CATCHING MORE FUN THAN FISHING
Last updated 2/18/2020 at Noon
“I was never so happy not to catch fish as I was last weekend,” said Lester Sensat.“I really don’t like fishing a Carolina rig and I have zero confidence in the drop-shot, but our bass have been camped out in water too deep to catch fish any other way.” When Lester and J.D. Chaumont couldn’t get the first bite in the deep stuff they completely changed tactics and started catching bass up to six pounds on everything from crankbaits to Wacky worms in six to ten feet of water.“Toledo Bend was a foot deeper than the weekend before and still rising so we decided to follow the clearer water in the creeks until it met the dirtier runoff,” said Sensat.
They said the dirtier water was about halfway back in the creeks they fished and their best bite took place about 10 yards either side of the color change.They fished the same pattern in only three creeks in the mid-lake area.
“We found some 60 degree water, but most of the water was 55 to 57 degrees,” added Sensat.
The majority of their fish ate a slow rolled 3/8ths ounce chartreuse spinner bait and a red crankbait, but they also caught several solid fish Wacky rigging a June bug Centipede.
Lester said he was a little concerned that he hasn’t caught a bass over eight pounds so far this year.
“I really don’t know where we are as far as the spawn is concerned, but it may be further along than we thought as far as the really big bass are concerned” stated Sensat.“A lot of the three to four pound bass we caught were already carrying eggs and we don’t normally see that until the big fish have done their thing!” I have to believe the rising water has something to do with it, but the crappie fishermen are still catching not only good numbers of fish, but size as well and the bite is still taking place over brush piles.Mark Hoyle and three friends limited Saturday and Sunday jigging Bass Assassin Tiny Shads over brush piles in 20 to 25-feet of water.“We set our slip corks to fish twelve feet deep over my piles and the fish were there,” stated Mark.
“Every fish we caught ate a Tiny Shad rigged on an eighth ounce jig.” If you were one of the local bass fisherman that parked your boat rather than fish the badly off colored water in the river, you missed out on a very decent bite this weekend.
Crawfish colored crankbaits, both Traps and square bills, were the hottest tickets for redfish as well as bass.
Black-blue Swim Jigs were also a good choice for a pair of visiting Channelview anglers that fished the river Sunday afternoon.They were scouting for an upcoming Club tournament and can only hope to do as well tournament day.Their best five bass weighed 18-pounds 9 ounces anchored with a 5-pound 4 ounce kicker! In spite of the dirtier water making its way through Sabine Lake, we are finally starting to see more trout in the four to five pound class.The north revetment wall gave up a 27-inch trout last Thursday that ate a glow-chartreuse Corky for a bank fisherman.I have not seen a trout that size in the past two years! We are still catching improving numbers of keeper size trout on the north end, but most of the larger fish have come off the lower end of the lake.At least part of the reason for our inability to catch larger fish on the north end has been the pattern we have chosen to fish.
Unlike the anglers fishing the south end with larger slow sinking winter favorites like the Corky and Catch V, we have opted to fish smaller offerings to better take advantage of the numbers game.We were initially excited about any kind of trout bite regardless of size and have been slow to switch gears.Drifting a four inch Assassin under a cork or covering lots of water with a jerk bait seldom fools many bragging size fish.At the same time, leaving fish to hunt fish can make for lots of wasted casts!