by Capt. Adam Jaynes
When Bill and John showed up to fish with me for the first time on the 18th of March it was easily apparent they were ready for business. In previous phone conversations and emails leading up to our first trip together we discussed the goals of their first trip to Sabine and how they would like to fish. It is always easier to plan a fishing trip for customers that are open to anything, hopping out of the boat to make a wade or drift fishing they were up for whatever it would take to catch some fish.
Joe Peddie with a solid trout on a Corky Fatboy
As I helped to unload John's Tahoe it was obvious that they did indeed come prepared. Each with their Simms waders and wading boots to go along with their Simms wading jackets they meant business! I am not sure how many times I have had customers show up to go on a wading trip with waders that they have not put on in a couple of years or borrowed some from one of their duck hunting buddies only to immediately find out where all of the leaks are at as soon as we hop out of the boat! In my opinion there is only one other thing worse than being wet while fishing and that is being cold and wet. Hypothermia actually is a real and serious deal although other diehards like me probably would sacrifice a little toe for a monstrous trout! Somehow in my ignorance it took me many more times than once of nearly freezing in waist deep water before I started bringing now usually more clothes than necessary. Hopefully other than that cold front at the beginning of this past week we will not see any more weather in the 30's but this is South East Texas and you just never know around here!
Scott and Joe had their limit of trout in a hurry!
I would be willing to bet many of you are just like me or at least have a buddy with four pairs of leaking waders hanging in their garage. I have gone through most brands, both breathable and neoprene waders. Thus far the neoprene waders have outlasted any breathable waders I have ever owned but you had better bring a couple of Gatorades with you because you are going to sweat more than a whore in church.
I decided to bite the bullet and recently purchased a new pair of Simms waders from Fishing Tackle Unlimited at the Houston Fishing Show earlier this month. I chose Simms due to the fact they manufacture their products in the U.S.A. and because of their reputation for astounding customer service and of course unmatched quality of their products. I went with the Headwaters over the other Simms waders because of the drawstring at the top of the Headwaters. They are lightweight enough to where I will not burn up when the mercury rises and I can always layer underneath during the colder months. They come with a small nylon belt with a clip that I wear but I also still wear my EZ Wade belt for additional back support and buoyancy. In my opinion it is totally unnecessary as well as cumbersome to have a floating tackle shop dragging behind you while wading. I carry a simple, over-the-shoulder box from TTF. It is just large enough to carry a couple topwaters, Corkies, Maniac Mullets, Kick A Mullets and maybe a MirrOdine or two. There is also a pouch to put a bag of soft plastics, a place to hold your pliers and a sliver for a FishSlick stringer.
John, Bill and I made our first stop in Coffee Ground that morning. It would turn out to be the only stop of the day that we did not catch fish. The water had dirtied over night and there were zero signs of life. We made one short fishless drift before heading north. We stayed in the boat at the next stop as well and boated five pretty good trout on pink Maniac Mullets before making a long run. We finished out the rest of our trout limit and did some catch and release fishing slicks in 5' of water. They would hammer a Corky but the hook up ratio was down, we ended up doing better on a Killer Flats Minnow on a 1/8oz Beer Belly jig from Egret.
John and Bill were all smiles!
A view of Egret's new Beer Belly jig
We left the trout biting and slid out of my Haynie bay boat onto a small patch of shell to see if we could knock out their redfish limit as well. They needed to be on the road soon but were willing to give it fifteen minutes which resulted in five slot reds and releasing four more good trout and two undersized reds. I guess they had a good time as they came back again last week and will be coming back again in another week!
John and Bill let me get in on the catching their second time back
Although the trout fishing for the majority of March has been mostly excellent the biggest story for our area was the Bassmaster Elite Series that was here for the Sabine River Challenge in the middle of the month. Our area was littered with wrapped boats and trucks for a week as record crowds turned out to see the pros weigh in their catch each day. As expected many struggled to put together even a few keepers per day with only two anglers bringing in their limit every day. It was truly an awesome event to attend and it was great to see it in my hometown. Hopefully they will be back to Orange!
We ended March with a bang and April looks to be promising as well. The birds have been working some over redfish and keeper trout but those that ignore the birds and stick to the flats will catch the majority of the better fish. We have already gone through a heap of trout in the 3-7lb range and should be able to keep that up in April.
Mark and I caught and released around thirty in the 3-5lb range