, Port Arthur, Texas

April 12, 2014

Chester Moore column: Bank hot spots have great value

Chester Moore
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR —  Not all anglers have boats.

 And while there are a fair number of quality bank fishing destinations on the coast, many anglers are not aware of them. We get questions all the time from anglers asking the location of certain spots they might have heard of or where to fish when on vacation.

 This is a collection of some of the very best of these destinations ranging from the obvious to the obscure from the Upper to Middle Coast.

 Before we get into these many locations, there are some important things to remember when fishing from the shore in saltwater venues.

 Many anglers complain of rarely catching legal-sized game fish from the bank and I believe a big reason for this is their choice of bait. Dead shrimp is by far the easiest bait to get and it will catch everything but that is just the problem.

 It catches hardheads, small croaker, sand trout and lots of undesirables. My advice is to bring one rod rigged with dead shrimp (let kids use it if they are fishing) and use just the croaker, sand trout and piggy perch you might catch as live or cut bait.

 Also, learn to throw a cast net and catch mullet, mud minnows and baby croaker.

 All of these fished on a Carolina rig will catch reds, specks and flounder and the beauty of using a cast net is you do not have to pay for your bait. Of course it is a lot of work but it will save you money.

 Something else to consider is using a popping cork. There are lots of snags along shorelines and when fishing on bottom you are bound to get snagged.

 By using corks you can fish just above the bottom and avoid most snags while at the same time have the advantage of being able to draw attention to your bait by utilizing the popping action of the cork.

 Little details like these can go a long way when your fishing these saltwater walk up venues.


Causeway Bridge/Umphrey Pier

Location: At Pleasure Island on SH 82 at the causeway bridge.

Species: Flounder

Lure/Baits: Live mud minnows, finger mullet and jigs tipped with shrimp

Best Season/Time: Fall and Spring on outgoing and incoming times respectively.

McFaddin Beach

Location: Off of Highway 87 past Sabine Pass

Species: Redfish

Lure/Baits: Live croaker, mullet or whole crab

Best Season/Time: On high tides during the summer and fall.

Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area (West Side)

Location: Highway 87 between Bridge City and Port Arthur

Species: Redfish

Lure/Baits: Cut and live mullet, dead shrimp

Best Season/Time: Summer and fall on outgoing tides


Rollover Pass

Location: Highway 87 between High Island and Port Bolivar

Species: Flounder

Lure/Baits: Live mud minnows

Best Season/Time: Fall and Spring

Bolivar Pocket

Location: Off of Highway 87 near the jetties

Species: Speckled trout

Lures/Baits: Topwaters and silver spoons

Best Season/Time: Summer during early morning hours on high tides is good as is late, calm evenings


Lighthouse Beach & Bird Sanctuary

Location: 700 Lighthouse Beach Drive, Port Lavaca

Species: Redfish

Lure/Baits: Crab

Best Season/Time: On the last half of rising tides.

Copano Bay Bridge

Location: FM 136, Bayside

Species: Speckled trout, flounder, sheepshead

Lure/Baits: Soft plastic shrimp and shad imitations and live mud minnows

Best Season/Time: The fishing tends to be best on outgoing tides. Summer and fall

Mustang Island State Park

Location: SH 361 Port Aransas

Species: Redfish

Lure/Baits: Live mullet, croaker, Gulp! Crabs and cracked crabs

Best Season/Time: High tides during summer and fall

JFK Causeway

Location: At Humble Channel in Corpus Christi

Species: Black drum

Lure/Baits: Dead shrimp, sea lice

Best Season/Time: Spring, Winter

Highway 188

Location: At Port Bay in Rockport

Species: Redfish

Lure/Baits: Cracked crab, cut mullet

Best Times: Look for high tides in summer and fall to provide the best fishing.

Foley Reserve Park

Location: East Bayshore/Palacios

Species: Flounder

Lure/Baits: Live mud minnows

Best Times: First hour of falling and last hour of rising tides in spring and fall

Fulton Fishing Pier

Location: 250 Deforest Loop, Rockport

Species: Speckled trout

Lure/Baits: Live shrimp

Best Times: At night and early in the morning in spring, summer and fall

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at . You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at You can watch him Saturdays on GETV at 10 a.m. on “God’s Outdoors with Chester Moore.)