We’ve converged on the Sabine River in southeast Texas this week to make up the Elite event originally scheduled for April. The last time we were here I finished fourth and had just a great event. I caught them on a frog and had a great time. I like this place but at the same time tidal fisheries change so much from year to year and we're here at a much different time of year. The water temps back in 2015 were mid to upper 60s now they are mid to upper 80s.
The fishing is tough to say the least, but we all knew coming into this one it would be a challenge. At the end of the day somebody still holds a trophy and wins $100,000. Honestly as far as tournaments go I’ll take a tough one over a slugfest any day. I’ve always done better in tough ones it seems. Staying mentally focused is the key this week.
Being from Tennessee I’m still learning tidal fisheries. I’ve fished several of them now and understand them a lot more than I used to, but I’m still no expert by any means. Every time we go to one though I learn a little more and more about the way fish move and act on certain tides, and it’s really interesting. Today I literally watched it go from everything being just dead, no bait activity or fish activity, to fish moving and chasing bait in a matter of minutes. It was all because of one little change in the tide. That kind of thing really interests me.
A lot of baits and techniques will play this week but any time I’m on a tidal fishery I know I’m going to need a flipping rod rigged up and this week is no exception. I normally like the MHX NEPS 90HF for my flipping and pitching but this week I’m going with the FP885. I have found I can be more accurate when flipping and pitching light baits with this rod. Its 7-foot, 4-inches instead of 7-foot, 6-inches and believe it or not that 2 inches makes a huge difference in accuracy.
For my bait I’ve been using the X-Zone Muscle Back Finesse Craw rigged on a 3/0 Mustad Grip Pin Max flipping hook. The 20-pound vicious 100% fluorocarbon has been my line choice, and this setup should put them in the boat when they bite. Bites are precious here, and they’ve got to all be put in the boat.
Stay tuned for this one. You’ll no doubt learn how the best anglers in the world attack a difficult fishery and that’s a great reason to watch and see how it plays out.