October redfish extravaganza

Photo by Chris Berzas Captain Robby Trahan loves sight-fishing the Sabine Lake marshes for redfish in the fall of the year.
Photo by Chris Berzas
Captain Robby Trahan loves sight-fishing the Sabine Lake marshes for redfish in the fall of the year.

 

“There’s some fish moving on that cut over there,” said Capt. Robby Trahan of Johnson Bayou, pointing to a finger bayou coming out of the marsh on Sabine Lake’s northeastern edge. “They’re going down these banks right now because there’s a lot of bait in here.”

Sure enough, the body of a redfish suddenly vaulted out of the waters at the mouth of the cut. The fish was not by itself, however, as the backs and tails of others followed in its wake.

“They’re working the bait so well they actually have the water muddied up there a good bit along the banks,” the 35-year-old angler from Johnson Bayou said.

Trahan initially missed the first hit on his LSU Wedgetail Mullet, but he didn’t make the same mistake on the followup strike.

Photo by Chris Berzas In the marsh canals exiting the ponds, anglers will also be looking for birds hovering over the water signifying redfish pods swimming right under them.
Photo by Chris Berzas
In the marsh canals exiting the ponds, anglers will also be looking for birds hovering over the water signifying redfish pods swimming right under them.

“I got him. Yeah, it’s a red,” he said as his drag screamed in spurts and his braid metered off the reel.

The fish made a few good thrusts as Trahan reeled him back to the boat.

“He’s a toad — a slot fish fatter than I thought,” the angler said after hoisting it to the deck with his rod arching a tad too close to breaking.

A close inspection of the fish placed its length at approximately 22 inches.

Some 20 minutes later, Trahan’s boat motored out of the marsh canal and onto the eastern edge of the lake. Gulls were flying in a few locations, and Trahan was casting the LSU wedgetail again — this time under the birds.

“There’s one,” the angler said. “And it’s a good one. He swallowed that bait.”

Once netted, the 27-inch redfish was closely inspected. It had shrimp whiskers protruding from the frontal interior of its gullet.

We went on that day to catch, photograph and release at least 12 redfish and about 15 speckled trout.

Photo by Chris Berzas This nice redfish was taken by Capt. Robby Trahan  on Sabine Lake's northeatern ledge. Note the color in comparison to the marsh redfish taken above.
Photo by Chris Berzas
This nice redfish was taken by Capt. Robby Trahan on Sabine Lake’s northeastern edge. Note the color in comparison to the marsh redfish taken above.

But we were there primarily for the Sabine gold — schools of voracious redfish that prowl the lake and interior marshes to the north and east of the 90,000-acre waterway sitting on the eastern edge of Cameron Parish and bordered by Port Arthur, Texas, to the west.

And it’s during mid-August through October when these bronze beauties school up, chiefly due to Mother Nature’s call to spawn.

And they gorge on baitfish, crabs and shrimp flooding out of the marsh and into the edges and central portions of the lake.

“It’s not unusual to see hundreds of redfish schooling and rolling together in the mid-lake in August and into the fall months,” said Trahan. “Heck, there’ll be acres of them at times.”

For more information, you can reach Capt. Robby Trahan at 337-309-7881; or visit his website at www.fishingsabinelake.com.

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