, Port Arthur, Texas


April 12, 2014

Chester Moore column: Bank hot spots have great value


PORT ARTHUR — 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

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  • Chester Moore column: The East half of Texas is catfish country

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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 You can hear him on the radio Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on “Moore Outdoors” on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at and watch him Saturdays on on “God’s Outdoors with Chester Moore”.)

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