Sabine Saltwater Success

Redfish

By Capt. Adam Jaynes

Success in the Sabine estuary depends on water clarity, sunlight and wind speed.

The southerly winds have really beat us up through March and April. When you mix in decent cool fronts here and there with a strong north wind your hands are really tied on where you are able to fish.

As we get on into May and the mercury continues to climb on the thermometer, we will see those calmer, more fisherman-friendly days more frequently.

If you have spent much time on the front of a poling skiff with a fly rod in your hands you will be excited to have some calm days to fish. Likewise, if you are the one responsible for push-poling a skiff you may be doubly appreciative of calmer days on the water!

On multiple occasions, I have mentioned my fondness for fishing the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge in deep southeast Texas. Early spring is my choice as it has been undisturbed for several months, but also due to the amazing water clarity during this time period.

As a self-proclaimed sight-fishing fanatic there are three main pieces of the puzzle that greatly influence your chances of success with the buggy whip. In no particular order they are: water clarity, sunlight and wind speed.

To have a successful trip, you really need at least two of the three to cooperate. When all three pieces of the puzzle line up, well then, I hope you brought your lunch. It will be a while before we are heading back to the dock.

I credit my dad for getting me into fly fishing.

His dad, my PaPaw, used to paddle him around in a jon boat around Bluebirds off of the Sabine River to catch bass and bream when he was younger. Dad later introduced me to fly fishing and then we bought a Yellowfin 17’ poling skiff together.

The memories we have chasing redfish in that boat are irreplaceable! He also taught me how to tie my own flies. Catching a redfish that you sight casted to with your own fly that you tied brings the gratification to another level. My favorite fly to catch those tailing redfish is a shrimp slider. I prefer to tie mine weightless for a couple of reasons. By tying weightless it helps me to keep the fly out of the grass that is just beneath the surface while simultaneously allowing me to fish it slower.