Flounder Bite Steadily Improving
Last updated 4/20/2021 at 7:15pm
Few, if any other, fishing organizations are as attuned to the needs and future for not only their members, but the resource as well. Having said that, it has been a stressful year for the CCA.
The pandemic limited the fund raising while a parade of hurricanes and a record freeze wreaked havoc on the trout population. So much so, that even the popular statewide S.T.A.R. tournament made several changes to help advance the recovery efforts. It was like a breath of fresh air when I received an e-mail earlier this week announcing that the Orange County CCA Chapter would once again be
hosting their annual Chapter banquet. This well-attended night of auctions, good food and socializing with other anglers had grown every year prior to the pandemic restrictions a year ago. Blake Burnside announced that while safety precautions would be taken, the event would be back to normal. The banquet is set for August 13th at the Orange County Convention and Expo Center. I will continue to remind you over the next few months, but tickets invariably go very fast and area fishermen are more than ready to enjoy the company of old friends again! The only bump in the road for Sabine Lake anglers over the past week has been the wind, but that hasn’t been an everyday occurrence. The water
clarity has been better than average across most of the lake and a decent bite has been a day long event depending on the tide. You know things have improved when the folks fishing the south end of the lake see no need to run north and vice versa. The average trout has been a solid 15 to 19 inches with a few in the 24-inch class now showing up. Add a few redfish and flounder in the mix and rolling out of bed at 4:30 in the morning gets easier. When you locate a good concentration of trout, boxing five keeper trout doesn’t take long. It is critical to remember that the trout population is still recovering and a fish in the box will not make any more babies. I am a big supporter of catch and release, but I like to eat fish as well. If you also enjoy an occasional fish fry, you can still be a steward of the game by retaining only those initial five keepers and not culling from that point on. The bite has finally been consistent enough that safely releasing trout has involved more than quickly throwing them over the side of the boat or bouncing them off the floor and chasing them down with a towel. We have been flattening the barb on hooks and simply giving them a little slack without ever lifting them out of the water. Cutting off the one barb facing the opposite two also helps when fishing a lure with treble hooks. We have caught them on everything from Swim Baits to topwaters, but I remain convinced that the most productive choice is a plastic tail fished under a small popping cork. Two feet of leader is the standard, but the choice of size and color in plastics is endless. I would start with a four inch paddle tail like the Assassin Sea shad in glow-chartreuse or red shad or a chartreuse Gulp tail if you think there may be some reds in the area as well. Slowly swimming a five-inch tail
rigged on a one-eighth ounce head has been deadly as well. We have done well with five-inch Assassins and Down South tails in glow-chartreuse and chicken on a chain. When the water is a little more off-colored, bone diamond has also been a very good choice. With the Reserve now open, more folks are also returning to the dock with some very respectable flounder. The bayous like Willow and Johnson’s are very dependable areas on an outgoing tide. One angler told me that he has limited on flounder every trip since March 23rd fishing a glow chartreuse Curly tail grub soaked in Menhaden spray. It may not make a huge difference, but his best bite has been on an outgoing tide in the late afternoon hours. Anglers working the flooded grass on the main lake with three-inch Swim Baits and quarter ounce spinnerbaits are also catching flounder and slot
reds as well. At least a few anglers have reported fishing small flocks of birds and catching either redfish or smaller trout. Remember…you need a Louisiana fishing license to fish inside the Game