PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

August 14, 2013

Chester Moore column: Five incredible fisheries within five hours

PORT ARTHUR —

    The summer break is just about over.

    Kids start back to school in two weeks and teachers are already back readying their classrooms and making other preparations.

    If you would like to take advantage of the remaining break and take your family on a killer family friendly fishing adventure here are five suggestions you can reach within five hours.

    Lake Fork Crappie: The crappie fishing at Lake Fork is phenomenal. Fork is of course known for its gigantic bass but the big secret is the big crappie both in size and population.

    I had the chance to sample Fork’s crappie fishing in June and as you can see in this photo, it was a good trip.

    There are a number of crappie guides on the Lake and for more adventurous anglers there are plenty of planted and natural brushpiles and other structures to target. Try night fishing with lights to beat the heat.

    Venice Tuna: This one is a bit pricey but if you have the means it is amazing. The deep offshore waters out of Venice, La. hold large numbers of yellowfin and blackfin tuna and plenty of guides to put you on them.

    Catches of 80 plus pound yellowfin are common and anglers do it on everything from live bait to topwaters. The best part?

    If you like sashimi, you can cut off a slab and eat it on the boat. Just remember to bring along some soy sauce.

    Choke Canyon Catfish: Choke Canyon Reservoir has some of the best catfish action in Texas. And while you probably will not catch a monster, chances are you will catch a limit of quality fish.

    Local guides target cormorant roosts where the fish eating birds poop constantly. This makes a natural chum of sorts and brings catfish by the hundreds. It may sound disgusting but foul smells and catfish always seem to go together.

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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmooreoutdoors@gmail.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV.org)

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From the Fieldhouse blog