A few days ago I pulled in at the SGS Causeway bait camp and had to look twice to find a parking space. Apparently the word had gotten out about the “hot” fishing on the lower end of Sabine Lake. The first guy I ran into showed me a shot of the flounder he had caught on the lighted fishing pier at the state park across the road.
“When the tide began moving out this morning about 2 a.m. the flounder bite was on,” said Jim Turner. “We used live mud minnows to catch about 14 flounder. We kept six, with the heaviest going about 4 pounds.”
Lots of flounder have been caught off that pier since the lights were finally turned back on. Based on what I’ve heard, the pier will be lit up at night until the next hurricane blows it away again.
“The word is out that the lights on the pier are back on,” said Dimitri Schwarzna at the bait camp. “We’re selling lots of mud minnows, along with mosquito spray. “Just inside the door at the causeway bait camp there is a grip-and-grin photo board with lots of photos of folks holding flounder and big trout along with reds.The only malfunction at Sabine Lake right now is the mosquito infestation. All that rain we had a couple of weeks ago has developed into a sizable crop of mosquitoes. Fortunately, they are mostly in the hunt for human blood at daylight and dusk. If you’ll be fishing early or late, wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants. A face mask is not a bad idea.
So what’s the story on Sabine’s big trout? Well, it’s been a little slow due to all the fresh water in the lake. But like they say, the truth is in the pudding, or in this case a recent trout tourney held out of Daley’s Hunt and Fish Supply in Port Arthur. The tourney was won with three trout weighing 17 pounds. The heaviest trout weighed 8.48 pounds. Those are some pretty solid specks.
“The best is yet to come,” said guide Jerry Norris. “April is one of the best months to be fishing for big trout on Sabine Lake. My advice is to tie on a topwater or slow sinking lure and fish it all day long. I caught trout to 7 pounds during the past couple of weeks. Most have come from under fresh slicks. But for the most part, I’ll fish wherever I can find mullet. I’ve been using a new lure called a Kick-A Mullet. It’s made by Egret Baits. This is a versatile lure that looks like a mullet. You can swim it on the surface or let it sink. My best colors are white or chartreuse.”
That particular lure has a jointed tail with a built-in rattle. It creates a lot of vibration and noise. That’s the reason it’s been working so well in the stained water on both Sabine and Lake Calcasieu.
Fishing on Calcasieu has been hit and miss, according to Ken Chaumont. He grew up fishing there and says that the prime time to catch gator trout is right now.“Typically at this time of year, we’re catching numbers of 4 to 8 pound trout,” said Chaumont. “But like Sabine, we’ve got an awful lot of freshwater on the lake, and that has slowed the big trout bite down.”
Chaumont said he fished Calcasieu just after Easter weekend and did pretty well. They were averaging 10 to 15 trout per run by fishing Kick-A Mullets over mud and shell in West Cove. On one afternoon a few days ago, they smacked the trout while fishing Kick-A’s with a red head and white body. The only glitch is that those trout were all in the 2 to 4 pound class – no wall hangers, but certainly nothing to scoff at.
The water temperature is 77 degrees on Sabine Lake and 76 in the surf.
The jetties have been giving up numbers of big black drum, sheepshead and even some Spanish mackerel. I’ve heard from a couple of fishermen that have been catching small Spanish mackerel along the last 100 yards of the east jetty. And some anglers report catching gaftopsail catfish while fishing shrimp or squid on bottom. That’s a sure sign that the jetties and the surf are about to light up with numbers of solid trout.
Robert Sloan can be reached by e-mail at sloan288 [at] aol [dot] com.