Sabine Lake fishery rebounding from Hurricane Laura

Plenty of reds, trout, flounder showing up in crystal-clear water after hurricane.

We can agree that both southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas have seen their fair share of hurricanes and tropical storms over the past 10 to 15 years. It seems we all have to become experts at disaster preparedness and response. The communities in both states have shown such resiliency and persistence.

My first time back on the water was 10 days after Hurricane Laura, a much-needed retreat from the stresses and hard work of cleaning up and trying to get things back in order on the home front. Our predictions of a positive effect on the fishing for saltwater species on Sabine Lake appear to have been correct thus far. Redfish have been hoarding shrimp up and down the banks of Coffee Ground Cove, while trout have been schooling underneath birds just a few hundred yards off the shoreline.

Maybe this year will be the fall and winter with flats full of big speckled trout like this one Brad Deslatte is holding up. Only time will tell but it is looking good right now.

Redfish

Redfish were traveling mostly in pods of four to six fish; however, some schools were much larger, and there have been singles and doubles cruising the banks. They have been mostly in the 20- to 26-inch class and very willing to eat. The majority of fish caught were on a 3-inch Bubba Clucker Mullet in chicken- on-a-chain-gang color. It was my first time throwing that soft plastic and I was impressed. It held up well and caught a decent number of fish before needing to be replaced. The size was very close to the size of shrimp fish were chasing and easy to make precise and accurate casts. For fish we caught out deeper, in 3 to 4 feet of water, we utilized a 31/2-inch Vudu shrimp in pepper/chartreuse tail rigged underneath a popping cork.

Flounder

Flounder could be seen assaulting unsuspecting shrimp and small finfish. The water resembled the crystal-clear water we typically see in January and February. Hundreds of crabs were visible along the shorelines, with what seemed an endless line of mullet and shad. Bull sharks and stingrays rounded out the rest of the action visible in the shallows. I suspect that our freshwater species did not fare as well, but I have not ventured into the marsh yet. There was a rather pungent aroma coming from the marsh and down the Sabine River though.

I would be cautious if you are planning to wade-fish Sabine anytime soon. I have seen more stingrays cruising the bottom close to the shorelines than ever before. Shuffle your feet and wear ray guards if you have them; buy some if you don’t.

Father-and-son trips are great, especially when getting to cast at feeding redfish all morning. Monty Latiolas and son, Mason, had a great first trip out on Sabine Lake after Hurricane Laura.

Recovery from Hurricane Laura will undoubtedly take months, if not years. But If the fishing on Sabine continues on this current track, I believe it will be the best fall and winter we have had in years.

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

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