PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Outdoors

May 24, 2006

Red fox sightings rare in Southeast Texas

Chester Moore, Jr column for Thursday, May 25, 2006

    When I was a kid, red foxes were common in the woods I used to hunt and fish in around West Orange.

    One particular set of woods had a bunch of them and my friends and I would see them with such frequency that it was no big deal. And in those days seeing any kind of predator was a big deal to us.

    Last weekend, I saw a road-killed red fox just outside of Bridge City and it was sadly the first one I have seen in the region for a numbers of years. I know there are still some around but their populations have declined dramatically.

    A big part of this population decline is likely because of the large number of coyotes in the region. Orange, Jefferson and Chambers Counties are infested with coyotes and if there is one thing coyotes do not tolerate it red foxes.

    Recent studies in Virginia where coyotes have just shown up in the last 25 years show that coyotes will purposely kill off red foxes when their ranges overlap. Foxes are quite a bit smaller than coyotes so there is no real chance for a fox to defend itself, other than retreating.

    Studies conducted in Minnesota have shown similar results and it is an accepted fact that when coyotes move in, fox populations decline.

    For those of us who love viewing wildlife that is a real shame since red foxes exhibit some fascinating traits.

    Red foxes are one of the most widely distributed mammals in the world with populations throughout the United States, through Mexico, into South America and throughout Asia and Europe.

   Along the East Coast, they are found in city parks and woodlots. Like the coyote, they are highly adaptable and are just as adept at catching rats in alleys as they are eating rabbits and quail in the wild.

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Outdoors
  • Chester Moore column: Give summer crappie a chance

    July 8, 2014

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    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

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

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  • 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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