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EDITOR AND ND PUBLISHER Everett Johnson

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Everett@tsfmag.com GENERAL MANAGER

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08 Tales from the Brown Lagoon 12  A Counterintuitive Theory 16  Tough Winter for Surf Anglers 20  Does Size Really Matter? 22 Attitude is Optional and Results ... 26 Rod Failure                 

Pam Johnson Pam@tsfmag.com

Mike McBride Kevin Cochran Billy Sandifer Martin Strarup Chuck Uzzle  Tod Kirkman





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06 64 72 88 90 92 96

Bart Manganiello Bartalm@optonline.net CIRCULATION SUBSCRIPTION â&#x20AC;&#x201C; PRODUCT SALES Brandee Vickery Cir@tsfmag.com ADDRESS CHANGED? Email Store@tsfmag.com DESIGN & LAYOUT GRAPHICS BY DESIGN Stephanie Boyd Office: 361-785-4282 stephanie@graphicsbydesign.biz production@graphicsbydesign.biz Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine is published monthly. $25.00, Two Year $45.00 E-MAG (electronic version) is available for $12.00 per year. Order on-line: WWW.TSFMAG.COM MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO: Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine Attn: Subscriptions P.O. Box 429, Seadrift, Texas 77983 * Subscribers are responsible for submitting all address changes and renewals by the 10th of the prior monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s issue. Email store@tsfmag.com 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 .

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74 Dickie Colburnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sabine Scene 76 Mickey on Galveston 78 Capt. Billâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fish Talk 80 Mid-Coast Bays with the Grays 82 Hooked up with Rowsey 84 Capt. Triciaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Port Mansfield Report 86 South Padre Fishing Scene           

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Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine (ISSN 1935-9586) is published monthly by Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine, Inc., 58 Fishermanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lane, Seadrift, Texas 77983 l P. O. Box 429, Seadrift, TX 77983 Š Copyright 1990 All rights reserved. Positively nothing in this publication may be reprinted or reproduced. *Views expressed by Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine contributors do not necessarily express the views of Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine. Periodical class permit (USPS# 024353) paid at Victoria, TX 77901 and additional offices.

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4 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


$Q QQRXQFHPHQWV QRXQFHPHQWV D QG DQ QG $ Q Q L Y H U V D U\ $QQLYHUVDU\ It has been my general practice to avoid discussing the operation and content of this publication in my editor’s columns, preferring instead to present views on what I consider matters of importance relating to fishing, fisheries management, conservation and the like. I am going to deviate this month as I have several announcements and other tidbits to present. First is the article entitled “Rod Failure” that begins on page 26 in this issue. I was lucky for the loan of a recent copy of RodMaker Magazine from longtime friend Danny Meyer of Fishing Tackle Unlimited. Danny directed my attention to a piece by RodMaker editor, Tom Kirkman. I was instantly impressed with Tom’s treatment of this troublesome topic. Rod failure is an ugly reality, always has been, and nothing is more disheartening than tangling with a great fish only to have the rod snap. For rod builders, whether one-off custom, major manufacturer, and all in-between, rod failure saps profits and taints reputations – no matter the cause. In this era of anglers demanding lighter and more sensitive rods, frequently over-lined with braid, we the angler’s are rarely to blame, in our minds anyway. We secured permission to reprint Tom’s work in the hope that we could provide a technical review that might increase knowledge and understanding for readers and our rod building friends alike. I trust you will find it informative. Wade fishing safety. All too often we are lulled into believing that wade fishing is nothing more than a stroll in the bay. On Good Friday, friend Benny Judice nearly drowned as he stepped off a reef in San Antonio Bay. Had it not been for quick action from fishing partners Jeff Larson and nine-year-old son Brennen; it would have certainly been Bennie’s last wade. Prior space commitments precluded running the story in this issue however, we are planning a presentation next month to include Bennie’s harrowing tale and a general discussion of wade fishing safety. Don’t miss it – we have some revealing facts and a few myths to bust. Youth writer. We have been blessed with the contribution of Aaron Cisneros to our magazine for several years. We watched Aaron grow to become an accomplished angler and develop an aspiration to follow his father in becoming a fishing guide. Aaron will graduate high school this month and move to San Antonio to begin studies at UTSA. So who will become our next youth correspondent? We began running the Youth Fishing department with then high school junior, Kyle Tomek. Kyle’s tenure ended as he went off to college (and became a fishing guide on the side – go figure) and is now a regular fishing columnist for several publications. Aaron took over, and we all love him but, unfortunately, another youth writer’s career is ending and the desk will soon be empty. I encourage TSFMag readers to contact me with names of aspiring young anglers who might desire to hone their writing skills and see their fishing tales in print. Email to: everett@tsfmag.com. Anniversary. This issue marks twenty years since our old friend and predecessor, Gene Baker, published the very first issue of Gulf Coast Connections. For Pam and me it is now nine years since we purchased j y to become Texas Saltwater Fishing g Magazine. g GCC and began the journey as been! What a trip it has

6 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

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The brown stuff is changing every day due to wind and current, note green water near shoreline.

W.C. Fields once said, “You can’t trust the water: Even a straight stick turns crooked in it.” Well, we all might agree with that one. Trying to read the water as a fisherman can create many false illusions, sometimes even convincing us that we actually know what we’re doing out there. However, down here in the Laguna, the problem for now is that we can’t even see that darn stick to understand how much the water is really lying to us. As mentioned last month, much of this beautiful blue lagoon has gone to brown. So, let’s put our Costa fishing glasses on and try for a clearer view of this most unwelcome event. Curtis Thomas and I just did that exactly that. He flew his party into Port 8 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Mansfield’s airstrip from Lubbock for three days of hopeful fishing. We opted to launch late due to a bone-chilling nip left over from the previous day’s norther. We launched his beasty, twin Baron aircraft instead for an aerial view of this invasive brown junk. We surveyed everything from the Land Cut to Port Isabel, including a very low-altitude buzz of Captain Tricia’s waders. (Just to check their stringers, of course – but you should see the video.) We estimated that about 75% of the Lower Laguna is swathed in varying degrees of brownness. Disappointing, but certainly not the end of the world as our catches have confirmed. There are several strains of marine algae that, when blooming excessively, Texas Saltwater Fishing

will cause the water to go brown. The stuff we have is called Aureoumbra Lagunesis, which translates literally, “golden shadow from the lagoon.” It’s a tiny single-celled organism and 200 of them will just about put the period at the end of this sentence. It’s harmful in several respects but toxic to few organisms except a few clams and other small invertebrates. That can be big however. What it definitely does is stymie seagrass growth through inhibited sunlight penetration. When the grasses die the ecosystem deteriorates, period. Let’s hope it clears out soon, but many questions about brown tide remain unanswered. Most specifically is what causes it to bloom and, anxiously for now, what makes it go away? Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


No one knows exactly where it came from, but it was first discovered in Alazan Bay in 1990. That particular event went ballistic and persisted heavily in the entire Laguna Madre/Baffin Bay system until the fall of 1997; the longest recorded bloom to date. Although the triggers are not fully known, it is quite suspicious that similar factors existed this year as they did before that historic outbreak. Those being hyper-saline water conditions due to extreme drought, followed with a strong left hand punch of abnormally colder water. To the researchers, it appears that excessive salinities can reduce the abundance of other protozoans which normally graze on brown tide, keeping it in check. Cold water then kicks in and kills other creatures such as small finfish, other single-celled animals and even some of the seagrasses. A significant decaying of dead biomass seems to fertilize this brown machine with abnormal releases of ammonia and inorganic nitrogen. (DeYoe and Suttle, 1994). Let’s also remember that our red tide scenario just prior, although minimal in many respects, may have contributed as well. Also quite interesting is this particular but rather obscure quote, “Physical mixing of the water column and re-suspension of sediments are factors that must be considered as potential mechanisms of bloom persistence” (Stockwell et al. 1993). It is certainly true that we had a massive dredging operation along our part the ICW this past fall and winter and the disposal methods were basically slurry placement of the dredged material onto both new and existing spoil banks. If we’ll look at the latest Google Earth satellite imagery, it’s clear how this operation silted up a lot of our water, which may indeed qualify as “redistribution of sediments.” Don’t know for sure, just sayin’….

© 2010 Pure Fishing, Inc.

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Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 9


Chunking the lowly plastic worm and doing just fine.

10 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Whatever causes brown tide to prosper, when it reaches the magnitude we are currently experiencing, it is a very hardy organism and actually perpetuates itself. In Bubba-speak, this basically means the worse it gets the worse it keeps getting because it has the ability to dominate the entire micro food chain. Fishermen just have to hang on until the system regains its balance. Perhaps those long awaited bull tides of spring will encourage just that. At this writing the entire coast is reeling under extreme low water levels, so if we get that big expected push of water from now through the end of May, perhaps it can help defeat this brown monster. In the meantime, let’s just fish around it and, to be honest, it really hasn’t been that hard. Yes, of course we come to the Laguna for the uniquely incredible experience offered. We can often visually count fish while cruising in her pristine knee deep waters, and we want to sightcast to them with the realistic shot at trophy class specimens. The good news is that we are still able to do that, but it has just taken little bit of adaptation. Hey, it is what it is, and flexing with nature’s fickle personality is what fishing is supposed to be about anyway…agree? The brown stuff is patchy; denser over there than over here, but it changes every day due to shifting winds and currents. Those marginally brown areas will still have plenty of clarity, especially for the fish, but there are also still some good green streaks in the mix. It may look like crap to us, but let’s remember that predator fish feed for a living and have always done quite well at it. Put your good glasses on (you’ll want Costa 580’s in amber, trust me), and see more of what the fish are seeing. We can still decipher

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


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everything needed while running; such as active bait, grassbeds, color changes, mud boils from kicking redfish and those long ripping burnouts from big fleeing trout. I will admit we are fishing shallower than normal, but how cool to have another excuse to catch fish longer than the water is deep? As far as technology goes, we certainly have a lot more to choose from than we did back in the nineties. Heck, we even have spoons that rattle now and topwaters that can wake the dead. Even so, I’m not sure we really need all of that stuff. Lately we’ve just been chunking the lowest tech lure out there in most areas (the plastic worm), and have been doing just fine. Look for those color changes, see your bait, tie on something either dark or bright, and just cast like you mean it. The fish are still in there and are very much catchable…we just still have to admit that they are usually better at finding our lures than we are at finding them. Yes, we do need some balance in the bay, but in the meantime, if you need some balance in your life, just go for it and fish anyway. It’s not what we want, but it’s still what we need.

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Contact

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

Contact Skinny Water Adventures Telephone 956-746-6041

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TOURNAMENT INFORMATION ENTRY FORM & RULES ccatexas.org Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

startournament.org www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 11


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A recent run of tough, yet ironically productive fishing caused me to

I personally had less than twenty bites, but I caught six trout

analyze and fully develop a theory related to the choice of whether

between seven and ten pounds. For the entire month, in eighteen

to switch lures frequently or stick with one over a long haul. The

days of fishing, I and my clients landed twenty nine trout exceeding

anecdotal evidence below exemplifies the type of outings we had

seven pounds, including four in the nine pound class and one true

during this month-long run.

ten. The total number of fish we caught was low, averaging no

On Saturday, February 20, I and four clients managed maybe

more than ten per trip. Approximately one third of our trout were

fifteen bites, and caught only about ten trout, but four of the fish

over twenty five inches, and about half of those weighed over

measured more than twenty five inches, and one flexed the Boga

seven pounds.

Grip to nine pounds. Two days earlier, I and four different clients

The significance of all this for me is that all but two of the big

coaxed only about twenty bites, and caught fourteen fish. Eight of

fish we caught bit a sinking Corky, either the original or the Fat

those fish weighed over seven pounds, the biggest measuring thirty

Boy. We stubbornly stuck to Corkys during those days because of

inches and nearly nine pounds. Similarly, on the 26th day of the

a counterintuitive theory I’ve developed with regard to changing

same month, I fished with two others and we struggled to get ten

plugs as an experimental strategy during a slow bite.

bites, but one of my fish weighed ten pounds and a client caught a personal-best seven-plus pounder.

The kind of slow bite referred to here is one that results from two contributing factors: one, a relatively small number of fish lying

Looked at another way, during those three days of fishing,

within reach of the angler and two, a generally finicky feeding mood iin those fish, caused by cold water and/or other environmental cconditions. This type of bite is often experienced from late-fall tthrough early spring when trophy trout fishing. Basically, I conclude that changing lures frequently during a super slow bite of this kind is a bad idea. Most of the casts m made during the above-referenced outings resulted in nothing. B But eventually, the plugs we were throwing were eagerly and aaggressively attacked, frequently by trout over twenty eight inches. FFrom this, I deduce that we were throwing at scattered singles and ssmall pods of big fish. Catching those fish can require making an attractive presentation ffairly close in front of their noses. Since we couldn’t actually see the fi fish at any time, due to murky water and/or a glare on the surface, p placing the lure in close proximity of the trout required making lots o of casts and moving at a snail‘s pace through the area, changing the e exact location and direction of cast constantly. Some people, in the same situation, change plugs regularly, in ssearch of something that will get bites more easily. Though I did a llimited amount of experimenting with other lures during that time fframe, mostly, I just kept a sinking Corky tied on, a dark one if it was

The picture doesn’t really do this 30 inch, 10 pound trout justice. Hooked outside the mouth, she fought like a redfish on steroids!

ccloudy, a brighter one if it was sunny. My customers largely did the ssame, based on my advice. I will certainly admit that other people m might have caught the same fish we caught (or more) on other llures, but I stand by my strategy of sticking with what I knew would w work for me. My thinking is that it’s too hard to get pertinent information to jjustify making changes in such a scenario. In a situation where it’s sso hard to get a bite on something that is known to eventually work,

12 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


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This 31 inch trout attacked a pearl/pink Fat Boy with purpose, rewarding the author’s patience handsomely.

it‘s impossible to determine what it means when another plug is tied

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on and cast some number of times without the desired result. After all, we’d sometimes make a hundred or more empty casts with the Corky,

then suddenly get a vicious strike and catch a fish.

The first and only nylon copolymer mono line to physically change color in the sunlight. Above water, the sun’s UV rays cause the line to change to a bright gold color. Under water the UV rays are filtered, causing the line to change back to clear. So you can see it. Fish don’t.

In contrast, it can make more sense to switch lures when it’s easier to get a bite. If the action is steady on a given plug, meaning it’s eliciting strikes regularly, say once in every four or five casts, a change might actually help one identify some optimal offering that will produce a strike on nearly every cast. If the second plug doesn’t speed up the action, it can be reasonably assumed to be inferior to the first one. Conversely, it might turn out to be even more effective. Making changes also makes sense in a slow bite that is unexpected, meaning it occurs in mild or hot weather in the presence

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of indicators of plenty of fish. I’ll readily experiment with lure choice if I experience a slow bite when fishing in spring or summer, when I expect to catch numbers of fish fairly easily, particularly if I’ve been doing so on recent outings. If a few lure changes don’t increase the frequency of bites I’m getting, I’ll move to a new location, assuming

Now they don’t.

that there aren’t many fish where I first stopped. But in peak trophy season, when I expect to fish for long stretches in the right places for a few bites, I’ll plant my feet and keep casting without making many

© 2010 Pure Fishing, Inc.

changes in what I’m offering. The problem with my theory that it makes more sense to change lures when it’s easier to get a bite and not at all when it’s tough comes Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 13


in picking the right lure to use when bites

fishing as often as a guide will have to do

it also normally necessitates concentration,

are few and far between. For me, doing so

a little more experimentation, but they’d

persistence, and supreme confidence in the

comes easiest when I‘m fishing frequently.

be best advised to start with a plan based

right plug.

If I’ve fished eighteen of twenty days and

on the season and weather conditions

caught quality fish on a particular plug

and make changes systematically and

numerous times recently, I can tie it on with

methodically. The factors which lead me to

confidence and grind away, knowing it

choose a soft plastic over a Corky, a small

should eventually work.

topwater over a large one, or a floating Corky over a sinker are too numerous to be outlined here, but working within a set of The strike of this 9 pound trout was a nearly imperceptible tap which gave no evidence of her considerable size.

sound principles when picking lures is a

Contact

Those who don’t have the luxury of

Kevin Cochran

must if consistent catching is the goal. Simply running through everything in the box randomly and without thoughtful purpose will rarely result in catching much of anything, especially on days when it’s nearly impossible to get a bite even on the optimal lure for the moment.

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.

Often, a small number of fish in the area and a marginal feeding mood contribute to the difficulty of coaxing strikes from trophy trout. Consistently catching scattered, finicky, large trout on plastic plugs requires locating general areas and

Trout Tracker Guide Service Telephone 361-688-3714 Email KCochran@stx.rr.com Website www.FishBaffinBay.com

sweet spots which are holding such fish;

14 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 15


6WRU\E\%LOO\6DQGLIHU

6<./05;,9    -69<9-5.3,9: Our local weatherman, Dale Nelson, says

title. Checking back through my log books

of folks haven’t been doing their winter

this has been the coldest winter since he

I find that on this date last year the water

maintenance so take the time to have

arrived here twenty-three years ago. I tend

temperature was 71.4° and the year before

your truck checked out before hitting the

to agree with him on that fact.

was 71°; today it is 64° degrees and that

beaches. I’ll share a tip with you that long

pretty much tells the tale.

term beach drivers have been using for

We’ve had short term events where the temperatures dropped much lower and

I always tell folks that Mother Ocean

many years.

resulted in substantial fish kills but these

will turn on sooner or later but that she

events were of short duration. This winter

does it on her time schedule; not the time

just like you do in the military. Every time we

has been different with extended periods

schedule of man. Actually we have been

change oil, filters or have repairs done we

of mid-30° range at night while day after

catching good numbers of fish, just not the

log it in the maintenance log with date and

day the highs reached only the low-to-mid

glamour stuff. A red and black drum now

mileage. On the beach I regularly change

50° range. That’s the unusual part and from

and then and large numbers of good-sized

out my engine oil and oil filter every 1,500

anything I’m hearing it sure hasn’t helped

whiting have been our stock In trade for

miles. I also regularly change transmission

the overall catching much although there

some time but it’s time for our seasonal

fluid and filter. Probably sounds like overkill

was a good early-spring black drum run.

change and for some reason I have been

but in reality it’s not.

For decades I have referred to the winter

anticipating good spring fishing behind

We keep vehicle maintenance log books

I also keep a log book on my outboard

months as “the time of the starving moon”

this hostile winter and still do. I know lots

and list every repair or lower unit lube

and this winter has certainly earned that

of us are looking forward to it.

replacement. Takes all the guess work out

From the large number

of all of it and just makes good common

of vehicle problems we

sense. I never go to the beach without eight

had on the Big Shell Beach

quarts of spare transmission fluid, eight

Cleanup it is obvious lots

quarts of engine oil, a spare serpentine belt, several cans of Fixa-Flat, an air compressor, jumper cables, hose clamps, some short pieces of hose and a tow strap. It never ceases to amaze me that folks constantly go down there with no back up supplies whatsoever, not even a shovel. A recent first was the two fellas who had ran their battery down by using their computer powered by their car battery all night. The concept of spending the

Lang Anderson, age 14, and his dad fished with me on PINS recently and enjoyed the reds and drum.

night online down south of the Big Shell just goes right over my head. It went over their battery’s head as well.

16 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


Speaking of record keeping, I even keep

full crew consisting of Russell “Yakmon”

a fishing line log book with each reel listed,

Weir, Todd Neahr, Michael Shindle, Todd

what line was put on it, how much it held

Horn and Rush Battle. Their goal was to put

and the date. Nah, none of it is overkill. It’s

a $5,000 satellite tag in a mako. They have

just plain, good, old common sense. When

made several unsuccessful trips previously

you think about it, if a particular type of

this winter but persistence paid off this

line has a short lifespan it will alert you to

time. Russell Weir fought a 9’-3” male short

the fact that its poor quality compared to

fin mako and Todd Neahr of TPWD was able

your other lines and you can discontinue

to get a satellite tag in it. That’s awesome

using it and save money by replacing line

guys. Congratulations. The information

less frequently.

that tag could provide science may prove

Had a little deal going on this winter

absolutely invaluable.

that took me a while to figure out and I’ll

As of April 15 the speed limit on PINS will

pass it on to you. I’ve been throwing 5/8

be reduced to 15 mph and this will continue

ounce 51M Mirrolure twitch baits on 8 ½’

through July 1 due to Kemp’s ridley sea

rods and basically the same spinning reels

turtle nesting season.

for 25 years. I stay very open-minded and

Report nesting turtles to 1-866-887-

when new products hit the market I give

8535 or 361-949-8173 ext. 226-228. Do not

them a try.

interfere with nesting turtles. Mark location

I’ve been using a variety of braid lines for

of nest after turtle has left to assist the turtle

about eight years. Then the past two winters

recovery techs. Report stranded mammals

I noticed my casts were shorter than they

to 1-800-9MAMMAL. If you can’t get phone

have been all these years.

service remember that there is service at the

I knew what it was but played around with several lines and then I took that braid

Mansfield jetty. It is jellyfish season and the best remedy I know of is acetone.

off my reel and went back to throwing the same mono I’ve been using for twenty-

Good fishin’ - If we don’t leave any there

one years and immediately my typical,

won’t be any. Capt. Billy L. Sandifer

long casts returned. Interestingly enough I noticed this same braid line on a baitcaster increases friction on the spinning reel spool. It is even likely that this will not happen with all spinning reels. My guess is that the flared shape of the spool of the particular model of reel I use is the culprit. It’s just something

Capt. Billy Sandifer

Contact

does a superior job, but it obviously

to think about. Every time they come out with a new product we all instantly think we can’t live without it but the truth is no one product is the best for all applications. We catch more of a variety of smaller species of sharks in the spring than at other times of the year. Many of these are now catch and release only by new TPWD

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.

regulation. Get some of their ID pamphlets and study up on your shark species so as not to harm species illegal to keep. On March 15 Russell “Moose” Wheeler,

Telephone 361-937-8446 Website www.billysandifer.com

went out on his sportfisher, Fiagzi, with a Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 17


)LQG

BILLY SANDIFERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S

&RDVWDO%LUGLQJ

3URGXFWV1HDU<RX $QQŇ&#x2039;V7DFNOH 1:KHHOHU6W -DVSHU7;_ %UDQQDQŇ&#x2039;V%DVV6KRS +Z\1RUWK 3RZGHUO\7;_ )LVKLQ:RUOG :/RYHUV/DQH 'DOODV7;_

Wilsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Plover -Charadrius WilsoniaThe general coloration of the Wilsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Plover is that of wet sand above and mostly white below. Pointed black bill, rather heavy for a bird of its size, with relatively long legs and short wings. Prominent black breast band on males in breeding plumage. Call is a high, weak whistle. Feeds on small crabs, marine worms and insects. Nests in Texas, present on Gulf beaches and coastal mud flats March through September.

)LVKLQJ7DFNOH8QOLPLWHG *XOI)UHHZD\ +RXVWRQ7;_ )LVKLQJ7DNOH8QOLPLWHG .DW\)UHHZD\ +RXVWRQ7;_ )XQ16XQ :HVW+XUVW%OYG +XUVW7;_ -HQVRQ)LVKLQJ7DFNOH :3DOPHU/1 $XVWLQ7;_

Length: 7.75â&#x20AC;? Wingspan: 19â&#x20AC;? Weight: 2.1 oz

-RKQQ\Ň&#x2039;V6SRUW6KRS %RRWKH'U (DJOH/DNH7;_ -RKQQ\Ň&#x2039;V7UXH9DOXH :7\OHU +DUOLQJHQ7;_ /DNH)RUN0DULQD 0RWHO &5 $OED7;_ 0DUEXUJHUŇ&#x2039;V6SRUWLQJ*RRGV %D\SRUW 6HDEURRN7;_ 3RUW$2XWĂ&#x20AC;WWHUV :&RWWHU 3RUW$UDQVDV7;_ 5RFNSRUW7DFNOH7RZQ +Z\1 5RFNSRUW7;_ 5R\Ň&#x2039;V%DLW 7DFNOH2XWĂ&#x20AC;WWHUV 6R3DGUH,VODQG'U &RUSXV&KULVL7;_ 6RXWKZHVWHUQ3DUWV 6HUYLFH :HVW0RFNLQJELUG/DQH 'DOODV7;_ 7DFNOH%R[ 1RUWK%HQ-RUGDQ 9LFWRULD7;_ :XOI2XWGRRU6SRUWV +XUVW6W &HQWHU7;_

18 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


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Available in three casting and three spinning models from 6’5” to 7’1”—focusing on finesse-type applications from Texas rigs to dropshotting. Match one with a Core 50 baitcasting reels—or an awardwinning Stradic CI4 spinning reel, and Shimano can provide you with an outfit that weights less than 10-ounces with line.

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Utilizing the new CI4 material for construction, Stradic CI4 is the ultimate in lightweight reels designed for the ultra-finesse angler using lightweight fluorocarbon, braided or monofilament lines. From drop-shotting to shakey heads and small Texas rigs, this reel has you covered.

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Cumulus Model CMLSX65M CMLSX610MH CMLSX610M

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Cumulus-Stradic Combo Wt. CI4 1000 CI42500 9.37 9.59 9.87

10.17 10.39 10.67

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Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 19


6WRU\E\0DUWLQ6WUDUXS

So it rained nearly nonstop and was unbelievably cold for weeks at a time this past winter and, naturally, my days on the water were fewer than I like to admit. Therefore, according to the Law of Averages, I’m guessing (hoping) that late spring and summer will be perfect. Who am I kidding? I guess it’s a part of aging – of getting older – becoming mindful of aches and pains, less willing to suffer pelting rain and numb fingers. I don’t much care for combat fishing anymore, but does that make me a fair-weather fisherman? I think not. My absolute greatest day of catching large trout was rainy and cold on Baffin Bay in late February many years ago. It was in the lower 40s, not much wind but misty rain stuck with us from the time we left Bird Island Basin just after dawn until we loaded the boat that afternoon. I was planning to christen a trophy trout lure, a very large soft plastic bait that Ernie Butler was making at the time. He called it the Ernie Butler Sand Eel. Larger The Ernie Butler Sand Eel (center) is a large than anything you could buy bait. When the shrimptail (we called them back then and, to be honest, I “Touts”) was king, it seemed even larger. had my doubts whether they Jon Fails photo would work – they were that big. Ernie told me to trust him, the bait would catch big trout. So I did. I watched my fishing partners catch multiple trout to twenty-two inches; cast after cast they were bowing up gleefully. Me? I had made the same number of casts to the same structure but yet to receive my first hook-up. I was so tempted to cut Ernie’s big bait off my line and tie on my old go-to but his words kept echoing in my brain. “Trust me,” he had said. “This is the time of year to catch big trout…throw the biggest bait you have in your box.” I hadn’t moved maybe twenty yards from where I had just fanned what seemed a thousand casts and threw the big chunk of plastic out past the faint shape of another cluster of rocks. Almost instantly that old familiar thump telegraphed through my rod. I waited a second to set the hook and soon the first five pound trout of the day came to hand. Over the next several hours I landed an eight pounder, another five, a seven, a four, an eight and a half, a nine, a five and a half, a six and a half, and finally another nine. 20 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Those were the weights of my first ten fish that morning and I caught many more that were not weighed. All of a sudden I loved that big chunk of plastic. That list of weights came from my old fishing log and sadly the few snapshot we made that morning has long since disappeared. Please remember that this was way before any of us had ever seen or heard of a Boga Grip, it is possible that it had not been invented yet. Back then we weighed our catch on some pretty primitive handheld devices so the weights can be called into question. Had I kept all those big trout, I feel safe in saying my stringer would have weighed at least sixty pounds, maybe more. Something was tapping at my wee small brain; large bait for big trout – large bait for big trout. It had to be true I reasoned, nobody in our group had landed anything close to the solid and heavy trout that I was catching. So, never having been one who cannot learn through experience, I continued fishing Ernie’s big eel baits. And for a while, I did fairly well with them, but the catching just wasn’t fast enough. While I was tossing the big baits and getting a hook-up now and then, my friends were hammering fish with smaller lures. Rigged on a light jig, Ernie’s baits would sink very slowly, almost capable of suspending. It was tedious work; tough to stay focused while other lures drew consistent strikes. Kind of like fishing a Corky. But like the Boga Grip, Paul Brown’s creation that produced a state record and gained so much fame hadn’t made it to the scene yet. Speaking of the Corky; I’ve seen pictures and even a video that Mike McBride made at the cleaning table of a trout that had a huge mullet in its stomach but still ate a Corky. I’ve caught trout with mullet tails protruding from their mouths, too large to swallow, and I’ve been stunned to watch a large trout try to eat a smaller trout that was on the end of my line. So then it should be a no-brainer that the large bait is the way to go for large trout. Right? So why don’t we throw large baits all the time? Probably because we enjoy and look forward to the constant action of catching fish

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


to hunt, I think what it all boils down to is tossing something that looks edible to a trout or something that will irritate a trout enough to make it want to kill it, and, you have to toss it into the right place at the right time. If there’s a ten pound trout or a one pound trout out there and it wants what it sees, it’s going to be on. And if not, well, you make another cast. Someone once said that where we as fishermen fail is when we try to match wits with something that has a brain the size of a pea. I think that person was right. Back to that incredible misty and bone-chilling day on Baffin; when we were loading the boat we noticed two teenage boys hefting a cooler from an aluminum boat there at the Basin. The lid of their cooler was propped open, too full to close. I had to look and I had to ask. They had more nine and ten pound trout in that box than I had ever seen before or since. Inquiring of their success they offered a tale of leaving before daylight and fishing all day. Never too fast or furious, just slow and steady,

keeping the best they caught. Their bait? Small mullet gathered with a cast net the evening before, some of them dead. Dead finger mullet. Go figure. Be safe, Martin

Martin Strarup

Contact

and a large bait doesn’t produce those results with enough regularity. The first trout over thirty inches I ever got my hands on was caught with a Norton Sand Eel in the Mardi Gras color. I still have the lure. The second longest trout I ever caught measured barely an eighth shy of thirty and was caught with a custom painted MirrOlure She Dog. I still have it too. See how confusing big trout fishing can be? The largest trout that I didn’t land was hooked in Baffin in late February a few years ago and I was throwing a Brown Lure Devil Eye in dark strawberry color. I didn’t land the fish, came real close, several of us got a good look at her and she was absolutely magnificent. The Devil Eye is not nearly as large as the baits Ernie had given me years earlier but it did fool the largest trout that I’ve ever had on the end of my line (largest I have ever seen swimming for that matter.) In all honesty, after all of the years that I’ve spent chasing the toothy fish I love

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 Trouthunter@swbell.net

Line capacity: six football fields. In case your fish tries a Hail Mary. Everything about the Fin-Nor Offshore Series is made to tackle bluewater brutes. From the industry-leading

©2009 Fin-Nor, a W.C. Bradley Co.

line capacity of our 95-size spinning reel to our oversized

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

stainless gears and multi-stack drags. finnorfishing.com.

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 21


6WRU\E\&KXFN8]]OH

VRSWLRQDODQG "UUJUVEF LLVRSWLRQDODQG

5HVXOWVVVSHDNIRUWKHPVHOYHV VSHDNIRUWWKHPVHOYHV The sound of the garage door opening

potential, I would do my best not to waste

matched by few and he has fallen in love

broke the silence as I stood there surveying

the opportunity.

with fishing the Sabine area. Today we

my personal weather station. You know, the

With my little skiff in tow I eased down

are going to probe the marsh for redfish

one we all use to determine whether the

the road and got a feel for the water level as

and each of us is looking forward to the

TV meteorologists are worth their salary. I

I crossed one of the many bayous that run

adventure.

looked up at the trees and judged the wind,

through town. The water was a little lower

The morning starts off full of promise as

not a leaf rustling. The temperature was

than normal and that would certainly help

our first destination proves to be a perfect

ideal, just warm enough to let you know

my shallow water program by concentrating

starting point. Several fish make telltale mud

winter was in the rear view but still a long

the redfish. Things were definitely shaping

boils and push healthy wakes as they make

way from the meltdown days of summer. All

up. The final piece to the puzzle was

room for us in the pond. Both Watson and

the variables pointed to a day with plenty of

my angling friends for the day, Howard

Guynes start the day off with topwater plugs

Watson and Steve

just knowing a surface eruption is right

Guynes, two very

around the corner. The sun is now creeping

accomplished

up past the horizon and the temperature is

fishermen who

perfect. The added light makes spotting the

I enjoy sharing

fish much easier and we all begin to pick out

my boat with. As

fish. For whatever reason the redfish ignore

a matter of fact

the surface offerings and remain tightlipped

Howard was my

causing us all to scratch our heads. A new

very first client I ever

game plan is put in play. A weightless soft

took fishing and

plastic draws the first strike as Watson’s rod

over the years he

bows and a heavy redfish puts on a show

has become a great

steadily taking line. For that moment all is

friend to not only

right with the world.

me but my family

The redfish eventually comes to the boat

as well. His

and just as we suspected it’s a toad, a solid twelve pound fish that stretched the tape to 32 inches. A few quick snapshots and the fish is released unharmed. That episode would repeat itself several times during the course of the day; quality fish that had shunned the topwater plugs would readily plastic

chasing fish on light line is 22 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

offerings. No, the

strikes did

include the visual

reward but

the results were the

same and for the passion for

inhale soft

most part that’s all

that really counts when you think about it. Too many times we get too caught up in how we do something, the “live versus Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


and perfecting techniques that would drive the average angler nuts reverting back to things they did when they were kids can be a treat. To see guys in a tournament boat that resembles a NASCAR racer anchored up pitching live bait or dragging a cork is as refreshing as the laughter that inevitably follows. To simply fish and have a good time is what this whole sport is about and we should never lose sight of that. The more I think about this the more Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m reminded of some time artificialâ&#x20AC;? debate is the first thing that

bigger pull. Some want a bunch of pulls.

I spent in Mexico with TSFMagâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own Mike

comes to my mind on the subject. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fly

Regardless of how you go about it we all

McBride. Like typical Texas boys with good

versus conventional tackleâ&#x20AC;? is another battle

want the pull and that makes us all basically

intentions, we had gone down to search

that makes zero sense to me. Begrudging

the same. Some of the most fun trips I

a virgin area of the Yucatan full of tarpon

or belittling the angling accomplishments

have ever been a part of occurred when

and snook armed only with the tackle one

of others because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not your way is a little

anglers who were way up on the skill chart

would carry on a long wade. The fish were

much on the â&#x20AC;&#x153;holier than thouâ&#x20AC;? scale, isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it?

took time to go back and do something

there but uncooperative. As we exited a

less complicated. Watching guys who

small lagoon and drifted across a deep flat

made their name winning tournaments

we found an abundance of speckled trout

As fishermen we all want one basic thing, a pull on the end of our line. Some want a

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Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 23


Mike and I

be surprised at what you may learn and

laughed at

how much fun you can have. Be open to

the whole

new ideas and see just how much better a

episode and at

fishermen you may be able to become.

ourselves. We had traveled miles in search of trophy fish of a different species and here we were

Chuck Uzzle

Contact

hundreds of

giddy at the fact we had 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.

found school trout. Like the old saying, to and watched local fishermen catching them

each his own–we had found our own and

on hand-lined live baits. Well I’m sure you

were enjoying it to the fullest.

can only guess what happened next, we

Phone 409-697-6111 Email cuzzle@gt.rr.com Website www.chucksguideservice.net

As summer creeps into the picture there

forgot all about the tarpon and snook only

will be plenty of opportunities for you to

to concentrate on the trout. We got some

try different methods of fishing and at

strange looks from the other fishermen as

various times they will all produce fish.

we cast our soft plastics and caught trout

If you are willing to have an open mind

at a steady pace only to release them. Both

about techniques and styles you might

ROY’S Bait and Tackle

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The Chronarch has

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Sizes from 8# to 200# Test Available Colors: Red, Yellow, Green 24 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

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361-992-2960 Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


THE OPTIONS ARE ENDLESS INTRODUCING THE PENN CUSTOM SHOP.

www.penncustomshop.com

It’s no secret that offshore anglers like to play hard and look good while doing it. That’s why there’s no end to the number of customized add-ons you’ll find with the biggest name in fishing. The PENN Custom Shop offers fully customized International V series reels in seven eye-catching colors. Mix and match colors to design the reel that fits your style, then custom engrave your name, boat, or port of call with your favorite of six engraved images. Your PENN Custom Shop reel is built and customized right here in the USA.

&867206+23

PENN Custom Shop reels are available to order at these local retailers: Fishing Tackle Unlimited 12800 Gulf Frwy. Houston, TX 77034

Fishing Tackle Unlimited 8933 Katy Frwy. Houston, TX 77024

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Port “A” Outfitters 429 W. Cotter Port Aransas, TX 78373

Roy’s Bait & Tackle Outfitters 7613 South Padre Island Dr. Corpus Christi, TX 78412

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Tackle Town 3010 Hwy. 35 North Rockport, TX 78382

Tops-N-Towers 2321 NASA Pkwy. Seabrook, TX 77586

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 25


Well over 95% of all rod failures are due to misuse or abuse. As a custom rod builder, can you spot the difference between a rod broken due to abuse, and one broken due to an actual defect? Editors Note: Little understood by fisherman; rod failure is a heartbreak to anglers and a challenge to all rod makers. The following article offers the most accurate and comprehensive analysis I believe has ever been offered on the topic. This is published with permission from RodMaker Magazine. Many thanks to author and RodMaker editor, Tom Kirkman. RodMaker Magazine – PO Box 1322 – High Point, NC 27261 – Phone: 336.882.3226 – www.rodmakermagazine.com

by Tom Kirkman

O

ver 200 rod blanks were destroyed during the making of this article. All had been in perfect 1st quality form and were simply ruined by twisting, crushing, high-sticking, overloading, and any and all manner of physical torture and abuse you can think of. It sounds bad, and it is. But it’s what you must do if you really want to learn how to identify the various types of rod failure.

26 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


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Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 31


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Houston’s Largest Dealer Presents

Day no ial a m Shi Spehcase a nna ie rc

Pu eus-S and la a o ta VolComb a Rapame e eiv g G Reci Fishin Wi

! E E FR

2010 Shimano Day May 22, 2010 12800 Gulf Freeway, Houston, TX

Try it before you buy it!

Cast the latest Shimano Gear in the casting area. Seminar Schedule

9:00 am - Coffee & Donuts

Meet & Greet in the conference room and catch a sneak preview of some of Shimano’s latest products

10:00 am - Show/Tell/Cast We’ll begin in the conference room with an introduction of the latest Shimano products, then we’ll move outside so you can give them a try for yourself! 11:30 am - Fishing Offshore Venice with Kevin Beach Learn more about fishing Venice, LA from one of the experts. Get a sneak preview of the Free Fishing Trip up for grabs!

2:00 pm - Show/Tell/Cast Try out the latest gear from Shimano at our casting pond with experts on hand to answer your questions and show you some new tricks.

3:30pm - Stump the Shimano Staff Bring it on! Bring your toughest questions about products or techniques, past or present, and see if you can Stump the Shimano Staff panel.

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

Hourly prizes include: Shimano Commemorative Watches and Ugly Fish Sunglasses.

G RAND P RIZE -

A Fishing Trip for Two with Capt Kevin Beach and $1,500 in Shimano tackle. Kevin Beach will draw the winner at 5:00 pm Entry forms will be accepted at both store locations. See the Shimano Flyer at either store for an entry form.

Now Available!! Shop with us online at

www.fishingtackleunlimited.com Lay-A-Way and Gift Certificates Available

8933 Katy Freeway Houston, Texas 77024 713-827-7762


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Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 35


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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

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 37


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Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 39


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Marine Science Institute www.ScienceAndTheSea.org ‹ The University of Texas Marine Science Institute Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

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Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 41


JAY WATKINS

Winds of twenty-plus miles per hour create better trout opportunities for me in Rockport than many tend to believe. The barrier islands of San Jose and Matagorda provide protection along the south shorelines of our bays from the high SE winds so common along the middle Texas coast during springtime. The abundance of grass and hard-packed sand provide a formula that attracts fish and anglers alike. This type of bottom structure and currents that run along the shores seem very attractive to spawning trout, especially when the water temperatures rise above 74째F. The

42 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Overcast skies helped trick this heavy eight pounder in calm, clear water.

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


combination of water temperature and preferred structure, along with water clarity and increasing hours of daylight encourage mature fish to congregate along these shorelines and dump their eggs. Biologists say this occurs mostly during hours of darkness. Much of the time the water will be too clear for tricking trophy-sized trout except at first light or just before dark. Nocturnal is no doubt the mode of operation that a large percentage of the trophy class trout adopt this time of year. Combine a few factors such as clear water, angler-savvy trout, and nighttime feeding and you can see where your odds of catching end up. I sleep next to something soft and sweet so nighttime wades are not in my future. Getting it done during the daylight hours more often than not requires some help from Mother Nature. Wind is actually her gift to us even though it may not appear so at times. Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

ASK TH E PRO

Heavy trout caught among lots of scattered bait along a windward shoreline.

The winds of spring push water into the bay systems and baitfish of all types ride the wind-driven waters along the barrier island shorelines. Tidal movements also play a significant role but tides rise and fall, the winds of spring pump in constantly from the warm Gulf of Mexico. So you see, the wind pushes the bait, the trout follow the bait, and we try to stay with them. Strong wind provides surface chop which adds to our ability to get close without being detected. Surface chop actually helps us impart darting and jumping action to our mullet imitating surface and suspending plugs to draw instinctive strikes. The chop increases the refraction of light allowing trout to see the action of the lure but probably not necessarily enough to spot it as a fake. I believe that many times it is the erratic splash of the surface lure alone that draws a favorable result. I really enjoy working clear-bodied lures such as the Corky Fat Boy and MirrOlure Top Dogs in knee deep water. Selecting lure color and rattle tone depend solely on wind velocity and water clarity which usually varies from day to day. I tend to lean towards lures with mostly clear bodies this time of year. I want the fish to see a small amount of color and a lot of surface commotion between pauses. I work the Corky vigorously in these conditions and have a tremendous amount of luck in doing so.

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 43


44 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

The floating Corky Fat Boy as well as the original Corky are proven producers in this type of presentation. On that rare day during spring, when winds for some unknown reason lay for the morning, you’ll be forced to change your weapons. Approach and strategies for locating fish will remain basically unchanged but under calm-clear water conditions the big trout savvy meter will hit the red line. I go with baits of little color but silver or gold flash. Barely a glimpse of color and a little shine is about all I want the fish to see. A 1/16 ounce jighead will work but slightly lighter is better, whittling on it with a small file helps. Five inch Bass Assassins rigged on 3/0 Mustad worm hooks also work beautifully in this situation. Increase your mono leader lengths. I like thirty-six inches or more. This allows for plenty of retying room and still leaves ample leader lengths. I prefer topwaters and suspending type lures with NO rattles in clear-calm situations. Might just be me but I prefer to make as little of my presence known as possible and this applies to my lures

Texas Saltwater Fishing

as well. The clear Spook Jr. and the clear/ silver MirrOmullet are great choices. Do this when the winds go calm and the water surface turns to glass and you’ll be much more likely to get a shot at the biggest of trout in that area. Alright, I tired of writing and ready to get out there in the morning and put this game plan to work. Winds are currently gusting to about 25 mph out of the southeast so it ought to be right. May your fishing always be catching. Guide Jay Watkins

CONTAC T

Typically the strikes drawn in these conditions are from trout weighing four pounds and more. Eight pound fish have become less common the past three or four years in our area but if you’re looking for fish in this class, “shallow and windy” definitely ups your odds. Expect the majority of your best trout to come from the first gut on the shoreline when high wind coupled with high tide allows baitfish the opportunity to use the flooded grass as a sanctuary. I often get my best fish when casting the outside edge of the bait line that forms as the mullet travel along the shoreline. Lower tides pull baitfish off the shoreline, causing the bait to bunch together. For small finfish there is safety in numbers, less chance of becoming a meal, but if a baitfish is moving differently, maybe struggling to keep up, especially along the edge of the group, it becomes a target. All predators work the edges of the herd, hoping to separate a hapless straggler now and then. Suspending baits worked vigorously on the surface and then allowed to slowly wobble downward are greeted with tremendous aggression.

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 Jay@jaywatkins.com Website www.jaywatkins.com

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 45


F LY F I S H I N G D E PA R T M E N T

8LI /SHEO 4PE]WTSVX :MHIS 'EQIVE 8LI/SHEO4PE]WTSVX:MHIS'EQIVE

C ASE Y SMART T

'SQTEGX ' SQTEGX, ,( (

;EXIVTVSSJ ;EXIVTVSSJ Last year, Kodak introduced the Zi8 HD pocket camcorder. This relatively inexpensive video camcorder fits in your shirt pocket, boasts an impressive set of features, and captures fantastic HD images. This year, Kodak followed up the Zi8 with a waterproof version called the “Playsport.” I have had a chance to test out the new Kodak Playsport and have been impressed by this little HD camcorder. The Playsport retails for around $150 and I think it just might be the video camera a lot of anglers have been waiting for. Here’s why. Ease of Use One of the inherent problems with video cameras has always been that they are a pain to use. They’re cumbersome to pack, frustrating to operate, and downloading videos from cameras to computers can be a nightmare. And of course there is always the overriding fear you’ll slip and get your precious video camera wet. For these reasons, video cameras have never married well with fishing environments and fishermen. But the Kodak Playsport is a new breed of camcorder. It features a clean compact design with a solid build feel that’s waterproof up to 10ft. The Playsport’s display screen is easy to read and the camera is outfitted with large buttons and simple menu options. These features make it safe and easy to use on the water. The Playsport powers up 46 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

quickly and the thumb-sized record button on the back of the camera responds instantly when you press it. These are great features because waiting for a slow camera to boot up while your buddy’s fish dries out or flops away is maddening. Downloading videos from the Playsport is simple and requires no re-coding or special formatting. The editing software, should you choose to use it, is built into the Playsport and it downloads when you plug the camera into your computer for the first time with the supplied USB cable. The Playsport works with both PC and Mac computers and requires a Pentium 4 2.8 GHz processor or better to play back HD smoothly. The Playsport also comes with HDMI and AV cables so you can play video from the camera straight to a HDTV. The Playsport is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery. Battery life in any electronic device is tough to measure because so many variables affect it. But, you should expect to get at least one hour or more out of the Playsport’s battery when the camera is on the highest quality record settings. Videos are recorded to a SDHC memory card you must buy separately. I bought a super-fast Class 10 8GB SDHC card for about $50 and it easily stores several hours of HD video. Image Quality The quality of the video captured by the Playsport is very good. Images are crisp and clear, colors are vibrant, and Texas Saltwater Fishing

videos overall have that unmistakable “HD” look. The Playsport’s low light performance is so-so (like most video cameras) but it is acceptable. When set on the 1080p 30fps capture mode, the Playsport captures landscapes, slowmoving wildlife, and still life beautifully. Action shots, fast-moving wildlife, and fishing sequences recorded in the 720p 60fps mode are vibrant and rendered smoothly. The Playsport features Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) to take the edge off the shake common to small lightweight cameras. The EIS helps, but don’t expect it to overcome all vibration. It won’t. The bottom line with these little cameras is that they are virtually impossible to hold steady. If you want clean professional looking images with the Playsport or any other small camera, remember two things- First, use a tripod, monopod, or some sort of steadying device. Second, don’t use the zoom. If you practice these two things your finished images will be much better. Speaking of zoom… the Playsport has a 4X digital zoom. Don’t use it.

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


O

VIDE

Bottom Line All in all I believe the Playsport will prove to be a very good camera for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts. The Playsport is affordable, portable, waterproof, and captures very good quality videos which aren’t a huge hassle to download. On the downside, the Playsport does not include an SDHC memory card, there is not a macro mode for extreme close-ups,

battery life is so-so, and the 5.3 mp still camera is not that great. Of those, I believe the lack of a macro mode is the biggest downside because I like to take close-up shots of flies, fish, bugs, etc… No doubt, in the coming years Kodak will improve and refine the Playsport camera and I’m certain other manufacturers will jump in with their own waterproof HD models. But the bottom line for now is that if you are looking for a good, simple, waterproof HD pocket camcorder, the Kodak Playsport is the way to go.

CONTAC T

in a 16:9 widescreen format. Although the option to take still photos is convenient, I have not been overly impressed with the resolution of the still photos taken with the Playsport. Definitely don’t buy the camera just because it can take photographs. Waterproof still cameras offered by Canon, Olympus, and Pentax produce far better resolution.

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 caseysmartt@att.net Website www.caseysmartt.com

Check out Casey’s Fly Fishing Video Library at www.TSFMag.com

FLY FIS H I N G D E PAR TM E NT

The Playsport also features a special color-correcting setting for underwater video. Video captured underwater with the Playsport on this setting looks very good so long as the water is clear. If you plan to make underwater videos with the Playsport, keep in mind that the minimum focal length is 39 inches (there is no macro focus setting) so you will need more than 39 inches of visibility underwater or your subject will not be in focus. For this reason it is probably better to think of the Playsport as a video camera that can be dunked underwater rather than an underwater video camera. Also featured on the Playsport is a still image capture mode. With a click of the center thumb button/toggle you can switch the video camera over to photo mode and take photographs at a 5.3 mp resolution


BOBBY BYRD & C APT. JOHN COCHR ANE

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BLUEWATER JOURNAL

From underwater lights to

swimming billfish while trolling.

spreader lights LED technology

Underwater lights are

is improving the way you light

traditionally HID or High Intensity

up your boat. LED lights have

Discharge type lights with

many advantages over traditional

substantial power needs, large

light sources and are being used

housings, high heat output and

in more applications every day.

quite expensive. They are used on

They have a very low current

larger boats and have a variety

draw, produce very little heat, can

of sizes, colors and styles. Most

operate on DC voltage ranging

lights come in different colors.

from 12 to 32 volts and have a

The most popular are white,

ridiculous life expectancy of like

green and blue. The newer LED or

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a 110 VAC - 12 VDC converter

One of the most popular boat

making them much simpler to

accessories in the last few years

hook up. LED lights can also be

has been the underwater light.

left on while running, whereas

On fishing boats, underwater

HID lights will burn out if left on

lights are used to attract bait and

out of the water. Large LED’s can

gamefish at night. Many use them

be traditionally mounted like

while fishing for tuna and swordfish. Light attracts flying

the HID’s, but the really big advantage, especially for smaller

fish, one of the tuna’s favorite snacks. Fishermen light up the

boats, is that the LED technology can be designed as a

water and attract flying fish and other bait into the lights

surface mounted light. These surface mounted LED’s require

while drifting. Live flying fish that are netted and put back

a much smaller hole thru the hull - making them easier

on the hook are one of the best baits you can use to target a

to install. DeepSea Power and Light even makes a surface

big yellowfin tuna. Fishing for swordfish is steadily gaining

mounted LED light that is dimmable and has a strobe setting.

popularity with recreational fishermen and underwater lights

HID’s are the brightest, but the LED is still very bright and we

play a role here also. According to many of the boats fishing

think has many more advantages.

for swordies, blue lights are the way to go. Underwater lights

But wait…there’s more… It doesn’t stop with underwater

are typically mounted facing aft, some are mounted facing

lights. LED’s can be used all over the boat. Many boats used

straight down and some on the side of the boat. Tournament

halogen type recessed lighting inside and these lights put

fishermen have been known to use downward pointing lights

out a lot of heat and are notorious for burning out. Some

and strobes during the day to attract attention from deep

boats have even caught fire! LEDs solve this problem creating

48 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


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needed on the boat; they can even be used on the front of your hunting truck! How many times do you have problems with running lights and trying to change bulbs while hanging on the side of your boat? Not any more! Change them to LED’s and you’re done! Just about any other lighting need can be solved with LED’s; courtesy lights, accent lighting, rope lights, below deck lighting, cabin, console, flybridge, already got them, take a look at LED’s and see how they can improve the way you light up your boat. For more info on where to find the latest in LED lighting or to just talk about fishing and hunting, come by the 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 CABO Yachts. Come by and get a great deal on your next boat. For more information check out our website at www.foxyachtsales.com or you can contact John Cochrane at captjohn@foxyachtsales.com.

CONTAC T

cockpit; you name it! If you haven’t 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 www.byrd-cochrane.com www.topsntowers.com www.foxyachtsales.com

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Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) Texas, founded as Gulf Coast Conservation Association in 1977, owes its longtime success and continued growth to the grassroots effort of tens of thousands of members, fifty-six local volunteer-led chapters and volunteer leadership on the state and national levels. What began as a small group of recreational fishermen concerned with the rapid decline in redfish populations has grown to become an organization of more than 52,000 members in Texas. Nationally, CCA includes state and local chapters in 17 coastal states with nearly 100,000 members. The success of the conservation efforts in each region and state is a direct result of unmatched grassroots efforts by the members and volunteers leaders. There are many examples of how the efforts of all members continue to make CCA the leading conservation organization of its type in the nation. In the early years, volunteers used their personal, professional, recreational fishing, and other networks to spread the word and gain the much needed support of congressional members in Texas to first pass the “Texas Red Drum Conservation Act” in 1977 and then the “Redfish Bill” in 1981, establishing game fish status for redfish and speckled trout and outlawing the use of gill nets in the coastal waters of Texas. These efforts had farreaching effect and influence in the modern day management of Texas’s coastal fisheries and set the stage for many conservation accomplishments down the road. As the organization grew in size and reputation, the mission and focus of its conservation goals also expanded. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and CCA both recognized that the passing of significant legislation in 1977 and 1981 would not be enough, Mother Nature needed help. Through local volunteer effort a partnership was forged. TPWD, CCA Texas (then GCCA), and Central Power and Light (CPL) joined forces to build the first state operated saltwater fisheries hatchery in Texas. The CCA/CPL Marine Development Center (MDC) at Corpus Christi opened in 1982, and in the spring of 1983 the first red drum fingerlings were released into Texas bays. Continuing with the stock enhancement theme, and drawing on its growing grassroots strength, CCA again partnered with TPWD to build Sea Center Texas. Sea Center Texas, completed in 1995, was another volunteerdriven effort comprised mostly of CCA members that worked at Dow Chemical back in its infancy. With Dow assistance, a group of employees active in GCCA, worked closely with TPWD to construct a series of grow-out ponds on the company’s property. These ponds would eventually serve the efforts of TPWD for nine years in the redfish stock enhancement program and were the precursor to the state-of-the-art Hatchery and Visitors Center known today as Sea Center Texas. An active local volunteer effort was able to help drive and build a partnership between CCA, Dow Chemical and TPWD that created a one-of-a-kind facility and is recognized 50 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

worldwide as an outstanding accomplishment in conservation, achieved through dedicated grassroots efforts. Much like the fledgling efforts in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, CCA Texas volunteers were called upon again in 2008 to assist in the management of the southern flounder fishery. With a continuous decline in relative abundance for twenty-plus years, TPWD had to take aggressive steps to better conserve the fishery. Through a series of public meetings, TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division reached out to fishermen and also to CCA Texas. Another groundswell of grassroots support poured forth. With an approved position statement from the Governmental Affairs Committee and final approval from the Executive Board, CCA Texas looked to the entire membership to help ensure that southern flounder would receive greater opportunity to migrate to the Gulf of Mexico for their spawning process. CCA Texas proposed an annual moratorium on gig fishing during this critical spawning migration period, and with the help of over 5,200 member responses to TPWD, it also guaranteed that the recreational fisherman of Texas would be allowed to take these fish by rod and reel during this closure, although with a reduced bag limit provision. This bottom-up effort from the organization provided more than 90% of the total public comment delivered to TPWD regarding this important fisheries management issue. As the organization continues to grow, CCA Texas’ focus remains solidly that of “resource first” as we seek and explore new angles and approaches to insuring the future sustainability of our coastal fisheries. Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow (HTFT), CCA Texas’s habitat initiative, is another example of how conservation programs thrive through grassroots effort. Recently, members from across the state came together for a full day of transplanting marsh grasses in the Goose Island State Park marsh restoration project. Each year, hundreds of CCA members participate in the Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program to rid Texas bay waters of gear scattered during storms or abandoned by commercial crab fishermen. Billy Sandifer’s Big Shell Beach Cleanup is heavily supported by members from all across Texas and also the Corpus Christi Chapter of CCA Texas. Clean Shores Beach Cleanup at Port O’Connor and other similar projects and programs also benefit from the hard work of CCA Texas grassroots volunteer participation. Grassroots efforts are more important than ever in today’s fisheries management and marine habitat enhancement programs. Members and non-members alike continue to work hand-in-hand on many projects and the organization will continue to call upon its membership whenever Texas’s coastal resources are in need of our help. You can become a part of the process and the progress by getting involved with your local CCA Texas chapter today. For more information about CCA Texas and a schedule of local and state events, be sure to visit www.ccatexas.org. Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


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FI ELD

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':#5#4-5#0&+.&.+('5 *4+/2 052'%6+1041)4#/ By Robert Adami, Jr. Natural Resource Specialist | Corpus Christi

Prior to1998, ponds of the emerging shrimp farm industry were only intermittently inspected by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). In 1998 the TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division established the Shrimp Inspection Program. This program is authorized under Texas Administrative Code, Title 31, Part 2, Chapter 57, Subchapter A - Harmful or Potentially Harmful Fish, Shellfish, and Aquatic Plants. The rule encompasses all aspects of exotic shrimp culture, transport, disease management and best management practices. Commercial shrimp farmers must acquire three state permits to operate in Texas. These are the Exotic Species Permit issued by TPWD; Industrial Waste Water Discharge Permit issued by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to discharge seawater into the bays; and an Aquaculture Permit as required by Texas Department of Agriculture. Shrimp farming in Texas started on a pilot-scale in the late 1960â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s with Texas A&M University researchers developing indoor tank and outdoor rearing pond protocols. Numerous commercial shrimp farms were launched in the 1980â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s based on technological advances made by researchers. In the late 90â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the industry reached its peak in Texas with 15 commercial facilities, nine on the coast and six located inland as far as west Texas (Figure 1). Also, three research facilities (Texas Agriculture Experiment Station in Flour Bluff and Port Aransas and the Texas State Technical College in Palacios) were in full operation. However, due to a high volume of imported foreign shrimp, the price of domestic shrimp has dropped

52 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

dramatically in recent years. Currently, there are only four commercial shrimp farms operating on the Texas coast and one facility inland. Nonetheless, most commercial shrimp farmers have maintained their state issued permits in case market prices rebound. The species of choice for the commercial shrimp farming industry has been the Pacific white shrimp which is not indigenous to Texas waters. Because farmers prefer culturing

Figure 1. Shrimp farm facilities located on the Texas coast and inland.

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


Figure 2. These juvenile shrimp, ranging in size from 0.8 – 1.7 grams, are ready for the first inspection.

this exotic species, TPWD is required by law to regulate its use in order to protect the state’s coastal waters from introductions of exotic species. The main reason farmers prefer culturing Pacific white shrimp is that it naturally grows faster and larger than Texas’ native shrimp. This makes this species commercially viable. TPWD requires shrimp farmers to ensure the shrimp in their aquaculture applications are certified as pathogen-free. The certification involves purchasing larval shrimp that have been reared from Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) shrimp strains. A certification document must be provided stating that the exotic shrimp being

cultured have a clean bill of health and are disease free for a variety of diseases and parasites. Currently, the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) located in College Station, Texas is the only state approved facility that can issue this shrimp health certification. Over the years, TPWD has accepted health certifications from other highly respected diagnostic laboratories located in Arizona, Mississippi, Florida and Hawaii. TPWD’s shrimp inspection program involves standard protocols. Once the farmers receive their shrimp health certification, they may start the grow-out processes. Tank raceways and ponds are

Figure 3. A slush ice filled tote with approximately 1,000 pounds of Texas farm raised shrimp.

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 53


typically stocked with shrimp larvae during March and April. When the larval shrimp are approximately 6-8 weeks old or weigh about 1 g, TPWD inspectors make site visits to the farms to randomly sample the juvenile shrimp for any signs of diseases (Figure 2). Each farm must be inspected at least two times during the production season. The first inspection is when the juvenile shrimp are 6-8 weeks old and the following inspection is prior to water discharge or harvest. During that process, if a disease issue is discovered, TPWD inspectors quarantine the entire facility until the disease has been positively identified. Once a disease has been identified, a quarantine period is imposed according to the specific disease detected. Quarantine requires that absolutely no culture water be discharged from the facility until the disease issue is properly addressed. Two diseases that have hampered the shrimp farming industry world-wide are Taura Syndrome Virus (TSV) and White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV). Both of these diseases can pose a serious threat to native shrimp populations but are not harmful to humans. TPWD inspectors have conducted more than 13,330 inspections since the program’s inception. During that time, TSV has been detected only two times (1999 and 2004) in commercial rearing ponds while WSSV has not been detected at anytime in Texas shrimp farms. In addition, TPWD has conducted two scientific studies (1997-2000 and 2005-2007) to determine whether any shrimp culture diseases have made their way to state waters via sources such as shrimp processing plants, retail food

distribution stores that import frozen foreign shrimp, waste water discharges, or even shore birds that can transport live shrimp from outdoor culture ponds to coastal waters. The encouraging news is that no exotic shrimp diseases have been detected in our native shrimp or crab populations. The Texas shrimp farming industry has done an excellent job at being responsible corporate citizens and has over the years produced very healthy shrimp for commercial sale (Figure 3). Between 1999-2008, shrimp farm producers have provided more than 62.9 million pounds (heads-on) of farm-raised shrimp. Compared to 349.2 million pounds of heads-off shrimp harvested by commercial bay and gulf shrimpers in Texas, shrimp farm production is relatively small. Considering expected growth in the earth’s human population and unsustainable commercial fishing practices that are occurring world-wide, our appetite for seafood may be challenged in the future. However, Texas shrimp farmers stand ready to fill the gap as needed in supplying a high-quality seafood product while at the same time taking a resource conservation approach to their large-scale production operations.

Check the TPWD Outdoor Annual, your local TPWD Law Enforcement office, or www.tpwd.state.tx.us for more information.

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54 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


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www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 55


C APT. SCOT T NULL

K AYAK

FISH I N G

After the nastiest winter I can recall, I was finally feeling that wonderful muggy warmth of a Texas coastal morning. It was well before daylight and the wind was nearly dead still. The forecast was calling for wind, wind and a little more wind, but I didn’t really care. I always welcome that first dry, cool morning in the fall and with equal anticipation, I look forward to the morning that confirms winter has passed. I was standing there taking it in when Dean “Slowride” Thomas burst the quiet with, “You just gonna stand there or you gonna help load these kayaks?” He had been inside checking the tide levels trying to decide where to head. The flats around Aransas Pass had been bone dry for several days with unusually low tides. The tides had come up the previous evening and had him thinking that the reds might have moved up to take advantage of the new feeding grounds. Dean had been on some good schools in the deeper water just off the edge of the flats. It wasn’t a sure thing, but worth taking a look.

56 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

The only hitch in the plan was the targeted area was a long paddle from any possible launch and the forecasted wind was going to make a really tough paddle on the return trip. It was also one of those places where a kayak is the best option as it was too shallow for a skiff and to muddy to wade. We decided to take the easy way out. No, we didn’t blow off fishing in favor of a buffet breakfast, we loaded the kayaks onto Dean’s skiff for a mothership trip. There are thousands of acres of shallow flats on the Texas coast perfect for kayak fishing. Unfortunately, with much of our coastline in private ownership we can’t easily paddle to all the places we want to go. Employing a power boat to transport kayaks opens up a whole new world of possibilities. With the kayaks safely secured, we headed out across the bay. The sun was just above the horizon when we eased up to the edge of the flats and staked out the skiff. The flat was covered with just enough water for the reds to go on the prowl. As we were unloading the kayaks and getting our gear prepared I saw the first hints of life in the shallows. A school of reds was moving parallel to the dropoff a few yards from the deep water. With this being the first day of higher tides Dean had suspected that the reds wouldn’t venture too far up onto the flats. He

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


K AYAK FISHING

had also mentioned that they would likely be pretty spooky. He was right on the first count and I was sure hoping he was only batting .500 today. As is always the case when we get a chance to fish together, the race was on. Dean guides kayakers for a living and usually has to let the customer take the lead once the fish are spotted. I am afforded no such advantage and any fish is fair game for whoever gets there first. It’s a friendly competition that often involves blocking strategies as well as some

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inventive casting. This school was not impressed with our paddling skills and wanted nothing to do with our antics. They were long gone before the first cast hit the water. No problem, the next targets were already in sight. The flat was covered up with scattered pods of tailing reds, all within 50 yards of the drop-off. We split up and started stalking. I had a pair of upper slot fish happily grubbing in the grass with their tails waving slowly moving my way. There was no rush

58 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


Retailer Show and had been wanting to try it out. I wasn’t overly impressed with the paddling characteristics, but it is a great platform for shallow water fishing. The boat is a cross between a canoe and a kayak similar to the Native Ultimate. It is very comfortable with a great seat that has multiple adjustments. A handy feature for the angler is the molded secondary seat on the rear deck that allows you to sit up a bit higher for a better view while still being able to paddle. The main seat slides up underneath the rear deck to make room for your feet. And from this position it is very easy to stand up for an even better viewing angle. The boat was also designed with rock solid stability. I wasn’t the least bit unsteady while standing and casting. This isn’t the fastest kayak on the market and I wouldn’t chose it for open water-long distance paddling situations, but it is perfect for prowling the marshes and flats on a sightcasting mission. Once we were sure that all of the reds

had been sufficiently harassed, it was time to move to the drains on the edge of the drop-off. Within a few casts into the deeper water I felt the first thump of the morning followed by the thrashing headshakes of a trout. We spent the next two hours picking off trout that were scattered all along the edge of the flat. It wasn’t sightcasting to tailing reds, but it was nice to get a line stretched while making plans for a full summer of fishing adventure.

CONTAC T

and I was able to take my time and set up for an easy cast. Sometimes in mid-flight you start talking to your lure like a slightly errant golf shot, but not this time. The DOA plopped down a couple feet ahead of the fish, right where I wanted it. Apparently did not agree. Both fish bolted like I had seriously offended them. Dean had the same luck. Inside of a couple hours we had successfully ridded the entire area of redfish without piercing a single lip. The pre-trip notion that they might be spooky was an understatement. I can’t ever recall having that many chances at tailing reds without so much as a bump. Many of them never even let us get within casting distance before the tail went down and a wake would head towards deeper water. It was humbling to say the least. The exercise wasn’t a total loss though. I did get to put the new Wilderness Systems Commander through its paces. I wrote about the boat last summer after seeing it at the Outdoor

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

If it’s explosive topwater action you’re ’re looking look king for, for, fo r, look look no loo no more. more. Our Ourr topwater top top pwat water ter Badonk-A-Donk’s Badonk Bad onk-Aonk -A-Don -ADonk’ Do Don k s eye-catching, k’s ey ye-c catc cat atchin head-turning, jaw-dropping action is irresistible to fish! Designed and offered in three ed from the inside out with heavy duty saltwater grade hardware and components co sizes ( 31/2-, 4- and 4 1/2-inch), fifteen colors and two pitches (vibration frequency). Our high pitch (Hp) version is perfect for windy days and stained water conditions, while the low pitch (Lp) version is just what you need on those calm days and clear water. Sometimes the fish just want something a little different so don’t be timid; mix things up. No matter which pitch (Hp or Lp) you choose the panicked prey vibration will produce explosive topwater action the likes you’ve never seen!

W W W. B O M B E R S A LT WAT E R G R A D E . C O M

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Texas Saltwater Fishing

 ,):*60UK

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 59


C APT. SCOT T SOMMERL AT TE

ACCORDING TO SCOT T

As long as I can remember, I have loved boats. They have always been a passion, if not an obsession. From the rubber blow-up boat that I used to bass fish on a local lake in my youth, to my first outboard driven aluminum vessel of my teenage years all the way to the 41â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Utility Boats and 44â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Motor Life Boats that I drove in the United States Coast Guard, boats have been my life. But all in and all done, nothing has had a bigger impact on my life than the three skiffs that I run now. In fact, I think I actually like boats and every little thing

60 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

about them as much as I actually like fishing. I mean, not only do I like driving them, but I also like analyzing their performance and the rigging. From the running surface of a boat all the way down to rigging and outfitting, I study every little detail trying to figure ways to make them better. It is actually kind of funny in that, I probably spend more time on the phone with my friends talking about the subject than I do anything else. Not too long ago, I was talking to my old high school buddy Wright Taylor, who now lives and guides out of Marco Island in Florida, and I asked him

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Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Be good and stuff like that!

CONTAC T

but, it is small and requires a lighter motor. So… the discussion always seems to revolve around what is the best outboard motor to hang on the transom. With the lighter two-stroke motors having gone away, it is a major decision. Do you sacrifice draft to get horsepower with the heavier four-stroke or do you forsake power for draft by going with an ETEC or Tohatsu two-stroke. Or, do I switch to another hull from the HB lineup that is better suited to handle a 200 pound plus motor. Well, fortunately it is not too big of a dilemma because I had the sense to buy a couple of spare two-stroke outboards for this particular hull before they went away for good. The point is that it is fun to research and discuss. Another aspect of boats that I have truly enjoyed is the outfitting of them. By outfitting I am talking about all the little things beyond the hull and motor. Push poles, platforms, electronics and electrical systems all the way down to how and where to store all the little items that we as anglers, need for a successful day on the water. Over the years I have utilized Pelican Cases to store everything in. They are completely waterproof and come in a variety of sizes that allow me to utilize the various cubby holes beneath the fore and aft decks. These cases, however, have one major flaw in that they are heavy in comparison to so

many other ways to keep gear dry so, I am currently switching all of my loose gear into the clear-sided Simms roll-top dry bags. Who knows, I might not like this system and will have to look for another way to keep gear 100% dry and organized. I dread the day I have it all figured out. Once I do, I imagine it will not be as fun. I suspect we are a long way from that day. Over the years, this boat thing has taken me to some really silly places. Several years back I decided I needed a skiff to hunt ducks from so I started shopping. Not finding what I wanted, I decided it was time to build one. What a goatroping that was! What should have taken only a couple of months utilizing my buddy Shane’s and my spare time, turned into a six month journey of disappointment and discovery. And, to this day, I would not give up the experience. When we finally made the first hunt from it, to say the least, it was an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction. Of course now, I really want to take what I learned from building the first skiff and apply it to a newer, more sophisticated version. I am telling you folks, boats make me stupid. Well, I don’t imagine I will be building another skiff anytime soon but chances are in the next year or so I will be ready to add another vessel to the fleet. I mean let’s face it, anything less than three boats cannot constitute a navy. Oh, wait a minute; you cannot have a navy without air support. Hmmm…I am wondering if maybe some sort of aircraft might be in the future, maybe an ultra-light airplane or perhaps a small Cessna? I know… I have issues.

ACCO R D I N G TO SCOT T

if he realized how much time we spend talking about our skiffs and about what we might do different when it comes time to get another one. I love the hull of the Hell’s Bay Skiff that I am currently running

Capt. Scott Sommerlatte is a full time fly fishing and light tackle guide, freelance writer and photographer. Telephone 979-415-4379 Email vssommerlatte@hotmail.com Website www.scottsommerlatte.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 61


YOU T H

FISH I N G

A ARON CISNEROS

TEXAS SALTWATER THROUGH I cannot believe how kl four f quickly years have gone by since I first started writing for TSFMag. It all started the summer of my eighth grade year. I remember before my writings looking forward to receiving each new edition so that I could glance at all the fish pictures throughout the magazine. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that one day I would be writing my fishing experiences in the same magazine. Often I felt like the luckiest teenager on the whole Texas Coast. I have been truly blessed these past four years and have experienced lasting memories that I will carry with me forever. Throughout these four years I was able to share my life experiences and my love of fishing. I had the wonderful opportunity to travel with my family to Mexico and different parts of the United States experiencing and writing about new waters that I never even knew existed. Through this wonderful journey I got to share many things about myself, and in the sharing, I too learned a lot. From the big Baffin trout, to the stingray hit, the tournament winnings, to sharing my passion of fishing over the years I truly enjoyed sharing my heart to all the readers over the course of my

May 2005

62 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

high school years. I hope that I have made an impact or sparked a passion for fishing for those that read my stories. I appreciate all the positive comments that I received from loyal readers of TSFMag. Every positive word was very encouraging to me. Thanks to all my friends that shared my experiences on the water. I will never forget the laughs, the good and not so good, without my friends I would not have been able to experience what I wrote. To those that took me under their wing and shared their knowledge with me and gave the time to educate me about things in life while we fished together, thank you for

become a reality if you believe in yourself. I will treasure them for years to come. Many thanks to Laguna rods for their generous gift and allowing me to own

February 2008

my first baitcast rod; that rod is still catching fish. Joe Meyer and Ron Sheppard over at FTU, thank you for your kindness. I enjoyed fishing with both of you. To Billy Ray at Salt Water Soul Apparel, thank you for your generosity; I will certainly wear your shirts proudly. There is a special person whom I want to thank. I never would have accomplished my writings without her, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mrs. Martha Morales, a friend of the August 2006 family and English teacher who always proofread my articles no taking the time to teach me. matter what time of the day or night just Everett and Pam thank you for so that I could meet my deadline. Thank this wonderful opportunity and you Mrs. Morales for your dedication for believing in me even when I and advice. didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think I could live up to this And last but not least, I want to thank responsibility. I want you to know my family for being there for me and that I have kept every issue to remind going out of their way so that I could me that which seems impossible can continue my writings. I am very grateful Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


May 2010

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

that they took me places so that I could experience a larger world of fishing. As I grew older, they allowed me to experience fishing on my own. I want to especially thank my dad because without him this would not have been possible. If he had not taken the time to show me how to fish as young kid, all of this would not have been a part of me. Through my faults and mistakes, giving him many headaches over the years, he still took the time to teach me what I know today. I have spent and will continue spending countless hours on the water with him, catching fish, poking fun at each other, competing with one another, and best of all laughing with one another. He has taught me that fishing and life go hand in hand. Because of him I have acquired a lifetime sport that will bring me memories. My time as a youth writer has come to an end. It is time for me to say good-bye. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a pleasure sharing and writing for the greatest saltwater fishing magazine on the Texas Coast. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m proud to have been part of a great writing team and just to think that I never thought I could do it. Believe in yourself and dream big. See you out on the water!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 63

YOUTH FISHING

<287+)8/ EYES


TSF MAGA ZINE SPOTLIGHT

TSF MAGA ZINE SPOTLIGHT

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Ron Hoover RV and Marine Centers are conveniently located in Houston, La Marque, Rockport and Donna to serve the needs of Texas fishermen and recreational boaters. Founded at the current Rockport location in 1987 by Ron Hoover, Ron Hoover RV and Marine Centers remains familyowned and managed with Ron’s sons Chris (corporate CFO and Rockport store GM) and Dustin (VP Operations) playing key roles. The Ron Hoover business slogan is, “We sell family fun,” keying on the theme of helping families achieve their dreams in outdoor recreation. Dedicated to achieving the highest levels of customer satisfaction, the Ron Hoover team utilizes a varied set of strategies. “First,” says Dustin Hoover, “We conduct our own inhouse training of all employees to make certain everybody on the team are team players dedicated to making the Ron Hoover experience everything we hope it can be. Starting with ‘meet and greet’ indoctrination and continuing through personal and professional interface in all levels of customer service, we believe that investing in our people is a great way to invest in our business.”

Dustin went on to describe the Hoover company’s unique intra-store Customer Satisfaction Index and comprehensive customer telephone follow-up program to gain feedback and strengthen relations. “One thing we like to provide is the service 64 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

of advising customers their warranty programs are due to expire soon. We much prefer assisting them with performance and service issues under warranty rather than from their pockets.” Bay boat lines currently offered at Ron Hoover dealerships include BayMaster, Blazer Bay, Blue Wave and Canyon Bay. They are the exclusive, factory-direct dealer for BayMaster, ranked #1 Blazer Bay dealer nationally for three years running, one of the top Blue Wave dealers in the country, and also enjoy exclusive, factory-direct dealer status west of the Mississippi with Canyon Bay. On the offshore side, Ron Hoover is the only dealer for ProLine and Pursuit brands in Texas.

In the marine outboard power department, Suzuki is the brand at Ron Hoover. Factory rigged on many boats, Ron Hoover is also a great place for repowering. With several Suzuki factorytrained technicians at each location and the ability to share knowledge, expertise and parts inventories between stores, Ron Hoover RV and Marine Centers takes great pride in quick, courteous and professional service at each facility. Financing opportunities at Ron Hoover are uncommon by virtue of volume and relations with a host of financial institutions. “For buyers needing to finance, we can arrange deals other dealers simply cannot bring together – that’s the advantage we have developed not only through the boat business, but through the RV side as well. Even folks who might not qualify at other dealerships can become owners here,” says Dustin Hoover.

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Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 65


RUBEN VILL ARRE AL

EVERY MAN’S OFFSHORE

I realized recently that many smallboat anglers who occasionally venture offshore have little knowledge of the best methods of tying to a platform, setting a drift (over wrecks or alongside shrimp boats), anchoring over structure, etc. So, with summer and the peak of offshore fishing interest nearly upon us, I thought perhaps we could shed some light on this subject. The basic hardware that gets you in the game includes rig hooks, sea anchors, anchor, anchor line, and chain. These implements are considered “ground tackle.”

First, let’s cover tying to platforms. Platforms and pipe stands are very popular as they are easy to navigate to and attract good numbers of many species. Two primary considerations here are wind direction and current. Tying on the downwind side is almost always best from a safety viewpoint; 66 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

however, current from the opposite direction can be dangerous if strong enough to move the boat against the wind toward the above-water structure. A few minutes of study are definitely in order before deciding on your tying location. A rig hook is the safest and handiest method for tying to above-water structure and there are two common types of rig hooks; the EZ Rig Hook and the traditional long-shank rig hook – styled much like a shepherd’s crook. Given that the sea is not always calm, sidling to within the few feet of the structure required to attach the shepherd’s crook can be a dicey and dangerous exercise; ditto retrieving it. The EZ Rig Hook can be tossed a good (and safe) distance to accomplish the connection and similarly unhooked from a distance via a trip wire that runs Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


knotted at each eye, including slack line between the knots to allow the snubber to stretch, just in case the snubber should fail. The easiest way I have found to accomplish this is with a “bowline on a bight” at each end. Drifting is an easy and popular method of setting up alongside a shrimp boat or over underwater structure; however, being at the mercy of wind and current does not always allow for thorough fishing. A sea anchor or drift sock is very useful in managing your drift. Essentially a cone-shaped parachute with a vent at the small end, the drift sock is rigged with two lines – one on the bridle at the large end for attaching to a boat cleat and another at the small end which allows the sock to be reversed for easy retrieval. Varying the point of drift sock attachment along the hull can help you achieve various angles of drift. The least popular, yet still highly useful, method of setting up on likely structure is anchoring. Anchoring can remove a lot of guesswork regarding lure and bait placement over targeted

E V E RY M AN ’S O FFSH O R E

through guides on the mooring line. Mooring line should be stout enough to hold your boat in a gale! While practically any size line will work in calm conditions, squalls can appear suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere. Simply put – this is no place for wimpy line. Three-quarters, or better yet, one inch diameter threestrand nylon makes a good choice and one hundred feet is a practical length. While you may not want to position the boat one hundred feet from the structure under calm conditions, being able to quickly and safely lengthen the hitch can save your life and avert damage to your boat. Being tied to a rig under anything but calm seas dictates that a shock absorber, or rubber snubber as they are commonly known, be included in the rigging to counter the jolt of the boat heaving against the mooring line. Never tie the snubber from the eyes as you would a swivel in a fishing line. Proper rigging technique dictates using a continuous line,


structure but there are variables to consider. These are anchor scope, wind direction, current, and length of chain on the anchor. Scope is the length of line required between boat and anchor to hold position and varies with water depth and sea conditions.

On calm days two to three feet of line per foot of depth can be sufficient; whereas in rougher seas six to eight feet of anchor line may be required for the anchor to stick. Generally, unless influenced by current, your boat will come to rest directly downwind of the anchor. Notice I said generally. An opposing current can cause the boat to lie at some vector to the direction of the wind meaning your lures or baits may not end up over the intended target. Always compare your exact position via sonar and adjust

68 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

anchor drop as necessary. Another point to consider is any sudden change in wind direction or current velocity, especially when anchoring in proximity to abovewater structure. Either of these can cause the boat to spin on its anchor and could get you into trouble. A few words about anchor chain: I see many smaller boats with very short shots of chain on the anchors. A short shot of chain may work well in the bays but when it comes to your offshore ground tackle, the length of the anchor chain is critically important. Not only does the chain add weight helping the anchor hold, it also adds abrasion resistance should the line slap the seafloor or contact other rough surfaces. A good rule of thumb says chain length should be equal to boat length. Many mariners blame insufficient scope and anchor size when actually all

Texas Saltwater Fishing

they need is more chain. I hope this has enlightened you on some of the basic methods for setting up on an area to fish. If you take nothing else from this article, take these key points: 1) Never rig a snubber in the fashion of an inline swivel â&#x20AC;&#x201C; always knotted into the mooring line with slack (approximately twice the length of the snubber) between knots. 2) Be mindful of the length of chain on your anchor; if it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stick, you probably need more chain or scope. If you have never tested your anchor to discover whether it will hold, consider this: If you lose power or run out of fuel, your anchor is all you have between holding your position and possibly drifting further to sea.

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$WLSIURP76)0DJUHDGHU%LOO<RVW Pam and I recently made the acquaintance of Bill Yost. Bill is a longtime reader and came with an offer to assist our effort to supply copies of TSFMag to U.S. military personnel all over the world. Billâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s company manufactures road maintenance materials and his crews now include copies of TSFMag in every container of product. Kudos and many thanks, Mr. Yost! While getting acquainted, Bill also offered a tip we might be able to publish. For years he has been using cooking spray to keep his lures bright and shiny, hooks good as new with only occasional sharpening. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A quick rinse of freshwater and a blast of PAM Cooking Spray is all it takes,â&#x20AC;? he quipped flipping open his wade box. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jigheads last for months and replacing hooks on plugs is a thing of pastâ&#x20AC;Śkeeps your plastics looking good tooâ&#x20AC;Śfish love the garlic flavor.â&#x20AC;?

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Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 69


6WRU\E\%LOO\6DQGLIHU

As I stare at the title above I begin to

for us though, the Creator put Ainsworth

wonder if it shouldn’t read, “The David

Trucking Company in our lives and the

tons and miles as overshadowed by the

Ainsworth Beach Cleanup.” Without

plain and simple truth is we would not have

pure heart and drive of the volunteers.

Ainsworth Trucking Company we would

got it done without them.

This event was extremely tough from the

have been in a real bind getting trash off the beach. We only had a couple of truck-trailer

Mr. David Ainsworth and his operations

Personally, I regard the number of

beginning. The weather hammered us and

manager, Kenny Smith, showed up with

we had vehicle problems galore but we just

two big rubber-tired front-end loaders,

kept on going and did it anyway.

rigs show up and it’s not hard to figure

each pulling three sixteen-foot trailers

why. Towing down island to drag a load

specially outfitted with tall side boards for

avoid driving ice-cold rain and we worked

of trash back up is tough on equipment.

hauling trash.

on hands and knees dragging trash bags

That is why I have always said those

We worked in the lee of the trailers to

The final cleanup stats are impressive.

when we couldn’t stand up any more. Our

pulling trailers never really get the credit

The Bassler Group of 90 volunteers began

soaked clothing dried on our backs as we

they deserve. They aren’t just showing

working north from the Port Mansfield

worked in the raw wind of the incoming

up and working their backsides off; they

jetty and cleaned five miles. The Northend

norther.

are risking serious damage and possibly

Group, nearly 450 strong, drove down to

complete loss of their equipment.

Big Shell from Malaquite. The total weight

Malaquite with truck trouble, never made

of trash removed from seventeen miles

it to the beach. Tyler Thorsen was a Section

was 103 tons.

Leader and his right front wheel began

This year the hauling shortage really caught up with us. Always looking out 70 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Everett and Pam Johnson limped into

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


making loud “clunking” noises in route to

chance to make outdoor Texas a better

his assigned work area. He just hopped

place to visit.

out and started working. Trust me; you had to be there. I simply

Thanks to all our sponsors: David Ainsworth and Ainsworth Trucking,

can’t explain this event to you. It’s all

Ruth Parr Sparks Foundation, Ace Leal

heroes with hearts as big as Texas and

and Gambler Graphics, Ben Beaty,

absolute determination to make things

Sharkathon, CCA Corpus Christi, Stephen

better for their having been there.

and Donna Gregory, Miller and Kathie

We learned this year we need bigger and better tools. Mr. Ainsworth sheared

Bassler, Smartshield Sunscreen, Tex-Maps, David Sikes and the Corpus Christi Caller Times, Everett and Pam Johnson and Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine, Ron Behnke and the Salty Angler, Time Warner Cable, Daniel Dain and Domino’s Pizza, Jay Gardner and the refreshment crew of CCA Corpus Christi, Michael Laskowski

off the first ball hitch he ever saw give-

and Trac-Work Inc., and Coastal Bend

way in his life and several of us spent 45

Audubon Club. You are and will always be

minutes with a hammer and two rusty

my heroes.

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Your humble brother in the sand,

two in one day.

Capt. Billy L. Sandifer

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Finally Mr. Ainsworth tied a tow strap around the bucket on the front end loader the whole shebang in backwards across 26 miles of beach. During this adventure the tow strap broke six times. By the way, he had no helper – he did it all singlehandedly. Beginning to get the picture?

Capt. Billy Sandifer

Contact

and the leading trailer’s hitch and pulled

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I’ve never said it before but there is not a single event in Texas to compare with this cleanup. And that ain’t Billy bragging; no sir. That’s Billy being very humbled and blessed by the Creator to be allowed to play a small role in this unbelievable event. In a world that sometimes seems to have gone crazy – full of “I-me-mine, it’s

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.

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all about me” – there is absolutely nothing in the same league with this event. These

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wonderful people come from all over

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Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 71


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www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 73


DICKIE COLBURNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S

6DELQH6FHQH

Twenty-four hours of gale force

caught some of our largest trout of the year on electric chicken or

north winds brought a rapidly

pink Catch Vs and 2000s.

improving trout bite on Sabine

We also found that fishing the 5-inch Assassin Shad under a

DICKIE COLBURN

Lake to a grinding halt in late

Kwik Cork rather than swimming it on a light head was much more

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

March and the recovery was

effective in muddy water. Red

slowed by stiff winds from every

shad has always been a good

direction in April.

color under those conditions, but

The mud siphoned out of the

Telephone 409-883-0723 Website www.sabineconnection.com

I have added pink to the arsenal

bayous and back lakes quickly

and it has proven to be deadly

found its way into the open lake

even in the clearer water.

leaving local anglers with yet

Kyle Couser with a beautiful Sabine speck that fell for a Bass Assassin â&#x20AC;&#x201C; released.

As the bayous continue to

another challenge. The good

clear, rafts of newly hatched

news is that the big spring tides

shad, shrimp, and finger mullet

have recently ushered in not only more shrimp and bait fish, but

ride the incoming tides on the

clearer and saltier water as well.

surface and the trout, redfish

That untimely blip on the â&#x20AC;&#x153;catchingâ&#x20AC;? screen and the inability to

and flounder are all over them.

replenish a rapidly dwindling stash of pink Corkys forced us to get

Smaller topwaters like the She

more innovative or park the boat and the latter was not a viable

Dog will yield explosive strikes

option. As the water gradually cleared on the north end and the

when walked through the middle

trout started spending more time on the flats than in the ICW, we

of the mobile buffet.

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Texas Saltwater Fishing

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SABIN E Darlene Barnes tricked this trout with a Catch V and set her free.

The submerged

minimizes rollover and an upright

grass on the Louisiana

hook not only results in more hook-

shoreline took a

ups, but fewer snags as well.

beating all winter

As much as I hate to fish the ship

long from both the

jetties it is channel south of the Causeway and thee jetties,

fishermen and the

all but impossible to ignore the catching potential over the next two

wind, but it is still a

months. Wind permitting, this area is as close to a guarantee as you

magnet for baitfish.

can possibly get on most days.

It is difficult to avoid

The channel as well as the Gulf side of both jetties cough up

the redfish, but there

not only solid trout, reds and flounder to the live bait fishermen, but

are some very good

those opting to probe the shell and granite with artificials as well.

trout tracking finger

You should expect to leave a substantial number of jigheads lodged

mullet and shrimp in the grass as well. We have scored better on the

in the shell and submerged pipes, but the bite can be absolutely

trout swimming the longer tails on a 1/8 ounce head or jerking a

non-stop for anglers willing to work at it just a little.

MirrOdine XL through the grass.

The rigs just offshore will also attract more attention on

We are actually ticking the deeper grass much like we fish a Trap

the calmer days this month. Vertical jig fishing or live bait in the

for bass on the impoundments. The majority of our strikes come just

shadows of a rig can dupe everything from trout to an occasional

after jerking the XL free. This program will keep you on the outskirts

turbocharged ling. Most rig fishermen prefer light tackle but

of the more serious fishing pressure on most days.

be prepared to give up lots of line should you find yourself in a

I have also found Bass Assassinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Pro Elite jig head to be much more forgiving when swimming a tail through vegetation or even when allowing it to settle on the shell. The flatter and tapered head

mismatch. If by chance you still have fish in the freezerâ&#x20AC;Śyou practiced catch and release a little too late on your last trip!

(K]HUJLK;YVWO`;YV\[;HJ[PJZPZ HTPU\[LPUZ[Y\J[PVUHS+=+^OPJOVMMLYZKL[HPSLKHK]PJL VUOV^[VJH[JOIPN[YV\[VUHY[PĂ&#x201E;JPHSS\YLZ;VWYL]PL^HUKVY W\YJOHZL]PZP[^^^Ă&#x201E;ZOIHMĂ&#x201E;UIH`JVTVYJHSS

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www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 75


MICKEY

2Q*DOYHVWRQ Mickey Eastman is a full-time fishing guide out of Baytown, TX. Mickey has 26 years guiding experience on the Galveston area bays and is the founder of Gulf Coast Troutmasters, the largest speckled trout tournament series of all time

Contact Mickey Eastman’s Guide Service Telephone 281-383-2032

If I was allowed only two words to describe the general state of fishing across the entire Galveston Bay complex I would have to go with inconsistent and late. There have been some signals of good things to come and, as always, a couple of hot spots; but in general the catching has been inconsistent and spring seems to be arriving several weeks later than expected.

Trinity Bay We still have a lot of fresh water over here. We are finally starting to get some green streaks and some cleaner areas where clarity is becoming almost good enough for lure presentation. This past Monday I fished really hard, me and another guy, and we were on a good bunch of fish – just didn’t get a lot of bites. I think we might have had twenty bites and caught ten of

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them. They’re just not ready yet. Water temperatures are still ranging anywhere from 62° to 66° which you know is at least 6° to 8° cooler than normal for this date. The frequency of northerly fronts is the major culprit, still only four to five days apart, and tides blowing out to 2-3 foot below normal. The stiff southerly wind between the fronts has been hampering our open water efforts. A good warm up and moderate south wind would do this bay a lot of good. East Bay Right now I would say East Bay is offering the most consistent fishing in the Galveston system. Having said that though, I don’t want anybody to get the idea that its on any place you stop but there are some stretches of shoreline and some deeper structure where decent catches being made. East Bay’s north and south shorelines have many points, coves and drains, not to mention wind protection, and all of these can offer opportunity under the right conditions. Reports indicate waders, drifters and troll motor fishermen are all getting some action so long as they are willing to work long enough to figure out the patterns and the wind will give them the chance on open water. Of all these options marsh drains and points directly adjacent are probably the best bets for waders. Good tidal current is important in these areas, incoming and outgoing tides will both

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GALVESTO ON produce fish. Soft plastics have been the best lure choice and we have been trying the Voodoo Shads from Big Nasty Bait Co. These baits have lots of action so naturally they’ll catch fish. Corkys are a good bet when you’re on fish but probably not the best lure for finding them as you just can’t cover enough water if you are working them correctly. West Bay That scattered shell and mud bottom pattern and most of the major reefs are still producing whenever the wind allows drifting open water. Catches have been fair on average and good when the wind lays but we haven’t been getting many days like that. Trout action in the coves is starting to play out as the water gets warmer. These areas are always at their best with water temps running mid-50 to low 60s. Now that the water in West Bay has warmed up to the mid and upper 60s the fish have naturally pulled out of the cove patterns and we are catching them off bars next to guts and naturally deeper shell. Right now it’s the kind of deal where you just have to be standing there when they come through as the fish are moving. Reports of a few trout to seven pounds are circulating so it is definitely worth a try to get on them before the pattern winds down completely. Upper and Lower Galveston Bay A few fish are starting to show up around Dickinson Bay and the

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Moses Lake tide gate area. A fair number of redfish and spotty trout action around the Seabrook Flats and Sylvan Beach area is being reported. Galveston Jetties Lots of drum and redfish are being caught along the jetties and also in the Texas City Dike area using live and dead shrimp and cracked crab on the bottom. That is pretty much the migratory route of the black drum and a lot of folks are doing real well doing with them, killing time and waiting for the trout and redfish to start busting loose in the rest of the bays. That’s pretty much it folks, the bays are finally beginning to warm and the fishing is starting to come around. Anglers who are familiar with the spring patterns in these bays understand that lingering winter and late northers have us running about a month behind where we normally would be at this time. Our water should be in the low 70s already but we just haven’t reached that magical point yet. We are beginning to see a few slicks and the mullet are moving shallower. There are tons of shad everywhere in deeper water. We are beginning to see a few white shrimp moving out of the marsh and sooner or later the brown shrimp will be moving. The month of May holds lots of promise, we just have to wait it out.

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 77


CAPT. BILLâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S Hats off to Jay Watkins for his soul-searching narrative in last monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s issue of TSFMag. He is one of the very best in this profession and I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Bill Pustejovsky is a full-time guide at Matagorda, TX. agree more with every word. I Bill fishes year-round for have performed my own 180° trout and redfish in all the turnaround and can relate to Matagorda Bays. Wading and the days of full stringers. There drifting for trophy trout and is no doubt fishing continues to reds are his specialty. be a competitive market with Telephone many vying for the recognition 979-863-7353 received from landing the big Email ones and bringing in the full CaptBill@GoldTipGuideService.com boxes. I believe most of us Website www.goldtipguideservice.com attuned to the current state of our fisheries and fishing industry will agree changes are inevitable. What these changes will be and who will levy them is uncertain. With the present Obama administration and previous controversial decisions, I believe we all need to hold onto our hats because it may well be a rough boat ride. We will just have to let time tell.

)LVK7DON

Many say â&#x20AC;&#x153;everything runs in cyclesâ&#x20AC;? and there may be some truth to that but when you put pencil and paper to our fishery statistics, you may end up rubbing your brow. Not many enjoy sitting in a church pew and hearing the pastor comment on making righteous choices or looking out for your neighbor. Most of the time, we listen and we think, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worry God is in control.â&#x20AC;? Well guys, I hate to tell you this but we are reaping the harvest from the seeds we have all sewn in this fishery thing.

Peter Kroll landed this 24â&#x20AC;? trout in East Matagorda on an Assassin.

East Matagorda Bay Good tides and calmer winds always appear in May. This should clean up our water conditions and bring a better bite. April fishing tactics should carry over into May; wading the reefs and drifting scattered shell. Based on previous years I will be pulling more topwaters out of the tackle box, especially while drifting. At any point in time any reef in East Bay can be a good producer. The trick is

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M ATAG O R DA to try a reef for about thirty minutes or so and if you do not find the fish, pack up and move to another. Sometimes I will move four or five times to various reefs before finding a good bite. Also remember if you caught fish on a reef one day does not necessarily dictate they will be there the next. It seems the fish in East Bay move more frequently than they did in the past and this may be fishing pressure. However, if you happen to find a good number of fish I would start out there early the next day just to check it out. I would give it a 50/50 chance those fish to still be in the area. If drifting is your choice, be sure to make long drifts ending well away from structure that is producing before cranking up and coming back around. Mix it up with topwaters and plastics. I like to keep several rods at the ready; one with rattling cork and leadhead, another without the cork, and Jesse Alvarado and John Gill definitely one with topwater. with 27” reds on Assassins If you are fishing with drifting East Matagorda. buddies, try rigging everyone

with something different until you can establish the best setup. West Matagorda Bay d Of course, the glass minnows, menhaden, and mullet should be plentiful and fishing in full swing over in West Bay. Normally, I will run over to West Bay when East Bay starts to draw a lot of traffic. However, during May and on into early summer, we’ve seen days when both bays draw a lot of traffic. This can be frustrating but we just have to be patient and make do best we can. Repairs on both east and west locks are still in progress making it somewhat of a challenge to maneuver between bays. Having personally spent a couple of hours at a time sitting and waiting, I’ve discovered that by hailing VHF Channel 13 and requesting lock opening and closing times can be very helpful as the times vary by day. If you are targeting the south shoreline, aim for an incoming tide when you can. My plans are to fish the guts between sandbars and all the grass flats available. Small Super Spooks, Skitter Walks, and She Pups in bone color along with Salt Assassins four inch Sea Shad in plum with chartreuse tail and Texas roach will be personal favorites. Keep an eye out for sharks and wear your protective gear for stingrays. Until next time; Good fishin’ and God Bless. -Capt. Bill

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MID-COAST BAYS

:LWKWKH*UD\V Blustery winds have played a major role in nearly all my trips CAPT. SHELLIE GRAY for the past few weeks. I have Captain Gary and Captain Shellie to laugh when the weather Gray fish year-round for trout forecaster says, “The next and redfish in the Port O’Connor/ few days will be breezy.” We Seadrift area. Gary started his Bay all know that in reality they Rat Guide Service 20 years ago. The Grays specialize in wade and should be saying, “Hold on to drift fishing with artificial lures. yer hats ‘cause it’s gonna be Gary and Shellie also team up to downright windy.” fish many tournaments. Several people have asked me how I feel about fishing in such extreme conditions Telephone and what effect does the wind 361-785-6708 have on the fishing itself? Email Gary@BayRat.com Well – Taking people Website fishing when the wind is www.bayratguideservice.com blowing 25 to 30 mph is never going to be my favorite. If it were at all possible I would reschedule all my windy day trips because I know from experience that the odds of finding fishable

80 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

water and enjoying a great day of catching are greatly reduced. My usual trips to the open reefs in San Antonio Bay are put on hold and I am forced to fish in the back lakes and/or along protected shorelines. Now this is not to say fishing can’t be decent on high wind days. But let’s face it; when the wind is howling your options are going to be limited. I call it, “fishing where we could,” which is very different from, “fishing where we should.” Add weekend traffic to that equation and too often you find a host of boats and dozens of hopeful anglers all crowding into the same protected area. So now you are not only dealing with the wind problem, the crowding sets up another one. We all know that too many boats running over the fish can shut a good bite down in a hurry. While I don’t like having the weather dictate where I can fish, I also know here in the Seadrift/Port O’Connor area we are very fortunate to have many back lakes where we can seek refuge from the wind. Fishing in these back lakes can be very good depending on what methods you choose to use. Wade fishing is the most productive way to fish our back lakes because it allows anglers to work a given area thoroughly at a slower pace which can be next to impossible while drifting in a boat that

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P O R T O â&#x20AC;&#x2122;CO N N O R / SE AD R I F T is being shoved forward by strong wind. While I think wade fishing is the best option for success it is not for everyone and may be somewhat difficult due to the soft mud bottoms of many lakes. A drift anchor is a great tool and should be standard equipment for anglers who prefer the drifting method. I know a few fishermen who routinely use two drift anchors to slow their boats on windy days. Many are the days when I wished I could have put out three drift anchors. One of my favorite redfish lures for gusty spring days is the Waker from Mannâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bait Company, usually in the holographic croaker color pattern. I know I have mentioned this bait in past articles but I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t My mother, Sandy Zimmer, when she was in her twenties. Nice red Mom!

 

      

stress enough what a producer it has been. This bait is very ease to use for anglers of all skill levels. o the If I find the reds arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t responding to igged soft Waker, my next choice will be a Texas-rigged plastic. Even though the spring season has just begun our seagrass is already growing and a weedless, Texas-rigged lure is the way to go. Whether you are fishing for reds or trout, tying a Mansfield Mauler or similar float into your rig adds fish attracting noise for windy days and helps keep your lure out of the grass. When the wind cooperates I will be targeting trout on the reefs in San Antonio Bay. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get discouraged if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find a good bite on your first stop. Reef hopping is often necessary to find those speckled critters. Windy weekends will be tough for everybody. Every angler on the water will be searching for protected areas to fish. Be courteous and patient and, stick to your game plan. I want to shout out â&#x20AC;&#x153;Happy Motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dayâ&#x20AC;? to all the fishing moms out there and especially mine. Thanks Mom for everything!!! If you are lucky enough to have a lady angler in your life and searching for a perfect Motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day gift, consider one of my Signature Series rods made by American Rodsmiths. They can handle anything from the biggest trout to the toughest reds and if the great action of these rods doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get her attention, the eyecatching color will!

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HOOKED UP WITH Late March and early April lived up to their deserved reputations for large trout here on the Upper Laguna Madre and Baffin Bay. We have had some catches of large trout DAVID ROWSEY that rival days in the 1990s. Of David Rowsey has 20 years course, I am speaking of quality, experience in the Laguna/Baffin and not necessarily quantity. region; trophy trout with artificial The trout will stay fat for the lures is his specialty. David has a most part throughout this great passion for conservation month although they will have and encourages catch and release of trophy fish. begun spawning. We have been amazed at the girth on most of the fish we have been landing. Telephone 361-960-0340 Numerous days produced trout Website under twenty-six inches that www.DavidRowsey.com weighed in excess of seven pounds. When we have been fortunate to break twenty-nine or greater length it is almost a guarantee that they will stretch the Boga Grip deep into the nine pound range and, in one case, over ten. This month of May should give us more of the same, plus the opportunity to hit more mid-range fish between twenty and twenty-five inches as

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our spring tides roll in. Every spring season we look forward to the water coming in from down south. This year is filled with extra anticipation as the water quality is an unknown. The Port Mansfield area is covered up with stained water that is presumed to be brown tide. My fingers are double-crossed that clear water will miraculously make it through the Land Cut. Packery Channel will pump good quality water into the northern reaches of the Upper Laguna Madre. Depending on the prevailing southeast winds, it is hard to guess how much impact it will have on the waters closer to Baffin. I am optimistic that it will help, even if in a small way. Many of the fishermen I spend days on the water with are under the assumption of, “Once a good spot, always a good spot.” To some degree that may apply if you are tied to a short time on the water every couple of months. I understand that, but things change in the water every single year. My GPS is splattered with anchor points for certain wind directions over the years. I would say that most of them are useless now and need to be deleted from the internal memory. The rocks and hard structure seldom change, but the grass does – dramatically! The drought that we experienced did a whammy on the seagrasses from the JFK to Nine Mile Hole. The majority of areas on the east side of the Laguna had a massive grass die-off, which is now stacked up on western shorelines. Spoil Islands, Tide Gage Bar, King Ranch shoreline,

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Texas Saltwater Fishing

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UPPE R L AGUNA / BAFFI N Kirk Childress with an Upper Laguna beauty - released!

and parts of the Kennedy shoreline have also been affected. Knowing that trout like to utilize shallow grassy areas during spawning; it will be interesting to figure out the areas in which we will catch them. The point in mentioning all of this is that many traditional areas look completely different than recent years, and if you are locked into fishing a certain spot, you might be surprised at what you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find. Have confidence that the fish are still out there; you may just have to expand your search to find them. My clients and I target large trout on most days but as the water warms up I have an increasing number that like to get a redfish at the

end of the day for table fare. This spring has been a little slow for the spotted bottom grubber but that should all change this month. I expect we will sis as we start catching them on a more regular basis h action has pursue the big trout. Recently the redfish picked up on shorelines that still have grass. Numerous recent trips have had shrimp jumping out of the grass all around us and, on those days, the reds have been showing very well and seem to be roaming more and more shallow. Redfish and trout have been on the same plastic diet. Five inch Bass Assassins and She Dogs have been the big winners of late. The Paul Brown Original (Corky) has worked exceptionally well when the floating grass is not a nuisance. Since the sightings of shrimp became common I have been scaling down my lure sizes when up shallow. The smaller Sea Shad by Bass Assassin in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Drunk Monkeyâ&#x20AC;? has been deadly (and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think for a second that a big trout will not eat it.) In closing, I would like to compliment Capt. Jay Watkins on his article last month. His time on the water, stance on conservation, and catch and release ethic is something we can all learn from. Regardless of what the state says you can keep, we have to be proactive as sportsmen and do our part in giving back versus just taking away. Creeps and idiots cannot conceal themselves for long on a fishing trip. -John Gierach Set â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;em loose. -Capt. David Rowsey

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Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 83


TRICIAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S 0DQVILHOG5HSRUW Despite increasing fears of brown water, our flats came

aggressive and definitely a knee-shaking experience to keep us coming back when it happens in shin-deep water.

alive recently with wakes, mud

How about seven pound trout and thirty inch reds in water barely

boils and aggressively feeding

covering their backs? In fact, one day recently, the fish were so shallow

fish. Both trout and reds

where we stopped, we actually had to push the boat for a hundred

Capt. Triciaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Skinny Water

pulled up shallow, seemingly

yards or more to take off again. Now when you are running a Shallow

Adventures operates out of

overnight. Truth is, they had

Sport, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d say that would qualify as skinny. Hey, we all screw up every

Port Mansfield, specializing in

probably been close all along,

now and then and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll just blame this one on poor water clarity. You

wadefishing with artificial lures.

just not exactly where we

can run aground before you see the bottom in some areas, but the fish

wanted them. From what we

donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem to care

are seeing right now it certainly

and neither do we

looks promising and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so

as long as we are

good to finally shed those

catching them.

Telephone 956-642-7298 Email shell@granderiver.net Website www.SkinnyWaterAdventures.com

waders again. Besides the comfort factor, we could use

Aside from the topwater bite,

some sun on those snow white legs. Bring on that Bull Frog, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time

soft plastic baits

for fun in the sun!

have also been

More good news is that a long-overdue topwater bite has finally

Soft plastic lures have been producing some excellent trout.

producing. Fishing

kicked in. The bay system came alive with small, dancing shrimp

skinny with a

and nickel-sized crabs and the fish have responded by showing

swimming-type

a willingness to take smaller topwaters. The bite has been very

bait, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to

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84 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


POR T MANSFI E LD keep it between floating grass on top and rooted grass on bottom.

twenty-five inches) each team will

I’ve mentioned this many times in past articles and certainly do not

bring to the weigh-in and perhaps

wish to sound redundant, but braided line is helping us catch fish we

even change the format to CPR. Many

probably never knew were there back when we used mono exclusively.

tournaments have already adopted more vative conservative

I still recommend Suffix in 20/6. It doesn’t seem to backlash as much as some braids and when it does it’s

The long-overdue topwater bite has finally kicked in.

formats and I hope we can change here in Port Mansfield too.

easier to clear. Top it off with a rod’s

Now before we get into a bunch

length of 20# flourocarbon leader and

of holier-than-thou, I’ll step up and

you are ready to rock.

say I have been as guilty as anybody

What can we expect during May?

bringing big trout to weigh-in. Last

Well - everything seems late. Last

year I was fortunate to guide winning

year we found trout full of roe in

teams in two large tournaments and,

mid-February and it didn’t happen

looking back, my teams and I, and

this year until late March. I always

many others, agree that competition

assumed spawning was driven

can lead us to do things we would

mostly by photo-period and now

never otherwise consider. It is

I’m realizing that water temperature

hypocritical to promote Catch and

may be equally important. So what

Release 363 days of the year and

I’m saying is that May’s predominant

then participate in killing big trout for bragging rights the other two. As

fishing patterns may be anybody’s

Billy Sandifer says, “If we don’t leave any there won’t be any.”

guess and I definitely expect everything to be several weeks to

I know May will bring us awesome fishing. Please consider the future

perhaps a month late.

of our fisheries and practice more C&R. See ya out there!

Also different this year has been our tides. We are currently still more than a foot below normal. If you care to believe NOAA, they are predicting higher water levels and stronger flows over the next several weeks. This could change a lot of things and my guess is that we’ll see a change for the better. Keep an eye on the edges of color streaks and as always watch for bait and birds. Last May was awesome for big trout, and while we are hoping for a repeat, I have something I need to say about the way we fished. As much fun as fishing tournaments can be (me too); the cleaning tables at some local events last year were just plain ugly – piled to overflowing with big trout. I would like to ask the tournament directors and corporations who sponsor these events to reduce the number of fish (especially trout over

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 85


SOUTH PADRE The first quarter of 2010

)LVKLQJ6FHQH having a tough time. Now brown tide is one thing and it takes us a few trips to remember

brings back memories of brown

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. Cell 956-266-6454 Website www.tightlinescharters.com

tide during the 1990s. Through

how to fish in it when it shows up down here, but let me tell you a little

the winter months and into early

story. I recently had the opportunity to fish Lake Calcasieu, Big Lake, as

spring we have had to battle

they call it in Louisiana. Every ounce of water in that lake would qualify as “ugly” down here

stained water which, along with persistent windy conditions,

in the Lower Laguna Madre. The water clarity we fished every day on

has made it difficult to find a

Big Lake would have been passed up as unfishable down here. I now

consistent pattern. I remember

have much more respect for a fish’s ability to zero in on a presentation

vividly the early 90s how tough

– but it took solid

it was to see fish much less catch

action to change

them on artificials during the

my opinion.

brown tide episodes that would blanket the Lower Laguna

during the winter months.

Calcasieu taught me how spoiled I have become.

Good news right now is that we are seeing signs of clearing. Higher

It also reminded

tides and strong south-southeasterly wind (that we would normally

me that fish must

curse) have been pushing lots of clean Gulf water through the Brazos

eat to survive and

Santiago Pass. Hopefully the improvement we have seen in the last

they can find and

week or so will continue throughout the month of May.

eat a lure in some

This spring has been a humbling experience to say the least. March

very murky stuff.

and April have always been good months for big trout and numbers

Upon arrival home

of trout, but not so far this year. It has been a slow grind for some of

I immediately

the slimmest catching I can recall; even natural bait fishermen are

applied the lessons

86 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

This bruiser came out of some of the dirtiest water I’ve ever fished.

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


AR ROYO CO LO R AD O TO P O R T I SABE EL migrating to the skinny flats and Wet wading will be the norm in May.

holding in the potholes. As of late, g the best bite has been on incoming afternoon and evening tides. Keep an eye on the birds. Terns, gulls and pelicans will become more active in May and can point the way to a gold mine of opportunity. Don’t let the wind discourage you, it’s bringing us cleaner water. And, until our Lagoon is all clear again, for Heaven’s sake do not pass on the dirty water. In closing, I would say we have all been humbled by recent, tough fishing. Lots of signs are pointing to many changes

I learned in Louisiana and found success landing fish in waters I used to

occurring in May and I see the promise of better fishing in the

deem unfishable. Another thing I learned was that paddle-tailed lures

coming weeks. That south wind is pumping new water and new life into

get bit more often than straight-bodied baits in dirty water. Maybe

our Lower Laguna and I believe it is going to bring us excellent fishing.

there is something to that “wiggling tail vibration” after all.

I almost forgot – I would like to add a big “thank you” to all my friends

More good news is that we are finally catching fish on topwaters. The

who stopped by the Fishing Tackle Unlimited booth during the Houston

most common mistake I see is anglers yanking their rod before the fish

Fishing Show. For those who accepted my advice and purchased an

has a chance to get hooked. So here’s a tip for you. Cast directly into the

FTU Green Rod, I look forward to hearing how they are working for you.

glare of the sun. You will not be able to see what’s going on, so don’t

If you missed picking one up at the show, visit either of their stores in

even try. Just wait for the fish to crush the plug and pull hard, then set

Houston or check them out at www.fishingtackleunlimited.com.

the hook. Works every time for me! With the arrival of higher tides we are starting to see more redfish

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Good fishing to all and remember; Don’t be afraid to fish dirty water.

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 87


ILVKLQJ5HSRUWVDQG)RUHFDVWV IURP%LJ/DNHWR%RFD&KLFD BROUGHT TO YOU BY...

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana Jeff and Mary Poe - Big Lake Guide Service - 337 598 3268 It’s finally here! The spring winds are still blowing but the trout bite is on! A great way to target trout on a windy day is to hop out of the boat and wade. Any flat in the estuary will offer some great wadefishing in May. Throw topwaters or floating Corkys. My favorite topwaters are Super Spooks and Skitterwalks. Any color will work, but go with more natural colors in pretty water and something vibrant in dirtier water. If wadefishing is not your thing, pick an oyster reef on the leeward shore and fish it as thoroughly as you can. My best colors lately have been opening night, chicken on a chain, and glow. Any lure in these colors work. Try both quarter and eighth ounce heads, and let the fish make the decision on what size you should stick to. Try to be as stealthy as possible! Use the wind and tide to your advantage. Do not troll against the wind or tide because it does not work! Most of our fishing will be done on the south shoreline due to the predominant south wind. Any of the reefs around the Washout and Old Jetties will be good fishing. Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay James Plaag - Silver King Adventures silverkingadventures.com - 409 935 7242 “Fishing is on the verge of breaking wide open, I think,” reports James. “Lately, it’s been a little inconsistent, with the crops of small shad, minnows and red worms hatching out. The fish tend to gorge on the small forage, sometimes mostly at night, and they can be finicky and hard to catch during the day. We have been wading mostly, and catching solid trout in the three to five pound class on the better days, throwing pink/gold MirrOlures and pearl/ black Corkys. Also catching some on pumpkinseed/chartreuse Bass Assassins too. Boat fishing hasn’t been really good, but it will pick up in May. Also good in May are the flats around San Luis Pass, the Pens in East Bay and Rollover Pass. Those are the places I’d head if I was trying to catch a wall hanger trout. If just catching fish is the goal, drifting reefs in East Bay is a better bet. Another thing that might get hot is the east shore of Trinity if the salty water makes it up around the corner. Once we get the shrimp coming into the bays at the end of April, things should kick off real nice in lots of places.” Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service - 409 996 3054 “Fishing has been good,” Jim says. “We’re catching both trout and reds in good numbers. Of course, the better fishing is coming on the days with lighter winds. If it’s light enough, you can catch limits or near limits out of the boat in the middle on the reefs. On the windier days, it pays to get out of the boat and wade. We’re still catching pretty good that way as long as it’s not just cranking too much. We’re finding fish up and down both shorelines, choosing our areas to match the conditions. I haven’t caught any real big trout, but lots of solid fish, up to about six and a half pounds. There have been some bigger fish caught in Rollover Pass, on the turn of the tide, when the winds are light. Biggest from there that I’ve heard of was a little over nine pounds. May should be good if the weather’s right. The bay and back lakes are full of fish. You 88 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

can basically catch them however you want to on the better days. Mostly, I’m throwing topwaters when the bite is easiest and backing them up with tails when the bite slows down a bit.” West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays Randall Groves - Groves Guide Service - 979 849 7019 - 979 864 9323 “I’m seeing lots of cool things lately. We’ve got shrimp in our bays already, and the glass minnows showed up in good numbers too. Birds are already working. The water is finally looking better after all the rain we had this winter. Trout fishing is picking up. Mostly, we’re catching numbers of solid keepers, but on some days, the big ones are biting too. I had a trout that weighed nine pounds the other day. Caught it on a Sand Eel. The fish wasn’t even twenty eight inches long; she was as fat as I’ve ever seen. That day we had a couple of other big ones too. The redfish are steady, better in the afternoons. In May, we expect the trout fishing to get even better. We’ll key on the schools of baitfish, whether they be glass minnows, shrimp or even ribbonfish. Topwaters will come out more of the time, but we’ll use the Sand Eels a lot too. Everyone should look for some new colors in the Sand Eels. They’ll be hitting the shelves soon. I’ve fished with some of the prototypes and they are working really well.” Matagorda Charlie Paradoski - Bay Guide Service - 713 725 2401 As always, the fishing choices in May in the Matagorda area will depend on the weather. “With the unsettled weather we’ve had lately, the fishing has been on the slow side. The wind is strong and comes from all directions, so it keeps things kind of messed up. By May, we should see lighter winds and fewer fronts, so fishing is typically steady. In nicer weather, meaning lighter winds, we like East Bay, because the trout are generally bigger over there; if it’s windier, West Bay is usually a safer bet for smaller trout and plenty of reds. In either bay, we’ll be wading and targeting sand pockets in the grass beds. The grass is usually well established this month, and that makes the pockets easy to see. We’ll be throwing small topwaters like the Spook Jr. and the baby Skitterwalk. The fish are usually aggressive and these lures work consistently, but if they aren’t, we’ll switch over to our standard soft plastics in the same places. We’ll keep our eye on the surf toward the end of the month, because we usually see some potential there by early June.” Palacios Capt. Aaron Wollam - palaciosguideservice.com - 979 240 8204 Fishing has finally started picking up in our area. This past month has been the most consistent bite we have had all winter. Our topwater bite has finally taken off as our fish are now over grass/sand/shell, and we are starting to see more and more bait in the water on every trip we take. Bone Super Spook Jrs and pearl Skitterwalks have been our best lures here the last couple of weeks. Both trout and reds have been real aggressive and have wanted the lures worked really fast. Lots of small mullet and glass minnows have started

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


to show up, and staying around the migrating schools has been a key to the topwater action. Some good keeper fish have been coming from the south shoreline of West Matagorda and from the eastern shorelines of Tres Palacios Bay. Nightfishing on the piers along South Bay and East Bay is also producing some good fish, mostly on Tsunami Shad swim baits. In April, more and more bait fish should arrive, and staying close to the schools should be a key to catching the trout and reds. Port O’Connor Lynn Smith - Back Bay Guide Service - 361 983 4434 With May falling smack dab in the middle of spring, Lynn expects to use tactics which are proven producers in this mild season. “I’ll be fishing mostly on shorelines with plenty of grass and hard, sandy bottoms. I like to target areas with a good mix of sand and grass, where there are plenty of potholes in the grass. We’ll stay pretty shallow for the most part, fishing right close to the bank earlier in the morning and moving more toward the edges of the flats as the day heats up. Lately, we’ve seen a good influx of glass minnows moving into the bays, so there should be plenty of schools of those roaming around this month. I’ll try to stay in places where there are signs of them. I like throwing lures which closely resemble the minnows when they are abundant. Topwaters like the Spook Jr. and soft plastics with straight tails in natural colors come to mind. The trout have shown back up in numbers around here and I look for more action on them in May, and the redfish are still plentiful. This is a great month to catch both species on topwaters.” Rockport Blake Muirhead - Gator Trout Guide Service - 361 790 5203 - 361 441 3894 Blake says that May is much like April for him in terms of patterns he likes to fish. “I’ll be keying on shorelines with lots of hard sand and grass. Chrome/ black and chartreuse Super Spooks will be good lures, especially early in the day. We’ll throw purple/chartreuse, pearl/chartreuse and pumpkinseed/ chartreuse Sand Eels too. Bays with good shorelines this month are San Antonio, Mesquite, Aransas and Corpus Christi Bay. I also might spend some time around the pass areas. We’ve had a good influx of bait in those places and there should be steady action as long as the bait is migrating into the bays. Trout fishing is picking up some. I’m looking for tide runners to move into the bays through the passes and make it even better. The redfish action is a little off when compared to this time last year. Seems the cold winter might have stacked them up in a few holes. With the water warming up and the tide rising, they should spread out some and be available in more places as we head into summer.” Padre Island National Seashore Billy Sandifer - Padre Island Safaris - 361 937 8446 May is genuinely the beginning of the summer season on PINS. A wide variety of species are available including sharks of several species, jack crevalle, tarpon, king and Spanish mackerel, pompano, Atlantic bluefish, whiting and speckled trout. The trout will hit silver spoons and blue/chrome Rattletraps better than topwater lures in May. Spoons will also work on most of the other species. Sargassum and Portuguese man-o-war are present in varying numbers. Birds diving and wheeling will lead anglers to most of the surface-working species and fishing deep pockets with dead shrimp and “Fishbites” will produce bottom feeders. Colonial-nesting waterbirds will be on nests on rookery islands so give spoil islands a wide birth. Also, Kemp’s ridley sea turtles will be nesting on the PINS sand throughout the month. Please keep an eye out for them while driving. Water is usually clear and tides should be moderate. Incoming tides tend to be more productive than outgoing. Watch for children and pets when approaching beach camps. Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut Robert Zapata – rz1528@grandecom.net - 563 1160 The tides have been very low for an unusually long period of time, but I

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

like the low tides because it concentrates the fish. The water clarity has been improving in all regions of the Laguna Madre, so many of the natural colored lures have been working very well. I have not been catching as many trout as I usually do this time of the year, but the ones that have been caught have been in very good shape and I can tell that they have been spawning. The water temperature is not an issue any more, so many of the fish are in less than two feet of water. I have been and will continue to fish in water that is between ten and eighteen inches deep, sight casting some of the time at redfish and an occasional trout. I’ll be rigging bone diamond and plum/chartreuse Bass Assassins or natural and new penny four inch Berkley Gulp shrimp on sixteenth ounce Assassin Spring Lock jig heads. Don’t forget your Costa Del Mar sunglasses and the 4EverLast Ray Guard boots. Joe Mendez – www.sightcast1.com - 361 937 5961 Joe plans on running south as much as possible in May. “We should be smack dab in the middle of the good run of trout fishing in the Land Cut by then. Lately, we’ve been having some real low tides. If that continues into May, it will make the Land Cut good, as it will probably cause some fish to abandon Nine Mile Hole into the ditch. Of course, if the tide is not too low, it could stack up some fish in the deeper areas of the Hole too. Either way, I’ll be looking to do some sight casting on the flats inside the Hole and working the west drop off of the Cut too. Another good option down there this time of year is the Kenedy shoreline, all the way from Rocky Slough north to Point Penascal. The drill there is to keep the boat within reach of the rocks and make lots of casts close around them. If the water is ugly down south, I’ll probably change the plan and move north, into Corpus Christi Bay. The areas in the eastern part of that bay hold up great in strong southeast winds and the water is normally clear enough for sight casting.” Port Mansfield Terry Neal – terrynealcharters.com – (956) 944 2559 Warming water temperature is always the key to spring fishing success and with the prevailing patterns of late it has been slow in coming. Hopefully more consistent patterns will begin emerging soon, maybe even before you read this. Lots of good redfish have been showing up on the flats and this pattern should continue as the water temperatures continue to rise. We are all waiting for the trout to turn on. Low tides and cool water temps have kept them deep so far this year. There is an abundance of shrimp showing up which is normally a forerunner to the trout movement. Off-colored water still remains a problem for the Port Mansfield area but with each passing day green water is getting closer. We’ve had lots of good catches regardless of the water conditions. Hopefully some good spring tides will help clear out the pockets of brown tide. Offshore reports continue to be good with lots of 10-20 lb red snapper being brought in. Keep only what you can eat…release the rest. Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel Janie and Fred Petty – fishingwithpettys.com – (956) 943 2747 Southeast winds are finally moving the brown tide north, and we can see the potholes. We still have very low tides, but that should change when the spring tides return. Our trout catches are up, especially those over 25 inches. The lure working best is the Berkley Gulp three inch shrimp in pearl white, molting, and nuclear chicken rigged on a quarter ounce head and a short leader under a Cajun Thunder cork. We’re catching reds when the tide is outgoing; those numbers should improve as soon as the water clears and the turtle grass grows some. Freddy says, “The perch are showing up and we’re seeing more shrimp than we have in years. With trout fishing on the rise and improved water conditions, the big herds of redfish will soon be roaming the flats rounding out our catches and giving us the limits we expect.” In May, we’ll be switching to Cajun Thunder cigar corks with Gulps for trout and throwing Precision Tackle half ounce gold weedless spoons at reds in the shallow areas that will flood when the tide levels rise.

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 89


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

Lou Spytek Port Aransa - 35” 19lb redfish

Evan Hickok first trout!

Michael Hubbard Rollover Pass - 29” redfish

Paige Malone Pita - 19” black drum

90 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Christian Sykes Port Aransas - Spanish mackerel

Jessie Tessar Laguna Madre - first redfish!

Chelsea Solomon Lydian Channel - catfish

Jacob Guthman Port O’Connor - 40” redfish C&R

Sue Johnson San Antonio Bay - 36” redfish

Isidro Martinez S Padre Island - 42” redfish

Clayton Henson Freeport - 29” snapper

Jakesy Jordaan & Jack Todd Port Aransas - redfish

Kathy Myers Powderhorn Lake - 22” redfish

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Brad Valtierra & Bruce Behrens Alazan - 29” & 27” trout

Judy Jenson Upper Laguna Madre - 30" trout

Lorenzo Galvan Holly Beach - redfish

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


Dwight Marek Sargent - 40” bull red

Anjelica Garza Conn Brown - 18” trout

Lucrecia Foster Sargent - kingfish

Matt Hillman & Mason Matejcek Port O’Connor - kings

Alex Hoth Galveston - 27” trout

Daniel Garcia Cosme & Jacob Garza Laguna Madre - 18” first trout! Bob Hall Pier - 7’ tarpon C&R

Mark Herman Galveston - 42” redfish C&R Christine Hastings Bolivar Island - 40” bull red

David & Scott Gray East Cut - 3.25” bull red

Vanessa Green Laguna Madre - 25” trout

Sonny Trujillo 31" redfish

Please do not write on the back of photos.

Kody Guidry Rockport - 21” trout

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Email photos with a description of your Catch of the Month to: Photos@tsfmag.com

Paul Hankosky Copano Reef - 27.5” redfish Texas Saltwater Fishing

Mail photos to: TSFMag P.O. Box 429, Seadrift, TX 77983 www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 91


GULF COAST G GU

PAM JOHNSON Got ideas, hints or recipes you’d like to share? Email them to pam@tsfmag.com or send by fax: 361-785-2844

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Szechaun Marinade • 6 oz. Can Szchuan Hot Bean Sauce • 1 cup dark honey • 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar • 3 Tablespoons oriental sesame oil • 4 Tablespoons peanut oil • Juice of two fresh limes

Spicy Szechuan Sauce • 1 cup mayonnaise • 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar • 1 Tablespooon oriental sesame oil • 1/4 cup Szechuan Marinade (from above) • 3 Tablespoons oriental basil

Fish • 4 redfish filleted & cut into 4” pieces

Prepare marinade and mix well. I prepared marinade mixture in my food processer on puree’ cycle. Mix ingredients for sauce and chill. Dip fillets in marinade and place on hot oiled grill (be careful it can burn easily) turn fillet once, about four minutes per side. Garnish with oriental basil scallion and lime wedges.

Garnish • Oriental basil • Slivered scallion • Lime wedges

92 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

Note: I elected to use the oven instead of the grill. Dip fillets and place on large oiled ceramic baking dish. Mine is Pampered Chef brand ordered through Camille Null: www.pamperedchef.biz/camille

Texas Saltwater Fishing

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3[RIV´W8SYVREQIRX

8LIXLERRYEP7LEPPS[7TSVX 3[RIV´W*MWLMRK8SYVREQIRX (EXI1E]WX *VMHE]VIKMWXVEXMSR  1E]RH

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M ATAG O R DA 0 $7$ * 2 5 ' $ % $< 6SHFNOHG7URXW5HGÀVK

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CO R PUS TO POR T ISABE L

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Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


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YOUR AD COULD BE HERE for rates call 361.785.3420 or email ads@tsfmag.com

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for rates call 361.785.3420 or email ads@tsfmag.com

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1PT/HTTVUK  VYQOHTTVUKQY'`HOVVJVT Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

www.TSFMAG.com / May 2010 95


I N D E X O F A DV E R TI S E R S For more information about these advertisers visit: http://www.texassaltwaterfishingmagazine.com/contact_advertisers_product.html Boat Lift Distributors 800-657-9998

86

www.liftboat.com

Fibertex & Supply 361-991-5956

361-853-2541 409-718-7694 713-675-0440

43 www.mcclaintrailers.com

69

www.safe-floor.com

86

www.southtexastrollingmotors.com

Specialty Aluminum Works 361-575-1477

281-474-4000

Cover, 1

Cover, 1

www.anchormarineoftexas.com

31 www.berniesboats.com

Busha Boat Works

25

www.bushaboatworks.com

Coastal Backwater Marine 409-927-1462

81

www.coastalbackwatermarine.com

Coastline Marine 713-614-2057

Cover, 1

wwwcoastlinemarine.net

Dargel Boat Works 800-749-2628

39

www.dargel.com

El Pescador Boats 361-983-4832

55

www.elpescadorboats.com

Flatstalker Boat 361-813-8040

68 www.flatstalker.com

Gulf Coast Boats 713-477-7119

37 www.gulfcoastboats.net

Gulf Coast Marine 361-937-7800

Cover, 1, 6

www.gcmboats.com

Hobie Kayaks 800-462-4349

27 www.hobiecat.com

Huff Marine 361-991-0369

45 www.huffmarine1955.com

Kroll’s Marine 281-342-4461

35 www.krollmarine.com

LMC Marine Center 281-209-boat

14

www.lmcboats.com

Majek Boats 361-991-3102

51 www.majekboats.com

Mt. Houston Marine 281-447-7689

58

www.mthoustonmarine.com

Ron Hoover RV & Marine Centers 409-935-7101

Solunar

www.RONHOOVER.com

Sail & Ski Center 512-219-2705

37 www.sailandski.com

Shallow Sport Boats 956-233-9489

Cover, 1

www.shallowsportboats.com

Shallow Sport Owners Tournament 956-233-9489

Cover, 1 www.sportsmanboats.com

Tran Fiberglass Boat 361-972-6629

77

www.texasmarine.com

The Sportsman 956-399-5123

15

www.shoalwaterboats.com

Texas Marine-E Sullivan 409-832-2027

93

www.shallowsportboats.com

Shoalwater Boats 361-983-4134

84

281-961-4399 512-225-2310

13

417-873-5061

82 81

47

www.transportboats.com

BUILDER AND BUILDER PRODUCTS Building Products Plus 61 www.buildingproductsplus.com 832-628-0987

87

2 39 76

Berkley Gulp Alive

53

Hook Holster 800-516-0510

75

Kevin Cochran Video 361-688-3714

17

Livingston Lures 210-316-1792

www.livingstonlures.com

87

Luresafety Wrap 713-203-2829

49

Mirrorlure 727-584-7691

85

Mud Hole Tackle Supply 407-447-7637

68

Night Angler Lights 979-417-4880

25

Penn Fishing Tackle 281-782-0827

57

Pflueger 712-336-1520

83 71

1-800-274-4626 www.powerpro.com

59

Pradco- Bomber 800-874-4451 409-737-1136

87 Solunar russelure@yahoo.com

51

Salt Water Soul 409-771-7565 325-437-8103

35

Shimano - Dealer Listing

18, 19

Spiderwire Saltwater 712-336-1520

www.spiderwire.com

9

35

The Harbor Children’s Alliance and Victim

69

www.harboradvocacycenter.org

361-549-4929

Texas Saltwater Fishing

63

rrtournaments.comrrtournaments

Third Coast Fishing Tournament 96 May 2010 / www.TSFMAG.com

33

www.portmansfield.us

Redfish Rodeo 361-552-1982

86

www.FishingTackleUnlimited.com

Port Mansfield Chamber of Commerce 512-332-9880

1-800-274-4626 www.shimano.com

79

None

TOURNAMENT / EVENTS Fishing Tackle Unlimited Shimano Day 956-642-7357

www.sebile.com

95

www.oaksatbentwater.com

SERVICE West Point Boat Works

281-481-6838

www.saltwatersoul.net

Sebile USA

54

www.theinnatclarks.com

REAL ESTATE / RENTAL The Oaks at Bentwater

281-341-9171

None

Russelures 281-723-0721

42

www.sufix.com

Rods by Pepper

The Inn At Clarks

361-790-0001

www.bombersaltwatergrade.com

Sufix Fishing Line

Serena Residences 361-983-2300

www.pier30fish.com

Power Pro 479-782-8971

94

www.captaincarl.com

1-866-241-4022 www.serenaresidences.com

www.pfluegerfishing.com

Pier 30 979.233.3130

95

None

Floating Cabin Rentals 361-937-0868

www.pennreels.com

83

www.bluffslanding.com

Bentley’s ICW House Rental 361-983-4660

None

95

www.baffinontherocks.com

Bluff’s Landing Marina Bait and Tackle 361.937.7100

www.mudhole.com

84

www.AransasBayRVResort.com

Baffin on the Rocks 361-592-3474

www.mirrolure.com

93

www.tsfmag.com

PLACES TO STAY Aransas Bay RV Resort 830-423-4322

www.luresafetywrap.com

78

www.troutsupport.com

TSFMag Subscription Form 361-785-3420

www.fishbaffinbay.com

92

www.iqfoysters.com

Speckled Trout DVD 521-775-4728

www.faultlineoutdoors.com

5 www.exmark.com

Hillman’s Seafood 281-339-2897

www.berkley-fishing.com

92

www.Crabmaster.net

Exmark’s Mfg. 678-730-4770

www.Glpolarized.com

11

www.ccatexas.com

Crab Master - Pearl Products 850-994-4168

Guideline Elite 712-336-1520

MISCELLANEOUS 281-953-6603

7

www.basspro.com

Coastal Conservation Association

www.foreverlast.com

Solunar

www.speedystop.com

80

www.flyingfisherman.com

24

www.roysbait-tackle.com

74

www.FishingTackleUnlimited.com

Back Cover

Camille@fishingtackleunlimited.com

Tracker Marine Owners Tournament 417-873-5061

www.finsfishing.com

2 www.basspro.com

Speedy Stop Solunar 361-582-5100

www.EZdrainer.com

www.academy.com

Roy’s Bait & Tackle 361-992-2960

www.egonets.com

ForEverlast Hunting & Fishing Products 510-848-4700

21

Fishing Tackle Unlimited 281-481-6838

www.eagleclaw.com

Flying Fisherman 361-798-1530

Fin-Nor

Bass Pro Shop

www.costadelmar.com

Fishing Tackle Unlimited Rods 800-335-9347

15 www.yeticoolers.com

67

75

281-481-6838

Yeti Coolers

281-646-5000

Fins 859-380-0638

10 www.WaterlooRods.com

FISHING RETAIL LOCATIONS Academy Sports + Outdoors Inside Back Cover

www.brownlures.com

EZ Drainer 281-224-9766

87

www.wadeaid.com

85

www.berkley-fishing.com

Eagle Claw 478-788-2404

65

www.thirdstonesoft.com

www.finnorfishing.com

Berkley Trilene 712-336-1520

45

www.texastacklefactory.com

Waterloo Rods

www.bassassassin.com

Ego Nets

Bernie’s Boats 979-245-3369

386-294-1049

888-361-2221

512-394-9384

www.aquateko.com

Bass Assassin Lures

303-321-1481

Anchor Marine of Texas 361-573-7809

79

Aquateko 904-273-7200

361-575-4751

361-573-0300

www.americanrodsmiths.com

Costa Del Mar

www.topsntowers.com

44

American Rodsmiths 713-466-7849

Texas Tackle Factory

888-923-3243

www.allstarrods.com

78

BOATS, KAYAKS, OUTBOARDS 210-599-1415

712-336-1520

Brown Lures-JB Outdoors

www.standnfish.com

Tops-N-Towers

All Star Graphite Rods

29

www.specialtyalworks.com

Stand-N-Fish 941-915-8159

Wade Aid Enterprises

69

South Texas Trolling Motors 361-939-8970

23

www.stakeoutstick.com

Safe Floor Company 281-435-5904

Third Stone Software

82

55

www.strikeprolures.com

87 69

McClain Trailers

Strike Pro America 409-938-7400

www.ecovantagewood.com

31 www.St.CroixRod.com

None 361-576-6433 FISHING PRODUCTS (RODS, REELS, TACKLE, ETC.)

www.houseoffiberglass.com

LB Outfitters- Stake Out Stick

41

Eco Vantage Wood 512-784-3355

St. Croix Rods 608-767-3210

www.piersdecks.com

Specialty Shutters Systems

www.FishingTackleUnlimited.com

House of Fiberglass

979-332-0090

80

www.stiffypushpoles.com

Gulf Coast Trolling Motor 281-481-6838

86

D & P Coastal Marine Contruction

BOAT ACCESSORIES

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

65


Where can you find a HUGE selection of Daiwa Reels for the whole Family? Exceler EXC100H, EXC100SH $

79.99

Team Daiwa Sol TD SOL, TD SOL L $

249.99

Coastal Inshore CL153H, CL153HL $

139.99

Saltist STT30H, STT40H, STT50H $ $

169.99 - 199.99

Saltiga Surf 5000 $ 419.99

Come By and Ask the Experts which Daiwa Reels fit into your Family Fishing fun!

Daiwa Days June 18 & 19, 2010 9 am - 6 pm Team Daiwa Sol TD SOL2000, TD SOL2500 $ 209.99

Silvercast

Exceler Series

SC80A, SC100A, SC120A, SC170A $ $

27.99 - 32.99

EXC2500, EXC3000 $

69.99

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

Now Available!! Shop with us online at

www.fishingtackleunlimited.com Lay-A-Way and Gift Certificates Available

8933 Katy Freeway Houston, Texas 77024 713-827-7762


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