After much anticipation, October has finally rolled into town. We can now kick our transition mode into high gear and start focusing on the fall fishing techniques and patterns that go hand in hand with the more frequent and intense cool fronts that this month brings.
Based on the amount of shrimp that have been stacked in the marsh, with a little help from some big high tides this summer, we should be in for a stellar fall on Sabine Lake.
Once these fronts, especially the ones with a little oomph to em, begin to push their way to Texas upper coast, and the north wind begins to pull water from the marsh and bayous, the lake should come alive.
The shrimp will finally have the all clear to begin riding the current out of the marsh and go explore the open waters of the bay, where trout, redfish and flounder will be waiting to greet them.
Picking and diving seagulls and terns over hungry schools of predator fish will be tell tale signs that some of the shrimp have indeed decided to leave the marsh and set their bearings on the bay. Although running the birds is not the only option when it comes to having success in October, it is by far the most popular.
For the past several years here on Sabine, weve been fortunate enough to fish working birds basically year round. With the exception of January and February it has been pretty consistent and we have definitely taken advantage of it. However, the real fronts that typically begin to show up sometime in October tend to raise bird chasing up a few notches in the pecking order.
Its all about the amount of bait in the bay that allows predators like the Big 3 to display their dominance in the food chain. We have shrimp in the lake during the spring and summer months and have been blessed lately with an influx of ribbonfish. However, it pales in comparison with the numbers of shrimp and baitfish that pour out of the marsh and bayous as a result of the low tides that come with the stronger cold fronts.
The amount of shrimp available in the fall is what sets fishing the birds apart from the rest of the year. In the summer there is not nearly as much shrimp concentrated in a particular area, and sometimes were lucky just to catch one or two fish in a group of birds before they go down. In the fall, however, its not uncommon to stay with the birds for over an hour, getting bit on almost every cast. There are usually several different groups to choose from so there is plenty of room for everyone.
Its not necessary to worry too much about what baits to throw either because when you find yourself within casting distance of gulls picking, shrimp skipping and fish busting the surface, youre going to get bit no matter what youve got tied on. Fish with your favorite go-to baits or experiment with something new and come see me on Sabine Lake in October. Ill be in the birds.
THE BANK BITE
Location: McFaddin Beach
Species: Bull Reds
Best Baits: Live or cut mullet
Best Times: Strong incoming tides
Tips: Cast past the 2nd or 3rd sandbar. Place rods in a secure holder. Grab something refreshing and wait for the reels to sing!