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Port Aransas Fishing

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(361) 563-TUNA (8862)

PO Box 2772

Port Aransas, TX 78373

Email: Scott@fishntexas.com

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Corpus Christi Fishing

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(361) 563-TUNA (8862)

117 Port Ave.

Rockport, TX 78382

Email: Scott@fishntexas.com

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Article20070308

Winter Bay Fishing Patterns

So many of my customers don’t realize just how good the fishing can be during the Winter season, not to mention the great afternoon and night fishing in the Spring time.  The winter time  can bring us some very low tides that really concentrate fish, if you know how to get to them without running aground or chopping up Seagrass and the occasional high tides allow all sorts of oversized predators into the flats.

 

It was on one of those higher than normal winter tides days, 48 degrees and a strong North wind that one of my regular customers wanted to try his luck.  Now it so happens this customer is from Wyoming, so the chill and drizzle didn’t bother him and to tell you the truth if you dress appropriately it can actually be quite comfortable!  We left the Cove Harbor Marina at about 11:00am, like most of my Winter and Spring trips to take advantage of the warmer weather and more active bite.  I decided we’d start the day throwing Shrimp and popping corks because the activity will tend to keep you warmer during a stiff North wind and if that failed we had bait available to throw on the bottom. 

 

Well our first drift netted us 3 nice Reds and one solid Trout.   I called my guide buddies who were drinking coffee back at the bait stand to let them know what they were missing, you see we had just gone through 2 days of tough fishing with the weather that the front brought in and their customers had canceled on because of the slight drizzle coming down occasionally.  You can never tell what the fishing will be like until you get on the water, January or any other month.

2007-1 Look at the scars and barnacles on this War lord (The Fish), Released!

(Click Here for Video)

 

 

Our 2nd drift netted us our limit of reds and another couple of  solid Trout, all coming on Shrimp and popping corks.  Now, I never went over the same drift line, just the same kind of bottom, muddy and grassy.  I’m always concerned about fishing an area too hard because there are a lot of out of state people on the water this time of year and they seem to be attracted to guide boats (LOL), when that happens no more fish for them or my customers.  They just haven’t figured out how not to scatter fish and they will fish an area hard until they've either all been scattered or spooked.  It is a shame when you start a drift with no boats around and in minutes you are surrounded like a covered wagon crossing the prairie!

 

Now during our 3rd drift, in an area where some big Trout have been caught have caught throughout the years, we hooked up a big fish.  It didn’t take long before the fighting style gave us a hint, Large Redfish, very large.  After going around the boat two or three times we finally got it in the net, a 36” Red caught in the flats!  We noticed all sorts of battle wounds on this fish, he even had barnacles and moss growing on one of his sides and he was blind in one eye.  We named him “The Warlord”,  How could you top that?

On our 4th drift we released a few reds, boated a few more trout, several Drum and to our surprise a flounder, now one of my customers got his first Texas Bay Grand Slam, a treasured occasion.  This was really turning out to be a great fishing trip for late January with a north wind!  We were finding fish everywhere we went, now if we could just find that big trout.  Well, a few casts later on the 4th drift, 27” Speckled Trout, who would have thought!

2007-1 Same Cold January day...Big Trout released! 

(Click Here for Video)

2007-1 If Bull Reds and a Texas Slam wasn't enough, look at this 50-60 Drum from the flats!

Released!

(Click Here for Video)

When we started our fifth and last drift we really didn’t have anything special planned, we were just trying an area that had held some keeper Trout.  A few casts later we had our keeper Trout along with a couple of released Reds and another surprise!  With the line screaming off  my customer’s reel we had to put the boat in gear to chase this fish, what could it be?  We went all over the flats, the water was too off colored to identify the fish because it just stayed too far away from the boat – time will tell, if we didn’t break off!  In about 15 minutes we knew what the fish was, a big Black Drum that came from the Intercostal to feed in the flats with the higher tide.  Another 15 minutes and we had the fish in the boat, this fish weighed over 50#, crazy day on the water!  Just remember this the next time you decide that it’s just not nice enough to go fishing, that might be a mistake! 

 

*disclaimer - none of the fish were harmed in the shooting of these videos, no but really I always release trophy size fish unless I get a deposit for a fish mount.  It would be ridiculous for us to clean a 27" Trout when we could release it for our kids to catch next year!

2007-1 Same day with the above releases!

 

 

Don't knock Shrimp and Popping cork, you can actually make it as technical as a lure and catch more fish 8 months out of the year!

 

The cork rig I use is a Cajun Thunder in various colors, Fluorocarbon leader in different lengths, various size and color of beads and number #2 or #4 treble hooks, try to find the combination of these that are working on any given day. 

Hint #1– use a leader size that will keep the shrimp right above the grass or bottom and aim for the pot holes with your casts.

Hint #2 – Clear water small shrimp, use the smaller hooks and beads, just the opposite for off colored water.  Also match up the cork to the beads.

Hint #3 – Have the people fishing with you use a different setup until you find the pattern or if you are alone, rig up multiple rods with different setups so you can change quickly depending on the depth or fish in that area.

* I’ll write about selecting areas to fish and presentation in my next article.

 

Fish More, Live Longer!

Capt. Scott McCune (USCG Master)

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