Chester Moore, Jr.
The Port Arthur News
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com.)