MOORE COLUMN: Bank fishing a growing art in Southeast Texas

Published 1:07 am Sunday, October 11, 2015

Bank fishing is on the rise.
The “art” of bank fishing if you will is more popular than ever in Southeast Texas, at least from my perspective of writing about local fishing for the last 23 years.
And it is an art.
Anyone can fish from the bank but it takes someone with knowledge, finesse and patience to consistently catch fish from such a point of disadvantage.
And compared to fishing from a boat, being land-bound has plenty of disadvantages. Simply the fact that you are relegated to a tiny sliver of shoreline in comparison to other local anglers being able to fish all of Sabine Lake, Keith Lake, the Sabine and Neches Rivers, the jetties and offshore.
Those willing to seriously pursue bank fishing in local waters can do much better than they might suspect and to tell the truth I am now a bank fisherman.
I sold my aluminum boat and unless a friend brings me, my fishing is from the bank. I have always been someone who liked to live below my means and for our family now, having a boat did not make financial sense.
We have always covered bank fishing on these pages but I am rededicating even more time and space so that everyone has good information to maximize their time on the water. This is my gift to you for following my writings and reading this publication.
I would like to give you five tips for local bank fishing that can dramatically help you in your efforts for both fresh and saltwater.
• Follow the Rain: As we enter fall and especially winter, rain is common in the region. And the gullies, sloughs and roadside ditches that intersect main bayous like Taylors, Hillebrandt, Adams and Cow come alive with catfish.
I have never fished for catfish in the rain in local waters and not caught them. It is absolutely worth taking the time out to fish not only during the rain but afterwards as water levels rise.
In my opinion, chicken liver is the best bait. I always fish a line on the bottom and another under a bobber.
• Incoming Tides: Any tidal movement can produce fish but incoming tides produce by far the best local fishing action for reds, specks and flounder. If you’re land-bound, you have the option of fish and baitfish moving in to an area during an extended period whereas with an outgoing tide, you have fish leaving and when they’re gone, they are often gone until the tide swings back.
• There is something about an incoming tide locally that really turns the bite buttons on. If you can schedule your fishing around incoming tides, do it.
• Big Drum: If you want serious rod-bending action, there are plenty of huge black drum virtually anywhere you have a deep channel (8 feet or more) and shell. We have caught and released many at the Entergy Intake but they are all over the place. For someone with patience to sit and wait, big drum starting showing up heavily right about now and will peak in March. They are here year-round but we just entered the best six months of the year for these behemoths.
• Night Bite: If you can find a location over fresh or saltwater that has lights at night you will find fish.
I know of anglers who consistently catch crappie in local bayous from the bank and trout and reds around the lake by knowing where even dimly let locations are.
Be careful out there because not everyone cruising the shorelines at night is fishing and please do not go alone but consider seeking lights at night or bring your own. You will catch fish.
• Sea Rim: Sea Rim State Park has done a lot in the last year to help bank fishermen. In fact, they are now have my friend and surf fishing expert Marcus Heflin teaching classes on the subject.
Drop by Sea Rim or check out their Facebook or website for special opportunities. And remember there is always something biting in the surf. Right now, it just happens to be bull redfish.

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

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