Slicks help anglers catch Sabine trout

Mike Tinnin showing off the quality of trout that you may find while wade fishing in the spring.

I do not feel like I am anywhere near old enough to talk about the “good ol’ days,” but there is no denying how much better our trout fishery was on Sabine Lake and Lake Calcasieu just a decade ago. There is plenty of finger pointing as to why it has declined, although I personally do not believe that there is one single issue that can foot the blame.

There is also the crowd that believes there is nothing wrong with the fishing. Those anglers either were not fishing a decade ago, or if they were, they darn sure did not spend much time doing it. This is not the article to get into the why’s and how’s of the change in fishing. I would prefer to have that conversation over a couple of beers.

However, this is the article to say that the trout fishing on Sabine Lake currently is the best that it has been in the past five to seven years. That is something that I and any angler around these parts should be very excited about, and hopefully be a little more conservative with the resource.

Easiest program

The easiest program to fish this May and working into June, other than school fish, is undoubtedly fishing slicks. However, many anglers will drive right by and many times over slicking fish. With the large numbers of baitfish that trout and redfish alike are gorging on this time of year, slicks are a very common occurrence and a very productive means of locating fish.

The naturally occurring oil in the baitfish that is being eaten is what produces the slick. If you are unsure what a slick looks like, toss a couple potato chips in the water and observe the slick that immediately develops. If you go the potato chip route, you’ll probably also make some new best friends pretty quick as the boats pull up on the birds that will also show up nearly as quick as the slick! You will find that they are very easy to spot. Common areas for slicks to appear on Sabine Lake are just off the shoreline from Johnson’s Bayou down to Blue Buck. While running your boat, stay at least two to three hundred yards off the shoreline cruising slowly. I troll in after spotting them to position the boat for either a wade or a drift.

Topwater lunatic

I am a topwater fishing lunatic, so naturally I will be casting either a Gun Dog Flush or Heddon Super Spook at slicks. The Flush may be difficult for you to find, as they have not been made for a while now. If the fish are unwilling to bite, I will make the switch to either a smaller topwater or a MirrOdine XL. Pink and gold or silver is a hard combination to beat, Clown is also another personal favorite. MirrOlure’s color numbers 808 and 21 are also two colors that are very productive in the MirrOdine XL for me.

If unwilling to wade, a PowerPole becomes an invaluable asset with positioning and successfully fishing slicks in shallow water. It’s amazing just how much more successful a PowerPole has helped us to become when targeting fish in shallow water. I still prefer to wade fish, but for days when customers are unwilling, or the fish are out just a little too deep, a PowerPole is worth its salt.

Remember, slicks will drift with the wind and with the current. It is vital to position yourself upwind and upcurrent to try and cast to where the slick first developed, not where it drifted to. Make long casts and fish slowly until you are able to locate the fish. Sometimes there will just be one or two and other times you will find a school under a slick that produces fish for several hours. To increase your chances, fish as quietly as possible, simply shutting a hatch or cooler lid too loud can completely ruin a good bite, which is another reason why I prefer to wade.

Capt. Adam Jaynes can be reached at (409) 988-3901 and on Facebook at Just Fish Guide Service.