Sabine Scene: May 2020

Sabine Scene: May 2020
The redfish bite has not slowed down.

While it has taken the better part of the past two years to finally be able to tout local fishing, I now feel somewhat conflicted in doing so. Anything that encourages sharing the same space with others right now is detrimental and the only thing that I can think of worse than dying from the virus would be giving it to someone else!

No one has summed up the pandemic’s effects any better than Everett did in his editorial last month and his message hit home. Prior to reading his assessment, I had been a little lukewarm to the idea of social distancing to the extent suggested, but his well-chosen words prompted me to buy in and do my part.

So, for that reason alone, I have not fished with another person…not even my grandson. Having said that, I believe that the fish are not going to give you the virus and families that have practiced social separation from the outset can do no better than going fishing.

Gassing up the boat may well be the biggest risk, but that can be avoided with the aid of rubber gloves or sanitized wipes while the kids remain in the truck. Last week, I watched three visiting anglers pile out of a very expensive truck towing an even more expensive boat only to dig through the trash cans hunting for a plastic bag to wrap around the nozzle.

My grandson is locked down with his sister and parents as my daughter is concerned that one hug could give my wife or myself the virus. As far as my own health is concerned, however, I have chosen to go down fishing. I am 74 and in the past few years I have survived melanoma, prostate cancer, AFib, diabetes, and stage 3 kidney failure.

I avoid inventorying health issues and could not feel any better. I lift weights every morning, jog with my wife’s golden doodle in the evening and continue to fish when the wind isn’t howling. When you aren’t guiding, you can choose your days. I have no idea how long this virus or I will last, but I will fish until I can no longer launch my boat.

To my way of thinking, there are three significant benefits derived from spending a day fishing with the kids. Catching is as much fun as it has ever been, bringing home fresh fish eliminates a trip to the grocery store and you are doing your part to adhere to the rules of social separation.

There has been a really good bite on 15- to 18-inch trout for bank fishermen choosing to walk the revetment walls. The only drawback is that it can get uncomfortably crowded during the morning hours. You can effectively work those same fish from a boat, but you need to respect the folks casting from the bank.

If numbers are more important than the possibility of sticking a really good fish, you can do no better than a Vudu shrimp under a cork. An Assassin Sea Shad or Lil’ John are also deadly fished the same way.

We have had just enough runoff and wind to diminish water clarity in parts of the lake, but the bite has remained strong. I have seen more waders this month, five or six in one day is a bunch, and they are doing well with topwaters and five-inch tails.

One of the most productive topwaters of late has been a pearl white Top Dog Jr that Bret Crawford tabbed the Lab Rat. Both the rattail Bass Assassin and Down South plastics rigged on 1/8 ounce heads have also worked well. Texas chicken, plum-chartreuse, and chicken on a chain have been getting it done for me.

The trout running the east shoreline have been equally cooperative. One day they are hustling schools of small bait fish tight to the grass and the next day they are holding a hundred yards off the shoreline. The same lures the waders are using, along with the cork and plastic combinations will find the fish for you.

The bayous and back lakes are giving up far more redfish and bass than trout. Swimbaits like the three-inch H&H Usual Suspect, shallow running crankbaits and gold spoons are all good choices, but don’t forget about a Wacky Worm when the tide weakens.

Stay safer than you ever thought necessary and hug your kids a bunch. They are our tomorrow!