IT IS ALL ABOUT TIMING when fishing Sabine in October.
Although highly regarded as one of the best months of the year by many saltwater specialists, you definitely want to be here between fronts, or just prior to the next one. Light northerly winds and bluebird conditions are what you want.
There is no shortage of shrimp pouring out of the marsh as a result of these cold fronts. Therefore, you’ll see no shortage of seagulls hovering over giant schools of specks and reds. When the conditions are right, you can run the entire bay comfortably in search of the birds. They shouldn’t be too hard to locate.
October is prime time for fishing the birds on Sabine. Lots of times our biggest dilemma is deciding on which flock of gulls we want to fish. When you approach the birds, shut down well ahead of them and troll or drift until you can reach them with a long cast.
Keeping the wind to your back will definitely help in making the long casts needed to get your lure to the fish. (It also doesn’t hurt in the backlash department.) Sometimes the fish don’t stay up very long, so you need to make the most of your time by fishing instead of untangling knots.
As far as baits are concerned, I’ve yet to discover anything that doesn’t work when the fish are in a shrimp-eating frenzy. Soft plastics, topwaters, Rat-L-traps, spoons, jerkbaits and slow sinkers all work just fine. My personal favorite though, is soft plastics with a ¼ ounce jig head. This way we have enough weight to make long casts and don’t have to deal with treble hooks every time we put a fish in the boat.
Sometimes, however, the better fish want topwaters, and that’s all the persuasion I need to get off of the single hook. Another thing to remember is that just because the birds leave, it doesn’t mean the fish have left.
It’s not a bad idea to drop a buoy when you hit a school and make a few more drifts once the fish go down. A good number of reds and some of the better trout are taken by doing this. Just fish a little slower and deeper and you should have more success.
The fall flounder run is so close we can almost taste it. Black’s, Johnson and Madame Johnson Bayous are gearing up to produce some very nice saddle blankets.
The mouths of Willow and Bridge Bayous will also be very productive. Don’t forget your Louisiana fishing license if you plan on fishing inside of any of these bayous.
If you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path for October, give the short rigs a try. Just anchor or tie off and cast near the legs of the rig. Use a fish-finder rig with fresh dead shrimp or cut mullet and you should have no problem loading the ice chest with nice Gulf trout, slot reds and black drum.
Fish between the fronts and you should have lot of success this month on Sabine.
Location: North Revetment (Pleasure Island).
Species: Trout, reds, flounders, whiting.
Baits/Lures: Mud minnows, fresh dead shrimp, soft plastics, topwaters.
Best Times: Mornings and evenings with good tidal movement.
Email Eddie Hernandez at [email protected]