PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

January 12, 2013

Chester Moore column: Looking at bass angler mistakes

(Continued)

PORT ARTHUR —     Lake Conroe's developed shorelines. Fluorocarbon is not easy to cast, flip, or do just about anything with, much less with line the size of Weed Eater string. However, watching him work it left me amazed and realizing my flipping skills need serious help.

    Really big largemouth bass are rare creatures resulting from strong genetics, age and an ability to elude anglers.

    Of those three traits, elusiveness falls partly into the hands of us anglers who tend to tackle the obvious and avoid the mysterious and this is a big mistake.

    “We do a lot of electroshock surveys to help determine bass population and the overall health of the fishery, but we generally get very few large specimens that way,” said Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) fisheries biologist in Jasper Todd Driscoll.

    “Most of the bigger fish hang out in deeper water and our electroshock surveys are really only effective at depths of eight feet of less. We shock lots of fish but when you get a really big one you hear about it.”

    Back in the late 1990s, I did a series of articles for this paper and touched on Rayburn’s big bass boom. I started to gather information from marinas about the fish over nine pounds caught by anglers in tournaments and also from anglers I knew that worked the lake regularly.

    One of the things that jumped out at me was that anglers were catching most of the big fish between 12 and 20 feet of water. However, when I went to Rayburn, most of the anglers were targeting fish in much shallower water.    

    Solely fishing in shallow water is a huge mistake anglers make especially if they are pursuing big fish.

     Keeping with the idea of catching huge bass some refusing to fish with super-sized lures can be a mistake.

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Sports
  • 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