W ELCOME TO SABINE LAKE in August. I hope you like it hot.
If you do, you’ll be just fine. If not, you might be better off booking an Alaska cruise. For those who can take the heat, I can’t think of a better place to be than right here when the mercury is threatening to burst out of the top of the thermometer.
The entire Sabine ecosystem should be invaded by giant schools of shad. When coupled with the midday slick-offs of late summer, the rod bending action can be just as hot as the temperature.
Fishing in the main lake can be red hot during these slick-offs, as not only hoards of shad, but also shrimp and ladyfish can lead you to giant schools of trout and redfish. Locating and staying on these schools is relatively easy when the lake is like a mirror and the lack of any breeze whatsoever makes it seem more like you’re fishing in a vacuum.
It’s not uncommon to stay with a school of fish for very long periods of time. Sometimes we’ll leave for a while to take a cool-off ride, and then return to the same school with the same hot action.
One of the coolest things about fishing these giant schools is you can expect to get bit no matter what you have tied on the end of your line. From dead shad to topwaters, it doesn’t matter; these fish are feeding aggressively and will gladly accept your offering.
We do most of our damage with topwaters, or soft plastics rigged on 1/8-ounce lead heads, lots of times under a popping cork. Baits like Old Bayside’s Shadlyn, with its little forked tail, as well as Assassins and Gulp! Shrimp can be deadly. The shorelines of both the Texas and Louisiana sides should also produce real nice boxes of trout, reds, and flounders, especially early. With the abundance of baitfish, if there’s any tidal movement, you should have little problem filling the ice chest.
Throwing topwaters for about the first two hours of daylight will usually result in some better trout, but plastics and jerk baits can definitely hold their own. If it’s flounder you’re looking for, you won’t need to go any farther than the mouths of the bayous on the Louisiana shoreline. Try to hit it on an incoming tide and work it over good with curl tail grubs tipped with shrimp or finger mullet and mud minnows.
If you love to fish and can take the heat, I’ll see you here on Sabine in August.
Location: Walter Umphrey State Park (Pleasure Island).
Baits/Lures: Speck rigs, soft plastics, live shrimp, shad and finger mullet.
Species: Speckled trout, redfish, flounder, and black drum.
Best Times: Nights under the lights from the pier with moving tides.
Email Eddie Hernandez at [email protected]