Capt. Adam Jaynes has been fishing Sabine Lake and it's surrounding bayous and marshland his entire life. He specializes in using artificial lures for trout, redfish and flounder on both Sabine Lake and neighboring Lake Calcasieu.
October 28, 2014
As Good a Time As Any
by Capt. Adam Jaynes
"If you could pick one month out of the year to fish Sabine what one would it be?" A rather simple sounding question that is asked often on my boat but is much more difficult to answer than you would think. The different seasons start running through my head along with the different programs that are so addictive to fish. Standing waste deep twitching a Heddon Super Spook for sow trout during March, April, or May instantly comes to mind. All three of those months can be absolutely lights out despite a guaranteed stiff south wind however; the amount of freshwater runoff that we receive greatly dictates the amount of catching we do versus just casting.
You can have your arms pulled off during June, July, and August by swimming a TTF Killer Flats Minnow or Egret Bayou Chub down the rocks of the jetties or on the beachfront. The redfish schools in the open lake get going during these months as well however school fishing can be inconsistent to say the least. You might see them every day for a week and then they are gone for the next two weeks, ya just never know. The short rigs also offer a sure to be had great time and a different style of fishing.
September tends to be a transition month. We might be catching trout in twenty feet of water jigging a Maniac Mullet one day, catching trout chasing shrimp under birds the next, and catching them chasing shad and mullet in the river the next. Traditionally the birds begin to work over schooling trout and redfish more consistently during the month of October and this October has been no exception. Easy limits have been taken most days on Killer Flats Minnows and Bayou Chubs with some good catches on swimbaits as well.
We are able to catch redfish like these during December and January until we are literally worn out
Both months of December and January, in my opinion, are the easiest and most consistent to catch redfish until you are just flat worn out! With the colder weather and much lower than normal tides the redfish vacate the shallow marshes and pile up on predictable locations in the main lake and both Sabine and Neches Rivers. Despite the colder weather, at times the redfishing can be so hot it doesn't take anything more the just a jighead to get them to eat! Twitching a Corky Fat Boy or Maniac Mullet for sow trout is also hard to beat. The thump when one of those 8lb or better speckled fish inhale a slow sinker is just a different kind of adrenaline rush altogether.
A solid speckled trout with a very firm grip on a Tidal Surge Maniac Mullet!
February traditionally is a feast or famine month. When the mercury rises between the cold fronts the trout have at it on the flats but their mouths are typically closed tighter than a chastity belt when the surface temperature is forty-five degrees Fahrenheit or lower. It is still a slow-sinker or suspended bait bite for the most part during February as well. For me, donning waders during this time period and standing in water that is just above freezing is always worth it as the size of the trout we catch during this time is well above average.
BUT, if I was forced to choose just one month out of the year to fish Sabine Lake I believe I would have to go with November. There are so many options during November and everything is biting. Trout, redfish, and flounder are all gorging themselves prior to the coldest months of the year. In my honest opinion there is not a more consistent time of the year to be on the water, at least Sabine Lake that is. The lake will be full of shrimp as a result of each cold front that passes and "the big three" will be eating them as fast as they can. Flocks of seagulls will be hovering over schooling trout and redfish nearly every morning as they chase fleeing shrimp to the surface. There is not a more sure fire way to get bit than casting at a trout or redfish that is in the process of pursuing shrimp across the surface. Their desire to satisfy their satiety, which is virtually unobtainable during this time as they will regurgitate just to consume the next passing shrimp, mullet, or basically anything that resembles a meal improves our odds of catching exponentially. All the while tricking us into believing we are much better fishermen than what we truly are.
Birds working over trout and redfish are a common site during the month of November
However, there are a couple of downsides to the hot action of the "bird bite." Typically, many boats are courteous and will bypass a boat that is already on a school of fish to move on to the next school but it is rare to make it through a day without anyone coming and getting in your back pocket or worse, coming in from downwind idling with their outboard or trolling motor wide open and blowing up the whole school. Although those new four strokes are barely louder than a whisper above the surface, beneath the surface they are loud enough to run a school off clear to Cuba. Remember, it is always best, if possible, to approach a school of fish from the upwind side to avoid the use of your trolling motor as much as possible. Approaching fish in this fashion will also reduce the amount of hull slap as well. Also, try not dropping the net in the bottom of the boat or slamming hatches. These simple ways of decreasing your amount of noise production will help to keep those schools of fish up on the surface feeding for longer and improve your chances of catching fish. Another downside, which really isn't much of a downside, but many schools of fish will be primarily undersized trout. If you're like me, catching fish is catching fish and it is all fun. However, if you're looking for dinner I recommend after catching 10-12 undersized trout to move onto the next school. Typically, in an individual school of trout they will all be of similar size. Not only will there be plenty of trout under the birds during November, there will also be plenty of redfish. Make sure and be prepared with some FINS Windtamer braid as these bronze gluttons will attempt to swim away with all of your tackle!
Quality equipment can greatly increase your chances of catching fish
Another option during November, especially if chasing the birds isn't your thing, is wade fishing or drifting fishing. Better quality trout begin ganging up over shell pads and other structure in shallower areas as well as on the flats. These fish will begin making the transition from eating shrimp to finfish. Keep a lookout for slicks and fleeing mullet. When I slip over the side of my Haynie I will be armed with a Sarge Customs Free Bird and probably slinging either a Maniac Mullet, Corky Fatboy, or some sort of topwater plug. I will primarily be targeting trout but by this time of year there will be a large number of redfish in the main lake as well.
Solid trout like this one are what we are after when drifting and wading
Typically, during November the flounder run is in full swing also. However, do not forget during November the flounder limit is only two per person and gigging is not allowed. Very tasty but definitely not worth the price of a ticket! The majority of the flounder that we catch on my boat is by-catch since most of my customers prefer to catch redfish and trout. When we do choose to specifically target flounder a chartreuse Gulp! Swimming Mullet on a 1/4oz or 1/8oz Egret Beer Belly jighead is primarily what we will be throwing. A white curly tail grub tipped with shrimp on the same jighead is also a very proven bait for tempting flounder into striking.
Solid flounder like this one are on the move during November...
We are very fortunate to live in a part of the country that affords us the opportunity to be able to fish year around, and, even better, actually be able to catch fish year around. Although we all have our favorite time of the year and our favorite way to catch fish when it comes down to it, there is never a bad time. I, and I imagine many of you reading this, just enjoy fishing. Period.
As you can see, generally the hardest part of fishing during the month of November isn't catching fish but deciding HOW you want to catch them and what species you want to catch! Whether you are catching fish or not every day on the water is a blessing. Good luck and God Bless!
May 09, 2014
Too Many Blessings to Count
by Capt. Adam Jaynes
We have been very fortunate over these last two months to accomplish exactly what we have set out to accomplish every trip except for one. John Martin Busceme and I spent hours on end scouring the marsh for reds on the fly to no avail. Despite placing the fly in perfect position on the few chances he had we were unable to land a single fish that particular day. However, the very next day we caught redfish from 8:45 until we cranked up to call it a day at 1:30 that afternoon. Amazing the difference a day can make!!
Our success over the last couple months is due mainly to my customers' willingness to get out of the boat and wade. Actually, every trip that comes to mind right now has been a wading trip except for two that I can think of recently. Wading has allowed us to be successful no matter how hard the wind has blown and kept us from losing any days due to wind. Recreational fisherman and guides both have been struggling a large percentage of the time on Sabine lately but they have also opted to stay in the boat.
There is always the classic argument of "why in the world would you want to get out of a perfectly good boat?" I hear it at the boat club as well, "you mean to tell me you spent $60,000 on a boat to get out of it?!!" That last one always makes me laugh a little. "Well, yes, we did drive all the way out to the lake to jump out of the boat." Invariably the next question concerns whether or not we did any good. I am very closed lipped when it comes to locations but I will politely answer with whether we caught them or not and on what. It's always entertaining to see eyes light up when you let them know, "yeah we released seven trout over 6lbs and one over 8lbs" or however the trip went for that day. Stringer pics of stud trout and filleting them makes absolutely no sense at all to me, all trout over 25 inches on my boat are released unless kept for a skin mount. Seems here lately the majority of my customers have been releasing everything over 4lbs which I applaud, however, has turned into very few trout at the cleaning table!
Sabine has undergone and is continuing to undergo a transition into more springtime patterns as shrimp and ribbonfish along with shad continue to pour into the lake with bull incoming tides. When the wind allows there has been a few groups of birds picking shrimp here and there but not consistently. I am confident as soon as this wind lays the entire lake will most likely be incredible as so much water has been off limits for the majority of the last month and a half. The last two times the weather allowed us to wade the north end we absolutely strummed the trout each day up to 8.5lbs but haven't been able to wade north in about three weeks now.
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 are 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!
I am a topwater fishing lunatic so naturally I will be casting either a Gun Dog Flush or Heddon Super Spook at slicks. If they're unwilling 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 number 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 irreplaceable on my Haynie.
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. 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. Another reason why I prefer to wade.
Whichever you choose enjoy your time on the water and be safe. There's no better place to be in my opinion so enjoy it while you can!
March 02, 2014
Don't Forget About the Redfish
by Capt. Adam Jaynes
This time of year the mindset for most anglers goes in one of two directions; chasing big speckled trout or putting up the fishing gear and waiting until more fisherman friendly weather arrives in the Spring. Fortunately, Sabine offers excellent fishing year around and I for one never have any plans of ever putting my fishing gear up. Myself, like many others of my kind, live to chase big speckled trout. Although many of my customers and friends as well as family believe that I am crazy this is without a doubt my most favorite time of year to fish. Donning my Simms waders and slipping over the side of my boat plugging away from sunup to sundown, and in some cases several hours after the sun has disappeared over the horizon, is easily some of the best moments that I have spent on this Earth.
This nice couple from Missouri had a blast tangling with redfish after redfish!
There is definitely something unique and surreal about the thump of a massive speck on your favorite Maniac Mullet or Corky this time of the year and that keeps us coming back for more, putting up with the harshest conditions all for that one "thump." There is actually so much enthusiasm and anticipation for wintertime and early spring and wading for these big specks that one species nearly entirely gets overlooked, and even cussed in some instances. Enter the redfish. Trout have certain tendencies and behaviors that make them very predictable and easy to target this time of the year but even more predictable and definitely even easier to fool into biting a chunk of plastic with several metal hooks is the redfish. There is hardly a piece of shell in all of Sabine Lake that isn't holding a redfish from December until April.
We typically find them on shell beds and grass humps in 2-4' of water, which are many of the same places that we target for trout as well. We will also find them bunched up on main lake points from time to time. Wind direction and water clarity as well as the presence or absence of bait are the biggest factors in determining where to target Sabine redfish. When you find the schools you can normally catch until you are content or worn out, whichever comes first!
They tend to be much easier to get to bite than trout on a day to day basis but can be particular at times. Generally, the redfish are more particular to the size of the bait during these months versus the color. With water temperatures below sixty degrees plastic tails are my go to. If they are interested in a longer tail we are throwing TTF Trout Killers. A lot of the time we are able to entice even more strikes with a shorter plastic like Egret's 3.5" Wedgetail and TTF's Killer Flats Minnow. Typically darker colors produce far more strikes for us on Sabine reds such as Texas Roach and Bug Juice. Depth, current strength, and wind normally dictate jighead size but an 1/8oz usually suffices. As we slip on into March and April the topwater bite will take precedent with rising water temperatures and increased bait activity. She Dogs and Super Spooks will rule the roost. If explosive blowups and drag pulls do it for you then it's time to wet a hook!
During these months, redfish like these are easy to come by most days
The Houston Fishing Show begins this week March 5-9 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Whether you are a novice or a professional the show is a great time. There will be numerous seminars if you are looking to increase your knowledge as well as the newest products in the fishing industry. Most companies will have show specials offering products at the best prices for the year. I will be spending Saturday and Sunday with Sarge Custom Rods and FishSlick Stringers. In my opinion both the finest rods and stringers in the business, utilizing superior craftsmanship, components, and unbeatable customer service.
Roy hooked up with a good Sabine redfish
I spoke with Roy Crush earlier this week as well, he will have a booth at the show promoting Texas Boys Outdoors and their upcoming tournament on May 3, 2014. Texas Boys Outdoors recently filmed a TV show aboard my Haynie showcasing just how incredible our redfishing is on Sabine.
Thank you Tidal Surge Lures for always keeping us in the hunt!
Tidal Surge Lures will also have a booth at the show, their Maniac Mullet has been vital to our fishing success helping us to finish in the money in each of the first three Specktacular Trout tournaments this year including winning biggest trout in February with a 7.33lb fish. All of the above mentioned companies are 2coolfishing sponsors, there will also be numerous other site sponsors at the show as well so come on out and support those that support this awesome website!
A few of Sarge's "heavier" rods averaging only 2.67oz a piece!
August 26, 2013
A long way from home...
by Capt. Adam Jaynes
Aaron and I traveled to Fourchon this past weekend to prefish for a tournament at the end of this month. Neither of us had ever fished this area and were excited to wet a line and try and figure out how to catch some solid redfish in new waters. We spent hours looking at different areas on Google Earth before we ever left Orange and each came up with a game plan.
Loaded up and ready to go!
We left at 1:30am to make the drive down to Fourchon. I had my Haynie HO in tow and Aaron brought Trey's Bonefish topdrive. We stopped on the other side of Lafayette to top off the tanks and arrived in Fourchon at daylight but were greeted with a steady rain. The rain came to a halt around 8:30 so we put the boats in the water and headed opposite directions. My first stop was croaker and sand trout heaven. No matter how much weight I used I wasn't able to get down past them. I left after thirty minutes to look some more. I went through a few trout before I hooked into my first redfish. And it was a beast of a redfish… After a good fight I landed my first ever redfish in Fourchon and it surpassed the end of my Check-it-Stik that goes up to 37". It turned into trout every cast for a little while after that before I hooked into my next red that dwarfed my first. They were destroying a 3.5" chicken on a chain Wedgetail fished about two feet under a Double D cork. I was having a great time catching fish but this was definitely not what I was looking for with my upcoming tournament.
The Check-it-Stik wasn't quite long enough for my first redfish out of Fourchon, LA
My second redfish was even bigger, but not going to work for a tournament..time to move on...
I cranked up the Mercury and headed north to start checking on some ponds. The first was totally devoid of redfish but the second was loaded. Not exactly tournament-winning fish but never the less it was good to find so many and that they were willing to bite. I hopped around for the next several hours and it was more of the same. The weather had gotten perfect, calm and sunny allowing me to sight cast to more reds than I have in a very long time. They weren't very picky. I was flipping both Gulp shrimp and Killer Flats Minnows and they ate both equally well.
Sight casted to this pig about five feet from the boat!
I sent Aaron a text around 5:00 that evening to let him know that I was planning on being back at the ramp in about an hour to go and find the hotel and check in before dark. He called a little while later to let me know that he was stuck and wouldn't be going anywhere for a while. The water was going out the entire time while we were out and on his way back out of a pond he stuck the Bonefish on a sand flat. He was pretty adamant that he was not going anywhere until the tide came back in. Some locals in a Gatortail were nice enough to try and tow him off the flat but were getting stuck themselves and were unsuccessful. I spoke with one of the guys at the ramp about getting an airboat to go get him but Aaron said he was going to wait it out.
After checking in to the hotel, cleaning up and getting something to eat for dinner I fell asleep before my head ever hit the pillow. I woke up around 4:00am and realized that the queen sized bed on the other side of the hotel room was still empty. At this point nervousness set in and I tried to get in touch with Aaron to see what was going on. He didn't answer and didn't respond to my text. Finally at 4:55 he texted to say that he was floating and was headed to the ramp. I couldn't help but laugh, partly from relief that my buddy was alright, other from the fact that he need not worry about even putting the boat on the trailer as it was nearly time to go fishing again. I'm pretty sure in hind sight he would've left the boat over night and waited to retrieve it in the morning but at least there weren't any mosquitoes to bother him!
Saturday and Sunday were mostly a wash, except for we figured out a couple of ways to catch some good fish in adverse conditions. I wasn't able to launch until 10:30 Saturday morning due to the rain and after it quit the wind was blowing a steady 20mph for the rest of the day with extremely overcast skies. We had the same conditions Sunday morning minus the rain. We ended up having to wait until the water was low enough to see their backs and tails breaking the surface, as our water clarity was maybe an inch.
Sight casting to some of these will help you forget sleeping in the marsh!
I had a great time down in Fourchon although I know Aaron has a couple memories that he could do without. It took a little while but by Sunday he was laughing about his night out in the marsh pretty good!
July 15, 2013
Haynie HO Gets It Done
by Capt. Adam Jaynes
After running a Haynie HO (High Output) for nearly two years now I feel pretty safe in making a few comments about the rig. First thing to say is I absolutely love these boats, I am on my second HO and it is getting close to time to order another one. It is 23'10" long, 8' wide and comes in around 1800lbs depending on how you have it set up. On both of mine I went with a larger front deck to be able to have rod boxes on each side. I have more storage than I need which is normally the first thing you run out of on a bay boat. I might fish bait two or three times a year so I only went with one release well in the back and put a rack for an ice chest in front of the console instead of the usual live well. I use this ice chest for storage as I already have a cooler in the bow for fish and my YETI under the leaning post for drinks and food. Glenn at Custom Marine Concepts did all aluminum work and then it was rhino lined black at Chris's Marine. Custom Marine Concepts did a stellar job and will be making me a wading ladder for my next one.
The performance of the Haynie HO is remarkable. It is absolutely the best ALL AROUND bay boat that I have ever been in. What I mean by that is that the HO does not do anything the absolute best but does EVERYTHING very well. You do not have to sacrifice a smooth ride for speed in this boat nor do you have to sacrifice shallow water capabilities for a smooth ride. The HO is able to deliver a very smooth ride along with a very dry ride in conjunction with shallow water capabilities while being extremely fuel efficient with a Mercury 225 Pro XS bolted on the back.
Hole shot is also incredible with the Pro XS on the rear end, especially for a v-hull of this size. In previous boats I used to need a gust of wind to get on plane when loaded down with customers and gear, so long to that! I fish Sabine so I am never really needing to get on plane in shallow water and honestly have yet to push this boat to its limits in the shallows as far as getting on top. I do know for a fact that it can run shallower than it can float in the soft stuff. I personally found that out in the back of Light House Cove, somewhat by mistake as I thought the tide was a little higher than what it actually was. I came off the throttle to make our drift out and had a little trouble drifting when we couldn't even rock the boat! Fortunately for us it was soft enough for the trolling motor to drag the boat into that 11-12" of water for us to float. I can run the Mercury Pro XS all the way up on 6" on the jack plate and still maintain water pressure, which comes in handy when needing to get up in the shallows or leave a shallow water back lake.
The Haynie HO also offers an incredible ride in the rough stuff. I had to learn how to drive it, as it was totally different in adverse conditions versus previous bay boats that I had been in. In previous boats I would lower the trim tabs, throttle back some and let it plow. In the HO I rarely ever use the tabs for rough water performance. Bow entry can very easily be adjusted with the trim switch of the Mercury controls. With the length I am able to maintain my cruising speed while riding on top of the waves instead of plowing through each one, really the faster I drive the smoother the ride becomes to a certain point. Not having to plow through the waves is also a huge help with fuel consumption.
The folks at Chris's have it propped just right with a Bravo I 22p. The RPM's are equal to my MPH all the way through to WOT, meaning if I am turning 4k RPM's I am traveling 40MPH, almost regardless of load and conditions. Top speed isn't too shabby either, the Mercury Pro XS will push it 58MPH at 5800RPM's with a full load. My fuel consumption has decreased dramatically since making the switch over to the Pro XS as well. Sure, I do have to buy oil but at a ratio of 55:1 (55 gallons of gasoline to 1 gallon of oil) I sure don't have to buy very much oil…
225 horses of American power!
My Haynie sits on a Coastline aluminum trailer. It is built like a tank and so far it is the first trailer that I have never had to fix on the side of the road somewhere! It pulls effortlessly behind my F250 and also comes with LED trailer lights.
Ordering my second Haynie was easier than ordering a pizza, literally. I made the call down to Brian at Chris's Marine and placed my order over the phone, mailed a deposit check and four months later I was picking up my new rig. One of the best things is they actually answer the phone over there, anytime I needed to call and ask a question or make a change they answered on either the first or second ring.
Time to load up..
The versatility of the Haynie HO is also a huge bonus. It allows me to take customers and fish effectively from the marsh to the short rigs and do so comfortably. I have been spending the bulk of my time at the jetties for the last month or so and have been blessed with great fishing for the most part. We have done equally well on both the Texas and Louisiana side. Wind and water clarity has dictated where we fish. We have been swimming both Killer Flats Minnows and Bayou Chubs on 1/8oz Beer Belly Jigs to catch good numbers of both trout and redfish. We have also done well with swimbaits and topwaters early. I have been using the bigger Flush from TTF to catch trout on top, keying in on nervous mullet.
We are in the heat of the summer so make sure and stay hydrated out there on the water. Water alone will not replace the fluid and electrolytes so make sure and mix in a Gatorade or equivalent. Stay safe and enjoy the great fishing that summer has to offer!
You never know what's going to crash the party during the summer!
May 07, 2013
Can't Win With Oversized Fish
by Capt. Adam Jaynes
Aside from these bizarre cold fronts rolling in on a regular basis fishing has remained very steady for the most part with some absolutely incredible days mixed in. The amount of wind has been nothing more than an annoyance as it has not affected the bite whatsoever. The bird action that we had earlier in April has slowed down quite a bit but should pick back up any time now. The vast majority of the redfish have evacuated from the shoreline and flats and can be found from time to time chasing small shrimp and ribbon fish in the open lake. There is still an abundance of trout, good trout at that, to be found on the flats from the north end to all the way south of the gator hole. On our most productive trips we have been wading in knee deep to waist deep water fishing TTF's Gun Dog Flush in pink/chrome along with clown colored Super Spooks. We are able to catch these trout on a variety of lures but the topwater bite has been absolutely vicious!
Mike with a good trout on top
With the big bull incoming tides we have also seen a number of other changes taking place. The water clarity on the south end of the lake is incredible, although after this north wind howled all weekend it will be a day or two before it recovers. The numbers of ribbon fish coming into the lake is also nothing short of amazing. Ribbon fish fleeing always gets me fired up as in general the trout and reds chasing them are very good fish. I will toss a Gun Dog Flush or Dynamic HD XL as fast as I can at scattering ribbon fish and get ready to hold on!
Travis with one of about 80-100 trout that we went through on top!!
We are also having the occasional gaftop crash the party on nearly a daily basis. I do not have any use for gaftop but I must admit they actually are a really good time to catch on a topwater...until they get to the boat. We have not landed the first shark yet this spring but there has been more than one trout reported falling victim to the toothy critters. I worry more about the sharks while wading than any thing else but don't forget to keep your eye open for the gators.
Aaron and I fished the series opener for the Galveston Redfish Series last Saturday and could not manage to catch a red small enough to put in the live well until after 2:00. We were on a heck of a good bite and knew that the vast majority of the fish were oversized but we also knew that catching the right two would have a very realistic chance of putting us north of 20lbs!
Aaron with one of many oversized reds
Our game plan was to go through as many fish as possible until we came across those two barely keeper fish but that plan never came to fruition, except for the part of going through as many fish as possible. I guess we landed somewhere north of thirty oversized fish on the day, all in the 28 1/8-33" range.
These big fish are a blast on light tackle!
The lightest oversized fish we had was 9.5lbs and looked like an eel compared to the rest. The 28 1/8" fish were 10.5-11lbs and did not have room for one more single ribbon fish in their gut! We were just about out of time when Aaron hooked into the first slot fish, a small 5lber that was apparently lost amongst the bulls. I landed a 6lber two casts later then Aaron boated a pretty good slot fish just under 8lbs unfortunately it was too little too late. Just as the bite of the "in the slot" fish was getting going we had to scramble to the ramp to make it to the weigh in.
An over and a big in the slot fish
Another double with some oversized reds
We used Egret's new Beer Belly jig in both 1/4oz and 1/2oz weight. I have been very impressed with the stoutness of the hook itself and the ability of the jig to be nearly impervious to hanging up. They really took into account the hydrodynamics when designing this particular jig and they got it spot on.
A close up of the Beer Belly Jig from Egret
Tim Turner and Charlie Derrisaw finished in first with a very well deserved win. Tim said they also went through a lot of oversized fish, somewhere between 30-40, but managed to get the two in the slot that would earn them a first place check. Tim said it was combat fishing for them the first couple of hours with waves coming over the box on a regular basis but he also mentioned that they were still catching! The next tournament of the Galveston Redfish Series will be on May 18 with the weigh in at Top Water Grill.
My Sarge Free Bird whipped this big bull
April 01, 2013
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
January 22, 2013
Could Do No Wrong Today
by Capt. Adam Jaynes
When my alarm went off this morning I had to decide between Calcasieu or Sabine today…I know, a hell of a decision to have to make! The weather was absolutely ideal for either body of water and I was confident that I was going to catch fish at either location. I chose Sabine strictly based on the fact that I did not feel like towing my boat over to Calcasieu. It ended up being one heck of a good choice.
My second cast of the morning produced a nice slot red on a Texas Roach Trout Killer. I was happy to get bit but I wasn't out looking for reds. After a few more redfish that first big yellow mouth came up to the surface shaking her head. It was all trout from that point on.
I only fished a few different spots today and they were all equally productive. I did not make my first cast until about 9:00 this morning and when I cranked up my Mercury to head to the house at 1:45 I had released fifty-two trout between 3-6lbs! The water was going out strong when I started and the bite got noticeably slower as the outgoing came to a stop in the afternoon and switched to incoming. My largest trout of the day was only 6lbs but was all over a pumpkin seed white Red Killer. I caught a bunch of trout while on Power-Pole in 3' of water and also caught a bunch of fish drifting. I had originally planned on wading today but ended up staying in the boat to cover some more water.
Believe it or not today was actually the first time I have ever fished a broken back Corky. It reminded me an awful lot of throwing the old Rubber Backs that I haven't thrown in a few years. It has a pretty fast sink rate but the trout were absolutely knocking the snot out of it. I found it much easier to fish from the boat drifting than I do an original Corky. I definitely went through enough fish today on it to make a believer out of me, thanks Aaron for forgetting it in my boat! The trout were feeding very aggressively today so I fished it twitching it like a topwater two or three times then letting it sink for a second or two before twitching again. Half the time today they hit it on the fall and the other half they were trying to jerk the rod out of my hand while I was twitching it. Today was definitely one of those days I wish I had been guiding but it was nice having a day to fish for myself also.
Dad had the day off from work yesterday so we decided to put my Haynie in the water to go see if he still knew how to catch a fish or not. After the way the afternoon went I think he's forgotten a lot! Fortunately for me it looked like I had absorbed quite a bit of what he's taught me over the years as I was flipping redfish in the boat on a consistent basis. He was a good sport about the whipping, I held the smart remarks to myself for the most part as this scenario has been the other way around many times but still had to get in a couple of jabs!
We left the ramp around 11:30 and by the time we hit the lake the outgoing tide had just about quit. We bounced around to several places and just were never able to get away from the redfish to catch trout. They were hustling mullet to the surface in 2-3' of water and would jump all over a pink chrome Gun Dog Flush and Texas Roach Trout Killer. We landed one lone trout in the midst of all the redfish and decided to call it a day right at dark.
Aaron and I fished the first tournament of the "Speck"tacular Gulf Coast Trout Series on Saturday and enjoyed one heck of bite up until the outgoing tide quit on us around 8:30 or so. I landed a trout on my first cast with a pink Maniac Mullet, good thing Aaron did not realize it was my first cast until we were in the truck on our way to weigh in or he might have ran out of his anxiety meds! Catching a fish on your first cast might as well be the kiss of death but this time we were fortunate. Last time I landed a fish on my first cast during a tournament we ended up getting disqualified on a redfish that just barely grew enough to get over that 28" mark by the time we made it to weigh in! This time around things worked out and we nabbed fourth place with our three best trout.
We caught every trout except for one on Maniac Mullets slow rolling them across the bottom with a 45 degree surface temp. Pearl chartreuse was easily our best color, only problem was that I only had two of that color on the boat. Aaron had one already tied on and when I went to open the other out of the package the plastic tore a little faster than I had planned and the Maniac Mullet went flying into 5' of muddy water. I know what color I need to order more of that's for sure.
If you're off tomorrow and can't fish or have time on your lunch break make sure and swing by Daley's Hunt N Fish. Bassmaster Pro, Ish Monroe, will be in the store talking tackle, techniques, and anything and everything fishing related. Even if you aren't a bass guy it is a great opportunity to visit with an outstanding fisherman. Let alone another excuse to tell your wife so you can go to the tackle store!
I hope I have returned all of my phone calls and emails from today, Kenneth I called you back but your phone doesn't have voice mail set up I guess. I will try again tomorrow to get in touch with you. And Matt I got your voicemail but I was too busy catching fish, I will get in touch with you tomorrow!
December 20, 2012
by Capt. Adam Jaynes
This solid trout fell for an Orange Fire Maniac Mullet
With this being an unusually warm winter so far it is no surprise that our winter patterns are a little behind. Birds have still been working over veracious schools of feeding trout and redfish that continue to chase small shrimp to the surface, however with this most recent front I would expect that easy bite to be coming to an end fairly soon. As the mercury continues to drop I will be looking for trout feeding on mullet in the shallows.
This oversized red must have been lost!
Aside from the obvious signs of feeding trout such as fleeing mullet, swirls, and slicks I will be keying in on shell and areas with a dark mud bottom. Both shell and areas with a dark mud bottom will warm up faster and stay warmer than other areas. Just a degree or two warmer is a very significant difference in water temperature. One way to think about how the color of the bottom can affect water temperature is to relate it to wearing a black t-shirt on a hot summer day. Wearing that black shirt is a whole heck of a lot hotter than wearing a lighter colored shirt. It's science that you learned in third grade, darker colors absorb more light resulting in an increase in temperature.
Another solid one on a Maniac Mullet
Maniac Mullet does it again
Another piece to the puzzle that I will be looking for when chasing wintertime trout other than bottom structure or type is the proximity of an area to deep water. Whether it be a flat adjacent to the ICW, a river, a bayou, or a gut trout need some sort of access to deeper water during the winter. They will retreat to deeper water when the temperature drops and return to the flats to feed as the sun warms the area.
When targeting wintertime trout I prefer to wade fish. Can we catch "big" trout from the boat? You bet we can, however, I believe wading puts the odds ever more in our favor of landing that trophy trout. It's a topic that is often discussed aboard my boat as the vast majority of my customers choose to stay in the boat rather than donning waders and hopping in the water. In my opinion there are several advantages that wade fishing offers. First and foremost it allows you to cover an area slowly and thoroughly. Even if the wind is howling
wade fishing allows you to fish an area at your own pace, that's much easier said than done if your trying to control a 24' bay boat and the wind is pumping 20mph! Wading also allows an angler to fish an area while making a very minimal amount of noise. Trolling motors running, hatches closing, fish flopping around in the bottom of the boat and waves crashing against the hull will spook fish in a hurry. The other biggie for me is the knowledge one can gain from wading an area. No matter how many electronics you have on your boat the best way to truly learn the ins and outs of an area is to get out of your boat and walk it. Wading an area will give you the ability to learn where the transitions are, depth changes, where humps and guts are as well as finding shell patches.
There are a few certain lures that I consider must haves when getting out of my boat to begin a wade for wintertime trout. In my wade box you will always find Corky Fat Boys, Maniac Mullets, the Flush, Kick A Mullets and Super Spooks. Slow sinking and suspending type baits are absolutely deadly when targeting trophy trout during the colder months. I have the most confidence in my topwaters such as the Flush from TTF and Super Spooks when the water temperature is sixty degrees Fahrenheit and up but have caught trout on topwaters in water as cool as fifty degrees Fahrenheit.
This oversized redfish inhaled a Super Spook!
Ken Chaumont with a solid specimen on a Kick A Mullet
Another solid wintertime trout
There is no disputing the effectiveness of a Corky Fat Boy; it has earned its reputation up and down the coast. However, for the average every day angler a Corky can be a very difficult challenge to fish effectively. There were a great number of anglers that figured that out after the Corky rush when Paul Brown sold to MirrOlure. There is no silver bullet when it comes to catching trophy trout, granted some anglers will get lucky but for the vast majority of us being successful requires persistence and skill mixed with some blessings. In my opinion a Maniac Mullet or a Kick A Mullet from Egret are both easier to fish for a less experienced angler while still giving an exceptional opportunity to get that trophy trout to bite. Also, neither the Maniac Mullet nor the Kick A Mullet require the tweaking that a Fat Boy does after catching a fish or two. However, I will reiterate the fact that the Fat Boy is absolutely deadly for some wintertime trout, it is however a more technical lure to fish, requiring both skill and patience to fish. For those of you that have yet to experience the results that you desire using a Fat Boy or any other type of suspending or slow sinking lure don't be discouraged. Continue to work and inquire to achieve your desired results. No one will ever know all there is to know about this wonderful sport of fishing, to me that is what is so addicting.
Limited edition line from Sarge Customs
I would like to thank all of my customers both new and repeat for an excellent 2012, I look forward to 2013. I wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year! I would also like to thank all of my sponsors for their continued support, especially Pro-Cure Industrial and Golden Triangle Industries Inc. Please visit http://www.gtindu.com/news/fishing/gti-fishing-team/
to learn more.
God Bless and have a Merry Christmas!
October 08, 2012
Redfish Continue To Rule
by Capt. Adam Jaynes
The redfish have continued to rule the show over the last few weeks and other than my poor electric fillet knife I don't think anybody is complaining. I have had the opportunity hear lately to bring some younger fisherman out on the water along with their parents and everyone has had a blast. I now have the sound of a Zebco drag screaming permanently in my head! I am not sure who has been more worn out at the end of the century long battles, if the redfish were able to speak I am almost certain they would be screaming to be put on ice! It has been a privilege to put these young anglers on their first redfish and hopefully many more to come in their future.
It was all smiles...
Hurry up it's heavy!
Gonna take two hands to hold this one up..
We have been targeting the redfish in the open lake under the birds by switching to heavier jigheads and larger tails. A 3/8oz or 1/2oz jighead is sufficient paired up with a TTF Trout Killer and you're in business. I have been throwing mainly East Beast and Glo/Chartreuse but everyone I talk to seems to be doing equally well with their own favorite colors.
Chase's redfish was just 26" and pulled the boga grip to 9lbs...
If you are planning on fishing the birds a trolling motor is absolutely invaluable. Being able to control your boat and not interrupt a school of feeding fish will drastically improve the amount of catching that takes place on your boat. I don't care how quiet you think your four stroke is above the surface, I can promise you that it is loud as all get out below the waterline. If you don't believe me then you have obviously never flushed it while running at your house. Keith Daley called earlier and promised to beat any price on a new MinnKota as well as GPS/Fish Finders. He can get any out of stock trolling motor or GPS/Fish Finder within a couple days also. Keith is the owner of Daley's Hunt N Fish at 6701 Jade Ave. in Port Arthur, TX.
There is still an abundance of undersized trout out in the lake but pretty much every school has at least a few reds milling around underneath. To catch better trout I have been throwing the Maniac Mullet, the slow sink has been the real deal. The orange fire and the pink have been the main colors I am throwing. The same tails that I am using for the redfish have also worked well but downsizing the jighead to either a 1/8oz or 1/16oz and working the tail just below the surface.
Tanner landed his first redfish but wasn't about to stop there!
We have found our biggest redfish chasing shrimp up and down the shorelines. They haven't been able to resist a bone Geaux Dog, if these explosions don't get your heart pounding you must be dead! Dad and I were able to get in another day on the water together here recently. He put his new rod from Sarge to good use as we caught trout and redfish until we decided to call it quits. There was never a dull moment and catching the majority of our fish on top was the icing on the cake.
Dad put a whippin on this stud redfish with his new Sarge Customs Rod
Those anglers that are ignoring the bird bite and targeting trout on the flats and ledges of the ICW are still catching the lion's share of the better quality fish. It is far from a bite or landing a fish on every cast but is still very rewarding if not more. I know where I can't wait to be, sliding over the side of my new Haynie HO, waders on, armed with a Sarge Customs, Core 50mg spooled up with some 30lb FINS Windtamer, casting a Flush at nothing but five pound plus trout…. Yeah, that sounds like heaven to me!
August 26, 2012
Early Signs of Fall
by Capt. Adam Jaynes
I haven't typed a report in a while due to the fact that the last time I purchased a new computer was in 2005 which might as well be from the stone age and the fact that I have only had a couple days off since the end of July. I love staying busy and greatly appreciate the business but I sure don't feel like staring at a computer screen after a long day of fishing, especially one that moves at a snails pace! I bought a new MacBook Pro today, other than that and how much it cost I really don't know much about it. However, I do think with the cost of this damn thing it should come with someone to type this report for me!
Herman with a pair of nice Sabine Lake reds
The fishing on Sabine has just been outstanding over the last few weeks. I can only recall two "slow" days this past month; one was while we were fishing a redfish tournament, smoked the trout but did terrible on the reds. The other was a half-day trip, we were catching solid 3-5.5lb trout out of slicks on the north end but it just wasn't fast enough of a bite for the guys that were with me. We went looking for one of those every cast kind of bites but it just didn't happen for us. The old saying "never leave fish to find fish" comes to mind.
Without a doubt I am seeing way more shrimp than what I saw last year already in the lake. From Coffee Ground to the Causeway Reef you can find trout and redfish chasing shrimp to the surface along with a ridiculous amount of ladyfish. It has rained the last couple of days but I don't think we have gotten enough yet to really put a negative impact on our fishing, hopefully we don't get too much more over these next few days.
Gerry fooled this oversized red with a Geaux Gleaux Trout Killer
Over the next few months the fishermen will definitely have more feast than famine. With each front more and more shrimp will leave the marshes and the bayous, which will result in the trout and redfish pushing their stomachs beyond their capacity. Those fishermen that are able to ignore the draw of getting a bite every cast underneath the birds will ultimately be rewarded with catching much larger trout working the flats and ledges along the ICW. Personally I prefer quality to quantity but then again I get to go fish pretty much whenever I want. I still enjoy fishing the birds, especially during the fall, but catching nothing but 5 plus pound fish working a TTF Flush in 3' of water is where it's at for me!
From what I saw Tuesday this kind of "fall" pattern is already getting started, even though it is still in the 90's each afternoon. There was so many shrimp jumping it was tough to decide whether to throw a net or a tout! I have been starting off each morning working the same kind of program but with a few different locations. I have been working slicks in 3-5' of water within a stones throw of 30' of water. The bite has only lasted from daylight until around 7:30 sometimes as late as 8:30 in the morning. These fish have been much better quality than those schooling out in the lake. Generally anytime you can find fish that are feeding on mullet or pogey the size of your hand they will be much better fish on average. For whatever reason just about the only way we have been able to catch them has been on top, great for someone like me that prefers to catch them on topwater but not everybody can do that. A pink/chrome TTF Flush and chartreuse back with gold belly She Dog have performed the best. The Flush has landed all of the biggest fish each day with the She Dog drawing just a few more strikes. These particular fish are averaging 4-4.5lbs. It isn't a fast and furious bite but the blow-ups are vicious.
Mike let this oversized red swim after a quick photo
After the topwater bite slows down in the morning we have been switching to those trout and redfish that are chasing shrimp to the surface. There is a ton of small fish in the 12-14" range schooling all the way from the north end to the south end but there are also some solid fish mixed in. I always find it easiest to concentrate our efforts on those better fish by switching to larger soft plastics like a Trout Killer, Split Tail Mullet or the Maniac Mullet. I doubt it really makes much of a difference on color right now but we have been doing great on either a Geaux Gleaux Trout Killer or Glo/Chartreuse Split Tail Mullet. Switch to a hoginar and you can find out in a hurry if there are some redfish mixed in with the school of trout. Once we start getting into the fall the average size fish in the schools underneath the birds will increase dramatically but they will still be smaller compared to those that you will find on the flats and edges of the ICW.
Being a guide I get to fish with a variety of different people, those that are novice to the accomplished lifelong fisherman and experienced tournament angler. However, the conversations more or less cover all of the same topics. Ranging from knots to weather to boats and motors and of course tackle and rods and reels, all of the while discussing tactics and techniques. One thing that we can all agree on is the fact that everyone has their own intricacies.
One of mine is the fact that I am a firm believer that my most important tool that enables me to be more successful at fishing, or catching rather, is my rod. Six years ago I was the total opposite. Why would I spend any considerable amount of money on a fishing rod? I was catching plenty of fish with a $50 special so I did not understand the benefit of purchasing one of those high dollar rods; after all I had never even used one before.
After my oldest brother let me spend some time fishing with one of his more expensive rods I decided that I had to have one. It was a production rod with a price tag of $215 but the differences in performance between it and the $50 specials I had grown up using were well worth the price difference. That was when I started to realize what all of the fuss was about but I still hadn't made the move to the higher end custom rods.
In January of 2011 I met Sarge Upchurch at the Houston Boat Show. Well long story short I ended up becoming one of their pro staff guys and staying in touch and eventually becoming good friends with Sarge, fishing together on occasion. A few months ago I get a call from Sarge giving me the news that he is branching out on his own and would be producing high-end custom rods right here in Port Arthur, TX. For me it was an easy decision, whatever rods Sarge is going to be producing are the ones that I want to fish. I felt that staying loyal to Sarge was the best decision and the right decision for me. He was the one that always took care of what myself and my customers needed even if he had to be the bearer of bad news.
Customized to your specifications
Sarge Custom Rods is committed to providing exceptional customer service with an emphasis on customer satisfaction selling high quality, high performance fishing tools and components. Sarge and I both share the same opinion in that no matter how exceptional any product might be it is only as good as the customer service and the company that stands behind their products. Plainly put, the customer service that you will receive from Sarge Customs will be second to none.
Along with exceptional customer service the rods are exceptional as well. My personal favorite thus far is the Free Bird. It's a 6'5" medium power fast action rod, which is extremely versatile. It weighed in at a whopping 2.5oz. For me if you are trying to minimize the number of rods on the boat it is one of those do-it-all rods. Due to the lightweight and high modulus blank these rods are extremely sensitive.
In my opinion the advantages of owning a Sarge Customs rod is well worth the price of admission. Superior customer service matched with exceptional components resulting in an incredibly lightweight, sensitive custom rod built one at a time just for you right here in Texas.
June 27, 2012
Summer Time Trout
by Capt. Adam Jaynes
Brittany landed this solid trout out of a school of actively feeding fish on a glo/chartreuse Killer Flats Minnow on a 1/4oz jighead
If I had to describe the fishing over the last few weeks it would be "incredibly easy." Limits of trout have been just about automatic day in and day out barring strong winds. Most days that the wind has blown it ended up slicking off around 11:00 or so and then the fish go insane. Our water is absolutely gorgeous right now, on the verge of being too pretty actually. The school fish have still been doing their thing all the way from Black's Bayou to the south end of the lake. The birds for the most part have been acting kind of strange by just not picking very much in general. Once you get on a school and the birds leave be patient and stick around, those fish are still there and will almost always come right back up again. The shrimp have gotten quite a bit bigger so the schools have been much easier to spot and follow.
Charlie pulled this solid trout out of a school with a glo/chartreuse TTF Trout Killer
There are a couple of things I will always do to try and catch bigger fish when I get on a school of trout. The first thing I will try is to fish a little deeper if all I am catching are small fish in the top of the water column. I will switch from an 1/8oz jighead to a 1/4oz to help me get down better, we also catch more redfish by fishing down deeper. The only problem with getting down underneath the school is dealing with the gaftop. I know some people swear by eating them but those fish sure aren't welcome on my boat! Another tried and true method to call out larger trout from a school is to put on a topwater. I have been loving the Flush from TTF's GunDog line of lures. It is easy to work and the paint has been considerably more durable than many other topwaters that I have fished. I am throwing the speckled trout pattern along with the pink/chrome. Downside to throwing anything with treble hooks into a school is the time it takes to unhook a fish while you have trout jumping out of the water right in front of you! Also, the higher chance of putting a hook in your hand while trying to hurry to get out and catch another fish. Another simple switch is to put on a larger plastic like a Trout Killer or a Split Tail Mullet. I also started throwing a Maniac Mullet in schooling trout back in early March and can testify that you will start catching much higher quality trout with it as well. If you want an even higher chance of pulling a redfish out of the schools of trout try either a Hoginar or a 3/4oz chrome Rattle Trap.
A pair of solid reds pulled from underneath a school of feeding trout
I have been ignoring the schooling fish for the most part over the last few days to go after some better fish. Although getting a bite and catching a fish on nearly every cast is an absolute blast I do personally prefer however to go after larger trout. I have been wading and drifting and both have produced solid trout in the 4-7lb range. The catching is not nearly as fast and furious but I haven't had a trout under 4lbs either so pick your poison.
Brian fooled this good trout on an early morning wade with a speckled trout pattern GunDog Dummy
Whether wading or from the boat I have been keying in on slicks and mullet jumping for the lives. I am not sure why but I haven't been able to get the better fish to eat any soft plastic over the last few days. They have been very very particular. It has been either a speckled trout pattern Dummy or a silver/black HD XXL. They have been down and determined to inhale the Dummy, the strikes have been flat out vicious! I have thrown the Little Dummy, She Dogs, Super Spooks, Flush, and Skitterwalks but the only one I have had luck on has been the Dummy. Not sure why, go figure.
Took this trout four tries but she ended up inhaling this GunDog Dummy
The other lure I have been getting them to eat, or should I say they have been destroying is the HD XXL by Dynamic Lures.
The HD XXL is a jerk bait designed for freshwater use that I have been using for a little while now for trout and redfish. It has a very unique design in which you can adjust the internal weight to get the lure to suspend at different depths. Thus far I have been fishing it as a floater, jerking it down to around 3-4' and then letting it float up close to the surface. It comes packaged with bb's to adjust the weight from a floater, to suspending or sinking.
Dynamic Lures HD XXL doing work..
I particularly like to throw it over shell, pulling it all the way down until I make contact with the shell and then let it float back up. The strikes are explosive! The HD XXL has been very durable so far, the hooks do eventually begin to rust as they are for freshwater so I switch them out for VMC's. It's one of those lures I use solely to target larger trout and has been producing some very nice fish for me so far.
This solid trout couldn't resist the HD XXL..
With the heat of the summer upon us I will spend the rest of this month along with July and most of August targeting better trout in areas that provide deep water access close by just like I do during the winter. You can generally count on these fish feeding first thing in the morning and also late in the evening just before dark. However, that's not to say that these same hefty fish won't bite during the heat of the day when everything aligns just right and the majority of the boats have already headed in. The school fish should also continue to do their thing for a while. The next bite we have to look forward to the most are the hoards of schooling redfish that will begin to show up on a consistent basis as the shad get bigger. One thing for sure is the weather is going to be hot, drink plenty of water and put on the sun block. If you can put up with the heat the fishing is going to be hot as well!
May 21, 2012
Spots, Dots, and Knots
by Capt. Adam Jaynes
Last week was much more catching than fishing and this week should be more of the same. You must really be on the fish when you turn off the Mercury at the first stop and never crank it again until it is time to go clean fish. Both the trout bite and the redfish bite have been nothing short of phenomenal. Fortunately for us the trout and the redfish have cooperated and have let us pick what we want to catch them on instead of dictating what we use. When that is the case I always opt for a topwater. Lately it has been either a TTF GunDog Dummy or the Flush, both in bone and pink/chrome have been producing solid fish.
The FishSlick stringer is loaded up!
What I like so much about this time of year is the number of opportunities available to catch fish. Whether you want to chase redfish in the marsh, trout in the surf, fish under the birds, or from the bank of the reventment walls, it is all happening this time of the year.
Larry posing with a solid trout before letting her go.
I figured I would address a few of the most commonly asked questions that I get from customers, some of them appear to be common topics of discussion on the forums here as well.
1. What line are you using? I prefer to use FINS Windtamer in 30lb test. There are several reasons I use FINS, the two most notable are the fact that I have never had any unusual breaks and it is made in the United States. I also like the 30lb Windtamer because it has the diameter of 10lb mono. In my opinion any heavier would be unnecessary for the trout and redfish we chase and I like the diameter of the 30lb for knot tying purposes. The Windtamer stays round and does not dig into itself nearly as much as other braided lines that I have used. I have also noticed a marked decrease in backlashes since switching all of my reels over to the FINS Windtamer.
2. Do you use a leader? The answer is yes. This question leads to a couple other questions but we will get to them in a second. The only time I do not use a leader is when I am strictly fishing for redfish. A couple of years ago Johnny, Dickie, and I were standing shoulder to shoulder fishing a school of trout mostly in the 3-7lb range with a few big ones mixed in. Johnny and Dickie were both wearing them out on Corky Devils and Fatboys while I was picking at a few very healthy trout with a Super Spook. I was catching some fish on the topwater but when I made the switch to a corky I could not even get a bite, nada, zip, zero. All the while two of my buddies were steadily catching fish less than fifteen yards from me. So I start going through all of the variables…I had the same color, working it with the same technique, casting to the same school of fish, same gear ratio, and on and on BUT I did not have a leader attached to my braid and they both did. I tied a leader on and well, the rest is history. Which leads to the next question.
3. What kind of leader do you use? I prefer to use a monofilament leader, 30lb Trilene Big Game to be more specific. Sometimes I go with 20lb Big Game if the water is very clear but 95% of the time I am fishing with the 30lb. I started with fluorocarbon leaders and used several different brands but after losing a couple hundred dollars worth of corkies and having to walk and troll to pick up topwaters the remaining spools of fluorocarbon that I had went into the trash can. Since fluorocarbon has zero stretch each time I would get a backlash it was immediately followed by a quick snap and a corky flying two hundred yards into oblivion. The monofilament has just enough stretch so when a dreaded backlash does occur you are not cussing and muttering about having to tie on another $8.00 after picking that nice little backlash you have. Which leads to the next question…
4. What knot do you use to tie your leader to your braid? I use what is called a uni-to-uni knot. It is very simple to tie, forms a small knot, and is very strong and dependable. It is basically two knots that are pulled together to form one main knot. If you are a visual learner just google uni to uni knot and you will find an abundance of links to choose from showing step by step instructions on how to tie one. One thing I do different is I only do three wraps on both sides where as most websites will say to do five or six. With the braid and leader I fish with three wraps is plenty. Basically, there are four steps to the knot. 1. Overlap your braid and leader material by about six inches. With one end form a loop and pinch with your thumb and forefinger. 2. Wrap the end three times around both lines, making sure to pass through the loop on the final pass. 3. Pull the line tight to form a knot. 4. Repeat steps one through three, pull tight and trim the excess.
5. What knot do you tie your lure on with? I almost always use a Tony Clip so I am rarely tying directly to whatever lure that I am using. If I do tie the leader directly to the lure I prefer to use a loop knot. If you can tie your shoes you can tie a loop knot. It is also a very strong knot and allows for the most action possible on whatever you are fishing. I make a simple overhand knot and then pass the tag end through the eye of lure. I then pass the tag end through the loop and wrap around the standing line twice. The final step is to pass back through the loop, moisten and pull tight.
I am in no way saying that this is the only way to be successful at getting fish in the boat. There are a wide array of lines, knots, etc. that get the job done, above is what works for me. Find what works for you, go out and wet a hook and have fun doing it. Good luck!
April 09, 2012
Dredging for Spring Time Trout
by Capt. Adam Jaynes
We have been very fortunate to have such unseasonably calm winds over the last few weeks. I do not know what happened to the March winds but I am glad they cut us some slack. April has been very user friendly so far as well. Sabine has been influenced by a tremendous amount of freshwater runoff and Toledo and Rayburn are both sending us some more. This Spring may seem like a shock, especially after last Spring when we were catching trout all the way north of Simmons Public boat ramp on the Sabine River due to the drought. But in actuality this is a much more typical Spring for us on Sabine minus the strong winds. James with a solid redfish we found crushing shad fry
The majority of the lake is still pretty filthy but it continues to improve on a daily basis with each incoming tide. Even with the badly stained water we have been hammering the trout this past week with some reds and flounder also thrown into the mix. The north end of the lake continues to be slow but from Willow Bayou to the south it has been very productive. The most consistent and effective bite for us has been dredging deeper water. I have been spending most of my time in 9-14' of water after locating schools of bait fish on my depth finder.
I use the down scan feature on my Lowrance HDS 8 unit to first locate schools of bait fish before starting a drift. I will also adjust the size jighead we are using based off of the depth in the water column the bait fish are positioned and the speed at which we are drifting with the wind and current. Throughout the drift I pay close attention to the graph marking ridges, humps, and guts as they are generally where we catch the majority of our fish. When dredging you can also easily adjust the depth at which you are fishing by increasing or decreasing the amount of line that you have out. Let more line out to fish deeper or reel some in to fish higher in the water column. Johnny with one of many trout we have caught dredging this past week
With the dirty water our most productive colors have been red shad and bug juice. We have caught more redfish on the smaller Killer Flats Minnow but the trout have been all over the TTF Trout Killer. For the most part we have been using a 1/4oz jighead but when the current slows we are switching to an 1/8oz. Our better bite has been with the incoming tide and the afternoon bite has also been considerably better than the morning.
The dredging program should continue to hold solid throughout the rest of April and into May as well. I have not fished birds since the week of Spring Break but that bite should continue to improve. I have gotten a couple of reports of birds working over the last week but I would not hang my hat on that bite just yet.