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April 2009



April 2009

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April 2009

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A PR IL 2009 Volume 18 No. 12



FEATURES 12 Industrial Strength Fishing Information

Mike McBride

16 The Mixers

Kevin Cochran

20 Bodie’s Winter Wading Adventure

Martin Strarup

24 “New Tricks for an Old Dog”

Billy Sandifer

28 Marine Biology 101… Shade tree version

Chuck Uzzle

58 Sun Protection…

Everett Johnson


Pam Johnson Office: 361-785-3420 Cell: 361-550-9918

UT-Marine Science Institute

30 Let’s Ask The Pro

Jay Watkins

34 Fly Fishing

Casey Smartt

36 Offshore

Bobby Byrd/John Cochrane

38 Conservation



Bart Manganiello

Billy Sandifer

26 Science and the Sea

Shirley Elliott


DEPARTMENTS 25 Coastal Birding


CCA Texas

CIRCULATION Debbie Dugan DESIGN, LAYOUT & WEB MAINTENANCE GRAPHICs BY DEsIGN 361-785-4282 Jasmine and Jackson Gordon

42 TPWD Field Notes 48 Kayak Fishing

Scott Null

50 According to Scott

Scott Sommerlatte

52 Youth Fishing

Aaron Cisneros SUBSCRIPTION – PRODUCT SALES Debbie Dugan



62 Dickie Colburn’s Sabine Scene

Dickie Colburn

64 Mickey on Galveston

Mickey Eastman

66 Capt. Bill’s Fish Talk

Bill Pustejovsky

68 Mid-Coast Bays with the Grays

Gary Gray

70 Hooked up with Rowsey

David Rowsey

72 Capt. Tricia’s Port Mansfield Report

Capt. Tricia

74 South Padre Fishing Scene

Ernest Cisneros


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Order on-line: WWW.TSFMAG.COM MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO: Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine Attn: Subscriptions P.O. Box 429, Seadrift, Texas 77983 * Subscribers are responsible for submitting all address changes and renewals by the 10th of the prior month’s issue. Email for all address changes or please call 361-785-3420 from 8am - 4:30pm. The U.S. Postal Service does not guarantee magazines will be forwarded.

MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 429, Seadrift, Texas 77983 PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 58 Fisherman’s Lane, Seadrift, TX 77983

76 Fishing Reports and Forecasts 78 Photo Gallery–Catch of the Month 80 Gulf Coast Kitchen 85 Index of Advertisers


ABOUT THE COVER This month’s cover angler is Sandra Garza. Sandra is the winner of Round Two of our Catch and Release Spotted Seatrout Photo Contest. Check out page 54 for more details. Just Keep Five

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60 New Tackle & Gear

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10 Letters to the Editor



Texas Saltwater Fishing

Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine (ISSN 1935-9586) is published monthly by Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine, Inc., 58 Fisherman’s Lane, Seadrift, Texas 77983 l P. O. Box 429, Seadrift, TX 77983 © Copyright 1990 All rights reserved. Positively nothing in this publication may be reprinted or reproduced. *Views expressed by Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine contributors do not necessarily express the views of Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine. Periodical class permit (USPS# 024353) paid at Victoria, TX 77901 and additional offices. POSTMASTER: Send Fishing Magazine, TX 77983.

address changes to Inc., P. O. Box

Texas 429,

Saltwater Seadrift,

April 2009


Writing my editor’s column is often one of my toughest monthly tasks. Trying to weave all the elements of a worthy topic into such a small space can be a challenge for a guy who likes to talk. This month, though, it is going to be a lot easier. I get to write about two of my favorite events. To set the stage, you have to first recognize that in most fishermen’s minds, Saturdays are precious. Saturday is the day a fisherman with a real job sets his sights on. He struggles through the work week with the dream of hitting the water. This is the day you don’t mess with. Saturdays during the famed trophy trout months of February and March are held in even higher regard. These are the few days of the year he’d fight for you. So what brings a stalwart salt to willingly lay down his rod during this revered season? Two things come to mind – Abandoned Crab Trap Removal and Billy Sandifer’s Big Shell Beach Cleanup. Since 2002 Pam and I have participated in the Abandoned Crab Trap Cleanup seven times. Back in 2003 we booked a booth at the Winter Hunting and Fishing Show and could not back out. Seven times we have picked up traps and served lunch to the volunteers. Seven times we have been inspired and awed by the allvolunteer effort to rid Texas bays of ghost traps that waste precious resources. On February 21, fifty-two conservation-minded anglers hauled nearly 600 abandoned crab traps to Charlie’s Bait Camp near Seadrift and it was a beautiful sight. Charlie’s is but one of about a dozen facilitated disposal sites on as many bays where conservation-minded anglers gather to do a dirty job. To all the volunteers who gave up a day of fishing to pull traps — We salute you! Billy Sandifer’s Big Shell Beach Cleanup is perhaps one of the greatest events of its kind on any shore of any coast. March 14, last Saturday, marked the event’s fourteenth anniversary and, apart from a Noah-class deluge, the weatherman threw us some of his ugliest stuff. We arrived at the Malaquite Visitors Center of Padre Island National Seashore just before daylight to receive unit assignment in drizzling rain, 44 degrees, and a northeaster you had to lean into to gain forward motion. We were not alone, 437 others agreed it was a good day to clean the beach. In caravan fashion we drove to our assigned sections. Our mile of beach was Section 1, our group led the parade. If you could have been there your heart would have swelled with pride as 4WD vehicles of every description carrying as many volunteers as could fit inside and atop streamed past making their way further down the beach. Texas and American flags flapped stiffly, like they do on a general’s car, some vehicles were adorned with one of each. Fishermen tend to be a patriotic lot, you know. Many vehicles had rod racks on the bumpers, but I don’t recall any rods. Nearly all carried bumper stickers and window decals; CCA, Loomis, American Rodsmiths, Roy’s Bait and Tackle, Shimano, Daiwa, were some of the more common. You think this crowd loves fishing? What motivates fishermen to join these events? A deep and abiding respect for the resources we are so privileged to enjoy would qualify as a good answer. I consider myself privileged to attend these events. I am proud of each and every volunteer that certainly could have found something else to do or some other place to go. I am proud of our hands-on conservationists. Kudos! I can’t wait to join you again next year.


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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR February 26, 2009 Dear Everett, Winter fishing with my wife and kids normally means that we are heading to a honey hole the we call The Rocks. Out of the Port Isabel fingers, we head north for approximately 30 minutes and usually stop at the intersection of the ICW and a channel that cuts through some islands. There is a pile of rocks at the intersection, hence the nickname. On a good day with live shrimp I usually take on the job of the designated fish remover because my wife and kids are pulling in drum, sheepshead and trout on a consistent basis. It’s funny that days like this, during which I do not get a chance to handle a rod very much, are more satisfying than when I’m out doing some serious fishing. I’ve attached a picture of my son Marcus and me with a nice 34” drum that was caught and released at The Rocks. If possible please publish our picture in one of your upcoming issues. Regards, Joe Molina Brownsville, Texas

Dear Joe Congrats on a great catch and kudos for taking your family fishing. I look forward to hearing more fishing success stories. Everett Johnson - Editor

Send your LeTTerS To:

TSFMag, p.o. box 429, Seadrift, Tx 77983 10

April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

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a feeling of emptiness triggered by addiction

HIS NEW AGE OF INFORMATION is interesting when

ruLe 265: eating a proper breakfast.

to a substance lacking nutritional value. Hey, I

Being well-nourished increases our ability

researched that.

to push that extra mile while wade-fishing.

In other words, we are so consumed with

However, those aluminum tacos are about

we compare it to the previous Age of

getting a cheap heads-up on fishing that our

as nutritious as a Dorito, especially when the

Industrialization, and perhaps even

heads usually stay somewhere else, and we

wrapper says “Bud” on it. The amount of fish we

entertaining with “we the fishermen” thrown in.

might be better off using some of that “search”

catch will be in direct proportion to how many of

During the industrialization of America, people

energy to learn a new language or start a

these we consume. A better choice is a Red Bull

who earned the title of expert did so by doing

compost pile.

with Copenhagen, a proven fat free carb stacker

things, and they seemed to do a lot. Today, we

However, accurate information does exist,

worth at least four hours in the mud. ruLe 266: pliers. Proper tools not only

can become “experts” simply by reading things,

and most of it was learned through dogged

and now we seem to read a lot.

effort akin to that which was popular during the

help with cleaner lure extractions from fish

early days of industrialization. So with no further

to be released, but can also be essential to

sought urban commodity. Our desire for that one

adieu, let’s snack on some Doritos of Modern

reclaim the only lure you have that is working.

secret tip is insatiable; the one we know will cut

Wade-Fishing; excerpts to crunch on from the

High quality stainless pliers are invaluable,

the quickest path through our personal jungles;

Industrial Strength Wade-Fishing Handbook,

but only if you haven’t fumbled them in the

the one that does not require wielding something

seasoned with a dash of local salt, of course.

mud beforehand. Attaching a lanyard to your

Information has become the most highly-

as archaic as a machete. Man is perceived

ruLe 264: proper corky Selection for big

pliers, similar to those used on kill switches, will

smarter today than in any other time in history,

Trout. Using this lure for its intended purpose

keep them available…especially useful during misapplication of Rule 264.

and fishermen think so too. Even for the novice,

starts with a trained eye to carefully read the

those mysterious trophy-class fish are now

water. Consider clarity, bottom composition,

swimming only a quick Google click away. Yes,

and active forage. Do not tie on your most

old adage that ninety percent of the fish are in

there is plenty of information out there, but the

valuable Corky with any indication whatsoever

ten percent of the water is true, especially where

real question is, “So just how smart an old boy

of a redfish swimming within one hundred

large trout are concerned. However, increasingly

are ya?”

yards. It will find the lure and destroy it with less

true is that same ten percent of water, especially

compassion than a garbage disposal.

during wader season, will also hold ninety

The gathering of information is the easy

ruLe 267: The ninety percent rule. The

percent of the Winter Texans who fish that day.

part, but the culling of it is not, especially when

ruLe 268: Making Long range Weather

researching such a hugely ego-driven topic as fishing. We have read so much that we know

predictions. The better the big trout fishing is in

everything there is to know, except probably

the south, the longer it will take for snow to melt

how to do what we think we are supposed to do.

in the north. See Rule 267. ruLe 269: Short range Fishing

So…we just keep on searching, right? What we’ll

predictions: The ability to discover and

eventually find is called the Dorito Syndrome;

repeatedly utilize a productive fishing pattern is what makes an angler consistent. If we enjoy the same pattern three days in a row, we might reasonably assume the pattern to be holding, barring any significant change in conditions. One significant change that gets little recognition has nothing to do with conditions, it is found in a phone call. “Come on man, I’m on ‘em, it’s a sure thing!” It’s the Karma


April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

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three aluminum tacos you had for breakfast. ruLe 274: Size Matters: Nature cruelly unsightly shadows, embarrassing

enforces this rule, not only to encourage natural

backgrounds, and especially those

selection in the wild kingdom, but also to promote survival of the fittest in domesticated

awkward angles commonly caused by

fishermen. If we ourselves are “Plus Size”, the

unnaturally elongated arms. If you push a fish

rule of cockiness, and your embarrassment will

biggest trout will always be in the deepest mud.

into the camera lens to make it appear larger,

be consistent every time.

The more our physique resembles a jockey, the

not only will the capture be discredited, so will

more a snorkel will be required to reach them.

you when you claim to have seen Elvis or try

ruLe 270: preventing backlashes. Backlashes are simple proof that whenever

ruLe 275: navigation Lights. Displaying the

to deny knowledge of how that bikini got in the background.

we feed something more than it can take,

proper lighting requirements on a boat will insure

something is going to back up. A spool turning

safer passage to your preferred destination. It

faster than the line is leaving can back you up

is especially critical to maintain the stern light in

available and can sometimes even prove very

twenty minutes. The solution is simply to control

good operating condition. The first time you are

valuable. However, if we try to become a quick

the spool’s rotational speed to match the line’s

short of life vests, licenses, or suffer from the

expert by only fishing in an overflowing pond

airspeed, and especially to remember that what

excessive intake of aluminum tacos at breakfast,

of opinion, just remember that a little spool

separates an amoeba from a primate is an

the stern light will surely fail and will quickly be

of knowledge will never cast your line of skill

opposing thumb. Use it.

replaced by a flashing blue one. Apply dielectric

very far.

ruLe 271: proper Landing Techniques. Maintaining the most efficient rod angle is not only critical for landing a fish, but will also help

grease liberally on all bulbs and sockets to avoid

Yes, mountains of information are readily

So, if we really want to be a smart ol’ boy, we’d do well to gather information with our thumb on

costly delays. ruLe 276: Lasting Moments. Cameras

the spool instead of our finger on a silly mouse.

can be used to document a lifetime of credible

Let’s remember that information is worthless

high an angle for too long, it will instantly attract

memories, but only if the composition doesn’t

without industry, so let’s go fishing. Hey man…

other boats to you like tornadoes to an RV park.

compromise the capture. Remember that

It’s a sure thing!

See Rule 267.

undesirable reflections can also last a lifetime.

ruLe 272: proper Landing Techniques ii. Properly identifying a fish by the way it fights can

Therefore, assuming the correct position with a fish is essential. Carefully avoid

help us land more fish by knowing how much pressure to exert. “Expert” opinion declares that trout will always shake their heads and jump, and redfish will always stay low and make bulldozing runs. Try to re-evaluate that little tidbit before horsing in that red, and especially before


to insure your continued opportunity. Held at too


you break off the biggest trout you’ve ever hooked which mysteriously stayed down and

Mike McBride is a full time fishing guide based in Port Mansfield, Tx., specializing in wadefishing with artificial lures.

bulldozed. You might need to eat another Dorito. ruLe 273: effective boat positioning. In preparing to wade-fish any given area, proper boat placement can have a profound effect on positive outcome, especially during winter. Park too close and you will spook fish. Park too far and you won’t be able to make it back in time to relieve the urgent outcome of

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April 2009



April 2009

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2:38 PM

Page 1

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April 2009


CROLLED IN BLACK LETTERS ON THE SIDE OF MY HAYNIE HIGH OUTPUT are the words Trout Tracker. The phrase is more than the name of my guide service; it’s a description of who I am as a fisherman. I almost always target trophy trout, especially when I‘m chartering. On most occasions, we catch other fish while trying to upgrade our personal best trout. Usually, the other fish are smaller trout. Sometimes, these colorful specks are barely bigger than the plugs we use to catch them! I’ve heard several fishing experts assert that big trout won’t mix with little ones. “If you start catching a bunch of dinks or small keepers, you need to leave,” they say. “You won’t catch a big fish with ‘em.” Certainly, catching lots of tiny trout won’t necessarily lead to catching one or more magnum fish, but it can happen; I’ve personally done it numerous times. It helps to analyze the situation carefully if a school of small specks is encountered during the hunt for the ol’ big ones. Considering both the history of the spot and the time of year are important. If lots of small trout are encountered in warm waters, from say June through October, and those fish are numerous over a fairly large area, the chance of pulling a picture fish out of their midst is probably low. However, when small trout are found in a proven big trout honey hole in winter or spring, culling through them will regularly result in catching larger fish. Trout of all sizes mix together in cold waters. I remember one such occasion vividly. On three casts made to a small pothole in the grass next to a rock, I first caught a twelve inch trout, then a seven pounder, and last a twin to the first dink. On other occasions, the big and little trout aren’t actually mixed, but catching enough of the lesser ones seems to attract the attention of better fish in the area. A number of times, I’ve

course, catching large specks around lots of drum happens more

encountered a fast bite on undersized trout around a pile of rocks,

consistently if the drum are found in the vicinity of spots which are

then had the bite go dead for a few minutes, only to have the

known to produce the desired trout in that season.

action return again to a fever pitch, but with all the fish weighing

when I could see, hear and feel schools of drum milling around

and pulling them through the water while they wiggle sends

me. I’d already caught two twenty eight inch trout and an upper

a message out in the area. A gang of mature fish swimming

slot red when I saw one of the schools of drum moving right on

curiously up to investigate likely activates a necessary self-

top of the bar. While I made a slow trek over to where they

preserving instinct in their inferiors, who then flee en masse.

were, the school slid off the subtle structure back into deeper,

Trophy trout are predatory and reliably known to dine on

open waters.

immature members of their species. Locating other predators in

Suddenly, in the exact spot where they’d crossed the bar, I

an area can indicate the potential presence of whopper specks

saw a black tail waving above the surface of the hypersaline

too. Finding drum, both red and black, can and will do this trick.

waters, which reached halfway up my thighs, making the

Lots of Baffin old-timers tell of watching pods of giant trout

depth approximately a relevant thirty inches. I cast my Super

following herds of puppy drum in this rightfully famous bay.

Spook beyond the fish, and while I walked it toward me, the

I’ve never actually seen this, but I have had success catching

tail disappeared.

big trout in areas where sizable groups of drum are visible. Of


I remember fishing a shallow grass bar in Baffin one spring

four pounds and up! Seems that exciting the school of dinks

April 2009

When my plug crossed the spot where it had been, I saw

Texas Saltwater Fishing

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no visible indication of a strike; the lure merely vanished in

chasing after my topwaters and Corkys when they are doing

a tight swirl. After feeling the weight of me, the fish took off

so in winter and spring in places where I’ve caught trophy trout

in a sizzling, sideways run for maybe sixty feet before the

previously, especially if those reds are in the upper end of the

hooks pulled free. I can’t swear that the fish I hooked and lost

slot or over it.

was a mammoth trout, but that one surely felt like a superior

Not only does the sight of the copper carp increase my

specimen, and I can‘t imagine a black or even red drum

confidence that some worthy trout are within reach, it can

extracting my Super Spook from the surface in such a manner.

also help me figure out what lures and presentations will work

Many of the big trout I’ve hooked around schools of black

to catch them. I recall a recent day on which the sight of an

drum have not escaped, of course. I have some pictures to

aggressive red blowing up on a client’s Corky clued me into a

prove that! I also have shots of memorable trout I’ve caught

good feeding mood in the fish, so I switched to a Skitterwalk

mixed in with red drum. Those who know me well can verify

and caught more reds and several big trout on top.

that I have other names for redfish, including the time-tested

I’m no biologist, so I don’t know whether the trout are

“carp”, “channel bass”, “rubber lippers” and other monikers that

shadowing the pods of reds in attempt to scavenge food from

can’t be printed here. The derisive language I direct at redfish is

them, or if it’s just that in some seasons, trophy trout and nearly

done with tongue in cheek, though, because they often lead me

mature reds prefer to forage in the same places. In fact, the

straight to the object of my pursuits.

reasons don’t really matter to me; I just know that finding the

Again, a savvy trout hunter will consider the whole situation when trying to determine whether locating reds in an area is likely to indicate the presence of large trout. Fast-moving,

redfish often helps me find the trout and also figure out how to catch them. Those are the real keys, locating the fish and determining

numerous reds found in relatively deep, open waters aren’t

how best to make them strike. Small trout, drum and redfish

likely to include a few giant trout in my experience.

can all help in these endeavors when trophy trout are sought. I

On the other hand, smaller pods of reds moving more slowly around in shallower spots can and often do help me locate

don’t go out in search of dinks, drum and carp, but I’ll surely use the information they are giving me when it’s offered incidentally!


picture-worthy trout. I welcome the sight of the bronze bullies

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April 2009



April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

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2/25/09 April10:33:20 2009 AM19

Last month we left Bodie struggling with a big fish in borrowed waders; let’s see how our man handled the challenge.

ODIE KNEW IF HE DIDN’T TURN THE BIG FISH soon he was going to lose his lure and a lot of line and he didn’t want that to happen. If he tightened the drag early in the fight and broke off, he’d still lose his lure but not

some monofilament and at the same time Tommy yelled that he had lost his fish too. It didn’t take Bodie but a minute to figure out that Tommy had snagged his line and that Bodie had been fighting both the fish and his friend. Bodie pulled in line until he saw

nearly as much line would be left drifting in the bay. The fish

Tommy’s lure and that’s when his

stalled for a moment and Bodie moved faster trying to gain as

thoughts turned to mischief. Ol’ Bodie

much line as possible. It wasn’t until he felt the cold water that he realized

loves tricks and the old channel marker

he’d gone too deep.

piling that stood nearby gave him a

Now as you know, Bodie is not one to scream due to shock or pain but

great idea. Sidling over to it, Bodie

he did let out a “yippee” that was probably heard back at Haddon’s Place.

drove the single hook on Tommy’s plug

Tommy heard Bodie yell, saw his bent fishing rod and started moving

deep into the wet creosoted wood and

toward the action.

began walking away while Tommy,

“Bodie you probably shouldn’t get so deep, you’re gonna take water over

dejectedly, reeled in his slack line. “It was a huge fish Bodie!” exclaimed

your waders if you’re not careful.” Tommy advised his friend. Bodie tried to ignore Tommy and concentrate on not getting spooled by the fish and all at once the fish gave up ground and Bodie was reeling up

Tommy. “It was at least 60 inches long, I saw it, huge redfish, huge!!” “Well Tommy Boy, where there is one

line just as fast as he could turn the handle. Tommy Meyers figured there had to be another good fish there and made a long cast to the side of where Bodie was standing. The strike came instantly. Tommy set the hook hard and the fight was on. Bodie on the other

there is often another. Keep casting, that next bite could come any second,” Bodie called out to his hapless friend. Bodie had time to turn and take one step toward the boat before Tommy

hand was trying to back up into some shallower water, even though he was

began screaming that he had hooked another really good one. Glancing

already soaked to the bone and it probably didn’t matter.

over his shoulder he could see Tommy sword fighting with his rod again. He

About the time Bodie thought he had the fish whipped it surged again and started pulling hard. Bodie watched the line and heard it pinging as it stretched ever so tight. He then reached ahead of the reel to test the drag

was putting a whooping on that old creosote post and Bodie couldn’t help but chuckle. Ol’ Tommy Boy was special, no doubt about it. Tommy was too excited over his good luck to know any better, and just kept on flailing and shouting, “He’s huge, it’s gotta be the same one Bodie,

tension with his hand. “I really can’t tighten it anymore or I’ll surely break that fish off” Bodie thought aloud to himself. All he could do now was hold on and hope the

the same exact fish!” Bodie swung a leg over the side of his boat and was rewarded with cold saltwater pouring out of the waders and up onto his chest. By the time

fish would play itself out. Tommy yelled that he had a good one on and Bodie saw his bent rod wiggling all over the place, almost like he was in a sword fight. Tommy sure

Bodie had changed into dry clothes and drank half a cup of coffee, Tommy still hadn’t made any progress with the post he was fighting. “Is he pulling a lot of drag Tommy?” Bodie yelled.

had a strange way of fishing, he thought. The fish started taking drag again and Bodie figured it must be way oversized to be taking that much line and not giving up. He was cold and he was ready to go to the boat to change clothes and get a cup of coffee but he

“Only when I really bear down on him,” grunted Tommy. “He really gets after it when I pull back hard, that’s when he takes more line.” Cold and ready to call it a day, Bodie yelled to his friend that he thought

was bound and determined to land the bruiser at the other end of his line.

he saw the fish wrap around the channel piling and that Tommy might want

Glancing over, he could see Tommy struggling with a large fish of his

to wade up on it and see if he could grab the fish. Tommy thought that was

own, and just as he took his eye off of his line he felt his line go slack. He

a good idea and waded to the piling, only to find the fish gone and his lure

reeled furiously but knew that the fish was gone. Strangely, he felt the drag

impaled in the wood. Head hung low, Tommy waded back to the boat and proceeded to tell

of his lure in the water and he was happy to know he hadn’t lost it. When his lure came into sight he noticed that the hook had tangled in 20

April 2009

Bodie how the big fish had wrapped around the piling and broke off as he

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

changed out of his waders. “He was huge and strong Bodie”, Tommy said as Bodie started the outboard and

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tried to pull it, but Bodie had stuck it good. Tommy’s scrawny arms were no match for the job Bodie had given him. As Tommy leaned over to get a better grip, a field rat ran from under the center console and up the leg of Tommy’s fleece wading pants. Tommy let out a scream, and like always he swallowed his chew of tobacco. In one frightened, choking spasm he launched himself from the bow of the boat. Now those Stake-Out-Sticks are tough, and Bodie can offer up a testimonial that they’ll not only hold your boat, they’re hold up against the best effort of a not-so-tall fat guy as well. Bodie reversed the motor and swung the bow toward Tommy just in time to see him lose his perch on the Stick and fall headfirst into the cold water. He also got to see a field rat swimming frantically toward a nearby island. Bodie reached down and grabbed Tommy by the collar and pulled him aboard. After slapping Tommy on the back to prevent him from choking to death, Bodie asked Tommy where his dry clothes Bodie’s waterproof wading gear bag so they wouldn’t get wet and he had no others with him. Idling into the boat sling after a 45 minute run in the cold winter air, Bodie saw his wading bag sitting right where he thought it would be. “Look Tommy Boy, there’s my bag,” he offered matter-of-factly to his shivering companion. “Wh-what, whattaya know; some honest soul


were. Tommy told him that he had placed them in


f-f-found your bag in the bay and re-re-returned it,” Tommy stammered between shivers. Bodie just shook his head. “Let’s get some dry clothes on you and see if Eloisa has some hot coffee on the old wood stove at Haddon’s Tommy boy,” he sighed.

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Tommy grabbed the stick and

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“Oh I know he was Tommy, I had one on just like it.” Bodie said, and told

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idled up to the Stake-Out Stick.


Embarrassed to rare speechlessness, Tommy

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Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009



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April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


OR YEARS I HAVE WANTED TO LEARN as much as possible about Texas saltwater from the back bays out to 30 fathoms. My goal has been to learn to fish all of these waters with all types of tackle. A lofty goal indeed yet it remains to this day a fun-filled and interesting lifestyle; not to mention a constantly challenging one. I genuinely admire those who specialize and excel at one particular type of fishing, but it just ain’t my nature. Fishing for the same species in the same place all the time would be like having a job. My desire is to be doing the type of fishing that is the most productive and enjoyable for my customers on any given day. Now the reality is that customers book charters with goals in mind. Many want to learn to read and understand the dynamics of the PINS surf, so that’s what we do. On these charters it’s not about how many fish we catch; their goal is to learn more about the surf and fishing there. Interest always runs high this time of year for stalking the bays in hopes of landing the trout of a lifetime. At the same time, in the surf zone, large jack crevalle are prowling the shallows of

I’ve been casting surf rods a long way for

surprised to learn the back cast is extremely

a long time but never had much interest in

similar. The caster stands with his back to

specialized long-distance casting. Recently it

the target and the butt of the rod in a belly

occurred to me that some of these guys are

plate and brings the rod around and up in an

casting over 700 feet, and while I can cast a

arc. With the addition of spool brakes to surf

long way, I sure can’t throw 700 feet.

fishing reels to control overrun, the caster

I got to thinking about those late summer

does not thumb the spool during the cast, and

and fall days when large schools of tarpon

this increases distances. I watched a mature

were right in front of me but out of casting

gentleman back cast a 5-ounce weight to

range and I realized that if I could cast 700

700 feet. Nick told me the caster had taken

feet they would no longer be out of our reach.

up back-casting because he had suffered a

Also, there are days when schools of the much

severe back injury at one time and cannot

sought after pompano are beyond normal

cast in the typical fashion. With practice over

casting range. So I visited with Nick Meyer of

the years I’ve be able to throw shark baits 150

Breakaway Tackle, a specialist in this field,

yards. I now believe that with practice and the

to evaluate whether I needed to add this type

right equipment I’ll be able to throw shark baits

fishing to the bag of tricks I regularly employ

at least 150 yards.

while surf fishing. It became apparent that

The back cast is easy to learn and often

while the tackle and techniques I’ve used for

wins distance casting tournaments. It

decades have served us well, long-distance

originated in England using a pitchfork to cast

casting would increase our capabilities.

a sinker attached to a long line with multiple

There are two basic long-distance casts.

hooks after cod in the North Sea. The cast

The pendulum cast for 2 to 4 ounce lures or

can even be done from a wheelchair reaching

weights and the back cast for 5 ounces and

distances over 100 yards. Placing the reel

greater. Over the years I developed a casting

low on the rod and pulling

style for throwing shark baits wearing a small

forward with the leading hand

belly plate and casting from the hip. I was

on the fore-grip is the key.

the surf and afford close-quarters sightcasting opportunities for fly casters and lure fishermen, so we have options. I strive to utilize any and all available resources and to acquire any particular skills necessary for my customers to be successful.

Tom and Gary with double hook-up redfish on PINS.

Long distance casting setups: Rod with short butt section is designed specifically for back casting; interchangeable butt sections are available for different applications. 24

April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

Breakaway offers four custom models in their HDX series which vary in length from 12.5 to 14 feet. All are intended for throwing weights of 5 ounces or more. The preferred rod for 2 to 4 ounce weights is the Breakaway Omega 10’ 6” custom. The reel of choice is the Daiwa Sealine X20SHA for 2-4 ounce weights and the Daiwa Sealine X30SHA for 5 ounces and up. The Sealine X50SHA is more appropriate for large tarpon and sharks. They consider the Daiwa Sealine X20SHA to be capable of greater distance than any other reel made. A shock tippet of a minimal of 60 pound is required due to the torque generated during the cast and the reels are typically fished with 15-20 pound test monofilament lines. In the surf I typically employ 8.5 foot medium/light action spinning tackle and we concentrate our efforts on nearshore pockets and holes. When throwing lures, we are usually moving too often to utilize the long-distance casting rigs. However, there are days when we stay put for longer periods and the long-distance rods can be thrown far offshore and fished from rod holders while customers fish closer to shore with the lighter tackle. It’s a win/win all the way around. The Breakaway web site is and packed with good info. Yesterday I was introduced to a product that is so handy I want to tell you about it. It is called Silicone Rescue Tape. Some of its attributes: self-fuses in 60 seconds, water-proof, resistant to fuels, oil, acid and most solvents. Heat resistant to 500 degrees and insulates up to 8,000 Photo by Jimmy Jackson.

volts. It works under water and can be used as an emergency fan belt or O-ring. It stops leaking radiator hoses, and gas, transmission and brake lines. I could have saved many an hour lying under a Chevy Suburban trying to jury-rig broken lines on sandy beaches if I’d have known about this stuff sooner. Silicone Rescue Tape has been manufactured for the government since the late 1950s and was actually used to make emergency repairs on helicopters in Viet Nam but is really just getting introduced to civilian markets. Blue Water Ship’s Stores and Breakaway Tackle is carrying it in Corpus and I’m sure it will be readily available widely in the near future. Too many things can go wrong out there in the real world of sea and salt and sand and it will be in my vehicles and boat supply kits from now on. The potential applications for this product are absolutely mind-boggling and it could sure save your day. Daiwa is having a Daiwa Days Promotion in conjunction with Roy’s Bait and Tackle Outfitters Customer Appreciation Days on 17 and 18 April. This would be a perfect

representing Daiwa both days. Turtle nesting season begins in earnest in late April. The Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle nests on PINS and most Texas beaches. They are the most endangered of sea creatures. They nest during the daytime and are the same color of the sand and can be extremely difficult to


time to pick up a couple of those Daiwa long-distance casting reels. I’ll be there


Length: 28 inches Wingspan: 42 inches The American Bittern is a secretive member of the heron family. Usually

see. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is more of a

hidden among dense reeds and more easily

threat to our continuing privilege of driving on ALL Texas beaches than running over one of these nesting turtles. If you observe a nesting turtle, do not disturb it. Mark the location of the nest and contact the Sea Turtle Recovery Program at 1-866-887-8535 or call PINS headquarters at 361-949-8173 ext. 226 or 228. Turtle technicians will be patrolling the beach front and let them know as well. If we don’t leave any there won’t be any.

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Billy Sandifer operates Padre Island Safaris offering surf fishing for sharks to specks and nature tours of the Padre Island National Seashore. Billy also offers bay and near-shore fishing adventures in his 25 foot Panga for many big game and gamefish species. telephone 361-937-8446 Website Texas Saltwater Fishing

heard than seen; these are wading birds with long legs, neck and bill for stalking food in shallow water. Rich brown upper parts set off by black neck streaks. Contrasting dark flight feathers are conspicious in flight. Found in estuaries, marshes, lakes and ponds. The American Bittern is present in Texas November through March. Nests mainly in the north but has been known nest as far south as Houston.

April 2009



April 2009

Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


to a particular lure as though they are a fish themselves. I am constantly asked, “Why are


showed up and crashed the party. Rita came ashore to our east so we had

those fish acting like that?” or “How come they

big north winds in conjunction with ultra low

are biting like this?” To be honest, I can’t tell

barometric pressure that allowed an unbelievable

you why fish act the way they do, all I can do is

amount of water to be sucked out of the bayous

reflect on prior experience and then try to figure

and marshes. There were several folks I

it out, just like the next guy.

know who stayed through the storm and gave

Here on Sabine and Calcasieu the upcoming

eyewitness accounts of the local bayous almost

is going on with everything

summer will be another round of discovery as

going dry as Rita made landfall, and then all the

involved in a day of fishing.

we try to figure out just exactly how the past

water rushed back in as everything equalized.

To the best of our ability we

year’s hurricane will affect the fishing. It’s no

We noticed some major changes following

take events from past trips and

secret that I have developed a true fondness

this massive event. Gone were the huge schools

factor them in and create a pattern for the day.

and appreciation for all the back lakes and

of oversized fish that had been there for many

Patterns for weather, seasons, water conditions

marshes that cover our part of the coast. I

years. It seemed the marsh redfish population

and all other types of situations exist courtesy of

probably spend more time in the marsh than I do

started over; small redfish were everywhere and

detailed logs and very good memories. The one

in the open lake anymore, and I have grown to

they were there in great numbers. Two years

thing that all these patterns have in common is

truly love these places. Since I spend so much

later the fishing was fantastic. We caught tons of

a degree from the school of hard knocks. There

time there I would like to think that I have a

perfect slot-sized, tournament winning fish. Then

are very few people who can claim a master’s

reasonable amount of knowledge about the area

came Hurricane Ike.

degree from this school as can professional

but sometimes I wonder. Regardless of that fact,

fishermen, crabbers, shrimpers, and anyone

I have made a couple of observations and I am

coast and brought a mass of water like we have

else who makes their living on the water. These

curious to see how they play out.

never seen in these parts. It remains to be seen

folks have seen it all and are about as good as

Prior to our first major hurricane in a long

As we all know Ike crushed the upper Texas

the full effect that storm will have on this year’s

it gets when it comes to understanding what is

time, the local marshes were slam-full of

fishing. For the most part, Sabine Lake and

really going on with the creatures of the sea.

oversize redfish. This was a dream come true for

Calcasieu have shown no ill effects; as a matter

I always get a kick out of hearing people,

a guide; tons of fish, all too big to keep, nothing

of fact winter 2008/09 was just fantastic on both

including me sometimes, trying to explain what

to clean, and happy clients. Talk about a perfect

bodies of water.

a fish is thinking or why they react or relate

set up, I was in heaven until Hurricane Rita


April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

TSFMag’s own Captain Dickie Colburn, a

Just Keep Five

veteran of both bodies of water, told me he had

mullet already and there were still some shrimp

degree. The learning curve on Sabine should

his best year ever on big trout as 2008 closed

to be found. I have, however, been able to find

be great this year and I certainly hope the fish

out with a flurry of fish over 28 inches. “I have

a few redfish in some of the Calcasieu marshes

will cooperate. I guess if the wind won’t calm

never seen or caught that many fish over 28

since they typically hold less brackish water

down we may have to change our majors to

inches in my life,” said Colburn, “I never would

vegetation. Several of the back lakes that hold

meteorology instead.

have thought it could have been that good”

good concentrations of shell have been giving

he added.

up some nice catches of redfish on the lower

When a guy that has as many years on the water makes that kind of statement, you have to

end of the slot. One of the bigger impoundments on Sabine Lake is a private hunting club that was also

Now it’s understandable that the main body

crushed by the storm surge. All the freshwater

of the lakes would be able to bounce back

areas that were built to hold ducks were

with a few tide changes and some “normal”

swamped with saltwater and had to be drained.

rainfall, however, the marsh is another animal

During the draining process the water was

all together. That deluge of super salty water

pumped into a canal and when the water was

will no doubt have an affect as vegetation

reduced it was amazing to see how many

dependant on fresh water was drowned for

redfish were left there, it was crazy. According

days by the Ike surge. Local duck hunters

to the landowners they were going to keep

were worried that the grass the ducks depend

enough water there so the fish wouldn’t die and

on would be gone and the season would be a

they would still be there when the ponds filled

bust, they were wrong. The grasses that died

up again. In the meantime that canal has turned

off came back strong and the duck season was

into the Holy Grail of redfishing, they pounce

actually much better than predicted.

on anything you offer…nice place to spend an

So far, after making several scouting trips, the jury is still out as far as fishing goes. Early

hour or two. Well now that the temperatures are climbing

in the year the clarity is off so actually seeing

and everyone has a severe case of cabin

fish is tough. The presence of bait is a good

fever I guess it’s time to go back to school

sign as many of the back lakes are loaded with

and continue working on that “shade tree”

Just Keep Five



take notice.

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009




taking advantage of the

boats and water that sometimes bring out

beauty and abundance of

the worst in us? For the life of me I cannot

opportunities in today’s

understand why we cannot work together

saltwater fishery we have

by simply respecting one another. I had a

to be willing to share. At

guy cut off our wade the other morning in a

50 years of age and fully

very popular area. I do not believe the guy

5-inches short of 6-feet, I

was being rude or disrespectful. I believe he

am not much on starting

honestly did not know any better.

trouble on the water and

During the incident, one of my anglers asked, “What’s too close?”

the yelling and the hand

I replied, “That, for sure, is too close.”

gesture stage. I know too

Then I started thinking about the issue

many other areas that

more deeply. Personally, I think 500 yards is

might be holding fish to let

plenty of cushion. Go stand on the end of your

someone ruin my day as

local high school football field and then extend

well as that of my clients.

that by five. This is a lot of water and would

I have always thought

be fine if all the area on a given shoreline was

most anglers were

created equal. If you fish, you know this is just

smart enough to learn

not the case.

by observing. But when

Every shoreline, reef, sandbar or back

I started observing, I

lake has its sweet spot and unfortunately lots

realized a lot of the bad

of anglers are aware of these. The problem

habits have been taught

presents itself when we arrive and find the

by those of us that are

room for the already present anglers to fish.

spot we wanted already occupied. So what’s

suppose to know. If I as a professional run in

Fish move along their chosen structure and

the proper etiquette?

on top of or out in front of another angler, I am

an already present angler deserves the room

telling all present that it is acceptable.

and freedom to move with them, and this

Again, I would feel good about someone allowing me at least 500 yards if the area

I’ll go on record and say that I am sure I

takes me back to my 500 yard cushion. I have,

has the capabilities to do this. If it does not,

have been guilty of being too close in the

over time, become more comfortable fishing

you then need to start thinking about your

past, but I never intentionally cut someone

in closer quarters than ever before. After all,

secondary choice. The 500 yard rule allows a

off. I carry a range finder in the tournaments;

there are a lot of us out there, and I do not see

quiet zone to be created. It gives the already

I am that paranoid about someone screaming

that changing anytime soon.

present anglers the luxury of working the area

foul. Tournament rules have always included

Here is something that might come as a

thoroughly and all throughout the day if they

a 100 yard minimum distance between other

surprise. There are times when I actually like

so choose.

waders and drifting anglers. Again, stand

heavy pressure around me. If you are savvy

We all know anglers that want the entire

on the goal line and put someone on the

enough to setup in the right areas, boat traffic

shoreline. To those I say, “Wake up and start

opposite end; try to carry a conversation

and wading pressure can actually play into

thinking realistically.” I had a coach that told

without shouting. It’s impossible without a cell

your hand.

me often to wish in one had and do something

phone. Oh, and please Lord, don’t let me get

else in the other; and then see which one

started on that topic.

would fill up first. With the increased numbers of people


I have almost passed

April 2009

I personally think 100 yards is cutting it too close. You are simply not allowing enough

Texas Saltwater Fishing

One of my favorite areas is the southern tip of the tremendously popular Mud Island in Aransas Bay. Long about the middle of April this area starts getting pounded. The point

Just Keep Five

Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009



I had a coach that told me often to wish in one had and do something else in the other; and then see which one would fill up first. provides easy deep water access, terrific bottom structure, tidal movement and an abundance of varied bait species. Everything an angler would want, minus the fishing pressure, right? Read on. I like to place my people around the deeper potholes on the flat that adjoins the point and simply wait for the fish come to us. With tons of fishing boats and increased dolphin predation of recent years, the bigger fish are seeking shelter in the shallows rather than the depths. Dolphins, props and piggy perch await then along the dropoff most everyday. It only stands to reason that the resource would seek a quiet zone. Over time, the fish evolve to methods of traveling and feeding that best fits their continued existence. No scientific data here on my part, just 30-plus years of observing patterns on a daily basis. Finally, there are times when you just have to stand with the crowd and get it done if catching is the only thing that will fulfill the day. I must say though, this is my least favorite option and it is rare when I exercise it. More likely, as I said earlier, there is a strong chance that I am aware of other areas that might be just as productive with fewer fishermen using it. Given that the next sunrise is going to find me back on the it is important to discover and utilize alternate game plans. Whichever way you choose to fish and navigate; always remember, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.� The higher powers have been trying to get us to practice this for thousands of years. We are


water doing it all over again, I believe

lucky he is so patient. See you on the water, hopefully at about 500 yards. May Your Fishing Always Be Catching.


April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

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Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009




has increased in popularity,

Integrity reels I own. They have all been tough

anodized and finished in a tough polyurethane

and reliable.

coating for ultimate resistance to scratches,

Thus far, I have found only two minor flaws

dings, and corrosion. The Konic 3.5 model

the demand for decent quality reels with less-

with the Okuma Integrity. First, the slender gap

(for 7 & 8 wt. lines) weighs 6.9 oz. and retails

than-breath-stealing price tags has also grown.

between the large flat drag adjustment knob

for $139.00.

Recognizing the opportunity, some tackle

and the frame of the reel is just wide enough

manufacturers have taken a shot at producing

to allow a thin fast sinking fly line to slide inside

months and I really like it. In spite of its

economical reels fit for saltwater duty.

it and hang up. Second, if the reel is completely

relatively light weight, the Konic has a nice

Most have struck out, but a few companies

dunked, the drag slips more easily and is more

large and wide arbor and it feels solid and

have gotten it right. Let’s take a look at two

difficult to accurately adjust than when it is dry.

strong. The drag is extremely smooth and can

reels I believe are leaders in their class for

Other than that, these reels have performed

be adjusted with pinpoint accuracy even with

performance, reliability, and value.

flawlessly. I have heard a few ultra-light junkies

cold or slimy fingers. Under fast runs, the Konic

okuMA inTeGriTy-

complain the Integrity is too heavy (8 oz.), but

is perfectly balanced and it has a reassuring

to me it feels like a solid reel rather than a

feel found in much pricier reels. Like other

heavy reel.

Lamson models, the spool is secured with an

Imbedded in the center of the Okuma fly reel lineup is the Integrity. The Integrity is a large/

I have been using a Konic 3.5 for several

wide arbor, powder coated,

internal o-ring and pops

die-cast, disc drag reel

out neatly with a little

offered the in 4 sizes for line

thumb pressure. There

weights 5 through 11. The

are no troublesome

8/9 model (suitable for 8 or 9

pins, levers, or screws

wt. fly line) weighs 8 oz. and

associated with removing

retails around $70.00. I own

the spool. The only

several of these reels and

complaint (a minor one)

love them. The Integrity is

I have about this reel is

outfitted with a decent drag

that the handle, although

that is easy to adjust, and a

solid and smooth, feels

one-way roller bearing which

a little thin. Otherwise

provides silky silent retrieves.

my experience with the

The spool, frame, and

Konic has been stellar.

spindle are solid and strong. The Integrity is definitely a

If you are in the

The Lamson Konic 3.5 (left), and the Okuma Integrity 8/9 (right).

market for a solid

meaty reel. All the screws

capable saltwater reel,

and small machined parts are stainless steel

check out the Lamson Konic. It is anodized,

and the oil-impregnated hardwood handle is

saltwater reel with no weird quirks or weak

well balanced, and armed with a proven drag

one of the most comfortable I have found on

points, check out the Okuma Integrity. With

system. At $139.00 the Konic is a great value.

any reel at any price.

reasonable care and a shot of Corrosion X now and then, it should last for many years. At

purchased about 6 years ago and has seen

$70.00 dollars it is a great value.

hundreds of hours on the water and plenty of

LAMSon konic

encounters with rocks, mud, and sand. It still

Lamson recently introduced their Konic line

works as good as the day I bought it. Hard

of reels, offering 4 models for line weights 3

knocks and serious use have sanded away

through 10. The Konic is a large arbor, pressure

the black powder coating along the outer lip

cast reel with the same sealed maintenance-

of the spool but the mechanics of the reel have

free conical drag used in Lamson’s high end

never failed in any way. Nor have any of the

models. The frame and spool of the Konic are

April 2009



The oldest of my Integrity reels was


If you are looking for a tough inexpensive

Casey smartt has been fly fishing and tying flies for 30 years. When he cannot make it to the coast he is happy chasing fish on texas inland lakes and rivers.

check out casey’s Fly Fishing Video Library at Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

Spin-tastic! 04 11 12 13 14 15

Weight: STRAIGHT Jacket™ — 3/8 oz. Weight: STRAIGHT Jacket™ Jr. — 1/4 oz. Colors: (04) Chartreuse (11) Root Beer (12) Pearl (13) Clear/Blue Sparkle (14) Black, Silver Belly (15) Green, Silver Belly Available at your favorite tackle supplier.

Dave Workman, Jr.Pro Series


TROUT • REDFISH • FLOUNDER • SNOOK This lure has been tournament tested and proven to be a winner. Works best with a slow to moderate retrieve. Deadly on Trout, Redfish, Snook, Flounder and Striped Bass. STRAIGHT Jacket™ can be fished in the grass with confidence. The bright blade flash and tantalizing tail wiggle can produce line screaming strikes.

Dave Workman, Jr.Pro Series © 2008 BOONE • Winter Park, FL • 407-975-8775

110272_09CDM036_TxSaltwater 1

Just Keep Five

Job#: 09-CDM-036 L/S: 133 Size: 8.25 x 5” Texas Saltwater Fishing Pub: Texas Saltwater Fish Show

1/27/09 8:38:45 PM

April 2009


Show will be held at the Corpus Christi

up again, so it’s time to start working on

Downtown Marina, April 23-26. This is a

boats and tackle! The weather this winter

big Florida-style “in the water” boat show

was pretty tough for bluewater fishermen

and exhibitors from all over the nation will be

and although the fishing was good when you

there. At the show you will see lots of new

could get out, the wind has not been very

boats, motors, accessories, trips, guides,

cooperative. As the summer grows near, we

tackle and electronics. Come see us at the

receive lots of inquiries about dates for the big

Tops-N-Towers display or the Fox Yacht Sales

game tournaments, so we thought we would

exhibit and talk about big game fishing or

put together a list of some of our favorite

rigging your boat.

tournaments here in the Gulf of Mexico. May 26 - 31

The 3rd Annual Texas International Boat

This time of year many boat owners decide The Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic Venice, Louisiana –

boat while there is still time before the fishing June 3 - 7

Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic

season starts. At Fox, we have an extensive

Biloxi, MS –

inventory of brokerage boats and we are the exclusive Texas dealer for CABO Yachts. We

June 25 - 27

Houston Big Game Fishing Club

specialize in sportfishing boats and motor

Freeport, TX –

yachts. Come by and get a great deal on your next boat.

June 25 – 27

Port Aransas Masters Fred Rhodes Memorial Pt. Aransas, TX – Fox Yacht Sales 361-749-4870

For more information, check out our website at or you can contact John Cochrane at captjohn@

July 4

World Cup Blue Marlin Championship

Worldwide – July 9 – 12

74th Annual Deep Sea Roundup Port Aransas, TX –

July 15 – 19

Poco Bueno Invitational Port O’Connor, TX – Kelly Griffith - 713-589-6013

July 22 – 26

Rockport Offshore Challenge Rockport, TX –

July 29 – Aug. 2 Texas International Fishing Tournament (TIFT) Port Isabel, TX – Aug 6 – 9

Texas Legends Billfish Tournament Port Aransas, TX –

Aug 28 – 30

Texas Women Anglers Tournament Port Aransas, TX –


to sell their boat and move up to a bigger

April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing


B O B B Y B Y R D & C A P T. J O H N C O C H R A N E


Born in Galveston, Capt. John Cochrane has been a professional captain for over 25 years and is now a full time yacht broker for Fox Yacht Sales. He concentrates his fishing efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, promoting big game fishing and billfish research. A native Texan, Bobby Byrd has fished the Gulf of Mexico since he was eight. In 1995, Bobby combined his love of fishing and boating into a business when he opened Tops-N-Towers in Seabrook, Texas. Contact Fox Yacht Sales / Seabrook 281-291-0656 Tops-N-Towers 281-474-4000 Capt. John Cochrane 409-739-4817 Websites

Just Keep Five




Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009



IN CONTINUING THE EFFORT TO REBUILD FLOUNDER STOCKS, CCA Texas’ executive board recently approved funding for new flounder stocking equipment for Sea Center Texas. Sea Center Texas, a state of the art facility initially designed for stock enhancement work with redfish and speckled trout, was established through a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CCA, and the Dow Chemical Company. It is operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife. Historically, the success of Sea Center’s stocking enhancement program has depended on these key components: the ability to condition the brood stock, the ability to spawn fish and collect eggs, the ability to

Over the past two years, significant progress has been made in flounder stock enhancement. Last year, Sea Center successfully spawned and raised flounder fingerlings to an acceptable stocking size. With CCA’s recent funding of new stock enhancement equipment, Sea Center will likely be able to include southern flounder as a candidate for large scale stocking in Texas bays. Through the hard work and dedication of its members, CCA Texas will continue to push for the recovery of southern flounder in Texas waters. This fish is a valuable and cherished part of the Texas Slam that with continued support is sure to regain its once prolific status.

hatch eggs and collect larvae, and the ability to grow larvae out to viable fingerlings. While Sea Center biologists have had great success in taking redfish and trout through these steps, southern flounder have proven resistant to most of the process. Unlike trout and redfish, flounder larvae are extremely fragile, and are ultra sensitive to salinity and temperature levels. Currently, the flounder brood stock at Sea Center Texas is being changes the temperature and salinity of the water, which stresses the


held in tanks that must be drained to retrieve fish for spawning. This flounder and decreases spawning activity. In addition, current methods

CCA’s Committee for Life, you will also become a major contributor to

of collecting eggs, hatching them, and raising them into viable fingerlings,

CCA Texas’ new Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow (HTFT) initiative. The

which have been successful with redfish and trout, have been largely

HTFT is a bold, new step in conservation for CCA Texas that will fund

ineffective with flounder.

and initiate habitat restoration projects such as reef construction, marsh

For Sea Center Texas to progress in their stock enhancement work with flounder, improvements must be made to the stocking facilities to

replenishment and beach and bay debris clean-ups. “All funds generated through Life Memberships will be directly applied

provide greater stability in water salinity and temperature. Egg collection

to this major habitat program,” said CCA Texas Executive Director,

and sustainability of larvae into fingerlings must also improve for future

Robby Byers. “Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow will create vital living

large scale stocking of flounder to occur. This is where CCA Texas

space for all sorts of marine life. We are extremely excited about

decided to get involved. By granting $30,000 dollars to Sea Center Texas,

the possibilities that will result from this program. I truly believe our

CCA Texas again showed its dedication to the recovery of the southern

children’s children will thank CCA’s volunteers for having the foresight

flounder. This money will go towards various pumps, filters, tanks, and

to initiate such a visionary project.”

heaters that will provide the type of nursery environment that is suitable

“CCA Texas has been extremely successful in many aspects of

to flounder. It is believed that this equipment will greatly improve Sea

fisheries management and HTFT is a logical next step in the process,”

Center’s ability to produce flounder, and will bring them closer to stocking

said HTFT Director, John Blaha. “CCA has successfully created labs

large numbers of flounder in Texas bays. Sea Center Texas hatchery

for research, hatcheries for restocking, fought for passage of laws

biologist Shane Bonnot said, “The enhancement equipment donated by

protecting many species of fish and educated millions of people about

CCA is extremely important to the development of a successful TPWD

the importance of conserving our coastal resources. Now is the time

flounder stock enhancement program. This equipment will have an

habitat restoration to become a major part of our organizations efforts.”

immediate and direct impact on our ability to hold and spawn additional flounder broodfish. We are greateful to CCA for their overwhelming

To become a CCA Texas Life Member or to learn more about the HTFT program, please call John Blaha at 800-626-4222.

response to our efforts, and can’t emphasize enough how much we appreciate their continued support.” 38

April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


THERE WAS A DAY WHEN ABANDONED crab traps littered virtually every mile of Texas saltwater. Back in 2000, The Lagoon at Port O’Connor looked more like a mushroom farm than a good place to fish. There were Styrofoam markers bobbing everywhere, most had been abandoned. Ronnie Luster decided it was time to act. With CCA clout, and friends at TPWD, the Texas legislature enacted a 10-day annual closure of the crab fishery. Today we have Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program during which a mostly volunteer force of conservation-minded anglers ply the bays to remove “ghost traps” that have accumulated. The photos shown here demonstrate the effort at Charlie’s Bait Camp, February 21, 2009. TSFMag salutes all who support this conservation effort.

coASTWide ToTALS 2002


















Galveston Bay










Matagorda Bay










San Antonio Bay










Aransas Bay






















AcTrp 02-09 Sabine Lake

Corpus Christi Bay Up Laguna Madre Low Laguna Madre ToTALS


April 2009






















Texas Saltwater Fishing

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Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


field Notes

Seagrass Requirements Seagrasses, or submerged aquatic

Importance of seagrasses Habitat: Seagrass meadows serve as

buffer for nonpoint source pollution by filtering contaminants from the water and sediment. Erosion Protection: Seagrasses, with

vegetation (SAV), are flowering plants that live

nursery areas, providing refuge for many

in shallow saline waters usually in a protected

commercially and recreationally sought-after

their extensive root systems, act to stabilize

lagoon or bay environment. Seagrasses

fish and shellfish. In addition, seagrasses

and trap bottom sediments thereby providing

require sunlight, water, nutrients, and a soft

serve as a substrate for attachment of plants

protection against erosion.

muddy substrate. Vast expanses of seagrass

and animals, known as epiphytes. These

meadows provide a unique habitat for many

epiphytic organisms provide an important food

estuarine dependent plants and animals.

source for small fish and invertebrates.

Seagrass habitat plays a major role in the

Food Source: When seagrasses die and

reproductive cycles of many recreationally

decompose, they form detritus – decaying

and commercially important species. Fish and

organic matter – which is the basis of the

shellfish utilize seagrass habitats in the early

food chain. Many smaller invertebrates utilize

stages of their life cycles, feeding on organic

detritus as a food source. Larger organisms

matter produced by decomposing seagrasses

rely on smaller ones for food and sustenance.

supports a $261 million fishing, tourism and

and hiding from larger predators among the

In addition, the Coastal Bend is part of the

recreation industry, which may be attributed to

seagrass blades.

American Central flyway and seagrasses are

the productivity and extent of seagrass habitat.

Although seagrass beds have been recognized as highly important and productive

Economics: The Coastal Bend area

an important food source for many species of migratory waterfowl.

habitats, they do not go undisturbed. Such

This article was reproduced from the

factors as brown tide, degradation of water

seagrass fact sheet originally prepared by

quality, channel dredging activities, boat

Coastal Bend Bays and Estuary Program

propeller scarring, and shoreline development

(CBBEP) with US Environmental Protection

are identified as contributors to the

Agency (EPA) funding through the Texas

fragmentation of seagrass beds.

Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The fact sheet was updated January 2009 with joint endorsement by CBBEP, Texas Photo credit Roger Swirderski © 2006 Nutrient Cycling: Seagrasses are primary producers, using the sun’s energy to form organic material. In the process, seagrasses

A&M-CC, Center for Coastal Studies, Mission Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve (MANERR), and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). The map and informational content were

utilize and recycle nutrients both in the water

produced by Faye Grubbs, TPWD Natural

column and the sediments. This serves as a

Resources Biologist, Rockport, TX.

Photo credit Ron Phillips

Please reference the pull out map on the adjacent page for information about the seagrass protection regulation in Redfish Bay. 42

April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

Pull out this map and carry it in your boat for information about the seagrass protection regulation in Redfish Bay.

redfish bay state scientific area In Redfish Bay State Scientific Area it is illegal to uproot seagrass with a submerged propeller (Class C misdemeanor fine up to $500).

There are no closed zones, boat acfess is allowed throughout the Scientific Area. Electric trolling motors are exempt from the law.

Legend Scientific Area Boundary Line Existing Cuts


Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


While boating:

zzLook for changes in water color; zzMake sure your prop wash is white not brown; zzConsider wind speed and direction; zzCheck tide charts and weather forecast and create a float plan accordingly; zzKnow your boat’s limitation for running and takeoff depths.

Seagrass meadows function as nurseries, biofilters, a food source, and a form of erosion control. Valuable seagrass habitat is being damaged by boat propellers digging into the bay bottom and uprooting seagrass roots creating propeller scars. These “prop scars” can take years to recover.

Boundary signs mark the perimeter of the Area.




For further information contact TPWD at (361) 729-2328 or visit: Call 1-800-792-GAME to report any violation of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code.


April 2009


Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

Pull out this map and carry it in your boat for information about the seagrass protection regulation in Redfish Bay.






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April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five


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Texas Saltwater Fishing

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Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


C A P T. S C O T T N U L L




is a chance for these guys to feel like they

at Fort Hood. The Brigade provides primary

belong to something again. I know it sounds

care and case management for warriors who

understatement. Through kayaking I have

corny, but kayak fishermen are also a band

have suffered injury or illness while serving as

changed career paths and become acquainted

of brothers.”

a member of the U.S. Army. They ensure that

with hundreds of people I would have likely

each service member receives the appropriate

words. The camaraderie among kayak

medical care and counseling that is needed

mostly come directly from the sport. It has

fishermen is an interesting phenomenon not

to return to duty units or their community and

provided me opportunities such as writing for

often discussed. Maybe it is because we have

their families in a timely manner and with

this great magazine as well as writing a book

chosen to do things differently, perhaps it is the

respect. I had a chance to talk with Colonel

and traveling all over the country to places I’d

joy of sharing the sport, but I’ve noticed kayak

Snider who is in charge of the program and he

only dreamed of fishing. Most of the change

anglers are generally a more gregarious group

stated, “We (the Army) learned a lot after Viet

has occurred slowly and without me even

than most other fishermen.

Nam. You cannot expect these warriors to go

thinking about it. This past weekend however,

Jim went on to say, “When these soldiers get

through battle and then just discharge them

out on the water they are in control, something

hoping they’ll be alright. It doesn’t work. We

many of them have not felt throughout

are there to help them transition back into a

Anglers Society of America (KASA). Under the

their rehab. They are able to take care of

normal life.”

care of Jim Dolan, Kendal Larson and Danny

themselves and do pretty much as they please.

Paschal, this organization has gained traction

In talking to the guys after the events they’ve

rigid and motionless, staring straight ahead

and is doing some wonderful things. KASA’s

told me that all of the outside world and their

with absolutely no expression. It hurt me to see

stated goals are protecting access rights

troubles disappear. The world shrinks down to

someone who has volunteered to fight on my

for kayakers and introducing new anglers to

just them, the kayak

the sport through high school and collegiate

and fishing. It might

programs. Their ultimate calling has been to

not seem like much

help our veterans. Through their Heroes on the

to you and me, but

Water (HOW) program KASA is making a real

that’s powerful stuff

difference in the lives of our wounded soldiers.

for them.”

brought an immediate and profound effect. A while back I wrote about the Kayak

Jim originally hoped HOW would give the

at the event hosted

by simply taking them kayak fishing for a day.

this past weekend

It has turned out to be much more. In talking

are all suffering

with Jim this past weekend it became clear

the effects of post

how devoted he is to the program and how

traumatic stress.

his goals for the program have morphed into

They are assigned

something much deeper.

to the Warrior

experience, “In combat you depend on the guys in your unit. They are your family, the band of brothers. They understand what you are going through and provide support for each other. When it is all over and you go home nobody can fully comprehend the experiences you’ve had. There is a period of withdrawal. What I hope to provide through these outings April 2009

One young soldier drew attention as he sat

The six soldiers

soldiers a break from the rigors of rehabilitation

Jim is retired military and speaks from


As a retired cop, I fully understand his

never known. My circle of close friends has

Transition Brigade

I cannot express the joy I felt at that moment. And it was then I realized what this simple sport of paddling a plastic boat can produce. Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five




behalf suffering so greatly. I wondered to myself what horrors he had experienced in his service to our nation and how in the world I could help. As the weekend progressed Jennifer Thomas, the brains behind Slowride Guide Service, took it upon herself to take him under her wing. Her patience and compassion was remarkable. My life changed on Saturday afternoon as I sat on a pier taking pictures of the soldiers launching into a small bayou. The young man was helped into a kayak and handed his paddle.

to help replace some of

He sat there with no expression and I was

the bad stuff.”

growing apprehensive as to how this would go.

A huge thanks is

As the guys shoved the kayak from the bank

in order for everyone

I saw something that chokes me up even as I

involved, particularly

type, he smiled. I cannot express the joy I felt

the Manske family who

at that moment. And it was then I realized what

generously opened their

this simple sport of paddling a plastic boat can

ranch to host the event and provided more

produce. From that point on the smiles seemed

food than the crew could eat. And of course my

national guard or reserve — is someone

to come easier and when he caught a fish it

unending gratitude to those soldiers who have

who at one point in his life, wrote a blank

turned into an ear to ear grin.

sacrificed so much on our behalf, thank you.

check made payable to the “United States

We have since heard back from the unit

As much as Jim and the guys would like

A Veteran — whether active duty, retired,

of America”, for an amount of “up to and including my life.”

and, again, I’m choking up. The young man

to, they can’t do this all on their own. Event

has opened up and is still smiling. They had

volunteers are standing in line to help out, but

never seen him smile. He’s talking about the

what they could really use is financial support.

many people in this country who no longer

trip and the experiences he had kayaking and

You can help through donations made to www.

understand it.

catching fish. Perhaps now he is able to forget You can also help by

a little bit about the past and see the future.

offering your bay house to host an event as they

An experienced combat veteran described the

are always in need of places to stay to cut costs.

stare we observed as a black wall, a wall put up

And one final thing Jim wanted me to ask; if you

to block the horrors in their memory. He said,

know of an injured soldier who has returned

“What you guys did is give him something else

home that could benefit from the program,

to see. It’s sort of like a screen saver on the

please let him know. He can be contacted by

computer, but the bad stuff creeps back in when

e-mail through

Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

— Author Unknown


your mind isn’t on guard. Now he has something

That is honor, and there are way too

April 2009




HOW DOES A PERSON SHOW DEVOTION and dedication to someone

have got the fever. I am sitting in a dormitory

house after a non-stop 20 hour drive sporting

over my friends dive shop in Key Largo

my new ink and, within an hour of arriving in his

or something? Well actually, the ways are

(Florida), it is after midnight and I have not

driveway, I was hooked up solid to my biggest

infinite. For example, in the country western

slept in over thirty-six hours. I just now finished

tarpon to date. Twenty minutes later my friend

song “John Deere Green” by Joe Diffie, “Billy

going through all of my tackle. I rigged new

had both hands firmly latched to my trophy’s

Bob loves Charlene” was written on a water

leaders, cleaned fly-lines, greased reel drags

jaw. He then freed one hand and tried to pull a

tower in, of course, John Deere green enamel

and sharpened hooks all in preparation for

scale from my prize and before he knew it the

for all to see. Another example of this kind of

tomorrow’s excursion in the back-country of the

fish pulled free of his grasp and with a powerful

dedication would be the casting of a compass

Everglades in search of, yep, you guessed it,

swipe of its tail, managed to soak us both. It

rose that I wear around my neck that is a

tarpon. I mean let us face it folks — I am ate up

had worked!

symbol of love and friendship between me and

with the dumb-butt about these fish.

a special person in my life. There are other,

do it. Heck, several of my friends had been

albeit more permanent ways of showing the

devoted as much of my free time and even

sporting redfish tats for quite some time prior

utmost of admiration. For an example, all a

some of my professional time to chasing the

to me paying homage to my favorite fish.

person has to do is walk up behind me at the

silver king. To date, I have caught quite a few

However, over the years, more and more

boat ramp and they will see a tattoo of a tarpon

tarpon, most of which have weighed less than

anglers have been showing their love for

on my left calf.

40 pounds. In fact, I cannot begin to count how

fishing by getting tattoos. In fact, I can honestly

My obsession with tarpon started back in

many days I spent fishing and hoping to get a

say that I have seen some pretty spectacular

my Coast Guard days when I was temporarily

‘big’ poon to eat the fly and then successfully

skin ink renditions of battling billfish that would

assigned to Coast Guard Station Key West.

fight and land it. This quest for a triple-digit

rival any Guy Harvey painting. Really — there

Every evening when I would get off duty, I

tarpon, incidentally, is what led me to get a

is some great fish art out there walking around.

would stand on the old Navy pier or at the sea-

tarpon tattoo.

Anyway, I for one am not suggesting that any

plane ramp behind the base and cast flies to

I had spent hundreds and hundreds of hours

rolling tarpon. It took me a while to figure out

chasing a 100 pound plus tarpon and come up

important to recognize that there are inherent

how to fish a fly in the heavy current, but once

empty handed more times than I care to admit.

health risks involved. But, I will offer you this. If

I did and that fly line came tight for the very

I needed some luck so I said to myself, “Why

you love something or someone so much that

first time and 60 lbs of silver rocketed out of

not pay some respect to those damned old fish

it makes you stupid — let the world know and

the water, sending what seemed like gallons of

and maybe, just maybe, I will be rewarded?” I

chances are that you will be rewarded. Best to

water into the sky — I was hooked.

was off to the tattoo parlor.

you all!

Let me give you an example of how bad I 50

Anyway, since that day so long ago, I have

I certainly realized that I was not the first to

April 2009

of you go out and get a tattoo. In fact, it is very

The next spring, I arrived at my buddy’s Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

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Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009



Hook, photograph, and release.


dad jumped off the boat and started walking

predators. I gained a valuable lesson on

the boat closer in the direction where the fish

that day. It should never be about the meat;

getting a tarpon photo framed and matted

were heading. He did not take but ten steps

it should always be about the experience,

when the store clerk taking care of us began

when all of a sudden he yelled out a scream.

learning, and relaxation. The catching of fish is

to ask questions particularly about what we

Lifting his leg up out of the water we noticed he

the reward that comes with it. It should always

did with the fish and if it tasted good. When he

had a small hole in his wading boot. He took it

be fun. If you catch yourself making comments

heard that the fish was released, he developed

off and a few drops of blood started dripping

like that store clerk, I encourage you to start

a look on his face as if he had gotten fired. He

from his ankle area. A stingray nicked him right

in a new direction, and that’s with a mind

exclaimed, “Man, how could you have released

below the ankle. After putting the boot back

of conservation that thinks about the future

that fish!”

on, he quoted a few scriptures and jumped

and not just about the present. I speak to my

right back in the water dragging one foot while

generation; be the young example. You will

the education of conservation. I have

continuing to push the boat. He got me to

be surprised what we can do to change and

read or seen many articles on the topic of

where we thought the redfish might be, and

educate those around us.

conservation, but all of them seem to be from

then I joined him in the hunt. Before we took

That comment got me into thinking about

an adult perspective. In this article I want to

off, he told me to leave the stringer behind. He

share experiences and talk about conservation

said, “No need for a stringer today.” I thought

for one feel the need to educate my fishing

coming from a teenager’s point of view.

to myself, “What? You’re going to chase a

friends and public alike hoping that I can be

school of redfish that probably holds hundreds

an example to those around me. That’s not to

of reds, and you’re not going to keep any.”

say; throw everything back every time you go

I don’t remember exactly when the conservation way of thinking became a part

I look back now, and I must have sounded

fishing, certainly not. Enjoy the resource and

age through my dad and other conservation

like that store clerk that I talked about earlier.

what it brings, but also think about the future.

minded individuals to learn to respect the

We caught and released many reds that day.

It comes down to education and leaving some

resource. I didn’t always think that way.

By the end of the trip, my dad’s foot was so

for future generations. I had a hard time with

Being young and naïve my attitude was to kill

swollen that he walked back to the boat with

some of my fishing friends in the beginning,

everything. As a kid you’re not thinking, “Hey,

a noticeable limp. I still remember thinking,

but when you take the time to explain to them

let’s let this one go for someone else to enjoy.”

“Wow, not even a prize to show back at

why, they begin to see the whole picture. For

You’re immediately caught in the moment and

the dock.” How wrong I was in my thinking.

some it takes longer than others. I like what

want something to take home to brag about,

The prize was all in the experience and the

my friend’s boat says, “Earth has enough for

which brings to memory one of my first lesson

memories that I sit here and write and will

everyone’s need but not enough for everyone’s

in conservation.

remember forever.

greed.” Young generation as well as old, let’s

of me. But, I know I was taught at a young


I hear stories and have seen old photos of the catches and stringers filled with fish. I

start making a difference because the future

I remember a long time ago my dad and I

Those fish that we let swim away on that

went out fishing one day. Upon arriving at our

day most likely went on to be caught and even

of the sport we love depends on what we do in

spot, we found a big school of redfish. At the

released again. Some may have reproduced

the present.

time I was about eight or nine years old so my

while others were probably eaten by larger

April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009



TSFMag’s ag’s

it is time to announce

the winners of the second round of TSFMag’s Catch and Release Photo Contest. Jeff Boudreaux joins us again with another $100 donation to help defray the cost of prizes and we certainly thank him for his

Round of Catch & Release Photo Contest Winners

generosity and conservation spirit. Participation is growing, we had an even tougher job judging this round than the first; our readers have been catching some outstanding fish and sending some awesome photos. Round Two Grand Prize winner is Sandra Garza of Houston, wife of Capt. Ruben “Snook Dude” Garza. Sandra was fishing the Lower Laguna Madre at Port Mansfield with Capt. Rufus Castro when she caught her 27 inch-7 pounder. Sandra will receive a rod and reel combo of her choice, a two year subscription to TSFMag, a long sleeve logo tee shirt, and a logo visor.

OUR RUNNER-UP WINNERS for Round Two are: John Havens with a Galveston Bay beauty that came on a cold winter day. Marci Radke braved the elements of an inclement day on East Matagorda to find her trophy. Daniel Popovich also found success in East Matagorda Bay. Stan Burns was fishing the Upper Laguna when he caught his trophy. Runner-Up prizes will include a $50 Gift Certificate redeemable at

John Havens

Marci Radke

any TSFMag advertiser, two year TSFMag subscription, logo tee and fishing cap. We want to thank all who sent in photos of their great catches.

Daniel Popovich

We salute your conservation efforts and respect for our spotted seatrout resource. Releasing a lifetime trophy can be a tough decision; it requires a special dedication, and for this you earn our greatest admiration. Good fishing to all – and keep the photos coming – we are already preparing for Round Three! Stan Burns 54

April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

Products, Coastline Trailers and Compadres Signs and Boat Wraps. The series will visit five Texas communities including: Port Aransas, Rockport, Matagorda, Port Lavaca and Corpus Christi. Designed for anglers of all backgrounds and skill levels, the Cabela’s Texas Redfish Series gives fishing enthusiasts a chance to come together for an exciting one-day event. 125 two-person teams have a chance at winning over $50,000 in cash and prizes at each event. The format for the tournament trail includes a live weigh-in with two-fish, artificial lures only and participants are allowed to wade-fish. The entry fee per team is $400.00 per tournament, and one-in-five teams will earn prize money. The Cabela’s Texas Redfish Series is part of the Texas Saltwater Series tournament trail, the largest saltwater tournament trail in Texas. Coverage


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Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


HURRICANE IKE SMASHED THE GALVESTON-BOLIVAR area dumping untold tons of debris where gulf currents could bring it to rest on Padre Island National Seashore. Billy Sandifer and his crew of volunteer organizers sweated beads of glass in the planning. Past events were a snap given logistics and general state of the beach. Add low-40s temperatures, stiff northeast wind and drizzle; the chances for a successful beach cleanup diminish proportionally. None-the-less, 439 hearty souls showed at Malaquite Pavilion in pre-dawn darkness to

Ironic .

receive work assignments. Twenty-something more hit the beach from the south, boating from Port Mansfield.

Turtle bites.

Household goods from the Galveston area.


April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

In past events, it was all about miles of beach. This year was all about tonnage. Through thirteen prior efforts, volunteers scavenged 1,030,000 pounds from the PINS sand. Park Service estimates declare this year’s haul to be, “in the range of 750,000 pounds.” Volunteers of all backgrounds and ages came in 4WD trucks towing trailers to, as Sandifer puts it, “Walk the walk.” Sponsors too numerous to mention backed the event. Park Service supported with heavy equipment and operators to transport the mountain of debris to Malaquite from down-island drop sites. During past events volunteers removed trash left by irresponsible visitors. This year they gathered pieces of shattered lives and dreams. The beach was cleaned and the attitude of the crew reflected the difference.

PINS all in her glory.

Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


EVERYBODY STARTS OUT THINKING THEY ARE bulletproof. Nothing’s going to get us. We’re too young and too tough. Smoking won’t hurt us, drinking isn’t all that bad for a body. What do you mean high-cholestoral? What do you care when I last had my blood pressure checked? That fat-free and sugar-free stuff tastes like cardboard. You’ve heard it before, all the young and dumb stuff. Eventually though, if we do not burn our whole candle before we get lucky enough to turn gray, we wise up. Ray Wylie Hubbard said it well in a song; “Some get spiritual ‘cause they see the light, and some ‘cause they feel the heat.” The light is rarely enough; most wait for the heat. The heat struck like a ton of bricks. Pam began noticing some unusual dark spots on her cheeks and forehead. And there was that lumpy freckle just below her neck. So it was off to the dermatologist. The sun, you see, exacts a toll on the human body. People who spend time on the water are

some chemical peel lotion and, all is well. Thank Heaven! Yes, raccoon eyes in reverse look cool at the CCA banquet and the fishing show. That deep tan tells everybody you’ve been on the water for days. But think about it; how many grizzled salts do you know who haven’t needed a few layers sliced or burned to remove skin cancers? It’s just a matter of time if you do not protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun. The dermatologist says everybody has their unique tolerance. You can abuse your body to a limit, and then something has to give. So let’s look at some common sense things we should all be doing. First of all, never discredit a cloudy day. You might not feel it, but ultra-violet rays are reaching your skin. Next is your clothing, with all the good gear on the market today, there is no excuse for not covering up. Long sleeves, big hats and gloves might cost you a few style points; but still way better than a big hole in your cheek or half your ear missing. And what about sunscreen? What are you using and how times do you re-apply during a long day of fishing? Let’s take them one at a time. Columbia, to name one brand, offers shirts and fishing pants made with their Omni-Shade UV Sun Protecting fabric. Omni-Shade prevents UV from reaching your skin. We think we’re safe

at great risk. Not only does the sun’s ultra-violet energy soak in from above, it also bounces off the water. Fishermen get a double whammy. The dermatologist sent her to a cancer specialist for some biopsy work. Luckily, nothing had reached a critical stage. A snip here and a freeze there, 58

April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

if we keep our shirt on and the sleeves rolled down. This is not 100% true. You get what you pay for…buy cheap and fish unprotected. It is as simple as that. Size always matters, and in the case of hats, bigger is always better. A wide-brimmed hat alone can block up to 50% of harmful UV radiation. Caps and visors are more stylish, but your ears, neck and nose will thank you for covering up. Face wraps are becoming fashionable among savvy anglers. Fair skin complexion and UV exposure just don’t mix very well. The Buff is an excellent solution for protecting the face, ears and neck. Worn as a bandana or a full face wrap, this product makes too much sense to ignore on bright days. Sun-gloves too are showing up on the hands of many anglers. Too often, the hands get only secondary consideration when we hit the water. Watch those age spots, your body could be trying to tell you something. Let’s talk about sunscreen. What brand are you using and what is the SPF rating? How long does it take before your ears and cheeks begin to feel hot and begin to tingle on a sunny day? For wade-fishermen especially, products that do not dissolve and disappear when you sweat profusely or dunk your hands and arms are the ones you need. There are some dandy products available that were designed for surfers and swimmers. The Sol brand of sunscreen products are some of the best. Whichever you choose, apply it liberally when you dress in the morning, and remember to re-apply throughout the day. It is up to you; you can see the light or wait for the heat. Good fishing, and remember to cover up!

Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


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April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

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Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


NOT UNLIKE LAST YEAR, the wind has really made things tough

on how quickly you locate solid fish. The Causeway reefs are a good place to start the day, simply because


over the past month. Our surface water

you can drift the deep shell or work the pocket while waiting on the birds

Dickie Colburn is a full time guide out of Orange, Texas. Dickie has 37 years experience guiding on Sabine and Calcasieu Lakes.

temperature continues to warm almost

to start working. I would recommend bringing soft plastics in every color

daily and the big sow trout that camped

that you own when fishing this technique.

telephone 409-883-0723 Website

schooling trout on even the coldest days

shorter plastic like the Assassin Sea Shad works best, but the 5-inch

of winter, but the larger shrimp are moving

Texas Shad is my first choice.

out near deeper water well into March

I have been blown away by anglers using a color like drunk monkey or candy corn, but limetreuse, red shad, pumpkin-chartreuse, and morning

have scattered. The gulls never quit working over

glory will serve you well most days. There are also occasions when a

now and that bite is a daily occurrence. It

You will increase your strike ratio by soaking your choice of plastics

is also not at all unusual to find more slot

with a scented spray or gel. I have tried them all and now rely on Bang’s

redfish under the birds than keeper trout.

garlic spray. You will also need a drift sock to counter the stronger tide

Wind permitting, you can expect to burn a lot of gas on Sabine this

changes and a pile of jig heads ranging in size from 1/8 to 1/2-ounce. You

month whether it be logging miles on the big engine or trailering around

are going to lose a lot of jigs, but it is critical that you employ just enough

the lake. Virtually every program, from wading the flats to drifting with

weight to tick the top of the shell as you drift.

live bait, will be in full swing. While it is the most user-friendly program, chasing the gulls can prove to be a drain on the pocket book, depending

Fishing a braided line with a fluorocarbon or mono leader is an advantage in deep water drifting. The strikes can be very subtle at depths

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April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five


Rusty Frederick battled the wind for another nice trout!

of 10 to 18 feet, especially in moving water. I fish 30-pound Power Pro with a 20-pound leader on a 6-1/2 foot medium-light CastAway HG40 Titanium rod. If the drifting program is not your bag, you can fish the shallow shell on the north end of the reef with a She Dog, Catch 2000, or Swim bait. For years we would swim the longer Assassin Shad rigged on a 1/16-ounce head, but I am now sold on the soft plastic swim bait for this technique. We have caught everything from flounder to bull reds with Assassin’s new 3 and 4 inch swim baits. Pearl, Tennessee shad and baby bass have proven themselves time and again. The marsh drains and bayous on the Louisiana side of the lake are also holding good concentrations of redfish and flounder. There is no end to productive cover when the bull tides flood the roots of the cane lining the shoreline. Slot reds are the bonus fish for anglers targeting flounder with everything from spinnerbaits to live mud minnows. The Game Reserve is open again and the bayous and canals in that system not only afford protection from the wind but excellent fishing as well. In order to fish inside the Reserve or any of the cuts, you will need to have a Louisiana non-resident license in your possession. It is a little pricey, but if you are going to fish this lake on a regular basis, it is worth the money!

Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


Mickey on Galveston IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN. March is just flying by and we’re looking

how many fish we have in our bays right now. Trinity Bay is holding a lot of fish. We have no freshwater inflow to speak

ahead to April and the spring fishing

of and we could really use some, a great departure from our normal chant

season. The passage of strong northers

this time of year. Redfish can still be found on the flats and shallows back

is still affecting fishing success, but even

in the north end of the bay but fewer than we had there a couple of weeks

with these the signs of spring are showing

ago. The greatest numbers of redfish seem to have taken up residence

steadily. One thing to keep in mind is that

in the back lakes and the bayous. Wade-fishing the flats has been fairly

the early stages of the spring patterns

productive for trout fishermen and some decent weights are showing.

can be reversed for a short period when

There are some four to five pound trout in the mix and every now and them

the last really strong fronts come through.

somebody pops a good seven or an eight. Slow sinkers and soft plastics

As I am working on this report our tide

have been best, topwater action has been spotty. The trout have been

is almost 4-feet lower than normal and

bouncing back and forth between deep and shallow water with the changes

it is this huge movement of water by the

in water temperature the fronts have brought us. The most reliable structure

strong north wind that jacks with the

remains scattered clam and oyster shell and most productive depths have

formation of stable fishing patterns.

been running four to six feet where the flats taper down to deeper water.

Overall, March brought decent fishing

This last front dropped the water temperature 12 degrees and that pretty

in many areas, even with temperatures and water levels changing sharply.

much explains why they are frequently changing their depth preference.

I would rate it a better than the historic average. I think this is a product of

Drift fishing has probably been most consistent in Trinity Bay over scattered


April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

G A L V E S T O N shell with soft plastics in 4-8 feet of water. We have had a little sprinkling of bird action and for the most part these trout are starting to break over

speak of in East Bay yet, but that will come later. West Bay’s south shoreline coves are perennial

and go to the glass minnow pattern and you know what that means. The

hotspots during March and a good part of April. A steady

best bites have been in the late afternoon all the way up until dark for the

southeast wind between the northers almost always produces

fishermen willing to grind it out that late. Water conditions are good from

well in these areas. A word of caution is in order here; Hurricane Ike

shore to shore; wind is our greatest enemy right now.

made a bunch of changes and deposited lots of debris. Take your time

Burnett Bay and Scott Bay- The upper reaches in the San Jacinto river

navigating until you get it figured out. Ike’s currents deepened the guts

region are still holding quite a few trout and redfish in the smaller back

leading up into these coves which makes it a better highway for the fish to

bays up there. Same pattern, drift 4-8 foot depths over shell with plastics.

travel and move up into the coves to feed. Wade fisherman in particular

Haven’t heard about any really big fish coming from up there lately.

need to feel for the drop offs before stepping forward and should be

Coming back down the channel in upper Galveston Bay, there have

constantly on the lookout for submerged debris. There is a lot of lumber

been quite a few good trout caught on the Kemah Flats and Seabrook

with jagged ends and nails sticking out. I have received numerous reports

Flats area outside of Clear Lake. MirrOlures and other slow-sinkers along

of damage to lower units due to this debris left from Ike. Several groups

with the usual assortment of soft plastics have been steady producers.

are currently working on getting it out of the bay but it is going to take a

East Bay has been holding a lot of redfish up in the north end between

long time, there are just tons of it everywhere. In summary; we have great water conditions from West Bay all the

the refuge and down that north side when you can fish it. We get these blows and the tide gets real low which makes it tough, but when

way up to Trinity Bay and the spring pattern is beginning to pop. Barring

everything settles for a day or two there are some very nice fish to be

unforeseen weather developments, the single greatest influence on our

caught on that north side. The south shoreline has been holding quite

fishing will be the wind that we have learned to fight on a daily basis.

a few fish around primary points and also around bayou drains during

When it is forecast to run above 20mph a wise fisherman will avoid open

outgoing tide. That water is warming up real good during the day in those

bay structure fishing and will seek protected shorelines. We are blessed

back lakes. If you hit that outgoing tide with warm water coming out along

with excellent numbers of trout and redfish in most areas and some

those flats and points, you should find a steady bite. No bird action to

flounder are also being caught. Flounder numbers are not great enough to warrant focused effort but they are starting to show up on the flats with the trout and the redfish we are catching. The soft plastics will probably be the all-around top bait choice but the topwater action should improve as the water warms and fish feed in the shallows for longer periods. Working an area thoroughly will continue to be your best strategy. Many fishermen make the mistake of hurriedly trying a few spots and then giving up. My best advice is to stay put when you get a few bites and grind it out until late in the day, afternoons and evenings have been the best times. Keep an eye on the wind and watch out for the late season northers. I think we might be in for a banner spring fishing season.


Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


Roger Theilmann from Missouri with a nic e 24” East Matagorda speck.

PROSPECTS FOR APRIL FISHING in the Matagorda are looking pretty good. Our fishery will be in full swing with stronger outgoing and incoming tides along with an abundance of bait fish. Baitfish - the likes of glass minnows, shrimp, and mullet should be visible everywhere you go. Being as many of these bait species are in the smaller range during early spring it may prove

eAST bAy I will begin April wading mud and shell while constantly checking out

profitable to downsize to smaller baits

harder, grassy bottoms as the month progresses. Our trout should be

such as topwaters like the Super Spook

getting off the mud soon, so harder bottoms with a little grass will be

Jr., small Skitter Walks, and MirrOlure’s

coming into play. Shell reefs are also one of the traditional hot tickets

Top Pup. You may want to consider

for the month of April. The stronger flows and higher water levels will

downsizing your plastics as well. For

improve action along shorelines we tend to neglect during winter. Drift

example, Bass Assassin’s 4” sea shad might be an option. It’s not to say

fishing, especially over deep reefs and other structure will not be out of the

that the bigger baits will not work, but matching the hatch, so to speak, can

question. You can often find me throwing a rattling cork with about 3 feet

sometimes be the angle to pursue for more bites.

of 20 lb test monofilament tied on with a Blurp Drunk Monkey or a 10W40


April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

M A T A G O R D A Bass Assassin. This has been a good way to catch fish while drifting East Matagorda Bay. Might even try your favorite topwater while out there drifting because you never know. Bass Assassins in numerous flavors will be my

Capt. Bill caught and released this 30" speck recently in East Matagorda while drift fishing with clients.

chunking choices. WeST bAy With hopes of an abundance of glass minnows, you can expect the gamefish to follow. Best bet in West Bay will be to fish an incoming tide on the south shoreline. Good fishing areas range from the Cullen Houses all the way down to Airport Flats and every place in between. Look for me wading sandbars, guts, and grassbeds while pitching Assassins on 1/8 oz leadheads. Sometimes the bite won’t start until late afternoon, 4 o’clock until dark. Oh, one other thing we can’t forget… the dark gray suit with teeth that will gleefully snatch your catch without permission. Stingrays will also be plentiful along these shores as the water warms. Don’t forget your ForEverLast stingray boots. Better safe than sorry; just ask someone who’s been there, done it, and got a t-shirt and scars to prove it. Until next time be safe and cautious out there on the water. May God bless you richly.

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Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


THE WINTER OF 2008-2009 BROUGHT SOME OF THE HOTTEST action this guide has ever seen. As a result of the drought our salinities remained well above average and many anglers enjoyed widespread success in upper San Antonio Bay and the Guadalupe Delta. For months the boat ramp in downtown Seadrift, usually empty during the heart of winter, was packed with trucks and trailers. Tackle shops were abuzz with tales of easy limits and many exercised this option. I on the other hand went the other direction to escape the traffic and chase my favorite quarry. This past winter brought many notable catches and our best speckled beast came during January. She measured 29.5-inches and weighed right at 9.0-pounds, a true trophy for these waters. The same angler caught and released a seven pounder that taped 27. These fish were caught


April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

P ORT O'CON NOR /SE A DR I F T Terry Ruddick using a MirrOdine XL in February.

within a 20 minute span and within the same 20 square-yard area. The water temperature was 46 degrees and the air temperature was 44, the morning weather was rather inclement by civilized standards yet perfect for us; misting rain, strong wind and heavily overcast sky. The angler that caught these trophies was ready and willing to pay the price of winter trophy trout success; braving cold weather and howling wind, to be in the right place at the right time, to get his hands on the fish he had dreamed of for many years. In February, in a secluded San Antonio Bay cove, another angler found a trophy when the weather kept most others indoors. “I finally did it,” he yelled as he held up a beauty that easily exceeded the 28-inch mark and could possibly be a lifetime trout for him. He too released his trophy so it could grow and fight another day. To date, the lure that has been proving itself most worthy is the MirrOdine XL, slightly larger version of the original MirrOdine made by MirrOlure. This is a suspending twitch bait made in the shape of a sardine. I have been using the #26 (red back and white belly) and the CFPR (chartreuse back and pearl belly) almost exclusively. Shellie and I and our clients have been using this lure in many situations. It has consistently produced trout, redfish and flounder in depths ranging as shallow as 8-inches and as deep as 6-feet. Effective presentations are very easy to learn which makes the MirrOdine XL a great choice for both novice and seasoned anglers. If you want the lure to run shallow, give it a moderate to fast retrieve speed and apply frequent twitches with your rod tip, much like you would with a soft plastic on a light jighead. Slowing the retrieve will naturally allow it to run deeper. If you want it to run even deeper, stop the retrieve and let the lure fall for several seconds, then apply light pops with the rod tip and reel it slowly. When working over clean bottom with no shell or grass present, we have taught clients to let it settle all the way to the bottom and then begin the retrieve from there. Given its versatility and range of applications the MirrOdine XL is an excellent addition to the every angler’s tackle box. Other lures that have been producing excellent catches of late include the She Dog in CRBK (black back with chrome belly) and the CHPR (chartreuse back and belly with pearl sides). On the softer side of things, our best producing plastic has been the Texas Assassin pumpkinseed/ chartreuse rigged on 1/16 oz. Assassin jigheads. April brings higher tides and steadily rising water temperatures. Trout will begin moving away from the muddy bottoms of winter and toward sandgrass shorelines. The reefs in San Antonio Bay will offer excellent wade and drift fishing potential. The best signs to seek include working gulls and pelicans, slicks and glass minnows. Drifting the back lakes of Matagorda Island should be a good way to pick up a nice mix of trout and redfish. April holds a lot of promise for POC-Seadrift anglers. Fish Hard, Fish Smart!

Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


DAVID ROWsEY David Rowsey has 20 years experience in the Laguna/ Baffin region; trophy trout with artificial lures is his specialty. David has a great passion for conservation and encourages catch and release of trophy fish.


water clarity, and being able to cast to specific pieces of structure. I guess

brutally honest with my clients regarding

hampering our efforts from south of Pure Oil Channel in the ULM, and on

our chances for the day. Now that I am

into Baffin. This bloom is different from the brown tide. It is actually green in

doing a monthly article for TSFMag, I

color, and from a distance, you would think the water is “trout green.” Those

think it is only fair that the readers get

high hopes are let down a bit when you get in and realize that you only

In the January issue I touched on the fact that I was excited about the I jinxed it for all of us, because now we have an algae bloom that has been

to hear it just as I have been telling my clients lately, and prior to their arrival. Many times fishermen’s expectations of fishing Baffin/Upper Laguna Madre (ULM) are unrealistic. Many sports show

Bill Rabb of POC with a big trout caught on a "Chicken on a Chain" Bass Assassin.

up and expect to catch a 30” trout just because they are in best bay along the


Texas coast to do it. Well, it is just not that simple, and this spring has proven to be one of the toughest in recent memory.

There a number of attributes that have made conditions less than ideal, but I would like to share what I think are the main culprits: Water quality, and lack of grass.




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April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

UPPER L AGUNA/BA FFIN have about 4”-6” visibility. The structure that you can see is shallow, and

months; however, mid-September to mid-November are my

requires some good sunlight to make your casts productive.

least favorite. Historically, April and May have always been

Larger than the algae bloom, is the lack of grass this year on area shorelines. What made it disappear? I wish I knew the exact answer to the question, but I think it is a combination of a few things. Being that we

big producers for me. I have experienced many years of high winds and ugly water only to have them vanish overnight during this time period. Typically, the full moon that falls closest to the end of April and

are in a serious drought, our already hyper saline bay system is even

beginning of May will bring our spring bull tide. When this happens we

saltier. My personal opinion is that the grass is less tolerant of the high

generally, get a large influx of clean water coming from Port Mansfield

salinity than most of us ever gave it credit for. Combine high salinity with

via the Land Cut. Many trout come along with the clean water, and new

lack of sunlight penetration (attributable to algae bloom), ripping winds,

bait supply. It can truly be the most remarkable fishing one could ever

many thousands of ducks pulling it up, and I think we have a possible

experience. Considering what has been taking place from January

recipe for the disappearance.

through March, I am ready for the wind to get below 20 mph, spring tide

The lack of grass is a big deal to me. Without it carpeting the bottom of

to come rolling in, and things back to normal around here.

the ULM, and many areas of Baffin, the lack of that natural filter allows for

The pattern has been waist deep water and less around here. Most of

the bottom sediments to become disturbed and dispersed throughout the

the fish have been caught on 5” Bass Assassins, straight tail style, rigged

water column. The ULM has always been able to take a pounding from

to 1/16 oz. jig heads. Bass Assassins have 80% of the spotlight, with

hard winds and retain above average water clarity. The lack of grass has

Corkys and top-waters filling in the other 20%. April will find us giving

changed that for us this spring.

the topwater lures first nod in the morning and throughout the day. Bass

The good news is that we have still been catching some large trout. We are working a little harder for them, but we are still getting them. By the

Assassins and Corkys will see equal time in our efforts. Be proactive… Practice Catch & Release.

time y’all get this article in your hand, April will be upon us. Prospective and new clients always ask me the same question, “What is your favorite month to fish?” The truth is that I’m pretty fond of all

Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


DESPITE EXTREMELY LOW TIDES and April-like weather Capt. Tricia’s Skinny Water Adventures operates out of Port Mansfield, specializing in wadefishing with artificial lures.

showing almost two months early, fishing

a variety conditions. The Baker trip would be an excellent example for many things that we’ve learned, relearned and loved about fishing lately. We call this the Baker Trip because Davis Baker booked it after

remained on a high course down here

catching a ten pound trout with us last time. He was also the guy who

on the magical lower coast. Who knows

waded wet last February. Davis brought seven like-minded adventurers

what the real April will bring, but chances

to share three awesome days of loosing count of trout over four pounds

are our good fortune will continue.

plus several kicker sixes and even a few that weighed heavier. It was what

Except for one significant norther, mid-

fishing is supposed to be, and it has been exactly that here for several

February through mid-March brought

months now. The typical challenge lately, instead of having to find fish,

early southerly winds and higher than

has been finding the best lure presentation to match the bite as it changes

average water temperatures. Despite the

throughout the day. These guys hung in there and were determined to

spring-like conditions, the fish didn’t alter

make each cast count.

their patterns much. Perhaps because it

During slow periods it was all about soft plastic and color didn’t seem

was still officially winter on the calendar,

to matter. When the fish were down we went down to them using a slow

most fish seemed reluctant to stray far from deeper water. They did,

hop just above the grass. However, when it was feeding time, everybody

however, remain concentrated on the adjacent flats and tapering shelves.

caught fish on whatever they wanted to throw – tails to topwaters. Most

Where we found one good fish we often found scores of them even under

fish were in knee to thigh deep grassy potholes surrounding large


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April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

PORT MA NSFIELD depressions; the same places they have been for months unless temporarily driven away by northers.

You’ve just gotta love fishing.

Ready for Spring!

What was reinforced is that knowing you are on fish is not always enough to make it easy; rather than going looking, it is usually best to stay put and fish smarter. We were also reminded that the fishermen who do well are usually those who fish enthusiastically through slow periods; a far cry from those who cry because it isn’t as easy as hoped for. Also confirmed was those who used braided line faired better on both lure control and strike detection. Thankyou Sufix! Lastly, despite excellent catches, it is seeing people enjoy life on the water that makes fishing worth loving. With the coming of April the tide levels will begin to rise considerably. That not only means more water and more places for fish to hide, but also more water to hide the many new obstructions remaining from Hurricane

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along the ICW which are unmarked. Those of you who did not have the chance to learn about these lower-unit eaters when they were visible on the low winter tides, please make a note to navigate with extra caution. Some of these could bring a quick and nasty end to your fishing day. We are predicting continued opportunity and success for heavy trout and, of course, lots of

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Lower Laguna redfish. With the rapid rise in tide and water temperature, April is not always a gimme. Just when you think you have everything

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figured out the trout and redfish can disappear for days at a time. One thing that can help improve


success is downsizing your offerings. This includes your surface plugs; much of the trout and redfish diet will consist of small shrimp and finfish that are barely fingerling size. Moving with the fish is one of the primary keys during springtime and it is especially important to remember what I call the bathtub effect. Just like splashing in the tub, late afternoon wind from the southeast will push a lot of water toward western

Topwaters will see more playing time in April.

shorelines. When the wind diminishes during night and early morning, the water flows back to the east. As levels change fish move, and so should we. If it’s going to be windy, and it probably will be, do pray for southeast. The Laguna’s famous seagrasses will be flourishing soon and this increases our chances for good water clarity even when the wind is howling. In short, fishing has been excellent and should continue. Let’s respect what we have and do our part so it continues. You’ve just gotta love fishing!

Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

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keep fishing the same areas and you’re not happy with the results, try

morning I was putting on my waders while

something different. Don’t be afraid to explore. Get out of the parking lot!

waiting to meet clients at the What-A-

My first response to the older gentleman was right on target; fishing

Burger parking lot in Port Isabel when

on the Lower Laguna continues to be outstanding. I believe we are

an older gentleman drove by and asked,

now reaping the rejuvenation of our bays that Hurricane Dolly’s storm

“How’s the fishing?”

surge and heavy rain brought to the ecosystem; and let’s not forget to

Of course my natural response was,

mention the benefits that the five trout limit has brought. In addition, fishing pressure has declined, a likely product of the general state of the

“It’s awesome!” He then replied, “No, I meant how’s the

economy, so fishing right now is about as good as it gets.

fishing right there where you’re standing.”

Because of minimal traffic on the water we are currently finding fish

I quickly caught on that he was trying

where they are suppose to be and not hiding or running from props and

to be funny, so I responded swiftly with,

the blast of outboard engine exhaust. The water has come up considerably

“Oh, they are tailing everywhere, all over

so shorelines have produced very well for us. When the wind blows hard,

the parking lot. I’ve already got my limit.”

typical for this time of the year, it causes bait to be pushed up shallow.

Off he went as we both chuckled over

A good concentration of bait along the grass beds of a shoreline is an

our conversation.

excellent attractor for the predators that we pursue. Some of our bigger

That conversation stayed with me for the rest of the day as I waded. It got me to thinking that on any given day we can have a parking lot experience. If I would have stayed on that

fish have come from shorelines or small pockets of water where the bait has been pushed by the wind. By now the shrimp hatch should be in its mature stage making the

parking lot all day, the only thing I would have caught was concrete, a

sandy, muddy west side shallows a prime area for rooting redfish.

good sunburn and lots of crazy stares. As a matter of fact, the only fish

Learn to study the tidal movements for the areas you fish. If you plan

you could find there was What-A-Catch on the restaurant’s menu.

to fish a shallow lagoon, find out when the high tide begins to flood the

Yes, parking lot experiences will occur even to the best of fishermen, but to some fishermen it occurs on a more regular basis. Why? If you


April 2009

area. Remember fish will migrate in and out of these shallow estuaries according to the tides; you want to be there as they migrate in and on the

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

ARROYO COLORADO TO PORT ISABEL prowl for their next meal. Starting early might be something you may want to consider before the wind starts to howl. As the winds are lighter in the early morning, you may want to start in areas that can lose their clarity fast. Usually these will be areas where very little sea grass is present. When the wind blows hard, silt is stirred up from the bottom. These conditions can muddy up a productive area and make it almost unfishable, but in turn, grassy areas tend to filter the silt and allow the water to keep its clarity or somewhat fishable depending on how strong the wind is blowing. In this blusterous, windy month learn to pick your areas according to the conditions. Finding the right clarity and fishable water in windy conditions can get you out of the parking lot. I mentioned earlier that the tides will be up considerably as compared

Always nice to score a personal best. Michelle Homminga 28 inches, 7 1/2 lbs.

to the winter months, which will open up new areas to fish. Be observant of tide levels even before you head out of the ramp. I’ll tell you something; I make it a point while arriving at the ramp to look at the water level before doing anything. First, the water level tells me where I can go and where I can’t go. Next, it tells me where the fish might have migrated to according to the recent rise or drop in water level. I have helpful landmarks or points that I use throughout the areas we fish. Being observant in the little things and knowing when the tides will start their movement can also get you out of a parking lot experience. There many other factors and things I would like to share so I’m just going to have to make this parking lot experience a two-part series to be

Fishing is great on the Lower Laguna Madre. Come experience it! Get

continued in my next article. The top producers this month and a certainty

out of the parking lot mentality, and go order you some. I meant go get you

to be in our boxes will be Brown Lure sea devils in the amber color and

some. Got to go! I’m just about to pull into the What-A-Burger.

Spro Dawg100’s when the top water bite lends itself.

Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


With rising water temperatures, trout will eat more and make more slicks. This

Randall had high praise for his JH Performance boat again when we talked.

makes for excellent topwater action. A lot of big trout will be caught shallow,

“With all these windy days, it really pays to have a boat with such smooth and

but some will begin to move into a little deeper water. Good topwaters to try

dependable performance.” Fishing has been pretty good in his area, he says.

include Super Spooks, SkitterWalks, Top Dogs, and She Dogs. Good colors

“We haven’t really seen a whole lot of glass minnows yet, but I’m on the hunt for

are black, chartreuse, bone and pink. The gulls are already beginning to pick;

them. We have been catching some decent fish though, sometimes on patterns

by April the bird activity should really be heating up. West Cove and the reefs

that are holding over from the winter, meaning we are drifting scattered shell

along the south bank are productive places. If salinity remain high, there

in four and five foot depths. The best bite has been on Norton Bull Minnows,

will also be a lot of fish on the north end of the estuary. Good lures to try are

particularly the one that’s clear with glitter and a core shot of the glow color.

Norton Sand Eels, H&H Salty Grubs, and the always productive Berkley Gulp!.

Most of the bites are coming when it first hits the water or when we’re working

Redfish are always hungry and can be caught at any of the weirs along the

it really fast. That usually tells me that the fish aren’t really feeding good; you

south and east banks. Another productive spot is the Cameron Jetties with an

are just looking for the reaction strikes. We should see a more dependable bite

incoming tide. Best bet on redfish day to day is any Berkley Gulp!.

pattern develop as the water warms and more bait moves in.”

“Like I said last month,” James beams, “Galveston is set up to have the best

“Biologists tell me that a warmer than normal, dry winter will often produce

fishing on the Texas coast this year.” He reports good numbers and some big

a good crop of glass minnows in the spring. We have our fingers crossed for

trout too. “We’ve had trout up to eight and a half pounds, with a few others over

that. I like fishing the minnow run about as much as any kind of fishing. It’s a

seven. The number of fives and sixes is really impressive as well. There are

real blast to see the schools showering and fish blowing up in them. When you

reds mixed in with the trout on a lot of days too. I’m wading mostly, throwing

cast, you know you are casting at a working fish. It’s great. Historically, we go

MirrOlures Catch Vs and MirrOdines. Did have a good topwater bite in West

with glow and pearl lures when throwing at the minnows. These days, there

Bay the other day as well, not as many fish, but we probably averaged about

are many good alternatives, like the 19 series MirrOlures in natural colors and

four and a half pounds on a double limit of trout. I’ve caught good fish in

the MirrOdine XL. If the schools are really thick, it often pays to put a small

East and Trinity Bays also. Trinity is so salty that you can fish as far north as

cork above a soft plastic, since that allows you to keep a lure in the strike zone

you want to. Basically, this is one of the best February/March runs in recent

longer. The fish can have a hard time picking a lure out of the minnows if they

memory. It’s not even normally a good stretch for numbers and we’re catching

are thick enough.” Tommy says he likes West Bay south shoreline coves best for

all we want. It only stands to get better when we get more stable weather.”

the glass minnow drill. “Watch for diving brown pelicans to find the schools.”

“Fishing has been real good lately,” Jim says. “Trinity Bay is just awesome for numbers of trout, and the size has been there too. We’ve been mostly running afternoon trips, but I think with the warmer water temperatures I’m seeing lately, the morning bite should begin to kick in hard. East Bay has been better for big trout. In fact, I had a customer catch one in there that weighed a little over nine pounds. The numbers aren’t as easy in that bay. I think mostly because the wind just won’t allow us to fish the Refuge much, but there are some real pigs biting when you can get at ‘em. It’s not really a lure thing to me. When the bite is on, you can catch ‘em pretty much however you want. I’ve been throwing mostly Catch 2000s, but soft plastics and topwaters have their place too. I think our topwater bite will certainly improve in April with the warmer water. We are set up for a fantastic spring run. It’s as good as it’s been in years.” 76 76

April 2009 April 2009

Low tides, high winds and high salinity levels have made fishing tough in our area. The rivers have been our savior, with the majority of fish caught coming from the Colorado and Tres Palacios. These fish have been on the small side mostly between fifteen and seventeen inches. Night fishing under lights in the rivers has provided our best bite. Pumpkinseed/chartreuse TexasTrout Killer spec rigs and splittail beetles in glow and pink have been the best lures. The redfish bite also slowed this past month. The few fish we caught were on shell/ mud flats on quarter ounce weedless gold spoons slow rolled on the bottom. April should be an awesome month, with loads of glass minnows and shrimp moving into the bays. Chasing glass minnows on the south shoreline of West Matagorda Bay on April afternoons is as good as it gets. Small topwaters such as Super Spooks Jrs. in bone and white/red head are my top producers.

Texas Saltwater Fishing Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five Just Keep Five

The water temperatures did not remain cold for long and that means that we did not have to go hunting for fish in deep water for very long. The water temperature has been in the mid to high sixties, which has allowed the fish to roam in three and a half feet of water or less. Despite the warm water temperatures, we still have to change our lure retrieve speed until we find the lure action that the fish want. According to Texas Parks & Wildlife biologists, speckled trout are the heaviest during the month of April. For me, April means bone colored and flashy, silver bodied, MirrOlure SheDogs and natural colored Mirrolure Catch V suspending baits for those trophy trout from Baffin Bay. The rest of my arsenal will include pumpkinseed/chartreuse, bone diamond and plum/chartreuse Bass Assassins on sixteenth ounce Spring Lock jigheads. I’ll April is a great time for topwater action in the Port O’Connor area, Lynn says.

target three feet of water or less along grass lines, potholes, drop offs or rocks.

“This month is typically the beginning of the steady topwater action. I’ll be keying on areas with a mix of the hard sugar sand and lots of grass. The

Joe mentions mostly the southernmost reaches of his area as his intended

topwaters I like are generally the Super Spooks and the Skitterwalks in bright

focal points in April. “It’s classic time for Nine Mile Hole, the Land Cut, Rocky

colors, especially chrome. I also like to throw a lot of slow sinking plugs this

Slough and Yarbrough,” he says. “There’s usually a shrimp hatch in the Land

time of year too, the Corkys in particular. The bite on topwaters and Corkys

Cut area, and the fishing can really bust wide open. We’ve been seeing lots of

is generally most dependable when the winds aren’t too bad. When it gets to

shrimp in areas where we don’t normally see so many this time of year. It should

blowing really hard, we often have better luck on soft plastics.” Lynn mentions

get even better with the warmer water temperatures in April. The tide runners

drains running from coves into the main bays as good areas to target in the

will usually find where the concentrations of shrimp congregate. This is mostly

spring. “Those fish highways the bait uses to go in and out of the lakes and

a trout fishing thing, with a few redfish mixed in, but mostly trout. Some of the

coves are good places to try. There’s a lot of bait migrating around in April and

trout will likely be big, since they are carrying heavy loads of eggs.” The best

the fish are sure to follow. Fishing areas without lots of bait is a waste of time.”

lures for catching spring time trout in his area are soft plastics that imitate the shrimp. “Dark worms will be my preferred lures in April. Since the fish have lots of shrimp to eat, it pays to throw something that looks like a shrimp.”

Blake says the fishing has been decent in the Rockport bays lately, especially for redfish. “We’ve really been whacking the reds, mostly on topwaters like chrome/black and chartreuse Super Spooks. The fish have been tight to area shorelines, sometimes around small reefs and clumps of shell, but more and more lately, they are favoring sandy, grassy banks. When we can’t get them on the topwaters, we’ve had great success continuing to catch them on dark Norton Sand Eels with chartreuse tails. The trout have been more scattered, though there are usually a few to be had in the same areas where we are finding the reds. Our trout bite picks up in April, especially around the Port Aransas channel. We’ll normally see a surge in bait activity coming through the pass, and the trout will be in there feasting on the bait. So I’ll focus a little more on the trout this month. throwing topwaters at shallow sand and grass.”

“Our fishing has been absolutely awesome,” Bruce declares. “We have been catching a bunch of trout in the twenty five to twenty nine inch range. With the water temperature being so warm most of the time, I’ve been working a spring pattern for a while now, even though the calendar says it’s still winter. We’ve been concentrating on gravelly sand pockets in knee to thigh deep water. The water clarity is poor most of the time with these high winds and the dredging activity, so we’re throwing mostly dark topwaters so the fish can see the profile better. When the topwaters stop working as well, we’re going to purple/chartreuse tails and continuing the catching. Of course, the old standby MirrOlure Catch 2000s have taken their share too.” As the spring progresses, we should see a shift in our fish toward the mouth of the East Cut, where there’s more current. The big trout like the moving water when they spawn.”

The bull tides of the Spring Equinox continue into April and can make driving tough. The quality of the fishing depends totally on wind velocity, tide level, and the amount of sargassum present. It can be feast or famine and can change from one to the other very quickly. Most winter and early spring surf fishing is focused on bottom fishing with dead shrimp, Fishbites, and cut bait. Slot reds, oversized and slot black drum, sheepshead and whiting are all in good supply and some pompano will remain on calm, clear water days. Schools of large jack crevalle often cruise the shoreline and can be targeted by lure and fly casters successfully by watching for wheeling and diving brown pelicans and fishing under these birds. Move with the birds. The sharks tend to be nearer the shorelie in the spring than in the summer and can be caught on cast baits in deep, wide first guts. Fresh whiting is as good a springtime shark bait as anything. Kemp’s Ridley nesting season is now in progress and it is imperative to keep an eye out for nesting turtles.

Just Keep Five Just Keep Five

If you want to know how fishing’s been, take a look at our website…we post photos daily. The shots that don’t show a limit of reds are from the days the wind wasn’t blowing at least 15 to 20 mph. We’re experiencing the best trout fishing we’ve seen in a decade; you can tell they’re feeding well when the head and tail are relatively small compared to the giant body. Spring is the time to trick big specks, and the wild thing is we’re using the same rig for both our target species. Berkley Gulps rigged under Cajun Thunder corks are producing super shallow for reds and in’ deeper in potholes for trout. Freddy says, “Use the glow or sugar spice Gulps when you’re forced to fish in the ugly dredge water, the fluorescence will help when visibility is an issue.” At the time of this writing the dredge was still operating near the Three Island area, affecting one side or the other of the Intracoastal Waterway depending on wind direction.

Texas Saltwater Fishing Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009 April 2009

77 77

St. Joe’s Island proved productive for Cooper Young, where he caught a 25” trout.

Lee Alvarez 25 in. snook caught in SPI, TX PreHurricane Dolly.

Lindsey Smith looking dynamite with her redfish and pink rod!

What a special day for grandfather Rick Vincent and Karsen Graves as she caught her first red, 27.5”!

Peter Hoth with a 22” speck caught off the Galveston jetties. 78

April 2009

Shown at Nighthawk bay, this trout 27” , 6.3 lbs, was caught on a pink Skitterwalk, Jimmy Danny Eddins set a new Corpus Christi Bay Springfield’s personal best. water body record for southern flounder with this 26”, 11lb flatfish, caught on a 3” glow D.O.A. C.A.L. Minnow.

Emily McGuire, proud angler, pictured here with her 27” landcut redfish.

Aaron Trevino caught this 24” trout on his fav bone topwater, wade fishing with his Dad in POC.

Jay Rosalis’ first of many trout measuring 23”.

Kurt and Kyle Migl, 25.5”, 5.5 lb trout… caught night fishing at the Galveston Jetties!

Dayne and Zachery Rangel caught this whopper drum fishing at the Harbor Refuge in Port Lavaca. Good job!

Fishing with her dad “Cap’n Jim” Jessica Edwards hooked this 24” trout at the Boat Hole. What a nice flouder gigged by Cliff Moss of Lake Jackson in Bastrop Bay.

Danny Hoehne and his first big redfish, 26 3/4 inches, caught fishing the Lower Laguna Madre.

Texas Saltwater Fishing

One of the best fights Will Russ can recall, (40 mins) it took for him to land this jack crevalle.

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Ronnie Mehis caught and released this 37”, 13lb trout on a windy, Charles Hill fishing in Rockport landed his first ever redfish, 31” – it cold, and cloudy Sunday in the Lower Laguna Madre. went straight to the taxidermist.

Keith Ward and the trout of a lifetime, 31 ¾”, 8 lbs caught in the evening Minor Feeding Time from the August Solunar chart.

New to fishing, Elaine Garcia says she is hooked after fighting a 27” red in Trinity Bay.

Wyatt Foster and his 29” red fishing the Upper Laguna Madre with his Dad and sister.

William Castro, wade fishing with Uncle Ronnie, caught his first keeper redfish, 23.5” on a weedless spoon.

Tia Miller’s first near-offshore fishing adventure where she caught this Spanish Mackerel just shy of 17”.

Kelley McKnight’s first fish ever, a 20” red was hungry for her gold spoon in Port Mansfield.

Happy birthday to Lorraine Garcia as she caught this 34” red in Rockport, using Cajun Red 10# test line.

This 26” trout couldn’t resist the topwater Matthew McKnight presented him in Port Mansfield.

Rodney Riddle caught and released this 25” redfish in East Galveston Bay.

Kendall Beheler caught this nice snook on the pier at South Padre Island.

Please do not write on the back of photos.

On his first fly trip, Shawn Wendell, caught a 28” red on a chartreuse shrimp fly.

Dennet Wenske fishing in Mansfield landed this 10lb bonito on an 8 wt fly rod.

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John David Walls caught his first trout at Port Mansfield off the dock and over the lights. Texas Saltwater Fishing

email photos with a description of your catch of the Month to: Mail photos to: TSFMag p.o. box 429, Seadrift, Tx 77983 April 2009


Recipe & photo by Maggie Gordon of Stillwater, OK. Ingredients: 12 eggs; hardboiled and peeled

1 cup boiled shrimp (51-60 size); fi nely chopped

1/2 cup sour cream

2 Tbs Coleman's or other Honey Mustard

Old Bay seafood seasoning

1/4 cup fresh dill; chopped

Garnish: Seafood Seasoning

24 boiled shrimp tails; whole (51-60 Size)

Fresh dill sprigs Method: Bring two quarts water to rolling boil in four quart sauce pan. Add 2 Tbs Old Bay seafood seasoning and 36 shrimp tails – (51-60 size.) Boil three minutes; drain and peel after chilling. Reserve 24 tails for garnish and chop 12 tails fi nely. Slice chilled boiled eggs in half lengthwise and remove yolks, take care to keep egg white intact. In mixing bowl, combine egg yolks, chopped shrimp, sour cream, mustard, 1-Tbs Old Bay seasoning and chopped dill. Place mixture in zip-lock bag; seal and twist to fashion an applicator of the type used for pastry toppings, icings, etc. Snip one corner to provide small opening and squeeze mixture into cavity of egg white. Garnish with dash of Old Bay, reserved whole shrimp and fresh dill sprig. Serve chilled. Platter arrangements add appeal to presentation.

Prepare eggs in same method as above. 1 fi nely chopped jalapeno pepper (remove seeds before chopping) 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro 1/4 cup diced fresh chives 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese salt and black pepper to taste. Garnish lightly with cayenne pepper for appearance and additional spice.


April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009



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April 2009

Texas Saltwater Fishing

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Capt.Mike Wilbur’s

Chaser Key West Fishing

Tarpon + Bonefish +Permit Fly-fishing and light tackle / 305-296-7201


Just Keep Five

“Be Kind to Shorelines” is about leaving a piece of shoreline better than you found it. When you happen upon an unsightly mess on your favorite shoreline; clean it up. Have a fishing buddy snap a photo of your clean-up effort and another of the trash being disposed of properly. Submit photos via email to Everett@TSFMag. com or by mail to TSF Magazine – PO Box 429 – Seadrift, TX 77983. Categories for this contest will be Greatest Haul, Most Unusual, and Most Helpers. The contest will run from October 2008 through Memorial Day 2009.

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009


TSFMag Speckled Trout Catch & Release Photo Contest

All you have to do is catch a really good speck and release

it alive‌ and send us some photos! Photos will be judged on photographic quality, artistic merit, demonstration of conservation ethic and, of course, you must include a shot of the release. The winner will be featured on the cover of TSFMag and receive a high-quality rod and reel combo. Four runner-up prizes will also be awarded. Fish must be caught in Texas waters and TPWD regs apply. Make sure your camera is set to capture high-quality images. Photos 84

April 2009

become property of TSFMag, employees and writers are not eligible. Submit entries via electronic mail to: For more info please email Everett or call 361.550.3637.

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Just Keep Five

Boats, Kayaks, Outboards

For more information about these advertisers visit:

Boats, Kayaks, Outboards

Stick It Anchor Pins........................................... 29

US Reel................................................... Solunar

Anchor Marine of Texas........................... Cover, 1

Tops-N-Towers......................................... Cover, 1

Wade Aid Enterprises.......................................68
































Waterloo Rods................................................. 37

Bernie’s Boats..................................................16

Fishing Products (rods, reels, tackle, etc.)

Busha Boat Works............................................41

Adventure Products - Ego Net............................35

Woodee Rods USA.......................................... 29

Coastline Marine..................................... Cover, 1

American Rodsmiths...........................................2

Yeti Coolers........................................................13

Dargel Boat Works........................................... 65

Bimini Bay Outfitters.................................. Solunar

Yo-Zuri America, Inc........................................ 20

El Pescador Boats..............................................56

Boone Bait Co...................................................33

Z-man.................................................................. 9

Flatstalker........................................................ 62

Brown Lures..........................................................8

Zoom Eyeworks................................................31

Gibbs Boat Company....................................... 63

Cajun Line.............................................................7

Fishing retail locations

Gulf Coast Boats................................................3

Costa Del Mar.................................................... 33

Academy Sports + Outdoors...........................75

Gulf Coast Marine................................Cover, 1, 6

D.O.A. Lures..................................................... 58

Fishing Tackle Unlimited..............................Cover

Huff Marine......................................................25

Daiwa............................................................... 45

Roy’s Bait & Tackle.............................................3

Kirby Marina................................................... 80

Eagle Claw.........................................................17

Seaworthy Marine............................................ 47

Kroll’s Marine................................................... 61

Esca Global US, Inc.......................................... 51

Speedy Stop............................................ Solunar

Majek Boats.......................................................4

EZ Drainer.........................................................63

Tackle Box..................................................68, 39

Mt. Houston Marine..........................................37

Fish Slick..........................................................68

Victoria All Sports.......................................... 62

Rockport Marine.................................................7

Fishing Tackle Unlimited Fishing Rods.................4

361.575.0655 Real Estate

Sail & Ski Center.............................................. 21


Full Stringer Realty............................................78

Shallow Sport Boats................................ Cover, 1

Forevelast Hunting & Fishing Products............31

The Oaks at Bentwater......................................12

Shoalwater Boats............................................. 12

L&S Bait Company.............................................19

The Reserve at St. Charles Bay........................49

Suzuki Marine.............................................Cover

Laguna Graphite Rods...................................... 61

TideWater Properties LLC...........................68, 78

Texas Marine................................................... 60

Livingston Lures................................................. 30

The Sportsman........................................Cover, 1

Luresafety Wrap................................................ 66

Port Mansfield Chamber of Commerce...............16

Trans Fiberglass Boat...................................... 29

Mud Hole Tackle Supply Company.....................69

Texas International Boat Show.......................Insert

Okuma Fishing.................................................20

Texas Saltwater Series.....................................49




Boat Accessories







































Shows / Tournaments 956.642.7357


Boat Lift Distributors.........................................69

PDS Coroporate Sales...................................... 25 210.385.3333 Miscellaneous

Espandre......................................................... 24


Aventura Jewelry.................................................17

Fibertex & Supply............................................. 60

Rapala............................................................... 17

CCA Texas............................................................53

Gulf Coast Trolling Motors................................ 57

REC Components..............................................58

Crab Master - Pearl Products..............................74

House Of Fiberglass..........................................59

Rods by Pepper.................................................69

Graphics By Design.......................................... 57

Safe Floor Company.........................................57

Sebile USA....................................................... 35

Hillman’s Seafood............................................. 74



Texas Parks & Wildlife-Marine Lab............ Insert

South Texas Trolling Motors..............................66

St. Croix Rods....................................................13

Trident Funding Corporation...............................66

Specialty Aluminum Works................................16

Strike Pro America............................................ 41

TSFMag Subscription Form................................. 64

Stakeout Stik.....................................................59

Texas Tackle Factory........................................ 21











Just Keep Five







Texas Saltwater Fishing









April 2009


Welcome to Kirby Marina’s 26 acre Full Service Marine Facility � Located approximately 1 hour south of Houston on Oyster Creek in Freeport. � The marina is only two nautical miles from the Intracoastal Waterway up Oyster Creek and a short run to the Freeport Jetties. � We are a FULL SERVICE OPERATION with a FULLY TRAINED STAFF to repair all makes and model vessels.



� Complete Yacht Refinishing & Refits � Complete Re-power � Below Waterline Services � Running Gear � Gel Coat Peeling & Blister Repairs � Epoxy Barrier Coats � 60-Ton Travel Lift � Over the Road Transportation w/Low Boy & Hydraulic Trailer Service

� 50 NEW Strapless Remote Controlled Drive-On Lifts � In Water Slips up to 65 ft. � Free Electric & Water � 24 Hour Gas Fuel Dock � Security Cameras






816 County Rd. 792 Freeport,Texas Texas 77541 � Saltwater Fishing Just Keep Five

April 2009

Just Keep Five

Texas Saltwater Fishing

April 2009



Introducing a new casting reel that casts farther than other reels, casts and pitches lighter lures ... and does it with fewer backlashes! SuperCaster 1000 PRO



Super Caster XL Series

Super Caster SX Series

180XL, 230XL Models

180SX, 230SX Models

240XL Model

240SX Model

109.99 $129.99 $

Super Caster 1000

159.99 $179.99 $




12800 Gulf Freeway @ Fuqua Houston, Texas 77034 April 2009 281-481-6838

Shop with us online at

WWW.FISHINGTACKLEUNLIMITED.COM Fishing Lay-A-WayTexas andSaltwater Gift Certificates Available

8933 Katy Freeway Houston, Texas 77024 Just Keep Five 713-827-7762

250 Pro U.S. Reel’s exclusive lightweight WIDE-spool reels assure long casts and minimal line twist. And, set your drag higher with our exclusive Steady Drag System— it starts with less effort than other reels and stays steady until you land the fish.

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS DESIGNED IN THE MIDWEST AND MANUFACTURED IN THE FAR EAST, U.S. Reel brings you the most truly innovative reels to come along in over 50 years.

Innovation inspired by fishermen looking at every aspect of how reels work, and how they don’t. Our signature WIDE-spool spinning reels have already won accolades (and casting competitions) across the fishing world. Now we’re challenging conventional wisdom again with the SuperCaster™ casting reels. The revolutionary Angled Bar Levelwind (ABLe™) and Reverse Rotation Spool create much greater lure speed and control, with A LOT less effort. Cast farther under an overhang, to a distant school of fish, or just leisurely cast a lot farther with less effort and backlash. Find out more at SuperCaster 1000 Pro

The traditional

energy-robbing levelwind eyelet is gone! This means much greater lure speed and distance with a lot less effort.

When Performance

© 2008 U.S. REEL

Means Everything

A M E R I C A N I N N O VAT I O N • A M E R I C A N D E S I G N • W W W. U S R E E L . C O M



galveston tides & Solunar Table Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine april 2009

The BEST Choice‌ Any Place, Anytime!

To find a location near you, please visit us at

Tidal Corrections Location Calcasieu Pass, La. Sabine Bank Lighthouse Sabine Pass (jetty) Sabine Pass Mesquite Point Galveston Bay (S. jetty) Port Bolivar Texas City, Turning Basin Eagle Point Clear Lake Morgans Point Round Point, Trinity Bay Point Barrow, Trinity Bay Gilchrist, East Bay Jamaica Beach, Trinity Bay Christmas Point Galveston Pleasure Pier San Luis Pass Freeport Harbor

High -2:14 -1:46 -1:26 -1:00 -0:04 -0:39 +0:14 +0:33 +3:54 +6:05 +10:21 +10:39 +5:48 +3:16 +2:38 +2:39 +2:32 -0:09 -0:44

Low -1:24 -1:31 -1:31 -1:15 -0:25 -1:05 -0:06 +0:41 +4:15 +6:40 +5:19 +5:15 +4:43 +4:18 +3:31 +2:38 +2:33 +2:31 -0:09

For other locations, i.e. Port O’Connor, Port Aransas, Corpus Christi and Port Isabel please refer to the charts displayed below.

Please note that the tides listed in this table are for the Galveston Channel. The Tidal Corrections can be applied to the areas affected by the Galveston tide.

Minor Feeding Periods are in green, coinciding with the moon on the horizon, and the last from 1.0 to 1.5 hrs after the moon rise or before moon set. Major Feeding Periods are in orange, about 1.0 to 1.5 hrs either side of the moon directly overhead or underfoot. Many variables encourage active feeding current flow (whether wind or tidal driven), changes in water temp & weather, moon phases, etc. Combine as many as possible for a better chance at an exceptional day. Find concentrations of bait set up during a good time frame, and enjoy the results.

Te x a s S a l t w a t e r F i s h i n g M a g a z i n e l

w w w. t e x a s s a l t w a t e r f i s h i n g m a g a z i n e . c o m

April 2009  
April 2009  

Tide Predictions & Solunar Feed Times Inside! Just Keep Five Texas Saltwater Fishing April 2009 1 April 2009 April 2009 T...