Respect The Heat
Last updated 6/15/2021 at 9:49pm
“Hey y’all, I’m not having fun anymore,” announced Julian Holland’s wife, Lynne. “I no longer give a hoot whether we have a fish fry at the house tonight or not.” At the time of her expressing her disdain for both Sabine lake and ever accepting her husband’s invitation to share a day on the water, we had three trout and a slot redfish in the ice box. As meager as it sounds, it was only 9:30 in the morning and we had steadily caught and released a number of smaller fish working the birds since first light. “I have never drunk this much water this early in the day,” added Lynne in hopes of initiating a return to a shadier spot. She had replaced her wide-brim hat with a soaking wet hand towel that only added melted ice to the mascara and sunscreen running down her cheeks. The lady was obviously H-O-T! Ignoring over-heating and its all too often overlooked consequences can cause far more serious problems than short circuiting a fishing expedition. Even dressing properly, bathing in a quality sunscreen and staying hydrated afford no guarantee against 95 degree weather and a humidity number to match. We immediately returned to the launch, Lynne opened one more bottle of water before driving their truck home and Seth and I went back to chasing birds. When I dropped him off at his house that afternoon, Lynne was comfortably standing up to her neck in the pool. “What time is the fish fry,” she asked without even looking in our direction. The catching in Sabine Lake is not great and a little inconsistent, but it is good enough to warrant giving it a try when the wind allows. The exceptionally high water has made it much tougher on anglers that usually get it done covering proven spots along the shoreline or focusing on small stretches of open-lake shell. For that reason alone, I have seen lots of folks simply drifting across flats with live bait or
plastics under a cork. The only negative to that approach has been dealing with slimy gafftop that continuously crash the party. The bonus, especially with the kids, is an aggressive sand trout bite. The small, but tasty trout, prefer their next meal bumped the bottom. The name of the game for most Sabine Lake anglers right now is locating the right group of terns or gulls feeding on shrimp and shad trying to exit the lake. There is a reason they are skipping across the surface and for them it is a “lose-lose” situation. Swim for your life hoping the fish eat only your buddy or jump out of harm’s way only to be picked off by an opportunistic bird. For anglers, however, exploiting that melee is down right exciting. Any visual activity is a welcome bonus and not knowing if a long cast will fool a ten-inch sand trout or 32-inch red keeps you on high standby. A school of redfish crushing bait on the surface excites even the most veteran angler, but just the promise of another bite keeps you hunting that next flock of birds. I love to watch a trout or redfish bury a small popping cork, but any time the fish seem a little picky I immediately switch to a Hoginar or a plastic I can crawl across the bottom. More often than not you will start getting lighter bites indicating sand trout are hounding the bait. I love to eat fresh sand trout, but there is an added bonus to staying around for a while. Redfish are as fond of sandies as I am and, invariably, they are never far away from the buffet! Regardless of my approach to fooling fish under the birds, I always have a Hoginar tied on at least one rod. It is not much to look at unless you are a redfish as they find it impossible to ignore. For some reason, the minnow shaped chunk of metal and lead has gained very little popularity anywhere other than our immediate area. Don’t forget The Orange CCA Chapter is once again hosting their annual Chapter banquet at the Orange County Convention and Expo Center on Hwy. 1442 on August 12th .Tickets or a table can be purchased by calling Blake Burnside at 713-626-4222.