PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Outdoors

May 4, 2013

Chester Moore column: Rayburn ranks No. 2 on Bassmaster top 100

PORT ARTHUR —   The “100 Best Bass Lakes” put out by Bassmaster was the talk of the bass fishing community last year.

    South Texas’ Lake Falcon was number 1 and Texas had a large number of water bodies represented.

    Local anglers will find this year’s just released list even more interesting than the 2012 overview.

    For starters, Falcon was bumped from number one to seven.

    Drought and fishing pressure have changed the dynamics on that body of water quite. Lake St. Clair in Michigan took first honors due to its incredible smallmouth fishery and vastly overlooked largemouth population.

    Sam Rayburn took second place.

    With the lake filling back up after two years of drought, habitat is in great condition and recent surveys show stunning numbers of keeper bass. In addition, tournament weights this year have been the best in many years. If the lake can stay within a few feet of pool level expect a tremendous few years.

    Toledo Bend slid a few places but remained in the top 10 at 10th place with Bassmaster citing solid tournament limits and a healthy upper end of the fishery.

    Before we go any farther, we should ponder this for a moment.

    When speaking with Bassmaster editor James Hall I learned, they go to great lengths to put together this list.

    “Last year, we developed the list by asking every state’s Department of Natural Resources (sometimes it was the wildlife agency) to give us catch rates, population studies and stocking schedules for all the fisheries they managed,”  

    From there, they sent the list to B.A.S.S. Nation presidents and conservation directors to rank each of these bodies of water based on the tournaments they held. Then a panel of Elite Series pros, outdoor writers and industry professionals finalize the lakes list and rankings. In addition, they sent it to 3,500 .B.A.S.S. members throughout the U.S.

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Outdoors
  • Chester Moore column: Give summer crappie a chance

    July 8, 2014

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  • 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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  • 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

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