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InsideLine – Hawk Talk – Sabine River Elite Series
Category : HAWK TALK
Two years ago I fished the Sabine River for the first time and made the mistake of trying to cover too much water in practice instead of picking an area and learning it well. This time I committed the three day practice period to Taylor’s Bayou, fishing both Taylor’s and Hildebrandt, giving myself an opportunity to find as many fish holding areas as possible.
The first practice morning I concentrated on Taylor’s. I fished the main river, oxbows and backwaters, trying to get a feel for what was going on. East Texas received a lot of rain prior to the tournament and the effects were evident with high, heavily stained water (just two to three inches of visibility) flowing down the Bayou. The first few backwaters and oxbows I fished didn’t hold cleaner water than the main river, so I quickly removed looking for cleaner water as my top priority. In doing so, I overlooked two key canals fished by several anglers who made the final day top 12. These vegetation filled canals had cleaner water than anywhere else in the Bayou and held a strong fish population, but I drove by them as if they didn’t exist.
Most of my bites were coming from hard cover, especially cypress trees and cypress knees, which were located on the main river. Yes, the water was dirty, but as long as I presented my baits close to the cover I had no problem getting bites. I spent the second and third practice days fishing the Hildebrandt side of the Bayou and had twice as many bites as I did on the Taylor’s side—roughly 10-15 each day. There were more cypress trees and main-river banks lined with cypress knees than the Taylor side giving me more opportunities to find fish.