PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

May 31, 2014

Chester Moore column: The East half of Texas is catfish country

PORT ARTHUR — If you don’t believe that then drive down some of the farm to market roads in the region and see how many flathead heads you see displayed on fence posts. It might surprise you but in some areas that is the way anglers in rural areas brag about their catfish angling exploits and no doubt offend a few tree-huggers along the way.

With that said, the region offers excellent fishing for flatheads, channels and blues. Some water bodies are great for all three while others have a more specialized focus.

We’ll take a look at the best of what the region has to offer and show you where and how you can catch the biggest and baddest cats the state has to offer.

Lake Livingston is the best all-around producer of catfish in East Texas. The fish there are plentiful and grow to enormous sizes and there are lots of ways to catch them.

Flatheads provide some of the best action for rod and reel anglers, particular those who venture out to fish at night.

The shallow coves bordering the main lake as well as some of the islands along the main lake provide an excellent place for the predatory species to hunt baitfish that congregate in the shallows after hours. Live perch fished on the bottom on a Carolina rig is probably the most popular method.

For trot liners, targeting flatheads in their deepwater daytime haunts is the best method. Look for major structure around the main channel of the river to provide the best action. The channel gets deeper as it moves toward the spillway and you will find lots of anglers rigging up trotlines there. Again, stick with live bait like perch or large goldfish.

During the summer, anglers on Lake Livingston will target big blues near the thermocline in reservoirs. This is where the temperature stratifies and shad congregate in huge numbers there. Besides actively feeding on live shad, blues will scavenge shad killed by sudden temperature changes.

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