PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Outdoors

April 26, 2014

Chester Moore column: It's time for bowfishing

(Continued)

PORT ARTHUR —     Moore and I had been bowfishing in this canal for the several years and always did well on carp. The one he shot that day probably weighed 20 pounds, but we have shot bigger ones there.

    Some mistakenly look at bowfishing as a sport mainly for the marshy, coastal areas but it thrives throughout the state and according to bowfishing expert Jeff Stewart the dense creek and river bottoms of East Texas are a prime place to shoot a variety of fish.

 

    “I’m all about hunting the gar in the Sabine River drainage and there are plenty of carp, buffalo and other species throughout East Texas to hunt as well,” Stewart said.

    “Bowfishing opportunities abound state-wide and if someone really wants to have a good time I suggest giving the sport a try. It’s good, clean fun and gives bowhunters something different to do in the off-season.”

    If you plan on getting into bowfishing, I highly recommend getting a “retriever rig,” which consists of a jug-like canister that attaches to the bow, or one of the reel-style bowfishing reels. Some retailers still sell a cheap rig that is basically a round piece of plastic on which the string is wound.

    When I first started bowfishing, I used one of these and the string got tangled on the plastic piece. I watched an arrow shoot out about 10 feet then slingshot back only inches from my face. I could have been blinded or worse. The retrievers and reel-style rigs are more expensive, but well worth the cost in terms of safety.

    There are rough fish to pursue in ever water body in the state and getting set up for bowfishing is pretty cheap in comparison to other aspects of archery. You can use an old compound or recurve with a good fishing rig and be ready to start immediately.

    Be careful though. The sport is reportedly addictive.

(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”.)

 

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Outdoors
  • Chester Moore column: Give summer crappie a chance

    July 8, 2014

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    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”.)
     

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