, Port Arthur, Texas

December 15, 2012

Chester Moore column: Note taking essential for angles

Chester Moore
The Port Arthur News


    Taking notes after fishing trips is extremely important.

    It allows you to gain incite into fish behavior as well as tiny things that can make a huge difference in the areas you fish. Here are some excerpt from my notes on various days fishing local waters.

    This will give you an idea of what you can learn from paying a little more attention and recording what you see.

    Regarding Lake Calcasieu’s Schooling Redfish: I have never seen redfish literally riding waves on a rough open bay with their backs halfway out of the water chasing shrimp. They were on top of the chop from their eyes up feeding aggressively. And these fish were moving super fast. You had to stay on the trolling motor at full throttle and throw a heavy lure to reach them. Exciting but tough fishing.

    Big Outgoing Tide: If the water is moving out of a small bayou too fast it can make flounder fishing with soft plastic lures nearly impossible. The fish do not seem to bite nearly as good as they would if the water was coming in this quickly and feeling a bite when the water is exiting the cut at breakneck pace is hard.

    Trout and Popping Corks: On every trip I have done with my friend Mark Davis over the last few years has caught the biggest trout of anyone present by using a popping cork with a soft plastic rigged on a jighead under it. He works the cork harder than anyone I have ever seen and says it is almost impossible to work it too much. The results do not lie. This makes me rethink everything I ever considered about popping corks and trout.

    West Winds: We have had more westerly winds on Sabine Lake over the last three years than probably the entire decade before. The bayous on the Louisiana side of the lake and of course that entire shoreline get as muddy as a glass of chocolate milk if a west wind gets over ten miles per hour. Today the mud line was all the way up Willow Bayou halfway to the bridge. The fishing was super slow.

    Barometric Pressure: The pressure was super high today and the fish were very finicky. The bites were unusual and you really had to do some finesse fishing to get any to bite.

    Lack of Baitfish: The bayou systems in the Sabine River had very little baitfish after the front hit. There were some shrimpers working but few little fish. When we tip our jigs with shrimp or fish with Gulp! we usually have lots of little croaker and sand trout hitting it but I used one shrimp most of the morning.

    Ribbonfish: The trout were gorging themselves on ribbonfish today. I caught a 16-inch trout that had a seven-inch ribbonfish in its mouth. This seems a little late to have so many ribbonfish in the lake but the trout seem to be enjoying it. Maybe we should target some of the bigger specks using something that mimics a ribbonfish.

    I learned things about ecosystem this week that challenged my old way of thinking and verified some theories of mine. Taking notes on your trips can do the same for you and can be something you pass on to your children as unique family heirloom.

 (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