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By Capt. Dickie Colburn
For the Record 

Local catch improving


Last updated 8/17/2021 at 12:21pm

I cannot tell you exactly how long this phenomenon has been occurring, but it seems to be back on schedule in spite of recent storms and the devastating freeze.It occurred so often, in fact, that any time the bite in Sabine lake was poor in the late summer, local anglers counted on the annual O.C.A.R.C. tournament to flip the switch.

Time and again, the Center Director, John Thomas would confidently state just prior to the tournament, “Don’t worry…they’ll start biting again this weekend.” And they did!

Unfortunately, he can’t do anything about the heat and thunderstorms, but the bite this past week has been as good as I have seen it in a long time. A number of the more persistent local anglers had all but baled on Sabine Lake and were either fishing the surf or ship channel south of the Causeway exclusively.

The story was the same with every report and it was encouraging. From Johnson Bayou to Crystal Beach catching solid trout was simply a matter of idling along the beach front looking for bait and gulls. In more than one instance, the fish and bait were there with no birds around.

Topwaters like a Skitterwalk, Spook and Top Dog have been the bait of choice and the fish have been chasing bait in water as shallow as shin deep to the first gut. Brian Lupo told me that last week he was waist deep fishing between rollers and was still catching trout on top.

The water has not been as clear on the beach front west of Johnson Bayou, but the pattern has been the same.Kyle Leleux and Damien Posey hired a guide on Big Lake the first day of their week long fishing vacation, but abandoned the boat after one day and waded the beach the remainder of the week.

“We only caught small trout with our guide while fishing the lake, but the trout in the surf were consistently larger,” said Kyle. “We limited everyday fishing only a bone-silver sided Spook.We owe our good fortune to a tip from a clerk at a local grocery store!”

The ship channel all the way from the LNG terminal to Lighthouse Cove resembles a state fair midway most days, but most of the folks squeezing in have consistently done well on keeper trout. On top of all of that good news, schools of surface feeding reds are finally starting to show

up in the main lake.

I do not believe there is a better choice than a Hoginar for chasing schooling reds. To make it even more effective, we remove the small treble hooks and replace only the rear treble hook with a 2/0 single hook. You don’t have to worry about missing strikes and removing the lure from the jaws of an irate red is much simpler.

Lupo and Rusty Fredrick are both convinced that the trout bite in Sabine Lake and East Bay is on the verge of exploding.“Huge schools of solid trout are running the surf,” points out Frederick and all we need are a few big incoming tides to move the bait and the fish into the bays.”

Overly strong incoming tides are usually the result of an unwanted tropical storm this time of the year, so you have to be careful what you wish for. Folks that are still nursing blue roofs could care less about a speckle trout!

The LSCO bass fishing duo of Brett Fregia and Jack Tindlel proved that their last year’s showing in the Bassmaster Collegiate Championship was no fluke. They figured out the St. Lawrence River bite in practice and once again fished their way into the final Saturday.

In spite of a very solid final day, they slipped a few places, but still finished in 12th place less than one four- pound fish out of the top five. That is an incredibly strong showing considering the massive tide changes on the St. Lawrence and competing against a potent field of 125

other teams.

Brett and Jack finished ninth year last year and simply earning a spot on Saturday was quite an accomplishment. Their individual skills apparently mesh very well and we can look for these young men to continue doing well in the sport for a while.When you are that consistent….. your day will come!

Don’t forget about the S.A.L.T. 5th annual Kids tournament this Saturday. Three divisions of youngsters from 3 to 16 can win money and trophies and any youngster even entering a crab or designated fish will be eligible to win a Lifetime fishing license.No entry fee. For more information call Roger Bertrand at 920-5235.


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