, Port Arthur, Texas

March 23, 2013

Chester Moore column: Hot spot reliance hurts angles

Chester Moore
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR —  The greatest obstacle to someone developing into a truly skilled, well-rounded angler is an over reliance on hot spots.

    Wanting to simply know locations that have produced fish in the past even if it is the recent past can greatly stifle an angler’s growth.

    Before I go any farther, let me say there is nothing wrong with getting hot spots and location tips from friends or anything of the sort. This is especially true for those who get to spend little time on the water.

    However, for anglers who aspires to push themselves to be able to catch trophy-sized fish on a regular basis or those who want to fish tournaments, here me out.

    A friend of mine who happens to be a high level professional angler told me that GPS is the “drug of choice” of pro fishing. Once anglers are hooked on simply running a long list of GPS spots they get from local anglers, they simply run them and in the process do not learn many of the subtle things that make for long-term success.

    He said it stunts their growth as anglers.

    Someone recently asked me a good area to catch flounder in the spring and instead of giving them a rundown on specific spots, I told them to look for bayous with a strong concentration of menhaden (shad) and Roseau cane which tends to hold a lot of tiny shad this time of year.

    They asked about a specific spot and I gave them a couple but said if they look for the pattern of shad/bayous/Roseau cane, they would have more options.

    If they go to Madame Johnson Bayou for example and there are several boats there opportunities are decreased.

    And if that were the only spot they knew, their whole game plan would be shot down.

    By looking at a map however, they could see there are numerous bayous and by seeking out several and finding the ones with the greatest concentrations of bait, their chances of catching are much, much better.

    There are many factors that contribute to fishing success and only a small portion has to do with a specific location. Fish are driven by everything from tide to wind to water clarity, bait availability, cover, barometric pressure and even fishing pressure. You can fish a location that produced great the day before but the barometric pressure could be high and what was a 10 trout day for your friend could turn into a zero bite day for you.

    Another example would be if your friend tells you the trout bit at the mouth of Green’s Bayou yesterday and they caught a three-man limit by 10 am.

    You get there at the crack of daylight but did not factor in that a strong west wind blew all night and muddied the water up. Your friends had a light southeast wind and the clarity was great but you are fishing water that looks like chocolate milk.

    Most anglers might know to go farther into the cut to find clean water or perhaps even run and find protected shorelines in the channel with clean water and a high concentration of mullet or shrimp for trout.

    However, if your total reliance is on the location, there is no way to respond to the immediate conditions.

    Throughout this year, we are going to use this column in a greater way to talk about the many factors that contribute to fishing success and even specifically how they apply to our area. It will be an exciting journey and one I look forward to with great enthusiasm.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. and watch his WebTV series at