PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Outdoors

November 24, 2012

Chester Moore column: Local porcupines and other random thoughts

PORT ARTHUR —     A couple of years ago we ran a photo of a porcupine road-killed at Sabine Pass.

    That photo shocked many people because they (along with yours truly) did not realize we had porcupines in Southeast Texas. Last week I heard about someone whose Doberman pinscher had to visit a local vet to get porcupine quills removed from it after an Orange County encounter.

    With porcupines out there it makes you wonder what else might be roaming the region doesn’t it?

      Do we have ringtails? I know a very reputable person who saw one in Orange County back in the early 1990s.

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    The big flounder run in Cameron unfortunately brings out the worse in a small number of anglers. There is story after story of people catching their limit, going home and coming back for more the same day. That resource is finite and at some point the great run will greatly decrease unless something is done to halt the poaching, protect more of those big females and end issues related to shrimping related bycatch over there.

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    Snow geese are finally starting to show here. They had been super thin but a few more birds are tricking in. There are still birds however way up north. I was in South Dakota last week and it still had strong numbers of snows.

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    When is the last time you saw a bobwhite quail in Southeast Texas? I used to see them a fair amount growing up in Orange County in the 1980s. The last covey I can remember seeing in the area was probably around 1997 on some public hunting land in the Little Cypress area. There are probably still a few scattered around but they are definitely few and far between. What a shame.

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    Do you remember Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom? I loved that show growing up and it was the forerunner of everything from The Crocodile Hunter to modern shows like Destination Wild with Casey Anderson.

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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

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    April 30, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: It's time for bowfishing

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  • 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