November wade-fishing at Calcasieu

Gino Herrera showing off a solid trout he landed while make a wade during the fall.

For anglers who target big trout, it is officially wading season, kind of like wedding season, only better. It is the time we wait for all year: temperatures are dropping, water is clearing and big, sow trout are moving in to the shallows.

I was first introduced to wade-fishing in my pre-teen years. Back then, we did a lot of wading on the shorelines of Sabine Lake, targeting flounder. My experience has expanded from Lake Calcasieu all the way to the Lower Laguna Madre. I was even able to get in a little wade-fishing in Hawaii this past January while I was there for a wedding.

What makes Big Lake the best

At this point, wading on Lake Calcasieu, aka Big Lake, is still my favorite locale. Compared to Sabine, Big Lake offers many more opportunities for the wade-fisherman, mainly due to the significant amount of structure available to fish. There are only so many reefs to wade on Sabine, however, you can cast in nearly any direction at Big Lake and hit a piece of shell. It is a vital substrate that not only provides anglers excellent opportunities to catch fish but is essential to the overall health of the fishery.

I take several factors into consideration when deciding where to fish, primarily bait activity and water conditions. If I do not see bait activity, such as mullet jumping, I am leaving. Fish are going to be where there is food, simple as that. Water conditions consist of salinity, clarity and movement.

George Pope and his son, Jack, dusted their waders off from last duck season to try their hand at wade fishing. I believe they will be wading again soon after catching trout all morning.

In November, we usually still have a good amount of shrimp leaving the marsh, so I tend to target areas near drains, bayous and the mouths of rivers. The north end around Turner’s Bay is one of my favorite places, especially when a north wind is blowing. West Cove offers an abundance of wading opportunities, regardless of wind direction. Take caution and watch the water level when fishing West Cove, especially if attempting to utilize the north entrance. I would recommend entering through the southern entrance if you are unfamiliar with the area.

Tackle

When it comes to tackle, I prefer to keep my wading box rather simple. If I am wading in the fall or winter, looking for a trophy trout I will either be throwing a topwater, a tail or some type of suspending or slow-sinking lure. I will also mix in, on occasion, a floating jerkbait. A huge factor is to throw what you have confidence in, but also something that you can work.

Heddon makes my all-time favorite topwater lure, the Super Spook; I like to fish the clown color. It is rather easy to work, casts a mile, works well in rougher water and flat-out catches fish. Gold/pink and black are two other good colors, although a black Super Spook is nearly impossible to find unless you know somebody who has a stockpile.

I do not throw a tail nearly as often as I should while wading, but if I do I lean towards the 5-inch Saltwater Shad. Color largely depends on water clarity, however I find that chicken-on-a-chain is generally a very good color. I keep two different slow-sink/suspending baits in my wade box, MirrOdines and Corky Fat Boys. Pink and chartreuse are a couple primary colors I throw, but the 808 and 21 MirrOdine are both killers. When a jerkbait is thrown into the mix, I am going with a silver/black 51/4-inch Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow. I do not catch a ton of fish on the Crystal Minnow, but they are big.

Capt. Adam Jaynes can be found at justfishsabine.com.

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