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08 Dolly All Over Again? 12 The Foundation 14  Water temps, tagging surf trout... 18  The â&#x20AC;&#x153;REWD CREWâ&#x20AC;? 20 Red Snapper Managementâ&#x20AC;Ś 22 Square Pegs, Round Holes, and...                 

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Everett Johnson

Coastal Birding Science and the Sea Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ask The Pro Fly Fishing Bluewater Journal TPWD Field Notes Conservation Kayak Fishing According to Scott Youth Fishing Texas Nearshore and Offshore

Mike McBride Kevin Cochran Billy Sandifer Martin Strarup Mike Jennings Chuck UzzleÂ


Patti Elkins

Billy Sandifer UT-Marine Science Institute Jay Watkins   Casey Smartt     Bobby Byrd/John Cochrane Tonya Wiley and Art Morris CCA Texas Scott Null Scott Sommerlatte Jake Haddock Mike Jennings

56 Dickie Colburnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sabine Scene 58 Mickey on Galveston 60 Capt. Billâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fish Talk 62 Mid-Coast Bays with the Grays 64 Hooked up with Rowsey 66 Capt. Triciaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Port Mansfield Report 68 South Padre Fishing Scene           

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

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HOW TO CONTACT TSFMAG: PHONE: 361-785-3420 FAX: 361-785-2844 MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 429, Seadrift, Texas 77983 PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 58 Fishermanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lane, Seadrift, TX 77983 WEB: PHOTO GALLERY:


$%2877+(&29(5 Offshore anglers will get a fall bonus as Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council announces the opening of a supplemental season due to fishing closures during the Deepwater Horizon spill incident. Photo by Scott Sommerlatte

4 October 2010 /



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.



Texas Saltwater Fishing


POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine, Inc., P. O. Box 429, Seadrift, TX 77983.

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

+DLO2FWREHU Although April holds a special place in this angler’s heart; October is undoubtedly my favorite of all months on the Texas coast. Pleasant weather, generous tides and increased feeding activity are all a fisherman could ever want and October gives us plenty. I have been blessed with many great experiences in many waters but the lakes and marshes of Matagorda Island are my favorite haunts in October. Everything is alive in the almost surreal setting of Matagorda’s natural beauty. Redfish roam in hungry packs through the maze of marsh sloughs and the lakes become the seasonal home of specks gorging on everything they can swallow. It seems every year the teal show in much better number than we ever see in September and of course flights of pintail, gadwall and widgeon increase with the arrival of every front that makes its way to the coast. Speckled-bellies announce their arrival with their signature “ha-lukka-luk” and the final days of the month bring the first sightings of graceful whoopers. Surface lures disappearing in foamy rings from gamefish that seem as jubilant as anglers at the demise of summer are sensuously heightened as the canvas is filled with the backdrop of season change. That many fishermen are lured away to autumn fields has always caused me to wonder whether they have ever experienced the beauty of the sun rising or golden hue of an October sunset on a Texas bay. If any month comes as close to perfect for family outings or hardcore angling I have yet to experience it. On a more sober note – news from down Baffin way has cast somewhat of a pall on the fishing scene at the west end of Texas’ most famous trophy trout venue. While the arrival of Tropical Storm Hermine brought much needed rainfall to the coastal plain and the long awaited coup-de-grace for dog days, the silver lining faded to gray in the form of a localized fish kill that included not just rough fish and forage species but also red drum and highly-coveted speckled trout. Coastal Fisheries biologists are citing a nontoxic algal bloom as the likely cause. Algal blooms occur naturally and are an essential piece of marine ecology. Like everything else, algae needs oxygen to live. However, sudden and expansive blooms have ability to deplete the available oxygen to levels below which some organisms can survive. Low dissolved oxygen content is always a problem during late summer given elevated water temperature and light wind that contributes little stirring at the surface where oxygen is primarily introduced. The bloom under investigation simply came at a bad time, we are told. Run-off through Petronilla Creek likely supplied the freshwater and nutrient load for the algae to explode and complete its dastardly trick. Whether the fish kill was of proportion to significantly diminish the spotted seatrout and red drum fisheries in the region will not be fully understood for some time, but suffice to say nobody would ever welcome such an event in the hallowed waters of Baffin. If we can learn but one thing from this it should be a lesson in conservation. Mother Nature provides and she also mysteriously takes away sometimes. As stewards of Texas’ coastal resources we are reminded that the more abundant the fisheries might be before such an event, the ecover. sooner they can recover.

6 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

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

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

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 7


We looked across the bay in silent awe. Here yet again lay frightening confirmation that Mother Nature always rules. Seemingly overnight the entire Lower Laguna Madre, normally a hyper-saline system, had gone totally fresh from an historic diversion of floodwaters down the Rio Grande. Nothing new for other parts of the coast, but supposedly nothing of this magnitude has ever happened to this country, not even in the memory of Port Mansfield old-timers. “Now what?” we thought, imagining the absolute worst. Water running clear and green just a few short days before was now tannin-stained and smelled like nasty pond scum. Nobody had dreamed it would ever get this bad and there seemed to be no end in sight. However, as in any black cloud there can be a shred of silver lining, and hopefully a bright one is on its way. We have already endured many of nature’s fickle personalities this past year alone; from a red tide

And to think the water smelled like nasty pond scum; who would believe it?

Trout weights seem heavier than normal for late summer.

8 October 2010 /

event to a brown one, from extreme drought conditions to an abnormally cold winter, to exceedingly high tides and now to this current historic freshwater inundation. What’s a fish, or a fisherman for that matter, to do? Personally, one of the biggest motivators in this whole fishing deal is discovering new things; especially things that work, and especially things that work during adversity. We now have a great new excuse to explore, dream and perhaps discover some of what we may not have known before. That’s what we’ve been doing lately, and not only has it been fun, it’s looking like we have something great to look forward to. Back to that initially shocking scene, the “now what” was discussed, and we figured we would just go for it and test some of these new nasty waters. We motored straight into the eye of the storm, right where floodwaters were noisily cascading over the ranch bank south of town. Interestingly, as we got closer, we could see birds of all sorts lined up along the walls of newly formed drains and colorfully scattered across the flooded marsh. They seemed busy, and while we watched we couldn’t help but notice shrimp flying high above swirls and boils in the strong current. No way! We eased out of the boat knee-deep, and despite tasting no salt whatsoever, almost every cast with a plastic tail into the drain produced a tight string. Nothing big, but Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

there were plenty enough three pound trout in there among all of the smaller ones to make it a worthy stop. What was even more worthy was something else totally unexpected. Several new wide, deep guts were being aggressively etched into this normally featureless flat. It was exciting to think about what this might mean for winter. I think I know what it means. We left there and checked a nearby spoil bank along the ICW. It looked like brown paper crap, but there were a few mullet swirls along the edge of the grassline, and again, the birds looked animated. We walked for a distance with nothing to show for it, but after switching to quarter ounce tails, rods began to bow. An old lesson from Trinity Bay daysâ&#x20AC;Śthe water was fresh and nasty on top, but in the depths lay heavier saltwater and the fish were still there and hungry under that brown canopy. This might not be so bad after all if they are stacking up. A few days later, with even more fresh water pouring in and reports of it all the way to the Land Cut, we decided to run extremely shallow on the east side just to see. Perhaps the southeast wind had blown the top layer of freshwater out into the bay and left some salt in the skinny. At first we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe what we were seeing, but then the fantasy became reality. There were black-backed 2X4s gliding off in all directions, many in water too shallow for even a flats boat to shut down; very unusual during mid-day summer heat. We exited and walked among them, marveling at how many trout we were seeing and how big they appeared, but alas it was to no avail. These fish were simply not catchable, not now anyway, but it did suggest that large groups of solid trout were moving together ahead of the fresh water, and it especially suggested that this fall and winter might bring another epic season. After Hurricane Dolly dumped twenty-five inches of rain on this watershed back in 2008, fish moved towards the Mansfield area in force, presumably to saltier waters adjacent to the East Cut. It was by far the best big trout year I had ever experienced. Hopefully something similar is again in the works. We also began to marvel at the abnormally abundant juvenile shrimp and crabs we were seeing. As in rain on a desert where everything suddenly springs to life, could it be that our aquatic life was also responding in a grand way to this adversity? The fish we were finding seemed much heavier than normal for deep summer, and it was apparent that there was some serious gorging going on with all of this available forage. Another good sign. However, one serious sign not so good, and starting to become quite obvious, were the vast amounts of dead seagrasses starting to Texas Trout Killer II on 1/4 ounce jigs have been producing very well.

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 9

there and search for the best of it all. Yes, Mother Nature will always rule. She giveth and she taketh away, and one always has to wonder what’s coming next. However, in knowing that she has a wonderful way of rejuvenating herself for the better, that silver lining we are looking for in all of this will hopefully be reflected off the backs of some incredible fish this fall and winter. I am excited, as that “now what” may easily turn into “get down here now!” Newness in anything is what keeps inspiration alive, so let’s just gear up and imagine the absolute best. Maybe déjà vu; Dolly all over again. Can’t wait.

Only time will tell what the full effect of all the freshwater will be on our seagrass.

Mike Mcbride

10 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing


show. While wading areas normally knee deep in vegetation, much of the bottom had become mushy with thick layers of it blanched and dead. Kyle Spiller, TPWD Ecosystem Leader, recently commented in a news video that even small salinity swings in either direction can cause our fragile seagrasses to stress and die, and that no one knew how this prolonged event would play out. We will eventually see, but it is apparent that we are in for a new deal this season, whatever that might be. “Spot fishing”, for example, where everybody just goes to their favorite GPS locations, may need to be re-defined for a while. In fact, many things may need to be re-defined, but what an excuse to get out

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

Email Website Three_MudSkateers.wmv

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If it’s explosive topwater action you’re ’re looking look king for, ffor fo or, r, look look no loo no more. more. Our more Our topwater top top pwat water ter Badonk-A-Donk’s Badonk Bad onk-Aonk -A-Don -ADonk’s Donk’ Don k s eye-catching, ey ye e-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 1 1 sizes ( 3 /2-, 4- and 4 /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!


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Texas Saltwater Fishing

 ,):*60UK / October 2010 11


7KH)RXQGDWLRQ Many structural similarities exist among sports of all kinds. I see a particularly strong connection between two of my favorites: light tackle lure fishing and the game of golf. In both endeavors, success is achieved first and foremost through the purposeful application of sound fundamentals. Fundamentals lay the foundation for a solid game; when done correctly, they result in more bites and better shots. Success in any sport (even one that isn’t competitive at its core) is quantifiable in some way or another, either by score, number of points accumulated, fish caught, etc…. Sports are about results, outcomes and products. Winning, or putting up big numbers is the ultimate goal, but optimal performance comes from focus on process, not product. Staying “in the moment” and concentrating on the task at hand is critical to success. When studying and playing golf in my teens and twenties, I learned that grip, rhythm and alignment are the most important aspects of the swing, because they set up all well-executed shots. It might come as a surprise to some, but I believe the same fundamentals are critically important in light tackle angling with artificial lures. Of the three, grip is probably most important in golf, while alignment might be more significant in lure fishing. It’s debatable which is number one on the list of prominent principals, but all three of these fundamentals affect where shots wind up and how many fish are caught. Grip is important to a golfer or angler because it’s where one physically contacts the tool with which the scoring is done. A proper grip sets up all other aspects of the swing, or cast and retrieve, leading to a better chance for good shots or presentations. When lure fishing Cradling the rod and reel in the hand in the manner shown here prevents fatigue and allows for maximum control of presentations.

12 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

for trout, I use a low-profile, level-wind reel mounted on a featherlight rod between six and seven feet in length, the best tool for this kind of fishing, in my opinion. I hold my rod and reel in a manner which is most comfortable to me and which gives me greatest control over the movements of the tool, cradling the reel just above the center of my palm, with my thumb lying along the upper edge of the side plate. The trigger at the base of the rod’s reel seat is clutched between my ring and pinky fingers, with my ring finger contacting the exposed portion of the blank to better facilitate detection of light strikes. My index finger extends forward along the small piece of cork fronting the reel seat. All of this creates a snug, secure connection to the rod and reel, without placing my hand in a cramped position. As I was taught to do in golf, I maintain light, steady grip pressure when fishing. The best analogy I’ve heard to describe this pressure is that it’s like holding a small bird in your hand, with enough pressure to prevent its escape, but not so much as to harm it. Too much grip pressure will create tension in the forearms, causing fatigue over time and making it more difficult to execute rhythmic presentations. A poorly placed grip will also cause unnecessary fatigue and/or reduce control of the tool. I believe that placing the hand too far back on the rod, with only the index finger forward of the trigger will do both. Certainly, placing the hand too far forward, with the palm on the cork in front of the reel, is an awkward and inefficient grip. Executing great shots and presentations generally doesn’t involve anything awkward or stiff. Rhythm in the golf swing is best achieved when the muscles in the hands and arms are relaxed. Similarly, rhythmic movements of the rodtip are easiest to create and maintain when the hands are set properly on the rod and reel and grip pressure is light. I’ve observed that expert lure chunkers mainly use rhythmic presentation styles, no matter what type of lure they are using. The presentations do vary, but most share a common characteristic; they involve repetitive and rhythmic movements of the rodtip. Also, the tip of the rod rarely, if ever, moves behind the butt of the rod. Keeping the tip of the rod between the reel and the lure allows for the maintenance of tension on the line. Some experts use radical presentations that involve throwing slack in the line, but when executing those presentations, they almost always keep the rod’s tip forward of the butt. Conversely, I’ve observed numerous novice anglers making presentations with long, sharp jerks that move the butt of the rod forward, causing a loss of tension in the line. Loss of line tension results in loss of lure control and dictates a longer lag time for hooksets. Slack in the line also creates Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


wounded baitfish would struggle against a current or swim directly over the top of windswept waves. Controlling the specific direction of the movement of the lure plays a critical role in tricking a fish into mistaking a plastic plug for easy pray. Presentations which make the plug appear to be a real, distressed fish will Given the conditions shown on this drawing, optimal alignment of presentations would trigger more involve casting from the bottom of the picture toward the top and retrieving the lure strikes. Those from top to bottom, preferably along the edges of the sand bar, grass beds and/or rocks. presentations result from the combination of the direction, difficulty in detecting bites. Anglers whose speed and movement patterns of the plug. presentations techniques create slack in their Presentations are to an angler what shots line are likely missing some fish that take the are to a golfer. In golf, consistently executing lure and reject it before they can react. quality shots allows one to move precisely Poor alignment can have a similar effect on and efficiently around a course and shoot the ability to elicit and detect strikes. In golf, a low score. In lure fishing, presentations alignment refers to the placement of the feet, metaphorically replace those shots and hips and shoulders in relation to the target dictate how many fish are caught. Effective line. In fishing, the position of the body and presentations are most consistently produced rod in relation to the line can and will vary by those who‘ve mastered three critical greatly. Alignment in this sport refers more to fundamentals: grip, rhythm and alignment. the direction of the fishing effort, not so much to how one physically sets up that effort. In other words, alignment in lure fishing Kevin Cochran describes the direction the lure is cast and moved through the water in relation to underlying structures and direction of wind or current. Keeping a lure moving along structural edges rather than across them is generally more productive. Also, it’s usually best to move a lure crossways or directly with wind or current, especially if the wind and/ or current is strong. Fish tend to face or swim Kevin Cochran is a full-time fishing guide at Corpus Christi (Padre into a current, and moving a lure toward Island), TX. Kevin is a speckled them from out front is often more effective trout fanatic and has authored than bringing one into their scope of vision two books on the subject. Kevin’s from behind. home waters stretch from Corpus Predatory fish which feed primarily by Christi Bay to the Land Cut. sight are accustomed to looking forward (and up in the case of trout) when scanning for Trout Tracker Guide Service Telephone potential prey. Moving a plug into their field 361-688-3714 of vision gives them time to prepare to strike, Email and fits into their natural feeding patterns. Prey moving into sight from behind them is Website not likely a phenomenon which often occurs naturally. Similarly, it seems unnatural that a Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

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CORPUS CHRISTI TX (361) 992-2960 / October 2010 13


NXk\ik\dgj#kX^^`e^jli]kiflk#Xe[ N Xk\i k\dgj#kkX^^`e^ jli] kiflk# Xe[ leljlXc [\m\cfgd\ekj fe G@EJ leljlXc[\m\cfgd\ekjfeG@EJ Every now and then I write about the cold offshore currents that impact the beaches of Padre Island National Seashore. The cold water is pushed downward by the warmer water of the surf zone and it stirs up the sand on the second sand bar. It’s often quite visible and all too often turns the surf off-colored and on the worst days to the color of chocolate milk. These impacts are not new and have been documented over time. Some reference sources say as many as thirteen currents can impact the shoreline of Padre Island at any given time. Over the past eighteen months they have become increasingly more common than I ever remember and to tell you the truth this same time frame has been some of the poorest overall catching I ever remember on PINS. Currently NOAA says the water temperature is 82° at Port Aransas and Port Isabel while Bob Hall Pier reports 78° and another source says the water temperature is 86.4° at Port Mansfield. What has always troubled me is that other than Bob Hall Pier, these temperature gauges are in deep ship channels. If the tide is coming in they are more apt to be indicative of the true seawater temperature but, obviously, if the tide is going out it’s going to be more reflective of bay water temperature which is always quite a bit warmer. For the past two months the water has been cold along the lower twenty miles of the PINS beachfront. Cold enough my customers won’t wade very deep even though it is a calm and hot bluebird day. My guess is that the water temperature is running in the lower 60s some days. We have learned the hard way that the trout and reds avoid this cold 14 October 2010 /

water and have given up fishing the lower We also brought in some ringers: Capt. end of PINS on account of it. Harte Institute David Rowsey, Jeff Wolda of Bulverde and has promised a high-quality thermometer Bob Beckett of Boerne. Jeff is a tough, for measuring water temperature and I hardheaded, ex-Navy Seal who has been will soon be logging water temperature fishing with me for several years and has every five miles as I travel the beach. This become a brother to me. Well, THEY caught could provide valuable data that has never twenty seven speckled trout and eight been available to beach anglers planning redfish on topwaters and MirrOdine lures. I fishing trips to PINS and also the scientific took quite a bit of teasing as I was the only community as they seek to unravel the mysteries of Eric “Oz” Ozolins has been having a ball trolling Sebile lures behind climate change and other his kayak along PINS. things. It’ll probably be a couple of months before I get this program up and running but when I do I will start providing it to the public on my web site www. Boy, I sure would want to know what the water temperatures are along the shoreline the day before Sharkathon. On 11 August, Dr. Greg Stunz, Laura Bivins, and their crew from Harte Institute Texas A&M Corpus Christi, fished with us to capture

surf-run spotted seatrout for their tagging program. We stayed north of the 20-mile beach due to the colder water there. Texas Saltwater Fishing

person who never caught a fish. Of course I was quick in my reply, “It’s not my job to catch fish; that’s your job. My job is to take you where they are and figure out the color preference and pattern for the day.” Privately, I thought back to Ralph Wade, who was in his sixties at the time, fine tuned me in the art of surf trout fishing. I was in my early 40s. It wasn’t long till I beat him daily and it really got his goat. I told him, “Mr. Ralph all I’m doing is what you taught me. I’m just younger and can work at it harder than you.” That perked him up and he was alright with it after that. Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

the end of December. There will be sharks working the immediate area of frenzy and it is paramount that anglers remain on guard for them at all times. Trust me on that one. There are some unexplained events of concern going on at PINS. On 04 August I found no fewer than sixty six dead or dying stingrays in the last twenty miles of PINS. I collected a specimen which was turned over to TPWD but nothing has been heard back on it yet. Also ten white-tailed bucks and one doe have been found dead in the past few months. Normally I see three or four dead deer in an entire year; so this is an unusually high number. Coyote necropsies after the red tide showed unusually high mercury contamination although the red tide toxin from fish they were eating caused their deaths. The larger concern is where this mercury is coming from. PINS Natural Resources Division put in for funds to study where the mercury was coming from but didn’t get the requested funding. The upcoming Environmental Assessment on the appropriate speed limit on PINS requested by an organized visitor group is making deep inroads in the Natural Resources funds available. So, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens from here but suffice to say something sure isn’t as it should be down Ten year old Sammy Seltzer island. And it’s awful with a big PINS skipjack. They tough to try to come were made for each other. up with funds from

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing

benefactors for needed projects when there is so much animosity between the visitors and NPS management groups. For me: personally, it never changes. I’m not mad at anyone. I’m on the side of Padre Island and all its inhabitants. I hope generations of humans are allowed to continue to visit there and that NPS is able to do a good job of managing and protecting the resources. The worst of summer is behind us and the best three months of fishing are ahead. What a hoot. If we don’t leave any there won’t be any. -Capt. Billy L. Sandifer

Capt. Billy Sandifer


Now Rowsey is a natural phenomenon, but Jeff kept right up with him and I have done a lot of fine tuning with Jeff. So, I’m not particularly disappointed when they beat me. Actually it makes me proud to know I had a hand in the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired and I’m also reminded that now the shoe is on the other foot. I’m in my sixties just as Ralph was and they are in their forties. Looking at it from the perspective of a long time fishing guide, I can’t think of any higher compliment than teaching others till they beat you now and then. Sounds like I’ve been earning my money. The conditions were exactly the same as they’ve been since mid-July and yet this one day doubles any other day during that time frame. It’s obvious that the fishermen’s skill levels are what made the difference. Nothing but study, observation and time with a rod in our hands increase our skill levels. On 25 August I watched the beginning of the upcoming change of the seasons. By early September shoals of dusky anchovies will show in the surf and several species of predators including tarpon, sharks and mackerel will be feeding on them steadily. The first couple of cold fronts will bring millions of finger mullet migrating from the bays to the Gulf and slot and oversized reds as well as hoards of jack crevalle will be in pursuit of them. September and early October are the time of the frenzies and the surf zone will become a killing field as some species migrate south. Florida pompano will arrive and become readily available through

Billy Sandifer operates Padre Island Safaris offering surf fishing for sharks to specks and nature tours of the Padre Island National Seashore. Billy also offers bay and near-shore fishing adventures in his 25 foot Panga for many big game and gamefish species. Telephone 361-937-8446 Website / October 2010 15






BILLY SANDIFERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S

&RDVWDO %LUGLQJ Black Skimmer -Rynchops nigerA tern-like seabird characterized by light graceful flight on smooth and steady beats of their long wings. Black skimmers forage (often in flocks) for small finfish, insects, crustaceans and mollusks, primary during low light and at night by flying low over shallow water with lower mandible (bill) slicing the surface. Lives on spoil islands and sandbars of primary and secondary bays. Some remain in our area all year. Bottom mandible unhinges when heavy object is encountered to avoid injury. Upper bill, legs and feet are bright vermilion; lower half of bill is black. Crown, nape and hind neck are black. Upper body is black while underparts and forehead are white.

Length: 18 inches Wingspan: 44 inches Weight: 11 ounces

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ZZZ6WLFN,W$QFKRU3LQVFRP RUFDOO Jimmy Jackson photos 16 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 17


Bodie sat in his truck at the boat ramp, well out of the way of those using it, anxious for a particular boat to show up. Rumor had it that the previous day three yahoos in a red and white custom go-fast with “The Rewd Crew” stenciled on the side had caused a ruckus with some friends of his as well as with the bait camp owners. As the story was related, an elderly couple was having some problems getting their boat on the trailer in the crosswind and made the mistake of asking for some help from the trio. What they got instead was a dressing down from the group that covered everything from the man’s ability to be out on the water to the ancestry of the family dog that was along for the ride. Bodie heard that one of them was snide enough to ask the old man who might be his wife…the dog or the old woman he had with him? Bill Brewster, who would be turning eighty on his next birthday, had been fishing the area all his life and when he retired they bought a house and moved down here. He donated time and money to everything worthwhile and was a friend to all. For Bill and Helen to

18 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

have to endure such nonsense went against everything Bodie stood for. He was itching to meet these toughs and maybe teach them the error of their ways. A knock on the passenger window and Tommy Meyers’ face pressed against the glass made him gasp. “Whatcha doing down here and whatcha doin’ in the truck Bodie?” Tommy yelled. Bodie unlocked the door and Tommy slid into the truck. “How’d you do at the bayou today, Tommy Boy?” Bodie asked. “I didn’t make it cause my outboard wouldn’t start and I ran the battery down trying, so I went home, took a nap and decided to come down here and watch folks load their boats.” Tommy replied. “I’m down here looking for a few guys who weren’t very nice to Mr. Brewster and Miss Helen yesterday morning.” Bodie said. “You mean those guys in the red and white boat with the stupid name? Heck Bodie, I just cruised by Toadie’s ramp not ten minutes ago and they were loading as I drove by,” Tommy said. “So is this official deputy stuff

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

have taught â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;em how to act right,â&#x20AC;? Red growled. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Howâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thatâ&#x20AC;Ś?â&#x20AC;? Bodie asked, encouraging him to continue. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was just starting a wade across Harperâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Flat when three idiots in a red and white boat came roarinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; across, not a hundred yards in front of me. Then to make matters worse they circled back and ran so close I could have hit â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;em with my lure. Really made my blood boil.â&#x20AC;? Red said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m telling you that was the sweetest spot, shrimp and mullet flippinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; all around me. They knew exactly what they were doing and it made so mad all I could do was stand there and shake my head.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;How do you know they done that to you on purpose Red?â&#x20AC;? Tommy asked. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because, you ignorant freak of nature, they gave me the single finger salute as they passed by me the second time.â&#x20AC;? Red snarled. Bodie told Red about the incident with Mr. Brewster and his wife and during the conversation people close who overheard what was being said chimed in about their incidents with the trio. Later at home Bodie called Stan Wigginton, the game warden, and told him what he knew about the Rewd Crew and about his plan to cover the three ramps the following morning. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tell you what Bodie, keep your plan with Monroe and Tommy and lets you and me cover Klerkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ramp ourselves and you wear your badge too.â&#x20AC;? the warden said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Stan, I hear what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re saying, but I was pretty set on teaching those boys a lesson the hard way,â&#x20AC;? Bodie replied.






Be sure and join Bodie and friends again next month for the conclusion of this adventures...

Martin Strarup


or just you wantinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to talk to those boys?â&#x20AC;? Frowning, Bodie drawled back, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nah, nothing official, maybe just me and those three for a little meeting of minds so to speak.â&#x20AC;? Bodie now had what his grandma use to call a genuine conundrum. He couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be at three boat ramps at the same time so he was going to have to have some help if he was to visit with these guys. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tomorrow morning Tommy, I want you here at this ramp to keep watch for those three yahoos and if you see them drive up I want you to call me on my cell phone.â&#x20AC;? Bodie ordered. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where are you going to be Bodie?â&#x20AC;? Tommy asked. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be up at Klerkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ramp and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get Monroe to watch Toadieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s.â&#x20AC;? Bodie assured him. Eloisa slid three frosted mugs down Haddonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bar and the mugs seemed to magically separate and continue their slide toward three outstretched hands. â&#x20AC;&#x153;How does she do that Bodie, I mean thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just plain spooky the way she can slide mugs together and they part like that and go in the right direction. Just plain spooky I tell ya.â&#x20AC;? Tommy said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rumor has it she used to be a voodoo queen,â&#x20AC;? Monroe offered with a grin and a wink toward Bodie. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If she gets mad at ya sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll make one of those voodoo dolls and stick pins in it just to torture you,â&#x20AC;? he continued. Tommy sprayed cold beer out both nostrils and started choking. And, just as always, Bodie was there to slap him on the back and get him breathing again. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Voodoo is some bad stuff yaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll and I mean some real bad stuff.â&#x20AC;? Tommy sputtered, wiping his nose on his sleeve and staring at Eloisa, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I know a guy who has a neighbor with a cousin from over in Louie-sanna and he said those voodoo queens are not to be trifled withâ&#x20AC;Ś where in Louie-sannaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s she from anyway?â&#x20AC;? Tommy cried. â&#x20AC;&#x153;El Pasoâ&#x20AC;ŚI think,â&#x20AC;? Bodie managed trying to hide his grin. Tommy threw a glare towards Monroe who now had tears in his eyes while Bodie turned in his seat to regain his straight face and continue the ribbing. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s when Olâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Red walked in. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Howdy Red, buy you a beer?â&#x20AC;? Bodie asked. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lord knows I need one; â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;preciate it Bodie.â&#x20AC;? Red grumbled. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sounds like you got a burr under your saddle tonight Red, problems at home?â&#x20AC;? Bodie asked. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Naw, everythingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good at home, but thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s three old boys actinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; up around here lately that I wish I couldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve met forty years ago. I would


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

Texas Saltwater Fishing




'HDOHU,QTXLULHV:HOFRPH / October 2010 19


5HG6QDSSHU0DQDJHPHQW 5 HG 6QDSSHU0 0DQDJHPHQW «DQG D %RQXV )DOO 6HDVRQ «DQGD%RQXV)DOO6HDVRQ Red snapper, long prized as table fare by fishermen and nonfishermen alike, have been one of the most popular and economically important reef species in the Gulf of Mexico for nearly 150 years. Seafood lovers almost invariably mention snapper in the list they enjoy most frequently. Sow snapper, the name given to larger mature specimens, are targeted all across the Gulf for their hard fight as well as their delicious fillets. Commercial utilization of the Gulf red snapper fishery began along the Florida coast near Pensacola in the latter half of the nineteenth century and it is documented that by 1880, 2.0 million pounds were being taken annually. Bringing fresh snapper to market meant keeping them alive in those days and baffled live boxes tied alongside the boats earned them the nickname “smacks” as the boxes smacked constantly against the hull. The advent of ice plants changed the complexion of the industry and it wasn’t long before the commercial harvest grew to 8.0-10.0 million pounds. Working the snapper banks along the Florida coast became unprofitable and the search was expanded to locate more productive fishing grounds. The Pensacola Ice Company sent boats as far west as Galveston, Texas but this too proved unprofitable given the scarcity of suitable reef habitat discovered. The era of sportfishing was also dawning and what we now call the recreational headboat industry began to emerge around the turn of the twentieth century. Perhaps the largest boost to red snapper biomass in the Gulf Scott Sommerlatte photo

20 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

came on the heels of oil and gas production that began off Louisiana and Texas in the early 1940s. Vast mud flat bottom with almost none of the hard substrate that attracts reef fish was soon to be dotted with production platforms and snapper took to them as though they were natural. The population exploded as did fishing effort. In the several decades that followed it was widely believed that this fishery was inexhaustible. However, the lack of regulations to specify the size and number of fish that could be taken, coupled with the rapid rise in recreational offshore fishing, resulted in what we now look back on as wholesale slaughter by recreational and commercial fishermen alike. Opinions vary on just how close we came to seriously harming this fishery, but I think most will agree that we underwent a period of overfishing the species and many of us were witness to its changes. We all have seen the photos of the good old days, mountains of snapper heaped upon the decks of local headboats with smiling anglers gathered round. These very headboat owners and anglers were more than likely the first to see the downturn in size and numbers of our Gulf red snapper. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act is the primary law governing fisheries management and was enacted in 1976. NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service) took action with the first Reef Fish FMP (Fisheries Management Plan) in 1984. This FMP established the first minimum length regulation for red snapper at thirteen inches. The first Red Snapper Stock Assessment was completed in 1988 and deemed the species significantly overfished and called for mortality reductions as high as 70%. This assessment set the stage for amendment one of the FMP in 1990. This first amendment set objectives to stabilize the population and form the framework for the first annual TAC (Total Allowable Catch). This TAC would allow for management changes to ultimately begin a rebuilding program for all reef species in the Gulf of Mexico. Amendment-1 set a rebuild target date for the year 2000 and we were Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


told that if we followed the regulation and restrictions set forth we would see a rebuilt fishery by the turn of the next century; bringing this fishery full circle. The Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 would place more emphasis on NMFS to implement a more defined rebuilding plan for the Gulf of Mexico, and resulted in moratoriums to address overcapitalization, attempts to reduce shrimp trawl by-catch, and the elimination of the use of fish traps for harvesting reef fish. What we didn’t know at the time was that NMFS would be plagued with lack of funding, mixed data, conflicting scientific studies, political agendas, lawsuits based on flawed data, and a long list of obstacles that would result in the science then available showing this fishery to remain overfished long after the original targeted rebuilding date. As the year 2000 passed, and approaching Amendment 17 of the FMP, NMFS was still struggling with lack of critical data and what many felt was a lack of desire to stop overfishing in general. The Magnuson-Stevens Act was reauthorized in 2006 setting the stage for the most restrictive regulations to date, with the most notable change being that it now called for a hard deadline to end overfishing. Eventually, NMFS could no longer just push the rebuilding target date into the future when they realized they weren’t going to meet the current goal. Thus began the extreme cuts in season lengths due to what many have viewed as NMFS entering panic mode over the hard deadlines combined with the past twenty years of failed red snapper management. This all brings me to October 2009. I sat in the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in Corpus Christi and was witness to NMFS publicly declaring that the Gulf red snapper fishery was no longer deemed overfished, and for the first time since a recreational TAC had been established, we were granted an

increase in the TAC for the following year. What this really means for the foreseeable future is still debatable but for this old fisherman it was at the very least an indication that the days of going backward in our ability to utilize this fishery may have finally come to a close. That in itself is a huge victory for the fishery and the fisherman. In a day of sharply reduced bag limits and shrinking seasons, the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council has stepped up and given us the opportunity to enjoy a fall red snapper season this year. The reason for this supplemental season, Scott Sommerlatte photo as it is being called, is due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill which closed down all fishing in a large portion of the northern Gulf of Mexico for the entire summer season. This closure resulted in a dramatic reduction in fishing effort leaving the red snapper recreational quota or TAC unfilled. NOAA Fisheries has determined that approximately 2.3 million pounds of the 3.4 million pound recreational quota remains available. To us, this means we get to fish out our quota, and rightfully so. The season set by the council is as unique and unprecedented as the reopening of the fishery itself. Our fall season will open beginning 12:01 a.m. October 1, 2010, to be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday only, through 12:01 p.m. November 22, allowing an addition twenty-four fishing days. Although the weekend-only season was somewhat controversial, to me it made the most sense for the average recreational fisherman, especially when you consider the kids are in school and few families are able to fish during the week. This late unexpected season offers a chance to fish for red snapper at a time of year that we haven’t had for quite some time and I hope everyone takes the opportunity to enjoy the fantastic fishery that waits just off our shores.

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Captain Mike Jennings is a professional charter captain with more than 25 years offshore experience. Mike is the owner/ operator of Cowboy Charters in Freeport TX and is known locally for running further and fishing harder for his clients. Telephone 979-864-9439 Email Website / October 2010 21


Square Pegs, Round Holes,

and Surprises Okay before we do anything I have just one thing to say, “Man am I glad to see October!” All that ridiculous heat we had this summer was absolutely crazy. I swear you could look at the electric meter on the side of your house and you would have thought it was a Skil saw blade the way it was spinning. Right now the world gets a little better every day; my lawn has slowed down from growing right before my eyes, there are teal showing up in the marsh, and yes the fishing is good. Our water conditions are excellent both in the lake and also in the Neches and Sabine Rivers so there are more than enough options to satisfy any angler. Speaking of any angler, it’s always a joy to watch fishermen convert in front of your eyes, and the fall months are perfect time for this metamorphosis to occur. Okay cue the creepy Rod Serling “Twilight Zone” music and follow along for with me for a few minutes. Picture if you will three well-dressed coastal pluggers, decked out from top to bottom in Ex Officio, Magellan, Columbia or whatever. The latest and greatest polarized eyewear draped across the bill of a tried and true fishing cap. An arsenal of tackle that would make Fishing Tackle Unlimited blush with envy and a clutch of high-dollar rods and reels in their hands. Quite an imposing sight; look out fish, these boys don’t play around. All the “Gucci gear” in the world can’t

22 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

make the wind quit blowing, now can it? What’s a well-dressed angler to do? Well if you’re in my boat we retreat to a more protected environment and that means we head for the Sabine River. “We’re going to fish where?” is heard often in these situations. “You mean no waist-deep grinding for all those big trout you always talk about. No twitch, twitch reel. No solunar tables or bowing to the gods of the Corky knock-offs?” “Not today boys,” is my standard answer as I grab a castnet and proceed to fill the livewell. You see I absolutely love to fish and in my book that means just about any method is okay by me. Sure, I love the thrill of hustling stud trout at daylight and dusk on magnum topwaters, who doesn’t? I will hustle school trout under the birds with the best of them, you betcha! Pushing a skiff around in the skinny water for just one good shot at a copper bruiser showing his tail, absolutely! But those are not the only games in town by a long shot. Many a well dressed angler has been reacquainted with his fishing roots in my boat, and nearly all of them left with a smile. I don’t care who you are, when that redfish thumps the end of that line and decides to jerk your arms out of the socket, at that moment it doesn’t matter what you are fishing with because it’s fun and that’s what it’s all about. Is it the particular method or way you prefer to fish? Maybe not. But it certainly beats the heck out of getting your brains beat in when the wind blows and it dang sure beats being at work. In my book that’s a win-win right there. Case closed. A typical on-the-water conversion starts slow, most resist at first. “You go ahead I’m going to throw this soft plastic for a while” is a common attempt to not stoop to using live bait. After about the third redfish and a handful of trout even the most diehard plugger eventually gives in to the urge. The first awkward cast is usually followed by a look all around to make sure nobody has seen them actually throw out live bait. Once the coast is clear the angler very tentatively appears to engage in the technique. If the angler is so fortunate to get a bite right immediately we could be headed for a quick and full conversion. Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


Most folks just about lose their minds if the fish really cooperate; sitting on anchor catching trout and redfish one after another somehow has that affect on people. And for the grand finale, the angler that happens to catch a career fish using this method finds themselves in the most awkward of positions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Do I tell everyone about my fish and risk having to admit I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t catch it on an artificial lure?â&#x20AC;? Oh the irony gets so thick you could cut it with a circle hook. Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, one can always appreciate an alternative method that produces fish when others wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exactly what the Sabine and Neches Rivers provide us. At times the fish that show up will leave you scratching your head wondering â&#x20AC;&#x153;is this guy lostâ&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;how the heck did this fish get here?â&#x20AC;? Perhaps one of the most unusual river catches I ever witnessed was a thirty pound jack crevalle ten miles up the Sabine River from the main body of Sabine Lake. I had two customers in the boat and we were just wearing out the fish when the jack showed up and took me for a ride. After about a twenty or thirty minute fight the fish showed itself alongside the boat and we were all blown away. Jacks, Spanish macks, and bull sharks will all make appearances in the rivers when the conditions are right, no big freshwater run off and plenty of salt are usually prerequisites. As of this writing we have those very conditions right now, in fact just recently, I caught three dozen small Spanish macks in my castnet while gathering bait. Talk about surprised, I had never seen that before. This trend toward an increasing number of saltwater species coming farther up the rivers will continue provided we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get pounded by a bunch of rain. The water in the bayous and river are in excellent shape and there is bait on just about any bank you look at. The short drive to fish these areas is another added bonus for many anglers. The guys in the little boats with lesser range or ability to take rough water are most often the first to retreat to the safety or protection of the river. The guys in the bigger boats will often times just blow right by guys sitting on anchor and say to themselves â&#x20AC;&#x153;that poor guy doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s missingâ&#x20AC;? as they head out for parts unknown and far away. At the same time the guy in the small

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing



out to the short rigs, it will all be happening as we make that big turn towards the winter months. Take advantage of every opportunity you can because cabin fever will be here before you know it.


Chuck Uzzle

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.

boat just shakes his head, grabs another fish, and says “that poor guy doesn’t know what he’s missing.” Now that we have entered the really prime months it would be wise to start watching for the first cold fronts to arrive,

they will begin to purge the marshes of the shrimp and the bird activity over schooling fish will go nuts. The ability right now to hustle just about any kind of pattern rarely gets better than in late-September and October. From the shallow stuff all the way

Phone 409-697-6111 Email Website

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Roy’s Customer Appreciation Days Tent Sale • Factory Reps! • Tent = Huge Discounts • Hourly Drawings • In-Store Sale! 24 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing


Fall Fly Fling • Factory Reps! • Fly Tyers • Casting Lessons • Seminars • Special Guest: Casey Smartt Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!









The University of Texas

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



Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 25

For-Hire Electronic Logbook Reporting Pilot Project I don’t think you’re going to find a fisherman in the Gulf of Mexico any more skeptical than I’ve been over the years about that data that’s been used to regulate for-hire saltwater fishing – when we can fish, what our customers can catch, and what they can keep. But all the years of talking, arguing, advocating and meeting (and meeting and meeting) to figure out better ways to get that data looks like it’s finally starting to pay off. Now it’s time for us – for-hire owners and captains – to step up to the plate. A new approach to a longstanding problem Starting September 1, a select group of Gulf of Mexico charter boat operators, myself included, will be the first to participate in a new project that could fundamentally change the way NOAA Fisheries collects data about the number of fishing trips we take, or what they call “effort,” and the number, size and types of fish our customers land, keep and release, or the “catch.” The exact methods differ depending on what state you operate in, but since the 1970s, these numbers have been gathered through a combination of random telephone surveys of for-hire captains and random dockside intercepts. My fellow Texas captains are likely

26 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

6WRU\E\0LNH1XJHQW Captain of the charter vessel Wrecklamation President, Port Aransas Boatman Association

familiar with the post-trip interviews that are part of the Marine Sport Harvest Monitoring Program. Regardless of how its collected, the information gathered from these samples are then put into mathematical formulas, which are used to estimate the total catch and effort for the whole fleet. As I’ve learned more over the years about the lengths to which NOAA goes to get these numbers as good as they can be, I’ve come to appreciate what this data can tell us. But I’ve also experienced – as I know many others have – what I believe the shortcoming s are. That’s why I’ve been such a strong advocate for a move away from random sample surveys, and toward collecting logbook data from all for-hire operators. The thinking behind logbook reporting is that NOAA will get a much more complete, accurate and timely report of our catch and effort. And that should mean better data about what’s actually being caught, and ultimately more sound management of the resource. Doing our part The pilot project Gulf charter boat operators are participating in is the first step in a process to see whether the promise of electronic logbook reporting holds true. Working together with fellow fishermen, state agencies, NOAA scientists and others, we’ll be

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

helping to answer a few key questions, like: • Can you really get better data from logbooks entered on a weekly basis than you do from telephone calls and dockside sampling? • Will the burden of reporting – the cost to the government and the time we have to spend entering the information – be worth the tradeoff? • What can we learn from this first, small-scale project that we can apply to other for-hire fisheries?

The other reason that I’m hopeful is that this is not some lone project trying to address a single issue while leaving other problems to languish. Rather, it’s part of the Marine Recreational Information Program, or MRIP, an initiative that has been underway since 2007 to overhaul the way NOAA collects and reports recreational fishing data. And you can look no further than electronic logbook reporting to see this in action. This system came about thanks in large part to input and strong support from the for-hire industry, and we’ve been instrumental in getting this project off the ground.

I personally think I know the answers to these questions, but I also recognize the need to really kick the tires on the new system to make sure it works as well as possible before making wholesale changes. And for that to happen, we charter boat operators have to do our part. We have to enter our data regularly, and we have to give feedback on how the process is working. We have to look at what the new numbers are showing us, and point out areas for improvement. We have to recognize that our oceans are changing, and that for our industry to survive we need to focus our energies on advocating for the best possible management practices based on real data, whether the numbers work to our advantage or disadvantage.

Why now? Even with the BP well capped, I know there are a lot of owners and captains out there who feel that the last thing we should spend time on right now are some pie-in-the-sky projects that we hope will one day lead to better management of a fishery whose immediate future seems so uncertain. But by the same token, if we don’t start now – when we have the resources, expertise and commitments from across the board – we won’t ever get there. The recovery from this spill will be hampered by the same arguments we’ve had for years about the quality of the data we’re using to set the rules. And we’ll be in the same position we were in this summer the next time disaster strikes. They always say you can’t fight city hall. Well, it turns out you actually can. For sure, electronic logbook reporting is not going to solve all the problems or end all disagreements when it comes to fisheries management. But it’s a start. And, as the people who got the ball rolling, it’s up to us right now to keep up the momentum.

What we need from NOAA For its part, the government also needs to make sure that the process stays as simple, efficient and focused as possible. From what I’ve seen so far, I’m hopeful that will be the case. Using the computer program that’s been developed for entering our weekly catch and effort is about as easy as buying new tackle online.

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 27

$QQXDO)UHHSRUWWR3RUW2·&RQQRU7R\5XQ What started as a novel way to do some winter boating has morphed into one of the largest charitable events on the Gulf coast. The Freeport to Port O’Connor Toy Run was founded by Houston boater Jerry Karnes years ago when he was looking for something fun to do on the water during the winter. He called the Chamber of Commerce in Port O’Connor and asked if they had a Christmas toy drive that the boaters could support with toy donations. This led to discussions with the Angel Tree program leaders in POC and the event was on. The Angel Tree is a non-profit group that provides Christmas food, clothing and toys for needy kids every year. Their usual area was just Port O’Connor and nearby Seadrift but they stated they could certainly use more toys and also donations of food and clothing. Over the past years the event has grown to encompass the Port O’Connor Lighted Boat Parade, great stops along the way at Sargent Beach and Matagorda Harbor, a lot more boats and toys galore. The toy run now provides enough toys to meet the needs of nearly seven Gulf coast counties and this year will likely see that expand

to nine or more. The first year all the toys were loaded into a van. It now takes two or more large trailers to move the toys to the POC Community Center where they are wrapped and labeled for distribution by the Angel Tree folks. Along the way the Toy Run has received help and money from many individuals and a few companies. The Toy Run itself is not a true organization. It is just a group of like-minded boaters who do this out of the joy of giving. However, the Angel Tree is a proper non-profit organization and all donations go directly to them. The Toy Run folks solicit donations of toys for boys and girls ages 2 through 16 and they’ll come to you to collect the toys if you can’t make the event. They do want to stress though that no gift is too small. They only ask that it be new and unwrapped. Jerry also noted that more participants are needed to haul toys from Freeport. Last year we had eighteen boats and could use double that number. This year’s the event will leave from the Bridge Bait ramp in Freeport on December 04 at 9:00 AM. The event stops at Sargent to allow other boats to join and to pickup more toys. They then head to Matagorda Harbor for lunch at the Waterfront Restaurant and then on to West Matagorda Bay crossing to Port O’Connor. The run typically arrives at POC around 3 PM, unloads all the toys and then prepares the boats for the parade. Over the past years the event has grown to encompass the Port O’Connor Lighted Boat Parade. The big party is held at Hurricane Junction and features door prizes, live auctions, great food and plenty of cold drinks. We then have a party and spend the night at The Inn At Clarks at POC. The Toy Run event organizers may be reached at the numbers listed below and please remember that no donation is too small: Jerry Karnes, Founder, 281-558-4696 Andrew Coker, Co-Founder, 713-256-7289 Bill Barr, Chairman/Event Coordinator, 713-416-1082 Kyle Cunningham, Donations Coordinator, 832-407-5551 Patrick Martin, Event Leader (Rudolph), 713-907-5122

28 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 29

7<9,-0:/05.Ž :<7769;:()*-PZOPUN;HJRSL 4HU\MHJ[\YLY+VUH[LZ 6]LY :PUJL Pure Fishing has partnered with the American Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF) to help with early detection of breast cancer in women and men. Shakespeare® began the program in 2007 and Ugly Stik® joined the program one year later. Future donation plans have expanded to encompass Pure Fishing Brands like Berkley®, PENN® and Stren®. Donations from the company to the ABCF to date exceed $150,000. “Pure Fishing is a proud supporter of the American Breast Cancer Foundation and its mission to provide individuals in financial need, their families, and their loved ones with education, support and access to the early detection of Breast Cancer,” said Mike Phillips, Shakespeare Product Manager. “Since choosing American Breast Cancer Foundation as our charity of choice, Pure Fishing has donated over $150,000 to the organization and will continue to support ABCF, which provides life saving breast cancer screening assistance through outreach events.” The Shakespeare Ladyfish series was created using lightweight actions and lengths, sleek grips, and reels specifically for women anglers. The Shakespeare Ladyfish series includes five spinning combos, spincast combos, rods and reels. The Ladyfish series offers a wide range of actions and lengths designed to help women tackle any fishing challenge. For 2011, Shakespeare is also offering a new women’s specific Catch More Fish combo – a spincast reel and rod complete with line, hooks and bait. Also new for the coming year is a Ladyfish combo rod and reel and two new Ugly Stik LadyFish kits available in a spincast or spinning rod and reel with bait, line and terminal tackle. “For more information or the location of the nearest Shakespeare, Berkley, PENN or Stren Authorized Dealer call 1-803-754-7000 or visit the website at www. To donate to or learn more about the American Breast Cancer Foundation please visit their website at 30 October 2010 /

About Pure Fishing, Inc. Pure Fishing, Inc. is a leading global provider of fishing tackle, lures, rods and reels with a portfolio of brands that includes Abu Garcia®, All Star®, Berkley®, Fenwick®, Gulp!®, Mitchell®, Penn®, Pflueger®, SevenStrand®, Shakespeare®, SpiderWire®, Stren®, Trilene® and Ugly Stik®. With operations in 19 countries and a dedicated workforce conversant in 28 languages, Pure Fishing, Inc. is part of Jarden Outdoor Solutions, a leader in developing outdoor and active lifestyle products and a subsidiary of Jarden Corporation. Additional information can be found at About Jarden Corporation Jarden Corporation is a leading provider of niche consumer products. Jarden operates in three primary business segments through a number of well recognized brands, including: Outdoor Solutions: Abu Garcia®, Berkley®, Campingaz®, Coleman®, Fenwick®, Gulp!®, K2®, Marker®, Marmot®, Mitchell®, Penn®, Rawlings®, Shakespeare®, Stearns®, Stren®, Trilene®, Völkl®, and Zoot®; Consumer Solutions: Bionaire®, Crock-Pot®, FoodSaver®, Health o meter®, Holmes®, Mr. Coffee®, Oster®, Patton®, Rival®, Seal-a-Meal®, Sunbeam®, VillaWare® and White Mountain®; and Branded Consumables: Ball®, Bee®, Bicycle®, Billy Boy®, Crawford®, Diamond®, Dicon®, Fiona®, First Alert®, First Essentials®, Forster®, Hoyle®, Kerr®, Lehigh®, Leslie-Locke®, Lillo®, Loew Cornell®, Mapa®, NUK®, Pine Mountain®, Spontex® and Tigex®. Headquartered in Rye, N.Y., Jarden has over 25,000 employees worldwide. For more information, please visit

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!



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Typically I write about patterns as these are what I feel most qualified to discuss. This month I’m going to try something different. We will still discuss patterns, how to identify d take k advantage, d and but I’m going to try to be more creative. We’re going fishing together as I explain them. Come join me on a late-August wade in search of better than average speckled trout. We are leaving the dock in the first grey light of morning. I’m not much for running 40-plus in the dark; we have folks out there fishing at night and one tiny error could spell disaster. Besides, even though I have caught some good trout at night, every 10-plus I have ever taken has been in daylight and many during midday hours. Only one of these came in August and believe it or not, from a school of oversized reds. August has to be the toughest month to pattern and target trophy trout. While science helps me predict where the fish might be, it’s the rod and reel that confirms the educated guess, and since I’m no scientist I stay within the realm of rod and reel. It is true that knowing preferred food sources, structure, and the effects of moon, sun and tide, all play a role in angling success but; bottom line is, can you catch her when you find her? Better yet, do you know when you have found her before you have actually caught her? I have always believed seasoned anglers can sense big fish presence and, make no mistake, they sense our presence too. The approach must be quiet. I like to give myself at least a 200 yard cushion. Those that fish with me often know that I comment constantly on how far we will be from the boat before we get the first strike from the best fish in the area. It is usually a minimum of 150 yards. When trophy hunting I prefer secluded areas where trout have easy access to nighttime feeding zones. Quiet coves or pockets, no matter the size, are prime areas at daybreak and we will try one today. During a regular day of fishing I take constant note of bait activity and fish location. Numerous slicks popping in out-of-the-way pockets tell me there’s feeding going on. A large push of water minus the mud boil as I hastily wade back to the boat through a pocket stacked with bait, even though I received no bites, is a sure sign she’s there. The gull that hovers but never dives is another. Maybe the bird can’t make up its mind, or maybe what he sees is too big to tackle, in either case it deserves investigation. Perhaps the surest sign is a great “kawoosh” that leaves a sudsy ring, you can bet something big just found dinner. Any of the above tells me I have an area holding big fish. Now I am thigh deep, seeking the largest bait concentration over the given structure. Next I confirm wind direction to get a better read on local current that could influence feeding. My science homework already equips me with weather info, tide movement and major-minor feeds. 32 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

When I am searching for one particular fish I am seldom able to fish more that one location in a morning. This is especially true during our hottest and calmest months. My casts are many and my steps few as I probe with the best lure for the conditions. It goes without saying that a 5” Bass Assassin on a 1/16 ounce jig is on my line quite often. A MirrOlure topwater or one of their Paul Brown Originals (Corky) might also qualify. Slow and deliberate actions with great concentration on my part are evident this morning. Trophy-sized fish require total concentration and you must be keenly aware of every detail around you. This morning the winds are calm

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


and then the line goes slack. “Crank down fast Jay, she’s coming right at you. Get the rod flat to the water; keep cranking until it loads up. Now stick her hard, don’t worry about the knot, the leader or the drag, you’ve done this right. Remember it’s the hookset lets her know who is in charge.” The surface erupts breaking the morning’s long silence with a foam ring and streaking wake as the fish heads for deeper water. “She’ll turn back suddenly and try me,” I say to myself. Sure enough, she turns and runs straight at me again. “Rod down if she comes up, up if she goes down, and whatever you do Jay, DON’T let off on the drag. It’s her will against yours, break her will and she’ll tire quicker and be in hand in no time.” I don’t know whether I say these things aloud but they certainly race through my mind. Minutes later I am rewarded with a 30plus trout, not winter-heavy but still of age and length to be considered a trophy. She pulls near seven and three-quarters on the Boga and we get her photographed and released as quickly as possible. As she slides back into the water I am overwhelmed with emotion. So many years of trudging these shorelines and so many disappointments – why was I so blessed to have this truly magnificent fish allow me this moment? With my rod across my shoulders and my arms resting on its stiffness I spend a moment to take in all that was around me, knowing a fish like that may never come my way again. I hope you enjoyed this morning’s wade half as much as I enjoyed taking you. May your fishing always be catching. – Guide Jay Watkins


and the water is slick. Suddenly the damp air carries the strong scent of mature trout. I recognize it from the many times I have removed hooks from fish with mouths the size of softballs. Mullet, menhaden, or maybe the combination of both in their stomach, it’s a distinct smell I associate with big fish. It is not the sweet watermelon smell we associate with lesser trout. I can’t see the slick due to the mirror surface on the water but I know from the slight breeze on my face it is coming from southwest, inshore from my position. I need to turn into the wind and locate the nearest underwater structure on that line. Grassbeds are today’s structure and I have several located in the line of the scent. The long overnight calm has allowed the shallow water along the shoreline to clear but it holds enough algae to remain sandy green. It is the perfect shade of green in my opinion. I’ve chosen a Cajun Croaker 5” Bass Assassin; a pale-greenish bait with silver glitter. The base color and silvery shine is the ticket for today’s sky and water conditions. Cast after cast are made but no takes. After ten minutes I ease slightly to the side and parallel to the line I believe the fish to be holding on. More submerged grass ahead; maybe she is easing into the wind searching for one last morsel before slipping back to deeper and cooler water nearby. Two hours later the wind has increased, breaking the surface glare and enabling me to see through the water. I look back about 75 yards and slightly inside my line is a small slick growing with the wind. The fish has not moved far from where I first got her scent. I start back that way. Only a few trout have been caught thus far, all solid 20-plus but not the big fish I sense is present. Thirty minutes of slowly easing along brings me within casting range of the grassbeds where I believe she is holding. I suddenly feel the urge to check my leader and knot. Tugging sharply I nod to myself that all is good. The cast hits just beyond the grassbed closest to shore and a mullet shoots out of the water. “That’s her,” I mutter under my breath, “she moved toward my lure and spooked that mullet.” As soon as the lure slips to my side of the grassbed I burn it the rest of the way in and fire right back on the same line. The braid telegraphs the sharp thump

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

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 33



ɑȐȐȇɄȹ Squinting against the blistering South Texas sun, my friend Larry pointed to a large expanse of tan-colored water that stretched out ahead of our idling boats. “That’s all shallow sand, Casey. It runs for about a mile to the south. The fish will be up there this evening. You’ll see them. We’ll meet you back at the cabin at dark. Good luck.” Larry pulled away and I watched as it slowly shrunk into the distance, bound for Baffin Bay. I eased my skiff up to the foot of the giant sand flat and gently beached it on a high spot. The bottom of the flat was clean and hard, with wind-carved ripples firm enough to feel through the soles of my boots. Several light green veins snaked across its center, revealing subtle dips and pockets. Looking toward the horizon I could see the curved green boundaries where shallow sand abruptly dropped to deeper water. To the east were the weathered white dunes of Padre Island and to the west was the thorny King Ranch shoreline. I just stood there for a few minutes, taking it all in. The expansive feeling of this place was wonderful. The sky was broad and full, and the vast stretch of tan and green water before me held so much promise. A steady Gulf breeze pushed across the shallow water and seeped through the sleeves and collar of my shirt. It felt good to be there at that moment. It was a feeling of freedom. I grabbed my fly rod and a couple of flies and I started walking. The terrain was different from the soft olive bottoms and oyster reefs I was accustomed to farther north. Stark but pristine banks of sand rose up along the shorelines and the shallow bottom had pancake textures that were smooth and clean. The whole place was shaped by relentless winds



and baking sun, and it fit perfectly with raw beauty of the surrounding Brush Country. It looked like terrific land to explore but an awful place to be stranded. I waded a few hundred yards down the flat, wondering if I would see any fish. I could clearly make out hundreds of tiny worm holes scattered over the bottom, so surely a big lumbering fish would be visible in the skinny clear water. And then my eyes caught something moving across the sand. At first it appeared to be a shadow cast by a bird flying overhead, but moments later I could see the outline of a large purple torpedo-shaped object. It was a redfish… a big redfish. He was swimming slowly and deliberately in my direction. I could see the crosshatch pattern of scales on his exposed back in the ankle-deep water. As he approached, his body arched and his large blue tail rose up slowly from the shallow water. It hung in the air for a moment and then gently folded over and wiggled as his jaws crunched down on something hidden in the sand. In contrast to his bleached surroundings, the redfish’s silvery blues and crimson reds were unnaturally vibrant in the evening sun. Drifting over the pale sand, he looked as colorful and preoccupied as a big tom turkey strutting at close range. I froze and watched him for a few minutes. Finally, I

Check out Casey’s Fly Fishing Video Library at

34 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

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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.



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they chose to keep what they caught. After all, like me, they were just doing what made them happy. And so I looked again at that wonderful redfish and his magnificent surroundings. It was clear to me I had already been given enough gifts for one day… why ask for more. I shoved the rope back into my pocket and slid my fingers down the leader to the small hook lodged in the redfish’s lower jaw. With a quick twist the hook snapped free. I eased the redfish back into the water and slowly let him gain back his strength. And then with a burst he swam out of my hands. I watched as he slowly pushed across the flat in a deliberate straight line. When he reached the edge, he disappeared into the safety of deeper water. I looked back down the flat and couldn’t help but smile. It was the old familiar feeling of freedom.



decided to toss a fly out in front of him. As I flicked out a short cast I was almost certain he would spot my arms moving, but he didn’t. My fly landed a few feet in front of the redfish and settled to the bottom. I gave it a twitch and he accelerated and then stopped abruptly, nearly running over the fly. His rear end lifted out of the water, almost as though inertia alone had carried it upward. A small fiery flash of bronze sparked from his gills and I knew he had grabbed the fly. My line pulled tight and he tore for deeper water, leaving behind a trail of sandy froth. Although large and strong, he tired quickly in the warm shallow water. In a few minutes I slipped my hand under his belly and lifted him up to remove the fly. He was healthy and fat, with broad shoulders and gold-rimmed eyes that were clear and alive. At that moment I did something I had not done in a very long time. I reached into my back pocket and pulled out a short piece of rope to use as a stringer. Earlier that afternoon there had been talk of grilled fish at sunset. It sounded like the perfect way to end a day on the water so I agreed to contribute a fish if I caught one. But as I uncoiled the rope and looked at the redfish, I hesitated. Years ago, I kept, cleaned, and ate fish of all kinds. Most were palatable, some were not. But the longer I fished, the more I realized what brought me the most pleasure was catching fish and then watching them swim away. So I started releasing everything I caught. I was simply doing what made me happy. Over the years I encouraged others to do the same but certainly didn’t fault them if

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+HDY\:HDWKHU&KHFNOLVW &ITVITEVIH[LIRMXHIGMHIWXSFPS[© As predicted, our hurricane season has been pretty active this year. Storms are coming off the African coast at an alarming rate and even though we haven’t had to deal with much along our coast, it is always good to be prepared. Tropical depressions can form in the Gulf very unexpectedly this time of year, so you should have a plan for making sure your boat is as safe as possible. Keeping track of the weather is essential to make sure you have plenty of time to get your boat secured. Start as soon as you think there might be a storm coming. The Gulf of Mexico is like a big bowl and once it gets disturbed it affects much of the coast. Tropical force winds can extend over a hundred miles away from the center of a hurricane, so if you wait too late, the water may already be too high to make a move, even though the storm is still far away. When a storm is approaching you should move your boat to the safest area available. For a boat that can be hauled on a trailer, this usually means moving your boat inland, preferably at least 50 miles from the coast. Damage can still occur inland, so avoid parking it near tall trees or low lying areas. For larger boats in the water, the choice is either to move the boat to a safe harbor or run down the coast away from the storm. When picking a safe harbor try to find a protected marina with floating docks. You may already be docked in this type of marina, if so you are one step ahead. In a marina, you should be able to tie your boat up securely and leave. Be sure to lower antennas, outriggers and Bimini tops.

Also, remove any vinyl spray enclosures and loose gear. If a safe marina is not available you may be able to go up one of the many river, bayous or canals along our coast. Securing your boat in these areas may be more difficult and it may come down to a decision for someone to stay on the boat. If you make the decision to stay aboard, you will need a minimum of two people. It is a difficult decision for some, especially if they have other concerns with a home and family. Whatever decision you make, make it early and be prepared. Heavy weather can hit just about any time of the year. Hurricanes are talked about the most, but tropical storms, depressions and low pressure areas can all produce bad weather. Cold fronts When preparing for and squall lines can also come blasting a storm use multiple through when you least expect it. If you heavy dock lines and tie to multiple points. do get in a situation where you must ride Lines should be out a storm, here are some ideas for a adjustable at the boat, heavy weather check list… not the dock.

36 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


Heavy Weather Check List - Traveling boats need two anchors, three is better. Make sure one is an oversized storm anchor. - Carry plenty of extra line. Make sure you have heavy lines available. - Fenders are always a must, the larger – the better. - Foul weather gear is essential. - Make sure your boat is full of fuel and water. - Take plenty of food and ice. - Keep emergency equipment up to date. - Have several flashlights available with extra batteries. - Keep a large knife ready in case a line must be cut. - Be ready for a wind shift in any direction. - Remove all loose equipment from docks. - Lower antennas, outriggers and Bimini tops - Secure all equipment on board. - If a storm or hurricane is eminent, double or triple up on all lines. Try to spread the load to as many cleats as possible. You may also want to set a storm anchor, even at a dock. - Minimum two persons on board for storm. - Make mooring lines adjustable from the boat, not from the dock. When the water rises the dock may go underwater. - Get all lines adjusted before the storm hits, it may be impossible later. - Monitor TV and radio for weather updates. - Keep friends and family informed of your situation.


Keep your vessel in top shape and all your equipment up to date. Monitor the weather before any trip and don’t take any chances. When bad weather approaches, it’s nice to know you and your boat are prepared. The South West International Boat Show will be held September 23-26th at South Shore Harbor Marina on Clear Lake, just south of Houston. Visit us at our Fox Yacht Sales display or at the Tops-N-Towers booth. At Fox we have an extensive inventory of brokerage boats and we are the exclusive Texas dealer for Jupiter and CABO Yachts. Come get a great deal on your next boat.

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

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 37



7KH73:'&RDVWDO)LVKHULHV 5HJXODWRU\3URFHVV By Coastal Fisheries Outreach Specialists Tonya Wiley and Art Morris

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) is the principle agency with legislative authority to pass state regulations that affect sport and commercial fishing activities within Texas marine waters. Primarily, the National Marine Fisheries Service is the other federal agency charged with regulating angler fishing methods, species retention, fishing areas, fishing times and seasons, bag, possession and length limits in federal waters. Other agencies such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service or the Texas Department of State Health Services can also impact these rules for specific species (threatened or endangered species) or particular areas (closed areas for health reasons). No regulation is passed blindly without the opportunity for input from the affected stakeholders. The majority of marine fisheries regulations enacted in Texas are developed through what is referred to as the annual regulatory process. The regulatory process begins each summer after resource assessments are made by staff biologists. While this is the typical genesis of a possible regulatory change, stakeholders can also bring forward fisheries issues to be considered. If it is found that a significant fishery problem exists AND it can be addressed through TPWD

authority, then a comprehensive assessment and analysis is completed by staff on the issue. The regulatory process continues with a briefing to the TPW Commission in November on the issue(s) of concern. The Commission is a nine member board, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Texas Senate, which adopts policies and rules to carry out all programs of TPWD. If the Commission considers it appropriate to further investigate the fisheries concern, then they grant permission for staff to proceed with the scoping process. Typical Schedule for TPWD Coastal Fisheries Regulatory Process During the scoping process, November: Briefing to the TPW Commission on possible issue(s) for TPWD staff presents the biological, regulatory change social and economic implications of each issue and seeks public December â&#x20AC;&#x201C; January: public scoping meetings input. Typically, scoping meetings January: Formal proposal presented to TPW Commission are held coastwide and attendees February-March: Statewide public hearings have plenty of opportunity to ask March/April: TPWD commission adopts/rejects/modifies proposal questions, provide comment and September 1: New regulations go into effect bring up concerns in a candid atmosphere. The goal of scoping is to adequately inform stakeholders

38 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

adopt with modifications. In most cases, unless there is an emergency situation, these adopted measures go into effect at the beginning of the upcoming license year, September 1. They are published in the Texas Register as required by state law after the Commission meeting. For the convenience of the public, the new and previously adopted fishing and hunting regulations are summarized and published in the annual edition of the Outdoor Annual or Commercial Fishing Guide available where you purchase your fishing license. The Commission may take action on other regulatory proposals at other meetings. However, the preferred practice is to follow this annual cycle so that information in the Outdoor Annual and Commercial Fishing Guide can be distributed to anglers and hunters in ample time to become familiar with any rule changes. The TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division management strategies are directed toward optimizing long-term utilization and sustaining fisheries populations at levels that are necessary to ensure healthy and fishable stocks of commercially and recreationally important species. The ultimate goal is to provide optimum opportunities and conservation for the rich biological diversity inherent to Texasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; marine waters.


of the issue and the possible range of solutions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including maintaining the status quo. All feedback is encouraged and always plays an important role in the development of a regulatory proposal. Without this feedback it is difficult to formulate regulatory proposals that can address concerns unknown to the preparers. At the January Commission meeting, staff presents the proposed regulatory change and a summary of public feedback, then requests permission to proceed. If the Commission approves the request to move forward with the proposal, additional public feedback is sought during special meetings called public hearings. Public hearings are held across the state and include presentations of all inland and coastal fisheries, wildlife and other proposals up for adoption. Public hearings are more formal and structured than scoping meetings with discussion and comments typically time restricted. During the public hearing process comments and concerns can be provided in a variety of ways: by attending a public hearing, calling, mailing, faxing or e-mailing concerns to a subject related TPWD staff member or commenting online at the TPWD website ( business/feedback/public_comment/). Also, the public may also attend the Commission meeting when the proposal is up for action and provide issue related testimony. At the March/April meeting, the Commission can take several actions concerning the proposed regulatory change: (1) Adopt the proposal as pres pr esen ente ted; d; ((2) 2) d dec ecid ide e to n not ot ado aadopt; dopt pt;; or (3) (3) presented; decide

Check the TPWD Outdoor Annual, your local TPWD Law Enforcement office, or for more information.

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 39



9DQFRXYHU5HHI([SDQVLRQ6SODVKHV'RZQ “This is the perfect example of how organizations can work together to improve habitat for marine life” Texas anglers now have more fishing room at Vancouver Reef after more than 250 tons of concrete and granite reefing material were added to the popular fishing site through a cooperative effort of CCA Texas and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). The addition of the material marks the single largest addition to the reef since the original liberty ship was sunk at the site off Freeport in 1976. This project is a win-win situation for the resource. Creating reef habitat is a great tool in building biomass and building structure for the entire marine ecosystem food chain. A lot of experience was gained during this project and CCA Texas will be looking to use that experience to build more habitat for the betterment of Texas’s coastal resources. “This important project is the first of three for near-shore reefing in Texas to be put in place by Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow (HTFT),” commented CCA Texas State President Bill Schwarzlose. “This material donated by Texas A&M Galveston and Old Castle Precast and the facilities donated by Dorsett Brothers Concrete have helped create a magnet for numerous Gulf species and enrich Texas’s coastal resources.” The effort to expand the Vancouver Reef began when Texas A&M Galveston contacted CCA Texas in early 2009. The school had twenty-three granite blocks ranging in size from 3 to 12 tons for offshore habitat on site and inquired about participating in the habitat restoration and creation efforts of the newly launched HTFT initiative. This initial contact and research into the feasibility of deploying this material offshore led to the initial approval of $25,000 in funding by the CCA Texas Executive Board in April 2009. With a vision and desire to expand the project, HTFT sought outside funds and was able to secure an additional $60,000 from a private Houston area foundation for artificial reefing in Texas. With $25,000 of these funds designated for the Vancouver project, HTFT moved forward to secure more materials, temporary storage and docking facilities, and to forge a working partnership with TPWD. 40 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Old Castle Precast, located in Brookshire, Texas, stepped forward and offered to supply approximately 110 - 115 concrete catch basins for reefing material. Longtime CCA Texas supporter, Dorsett Brothers Concrete, jumped onboard and provided temporary storage for materials and the use of on-site docking facilities on the Old Brazos River in Freeport, Texas, giving the project quick and easy access to the Gulf. With materials secured, storage and docking facilities in place, and dollars in hand, HTFT began working with Texas Parks Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Artificial Reef Program Coordinator Dale Shively to make the deployment reality. TPWD had the expertise for the deployment and it was an opportunity to leverage the resources of both groups for greater expansion of the Vancouver Reefing site and the Texas Artificial Reefing Program. “This is the perfect example of how organizations can work together to improve habitat for marine life,” said Shively. “I look forward to working with CCA Texas on many more reefing projects in the future.” As HTFT continues to move forward in expanding its habitat program, it will work to build more partnerships up and down the Texas coast for similar projects. The Vancouver reefing project reflects the commitment of CCA Texas volunteers and members as well as the importance of building relationships within the local communities, with other organizations and with local and state government agencies. In addition to the Vancouver Project, CCA Texas has earmarked $50,000 for the expansion of the Port Mansfield reefing project and another $35,000 for the new Matagorda reef project, currently in the final stages of permitting. Please be sure to visit for more information. Lastly, if you would like to enjoy this new nearshore habitat, punch the following coordinates into your GPS: (WGS 84 format) N28o 47’ 31.3” - W95o 20’ 56.3”. For detailed maps of the Vancouver and other reef sites available from TPWD’s Artificial Reef Program, visit http://www.tpwd.state. Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!




+IXXMRKXLI + IXXMRKXXLI0267 SYXSJXXLI))\TIVMIRGI SYXSJXLI)\TIVMIRGI I’m often asked by non-kayaking fishing friends why in the world I choose to fish from a kayak. Many of these people have no intentions of ever plopping their rear into a little plastic boat. They just can’t understand how someone who owns a perfectly good skiff could put themselves at such disadvantage. My initial response and one I’ve used many times over the years has been, “I use a kayak to access areas that are too shallow for boats and too muddy to wade.” Anyone who has read my book on kayak fishing or even read these pages with any regularity has seen those words. And while that statement still holds true, some recent events have led me to think about the subject a little deeper. Apparently there are some nonkayakers who have the impression that we who paddle are somehow inferior in status or ability because of the craft we choose to employ. I beg to differ. Some of the best fishermen I know are hardcore kayakers. Many of them could easily afford a $30,000 boat, but choose not to. I personally know of a couple

42 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Unexpected sights and sounds make fishing trips memorable; these little guys were too busy with fiddler crabs to worry about us.

multi-millionaires who fish from nothing more than a modest and simple kayak. So why do we do it? This past week I was on a nine day road trip along the coast seeing customers. And as is my usual practice I snuck in some fishing, two trips were in a powerboat and three were paddling. I caught fish on every trip; in fact I caught more fish in one day from the boat than I did in all three days of kayak fishing. But once I was back in the office doing the daily grind I found myself reflecting on the kayak catches much more vividly than the others. The situations and conditions were pretty much the same, sight-casting to shallow to redfish. The areas I was fishing are easily accessible to either craft. And I certainly enjoyed myself on all of the trips. So why was I leaning towards the kayak for greater overall enjoyment? As I reflected on this mystery, (instead of the work that was piling up), I came to realize that there is a common theme in my book of treasured outdoor memories. I can easily recall every deer and other game taken with a bow, not so much those I have simply pulled a trigger to harvest. The days of stalking tailing reds with a fly rod come back to me in great detail and I can almost feel the sense of anticipation as the tail dipped below the surface and a bulging wake surged toward the fly. Drifting a deep water reef and blindly chunking a soft plastic to schoolie trout, not so much. Yet again, the nagging question of why arises. Why would someone who loves being outdoors as much as I do not feel equally about the hours and days spent afield or on the water? I think that it has to do with our lifestyles. So much is Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Shell Holster Claw Cla aw Skinning Tool


handed to us these days. Hungry? Pull into the nearest drive-thru and order up. Need some obscure information? Google it. Then there’s the craziness of being constantly available and connected. Cell phones, e-mail, faxes, instant messaging; it’s really no wonder why cutting out as much technology as possible and getting as

close to one-on-one with our prey has such an instinctual draw. Obtaining that perfect shot at an unsuspecting redfish is not something that is handed to you simply because you asked for it. Paddling several miles into an unpressured marsh requires effort. Locating feeding fish requires knowledge of the prey as well as tuning in to your surroundings. Approaching and positioning yourself quietly and correctly requires your undivided attention. Presenting a cast that is close enough to draw a response, yet not so close as to spook him requires skill. Successfully fighting and landing the fish requires patience and experience. The same goes for hunting with a bow. In order to do these things and have consistent success I have to block out the rest of the world and focus on getting everything right. And therein lies my answer. Sight-casting from a kayak, fly fishing, bow hunting; they all require that I pay complete and total attention to every detail. My gear must be in good condition. I must immerse myself in the surroundings and recognize the cues presented. Basically, when I get in that mode the rest of the world and worries fade into the background and the game at hand comes into crystal clear focus. It seems contradictory that such intensity could lead to ultimate relaxation and enjoyment, but that’s what it does for me.


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44 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

And I won’t even get into the catch/ photo/release versus the release in grease argument. I’m growing increasingly weary of, “if you aren’t doing it my way, you’re wrong.” Personally, I don’t care how anyone chooses to fish. They can sling a croaker on an 8wt fly rod while sitting in their kayak tethered to their 32 foot Contender with triple 300’s hanging off the stern. So long as they are fishing within the law and legal limits and doing so with respect for their fellow fishermen and the resource, I honestly don’t care. And if they are quietly smiling in the office on Monday morning while reflecting on the exploits of the weekend, then more power to ‘em.


Over the past few years I’ve noticed a somewhat disturbing trend in our relatively small world of coastal fishing. It seems

to crop up most often on the various fishing message boards where anonymity breeds boldness. As the bays have become increasingly crowded there have become established “camps” that are increasingly at odds with each other. I honestly think that it is a vocal minority and not as commonplace as it appears on the surface. A few boaters don’t like kayakers. Some kayakers don’t like boaters. Guides complain about weekenders and weekenders complain about guides. Everybody complains about potlickers. Even within the boating community some divisions have developed between those with various use-specific craft. Then there are the class divisions based on the angler’s chosen method. Fly fishing purists, artificials only, topwaters only, live shrimp, dead bait and then the ever-so dreaded croaker soakers.

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

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!


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It is no big secret that I take my job very seriously. I live eat, sleep and breathe fishing and boats. And, not too surprisingly, I have several clients that fish regularly on my skiff that are not too different. It is this passion and drive that sets them apart. To get to the point- there is a big difference between fishermen and anglers. Do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with either. It is just that those who stand out amongst the others do so because they make the time to better themselves by learning all they can about the sport and getting out on the water as much as possible to hone their skills. These people, who I consider to be anglers, are the ones who will catch fish when nobody else can. As for fishermen, well they just enjoy being out on the water from time to time, usually when conditions are perfect but in some cases, are usually the ones who are most disappointed when they do not find success. Last summer I had a long-time customer book me for a three day stretch. This individual who, had been fly-fishing for years, was very much the angler. He was the kind of guy who would call monthly, even sometimes weekly with question about rigging or tying flies. I mean, he was the guy who was always

46 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

fishing, whether he was sitting on the boat or in his living room a 150 miles from the coast. Needless to say, I was excited when I received the call for the booking a month or so in advance but, the night before his trip came, the weatherman dealt me a hand that had me wanting to fold. So, I laid the cards on the table for him, recognizing his great desire to do the trip as his work had not allowed much fishing time recently, and let him make the call. He made the decision to get in at least one day and see how it went before packing it up and heading back to the city. I guess it goes without saying that it was tuff! We only had about 7 or 8 shots all day long but, because he brought his game, we managed to boat several nice reds. The next day the forecast was for conditions to be worse but not dangerous and he decided to gut it out. Well the weatherman nailed it and because of crappy light and high water, we had even fewer shots. However, out of the four shots we had, we managed to feed all of those fish resulting in a perfect “batting” average for the day. When the third day arrived, the sun that had been nearly absent in the two days previous popped out perfectly. The fish went bonkers resulting in one of the biggest “bags” of the season. So the next day comes with nearly perfect conditions and

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

to taking a rod, whether it is a fly, spinning or a level-wind, to work and going out and practicing before, during or after lunch. I think most of us would prefer to go fishing more often. As for the details, they range from rigging and maintaining your tackle for optimal performance all the way down to knowing when the right time to use a clinch knot versus a loop knot or when it is appropriate to choose a fluorocarbon leader over monofilament. Some of these details can be learned by fishing when you cannot. By this I mean, head over to Fishing Tackle Unlimited or another favorite hangout of anglers and see what you can learn or pick up. Another way to accomplish this is to read books about the subject that you lack knowledge in. Again, there are so many details that I cannot even begin to touch on them all. The simple point is, practice, pay attention to the details and become a student of angling. By doing so, you will enhance the fishing experience and some day. . . you might just become an angler, if you are not one already.


Until next month. . . enjoy the cooler weather and stuff like that! Capt. Scott Sommerlatte is a full time fly fishing and light tackle guide, freelance writer and photographer. Telephone 979-415-4379 Email Website

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 47


I am on to the next fisherman. This individual goes fishing once or twice a year and never touches his fly rod except for those few days a year on the water. We head out and we have somewhere between 40 and 50 honest opportunities at tailing or cruising redfish and you would think it should have been a slam dunk. Nope! We only caught four and at the end of the day he was so disappointed that I felt like I had let him down. I can assure you folks, when you get on a fishing guideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boat, in most instances, nobody wants you to be more successful than that guide. And, usually for many more reasons other than outright job security although that must certainly factor in. I cannot speak for every guide out there but I can certainly say that I love helping and watching other people catch fish. You want to see me beaming with pride, see me on day that someone just caught their first fish on fly. Anyway. . . . Do not get me wrong, I have seen days when there are fish everywhere and the greatest angler in the world could not make them eat and then seen the exact opposite. Heck, just last week I had a guy who had never touched a fly rod in his life catch four reds on fly. Well I guess what I am saying is that when conditions get tough, it is the individual who has dedicated himself or herself to the sport who will more often reap the rewards, no matter what they may be. So, I guess the question is now- how does a fisherman become an angler? Well, in my opinion it lies in practice, paying attention to details and fishing even when you cannot. Practice can come in many forms whether it is from actually going fishing more often





7KH0LJKW\-HW Recently my dad bought me a Jon boat. It’s not a fancy boat, and in all honesty, it’s not even meant to be a fishing boat, but it does come through when it needs to. The best part is the jet-drive motor, which I have been nothing but impressed with. The motor is a 50 horsepower Yamaha with tiller steering. As for the boat, it’s a 16 foot Weldcraft square-nosed flat bottom. A Jon boat is not always thought of as a shallow runner, but when you get the right width with a jet-drive, it will surprise you. The jet will run in next to nothing and slide across mud. The only two down sides to the motor are that it’s slower than a prop-drive and it will suck up loose aquatic grasses, which isn’t that big of

48 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

problem and can be fixed easily. This “duck” boat, as it was originally thought of, does a great job for short trips to the West Galveston Bay complex. Right before school started I had the opportunity to take it out with two of my friends, Garret and Cade. Four-thirty came early that morning and we headed south. It wasn’t long before we were at the boat ramp and launching the mighty jet. Running down the channel that morning we hit the edge of a rain shower, but after that it was smooth sailing to the bay front. We arrived to the fishing grounds right at sunrise. The stage was set with a grassy shoreline and a slick popping in the distance. After anchoring the boat, we got out and started slinging our topwaters. Garret was the first with a blow-up, but the trout missed twice. I had the second blow up and made a followup cast to catch a rat red. After a few more blow-ups and catching another undersized redfish, we decided to go to the flounder hole. The flounder hole is nothing more than a deep gut or drain in-between two flats. The flounder are always there, it’s just a matter of if they’re willing to eat. When we got there the tide was moving strong, which is a crucial part of flounder fishing. After an unsuccessful hour went by, Cade finally hooked into one of the slimy flatfish. I was next shortly after and then Garret followed-up with a pretty chunky flounder. I boxed one more then the bite seemed to stop. We then tried a couple of the back pockets of the surrounding flat. Garret got hooked up with a decent red, but he pulled loose and couldn’t get the job done. We fished the rest of the shoreline but it just wasn’t happening. We packed up and made a run back to the shoreline we fished that morning. With the sun up the visibility was good, so I buzzed down a piece of the shoreline after I made sure there were no fishermen or boats there. The water was clear over the grass which gave me the hunch that the fish were in the stained water of the outer Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

ledge where the slick popped this morning. After not seeing a single redfish on the shoreline I drove the boat to the ledge in

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

the stained water and began drifting. Garret was the first to hook up. With a little team effort, I netted his 23 inch redfish, which was a perfect addition to the cooler. Cade was the next to get a hit but his fish was undersize. Then I followed with a similar sized fish. I guess Cade and I weren’t as lucky as Garret. We continued fishing but couldn’t seem to trick any more reds into biting a piece of plastic, so we packed up and headed for the boat ramp. I am looking forward to taking “the jet” duck hunting this winter, but until then, I’ll continue to use it for short trips to West Bay. These ventures work out great when I don’t have the time to get down to the middle coast, therefore, my new boat has saved many weekends that otherwise would have been fishless. So, even if you can’t go to your favorite fishing grounds, settle for the second best and just go fishing.

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 49





Wi h the With h supplemental l reopening of the red snapper season on October 1, 2010, it got me to thinking about tactics and targeting what is arguably the signature fish of the western Gulf of Mexico. I have had the good fortune to fish with some of whom I consider the best red snapper fisherman to ever wet a hook and have learned much from just watching them work. The first thing that hinders most people is their choice of tackle. To this day I have customers show up bright and early with a rod and reel outfit that was designed for trout and redfish, stating that they like to use it for snapper because it’s a lot more fun. After losing a few fish to their inadequate tackle they are quick to switch over to mine. If you have ever heard the saying, “never take a knife to a gun fight,” you will quickly understand the meaning of that adage when you tie into a large snapper over big structure. My minimum choice of tackle is a 40 to 50 class 7-foot rod with 50lb test line and a quality lever drag reel – even then I will get my hat handed to me on occasion. Realistically, if you can present the bait with a little subtlety and feel the bite, don’t be afraid to go a little heavy

50 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

if you are targeting large snapper. Yes it is fun to catch a large fish on light tackle, but that just doesn’t fit into the reality of fishing for large reef fish. The best bait, rigging and presentation, for red snapper can be debated to no end, but what I have found to be most successful is using no leader at all; rigging directly to my mainline. If fishing fairly sticky structure I’ll go no heavier than 100lb test leader and as light a weight as I can get away with. I use a simple single hook setup preferring a single egg weight located just above the bait. I simply run the line through the weight and then loop it back through the hole again to prevent it from sliding up the line as the bait falls. I will often use 1 to 2 ounces of weight if the current will allow rarely going heavier than 4 ounces. I often ask my customers if they have ever fished on a party boat. If their answer is yes, I just smile real polite and say, “OK forget everything they taught you.” If you are wanting to target the larger fish, avoid the old standard double drop rig with a heavy bank sinker on the end. Yes it will catch lots of

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 51


and current will ultimately dictate just how much weight you must use but I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stress enough that you will be better served to focus on using as little as possible in any given scenario. My primary bait choices for sow snapper would be either live pinfish or Spanish sardines. Cigar minnows are equally as effective as the sardines but not to a point that they justify the expense. As far as squid goes; I know Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get an argument out of someone over this but I have always felt that squid consistently catches small fish. Their advantage is that they are harder for a fish to strip from the hook, but an equally The author prefers a single drop rig rather than traditional double drop on left. Note leader is talented angler fishing sardines will threaded through egg weight to hold it in place. consistently outfish one with squid. Positioning the boat above a given piece of structure is just another critical step in a successful day. fish and the occasional sow, but you will quickly realize the benefit I personally find more success in drifting or motor fishing a spot of light weight and a subtle bait presentation if you will just let and rarely anchor when fishing for snapper. I always felt that in go of the mindset that you need to go down as fast as you can to most occasions as a guide that anchoring was just a way of being get to the fish. Jigs such the famed Snapper Slapper are deadly lazy and only aided in making my job easier. I prefer to work a spot on just about any reef species, just follow the same philosophy. from all sides and find that any given spot can vary from day to Keep it as light as you can and still get it down to the fish. Depth

particular spot. Fishing for quality Red snapper is as much an Art as it is a science and many times the one thing that that any given angler has over another is nothing more that location. Any one of us can improve our success on even the most popular spots if we just keep varying our presentation and keep our minds open to trying new tactics. The one thing I have learned in fishing is that even to oldest dog can learn new tricks.

day, moving around gives me the ability to check the bite from all angles . Fish your way down if, you’re seeing fish at 40 feet start there don’t get stuck in the old habit of going to the bottom to start fishing. Often the larger fish will be the highest in the water column. As you move or drift away from the apex of the structure you may want to keep fishing deeper, and never assume that just because you’re not marking fish that there not off the spot out in the mud. Vary your presentation and depth and you will often find the fish will do something consistent, and the better fish will become fairly predictable, at least for the moment on that

52 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing


Landing sow snapper consistently requires heavier tackle. Rods and reels such as the lower of the two shown are simply not up to the task.

Captain Mike Jennings is a professional charter captain with more than 25 years offshore experience. Mike is the owner/ operator of Cowboy Charters in Freeport TX and is known locally for running further and fishing harder for his clients. Telephone 979-864-9439 Email Website

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

.QZ[\-^MZ<M`I[8ILLTM1V Attention all paddlers! Come join us October 16th for a day of fun and camaraderie as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trails. The day will begin with a group launch at the LHL park on Highway 361 around 8:30 am. The group will paddle to a designated location for a catered beach lunch scheduled for 11:30. Or if you prefer to paddle on your own you can obtain the coordinates of the lunch and meet the group there. Following lunch and a raffle the group will paddle back to the launch. The round-trip paddling distance is approximately 8 miles.

You can join in on the fun for free, but for $25 you can get a commemorative t-shirt as well as lunch and a shot at some nice raffle prizes. For more information or to sign up, contact Jennifer Thomas of Slowride Guide Service in Aransas Pass at 361-758-0463.








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Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 53



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Bimini Bay Outfitters has done it again! Along with their extensive line of lures, tackle and accessories, Bimini has just introduced the latest in lightweight deck footwear, Marlin Deck Boots. Unlike heavy, uncomfortable rubber boots, Marlin Deck Boots are constructed of proprietary closed cell DuPont® EVA foam. They are hands down the lightest, most comfortable, waterproof deck books you will ever slide your feet into. An orthotic footpad support, three ankle bars and


How? Cover it. A high quality cover equals protection. It’s that simple. UV, moisture, salt, heat, dirt. All enemies of the marine environment, and particularly the salt water environment.

bioline is the first, 100 percent biodegradable fishing line on the market. Made from a special formula of poly(butylene succinate) or PBS, bioline is engineered to retain its strength and durability for the first 10-12 months of use and then completely degrade in water or on land within five years. Standard monofilament fishing line lasts over 600 years.

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four instep-guard bars provide comfort and protection. Tested and approved by pros, Marlin Deck Boots feature non-skid, non-marking soles, safe for any deck finish, and available in white, navy and green. We guarantee you won’t find a lighter and more comfortable deck boot! To find a dealer near you, visit the company’s extensive website.

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54 October 2010 /

Bioline performs as well as monofilament with outstanding abrasion and knot strength while having the clarity of fluorocarbon. bioline is the choice for weekend warriors and top anglers looking for a more earth-friendly alternative.

For more information about Eagle Claw bioline, contact us at 720-941-8700 or visit the

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!



The Hackberry Hustler is a versatile and highly effective soft-plastic bait. This unique bait features a flat belly and an upturned paddle tail, which makes it swim straight and true - even when not perfectly rigged on a jighead. The Hustler’s jointed body gives the tail section a vicious swimming action that is unmatched in any other soft-plastic. This bait can’t be beat for sight-casting reds and is fantastic when worked over current-swept structure for hungry speckled trout and flounder. The Hustler is available NOW in several independent retailers and Academy locations throughout Texas. For tips and tricks about rigging and fishing the Hustler, check out the videos section on the TTF website at: www.

6SLGHUZLUHŠ 6XSHU0RQRŒ;;; Monofilament line has long been the standard in fishing, Spiderwire® has established the standard in strong, thin and sensitive lines. Combine these two and the fishing world is in for a big surprise. The improved formula of Spiderwire Super Mono™ XXX takes an already marketleading strength per diameter, and improves shock strength by 15% -- without increasing stretch! With an additional new color that is perfect in stained water, Brown Recluse, Super Mono XXX will be a hit whether on a favorite bass pond or casting to pompano off of the beach.

YETI Coolers, manufacturers of ultradurable, super-insulated premium coolers for serious outdoor enthusiasts, introduces a new 50 quart model to its popular Tundra Series. The 50 quart YETI Tundra is different with its deeper, cube-shaped design as opposed to the more traditional rectangle. The smaller footprint takes up less valuable deck space and makes an ideal casting platform, seat and food and drink cooler. This spring, watch for YETI Coolers in action on North American Fisherman TV. The new YETI Tundra 50 measures 24 ¼”L x 17 ½ “W x 18”H and is available in white and desert Tan with an MSRP of $299.99. For more information on the entire line of YETI Coolers and to find a YETI dealer near you visit YETI Coolers – Wildly stronger! Keep ice longer! 512-394-9384

With diameters two to three times smaller than other monofilament lines of the same pound test, Spiderwire Super Mono XXX has improved its manageability and flexibility along with the shock strength, giving anglers a tough monofilament strong enough to be called Spiderwire.

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 55



After a month of some of the easiest fishing I can ever recall on Sabine Lake, I struggled to put together a consistent program in DICKIE COLBURN late August and the first week or Dickie Colburn is a full time guide two of September. It was a little out of Orange, Texas. Dickie has puzzling in that we could find 37 years experience guiding on nothing to blame it on. Sabine and Calcasieu Lakes. Another round of thunder storms drove us off the lake early Telephone today and while we live in fear of 409-883-0723 a late season hurricane or runoff Website from T-Bend and Rayburn, local rains are usually welcomed. We have enjoyed a few mock cold fronts ushered in on north winds that blew a little water out of the marshes and we are seeing more shrimp in the lake every day. Surface temperatures continue to ease down and the water clarity is unusually good for this time of the year. The gulls and terns are once again ratting out mixed schools of trout and reds all the way from Blue Buck to East Pass, but there is a better bite for anglers willing to work at it a little.

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Easily the two best patterns for catching larger trout this month will be crankbaiting the revetment walls and the rocks protecting Willow Bayou and targeting slicks in two to four feet of water. Basically the same lures work for exploiting both patterns, but we generally catch larger fish with tails when fishing the slicks than we do around the rocks. The beauty of fishing either pattern this month is that the bite can explode any time of the day and on occasion lasts all day. An incoming tide is especially good and the presence of schools of finger mullet can seal the deal. Super Spooks and She Dogs worked tight to the rocks can be deadly, but the most consistent producers are Catch 2000’s, MirrOdine XL’s, and Swimming Images. Not always, but more often than not, our trout slick up on the shallow flats better during the afternoon hours as the water continues to cool down. You can’t be in both places at the same time, but it is a tossup as to which end of the lake to target these oily hotspots. I love the flats behind the islands on the north end, but I have enjoyed some memorable days running back and forth between Blue Buck and the Causeway reef pocket. We generally start working slicks with a topwater or suspending bait, but they have to produce quickly or we will switch to a 5-inch tail before they have time to do their thing. Wind permitting, we

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SABIN E Jimmy Osborne with nice trout taken off the rocks.

spinner baits and small crankbaits, fishing the submerged grass with ust topwaters and weedless jerk baits or just anchoring up at the mouth of a bayou and fishing finger mullet on a Carolina rig. bi Most of my live bait fishing is done iin th the SSabine River over the next two months and I fish with finger mullet and shad exclusively. For years, strictly out of laziness, I have made do with one of my CastAway Skeleton rods that were not designed for this type fishing, but not this year! Gena Box Young, the hands-on President of CastAway, recently managed to incorporate her bass fishing background into a saltwater rod and she hit a home run. Convinced that most saltwater rods were just a little too wimpy to suit her taste, she helped design a limited series of rods with a faster action without sacrificing the benefits of titanium. I chose the faster seven foot MC7F to better cope with the wind when fishing larger topwaters and Corkys and it surpassed my expectations. The unexpected bonus, however, has been the advantage it provides when fishing live bait as there is far less flex on the hook set. Wimpy, it is not! I don’t look for the stripers to show up this early, but we have done very well on flounder of late. A five fish limit has come pretty quickly and we quit fishing for them as soon as we limit rather than risk injuring or killing another fish. A great day on the water is never measured in pounds!

rig the tail on a 1/8 ounce Assassin Pro Elite head and swim it just beneath the surface. Assassin’s Texas Shad and MirrOlure’s soft mullet in morning glory, pumpkin-chartreuse, and opening night usually get the first shot. It is not at all unusual to find yourself in the middle of multiple slicks once the fish start feeding and each one often produces several trout before blowing out. Aside from long casts with the right color, the key to maximizing this bite is to stay off the troll motor as much as possible. Wading will remedy the noise problem, but it limits your mobility when following fish on the move. By the middle of this month there will be no “wrong program” or “wrong lure” if wrestling with redfish is your bag. It can’t get much better than it is right now, but the patterns will get more diversified. You can catch them under the birds, working the shoreline with

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Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 57

MICKEY Everyone knows that late August and early September can find us still suffering dogday weather and slow fishing, Mickey Eastman is a full-time but I am pleased to report we fishing guide out of Baytown, have been enjoying better TX. Mickey has 26 years guiding than average catching across experience on the Galveston the Galveston Bay System. Of area bays and is the founder course weather can jack with of Gulf Coast Troutmasters, any pattern, and here the last the largest speckled trout tournament series of all time few days we’ve been getting a good old-fashioned drenching from Tropical Storm Hermine. Contact In general, though, I’d say it Mickey Eastman’s Guide Service has been pretty good. There Telephone has been some early bird 281-383-2032 action and decent shoreline wade action along with good concentrations of trout on well pads and reefs. The ship channel has been fairly steady too. Pretty much all of East Bay and Trinity Bay are holding good numbers of trout and redfish, so it’s looking like everything should be coming together for good fishing through

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the balance of September and all of October, barring of course any nasty tropical developments. The freshwater problem experienced in Trinity during early summer is now behind us and the salinity in the upper bay is about back to normal. Local rains should help attract lots of teal to our coastal marshes. From an ecology viewpoint, I’d say we’re real good shape as long as Hermine does not flood us out again. Trinity Bay is already showing typical early-fall patterns. Most fish are moving up the channel and then following the bait into the northern reaches of the bay where they kind of concentrate for the fall and early winter before it gets too cold. Then they will fall back down to the south end. The patterns of old are pretty much going to pay off for this year too. A lot of people are going to look for diving gulls and work those birds to get their numbers of trout. I’m looking forward to some really good fall wade fishing; I think we’re going to have a good shallow fall. Shrimp crops and shad populations are way up. The fish are hanging close to the bait and therefore easy to pattern, however I think there days when the bait is so thick the fish aren’t too anxious to take a lure. If you’re not in the right area on the right school of fish when they decide to light it up for 30 to 40 minutes, then you are going to lose out and will have to grind around the rest of the day to get your fish. I don’t think we

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GALVESTO ON have the amount of fish we should have by this time of year; we are still running behind by about a month as far as migration habits through the bay. Even so, Trinity Bay is A+. They are pouring in; slowly but surely. East Bay is loaded up with fish in the lower channel area. Even the well pads are still producing fish on the lower Galveston Channel. That’s unheard of for early September, yet they are still out there, a month later than normal. It seems the bulk of them are down in the lower Galveston and East Bays and parts of West Bay this year. The pass behind San Luis pass has been a little slow, though. It’s been a real off year down there. What is really odd is that the jetties are having their best speckled trout action of the year here in early September, which is usually more of a June or early July thing. I guess you live to see it all. The bull reds are reported to be holding just off the beach in about 20’ to 30’ of water and there are millions of them. It looks like the peak of the bull red run for nearshore and surf will be coming up around the fall equinox. Surf anglers should have a ball with them on the days when the wind and tides let the water clean up and settle down. Overall, the bay systems are in great shape. Our fall season is just now getting underway and if everything holds we should see an unbelievable October, November, and possibly December, depending on whether we are going to have a real cold winter

this year. Personally, I don’t look for a cold or wet winter. I think it is going to be a wade fisherman’s dream, especially this November and December.r. There ought to be some really solid troutt caught throughout the winter wade fishing season. For now, my go-to baits are soft plastics and I have been throwing a lot of the Big Nasty brand. I have also been trying out a new bait from MirrOlure called the Little John. This is a lightlyscented lure and the fish seem to like it so far. To be really honest though; if you’re on fish they all pretty much work. And if you’re not, they don’t. Some days the old reliable strawberry shrimptail with the white tip will put them in the boat as quick as any. So far, topwater action has just not happened; it’s sporadic at best. We will get a little schooling action on top, but most of the fish we are catching on topwater have been out of the boat, trollmotoring slicks and tide breaks, in 6 to 8 feet of water using Super Spooks, Top Dog Jrs, and such. I look forward to the topwater bite getting better in the fall, though, when we start our wade fishing in earnest. Gold spoons, such as the weedless Johnson Silver Minnow in 3/4 ounce are working real good on reds out of the boat. For now, fishing is good in lots of places around the Galveston Bay System and we should be in for a great fall season.


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Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 59

CAPT. BILL’S )LVK7DON As I write this we are getting pelted by the remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine. We are getting much needed rain and the best part is the storm Bill Pustejovsky is a full-time has cooled things off for us. guide at Matagorda, TX. Bill fishes year-round for The end of the dog days are a trout and redfish in all the joy each summer and this one Matagorda Bays. Wading and is no exception. When I was drifting for trophy trout and a kid I used to wish summer reds are his specialty. would never end but when you fish for a living you learn very Telephone quickly that scorching sun and 979-863-7353 blistering heat for weeks on Email end does not make for the best of fishing conditions. Website I look forward to the arrival of October. The cool, fresh air is always welcome and October is typically one of our most productive fishing months of the year. Water temperatures will decline steadily through the month and this always triggers better fishing opportunities. Important forage species for the trout and redfish will be making migrations. Shrimp will leaving the marshes

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and mullet and shad will be bunching up. Bird activity will be evident throughout the month as the trout and reds rip into the schools of bait and drive them to the surface. Gulls, terns and pelicans became active over schools of bait during the last week of August and this pattern will become more frequent through the rest of September and reach its annual peak sometime in late October and early November. With this rain from Hermine and the water temperatures already cooling; I’m expecting October to usher in some excellent fishing days. During this time of year our fish are like vacuum cleaners consuming about anything they can get in their mouths. The trout will be done spawning very soon and it almost seems like all the other creatures of the natural world they are looking to lay on some fat for the winter. In Octobers past we have found schools of hungry trout under birds while wading shorelines in knee to waist deep water shortly after daylight and then finished our day as we jumped in the boat to follow the action as it moved further offshore. While fishing from the boat and chasing birds, I always tell my fishermen to switch to heavier jig heads. Generally speaking, 1/16 and 1/8 ounce jigs are the ticket when you are wading but 1/4 and even sometimes 3/8 ounce will improve your chances for the better trout and reds that always seem to hang deeper as the smaller fish work up higher near the surface. When the action gets fast and furious I tell everybody to make sure and bring any faded or scarred up topwater plugs and any old faded plastics because when the frenzy starts they’ll hit just about anything. Soft plastics that were carelessly stored and have bled their colors into one another are just what the doctor ordered. Sometimes the weirdest mottled baits produce the best fish of the day. Most likely, the majority of my October fishing days will be spent over in East Matagorda Bay. If it happens to crowd up there or if somebody comes down with a raging case of redfish fever I’ll simply head over to West Matagorda Bay. We’ll have lots of options in October. For example, there will be plenty of bird action in both East or West Bay, the Diversion Channel is usually very good in October, depending the amount of rain and runoff there is always

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Justin Brock with a 25â&#x20AC;? redfish caught while wading West Matagorda Bay throwing Hot Chicken Bass Assassins.

the Colorado River, all the lakes off the ICW to include Austin and Oyster Lakes, there will be bull reds at the Matagorda Jetties, and

some may want to try their hand forr bull reds in the surf.. My bait choices will include Bass Assassins, ins, She Dogs, and Corkys in various colors. My favorite Assassin colors right now are plum/chartreuse, Hot Chicken, 10W40, and Chicken-on-a-Chain. Of course my topwater and Corky selections will include just about anything that has chartreuse on it. Texas Parks and Wildlife spring population surveys for trout in East Matagorda Bay were down somewhat while West Matagorda Bay jumped up just a tad. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m real curious to see how our fall fishing will turn out. Only time will tell. I know all bays on the Texas coast come and go in cycles; Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just concerned about our fisheries and believe reducing the trout limit to five fish per day would be a good thing. From the clamor I hear from fishermen all up and down the coast, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not the only guy that feels this way.

Until next time; good fishin and God bless. Capt. Bill


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Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 61




81 17*5 7/85( 6


October means different things surface, so keeping the bait high in the water column makes sense. to different folks. Some will Plus, I love the look on my customerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s faces when I first break out the CAPT. GARY GRAY be filling deer feeders and â&#x20AC;&#x153;bobbers.â&#x20AC;? Captain Gary and Captain Shellie checking game cameras while Let me tell you how this got started. Back when I was a little guy Gray fish year-round for trout others will be working on duck growing up in Seadrift we loved going to the head of the bay to and redfish in the Port Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connor/ blinds. To me it means fewer fish the birds. Our favorite bait was Ray Carvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s old Double Worm Seadrift area. Gary started his Bay fishermen on the water during Puzzler, but we also used anything we could find in my dadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tackle Rat Guide Service 20 years ago. The Grays specialize in wade and my favorite season. box. Since we knew very little about rigging lures I said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heck, put a drift fishing with artificial lures. The first puff of north cork on it.â&#x20AC;? Well, putting a cork over these lures worked so well that Gary and Shellie also team up to wind automatically turns my Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m still doing it today. And if you run into my dad at Charlieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bait fish many tournaments. thoughts to the bird action Camp; please donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tell him where all his Humps and Bingos went. that will be taking place in When fishing the birds, no matter where you are on the coast, San Antonio Bay. Hynes Bay, there are a couple of rules that apply. First â&#x20AC;&#x201C; When you find a flock of Telephone Guadalupe Bay and Mission gulls over a school of trout, never run into them with the big motor. 361-785-6708 Bay, the portions of the San Use your trolling motor for the last two hundred feet, or if you have Email Antonio Bay system that no trolling motor, cut the outboard and drift in. Second and most Website lie closest to the Guadalupe delta marshes, are where the action usually begins. As of early September there are Ryan Sellers with a solid red. already birds over schools of small specks and lots of gafftop. The trout size will increase dramatically over the next couple of weeks depending on the weather, meaning better trout will show under the birds as the water temps begin to drop and the fall shrimp migrations are in full swing. When fishing the birds you can rig any lure just about any way you like and catch plenty of fish when the bite is hot. My method is a little different in that it keeps the bait right in front of the fish, even for folks not accustomed to jigging soft plastics, and this helps them catch fish even during a slower bite. I like to suspend the baits about eighteen inches below a float and my favorite is the Bass Assassin Kwik Cork. The Kwik Cork makes a lot of slapping and clicking noise and this attracts fish at the same time it holds the bait in the feeding zone. The trout, you see, are pushing the shrimp to the








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Texas Saltwater Fishing

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Tyler Boaz and Zach Stalder with a pair of West Matagorda Bay reds.

important – Never horn in on another man’s birds. Give them room and quite often they will invite you to join the action. By now you have probably already deduced that it really doesn’t matter what color or style soft plastic you throw at fish that are gorging themselves on shrimp and shad under the birds. But if you want to change it up, try topwaters, you will have the time of your life

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throwing the She Dog, He Dog,, Top Dog Jr. and Top Pup. If I have talked you into trying ng topwaters, I’d like to ask that you ou please i l Th replace the treble hooks with singles. There are going to be undersized trout and some other species you may not want to take home for dinner and the single hooks will cause far less injury to the fish you will be releasing. Heck, Shellie and I even throw plugs with no hooks just to see the fish come up and smack them. It gets crazy watching three or four small trout fighting over the same plug. This may not be your cup of tea before you have your dinner fish iced down but it is a genuine hoot when you want to keep fishing and having fun after you have several in the box. In closing I would like to remind everyone of the upcoming duck seasons. Please be on the lookout for blinds and decoy spreads where folks are set up and hunting. Give them plenty of room whether you are drifting, wading or just motoring through. Good on-the-water etiquette is simply using commonsense and treating people the way you would like to be treated. If we can all learn to be on our best behavior all the time, we can all have a lot more fun on the water. Fish hard, fish smart!

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 63

HOOKED UP WITH 5RZVH\ A few northern winds have begun to blow in and although not cool yet, the hair on the back of my neck is already standing up in anticipation of DAVID ROWSEY cooler water temperatures, fall tides, birds working, and bait David Rowsey has 20 years migrations. I know most of you experience in the Laguna/Baffin guys and gals are shifting into region; trophy trout with artificial deer hunting mode just now, lures is his specialty. David has a great passion for conservation but I and a few other diehards and encourages catch and will be focused on the â&#x20AC;&#x153;otherâ&#x20AC;? release of trophy fish. big game animal of Texas â&#x20AC;&#x201C; giant speckled trout. In my Telephone opinion, the sportiest trophy 361-960-0340 the state has to offer. Website October being the transition month that it is, sometimes it gives us bounteous catches, and some days not. Paying close attention to approaching fronts and atmospheric pressure changes are keys to success in this area at this time of year. The prefrontal days are, hands down, my favorite to be on the water. The day or two following a front would be my least favorite but, having said that, recovery from frontal passage occurs much quicker in fall than in winter and early spring. The bait will really be on the move in October, utilizing any natural and manmade passes available. The ICW is a major corridor for migrations in our waters. Along the ICW are many spoil islands, guts leading from the flats, scattered rocks, drop offs, and sand bars that the trout and reds will be using them all as ambush spots to tag this mobile buffet. Although I am not much of a bird fisherman, October birds will get my attention, especially around the full or new moon. Gulls and pelicans are my trusted birds this time of year. Working gulls will usually get you in the neighborhood of moving trout, while I trust the pelicans more for the redfish schools that are still making their way to the Gulf. The water clarity continues to be â&#x20AC;&#x153;air clearâ&#x20AC;? in the Upper Laguna. It


3DP5D\_ 3DP 3 DP 5 5D\ D\__ 0 0LGFRDVW5HDO(VWDWH 0LGFRDVW LLG GFRDVW 5HDO 5HDO ( (VWDWH VWDWH_ _      64 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

is pretty to look at but makes sneaking up on fish really tough. Good eyesight, polarized glasses, and long accurate casts are essential. With the combination of clear water and record numbers of boats on the water, the schooling reds have been spooky but there are some giant schools out there that will provide world-class rod bending when you find them. If the wind happens to be cranking, do not let it keep you from going in search of these big reds; i.e. the cloudier the water the better your chance of not spooking them and getting multiple shots at these bruisers.

Don Haynes of Alamo Toyota in San Antonio with one of many upper slot reds caught on Bass Assassin Sea Shad.


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UPPE R L AGUNA / BAFFI N The majority of trout will remain to be up skinny in the mornings for quick feeds as long as it stays warm. After the sun has been up for a while you would be well advised to head out to four and six foot depths for continued action. It is hard on wade Walt Crowder of Tiki Island; fishermen like perfect tourney-class red on myself and 5-inch alewife Bass Assassin. clients, but sometimes you are just going to have to bite the bullet and fish out of the boat. That is not as bad as it seems if you are equipped with a Power Pole and a trolling motor. My fingers are crossed that we will have some late September and early October fronts that will start dropping the water temperatures back into the 70s and we can stay

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saturated all day in waist deep water with our knees banging off of crusty e. rock piles. We’ll just have to wait and see. Other than at first light, the topwater peful that bite has been less than desired. I am hopeful October’s cooler waters will prolong that action some; or a bunch. My mainstay continues to be the 5” Bass Assassin on 1/16 ounce screwlock jigs when wading, and 1/8 to 1/4 ounce when fishing from the boat. I have also been using the 1/8 ounce Pro Elite Series by Bass Assassin when wading. This new hook comes in many colors, and is of stout build. I have become a big fan of it. Most all of you know that I am a big Corky (Paul Brown Original by MirrOlure) fan, and if you don’t, I am telling you now. I just received a sampling of the new colors that they will be introducing very soon. I am not going to let the cat out of the bag but they are killer! With big trout season just around the corner, this is the time to plan ahead and you’re your dates for prime season. Many of you already have, and I am very grateful for your continued support and confidence. “The science of fishing can be had from books; the art is learned by the catching and losing of fish.” W. H. Blake – Brown Waters Set ‘em Loose. - Capt. David Rowsey

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 65


Capt. Tricia’s Skinny Water Adventures operates out of Port Mansfield, specializing in wadefishing with artificial lures. Telephone 956-642-7298 Email Website

Late summer brought us many classic days of light wind and extreme heat, but we also had to deal with crazy water levels and unprecedented amounts of freshwater runoff. The unusual conditions posed a challenge, but fortunately it was mostly all good and often even better than expected with a little work. This fall has several markings of being excellent, so it’s time to get

those waders ready for the real deal. There has been no shortage of small trout all summer. Almost every drop-off and deeper grass bed seemed to be loaded with undersized fish. Although there were some good topwater sessions during aggressive feeds, soft plastics on 1/8 ounce jigheads usually kept most folks busy. Limits for everybody were fairly common but you had to go through quite a few fish to make all of the legal marks. However, there were still some quality fish in the mix running in the five to seven pound range. There was really no secret to finding them as they were just all in there together, very common for summer. Redfish mostly stayed out over thigh to waist deep grassbeds and sand pockets, especially after about mid-morning depending on cloud cover. There were a few occasions when good groups of them moved onto the shallow sand, but deeper was usually more consistent. I got lucky and won first place redfish during the Ladies Kingfish Tournament by staying out deeper where the bigger fish had been

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and just grinding it out with tails. We should see more consistent activity in the shallows during the next couple of months as they make their yearly move towards the Gulf passes, and personally I can’t wait to walk into some of those exciting pods of waving tails. You can’t beat the pull, and just the sight of them can take your breath away. The biggest news has obviously been the extreme freshwater runoff, which eventually consumed almost the entire Laguna from the Island to the Land Cut. Virtually the whole west shoreline south of town was taken out of the equation, and we were left with very little water that was not horribly stained and sweet. Many areas we

Reds have been holding deeper over thigh to waist deep grassbeds.

normally wade were just too deep and standard patterns simply went out of play. We all had to adapt, and thank Heaven I have awesome clients willing to experiment. Hunting for new signs of where fish may have moved was half of the fun, and it paid off more than once and in some big ways. As always, we can’t be afraid of dirty water. If there is a showing of baitfish, especially with birds nearby, chances are that fish are nearby as well. It seems that with this freshwater also came an

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We are already seeing some great fish using some of the same areas they did during the fall of 2008.

unusual emergence of shrimp and crabs. Keying on slicks became the most obvious sign, and a major mistake many fishermen make is not taking advantage of what Nature is trying to tell us. Although all of the promising areas we checked didn’t pay off, several of them turned out awesome as apparently large numbers of fish

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were concentrating in certain areas. When you found them you usually found a lot of them…and some good he ones too. It makes sense that a few of the ng upper better areas were near the East Cut, along shorelines, and off drops near the Intracoastal where it was saltier down low. Some of the back areas came alive as well when the tides finally dropped. You just had to go look and be willing to try new things. As of this writing the runoff has finally stopped and water levels have returned to normal. It will take some time for the salinity to return to normal though, but if we are spared from any more tropical activity, this fall and winter should be quite exceptional. The last time we had a major freshwater event, after hurricane Dolly in 2008, both trout and reds stacked up near Port Mansfield in incredible numbers and size. Fishing was so good that it must have been like the old timers say it used to be. What I am looking forward to is after Labor Day when the crowds go back to civilization, when the fish return to the shallows, and life on the water becomes larger than life itself. We don’t really know what the aftermath will be after such an historic event, but we are already seeing some great fish using some of the same areas they did during the fall of 2008. All things go through cycles, and here’s looking forward to one of the better ones we’ve ever had.

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 67

SOUTH PADRE )LVKLQJ6FHQH If you read my previous two articles, you are well aware that we were inundated with freshwater which made fishing very unpredictable and A Brownsville-area native, tough to pattern day to day. Capt. Ernest Cisneros fishes Thankfully, fish movement and the Lower Laguna Madre from Port Mansfield to Port Isabel. feeding have become more Ernest specializes in wading predictable, and our catch and poled skiff adventures for numbers are increasing as the snook, trout, and redfish. bay waters are returning to near normal conditions. Lately, Cell finding a good trout bite has 956-266-6454 Website been easier than locating redfish. With the bait population in a very healthy state, the trout are out in full force. The best trout catching has been around areas with a distinct watermelon aroma, where the morning sunrise exposes the presence of feeding trout in oily slicks on the surface. Not only have the numbers of trout caught been on the Midday bite delivered a personal best for this angler. exceptional side, but the size and quality of the trout have also been outstanding considering the present elevated water temperatures. Our go-to bait continues to be plastic tails worked slowly near the bottom. The trout action is already good and will only get better as the water temperatures drop with shorter hours of daylight and reduced daytime air temperatures. Don’t be discouraged if the redfish have been

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a bit hard to find lately. There are a few schools around, but finding them has been more of a hit-or-miss. Most have been scattered on shorelines and shallow grass flats. But even on days when we have found them a bit more concentrated on the flats, there was no guarantee they would be there the next day. Still, we will continue to find most of our fish in the shallows this month. Shallow back bays that contain a bottom mixture of mud, grass and shell will be excellent areas to find hungry redfish. Don’t rule out the tailing action just yet, as we have historically done well this time of year. One thing for sure is that October’s conditions will bring a massing of redfish as they begin to school up and prepare for their fall run. Known as the “bull redfish run,” this gathering is when they start getting ready to spawn. The drop in water temperatures from October cold fronts will bring magic to the bays, causing the slot reds to also concentrate and feed aggressively. It’s no bull when I say there are great things in store for Lower Laguna anglers. All things considered, on a scale of one to ten, fishing is probably a seven right now. When conditions make finding a bite difficult and the scale drops below a seven, there are two ingredients that help bring a productive day. One, be willing to wait for the bite to turn on (tidal movement has everything to do with it). Return a second time to spots where you couldn’t score a bite but that you know contain fish; you may find them hungry and eager to bite on a second go around as the tide begins to flow. Two, make it happen even when the fish don’t want to bite. By that, I mean be committed to working your bait

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Author’s son, Aaron, with a beautiful 28-incher, C&R.

the way it should swim even after throwing a couple hundred times and not even getting a bite. During the summer, I fished with such a group, and there was one angler who clearly stood out. Lockjaw

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was not in his vocabulary; it did not exist. He waded, casted, and naturally worked his bait more so than any of us. He was the one that went furthest from the boat at each stop and was the last one to hop on as we tried desperately to find a bite. At each stop, he made it happen, catching either one or two fish while we slowly gave in to fatigue and discouragement. He had one thought on his mind: to find and fool any fish that would mistake his bait for its next meal. He did not slow down even when he was obviously becoming tired. He was going to make it happen, and he did. At the end of the day, he was clearly the most deserving and better angler. Making it happen, especially during a slow bite, will put you a step above the rest at the end of the day. In closing, October is the month when boat traffic begins to diminish. Some anglers go hunting and some hang up their rods until spring believing the year’s best fishing has passed. For those that fish year round, we know that the best is yet to come. Come see what it’s all about, and let’s make it happen.

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 69

)LVKLQJ5HSRUWVDQG)RUHFDVWV IURP%LJ/DNHWR%RFD&KLFD Lake Calcasieu Louisiana Jeff and Mary Poe - Big Lake Guide Service - 337 598 3268 October is one of the best months of the year to catch a lot of speckled trout. We catch fish throughout the entire estuary and the weather should be reliable and comfortable. Trout and redfish will be found under birds from the south end of Big Lake all the way to Lake Charles. Best baits to throw are shrimp imitations. We usually stick to H&H Salty Grubs & Beetles, MirrOlure Minnows, Norton Sand Eels, and Deadly Dudley’s. Good colors are glow, clear/metal flake, chartreuse, avocado, and opening night. Topwaters are good when fish are seen hitting the surface. Bone, white, and chartreuse are some of our best colors. If birds are not your thing, oyster reefs in Big Lake and on the edge of the ship channel will hold good numbers of fish. Soft plastics are the best choice for lots of fish, but topwaters and suspending baits are the way to go for larger trout. MirrOlure Catch 2000s do extremely well at this time of year. The best colors are those that resemble mullet. Chrome/black, chrome/green, and bone are our favorites.

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays Randall Groves - Groves Guide Service - 979 849 7019 - 979 864 9323 Fishing has been good in Randall’s area despite a persistent high tide. “On some days, the redfish are literally in the grass. We went up into a slough the other day that is normally too shallow. Water in there was two and a half feet deep and we were seeing the reds in the grass, where there normally is no water. It’s hard to catch ‘em then. Trout fishing has been easier. We’re still finding lots of small males on the sand and grass, but our bigger fish seem to have moved to the shell. We’re catching and releasing at least one, up to about three, over twenty five inches on most days. With these high tides, most of the bite is in the shallowest water around. The fish seem to be herding the bait to those areas. October sets up great. We’ll get cooler water and the bait migrations will start. Lure fishing should pick up. Topwaters usually work well when the fronts start rolling in. That should be fun. This Laguna Extreme Wader 2 rod I’m using now is perfect for small plugs like Spook Juniors.”

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay - James Plaag Silver King Adventures - - 409 935 7242 As of the time of this report, fishing patterns hadn’t changed much in Galveston, according to James. “Caught a bunch on an old well pad in Lower Galveston Bay the other day. Fifteen feet of water. It’s a little late for that pattern, but I tried two other pads after the first one and they had plenty of fish too. Fishing at the jetties has been on fire, and that’s a little bit strange for this time of year. With this storm rolling in and these high tides, things are probably about to change. Usually, come October, you can pretty much catch ‘em however you want to. There will be birds working in all the bays, and the slicks over shell stuff will produce when they aren’t. Wading will start to become more and more productive, especially if the tide stays high. Topwater bite picks up; the old Top Dogs will work great this month. And we still have a shot at a tarpon. If the weather allows us to get out there, the fish are available. Some of the biggest fish of the year are caught in the end of September and the first week of October, including the state record.”

Matagorda - Tommy Countz Bay Guide Service - 979 863 7553 cell 281 450 4037 October is the month that arguably made fishing in the Matagorda area famous, according to Tommy. “We will start to focus more of our effort in East Bay in October. This month usually offers several good options for trout over there. Wading the reefs, drifting the deep shell, wading the shoreline coves and following the flocks of birds all produce quality fish this month. In some years, the coves are full of reds too. If the birds attract too much attention, and the crowds start to grow too large, I like to try and find some action away from the people, especially on weekends. Often, birds are working in areas that most people forget, like lakes along the ICW and even in West Bay. If the birds aren’t working in West Bay, fishing can still be great. The maze of coves and shorelines on the south side usually hold plenty of reds and school trout. Topwaters fished on the grass beds early in the morning will get attention from both. Later, once we switch over to soft plastics, we normally throw in a few nice flounder to boot. This month is definitely a winner.”

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service - 409 996 3054 Jim will be hunting both the south and central zones for doves throughout October, and expects continued hot shooting. “Just had a great opener for the dove season, and it looks like we’re going to have a consistent year. Fishing has been steady too. We’re catching limits on some days, with near limits on the slower ones. Had a couple of twenty seven inch trout recently, a couple more twenty fives and lots of solid three and four pounders. Still fishing out in the middle mostly as of now, but we’re about to hit the time of change on that. We’ll have lots of good wadefishing opportunity on the shorelines in October. The marsh should fill up with fish too if we get some bull tides. The reds are typically thick in the back lakes this month, whereas right now they are out in the middle. There are some schools of over sized fish out there, and on the calmer days it’s not that hard to find them and stay with ‘em for a while. We’re catching pretty good on topwaters already, and that action will heat up as the weather cools down too.”

Palacios - Capt. Aaron Wollam - 979 240 8204 Redfish have dominated our catches over the last couple of weeks. Constant southwest winds have put a damper on fishing the wells for trout, but fishing for reds has been outstanding. Over a two week period, we caught and released over one hundred slot fish. Live shrimp under popping corks has been the ticket. Area bayous and back lakes have been good on incoming and outgoing tides; as long as the water is moving, the fish have been cooperating. On the few days when we were able to fish the wells, we did pretty good, catching lots of small slot trout with most fish between fifteen and eighteen inches. I look for next month to be outstanding. The heavy rains we’ve had this summer were good for the bays. They flushed lots of shrimp and shad out of the marshes, so bird activity this fall should be unbelievable. South Bay between the channel and Turtle Bay, and East Bay between the bayou shoreline and Palacios Point will be good spots to search for picking flocks.

70 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

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Port O’Connor - Lynn Smith - Back Bay Guide Service - 361 983 4434 Chasing herds of redfish along area shorelines will be a priority for Lynn in October. “It’s a great month to chase the schooling reds. We focus on sandy shorelines with grass beds and throw topwaters, mostly Spook Juniors. All of the area shorelines in Espiritu Santo, San Antonio and West Matagorda Bays offer potential, and when the tides get high, I even like to go further south, into Mesquite and Ayers Bays. Fishing down there along sandy, grassy shorelines with guts is great in early fall. Of course, wherever you go, it’s not just a redfish thing. There are some big trout mixed in with the reds in many of these places. In fact, we’re already seeing some bigger than average trout lurking on these shallow shorelines already. The shell in San Antonio Bay has lots of eating sized trout lately, and that should hold true throughout October too. The other option is often to hit the flocks of working birds. On weekdays, that plan can work out great for easy limits of one and a half to three pound trout.” Rockport - Blake Muirhead Gator Trout Guide Service - 361 790 5203 - 361 441 3894 Dove hunting will share the spotlight with fishing for Blake in October. “The dove season is off to a fantastic start, and the action should be steady all through October. When that’s over, duck season will crank up. With all the rain and fresh water we had in spring and summer, the marsh lakes are full of grass. That’s always good for duck season, so I expect good action when that rolls around. The marshes are also full of shrimp this year, so the fishing potential for October is great too. We fish shorelines in San Antonio, Mesquite, St. Charles and Aransas bays a lot this time of year, focusing on sand and grass. The topwater bite is usually good; in fact, it’s been better than average most of the year. We will likely be able to key on seagull activity in pretty shallow water if the tides stay high like they are. The hovering flocks will help us locate both trout and redfish. If the tide gets really high, it can be better to target shell reefs. Sometimes, when a bull tide stays around, the shallow parts of the reefs pay off with the best action.” Padre Island National Seashore Billy Sandifer - Padre Island Safaris - 361 937 8446 We will be dodging lunar high tides and cold fronts throughout October but when you get the timing right it is some of the best fishing of the year. Large numbers of jack crevalle will be cruising, feeding on finger mullet. Brown pelicans wheeling and diving will lead you to the jacks. Slot and oversized redfish are in good supply, as are sharks, Atlantic bluefish, Spanish mackerel, whiting and Atlantic pompano. Any artificial will work on the jacks. Short wire leaders are necessary for the Spanish mackerel and small silver spoons and jigs work as well as anything. There will usually be bird activity associated with both species. Fresh, peeled, dead shrimp and Fishbites will excel for Florida pompano and whiting. Sharks can be quite close to the water’s edge and we often sight-cast them but to do so you must have a thawed baitfish ready and a leader and hook at the ready on your rod. Beware of strong east or northeast winds as they stack the water high on the beach Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut Robert Zapata – - 563 1160 Fishing continues to be good in our part of the Laguna Madre. The redfish continue to run in schools, but the schools are decreasing in size. I believe that part of the reason for the schools decreasing in size is because of boaters charging at the schools with their outboards and making quick casts as the schools run from the noisy motors. Greater success with the redfish schools will come by approaching the schools with a trolling Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

motor. Four inch Berkley Gulp Shrimp rigged on eighth ounce Spring Lock Jig heads have been working better for me. This action will probably continue throughout the fall. The water in Baffin Bay has begun to lose its clarity, but the structure is still visible. Speckled trout will continue to be in two to three feet of water early in the morning, and then move out to deeper water as the sun gets higher in the sky. I’m still using croakers and piggy perch but the piggy perch are working better for me and in October, piggy perch will be the best bait to use in close proximity to the big pods of mullet. Joe Mendez – - 361 937 5961 High tides and cooling water temperatures open up shallow water options in October, Joe reports. “If we get the typical bull tides after the equinox, there will be lots of water in the knee-deep range in which to search for redfish and trout. The water down south around Baffin and further south is not as clear as it was a month or two ago, so I might be staying up north around the JFK more if that stays true. The bait should be migrating through the area, and schools of reds and trout will be trying to stay with them. The water up here is crystal clear, so fish are easy to see when they are shallow, as long as the sun is out and there’s some breeze to take the glare off the surface. Grassy flats in the Boat Hole area, along both side of Emmord’s and Beacroft’s holes, and sand bars along the ICW all hold excellent potential for sightcasting redfish and trout. The reds are generally bigger, but we usually see at least a few long trout too. Using light jigheads when the fish are shallow helps in keeping the lure up and out of the grass.” Port Mansfield – Terry Neal – – (956) 944 2559 With the beginning of fall just weeks around the corner, we are all trying to figure out what it will have in store for us. Nobody I know has ever seen the Lower Laguna Madre holding as much freshwater as it is right now. October and November should be very interesting. If there is live bait available it shouldn’t be a problem catching lots of redfish and some good trout. The west shoreline seems to be a constant producer of late as is the East Cut. Once you find the fish, stay there. The more salt you find the better chance of finding the fish. Be on the lookout for birds, they are good indicators that there is bait in the area and bait leads to fish. October and November are also great months to mix cast-n-blast wingshooting with fishing as doves and ducks migrate through the southern coastal region. Remember to keep only what you can eat fresh and release the rest. We have future generations of fishermen coming who would love to enjoy the same sport that we do. Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel Janie and Fred Petty – – (956) 943 2747 Bay waters seem to be slowly clearing, although there’s still less than average amounts of high salinity, which is threatening the grasses of the LLM and impeding our tackle with huge floats of turtle grass. Where the water flow is deeper or obstructed, the levels of brackish water differ and what seems to be brown tide is also present. We’ve had perfect outgoing tides in the mornings, which is just how the redfish and flounder like it. The trout bite has slowed a little from last month, but we’re still limiting more often than not. We continue to have more luck throwing Cajun Thunder cigar corks with a twelve inch leader and quarter ounce jigheads with glow, new penny and pearl white Gulp three inch shrimp. Freddy says, “We’re constantly trying other lures, such as topwaters and spoons, but the Cajun Thunders continue to out-produce the rest, although Precision Tackle half ounce gold weedless spoons will work just as well in herds.” We always look forward to this time of year, hoping the fall season will bring more easier catching.

Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 71

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

Gene-Paul Herrera Sabine Lake - 4lb redfish

Kevin & Dwayne Jeter San Louis Pass - 39” black drum

Mark Leach Galveston Bay - 40” red drum

Stephen Platz Packery Channel - 31” 8lbs redfish

Noe Aleman Laguna Madre - 31” redfish Chance DeLoach Surfside Jetty - 45” bull red

Wally Fabela Brownwood Flats - 37” first bull red!

Anthony Carlos Sabine Pass - 76” 103lb wahoo Gage Cornett Espirtu Santo Bay - 21” redfish

Sabrina Hensley Shoalwater Flats - first keeper redfish!

72 October 2010 /

Jeff Hattrup Kemah Boardwalk - 40-45lb black drum C&R

Texas Saltwater Fishing

Michael Simmons Bayou Vista - 24” redfish

Paige Fleming West Bay - 2.3lb first keeper trout!

John Freytag Port O’Connor - 41” bull red

Joe Lowicz 7 Mile Rock - 30” red snapper Cora McCartney Rockport - first redfish!

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Jillian Smith Mitchellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cut - 39â&#x20AC;? redfish

Marcus & Amber Molina Laguna Atascosa - 22â&#x20AC;? redfish & 22â&#x20AC;? trout

Cristian Villanueva Copano Bay

Bradyn Simon Moses Lake - 24â&#x20AC;? redfish

Arthur Toscano Port Aransas - tarpon

Emily Whorton Port Aransas - 20â&#x20AC;? first redfish!

Isidro Sandoval Mustang Island - 52â&#x20AC;? cobia

Cailyn & Ryan McComb Port Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connor - 43â&#x20AC;? red

Robert & Stephanie Perez San Antonio - 40-42â&#x20AC;? reds

Criselda Villanueva Copano Bay

Talitha Allee Port Aransas - 19â&#x20AC;? speck & 21â&#x20AC;? red

David Schmidt Seadrift - 27â&#x20AC;? trout


Robert Wang Galveston - bull red C&R

Ethan Whorton with sons Grant & Logan Port Aransas - 27â&#x20AC;? redfish

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Texas Saltwater Fishing


Taylor Atkinson Corpus Christi - 29” 7lb 2 oz trout

David Niemeier Rockport - first redfish!

Madison Oneal 28” red

Jennifer Couch Charlies - 25” red

Jeffrey Paul Riojas 15” redfish

Scott Bauman Matagorda Bay - 31” red

Victoria Niemier Rockport - gafftop

Christy Teichelman 29” redfish

Johnny Guzman Nueces Bay - 28.25” trout

Ivan Flecha Caravela Lake - redfish

Anna Woodruff ICW - 20.5” first keeper red!

Kyle Novak Lavaca Bay - 26” redfish

David Ornelas 28lb jack, first fish! 74 October 2010 /

Vicky Rust Port O’Connor - 42” bull red Texas Saltwater Fishing

Shayne Wollam Tres Palacious Bay

Gustavo Servin Lighthouse Trails - 24” red

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Ryan Gilbert Emmords Hole - 27.5” redfish

Tanner Mitchell San Bernard River - first red!

Marisa Millman Capt Lee Roy Biondo Galveston - prize winning black drum Port O’Connor - 25lb black drum

Amy Osina Port O’Connor - 27.5” red Marissa Jo Barnett & Dad dreaming of fishing…

Robbin Appleby Seadrift - 26.5” redfish

Cody Marcus San Luie Pass - 34” drum Adam Brockhan High Island - 41” bull red

Blake Boudreaux Rockport - speckled trout, first fish!

Robert Garcia Baffin Bay - 28” trout

Matthew Millman Port O’Connor - 39” bull red

Colt Ericson Galveston Jetty - 38.5” bull red Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

Cole Hilliard Matagorda - 26.5” 5.25lb trout Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 75



&UHDP\'RYHDQG6KULPSZLWK1RRGOHV PAM JOHNSON Got ideas, hints or recipes you’d like to share? Email them to or send by fax: 361-785-2844

October finds lots of fishermen wandering the fields for doves and bay shrimpers are making some of their best catches of the year. This was my inspiration for creating a spicy dish that included dove breasts and shrimp. The combination turned out delicious and has become a favorite way to celebrate the bounty of the fields, sky and bays around our dinner table.

Ingredients: 10 dove breasts, filleted into medallions 30 shrimp tails (20-count) peeled and deveined 3 tablespoons jalapeño pepper, remove seeds and chop 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic 1 medium onion, halved and sliced into rings 1 package cream cheese 2 cups chicken broth 2 tablespoons olive oil 6 strips thin sliced bacon 1 package egg noodles

Method: -Fry bacon very crispy, set aside to cool, crumble. -Add dove breast medallions and shrimp to skillet and sauté in bacon drippings until fully cooked. -Remove shrimp and dove from skillet and set aside. -Add olive oil, onion, garlic and jalapeño to skillet, sauté until onion becomes opaque, add bacon crumbles and continue cooking for one minute. -Add cream cheese and chicken broth, cook until mixture becomes smooth and creamy, about five minutes. -Prepare noodles per package directions and drain. -Place noodles on dinner plates and cover with sauce, top with dove medallions and shrimp. * Serving for four adults

76 October 2010 /

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Texas Saltwater Fishing / October 2010 79

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

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Floating Cabin Rentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

Busha Boat Works. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

EZ Drainer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Baffin on the Rocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

Yamaha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Rods by Pepper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Bentley’s ICW House Rental . . . . . . . . . . 79

Trans Fiberglass Boat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

WadeAid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

The Inn At Clarks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

Hobie Cat Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Russelures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Solunar

Mt. Houston Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Third Stone Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Solunar

Capt. Jay Nichols. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

REAL ESTATE/RENTAL Dan & Sandy Benak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Hell’s Bay Boatworks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Majek Boats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50


Port Alto Waterview House . . . . . . . . . . 63

Kroll’s Marine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Academy Sports + Outdoors . . . . . . . . . 2

Midcoast Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

Coastal Backwater Marine . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Fish-N-Hunt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Rick BonGiovanni- Condo 4Sale . . . . . . 79

Flatstalker Boats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Roy’s Bait & Tackle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Texas Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

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


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

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

Kevin Severance Insurance . . . . . . . . . . 69 West Point Boat Works . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Coastline Marine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cover, 1 Shallow Sport Boats. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cover, 1


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

Capt. Everett Johnson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

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

Capt. C.T. Siems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

80 October 2010 /

Texas Saltwater Fishing

West Point Boat Works: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

Please use our Texas spotted seatrout resource wisely!

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GALVESTON TIDES & SOLUNAR TABLE Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine OCTOBER 2010

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October 2010