THE TIME HAS COME to close the door on yet another calendar year.
2018 came and went in what seems like record time, and we can now look forward to the great new angling adventures that await us in the coming year. It is January 2019, so let’s start this year off by seeking out big, cold-water trout on the flats of Sabine Lake.
You have a few things to remember if you are going to be successful in bringing solid winter sows to the net. First of all, these big girls prefer to feed on bigger fish rather than smaller shrimp.
Because of their size and the fact that their metabolism slows with the cool January water, they tend to be slower than normal. They are also wary and less aggressive. They want a big easy meal with the least amount of effort possible.
Therefore, bigger baits worked slower than normal will typically equal better results. Speckled trout will eat larger shrimp in the winter months, but they prefer finfish such as mullet, even smaller trout.
For this reason, slow-sinking plugs such as Mir O Lure Catch V, and Catch 2000, as well as Corky Fat Boys and Devils are excellent choices.
These trout will occasionally go for long periods between meals, sometimes even a few days, so it is very important to work your lure slowly and cover the water thoroughly. Wading is always a good option in January because it allows you to do this with more stealth and precision.
There is no doubt you can cover the water more thoroughly wading than if you drift. The wade fisherman has a better chance of getting the big bite because there is more opportunity for the lure to get close enough to the fat, lazy trout and entice a strike.
Although wading is the preferred method for a lot of anglers seeking wintertime trophy trout, drifting the shallow flats is not a bad second choice at all. Drifting can, at times, be just as effective, if not better, for scoring the big bite and big numbers.
I actually spend more time drift fishing than wade fishing with clients in the winter because a lot of people aren’t willing to spend hours wading and casting repeatedly, waiting for that one big bite. By drifting we cover a lot more water much quicker.
When someone gets a bite, we stick the power pole and work that area over real good before moving on. Even on some of the coldest winter days, we will at times come across schools of very solid trout.
By drifting and covering more water quickly, the chances of that happening are much better. If mullet imitation, slow-sinking plugs and topwaters are not getting the job done, don’t be afraid to throw long, soft plastics such as Assassins or Zoom Super Flukes on 1/4 ounce or 1/8 ounce jig heads. Some of our best adventures in January stem from doing just that.
Location: Fish Pass (Hwy 87 at Keith Lake)
Species: Redfish, Black Drum, Croaker, Whiting
Baits/Lures: Fresh Dead Shrimp, Cut Bait
Best Times: All day with moving tide
Email Eddie Hernandez at [email protected]