Last updated 2/5/2019 at Noon

Following three unsuccessful passes around the unmarked crab trap, Eulon

Smith stretched his line past the breaking point and cursed both the

trap and his bad luck.“That is the third Corky I have lost this morning

to traps you can’t see,” he declared in disgust.“I’ll bet there are more

traps lying around here that you can’t see than you can!” “I’ll take that bet,” barked Tommy Brewer.“There was a time when this place was a virtual mine field littered with ghost traps, but that isn’t the case anymore.Especially since Louisiana joined us in the annual Crab Trap Clean Up.” The kids and I started participating a few years back and I would give them a dollar a trap.They earned so much money that first year that they started looking at other bays that may have even more traps.Lures hung up in the wire mesh were a bonus!” “I don’t believe there’s a spot on the entire Gulf Coast that has more traps than right here in front of Willow Bayou,” announced Smith.All you have to do to find one is tie on your favorite lure and reel it slowly across the bottom.It will get hung up every time.” The Clean Up on Sabine has never attracted the number of volunteers that

it should, but even at that, they have still removed a pile of

unattended traps over the years.It is dirty work, but the benefits are

immeasurable. You are not only removing unmarked traps that invariably end up wrapped around your prop or decorated with expensive lures, but saving untold

numbers of crabs and fish that the traps continue catching as well."We

got really serious five years ago when we lifted a trap that had a six

pound trout wedged in it head first,” said Brewer. The ten day closure period lasts from the 16th to the 25th of February.The main volunteer effort takes place on the 16th which is a Saturday. The TPWD coordinator for Sabine Lake is Carey Gelpi with the facilitated drop off site scheduled for the Pleasure Island Marina Boat

Ramp.For more information call 409-983-1104. In spite of all of the fresh water that has already found its way into Sabine Lake, both Rayburn and Toledo Bend are still above pool level.Hard rains in that area or above the lakes only necessitate

releasing even more water. There-in lies the main challenge for trout

fishermen on Sabine Lake. There are, however, a few folks still catching some solid trout, but they would best be served by touting their own skills rather than

proclaiming the lake to be unaffected by the lower salinity.The truth is

that there are basically two small areas where ninety percent of the

trout are being caught by wade fishermen. Because both areas were already occupied when we arrived early last

week, we opted to fish crankbaits and spinnerbaits up against the

shoreline and easily limited on slot fish.We returned the following

night to fish those areas during a major feed and caught and released

nine trout up to four pounds.The following night we caught and released

more than a dozen. That is hardly considered to be “lights out” fishing and certainly not the way most folks choose to fish.We caught trout, but the fish are not

everywhere and the bite remains difficult at best.We tried three other

locations over the course of the night and caught one undersized fish!

For those of you that prefer to stay in the boat and cast rather than

stand waist deep in the badly off-colored water, there is still a better

than average redfish bite taking place on the tide changes.We have done

better in the mid-lake on incoming tides and better in the bayous when

it releases. Don’t give the dirty water a second thought.I would rather fish

fifty-eight degree muddy water than fifty degree clear water anyway.We

were catching most of our fish on a four-inch Usual Suspect, but the

better lures for us last week were a quarter ounce spinner bait and a

shallow running square bill crankbait. I am a little concerned at this point, however, that we are catching no

flounder when fishing this program.In prior years we have always caught

a flounder or two mixed in with the reds when fishing this pattern in

February and early March.


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