Sabine Scene: November 2013

Sabine Scene: November 2013
The river has been as hot as the lake for reds and trout.
Nine inches of rain in one day was apparently all it took to wash away a long difficult summer and jump start fall fishing on Sabine. The mega-dose of fresh water initially resulted in a minor fish kill in the bayous but it has been "game on" ever since!

The redfish were first to exit in significant numbers and they were eating everything in front of them as they paraded into the open lake. It takes a strong constitution to resist offering them anything but topwaters as they will blow up repeatedly until you finally connect. That action is now starting at first light on the shallow flats bordering the passes and islands on the north end.

As the day progresses, they're herding shad to the surface in huge schools or mixing with solid trout that are chasing shad and shrimp all over the lake. It is only a matter of time before the gulls alert fishermen to the best spots, but for now the best bet has been to locate your own action.

Even while we are catching fish out of these schools, we are constantly watching for gulls that unexpectedly get up and start working over more surface feeding fish. This run and gun fishing can be addicting but I hate that it usually draws a crowd and the birds are getting harder for me to see every year!

Growing older is incurable but I recently remedied half the problem with a new pair of Salt Life polarized sunglasses. They have officially replaced a high-end pair I managed to wear without scratching or losing for twenty years.

Both pairs have copper or amber/green lenses but I was forced to remove my old glasses to spot distant gulls. I'm no optics expert but I have heard only good things about Zeiss lenses and these glasses give the sharpest images I have ever experienced. They say rain doesn't puddle on them as badly, but I don't wear sunglasses in the rain.

Even more important than the improved schooling activity has been a more consistent big trout bite as well. They disappeared across the summer, but we are once again catching a lot of four to six pound trout on tails, swim baits and topwaters. Most of them are coming off the shallow flats early and late, but we are also catching a few by sticking with a She Dog or Skitter Walk when working schooling fish.

I think most first-time clients assume that I am kidding when I talk about how much I fish everything from a VuDu shrimp to an Assassin Sea Shad or Flats Minnow under a popping cork until they fish with me, but it is especially hard to beat this time of the year. A lot of local folks opt to fish Gulp under the cork and it works well enough, but that combination is a magnet for gafftop and hardheads!

A world of colors will work for you, but there are very few days when I can't get by with Assassin's glow chartreuse, stinky pink or chicken on a chain, which is the same color as east beast in the Flats Minnow. The same can be said for the Usual Suspect Swimbait as I seldom have a need for any color other than cock of the walk, space guppy or clear/black back in both the three and four inch sizes.

If this flounder run is even remotely close to what took place last year it will lure at least half the fishermen off the lake this month. A large percentage of them will take advantage of the more liberal Louisiana limits and fish either the Louisiana side of the ship channel or the Cameron ferry area, but we caught a lot of great flounder on the Texas side of the ship channel as well.

I know a lot of local anglers still prefer mud minnows, but I watched case after case of Gulp Swimming Mullets leave Daley's Hunt N Fish before they could even unpack them last year so I would stock up on white, pink and chartreuse right now. The average size of the flounder was most impressive and it has been that way thus far this fall.

Take the kids fishing and hopefully they will do the same for you some day!