Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Redfish doing their thing

It looks as though more rain could come into play this week, but the folks that were able to fish last weekend were treated to some of the most user-friendly weather in a while. More importantly, a large percentage of them caught fish!

As expected, the trout bite was a challenge and more than one trip to Rayburn was cancelled due to launching problems, but Sabine Lake and Toledo Bend more than made up for that minor inconvenience.

Ben White and his two son-in-laws immediately returned home after assessing the lack of available ramps on Rayburn only to discover that several local ramps required getting wet to launch.“We almost just blew it off,” said White, “but I am glad the boys were more determined than I was.”

With no clue as to where to even start, they decided to cruise the Louisiana side of the lake and return on the Texas side. They were about a half-mile off the shoreline when one of the boys spotted a few pelicans and terns diving in a small area.

“We were still rigged up for bass fishing when every redfish in the lake started blowing holes in the water,” said White. That explains why their first three slot fish were caught on a buzz bait, a frog and a Whacky worm.

“I knew they would eat anything if we could just reach them,” added White, “and I was afraid they would disappear before we could all cut off and re-tie. As it turned out, we had plenty of time.Larry beat Jason nine to five before they disappeared!”

Apparently, that scenario played out in more than one area from the Causeway to the north revetment wall. Mike Simmons and his wife, Karla, limited three days in a row and fished only the shoreline with a gold spoon and four-inch Swim Bait. “We never found a bunch in one spot, but

we found at least one in a bunch of spots.” The Simmons spent all three mornings fishing south of Johnson’s Bayou.

I also made the mistake of assuming that the trout catching could take a while to recover only to have Aaron Day immediately put an end to the conversation with a picture on his phone. “We can’t find a three pound trout,” he pointed out, “but we have limited every trip….rain or no rain.

He did indeed have several pictures of trout limits and as he pointed out, they were on the small end of the slot. The difference for us has been that they are harder to find with all of this fresh water, but when we find them we find a bunch in one spot.”

While he wasn’t into sharing any prime locations, he did say that they were finding these hungry schools right on the bottom with DOA shrimp and red shad paddle tails rigged on quarter ounce heads. He also said that they were finding their fish in really dirty water which partially explains why red shad has been such a good color.

The S.A.L.T. Club rescheduled their annual Memorial Day tournament for several reasons that all but guarantee that the new date will draw a crowd. Aside from adding a bass division, the club will again be able to include red snapper as the event is set for July 16, 17 and 18. A life time fishing license will also be up for grabs by some lucky youngster.

Steve Simmons, the weigh master for virtually every saltwater tournament in the area, reported that the Club’s Redfish event was a good one last Saturday. Mark Foreman bested the field of fourteen with a 7.44-pound fish. Roger Bertrand captured second and third place honors with 7.15 and

a 6.97 red.

Up on Toledo Bend, the bream bite is still on fire, the crappie are apparently getting more comfortable with the higher water and the bass catching has been consistent as well.

Shiners remain the bait of choice for anglers parked over brush piles. It is taking a little longer than most guides would like, but more limits are making it back to the cleaning table. Length and weight do not do a crappie justice when bragging on the size of those fish. When you are truly catching one pound crappie, there is no reason to move!

I haven’t heard about any schooling activity or double digit bass, but the deep water breaks are holding good concentrations of both Kentucky and largemouth bass. Sixteen to eighteen feet has been the best place to at least start!


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