Pick your days to fish Calcasieu in February

Jim Arnold showing off a solid trout on one of those great bites we had during pre-front conditions.

Hunting season has come to an end, and more folks will be hitting the water in search of speckled trout, redfish and flounder this month.

Hopefully, you have not been letting your boat gas sit idle these past few months. If you have, you’ve missed out on some pretty good fishing. Spending a little extra time going through your tackle and gear, as well as giving your boat and motor a good once-over, may save you a decent bit of frustration before getting on the water.

Maintenance

I am by no means a mechanic, but I would recommend going through and checking your fuel, oil, bearings and all of your grease fittings, as well as your batteries, if your boat has been sitting. Make sure all of your safety equipment is where it needs to be and in working condition.

Topwaters for speckled trout really come into play once the surface water temperature reaches 60 degrees; lower than 60, and the bites will typically be very few and far between.

Check your reels for lubrication, and your line may need to be changed. I like to go through all of my lures with treble hooks, changing any that are rusted. Personally, I am a fan of the VMC saltwater treble hooks. Try to match them as close as possible in size to the hooks that came on the lure; a variation in hook size may alter the way the lure works. Sometimes, as with the Corky Fat Boy, I purposely increase the size of the treble hook to add additional weight to increase the sink rate. Hopefully, your first bird nest won’t be too severe after you wipe the dust off.

I will never forget the time I had a customer on board worried about that first bird’s nest after not using a reel for a while. He mentioned his concern several times before letting her rip. First cast, right out of the gate, no bird’s nest, but his $380 Shimano Core baitcasting reel fell right off of his rod, over the side of the boat and straight to the bottom! Fortunately we were fishing a flat in waist-deep water, so the reel was easily recovered, but we all had a great laugh at his expense.

Pick your days wisely

There are only so many fisherman-friendly days in February on Calcasieu Lake, so do your best to not let them be negatively affected by equipment issues. Losing the speckled trout of a lifetime to a rusty hook or a line failure would not be the best way to start 2021. February may be one of, if not the most difficult month to catch speckled trout. We still have banner days; however, the extreme fluctuations in barometric pressure, temperature, wind direction and speed, water clarity and water levels do affect the bite quite a bit. If you want to be kind to yourself, fish the pre-front conditions. The warmer weather and lower barometric pressure can send speckled trout into a feeding frenzy before the bottom drops out again.

There will be some big sow speckled trout landed this month, so have your camera ready. Joe’s and West Cove are where I want to be. Both locations offer the chance to land a monster and plenty of easy wading opportunity with protection from the wind. So many preach to fish even slower even if you think you’re fishing slowly enough. At times that may be true, however, keep in mind that you may actually need to speed that retrieve up some if you want to get bit. Change it up, especially with a Corky Fat Boy, until you do get bit and then try to repeat exactly what you just did. Stay safe out there in the cold and catch a big one.

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

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