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            The Saltwater Magazine for Gulf Coast Fishing!

            FISHING FORECASTS | FISHING CALENDARS | ARTICLES | ADVERTISE | SUBSCRIBE

            SUMMER 2007

             

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            WANT REDS? by Chester Moore, Jr.
            Just Follow the Mullet
             
            The stretch of surf between Louisiana Point and Constance Beach in Cameron Parish, La. is a pretty desolate place. If it weren't for the recently constructed LNG plant in the background you would think you were in some remote corner of the world complete with alligators sunning on the beach and hordes of blood-sucking insects.
             
            This area is totally inaccessible by bank and requires a run from nearby Sabine Pass to reach. During the summer, this stretch of shoreline has become known as one of the top spots on the Gulf Coast to catch big speckled trout and draws tournament anglers from as far away as Galveston hoping to get a few hours of time in this speck rich area.
             
            It's not the specks however that interests me there, but the redfish instead...




            Breton Island by Al Rogers
            This Place is Made to Wade!
             
            Speckled trout enthusiasts generally fall into two categories. There are those who search out schools where they have the best chances of catching greater numbers. The action can be fast and furious on soft plastics in various colors and live shrimp under popping corks. A goal for many in this group is limits, or the maximum allowable catch.
             
            There is another kind of angler who avoids schools, sacrificing numbers and action in a relentless hunt for the fish of a lifetime - a trophy speckled trout. These fish are generally loners, spending their final years in isolation. At seven pounds or heavier, these trout are rare when compared to the vast numbers of schooling fish. We often hear of double-digit specks caught in estuaries across the Gulf States. But you'll rarely hear about the old timers who have never caught a five-pound trout after trying for nearly 50 years.
             
            Trophy trout fishermen are somewhat of an exclusive group. They know spawning patterns. They closely watch moon phases, water temperatures, tides, and salinities. They move into prime areas with the stealth of a cat and typically use bigger baits. They are extremely patient, sometimes fishing all day for two or three strikes.
             
            They know that out of more than 150 trout estuaries in the Gulf of Mexico, only a few select regions have historically produced trophy specks. Some of these areas include the Lower Laguna Madre and Baffin Bay in Texas, or lakes Calcasieu and Pontchartrain in Louisiana. One of these big trout areas is Breton Island, just off the coast of southeast Louisiana...
             
             
            Light Tackle Tactics - by Capt. Fred Everson
            How to Handle Big Bay Fish on Light Tackle
             
            My guess is that most flats fishermen employ longer than average rods, with relatively small reels spooled with something like 10 or 12 pound test monofilament line, or 15-pound microfilament. The reason for this range of choice has to do with casting distance. In clear, shallow water, the farther you can cast, the more fish you are going to catch. Avid flats fishermen know this. To cast low impact lures and baits a long distance, requires some flex in the rod. If you are throwing a _ ounce plug in two feet of clear water, you might as well throw dynamite ­ both will have the same effect on surviving fish. Short plug rods have their place, but it's certainly not in skinny, gin clear water.
            Most fishermen tailor their equipment to meet average fish in regular conditions. But there are times in the shallow water situation where an outsized fish takes the lure or bait. When your equipment is carefully tailored to land slot sized fish on the flats, would you be able to land a 15 pound jack crevalle, a 20 pound snook, a 40 pound black drum, a 90 pound tarpon or a 30 pound cobia? The answer should "Of course," but your rod handling and fish fighting skills need to be up to snuff, and your tackle has to be in perfect condition ­ fresh line and leader, carefully tied knots, a super smooth drag, and a well cared for rod.

            Gulf Coast Closeup - by Vernon Summerlin
            Panama City Beach Florida - "Best Bay Fishing in the South"
             
            Looking for an opportunity to experience fishing Panama City Beach's bountiful bay and coastal waters?
            I had the pleasure of fishing with Captain Greg Burnett, a Panama City native. Greg has more than 20 years experience fishing and exploring these waters. His guide service is located at Bay Point Marina, and his 22-foot Osprey is designed for working the shallowest flats but still capable of fishing open bay waters and coastal beaches.
             
            I was on a tight schedule that allowed only a short time on the water but it was impressive...
            OUR DEPARTMENTS...
             
            Paddling Out - Summer Trout - Deep, Green & Pink - by Jeff Herman
             
            What I think I know about summer trout fishing is constantly changing. I am always refining my opinion of "can't miss" predictions, patterns, and half-truths (a.k.a. half-lies) when it comes to figuring out speckled trout. I have finally distilled all my personal thoughts, consulted with my trout chasing buddies, and tried to pin down some experts on hooking specks in the warm months.  It all comes down to three words:  Green. Deep. Pink.
             
            Rod & Reel'n Offshore - Egg Weight Makeover - by Patrick Lemire
             
            Equipment Notebook - Low Profile Cleats - by David Ayers
             
            The Bay Naturalist - Paying Attention - by John Hook
             
            The Fly Guy - The Challenge of Tripletail - by Pete Cooper, Jr.
             
            Tackle Time - The Saltwater Spinners - by Colby Sorrells
             
            Bait Hook - Minefield Flounder - by Jim Martin
             
             
            From the Publisher...
            Besides all these great articles and departments, Gulf Coast Fisherman is the only source for the Wells Daily Fishing Forecast. Each issue carries three months of the Wells Daily Fishing Forecast - with Monthly Fishing Calendars. Also, don't forget about the Advance Planning Calendars in each issue that takes you out three months past the current issue. This will provide what you need to intelligently plan your fishing trips - hours, weeks, and up to six months in advance!
             
            Top saltwater guides and fishermen use the Wells Daily Fishing Forecast - shouldn't you be using it ,too?...
             
            "The fisherman that knows what the currents are doing has the advantage - over fish and fishermen!"
            And remember - "Fish feed everyday, somewhere " - Harold Wells
             
            Gary Ralston
            Publisher
             
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