, Port Arthur, Texas

January 9, 2013

CHESTER MOORE: Mistakes saltwater anglers make

Chester Moore, Jr.
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Mistakes are avoidable, especially when it comes to fishing.

    That is the reason in the previous column we began a three-part series on mistakes anglers make.

      My goal when it comes to writing on fishing is to help you avoid mistakes and maximize your time on the water. Very few of us have nearly as much time as we would like to dedicate to fishing so this year let us begin a journey together to make what time we do have far more productive.

     Today we tackle mistakes saltwater anglers make.

     Windy Retreat: I hate wind. It seems to blow so hard throughout the spring in Southeast Texas that fishing is seemingly impossible and in fact, there are days when that is so.

     Anglers however make a huge mistake in assuming the fish will not bite on windy days. On the contrary, that is when some of the most aggressive bites occur.

     Much of this has to do with barometric pressure and when you have strong winds generally, you have lower pressure, which often translates to feeding fish. This is especially true before fronts arrive.

    The key is to learn to use techniques that are doable in strong winds and find areas where you will have some protection.

    I have had incredible days at the jetties on the Texas side when the southeast wind was pushing waves three feet over the Louisiana side. Think safety first of course and then consider spots that offer some kind of viable opportunity.

    Fluorocarbon: In my opinion the use or lack of using fluorocarbon in saltwater is one of the biggest mistakes anglers make. When water conditions are clear enough for a fish to see two feet or greater fluorocarbon can make the difference.

    It has the same refractive properties as water and is virtually invisible below the surface. Big trout and flounder in particular can be line shy in clear conditions which is why when I am seeking either those species in clear water; fluorocarbon is always on the end of my line. It makes great leader material and works fine spooled on a spinning reel.

    Sitting Birds: Fishing for trout and reds under the birds is one of the most exciting things to do in our region. The action is intense and the birds can help lead anglers to a limit of fish in short order.

    One of the biggest mistakes I see are anglers motoring right past sitting gulls.

    If you see gulls (not terns) sitting on the water, especially if there are just a few of them, approach cautiously and make a few casts. Oftentimes they are sitting on fish and in my experience some of the best redfish action has come from sitting bird son the main body of Sabine Lake.


   Incoming Tides: If I were to ask a group of 100 coastal anglers which tide in general is their favorite to fish (incoming or outgoing) most would say outgoing.

    The reality is in our area in particular incoming tides tend to be far more productive. There are certain locations and times when this of course is not so but almost every incredible fishing day I have had before the big cold fronts purge the marshes is on an incoming tide.

    In addition, when talking with anglers about their various catches, the strongest ones usually coincide with an incoming tide.

    This is not to say outgoing tides are not worth fishing because they can be incredible. I am however saying anglers should start paying far more attention to the tide coming in because in my experience there are stronger opportunities to catch fish.

    Hot Spots: Never rely on what others anglers report as “hot spots” to catch fish. Sure, some locations will hold large numbers of fish and do so consistently.

    The wise angler however learns to rely on patterns. The depth, tidal flow, water clarity and bait presence are much more important than the spot.

    Chances are if they have told you about this location, they have shared with others and you could find yourself amongst many boats and spooked fish.

    If you dig a little deeper and search out the patterns, you have a great shot at being able to find fish on your own and most likely without so much company.

    In the conclusion of this series, we will discuss mistakes made by bass fishermen, including important information on bass in our local bayous and river systems.

(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 You can watch his WebTV series online at