PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

January 26, 2013

Chester Moore column: Sabine's mystique shines on

Chester Moore
The Port Arthur News



     Our region is quite mysterious.



    I am not sure if you are aware of this but my travels abroad give me a unique perspective on how our area is viewed, particularly in regards to fishing and wildlife.



    When you talk about Sabine Lake to people in San Antonio, for example it is if the subject is some strange, far-away land.



    These encounters inspired me to take a deep look at our region and address some of its unique attributes.



    The first is the region’s speckled trout.



    One of the top fishing guides on the Gulf Coast who operates out of the Lower Laguna Madre told me two weeks ago; “Sabine is the best place for big trout in Texas right now.”



    This guy has caught more 30-inch plus fish than most of us could imagine and he along with many other anglers are talking about the quality of Sabine’s fishery.



     Who are the anglers catching these giant fish?



     Where are they catching them?



      Apparently, many of them are anglers from the Houston area and South Texas coming here to score on the giants and they are doing so during the week when few anglers are on the water.



    Others have spoken of all of the reefs an angler has to watch out for while running across Sabine Lake.



    “That place is dangerous to run on. There are shallow reefs everywhere.”



    I have heard this numerous times and every single time I have followed up by asking if they have ever actually been on Sabine Lake.



     “No” is always the answer.



    Considering the fact you can run from the northern tip of Coffee Ground Cove all the way to the causeway without hitting a reef on the open water it shows how silly those rumors are but they persist.



    Something else anglers from other areas are fascinated by is the trout fishing at the short rigs.



    They have never heard of such a thing and have this idea if you pull up to the rigs in the summer you are guaranteed a limit of trout 20 inches or better and that you have a hard time catching anything smaller.



    I wish that were true and while those kinds of catches have been logged it is not the norm.



    The legend continues to grow.



    On the wildlife side of things, people are fascinated with the fact we were the last area in the state to house allegedly pure red wolves and that we have many very similar animals to this day.



    They are also intrigued by the amount of mystery cat’s reports from the alleged “black panthers” to cougars.



    I spoke with Thad Daly who lives on the Louisiana side of the border and has lived all over the world and he said locals do not realize something unique about the area.



    “If you go south of Interstate 10 a few miles and draw a line from say Anahuac over to the east side of Lake Calcasieu you have thousands of square miles of virtually unpopulated wildlife habitat. Isolated areas are important for animals that like to be left alone and one thing this area has is plenty of isolated areas,” Daly said.



    Believe it or not those interested in mystery animals are coming from all over the country to check out our area. This is certainly not as dramatic as the number of birders that come here annually but I am in constant communication with people who want to know more about our areas and its mysterious wildlife.



      Our region is about to get a huge public relations boost with the Bassmaster Elite Series coming to the Sabine River in March. Interestingly B.A.S.S. officials have said some of the appeal of the area is its mystery.



     That event will certainly shine some light on the area but in my opinion, the mysteries will remain intact.



    There is something about the area that is different enough to draw people in and continually inspire locals like myself to explore our wild grounds and waterways.



    The Sabine region is endlessly fascinating.



(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmooreoutdoors@gmail.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI.)