PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Outdoors

October 12, 2013

Chester Moore column: Hunting going back to basics?

PORT ARTHUR —     Have you priced a new brand name hunting bow lately?

    If you get out of the archery shop under $1,000 with arrows and the various accessories you are lucky.

    Have you ammo prices lately? Feeders? Corn?

    Everything down the very food we eat has gone sky high in prices due to a variety of causes. Our tech savvy society has eaten up the myriad gadgets associated with hunting and even though I am not a techie myself, some of them are downright amazing.

     With every action, however there is a reaction and I thin in the next decade we will see a move for hunting to go back to the basics. The industry itself is now more or less not promoting the hunting itself but the gadgets and the lifestyle and it is leaving many hunters empty.

   Over the last couple of years I have met, several young hunters who have no delusions they can afford the current hunting lifestyle proliferated by an industry I admittedly make a portion of my living in but instead are about the experience.

     And it is not what people would expect.

    Back in the late 1980s/early 1980s you had a rush of bowhunters getting into primitive archery, shooting longbows and even making their own gear. I once hunted with a guy who shot a ram with a flint point he made. That was about the gear, this is about connecting with nature.

    For starters young hunters coming out of college cannot afford a $2,000 lease, $1,000 in feeders, a $5,000 ATV, $1,000 bow and the gas to get back and forth to the lease.

    The same hunter can invest the $1,000 in a bow or gun, get a $48 annual public hunting permit, throw some gas in the tank and hunt hundreds of thousands of acres in Texas. And instead of waiting for an animal to walk out to a feeder, they can learn about the preferred food items of deer and other game, seasonal patterns and learn to set up a proper hunting ambush.

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Outdoors
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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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