When it comes to fishing Sabine Lake in January, its best not to think of it as wintertime fishing. A more accurate perspective would be to think of it as Southeast Texas wintertime fishing.
Winter and Southeast Texas winter can be and often are at opposite ends of the spectrum. We really never know what were going to get from day to day. It can be bone-chilling and blustery one day and shorts and t-shirt weather the next.
There are lots of days here on Texas upper most coast when the temperature varies almost that much in the same day. I call these thirty-eighty days. These are the days that you wake up to lows in the upper 30s and have sunshine filled afternoons with highs pushing 80 degrees. Its like having the best of both worlds. Where else can you fish winter patterns in the morning, then switch gears and fish spring like conditions in the afternoon?
Break out the waders at daylight on a nice, hard mud bottom, armed with topwaters and slow sinkers and theres a decent chance that youll get to do battle with your personal best trout then go for numbers as you tempt them with soft plastics while drifting flats and structure in the afternoon. Locate mullet and your odds go way up in either scenario.
Sometimes the obvious signs such as nervous water, or actually seeing schools of finger mullet on the surface are not an option, so savy anglers have learned to rely heavily on their sonar to locate pods of baitfish on points, ledges, guts and ridges over mud and shell.
Even though it doesnt always feel like winter, baitfish can be pretty scarce this month, so it is a good idea to use every tool youve got available to keep the advantage in youre favor. Finding baitfish is super critical in the winter months and can be the difference between putting fish in the ice chest or going home empty handed.
Key on areas like points, drop offs, ledges and even changes in water color that the trout will use as ambush points.
Whether youre donning the waders on a brisk morning or drifting on a sunny afternoon, if you can find the mullet, theres a good chance youll also find the fish.
THE BANK BITE
Location: Mesquite Point, South end of Pleasure Island
Species: Redfish, whiting, croaker, black drum
Baits/Lures: Fresh dead shrimp, live finger mullet, cut mullet