When it comes to fishing, there are no rules, no certainty, no absolutes. Every day is a new day and it reminds me of a science experiment. Sabine Lake is my lab, my kayak and poles are my tools, and my waterproof jacket is my lab coat with my Costa’s being my safety glasses.
First off, you have to ask yourself a question that you will be testing to find if it is true or not. Fishing being the subject, we often ask “With these conditions, will the fish be biting today?”. Thats a very broad question so we will just stick with Trout. Now we have our hypothesis for the experiment.
A hypothesis is an educated guess or proposition that attempts to explain a set of facts or natural phenomenon. Which we all can relate to having days of fishing that were indeed a phenomenon!
We start to gather data such as the wind speed, barometric pressure, and temperatures. We begin to study tidal charts and lunar phases and any other factor that we can attribute to this hypothesis that may lead us to a different result.
Last Friday I stepped into my lab with it being a cold, overcast day with minimum wind and an outgoing tide. I have fished this place for 2 years now and have never had any luck with a low tide. To top it off too, the barometric pressure was through the roof! I believe it was reading around 33 in. which is extremely high. I had 2 people tell me that I was wasting my time and was not going to catch a fish all day (I believed them as well) but I’m a stubborn scientist and this is what I do, I seek results.
I had a day planned and both of my friends who were suppose to meet me backed out first thing in the morning so I was on my own schedule. I caught the sunrise on Texas Bayou bridge and enjoyed my cup of coffee and the start to my Friday off. I was in no hurry so I took my time getting to my spot.
I arrive and the lake could not be any calmer, other than it being overcast and a little nippy, it is going to be a fine day. I had a 6 pack of Shiner iced down and was prepared for a slow day of floating on the water.
I start off with a broke back Corky that I have had tied on most of winter and it has not let me down. My 4th cast I feel a thump and I miss. 2 cast later she wouldn’t be so lucky! Got her in and she was just under 26″. Also she was not to lucky of a fish because it looked like a shark took a bite out of her back, pretty gnarly looking actually.
Well that is just one so I thought it may have been a fluke. Very next cast I hang into another fish. I knew she was a good one once she came up shaking her head! Got her in and she hit the 26″ mark as well.
I continue to fish and work my way slowly across this flat catching and releasing trout. After catching my first limit, maybe 45 minutes into it, I text my brother “Yea” just to leave him guessing of what my day was about to consist of. I then realize that my Corky box is still in my truck and the only one I have is tied on. So I retie and start fresh with a new leader.
I see a small splash way out but I decide to hurl my lure out there. I have the distance but my aim was a little off so I give 3 good jerks in hope to get the fishes attention. Then I see a head and back of a trout breach the water, almost is resemblance of a dolphin coming up for air. I tighten my line and set the hook and at this point is when I realize that I need a bigger net. Landed her, barely, but she went 26″ too and was thick!
My 14th fish I set the hook into my line snapped, there goes my one and only corky. Well I dig into my bag and have been wanting to try this for a while now and figured what the hell, lets try a different lure to see if I can get a different outcome. I tied on a 4/0 offset bass hook and hooked a Zoom Baby Bass Fluke onto it. My first cast I hang into a trout, and the next cast the same. 2 cast, 2 trout and I am loving this lure and presentation. It is pretty much the same as a corky just not as bulky, a slow sinking mullet imitation with a smaller profile.
One of my buddies decides he wants to meet me down here and he has no idea what I have been doing all day, I let it be a surprise to him. This is no lie, in February, 55 degrees outside, trout were literally jumping out of the water. I have never seen a feeding frenzy of trout like this, not even under lights, much less in the peak of winter time!
By the time Stu meets me out there I am on number 25. He thought I was joking with him until I landed another 2 and a trout popped right beside him and he was quickly on the action. I made a cast and felt dead weight at the end of my line so I set the hook and she just sat there, in a fixed position, trying to shake my lure but couldn’t. She went 27″ and was every bit of a 7 lb. trout, she was healthy needless to say!
She would complete my 3rd limit of trout and a solid way of doing so! I then decide to take a break and call my brother just to rub it in a little bit. Oh, and finally took a minute to crack open a Shiner and enjoy it as well!
We continued to fish right up until dark and the sun finally came out which made for a beautiful ending to an epic day of fishing. We actually left the fish biting but we decided to call it due to lack of light. To all of my friends that are reading this and I told you it was kind of a slow day and I only caught a few fish….sorry!
I alone ended up with 44 trout and 9 of them were over 5 lbs. Stu had caught right around 15, so between us 2 we had right around 60 trout. Not even going to include the ones that I missed. I think I can honestly say that day was probably my best day of fishing I have ever had!
Just when you think that you have the fish figured out and you know exactly what the outcome of your experiment is going to be, don’t be surprised if the results will make you look like a fool! Other times it will make you look like a genius.
I guess this is why we spend so much time in the lab experimenting with different variables to obtain different results. The only constant in this observation is the moon phase and fish have got to feed, everything else is constantly changing! For an accurate answer you have to fish everyday, record your results, find a pattern and test that over and over again to deem that it is indeed a fact and can be proven time and time again! Which brings us back to our question, “With these conditions, will the fish be biting today?” Good luck!