When Ron Castille of Lake Charles took a local judge and the judge's son bass fishing Sept. 1, the bass were ganged up like there's no tomorrow in a stretch of water he fished on the Sabine River near Orange, Texas.
Bass fishing success there should be just as good or better there in October, Castille said less than a week after he and his fishing companions put 60 bass in the boat.
Two friends of his — Ray Bustillo and Darrell Seaward, both of Lake Charles — went out two days later and stopped at 100 fish. And they fished only from around 6:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Castille pointed out that's about 25 bass per hour.
Granted, the vast majority of bass that smacked their DOA Shrimp, crankbaits, small spinnerbaits or wacky worms measured no more than 13 inches. But the fun was there, which definitely makes the lower Sabine River around Interstate 10 a must-fish destination for people who enjoy catching bass.
"That's kind of hard to beat," Castille said. "It's numbers — nothing big. The Sabine River will be a great spot. You can get to a place, and make seven casts and catch seven bass."
Such efforts are made all the more enjoyable because Louisiana and Texas recently concluded a reciprocal agreement for the Sabine River — just the river itself, mind you — allowing a 12-inch minimum length limit, eight-fish creel limit for Louisiana and Texas fishing license-holders.
Castille, a former televising fishing show host, said the places to target along the Sabine River in that area include Conway Bayou, Big Bayou, Phoenix Lake and the Burnt Out Bridge.
The best time to fish anywhere along that stretch of the river, which is tidal influenced, is during an incoming or outgoing tide.
A slack tide, he said, "makes the fishing a little more difficult."
There are two access sites, he said, citing a boat launch in Calcasieu Parish at the Burnt Out Bridge and a boat launch in Orange, Texas.
Some bass anglers begin fishing right there at the Orange boat launch, Castille said. Others travel into the river and target the aforementioned places.
Castille likes to fish with DOA Shrimp or any similar soft plastic with gold metal flake. Another choice is the H2O Shrimp, he said.
He also favors medium-diving crankbaits in shad-colored patterns with some chartreuse in them. Chartreuse/blue crankbaits also are effective, he said.
If bass turn their noses up at either of those, try a ¼- or 3/16-ounce chartreuse/white spinnerbait with a Colorado/willowleaf combination. He prefers the back blade to be gold and the combination could be gold/gold or silver/gold, he said.
Another popular skirt color is clear/gold metal flake, he said.
Also try a wacky worm, red bug most of the time but if the water is stained, a june bug model.