PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Outdoors

December 19, 2012

CHESTER MOORE: Christmas and the Cougar

(Continued)

PORT ARTHUR —      Cougars and Christmas may sound like an odd combination but in my life, this type of thing is par for the course.

    Someone much wiser than me wrote that “As a man thinking so he becomes.”

    Looking back it is obvious that Christmas was a time in our household where my parents used gifts to feed by love for wildlife and to inspire me to pursue it at a higher level.

     That print was a starting point but there were many other gifts including dozens of books, other artwork and even a deer-hunting trip to Llano where I had my first chance to take a deer.

     This year things are tight for many people. I know we have really streamlined the Christmas budget in our household but that does not mean you cannot give meaningful gifts for the kids (or kids at heart) in your life.

    Books about wildlife, fishing and hunting are great ways to give something that literally keeps on giving and that can inspire. Wildlife photo prints are very affordable and are something a child can look at every day and that can help carry their thoughts to wild places. Wildlife field guides are in my opinion one of the best gifts because they can arm children with information they can use the rest of their life.

    The best give may actually be time.

    Print up a special outdoors encounter coupon on the computer, put it in a Christmas card and have it redeemable for a hiking trip, outdoors photography excursion or a trip out on the water.

    Kids love spending time with adults and especially love to do so in the great outdoors.

    Over the years, that cougar print got lost somewhere between moving and hurricanes.

    I was recently able to obtain a copy on eBay after searching for the last six months and had it framed with the photo you see running with this column.

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Outdoors
  • Chester Moore column: Give summer crappie a chance

    July 8, 2014

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    June 14, 2014

  • 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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