PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Outdoors

August 12, 2012

CHESTER MOORE: Shark encounter continues to inspire

Chester Moore, Jr. column for Aug. 12, 2012

(Continued)

PORT ARTHUR —

    Many things about that day will live with me forever, but most vivid is the first time I looked into a great white’s eyes. In the movie Jaws, the late actor Robert Shaw’s character talks about them having dark eyes “like a dolls eyes.” I agree.

    With eyes as black and lifeless as a chunk of coal, the monster shark and I seemed to make contact, if only for a brief second. I could see no conscience or thought, just an instinctive drive to kill and survive.

    The great white shark is nature at its purest and best, no matter how ugly or cruel it might seem to us.

    Living in a world where we buy our meat from a market and live in air-conditioned homes, we humans sometimes lose touch with what true survival is all about. The great white shark embodies that better than any living creature I can think of.

    More profoundly, it gives us a sense of humility. Even though mankind has conquered everything from polio to space travel, there are still things to which we are vulnerable; sometimes, we are not at the top of the food chain.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmooreoutdoors@yahoo.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com. You can find him on Facebook at facebook.com/extremewildlife.)

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Outdoors
  • Chester Moore column: Give summer crappie a chance

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

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  • 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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