- Sun-Kissed Reds and Specks by
Capt. Danno Wise
flats fishing in deep South Texas
- Thanks to it's sub-tropical climate, Deep South Texas isn't quite as
prone to winter doldrums as many other Gulf Coast fisheries.
That's not to say it doesn't get cold at the tip of Texas. Indeed it does.
But the cold weather never sticks around long. Because of this, the Lower
Laguna Madre offers anglers year around shallow water fishing action. During
the dead of winter, it is the place to be for Gulf Coast fishermen who
have tired of dredging deep holes and channels for specks and reds.
As most serious saltwater fishermen know, winter water is often much
clearer, as the cooler temps cause a variety of marine blooms to die off.
In the Lower Laguna Madre, the water clarity on a typical winter day can
best be described as 'crystal.'
However, winter is also a time of extremes when it comes to water conditions
in Deep South Texas. Whereas most winter days it is no problem seeing to
the bottom of the bay - even in deeper water - when a front blows through,
the water conditions do a 180. Since the Lower Laguna Madre is oriented
south to north and has little in the way of surrounding wind block from
trees, a howling north wind can quickly turn the water muddy.
But, thanks to the thick blanket of grass on the bay floor, even the
muddiest of water will clear within a day or so of the wind subsiding. So,
in general, anglers fishing along the Mexican border during the winter months
can expect one of two water conditions - crystal clear or horribly muddy...
- Deep Dropping in the Gulf by Al Rogers
- Fishing deep with Capt. Lenny and the "Fighting
Capt. Lenny Maiolatesi is not your typical offshore angler. Tucked within
the console of his 32-foot Twin Vee is a veritable arsenal of electronics
- commercial plotters, sounders, computers, drop cameras with umbilical
cords and transducers that weigh more than 40 pounds. Chances are that ordinary
anglers would have little use for such sophisticated equipment. And some
may even question the necessity of such an array. But Maiolatesi's role
may be as much of an underwater explorer as a big game fisherman. He goes
to great lengths and extreme depths to uncover these remote "honey
holes." "Capt. Lenny" employs a lethal combination of pricey
technology and closely guarded information to uncover these deep-water hot
Depths will vary greatly depending on the species of fish he is looking
for. He may be scouting 250-foot depths for snapper, cobia or amberjack,
or analyzing the seafloor 800 feet down for huge grouper haunts. On the
far end of Lenny's continuum are the exotic "marine lab species"
in depths of more than 1,400 feet. Some of these fish may include black
drift fish, coral fish, barrel fish or scorpion fish. However, most guests
with Fighting Chicken Sportfishing target more conventional
species such as cobia, snapper, amberjack, grouper, tuna, wahoo, king mackerel
and even swordfish.
- Dodging the Wind by John N. Felsher
- Even with strong winds Mobile Bay offers fishing
- While the bay can offer excellent saltwater action, such a large body
of water can turn violent quickly. However, even during the worst winter
storms, when bay waters roll into foamy whitecaps, anglers can still find
many good places to target speckled trout, reds and other species.
"The Mobile Bay area offers a variety of fishing opportunities,"
said Capt. Lynn Pridgen of Captain Lynn's Inshore Adventures. "During
the winter, the bay can really get rough. When it gets rough, we have to
find protected water. I've seen waves splashing over the causeway seawall,
but we can find places to get out of the weather. Even on a bad day, there
are unlimited places where we can fish."
Blues and Reds
by Chester Moore, Jr.
cats and reds connect in the brackish marsh
The shock of an extremely hard strike vibrated down my braided line,
up my rod and onto my hands. Targeting flounder at the tail end of the fall
run, I thought I just might have the flatfish of a lifetime on the other
end of the line. I waited a couple of seconds, set the hook super hard and
watched my medium-heavy spinning rod double over as if I were battling a
The fish shook its head like a flounder but moved too fast or at least
faster than any I had ever seen. A few seconds later as the dorsal fin of
the fish cut through the water's surface, I realized I was battling a blue
catfish. A big blue catfish.
Tipping the scales at nearly 15 pounds, this fish hit a glow-colored
curl tail grub tipped with shrimp and would be one of four blues I would
catch that day. On top of that I was able to catch a Texas limit of redfish
and a couple of flounder.
Catfish and redfish together?
Yes and during the late fall and winter on the Texas coast, they are
in large numbers in the same holes in brackish marshes and other locations
all along the Intracoastal Canal corridor.
Biologists with the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge have found through
tagging efforts blue catfish have a high tolerance for salinity, validating
what hardcore redfish fishermen have known for years. You can catch blues
with the reds if you look in the right spots.
- Gulf Coast Closeup - by Vernon Summerlin
- Houma, Louisiana- Seeing Red and a Whole Lot
It would be hard to imagine going to Houma, Louisiana
and not letting the good times roll . Located about an hour from
New Orleans, this is the heart of Louisiana Cajun country in Terrebonne
It was named the "good earth" by the Acadians, French colonists
who were forced to leave their Canadian home by the British during the mid-1700s.
Some exiled Acadians returned to France, but others found their way to what
is now the area around Houma with land grants in hand. They've been celebrating
one thing or another ever since.
Much of a Cajun celebration centers on the enjoyment of delicious Cajun
cooking. Houma offers visitors opportunities to enjoy classic Cajun at its
best, with a serving of good Zydeco music on the side. You can take exhilarating
swamp tours, follow birding trails, visit an exotic wildlife park, try your
luck gaming and shopping. The Mardi Gras celebration held here is the largest
in the country outside of New Orleans - and much more family friendly
- This issue in OUR DEPARTMENTS...
- Paddling Out - Stop
and You're Done - by Jeff Herman
- Rod & Reel'n Offshore - How to Make a Swim Disk - by
- Equipment Notebook
Trailer Springs - by David Ayers
- The Bay Naturalist
- Smacks are Back
- by John Hook
- The Fly Guy -
Working the Weights
- by Pete Cooper, Jr.
- Tackle Time
- Add Some Flash - by
- Bait Hook
- Taking Stock
- 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