PORT ARTHUR — If you find diving birds and start catching small trout it is not necessarily time to move.
If you don’t’ feel like fooling with the small trout, try a heavy, fast sinking bait like a one-ounce gold spoon. Start by chunking the lure past the schooling action if possible and simply drag it along the bottom all the way up to the boat.
I like using spoons because I can throw them far and when I use a large one very few small trout bother with it. If you don’t get hits by dragging it slowly, then try ripping it through the water as quickly as possible.
If you’re having a problem finding the reds, back off of the school a bit and start casting on the down-current side of the school. This is where any wounded shrimp and baitfish will end up and is why the reds like to hang with them. Trout are messy eaters, which works to the reds advantage.
For anglers who prefer fishing with live bait, chunk a whole crab on a Fish Finder (Carolina Rig) and drag it along the bottom. I am usually a proponent of using crab with a cracked shell, but in this regard use the whole crab (with pinches removed) and drag it slowly across the bottom as if you were fishing for flounder.
While these reds may be feeding on shrimp, they can’t resist a crab and having the shell on well help you avoid strikes by smaller fish. The point here is to catch the big reds and avoid any other scavengers that might come along for the ride.
(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI. You can watch him Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV (GETV.org) on God’s Outdoors with Chester Moore.)