I see weekend fisherman that spend a lot of time on the water not really adapting to the methods that professionals use to catch fish consistently. If you are a lure aficionado or tournament angler then this article is not for you, sorry! I see a lot of authors writing about how fast to work your chartreuse, pumpkin seed, gold flakey, curly tailed fish whackers or to find sandy, shelly, grassy flats drop offs, so I thought I’d write something most of you could really use to catch fish more consistently! I will go over the four or really five major types of fishing bait that we use as fishing guides.
- The first way to fish although many guides have given up this method because it requires more effort to train the customers is shrimp and popping cork (SPC).
- The Second is anchoring up and fishing the sand pockets located in the flats.
- The third is anchoring up and fishing guts and isolated deep water areas locked within the flats systems.
- The four and fifth way are fishing with Piggy’s (piggy perch not pin perch) and Croaker.
Now that I have described the types of fishing we choose, let me explain when we use them… this is the most important part! Wind, is the most important indicator of what method we will use. I personally pray for wind so we can use the most popular, successful and frequently engaged method, Shrimp and popping cork. SPC can be used for the longest time frame during the year! The SPC method also allows my customers more of a chance to do the fishing themselves instead of feeling all they do is reel in the fish! When the wind is blowing 15 knots or more this is the best option to catch fish! This is only an option in the Fall, Winter and Spring as the bait fish mature and others invade the flats system this methods becomes unfeasible, also the larger fish don’t seem to gobble up the shrimp as readily.
If you use the SPC method in the summer on the big bay the fish seem to range in the 14 inch and under category which will leave you hungry at the end of the day! If there is no wind, put the shrimp and popping cork aside, seriously, you’ve got to get used to fishing the sand pockets (Pot Holes) and put your time in doing it! This is a very important tip, don’t try to revert back to drift fishing with shrimp and popping cork. It will take time to have confidence to do this type of fishing but it is worth the effort because nothing is more effective on light wind or windless day. This type of fishing can be done with live mullet, cut mullet, dead shrimp, live shrimp, pin perch, piggy perch, ballyhoo or crabs.
I like to use live bait predominantly when there is little wind however I will almost always mix it up with cut bait too just to add scent to the water. You can use everything from a jig head to a Carolina rig with various weights; we also add water corks at times to get extra casting distance which is very important on the days without wind!
The next style of fishing is low tide fishing. Hopefully you’ve studied your map or taken note when you have been crossing the flats on normal days, if you did you will have areas in the back of your mind to try when these conditions present themselves. Be very careful if you don’t know the area well, maybe watch another boats entering that area and wait your turn to try it. Remember some lanes in the deeper guts in the flats system aren’t even as wide as your boat.
We use the anchor up method of fishing on these days too, however the big difference in choosing bait. Since a low tide day can either be windy or calm the way I determine my primary bait is based on this rule; windy days use any type of bait that will create a scent on calm days use live bait. The simple analysis is that windy days the water is murky and hard to see through and calm days the fish can actually see what they inhale from quite a distance!
Now the forth and fifth method are very similar and I will combine them; Piggy’s and Croaker. The reason I made them two different styles is because of the areas we use them. Croaker seem to stay effective way longer in the area north and south of Port Aransas such as the Laguna to the South and San Antonio Bay to the North. In the Rockport and Port Aransas areas Croaker mature faster to be used as bait than Piggy’s, but when Piggy’s start coming in look out! Piggy’s and Croaker are held very fondly by fishing guides because when you are on fish and the time is right you can’t find a hotter trout bait, not without saying Redfish will tare’em up too! We fish these types of bait at the rigs, grass edges off the deeper bay islands, reefs, Intercoastal waterway and sand pockets in the flats. The preferred rig is a size appropriate kahle hook tied to a 20# leader attached with a swivel or knot to the main line. The time of year we use this bait is from the about the middle of May into September, at that time the bait is predominantly too large and the schools start migrating.
Now that you know why and when we fish certain baits we can start talking about the various techniques that make a difference in presenting it to our prey, but that we have to save that for the next article! After all I do have to make some time to fish instead of write! With all kidding aside I want to spend time covering each of these methods in depth as they all have their place in our fishing arsenal! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and remember if you don’t eat it release it and try to release all big Trout. Get a picture of your catch; it will last longer, save some for the kids! Fish More, Live Longer!
Capt. Scott McCune (USCG Master) fishntexas.com with ‘The Saltwater Cowboy’ 361.563.TUNA(8862)cell Email: email@example.com Web Page: www.fishntexas.com
Brent Kirkham shows us how to catch a nice redfish at San Antonio Bay
Last night SEA
attended the scoping meeting that Texas Parks and Wildlife
held at Texas A & M University. The room was pretty full with fishermen both commercial and recreational, guides and others of interest. The only fish TP and W
is bringing to the table for adjustment on regulations this year is Snook. They don’t have much data on it actually and more snook is caught in the lower Laguna Madre then here but the adjustment they are proposing is with lowering the size limit. Right now it is 24-28″ Bag/Possession is 1/2. They are suggesting changing the slot to 22-28″ to allow more capture of what they call the Fat Snook species.
There were some suggestions from the floor to just leave it and others indicated closing for a season just like Florida currently does. Nothing very evident that snook was seeing a problem right now.
In addition to the possible snook regulation changes, there was some administrative wording that needed to be adjusted and was presented but it was just a formality to bring it to the scoping meeting.
Right now public comment is being taken on the snook issue and you can still make your comments known by emailing your comments or suggestions to Tonya Wiley at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Art Morris at email@example.com
. After the scoping meetings a proposal will be submitted at the TPWD Commission meeting on January 27.
Some discussion occurred afterwards about trout. The rumor was that this maybe coming up for review. The gill net surveys have not been good at all. All data is pointing to a possible problem but Art Morris with the Coastal Fisheries Division of TP & W was cautious with raising any alarm right now. He was not convinced that there may be a problem out there with Spotted Sea trout yet. We will keep you posted.
Brent Burkhart is currently a member of the Coastal Resource Advisory Group that will keep us informed on the data information and possible other fishing regulation changes.
In other business. The Coastal Bend Chevy Dealers are in with their offer of the Chevy Truck. Some details are still needing to be worked out but they are excited to be a partner with us. We will probably announce this partnership with a press conference soon.
The boat show starts next Friday, January 22 at the American Bank Center. We still need volunteers especially for Saturday afternoon/evening and anytime on Sunday. Email or call me to volunteer.
Boat Ramp group will be meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 11:00 am at City Hall. We will have more to tell after this meeting.
Mark your calendars now for our 10th Anniversary Banquet Kick Off Beer Tasting on Tuesday, February 2 at 5:30 pm at Andrews Distributing Company. We will have banquet packets, boat tickets and more for you to pick up and enjoy some beer tasting provided by Andrews Distributing Co. Let’s get ready for the best banquet yet in 2010! Sheri and Bryan Jurecek are the banquet Chairmen and we look forward to another great turnout. Please RSVP for the meeting!
will also be at the Captain’s Weekend at Cabela’s in Buda, TX on February 13 and 14. They have also invited us to bring our boat up for display. Carlos Garcia has agreed to pull the boat to Buda for the weekend. Thank you Carlos! There is a special discount for vendors during this Captain’s weekend. This is a good time to come up and shop. Let me know if you plan on coming up.
As you can see things are really rolling at SEA
now. This is just a portion of what is really happening…
-San Antonio group was here on Tuesday to meet with infrastructure at the Hatchery on the pavilion project and it looks like everything is go ahead with Austin so Jack Word with SEA
-SA ,who is heading up this project ,will be making a final plan including the bathrooms and kitchen area and getting that back to us and the hatchery for review. They will be seeking our help financially to complete this project which can include some in kind with materials. They also will need our help with bidding out to contractors for various areas of the project. Stan Willson and Brent Burkhart will be helping San Antonio with this process.
Mike Hurst is working hard on the artificial reef project and did a lot of background stuff over the holidays. We will keep you informed on how that is all progressing.
I had a lunch meeting with Brandi Reeder, Game Warden with TP and W and organizer for the “Women in the Wild” Weekend which is slated for May 1 & 2, 2010. This is an outdoors weekend for women who may not have had the opportunity to experience shooting a gun, fishing, kayaking, boating, outdoor cooking and more. She is seeking funding from SEA
for this event as we did last year. SEA
Officers will meet to review her presentation.
I can see it will be a busy year for SEA
already. If you want to be involved in a certain area, please let me know. We can always use the help. As always Go Fish!
711 N. Carancahua Suite 915
Corpus Christi, TX 78475
Captain Al Gordon’s nice redfish catches at San Antonio Bay
last month. http://ping.fm/jiALo
Visiting from Thompson Illinois Larry Onken catches a stringer of sheepshead at the Port A Jetty
. Using Ghost shrimp for bait.http://ping.fm/i6Ai4
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