I f you find yourself fishing Sabine Lake in July, you can pretty much expect the best of everything this bay system has to offer.
From the Gulf of Mexico to the Neches and Sabine Rivers, and everywhere in between, you can get a little sample of what she can deliver under the right conditions. Those conditions should be favorable as we settle into mid summer patterns and the heat wave begins to kick in.
A lot of people, including me, are beginning to get spoiled by beautiful green water, abundant sunshine, temperatures pushing 100 degrees, light winds and salt spray. The pretty water will bring increased salinity levels and trout will be pushed deep into the upper end of the lake and rivers.
The trout bite should be very consistent in the Neches River. Although catching trout in the river and its tributaries is not that uncommon, as the Entergy Outfall Canal and Bessie Heights marsh can give up some serious numbers year-round.
The saltier the water gets, the farther up river the trout will go. It’s not uncommon for people to catch trout as far north as the Beaumont Yacht Club and beyond when the conditions are right.
Sitting just a little south of the Yacht Club is the National Defense Reserve Fleet. This area should be red hot for trout, redfish and some nice flounders.
Topwaters and plastics fished on the bottom and rigged under a popping cork are usually our “go to” methods, but live finger mullet and shad are also real killers for big numbers and some hefty fish. Fishing the ledges and in four to twelve feet of water should keep you in the action.
Down on the south end of the system, one of our favorite things to do for big trout and solid numbers is to throw topwaters in the Sabine Neches ship channel. You’ve got about a two-hour window in the morning and before sunset when the trout can’t resist the zigzag and sound of a topwater plug. Walking the dog over scattered shell in two to eight feet of water is your ticket to success.
Fishing green water with good tidal movement is essential if you want to have a good story at the end of the day. Concentrating on areas that are holding bait will also obviously up the odds in your favor. The entire stretch of shoreline from the LNG plant to the jetties is second to none when it comes to attracting and holding bait and fish. The ever-changing bottom contour with fluctuating depths, coupled with good tides from either direction is the reason.
Throw in green, salty water and favorable winds and you should be exactly where you need to be in July on Sabine. The high pitch of Mir O Lure’s She Dog or Rapala’s Skitterwalk with its tight, easy to work pattern are “go to” choices for us when it comes to choosing a topwater plug that the fish can’t ignore.
Location: Pleasure Island
Species: Flounder, Reds, Croaker
Baits/Lures: Mud minnows, fresh dead shrimp
Best Times: All day, especially with moving tide
Email Eddie Hernandez at [email protected]