When people hear the surf’s on between Holly Beach and Sabine Lake near the Louisiana/Texas border, they’re not thinking of crashing waves, surf boards and bikini babes.
Instead, their thoughts are focused on good numbers of speckled trout running the beaches in search of schools of baitfish and shrimp.
And Capt. Robby Trahan of Sulphur is usually first on the scene to take advantage of this beach phenomenon that occurs at this time every summer.
On Sunday, July 13, Trahan, his son, Noah, and friend Johnny started their day trawling for live bait. After making two passes resulting in enough 3- to 4-inch croakers, the angling trio motored out past the Sabine Lake jetties eastward to a choice location in the surf.
“We saw slicks popping up and mullet jumping in the first spot,” Capt. Trahan said. “We came around the second sand bar and anchored in the second trough along the beach.”
The anglers then cast their croakers on Carolina rigs and let the baitfish sit on the bottom for a spell.
“We would twitch the baits with our rods every now and then,” he said.
“Johnny set the hook on the first speck – a 2 ½-pounder,” Trahan said. “Noah and Johnny caught three more about the same, and then I hooked into one that was 26 inches in length and weighed 6 pounds.
“We caught a few more good ones like the others, but we also released 15 trout up to 16 inches. Then the hardheads and black tip sharks moved in, and we moved about a half mile east but stayed in the same trough.”
In their new location on the beach, the anglers accounted for several more speckled trout weighing 2 ½- to 3-pounds, and then the bite started to taper off.
“Noah ended up catching a bull red there weighing 30 pounds,” Trahan said. “We caught another 20-pounder as well.”
The trio then made a decision to head to the short rigs located southwest of Sabine Pass.
“I positioned the boat upcurrent of one of the rigs, and we began casting a few live shrimp,” he said. “Spanish mackerel began to cut us off but we managed to catch 3 keepers.”
Trahan then observed that they were fishing in 25 feet of water, and speckled trout were suspending in 15- to 20-foot depths.
“We caught 16 more trout there and left them biting,” he said.
Trahan advises anglers to begin taking advantage of the beach bite especially.
“The beaches here between Constance Beach and Sabine Lake also have some real good trout, and I’m telling anglers to not pass that bite up,” he said.
The best conditions favorable to catching trout on the beach include a north wind and/or whenever the waters clear up after strong southeasterlies. The beach bite usually extends into the fall of the year.
Sabine Lake is a Louisiana/Texas border estuary of 90,000 acres (23 miles long, nine miles across) of brackish water that eventually pours into the Gulf of Mexico south of Port Arthur, Texas.
Road access in Louisiana is via Highway 82 approximately 3 miles west of Johnson’s Bayou. When launching and landing out of the Causeway Landing or the Johnson’s Bayou Landing (Deep Bayou Road) on the Louisiana side, Louisiana trout creel and length limits apply. If Louisiana anglers launch and land at any of the Texas launches on the western side however, Texas creel and length limits will be enforced.
Texas allows only 10 trout measuring between 15 to 25 inches in length with “no more than one spotted seatrout over the stated maximum length may be retained per person per day and counts as part of the daily bag and possession limit.”
For more information, call Trahan at 337-309-7881 or visit his website at www.fishingsabinelake.com.