, Port Arthur, Texas


August 7, 2013

OUTDOORS COLUMN: Wind a constant battle on the coast

Wind is certainly not an evil force but you would be hard pressed to find an angler on the coast who does not think of it in an extremely negative light.

With limited time to fish many of us find ourselves at the boat dock with big winds keeping us away from our best fishing holes and scrambling to make something positive happen.

This year we have not only dealt with a lot of wind but much more southwest wind than normal.

Last year I wrote a column about how since Hurricane Ike southwest has been much more prevalent than before. Locally, southwest and west winds muddy Sabine Lake and Lake Calcasieu (by blowing spoils from the channel across the lake) and generally mess up the fishing.

The following are a few tips for fishing in heavy wind from my personal repertoire that have saved the day many times.

Launch in Louisiana: I love to flounder fish on the Sabine Lake’s Louisiana shoreline but if the wind is blowing it is dangerous getting across in my aluminum boat.

The best option is to launch in Johnson Bayou by taking Deep Bayou Road off SH 82. You can fish Johnson itself and easily get to Madame Johnson and Willow Bayou without too much trouble. This of course requires a Louisiana license.

Fish the Channel: On big, windy days I will fish popping corks rigged with Gulp in the ship channel and try to let the cork be pushed by the wind toward the shore.

Typically, small baitfish in shrimp will also be against this shoreline and so will the redfish and occasionally trout and flounder. Make sure you are using a weighed cork so you can make long casts and so the wind does not push it around too much.

Cut Bait: On windy days when the water is murky simply running into the canals going into Bessie Heights Marsh, fishing the Keith Lake Fish Pass or anchoring over a deep hole in the channel with cut bait can be hard to beat.

Redfish are cut bait connoisseurs and will gladly accept your offerings. You will also occasionally catch drum and trout.

I prefer using cut mullet but cut croaker and shad can be effective.

Run North!: Right now, we have seriously salty waters and there are trout and reds far into the Sabine and Neches Rivers.

Run into some of the protected bayous up the river and look for shrimp and shad.

If you can get live shrimp this is by far the best bait for this setting and my preferred rig is simply a light (1/16 or 1/8 oz) split shot rigged above a wide gapped hook.

Do not be surprised if you catch bass. They can tolerate salty water and like everything else devour shrimp.

The most successful fishermen are those who adapt to any situation. On a windy coast that can be a challenge but a rewarding one for those who keep their options open.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at

Text Only
  • Chester Moore column: Give summer crappie a chance

    July 8, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Alligators tip off when flounder on the move

    June 14, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: The East half of Texas is catfish country

    May 31, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Bank fishing good approach on catfish

     Summer is one of the best times to seek catfish in Southeast Texas and thankfully, for local anglers without a boat, there are catfish in just about every canal, drainage ditch and bayou in the area.
      Fishing from the bank has its disadvantages but there is a way around it. This involves making the fish come to you.
      European catfish and carp anglers who typically fish exclusively from the bank use a system called “ground baiting,” which involves putting chum out with the bait. They attach a small cylindrical device above their swivel, which holds chum and dispenses it as the water rushes by. The problem is these rigs are not readily available in our marketplace.
      However, with a little ingenuity, taking a 35-millimeter film canister, punching a hole in the bottom and on the lid and then punching more holes along the side can make a similar device. This acts as a perfect chumming device and is very inexpensive.
      Not everyone has film canisters these days so the softer plastic aspirin bottles will also get the job done.
      Rig this above your swivel and weight, and then fill it with your favorite chum. Now you will not only be chumming the area you fish in but also bringing fish directly to your bait.
      Any kind of chum will work, but a mixture I have had some success with was menhaden oil (available through many mail order offshore supply catalogs) mixed with soured milo. The oil creates a huge chum slick and when it mixes with the milo, the smell is almost unbearable, which means catfish love it. The best part is that a little bit goes a long way.
     Something else to consider is using jack mackerel as bait.
     This oily fish is available in larger supermarkets in a can for less than $1, and I can attest it will bring in fish. While fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and tagging sharks for the Mote Marine Laboratory, my partners and I were able to chum in and catch nearly 40 sharks while using less than two cans of the stuff. It is oily and stinks to high heaven, so catfish should love it.
      For anglers interested in using film canisters to chum their bait, something else to consider is the use of a popping cork. Even if your bait is on the bottom, you can rig a popping cork above it and attach a baited film canister below. This will allow you to do some extra chumming and use the cork to “pop” the chum out whenever you want to release more.
     Another great tip for land bound anglers is to use braided line. In talking with several anglers who pursue brackish blues from the bank, I have learned that loosing striking fish can be a problem.
      I am not sure as to the reason but a definitely solution is using a braided line because they have no stretch. When making long casts with monofilament from the bank you have the potential for lots of line stretch when can make a poor hookset.
     Sixty yards of line might have five or six feet of stretch and that is plenty for a big blue to undo. When using a braid like Fireline, Gorilla Braid or Spiderwire you can forego these problems and greatly enhance your chances of putting some catfish in the frying pan.
     (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on the radio Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on “Moore Outdoors” on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at and watch him Saturdays on on “God’s Outdoors with Chester Moore”.)

    May 24, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Hogs in Texas a complex issue

    May 3, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Sabine Lake getting artificial reef

    April 30, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: It's time for bowfishing

    April 26, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Whistlers, snook and ballyhoo, oh my!

    April 19, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Bank hot spots have great value

    April 12, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Go deep, fish jigs to catch truly big bass

    April 5, 2014