Lake Charles’ Ken Chaumont, with 8-pluspound trout caught while drifting reefs with a Egret Kick a Mullet. (Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 10:07 AM
Big Lake has several areas which work great for anglers who fish from the shoreline and many of them catch a lot of impressive fish.
Last week Lupe Gutierrez landed a huge redfish while fishing from the bank near Calcasieu Point. He was using a spinning reel with 20-pound test along with live shrimp. After taking photos, Gutierrez released the big red. He said it was his largest redfish ever. Great job, Lupe.
Elaine Huck at Calcasieu Point said, “Fishing is improving everyday here.”
The water is getting a little more clear and saltier everyday, as long as we don’t get the wind and rain. Huck added she has seen a lot of specks, reds and even a few big flounder brought in to the cleaning table.
The LNG area is clearing and is producing several founder and quality reds. Haymart has been a popular spot to get out of the wind and catch a few redfish. In addition, the Salt Ditch is also producing, said Huck, with anglers catching reds, drum and even stingrays.
Other fishing catching spots are the east side of Big Lake and West Cove. Also, if you haven’t tried Egret Bait Company’s Vudu Shrimp you may be missing out on some fish. This is a hot bait right now, several anglers have said.
At Hackberry Rod and Gun, Capt. Buddy Oakes said, “This past week solid speckled trout from 3-7 pounds continued to come to the boats drifting over oyster reefs on the main lake.”
Oakes added most of the fish are being caught on live shrimp in early morning drifts. Mirrolure’s soft plastic Lil John, Texas Trout Killers and Hackberry Hustlers have also been good on light lead heads, Oakes said. Big redfish continue to be caught everyday on live bait mostly along shore line points. He added that May and June are very productive months in terms of great speckled trout catching on Lake Calcasieu.
A final Big Lake report comes from Capt. Bruce Baugh who said Monday afternoon they had a remarkable trip wade fishing with no great numbers of trout but huge, beautiful fish, which is a wade fisherman’s dream.
They landed one weighing 8 pounds and one that went 9 pounds, 14 ounces with the rest of the trout averaging more than 4 pounds. Topwaters and Broken Back Corkies were the baits of choice.
Last week’s Wednesday Afternoon Dogfight winners were the team of Shane Cormier and Clint Landreneau with a limit of 5.75 pounds. They also had the big bass at 1.94 pounds. They reported catching their fish in the Houston River on buzzbaits and Flukes and took home $300 for first place. The duo also qualified for the championship later in the summer.
In second was Troy Tate and Paul Frilot with a limit at 5.31 pounds. They said they caught all of their bass on jigs in muddy water on the northern portion of the Calcasieu River. In third place was Robert Weemes and David Rabalais with a limit that weighed 4.78. They reported fishing in the West Fork and that they caught most of their fish on Bass Kandi Speed Craws and spinnerbaits West Fork.
The fishing is really getting good and in the last several days the river has given up some quality fish with several weighing more than 4 pounds. Angler Doug Guins said, “We are catching fish on Stanley jigs and Texas-rigged craws and creatures.”
He added that the water is still heavily stained to muddy on the main river and water temps remain in the upper 60s. The West Fork is slightly clearer with stained conditions. However, the West Fork is choked with salvinia and several areas of the West Fork are heavily matted with the invasive grass.
Guins warned some of the mats conceal floating logs which makes boating very dangerous in these areas so use caution.
The Sabine River is continually clearing and some areas are very clear while others remain slightly stained and water temps are in the upper 60s. Fish are being caught on multiple baits, said Guins, with topwater spinnerbaits and crankbaits, weightless Bass Kandi Minnows and Kandi Stic plus Texas-rigged craw worms. Sabine is giving up a lot of good bass.
Southern Outdoor Productions presents a new bass tournament trail to this area, said tournament organizer Doug Schysm.
It will include events on Toledo Bend, Sam Rayburn as well as Calcasieu and Sabine rivers. The lake events will cost $120 per two-angler team while river events will be $80. For more details, including location, dates and payout call 884-1183 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also pre-register for any event at www.southernoutdoorproductions.net
Big Sam (130,000 acres) is in beautiful shape with water level at 162.7 feet, which is less than 2 feet below full pool.
Water temps are running from 63-66 degrees and in protected coves a little higher. There’s still a lot of bass in shallow water and it is no problem catching 20-30 bass a day, but a lot of them will be small and the spotted bass are out in mass. I caught them on wacky worms, spinnerbaits, jigs and Carolina rigs. Also, they are in 4 feet and even 20 feet so there is no shortage of bites, but quality bass are a different matter.
The larger bass are moving into the deeper drains as well as to main lake and main creek points. Some of the best bass are coming on 12-15 feet ridges with deeper water close by.
We also caught some bass on crankbaits both medium diver (DLNs from Norman’s Lures) as well as DD22s, which on 10-pound test run 12 feet (DLN) to 18 feet (DD22). The 10-pound test we are cranking is Berkley Trilene 100 percent fluorocarbon. As far as ridges, I like the ridges in front of Farmers as well as those in Black Forest.
As far as other patterns, topwater action is increasing, especially on these cloudy days. The frog bite is also coming on strong. If you have not checked out Stanley’s new Top Toad Ribbit you might should consider it. It is a hollow-bodied bait that is designed for Stanley’s Double Take hooks that fit perfectly on top of the bait. The Top Toad can be fished numerous ways as it floats so it is perfect to pause it in open holes in the grass.
Drop-shot patterns are also on the increase with my favorite drop-shot soft plastic being a Havoc Bottom Hopper Jr. (4.75 inches). This is an amazing little worm with a floating tail that stands up when rigged drop-shot. Bass love it.