PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Outdoors

February 20, 2013

OUTDOORS COLUMN: Fishing predictions for 2013

PORT ARTHUR —   I have never been big on making predictions in the outdoors world.

    On occasion however I have looked at some things coming along and felt compelled to share my thoughts and the response has always been strong.

     This week I bring you some predictions for fishing here in the Texas-Louisiana region because of research I have conducted and some interesting discussions had over the past few weeks.

     Prediction 1: It will take 8.5 pounds to win the summer long CCA STAR tournament in the flounder division. Last year a 7 pound, seven ounce fish took first place honors and CCA had the largest number of flounder ever entered in the tournament.

    We are right at four years since regulation changes were made that will allow many more flounder to reach maturity and that means those fish that were two years old in 2009 will be six years old and that is toward the end of their life cycle. More fish with the genetic potential to reach gigantic proportions will have the opportunity to do so which will make the STAR tournament interesting in the flounder division.

    Prediction 2: Toledo Bend will produce a 14-pound bass this spring. We are entering the spawn and this is the time when bass will have their biggest weights of the year.

     This old lake has been on the rebound and there have been a tremendous amount of 10-pound plus bass on the lake. Judging from research on Louisiana’s lunker program and the condition of the lake, I think a giant bass or two will be caught this spring.

     Prediction 3: Local bass anglers will greatly expand their horizons following the Bassmaster Elite Series coming to Orange March 14-17.

    With anglers like Skeet Reese and Kevin VanDam fishing local waters, local anglers will become inspired and start fishing areas they have never targeted locally and using lures they rarely consider.

     I fully expect to hear a lot more about drop-shot rigs, wake baits and swim jigs being used in our rivers and bayous and the upper reaches of the Sabine and Neches Rivers as well as the Calcasieu River visited far more often.

    Prediction 4: This is more of an observation than a prediction but the reports coming in show a banner year for big trout in Sabine Lake and surrounding waters. Last year many anglers complained of an off year for trout but things are shaking loose differently in 2013. Someone will likely catch a 10-pounder in the coming weeks and by year’s end we will all be bragging about the big trout caught this year.

    Prediction 5: Anglers will start spending more time introducing children to the sport. At the dozens of events I speak at annually, it is evident more and more people recognize the need to get kids into fishing.

    We have a long way to go to get the kids to turn off the X-Box and pick up the tackle box but those anglers are looking for something deeper in their fishing will begin to see purposefully getting kids to wet a line will not only enhance the lives of the children but could very well revolutionize theirs.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmooreoutdoors@gmail.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or watch his F.L.E.X. Fishing TV online at www.Godsoutdoors.com.)

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Outdoors
  • Chester Moore column: Give summer crappie a chance

    July 8, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Alligators tip off when flounder on the move

    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”.)
     

    May 24, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Hogs in Texas a complex issue

    May 3, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Sabine Lake getting artificial reef

    April 30, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: It's time for bowfishing

    April 26, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Whistlers, snook and ballyhoo, oh my!

    April 19, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Bank hot spots have great value

    April 12, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Go deep, fish jigs to catch truly big bass

    April 5, 2014

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