, Port Arthur, Texas


January 12, 2013

Chester Moore column: Looking at bass angler mistakes


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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From the Fieldhouse blog