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By Capt. Dickie Colburn
For the Record 

Melting down for Reds


Last updated 8/24/2021 at 11:57am

It was probably a dead heat as far as the amount of water we had consumed versus the amount of gas we had burned while hoping to locate a few redfish and it wasn’t getting any cooler.

There wasn’t a breath of wind which actually helped the cause. I was all but ready to call it a day when John Miller, a visiting construction foreman from Atlanta, pointed in the direction of a handful of terns and a lone gull circling a small area.

Before I could even make out what he was pointing at, he excitedly announced, “There are fish splashing underneath them!” We covered the relatively short distance quickly enough and Miller immediately fed an over-sized red a bone diamond Assassin.

The line was peeling off his spinning reel at an alarming rate so I hooked up on two rods just in case he broke his fish off or ran out of line. He eventually caught not only his fish, but both of mine while I

finished another bottle of water and cheered him on.

The school surfaced three more times before we lost interest in battling another fish. That free-for-all kicked off about 1 p.m. and we had not seen the first sign of a fish prior to that. We had already fished our way through a good outgoing tide, but apparently the fish in the open lake could have cared less.

Nothing about this bite is surprising other than the fact that I am not seeing the massive schools of shad that usually attract these reds. I have seen a few shrimp, but the bait must be there for the gulls to hold over a small area.

By the time we were in no hurry to fool another fish, we were both throwing a Hoginar exclusively. If the fish were on the surface the bait never made it to the bottom, but we caught several fish crawling it across the bottom after they went down.

We called in another boat at one point and the man and his wife were throwing shrimp under a popping cork. You can imagine how that went. Very seldom were they able to pop the cork even one time before it plunged beneath the surface.

The couple said that they had not caught a single red or trout just drifting the live shrimp. For that reason and because gafftop love them, I see no reason to buy live shrimp right now.

We finally found our redfish about a mile off the north revetment wall, but I have gotten reports of schooling fish from Blue Buck to Coffee Ground Cove. The water clarity is much better south, but that doesn’t seem to make much difference.

I haven’t checked it out yet, but I did get two very encouraging reports from the Causeway reef. A home owner on the water said that for the past week the trout bite has steadily improved for him. He is catching smaller trout under the birds, but some very solid fish bouncing a purple demon Lil John off the bottom in 12 to 14 feet of water.

He was quick to add that his better trout were coming during a strong incoming tide or at night under the lights. He was also kind enough to share that the fish holding in deeper water were not slamming the bait. “Your line just gets tight like you are hung on shell and then you feel the surge of the fish.”

We are currently on the tail end of a full moon and that can make catching a little more difficult. Unlike what I have experienced while bass fishing over the years, a good trout bite usually falls off some immediately following a full moon. The fish you do catch are not really aggressive and the bite itself is very light. Braided line won’t find the fish for you, but it will make the lightest of strikes much more discernable.

Thirteen boats fished the recent Sabine River Shootout Championship and Dagan Bradshaw and Gavin Deshotel saved the best for last with a very solid 13.43-pound stringer. Alan and Clayton Fontenot took home the big bass pot with a 3.99-pound bass. Eleven of the teams weighed in limits.

Remember….your Texas fishing license expires at the end of the month!


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