, Port Arthur, Texas

September 29, 2012

Chester Moore column: Good tactic for locating ling

Chester Moore
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR —  Last week Hackberry Rod and Gun reported good numbers of ling around the rigs.

 They tend to start leaving our area around now but with extra warm temperatures they are continuing to hang out and that is a very good thing for anglers.

 Locating these unusual fish is no problem. They're suckers for structure in Gulf waters and can often be found hanging around oil platforms, stand pipes, jetties and buoys. They're also extremely curious and seem to be interested in taking a look at whoever is visiting their hangout.

 One of the best tactics for locating ling around structure is to rev up the motors take a paddle and pound the water's surface to get the attention of the fish.

 The first time I saw this done I thought the guy doing it was crazy. I had always been taught to be quiet in the boat and to avoid spooking the fish. But when I saw a huge ling rise up to the surface I was convinced that the technique was for real.

 If you would like to catch ling try the standard summer fishing protocol: a handful of cut pogeys thrown overboard, and live crab or fresh cut bait hanging from circle hooks. Crabs in particular are extremely good baits for ling. Almost every ling I have ever cleaned or seen cleaned had a belly full of crabs. Rods loaded with artificials should also be kept within reach since ling don't mind biting on plastic. Soft plastics like curl-tailed grubs or imitation ribbonfish are good baits for lings.

 One of my favorite baits is the big six-inch D.O.A. shrimp in brown or chartreuse. Using chartreuse is interesting because most of the offshore guides in Florida swear by it. A popular ling bait in Florida is an eight-inch chartreuse curl-tailed grub dressed out with a sparkled pink skirt. Guides there claim a ling can't resist it. Hard plastics like shallow-running Mirrolures and Jointed Thundersticks can also be productive.

 If calm seas are calling you ling are something you might be able to reach without spending your entire paycheck on gas. There tends to be good numbers of them within the 40 mile range and often much closer in.

 (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at