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Double Up On Sabine lake

A buddy and I were fishing the mouth of Johnson's Bayou on an outgoing tide. There was a shallow flat on both sides of the bayou where it emptied into the lake. The baitfish were holding right along the flat where it dropped off into the bayou, and big reds and trout were really feasting on them.

When we got there about daylight, we immediately realized that it was going to be one of those days. My first cast with a bone-colored Super Spook got pounded by a big red weighing about 8 pounds; my very next cast got waxed by a trout in the 5- to 6-pound class. For about three hours, the two of us drifted that flat and caught reds and trout until our arms gave out. Truly a day to remember!

Tides are a big factor in success at Sabine. "The trick is to find an incoming tide over some sort of shell reef," said guide Jerry Norris. "I like to concentrate on small reefs during May for big trout. If I'm after reds, I'll use my trolling motor to work along any protected shoreline. You can pretty much use the same lures for both trout and reds, but I usually like to fish topwater plugs early and late. If I've got an overcast day, I'll stick with topwater plugs throughout the day, but if the sky is clear and the sun is high, you'll usually do best with some sort of soft-plastic lures."

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Some of the soft plastics proven most reliable are Yum Samurai Shads, Croaker Curltails and Stanley Wedge Tails. This past fall the 5-inch Wedge Tails were deadly when used on big trout and reds at the Sabine Jetties -- one of my favorite areas to fish.

If the wind's howling (as it's been known to do during May), working the jetties represents a very smart option. You can usually find clear water on one side or the other at the jetties. The east jetty is usually the most productive, with the Louisiana side being the best area overall. The key: Fish the green water along the rocks; the more current you have, the better.

I'll ease along the jetty wall and work soft plastics, silver spoons and crankbaits. The absolute best crankbait you can use along the jetties is a Swim'N Image in a trout or shad pattern. This particular crankbait has a very tight wobble and runs down to about 3 feet. It's death for both trout and reds along the rocks.

Speaking of rocks: The chunks of granite along the north and south revetment walls on the lake mark areas of great promise. My favorite is the north revetment wall. On the far north end of the wall is a shallow flat that attracts and holds lots of reds and trout. You can wade or drift it. Wade-fishing that extensive flat with topwater plugs can very well lead to taking some awfully big trout. Or you can ease along the rocks with a trolling motor and use soft plastics to catch both reds and trout.

The only way to fish the south revetment wall is from a boat. The water there is 4 to 6 feet deep, and the bottom is muddy. It's a great area for catching reds on jigs and a Swim'N Image.

On the far south end of the rock, there's a shallow, muddy flat. Best fished on a high tide when lots of mullet are working the surface, the site's been responsible for some big trout. The lures you want at the flat are topwater plugs -- and remember what Rising said about trout being spooky! Ease up to the area, cast the plugs to the bank and slowly work them back to the boat. On the right tide, this area has given up trout in the 8- to 10-pound class.

Don't forget that Sabine Lake is located on the Texas-Louisiana state line. If you venture inside the mouths of bayous or fish the east side of the east Sabine Jetty, you'll need a Louisiana saltwater license.

For guided fishing trips on Sabine Lake, call (409) 782-6796.

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