PORT ARTHUR —
Once a month we dig into reader questions and share them with our readership. We have been getting increasing numbers of emails and Facebook messages as well showing that interest in the outdoors in this region is as high as it ever was.
Q: What was the biggest surprise to you during the “Sabine River Challenge” stop of the Bassmaster Elite Series?
A: The biggest surprise was that very few of the pros actually fished in the Sabine River drainage. On day one my friend David Burman and I went into Square Lake (Cypress Lake) off of Interstate 10 in Orange and there were seven boats fishing there. Two more went north of the Interstate. Shaw Grigsby and Ish Monroe both spent time in Cow Bayou while Bill Lowen fished the Burntout Bridge area and near Bluebird’s. Mark Davis went north of the Interstate. The rest went to Taylor’s Bayou, the Neches River and the Calcasieu system.
It is interesting that two of the top 12 (Davis and Lowen) fished within 10 miles of the launch site.
Q: Do you have a favorite hard plastic lure for redfish?
A: I like the Super Pogy from Bomber Saltwater Grade. It’s a heavy lipless crankbait I have caught some big reds on at the Sabine Jetties. It works better than anything else I have used out there. Recently however I have hung into some big reds in the Sabine River using squarebill crankbaits designed for bass. I am field testing some now that are made for reds and will report back as soon as I give them adequate time in the water.
Q: Do you think we will be able to get a hold on the hog population in Southeast Texas?
A: No. The day has long since passed when we could get a handle on hog populations. We might be able to push them back in certain spots for a period but they will be back. Hogs are amazingly adaptable.
Q: What do you think about “noodling” or hand-fishing for catfish?
A: If someone wants to put their hand into a hole in the water where an alligator snapping turtle might be and the law says its “ok” go for it. Not my thing.
Q: What do you think of Duck Dynasty? Two locals being on “Swamp People”?
A: I watch “Duck Dynasty” every week. Love it. I have been a fan of the Robertson family for a long time so seeing them reach this level of success is wonderful. Plus, they are good role models. I think T-Roy Broussard and Harlon Hatcher being on “Swamp People” is awesome. They are both great people and represent our area well.
They are the real deal and “Swamp People” continues to be a ratings monster. We will be featuring them in the next edition of Real Outdoors of Southeast Texas magazine.
(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com.)
PORT ARTHUR —
- Chester Moore column: Give summer crappie a chance
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- Chester Moore column: The East half of Texas is catfish country
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 email@example.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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