PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Outdoors

March 29, 2014

Chester Moore column: History, management keep in catching super-sized trout

PORT ARTHUR —   Anglers looking to catch super-sized trout know it is a difficult pursuit.

    Truly big speckled trout are rare, elusive and finicky so studying their habits and intensely focusing on locating them is key.

     I have found there are three components crucial to selecting where to fish for the biggest and best trout. They are as follows.

    History---A water body with a history of producing big fish of the variety you prefer is an obvious for what you are looking to accomplish.  If you find an area with either a consistent history of producing monster fish in line with a recent history trending toward big fish you are in good shape.

    If an angler wanted to catch a 25-plus inch speckled trout he could study Texas’ Aransas Bay and find out it has produced a whole lot of those in the past. However, when looking at recent history it would become obvious that fishery has declined in trophy production in recent years and chances of catching a fish of that size are not as great as they could be. If you looked up the Lower Laguna Madre near Port Mansfield you would find out there is a rich history of big trout production and recent trends due to our next factor show it producing more than ever.

     Currently Sabine Lake fits this profile which makes selecting a destination all that much easier for those of us who live in Southeast Texas.

    Management---An area not managed for big fish will not consistently produce big fish. There is simply too much intelligent angling pressure out there to make this possible in most of the continental United States. Guides in eastern Louisiana are constantly advertising trophy speckled trout with photos at sports shows and on the websites. However, the fish they are showing are a rarity in those areas because the state allows the harvest of 25 trout per day in that region of the state.

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Outdoors
  • Chester Moore column: Give summer crappie a chance

    July 8, 2014

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    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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  • 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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