Fishing & Boating News

Paddling Strokes - Sabine River Sand Bass Report

by: Michael Banks, DDS,

Dr. Banks with Sabine River Sand Bass
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS
Sabine River Sand Bass
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS
(Feb 7, 2019 - )

McFadden’s Landing is the trip was fantastic!  Thirty-four sand bass, each weighing close to three pounds, were caught using light spinning tackle with Road Runner lures.

The detailed report is every time I fish, I learn something.  This trip was an education.  Most of the people fishing around me in flat bottom boats or bass boats caught just a few.  The technique I happened onto was the difference.  The first Sand Bass caught was on the second cast so I thought this was going to be easy but after a couple of hours and only catching nine, my skills were being challenged.

Just by happenstance I slowed down my retrieve to a crawl and started picking up Sand Bass on a “soft” bite.  Most times I didn’t know a fish was on; didn’t feel the take.  Once I set the hook up, the fight was on.  These fish have swam up into the Sabine River from Toledo Bend Reservoir to find a place to breed (spawn).  These fish are horny, hungry and angry which makes for an exciting fight to land.  Soon there will be millions of Sand Bass in the Sabine River and even with a liberal twenty-five per day limit, the numbers do not decrease from year to year.

I parked my kayak next to a steep sandbar and I would cast out into the middle of the River.  I let the Road Runner (1/4th oz., Marabou orange, yellow; pictured) sink and then began a “slow roll” retrieve.  The bottom was clean and sandy.  The Sand Bass would pick up the lure with a “soft bite” and not swim away making the take a trick to feel.  I did do some false sets but setting on a fish created the sought after tug, the “drug” of fishing.  In two hours I caught twenty-five, a limit, from this one hole.  I caught five on six casts!

Learning to “read” the sandbars, current and river are critical to finding the “holes”.   This location was within sight of the put in at McFadden’s Landing and brought back a remembrance of the Perpetual Hole at FM 2517.  Amazingly, I did not lose a single Road Runner.
You should have been there!

Until we put in again,

Road Runner
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS