, Port Arthur, Texas

April 17, 2013

OUTDOORS COLUMN: Big reds biting in the Sabine

Chester Moore, Jr.
The Port Arthur News

— Big redfish are awe-inspiring!

    To see these muscle-bound, beautiful members of the drum family double over a rod and otherwise terrorize tackle is one of the greatest things an angler can encounter in local waters (or any where else for that matter).

    Last week my friends Terry Thompson and Dave Meads of San Antonio came in to fish during the days we had the brutal winds. They complete shut out fishing in Sabine Lake, the south channel and limited us to the Sabine River.

    What we found was there are solid numbers of big redfish in the river feeding around large concentrations of mullet. Where the mullet are the reds are close behind and most of them are over-sized.

    As always I took some mental notes and combined them with information, I have gleaned from other anglers fishing in the river over the last few weeks. Here are the patterns I discovered.

    #As noted earlier the reds are around the mullet. The Dupont Outfall Canal produced reds but only when the big numbers of mullet were there. There are many small shad in the system but that is not what the reds are on. They are feeding heavily on mullet so be mindful of that when scouting out area.

    #The bayous on the river are holding some reds but most of the fish seem to be in the mouths of the bayous where they meet the river or near-drop offs in the main river channel. If you do not find mullet on the surface, look with your electronics below because that could be what the reds are holding on. A steep drop-off with big mullet concentrations is the perfect scenario.

    #The reds in deeper water (or on the edges of the deep) prefer either crankbaits with deep sounding rattles or none at all. I have caught them on the Super Pogy from Bomber Saltwater Grade which has a couple of big ball bearings that give a deep-resonating sound and on a Rick Clunn R2 Squarebill from Luck E. Strike that has no rattles. Both of these have produced for me recently but crankbaits with small rattles did not.

    I have always been far more confident in heavier rattles with reds and although they will hit virtually anything at times I think the louder rattles where great in deep water.

    I also think the much quieter rattle free squarebill is great for searching out fish in super shallow water where I had one demolished by a 36-inch plus red. Reds can get spooky in the shallows so a quite squarebill is what usually start off with.


    If you encounter the huge south winds that push lots of water into the bayous, use that to your advantage. We hooked up with reds in Burton’s Ditch when the current was ripping through by casting the Super Pogy through the weir and letting it drift back in the current. The reds will gather where the current starts to slow down to do most of their feeding.

    There are plenty of huge reds out there and by trying out these strategies you have a good shot at having one put your tackle to the test.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI and watch his wildlife series online at Follow him Twitter @flexfishing.)