Early spring cold fronts continue to move through Southeast Texas, and that has made the business of catching big trout on Sabine Lake more than a little tough. But there is good news in that a few big trout are being fooled by lures. The best I’ve seen within the past couple of days came from the north shoreline of East Galveston Bay. She weighed an impressive 9 pounds.
The water temperature on Sabine Lake is not as warm as it usually is about this time of year. Right now, it’s holding around the 67-degree mark. That’s about 3 to 4 degrees shy of what it’s supposed to be at this time in April. The water temperature on East Galveston Bay is 64 degrees; in the surf from the Sabine jetties to High Island, it’s right at 70.
A lot of the 5 to 8 pound trout being caught on Sabine Lake are not holding eggs yet. That translates into heavier trout later this month and into May as they develop eggs and gain a little girth.
The trick to catching enough Sabine Lake trout and reds for dinner is to pick your days. For example, guide Jerry Norris had a four-person group of anglers that insisted on fishing the day after last week’s cold front moved through.
“The wind was howling, it was cold and the water just about everywhere on the lake looked like chocolate milk,” said Norris. “I told them it was going to be tough and cold with a very slow bite, but they wouldn’t take no for an answer. Six hours later, they were beat down and ready to come in. I hit all the right spots, and we had four reds. Two days later, the temperature was back up in the 70s, the lake was calm and the water was in excellent shape. I had another group out and caught a solid box of trout, reds and a few flounder on soft plastics.”
Norris says he’s keying on one thing – mullet.
“If I can find mullet, we’ll catch fish,” he says. “Lots of mullet are in the lake and the pass right now. The best bite has been from about noon until 4 or 5 o’clock. A Super Spook Jr. has been best after the water warms up. Early in the day, we’ve been fishing Assassins and Bayou Chubs in 4 to 5 feet of water over mud and shell.”
There are quite a few shrimp in Sabine Lake right now. They’re anywhere from 3 to 4 inches long. Trout and reds have been pushing them to the surface, and that’s when the birds will lead you to the action. Flocks of gulls have been working on the lower and middle areas of the lake.
If you don’t have a boat, you might want to fish along the south levy wall. When the shrimp move up along this levy, big-time numbers of trout won’t be far behind. Right about now is when you can fish along the rocks and catch some pretty solid trout. Soft plastics are best along the levy wall when rigged on 1/8 or 1/16-ounce jig heads. Another option is to fish a Vudu shrimp in natural or chartreuse under a rattle float.
Sam Rayburn Bass-N-Bucks anglers find plenty of bass
The team of Kris Wilson and Charles Bebber won the April 6 Sam Rayburn Bass-N-Bucks tournament with five bass weighing 21.41 pounds. The win was worth $8,000. Finishing second were John Lemaire and Phil Ransonet with a limit of five bass weighing 19 pounds. In third place were Clayton Boulware and Chris McCall with five bass going 16.35 pounds.
The big bass of the tournament weighed 7.65 pounds. The average weight was 2.76 pounds.