J anuary 2017 has arrived. As we greet it with a nice Southeast Texas style welcome, we think about our goals, expectations and hopes for the next twelve months. Obviously, here on Sabine Lake those include, but are not limited to, stringers and stringers and stringers of speckled trout, redfish and flounder as well as an assortment of other line stretching, rod-bending species.
2017 should be a very exciting and productive year barring any major freezes, hurricanes, floods or other natural disasters. Fortunately, the upper Texas coast has escaped virtually unscathed in recent years.
With the exception of some pretty major run-off from nearby flooding in the spring we have been blessed to be able to fish seasonal patterns basically year-round. The first seasonal pattern of the New Year is upon us now as we attempt to coax speckled trout into eating an artificial lure while water temperatures are plummeting close to their lowest of the year.
It is not always an easy task, and there are those who don’t think it’s worth even making an attempt. For whatever reason, some people write off fishing in January and are missing out on some of the best fishing opportunities that Sabine Lake has to offer.
The true diehards know that winter fishing has the potential to produce serious trophy trout. I think, except for these few, most people would be surprised by the numbers of solid trout that the Sabine ecosystem yields each January.
Fishing for wall hanger trout will always be a common occurrence up and down the Texas coast in January. The idea of consistently catching nice stringers of trout this month, however, does not enter a lot of people’s minds simply because they don’t think it is possible.
The truth is, it can and does happen quite often. It is January, and that means you may have to work a little harder to locate the fish, but when you find yourself in the right place at the right time the results can be phenomenal.
The overall quantity of the fish we catch this month is what sets January apart from typical summer time schoolies. When we locate schools of trout in January they are usually very solid fish so we don’t have to weed through a bunch of dinks to get to the no doubters.
Catching a nice mess of fish up to 23 inches is pretty common on lots of days. The redfish bite can also be serious this month, especially in the bayous with a lot of them being in the mid- to upper end of the slot.
Locating bait can be difficult this time of year, but when you do you definitely want to work that area over real good. More often than not, when you find the bait, you should be on the fish. Try not to let the cold January temperatures keep you from stringing up some nice fish this year.
Location: Intracoastal Canal (Hwy 87, Sabine Pass)
Species: Redfish, croaker, black drum
Baits/Lures: Cut bait, squid, fresh dead shrimp
Best Times: All day
Email Eddie Hernandez at [email protected]