PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Outdoors

December 28, 2013

Chester Moore column: Watch for these SETX outdoors issues in 2014

PORT ARTHUR —   To say it is surreal to be referring to the year 2014 is an understatement. It seems like yesterday, the world was obsessed with Y2K paranoia. Here we are 14 years later and going into what should be an interesting outdoors year.

    There are five key outdoors issues you should might want to pay attention to heading into the New Year. They are as follows.

    Flounder Regulation Changes: The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) is scoping potential regulation changes for flounder. We will have a deeper analysis on this issue next week but for now we do know potentially adding an additional month to the current fall run (November) closure is being looked at.

     Trout Regulation Changes: Speckled trout regulation changes are also being examined. As with the flounder issue, there has been no official proposal forwarded but some options have been thrown out including a five trout limit. They will get the public’s ideas at a hearing to be held at the Port Arthur Public Library on both the trout and flounder issues 6 p.m. Jan. 9.

    National Forest/Refuge Shutdowns: There is a possibility we could face another government shutdown or major budget cuts in certain departments like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service. If you remember, the local refuges and national forests were shut down several weeks last October.

    We have debt ceilings to deal with and all kinds of other issues and while there is nothing definite set in stone be on the lookout. There are some spooky economic indicators in the market now that could have a snowball effect in government agencies.

     Big Trout: Trout regulations might be in discussion but the fact is Sabine is currently the hottest ecosystem on the Texas coast and we should see more of the same in 2014. If you are serious about catching super-sized trout the next four months are the prime time to do it and there are some monsters out there.

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Outdoors
  • 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 cmooreoutdoors@gmail.com. You can hear him on the radio Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on “Moore Outdoors” on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com and watch him Saturdays on GETV.org 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

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