Fishing in Sabine Lake

We had decided to meet around six by the Pleasure Island Restaurant on Sabine Lake. Today I was going to be filming a segment called KTBS Outdoors, in Shreveport Louisiana. I was fishing with some friends of mine for big specks and I could not have picked a better angling team.

First, I had Brett Crawford, president of All Star Rods, a great guy and heck of an angler. Then there was Jim Franklin, he won the Troutmasters that year and was as fine an angler as I had ever met, and topping off my team for the day was Dickie Colburn, 30-year veteran Pro guide on Sabine.

I had waded the oyster reefs on Sabine in the past, I had waded the surf and on the jetties, but what was in store for me that day I will never forget.

It was overcast and the air temperature was a chilly 50 degrees. The water on this 90,000-acre lake looked stained and rough as Tony, Ted and I walked down the ramp. We loaded up in two boats and headed out.

big fish

One more cast

When I left for the lake on that chilly Thursday afternoon, I knew that a storm was brewing just west of Nacogdoches about 35 miles away. It was late November and was, in my book, and maybe yours, a perfect day to go bass fishing in East Texas.

Upper 50s, overcast skies, water temps had been falling and I had been catching solid bass to 7 lbs. first of the week.

Lake Pinkston was only 15 minutes from my house and I had seen storms come and go many times over the years on the lake, so it was not a major concern, a factor yes, but not a concern. As small as Pinkston was I could be off the lake in less than 5 minutes. I hooked up my boat and headed out .

On the way I wondered how much time I would have on the water before Mother Nature had her say. I will fish in any kind of weather from 30 degrees and drizzle to 100 degrees and roasting, but lighting had no place in my fishing plans.

snake charmer

Snake charmer

I guess it was back in the early eighties when Billy Palmer decided to drain his lake and dig out around the banks. It was a classic East Texas farm pond, with one exception, the cows didn’t have access to the whole lake.

It had all the classic features. Stumps, blow downs, mossy edge and an old dock. You could make it out about half way but the rest was rotted boards and a few poles. Great for dragging a big worm by or speeding a spinner bait through.

I had fished this lake for the last thirteen years. My big bass was an 8 something, we didn’t have scales back then, but we were usually pretty close. I had tangled with some bigger bass than that on this old pond.

I remember when Billy asked if I wanted to help him drain the lake, with his son Dirk and Kyle, I was all over it. I asked if I could bring a fishing buddy along that had been on the lake before, and he said sure. I knew Doug Flatley, one of my best friends, would kill to see what came out of this old pond.

Essential Backpacking Check List

  • Pack and Pack Cover (or strong trash bag)
  • Tent and Groundcloth
  • Sleeping Bag – 20 degree rated
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Stove and Repair Kit
  • Fuel for Stove: approx. 16 oz/week
  • Cook Kit: w/pot lifter & stir spoon
  • Eating Utensils: bowl, spoon & mug
  • Biodegradable Soap & Scrubbie
  • Water Bottles, minimum 2 liters/quarts or “bladder” style container
  • Water Purification System; Pump, Iodine Tablets or Crystals
orvis-fly-fishing-school

Weekend Trip: Beginners Orvis Fly Fishing School

orvis-fly-fishing-schoolSagamore has teamed up with expert instructors endorsed by JP Ross Fly Rods of Utica. They have worked for such respected companies as Remington Arms & the Orvis Company and have been featured on EPSN and the Outdoor Life network. This program covers the skills of casting, reading water, determining trout lies, observing trout feeding patterns & identifying insects. Learn to tie your own flies, then test your skills on Sagamore Lake.

July 22-24, 2005
Sept 23-25, 2005
Instructor: Rising Trout Outfitters
Fee: $425 per person; includes accommodations, meals, equipment, instruction

Classic Cedar Canvas Canoe Restoration Workshop

This restoration program offers instruction in restoring an old canoe to its previous splendor. Each student may bring their own canoe, or one will be provided. The instructor will assess each canoe and students will proceed to restore or replace the needed parts. By end of the week the canoe will be re-canvassed and ready to take home for the finishing work. The instructor must have a prior conversation with the canoe owner to determine the materials needed and the feasibility of restoration in the allotted time. If a canoe is provided by Sagamore for restoration, it will remain as part of the Sagamore fleet for use in their educational programs. (Minimum two boats)

September 16-23, 2005
Instructor: Pam Wedd
Fee: tba; includes accommodations, meals, instruction, most materials

sagamore lake

Weekend Trip: Women In The Woods at Great Camp Sagamore

sagamore lakeCanoe and hike in the perfect Adirondack autumn. Meet others who accept nature as their path to revitalization and renewal. Spend time with other women friends. Spend time in solitude. Spend time in learning. Create an unforgettable weekend.

September 17-19, 2005
Instructor: Jen Hunter
Fee: $335 per person; includes accommodations, meals, and guided trips for the whole weekend.