Sabine Scene: November 2007

Sabine Scene: November 2007
Gene Kellum with a sure enough good flounder that ate a Texas Roach Sea Shad.
"I hope we don't lose our electricity too long..that storm turned into a little hurricane after you went to bed." That was my wife's ho-hum explanation for our lawn furniture levitating in a driving rain in the pre-dawn darkness. How can a hurricane sneak up on you at 3:30 in the morning with today's technology?

While it was obvious that Rita's wrath desensitized even my wife, for those directly in Humberto's path, the damage was not insignificant. We lived on generators again for a few days, but most of our area experienced little damage as there are very few trees remaining that Rita missed.

The good news for Sabine Lake fishermen is that less than a week after the storm, the fishing improved significantly all over the lake. We spent an entire summer and early September huddled in the south end of the lake due to the phenomenal amount of rain this year. The mega-dose of saltwater and lighter winds ignited a better bite overnight.

Every pattern has been late this year due to the weather and there is no reason not to believe that this month will offer more of the same. We may not get any cold weather until December at this rate, but the fishing has improved daily and it should only get better.

The annual madness under the gulls in the open lake may or may not be in full swing by the end of the month as the shrimp are still holding up in the bayous and marshes. Two or three strong blows out of the north, however, could change all of that very quickly.

Assuming that both the trout and redfish are still on a fish diet this month, we will continue to target small schools of shad and mullet on the flats as well as slicks in the middle of the lake. The average trout stalking these baitfish has been in the three-pound class with seven-pound fish not uncommon.

Cooler water temperatures will keep them in the shallows a little longer each day, but the best shot at an extended bite is moving out into the open lake and working water at depths of 6-8 feet. Any shell that you find in the deeper water will hold fish all day long.

Unlike fishing for school trout, we do much better on longer plastics rigged on one-eighth or quarter ounce heads fished on a very quick retrieve in that top column of water. Both the five-inch Assassin Shad and the Tidal Surge Split Tail in glow-chartreuse, pumpkin-chartreuse, and bone diamond are at the top of my list, depending on water clarity.

We also do very well working this same pattern with Top Dog Jr.'s, She Dogs, and the larger Spook when the water is choppy. A new color rules every year, but we depend on black, bone, and chrome patterns for most of our fishing. In the event that you discover that you are in the middle of redfish as well when fishing deeper water, tie on a Trap or Hoginar to seal the deal.

A large percentage of my clientele is split as to what they want to fish for this time of year. While it is extremely hard to turn my back on big trout, I also love working the shoreline drains and bayous for flounder and redfish on light tackle.

I have done an about face in my approach to flounder fishing this year and it has resulted in much larger average fish. For thirty-six years my number one choice was a glow or chartreuse curly tail grub rigged on a horse head jig and tipped with a piece of shrimp. That combination is as good today as it was "way back" when, but it produces many undersized fish as well.

While practicing for a redfish tournament this year, we caught some magnum flounder with a quarter ounce spinnerbait made by Strike King. We are still throwing it and the big flounder are still eating it as are slot redfish holding in the same areas. The two best colors for us have been LSU and electric chicken.

Another productive choice for the larger flatfish has been a 4-inch Sea Shad rigged on a quarter ounce head and sprayed with Bang garlic scent. The same colors have been equally effective in the Sea Shad in addition to Texas Roach.

If keeping limits is the reason you choose to fish, please do not abuse the fish you choose to release!