Big trout are good on Sabine Lake

Charles Shelton

The water temperature is right around the mid-50s on Sabine Lake, but that has not affected the catches of trout and reds so far this winter. In fact, regardless of how many late-winter fronts Old Man Winter sends our way, fishing in East and Southeast Texas has been pretty darned good. For example, there was a 10-pound trout caught on Sabine Lake last week. And Sam Rayburn catches of crap­pie are steady on live minnows fished deep along the Angelina River channel on the upper end of the lake.

On Sabine Lake, the heavi­est trout to be caught this year that I’m aware of is a 10-pounder caught by a wade fisherman last week. Numbers of trout are improving on the upper end of the lake at Coffee Ground Cove and at the islands on the far north end of the lake. Some of the best lures are silver/black Rebel jointed minnows and pink/gold or bone colored One Knocker Spooks.

But if you’re out to catch a boatload of fish, head to the Sabine River for white bass.

White bass are very good on the Sabine River about 22 miles above Toledo Bend. Best lures are 1/4-ounce Road Runners in pink/silver or chartreuse/silver. Boats troll­ing small cranks are also pick­ing up good numbers of the heavier females. Waders working the down-current side of the sand bars are tak­ing some of the heavier whites as well.

On Sam Rayburn, the water is in good shape and about 55 degrees. The lake is about 3.40 feet low. Crappie are very good on the upper end of the lake. Live minnows are best when fished about 25 feet deep around trees along the chan­nel. Catfish are steady on worms and cut perch fished on trotlines over humps. Large­mouth bass are best in the creeks and off extended points on Carolina rigged worms and lizards.

Fishermen on Toledo Bend report that the lake is clear on the upper end and a little murky down south. Bass are best on soft plastics and jig/craw combos. Spinnerbaits and cranks are good in 6 to 10 feet of water over brush and at the mouths of creeks. Channel cats are best in the creeks on cut perch and shrimp. Blue and yellow cats are very good over main lake humps in 8 to 12 feet of water on live perch.

Feds want to hear your take on red snapper regs

Here’s your chance to voice your opinion on federal red snapper regulations. Hear­ings are set to be held at a number of areas along the Gulf Coast. Unfortunately none are near the Southeast Texas area. The nearest public hearing will be held March 19 at 6 p.m., in Webster at the Hilton Garden Inn, 750 W. Texas Avenue.

“Over the past sev­eral months, we have asked members of the Coastal Conservation Association to engage the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to beat back a number of bad ideas related to the management of red snapper, mostly related to schemes to privatize the fishery,” says CCA’s Ted Venker.

The Gulf Council is hold­ing a series of public hearings over the next two weeks to update the outdated, inaccu­rate 30-year-old allocation of red snapper between the com­mercial and recreational sec­tors.

CCA is asking you to help build a better future for recre­ational angling in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Setting the allocation cor­rectly in a fishery is like fix­ing the foundation of a house that has fallen into disrepair,” said Venker. “Before you patch the cracks in the walls or level the floor, you have to fix the foundation. Our oppo­nents in the commercial sec­tor and the environmental community don’t see it that way. They’d rather do nothing on reallocation and watch the house come crashing down on top of us.

“If possible, make plans to appear at one of the public hearings. Offering your sup­port for the reallocation of red snapper will take just a few minutes, and your appearance at a hearing will speak vol­umes.”

If it’s not possible for you to attend one of the hearings, you can still make your voice heard by commenting online. Com­ments on Reef Fish Amend­ment 28 will be accepted at