Fishing on Sabine Lake is better than you might think
Fishing on Sabine Lake is about as good as it gets, according to guide Colby Denbow with Sabine Lake Lodge.
“We’re catching quite a few flounder, and there are lots of reds and trout under the birds,” said Denbow. “The flounder run is still going strong. I’m fishing mostly drains on falling tides with soft plastics. There are a lot of small trout under the birds. The trick is to move around until you find a school of keeper-sized trout.”
A good number of slot reds are being caught on the lower end of the lake. They are easy to locate because they are ripping through shad and shrimp on the surface. Best lures are silver spoons, Assassins and Super Spooks.
Duck hunters racking up some good numbers
Duck hunters from Southeast Texas to the middle Texas coast have been hammering good numbers of birds, most being teal and gadwall with a scattering of pintails, redheads and mallards.
Travis Peterson reports that during the opening first week of waterfowl season in the South Zone, hunters at the Thunderbird Hunting Club on the middle Texas coast had limit shots by 11 out of 26 groups for the first full week of the regular duck season, with a total of 370 birds being shot by 83 hunters.
“Counting the 23 good to excellent hunts last week, the club averaged 5.1 birds per gun per day,” says Peterson. “Throw in the few bad hunts (three) and the average drops to 4.5 birds per gun per day, not a good accounting of how most groups did last week.”
This past Saturday, they had seven out of seven groups shooting full limits on ducks. A big variety of species were shot this past weekend with bluewings and greenwings perhaps the most prevalent. Redheads showed up over many spreads.
To date, including the early teal season, the club has harvested 1,856 birds by 364 guns for an average of 5.1 birds per gun per day; that’s an average of over 20-plus birds per blind based on four hunters to a blind. Right at 70 out of 107 groups have shot limits of ducks.
How to shoot more ducks
You can pull your head off the stock, stop your swing, close an eye or commit any litany of wing shooting sins and still drop quite a few ducks. However, there’s one error in technique that almost guarantees the safety of any duck in your vicinity: a sloppy gun mount. Among other detrimental effects, a poorly mounted gun transfers stouter recoil and fails to align the rib with your dominant eye.
There is one way to perfect your gun mount that doesn’t even require visiting a range. After ensuring your shotgun is unloaded, insert a Maglite flashlight into the muzzle — the AA model pairs nicely with a modified choke 12-gauge. Twist the flashlight’s beam until it’s as tight as possible. Now, with your shotgun in the ready position, direct the beam toward a corner of your ceiling. Smoothly mount the gun to your cheek without allowing the beam to waiver from the corner. A steady beam indicates a smooth gun mount. As you improve, trace the beam along the wall or ceiling seam as you mount and continue swinging the gun. A dozen daily repetitions of this drill can provide great results.
Double-dipping dove hunters
While patrolling for illegal dove hunting activity, a warden came upon several trucks parked near a fence line bordering a pasture and a group of hunters nearby. After making contact and checking the group for compliance, the warden noted all the hunters were close to their daily bag limits and asked if there were more doves flying in the morning or in the afternoon. The group proudly answered the morning was much better and that they had gotten easy limits of birds in the morning. Realizing they had just admitted to what’s commonly called “double dipping,” taking a daily bag limit during a morning hunt and then another during an afternoon hunt, one of the men asked innocently, “Wait, is that allowed?” Charges were filed and 60 birds were seized.
Robert Sloan can be reached by e-mail at sloan288 [at] aol [dot] com.