Lunker bass, big Sabine Lake trout keep anglers going strong

Lunker bass, big Sabine Lake trout keep anglers going strong

The cold front that came in last Sunday was nothing more than stumbling block for anglers in the hunt for trophy trout on Sabine Lake. The cold weather came in Sunday, and by Wednesday it was back to spring time, warm temperatures and warming tides along the upper Texas coast.

From now through the end of April, big trout will be roaming the shallows of both Sabine Lake and East Galveston Bay. Ditto that for the east shoreline of Trinity Bay. 

Just recently I was talking with guide Tim Young, who can be found fishing Trinity Bay on just about any given day in late March and all of April.

“We haven’t had much rain, so the upper end of Trinity Bay is going to be in perfect shape,” said Young. “Any time we don’t have a lot of freshwater runoff, the big trout will move up shallow on the upper end of Trinity Bay.”

Jim West, who runs charters on East Galveston Bay, says the past couple of weeks have been like a yoyo with cold temperatures followed by warm, spring-like days.

“The big trout are trying to move shallow, but the cold weather like we had this week bumps ‘em back to deeper water,” says West. “I think our weather is going to stabilize within the next week or so. That’s when we’ll begin to see a better shallow -water pattern develop with topwaters lures and slow sinking mullet imitations.”

When it comes to producing big trout, Sabine Lake ranks right up there with the best. Last week I got the chance to fish for about three hours along the Louisiana shoreline on a morning that was warm and calm. It was a slow bite until the tide turned. That’s when mullet began to show up, and that’s when the topwater bite turned on. We were fishing over shallow shell in about 3 feet of water. The go-to lure was a Super Spook Jr. in bone/chartreuse.

We were having a good time over one little reef until a complete idiot idled in on us and began throwing a cast net for mullet. The guy came within 20 yards of us and could clearly see we were catching trout. I just about blew a gasket. When I asked the guy if he was really that stupid he began dropping the F-bomb repeatedly in front of a young kid in his boat. About 99.9 percent of us know how to act on the water when running a boat. But there are a few morons out there that don’t have a clue. It’s probably best to just get away from them, but on the other hand it’s not a bad idea to let ‘em know just how dumb they really are.

Louisiana angler lands monster bass at Lake Fork

Louisiana angler Donald Deville makes regular visits to Lake Fork with friends and family to fish for big bass, but he had never landed a double-digit fish until March 20.

“The 14.06-pound largemouth bass he caught mid-morning of the group’s first day on the lake is now Toyota ShareLunker 547,” said Larry Hodge with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “The fish was 25.75 inches long and 22 inches in girth.”

Deville says he caught his bass of a lifetime in 5 feet of 58-degree water using a Brush Hog.

“It was about my third cast,” he said. “I was fishing with one of my sons, and he threw on the left side of the stump, and I threw on the right. And I got the big lunker to bite.”

Deville fought the fish for some time.

“She didn’t wrap on anything, but she took a lot of drag,” he said. “Finally we saw her and how big she was, and we got really excited.”

Deville was not familiar with the Toyota ShareLunker program, but some members of his group were and advised him to take the fish to Lake Fork Marina to be weighed.

“The fish is the 11th entry into the Toyota ShareLunker program during the current season,” said Hodge. “Average weight of the entries this season so far is 13.85 pounds, and the largest entry weighed 16.04. Two 14-pounders and one 15-pounder have also been entered.”

Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or heavier largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between Oct. 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program by calling the ShareLunker hotline at (903) 681-0550 or paging (888) 784-0600 and leaving a phone number including area code. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.