spooled with 20-pound braid. I have recently fished only an eighth ounce horsehead jig with a 4-inch Sea Shad or Gulp curly tail for the body.

It is a great technique not only for the kids, but anyone that relishes eating stuffed flounder!