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texas tested • Berkley, Fusion Electronics, Aqua Design, StediStock | by TF&G staff

78 80

industry insider • Humminbird, NauticStar | by TF&G staff fish and game gear • Hot New Outdoor Gear | by TF&G


COVER STORY • Trout Rod Basics | by mike holmes



hotspots focus: galveston • Galveston Wonders | by capt. mike holmes


hotspots focus: matagorda • Be Patient with Spring Fishing | by bink grimes

texas boating • Boat Buying, 68 2012 | texas kayaking • Crappie 86 72 Time! | guns & gear • Bruised 73 texas or Deaf; Some Choice | 88 by lenny rudow

by greg berlocher

by steve




sportsman’s daybook • Tides & Prime Times | by TF&G staff

by bryan


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freshwater tales • Bass Rod Basics | by matt williams OUTDOOR CLASSIFIED DIRECTORY • Guides, Gear and More | by TF&G staff tf&g Photos • Your Action Photos | by TF&G readers

hotspots focus: rockport • Goodwill Fishng | by capt. mac gable

hotspots focus: lower coast • A Cut Above | by calix-

paul’s tips • Carolina Rigging Anything | by paul bradshaw

In actuality, there are no true saltwater trout; the speckled trout is properly a spotted weakfish, and its cousins the sand trout and Gulf trout are actually lesser members of the weakfish family. For those of use born and raised on the Gulf Coast, this is not much of a big deal, but take a fellow from the north, accustomed to catching 6 – 8 inch Brookies to the bay to fish for our version of


texas tasted • Baked or 108 Grilled Stuffed Flounder |

FISHING FORECAST SECTION hotspots focus: upper coast • The Promise of March | by capt. eddie hernandez

Texas Hotspots • Texas’ Hottest Fishing Spots | by tom behrens, calixto gonzales, & bob





to gonzales

“trout,” and he will not only find a much larger, harder-fighting fish, but the rod he will likely be handed to do battle with these creatures will probably not be the lightweight fly rod he might have been expecting. Not to say a proper fly rod can’t be an effective tool for the speckled trout fisherman, but it will not be the first choice as the basis of an all-purpose trout rod.

For decades, the standard outfit for legions of fishermen on the Gulf Coast was a two handed fiberglass “stick” of at least 7 feet in length mounting a level wind bait casting reel. The more experienced angler would likely have graduated from direct drive reels to the red Garcia 5000. The CONTINUED ON PAGE 68


Rod Action Types, and What They Mean ROD ACTIONS ARE GENERALLY classed as: heavy, medium, light, or some combination in between. For a bay rod used for trout or redfish, both heavy and light actions would normally be eliminated. That would leave us with medium and medium light as the most common and popular choices. Action type basically defines where and how much the rod bends. A heavy action does not bend much except under extreme pressure, making it too stiff for most casting purposes – better left for trolling or heavy duty bottom fishing. Light action rods would be too whippy to cast all but the lightest of lures – where they might 66 |


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have a use in specialized bay fishing applications for certain anglers, but not for general use. A medium rod has a generally uniform flex along its length, whether under a casting load or when fighting a fish, and is a compromise – stiff enough for top water lures and popping corks, yet with enough flex to cast heavier jigs and spoons and really get behind the cast. Better for most uses is a medium light action, which has a medium strength butt and midsection with a lighter, or faster tip. The more flexible tip allows lighter lures or bait to be cast, and will let a popping cork be worked without pulling it out of the water with F i s h


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too hard a pull. In many cases the lighter tip helps cast live bait without flinging it off the hook – more of a gentle lob. Between these two action types, the rod with the faster tip will have a more pronounced bend nearer the tip end, while the medium action as mentioned bends more uniformly or gradually along its length. Graphite rods are generally stiffer than fiberglass, and of much smaller diameter. They can therefore be lighter in weight as well as action. —Mike Holmes


March 2012  

THE Authority on Texas Fishing & Hunting Texas Fish & Game is the largest, oldest, and best outdoors resource of its kind in the nation. No...

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