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Where to find the big 'uns this winter.
A cool December wind puffed at our backs. In the distance, gulls were dive-bombing ambushed baitfish like fighter jets. Void of a cloud, the blue sky was empty except for the sea gulls and waking sun. Mother Nature couldn't have painted a more beautiful morning.
Tucked in between an exposed reef and bay shore, this south shoreline locale provided a bottom contour rich with heat containing mud and shell.
"Shouldn't we go wade up to those birds," I said to Captain Lee Warmke, a fishing guide in Matagorda.
"Those birds are just a distraction compared to what we are after," said Lee.

Wahoo! by Chester Moore, Jr.
World-class wahoo await anglers in the cold Gulf waters.
For a second I did not know if my buddy Chris was shouting his approval at fighting the big dolphin on his line or if indeed one of the fast-moving toothy creatures with the funny name had moved in on the weed line we were fishing.
Just as I reached the back of the boat to take a look, my rod doubled over and a silver flash exploded out of the water with a big, chrome Rapala in its mouth. I do not know how many of you have ever had two anglers battling a bull dolphin and a 50-pound wahoo in the back of a 26-foot boat, but you should not be surprised when I say it was a miracle we landed the fish. They zig-zagged all over the place and only by the Grace of God, they did not tangle up.
Continue reading...

Jack Attack - by Capt. Fred Everson
Winter is prime time for jacks on Tampa Bay.
It is a cool winter afternoon and we are coming across the flats from Tampa Bay into the mouth of the Little Manatee River. The water is literally beaten to froth covering an area that has to be acres.
"Can that really be fish?" asks my buddy John.
"Yeah man, that's one massive Jack attack. Let's get 'em!" I reply.
We storm to the edge of the school on plane, just within casting distance and I shut the engine down. I have a long, limber flats rod rigged for redfish with weighted jerk bait, but you could put a hook in a two by four and toss it into this melee and catch fish with it.

Gulf Coast Closeup -
Capt. Brandon Carter - An Angler Driven by Change - by Al Rogers
In mid-October Capt. Brandon Carter was slaying speckled trout, redfish and flounder in a coastal bay just south of Venice, Louisiana. The lower estuaries across the Mississippi River Delta were teeming with life and it seemed like fishing could not get any better. Fish fed voraciously, crashing schools of baitfish and shrimp at every opportunity.
The frenzied conditions continued over the next two weeks but in early November Carter didn't return to Blind Bay. He didn't even consider it, opting instead to move north to concentrate on the interior river system, middle bays and vast marshes. Most anglers would have returned to Blind Bay ­ but not Carter. Experience told him it was time. Time to move on; time to make adjustments; time to change the game plan.
Equipment Notebook - "Spark Plug Know-How" - by David Ayers
Rod & Reel'n Offshore - "Try a Copper Wire Bridled Hook" - by Patrick Lemire
The Bay Naturalist - "Jacks of all Trades" - by John Hook
The Fly Guy- "No-Brainer Reds" - by Pete Cooper, Jr.
Tackle Time - "Travel Tackle" - by Colby Sorrells
Bait Hook - "Ice Fishing Tips..." - 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. This will provide what you need to intelligently plan your fishing trips - hours, weeks, and 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