The water temperature on Sabine Lake this past Tuesday was 63 degrees and about the same on Lake Calcasieu, two of the hottest trout fishing spots on the entire Gulf coast right about now.
I’ve spent several days over the past two weeks fishing on Sabine and Calcasieu and can tell you for sure that the trout fishing is great. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s not great every day. For example, Beaumont angler Warren Claybar was on Calcasieu last week and e-mailed me a photo of one of several big specks he and a friend caught while wading a windward shoreline in 3 feet of water. That particular trout weighed 7 pounds.
I was on Calcasieu a couple of days after that and fished 7 hours and caught one small flounder, and two trout in the 2 pound class — not exactly a stellar day on the water.
That was not the case this past Saturday on Sabine Lake. That’s where I met Claybar at the new causeway bridge for an afternoon of fishing. The tide was coming in for several hours that afternoon. Although the wind was honking, it was a sunny day and warmed up nicely by 2 p.m. We hit the water at 11 a.m. and headed straight to Lighthouse Cove. That’s where we found plenty of mullet and a green tide, but not a single trout willing to take a shot at our lures.
From there we headed to the Louisiana shoreline and found a stretch of clear water that was holding an ample supply of mullet. Our go-to lures were topwater plugs. Claybar had used a Super Spook to catch his big trout on Calcasieu, so that was his first choice. I opted to go with a black/chartreuse Top Dog. It took us about an hour to figure out that if trout were there, they were definitely not on a topwater bite.
We had a blustery southeast wind blowing but the water on the south end of Sabine was clear enough to see bottom in 3 feet of water. At one point we were bump trolling and I looked down and was stunned to see a huge trout, in the 8 to 10 pound class, slowly moving along bottom. Before I could utter the words giant trout she bolted out of sight. That’s one of the biggest specks I’ve seen.
Once we figured out a pattern, we began catching three and four specks per drift. The trick was to motor up to the protected shoreline, and drift with the wind out to 4 to 4-1/2 feet of water. The best bite was in rough but clean water. And the go to bait for about an hour or so was a purple and chartreuse TTF Trout Killer rigged on a 1/4-ounce lead head jig. Later in the day, Claybar switched to a Chicken On A Chain Assassin. We ended up boxing 9 solid trout to about 4 pounds.
The water temperature has been moving up and down with our cold fronts. I caught it one day last week at 67 degrees and the bite was on. But the day after that a cold front moved through. The high pressure on the backside of the front, plus a falling water temperature put the skids to the fishing for a couple of days.Calcasieu has been a big time hot spot for big trout. Waders are catching most of those fish on the north end of the lake. That was the case Saturday afternoon. Sabine Lake hasn’t been giving up a lot of big trout, but that could happen any day now. Once the fronts start to slow down, the trout fishing will pop wide open.Claybar said their last stop on Calcasieu last week was their best.
“We found a windward shoreline that was holding a lot of mullet,” he said. “We waded the area and found some good trout on a topwater bite. The heaviest trout weighed 7 pounds. I caught that one on a One Knocker Spook while the lure was sitting dead still in the water.”
That particular lure is built with a single tungsten rattle contained in a sound-intensifying chamber. It produces a loud thump that can get the attention of trout from a good distance. Plus, the positioning of the rattle in the lure makes a walking-the-dog retrieve a little easier.
There is not a better time to be in the hunt for super-sized trout than right now. The weather is perfect. And with the water temperature in the 60s, it’s dead solid perfect for a topwater bite on something like a Spook or Top Dog. But when in doubt, it’s always best to try a slow-sinking Corky or Catch 2000. And for sure, never leave the boat without a few rigged and ready jigs.