Page 1

JANUARY • FEBRUARY • MARCH

2014

1


Astronomical Data 2014 Moon Moon Moon Farthest Moon Farthest On South of Equinox (E) in North of 2 Equator Equator Equator Solstice (S) Perigee

New Moon

First Qtr

Full Moon

Last Qtr

Moon in Apogee1

Jan

1

7

15

24

15

1, 30

13

6, 20

27

---

Feb

---

6

14

22

12

27

9

2, 17

23

---

Mar

1, 30

8

16

23

11

27

8

1, 16, 29

23

20 (E)

Apr

29

7

15

22

8

22

5

12, 25

19

---

May

28

6

14

21

6

18

2, 29

9, 22

16

---

Jun

27

5

12

19

2, 30

14

26

6, 19

13

21 (S)

Jul

26

5

12

18

27

13

23

3, 16, 31

10

---

Aug

25

3

10

17

24

10

19

13, 27

7

---

Sep

24

2

8

15

20

7

16

9, 23

3, 30

22 (E)

Oct

23

1, 30

8

15

18

6

13

6, 20

27

---

Nov

22

29

28

14

14

2, 27

8

3, 17, 30

24

---

Dec

21

28

28

14

12

24

7

14, 26

21

21 (S)

The dates in each box indicate when the various phases and positions of the moon will occur each month. 2

1- Farthest from earth 2- Nearest earth

Gulf Coast Fisherman, P.O. Drawer 8, Port Lavaca, Texas 77979 • www.gulffishing.com

GULF COAST FISHERMAN

W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


JANUARY • FEBRUARY • MARCH

2014

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Harold Wells

GULF COAST

FISHERMAN www.gulffishing.com GARY RALSTON Publisher/Editor DEPARTMENT EDITORS David Ayers • Pete Cooper, Jr. Jeff Herman • John Hook Patrick Lemire • Jim Martin Colby Sorrells CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Capt. Robert Brodie Chester Moore, Jr. Al Rogers • David A. Brown Capt. Nate Skinner Vernon Summerlin Capt. Mike Thompson Capt. Danno Wise

with Wells Daily Fishing Forecast Vol. 38 No. 1

J ANUARY- FEBRUARY- MARCH

C ONTENTS

2014

FEATURES

The Black Drum Run by Nate Skinner ................. 6 Time to fish for what’s biting...

Low Water Wonderland by David A. Brown ..... 7 Airboats and kayaks help getting to cold season oases.

Hunting Cold Weather Trout by Danno Wise . 10 Techniques for stalking trout on the vast flats of South TX.

Production/Design Janna Ralston Advertising/ Classified Send requests for advertising rates to: advertising@gulffishing.com or mail to: GCF Advertising P.O. Box 8, Port Lavaca, Texas 77979 Phone/Fax: (361) 552-8864 800-552-4853

Administration Gary Ralston • Editor Janna Ralston • Production/Design Staff • Circulation Warner/International Periodical Services • Newsstand Distribution GULF COAST FISHERMAN (ISSN 0164-3746) is published quarterly by Harold Wells Gulf Coast Fisherman, Inc., 211 Oakglen Dr., Port Lavaca, Texas 77979. Phone (361)552-8864. Copyright 2014. Single copy at $4.50. Subscription is $15.00 for one year (4 issues); $28.00 for two years (8 issues); and, $40.00 for three years (12 issues). Periodical postage paid at Port Lavaca, Texas and at additional mailing offices. Address correspondence concerning subscription or address changes to Gulf Coast Fisherman, P.O. Box 8, Port Lavaca, Texas 77979 (361) 552-8864. Unsolicited contributions are welcomed, but will not be acknowledged or returned unless accompanied by stamped, self-addressed envelope. Articles, photos, artwork, and other material should be addressed to the Editor. We can not be responsible for unsolicited material. The contents of this magazine may not be reprinted without written permission. Advertising rates on request. Standard commissions to accredited advertising agencies. Send new product information to Gulf Coast Fisherman, P.O. Box 8, Port Lavaca, Texas 77979. Advertising Sales Office, Gulf Coast Fisherman, 211 Oakglen Dr., Port Lavaca,Texas 77979. Phone/Fax (361) 552-8864. POSTMASTER: Send P.O.D. Form 3579 to: Gulf Coast Fisherman, P. O. Box 8, Port Lavaca, TX 77979. 4 GULF COAST FISHERMAN

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Tackle Time - Why Pink? ............................................... 8 Rod & Reelin’ - Castable Cedar Plugs ........................... 9 Gulf Coast Closeup - Last Island Trout ..................... 11 Equipment Notebook - Stainless Steel Care ............. 12 The Bay Naturalist - Different Stripes ...................... 28 The Fly Guy - Points on Hooks .................................... 29 Paddling Out - Doubling Down ................................... 31 The Bait Hook - Second Guessing “You Know Who” 34 DEPARTMENTS Editor's Notes ................................................................................................ 5 Tackle Time ..................................... Colby Sorrells ................................... 8 Rod & Reelin’ .................................. Patrick Lemire ................................... 9 Gulf Coast Closeup ......................... Al Rogers ........................................ 11 Equipment Notebook ...................... David Ayers .................................... 12 The Bay Naturalist .......................... John Hook ....................................... 28 The Fly Guy ..................................... Pete Cooper, Jr. ............................... 29 Product Review ................................ Staff ................................................. 30 Paddling Out .................................... Jeff Herman ..................................... 31 The Bait Hook .................................. Jim Martin ....................................... 34

WELLS DAILY FISHING FORECAST Astronomical Data ........................................................................................ 2 Introduction to Fishing Forecast ............................................................... 13 West Gulf Daily Forecast ........................................................................... 15 North Gulf Daily Forecast ......................................................................... 19 Florida Gulf Daily Forecast ....................................................................... 23 Advance Plannng Calendars ...................................................................... 26 Offshore Fishing Forecast .......................................................................... 27 Cover: Jim McCain with a beautiful black drum caught while fishing the Land Cut with friend Steve Kotara. Photo by Capt. Nate Skinner. W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


Editor’s Notes While fewer fishermen participate in the sport this time of year, the winter season is often as productive as those with much less frigid temps. Fish during cold weather have a tendency to follow similar patterns year after year, returning to deep water harbors, channels, etc that offer thermal protection from colder temps near the surface. The same patterns, incidentally, can also be found in the hottest days of summer where the deeper waters offer relief from the scorching temps near the surface. One factor that can make this season more challenging for fishermen, though, are low tides caused by strong northers that blow through on a fairly regular basis starting around midNovember and peaking in February. The winds often lay bare vast expanses of tidal flats and expose reefs typically unseen until this time of year. Many boat ramps also suffer from low water often rendering many unlaunchable from by most boaters. On such days, anglers with a kayak, airboat, or low water running flats boat, can make the difference between being able to fish or staying home. Any motor powered craft able to launch from a low water ramp, can also let a kayak or two piggyback for a trip into the backcountry, or at least a modest trip from the ramp. Such tactics are covered by David Brown this issue in his article titled “Low Water Wonderland (page 7).” One consideration, however, when launching from a very low water ramp, is the stage of the tide at the time you’re leaving the ramp. While the tide might already be very low from a strong north wind, it could even be going lower as the day progresses and the tide naturally ebbs. Just take a look at a tide chart to see what’s predicted. While a high tide might be delayed for several hours or not occur at all, a low tide is going to occur although the change may be less than predicted due to the lower water conditions already at hand. This wouldn’t be big of a deal for an airboat or kayaker that doesn’t necessarily need a ramp to land. For a boat with an outboard, it might be a long wait for enough water to float the boat to the trailer. Cold water in bays that are normally off color, means clear water to depths not seen at any other time of the year. While fishing crystal clear water is not necessarily productive depending on where you are, clear water on normally muddy flats is a distinct advantage for sight fishing. While the thrill of seeing clear water on flats that are usually off color isn’t even a consideration for fishermen in typically perpetually clear waters such as Florida or South Texas, it’s a big deal for those not so fortunate. Take it from me as someone who knows! Good fishing this quarter and keep an eye on the weather. This is not the time of year to take unneccesary chances on the water...

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CHANGE OF ADDRESS? Don’t forget to send us your change of address at least forty-five days prior to the publication date of the first issue you need to have delivered to the new address. JANUARY • FEBRUARY • MARCH

2014

5


by Nate Skinner

THE BLACK DRUM RUN FISH FOR WHAT’S BITING THIS WINTER...

T

he clicker on one reel went off as the rod bowed. As I set the hook into what felt like a brick wall, a rod to the left began to bounce before bending steadily under the weight of another hefty fish. “They always do this,” came a voice from the helm. “They bite in spurts! Don’t be surprised if another hooks up, too!” As the cool southeast wind roughed up the Galveston channel, waves incessantly splashed the sides of our dainty craft. Any other time, I’d be wondering why in the world we were even out there, enduring such a beating! But amongst the dark clouds building with the approaching cold front, all negative thoughts were left ashore. We tightened up our jackets, and continued to hook fish after fish. The rods bent until we ran out of bait, and catching black drum had never been so fun! Years ago, that was my first experience of what many anglers refer to as the “Black Drum Run.” Aboard the first boat I’d ever bought, my longtime fishing partner and friend, Michael Plitt, introduced me to the art of targeting these fish on purpose. These weren’t just any drum, by the way, they were monsters with some weighing in at over 40 pounds. When the afternoon was over, we docked with sore arms, content with a memorable day on the water. It was one I’d never forget, and to think I almost spent that winter day on the couch. Winter and its transition into spring can be a frustrating time to fish along the Gulf Coast. Water temperatures are cool and the fish are arguably more lethargic than during any other time of the year. Because of this, fish seek refuge in the warmth of deep water during the coldest of temperatures, and this pattern helps anglers predict where they will be. The winter pattern typically brings out some of the saltiest of speckled trout fishermen, casting for one bite that might be their next personal best. Tons of trophy trout are landed each winter, but not without a grinding effort and a lot of

planning put in. These monster trout will typically only feed once a day during the heart of winter, under optimal tidal and solunar conditions. Let’s face it—many of us will probably be at the office when these times occur. Rather than casting hundreds of times without a bite or waiting for the stars to align on the “perfect” day, we might consider staying at home as the comfort of a cozy recliner begins to seem more welcoming than frigid bay waters. But what if I told you there was a way to catch a trophy of a different species, and not just one, but tons? Black drum of all sizes will be feeding throughout the entire winter into spring, and the action can be nonstop. Often referred to as “Big Uglies,” monster female drum can be found stacked up and feeding while they are spawning. These brutes are easy to target, and since they run together, many can be caught in one outing. According to the Texas Parks &Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists, black drum spawn from February to April, with some starting as early as mid January. The females release their eggs directly into the water to be fertilized by males in a process referred to as “free spawning.” Ultimately, this draws a whole bunch of drum into one area, in which many may be in excess of over twenty pounds or more. Where to Fish Black drum can adapt to a wider range of habitats than any other Texas Fish. TPWD biologist, Bill Balboa, says drum are found along clear water sand flats, to the muddiest of waters of a flooding bayou. “They can thrive in water so shallow their backs stick out of the water, yet they are found in Gulf water depths over 100 feet deep, as well.” he says. “Drum are attracted to freshwater runoff from creeks and rivers, and can also live in waters twice as salty as the Gulf of Mexico, making them available to more anglers than any other bay fish.” (Continued on page 13.)

Top: Author with a hefty 21 lb. drum landed by Justin Marston at the Galveston Jetties. Ryan Welch (L) assists Brandon Spillers with his first black drum. Michael Plitt (L) holding 32 pounder caught by Noel Skinner. Photos by author. 6

GULF COAST FISHERMAN

W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


by David A. Brown

WINTER LOW WATER WONDERLAND AIRBOATS & KAYAKS GRANT ACCESS TO COLD SEASON OASES

I

t’s like shooting fish in a barrel – but the barrel is really difficult to reach. It’s the annual winter bounty of geographically isolated fish on Florida’s West Coast where anglers who time the tides and employ the right access methods – those being airboats and kayaks – will find lightsout potential. The cooler months see the year’s lowest tides and when the powerful flow of a new or full moon cycle combines with a strong north wind, these forces can drive most of the water off the shallow flats. This leaves loads of redfish, speckled trout, snook, sheepshead and other fish trapped in deeper holes and troughs between the shoreline and the outer sand bars. Impossible to access by motorboat and typically too far for waders to reach without arriving exhausted, these backwater oases are ideal for airboaters and kayakers who can blow or paddle across mud puddles to reach the deep spots where trapped fish readily grab practically any bait thrown their way. Essential to success in this scenario are the schools of mullet that gather during the cool season. The vegetarian mullet ignore the shrimp, crabs and baitfish that flush from the sea grass as a rumbling school passes overhead. However, predators such as redfish, trout and snook follow the mullet and pick off the easy meals. Find the mullet and you’ll find more game fish. Close Contact Their designs also allow these vessels the ultimate up-close-and-personal angling experience. Gulf Coast guide Capt. Greg DeVault runs airboat charters in Charlotte Harbor each winter. He said this scooting ability comes in handy when prospecting the region’s countless potholes. “I can ease right up the edge of a hole without disturbing the fish,” DeVault said. “When it’s time to move on, I can slide over to the next hole.” Capt. Jason Stock, who guides kayak anglers from Tampa Bay to Charlotte Harbor, likes the stealth factor of his chosen vessel, along with the easy transition to fishing on foot. “Because you’re sitting so low to the water, you can sneak right up on the fish and they never even know you’re there,” he said. “And if you want to get out and

wade, you just anchor your ‘yak on a bar, get out and walk to the fish.” Getting There Airboats and kayaks both have their place in this game and you’ll find pros and cons for each. Want to paddle or portage through a narrow mangrove creek? Kayaks will go where airboats can’t fit. Like the spontaneity of launching anywhere you can reach the water? Airboats require launch ramps, while kayakers can drop in from any beach. On the other hand, range and speed are much greater with the big fan. Time management is also easier with an airboat, as kayaking takes more time getting from spot to spot. It’s no big deal as long as you plan your day wisely and commit to a couple of key areas. Nevertheless, a long trip home is obviously less exerting in an airboat. (For a best-of-both-worlds solution, Sarasota guide, Capt. Geoff Page, occasionally straps a couple of kayaks to the deck of his bay boat, runs as far as he can and then offloads the skinny vessels. When yak time is over, (Continued on page 14.)

With no prop below the hull, an airboat can go just about anywhere. Kayakers, like Sarasota’s Jean Paul Hernandez, Photos by author. enjoy the stealth and access of these lightweight vessels. JANUARY • FEBRUARY • MARCH

2014

7


by Colby Sorrells

Tackle Time

A

WHY PINK?

nother fishing lure in pink. Why pink? For many years the color pink has been associated with coastal fishing. Why does this color attract fish and fishermen? West coast salmon fishers often use pink in their flies and spoons. Pink is also the color of salmon eggs, and big rainbow trout love to eat salmon eggs. Different salmon in different rivers produce different sizes and colors of salmon eggs. Most fishing guides carry a box filled with different shades and sizes of pink beads to imitate the salmon eggs for their river at any particular time.

Pink also mimics the flesh of rotting salmon that is so vital to the river’s salmon use for spawning. Salmon flesh not only feeds the rainbow trout and other fish found in the rivers but also helps fertilize the river itself, providing a better home for next year’s salmon fry. The entire ecosystem from old fish to young fish and even old and young bears depends on that pink colored flesh. From Alaska to California, pink, flesh colored flys and lures catch Pacific salmon. Fluorescent paints were experimented with in the 1930s and perfected right after World War II. The military learned how fluorescent colors could help personnel locate things like handles, steps, and signs during the dark hours of the night. Fluorescent painted parts were used on aircraft carriers, submarines and other places. Fluorescent colors, often referred to as “hot”, are very different from non-fluorescent colors. Paul Johnson, in 1984’s The Scientific Angler, discusses the effect of colors under water. “The reds were jet black, the oranges were black, although the blues and greens showed negligible change. By contrast the fluorescent reds, oranges, and yellows still glowed brightly,” Johnson reported. Dr. Colin Kageyama, in his book What Fish See, discussed colors under water further. He states, “In very clear water, blue and yellow in non-fluorescent and fluorescent green and white were highly visible. In water of moderate clarity, non-fluorescent white, yellow, and orange were easily seen, as were the fluorescent green and orange. (Continued on page 32.) 8

GULF COAST FISHERMAN

W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


by Patrick Lemire

Rod & Reelin’

CASTABLE

CEDAR PLUGS hat is a cedar plug? It’s a modification of one of the world’s best tuna lures that have been used successfully around the world for many years in a trolling configuration. I came up with the idea of converting them to casters a number of years ago after watching their swim motion when being trolled at about seven knots behind the party boat Capt John. I had a pair of 6" models to try, and gave one to long time fellow fisherman Lee Bull, the “Yellowfin Tuna King of Conroe, Texas”. We trolled them about 150 ft. back. No strikes were had on this early morning pull, but the swim motion at troll speed had one of those light bulb

W

flashes of mine go off...”Why not convert these cedar plugs to casters?” A high speed reel could readily duplicate the troll speed on the retrieve. Cedar plugs cast like a bullet, and are low cost compared to many other castable, hard body subsurface swimmers. I’ve taken numerous kingfish, several ling and even red snapper on them. There’s no reason dolphin and wahoo won’t also try to eat ‘em. The obvious catch omission is tuna; that bulb went off while on a 48-hour trip after a kingfish stop on the way home. At times, it seems like the obvious hide from all of us – castable cedar plugs and tuna at night was a combination I’d missed. Most of my 4" and 6" models are rigged up on about 20" of 7 x 7 cable, a stop bead and single barrel crimp is located about 7" ahead of the plug. All the cedar plugs I have modified into casters are by Snapper Slapper, www.snapperslapperlures.com. I also paint everything but the jig body either camo blue or green. Why the camo? It hides the cable’s unnatural look that might effect a strike. The cable is 90 lb. or up, giving cut-off protection when targeting kingfish or wahoo. Incidentally, a 4" model weighed in at 1 ounce and a 6" at 2.23 ounces. Their weight, plus rigging and great aerodynamics, make them the great casters they are. The simplest conversion to a caster is to shorten the 6 foot section of mono they come with to about 24", tie or crimp on a suitable swivel, and you are ready to go casting. In my opinion, they are as versatile as the chrome diamond jig. Those I have on mono are rigged differently – I use 100 lb. or 130 lb. Sufix mono with my “ Poorman’s Fluorocarbon Treatment” to greatly reduce its surface reflection. I specified Sufix because their diameter per pound strength is less than others I’ve found. For instance, their 100 lb. is .035 vs (Continued on page 22.) JANUARY • FEBRUARY • MARCH

2014

9


by Danno Wise

Stalking Cold Weather Trout on South Texas’ Winter Flats

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inter is not necessarily a time casual fishermen equate with spending a day on the bay. However, seasoned saltwater anglers know the chilly winter months present a window of opportunity for stalking trophy trout. And, although the vast majority of speckled trout will spend the majority of their time hiding in deep water until spring’s warming tides, larger specks will be prowling the flats all winter long. Fishermen willing to put in the time and effort stand a better than average shot at landing a trophy trout this time of year. Big Fish Make the Most of Winter One reason fishermen stand a good chance at encountering a trophy trout during the next three months is these large fish are trying to make the most of every feeding opportunity during winter. To begin with, it is important to understand all trophy trout are female. At this time of year, these big sows are preparing to spawn. It is necessary for these fish to put on some extra weight to see them through the post-spawn period. The need to pack on added weight and find a suitable spawning site will have these fish cruising the flats earlier than their smaller cousins. But, the water is still cool, so the fish won’t be quite as energetic as they are during warmer weather. In addition, they are trying gain weight, not lose it. Therefore, they wish to move as little as possible and get the most calories per bite. Anglers need to keep this in mind when retrieving lures and baits — they must be moved slowly and made to look like an easy target. BIG Baits = BIG Fish The fact big fish are wanting to get even bigger during

winter coupled with the fact most of the prey items, such as mullet, are fully mature by winter means that more often than not, big baits will be the ticket to catching big trout this time of year. The two biggest producers of trophy trout during winter are topwaters and slow-sinking plugs. Most Texas trophy trout hunters are plenty familiar with baits in these styles. Popular topwater models include MirrOlure She Dogs, Heddon Super Spooks, and Bomber Badonk-aDonks, which favorite slow-sinkers are Corky’s, 51 series MirrOlures and MirrOlure Catch 5s and Catch 2000s. Big soft-plastics can also produce good results in winter. Lightly-weighted or unweighted soft-plastic jerkbaits can also be worked in much the same manner as a slow-sinking plug. These baits would probably account for more fish if more anglers were patient enough to work them properly. One of the most overlooked, yet effective, means of catching trophy trout this time of year is to “slow-roll” jumbo paddle tail plastics. Slowrolling simply entails reeling just fast enough to keep the bait off the bottom or above the grass, whichever the case may be. This is a straight-line retrieve, no jigging or jerking - just slowly reeling the bait back. Sometimes Big Isn’t Big Enough By the end of winter, the bait is virtually void of small prey items. And, by then, trophy trout are quite accustomed to eating full-grown mullet and pinfish. As a result, some big trout may begin to bypass typical “big” lures. At times like this, it pays for fishermen to tie on a jumbo lure, such as a DOA BFL, Heddon Magnum Spook, Bomber A-Salt Popper, or Cordell Redfin C10. (Continued on page 18.)

Poling allows anglers to sneak up on spooky fish in clear water. Mark Davis releases a nice Lower Laguna trout caught on a cold winter day. Capt. Steve Ellis fly casting along spoil islands on a calm morning. Photos by author. 10

GULF COAST FISHERMAN

W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


Gulf Coast Closeup

by Al Rogers

Last Island Trout

T

he summer of 1856 was like any other in New Orleans. Waterfront docks bustled as ships with cargoes of sugar, rice and whiskey steamed off for ports on the Mississippi River. In the nearby French Quarter, vendors pushed carts, calling attention to their vegetables and Creole delicacies. “Ok – RAH! I got okra! I got string beans! I got PRA-lines!” The voices echoed down the dusty and idyllic cobblestone streets. In the French Market, women picked through baskets of speckled trout caught in Lake Pontchartrain. They spoke in languages and dialects of French, Spanish, Italian and Afro-Caribbean – some of the diverse influences that continue to shape the city, it’s culture and people. It was August and hot as hell. But few complained. The laissez le bon temps rouler mantra was becoming a way of life. Air conditioning was not an option, so people went to whatever body of water they could get to. Some caught the train to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, while others found summer solace on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. If you were wealthy, you probably owned a summer home on Isle Derniere or Last Island. Here was an unspoiled 24-mile stretch of white sand beaches surrounded by gin-clear waters. There were camps for lease and elegant beach homes with well-manicured yards. There were shops, saloons and a gambling hall. There was a hotel with a grand ballroom. It was paradise. But, on the night of August 10, 1856, this “paradise” became an inescapable, hellish nightmare. And of the more than 400 souls trapped on Last Island that night, only half of them would make it off the

island alive. I had to see it for myself. Barrier Island Trout Just after sunrise, Theophile Bourgeois was putting the last of the wadefishing gear into his Cessna 185 seaplane. He locked the compartment and climbed into the pilot’s seat. “Get in,” he said. I knew the morning would be an interesting one. Trips with Capt. Bourgeois usually are. When he’s not running a fleet of bay

boats across the vast Barataria Basin, Bourgeois flies anglers to the Louisiana barrier islands, including the Chandeleurs, Breton, East & West Timbalier, and the Isle Dernieres. The seaplane expanded

his playing field, allowing him to access world class fishing destinations in less than a half-hour. It’s Almost Not Fair... The flight to the barrier islands was 28 minutes of the most awe-inspiring views of the marshes, estuaries and wetlands I’ve ever seen. From 900 feet above, the perspective is mind blowing. The sun splashed the landscape in colors that didn’t seem real. “There it is. Last Island,” said the calming pilot’s voice over the headset. “We’re going in for a closer look.” Bourgeois banked the plane around the western end and came in at 400 feet. He was checking for a suitable place to land. Bourgeois put the pontoons on the surface, and we glided to a smooth stop behind Last Island. He paused to take in the warm salt air and the soothing island sounds. “This place is pretty special,” he said. “Sometimes you’ll be here all day and never see anyone.” Bourgeois had not walked 40 yards from the plane before getting his first strike. I remember actually hearing the sharp SMACK of the predator’s face against the hard plug. The floating bait vanished under a large swell. The fish made a determined run, peeling a few feet of mono from his spool. This feisty 4pounder was victimized by a Badonk-A-Donk, a Bomber walking bait. “That was quick,” he said. “Come on. Get into this net.” It was not coming (Continued on page 33.)

Captain, and seaplane pilot, Theophile Bourgeois, with a beautiful trout he caught while wading Last Island with the author. Photos by author.

JANUARY • FEBRUARY • MARCH

2 0 1 4 11


Equipment Notebook Stainless Steel Care

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12

by David Ayers Photos by author.

ith hundreds of grades of stainless steel available to manufacturers of marine products, there’s no wonder that some resist staining and corrosion better than others. There is an old adage that stainless steel is not “stain proof”, but is only “stains less.” However, prudent maintenance can result in little or no staining. If you are faced with some corrosion stains on your stainless hardware, or if stains bleed onto your fiberglass, there are

usually uncomplicated solutions to remove the oxidation. First, after normal cleaning of your boat using soap and water, identify the problem areas. Then prepare a mildly abrasive paste using baking soda and some warm water. Next, use a sponge, tooth brush or other bristled brush and apply with moderate pressure. Usually, with time, you will see some good results. If not, there are plenty of more powerful products available at boating stores.

1. Here we see common bleeding of corrosion from stainless steel hardware to fiberglass.

2. Use a paste of baking soda and water. Never use bleach based products on stainless steel.

3. Here are the results of several minutes of brushing. See your boating store for stubborn stains that persist.

4. Here’s another example of before and after on stainless. In this case a “wading polish” was used.

5. The same wading polish was used to clean the entire lightly oxidized rail and other stainless steel.

6. Preventative maintenance: Use an old sock and apply polish to all the stainless to help reduce future problems.

GULF COAST FISHERMAN

W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


Black Drum Run (Continued from page 6.)

With the ability to live almost anywhere, black drum will be found biting in many different areas this winter, making them easy to catch. The most productive areas are going to be deep water channels, or flats adjacent to deep water that receive good tidal flow, as large female drum will be schooling in the deep water, preparing to spawn. Popular areas include jetty channels and passes leading to and from the Gulf, the surf, the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), and any other deeper channel of hole. Unlike other inshore species, Black Drum can spawn both inshore or in the Gulf, so areas where bay and Gulf waters meet are ideal for locating them during the winter. The further back into the bay one travels, the less likely they are to catch a trophy female. From Sabine all the way down to Port Isabel and everywhere in between, the Texas Coast contains jetty systems, ship channels, and passes that connect the Gulf to the bay. All of these areas will be full of spawning drum this winter. Excellent locations include the Sabine Jetties, Galveston Jetties, Freeport Jetties, Port O’Connor’s big jetties, the Port Aransas Jetties, Packery Channel, the portion of the ICW within the Land Cut, the Port Mansfield Jetties, and the Port Isabel Jetties. Rigging When gearing up to go after some “Big Uglies,” the first thing you’ll want to consider is the rod. Black drum can be caught on light inshore tackle; however, the waters they are being targeted in are deep with strong currents, and many of the fish biting are in excess of twenty pounds. A boat rod with a conventional reel provides a much more efficient means for battling these strong fish. When it comes to the terminal tackle, it’s pretty simple. A fixed Carolina or Texas rig in which a large egg weight is fixed about two feet above a hook works best. The weight needs to be at least eight ounces and times of strong current may call for as much as sixteen ounces of lead. A large hook is needed to firmly stick these fat-lipped fish. A size 3/0 “J” hook will work, but I prefer a size 4/0 or 5/0 made by Mustad. Baits By far, the most effective bait for catching large black drum is freshly cracked crab. It’s best if the crab is purchased live, and then broken up into pieces while on the water, right before (Continued on page 27.)

Introduction to

Wells Daily Fishing Forecast Tidal Currents are the horizontal movement of tide waters. This horizontal movement is the most vital factor in marine life. Because currents control the movement of fish food, they are the only advance predictable factor in the movement of our gamefish. All the other minor factors which effect the movement of fish can only be determined on a day-to-day basis. It can be determined when and where the most fish movement will occur on any given day. You can decide whether to fish the deeper reefs, the close to shore feeding areas or the passes from the Gulf. The “why” it works is known to thousands of fishermen who have depended on the Fishing Forecast for 50 years. This explanation is mostly for new (to the Forecast) fishermen but regular users can benefit by reviewing information. It is essential to understand that fish and their food start moving IN and OUT as soon as a tidal current has gained enough horizontal speed to force them in the direction of its flow. The time required for a tidal current to build up to a horizontal speed of at least three tenths of a knot (forcing speed) can be from minutes to several hours. For this reason times given in the column, “Starts”, can never be correlated to the time of High Tide or Low Tide as given in sections of this book. The Forecast, therefore, starts with the time when a tidal current has reached necessary speed or Forcing Power to start a movement in the direction indicated, either IN or OUT. The second time figure represents the end of the Forcing Power as the current slows down to slack water time. Analyzing the two time figures, we start with the first column, the time when movement starts. This time figure compared with the last time on the previous line tells you the length of time since the current moved the fish. If the previous current moved IN, then the fish will still be IN until after starting time on this line. If they were moved OUT on the previous current, then they won’t start IN until after this first time figure. The starting time represents the time when a tidal current has gained speed and force to start movement in the direction indicated. This time figure represents the beginning of a period when you do not have to hunt for your fish. By just being stationed on a known and proven reef or channel leading to or from shallow water, the tidal current will bring the fish to you. (See no. 3 - next column.) These periods of movement will generally provide the best and fastest action of the day because the schools of fish will be concentrated and will always be feeding on their moving and exposed food.

Because the best fishing usually occurs each day following the time shown in this starting column, the variations involved are worth studying. First, a study of flooding or incoming currents shows that the IN movement of fish will be slower and more gradual than the OUT movement on an ebbing current. Fishing will be slower with fairly long intervals between schools of fish feeding their way into the shallow water areas. However, the continuing action should hold you at your fishing spot until this movement has ended. On the other hand, when a strong current begins to ebb or go OUT, it will move everything in a short period of time. Except when a tide is rated Weak or Very Weak, all the gamefish will be out of shallow water well before the time shown when movement is predicted to end. The column of Current Speed Ratings designates each current by its strongest speed. Each of these ratings represents a definite speed range. These speed ranges are Very Weak; Weak; Moderate; Good; Strong; Very Strong; and, Extra Strong. A current rated Good, for instance, will always have the same strength and speed range regardless of when it occurs, either ebbing or flooding. It is very important to adjust the times as shown in the Fishing Forecasts to the area where you are fishing. The times given are for approximately the center of the various bays. Areas nearer the Gulf passes have movements starting earlier, so subtract time from that shown. Fishing areas further into the Bays will have movements starting later than the times given.

CURRENT MOVEMENT DAY (1 ) TUE 1

DIR STARTS ENDS (2 ) (3) (4) I 05:30am 09:50am O 01:15pm 02:35pm O 10:20pm 04:20am* GOOD TO MID-MORNING (6) WED I 06:35am 11:15am 2 O 11:15pm 05:25am* MORNING VERY GOOD

STRENGTH (5) Good Very Weak V Strong Strong V Strong2

1. Day and Date 2. Direction of current. (I) Incoming or Flooding. (O) Outgoing or Ebbing. 3. Approximate time that current will exceed .3 knot 4. Approximate time that current will slow below .3 knot. 5. Prediction of current strength. 6. Forecast of overall prospect forthe day. 7. A "1" following the strength rating in dicates a lower low tide than usual; a "2" indicates a higher high.

JANUARY • FEBRUARY • MARCH

2 0 1 4 13


Low Water Wonderland (Continued from page 7.)

he loads up and returns home without the long padding effort.) Gear selection also merits consideration. A fully rigged inshore fishing kayak might reasonably hold four rods without becoming cumbersome, but the spacious decks common to the airboat platform enables you to carry pretty much whatever you want. Same goes for passengers. Tandem kayaks can be used for fishing applications, but singles are much more common. That lone wolf fishing vibe is part of the appeal, but if you want company, the airboat clearly holds more. Somewhat similar to a center console tower skiff, the airboat’s quasi tower ranks superior. Most airboats have 2tiered bench seats, so captain and anglers can simultaneously fish aloft or scan the area for targets. Kayakers with good balance can increase their sight-fishing ability by standing up in the cockpit. If you’re a little shaky, or just uncomfortable with the possibility of going “splash” in cold winter water, just bank your boat against the edge of a mud flat or sand bar for added standing stability. Add-on kayak stabilizers are another option. For scouting purposes, airboats don’t impart the same speed limitations as conventional towerboats. With an outboard-powered boat, you have to idle through shallow water, or run through on plane to cross skinny spots. Flat-bottom airboats, on the other hand, can scoot through at any speed with no risk of bumping bottom. Moreover, airboats and kayaks avoid the number one environmental concern of shallow water operation – prop scars. With nothing dragging beneath the surface, there’s simply no risk of damaging fragile sea grass. Aluminum hull airboats are much more durable than those made of fiberglass, but you want to avoid hard collisions with either. When sneaking across rocky patches, airboaters often employ a little depth manipulation trick that gives them just the step they need to ease over the impediment. Running about half speed toward the hard spot, the captain slows down a few yards away and allows the surge of water to roll over the spot. Taking advantage of this temporary depth increase provides just enough buffer to sneak across those “maybe” spots. Tackle and Tactics From a kayak or an airboat, ideal for (Continued on page 32.) 14 G U L F C O A S T F I S H E R M A N

W E S T

G U L F

Port Isabel, Texas to Eugene Island, Louisiana

Wells Forecast Adjustment Times ROCKPORT AREA Rockport Basin .......................... +:15 Copano Causeway ..................... +:45 Halfmoon Reef .......................... +:30 Cedar Bayou ............................... -:10 Blackjack Point .......................... +:50 CORPUS CHRISTI Aransas Pass Jetties .................... -:30 Hog Island .................................. -:10 Dagger Island .......................... Same Long Reef .................................. +:40 Nueces Bay Causeway ............ +1:15 Padre Island Causeway ............ +1:15 LAGUNA MADRE Baffin Bay/Canal ..................... Same Starvation Point ......................... +:30 Land Cut (north) ........................ +:40 Land Cut (south) ...................... +1:40 Port Mansfield Basin ................. +:30 Arroyo Colorado Cut ............... +1:20 Brazos Santiago Jetties ............... -:10 Queen Isabella Causeway .......... +:20 Rio Grande Mouth ................... Same MATAGORDA AREA Colorado River Mouth ................ -:40 Colorado River Locks ............... +:10 Dog Island Reef .......................... -:10 Greens Bayou ............................. -:30 Palacios .................................... Same Carancahua Bay ......................... +:50 Sand Point .................................. +:50 Noble Point .............................. +1:30 Powderhorn Lake Entrance ....... +:20 Port O’Connor "little" Jetties ...... -:10 Matagorda Ship Channel Jetties . -:40 Army Hole ............................... Same San Antonio Bay/Canal ............. +:40

FREEPORT AREA Christmas Pt.-Bastrop Bay ...... Same Bastrop Bayou/Canal .................. -:10 Rattlesnake Pt.-Drum Bay ......... +:50 Oyster Creek/Canal ................... +:20 Brazos River/Canal ..................... -:15 San Bernard/Canal ...................... -:30 Freeport Jetties ........................... -:45 Caney Creek/Canal .................... +:10 GALVESTON BAY AREA Texas City Dike/End ............... Same Red Fish Bar .............................. +:30 Clear Lake Entrance .................. +:45 Cedar Point/Trinity Bay .......... +1:10 Rollover Pass-East Bay .............. -:50 Robinson Bayou-East Bay .......... -:20 Bolivar Roads-Galveston ........... -:20 North Jetty Boat Pass ................. -:50 Galveston Causeway ................. +:10 South Deer Isl.-West Bay .......... +:30 Carancahua Reef-West Bay ....... +:50 Alligator Head-West Bay .......... +:10 San Luis Pass Bridge .................. -:50 VERMILION BAY AREA Freshwater Bayou ....................... -:30 Vermilion Pass (S.W.) ................ -:50 Weeks Bay .................................. -:30 CALCASIEU LAKE AREA Calcasieu Pass ............................ -:60 Calcasieu River/Canal ............... +:30 Lake Charles ............................ +1:10 Mermentau River ........................ -:40 SABINE AREA Sabine Pass-Texas Pt. ................. -:45 Mesquite Pt. Bridge .................... -:30 Sidney Island-West Pt. ............ Same West Pass-Sabine River ............. +:15 Intracoastal at Cutoff Isl. ........... +:45

To adjust for your fishing area, add (+) or subtract (-) hours and minutes shown above for the area you plan to fish from the Forecast time. No attempt should be made to compare the time of high or low tide, shown below, to the times of current presented in the Fishing Forecast.

Tide Table Adjustment Times HIGH LOW

HIGH LOW

Eugene Island ................ -0:25 -2:03 Pt. Au Fer ...................... -:21 -2:26 Shell Island .................. +0:54 -0:39 Pt. Chevreuil ............... +1:02 -0:54 South Pt. Marsh I. ......... -0:19 -1:57 SW Pass, Vermilion ..... -0:32 -0:33 Mermentau River Ent. .. -1:54 -0:59 Calcasieu Pass Lt .......... -2:14 -1:24 Sabine Pass .................. -1:00 -1:15 Mesquite Point .............. -0:04 -0.25 Galveston Channel ............ as shown Eagle Pt. ....................... +3:54 +4:15 Clear Lake .................. +6:05 +6:40

Gilchrist, East Bay ...... +3:16 +4:18 Jamaica Bch, W Bay ... +2:38 +3:31 Alligator Pt, West Bay. +2:39 +2:33 Christmas Point .......... +2:32 +2:31 Galveston Pleas. Pier .... -1:06 -1:06 San Luis Pass ............. -0:09 -0:09 Freeport Harbor ............. -0:44 -1:02 Pass Cavallo .................... 0:00 -1:20 Aransas Pass .................. -0:03 -1:31 Padre I. (So. End) .......... -0:24 -1:45 Port Isabel ..................... +1:02 -0:42 (Port O’Connor tides found at http://gulffishing.com/POCtides.html)

The daily tide tables are to be used only as a depth of water guide and have no correlation to the maximum times of current. To adjust for your fishing area, add (+) hours/minutes or deduct (-) hours/minutes shown above to the times of high or low as indicated by the tide tables.

Note: Forecast and Tide Tables have been adjusted for DST, as appropriate. W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


West Gulf Fishing Forecast

WEST GULF Tide Tables JANUARY 2014

CURRENT MOVEMENT DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH WED O 06:15am 12:15pm V Strong 1 I 02:30pm 09:00pm V Strong MORNING, AFT’N BEST THU O 07:20am 01:10pm V Strong 2 I 03:25pm 09:45pm V Strong MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST FRI O 08:30am 02:00pm Strong 3 I 04:30pm 10:20pm V Strong MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST SAT O 10:30am 02:50pm Good 4 I 05:50pm 10:50pm Strong LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST SUN I 07:05am 08:15am Very Weak 5 O 01:25pm 04:25pm Moderate I 07:35pm 10:55pm Good EARLY MORNING, AFT’N BEST MON O 03:45am 05:05am Very Weak 6 I 08:20am 09:50am Very Weak O 03:20pm 05:10pm Weak I 09:05pm 11:05pm Weak MID MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST TUE O 04:10am 05:50am Weak 7 I 10:05am 11:55am Weak O 05:45pm 07:05pm Very Weak I 10:05pm 11:35pm Very Weak MORNING BEST WED O 04:30am 06:50am Moderate 8 I 11:00am 02:00pm Moderate EARLY MORNING, MID DAY BEST THU O 04:45am 07:45am Moderate 9 I 11:30am 03:10pm Good EARLY MORNING, EARLY AFT’N BEST FRI O 04:55am 08:35am Good 10 I 12:00pm 04:20pm Good EARLY MORNING, EARLY AFT’N BEST SAT O 05:10am 09:10am Good 11 I 12:50pm 05:10pm Good EARLY MORNING, AFT’N BEST SUN O 05:20am 09:40am Good 12 I 01:30pm 06:10pm Strong EARLY MORNING, AFT’N BEST MON O 05:45am 10:25am Strong 13 I 02:05pm 07:05pm Strong MORNING, AFT’N BEST TUE O 06:35am 11:15am Strong 14 I 02:35pm 07:55pm Strong MORNING, AFT’N BEST WED O 07:30am 12:10pm Strong 15 I 03:10pm 08:40pm Strong MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST THU O 08:15am 12:55pm Strong 16 I 03:50pm 09:10pm Strong MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST

CURRENT MOVEMENT DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH FRI O 09:15am 01:15pm Good 17 I 04:35pm 09:35pm Strong MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST SAT O 01:55am 03:05am Very Weak 18 O 10:15am 01:35pm Good I 05:25pm 09:45pm Good LATE MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST SUN O 02:10am 03:40am Very Weak 19 O 11:25am 01:45pm Moderate I 06:20pm 09:40pm Good MID DAY BEST MON O 02:35am 04:15am Weak 20 O 12:45pm 02:15pm Very Weak I 07:25pm 09:25pm Weak EARLY MORNING, EARLY AFT’N BEST TUE O 03:00am 04:50am Weak 21 I 08:20am 09:40am Very Weak I 08:00pm 09:40pm Weak MID MORNING BEST WED O 03:25am 05:25am Weak 22 I 07:20pm 09:00pm Weak I 08:20pm 09:30pm Very Weak LATE MORNING BEST THU O 03:20am 06:00am Moderate 23 I 10:10am 12:30pm Moderate I 04:20pm 05:30pm Very Weak LATE MORNING BEST FRI O 02:40am 06:00am Good 24 I 10:25am 02:05pm Good LATE MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST SAT O 02:45am 06:45am Good 25 I 10:30am 03:30pm Strong LATE MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST SUN O 02:55am 07:55am Strong 26 I 11:05am 04:35pm Strong LATE MORNING TO LATE AFT’N BEST MON O 03:35am 09:05am Strong 27 I 11:50am 05:50pm V Strong EARLY MORNING, AFT’N BEST TUE O 04:30am 10:10am Strong 28 I 12:45pm 06:55pm V Strong MORNING, AFT’N BEST WED O 05:30am 11:10am Strong 29 I 01:35pm 07:55pm V Strong MORNING, AFT’N BEST THU O 06:55am 12:25pm Strong 30 I 02:30pm 08:40pm V Strong MORNING, AFT’N BEST FRI I 04:05am 05:15am Very Weak 31 O 08:30am 01:50pm Strong I 03:30pm 09:10pm Strong MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

WED Hi 01:28am 1 Lo 09:34am Hi 05:39pm Lo 10:03pm THU Hi 02:27am 2 Lo 10:24am Hi 06:21pm Lo 10:54pm FRI Hi 03:30am 3 Lo 11:14am Hi 07:01pm Lo 11:55pm SAT Hi 04:42am 4 Lo 12:05pm Hi 07:40pm SUN Lo 01:08am 5 Hi 06:07am Lo 12:59pm Hi 08:17pm MON Lo 02:30am 6 Hi 07:51am Lo 01:56pm Hi 08:53pm TUE Lo 03:49am 7 Hi 09:50am Lo 03:06pm Hi 09:27pm WED Lo 04:55am 8 Hi 11:54am Lo 04:48pm Hi 09:59pm THU Lo 05:51am 9 Hi 01:41pm Lo 06:38pm Hi 10:31pm FRI Lo 06:39am 10 Hi 02:54pm Lo 07:59pm Hi 11:03pm SAT Lo 07:21am 11 Hi 03:44pm Lo 08:55pm Hi 11:36pm SUN Lo 07:59am 12 Hi 04:21pm Lo 09:28pm MON Hi 12:11am 13 Lo 08:32am Hi 04:49pm Lo 09:39pm TUE Hi 12:48am 14 Lo 09:03am Hi 05:11pm Lo 09:36pm WED Hi 01:27am 15 Lo 09:32am Hi 05:32pm Lo 09:43pm

THU Hi 02:05am 16 Lo 10:00am Hi 05:55pm Lo 10:10pm FRI Hi 02:44am 17 Lo 10:28am Hi 06:20pm Lo 10:49pm SAT Hi 03:26am 18 Lo 10:57am Hi 06:46pm Lo 11:35pm SUN Hi 04:13am 19 Lo 11:27am Hi 07:12pm MON Lo 12:27am 20 Hi 05:16am Lo 11:59am Hi 07:36pm TUE Lo 01:21am 21 Hi 06:45am Lo 12:32pm Hi 07:57pm WED Lo 02:17am 22 Hi 08:39am Lo 01:10pm Hi 08:12pm THU Lo 03:13am 23 Hi 10:37am Lo 01:56pm Hi 08:23pm FRI Lo 04:08am 24 Hi 12:23pm Lo 03:02pm Hi 08:35pm SAT Lo 05:03am 25 Hi 01:39pm Lo 04:41pm Hi 09:05pm SUN Lo 05:57am 26 Hi 02:32pm Lo 06:22pm Hi 10:07pm MON Lo 06:50am 27 Hi 03:15pm Lo 07:23pm Hi 11:21pm TUE Lo 07:43am 28 Hi 03:54pm Lo 08:08pm WED Hi 12:33am 29 Lo 08:35am Hi 04:31pm Lo 08:53pm THU Hi 01:42am 30 Lo 09:26am Hi 05:06pm Lo 09:41pm FRI Hi 02:51am 31 Lo 10:17am Hi 05:39pm Lo 10:34pm

1.1 -0.9 1.2 0.9 1.1 -0.9 1.1 0.8 1.1 -0.7 1.1 0.7 0.9 -0.5 1.0 0.5 0.8 -0.2 0.9 0.3 0.7 0.0 0.9 0.1 0.6 0.3 0.8 -0.1 0.7 0.5 0.8 -0.3 0.8 0.7 0.8 -0.5 0.9 0.7 0.8 -0.6 1.0 0.7 0.8 -0.6 1.0 0.7 0.8 -0.6 0.9 0.8 0.9 -0.6 0.9 0.8 0.9 -0.6 0.9 0.7

0.8 -0.6 0.9 0.7 0.8 -0.5 0.8 0.6 0.7 -0.4 0.8 0.5 0.7 -0.3 0.8 0.4 0.6 -0.1 0.8 0.3 0.5 0.0 0.7 0.1 0.5 0.2 0.7 0.0 0.5 0.4 0.7 -0.2 0.6 0.5 0.8 -0.4 0.8 0.7 0.8 -0.6 0.9 0.8 0.9 -0.8 1.0 0.8 0.9 -0.9 1.0 0.8 1.0 -0.9 1.0 0.7 1.0 -0.9 1.0 0.6 1.0 -0.7 0.9 0.5

KNEEdeepFISHING

Guide Service Capt. Coach Floyd Ciruti 30 Years Experience Fishing Port O’Connor/Matagorda Bay

979-533-0893 WWW.GOFISHMATAGORDA.COM

JANUARY • FEBRUARY • MARCH

2 0 1 4 15


West Gulf Fishing Forecast

WEST GULF Tide Tables

FEBRUARY 2014

CURRENT MOVEMENT

CURRENT MOVEMENT

DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH SAT I 04:45am 06:25am Weak 1 O 10:30am 02:50pm Good I 04:40pm 09:20pm Strong LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST SUN O 01:40am 03:00am Very Weak 2 I 05:35am 07:35am Weak O 12:30pm 03:30pm Moderate I 06:10pm 09:10pm Moderate EARLY AFT’N BEST MON O 02:00am 03:30am Very Weak 3 I 06:35am 08:55am Moderate O 02:15pm 04:05pm Weak I 07:25pm 09:15pm Weak EARLY MORNING BEST TUE O 02:15am 04:05am Weak 4 I 07:50am 10:10am Moderate O 03:55pm 05:05pm Very Weak I 08:15pm 09:25pm Very Weak MORNING BEST WED O 02:25am 04:45am Moderate 5 I 09:20am 12:00pm Moderate LATE MORNING BEST THU O 02:35am 05:15am Moderate 6 I 10:30am 01:50pm Good LATE MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST FRI O 02:40am 06:00am Good 7 I 11:15am 02:55pm Good LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST SAT O 03:35am 06:55am Good 8 I 11:50am 03:50pm Good AFTERNOON BEST SUN O 04:40am 08:20am Good 9 I 12:30pm 04:50pm Good EARLY MORNING, AFT’N BEST MON O 05:20am 09:20am Good 10 I 01:10pm 05:50pm Strong EARLY MORNING, AFT’N BEST TUE O 06:00am 10:20am Good 11 I 01:45pm 06:45pm Strong MORNING, AFT’N BEST WED O 07:00am 11:20am Good 12 I 02:15pm 07:35pm Strong MORNING, AFT’N BEST THU O 08:05am 12:05pm Good 13 I 03:00pm 08:00pm Strong O 12:00am 01:10am Very Weak MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST FRI I 03:45am 04:55am Very Weak 14 O 09:00am 12:40pm Good I 03:35pm 08:15pm Strong O 12:15am 01:35am Very Weak MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST

DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH SAT I 04:30am 05:50am Very Weak 15 O 10:00am 01:00pm Moderate I 04:15pm 08:15pm Good MID DAY, LATE AFT’N BEST SUN O 12:35am 02:15am Weak 16 I 05:05am 06:45am Weak O 11:05am 01:05pm Weak I 05:05pm 08:05pm Moderate EARLY MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST MON O 01:00am 02:50am Weak 17 I 05:50am 07:40am Weak O 11:45am 01:15pm Very Weak I 05:55pm 07:55pm Weak EARLY MORNING BEST TUE O 01:20am 03:20am Weak 18 I 06:35am 08:35am Weak I 06:20pm 07:50pm Very Weak EARLY MORNING BEST WED O 01:20am 03:40am Moderate 19 I 07:20am 09:40am Moderate I 05:35pm 06:55pm Very Weak EARLY MORNING BEST THU O 11:50pm 02:30am Moderate 20 I 08:00am 11:00am Moderate I 05:10pm 06:30pm Very Weak MORNING BEST FRI O 12:45am 04:05am Good 21 I 08:35am 12:35pm Good MORNING BEST SAT O 01:00am 05:00am Good 22 I 09:20am 02:00pm Strong MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST SUN O 01:30am 06:10am Strong 23 I 09:55am 03:25pm Strong LATE MORNING TOMID AFT’N BEST MON O 02:20am 07:20am Strong 24 I 10:40am 04:30pm V Strong LATE MORNING TO LATE AFT’N BEST TUE O 03:40am 08:40am Strong 25 I 11:35am 05:35pm V Strong EARLY MORNING, AFT’N BEST WED O 05:05am 10:05am Strong 26 I 12:40pm 06:30pm V Strong MORNING, AFT’N BEST THU O 07:00am 12:00pm Strong 27 I 01:40pm 07:20pm Strong MORNING, AFT’N BEST FRI I 03:00am 04:30am Very Weak 28 O 08:30am 01:10pm Strong I 02:45pm 07:45pm Strong O 11:35pm 12:55am Very Weak MORNING, AFT’N BEST

16

GULF COAST FISHERMAN

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

SAT Hi 04:01am 1 Lo 11:06am Hi 06:12pm Lo 11:31pm SUN Hi 05:16am 2 Lo 11:56am Hi 06:44pm MON Lo 12:33am 3 Hi 06:38am Lo 12:47pm Hi 07:15pm TUE Lo 01:39am 4 Hi 08:10am Lo 01:42pm Hi 07:46pm WED Lo 02:49am 5 Hi 09:56am Lo 02:53pm Hi 08:17pm THU Lo 03:58am 6 Hi 11:53am Lo 04:56pm Hi 08:48pm FRI Lo 05:03am 7 Hi 01:42pm Lo 06:57pm Hi 09:24pm SAT Lo 06:01am 8 Hi 02:50pm Lo 08:09pm Hi 10:10pm SUN Lo 06:52am 9 Hi 03:33pm Lo 08:45pm Hi 11:05pm MON Lo 07:36am 10 Hi 04:00pm Lo 09:00pm Hi 11:59pm TUE Lo 08:14am 11 Hi 04:17pm Lo 09:01pm WED Hi 12:50am 12 Lo 08:46am Hi 04:30pm Lo 09:02pm THU Hi 01:39am 13 Lo 09:16am Hi 04:45pm Lo 09:20pm FRI Hi 02:26am 14 Lo 09:43am Hi 05:03pm Lo 09:50pm

SAT Hi 03:14am 15 Lo 10:11am Hi 05:23pm Lo 10:25pm SUN Hi 04:05am 16 Lo 10:39am Hi 05:44pm Lo 11:03pm MON Hi 05:00am 17 Lo 11:10am Hi 06:03pm Lo 11:43pm TUE Hi 06:04am 18 Lo 11:42am Hi 06:19pm WED Lo 12:26am 19 Hi 07:19am Lo 12:17pm Hi 06:30pm THU Lo 01:14am 20 Hi 08:46am Lo 12:56pm Hi 06:35pm FRI Lo 02:08am 21 Hi 10:24am Lo 01:42pm Hi 06:39pm SAT Lo 03:10am 22 Hi 11:59am Lo 02:45pm Hi 06:53pm SUN Lo 04:18am 23 Hi 01:14pm Lo 04:26pm Hi 07:50pm MON Lo 05:26am 24 Hi 02:06pm Lo 06:12pm Hi 09:55pm TUE Lo 06:31am 25 Hi 02:44pm Lo 07:08pm Hi 11:35pm WED Lo 07:31am 26 Hi 03:17pm Lo 07:54pm THU Hi 12:57am 27 Lo 08:27am Hi 03:48pm Lo 08:40pm FRI Hi 02:11am 28 Lo 09:20am Hi 04:17pm Lo 09:27pm

1.0 -0.5 0.9 0.3 0.9 -0.3 0.8 0.1 0.8 0.0 0.8 0.0 0.7 0.3 0.8 -0.2 0.7 0.5 0.8 -0.3 0.8 0.7 0.8 -0.4 0.8 0.7 0.8 -0.4 0.9 0.7 0.8 -0.5 0.9 0.7 0.8 -0.5 0.9 0.7 0.8 -0.5 0.9 0.7 0.9 -0.4 0.9 0.7 0.9 -0.4 0.8 0.6 0.9 -0.3 0.8 0.5

0.8 -0.2 0.8 0.4 0.8 -0.1 0.8 0.3 0.8 0.0 0.8 0.2 0.7 0.2 0.8 0.1 0.7 0.4 0.8 0.0 0.8 0.6 0.8 -0.1 0.8 0.7 0.9 -0.2 0.9 0.8 0.9 -0.4 1.0 0.9 1.0 -0.4 1.1 0.9 1.0 -0.5 1.1 0.9 1.1 -0.5 1.1 0.8 1.1 -0.5 1.1 0.6 1.2 -0.4 1.0 0.5

W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


West Gulf Fishing Forecast

WEST GULF Tide Tables MARCH 2014

CURRENT MOVEMENT DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH SAT I 03:40am 06:00am Moderate 1 O 10:00am 02:00pm Good I 03:50pm 07:50pm Good O 11:50pm 01:30am Weak MID DAY, LATE AFT’N BEST SUN I 04:05am 07:25am Good 2 O 11:40am 02:40pm Moderate I 05:10pm 07:30pm Moderate O 12:10am 02:00am Weak MID DAY, LATE AFT’N BEST MON I 04:45am 08:25am Good 3 O 01:25pm 03:15pm Weak I 06:05pm 07:35pm Very Weak EARLY MORNING BEST TUE O 12:15am 02:35am Moderate 4 I 05:45am 09:25am Good O 02:50pm 04:00pm Very Weak EARLY MORNING BEST WED O 11:55pm 02:35am Moderate 5 I 06:50am 10:30am Good MORNING BEST THU O 12:10am 03:10am Moderate 6 I 08:25am 11:45am Good MORNING BEST FRI O 12:45am 04:05am Good 7 I 10:05am 01:25pm Good MID DAY BEST SAT O 01:30am 04:50am Good 8 I 10:50am 02:30pm Good LATE MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST SUN O 03:30am 06:50am Good 9 I 12:25pm 04:25pm Good AFTERNOON BEST MON O 05:20am 08:40am Good 10 I 01:00pm 05:20pm Good EARLY MORNING, AFT’N BEST TUE O 06:35am 09:55am Good 11 I 01:35pm 06:15pm Strong MORNING, AFT’N BEST WED O 07:20am 11:00am Good 12 I 02:25pm 07:05pm Strong O 11:30pm 12:40am Very Weak MORNING, AFT’N BEST THU O 08:30am 11:50am Good 13 I 03:00pm 07:40pm Strong O 11:20pm 12:50am Very Weak MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST FRI I 03:55am 05:05am Very Weak 14 O 09:35am 12:35pm Moderate I 03:50pm 07:50pm Good O 11:35pm 01:15am Weak LATE MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST SAT I 04:30am 06:10am Weak 15 O 10:45am 01:05pm Moderate I 04:30pm 07:50pm Good O 11:50pm 01:50am Weak MID DAY, LATE AFT’N BEST

CURRENT MOVEMENT DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH SUN I 05:05am 07:05am Weak 16 O 11:40am 01:30pm Weak I 05:15pm 07:35pm Moderate EARLY MORNING, EARLY AFT’N BEST MON O 12:05am 02:25am Moderate 17 I 05:15am 08:15am Moderate O 12:40pm 02:00pm Very Weak I 05:45pm 07:35pm Weak EARLY MORNING BEST TUE O 12:05am 02:45am Moderate 18 I 05:35am 09:15am Good I 06:10pm 07:30pm Very Weak O 11:20pm 02:20am Moderate EARLY MORNING BEST WED I 06:10am 10:10am Good 19 I 05:50pm 07:00pm Very Weak O 11:05pm 02:45am Good MORNING BEST THU I 06:50am 11:10am Good 20 I 05:25pm 06:35pm Very Weak O 11:10pm 03:30am Good MORNING BEST FRI I 07:35am 12:15pm Strong 21 O 11:45pm 04:25am Strong MORNING BEST SAT I 08:30am 01:30pm Strong 22 MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST SUN O 12:55am 05:35am Strong 23 I 09:30am 03:00pm Strong MON O 02:00am 06:40am Strong 24 I 10:35am 04:15pm Strong LATE MORNING TO LATE AFT’N BEST TUE O 03:20am 08:00am Strong 25 I 11:25am 05:15pm V Strong O 10:45pm 11:55pm Very Weak EARLY MORNING, AFT’N BEST WED O 05:50am 10:10am Good 26 I 12:30pm 06:10pm Strong O 10:45pm 11:55pm Very Weak MORNING, AFT’N BEST THU O 07:40am 11:40am Good 27 I 01:40pm 06:40pm Strong O 10:50pm 12:10am Very Weak MORNING, AFT’N BEST FRI I 02:55am 04:35am Weak 28 O 09:00am 01:00pm Good I 03:00pm 07:00pm Good O 11:00pm 12:40am Weak MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST SAT I 03:25am 06:25am Moderate 29 O 10:30am 01:50pm Good I 04:10pm 07:10pm Moderate O 11:10pm 01:10am Weak LATE MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

SAT Hi 03:21am 1 Lo 10:11am Hi 04:45pm Lo 10:16pm SUN Hi 04:31am 2 Lo 11:00am Hi 05:13pm Lo 11:06pm MON Hi 05:41am 3 Lo 11:49am Hi 05:40pm Lo 11:57pm TUE Hi 06:54am 4 Lo 12:40pm Hi 06:07pm WED Lo 12:51am 5 Hi 08:13am Lo 01:37pm Hi 06:32pm THU Lo 01:48am 6 Hi 09:41am Lo 02:59pm Hi 06:55pm FRI Lo 02:51am 7 Hi 11:19am SAT Lo 04:00am 8 Hi 12:59pm SUN Lo 06:09am 9 Hi 03:06pm MON Lo 07:12am 10 Hi 03:41pm Lo 09:22pm Hi 11:50pm TUE Lo 08:05am 11 Hi 04:00pm Lo 09:26pm WED Hi 01:01am 12 Lo 08:48am Hi 04:13pm Lo 09:29pm THU Hi 02:02am 13 Lo 09:24am Hi 04:26pm Lo 09:39pm FRI Hi 02:58am 14 Lo 09:56am Hi 04:42pm Lo 10:00pm SAT Hi 03:50am 15 Lo 10:25am Hi 04:58pm Lo 10:27pm SUN Hi 04:41am 16 Lo 10:55am Hi 05:15pm Lo 10:57pm

MON Hi 05:34am 1.2 17 Lo 11:27am 0.5 Hi 05:32pm 1.0 Lo 11:30pm 0.3 TUE Hi 06:28am 1.2 18 Lo 12:01pm 0.6 Hi 05:45pm 1.0 WED Lo 12:07am 0.2 19 Hi 07:27am 1.2 Lo 12:37pm 0.7 Hi 05:55pm 1.1 THU Lo 12:47am 0.1 20 Hi 08:32am 1.2 Lo 01:15pm 0.9 Hi 06:01pm 1.1 FRI Lo 01:34am 0.0 21 Hi 09:45am 1.2 Lo 01:58pm 1.0 Hi 06:06pm 1.2 SAT Lo 02:28am -0.1 22 Hi 11:05am 1.3 Lo 02:50pm 1.1 Hi 06:15pm 1.2 SUN Lo 03:31am -0.1 23 Hi 12:25pm 1.3 Lo 04:11pm 1.1 Hi 06:34pm 1.2 MON Lo 04:43am -0.1 24 Hi 01:31pm 1.3 TUE Lo 06:00am 0.0 25 Hi 02:18pm 1.3 Lo 07:33pm 1.1 Hi 11:29pm 1.2 WED Lo 07:15am 0.0 26 Hi 02:53pm 1.3 Lo 08:11pm 0.9 THU Hi 01:10am 1.2 27 Lo 08:22am 0.1 Hi 03:23pm 1.3 Lo 08:51pm 0.8 FRI Hi 02:32am 1.3 28 Lo 09:21am 0.2 Hi 03:51pm 1.2 Lo 09:32pm 0.6 SAT Hi 03:45am 1.4 29 Lo 10:16am 0.4 Hi 04:17pm 1.2 Lo 10:14pm 0.4 SUN Hi 04:51am 1.5 30 Lo 11:08am 0.5 Hi 04:42pm 1.2 Lo 10:57pm 0.2 MON Hi 05:55am 1.5 31 Lo 11:58am 0.7 Hi 05:07pm 1.2 Lo 11:39pm 0.1

1.2 -0.2 1.0 0.3 1.2 0.0 1.0 0.1 1.2 0.3 1.0 0.0 1.1 0.5 1.0 -0.1 1.1 0.7 0.9 -0.1 1.1 0.8 0.9 -0.1 1.1 -0.1 1.1 -0.1 1.1 0.0 1.1 0.9 1.0 0.0 1.1 0.9 1.0 0.0 1.0 0.8 1.0 0.1 1.0 0.7 1.1 0.1 1.0 0.6 1.1 0.2 1.0 0.5 1.1 0.3 1.0 0.4

CURRENT MOVEMENT DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH SUN I 03:55am 07:55am Good 30 O 12:10pm 02:30pm Moderate I 05:15pm 07:05pm Weak O 11:10pm 01:50am Moderate EARLY MORNING, EARLY AFT’N BEST MON I 04:25am 09:05am Strong 31 O 01:50pm 03:30pm Weak I 05:55pm 07:15pm Very Weak O 10:45pm 02:05am Good EARLY MORNING BEST

POWDERHORN RV Park & Marina Indianola, Texas Launch into Powderhorn Lake Full RV Hookups

361-552-7481

JANUARY • FEBRUARY • MARCH

2 0 1 4 17


Stalking Winter Trout (Continued from page 10.)

Tossing these giant baits can be tiring (and requires a stout rod, reel and line), but the payoff can be well worth it when jumbo specks are looking for the biggest meal possible. Conditions Call for Clarity For the most part, winter trophy trout fishermen will be throwing big, obnoxious baits. But, there are times when conditions dictate going to the opposite extreme. As most anglers know, once winter settles in along the Texas Coast, water temperatures plummet. While the majority of fishermen understand that cooler water affects fish inhabiting the flats, many fail to realize the lower water temperatures of winter also affect other organisms in the bay. When bay water temperatures go south of 70 degrees, the myriad of microorganisms that typically populate the water column are greatly diminished. This reduction of suspended particle leads to enhanced water clarity. As nice as this water is to look at, it can be a severe handicap when attempting to approach spooky sow specks. Fish swimming in such clear water are more readily aware of anything that enters their environment. Under these conditions, fish can “get a better look” at artificial lures and flies. And, believe it or not, sometimes the best way to get these fish to eat is to give them less to look at — clear or natural color patterns. Early Birds Can Stay in Bed One of the greatest things about winter trout fishing is there is generally no need to get up early. In fact, unless it is during an unusually long warm spell, fishermen are wasting their time hitting the water too early. It is much better to wait until the sun has been up long enough to begin warming the shallow flats. Keep in mind, if you do venture out onto the bay at daybreak, fish will usually be confined to deep channels and holes. However, as the day begins to warm, the fish will begin transitioning to the flats. Depending on the day, this can happen as early as mid-morning. The best areas to locate will be flats with muddy bottoms, since mud retains heat better than sand and the water on top of a mud flat will always be warmer. When looking for a likely flat, consider the surrounding area. Choose one with the proper bottom composition with close access to deep water. During the mid-morning time frame,

N O R T H

G U L F

S t. J o s e p h P o i n t, FL to S h i p S h o a l L i g h t,

LA

Wells Fishing Forecast Adjustment Times St. Joseph Point Panama City Destin/East Pass Pensacola Bay Entrance Alabama Point Mobile Point Horn Island Pass Pascagoula Pass Chandeleur Light

-:60 -1.20 -:40 -:30 -:20 -:15 Same -:10 -:15

Long Point/Lake Borgne Bay St. Louis Rigolets South Pass/Delta Empire Jetty Barataria Pass Cat Island Pass Pointe Au Fer Isle

+:20 +:20 +:35 +:20 +:45 +:55 .+1:10

To adjust for your fishing area, add (+) or subtract (-) hours and minutes shown above for the area you plan to fish from the Forecast time. No attempt should be made to compare the time of high or low tide, shown below, to the times of current presented in theWells Fishing Forecast.

Tide Table Adjustment Times HIGH LOW

Port St. Joe -0:24 -0:51 St. Andrew Bay Channel -1:31 -2:02 Panama City -0:43 -0:44 Parker -0:05 -0:22 Laird Bayou, E. Bay +0:26 +0:40 Farmdale, E. Bay +0:35 +0:55 Wetappo Crk, E. Bay +1:01 +1:40 Lynn Haven, N. Bay -0:06 +0:20 West Bay Crk, W. Bay +0:18 +1:23 Choctawhatchee Bay East Pass (Destin) -0:27 +1:20 Harris, The Narrows +1:37 +2:51 Fishing Bend,SantaRosa+0:41 +0:51 Pensacola Bay Entrance -1:23 -0:34 Warrington, 2 mi. S. of -0:27 -0:30 PENSACOLA Times Shown Lora Pt., Escambia Bay +0:36 +1:03 East Bay +0:44 +1:17 Bay Point, Blackwater .+1:23 +1:27 Milton, Blackwater R. +1:40 +1:47 Mobile Point +0:26 +0:12 Bayou La Batre -1:17 -1:04 Horn Island Pass -0:31 -0:53 Pascagoula, MS Sound -0:40 -0:46 Pascagoula River entr. 0:00 -0:42 Biloxi, Biloxi Bay -0:32 -0:20 Ship Island Pass -0:42 -0:30 Cat Island (West Pt.) -0:44 +0:07

HIGH LOW

Bay St. Louis +0:53 Long Pt, Lake Borgne +1:29 Shell Beach, L. Borgne +3:22 Chandeleur Light -0:39 Gardner I., Breton Sd -0:19 Breton Islands -0:21 Jack Bay +0:12 Lonesome Bayou -2:35 Mississippi River Pass a Loutre ent. -1:48 Southeast Pass -2:32 Port Eads, South Pass -2:13 Joseph Bayou -2:32 Southwest Pass -2:34 Head of Passes -1:47 Paris Road Bridge +4:09 Empire Jetty -2:47 Bastian Island -1:03 Quatre Bayous Pass +0:34 Barataria Pass -0:44 Barataria Bay Bayou Rigaud, Grand I -0:12 Independence Island +0:45 Manilla +0:48 Caminada Pass (bridge) +0:30 Timbalier Island -1:25 Pelican I., Timbalier +0:42 Caillou Boca -1:04 Racoon Point, Caillou B -1:47 Ship Shoal Light -3:38

+1:26 +1:42 +4:11 -0:21 +0:18 -0:15 +0:30 -2:47 -1:00 -2:46 -2:35 -2:35 -2:31 -0:29 +5:09 -2:34 -0:37 -0:32 -0:59 -0:03 +1:10 +2:24 +0:45 -0:26 +1:37 -0:01 -1:09 -2:39

The daily tide tables are to be used only as a depth of water guide and have no correlation to the maximum times of current. To adjust for your fishing area, add (+) hours/minutes or deduct (-)hours/minutes shown above to the times of high or low as indicated by the tide tables. Note: Forecast and Tide Tables have been adjusted for DST or CST, as appropriate.

(Continued next page.) 18

GULF COAST FISHERMAN

W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


North Gulf Fishing Forecast

NORTH GULF Tide Tables JANUARY 2014

CURRENT MOVEMENT

DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH WED O 12:35am 07:25am Ex Strong 1 I 12:50pm 07:30pm Ex Strong AFTERNOON BEST THU O 01:25am 08:05am Ex Strong 2 I 01:50pm 08:00pm V Strong EARLY MORNING, AFT’N BEST FRI O 02:25am 08:25am V Strong 3 I 02:50pm 08:20pm Strong EARLY MORNING, AFT’N BEST SAT O 03:30am 08:30am Strong 4 I 04:00pm 08:00pm Good EARLY MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST SUN O 04:40am 08:00am Good 5 I 04:50pm 06:50pm Weak EARLY MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST MON O 04:50am 06:40am Weak 6 I 03:00pm 04:40pm Weak EARLY MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST TUE O 01:30am 03:20am Weak 7 I 01:55pm 03:55pm Weak EARLY AFT’N BEST WED O 12:50am 03:30am Moderate 8 I 01:10pm 04:10pm Moderate AFTERNOON BEST THU O 12:20am 04:00am Good 9 I 01:15pm 04:55pm Good AFTERNOON BEST FRI O 12:20am 04:40am Good 10 I 01:20pm 05:40pm Good AFTERNOON BEST SAT O 12:20am 05:20am Strong 11 I 11:00am 03:40pm Strong LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST SUN O 12:25am 05:45am Strong 12 I 10:40am 04:00pm Strong O 11:30pm 05:00am Strong LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST MON I 10:55am 04:25pm Strong 13 O 11:50pm 05:30am Strong AFTERNOON BEST TUE I 11:20am 05:00pm Strong 14 AFTERNOON BEST WED O 12:25am 06:05am Strong 15 I 12:00pm 05:30pm Strong AFTERNOON BEST THU O 01:05am 06:35am Strong 16 I 12:45pm 06:05pm Strong AFTERNOON BEST

CURRENT MOVEMENT

DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH FRI O 01:55am 06:55am Strong 17 I 01:35pm 06:15pm Strong AFTERNOON BEST SAT O 02:40am 07:00am Good 18 I 02:30pm 06:10pm Good AFTERNOON BEST SUN O 03:30am 06:30am Moderate 19 I 03:05pm 05:45pm Moderate EARLY MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST MON O 03:50am 05:50am Weak 20 I 03:15pm 05:05pm Weak LATE AFT’N BEST TUE O 03:50am 05:30am Weak 21 I 03:10pm 04:50pm Weak LATE AFT’N BEST WED O 02:30am 04:10am Weak 22 I 09:55am 11:25am Very Weak I 02:55pm 04:45pm Weak MID AFT’N BEST THU O 12:20am 02:10am Weak 23 I 09:50am 12:30pm Moderate I 01:55pm 03:55pm Weak O 11:00pm 02:00am Moderate LATE MORNING BEST FRI I 09:40am 01:40pm Good 24 O 09:50pm 02:30am Strong MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST SAT I 09:35am 02:55pm Strong 25 O 10:00pm 03:40am Strong MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST SUN I 10:00am 03:50pm V Strong 26 O 10:35pm 04:45am V Strong LATE MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST MON I 10:30am 04:50pm V Strong 27 O 11:10pm 05:40am V Strong LATE MORNING TO LATE AFT’N BEST TUE I 11:20am 05:40pm V Strong 28 O 11:55pm 06:25am V Strong LATE MORNING TO LATE AFT’N BEST WED I 12:20pm 06:30pm V Strong 29 AFTERNOON BEST THU O 12:50am 07:00am V Strong 30 I 01:25pm 07:15pm V Strong AFTERNOON BEST FRI O 01:50am 07:30am Strong 31 I 02:55pm 07:35pm Strong LATE AFT’N BEST

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

WED 1 THU 2 FRI 3 SAT 4 SUN 5 MON 6

FRI 17 SAT 18 SUN 19 MON 20 TUE 21

TUE 7 WED 8 THU 9 FRI 10 SAT 11 SUN 12 MON 13 TUE 14 WED 15 THU 16

Lo 08:44am -0.8 Hi 10:37pm 1.4 Lo 09:32am -0.8 Hi 11:26pm 1.3 Lo 10:12am -0.7 Hi 12:15am 1.1 Lo 10:40am -0.5 Hi 01:00am 0.9 Lo 10:49am -0.2 Hi 01:39am 0.5 Lo 10:28am 0.0 Hi 06:21pm 0.4 Lo 09:12am 0.1 Hi 05:34pm 0.6 Lo 04:24am 0.0 Hi 05:41pm 0.7 Lo 04:37am -0.2 Hi 06:08pm 0.9 Lo 05:17am -0.4 Hi 06:46pm 1.0 Lo 06:00am -0.5 Hi 07:28pm 1.1 Lo 06:42am -0.6 Hi 08:12pm 1.1 Lo 07:21am -0.6 Hi 08:54pm 1.1 Lo 07:56am -0.6 Hi 09:33pm 1.1 Lo 08:25am -0.6 Hi 10:08pm 1.0 Lo 08:48am -0.5 Hi 10:40pm 1.0

WED 22 THU 23 FRI 24 SAT 25 SUN 26 MON 27 TUE 28 WED 29 THU 30 FRI 31

Lo 09:04am -0.5 Hi 11:10pm 0.9 Lo 09:16am -0.4 Hi 11:40pm 0.8 Lo 09:21am -0.3 Hi 12:10am 0.6 Lo 09:18am -0.2 Hi 12:39am 0.4 Lo 09:03am -0.1 Hi 04:56pm 0.4 Lo 08:23am 0.0 Hi 04:36pm 0.5 Lo 05:48am 0.0 Hi 04:49pm 0.7 Lo 03:38am -0.2 Hi 05:20pm 0.8 Lo 04:22am -0.4 Hi 06:05pm 1.0 Lo 05:13am -0.6 Hi 06:59pm 1.1 Lo 06:05am -0.7 Hi 07:56pm 1.2 Lo 06:56am -0.8 Hi 08:53pm 1.3 Lo 07:43am -0.8 Hi 09:49pm 1.3 Lo 08:26am -0.7 Hi 10:44pm 1.2 Lo 09:01am -0.6 Hi 11:39pm 1.0

(Continued from page 18.)

the fish won’t be completely on top of the flat. Instead, it is best to concentrate your efforts on the channel ledges and the outer edge of the flats. Along the edges of the flats, mid-morning is an excellent time to throw slow-sinking or suspending baits. Lightly weighted soft-plastics, which can be worked slowly over a flat also produce well. Topwaters can also be effective for fish finding their way onto the flats. However, although the shallow water will be warmer than in the early morning, the fish will still be a bit sluggish, so a slow retrieve will most often outproduce a fast one. Another benefit for shallow water anglers plying the flats during winter is the outstanding afternoon action to be had. Unlike much of the year, when the afternoon heat chases fish to deeper water, winter afternoons are often when the action gets going in earnest. And, more often than not, the place to be during the middle of a winter afternoon is on a shallow, mud bottom flat close to deep water. Hit the right day and midafternoon flats fishing on a winter day can be some of the hottest action of the year. One surprise to many fishermen is how shallow trout will go to feed during winter. But, given a few hours of bright (Continued next page.)

JANUARY • FEBRUARY • MARCH

2 0 1 4 19


North Gulf Fishing Forecast

NORTH GULF Tide Tables FEBRUARY 2014

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

SAT 1 SUN 2 MON 3

SUN Lo 07:55am -0.1 16 MON Hi 12:11am 0.5 17 Lo 07:44am 0.1 Hi 02:10pm 0.3 Lo 07:19pm 0.2 TUE Hi 01:10am 0.4 18 Lo 07:18am 0.2 Hi 01:58pm 0.5 Lo 09:15pm 0.1 WED Hi 02:39am 0.2 19 Lo 06:16am 0.1 Hi 02:10pm 0.6 Lo 11:14pm 0.0 THU Hi 02:40pm 0.8 20 FRI Lo 01:13am -0.1 21 Hi 03:24pm 0.9 SAT Lo 02:44am -0.3 22 Hi 04:22pm 1.0 SUN Lo 03:52am -0.4 23 Hi 05:28pm 1.1 MON Lo 04:51am -0.5 24 Hi 06:38pm 1.2 TUE Lo 05:42am -0.6 25 Hi 07:47pm 1.2 WED Lo 06:28am -0.5 26 Hi 08:53pm 1.2 THU Lo 07:07am -0.4 27 Hi 09:59pm 1.1 FRI Lo 07:37am -0.2 28 Hi 11:06pm 0.9

TUE 4

CURRENT MOVEMENT

DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH SAT O 03:05am 07:25am Good 1 I 04:25pm 07:25pm Moderate EARLY MORN, LATE AFT’N BEST SUN O 04:30am 06:50am Moderate 2 I 03:55pm 05:35pm Weak EARLY MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST MON O 05:00am 06:20am Very Weak 3 I 01:55pm 03:15pm Very Weak EARLY MORNING, EARLY AFT’N BEST TUE O 12:20am 01:50am Very Weak 4 I 12:35pm 02:15pm Weak EARLY AFT’N BEST WED O 12:00am 02:20am Moderate 5 I 12:15pm 02:35pm Moderate O 11:55pm 02:55am Moderate EARLY AFT’N BEST THU I 12:15pm 03:35pm Good 6 O 11:55pm 03:35am Good AFTERNOON BEST FRI I 12:45pm 04:25pm Good 7 AFTERNOON BEST SAT O 12:00am 04:20am Good 8 I 10:20am 02:20pm Good I 01:10pm 05:10pm Good LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST SUN O 12:20am 05:00am Strong 9 I 10:20am 02:40pm Good I 01:35pm 05:55pm Good LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST MON O 12:45am 05:25am Strong 10 I 10:30am 03:10pm Strong I 01:55pm 06:35pm Strong LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST TUE O 01:00am 06:00am Strong 11 I 10:50am 03:50pm Strong LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST WED O 12:40am 05:40am Strong 12 I 11:35am 04:15pm Strong I 03:05pm 07:45pm Strong AFTERNOON BEST THU O 01:10am 05:50am Strong 13 I 12:30pm 04:30pm Good I 04:10pm 08:10pm Good AFTERNOON BEST FRI O 02:05am 06:05am Good 14 I 01:20pm 04:40pm Good I 05:15pm 08:35pm Good AFTERNOON BEST 20

GULF COAST FISHERMAN

CURRENT MOVEMENT

DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH SAT O 03:10am 06:10am Moderate 15 I 02:10pm 04:30pm Moderate I 06:30pm 08:50pm Moderate MID AFT’N BEST SUN O 04:00am 06:00am Weak 16 I 02:35pm 04:15pm Weak I 07:35pm 09:15pm Weak MID AFT’N BEST MON O 03:00am 04:20am Very Weak 17 O 08:50am 10:00am Very Weak I 02:15pm 03:35pm Very Weak LATE MORNING, EARLY AFT’N BEST TUE O 02:20am 03:30am Very Weak 18 I 02:10pm 03:20pm Very Weak O 06:50pm 08:00pm Very Weak EARLY AFT’N BEST WED O 01:05am 02:15am Very Weak 19 I 08:10am 09:40am Very Weak I 01:55pm 03:15pm Very Weak O 07:25pm 09:15pm Weak MID MORNING, EARLY AFT’N BEST THU I 08:20am 10:40am Moderate 20 O 07:50pm 10:30pm Moderate MID MORNING BEST FRI I 08:20am 12:00pm Good 21 O 08:10pm 12:10am Good MORNING BEST SAT I 08:35am 01:15pm Strong 22 O 08:40pm 01:40am Strong MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST SUN I 08:55am 02:25pm Strong 23 O 09:30pm 03:10am Strong MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST MON I 09:35am 03:25pm V Strong 24 O 10:30pm 04:20am V Strong MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST TUE I 10:30am 04:20pm V Strong 25 O 11:30pm 05:10am Strong LATE MORNING TO LATE AFT’N BEST WED I 11:45am 05:15pm Strong 26 AFTERNOON BEST THU O 12:35am 05:55am Strong 27 I 01:20pm 06:00pm Strong AFTERNOON BEST FRI O 02:05am 06:05am Good 28 I 03:35pm 06:35pm Moderate MID TO LATE AFT’N BEST

WED 5 THU 6 FRI 7 SAT 8 SUN 9 MON 10 TUE 11 WED 12 THU 13 FRI 14 SAT 15

Lo 09:24am -0.3 Hi 12:35am 0.7 Lo 09:25am -0.1 Hi 01:37am 0.5 Lo 08:50am 0.1 Hi 03:06pm 0.3 Lo 09:44pm 0.1 Hi 03:06am 0.2 Lo 07:14am 0.1 Hi 03:06pm 0.5 Lo 12:50am -0.1 Hi 03:34pm 0.7 Lo 02:46am -0.2 Hi 04:16pm 0.8 Lo 03:55am -0.3 Hi 05:07pm 0.9 Lo 04:50am -0.4 Hi 06:04pm 1.0 Lo 05:37am -0.5 Hi 07:01pm 1.0 Lo 06:18am -0.5 Hi 07:55pm 1.0 Lo 06:52am -0.5 Hi 08:42pm 1.0 Lo 07:19am -0.4 Hi 09:24pm 1.0 Lo 07:38am -0.4 Hi 10:03pm -0.9 Lo 07:51am -0.3 Hi 10:42pm 0.8 Lo 07:56am -0.2 Hi 11:23pm 0.7

Stalking Winter Trout (Continued from page 19.)

sunshine to warm up, even the shallowest of flats will be active with bait and, thus, predator fish. However, given the fact they have to return to the safe haven of deep water, most fish will not push too far up on the flat. In this instance, vertical depth isn’t nearly as important as horizontal distance - meaning, the fish will work in ultra-skinny water, so long as it isn’t too far from deeper water. Also, during winter it isn’t always necessary to head home early. Since the water will continue to warm until the sun drops over the horizon, the action often continues until sunset. However, once the sun goes down, the air and water temperatures quickly cool and the bite can end just as quickly. Wading Vs. Drifting As is the case anytime you are looking for trophy trout, stealth is important. Considering most sow specks are found over muddy bottom during the winter, approaching them quietly can be a problem. More often than not, even if a fish doesn’t spook, if they know you’re there, they are less likely to hit. So, anglers must do a good job at masking their presence. Wading is a method preferred by (Continued next page.) W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


North Gulf Fishing Forecast

NORTH GULF Tide Tables MARCH 2014

CURRENT MOVEMENT

DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH SAT O 03:25am 06:05am Moderate 1 I 05:25pm 07:15pm Weak EARLY MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST SUN O 04:35am 06:05am Very Weak 2 EARLY MORNING BEST MON O 05:05pm 06:15pm Very Weak 3 EARLY MORNING BEST TUE I 09:35am 11:05am Very Weak 4 O 05:40pm 07:20pm Weak O 10:45pm 12:25am Weak LATE MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST WED I 08:25am 10:15am Weak 5 O 06:20pm 08:20pm Weak O 10:45pm 01:05am Moderate MORNING BEST THU I 08:25am 10:45am Moderate 6 O 06:45pm 09:25pm Moderate O 11:10pm 01:50am Moderate MORNING BEST FRI I 08:25am 11:25am Moderate 7 O 07:20pm 10:20pm Moderate O 11:30pm 02:30am Moderate MORNING BEST SAT I 08:30am 11:50am Good 8 O 07:55pm 11:15pm Good MORNING BEST SUN O 12:55am 04:15am Good 9 I 09:45am 01:25pm Good I 01:55pm 05:15pm Good O 09:55pm 01:15am Good LATE MORNING, AFT’N BEST MON O 01:25am 05:05am Good 10 I 10:20am 02:00pm Good I 02:45pm 06:05pm Good LATE MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST TUE O 02:05am 05:45am Good 11 I 11:05am 02:45pm Good I 03:25pm 07:05pm Good LATE MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST WED O 02:50am 06:30am Good 12 I 12:05pm 03:05pm Moderate I 04:25pm 07:45pm Good AFTERNOON BEST THU O 03:55am 07:15am Good 13 I 01:05pm 03:25pm Moderate I 05:30pm 08:30pm Moderate AFTERNOON BEST FRI O 05:15am 07:55am Moderate 14 I 01:50pm 03:30pm Weak I 06:40pm 09:00pm Moderate EARLY MORNING, EARLY AFT’N BEST

CURRENT MOVEMENT

DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH SAT O 06:40am 08:40am Weak 15 I 02:25pm 03:35pm Very Weak I 07:45pm 09:35pm Weak EARLY MORNING, EARLY AFT’N BEST SUN O 08:25am 09:55am Very Weak 16 I 08:55pm 10:15pm Very Weak MID MORNING BEST MON O 10:25am 11:35am Very Weak 17 O 05:20pm 06:40pm Very Weak LATE MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST TUE I 05:05am 06:25am Very Weak 18 O 05:50pm 07:40pm Weak EARLY MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST WED I 06:10am 08:00am Weak 19 O 06:10pm 08:50pm Moderate EARLY MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST THU I 06:45am 09:45am Moderate 20 O 08:30am 12:10pm Good MORNING BEST FRI I 07:15am 11:15am Good 21 O 07:05pm 11:25pm Good MORNING BEST SAT I 07:50am 12:30pm Strong 22 O 07:40pm 12:40am Strong MORNING BEST SUN I 08:25am 01:45pm Strong 23 O 08:35pm 01:55am Strong MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST MON I 09:20am 02:40pm Strong 24 O 10:00pm 03:00am Strong MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST TUE I 10:30am 03:30pm Strong 25 O 11:45pm 04:05am Good LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST WED I 12:00pm 04:00pm Good 26 AFTERNOON BEST THU O 01:55am 05:15am Good 27 I 01:55pm 04:35pm Moderate AFTERNOON BEST FRI O 03:55am 05:55am Weak 28 I 06:35pm 08:15pm Weak LATE AFT’N BEST SAT O 05:30am 06:50am Very Weak 29 O 09:25am 10:45am Very Weak EARLY MORNING BEST SUN I 01:35am 02:55am Very Weak 30 O 03:35pm 05:05pm Very Weak LATE AFT’N BEST MON I 02:40am 04:30am Weak 31 O 04:15pm 06:15pm Weak LATE AFT’N BEST

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

SAT Lo 07:51am 0.0 1 Hi 01:52pm 0.2 Lo 04:01pm 0.1 SUN Hi 12:19am 0.7 2 Lo 07:36am 0.2 Hi 12:34pm 0.4 Lo 06:41pm 0.1 MON Hi 01:51am 0.5 3 Lo 06:37am 0.4 Hi 12:28pm 0.6 Lo 08:32pm 0.0 TUE Hi 12:49pm 0.8 4 Lo 10:15pm -0.1 WED Hi 01:24pm 0.9 5 THU Lo 12:01am -0.1 6 Hi 02:09pm 1.0 FRI Lo 01:40am -0.2 7 Hi 03:01pm 1.0 SAT Lo 02:58am -0.2 8 Hi 04:02pm 1.0 SUN Lo 04:57am -0.2 9 Hi 06:09pm 1.0 MON Lo 05:44am -0.2 10 Hi 07:17pm 1.0 TUE Lo 06:19am -0.2 11 Hi 08:21pm 1.0 WED Lo 06:45am -0.1 12 Hi 09:19pm 0.9 THU Lo 07:03am 0.0 13 Hi 10:15pm 0.9 FRI Lo 07:12am 0.1 14 Hi 11:12pm 0.8 SAT Lo 07:11am 0.2 15 Hi 01:26pm 0.4 Lo 05:29pm 0.3 SUN Hi 12:15am 0.7 16 Lo 07:00am 0.3 Hi 12:48pm 0.5 Lo 07:00pm 0.3

MON Hi 01:29am 0.6 17 Lo 06:32am 0.4 Hi 12:40pm 0.7 Lo 08:13pm 0.2 TUE Hi 12:49pm 0.8 18 Lo 09:23pm 0.1 WED Hi 01:12pm 1.0 19 Lo 10:40pm 0.0 THU Hi 01:47pm 1.1 20 FRI Lo 12:09am -0.1 21 Hi 02:34pm 1.2 SAT Lo 01:44am -0.2 22 Hi 03:30pm 1.3 SUN Lo 03:07am -0.3 23 Hi 04:36pm 1.3 MON Lo 04:13am -0.3 24 Hi 05:51pm 1.3 TUE Lo 05:07am -0.3 25 Hi 07:13pm 1.2 WED Lo 05:51am -0.2 26 Hi 08:37pm 1.1 THU Lo 06:25am 0.0 27 Hi 10:03pm 1.0 FRI Lo 06:44am 0.2 28 Hi 01:17pm 0.4 Lo 03:55pm 0.3 Hi 11:34pm 0.8 SAT Lo 06:39am 0.4 29 Hi 11:53am 0.6 Lo 06:12pm 0.3 SUN Hi 01:23am 0.7 30 Lo 05:53am 0.6 Hi 11:35am 0.8 Lo 07:39pm 0.1 MON Hi 11:46am 1.0 31 Lo 08:52pm 0.0

(Continued from page 20.)

many big trout hunters. The fact they are often found over a muddy, mucky bottom in the winter makes quietly walking up on them almost impossible. If you are approaching fish on foot, do so extremely slowly. It’s often necessary to stop for long periods of time, remaining stationary for several casts, before moving ahead. If the water’s deep enough to float, you may be better served staying in the boat, particularly on calm days. Without surface chop, the noise from hull slap is minimal. But, if you are poling, you need to do so slowly, stopping every so often to allow the ‘push’ in front of the hull to dissipate before moving forward again. If drifting, use a push pole to pause or direct the boat as necessary. Patience is at a premium during winter. Everything in the water is moving slower, so fishermen need to move their lures slower as well. Covering less water more thoroughly is the best bet. It often takes multiple casts to get a fish to hit during winter, but often times that one hit makes it all worthwhile. GCF

JANUARY • FEBRUARY • MARCH

2 0 1 4 21


F L O R I D A A p a l a c h i c o l a

B a y

G U L F to

C a p t i v a P a s s

Forecast Adjustment Times Florida Reefs to Midnight Pass Point Ybel (0.4 mi. nw) ....... -1:00 Captiva Pass ......................... -1:20 Gasparilla Pass ..................... -1:45 Venice Inlet .......................... -2:20 Midnight Past (ent.) ............. -1:50 Sarasota Bay Big Sarasota Pass ................. -2:10 New Pass .............................. -3:00 Longboat Pass ...................... -2:55 Cortez (N. of bridge) ............ -1:25 Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Ent. ................... Same Mullet Key Channel (ent ...... -0:15 Passage Key Inlet ................. -1:15 Bunces Pass .......................... -1:00

Tampa Bay (cont'd) Cats Point ............................. -2:55 Sunshine Skyway Bridge ..... -0:15 Joe Island (1.8 mi. NW) ....... -0:20 Pinellas Pt. (0.5 mi.le SE) .... -1:30 Ross Island .......................... +1:10 Courtney Campbell Pkwy ... +0:45 Catfish Point (1.3 mi. east) . +0:30 Boca Ciega Bay Pass-a-Grille Channel ............ -:55 Blind Pass (north end) .......... -1:40 Johns Pass ............................ -1:45 The Narrows ........................ -1:00 Apalachee Bay St. Marks River .................... -1:00 Four Mile Pt. ........................ -0:40 St. Marks ............................. +0:50

To adjust for your fishing area, add (+) or subtract (-) hours and minutes shown above for the area you plan to fish from the Forecast time. No attempt should be made to compare the time of high or low tide, shown below, to the times of current presented in the Fishing Forecast.

Tide Table Adjustment Times HIGH LOW

Cape Romano -1:22 Naples (outer coast) -2:04 Estero Bay Little Hickory I. -0:58 Carlos Pt. -1:08 Matanzas Pass -1:10 San Carlos Bay Point Ybel -1:50 Punta Rassa -1:01 Caloosahatchee River Iona Shores +1:08 Cape Coral Bridge +1:15 Fort Myers +2:08 St. James City, Pine I. -0:30 Captive Island (outside) -2:20 Captive Island (P. I. Sd)-0:46 Redfish Pass -0:55 Matlacha Pass +0:43 Punta Gorda Charlotte Harbor +1:06 Shell Pt.-Peace River +1:52 Englewood, Lemon Bay -0:57 Venice Inlet -2:02 Sarasota Bay Sarasota -1:38 Cortez -2:00

-1:06 -2:07 -1:05 -1:28 -1:34 -1:12 -1:19 +1:40 +2:02 +2:44 -0:44 -2:28 -0:20 -1:14 +1:28 +1:27 +2:30 -0:40 -1:38 -0:58 -1:25

HIGH LOW

Tampa Bay Egmont Key (channel) -2:27 -2:24 Anna Maria -2:07 -2:31 Bradenton, Manatee. -1:24 -0:55 Redfish Point -0:30 +0:14 Mullet Key Channel -2:22 -1:58 Shell Point +0:08 +0:17 Point Pinellas -0:22 -0:29 St. Petersburg Same Hillsborough Bay +0:07 +0:26 Boca Ciega Bay Pass-A-Grille Beach -1:34 -1:30 Gulfport -1:32 -1:05 John's Pass -2:14 -2:04 Clearwater -1:50 -1:35 Anclote Keys, Sound -1:47 -1:46 Tarpon Springs -0:50 -0:41 St. George Sound Dog Island (west end) +0:07 +0:06 Carrabelle River +0:35 +0:31 St. George Island (east)-0:15 +0:06 Apalachicola Bay Cat Point +1:20 +1:27 Apalachicola +2:00 +2:44 Lower Anchorage +1:43 +2:09 West Pass +1:33 +2:17

The daily tide tables are to be used only as a depth of water guide and have no correlation to the maximum times of current. To adjust for your fishing area, add (+) hours/minutes or deduct (-)hours/minutes shown above to the times of hi or low as indicated by the tide tables.

Rod & Reelin’ (Continued from page 9.)

.039 which converts to 100# for the size of 80#. I don’t have the stop bead and crimp ahead of the jig body when mono casting for tuna, ling, etc. The purpose of the stop bead and crimp is to stop the plug body there when it slides up the cable after the hookup since the body can possibly slide over the cable and the cable’s loop connection at the hook. The object is to stop the plug body before it gets to the swivel where a second strike by another kingfish or wahoo will likely result in a cutoff. If you find bare cedar plug bodies available, the hooks you need for 4" and 6" bodies are Mustad 3412D Needle Eye in 8/0 and 10/0. Always carefully sharpen them if needed for increased hookups. Speaking of hookups, here’s a tuning point I saw while looking at cedar plugs in the 2013 Bass Pro Saltwater Angler Catalog. In bold print, which I hadn’t noticed before, were the words, “Run it Right...Hooks Up!” The point made was cedar plugs have a heavy or bottom side. To find the heavy/bottom side, run a piece of mono through the bare cedar plug body, pull the mono tight in a horizontal position and spin the plug body on the tight mono. Do this spin motion and you will establish the heavy or bottom side at the stop. Mark the rear flange with a permanent mark of some type– a small dot or line will do. I mark most of mine on the bottom side as a place for the hook bend to rest. For casting, I want the hook bend/point facing down. Since blowups and missed hookups are fairly common with near-surface use, the hook down has a better hookup percentage since the hook is the probable first contact for the attacking tuna, kingfish, wahoo, etc. The hook will seat firmly into place when the hook’s cable or mono Big-Game loop is pulled tight through the plug body. This hook positioning looks to be one of those tuning gems that are a real plus...wish I’d thought of it. See illustration’s clear view of all rigging, and for more info about my “Poor Man’s Fluorocarbon Treatment”, camo paints, etc., email me at pllemire@aol.com . When fishing these cedar plugs, a high speed retrieve reel loaded with braided line is virtually a must. The high retrieve speed is important when targeting high speed predators, and the braid gives many more hooksets than springy mono. Concerning backs and bellies, with the weighted side and hook down, the body colors will seldom be (Continued on page 33.)

22

GULF COAST FISHERMAN

W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


Florida Gulf Fishing Forecast

FLORIDA GULF Tide Tables JANUARY 2014

CURRENT MOVEMENT

CURRENT MOVEMENT

DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH WED O 01:10am 07:50am Ex Strong 1 I 09:15am 02:55pm Strong O 05:00pm 06:10pm Very Weak I 08:45pm 01:05am Good MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST THU O 02:00am 08:40am Ex Strong 2 I 10:00am 03:40pm Strong O 05:40pm 07:00pm Very Weak I 09:35pm 01:55am Good MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST FRI O 03:00am 09:20am V Strong 3 I 10:50am 04:10pm Strong O 06:20pm 08:00pm Weak EARLY MORNING, AFT’N BEST SAT I 10:55pm 02:35am Good 4 O 04:05am 09:55am V Strong I 11:45pm 04:45pm Strong O 07:05pm 08:55pm Weak EARLY MORNING, AFT’N BEST SUN I 12:15am 03:15am Moderate 5 O 05:20am 10:20am Strong I 12:35pm 05:15pm Strong O 07:45pm 10:05pm Moderate MORNING, AFT’N BEST MON I 01:35am 04:15am Moderate 6 O 07:00am 10:20am Good I 01:25pm 05:45pm Good O 08:30pm 11:10pm Moderate MORNING, AFT’N BEST TUE I 03:10am 05:10am Weak 7 O 08:35am 10:35am Weak I 02:25pm 06:05pm Good O 09:20pm 12:40am Good AFTERNOON BEST WED I 04:45am 06:35am Weak 8 O 10:15am 11:25am Very Weak I 03:30pm 06:30pm Moderate O 10:20pm 02:00am Good LATE AFT’N BEST THU I 06:20am 08:20am Weak 9 I 04:30pm 07:10pm Moderate O 11:05pm 03:25am Good EARLY MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST FRI I 07:25am 10:05am Moderate 10 I 05:45pm 08:05pm Moderate O 11:50pm 05:30am Strong EARLY MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST SAT I 07:50am 11:30am Good 11 I 06:50pm 09:10pm Moderate MORNING BEST SUN O 12:15am 05:35am Strong 12 I 08:20am 12:20pm Good I 07:30pm 10:10pm Moderate MORNING BEST MON O 12:50am 06:20am Strong 13 I 08:35am 01:15pm Strong I 08:00pm 11:00pm Moderate MORNING BEST

DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH TUE O 01:20am 06:50am Strong 14 I 09:00am 01:40pm Strong I 08:25pm 11:45pm Good MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST WED O 01:50am 07:30am Strong 15 I 09:30am 02:10pm Strong O 04:45pm 05:55pm Very Weak I 09:00pm 12:20am Good MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST THU O 02:20am 08:00am Strong 16 I 09:55am 02:35pm Strong O 05:15pm 06:35pm Very Weak I 09:35pm 12:55am Good LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST FRI O 02:55am 08:25am Strong 17 I 10:25am 03:05pm Strong O 05:40pm 07:10pm Very Weak I 10:15pm 01:35am Good LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST SAT O 03:30am 09:00am Strong 18 I 10:50am 03:30pm Strong O 06:05pm 07:55pm Weak I 11:00pm 02:20am Good LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST SUN O 04:25am 09:25am Strong 19 I 11:25am 04:05pm Strong O 06:30pm 08:30pm Weak EARLY MORNING, AFT’N BEST MON I 12:05am 02:55am Moderate 20 O 05:20am 09:40am Good I 12:05pm 04:25pm Good O 06:50pm 09:30pm Moderate EARLY MORNING, AFT’N BEST TUE I 01:00am 03:40am Moderate 21 O 06:30am 09:50am Good I 12:40pm 05:00pm Good O 07:15pm 10:15pm Moderate MORNING, AFT’N BEST WED I 02:10am 04:30am Moderate 22 O 07:45am 10:05am Moderate I 01:25pm 05:25pm Good O 07:55pm 11:15pm Good AFTERNOON BEST THU I 03:30am 05:30am Weak 23 O 09:05am 10:35am Very Weak I 02:25pm 05:45pm Good O 08:35pm 12:35am Good AFTERNOON BEST FRI I 05:00am 07:00am Weak 24 I 03:20pm 06:20pm Moderate O 09:35pm 01:55am Good EARLY MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST SAT I 06:30am 09:10am Moderate 25 I 04:25pm 07:05pm Moderate O 10:10pm 03:30am Strong EARLY MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

WED Hi 12:23am 1 Lo 08:19am Hi 03:27pm Lo 06:53pm THU Hi 01:13am 2 Lo 09:04am Hi 06:02pm Lo 07:48pm FRI Hi 02:05am 3 Lo 09:47am Hi 04:35pm Lo 08:48pm SAT Hi 02:58am 4 Lo 10:28am Hi 05:08pm Lo 09:55pm SUN Hi 03:55am 5 Lo 11:08am Hi 05:43pm Lo 11:10pm MON Hi 04:59am 6 Lo 11:47am Hi 06:21pm TUE Lo 12:35am 7 Hi 06:18am Lo 12:26pm Hi 07:04pm WED Lo 02:04am 8 Hi 08:03am Lo 01:06pm Hi 07:50pm THU Lo 03:27am 9 Hi 10:03am Lo 01:51pm Hi 08:40pm FRI Lo 04:37am 10 Hi 11:44am Lo 02:44pm Hi 09:30pm SAT Lo 05:33am 11 Hi 12:55pm Lo 03:42pm Hi 10:19pm SUN Lo 06:19am 12 Hi 01:44pm Lo 04:39pm Hi 11:04pm MON Lo 06:59am 13 Hi 02:20pm Lo 05:28pm Hi 11:45pm TUE Lo 07:34am 14 Hi 02:47pm Lo 06:12pm WED Hi 12:22am 15 Lo 08:06am Hi 03:07pm Lo 06:52pm

THU Hi 12:58am 16 Lo 08:34am Hi 03:23pm Lo 07:31pm FRI Hi 01:33am 17 Lo 09:01am Hi 03:38pm Lo 08:11pm SAT Hi 02:10am 18 Lo 09:28am Hi 03:55pm Lo 08:55pm SUN Hi 02:49am 19 Lo 09:55am Hi 04:17pm Lo 09:43pm MON Hi 03:31am 20 Lo 10:23am Hi 04:43pm Lo 10:37pm TUE Hi 04:20am 21 Lo 10:54am Hi 05:15pm Lo 11:38pm WED Hi 05:17am 22 Lo 11:26am Hi 05:52pm THU Lo 12:50am 23 Hi 06:32am Lo 12:02pm Hi 06:35pm FRI Lo 02:09am 24 Hi 08:17am Lo 12:42pm Hi 07:25pm SAT Lo 03:29am 25 Hi 10:31am Lo 01:31pm Hi 08:23pm SUN Lo 04:41am 26 Hi 12:16pm Lo 02:38pm Hi 09:26pm MON Lo 05:42am 27 Hi 01:15pm Lo 03:55pm Hi 10:29pm TUE Lo 06:34am 28 Hi 01:54pm Lo 05:05pm Hi 11:29pm WED Lo 07:21am 29 Hi 02:24pm Lo 06:06pm THU Hi 12:25am 30 Lo 08:04am Hi 02:51pm Lo 07:04pm FRI Hi 01:19am 31 Lo 08:43am Hi 03:16pm Lo 07:59pm

2.5 -0.9 1.2 0.9 2.5 -0.9 1.2 0.9 2.4 -0.7 1.2 0.8 2.2 -0.5 1.3 0.7 1.9 -0.3 1.4 0.6 1.6 0.0 1.5 0.4 1.3 0.3 1.7 0.3 1.0 0.5 1.8 0.0 0.9 0.7 1.9 -0.2 1.0 0.8 1.9 -0.4 1.0 0.9 2.0 -0.5 1.1 1.0 2.0 -0.6 1.1 1.0 2.0 -0.6 1.1 0.9 2.0 -0.6 1.2 0.9

2.0 -0.5 1.2 0.8 2.0 -0.5 1.2 0.7 1.9 -0.4 1.3 0.6 1.8 -0.3 1.4 0.5 1.7 -0.2 1.5 0.4 1.5 0.0 1.6 0.3 1.3 0.2 1.7 0.2 1.0 0.4 1.8 0.0 0.9 0.6 1.9 -0.2 0.9 0.8 2.0 -0.4 1.0 0.9 2.1 -0.6 1.0 0.9 2.2 -0.8 1.1 0.9 2.3 -0.9 1.1 0.8 2.3 -0.8 1.2 0.7 2.3 -0.7 1.3 0.5

SUN I 07:10am 10:50am Good 26 I 05:45pm 08:25pm Moderate O 11:05pm 04:45am Strong MORNING BEST MON I 07:30am 12:10pm Strong 27 I 06:50pm 09:50pm Moderate O 11:45pm 05:55am V Strong MORNING BEST TUE I 07:45am 01:15pm Strong 28 I 07:20pm 11:20pm Good MORNING BEST WED O 12:30am 06:50am V Strong 29 I 08:20am 02:00pm Strong O 03:55pm 05:15pm Very Weak I 08:00pm 12:20am Good MID MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST THU O 01:15am 07:45am V Strong 30 I 08:55am 02:35pm Strong O 04:30pm 06:10pm Weak I 08:40pm 01:20am Strong MID MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST FRI O 02:05am 08:25am V Strong 31 I 09:35am 03:05pm Strong O 05:00pm 07:00pm Weak I 09:30pm 02:10am Strong MID MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST

JANUARY • FEBRUARY • MARCH

2 0 1 4 23


Florida Gulf Fishing Forecast

FLORIDA GULF Tide Tables FEBRUARY 2014

CURRENT MOVEMENT

DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH SAT O 03:05am 08:55am V Strong 1 I 10:15am 03:35pm Strong O 05:25pm 08:05pm Moderate I 10:30pm 02:50am Good LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST SUN O 04:05am 09:25am Strong 2 I 11:00am 04:00pm Strong O 05:50pm 09:10pm Good I 11:50pm 03:30am Good LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST MON O 05:30am 09:30am Good 3 I 11:45am 04:25pm Strong O 06:25pm 10:05pm Good EARLY MORNING, AFT’N BEST TUE I 01:10am 04:10am Moderate 4 O 06:55am 09:35am Moderate I 12:40pm 04:40pm Good O 07:00pm 11:00am Good AFTERNOON BEST WED I 02:40am 05:00am Moderate 5 O 08:15am 09:45am Very Weak I 01:25pm 05:05pm Good O 07:55pm 11:55am Good AFTERNOON BEST THU I 04:15am 06:05am Weak 6 I 02:20pm 05:20pm Moderate O 09:20pm 01:00am Good AFTERNOON BEST FRI I 05:55am 07:45am Weak 7 I 03:25pm 05:45pm Moderate O 10:40pm 02:20am Good EARLY MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST SAT I 07:20am 09:40am Moderate 8 I 04:50pm 06:40pm Weak O 11:40pm 04:40am Good MORNING BEST SUN I 08:00am 11:00am Moderate 9 I 06:30pm 08:20pm Weak MORNING BEST MON O 12:30am 04:50am Good 10 I 08:15am 11:55am Good I 07:40pm 09:40pm Weak MORNING BEST TUE O 12:50am 05:50am Strong 11 I 08:25am 12:45pm Good I 08:05pm 10:45pm Moderate MORNING BEST 24 G U L F C O A S T F I S H E R M A N

CURRENT MOVEMENT

DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH WED O 01:25am 06:25am Strong 12 I 08:40am 01:20pm Strong O 04:00pm 05:10pm Very Weak I 08:30pm 11:30pm Moderate MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST THU O 01:45am 07:05am Strong 13 I 09:00am 01:40pm Strong O 04:15pm 05:45pm Very Weak I 08:45pm 12:25am Good MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST FRI O 02:15am 07:35am Strong 14 I 09:20am 02:00pm Strong O 04:30pm 06:20pm Weak I 09:20pm 01:00am Good MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST SAT O 02:55am 07:55am Strong 15 I 09:45am 02:25pm Strong O 04:40pm 07:00pm Moderate I 09:50pm 01:50am Good MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST SUN O 03:25am 08:25am Strong 16 I 10:10am 02:50pm Strong O 04:50pm 07:50pm Moderate I 10:40pm 02:20am Good LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST MON O 04:20am 08:40am Good 17 I 10:35am 03:15pm Strong O 05:00pm 08:40pm Good I 11:25pm 03:05am Good LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST TUE O 05:20am 09:00am Good 18 I 11:20am 03:40pm Good O 05:25pm 09:25pm Good LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST WED I 12:25am 03:45am Good 19 O 06:25am 09:05am Moderate I 11:50am 04:10pm Good O 05:45pm 10:25pm Strong AFTERNOON BEST THU I 01:35am 04:35am Moderate 20 O 07:35am 09:25am Weak I 12:50pm 04:30pm Good O 06:30pm 11:10pm Strong AFTERNOON BEST FRI I 02:50am 05:30am Moderate 21 O 08:50am 10:00am Very Weak I 01:40pm 05:00pm Good O 07:25pm 12:05am Strong AFTERNOON BEST

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

SAT Hi 02:11am 1 Lo 09:19am Hi 03:41pm Lo 08:55pm SUN Hi 03:03am 2 Lo 09:52am Hi 04:07pm Lo 09:54pm MON Hi 03:57am 3 Lo 10:23am Hi 04:37pm Lo 10:56pm TUE Hi 04:55am 4 Lo 10:53am Hi 05:11pm WED Lo 12:05am 5 Hi 06:06am Lo 11:23am Hi 05:50pm THU Lo 01:23am 6 Hi 07:47am Lo 11:53am Hi 06:37pm FRI Lo 02:45am 7 Hi 10:09am Lo 12:29pm Hi 07:34pm SAT Lo 04:02am 8 Hi 08:42pm SUN Lo 05:05am 9 Hi 12:55pm Lo 03:13pm Hi 09:51pm MON Lo 05:55am 10 Hi 01:25pm Lo 04:34pm Hi 10:51pm TUE Lo 06:36am 11 Hi 01:49pm Lo 05:33pm Hi 11:41pm WED Lo 07:11am 12 Hi 02:08pm Lo 06:18pm THU Hi 12:23am 13 Lo 07:40am Hi 02:22pm Lo 06:58pm FRI Hi 01:00am 14 Lo 08:06am Hi 02:34pm Lo 07:34pm

SAT Hi 01:35am 15 Lo 08:30am Hi 02:46pm Lo 08:11pm SUN Hi 02:11am 16 Lo 08:52am Hi 03:01pm Lo 08:49pm MON Hi 02:48am 17 Lo 09:16am Hi 03:21pm Lo 09:31pm TUE Hi 03:29am 18 Lo 09:40am Hi 03:47pm Lo 10:18pm WED Hi 04:16am 19 Lo 10:07am Hi 04:18pm Lo 11:13pm THU Hi 05:12am 20 Lo 10:35am Hi 04:55pm FRI Lo 12:18am 21 Hi 06:28am Lo 11:05am Hi 05:40pm SAT Lo 01:37am 22 Hi 08:25am Lo 11:35am Hi 06:35pm SUN Lo 03:02am 23 Hi 07:45pm MON Lo 04:20am 24 Hi 09:06pm TUE Lo 05:23am 25 Hi 12:53pm Lo 04:02pm Hi 10:25pm WED Lo 06:15am 26 Hi 01:17pm Lo 05:18pm Hi 11:33pm THU Lo 06:59am 27 Hi 01:40pm Lo 06:20pm FRI Hi 12:33am 28 Lo 07:37am Hi 02:01pm Lo 07:14pm

2.1 -0.5 1.4 0.4 1.9 -0.3 1.5 0.2 1.7 0.0 1.6 0.2 1.4 0.2 1.7 0.1 1.1 0.4 1.8 0.0 0.9 0.6 1.8 -0.1 0.8 0.7 1.8 -0.2 1.8 -0.3 1.1 1.0 1.8 -0.4 1.1 1.0 1.8 -0.4 1.2 0.9 1.9 -0.4 1.2 0.8 1.9 -0.4 1.2 0.7 1.9 -0.3 1.3 0.5

1.8 -0.3 1.4 0.4 1.8 -0.1 1.5 0.3 1.7 0.0 1.6 0.2 1.6 0.1 1.8 0.1 1.4 0.3 1.9 0.0 1.2 0.4 1.9 0.0 1.0 0.6 2.0 -0.1 0.9 0.8 2.0 -0.2 2.0 -0.4 2.0 -0.5 1.2 1.0 2.1 -0.6 1.2 0.8 2.2 -0.6 1.3 0.6 2.2 -0.4 1.4 0.4

SAT I 04:30am 06:50am Moderate 22 I 02:45pm 05:25pm Moderate O 08:40pm 01:20am Strong EARLY MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST SUN I 06:10am 08:50am Moderate 23 I 04:05pm 06:25pm Moderate O 09:55pm 02:55am Strong EARLY MORNING, LATE AFT’N BEST MON I 06:55am 10:35am Good 24 I 05:40pm 08:00pm Moderate O 10:55pm 04:25am Strong MORNING BEST TUE I 07:15am 11:55am Strong 25 I 06:45pm 09:45pm Moderate O 11:50pm 05:30am Strong MORNING BEST WED I 07:30am 12:50pm Strong 26 O 02:55pm 04:25pm Very Weak I 07:20pm 11:20pm Good MORNING BEST THU O 12:40am 06:30am V Strong 27 I 08:00am 01:30pm Strong O 03:20pm 05:20pm Weak I 07:50pm 12:30am Strong MORNING BEST FRI O 01:25am 07:15am V Strong 28 I 08:30am 02:00pm Strong O 03:25pm 06:25pm Moderate I 08:30pm 01:30am Strong MID MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


Florida Gulf Fishing Forecast

FLORIDA GULF Tide Tables MARCH 2014

CURRENT MOVEMENT

DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH SAT O 02:20am 07:50am Strong 1 I 09:00am 02:30pm Strong O 03:45pm 07:25pm Good I 09:15pm 02:15am Strong MID MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST SUN O 03:15am 08:15am Strong 2 I 09:35am 02:55pm Strong O 03:55pm 08:35pm Strong I 10:15pm 02:55am Strong MID MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST MON O 04:25am 08:25am Good 3 I 10:25am 03:05pm Strong O 04:25pm 09:25pm Strong I 11:15pm 03:35am Good LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST TUE O 05:50am 08:30am Moderate 4 I 11:05am 03:25pm Good O 05:05pm 10:05pm Strong LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST WED I 12:45am 04:05am Good 5 O 06:55am 08:45am Weak I 11:45am 03:45pm Good O 05:45pm 10:45pm Strong AFTERNOON BEST THU I 02:05am 04:45am Moderate 6 O 08:00am 09:10am Very Weak I 12:40pm 04:00pm Good O 06:50pm 11:10pm Good AFTERNOON BEST FRI I 03:25am 05:45am Moderate 7 I 01:40pm 04:20pm Moderate O 08:10pm 11:50pm Good AFTERNOON BEST SAT I 05:05am 07:05am Weak 8 I 02:45pm 04:45pm Weak O 09:50pm 01:10am Good EARLY MORNING, MID AFT’N BEST SUN I 07:40am 10:00am Moderate 9 I 05:05pm 06:45pm Weak MORNING BEST MON O 12:20am 03:40am Good 10 I 08:25am 11:25am Moderate I 07:05pm 08:35pm Very Weak MORNING BEST TUE O 01:15am 04:55am Good 11 I 08:55am 12:15pm Good I 08:30pm 10:20pm Weak MORNING BEST WED O 01:55am 05:55am Good 12 I 09:00am 01:00pm Good O 03:55pm 05:15pm Very Weak I 09:05pm 11:25pm Moderate MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST

CURRENT MOVEMENT

DAY DIR STARTS ENDS STRENGTH THU O 02:20am 06:40am Good 13 I 09:10am 01:30pm Good O 04:15pm 05:55pm Weak I 09:25pm 12:25am Moderate MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST FRI O 02:50am 07:10am Good 14 I 09:30am 01:50pm Good O 04:15pm 06:35pm Moderate I 09:40pm 01:20am Good MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST SAT O 03:21am 07:41am Good 15 I 09:50am 02:10pm Good O 04:20pm 07:20pm Moderate I 10:05pm 02:05am Good LATE MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST SUN O 04:00am 08:00am Good 16 I 10:00am 02:40pm Strong O 04:25pm 08:05pm Good I 10:30pm 02:50am Good LATE MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST MON O 04:45am 08:25am Good 17 I 10:25am 03:05pm Strong O 04:30pm 08:50pm Good I 11:10pm 03:30am Good LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST TUE O 05:40am 08:40am Moderate 18 I 11:00am 03:20pm Good O 04:45pm 09:45pm Strong LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST WED I 12:05am 04:15am Good 19 O 06:35am 08:55am Moderate I 11:35am 03:55pm Good O 05:05pm 10:35pm Strong LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST THU I 12:55am 04:55am Good 20 O 07:35am 09:25am Weak I 12:20pm 04:20pm Good O 05:40pm 11:20pm Strong AFTERNOON BEST FRI I 02:05am 05:45am Good 21 O 08:35am 09:55am Very Weak I 01:10pm 04:50pm Good O 06:35pm 12:05am Strong AFTERNOON BEST SAT I 03:25am 06:45am Good 22 I 02:15pm 05:15pm Moderate O 07:35pm 12:55am Strong EARLY MORNING, MID AFT’N BEST SUN I 05:00am 08:00am Moderate 23 I 03:35pm 05:55pm Moderate O 09:05pm 02:05am Strong EARLY MORNING, MID AFT’N BEST MON I 06:20am 09:40am Good 24 I 05:05pm 07:05pm Weak O 10:50pm 03:30am Strong MORNING BEST TUE I 07:10am 11:10am Good 25 I 06:50pm 08:50pm Weak MORNING BEST

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

DAY TIDE TIME HT-FT

SAT Hi 01:26am 1 Lo 08:11am Hi 02:23pm Lo 08:04pm SUN Hi 02:17am 2 Lo 08:41am Hi 02:46pm Lo 08:54pm MON Hi 03:06am 3 Lo 09:08am Hi 03:10pm Lo 09:44pm TUE Hi 03:56am 4 Lo 09:34am Hi 03:38pm Lo 10:36pm WED Hi 04:51am 5 Lo 09:59am Hi 04:10pm Lo 11:33pm THU Hi 05:57am 6 Lo 10:23am Hi 04:46pm FRI Lo 12:39am 7 Hi 07:33am Lo 10:46am Hi 05:30pm SAT Lo 01:54am 8 Hi 06:28pm SUN Lo 04:12am 9 Hi 08:47pm MON Lo 05:20am 10 Hi 01:17pm Lo 04:06pm Hi 10:19pm TUE Lo 06:14am 11 Hi 01:37pm Lo 05:35pm Hi 11:34pm WED Lo 06:57am 12 Hi 01:57pm Lo 06:33pm Hi 12:31am THU Lo 07:32am 13 Hi 02:13pm Lo 07:17pm FRI Hi 01:17am 14 Lo 08:01am Hi 02:26pm Lo 07:54pm SAT Hi 01:58am 15 Lo 08:27am Hi 02:38pm Lo 08:29pm SUN Hi 02:35am 16 Lo 08:49am Hi 02:51pm Lo 09:04pm

MON Hi 03:11am 17 Lo 09:11am Hi 03:09pm Lo 09:40pm TUE Hi 03:50am 18 Lo 09:33am Hi 03:31pm Lo 10:20pm WED Hi 04:32am 19 Lo 09:57am Hi 03:59pm Lo 11:05pm THU Hi 05:21am 20 Lo 10:22am Hi 04:32pm Lo 11:58pm FRI Hi 06:22am 21 Lo 10:49am Hi 05:11pm SAT Lo 01:01am 22 Hi 07:47am Lo 11:15am Hi 05:59pm SUN Lo 02:17am 23 Hi 07:00pm MON Lo 03:38am 24 Hi 08:22pm TUE Lo 04:53am 25 Hi 12:40pm Lo 03:45pm Hi 10:00pm WED Lo 05:54am 26 Hi 01:03pm Lo 05:24pm Hi 11:28pm THU Lo 06:43am 27 Hi 01:26pm Lo 06:33pm Hi 12:40am FRI Lo 07:24am 28 Hi 01:48pm Lo 07:28pm SAT Hi 01:40am 29 Lo 07:59am Hi 02:10pm Lo 08:17pm SUN Hi 02:33am 30 Lo 08:29am Hi 02:32pm Lo 09:03pm MON Hi 03:23am 31 Lo 08:55am Hi 02:55pm Lo 09:47pm

2.1 -0.3 1.6 0.2 1.9 -0.1 1.7 0.0 1.8 0.2 1.8 -0.1 1.5 0.4 1.9 0.1 1.3 0.5 2.0 -0.1 1.1 0.7 2.0 -0.1 1.0 0.9 1.9 0.0 1.8 0.0 1.8 -0.1 1.2 1.1 1.7 -0.1 1.3 1.0 1.8 -0.1 1.4 0.9 1.8 -0.1 1.4 0.7 1.8 0.0 1.5 0.5 1.8 0.1 1.6 0.4 1.8 0.2 1.7 0.2

1.7 0.3 1.9 0.0 1.6 0.4 2.0 -0.1 1.5 0.5 2.1 -0.1 1.4 0.7 2.2 -0.2 1.2 0.8 2.2 -0.2 1.1 0.9 2.2 -0.2 2.1 -0.2 2.0 -0.2 1.3 1.2 2.0 -0.2 1.4 1.0 2.0 -0.2 1.5 0.7 2.0 -0.1 1.7 0.4 2.0 0.1 1.8 0.2 1.9 0.3 2.0 0.0 1.8 0.5 2.1 -0.2

WED O 12:10am 04:50am Strong 26 I 07:40am 12:20pm Strong O 02:50pm 04:20pm Very Weak I 08:00pm 10:40pm Moderate MORNING BEST THU O 01:00am 06:00am Strong 27 I 08:10am 01:10pm Strong O 03:10pm 05:30pm Moderate I 08:25pm 12:25am Good MORNING BEST FRI O 01:50am 06:50am Strong 28 I 08:30am 01:50pm Strong O 03:05pm 06:45pm Good I 08:55pm 01:35am Strong MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST SAT O 02:45am 07:25am Strong 29 I 09:00am 02:20pm Strong O 03:15pm 07:55pm Strong I 09:20pm 02:40am Strong MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST SUN O 03:45am 07:45am Good 30 I 09:35am 02:35pm Strong O 03:30pm 08:50pm Strong I 10:05pm 03:25am Strong MID MORNING TO EARLY AFT’N BEST MON O 04:55am 07:55am Moderate 31 I 10:00am 03:00pm Strong O 03:55pm 09:35pm Strong I 10:55pm 03:55am Strong LATE MORNING TO MID AFT’N BEST

JANUARY • FEBRUARY • MARCH

2 0 1 4 25


ADVANCE PLANNING CALENDARS Gulf Coast Fisherman offers a complete annual Advance Planning Calendar. Each month of the year is represented as shown on this page. The order form for the 2014 calendar is located on the inside back cover of this issue of Gulf Coast Fisherman or you will be able to place an order online starting in November at www.gulffishing.com.

Poor

Fair

Good

Very Good Excellent

Astronomical Data

MONDAY

O - New Moon O - 1st Quarter O - Full Moon O - Last Quarter A - Moon in Apogee P - Moon in Perigee N - Moon Farthest North of Equator E - Moon on Equator TOP: West Gulf S - Moon Farthest South of Equator MIDDLE: North Gulf BOTTOM: Florida Gulf

1

Texas Coastal Property For Sale

Near Indian Point, on Magnolia Beach 4 Bed / 3 bath home offers spectacular, unobstructed beach and bay views. Huge second story deck adds to the already abundant entertaining/ living area.

Debbie Davis (361) 746-0170 “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely...” Proverbs 10:9

Serving Your Real Estate Needs Debra S. Davis, GRI 361-552-0170 dstarrdavis@gmail.com

26

GULF COAST FISHERMAN

W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


Black Drum Run (Continued from page 13.)

you put it on the hook. Remove all the legs and discard them, but save the claws, putting them back into a cooler for later use. Rip the top part of the shell off, and discard it too. You are now left with the main part of the crab, with its meat and guts exposed. Cut this into four separate pieces, with the first cut separating it into halves. Then cut each half down the center, slicing between the notches where the legs used to be. This gives you four baits that can be hooked through the notch holes where the legs once were. Slide the hook into the notch and out through the meat, cast out, set the rod in a rod holder, and wait for the bite. Using freshly cracked crab this way emits a lot of scent into the water, drawing the drum in. Frozen crab will work, but the fresher it is, the more scent its meat will give off. Remember, I said to save the claws. If the action is fast and furious and you run out of crab, the claws can be hooked as pieces of bait so you can keep catching. Crush part of the claw before casting it out, so the meat will ooze out of it, giving off a scent. I’ve caught many a drum on a broken crab claw this way.

Other baits will coax drum into biting if fresh crab is not available. They include freshly peeled shrimp, any type of cut bait, squid, cut shad, and even fresh crawfish. Releasing Large Drum Like snapper brought up from the depths of the Gulf, some black drum may become bloated when caught in deeper channels. As they are brought up from the bottom, their swim bladders fill with air to help compensate with the change in pressure with depth. The same type of venting tool that is required to be used by snapper fishermen, can be used to release this gas in a large drum’s swim bladder, so that it can be released unharmed. Similar to a hollow ice pick or a sharp straw, one tool that works well is the Ohero Vent-for-Life venting tool. As winter and the uncomfortable weather that is associated with it finally makes its way to the Gulf Coast, don’t just confine yourself to the comfort of the indoors. There’s a reason to pull on a jacket and hit the water, and it comes in the form of a hard pulling, bottom feeding beast. Fish for what’s biting this winter, and get out there and catch some black drum! GCF

Statement of Ownership. Management and Circulation (Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685) (1) Publication Title: Gulf Coast Fisherman. (2) Publication No. 464-330. (3) Filing Date: 9/30/13. (4) Issue Frequency: Quarterly. (5) No. of Issues Published Annually: 4. (6) Annual Subscription Price: $15.00. (7) Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: P.O. Box 8, Port Lavaca, Calhoun County, TX 77979. (8) Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: Same. (9) Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor and Managing Editor Publisher: Gary M. Ralston, P.O. Box 8, Port Lavaca, TX 77979. Editor: Same. Managing Editor: Same. (10) Owner: Harold Wells Gulf Coast Fisherman, Inc., P.O. Drawer 8, Port Lavaca, TX 77979; Gary and Janna Ralston, P.O. Box 8, Port Lavaca, TX 77979. (11) Known Bondholder, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders Owning 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities: None. (12) Tax Status – Has Not Changed During Preceding 12 months. (13) Publication Title: Gulf Coast Fisherman. (14) Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: Fall 2012Summer 2013 (15a) Net Press Run - 12 Month Average: 9,425 No. Copies of Single Issue Nearest to Filing Date: 8,300. (15b.1) Paid or Requested Outside County Mail Subscriptions: Average No. 4,657; Actual No. 4,513 (15b.3) Sales through dealers and carriers: Average No. 1,471; Actual No. 1,612. (15b.4) Requested Copies Distributed by First Class Mail: Average No. 144, Actual No. 193. (15c) Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation: Average No. 6,329; Actual No. 6,318 (15d.1) Outside County Nonrequested - Average No. 176; Actual No. 180. (15d.4) Nonrequested Copies Distributed Outside Mail: Average No. 144; Actual No. 144 (15e) Total Nonrequested Distribution - Average No. 144; Actual No. 144. (15f.) Total Distribution - Average No. 6,473; Actual No. 6,462. (15g.) Copies Not Distributed Average No. 2,952; Actual No. 1,838 (15h) Total: Average No. 9,425; Actual No. 8,300. (15i) Percent Paid: Average No. 97.77; Actual No. 97.77. (16) Statement Will be Printed in the Jan-Mar 2014 issue. (17) Signed Gary M. Ralston, Publisher, 9/30/13.

OFFSHORE FORECAST On the scale, the figure 10 represents average speed and time duration of approximately three hours of movement. This movement is followed by a three hour period of diminishing current speed and feeding activity. Each number above, or below the average number 10 represents an increase or decrease of 5 percent in strength of flow and fifteen minutes in additional or less time. As examples, a speed rating of 15 shows a current flowing 25 percent stronger than average and lasting one hour and fifteen minutes longer than average currents. This 15 rating will have four hours and fifteen minutes activity out of each six hour period of tidal cycle for that day. A speed rating of 6 shortens the time of activity by one hour and has 20 percent less strength than an average current. The longer and stronger current action always indicates the better fishing days offshore because of increased bait movement. There is no clearly defined line to indicate where the rotary currents become onshore tidal currents. It is generally accepted that waters over 5 fathoms (30 feet deep) will have rotary currents. For more information on these tables visit: http:// gulffishing.com/rotary.html.

JANUARY DATE

DAY

SPEED

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

WED THU FRI SAT SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI

13 12 11 10 9 8 8 9 9 10 10 11 11 12 11 11 10 9 9 8 7 8 9 9 10 11 12 13 12 12 11

MARCH

FEBRUARY DATE

DAY

SPEED

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

SAT SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI

10 9 8 8 9 8 9 10 10 11 11 11 10 9 8 7 7 8 9 9 10 10 11 12 13 12 11 11

DATE

DAY

SPEED

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

SAT SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN MON

10 9 9 10 10 10 11 11 10 10 11 11 10 9 8 7 8 9 10 10 10 11 12 11 12 11 10 10 9 9 10

JANUARY • FEBRUARY • MARCH

2 0 1 4 27


The Bay Naturalist

by John H. Hook

The Different Stripes of Sheepshead

“Y

ou have to set the hook before they bite.” That’s what the old salt told me when I was a frustrated 10 year old jetty fisherman. He had a box full, and I was doing my best to imitate exactly what the rock walking veteran was doing. Everything, except for the catching part. He was using a cane pole strung with braid before braid was cool, the classic red and white bobber and a long shank narrow gap hook. Fiddler crabs decorated his hook, although he told me that my fresh dead shrimp would work just fine. Unfortunately, he was taking home dinner while I was just feeding the fish. That episode is half a century old now but I can be there in an instant. It started a love/hate affair with sheepies that burns to this day. They may not be beautiful, those teeth are ridiculous, but those black and silver striped bait stealers are strong fighters and excellent on the table. Catching them can be tricky although if you know something about their habits you can get the upper hand. Scientific studies of their diet make it seem as though sheepshead are vegetarian since algae always makes up a large majority of their stomach contents. I’m sure that they get nutritional benefits from all that seaweed, but they are getting it accidently. They put those bucktooth incisors to work grazing pilings, jetty rocks and other hard surfaces where crustaceans like small crabs and barnacles hide amongst the weed. Sheepshead don’t seem to mind getting a mouthful of greens to get the crunchy snacks that they are really after. To test this hypothesis try some science on your own. Dangle any kind of shrimp or crab in front of one of these striped lawnmowers and they have no need for 28

GULF COAST FISHERMAN

weed. Try baiting up with some sea lettuce so commonly found in their stomachs and you’ll be ignored every time. Those fiddler crabs that I saw used so effectively don’t typically reside around rocks and pilings; they are much more of a mud flat creature. Sheepshead know a good thing when they see one though, perhaps since they cruise grass flats during the warmer months. They are looking for young shrimp and crabs using that intertidal nursery ground where fiddlers are found. Those giant clawed

crabs are a good choice for the sheepshead specialist since very few other bait stealers will give them a second look. Shrimp are also an effective bait but you will have fun with perch, hardheads and assorted other undesirables as well. Known in some areas as “convict fish” for obvious reasons, sheepshead really are capable of violent crime. My first experience with assault by sheepshead came shortly after my jetty adventure. We were wading the south edge of Brazos Santiago Pass near South Padre Island in late March, fishing a submerged rock groin. It was still pretty chilly and I was wearing those kid-sized thin sock-foot waders. We stumbled into a hot bite with reds, drum, trout and

sheepshead working those rocks. I was stringing fish after fish, mostly sheepshead and working quickly and carelessly to get bait back in the water as fast as possible. The flow of the pass and wakes of passing boats had those strung fish actively swimming around and occasionally between my legs. I was way too busy adding to the stringer to bother sorting the mess out. I’m not sure what the signal was, but every sheepshead on that stringer simul-taneously locked their heavily spined fins in the up position. My first yelp was for getting stuck by uncountable spines, but it wasn’t long before my second signaled that the wet chill of early March was sharing my interior wader space. Those strong, sharp spines indicate a healthy skeletal structure. It takes some time to build all that bone, so it is not surprising that sheepshead have the slowest growth rate of any of our popular sport fish. That significant bone mass also means that your filet to fish weight ratio is pretty low. Combine those factors, and it makes very good sense to set lower size limits conservatively to protect the population, which most states have done. It also makes sense to set bag limits relatively small, both for the slow growth rate and for the ease of catching sheepshead during their spring spawning runs back into bay systems. Sheepshead definitely have different stripes. They provide a definite challenge, they’ll stretch your line and they perform very well on the table. They are not pretty, they are a pain to clean, and if you’re not careful the blood in the water just might be yours. On balance, I can’t wait for the spring run to get here! Photo by author. GCF W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


The Fly Guy

by Pete Cooper, Jr.

“Points on Hooks” T

he first flies that I tied for saltwater applications were poppers, and I tied them exclusively for almost a decade. They were fairly consistent in appearance, but the hooks that I used in them weren’t, and some of them were almost worse than nothing at all! But they were simply available at a time when decent hooks for saltwater flies weren’t. Now, there are plenty, and as you might expect, some have good points, some have bad ones. Although the fly itself might generate the strike, it’s the fly’s hook that connects you with that fish. And to me it’s unfathomable that someone would risk a 40-pound cobia, or a bull red, because of a bargain basement hook. In most cases, you’ll have to pay the piper for the good ones - $12 to $15 for a couple of dozen or thereabouts. Cheaper ones bend, break, and lose their points much more readily than quality hooks. Stainless steel vs. non-stainless models? Your call there, but high end black steel hooks are reputed to be made sharper than the others. I’m not so sure about that, but in any case, forged hooks with chemically sharpened points are hard to beat. Hooks made of fine wire are easier to “set” than those with heavier wire. They are also easier to bend during a down-and-dirty confrontation with something that can pull back! Nevertheless, for targeting specks, flounder, and reds up to roughly 20 pounds and up to 8-weight class gear, I’d recommend fine wire hooks – “fine-wire” being a relatively standard gauge (Whatever that might be!). Also, all of my poppers are tied on such hooks – less weight for better floatation and action. For heavier gear and big fish applications, hooks made of stouter wire are almost essential. Otherwise, you’ll lose a lot of fish to bent hooks! Short shank hooks are also less likely to bend than long shank or even standard length hooks. I learned that quickly in my early 12-weight fishing days, when I bent several size 4/0 stainless steel standard

length hooks, losing a tarpon, as well as a nice cobia, and a few not-so-nice crevalle jacks because of it. And I must add the fact that I did it with a 20-pound class tippet! It’s the leverage thing, and if you apply the proper amount of heat on a large fish that’s been stuck with a standard length hook – especially an

inexpensive one, you have a good chance of bending it and losing that prize. In my humblest of opinions, any fly tied for use on a 10-weight or heavier outfit with a 16 or 20-pound class tippet should be tied on a heavy-wire short shank hook. They also allow the eyes to be placed closer to the hook’s point (See pic). That’s a definite perk, since the eyes are a focal point for the fish’s strike! The shorter the distance from the hook’s point to the barb, the easier it will be to plant it firmly in a fish’s lip. Also, the smaller the barb, the easier it will be to “set”. Therefore, hooks with short points and small barbs are almost always the best choice, no matter if they are made of fine or heavy wire. They are also a little less likely to bend when you nick an oyster, and on that note, always check the point of your hook after each fish or every encounter with some form of benthic structure, and resharpen or replace it if necessary. Personally, I greatly prefer the latter. On that note, I recall a guy posting a question on a fly fishing website as to whether or not anyone saved their flies after fishing with them in order to recover their hooks. The only flies I

“save”, no matter if they are tied on stainless hooks or not, are those that have not been in contact with either fish or structure while I was fishing with them. Even at a buck a pop, reusing a “used” hook is not worth even a remote chance of losing a good fish because of it. Got that? There are a lot of variations in the bends of hooks these days. A friend even uses a circle hook to tie his saltwater flies on, avowing that they stay attached to the fish better than j-shank hooks. Perhaps they do, but in order to “set” them, you shouldn’t do anything but keep the line tight. In other words, you miss out on the fun of hitting back after you see or feel the fish strike. Assuredly, there will be times when circumstances will cause your rod to be out of position and prevent you from making a good strip strike after a fish hits – a circle hook would be beneficial in those instances. However, I’ll continue to take my chances, use j-shank hooks for my flies, and try to cross their eyes when fish bite. Incidentally, j-shank hooks are not all the same. While many models come with standard bends – and there are a lot of differences in those that have different names and in my experiences accomplish absolutely nothing, some have dropped points. In those, the hook’s point from roughly its barb to its point angles towards the shank and can range in severity from only a slight angle to almost circle hook configuration. While I have never made a scientific test on it, it seems to me that a hook with a slightly dropped point would be less likely to bend than one with a standard bend. Whatever, I prefer them in “fine” wire for inshore applications, and I almost exclusively used short-shank, heavy-wire hooks with dropped points for all of my offshore fishing down in the Delta, and I cannot recall one ever failing me there. What all this boils down to is this: use the right types of hooks for different applications, and don’t skimp on their Photo by author. costs! GCF

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Product Review

Cousins SE Series Rods Cousins new SE Series Offshore Rods family boasts both conventional and spinning Live Bait Rods ideal for light to medium live bait fishing. With Fast and Extra-Fast actions and ratings from 12-20, 15-20 or 20-30 pound test, these rods are lightweight and sensitive enough to flyline live baits with ease, yet they pack the “backbone” and strength

to battle strong fish to the boat. The SE Series also includes five Jig & Heavy Bait Rods designed for tossing medium to heavy baits, as well as fishing medium to heavy jigs yo-yo style or “on the slide.” These conventional models feature Fast and Extra-Fast actions and are rated for 25-40, 3040, 30-50 and 40-50 pound test. All Live Bait and Jig & Heavy Bait rod are built on premium quality graphite composite blanks manufactured in Cousins Huntington Beach, California factory. To learn more about Cousins premium quality rods for all styles of fresh and saltwater fishing, contact Cousins Tackle Corporation at (714) 8930423 or visit www.cousinstackle.com to find your nearest dealer.

or high) or turn off with remote as desired. The durable, lightweight, soft cushion design provides additional shock absorption for all day comfort. They maintain a steady temperature inside your shoes or boots, keeping your feet around normal body temperature, as opposed to

chemical foot-warming pads that get hot and can make your feet sweat. Powered by rechargeable, built-in lithium-ion polymer batteries embedded in the foot warmer insoles. Small, lightweight remote fits into a pocket or attaches to a belt. Thermacell Heated Insoles function equally well in damp or dry environments and can be used in any type of footwear desired, whether boots, shoes or waders. Comes in a broad range of sizes for men and women and can be trimmed to exact perfect fit. Visit www.thermacell.com for more information.

Beastie Buggs

Rowdy Bait Tanks Rowdy Bait Tanks, based out of LaGrange, Georgia, manufactures and sells fiberglass modular bait tanks. The modules are the same dimensions as a 94quart cooler, making it convenient to mount it in front of the console of a standard center-console boat. The tank distinguishes itself from others on the market in many ways, including function, durability and utility. Currently, there are two models offered – a single well tank and an innovative dual well tank. The inshore fisherman can now take both shrimp and live bait out in separate wells. Depending on the bait, the fisherman can control the flow of water that best keeps bait alive and kicking. Rowdy Bait Tanks take raw water pumped in and circulate through the bait 30

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wells. This ensures a continual flow of oxygenated water at the proper salinity. There is no need for an aerator with this system. Each bait well has an overflow drain, which removes waste water by way of a thru hull drain fitting. Each well has a fiberglass lid held open by a stainless steel hatch spring. The module also has a shoebox lid that can serve as a seat for passengers. Visit www.rowdybait.com for more information or to order.

Thermacell Heated Insoles Thermacell Heated Insoles foot warmers make any cold weather activity more comfortable and enjoyable. Their wireless, remote-controlled design makes them easy to use. Simply place Heated Insoles inside footwear and activate heat with remote, then adjust heat (medium

Beastie Buggs are unique lures handtied like flies and fished like a typical lure. They are very effective on a variety of bay and flats fish, including a new jig especially designed for bonefish. Buggs also offers just jig heads for anglers that want to tie on their own favorite patterns. For more information about Beastie Buggs or to order on-line, visit: www.buggs-fishing-lures.com/ W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


Paddling Out

by Jeff Herman

Doubling Down...

I

rolled down Highway 87 and looked out at the Bolivar surf. The waves had decided to sleep in for the day, and there wasn’t much more than a ripple lapping at the shoreline, just a lazy break with the slow cadence of an old Texas waltz. More of a drawl than a tide. Those types of days make paddling offshore a pleasure, and if you’re lucky, the cool crisp weather will have bull reds ganging up near shore. My friend Mike was already parked on McFaddin beach and our other friend Donald was trailing a few minutes behind us. We started loading our kayaks with gear and prepared for an easy launch. Donald showed up soon, and quickly we were all headed out. Just 200 yards offshore in about 10 feet of water we dropped anchor and tossed out fresh dead mullet on circle hooks. Lady Luck smiled at us this morning because in just a few minutes Donald had a run and reeled in a solid 35-inch red. Shortly afterwards, the drag on my Avet started buzzing. Excitedly, I started working in a fish that had some power, but not much. As my leader neared, I saw slime on my line, the telltale sign of a

sail cat. Yep, gaftop goo. Apparently, I’d just get a wink from Lady Luck to start the day. Disappointed in my own catch, I was simultaneously thrilled to hear Mike snag a bull over the VHF. In the distance, I could see his rod bent double on a solid fish. When you fish near shore, one of your most important tools will be your anchor and float. The float attaches to the anchor rope and allows you to unclip from your anchor quickly, yet still return and retrieve your anchor after your sleigh ride. Typically, you can tell when the fish has the power and shoulders to necessitate you coming off anchor. As I sat with two rods out, I watched Donald reel in another bull while still attached to his anchor. Then, my Avet buzzed again like a Christmas morning alarm clock. Excitedly, I turned to reel in my extra line, but as I picked it up the drag on it started clicking, too. A double! With two fish on at the same time I unclipped from my anchor. I turned to fight the first one hooked, and engaged the drag. I knew I would need to put the

wood to these fish to land and release both of them. The first fish gave me a spirited run, but quickly came in to the kayak. A mid 30’s bull. Once landed, I quickly grabbed the second rod and worked the bonus fish. It felt bigger than the first, and I cranked down the drag to try and make it a fast fight. He came in quickly, too, but then “Crazy-Ivaned” a few times at the kayak. In just a few minutes I pulled him up to my lap and let out a big old Texas guffaw. How about that? My first bull red double. I’ve had a trout double, and slot red doubles, and I have even had a small bull red and a small black tip shark, but this was my first bull red double, and it sure was fun. Every fisherman has those rarefied days of exceptional fishing - The first time you catch a particular species. The first time you reel in a big one. The first time you catch a limit. All of these milestones can make for an exceptionally great trip. For me, the bull red double made for that classic, exceptional day. Thanks for smiling on me Lady GCF Luck! Photo by author

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Low Water Wonderland (Continued from page 14.)

this scene is a 7- to 7-1/2-foot mediumaction spinning outfit with 20-pound braided line and 18 inches of 20-pound fluorocarbon leader. The fish are easily spooked at close range, but the long rod and thin diameter line allows for maximum casting distance. Free-lining or floating live shrimp or pinfish will certainly produce, but artificials enable you to cover the water more effectively to locate pods of cooperative fish. Jigs are your most versatile option, as changing size, shape or color is simply a matter of switching plastic bodies. Jigs of 1/8- to 3/16-ounce are optimal for most low tide applications and productive bodies range from paddle tails to slender soft jerkbaits. A weedless gold spoon is one of the top search baits, as its aerodynamic form cuts through even a blustery winter wind. Topwaters are another effective option for finding fish. Big trout are known for their violent surface strikes and snook will also crush a topwater plug. Find one taker, and you’ll usually find plenty more that will aggressively compete for the perceived food source. Redfish, too, will take their shots at a surface lure walking across their secluded low tide retreat, but with underslung mouths, the copper brutes miss more often than they connect. No worries, even an aggressive boil paints a bull’s eye on the water. Follow these short strikes with a jig or a plastic shrimp and the subsurface presentation usually scores the connection. Combining topwater appeal with subsurface presentation, the jig-and-cork rig attracts fish by simulating the sound of topside feeding. Suspend a jig or plastic shrimp 12-18 inches below a popping or clacking cork and jerk the rig to create a chugging commotion. When fish come to investigate, the bait dancing below that cork is an easy sell. The best part about winter low-tide fishing is that once you find a couple of fish, you’re probably in the neighborhood of many more. No matter how you arrive, you’ll enjoy the potential for a banner day. Walk the Walk Kayakers and airboaters may opt for drifting their low-tide retreats, but when fish favor the shallow edges of a hole or trough, wading allows you to keep your distance, while working the spot’s perimeter. Fall may find weather warm enough for wading in shorts, but chest waders are a must when winter’s inshore water temperatures decline to frigid 32

GULF COAST FISHERMAN

levels. Make yours a more comfortable and productive experience by minding these points: Neoprene waders of 3- or 5millimeter thickness work for Florida wading. Just remember you can always roll down the tops of heavy waders, but you can’t make thin waders any warmer. For West Central Florida’s soft, muddy backwaters, go with stocking-foot waders slipped into wading boots, rather than boot foot waders. When mud grips the latter, feet tend to slip and compromised balance leads to awkward moments. Stocking foot waders are easier to roll up and store, but if rocks and sand slip inside your footwear, discomfort will impair your movement – and possibly wear holes in your waders. Gravel guards help prevent this impediment, as do tight laces. If boot foot waders are your only option, modify them for mud resistance by wrapping heavy-duty rubber bands, duct tape, or strips of inner tube around your ankles. Same thing works if you slip the classic white rubber deck boots over stocking foot waders. Ease your trek by aiming for the firm, sandy spots, and avoid soft, muddy grass beds as much as possible. Don’t go out of your way and lengthen your walk, but utilize the firm bottom along your course to provide better traction. Keep your knees slightly bent and move with a sliding motion rather than lifting your feet for each step. Lean forward to establish momentum, and, with the water supporting you, skate your way to and from the fishing spot. GCF

Tackle Time (Continued from page 8.)

In water with a visibility of less than five feet, the colors best seen by scuba divers were white, yellow, and orange in non-fluorescent colors and orange or red in fluorescent colors.” Dr. Kageyama’s results are verified by other books on fish sight including Phil Rabideau’s The Master Angler and Dr. Thomas Sholseth’s How Fish Work. Simply stated, fish (and people) under water see fluorescent colors better than non-fluorescent colors. Fluorescent pink is more visible to fish than nonfluorescent pink. Pink lies between red and orange on the color scale, so regular pink fell in line with these colors while under water. In other words, it looked black. But fluorescent orange, pink or red are visible even in highly turbid waters. The color pink was not found on many fishing lures until after World War II. One of the earliest lures to use pink

was made by Nichols Lure Company of Corpus Christi, Texas. Nichols included pink eye pearl as one of 17 colors they started selling in 1946. These lures used regular pink as part of their paint scheme. Two particular fishing lure companies probably had more to do with the acceptance of pink as a fishing lure color than any other company. The first company was Corpus Christi’s Doug English Lure Company which made the Bingo lure line. English and Texas coastal legend Anton “Pluggin Shorty” Stetner helped introduce many anglers to artificial lures, and many of those lures were made in pink. The petroleum based plastic has a natural pink color that often includes shades of purple, red, orange and even yellow. For many years it was hard for tackle collectors and fishermen on the hunt for used lures to open a tackle box along the Texas coast without seeing a pink Bingo inside. The second company, L&S MirrOlure of Florida, started making a lure they called red but it looked very much like pink. They were also one of the first companies to work with true fluorescent colors. Not long after L&S experimented with their first fluorescent colors, they began to make fluorescent or hot pink lures. One particularly effective MirrOlure color is called the “Texas Chicken.” The exact origin of the color and name are lost to history. The pink back, silver side and yellow belly lures are still found in many tackle boxes today and MirrOlure still offers lures in this color. A recent variation, the Electric Chicken replaces the yellow belly with chartreuse. The bass fishing crowd discovered pink in the 1980s, and many fished a color they called “Bubble Gum.” This is a regular pink, not a fluorescent pink. Using a small, pink plastic tab on a spoon has long been a standard arrangement for coastal fishermen. The little pink tab often makes the difference between fishing and catching fish. So, for many spoon users, it’s hot pink or nothing. Not sure if your pink lure is fluorescent pink or not? Loon Outdoors is one of several companies selling small UV lights for less than $20. Place your lure in a dark room and hit it with the UV light. Fluorescent colors glow like they are powered by a battery. Nonfluorescent colors appear dull gray or even black. If you want to have some fun, take the small UV light with you the next time you visit one of the large fishing tackle retailers and test out a few colors. Cup the lure between your hands and turn W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


on the light. You may even find some markings on the lures, like gill marks or fake eyes at the lure tail end that you didn’t realize were there. Fluorescent pink lures are more easily seen by fish. Isn’t that the whole idea behind artificial lures, to be seen by fish? And, if anyone ever asks why you’re fishing a pink lure, just tell them. The real reason to use a pink lure is fish like them and they work. That’s “Why Pink!” GCF

Gulf Coast Closeup (Continued from page 11.)

quietly. Bourgeois extended the short net to the fish. It countered with a wellplaced splash to the face. But he kept laughing, even when it made a second run. But Bourgeois got the last laugh as he put the first fish on his stringer. And during the next 20 minutes, he conquered four more barrier island trout. I struggled not to think about what happened. The death and horror. The unmitigated terror in the eyes of more than 400 people. I wondered if every piece of driftwood was a remnant. Was this a piece of the grand ballroom, where some guests allegedly ‘danced to their deaths?’ Or if that was where children built sand castles and waded into the Gulf for the first time? They say you if listen closely you can almost hear the transcended laughter from happier times. And if you listen long enough, you’ll hear the prayers and pleas of the more than 200 souls lost on Last Island. What Happened? Last Island was obliterated by what many believe was a Category 5 storm. The 12-foot storm surge, bolstered by 140-150 mph winds, combined for one of the greatest natural forces the world had seen. One eyewitness said the storm surge knocked 175 guests to the ground. Their bodies were sucked into the raging Gulf of Mexico by the outflow after the surge passed. Almost every structure on the island was obliterated; turned into splinters. Caillou Bay, Lake Pelto and the Gulf of Mexico all merged to become a single body of water. And the nightmare had only begun. When it was over, Last Island remained underwater for several days. It reemerged so badly battered it was unrecognizable. Last Island was no longer a single, contiguous island, but at least four separate land masses. The Last Island chain we know today consists of East and West Timbaliers, Whiskey, Wine (or Vine), Raccoon and Last.

When rescuers arrived days later, they found bodies sprawled in the sand, arms and legs strewn about. One responder described a partially buried woman wit∫ her “jeweled hand protruding from the sand.” Memoirs and journals of the 203 survivors have humanized the disaster. Bill Dixon’s book, ‘Last Days of Last Island’ is an excellent read. The former Lake Charles resident provides great details on the storm and the aftermath. “Whole buildings came apart in the gale; ships were tossed like toys in the waves; floodwaters drowned entire families or swept them out to sea.” The list of people on Last Island read like the society pages of the TimesPicayune. There was Governor Paul Octave Hebert and his neighbor Michael Schlatre, a wealthy sugar planter and steamboat owner. The governor survived the ordeal. Schlatre barely managed to save his life by clinging to a piece of a water cistern. Col. William Whitemell, “W.W.” Pugh, speaker of the state House of Representatives, came to the island regularly with his wife Josephine, their five children, several nurses and servants. The Pugh’s lost their youngest daughter, Loula, when a gust literally extracted the infant from her mother’s arms. They thought their eldest son Thomas, who was three, had also died. He was seen vanishing into the darkness, the driving rain and the raging waters of the Gulf of Mexico. They did not see the young slave who pulled Thomas from the water, saving his life. Legendary Island, Legendary Fishing Bourgeois indicated that he spotted a big redfish foraging through the shallows. He stalked it like a hunter. He put the plug within a few feet of the fish and started to “walk” it back and forth. Snap, snap, snap …Then the V-wake of the fish swam patiently toward the disturbance. What happened next was not a strike but an aggravated assault. The redfish attacked the bone-colored Badonk-aDonk with a voracity I rarely get to see. This was an impressive display - a merciless attack. I felt the hair on my neck stand up. Not many things in life can compare to the rush of the topwater strike. It darted through the shallows, leaving a trail of mud and sand in its wake. I was thinking that the fish had to weigh 12, maybe 15 pounds. While Bourgeois clearly had his hands full, I managed to hook up with a five-pound trout, my personal best in more than 10 years.

Big female specks move into the barrier islands in March and April. In order to spawn successfully, they must have salty water with enough density to float their eggs. Lower coastal passes and barrier islands are best areas to target through June and July. If you can, fish the islands when the tidal range is a half-foot or greater. You also want to fish when the tide changes. While the islands heat up in the late spring and summer, fishing can be incredible year-round. Bourgeois fishes the barrier islands through fall and winter. The trick, he said, is to fish the breaks between the passing fronts. And anglers will obviously need to bring waders. Epilogue Some say if we don’t look to Last Island for answers, we will repeat the same kinds of tragedies. The late Abby Salenger, who was chief scientist with the USGS Center for Coastal Geology, warns that rising sea levels and a warming planet, will inevitably mean problems. The final message in his book was urgent and depressing. “The Isle Dernieres are the canaries in the mine shaft, their demise warning us of what may happen along our coasts in a warmer world. It is a warning that we must heed. Our coastal lands are changing. And after future Katrinas and Ikes, we will face more ...” On May 4, 1952, Thomas Pugh died, one day after his 99th birthday. Pugh was the three year-old last seen going under the water in the storm and was the last remaining survivor and last direct link to the Last Island hurricane. He died without ever finding out the name of the young slave who had saved him nearly 96 years earler. For more information about Last Island tragedy read,“Last Days of Last Island”, by Bill Dixon, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press, 2009. GCF

Rod & Reelin’ (Continued from page 22.)

“back up”. This random positioning of body colors gives the added look of a somewhat distressed and vulnerable target to a predator. Casting cedar plugs for tuna, it’s an open secret now. As casters, a whole new world has opened up. An old saying variation, “You can teach an old dog new tricks”, refers to me as well as cedar plugs. Castable cedar plugs are one of the best of my many offshore fishing innovations over the years. Don’t leave the dock without them; their catching ability is hot-hot-hot! They could be your next “go-to” lures. GCF

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Second Guessing You Know Who...

I

f I had the knowledge and power to “second guess” what the CREATOR may have had in mind when he first populated this planet, with the exception of Homo sapiens, of course, I believe I would change or eliminate a few things beginning with salt marsh mosquitoes which are not to be confused with those garden variety backyard nuisances. These babies are vicious! Years ago I read about a man who was hospitalized for a week after hitchhiking at night between New Orleans and Slidell, Louisiana. He almost died from thousands of bites and when found was weak and delirious. Along the Alabama and Mississippi Coast, persistent southwest winds used to blow millions of those bloodsuckers onshore to the point where people had to stay indoors. It’s much better now, thanks to improved insecticides and timely spraying programs. Gnats are certainly not one of God’s better ideas. Early spring and fall gardeners and marsh fishermen bear the brunt of their relentless attacks. Repellants help some and skin-so-soft works if you can keep it on. Oddly, my worst encounter with the tiny beasties occurred on a freezing but windless day while duck hunting near the mouth of Pearl River. I powdered a couple of blue-wing teal and a solitary mallard before the gnats rose up in clouds, getting into my eyes, nose, ears and even my mouth when I screamed for help to my companions. I was never so glad to see their boat come chugging into view. Gnats. You can have ‘em! Biting flies, all 137 known species, present big problems for warm weather beach-goers and anglers. When I lived on Bill’s Bayou for 17 years, cannibalistic yellow deer flies were abundant and voracious. They would show up the first week of May and depart for some 34 G U L F C O A S T F I S H E R M A N

mysterious reason on September 12th. On and near barrier islands, greenheads are the scourge. They dearly love the back of your hand and are fast as lightning. If you have ever had the misfortune to be aboard an anchored shrimpboat in summertime, you already know about these monsters. Keeping the boat moving is the obvious answer as repellants seem to have little or no effect. Stinging jellyfish have no purpose except to deal misery to surf fishermen and swimmers. Alabama, Mississippi and Panhandle Florida beaches are sometimes closed to swimmers in portions of July and August when hordes of the pests move in. Common sea nettles are bad enough, but you really don’t want to get “up close and personal” with their big cousins, those dreaded Portuguese-menof-war. If you are allergic to their terrible toxins you could easily end up in the hospital - or worse. Chiggers, “redbugs” to country folks - aren’t as numerous as other biters, but they make up for it by the severity of their dime-size welts which burn and itch for several days. I’ve gotten into them around boat launches where high grass is present. They seem to have a special fondness for Bermuda Grass which is common throughout the South. Stingrays are worrisome things, injuring dozens of careless fishermen and swimmers each year. But, if you take precautions you’re not very likely to get nailed by those poisonous barbs. Yes, they can have as many as three! Over the years, wade-fishermen have learned to “drag their feet” or shuffle as they move about. On flounder gigging trips, I’ve had a couple of rays run between my legs which unnerved me. Only three years ago, I had a smallone, blinded by my lantern, charge and flutter its way almost to my chest before falling harmlessly back into the water. Not fun!

I’ve had a couple of rays run between my legs which unnerved me. Only three years ago, I had a small one, blinded by my lantern, charge and flutter its way almost to my chest before falling harmlessly back into the water. Not fun! While the ALMIGHTY has had numerous insults hurled heavenward about some of his creations, which also could have included cottonmouth moccasins, poison ivy, yellowjackets and wasps, he’s not totally to blame for other unpleasantries that fishermen abhor such as neap tides, which, in my opinion, are good for nothing. When I used to focus on baitfishing, I can remember watching my red and white cork drift aimlessly to my left for a few minutes, then stop and slowly begin drifting to my right. Neap tides are supposed to occur twice a day, but I’m far from convinced. Local fishermen refer to them as “nip and tuck” and detest them. Apparently fish feel the same way! East winds usually go hand in hand with large southeast swells which are bad news for small boat anglers and wade fishermen. An exception is those lucky folks who live on Florida’s west coast where easterly flows guarantee calm waters. Farmers say cows won’t graze and chickens won’t lay when winds blow from that quadrant. You could also safely say fish won’t bite very well either! Waterspouts are, for the most part, an interesting phenomenon... But you haven’t lived until you’ve had a big one blindside you, rip off your boat canopy, spin you around like a top, suck valuable tackle overboard and, darn near sink you. Best advice - steer clear if you can. Sneaky sea fog can be both scary and dangerous. As a person known to have gotten lost walking in my own neighborhood, I don’t go far offshore if fog is likely to form. Bay and river fishing is safe enough but familiar landmarks can become blurred and ordinary sounds magnified, causing confusion. Boaters and float plane anglers should be especially alert to potential fog problems in late winter and early spring. A few other things fishermen aren’t crazy about are: bolt lightning, three-day rains, wintertime mud flats, full moons, hardhead catfish, hurricanes that have you in their crosshairs, pogy boats and wind chill factors in the low teens. And that’s just for starters! GCF W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M


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GCF Winter 2014  

Gulf Coast Fisherman Mag - Winter 2014 Includes feature articles, departments, Wells Daily Fishing Forecast, Daily Fishing Calendars, & Adva...