, Port Arthur, Texas

June 1, 2013

Chester Moore column: 2013 fishing predictions at mid year

Chester Moore
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR —     Back in January I made several predictions on the local fishing scene for 2013 and this week I thought it would be fun to see how they’re panning out.

    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. The STAR tournament just started so it is too early to see if this one is on track but I know of several 8-10 pound flounder caught this spring.

    Prediction 2: Toledo Bend will produce a 14-pound bass this spring.

    I missed this one but not by much. Angler Casey Martin caught a 13.06-pounder that earned him a slot in the Sharelunker program. Toledo Bend has been tremendous for big bass this year.

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

     I said 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.

    This one has proven absolutely true as anglers are targeting areas in the Calcasieu River system they never considered before the Elite anglers fished the event and are also experimenting with a variety of lures not common in local waters.

    Prediction 4: This was 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. I said someone will likely catch a 10-pounder this year and by year’s end we will all be bragging about the big trout caught this year.

    That is already happening and although I cannot verify a 10-pounder I did see several photos of anglers with fish that were 30 inches which is right in that 8.5-10 pound class during the time they were caught.

    Last week’s S.A.L.T. tournament showed just how healthy are trout populations with John Brown’s winning fish at 8.33 pounds and all three places over seven pounds. Those are tremendous catches.

    At the end of the summer, we will check back on the flounder prediction and see how that one goes. I will add to that one there is a high probability the winning fish will come from the Galveston or Aransas Bay complex. Both of those have some super-sized flounder genetics.

    It’s always fun to look at outdoors conditions and take a shot at predicting how things will turn out.

     I would love to be the one to catch that winning flounder. Winning the boat would be great but simply experiencing catching a flounder of that size would be even better.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at