PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Outdoors

January 11, 2014

Chester Moore column: Bull drum are here now

PORT ARTHUR —      The spring “drum run” is in March and April but the fact is in the Sabine system, the huge black drum start staging at the jetties as early as December and can also be caught in the channels and north end of Sabine Lake.

            The general rule is to fish the channel side of the jetties when the tide is moving out and the Gulf side when it is moving in.

            Once you know the tidal movement, start searching for structure.

            “What you will want to do is look for the deep holes at the jetties. At both Galveston and Sabine, there are deep holes at the southern tips on both sides and these are usually loaded with monster drum,” said Joe Persohn of Beaumont, the man who taught me about catching the big ones years ago.

            Known as the “jetty man” by his friends, Persohn said if for some reason the deepest holes are inaccessible, you should back off and look for dips in the rocks.

                “These dips are indicative of small spots slightly deeper than the surrounding water and that’s where the drum will be,” he said.

`            Another great spot is any deep hole in the channel, shell reef or drop off. I have caught bull drum at the Dupont Outfall Canal and in the Entergy Canal over the last year. Find deep sots and you will find big drum.

I prefer to fish for drum with heavy tackle, in the 30 to 50- pound class. Bait-wise, if croaker is not available I use blue crab. Broken in half, and hooked through the carapace, the stuff has a long hook life and is irresistible to drum. Shrimp also ranks as high on the list of bull drum, but it is best fresh and preferably peeled.

             I generally put out several lines with a slip egg weight and swivel, finished off with a wide gapped hook. This simple set up is ideal for catching them, but knowing when to set the hook is another issue entirely.

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Outdoors
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    July 8, 2014

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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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  • Chester Moore column: Bank hot spots have great value

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