, Port Arthur, Texas


September 13, 2012

Chester Moore Fishing Report: Hundred Grand for crabs at Conroe

PORT ARTHUR —    The Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC) is bringing back the ShareLunker Club Tournament (SCT) on Lake Conroe, Oct. 1–21.

    According to TTBC officials, once again, members will have the opportunity to compete for $100,000.

    The first step is to register and become a SCT member, and then fish on Lake Conroe between Oct. 1 – 21, 2012 (the “Tournament Period”). A $100 fee is required to become a member and only pre-registered members will be eligible for the $100,000 prize.”

    “The member who catches the largest Toyota ShareLunker (13 pounds or larger and donated to the state) from Lake Conroe during the Tournament Period will win a cash prize of $100,000. A portion of the program proceeds will benefit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s youth outreach programs.”

    Anglers must call in their catch to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s ShareLunker hotline, 903-681-0550, or leave a phone number with area code on the program pager 888-784-0600.

    “The ShareLunker Club Tournament is a great way for anglers of all skill levels to reel in a fish (and payday) of a lifetime!” said Toyota Texas Bass Classic Tournament Director Lenny Francoeur.

    “We know there are $100,000 fish swimming around in Lake Conroe, and someone’s life could change in just one cast. It’s going to be an exciting tournament.”

    The contest will be limited to the first 1,000 anglers signed up, and anyone who signs up after Sept. 29 will be subject to a 48-hour grace period before they are eligible to participate. Visit to download a registration form and submit the membership fee.

    Now onto the report…

    North Sabine---Anglers continue to catch small to medium size trout and sand trout under the birds on the north end. Most are with big pods of shad. Reds remain fair in the marshes. Flounder fair to good action around the channel and in the marshes on the Louisiana side of the lake.

    South Sabine---Trout and reds are fair under the birds around schools of shad on live bait and a variety of plastics. Flounder are fair to good on the island and along the Louisiana shoreline on live bait.

    Sabine Pass---Texas Parks & Wildlife Department officials report trout are good at the jetty on live bait and topwaters. Bull redfish are good at the jetty.

    Sabine River---Look for sand trout around deep holes in the river north to the Port of Orange. Reds are fair around the Dupont Outfall Canal. Very few reports of bass.

    Lake Calcasieu (Big Lake)---Hackberry Rod and Gun reports reds are good along the shorelines on a variety of lures. Trout action has improved with soft plastics and live bait taking fish on the main lake. Very few reports of flounder.

    Sam Rayburn---Texas Parks & Wildlife Department officials report largemouths are good on watermelon soft plastic worms with chartreuse tails, and on white/gold spinnerbaits. White bass are good on silver spoons and chartreuse spinnerbaits off points. Crappie are good on minnows and white tube jigs. Bream are good on nightcrawlers. Catfish are fair on trotlines baited with live bait.

   Toledo Bend---Holly Park Marina reports largemouths are fair to good on plum and redbug-colored worms. Striped bass are slow. White bass are fair on minnows and spoons. Crappie are fair to good on live shiners over baited boat docks in 12 to 18 feet of water. Catfish are fair on rod and reel baited with cut and prepared bait in 30 to 35 feet of water.


   TOLEDO BEND: Normal Pool Level: 172.0 Current Pool Level: 168.43 Was 168.62

   RAYBURN LAKE: Normal Pool Level: 164 Current Pool Level: 160.64 Was: 160.96

   B.A. STEIN HAGEN: Normal Pool Level: 85 Current Pool Level: 82.88 Was: 82.43


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     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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