Last updated 2/11/2020 at Noon

Out of fear of rousting Mother Nature’s ugly side, I will only mention that we have endured a little more rain and wind than needed over the past few days.Don’t get me wrong…. we have been forced to deal with far worse!

If you prefer to fish the wide open confines of Sabine Lake, it has been all but a guarantee that the wind is going to blow the wrong direction and harder than you would like at some point virtually every day.For my money, however, it is still better than dealing with the absence of even a breath of wind on a scorching August day.

Too much wind not only makes it more difficult to spot surface activity between the whitecaps, but diminishes my fervor for long boat rides as well. Rain, on the other hand does little more than affect your comfort level provided it doesn’t hang around too long and swell the bayous and river.

Additional off-colored runoff will eventually exit through the lake via outgoing tides, but at least temporarily, it will blow Plan B all to hell before doing so.You can also all but eliminate the opportunity to figure out a Plan C by driving across an area bridge with the wife when the water more closely resembles a plowed field. Their brief unsubstantiated assessment of the less than favorable conditions usually ends with, “Looks like tomorrow will be a good day for us to go shopping.”

While I no longer care to grind all day for a few bites fishing these conditions, I still firmly believe that you can catch fish.I have zeroed on picture perfect days so failing to catch a fish on an ugly day is of little concern.

For the angler looking for any encouragement at all to fish, regardless of water clarity, consider the fact that two of the largest trout I ever caught were taken in water so dirty that I could not see my lure even an inch or two beneath the surface.In both cases, a s-l-o-w retrieve with a bulkier lure was the ticket.One fish fell for a black-chartreuse Catch V and the other ate a five inch red shad Assassin.In those conditions, I have more confidence in a larger profile and opaque color than vibration.

It is also important to remember that clear or muddy water is not an indication of the salinity level as an adequate salinity level is the end all-be all for locating trout.For that reason, the catching on the north end of the lake usually goes to pot well before it does on the south end.

Incoming tides ushering in better salinity are more impactful on the extreme south end of the lake and both bait fish and trout are less likely to abandon the area.It is also important to remember that the deeper water just north of the Causeway is clearer than the water nearer the surface and that can make a huge difference as to what color lure works the best.

For the same reason, I have done better with a translucent color fishing the deeper water in both Middle and East Pass on the north end as well as the mouths of the bayous.In both cases, I prefer a little heavier jig head and keep the lure near or on the bottom.

Adding a scent enhances your lure’s appeal, thus the reason Gulp lures are so effective in off-colored water.In order to fish a particular body style at times, I am forced to add a scent.Shrimp is undoubtedly the most used flavor, but I have even more confidence in Pro Cure’s menhaden.

Last, but not least, I would fish braided line even if I fished it at no other time.The absence of any stretch greatly magnifies every strike and muddy water bites are generally very subtle.I still employ a couple of feet of mono leader, not due to the visibility factor, but because it makes a loop knot not only much easier to tie, but more effective as well.

If you recently made the mistake of crossing Cow or Adams Bayou with the wife and agreed to shop with the wife rather than fish today, don’t look for me at the Mall.That is not a viable alternative to fishing dirty water!


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