F ebruary has found us and there are lots of folks who are waiting as patiently as possible for the consistent warm temperatures that will begin to prevail in the not too distant future.
I don’t blame them one bit. Even though we fish in just about anything Mother Nature offers us, if I had my choice, I’d much rather be out there in tolerable conditions. I’d be willing to bet that the majority of coastal anglers feel the same way.
The cold hard fact is that it’s February, and we’ve got to make the most of the conditions if we want to catch fish. There will be a few days this month with mild conditions and winds not approaching gale force speeds. These are the kinds of days you need to take advantage of.
Actually, the number of fish caught on Sabine in February would probably surprise a lot of people given the right conditions. Your chances of scoring depend greatly on knowing where to be and not wasting time fishing areas that won’t hold fish in chilly water.
One thing is for sure. You’ll definitely want to fish the warmest water possible. The difference between catching and casting can be decided by less than nine degrees of water temperature, so fishing deeper water will definitely work to your advantage.
Drop offs, ledges, and deep holes are what you should key on if you want to put fish on the stringer. Keep an eye on your sonar as you cruise through, and you’ll notice that the bottom contour and depth are constantly changing as you make your way over the giant oyster reef that blankets the south end of the lake just north of the causeway bridge.
Late winter trout and bait fish will use this to their advantage as they seek protection and warmer water. The big winner in this is, of course, you.
Baits such as live shrimp, mullet and fresh dead shrimp work well as do long, dark-colored soft plastics. Eight to ten-inch plastic worms in tomato or black are excellent choices when rigged on 1/4-ounce lead heads. Fish them slow, be patient enough to work the area over real good, and you should have good results. Trout and reds will readily accept these offerings, but don’t be surprised if you also box a few black drum, whiting and croaker.
Email Eddie Hernandez at
Location: Mesquite Point (South end of Sabine Lake)
Species: Whiting, Black Drum, Croaker
Baits/Lures: Live Shrimp, Fresh Dead Shrimp, Mud Minnows
Best Times: Early and late with tidal movement
Email Eddie Hernandez at [email protected]