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Ray Guard Shields

Pro Stringer Sys S ys System



Pro Wading Belt Kit Wading Boots




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08 Practical Views of Tackle and Gear 12 Trophy Trout Documentaries 16  “Lightening Strikes and Oil Spills” 20  Combat Fishing 24 Summer Fishing in Full Swing 41 Mow Less...Fish More 45 An Oily Outlook                 

Mike McBride Kevin Cochran Billy Sandifer Martin Strarup Chuck Uzzle Everett Johnson Stephanie Boyd


Coastal Birding Science and the Sea Let’s Ask The Pro Fly Fishing Offshore TPWD Field Notes Conservation Kayak Fishing According to Scott Youth Fishing Texas Nearshore and Offshore

Pam Johnson Office: 361-785-3420 Cell: 361-550-9918 NATIONAL SALES REPRESENTATIVE Bart Manganiello BUSINESS / ACCOUNTING MANAGER

()4%681)287 18 28 30 34 36 38 40 42 46 48 50


Shirley Elliott

Billy Sandifer UT-Marine Science Institute Jay Watkins   Casey Smartt     Bobby Byrd/John Cochrane Ed Hegen CCA Texas Scott Null Scott Sommerlatte Jake Haddock Ruben Villarreal

CIRCULATION SUBSCRIPTION – PRODUCT SALES Linda Curry ADDRESS CHANGED? Email DESIGN & LAYOUT GRAPHICS BY DESIGN Stephanie Boyd Office: 361-785-4282 Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine is published monthly. Subscription Rates: One Year (Free Emag with Hard Copy Subscription) $25.00, Two Year $45.00

;,%8396+9-()7 ,%:)837%= 56 Dickie Colburn’s Sabine Scene 58 Mickey on Galveston 60 Capt. Bill’s Fish Talk 62 Mid-Coast Bays with the Grays 64 Hooked up with Rowsey 66 Capt. Tricia’s Port Mansfield Report 68 South Padre Fishing Scene          


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 .

HOW TO CONTACT TSFMAG: PHONE: 361-785-3420 FAX: 361-785-2844 MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 429, Seadrift, Texas 77983

06 Editorial 54 New Tackle & Gear 70 Fishing Reports and Forecasts   72, 74 Catch of the Month Photo Gallery 76 Gulf Coast Kitchen 80 Index of Advertisers

PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 58 Fisherman’s Lane, Seadrift, TX 77983 WEB: PHOTO GALLERY:

PRINTED IN THE USA. 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.

%&3988,)'3:)6 Lindsey Smith is this month’s cover angler. A student at Texas A&M, Lindsey was fishing with boyfriend Roger Holland (who made the photograph) in Baffin Bay during a break from classes. Lindsey’s Baffin red fell for a pink Top Dog Jr. and measured 38-inches, her best to date.

Order on-line: WWW.TSFMAG.COM

Dickie Colburn Mickey Eastman Bill Pustejovsky Shellie Gray David Rowsey Capt. Tricia Ernest Cisneros



E-MAG (electronic version) is available for $12.00 per year.

Periodical class permit (USPS# 024353) paid at Victoria, TX 77901 and additional offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine, Inc., P. O. Box 429, Seadrift, TX 77983. 2QO\




4 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

±;LEX´WWSKVIEXEFSYX WEPX[EXIV½WLMRKMR8I\EW#² That was a question posed by a guy who handles the media relations for a large East Coast tackle company. As you might imagine I wasted no time in reply, and with just a touch of Texas pride. “To begin,” I said, “Unlike many coastal states, h i and d Texas offers a year-round fishery for all the popular iinshore species excellent year-round offshore fishing as well, everything from snapper, kings, and ling to billfish. Thanks to excellent management and huge buy-in from recreational fishermen, Texas is known as the birthplace of modern marine conservation and marine fisheries management. We’re so good everybody follows us!” What other state offers a 62-mile stretch of unspoiled and undeveloped beach where surf anglers can still drive and fish as we do on Padre Island National Seashore? What other state has so many square miles of bays with such diverse habitat beginning with Sabine’s river mouth estuary and extending to the Laguna Madre’s hyper-saline lagoons. Name a state (other than Florida) that has one million saltwater anglers and a sportfishing industry that generates more than $2.2 billion annually. And, (here’s the kicker) offers enough inshore water and prime habitat where anglers can still fish with barely another boat in sight. We are very lucky to have shorelines dotted with cattle and cactus, not houses, hotels and condominiums. Most sources declare the Texas coastline to be approximately 370 miles in length. However, if you were to measure every bay, all its surrounding marsh habitat and barrier island shoreline, that number would likely be quadrupled and, with but a few exceptions, it’s all public access. Of course I had to throw in TPWD’s Marine Fisheries Stock Enhancement Program; three hatcheries that contribute in the neighborhood of twentyfive million red drum and five million spotted seatrout fingerlings each year to boost already robust natural recruitment. Then I explained the work being done to build a southern flounder stocking program. Next, I laid it on about the CCA Texas Laboratory for Marine Larviculture at UTMSI in Port Aransas and the various marine biology programs and resources at Texas A&M and Harte Institute. Sustainable marine fisheries, I explained, includes estuary and bay ecology, and that’s where maintaining freshwater inflow comes in. In 2007 the Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 3 creating the current environmental flows process and the Environmental Flows Advisory Groups. Saltwater fishing in Texas is more popular than ever and growing faster than in any coastal state in the country; so says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and American Sportfishing Association. How is this possible? Three things according to Dr. Larry McKinney of Harte Institute: a generally robust and stable economy, a rapidly growing population, and last but not least, excellent fishing opportunity. So when I finally came up for air, the guy says, “Wow, you guys really do have a lot going on over there…and here I thought all that came out of Texas was a bunch of hot air.” I just chuckled. I might not have been born here but I’ve been learning since the day I arrived. Here’s wishing all a safe and happy Fourth of July. Take some kids fishing; son we practice conservation. they are the reason

6 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


Prractical actical Views Views of of T Tackle ackle & Gear G ea r As a young kid growing up, my ranch-raised mother encouraged me to read sensible things in order that I might become a practical type of person. One of the early favorite reads was the old How and Why Wonder Book Series. It was a collection of science-based books written for young people during the 1960s and early 70s. They explained in wonderfully illustrated terms how things worked and why they needed to. Young lessons sometimes take root and I recently found myself wondering about the “How and Why” of some of the fishing gear we carry. Why do they work? Are they practical? The most common question we get in the boat is, “Why do you use that?” Perhaps it’s time to try and answer a few of those for the good of the tackle shop browser, especially the newer guy looking for worthy equipment. There are a lot of good products out there but it’s the small things that can make our fishing time more productive and fun. Please remember this is all personal opinion earned through experience, but let’s start with rods. There are many good rods on the market today. Everybody has their favorite and we even see silly “Rod War” discussions erupting on internet fishing message boards. We (Capt. Tricia and I) use Fishing Tackle Unlimited rods for some solid reasons that many shoppers may not understand. On the FTU All Pro Series Titanium Green Rod, the recoil guides (formed from solid nickel-titanium memory alloy capable of recoiling to original shape after repeated deformations) are clearly a foot above the competition. Each guide is double-footed and wrapped front and rear all the way to the tip and is of sufficient wire gauge and diameter to make them very battle worthy. In many so-called high-quality rods, the top five or even six guides are single-footed, smaller in diameter, and formed of lighter gage wire. Thus, they are more subject to failure in serious service. The extra wrappings and titanium do make for a tad more weight but that old “lighter is better” adage is not always best for all things. As far as rods go, it really has more to do with balance than the saving of micro-ounces anyway. Back in the day, we were taught to unscrew 8 July 2010 /

the end cap of the rod handle and insert 25-cent coins to change the balance point. When the mass of the rod was centered correctly on the reel it suddenly felt much lighter. The latest rod tip component on the Green Rod is also very FTU’s “Green practical. Besides having a Rod” features double-footed ferrule tang that is wrapped to guides from the blank to help hold it in place, butt to tip. (as opposed to simply being hotglued to the blank,) the swept shape of the guide braces helps

eliminate the line wrapping around the tip. Braided line has the darndest ability to fashion itself into a half hitch around the rod tip, especially right as a big red slams your topwater. There’s nothing you can do but try to grow longer arms and unhitch it before you hear that dreaded snap of the rod tip. This new tip component, thankfully, stops a lot of that stuff. Unsurpassed warranty is only one of the reasons this rod excels, and never mind that it is several Jacksons less than other rods in its class. Personally, I think it is the nicest and most practical stick out there. Speaking of braided fishing line, all have near zero stretch and amazing strength but all are not created equal. We use Sufix Braid for practical reasons as well. Besides the extreme sensitivity

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

advantage over monofilament, it doesn’t dig into your spools and create those impossible backlashes like some braids we have tried and this can be huge. With some braids, if you blow it, the reel is done until you can take a hatchet to it and re-spool. Sufix backlashes are actually quite easy to clear. Don’t be afraid to simply pull on it, but don’t try that with all brands. We might think a jighead is a jighead, but not all jigheads are created equal either. There are many styles out there and we see some wacky stuff come onto our boats. We prefer Hogie’s jigheads with the spring locks, size 3/0 in black nickel. Why? For openers, the spring lock feature holds soft plastic like a vise so your lures last longer, and, you can simply unscrew the lure if you want to change without damage as the prong-style locks of other designs are almost certain to inflict. Another great feature is that the eye of the hook is located in the nose of the lead – especially important in shallow water applications. Eyes located along the upper surface of the lead tend to make the lure run deeper and creates a grass magnet. We also find the shape of Hogie’s jigs very practical in the way the base of the lead snugs up to so many lure types. Some jigs just don’t mate well with soft plastic baits and the result can be deformed lures that twirl rather than swim and dart. This one chucks up cleanly to nearly every brand and style of plastic we have tried. Back to that 3/0 hook size – hookup ratios with soft plastics seem to increase as hook size decreases. That little 3/0 Gamakatsu black nickel jewel has to be the stickiest hook in the world. You can keep your 4/0 and 5/0 sizes…make mine 3/0. The actual weight of a jighead is another matter and, again, not all

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 9

Take a look at some of your stuff and see if what you are using matches the intensity of your intent. Fishing time is just too precious to waste wondering why.

Unfortunately the 580s are not yet available in prescription but the 400 series lenses are. High contrast is critical for more effective fishing and amber is what you want inshore. Another good reason to wear Costa is because the designers are fishermen and actually care about us. Like they say though, don’t just wear them…use them. There are many other products worthy of mention but space is short here. 10 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

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


are equal. We have found that Hogie’s 1/8 ounce 3/0 jig head works best in our shallow water world while the 1/8 in other brands is too heavy. As far as treble hooks go, Gamakatsu black nickels are tops with us. They are ridiculously sharp, hold up well, and the wire gauge is just right. We also look to Gamkatsu for weedless rigging of soft plastics. Our favorite is their Superline Spring-Lock in 3/0 size. They just seem to fit better and hold a weedless lure where it is supposed to be until it gets hit. There’s nothing worse than chunking your plastic off the hook during the cast, especially when the target is a big fish wallowing in the shallows. Yes, we use Boga Grips. Some may think they are mostly for fashion statement or merely a catch-releaseweigh tool but there is a more practical application and that would be safety. For wading anglers, landing a mean fish pushing a head full of treble hooks can have serious consequences. For whatever reason the human body doesn’t take well to piercing with fish hooks and I’ve seen many a fully-growed man go to his knees when hook met flesh. It just makes sense to use a Boga Grip. One of the most important tools on the water is our eyewear. The bottom line is that you get what you pay for and Costa Del Mar rocks in that category. The Costa 580 lenses have superior clarity and definition, plus they are so tough you can rub a buffalo nickel across the lenses and not scratch them.

Contact Skinny Water Adventures Telephone 956-746-6041

Email Website Three_MudSkateers.wmv

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

1HZ%D\.DW 6SHFLÀFDWLRQV Length.............................................. 21’7” Beam................................................... 94” Persons...................................................6 Capacity .....................................1750 lbs. Horsepower ........................................225 Displacement .............................1700 lbs.

)HDWXUHV • Self Bailing Deck • Rear Casting Deck • Aluminum Burn Bar • 45 Gallon Fuel Tank • In-Deck Front Storage • (1) S.S. Pop Up Cleat • Front & Rear Baitwells • (1) Large Rear Storage Box • Console w/Front Site Casting Platform • Aluminum Leaning Post w/94 qt. cooler

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 11



'RFXPHQWDULHV I’ve recently finished production of my second DVD. Called the water’s surface by a light north wind. Two other 29 inch trout Trophy Trout Documentaries, it attempts to capture the beauty aggressively blasted my bone Super Spook while the breeze and excitement involved with catching big specks and includes gained momentum. In mid-winter, when large specks mostly footage of over thirty fish in the seven to ten pound class. More eat other trout and mature mullet, a full-sized, floating plug is importantly, the narration and clips reveal important details effective, especially while a cold front approaches and passes. related to the catching, including date, water temperature and/ I caught a 31 inch trout estimated at ten pounds on a black/ or condition, general location and pattern fished and specific chrome Skitterwalk cast off lure used. the deep edge of the Tide s thi ed Feedback from those Gauge Bar on May 18, 2002. A eas rel and t The author caugh ring 32 1/4 asu me who watched my first DVD moderate northeast breeze , sow ne nti serpe She’s just one led me to put plenty of brushed my back, fueled by inches, on May 5th. sts captured on of many personal be tips on how I use Corkys a late-season front. Before entaries. Trophy Trout Docum in this DVD; those were daylight, in the calm before the plugs with which I and the storm, I caught some my clients found greatest 23 to 26 inch trout on the success while making the shallowest parts of the bar. film. Offered as both an Later in the morning, after instructional reference and the showers subsided, I entertaining piece, this moved deeper, pitching my approximately 90 minute plug far out into the bay. video has what my first Though I wouldn’t likely fish didn’t, ample images of large this way today, I know that fish fighting back against such a strategy can pay off real fishermen. Several of handsomely in May, when those fish exceed thirty big trout move off the flats inches and/or nine pounds. where they spend most of The text below is not an March and April. excerpt from Trophy Trout Jason Simmons caught Documentaries, but it’s a 31 inch, ten pound trout organized in much the same on March 8, 2003, slinging way as the DVD…Thoughtful a pearl/chartreuse Corky reflection on productive Fat Boy at knee-deep past outings can help one potholes fronting a grass develop better strategies for mat tight to the King future fishing trips. Success Ranch Shoreline. The starts with identifying patterns calm, warming weather which repeat themselves in followed several days of places that consistently hold brisk northeast wind. fish. The anecdotes that follow When the breeze died, document relevant details from water began to spill out of a salt flat into the bay, where a few fruitful trophy trout excursions I‘ve made with clients and toothy monsters waited in the ripple. We glimpsed flashes of friends over the past eight years. silver and gold while jaws gaped, gills flared and broad sides On January 19, 2002, I caught my first 30 inch trout, wading rolled; at least fifteen other magnum trout snatched our wobbling thigh-deep along the edge of a muddy, grassy gut which connects plugs over sand spots in a narrow gap which funneled water the open basin of Baffin Bay to a shallow, rocky flat. The blowup through the grass. shook quiet, benign conditions, like the first thunderclap of a On February 12, 2006, Jeff Phillips used a MirrOlure Catch 5 to coming storm, wrecking the repeating wave pattern coined on pull a 30 ¼ inch, nine and a quarter pound speck out of murky 12 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

water stained by brown tide near the Point of Rocks. Air and water temperatures hovered in the low fifties that cloudy day, and a fifteen knot post-front wind frothed the waves. Less than half an hour after catching the thirty, Jeff landed a specimen just under that mark, casting back to the exact spot where the bigger one bit. His pair proved the effectiveness of the flash and rattle of the Catch 5 in nasty water and reinforced the wisdom of making many more casts to a spot where a big fish has already bitten, especially in tough conditions. Improving weather helped me on April 15, 2007, when I tricked a 30 inch trout into taking a pink floating Corky cast into silty, knee-deep potholes next to a pile of rocks. Cloudless skies remained in the wake

Here’s Tim Zbylot with his trophy, caught and released on April 17th. The spark ling light reflecting off the trout ’s broa d side accentuates both its beauty and size.

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

of harsh north winds, which had finally gone mute after howling all night. Obviously nervous mullet called me to the colorful sow, which was mixed in with a school of reds; I caught three of them before she bit. Finding reds and specks together in skinny water is common in Baffin and the Laguna Madre in spring. I spent all of April ‘08 fishing knee-deep water over grassbeds, some growing in mud, others in sand. On the 19th, I caught a ten and a half pound trout I estimate at 31 ¾ inches on a gold/chartreuse/white floating Fat Boy flicked along a grass edge close to a remote shoreline in the back of Baffin. I hadn’t fished the specific area much, but decided to try it when I saw desperate needlefish / July 2010 13

14 July 2010 /

2010 rewarded him with a lifetime-best, 30 inch, nine pound trout. He claimed his prize with a pink Fat Boy cast into patchy potholes lined along the edge of a wide, knee-deep flat associated with a main bay point. A fast, rhythmic presentation kept the lure wiggling vigorously just under the surface. Though we’d already fished five other spots without catching a big trout, I didn’t give up stopping in places that seemed right and Tim didn’t stop trying to make one bite. Determined effort made in precisely the right spot increases the odds of landing a trout over 30 inches and/or nine pounds. Because fish of those dimensions are rare, a little good fortune helps too! Lady luck is more likely to smile on those who give her greatest opportunity. The Great Dame definitely winked at me while I was carrying my camera this past winter and spring. Trophy Trout Documentaries was fun for me to create; a productive run of fishing provided plenty of footage to edit. To view an introductory trailer and/or purchase the DVD, visit

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Kevin Cochran


tail walking in tight circles while wading another stretch of shore close by. We caught other six to eight pound fish there too, proving it’s good to keep the eyes and mind open. Doing so can allow one to “see” fish in “new” places. Some old, established sweet spots produce time and again. During one particularly hot stretch of fishing in bitter cold weather during February of 2010, I caught giant trout three days in a row in the same small area on one lure, a pearl/ pink Fat Boy. On the 24th, with water temps barely inching above fifty degrees, two clients and I caught about twenty trout and redfish. My best trout weighed nine and a quarter pounds. The next day, we caught fewer fish, but I landed a 31 inch, nine and three quarter pounder. On Friday the 26th, I caught a 30 inch, ten pounder, despite the fact that I had only four bites wading crotch-deep all day on the muddy crown, studded with small rocks and scattered grass. The fish were disappearing from the spot as the weather warmed, but I knew enough to be persistent that day. Tim Zbylot’s perseverance on April 17,

Kevin Cochran is a full-time fishing guide at Corpus Christi (Padre Island), TX. Kevin is a speckled trout fanatic and has authored two books on the subject. Kevin’s home waters stretch from Corpus Christi Bay to the Land Cut. Trout Tracker Guide Service Telephone 361-688-3714 Email Website

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

=SYV)RKMRIMW*MRI -X´WXLI*YIPXLEXMW'EYWMRK4VSFPIQW Boat mechanics are finding themselves dealing with a flood of frustrated owners who bring in their boats because the engine isn’t running right or has a gummed-up carburetor, only to bring it back as soon as a month later with the same complaint. The problem is not the engines, it’s the fuel. The introduction of ethanol into fuel has caused a wide range of problems. Ethanol is a fuel, but blending it with gasoline results in issues that are very often blamed on engines or the mechanics who maintain them: rough idling, hard starting, gummed-up injectors or carburetor jets and an overall loss of power and cruising range. Mechanics are reporting that the new blended fuels are raising havoc with boat engines because the fuel breaks down very quickly, loosing octane and forming gums too fast for traditional stabilizers to keep up. The “tried & true” marine fuel stabilizers and additives that rely on 50-year old technology just don’t work with today’s new fuels. They either cannot remove gum or they remove it in big chunks that end up causing clogs. The solution is simple; today’s new fuels demand new technology, and that is Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment. Star Tron is a new, very effective way of solving a wide range of fuel-related problems. It uses a proprietary blend of enzymes to stabilize fuel chemistry and break down gum into sub-micron-sized particles that can be eliminated while the engine is running. Star Tron will improve the quality of fuel and restore lost octane, dramatically slowing the aging process in order to keep fuel fresh and at peak combustibility even after long periods of storage. Its enzymes are particularly effective at cleaning

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

the entire fuel delivery system to allow engines to once again perform at peak efficiency. Gum formation is a major problem with ethanol-blended fuels. Because ethanol and gasoline do not chemically bond, E10 can begin to break down and form gums in as little as a month. As a result, engines that come out of the shop after expensive carburetor rebuilds or injector cleaning, but then sit idle for several weeks, may go right back to running poorly when they are finally used. Star Tron stabilizes fuel to help prevent gum formation or octane loss, while it also disperses any existing gum to keep it from clogging injectors or carburetors. It also helps prevent phase separation that occurs when water and ethanol bond and then “fall out” of the gasoline, resulting in a loss of octane and an engine that can’t perform at its best. Star Tron can even rejuvenate old, stale gas. Engines powered by Star Tron-treated fuel start easily and run smoothly even after sitting idle for extended periods. The enzymes in Star Tron allow more oxygen to bond to the fuel hydrocarbons, which results in a more complete burn of the fuel charge. This translates into easier starting, better throttle response, decreased emissions, the prevention of carbon deposits and an overall improvement in engine performance and fuel economy. All these promises are backed by a “satisfaction guaranteed” warranty; if Star Tron doesn’t perform as promised, customers can request a full refund. Ever since ethanol first appeared in marine fuel, Star Tron has been solving ethanol-related problems, quickly becoming the #1 selling marine fuel additive. Star Tron works in all two and four-cycle engines, regardless of size and/or age. For more information, log onto or call (800) 327-8583.

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 15



and Oil Spills”

The 5:00 am weather forecast said something short and vague about there being thunderstorms moving toward us from the west but they didn’t make any big deal about it. As I loaded the Suburban in the darkness I could hear the low rumbling of thunder far to the southwest but again I saw no reason for alarm. When it finally hit it came from northwest and caught my customers and me thirty-two miles down island. I figured I’d just drive through it as I regularly do and we’d start fishing south of it. After passing through several miles of heavy rain the storm seemed to split with us in the middle. Only light drizzle was falling and several times my customers ventured out and cast a few times but in each case abundant lightning and thunder sent them scurrying wisely back inside the truck. By the time we reached the 41-Mile beach I realized the storm was huge and very probably extended the entire length of the island. I stopped to decide the most logical plan of action. We were going to have to wait it out somewhere and I just needed to decide whether to go back north

16 July 2010 /

Todd Neahr, TPWD Fisheries Biologist, placing satellite tag in 8’-6” female bull shark landed on the PINS beach by San Antonio angler James Clark.

or continue south. As the four of us looked out at the sea a thin, jagged lightning bolt came out of the sky and hit the water 250 yards offshore. We heard a “whoomp” as it impacted and a plume of water, smoke and steam rose into the air and lingered for some time. We were stunned by the spectacle we had just witnessed. We’ve all seen lightning hit the water countless times, but it is always at some distance from us. In 63 years this was the second time I’d actually witnessed it up close and personal. Trust me; it will give you a whole new perspective on the power of nature and the frailness of human life. I have ran many times with numerous 122 mm and 144 mm rockets exploding all around me and that’s what it looked like. As if a mortar, artillery round or rocket had hit the water. I can’t imagine anything being left of a small boat or kayak this might have hit. There are obviously varying degrees of energy and electricity among individual lightning strikes and I fear I Texas Saltwater Fishing

understand far too little about them. There’s just too much about the Natural World to even think of learning in one lifetime.

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

be gathering as much data on birds and fisheries as possible. Between that and guiding I’ll be seeing a lot of PINS in the next 60 days but we all know that suits me fine. I still have plenty of open dates in July and that is the peak season for speckled trout on topwaters. Call and book a trip and get you some time down in God’s Country. I guarantee it’s a hoot. If we don’t leave any there won’t be any. -Capt. Billy L. Sandifer

Capt Billy was hired by the National Park Service as a biology field technician but is currently taking a hiatus from this position while his charter business is busy. He’ll be back when the tide turns!

Capt. Billy Sandifer


The first time I experienced a lightning strike up close and personal was even more bizarre but obviously there was less electricity and energy involved. From 1974 to mid-1976 I ran the Harbor Police Division in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I lived on a 36foot double-ended aluminum life boat I had rehabbed. A pal named Richard Bankson and I were shark fishing from it one night when a volatile squall caught us suddenly. Sheets of hard-driving rain and 70+ mph winds were on us with very little warning. I had to cut the heavy anchor loose as it was impossible to retrieve it in those weather conditions. As I fired up the engine, Richard was cranking in a Penn Senator 14/0 reel on a 7-foot Harnell rod. As I looked back at him from the helm a small lightning bolt hit the metal roller guide on the end of the rod and the entire rod and reel outfit along with his arms glowed an eerie sky blue color. It knocked him to the deck and I figured he was dead. I left the wheel and rushed to him and was amazed that he was already attempting to get up. As he reached out and took my arm to help regain his footing he calmly said, “Man, what a rush.” We both busted out laughing. I cut the line at the end of the rod and told him to stow it below decks and then I got us underway. That incident reminded me of the old cowboy stories about Saint Elmo’s fire lighting up the cattle’s horns and

stampeding them. But had that low-energy hit Richard took have been the one we saw this past Tuesday I think the outcome would have been dramatically and tragically different. All of this makes me realize how much I’ve gotten away with in my life and probably a lot of you have as well. We push the envelope. It’s our nature. But to do anything but immediately seek safe shelter with lightning present is like standing in the open totally unprotected during an artillery barrage. As I understand it if you are close enough to hear the thunder you can be hit by lightning. Think about it. As of 20 May, seventy-eight Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle nests have been found along the Texas coast from Bolivar to South Padre Island. Of these, forty-five have been found on PINS so it’s obvious that we need to be on the lookout for turtles on all Texas beaches; not just PINS. One loggerhead turtle nest has also been found. To report nesting turtles, call 361-949-7163. Please do not get too close to turtles that are nesting. Wait till they are through nesting before approaching. Try to mark the spot where the eggs were laid as this makes it easier for turtle technicians to find the nest site. Patrollers are all along the beachfront and after marking the site stop the first one you see and inform them of the location. Remember the speed limit is 15 mph on PINS until mid-July. The Deepwater Horizon oil leak is mindboggling. It will be years before the long term effects of it are truly understood and understanding it won’t do anything to undo damage done. This is far from a done deal with tremendous amounts of oil already in the Gulf and the spill is continuing. In the dynamic world of the sea it only takes one storm or extended period of wind direction change to move massive quantities of this oil west, just as it is currently moving to the east. That loop current they keep showing running down the Florida coast has a twin that runs down the Teas coast as well. Tomorrow is my first day as a uniformed Biological Field Technician working for the National Park Service at PINS. For three days per week for the next sixty days I’ll

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 / July 2010 17

BILLY SANDIFERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S

&RDVWDO%LUGLQJ Sanderling -Calidris albaMost common small shorebird of North American beaches. Long distance migrant, breeds in Arctic regions. Lightest in coloration of sandpiper family. Scampers for food along waterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s edge. Thickset small wader with black bill and legs. Often hunches its back in threat display to protect feeding ground. Highly gregarious.

Length: 8 inches Wingspan: 17 inches Weight: 2.1 oz

Jimmy Jackson photo

18 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 19


&RPEDW)LVKLQJ Imagine if you would, three guys heading out for a weekend of fishing and fun, towing the boat much farther than normal, only to find chaos, bedlam, and a general lack of fishing and boating etiquette. We arrived at a friend’s house and after handshakes and small talk we unloaded and stashed our gear. Unhooking the boat, the talk turned to the restaurant my friend was dying for us to try, and with that we headed out for some late supper. Here’s where things start to get weird. According to my friend there are multiple tournaments the following day and all have huge numbers of boats entered. They’re being held at three of the local marinas and, as luck would have it, all three launch points were being given consideration by our group for getting underway the next morning. I commented that we could probably launch early enough to beat the crowd and then run to our wading spot with the help of my GPS and Q-Beam. He looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. “You’re not seriously considering wading are you?” he asked. Surprised, I replied that we were and he asked if we had brought our orange safety vests or picked up some wading flags on the way down. Orange vests and wading flags? According to my friend who lives and fishes amongst the hoards down there, “the burn boats,” as he called them, “with their imitation tuna towers,” would surely run us over – making reference 20 July 2010 /

to those who run shorelines and flats searching for redfish schools. With this he went into a rant. “Those guys are horrible. They run all over us when we stay in the boat and I wouldn’t even think of wading, not without an

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

orange vest and a bicycle flag in my wade belt.” So I’m listening to all this, grinning, thinking that surely he was embellishing mightily. “You think I’m joking?” he interjected rather curtly, “It’s true I tell ya, it’s really gotten bad down here!” Still doubting, I asked if this was a daily thing or maybe just on weekends, or maybe an isolated incident on a busy tournament weekend. “It’s not quite as bad during the week but weekends and tournament days are horrible. If you leave your boat you had better be wearing orange and have a flag flying if you don’t want to get run over,” he insisted. He told me that only the day before he was fishing a school of redfish and had a boat, the owner who was obviously overcompensating for some personal issue, had a huge burn tower up high and saw my buddy bowed up on a nice red. The boat immediately changed course, leaving the shoreline and headed straight for my friend. The boat driver, can’t really call him a captain by these actions, stayed just out of casting range and punched a button on his GPS as he passed the school. So I’m ignorant I guess, but I had to ask, “What was that all about?” Well it seems that some tournament folks pre-fish and burn the shorelines in search of schools of redfish. When they find a school they hit the MOB (man overboard) button on their GPS, recording the location in hopes that the school will be there or in the general

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

area during the tournament. Now my buddy did say that it’s not just tournament anglers but that it gets worse when redfish tournaments are being held in the area. He went on to say that when the tournaments are packed up and gone the local “burners” simply continue doing it. It would sound as though the technique must be effective although this was the first I ever heard of it. “I’m telling you it’s almost viral in nature,” my friend said with wide eyes and drool running down his chin. “Those flat bottom boats are being produced at an alarming rate and some owners simply will not run in open water due to their design. It’s just a better ride up shallow and woe be the poor wade fishermen who’s knee deep on the shoreline when they come by.” I was trying to enjoy a drink while waiting on my dinner but as my attitude changed I found it easier to guzzle the bourbon in my glass and order another. Was all of this for real? Much to my dismay the stories became even darker and more sinister. I ordered another drink. My friend related that a few days prior he had been fishing an out-of-the-way location, he having the desire to get away from the masses and enjoy a day of drifting the far-away flats. After poling his boat for about a half-hour he spotted a school of redfish rooting up the bottom and generally moving at a sharp downwind angle. Using the wind, he poled to a position to intercept the school and moved to the bow of the boat with his rod and reel. He heard the boat first, the high-pitched whine of the engine jacked way up, and

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 21

22 July 2010 /

their grins of disbelief had changed into something more akin to a grimace. My esteemed editor forbids the expletives they were using but, suffice to say they were not pleased. “So are you guys getting TX numbers and turning these guys in?” my son asked. “Have you tried following one of these morons and confronting them?” The answer to both questions was, “Nah, it’s not worth it. There is no law against what they’re doing. Until someone gets hurt or killed I doubt anything will be done – unless somebody goes berserk, which is always a possibility.” The conversation continued with more reports of grossly unsportsmanlike conduct by my friend and predictable reactions of dismay and disbelief from those of us listening. And so, over the absolute best lasagna dinner I’ve ever been served, but hardly in the mood to appreciate, we decided it just wasn’t worth our time or energy to subject ourselves to any of the shenanigans my friend was describing. The next morning at 5:00, with our gear

Texas Saltwater Fishing

all packed and the boat hooked up, we decided against going fishing and headed home. The talk was all about the previous evening’s conversation, and while we were pretty involved in our discussion, we didn’t fail to notice the seeming endless line of headlights at the ramps as we passed by.

Martin Strarup


he turned to see where it was and which direction it was going. “That guy watched me stow my pole and grab a rod and he just veered straight toward me. Then when I hooked up he made a circle around me and came in upwind and set the boat down right on top of the fish, which of course scattered them. I looked at him with my arms raised in exasperation and he just glared at me and hammered the throttle from up there on his perch. I figured he’d probably keep running around until he found another school and pull the same trick on somebody else.” Undaunted, my friend cranked his outboard and took off to another location to begin poling again. He couldn’t believe his ears. It hadn’t been ten minutes and that same high-pitched whine was ringing across the flat. Sure enough, same guy, still up there driving from the nosebleed section, headed straight for him. “I just gave up and headed back to the ramp,” my friend said. My son and another fishing buddy were listening to all of this and by now

Martin Strarup is a lifelong saltwater enthusiast and outdoorsman. Martin is also a collector and dealer of vintage fishing tackle and lures, especially those made in Texas. Email

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Powered by Hobie’s patented MirageDrive® pedal system, the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler leaves your hands free to fish and has everything you need to maximize your angling experience. t Protected horizontal storage for up to six rods and

two additional vertical rod holders t Space for 13 Plano® tackle boxes t Three in-hull storage compartments t Large front hatch with removable liner t Large on-deck storage area for an optional livewell or cooler t Fully-adjustable, breathable Cool Ride seat t Finger-tip steering t Work area/cutting board t Replaceable mounting boards on each side to attach your

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A few tosses of a cast net can yield enough lively bait for a full day of fishing.

I have have come ha com ome e to to re rrealize ealilize eali ea ze th tthere here is here is no g graceful race ra ce eful ul or “Gucci” way to throw a Carolina-rigged live bait but the standard “grip and rip” usually does the job. The rig’s unceremonious landing sounds like second graders throwing crawfish mounds into a park pond. Regardless of the judge’s score for splashless entry, this contraption does one thing well; it flat-out catches fish. The idea of letting a live bait entice a fish while the fisherman expends little or no effort is appealing to many folks and Sabine Lake is no stranger to this technique. The fact that several tosses of a cast net can produce a day’s supply of lively bait adds to the popularity. The Sabine and Calcasieu ecosystems get chock-full of perfectly sized shad, pogey, and finger mullet throughout summer. This readily available supply of bait certainly helps the old pocket book, especially when compared with a quart of live shrimp from the bait house. At the current price one would think they might be gold-plated. More than likely a bunch of readers just 24 July 2010 /

blew bl ew by by th thi is aarticle rti rt ticl icle le d due ue to to th the he fa ffact actt th tthat hat liliv hat ha ve ve this live bait has been mentioned. If so, that would be their loss. Live bait fishing in itself is another technique that requires a certain set of skills that not everyone can master. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just sling a live bait out there and start reeling in fish. Many of the folks who routinely turn their nose up at any method other than “grinding” or “plugging” are usually first to point the finger and scream the loudest. “Dadgum potlickers” is a common cry of many would never dare stoop to “chunking meat.” I just shake my head. I enjoy both styles and routinely employ both in my day-to-day fishing trips. I get just as big a rush catching fish with live bait as I do with artificials – and that’s the honest to goodness truth. (Insert Boy Scout salute here.) Figuring out the fish is the name of the game, is it not? Finding and patterning fish on a day-to-day basis is what makes us tick; it’s why we do what we do. If I am capable of finding structure and understanding how fish are relating to it, it should not matter Texas Saltwater Fishing

wh heth etthe her I throw her th h w a topwater topw to p atterr or pw or a ph p hon one one whether phone book. I found them and now it’s my choice as to how I catch them. To hear a fisherman discredit another by saying, “Yeah, but he was throwing live bait,” is just a shame and downright disrespectful. Just because you prefer a different method, don’t hold that against another fisherman. I never heard a hunter say, “Yeah, he got a limit of ducks but he was using Brand-X decoys and we were using handmade.” Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? July usually brings a weather pattern that makes everything from the marsh to offshore platforms easily accessible. Summer months are historically dry and runoff from up north will be minimal – barring tropical storms of course. These conditions will quickly allow the lower reaches of the Sabine and Neches rivers to become salty and, naturally, a host of saltwater species will move in. In addition to speckled trout, redfish and flounder, there will be sand trout, whiting, jack crevalle and sharks. Many of these fish catch Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

unsuspecting anglers by surprise, especially the jacks. Several years ago I had a run-in with a huge jack about eight miles up the Sabine River. My clients and I had staked out on a great looking flat in the river that included good structure with deep water close by. Our morning had given us speckled trout, redfish and a couple of big flounder. We were all throwing live shad on Carolina rigs and enjoying the laid back atmosphere and fellowship this style of fishing provides. The very distinct thump of a good fish crushing a shad prompted setting the hook. The fish swam off the flat without fanfare, no surface struggles, no line-stripping run, just a steady pull that I could not stop. The initial run had me believing that a big black drum or perhaps a striper had decided to make an appearance, boy was I wrong. Once the fish got off the flat and got into deeper water the whole complexion of the fight changed. Whatever had taken the bait had shifted gears and was now in full blown “run off with all your line” mode. Fortunately, just as we pulled the anchor and were about to chase the mystery fish, it began making a big circle enabling me to gain much needed line. The next thirty minutes was a classic tug of war that ended with a broken rod and thirty pound jack in hand. That fish was easily one of the best and most bizarre catches for me that far up the river. Genuine proof that you never know what you might catch in the river in the summertime. Another summertime scenario that presents itself when we have very little fresh water entering the area is the half-eaten trout, courtesy of Mr. Shark. Jetty and short rig anglers deal with these eating machines more often than folks who stay in the lake and invariably lake fishermen are the poor souls who lose really good fish to these gray missiles – severed right behind the gills like a butcher with a sharp knife. I’m not sure how they do it but the sharks almost always seem to leave marginal trout alone in favor of a solid three pounder with an $8.00 lure pinned to its lip. I don’t know what’s worse, losing Youngsters, oldsters, and everybody in between loves a tug on their line.

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 25

the fish or the tackle. Speaking of sharks, the summer will also present many opportunities to see just how insignificant we really are when we get in the water. The infamous bull shark, top-shelf predator with a bad attitude, will be out in full force, so by all means pay attention. Our part of the world, with its normally moderate salinity environment, is an excellent place

ROYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S Bait and Tackle

one to remember, just make sure itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for the right reasons. Please be safe on the water, courteous to your neighbor, and by all means, enjoy every minute of every trip.

Chuck Uzzle


to find these creatures. It seems there are Gathering your own crazy stories is easy on the wallet. of really close encounters with big bull sharks on Sabine every summer. Most any fisherman who calls this area home has at least one good story about bumping into a bull shark. These ill-tempered critters get large and can certainly present a danger to those who are careless. Waders are often reminded to use longer stringers and watch for bleeding fish on those stringers. Another good idea is to tuck the stringer spike into your wade belt rather than tying it. Should a shark hit your stringer he can take it without pulling you down or dragging you with it. The summer ahead will almost surely be

Chuck fishes Sabine and Calcasieu Lakes from his home in Orange, TX. His specialties are light tackle and fly fishing for trout, reds, and flounder. Phone 409-697-6111 Email Website

7613 SPID Corpus Christi, TX 78412

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%5$,' Texas Saltwater Fishing

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Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 27









The University of Texas

Marine Science Institute


28 July 2010 /

‹ The University of Texas Marine Science Institute Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


4 MAIN PROBLEMS WITH E10 / ETHANOL FUEL PROBLEM 1: DEBRIS IN FUEL Gums rapidly form in the fuel tank and fuel delivery systems as ethanol fuels age. However, ethanol is also a powerful solvent that will strip away and disperse this build up back into the fuel as large, performance-robbing particles. This leads to clogged filters, injectors and carburetors.

PROBLEM 4: ETHANOL CAUSES LOST POWER, PERFORMANCE AND DECREASED FUEL ECONOMY Ethanol fuel does not produce as much energy as traditional fuel. This results in inefficient combustion, decreased performance, reduced throttle response and poor fuel economy.

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PROBLEM 2: EXCESSIVE WATER IN THE FUEL AND PHASE SEPARATION Ethanol attracts moisture from the atmosphere, forming an ethanol/water solution mixed in the gasoline. E-10 fuel will naturally hold .5% water in suspension, but when water levels exceed this threshold, or when the fuel cools significantly, the water/ethanol mix drops out of suspension. This is phase separation. Excessive water in the fuel tank causes engines to run rough, stall, and can lead to internal damage to engine components. Ethanol provides a significant amount of the fuel’s octane, so when the ethanol/water solution separates and drops to the bottom of the tank, the remaining fuel is left without enough octane to properly operate the engine. Additionally, the ethanol/water solution can become partially combustible, which can lead to engine damage. STAR TRON® SOLUTION: Star Tron®’s enzyme formula reduces interfacial surface tension between fuel and water. The molecular cluster size is greatly reduced, allowing more water to be dispersed throughout the fuel. These sub-micron sized droplets are safely eliminated as the engine operates. Star Tron® treated fuel helps prevent phase separation by allowing more water to be burned off than with untreated fuel, drying out the tank and preventing water buildup. PROBLEM 3: ETHANOL FUELS BREAK DOWN QUICKLY Over a short period of time ethanol fuel begins to break down. As ethanol and other components evaporate, the fuel loses octane and becomes “stale.” This causes hard starts, pinging and engine knock, which robs your engine of power and can cause damage. ®

STAR TRON SOLUTION: Star Tron is a powerful fuel stabilizer which helps prevent fuel breakdown for up to two years. This results in easier starts and prevents pinging and knocking. Star Tron® improves octane levels of sub-standard, non-spec or old fuel and in many cases can rejuvenate stale fuel, restoring it to serviceable condition. ®

Star Tron® is a unique, multifunctional fuel additive that addresses all ethanol issues. Star Tron® has been solving fuel problems for boaters across the US since 2003. It will improve the performance of: boats, cars, trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATVs, PWCs, generators, lawn & garden equipment and all other gas-powered engines. Star Tron® is safe for use in all 2 and 4-cycle engines under all conditions, even in ethanol fuels. Star Tron® is an ideal all-season, all-purpose additive, and does all this at one of the lowest costs of any fuel additive. Be careful of what additive you use – many contain alcohol. Adding more alcohol to ethanol fuels can lead to engine problems. Read the MSDS of any fuel additive before using it with ethanol fuel. Star Tron® does not contain any alcohol and is 100% safe for use in all ethanol blends. Star Tron® is easy to use, effective and cannot be overdosed.


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During the past few weeks I have been bombarded with e-mails and calls f i t from guys interested in teaching their significant others to fish. I first want to say I know a lot of really good women anglers, some are guides you likely have heard about but most are not; they are women that were introduced to fishing in younger years by a family member or a friend. I have to be honest here; until I met and married Renee I was not interested in having my wife or girlfriend fish with me and fishing a tournament together would have been totally out of the question. I guess as I mellowed with age I became a bit more intelligent. I also think I got a taste of how great it is to be able to share my passion for fishing with someone that actually appreciates what I have chosen to do for the past 32 years. I love Renee and love all the qualities she possesses. Renee seems to honestly want to become a good

30 July 2010 /

fisherman, not for me, for her. She realizes that being good at just about anything you chose to do in life makes it that much more enjoyable. Quick question; does it bother women that I refer to them as fishermen? I just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like the fisherperson reference although Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m OK with fisherwoman if it makes any of you feel better. Renee does not care one way or the other. She knows I am fully aware of her gender and she has always seemed comfortable with the fisherman thing. I am blessed to have a lot of couples that fish with me and all of the women are very good anglers. None balk at donning waders in winter or baggy wading pants and Ray Guards in summer. I hope I have provided good lessons teaching them to fish with lures as well as showing that simple and easy steps are more often that not the best approach to learning. The less we have to digest at one time is the better approach in my opinion. I had the opportunity to speak to

Texas Saltwater Fishing

the Women in the Wild group here in Rockport a few weeks back and I got to fish three of my favorite girls in the Babes on the Bay tournament again this year. Gosh, this tournament has grown to proportions that very few ever imagined. My hat is off to all the ladies on the board that spend countless hours preparing for the event and then being able to actually pull it off without a hitch. I am told that 1058 women entered the tournament this year. WOW! That has to a world record for a single day women-only fishing tournament. I also had the privilege to speak to the New Braunfels CCA chapter a few weeks back and it was packed with women who fish. Women have definitely found their place in the fishing world and I for one am glad to have you. Not only are many of you excellent anglers, you bring sophistication and class to the sport. Early on, I had a problem making the transition from husband to coach teaching Renee to fish. You see, a coach can say and do things a husband canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

get away with. A mere look or a sigh from the husband can land him in the doghouse and bring the learning process to an abrupt halt. The directions I give Renee are given for a reason. I want her to follow them, knowing that it is the right path for her. Hey girls – I know guys are the absolute worst at reading directions, much less following them – but we are pretty good at giving them when we actually have some knowledge of the subject at hand. With that said it should not be hard for you to see that there is a major difference between husband and coach. A good coach wants his player to do well come game time. A good coach stands proud when hard work and practice are rewarded with the completion of a good play. Every play is by design supposed to produce a score but everyone must do his or her job. Fishing is no different, learn how to do it right, practice, and then execute what you have learned and you’ll score big. A plus for me with Renee was her athletic background and her willingness to compete. Not just against others on the boat but with herself. By no means am I suggesting that your lady needs an athletic Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


Miss Lola showing off a really nice trout. Lola is a really good angler as well as an accomplished longbow whitetail deer record holder.

background but it does help. Of this I am certain. To wade and cast or drift in a boat with waves rocking requires coordination. Many need to get their muscles toned and trained before basic techniques can be taught. Practice is absolutely the only way to accomplish this portion of the learning. Most weeks I fish about 5 to 6 days and Sundays are reserved for church and the recharging the spiritual battery. I pray God does not hold it against me for taking Renee on Sundays once in while. Many times we go after attending Sunday school and I have been known to get into the skipping church mode when calm mornings greet us during our early morning cup of coffee. An extremely important aspect of learning is proper equipment selection. Come on guys; get your girl the right stuff, the stuff you use. If it is a baitcaster or spinning reel that you have mastered, you need to teach her to fish with that. It would be very hard, I would think, to show her to use a piece of equipment that you have no confidence in or never use yourself. When I started teaching Renee I gave her one of my rods and one of my Daiwa reels. Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 31

32 July 2010 /

The one hand cast, slightly side arm, reduces her accuracy but she is getting there. Don’t load your lady angler down with unnecessary equipment at first. Rod and reel and a few lures in the pocket of her Simms clothing is enough. The less we have them thinking about in the beginning the better. Just let them concentrate on chunking and retrieve rhythm. As an aside, Simms has the best-looking women’s outdoor wear that you have ever seen. (Credit card time again guys, sorry.) Comfortable waders, wading pants and wading shoes are a must. Women do not find waders flattering. But hey; we think you’re beautiful no matter what you’re wearing and the fact that you are spending quality time with us is awesome. I have seen myself in photos wearing waders where I look three feet tall and 200 pounds. Short, fat, and green – not at all flattering. One thing we need to remember is that once the attention span is gone it is time to take a break and get something to eat or drink and maybe even take a boat ride to cool off. An early morning fishing trip and then lunch at one of the many waterfront restaurants and a cold

Texas Saltwater Fishing

margarita can sure put you in the catbird seat for the coming week. Finally, never make your wife or girlfriend clean the boat or the fish. Treat her special, even if she did kick your butt on the water. Ladies, I believe you still want us to treat you like ladies no matter what society may want us to believe. I love taking Renee fishing and I hope she knows how special she has made this old fishing guide feel by showing such interest in what I have spent my life doing. May your fishing always be catching. Guide Jay Watkins


Learning to hold the rod and reel properly and then cast and retrieve is the foundation for everything that will follow. Lure presentation was taught by having her mimic my actions. Showing seems to work better than explaining and it is important to remember that everyone must find their own rhythm. Rhythm allows the bait to react to your rod motion and also allows you to stay in contact with your bait. You can’t catch what you can’t feel. To help Renee learn her baitcast reel I increased the line diameter and removed about 20 yards from the spool. This helped reduce the number of backlashes and also made them easier to clear. I prefer keeping the casting brake set rather loosely, a setting of “2” is enough. To me, setting it higher is like driving the car with the emergency brake on. They have to learn to throw far enough to reach fish that are still unaware of their presence, right? Renee can flat chunk, not necessarily with the form I would have preferred, but her muscle development from years of competitive softball allows her to do things with one arm that requires two arms for many. We are currently working on the two hand accuracy casting technique.

Jay Watkins has been a full-time fishing guide at Rockport, TX, for more than 20 years. Jay specializes in wading year-round for trout and redfish with artificial lures. Jay covers the Texas coast from San Antonio Bay to Corpus Christi Bay. Phone 361-729-9596 Email Website

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!




-),0-),1667? A few years ago, I began experimenting with techniques to create a large cigarshaped baitfish pattern made from craft fur. The goal was to tie a round-bodied pattern that was neutrally buoyant â&#x20AC;&#x201C; something like a fly-version of a Corky lure. I could clearly visualize this fly in my mind, but had no idea how to make it. After going through many evolutions in design and materials, I eventually learned to build the fly by dubbing a thick fuzzy craft fur body and then smoothing a fabric paint skin over the head. The fabric paint skin was a key feature. It made the head of the fly hold its hot dog shape and it provided a solid surface for gluing the eyes. The skin also allowed the fly to shed water easily making it light and accurate to cast. I called the finished fly the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Deadheadâ&#x20AC;? and it has become one of my favorite flies for both fresh and saltwater. The Deadhead is a great fly for tricking trout, especially when they are feeding around structure or staking out potholes. Under these conditions, the Deadhead should be paired with an intermediate line and a leader with a long fluorocarbon tippet. With this rig, the Deadhead can be virtually dead-drifted or fished with slow twitches and tugs that absolutely bring the fly to life. It is a great combination. For deeper water such as channel edges and drops, I couple the fly with a fast sinking line. Throwing this fly along on a fast sinking line along current swallowing edges during an outgoing tide is deadly. I have tied this fly in many different color combinations, but my favorites are solid chartreuse with pearl flash and pearl glitter paint, and grey/white with silver flash and silver glitter paint.

I have received many e-mails and phone calls from folks wanting to learn to tie this fly, which is the reason it is featured in this monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s article. The methods used to tie the 34 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Deadhead are not complicated, but they are unconventional and there is a learning curve involved in learning to distribute the materials evenly around the hook shank. My best advice for tying this fly is to take your time when forming the dubbing loop and go as light as possible with the fabric paint skin. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get discouraged if the fly doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t look right as you are tying it because it usually will come together in the end. Stick with it. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great pattern. Here are the materials and tying steps: Materials Hook: #1 Mustad C70S D Thread: Danvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 210 denier flat waxed nylon Eyes: Silver Âźâ&#x20AC;? 3D stick-on Tail: Rainyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s craft fur Tail Flash: 8-10 strands Krystal Flash Body: Rainyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s craft fur Body Flash: Hairline Dubbingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ice Dub Skin: Tulip Glitter dimensional fabric paint Step 1: Secure the thread to the hook shank and wrap back to the base of the bend of the hook, covering the hook shank with a layer of thread. Step 2: Tie in a slender tapered clump of craft fur on top of the hook shank, overlay 8-10 strands of equal-length Krystal Flash, and tie in one more slender tapered clump of craft fur on top of the Krystal Flash. Step 3: Make a dubbing loop 5 inches long by looping the tying thread around your finger and back up to the hook shank. Wrap thread from the bobbin around the base of the loop to secure it and then wrap the tying thread on up to the eye of the hook. Place a dubbing twister/spinner (weighted wire hook) through the end of the loop you have made and let it hang at the rear of the hook. Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Step 5: Carefully pinch the craft fur/ Ice dub mixture and insert it between the two strands of the dubbing loop (this takes practice). Gently spread the mixture over the length of the dubbing loop, taking care to keep the ends aligned.

Step 7: With the dubbing twister still hooked in the loop, wrap the loop slowly to the eye of the hook. Tie off the end of the loop with the tying thread just behind the eye of the hook and snip off the tag end. Pick the body out with Velcro hook material. The body should be full and fuzzy.

Step 8: Gently comb back the body fibers until they are smooth. The body should have a full round shape that tapers toward the tail.

Step 9: Run a small bead of Tulip Glitter fabric paint around the nose of the fly. Step 6: Pull down on the dubbing spinner and twist the loop until you feel it begin to shorten slightly. Don’t over-twist the loop or you will break the thread. The materials will tangle around the loop as you twist it, so keep



Step 11: Place a large dollop of Tulip Glitter fabric paint on the back of a 3D eye and gently press the eye into the fly. The eye should nest in the paint to ensure a good glue bond. The fly will dry to the touch in an hour or two, but it is important to let it dry for 36 hours before soaking it.


Step 4: Cut a full, even, combed bunch of craft fur and lay it out flat on the tying table with the butt ends of the craft fur aligned. On top of the craft fur, spread out a small pinch of Ice Dub shredded flash material.

Step 10: Gently brush the glue rearward using a toothpick or small brush. The glue should not extend past the bend of the hook. Don’t mash the glue into the head, just create a thin skin over the head.

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. Phone 830-237-6886 Email Website

Check out Casey’s Fly Fishing Video Library at

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 35


tension on the loop and pick them out with a small piece of Velcro hook pad.




7KHUHDUHORWVRIZD\VWR 7 KHUH DUH ORWVR RI ZD\VWWR ORVH ELJ ILVK« ORVHELJILVK« It was a hot summer day with no wind, flat calm seas and lots of bait around the deepwater oil rig about 100 miles offshore. We happened to catch a bonito and put it out for live bait. Not too long after, the bait started acting real nervous and we got a strike. When the line came tight, a 500 pound blue marlin came up jumping. As our lady angler started fighting the fish, the line was very tight and had plenty of pressure on it. We continued to back down on the fish, gaining line quickly, but something was wrong. There was still something on the line but it was not acting like a big blue marlin. After a few minutes we found out what was on the line. We could see the bait and it was still alive, but on the hook was an identical bonito, half-digested! Our fish had swallowed the live bait and when we set the hook, it lodged into a bonito already in the marlin’s stomach. This prevented the marlin and, as we applied pressure, we simply pulled both baits out of the stomach and right out of the fish’s mouth. What are the chances of that happening? Talk about bad luck! This happened using a J-hook, back before the widespread use of circle hooks became more popular and in some cases

mandatory. There is really no way to prevent what happened, sometimes weird things occur and there is just not a lot you can do about it. Other times things happen that can be avoided. Here are a few examples we have experienced that could have been avoided with the right procedures. Trolling by a mooring buoy near a rig, a blue marlin came up and crashed the right rigger, pulled drag and came off. The captain spins the boat around and makes another pass by the buoy. Here comes the marlin again

Double hookset destroyed by 80 pound blue marlin.


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36 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

the rod springs back hitting you in the face. There is an instantaneous “exclamation of dismay” from your crew. You are stunned; the fish is gone and you will have a black eye tomorrow. What Happened? One of the most important things you can do when big game fishing is to take care of your line. You must constantly inspect it, protect it, and change it often. Always take care when handling your line; freeing tangles, attaching it to rigger clips, and winding it on the reel. Check your roller guides on every trip. Keep them lubricated and make sure they spin freely. Take care not to let them get banged up, scratched and nicked. Changing your fishing line is one of the cheapest expenses in big game fishing and without a good connection between you and the fish, nothing

Texas Saltwater Fishing


else really matters. We hope these examples will help you become a better fisherman and give you an idea of some of the things that are important when big game fishing. Oh and by the way – guide the line on the reel properly with your free hand and it will keep the rod from hitting you in the face if the line breaks! Are you ready for a billfish tournament? Join us in Port Aransas, August 4-8 for the Texas Legends Billfish Tournament. For more information, please go to To learn more about big game fishing, visit us at our Fox Yacht Sales - Seabrook office at Tops-N-Towers. At Fox we have an extensive inventory of brokerage boats and we are the exclusive Texas dealer for Jupiter and CABO Yachts.

Capt. John Cochrane has been a professional captain for over 25 years and is now a 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 / July 2010 37


and crashes the same bait, but no hookup, he continues to chase it and keeps taking the lure but no 500 pound blue marlin on the leader. hookup. What is going on? When this happens, most likely something is wrong with your hookset. Either the hook came off or it is fouled or bent. In our case the initial strike was aggressive and apparently the fish got hooked in a manner that bent the point over where it would have had trouble hooking a piece of cheese. What’s the remedy? Always check your baits after a strike. Make sure the hook is not damaged and is still sharp, and then check your leader and rigging. It doesn’t take long and can make the difference between catching and losing a fish. This is even more important during a tournament. Also, when using a monofilament leader, rig the hookset with wire or cable. We have seen mono hook rigs get chopped by a wahoo and then a big blue strikes – no hook(s) – not good! How about a nice big blue marlin bite. You are fishing the Poco Bueno Invitational and the big fish is cooperating and getting close to the boat. Everything is going great until the leader pops out of the water and you see the snap swivel is open, twisted, and the loop of the leader is barely attached! All of a sudden everyone on the boat starts to panic – this winning fish could be lost any second. Not closing a snap swivel properly is common cause, but using quality snap swivels is also required. If the fish gets tangled in the leader or you are using a short leader, a fish’s tail or body can actually slap it open. To prevent this, most crews will use just the swivel and crimp the leader directly, bypassing the snap. This is especially important if using wind-on leaders with a short leader attached to your bait or lure. The splash looked like a depth charge went off behind the boat. A huge fish has just taken your bait and is peeling line off your 80-wide reel. You have never seen a fish this big or a bite like that. The fish jumps fifteen times right behind the boat as the captain pursues and keeps the amount of line between you and the fish to a minimum. Your rod is bent over with 25 lbs of drag and you are getting line back as Even a pigtail snap the fish gets closer to the swivel can fail! boat. POW! The line parts and



By Ed Hegen - Regional Director - Rockport, Texas

The end of winter is triggered by the lengthening of daylight associated with the approach of spring and summer days. And with more daylight, everyone looks forward to getting outdoors to participate in the many activities that our wonderful Texas coast has to offer. Fishing turns on, boaters hit their favorite ramps and Coastal Fisheries (CF) Division staff gets into full swing with data collection, hatchery production, habitat protection and permit review. The following are but a few of the highlights that our dedicated and professional staffs have participated in recently and during the summer months. We will provide full length articles on some of the topics in future issues.

Former Upper Laguna Madre Ecosystem intern, Paul Cason, now employed at the TPWD PRB Fisheries Research Station at Palacios.

Riechers Named CF Division Director Robin Riechers, twenty-two year veteran of the division was appointed CF Division Director in February. He fills the 18-month vacancy created when Dr. Larry McKinney became the Director of the Harte Research Institute associated with Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC). Riechers received his MS degree from Texas A&M University. During his Former intern, Elani Morgan, who will complete her MS this summer, measures fish at a harvest survey.

most recent service as chief of the division’s Science and Policy Branch, which is involved in every aspect of coastal fisheries conservation and management, Riechers has been active in spotted seatrout, flounder, shrimp, seagrass and Gulf fisheries issues. He has represented the department on the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council since 2000 and he served as the chairman in 2006 and 2007. He has strong leadership skills and an ability to work well with the broad range of marine stakeholders. BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Preparation Mike Ray, CF Deputy Division Director, is the TPWD intraagency coordinator in regards to the disaster. Mr. Ray’s responsibilities include the coordination of all divisions and branches within the agency in terms of personnel, equipment and information in preparation should the oil approach and affect Texas. Don Pitts, Director of Environmental Assessment, Response, and Restoration Programs, is TPWD’s primary point of contact with Texas’ natural trustee agencies such as General Land Office and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the other Gulf

38 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Former intern, Brian Bartram, now employed with Inland Fisheries and continuing his MS work, enjoyed a relaxing moment on a Gulf sampling trip.

states’ coordinators, and the federal natural trustee agencies, such as NOAA and the USFWS. Texas is keeping well informed and taking all preparation actions should there be oil on our shores. Check the TPWD web page for updates on our preparation and links to other sites dealing with the oil spill. High Use Boat Ramp Surveys Have Begun As we have for the past thirty-five years, Coastal Fisheries biologists and technicians are beginning to interview more and more boaters as summer fishing activity picks up. Between mid-May and mid-November over 726 weekday and weekend surveys are conducted at boats ramps in all bay systems on the Texas coast. Anglers are interviewed to provide data on the fisheries resources so that our agency can fulfill its mission of conserving and managing the fishery resources for enjoyment by present and future generations. The surveys are conducted quickly and professionally to gather as much information as possible with the least disruption to the end-oftrip activities. These data, along with our own fishery-independent data, have been successfully used to enhance and maintain the great fishing opportunities we have coastwide. Coastal Fisheries staff can be recognized by their TPWD uniform shirt or cap, and their clipboard. They will ask you a brief set of questions and then ask to count and measure your fish. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated. Please help us continue managing your fisheries.

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

The proverbial question: “Who hires the person with no experience?” The answer, at least for numerous marine biology major college students, is the Coastal Conservation Association of Texas. Through an innovative program started over nine years ago with the Corpus Christi Chapter, the CCA Texas has funded eight college students this summer. The students have been assigned to six bay ecosystem management teams and to two marine fish hatcheries. Additionally, the Mr. Big Trout Fishing Tournament in the Upper Laguna Madre has funded an intern and one intern is funded through the TPWD intern program. Interns hail from Texas A&M UniversityCorpus Christi, TAMU-Galveston and Trinity University. Interns join their teams for about three months in the summer and they participate in all activities of regular employees. Activities include such things as hatchery operations, field sampling using a variety of gears: gill nets, trawls, and bag seines, conducting recreational harvest surveys, helping to maintain gear and equipment, and conducting education and outreach programs. The addition of interns for the staff during the busy summer months is extremely helpful and the experiences gained by the students are priceless. The investments made by the CCA, Mr. Big and TPWD in the intern program are immeasurably valuable and long lasting. Seven of the previous nine interns in the upper Laguna Madre are currently employed in some sort of fisheries management or enhancement, research, or habitat protection/restoration activities. It is a win-win-win for everyone. Expect to see an article or two written by some of our interns in future issues.


Summer Interns at Coastal Fisheries Field Offices

Check the TPWD Outdoor Annual, your local TPWD Law Enforcement office, or www. for more information. Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 39

CONSERVATION PAGE +(%3LWFKHVLQWR%XLOG7H[DV0DULQH+DELWDW San Antonio-based grocery chain H-E-B jumped in to support Texas marine conservation recently with a $5,000 contribution to the CCA Texas Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow program (HTFT). The CCA Texas habitat initiative was launched in 2009 and has already set in motion a number of projects important to Texas recreational anglers, including construction of offshore artificial reefs and marsh restoration programs. “We were very excited that our Austin chapter forged this relationship with H-E-B and are honored to have them as a partner in our efforts to enhance Texas’ marine habitat,” said Robby Byers, CCA Texas executive director. “Enhancing habitat is all about putting projects in the water where they will do the most good. The dollars that H-E-B has donated to our habitat program will help us create and restore more areas in our coastal waters that are essential for fish habitat. This is a great example of how companies like H-E-B can make a difference.” H-E-B began 100 years ago in a tiny family shop in Kerrville, Texas, and today is one the nation’s largest independently owned food retailers with more than 300 stores and 75,000 employees in Texas and Mexico. The company has launched an extensive environmental campaign called Take Care of Texas to instill energy efficiency and conserve natural resources in every phase of its operations. “We proudly support conservation groups, such as the Coastal Conservation Association, with a proven track record of conserving Texas’ marine resources,” Leslie Lockett, Director of Public Affairs. “Each year the Austin chapter assesses which Texas companies might have interest in our cause, and H-E-B was an obvious choice as good stewards of our coastal resources,” said Scott McGuire, president of the CCA Texas Austin Chapter. “I am very excited about the relationship we have established with H-E-B and anticipate many more great things to come from it. They share the same concerns for Texas and the conservation of its coastal resources as we do at CCA.” CCA Texas continues to work through HTFT to restore and provide new habitat for the benefit of Texas’s coastal fisheries. If you or your company are interested in being a part of this ongoing effort, please contact John Blaha, HTFT Director, at 713.626.4222.

Other Conservation News Conservationists prepare for oil spill response In response to the tragic Deep Horizon rig explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Coastal Conservation 40 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Association chapters along the Gulf Coast have offered assistance to state agencies as they enact plans for clean-up efforts. “Our chapters have been in contact with the appropriate fish and game management agencies in each state and have notified their local membership that they may be needed in the coming weeks and months to do some heavy lifting to protect and restore our coastal environment,” said Pat Murray, CCA president. “The concern from our membership has been overwhelming. I’m confident when and if we are asked to assist, we will have no shortage of volunteers ready and willing to do whatever they can to help.”

STAR Tournament Kicks Off The CCA Texas State of Texas Anger’s Rodeo 21st Annual event kicked of the 2010 tournament Memorial Day weekend. The opening weekend saw the first tagged redfish brought to the docks and two great speckled trout catches in the teen division. This year’s tournament runs from May 29th until September 6th. Make sure you’ve got your entry paid up before you hit the water and remember that your kids from ages 6 to 18 fish for free when they sign up as a New Tide member. Over $1,000,000 in prizes are up for S.T.A.R. redfish being grabs in this year’s event, so if released. Five truckyou haven’t signed up yet, make boat-motor-trailer sure you do so now! packages and five boatmotor-trailer packages Please don’t forget to thank are up for grabs in the our wonderful sponsors for their 2010 CCA Texas State loyal support… return the favor of Texas Anglers Rodeo. by remembering them when But remember…You gotta be in to win! making your purchasing decisions. They make this wonderful family event possible. Major sponsors for the 21st Annual CCA Texas/STAR Tournament include: Ford, Tilson Home Corporation, Texas Ford Dealers, Mercury Marine, Academy Sports & Outdoors, NRG Texas, Power Plus Personnel, Whataburger, Houston Community Newspapers, Fox Sports Houston, Fox Sports Southwest, Comcast, Haynie Boats, Shoalwater Boats, NauticStar Boats, Blue Wave Boats, Easterly, Texas Fish & Game Magazine, Texas Oilman’s Charity Fishing Tournament, Coastline Trailers, McClain Trailers, Chris’s Marine, Mt. Houston Marine and Texas Marine. For more information, including a list of weigh-in stations, instant-entry registration locations in your area and weekly leader board updates, go to CCA Texas July Events July 22, 2010 – Greater Woodlands Chapter Annual Banquet - Grand Palace, Spring July 29, 2010 – San Gabriel Chapter Annual Banquet - Dell Diamond, Round Rock

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


Mowing and yard work are a big part of home ownership and we all take pride in keeping our place looking great. Short of hiring a lawn service, this could mean several evenings per week during warmer months or, Heaven forbid, losing a prime weekend fishing day. So with all the other pressures, kid’s sports and assorted honey-dos, what’s a decent, selfrespecting fishaholic to do?

swaths available in 42, 48 and 52-inches, anti-scalp Cutting height roller-floated mowing adjusts on-the-fly with foot pedal. deck, and not having to mow in square or circular paths (because tractors cannot turn in their own length) – mowing can take half the time with a zero-turn Exmark and you get a more professional-looking job. The Exmark Quest is powered by the time-honored Briggs & Stratton Extended Life Series Twin-Cylinder engines rated 20, 22 and 24-HP depending cutting width, and the whole rig is covered by a 3-Year Homeowner’s Warranty for major components. While nearly all lawn tractors and even some brands of zero-turn equipment are built of stamped and bolted components, the Exmark Quest frame is crafted of welded 2” square steel tubing and the mower deck is fabricated and welded from heavy gage steel plate that delivers no flex, no belt bind, no warp! The mower deck drive system, belts and blades all last much longer and provide more uniform mowing performance. Upgrading your lawn equipment can be a good place to start. Mowing with an Exmark Quest has to be experienced to be After all, it’s not long sweaty hours and calloused hands that bring believed. The seat is thickly padded and includes armrests for satisfaction; it’s the manicured look of the place that puts our mind comfort. Steering and speed control are accomplished with at ease when we hitch up the boat and head for the coast. adjustable levers to suit the operator and the drive system is Exmark has the solution. Long favored by professional lawn hydrostatic for durability and exacting control. Jump in the seat and care specialists for their efficiency and durability, Exmark now get the feel of the controls; in no time at all you’ll be mowing like a offers their line of affordable and efficient professional and saying goodbye to long “estate mowers” for homeowners. If you are sweaty hours on tractors and the workout mowing a half-acre or more, a true zeroyou get behind a push mower. turn machine makes a lot of sense. While To learn how to reduce your lawn tractor-style mowers can get the job done, care time with an Exmark Quest Zero-Turn the efficiency just isn’t there. Typically, with Mower and to locate your nearest dealer a tractor-style mower, tedious and multiple and schedule a demo, visit www.Exmark. time-consuming passes are required to com. Exmark mowers are manufactured accomplish a neat job, not to mention that a in the good old USA. Financing and push mower is often required to get within promotional programs are available along weed-eater distance of trees and landscape with a full line of accessories: sun shade, beds. Now there’s zero-turn. light kit (fishaholics sometimes mow in the Imagine a very compact machine that dark), hitch kit, jack and receiver, bagging spins in its own length, can gobble 2.8 acres systems and Micro Mulch. per hour, and controllable to within mere The tides are green and the fish are inches of fences, walls, curbs and landscape biting. Get off the lawn tractor and go features. With a top speed of 7.0 mph in the fishing! open, Foot Operated Quick Height Adjust System that allows cutting heights of 1.55.0 inches in half-inch increments, mower Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 41




The fishing finally broke wide-open this past week. The weather got right, the tides were favorable and the fishing reports were coming at a steady clip. This was good and bad. Good in that it was nice to receive so many encouraging reports, bad in that I was coming down with a severe case of A.D.D. Every morning that I headed towards the water I couldn’t decide where I wanted to go and which species I wanted to target. The surf was green to the beach and full of trout. Just off the beach was glassy calm and schools of bait

were getting massacred by roving bands of Spanish mackerel, jacks and sharks. There were even hushed whispers of the season’s first tarpon. A couple buddies were on schools of reds feeding on baby shrimp way back in the marshes under hovering gulls. Another friend sent limit photos of doormat flounder caught during a short session at the mouth of a marsh drain. And of course, the speckled trout in the bays were going off on the reefs and under scattered flocks of birds. The surf is such a fickle suitor that it is hard to pass up when it gets right. As bad as I wanted to go hit those marsh reds, the sight of limp pre-dawn flags along the Galveston seawall was too much. The kayak would have to stay strapped in the truck on this day. I turned onto one of the many beach access points west of the seawall and waded into the warm water tossing a topwater as the sun turned the horizon pink. The first few casts went unanswered, but out there in the dark I could hear trout slurping. A few more casts and the Top Dog got blasted skyward. Once it touched down the trout was waiting like a defensive back on a tip drill. Sweet – the first surf trout of 2010. The fish weren’t thick, but there were enough to keep me plugging until the sun got a few feet above the water. The topwater was getting ignored, so I 42 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

switched to a soft plastic and drew a few half-hearted strikes. A couple hours in I was daydreaming about what might be happening back in the bay when a huge silver flash took a swipe at the jig just as I was lifting it for another cast. The fish surged forward taking drag for twenty or thirty feet before stopping for a head thrashing shake. Damn, that’s a huge trout! Or not. The next move was unmistakably a jackfish tactic, head buried and driving towards the Yucatan. There was a sketchy moment at the start when I thought I might get spooled, but eventually the big jack started circling back. The battle continued for a while but in the end I won, much to the delight of a couple of old snowbirds heckling me from the comfort of their lawn chairs on the sand. I thought they were going to fall out of their chairs when I released the mule to fight another day. Apparently they thought it was some sort of tuna and couldn’t figure out why someone wouldn’t keep obviously great table fare. Two days later I found myself struggling with the same decisions. My buddy Billy Ray and I talked it over and decided to launch the kayaks into the surf and patrol the third bar. It sounded right and felt like a good plan. But as the sun rose it became apparent that the light west wind overnight had sanded the surf. Bait was thick, but the predators just weren’t in the mood. Other than a few short strikes at the topwaters there wasn’t much action. No problem; we loaded up and headed bayside. The tide was rolling in as we entered a wide bayou that leads to a secluded lake. Riding that tide were rafts of silver dollar sized menhaden. The whole bayou was alive with bait and the predators were obviously taking advantage. Billy Ray struck first with a nice flounder on a swimbait. A few moments later a nice slot red slammed my topwater three times before finding the hooks. We stationed ourselves at a pinch point and proceeded to wear out the trout on just about any color of soft plastic we felt like throwing. The tide eventually slowed

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

it turned out to be Spanish mackerel slashing through thousands of tiny baitfish. With a trace of light wire leader and a clear sparkled soft plastic I had the right combination. It was fun, but after losing more than a few lures it was time to move along. I prowled several miles parallel to the sand with not much to show for it other than a few dink trout. It was time to go check on the reds. A quick launch into one of my favorite out of the way spots and I found the reds right where I thought they’d be. Singles were pushing deep into the marsh grass thrashing about and making all kinds of commotion. They were tough to catch, but the small pods cruising the edge of the

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Texas Saltwater Fishing

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and came to a halt and so did the bite. It was a nice session, but could have been epic had we decided to start the morning there. The next morning found me drawn back to the surf zone. The west wind had turned slightly north clearing the surf and creating a mirror slick surface from the sand out as far as I could see. I cruised the beach from just east of Surfside almost to San Luis Pass before I found what I was looking for. Several flocks of gulls were hovering over bait and the pelicans were dive-bombing. All of the action was taking place on the outside of the third bar. The picket line of waders were giving it their best, but most were coming up a bit short. I slid the kayak into the water and eased out into the action. I was hoping for trout, but

44 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

and some roving schools of Spanish mackerel. I mention all of these trips as a reminder of the versatility of kayaks. Too many people want to pigeonhole our little plastic boats as being strictly for shallow, protected waters. And while they do shine in those places powerboats can’t enter, they are also perfectly capable of taking you on other adventures. Given the right weather and a competent partner or two I have no problem heading into open water chasing bigger prey. Be honest with yourself regarding your personal abilities and experience and don’t push it beyond your limits. Wear your PFD, paddle with a buddy, and go have some fun this summer.


pond were silly easy. I really think that they would’ve hit any lure in the box. That night I was drawn to a fishing report posted on the Texas Kayak Fisherman website. The group had been a couple miles offshore where they had run into a bunch of jacks, some sharks and had possibly had a run-in with a king. That report combined with those first hints of tarpon had me pumped for a nearshore trip. The leader of the group was kind enough to invite me along for their followup trip. We met on the beach at dawn and headed out. Around the one mile point the

smacks showed up and we stopped to play with them for a bit. Steve managed to find a small ladyfish among them and decided to anchor up and free-line her out on his heavier gear. I swear it wasn’t thirty seconds before a nice blacktip was cartwheeling across the surface. The shark put on an energetic show before coming alongside the kayak in fake submission. I was lucky enough to be in position to get a photo of the drenching. As Steve re-rigged, I continued trolling a big silver Russelure through the area. I was thinking kingfish when the drag started screaming. The fish went airborne in a twisting, shaking leap high above the water. Another decent blacktip. Three good jumps later she was off. We moved further offshore hoping to find the kings, but all we could locate were more sharks

Capt. Scott Null is a devout shallow water fisherman offering guided adventues via kayak, poled skiff, and wading. Phone 281-450-2206 Website

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


%R2LO\3YXPSSO Six species cited repeatedly for being most threatened by the oil spill include brown pelicans, Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles, North Atlantic bluefin tuna, oysters, bottlenose dolphins, and sharks. Brown pelicans only came off the endangered species list last year. They, along with other seagoing birds, mistake oil slicks for calm water and dive right in. Not only does oil destroy the protective layering of feathers, reducing buoyancy and inviting hypothermia, it’s a foul compound to find in your stomach, which happens to pelicans when they try to preen their oil-stricken coat and ingest the sticky substance. Any bird passing through the Gulf will have the same problem, and it’s migrating season for several species. Oil washing to shore is also a danger to nesting shorebirds, such as plovers and sandpipers; eggs covered in oil might never hatch. This is true for sea turtles as well. Five of the seven species of sea turtles live in the Gulf and now find a slimy black intruder in their favorite feeding grounds. Kemp’s Ridley is the most endangered sea turtle in the world and is currently in its peak nesting season.

nothing known on what long-term effects may arise from continued migration through the polluted waters, and their young may ingest oil from contaminated teats. Sharks are also spawning, and the Chandeleur Islands, a known grassland nursery for sharks, are very close to the spill. Whale sharks feeding on plankton at the surface may also be at risk. At the forefront of the danger to Gulf wildlife is the jeopardy of the Louisiana estuaries already hit by the oil. Ninety percent of all marine species in the Gulf depend on coastal estuaries at some point in their lives; forty percent of all the Gulf’s wetlands and marshes are located along the Louisiana coast, and this oil spill looms over an already battered ecosystem. The wetlands are the base of the food chain for a large amount of Gulf wildlife: take them out, and “it’s like you pull a thread on the shirt and it all comes apart,” said Mark LaSalle, an ecologist at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center in Moss Point, Miss. Wetlands also fill a kidney-like function for the Gulf, filtering out chemicals and other undesirables, but it’s unclear how the marshes might react to such an incursion. They might recover somewhat, like the shores near the Exxon-Valdez spill (which still have a layer of oil about 7 inches down that interferes with local wildlife), or if too much oil seeps into the porous sediment, they might lose most of the vegetation and cease to be wetlands. Hope exists that the marshes might break down the sweet crude oil over time, as it is lighter and lesstoxic than other oils. If you would like to help with wildlife restoration and rescue efforts or have questions about the oil spill response, visit www.deepwaterhorizonresponse. com. There are several volunteering opportunities available, this being only Louisiana wetlands: photo from the National one way to find them. A simple Google Digital Library of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. search will reveal several others. Another North Atlantic bluefin tuna, already dangerously close to good website is extinction and prized for their tasty flesh may lose a whole There is one more species worth mentioning that is also being generation. One of many fish species currently spawning near affected by the spill, one which you’re probably familiar with: or in the oil spill, bluefin tuna’s (and other fish) larvae are quite humans. Certainly our immediate lives aren’t at risk like some susceptible to the chemical dispersants and floating oil slicks, wildlife, but many livelihoods are ruined. Louisiana harvests partly because of their more-or-less stationary nature, floating fifty percent of the nation’s shrimp crop, thirty-five percent of along with seaweed patches. Oysters, shellfish, and other filter blue crabs, and forty percent of oysters. The Gulf commercial feeders share the same predicament. They must feed on whatever fisheries is one-fifth of the US’s seafood economy, according to comes by, no choosers among beggars. the National Wildlife Federation and the NOAA (National Oceanic Bottlenose dolphins and other marine mammals have yet and Atmospheric Association). As of June 13, about thirty-seven another set of difficulties. Like fish and birds, their skin is sensitive percent of the Gulf available for commercial fishing is closed. NOAA to irritations caused by the oil, but they have the added bad luck ( and USA Today ( breathing in oil-induced toxins when they surface; it’s a poisonous oil-spill-map.htm) are providing daily updates of oil spill closures. perfume that can lead to fatal lung complications. There’s also Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 45



-VY:HSL In today’s economic climate, the last thing many people are considering is buying a boat. However, for those who have been looking for a deal on a good used boat, right now is the f t ti t buy. What once might have been only a good perfect time to deal may very well turn into an unbelievable deal. There are some things, however, that potential buyers should be wary of. The first thing a person should do upon spotting a boat that could potentially make him part with his hard-earned money is to know what the boat was worth when it was brand spanking new. In this day and age, this has never been easier. Remember, we now live in the information age and any research that is needed can be done in just a few minutes time on the World Wide Web. Start by learning what the current model of the boat and motor is selling for what it sold for in the year model you are considering. This can be done by searching the websites of the various dealers and with a couple of phone calls. Now, I have to admit, I have no clue where I stumbled on to this formula but, it has served me well to both buy and sell boats. And, let me tell you, I have been through some boats over the years. Basically, it is a very simple depreciation schedule that says a boat’s value will depreciate 20% the first year and then 10% per year after that. In short, after five years, a boat will have depreciated by half its original price provided it has been well

46 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

maintained. After five years or so, the value doe not depreciate much more unless it has been totally neglected. At this point, it becomes a matter of how good or bad it has been treated and how much is it worth to you, the buyer. By any stretch of the imagination, the formula above is not a rule but a guideline and, to tell the truth, the percentages are probably a little high considering the number of boats currently on the market. Determining whether or not a boat has received proper care is a big part of the buying decision and can sometimes be difficult. The reason is, most people, including myself, will put a lot of effort into cleaning it prior to showing and this can disguise neglect. There are, however telltale signs. First, ask the seller where the boat was stored. This not only tells you if the boat has been sitting out in the weather but, also, how much pride the owner has in taking care of his property. There are exceptions of course. One of the reasons a buddy is selling his boat is because it is sitting out in the weather. Hurricane Ike ate his boat shed. Nobody that I know in this world takes better care of a boat than my friend but, he just is not able to fish as much anymore so rather than building a new cubby hole for his boat, he is selling it. My point is, use this information to help you make a judgment call, not to make a final decision. The second way to tell if a boat has been used harshly is to examine the motor’s skeg. Sure, just about every motor out

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing


that these are things need to be addressed before an inconvenient failure occurs. It is also important to investigate warranties. Not always but, in some instances, manufacturer and extended warranties are transferrable. I would not let it be a deal-breaker, but I would not pass on the opportunity. And, if a warranty or warranties are available, this will certainly be reflected in the price. Now that you have determined whether or not a boat is worth haggling over; the best way to start is to ask the seller what he expects to get for it. Once that information is on the table, it is time to make an offer. Chances are, if you are not unreasonable, the offer will be accepted or at least countered with a price somewhere in between. However, if you really insult the seller with a ridiculous offer, you might miss out on a great deal. It is very sad right now that many people are selling their boats. Some are doing it because the economics of owning a boat do not fit their current budget. The point is, if there ever was the time to buy a good used boat it is right now. And, if you do your homework, Capt. Scott Sommerlatte is a full time fly you might be fishing and light tackle guide, freelance able to make writer and photographer. a great deal on a well-kept Telephone 979-415-4379 boat that will Email provide years of enjoyment. Website / July 2010 47


there has some paint missing from the skeg , especially here on the Gulf coast but, if the paint is gone all the way up to the hub, chances are the boat has been run very hard. If you notice this, you might want to ask the owner if he has ever changed the water pump impeller and then carefully inspect the transom for cracks, which brings me to another point. If you look carefully at most boats, especially ones with a molded deck-cap, you will occasionally see some very fine cracks in the gel coat on the transom near the motor mounts. Gel coat, unlike the fiberglass and resin below it, is a very hard substance that has little to no give and, in areas with a great deal of stress, will tend to develop what I like to call “spider” cracks over time. These cracks are usually only cosmetic and in no way determine the integrity of the hull however, if there are a great many of these cracks I will suggest going to the rear of the boat and pushing up and down on the lower unit while watching the cracks. If they seem to “breathe” substantially, chances are the transom is weak or damaged and it is time to move on. Another import thing to look for is corrosion. It is really easy to tell if the boat was washed after every use by looking at metal components topside. If you find rust in numerous places, it does not necessarily mean the owner did not take care of it but, it might mean that the manufacturer or dealer who rigged the boat probably went on the cheap and did not use the best accessories. By rust, I do not necessarily mean stains on stainless steel but, rusted bolt and screw heads that a wrench or screwdriver can no longer grip. Should you run across this, you need to decide if you are buying a boat to use or one to restore because chances are





7RXUQDPHQW3UHVVXUH O April 30th my uncle, cousin and I rolled up to On P Port O’ Connor to confirm our entry in the Tails n’ Tunes tournament, which was the biggest tournament I have ever been in. We hadn’t been fishing in two weeks and were hoping to get right back on the fish we were on the few previous trips. The night before the tournament was long and seemed to be never ending. We woke up before the sun and headed out. No one knew what the day was going to hold It would have been nice and was much anticipated. if I could have caught this We were running blind that one during the Tails and Tunes tournament. morning due to fog. So we decided to wait for more light. When everything was visible we started up and continued the boat ride. When we arrived at the first spot I strapped on

my stingray guards and jumped out of the boat. I noticed the water was very clear in that spot, almost too clear. There were some mullet in the water but not enough. The first wade drew up a big goose egg. My cousin Dylan and I hopped back in the boat and idled closer to where my uncle was wading. He had strung two solid specks, one of which was nearing 22 inches. Seeing his fish, Dylan and I quickly got back in the water. It was odd but the one hundred yards or so move down the shore line changed the game. The bottom and water quality here were completely different. Here the bottom was sandy and the water was slightly off colored, which appeared to hold more fish. However we seemed

to curse the spot and the bite became slow. We moved to a small cove on a shoreline and began aggressively fishing. On about the third cast, I was working my topwater. It was ten feet away from me when I saw a flash of silver right under my topwater then all of a sudden; swoosh! But he missed it. I think his goal was to suck the chrome off my super spook, or make me wet my pants, one of the two. I kept grinding over the area for a while, but nothing. “That trout had to at least be twenty five inches,” I said as I walked back to the boat. After our bad luck with the trout, we decided to give the redfish a try. We hit up a spot that my uncle, Mitchell, has been fishing since the good ol’ days. While we were there, Dylan caught a twenty three inch redfish, but we boxed it anyway. Then we made a move to a pond that has proved it’s self time and time again to hold some big fish. We knew something was wrong when that pond was empty. With time running down I got my first gut feeling of tournament pressure. I have to say it’s not a good feeling. You have money on the line, the time clock is ticking, and you don’t have the pounds of fish that you need in the box. So, we cranked up the Johnson and headed to the other end of the bay system, closer to the boat ramp. We were hoping to get on some fish in a certain area that we had been catching fish at for almost a year. Cruising up to the spot we noticed that we didn’t have the best wind for it. The water was all mucked up and wasn’t too appealing. We slid into casting range using the Power Pole and handy remote to keep the boat close

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

to save time. We started casting and almost simultaneously were hooked up. “Awwh no…. rat reds,” I said. Now any other day I would have been happy to catch a small redfish, but that day it was almost like I was mad at that fish for biting my lure. We continued to try to trick a fat red into biting our lure, but it didn’t work. Now, we were in a full out scramble. So, we tried one more spot. We knew that all we needed was a big twenty seven and a half inch red and we could probably place around fourth or third. So we were still fishing competitively. We arrived at the new spot and I put on a trusty gold spoon. I was casting as far as my Fishing Tackle Unlimited Green Rod and Shimano Chronarch would allow. I don’t think I have wanted to catch a fish that bad since I was eight or nine years old. I had just made a long cast, made one crank on my reel and I had a hit. I set the hook as hard as I could, then he got off. I think the problem was that the hook on the spoon was rusted up, and I tried to sharpen it the night before at about eleven o’ clock. Loosing that fish was very frustrating. With another look at the clock we realized, that if we wanted to even come close to making the weigh-in we had to leave soon. So we did, but didn’t make it in time; which didn’t really matter because other teams didn’t have problems finding and catching big redfish. Even though we didn’t win, or even come close, the tournament was lots of fun. It was a very competitive tournament, the bands were a lot of fun to watch, and I will definitely consider fishing it again next year.

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 49


<287+)8/ EYES



With the 2010 red snapper season in federal water reduced to fifty-three days and a two fish daily bag limit, lots of offshore anglers will be looking for other species to pursue this summer. Trolling offers anglers opportunities to catch pelagic species such as dorado, kingfish, wahoo and sailfish that otherwise wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be caught when dropping lures or natural baits to snapper. While wahoo are commonly found quite a distance offshore, all the others mentioned are usually well within reach of the mosquito fleet during warmer months. An assortment of trolling baits such as Rapala CD 14s and 18s and Russelures is a good place to start. Artificial baits can and do produce lots of fish but we should never overlook natural baits rigged in combination with artificials. My favorite artificial/natural combination is the Ilander lure rigged with a ballyhoo. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let the fact that the Ilander and the ballyhoo do not come pre-rigged scare you as it really is quite easy to put them together. I highly recommend the Ilander from Islander Lures since the skirt material can withstand sharp teeth from barracuda, kingfish, and wahoo. The head of the Ilander is hollow offering

a perfect pocket for the beak of the ballyhoo and this helps keep it aligned with the lure. Also, the Ilanderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bullet-shaped head works well on downriggers, which comes in very handy when fish suspend lower in the water column during the heat of the day. The Ilander is available in a range of sizes and one of the most popular measures 8.25 inches and weighs about 2.5 ounces with the bullet head. Another popular Ilander model but with concave head is 5.5 inches and weighs about 1/2 ounce. As for colors; blue and white is a go-to for many anglers and pink/ white, dorado, red/black and purple/black are also popular. As for leaders on trolling setups, I prefer 49 Strand

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Texas Saltwater Fishing


Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

wire either 90# or 175# for the best in flexibility and durability. If monofilament is your choice, I would stay in the 200-250 pound strength range. I believe 49 Strand is best inside 30nm given the probably of tangling with kingfish. Beyond 30nm, and certainly any time you feel you might raise a billfish, the heavy mono would be the best choice as billfish are known to be wire shy. Next is hook size and strength and once again I go back to that 30nm distance. Heavy gage hooks are usually not necessary inside 30nm, however, I lean strongly toward the heavier wire gages beyond that distance. Having said that, always remember that thin gage hooks have better penetrating ability but are far more likely to open should an unexpected marlin or large pelagic take your

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 51


bait. In the end, you see, hook selection is always a judgment call, and one that should be made by the angler since he has to live with the final outcome. Now for the ballyhoo. These baits must be prepared properly; simply thawing frozen ballyhoo and rigging them to your lure does not work well as they will become soggy and washed out after only minutes of trolling. We begin by purging the stomach and intestinal contents. Start at the gills and pinching firmly toward the anal vent. Next we need to break the ballyhooâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s back in multiple places to obtain lifelike swimming action. Now weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ready to brine the ballyhoo. Place a third cup of baking soda and one pound coarse kosher

mouth closed, (see photo.) Trim the beak so that it will fit into the hollow pocket of the Ilander lure and you’re ready to begin trolling. With a medium to large ballyhoo I would use a 9/0 or 10/0 Gamakatsu O’Shaughnessy hook and for smaller ballyhoo I’d go with a 7/0. I like to have several baits brined and pre-rigged on lures to avoid wasting valuable fishing time. Your trolling reels should hold at least 300 yards of line. You never know when the fish of a lifetime will strike and you certainly don’t to be spooled when it does.

salt in a zip-lock bag and add enough water to form a runny paste. This solution will draw moisture out of the ballyhoo’s flesh with several hours of soaking and toughen it to a jerky-like texture. After brining, poke the eyes out of the ballyhoo and slide the hook in. Insert the hook directly under the gill plate and bring it out through the belly of the ballyhoo as you would a rubber worm. With the hook in place it’s time to wrap the ballyhoo with soft copper wire. Begin by running the wire through the eye sockets and around the hook shank three times. The tag end of wire remaining at the eyes is then pushed through both jaws and wrapped around the ballyhoo’s lower jaw and beak to keep the




w w




w w S ERENA sportfishing 52 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 53





Mirage Pro Angler

Flying Fisherman® Introduces XLT For 25th Anniversary

The popularity of Gulp! Alive! Jerk Shad is undeniable - standard issue with saltwater anglers everywhere. The new Gulp! Alive! 6-inch Jerk Shad gives anglers a larger profile with the same great action as previous Gulp! Alive! Jerk Shad. Gulp! Alive! 6-inch Jerk Shad are available in the oval bucket to keep bait shapes truer for better performance. Plus, these baits are completely rechargeable: once the bait has been used for a while it can be placed back in the container to soak up more fishcatching scent and flavor. Six-inch Jerk Shad are also available in re-sealable Gulp! Saltwater packages for wade fishermen. MSRP - $19.99 for Gulp! Alive! Oval Buckets, $6.99 for Gulp! Saltwater Packs.

Titanium Frame And RhinoLens™ Combo Virtually Indestructible

An easy-to-use, stable alternative to traditional fishing boats, Hobie’s Pro Angler is a no-gas-required, 100% fishing machine. The Pro Angler is powered by Hobie’s patented

MirageDrive®, which employs 2 underwater penguin-type flippers that propel the boat through the water. There’s room onboard for 6 horizontal and 2 vertical rods plus 13 Plano tackle boxes. No launch ramp? No problem. The Pro Angler will get you to honey holes power craft can only dream about. Says legendary bass fisherman Hank Parker, “The Pro Angler is unbelievably stable and still small enough to access your favorite skinny water”.

The XLT is the newest polarized eyewear addition for Flying Fisherman®. The titanium frames are flexible and durable, and paired with shatterproof, polycarbonate RhinoLenses™, offer the perfect blend of protection, performance and style. At only half an ounce, “you’ll forget you’re wearing sunglasses!” said a company spokesperson. Add the Flying Fisherman® AcuTint™ lens coloring system, and the XLT’s eliminate glare, provide high-definition contrast, sharper optics and enhanced ability to spot fish and other structure. The generous 65mm lens offers good wrap coverage, and temple tips are drilled to hold its removable, floating lanyard. Hard case also included. MSRP $89.95. www.

MSRP: $2,399 1-800-HOBIE49

54 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


Saltwater Soul

Magic Swimmer

BADONK-A-DONK(BSWDT) Some categories of baits keep getting better with age and innovation. After decades of study, Bomber refined the walk-the-dog category to perfection with the new 2010

BADONK-ADONK. Classic features, new shape, smoking hot colors and hydrophonic innovations create the ultimate topwater weapon. Available in 3½, 4, and 4½-inch sizes for any condition or fish mood. The BADONK-A-DONK is offered in two independent sound frequencies, high pitch (Hp) and low pitch (Lp) giving greater versatility for a wide range of conditions and species. The BADONK-A-DONK comes armed with heavy-duty saltwater grade hardware and components. All three sizes in the Hp and Lp are available in 15 hot colors, making the BADONK-A-DONK the answer to any walk-the-dog situation.

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Salt Water Soul’s featured long sleeve pocket t-shirt was designed for serious saltwater enthusiasts and favored by many. This shirt is super comfortable and highly breathable, just what you need in the Texas heat. It is also made “tagless” so you have nothing chafing the back of your neck, probably the most comfortable of any in your closet. Available in all sizes from small to XXXL for the big boys that have that SALTWATER SOUL! You can find this shirt at these fine locations: Fishing Tackle Unlimited-Houston Boyd’s-Texas City, Smitty’s-Galveston, Galveston Outfitters-Galveston, Marburger’s-Seabrook, Fish-n-Hunt-Houston, Victoria All Sports-Victoria, The Tackle Shack-Brownsville Uptown Angler-New Orleans E-Z Mart-Bayou Vista Jammin Sportswear-League City Tropical Express-Kemah.

“Fast Sinking” SEBILE’s Magic Swimmer “Fast Sinking” series (F-SK) features body sizes and shapes engineered to create lateral turbulences just like in real baitfish. Their weightforward center of gravity allows them to swim on their own

on the fall without any action by the angler. They cast far thanks to a high ratio volume/weight. There are five sizes of fast-sinking Magic Swimmers – 82, 110, 145, 190 and 228 (millimeters) – ranging from the lightest at 9 grams to the heaviest at 145 grams. All feature the finest in hooks and components, and SEBILE’s quality color finishes are effective in fresh and saltwater. Phone: 325.437.8103 (USA) Email: Website:

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 55

DICKIE COLBURNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S

Sabine Scene It is hot, dry, and the wind

on both sides. Topwaters and swim baits fished tight to the granite,

continues to be a factor most

especially around the washouts, has been a strong program at first

days, but no one is complaining

light most days.


about the fishing here on Sabine.

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

The water clarity is as good as

cut mullet to Gulp rigged on a 3/8 ounce head. There are also some

it can get all over the lake and

magnum gafftop eating the same offerings most days and they are not

an expanded playing field has

to be overlooked with the S.T.A.R. tournament in full swing.

Telephone 409-883-0723 Website

days to the wind, but that

over shad and shrimp from Blue Buck Point to the mid-lake area. The

minor inconvenience pales in

shorter tails like the 4-inch Assassin Sea Shad or MirrOlureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Lilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

comparison to possibly having our

John will produce more strikes, but the larger fish hanging beneath

entire ecosystem bathed in oil. I

the schools usually favor the longer Assassin shads or topwater lures.

The redfish are seemingly always there and will hit everything from

reduced much of the pressure. We are still losing a few

For those more interested in non-stop action than duping a personal best trout this month, look no further than the gulls working

say an extra prayer every morning, but I cannot see how our area can

There is no doubt that a particular color will work better on a given

escape totally unscathed before this is all over. Another hurricane or

day and I carry a pile of them in self-defense, but there are very few

major storm could leave us shoveling more oil out of our homes than

days when you cannot catch our schooling trout with glow-chartreuse

mud this time.

or Texas Roach. If there are redfish mixed in the fray, tie on a chrome

The trout bite from the nearshore rigs to Lighthouse Cove has been

Trap or a Hoginar and hang on.

very consistent. Choosing which side of the jetties to fish is a matter of wind direction and water clarity as the fishing can be equally good

Most of the grass has rotted off below the surface, but the submerged root systems are still holding massive concentrations of



Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

SABIN E both shrimp and finger mullet. This relatively new structure is most

find most of our big trout this month

prevalent from Garrisonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ridge to Three Bayous on the Louisiana side

simply by looking for slicks on shallow

of the lake. The trout and redfish are never far away and these are areas

flats near deep water. That cooler hour

that will hold up throughout the day with even a minimal tide flow.

ut the or so at first light is predictably good, but hange any hour trout will invariably slick up on a tide change

While the trout and reds will jump all over a She Dog or Spook, they can be a pain to fish over the thicker

of the day.

grass in less than three feet of water. For that reason, we have substituted weedless frogs and non-weighted Texas-rigged

I am not so foolish as to ever turn my Steve Osborne beat the wind with this nice trout!

back on any lure as evidenced by the tackle shop under my front deck, but I

Assassins for the conventional topwater

have done so well on big trout this past

plugs. The explosions are just as exciting

month with only two lures that I have

and you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to fight the snags with

hardly thrown anything else. Every client

the weedless offerings. When fishing this

has his or her favorite, but none of them

technique I eliminate the leader and tie

have enticed me to cut off a MirrOdine XL

directly to 30-pound Power Pro braid.

or a 5-inch Assassin Shad rigged on the 1/8

The grass is a little thinner at 4 to

ounce Pro Elite head.

5 foot depths and the deeper bite is

For that matter, I have seldom needed to

generally a little better during the middle of the day. A great

even try any colors other than silver with a

tool for locating these fish is a Kwik Cork with a tail rigged on a two

green back in the XL and hot chicken in the Assassin. Undoubtedly, by

foot leader. We make long casts and once the fish are located, bury the

the time you read this the fish will want bone Catch Vâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and red shad

Stake-Out stick and make repeated casts before continuing the drift.

plastics, but thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fishing and you best give them what they want.

Locating bait is a key element any time of the year, but we will

Never take a day on the water for granted!








the mostd talkerod aboutt on ou ter. the wa

12800 Gulf Freeway @ Fuqua, Houston, TX 77034

8933 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77024



$YDLODEOHLQ6SLQQLQJDQG&DVWLQJ0RGHOV*RRQOLQHIRUIXOOGHWDLOVÂŤ Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 57


3R+EPZIWXSR Nothing makes my job easier than a good run of steady catching, and fishing has finally busted loose! This week I’ve had Mickey Eastman is a full-time a couple of really good trips: easy fishing guide out of Baytown, limits and four to five hours of TX. Mickey has 26 years guiding experience on the Galveston catch and release in one spot. area bays and is the founder They don’t seem to be leaving a of Gulf Coast Troutmasters, lot of signs, but I’ve found that the largest speckled trout fishing around big shad balls and tournament series of all time mullet has been paying off the best, and once you get on them, Contact they’re really thick and stacked Mickey Eastman’s up tight. We’ve finally hit our Guide Service stride, and as long as we have Telephone these calm winds, we should see 281-383-2032 lots of good fishing for the rest of summer. I give the general Galveston Bay region a solid B+ rating right now that could easily become an A+ on speckled trout. Almost every reef in East Galveston Bay is loaded with schools of trout in anywhere from four to eight feet of water. These conditions are really paying off big for the lure fisherman, croaker

soakers, shrimp fisherman, and pretty much everyone else. A lot of the catches are real nice fish in the two to five pound class. There are quite a few medium-sized fish, and occasionally you hear about a seven or eight pounder. I caught a 29.5-incher last week, and it was really lookin’ good. As far as reefs go, the best fish concentrations are at Hanna’s, Ladies Pass, Whitehead Reef, Moody’s Pass, Richards Reef, Elm Grove Reef, Pepper Point Reef, etc. Really all the reefs over there are doing good. Some of the better wading spots are Windmill, behind Moody’s, and over on the south side near the Hog Pens, which is holding a lot of good fish from Baffle Point up through Severs cut. Good, solid trout are also starting to show on some of the well pads on the lower end of the ship channel all the way up to the mid marker 52, 54, 56 (what we call the pipeline area, Bart’s Pass, and Redfish Island area). Trinity Bay gets an A for redfish. There’s big open-water schools in eight to ten feet of water over shell and such. Personally, I usually go with soft plastics such as the new bait made locally, Big Nasty. I’m partial to the Voodoo bait in the Big Nasty series. As for shad imitating baits, I’m using a lot of the Money Minnows that Pradco makes. Those are really paying off because they match the size of the shad that the redfish are feeding under. Both the pearl/chartreuse back and dark green back/pearly belly colors have been a real knockout lately. Topwaters are working great for wade fisherman, not so much for those fishing from boats.

7+(&&+83$&$%5$287'2256 7+(&+83$&$%5$287'2256



58 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!



I think it has some sort of correlation with the noise. Any baits such as Catch 2000, Top Dog Jr, and Super Spooks are rout paying off (any colors). We do have some trout it scarce, in Trinity Bay, the schools are small and a bit but guides who can work the slicks or fish open water structures are catching a fair amount. Still, the bigger trout are coming from East Bay and the Galveston Jetty. The beach front is doing real well for redfish and trout; it really kicked off in early June. The water was still a bit sandy, not that emerald green you want, but the people chunking plugs, topwaters, and soft plastics were doing well. Those with bait buckets had a good time of it, too. Havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t heard much on the Tri-Bay area down there. They are still having spotty catches, but I look for that to change with the brown shrimp moving in and San Luis pass greening up. We should be hearing better reports from that area real soon. Basically, all the fish seem to be in that triangular area we see every year once the migrations have all come together from the Gulf, including the brown shrimp. Then itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a stack up, a real strong area. Overall, fishing is good, no complaints. Thank God the winds have stopped blowing. I hope everyone keeps in their thoughts all the really hard-working, proud fishermen over in Louisiana with this oil spill mess. Galveston isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t out of the woods yet, either. This could affect the entire Texas coast. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d better pray that a major hurricane doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t visit the Gulf and really screw the coastline up. Hope everythingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well for all you fishermen out there. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July.

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Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 59

CAPT. BILL’S It’s almost July and the hot, steamy dog days of summer will have set in before we know it. The fishing patterns we have been on will change Bill Pustejovsky is a full-time guide at Matagorda, TX. significantly due to increased Bill fishes year-round for air and water temperatures. trout and redfish in all the Typically, when facing stifling Matagorda Bays. Wading and heat that will shut down the drifting for trophy trout and bite and sap the strength of reds are his specialty. fishermen; I aim to get on the Telephone water as early in the day as 979-863-7353 possible. You may think I’m Email kidding but leaving the dock between 2:00-3:00 AM and Website fishing until around noon can quite often be the best fishing plan. The photos I have included here will attest to my belief in getting an early start. The rationale behind these practices reflects feeding patterns occurring during the coolest portion of the day, generally during predawn and the first hour or so of daylight.


If you decide to adopt this game plan, most of your fish can be found shallow, browsing along and feeding near the shoreline. You will need some type of light on your head at this time of the morning as visibility may be sparse; although, not a concern for your prey. It will be helpful to have a light while retrieving your topwater from the mouth of a trout as well to signal your wading partners and alert oncoming boats to your presence. Wading in the dark requires good ears to discover feeding activity and hear blow-ups while casting in the direction of those trout slurps. My plan entails wading a good shoreline with obvious bait that I locate by sweeping the area with a strong Q-Beam that will spook finger mullet to jump. Once a good concentration of baitfish have been located and

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Texas Saltwater Fishing

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M ATAG O R DA go into their jumping frenzy, I’ll stop the boat and begin my wade. I’ll usually wade the shorelines until about 5:00-5:30 AM and then head out to one of the deeper reefs in East Matagorda Bay and stay there until near noon. The deeper reefs will pay off after the sun starts up as those fish previously on the shoreline move off into deeper water and congregate on the structure of the reef. This is a very good method to use for fishing East Bay in the summer. Tricks of the trade will continue to focus on Saltwater Assassins, Mirrolure She Dogs, and Corkies. The new Bass Assassin they have named “Hot Chicken” has been working very well through May and early June. From what I’ve seen so far, I predict this bait will bring us at least as many strikes as my favorite “Roach” and “10W40” Assassin colors and will round out my top three choices for summertime trout fishing in East and West Matagorda Bays, as well as the surf whenever the day’s conditions allow us to get out there. Which of the Matagorda bays to focus upon will be determined by traffic and when East Bay seems too full I’ll head over to West Bay to try my luck. There I’ll start out wading grass beds near shorelines

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early and then venture out to the many well platforms which can also be very productive this time of year. Maybe I’ll even tackle some tripletail for a change. Oyster l d Lake and Shellll IIsland should produce some good reds and maybe a few trout. I never want to leave out the surf when giving a summertime fishing report and forecast. Unpredictable as it may be, I’ve had many excellent summertime trips out there when the wind and water clarity cooperate. Catching surf trout nearly all the day long can be close to paradise. The surf is an animal all to itself. Unlike the bays where water temperatures can soar and turn the gamefish sluggish, the Gulf water is always cool and the heat doesn’t affect fish activity. Top waters are an excellent choice when fishing the surf. Memory serves me well of hot summer days in the surf catching 2-3 lb trout at 2:00 PM — nothing in the bay really compares with it. Hopefully we’ll all get a chance to relive those adventures. Until next time…Good fishin and God Bless…Capt. Bill

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 61


;MXLXLI+VE]W CAPT. SHELLIE GRAY Captain Gary and Captain Shellie Gray fish year-round for trout and redfish in the Port O’Connor/ Seadrift area. Gary started his Bay Rat Guide Service 20 years ago. The Grays specialize in wade and drift fishing with artificial lures. Gary and Shellie also team up to fish many tournaments.

Telephone 361-785-6708 Email Website

We are well into the swing of summer fishing patterns here on the mid-coast. The wind has finally subsided allowing us to venture out of the protected back lakes and onto our outside shorelines, midbay reefs and, at last, the bountiful waters of the Gulf surf. The water temperatures have risen forcing trout and reds to look for cooler locations over sand and deeper

As of late, wading deep or anchoring on drop-offs adjacent to deeper water have been the key to catching. I am not a huge fan of wading up to my neck but that

Terri fell in love with her “Taker Homer” redfish!

oyster reefs. While I still enjoy sight-casting to wandering pods of redfish in our back lakes, some of these lakes have become inundated with thick seagrass making it difficult for most lure chunkers to use their arsenal effectively. If drifting for redfish in these grassy lakes is what you are hoping to do I would advise getting an early start before floating grass takes over by afternoon. Most of the shorelines that border West Matagorda, Espiritu Santo and San Antonio Bays have hard sandy bottoms with patches of grass and deeper guts. San Antonio Bay also has some of the best producing mid-bay reefs. These are the areas fish will migrate to this time of year in search of not only bait but also cooler water and our summer breezes help keep these less protected areas more aerated.

62 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

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P O R T O ’CO N N O R / SE AD R I F T seems to be what it takes to get into a solid bite lately. Holding steady when you find a bite is imperative to staying in the fish. I watch too many anglers unknowingly walk forward as they reel in a fish. After landing a few, the angler has inadvertently wandered into the area where he had been catching fish causing the bite to shut down. This can be a real headache if it happens on one of the days when we look for hours to find the bite, only to lose it shortly. The surf has really turned on in Port O’Connor but it is not uncommon to have to travel more than 15 miles east or west of Pass Cavallo to find a good bite. Keying on feeding birds, jumping bait and/or pelicans on the water or sitting along the beach is always a good first step to finding feeding fish. Speckled trout can be found feeding between the first and second guts with redfish hanging in the first gut next to the beach. Soft plastics and surface plugs have both been producing in the surf but make sure to use at least 10 to 12 inches of minimum 20lb test line leader and 30 lb is even better due to the many aggressive toothy critters besides reds and trout that you will catch while fishing surfside. If you are wading these areas it is a good idea to use a long stringer such as ForEverlast’s 15’ - G2 Pro Stringer tied loosely to your belt due to opportunistic sharks that linger in the surf. Another good idea is to fasten the stringer with a quick release clip that will allow the stringer to slip away easily if a shark grabs it. Don’t forget your stingray protection. I don’t leave my boat

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without my ForEverlast Ray Guard e Wading Boots paired up with neoprene socks to keep my ankles from chaffing.. If the full boot is not your preference, ForEverlast also makes Ray Guard Shields that fit over any wading bootie. Mid-bay reefs in San Antonio Bay have been producing some nice catches over the last couple of weeks. You most definitely have to “reef hop” some days before a solid bite is found but I can assure you it is worth the hunt. Make sure there is bait present before deciding to fish any of the reefs in San Antonio Bay. Birds working are also noteworthy because it is no secret there will be fish underneath. However, in our neck of the woods, if those birds are not working near a reef, chances are the fish I find under them will be mostly small trout and gafftop catfish. Getting a very early morning start this summer could be the key to catching or just fishing. Please remember to drink plenty of water and lather on the sunscreen. Notice I said LATHER! I have to say while any sunscreen is better than none; I am NOT a big fan of the new spray-on sunscreens when on the water. Since we always have some sort of breeze here on the coast I notice big slicks on the water from the overspray after applying the spray-on stuff. This can’t be good for our aquatic friends and can be avoided by using creams and lotions. Just my two cents!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 63


lures, good water quality and being able to read structure where the fish are holding has a tendency to make me look smarter than I really am. Especially when I tell a client, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cast just past that point of grass that is coming off of the bank and be ready for a hit.â&#x20AC;? As the cast unfolds and I watch their Waterloo load up I always thank God for how lucky we are to live and play in such a pristine area that provides repeating smiles, fish at the end of our lines, great clients, and friends. We are catching trout and redfish on all kinds of structure at this time. Of course, they are not all trophy-class fish, but those are still being caught when we concentrate our efforts on them. Good weather days are giving us a tremendous amount of catching on an assortment of lures. Trout in the seven pound class have been common when given favorable conditions. Even larger trout have been in the mix for some lucky clients but the monster girth has slipped away on most of the big girls. Days are starting early at Bluff Landing Marina for me. We are generally headed south by 5:30 to catch the earliest of the morning bite in Baffin. Our game plan may change some mornings if we catch a whiff of slicks coming off a spoil, a set of rocks, etc. One slick may not slow me down but multiple slicks in a 100 yard stretch will. The main thing to remember is that the fish creating the slicks are usually up-current or up-wind of it. Ideally, the angler will notice a slick when it is about the size of a small plate. When that happens you can rest assured that the fish is in the immediate vicinity (if

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There are a lot of positive things taking place here on the Upper Lagoon and in Baffin Bay, but before I spill the beans, I want to send my DAVID ROWSEY sympathies to all the good folks along the Gulf coast David Rowsey has 20 years dealing with the BP oil spill experience in the Laguna/Baffin disaster. As I peck away here region; trophy trout with artificial the news in the background lures is his specialty. David has a great passion for conservation says BP is trying a â&#x20AC;&#x153;top killâ&#x20AC;? and encourages catch and procedure that will hopefully release of trophy fish. stop, or slow down, the flow of crude. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m praying, as I know Telephone others are, that it works and 361-960-0340 they get really aggressive with Website the containment of oil already dispersed. A misplaced tropical storm could easily make this a Texas problem if not contained soon. While Louisiana is dealing with severe environmental issues, Baffin and the Upper Laguna water quality is â&#x20AC;&#x153;trout greenâ&#x20AC;? to â&#x20AC;&#x153;air clear.â&#x20AC;? A conversation with Capt. Mike McBride in Port Mansfield confirms the same down south. As a guide that makes a living behind artificial








5REHUW0D[ZHOO  64 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

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UPPE R L AGUNA / BAFFI N current and winds are light). In many cases you will smell the slick before you see it. Trust your nose like a good pointing dog to find where it is coming from and where you need to be casting. As the sun rises and you can make out the structure where the slicks are originating, make a mental note of the depth, structure type, windward/leeward side, and apply that to the rest of the day when the slicks have gone away. Discovering and understanding such a pattern will bring you more opportunities for catching throughout the day, not just at first light. As we finish up our rock hoppinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for trout in Baffin we have been headed back into the Laguna for more trout and greater numbers of redfish. As the sun gets high and hot, it is no secret that redfish will play longer than trout. The reds will be abundant on the spoil islands, King Ranch shoreline, and even schooled in the deeper waters adjoining Emmordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hole for the drift fishermen. Say what you want about the mud ape but I have yet to meet the diehard trout guy that did not enjoy catching one; unless, of course, he is standing in a school of eight pound trout.

A reminder from my article last Julyâ&#x20AC;Ś As the water temperatures rise m the above 80° we have but a short time from hookset to the release before a good trout starts getting weak. Here are some Capt. Morgan Overton from tips to help insure the fish you release will be Oklahoma; Baffin strong and healthy to fight another day.

beauty on a Bass Assassin paddletail while fishing for reds â&#x20AC;&#x201C; released!

1. Land the fish as soon as possible. 2. Use a Boga Grip or similar device to handle the fish. Tight hand gripping above the gills or thrashing in a net is bad news for fish that are to be released. 3. If possible, remove the hook with her still in the water, still able to breathe. 4. With landing device still attached, keep her upright in the water until you are absolutely ready for your buddy to snap a photo. 5. Take a quick weight, set her back in the water upright, slide back and forth to get the water flowing over the gills, cut her loose at the first hint of tail movement. Set â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;em Loose, Capt David Rowsey





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Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 65

TRICIA’S 1ERW½IPH6ITSVX The Lower Laguna has been

been very good and great things lay in the store barring any natural

rewarding anglers generously

catastrophe. Big trout are still available as well, just not as heavy as

but not all days are handed on

they were in the cooler months.

a platter. It seems you either

There has been a good early morning topwater bite for larger trout

find the mother lode or reel

in the shallows,

Capt. Tricia’s Skinny Water

through myriad smaller fish


Adventures operates out of

looking for better sizes; but

though, the

Port Mansfield, specializing in

that’s fishing – good catches


wadefishing with artificial lures.

are quite often the product of

Telephone 956-642-7298 Email Website

Sightcasting in the shallows will become more productive as the wind lays in mid-summer.

investing solid effort for a full day. Deep summer patterns hit rather early this year and

armada of boats burning shallow water can push them down in a

we’ve had to adjust our tactics.

hurry or make

Wonderfully cool morning

them difficult

sessions in the shallows have

to catch. There

been followed by waist and even chest deep wades over grass

have also been

beds after lunch. July should bring much of the same and I believe everything looks promising.

many longshafted outboards running the shallows lately getting stuck and

Trout have been thick in many areas but the throwback ratio can be rather high in some. Let’s all be careful unhooking and releasing

leaving horrible prop scars. Please try to operate within your boat’s limitations and give others a wide berth.

these smaller fish as they are our future. It looks like recruitment has

Floating grass is becoming more of a nuisance. The mornings have been relatively grass free but as the day heats up dead grass and algae “gas off” and float to the surface making many areas virtually unfishable. (Yet another reason to get an early start.) We have also started to see a few big sharks. Last week we had a large bull shark take an oversized red in one gulp, topwater and all, leaving only a giant mud boil as an aftermath. Although by local knowledge this is about the worst that has happened down here we still need to respect that they are there and keep our fish on quick release stringers. I’m not sure that some of the newer stringers with steel cables in them are what we really want in summer when the big sharks visit the bays. Although trout fishing has been consistent and should remain so, mysteriously, those expected large groups of redfish have not been


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66 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

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Loud topwaters have been “banging up” solid mid-day reds.

using the flats much of late.

as the wind lays in mid-summer. Sights of tailing and waking reds

The larger ones

ler will be more common. An attentive angler

have mostly been

adow will spot every slight movement and shadow

staying in deeper/

and know where that next cast should go. Stealth is extremely

dirtier areas,

important, if you can hear yourself walking you are moving way

but that should

too fast. Weedless spoons can catch them when nothing else will,

change in July.

and in spooky situations, the little 1/8 ounce gold is the way to go.

July is “get

Just wobble it near the bottom and expect it to get hit. A small split

bit” time. The

ring and swivel on the lure helps eliminate line twist and a teaser

whole Laguna

tail can entice trout to hit it with equal vengeance. Don’t forget the

is full of fish

paddletails. Some think they are only for kids or novices, but in the

and they can be

right hands, they are an extremely productive tool. I’d stay with the

caught just about

natural colors in clear water.

anyway you’d

It is wise to minimize your gear for deeper wading. A couple

like. However, never assume that large trout are out of play on lures.

of lures, pliers and a stringer are all that are really needed. Loud

Last July I caught a 31½ sightcasting for reds in gin-clear calf-deep

topwaters can pull some mid-day bruiser reds out of deeper water as

water. (Gotta get that early start.) Standard game plans are to start

they leave the shallows and stack up in depressions. What a blast!

shallow where you see wakes, baitfish or birds, then walk them down

Its going to be nuts down here until Labor Day. Retaliation is never

as they move towards deeper water with the sun. Sightcasting in the

the correct response when other boats come too near. Keep your

shallows, my absolute passion, will become much more productive

cool. There’s plenty of water and fish for everybody.

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Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 67



Summer is here! Joining us

maximum tidal flow, so observing the bait’s movement is a good

this hot and humid season are

indicator of where to find the fish.

birds, lots of them. Similar to A Brownsville-area native, Capt. Ernest Cisneros fishes the Lower Laguna Madre from Port Mansfield to Port Isabel. Ernest specializes in wading and poled skiff adventures for snook, trout, and redfish.

In addition to high temperatures and low tides, July will also likely

recent years, there has been

boast a persistent calm in which big schools of baitfish will become

consistent bird action this

noticeable. In response to daily temperatures, fish will tend to feed in

season pointing towards pods

the shallows during the cooler mornings and retreat to deeper waters

of redfish and trout in one- to

in the hotter afternoons, paralleling the tidal movements as well.

two-foot depths. Different from

Flats adjacent to the ICW and deeper guts will flourish with activity

years past is the also consistent

during midday. By this time of year, the trout won’t be fat, but they’ll be abundant in these deep pockets.

Cell 956-266-6454 Website

If you start shallow, look for signs of tailing reds. Remember, fish spook easily in calm, slick conditions so wade/drift quietly, take small steps,

bird action in the deeper waters of

and throw smaller baits. If you find

the southern Lower Laguna. This

yourself too close, crouch down,

phenomenon, which I haven’t seen in

determine which direction they are

years, reminds me of Sabine Lake and

heading, and cast slightly ahead of

Lake Calcasieu. On windy afternoons/ evenings, it’s been pretty easy to find sea gulls gorging on fleeing shrimp. Catching was outstanding in these

their nose. In my experience, tailing

Bill attended the right trout party with his personal best.

fish, especially redfish, unhook themselves easily as they swim towards you, so set the hook hard,

spots, with scores of solid trout and

swiftly reel in the slack, and keep

dinks happily chomping your lures. This year’s rain seems to have

tension at all times.

contributed to a healthy shrimp crop, irresistible to gulls and other

The baits of choice for July will be small topwaters in calm

predators. This pattern should continue into July, along with the everpresent heat and humidity. Along with greatly elevated temperature, tide levels in July are very similar to those in January and February: low. The new and full moon periods bring extremely low tides, usually incoming during the morning/day and outgoing during the evening/night. The best bite times during these conditions are early morning and evening, when the tides flow at their strongest levels. Fish tend to follow the

%RDW/LIWV 3:&/LIWV 0RUH 68 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

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AR ROYO CO LO R AD O TO P O R T I SABE EL conditions and light-colored plastic tails rigged with 1/8 oz jig heads

This must have been the place to

during the hottest part of the day. The gold spoon has also earned a

be; had to have been plenty of good

summer reputation for being a great redfish attracter. Floating grass

e food and the right beverages for all these

will be problematic, so rig your topwaters

n like they folks to cram in

with Gamakatsu live bait hooks.

did. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m positive, however, that when the

Rigging with single hooks allows us to

goodies ran out, the party started to die.

fish topwaters when treble hooks clog

This is a stunningly accurate analogy for

after only a few turns of the reel handle.

fish feeding. Fish use the opportunities

Red/white combos have been the most

and conditions available to find the right

successful when going to the surface.

feeding areas or ambush spots. When

Working plastics with a medium to fast

the party starts; theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be there to gorge

retrieve slightly over grass beds has also

themselves. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s up to us to find the party.

brought some success.

The feed might last minutes or hours. If

Ultimately, if you want to understand

you miss the party, find out why and learn

fish feeding patterns, just watch your fellow humans (particularly around school graduations). I recently arrived home around 11:30 after an evening of wading under the full moon. I was putting things

what to do differently. If catching was a success, make sure you log the conditions,

Joe also was at the same trout party with his personal best.

time, day, and other important information. Google Earth is a good method for finding parties, along with

away in my garage when suddenly a flotilla

your tide charts, bird watching, water

of cars started piling into our quiet neighborhood. They parked all

temperatures, and other fisherman (get connected!) In the meantime,

along the curb and any other place available, one right after another.

I would like to ask that you park in the ditch, not on the curb.

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Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 69

*MWLMRK6ITSVXWERH*SVIGEWXW JVSQ&MK0EOIXS&SGE'LMGE Lake Calcasieu Louisiana Jeff and Mary Poe - Big Lake Guide Service - 337 598 3268 July is a great month for fishing because of all the options that are available. Salinities are unusually high at the present time, and this opens up even more areas to fish. In July, we will be catching fish from the saltwater barrier, north of Lake Charles, all the way to the close rigs in the Gulf. The areas we prefer to fish at this time of year are along the beachfront, at the Cameron Jetties and up and down the ship channel. The open by waters of Big Lake itself will also offer great potential. Trout and redfish will be found mid-lake and close to the ship channel, both around oysters reefs and chasing bait over mud bottoms. Be on the look out for slicks and circling and diving gulls to locate the fish chasing bait over mud. Sometimes, even one or two birds can lead to a big school of fish. Shrimp imitations in soft plastics will be catching the bulk of the school trout. Topwater baits are probably a better bet if you’re after a big trout. Redfish will bite all of the above, especially when they are found in schools.

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays Randall Groves - Groves Guide Service - 979 849 7019 - 979 864 9323 Randall reports decent to excellent fishing in his area at the time of the report, especially on quality trout. “Today, we struggled a little early because of a west wind around fifteen knots. It had the water mucked up some, but now the wind has calmed and the water’s clearing nicely. We’ve caught a handful of reds and about nine trout, all on bone Super Spooks. The biggest trout is just over twenty six inches. Last week, we had nine big trout like that, couldn’t keep any of them, they were that big. All those came on bone Spooks too. We’re fishing sandy bottom, and keying on schools of mullet. Find the mullet and you’ll find the trout. They bite best lately when the tide is moving, either way is okay, but it has to be moving. We haven’t had strong tides, so any movement is key. When the tides get stronger, the ebb of the tide is best. We have been catching some fish on Norton Sand Eels too. Best color on those has been tequila gold, and we’re rigging them on a three eighths ounce Norton Laser Lock head.”

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay - James Plaag Silver King Adventures - - 409 935 7242 James had that positive ring in his voice, the one he gets when the weather gets right and the fishing is easy. “It’s lock and load buddy. You can catch solid trout wherever you want to right now. The Pass area was good on that last big moon. We caught some nice trout down there on Top Dogs. Birds are still working in West Bay. Campbell’s has birds and fish under slicks. In East Bay, working slicks on mid-bay reefs is productive, as is most of Lower Galveston Bay on the same pattern. Of course, the croaker guys are slamming them already along the ship channel. That will only get hotter with the rising temperatures. Trinity Bay, especially the west shore, has probably more reds than the other bays. Locating them means finding slicks and maybe a few little diving terns. Mostly, I’m fishing the Bass Assassin Sea Shads, because they are easy to use, but you can catch fish on all kinds of lures when it’s right. As long as the wind’s not cranked up over fifteen miles per hour, it’s wide open and looks like it will stay that way.”

Matagorda Charlie Paradoski - Bay Guide Service - 713 725 2401 “July is the start of the peak season for fishing the surf. There’s at least a fifty per cent better chance of being able to get out there than there is in June. When you can get there, meaning when the waves are flat and the water’s clear, you’ll usually catch ‘em pretty easy, mostly solid trout from keeper size to three or four pounds, with an occasional bigger fish. For the surf to lay flat, we need north, northwest winds ideally and it needs to stay that direction and/or really light for a while. With those same conditions, or with southeast winds under about twelve miles an hour, the mid-bay reefs in East Bay will produce. The trout are bigger over there than in West Bay in general. But West Bay is better when it’s windy. You can catch limits of both trout and redfish on grass in the coves over there even when it’s windy, as long as it’s not a west wind. Topwaters work well in the summer, especially in the morning. Soft plastics tend to catch more fish when the blow ups slow down sometime after the sun gets higher in the sky.”

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service - 409 996 3054 “We’ve had some calm weather the last few days and the fishing is on fire,” Jim says. “Easy limits on some days, near limits on others, and the quality of the fish is good too, especially the trout. Biggest have been over twenty seven inches and pushing seven pounds. We’re catching lots of three to five pounders. Doesn’t much matter what you throw at them, especially soft plastics. Just about any color seems to be working. I’m using Texas Trout Killers, Bass Assassins and the new soft plastics made by MirrOlure. We’ve had some decent topwater action and caught some on 51 MirrOlures too, but the key is locating the fish more than what lure you throw. We’re finding our fish by keying on five to seven feet of water with scattered shell. The slicks are the main indicators leading us to the fish. This type of pattern should hold through the summer months. Wading will still be fairly productive at times if the wind is up and the tide is coming in, especially in the early morning hours, but slick hopping in the middle is a better bet.” 70 July 2010 /

Palacios - Capt. Aaron Wollam - 979 240 8204 Our summer patterns are already in full effect with almost all our fish relating sand and grass bottoms. Solid trout in the sixteen to twenty inch range have been common on the south shoreline of West Matagorda Bay around pods of glass minnows and under schools of roaming mullet. Topwaters that have been effective are pearl Skitterwalks, bone Spook Jrs., and chrome/green ShePups. Tails that have been pretty consistent have been pumpkinseed/chartreuse and pearl/chartreuse Norton Bull Minnows. Our redfish bite has stayed solid, with easy limits coming from area sand flats and grass beds, with Gulp shrimp in pearl being the go to bait. July should bring some warmer water temperatures, which will drive some of the fish to the deeper wells of Tres Palacios Bay. On a safety note, there are more sharks in the bay than I have seen in a long time. If you are keeping fish, carry some kind of cooler or floating bucket to keep the sharks from stealing and eating your fish.

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Port O’Connor - Lynn Smith - Back Bay Guide Service - 361 983 4434 Like others up and down the coast, Lynn is champing at the bit to get in the surf. “By July, we should be waist deep in the Gulf whackin’ ‘em on topwaters. Whenever winds allow, we’ll head that way. Usually, it’s best early with topwaters. I like Spook Jrs, particularly the white one with the chartreuse head and the one that’s clear with chartreuse on the back. Around daybreak, we like to stand on the first bar and cast toward the shore. Sometimes, it’s best to have the lures land almost on the beach. The fish will attack it when it comes into the gut right next to the sand. Once it gets to be mid-morning, the wind typically blows a little and we move out to the deeper guts. When out there, we still catch on top some, but we also like 52 MirrOlures as well. It’s easy to work them close to the bottom and the fish love ’em. If we can’t get to the surf, we’ll wade waistdeep grass beds mostly, using the same lures. That drill works best early in the morning, especially when the tide is coming in at that time. In the surf, tide movement matters less.” Rockport Blake Muirhead - Gator Trout Guide Service - 361 790 5203 - 361 441 3894 “I will be heading to the surf as much as I can this month. Hasn’t been really good out there yet, from what I’ve heard, but it should be good in July. We’ve had a lot of calmer than usual weather, so if that holds, we’ll see a lot of trout in the surf. Sometimes, the areas farther from the Port Aransas Jetties are better than those close to town. Those wanting to fish the surf around Cedar Bayou need to be aware that the bayou is silted in and very shallow. Watch out for sand bars if trying to approach the surf from Mesquite Bay. Otherwise, I’ll be fishing grassy, sandy shorelines in most of the area bays. Our fishing for trout is much better than last summer, and most of the local bays have plenty of fish. We’ve been having some good topwater sessions already, and this is typically a good sign that the fishing will be productive that way all summer. I like the Super Spooks in bright colors, especially those with chrome on them this time of year. Won’t hesitate to use bait either, if it’s necessary. Overall, we are set up for a great summer.” Padre Island National Seashore Billy Sandifer - Padre Island Safaris - 361 937 8446 July begins the summer doldrums and while they are dreaded by bay fishermen this is the month knowledgeable surf anglers have been waiting for all year. Speckled trout numbers in the surf will peak in July on a variety of artificial baits. Remember Harte Institute is tagging surf trout and placing radio transmitters in their bellies. Please don’t kill/keep trout with green tags. Get the tag number and release them. Call Harte Institute to receive a reward. Spanish and king mackerel, Atlantic bluefish, some reds, and large numbers of whiting and ladyfish are usually present. Tarpon, jack crevalle, sharks, palometa, mangrove snapper and stray tripletail are all possible. Snook are present at the jetties and at times bonita and even sailfish are caught there. Large tiger sharks are usually available but most are on long distance “kayaked” baits at night. Topwaters or plastics work well on the trout although sometimes a silver spoon saves the day. Anchovy and menhaden shoals can show in July and when they are present anglers should concentrate their efforts around the shoals. Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut Robert Zapata – - 563 1160 So far so good, and the water in the Upper Laguna Madre continues to remain in great shape. I have seen very little evidence of Brown Tide in any part of the Laguna. Yahoo!!! My fishing clients have been getting some excellent catches of trout, with many of them getting close to thirty inches long. The redfish are schooling, and they should continue running Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

in schools for the rest of the summer. The rocks, grass lines, drop offs and pot holes are easy to spot with the current water conditions and these targets that are in two to three feet of water are holding many trout, reds and some flounder as well. Some of the trout are coming up for MirrOlure She Dogs, but we are catching more of them on sixteenth ounce jigheads rigged with bone diamond and plum/chartreuse Bass Assassins. Fishing from the boat has been good, but wadefishing has been a little more successful. Many of the flats covered with twelve inches of water are holding reds and black drum for sightcasting with three inch good penny Berkley Gulp shrimp. Joe Mendez – - 361 937 5961 Because the water in the Baffin Bay/Laguna Madre area is so clear, a variety of summer options are available. “You can see everything right now, so it’s easy to target trout along drop offs, whether that’s in the Land Cut, around rocks in deeper water like at Rocky Slough, or along the edges of deep holes like Emmord’s and Beacroft’s. Remember to adjust your jighead size to the depth you are fishing, using a heavier one if you want to fish deeper structures and edges, especially if the wind and current are strong. If fishing shallower for other fish is your thing, that’s good right now too. It’s possible to target reds and other species on shallow grass flats. The herds of reds will appear as a dark orange ball and will make the water bulge up in front. You can catch them on a variety of lures once you find them. Try to work fish around the edges of the herd, not throwing right on top of them, as it will break them up and make catching more a real challenge. Also available on the shallow flats are for sightcasting drum and sheepshead.” Port Mansfield – Terry Neal – – (956) 944 2559 Summer time is here and guess what? It’s hotter than Hades! The water temperatures are in the 80s and will remain there throughout the summer. Shallow water cools significantly overnight and hitting the flats at daybreak has been producing some nicer redfish. Your best bet is to follow the schools of mullet off the flats as they warm toward mid-morning, if you can stay with them, and you should be able to catch a couple of reds and maybe a nice trout. The deeper grass beds on the east side of the I.C.W. will produce good catches of trout and the occasional redfish. For those who prefer live bait; live shrimp and croakers fished on the edge of the I.C.W. will also produce some good catches of trout. Offshore fishing will really start to turn on as the Gulf Stream current moves inshore. The new offshore reef should start producing some good catches of everything from billfish to dog snapper. Remember to keep what you can eat fresh and release the rest. Good Luck Fishing! Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel Janie and Fred Petty – – (956) 943 2747 The trout bite remains phenomenal even as we are experiencing lower than normal tides for this time of year. Every trip we’re boating several trout in the twenty to twenty seven inch category and at least one twenty nine or over a week. However, if you want to catch a big trout, don’t call for a Saturday, because boat traffic is at an all time high. Every weekend, there are several tournaments going on, and that probably won’t let up until October. Even with the high levels of traffic, we’re still catching reds; at least a couple of days a week we limit, we’re just not limiting every trip like we became accustomed to over the last few years. We’re throwing a variety of lures, but the Cajun Thunder cigar corks with Gulp three inch shrimp remain the most effective for both our target species. Freddy says, “When it’s calm, you want to use the CT cigar cork with a fifteen inch leader and a quarter ounce jighead and pearl or molting Gulps. On windy days, switch to the heavier, round Cajun Thunder cork with the same set up.”

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 71

Catch of the Month! All upcoming Photo Galleries are now online! Check out when your photo will appear in the magazine.

Scott Reid Boca Chica Beach - 32” snook C&R

Maggie Miller Port O’Connor - 42” redfish

Jonathan Oggero 40” bull red Scott Nixon North Of J.F.K. - trout

Caden Mock Port Aransas - 28” redfish

Todd Overmire Galveston - 27” trout

Olga Ortega San Antonio Bay - 23” flounder

Julian Quintero Galveston Seawall - 25” trout

Barbara Ramzinski Baffin Bay - 37” redfish CPR Danny & Benny Rodriquez Adolph Rodriquez Galveston N Jetty - 28” redfish Hamptons Landing - 22” & 28” redfish

Michael Rodriquez Corpus Christi - mangrove snapper 72 July 2010 /

Quinton & Marty Saucedo 29.5” & 29” trout

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Danny Rust Aransas Pass - 31.5” trout

Pete Rodriquez Holly Beach - redfish

Mitch Moore 18.75” white crappie

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

John Schnautz Baffin - 30.125” 9.25 lb trout

David Rodriguez Port Mansfield - 30” redfish

Doug Ramsey Sabine Lake - redfish

Hiram Elders Venice, LA - 52” 32lb redfish

Leah Hrachovy Mitchell’s Cut - 39” redfish C&R

Joe Maldonado Port Mansfield - 27” trout

Rhett & Rhyan McCaffety Surfside Beach - 21” redfish Ryan Pozzi POC - 42” black drum

Jason Keeling Landcut - 28” 8 lb trout Captain Britt Pierce 31.5” 11.5 lb trout

Mike Barnard Aransas Pass - 27” & 26” red, 19” flounder

Lucas Mauro Gulf - crevalle jack

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Nathan McGaughey & Lucas Mauro Gulf - kingfish Texas Saltwater Fishing

Patty & Dorotha Landcut - trout / July 2010 73

Bill Liles POC - 38” drum

Martha Guerra Laguna Madre - 24.5” first fish-redfish!

Brandon Brehm King Ranch - 28” trout

Henry Curbow Aransas Pass - first keeper trout!

Aubrie & Maddie Montgomery Corpus Christi - 6oz first fish-croaker! 74 July 2010 /

Carol Rose Heughan Bastrop Bay - 22” trout

Don Felts & Jackson Havel Palacios - first redfish!

Stacy Horacefield Baytown - 41” black drum Texas Saltwater Fishing

Caroline Burkett Ingleside - 35# drum

Rebecca Ellard Seadrift - 30” black drum

Craig Jungen Sabine Lake - 21” redfish

Teran Freytag POC - 31” bull redfish

Dan Dulany Galveston - 41” redfish

Tricia Smith South Padre - 25” trout

Albert Matamoros Laguna Madre - 28” trout

Stacy McCaffety Surfside Beach - 26” trout

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Trung Nguyen Port Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connor - 38â&#x20AC;? bull red C&R

Maddison Ohler East Bay - 27â&#x20AC;? redfish

Travis Orr, Hue Galloway, Braden Port Aransas - 30â&#x20AC;? bonnet head shark

Tim & Timothy Nichols Corpus Christi - 27.5â&#x20AC;? redfish Braden Orsak Matagorda Bay - 21â&#x20AC;? first keeper redfish!

Cody Peterson Austwell - 32â&#x20AC;? 20lb drum

Glenn Nauck Laguna Madre - 31â&#x20AC;? trout

Ashley and Papa Pancamo Galveston Bay - 25â&#x20AC;? redfish

Richmond Pitts Sargent - 34â&#x20AC;? redfish

Chad McLean Port Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connor - rare buckfish

Joe Perez Arroyo City - 26.5â&#x20AC;? trout

Kim Pruett Port Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connor - jack crevalle


Jeremy Pruitt Sargent - 29â&#x20AC;? trout

BooBoo Morales Portland - 29â&#x20AC;? 5lb snook

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Billy Ray Wagner Galveston Bay - 34â&#x20AC;? redfish

Texas Saltwater Fishing




&EGSR1 1YWLVSS SQ6 Q6 6IIH½WL&YVKIVERH* H½WL &YVKIV ERH**VMIIW W PAM JOHNSON Got ideas, hints or recipes you’d like to share? Email them to or send by fax: 361-785-2844

Parmesan Rosemary French Fries Preheat oven to 400° 4 large potatoes cut into 3/8 inch thick wedges 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary 1/4 cup parmesan cheese Salt and pepper to taste In large bowl, toss potato wedges with olive oil and spices to coat evenly. Place on rack inside cookie sheet. Bake 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Serve on platter with burger and plenty of ketchup.

Bacon Mushroom Redfish Burger 2 redfish fillets cut into four servings 8 strips thin-sliced center cut bacon 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 package of sliced mushrooms 1 large onion cut into 1/2” slices 4 hamburger Buns 4 slices Swiss cheese Mayo, Tomato, & Lettuce Preheat oven to 375° Salt and pepper fish to taste. Set aside. Pre-cook bacon in microwave - two minutes. Crisscross two strips pre-cooked bacon around each piece of fish. Place wrapped fish on rack inside cookie sheet to catch drippings. Place in oven and bake (usually 10-15 minutes depending thickness) until fillets flake easily with fork.

76 July 2010 /

In large skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, add onions, sauté until browned, set aside. Heat additional 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, add mushrooms, sauté until browned. Using same skillet, toast buns on both sides. Assemble burgers: Spread mayo on buns, add Swiss cheese, fish, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, lettuce.

Texas Saltwater Fishing

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8MTWJJSV 7IEJSSH 'LIJW 8MTWJSV7IEJSSH'LIJW * Seafood is always best fresh even though we sometimes have to freeze. * Seafood can be refrigerated or held in an ice chest for up to five days. The best temperature range would be 34-36° Fahrenheit. Keep the ice chest drain open and be sure to keep an eye on the remaining ice daily. * For best flavor and texture, always bag your seafood in zip-locks to prevent drying and water-logging until you are ready to cook. * When sautéing, take care to preheat your pan to desired cooking temperature. Placing seafood in a cold pan and then beginning to cook can lead to overcooking. * Use a thermometer when frying. Oil should be 375° before introducing seafood and small batches fry up better than filling the cooking container. The oil will cool when you drop in your seafood and you may have to increase the heat for a few minutes. Never let it reach a temperature above 375° while cooking. * Overcooking is a big no-no! A lightly caramelized surface when sautéing or frying to light golden-brown is usually enough but varies with thickness. Always test with a fork; fish fillets should flake easily and shrimp should be uniformly white throughout. Overcooking kills flavor and toughens texture. * When preparing to cook fillets, for best flavor, remove all darkcolored flesh along the lateral line and carefully remove dark meat on the side next to skin in very thin slices.

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Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 77










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-JSYRHEZIV]RMGIVSH ERHVIIPMR&EJ½R&E] 'EPP  XSMHIRXMJ]ERHGPEMQ Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / July 2010 79

I N D E X O F A DV E R TI S E R S For more information about these advertisers visit: APPAREL

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Rod and Real Found in Baffin Bay . . . . 79

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Chamber of Commerce . . . . . . . . . 27 Serena Residences Tournament . . . . . . 52

80 July 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

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GALVESTON TIDES & SOLUNAR TABLE Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine JULY 2010

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prime time strength/flow prediction catch condition analysis over 3,000 US Coastal sites trip journal

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July 2010  


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