March Madness

What is not to love about March? Seriously, it is one of the more exceptional months that we have. The cold, bitter winter days are coming to an end and are being filled with blue skies and warmer weather. Besides that, there is also St. Patricks Day, which is an awesome holiday, and the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament. If you are not drinking green beer or routing for the other team so your bracket will not be busted, then you need to be on the water. March brings warmer waters from the gulf, which in turn, brings in plenty of bait fish. Bait fish for trout that have been lethargic and hungry all winter. The warmer water temperature makes the fish very active and heated days can produce some serious trout.

This past weekend we never made it to Louisiana due to the teams conflicting schedule, which was alright because it allowed me to do a little pre-fishing for the Sabine Lake Trout Shootout on Sunday. I have been hearing nothing but good things coming from Trinity Bay and that area so I decide to head there Friday. I get to my launch spot and notice that the water is low. So I have to drag my kayak through the mud just to get to the water.


After about 5 steps I almost lose both shoes in the mud and leaves me making my trek barefoot. Finally I reach enough water where I can start to paddle. While making my way, I am scaring off tons of mullet, a promising sign. Fished for a few hours and can not get a bite. After seeing a few gar and carp come up to the surface I decide to dip my finger in the water and taste it. I know it seems weird, but I will explain. The water I tasted was fresh, really fresh. I am trying to target SALTwater fish, not fresh. If the water does not have at least a little salt in it, you will not find trout. They will move out of the area quick to either deeper water or water further south. That is why I taste the water, for the salinity. No salt, no trout. I talked with several others on the water that did not get a bite either, so it was not just me.

Saturday comes around and my partner for the tournament, Chad, does some fishing at an old spot of ours and zeroes out too. So we are headed to this tournament not expecting to do much and having a slow day on the water. The spot we choose has produced fish for us in the past, just not lately. After doing my checks, it looks like the peak feed time was going to be around 6-8 a.m. I figured we had around the first hour of the morning to catch our fish or we were not catching anything at all. I arrive at the launch at 5:30 and shortly followed by Chad. Get our kayaks in the water and just waiting for 6 to hit so we can paddle to our spot. Start heading across the water and notice we are scaring off a lot of bait. Not long after we start paddling, we start seeing a few boats running lights come across the water. We arrive to our spot with a few other boats in the near area. Chad and I split apart by about 20 yards or so and try to locate which way the fish may be in. After 5 minutes of fishing, Chad called me over to come join him. It is still dark and he has already had 2 blow-ups on a topwater, and could see them. As soon as it gets just light enough to see, Chad hangs into a nice trout on topwater. Within the next 10 minutes he hangs 2 more trout and I have already had a few blow-ups myself. My next cast my line breaks and sends my topwater for a ride. I quickly pick up my Corky that I had tied on and make a cast at a swirl that I had just seen. After about 5 bumps I notice the Corky was on top of the water, which typically you want to let it sink and fish it slow. As soon as it breaks the surface a trout slams into it. Get it in and on the stringer, our 3rd fish and we at least have enough fish to go to the weigh-in.  I am throwing this Corky and working it on top of the water as fast as I can and the trout love it! Literally coming out of the water trying to hit it. Chad keeps getting blow-ups and loses 2 nice fish, which looking at it now may of helped us win. There has to be at least 7-10 boats that see us catching trout and are surrounding us. Only seen one of those boats catch a fish and everyone is watching us hammer the trout. Not sure why, but we were directly in the trout. Honestly, Chad had caught one blowing up his topwater 5 foot from the boat and I unhooked one trout, threw my corky back into the water and a trout popped up and hit it. Our only problem was we had 10 trout but just did not have that ringer. At about 7:45 it slows down and I decide to try the other direction where I started fishing earlier. My first cast  and 2 bumps later, I hang into a trout and know right away I found our ringer. Get her in the kayak and on the stringer and fishing just dies. We had all of our fish by 8 a.m., just like I had figured.

Around 11, we still have not caught anything and the wind picks up, bad! A little rain gets mixed in with the 25 MPH wind, so we decide to call it an early day. By far the worst wind I have had while being on the water.