PORT ARTHUR —
The amount of huge speckled trout on Sabine Lake and in the surrounding ecosystems is highly underrated.
Having been in the outdoors communication business for 22 years (since I was 19) I have established a large number of contacts. In the last two years numerous highly successful guides and affluent big trout specialist anglers have said Sabine is the top destination on the Texas coast and perhaps the Gulf Coast for big trout.
Port Mansfield and Baffin produce more 30 plus inch fish but right now Sabine is giving up many 25 plus inch fish and more in the 30-inch class than many realize.
You see there is a seriously dedicated class of big trout specialists who never post their photos on Instagram, share on Facebook or in one of the popular coastal fishing forums. They do it for the sheer passion and the enjoyment and more and more of them are doing it at Sabine.
This week I wanted to share some observations about Sabine’s monster trout for those of you interested in pursuing them. These are from notes taken over the years, personal experiences and many hours talking with the top trout anglers on the coast.
They Don’t Like Croaker-Live bait is a controversial way to pursue big trout but it is perfectly legal and popular here in the Sabine area. Live croaker is the ticket for big trout on the Lower Coast but is not very effective in Sabine Lake. Mullet is a much more big trout attracting bait in the lake itself. Offshore at the short rigs however croaker can be effective. I have no idea why this is so but it has been this way for years.
Wolf Packs-There are small packs of monster trout that will cruise the shorelines along the rocks at Pleasure Island and along the Louisiana shoreline. These big fish will be in groups of a few to a perhaps a dozen or more. They tend to be most prevalent in early summer in these locales but I have a feeling they roam together like this more often than we know. I am not talking about six 30-inchers hanging out together although it is possible but I have personally seen numerous schools of trout 20 inches plus.
Jetties at Dawn-Many anglers would be shocked to find out how many big trout can be caught on topwaters at the jetties a half-hour before sunrise to about half an hour after.
Topwaters and the jetties might seem like a strange combo but the big girls will feed close to the surface early in the morning on both the Texas and Louisiana rocks.
Interior Channels-There is a system of channels dug in the bayous along the southern half of the Louisiana shoreline of Sabine Lake. These areas can hold huge trout right now.
Go in quietly with a good pair of polarized shades, look for concentrations of mullet and even the big trout themselves. Bring slow-sinking plastics or big topwaters to score.
River Trout-When spring first turns to summer look for the Sabine and Neches Rivers to hold some huge trout. The key is getting out early or fishing late because much like the jetties these fish like to feed on the surface early and late. The amount of bait in this area can be overwhelming so look for small slicks forming when they feed and areas where you have shallow shell dropping off to the deep channel.
Big trout are unique, mysterious creatures that drive thousands of anglers to spend thousands of dollars on specialized gear. Keep these observations in mind and you will greatly increase your odds of catching one.
(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com. You can watch him Saturdays on GETV at 10 a.m. on “God’s Outdoors with Chester Moore”.)
PORT ARTHUR —
Bassmaster Elites are coming back
The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
• Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
• East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
• Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
• Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at email@example.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV.org)
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