Sabine Scene: April 2009

Sabine Scene: April 2009
Not unlike last year, the wind has really made things tough over the past month. Our surface water temperature continues to warm almost daily and the big sow trout that camped out near deeper water well into March have scattered.

The gulls never quit working over schooling trout on even the coldest days of winter, but the larger shrimp are moving now and that bite is a daily occurrence. It is also not at all unusual to find more slot redfish under the birds than keeper trout.

Wind permitting, you can expect to burn a lot of gas on Sabine this month whether it be logging miles on the big engine or trailering around the lake. Virtually every program, from wading the flats to drifting with live bait, will be in full swing. While it is the most user-friendly program, chasing the gulls can prove to be a drain on the pocket book, depending on how quickly you locate solid fish.

The Causeway reefs are a good place to start the day, simply because you can drift the deep shell or work the pocket while waiting on the birds to start working. I would recommend bringing soft plastics in every color that you own when fishing this technique.

I have been blown away by anglers using a color like drunk monkey or candy corn, but limetreuse, red shad, pumpkin-chartreuse, and morning glory will serve you well most days. There are also occasions when a shorter plastic like the Assassin Sea Shad works best, but the 5-inch Texas Shad is my first choice.

You will increase your strike ratio by soaking your choice of plastics with a scented spray or gel. I have tried them all and now rely on Bang's garlic spray. You will also need a drift sock to counter the stronger tide changes and a pile of jig heads ranging in size from 1/8 to 1/2-ounce. You are going to lose a lot of jigs, but it is critical that you employ just enough weight to tick the top of the shell as you drift.

Fishing a braided line with a fluorocarbon or mono leader is an advantage in deep water drifting. The strikes can be very subtle at depths of 10 to 18 feet, especially in moving water. I fish 30-pound Power Pro with a 20-pound leader on a 6-1/2 foot medium-light CastAway HG40 Titanium rod.

If the drifting program is not your bag, you can fish the shallow shell on the north end of the reef with a She Dog, Catch 2000, or Swim bait.

For years we would swim the longer Assassin Shad rigged on a 1/16-ounce head, but I am now sold on the soft plastic swim bait for this technique. We have caught everything from flounder to bull reds with Assassin's new 3 and 4 inch swim baits. Pearl, Tennessee shad and baby bass have proven themselves time and again.

The marsh drains and bayous on the Louisiana side of the lake are also holding good concentrations of redfish and flounder. There is no end to productive cover when the bull tides flood the roots of the cane lining the shoreline. Slot reds are the bonus fish for anglers targeting flounder with everything from spinnerbaits to live mud minnows.

The Game Reserve is open again and the bayous and canals in that system not only afford protection from the wind but excellent fishing as well.

In order to fish inside the Reserve or any of the cuts, you will need to have a Louisiana non-resident license in your possession. It is a little pricey, but if you are going to fish this lake on a regular basis, it is worth the money!