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”.)
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