The Saltwater Magazine for Gulf Coast Fishing!

SPRING 2011 Preview



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Big Lake's BIG TROUT
South Texas Snook
Galveston's Big Trout Season
My Story...
Closeup: Port Isabel, Texas
Paddling Out: Motoring Rules
Rod & Reelin': Mono Leaders
EQ Notebook: Lure Care
Bay Naturalist: Underappreciated Hardheads
Fly Guy: Jack Attacks!
Tackle Time: Guilty Pleasures
Bait Hook: Spring Ling Fling

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Big Lake's Big Trout by Chester Moore, Jr.
Lake Calcasieu's reputation as a big trout fishery grows...

The swimbait swam about 10 miles that morning.

At least that is what it seemed like as I worked the Stanley Wedgetail Mullet over a big mud flat with scattered shell on Lake Calcasieu's (Big Lake) north end.

The conditions were wrong with very little title movement but as a longtime Big Lake angler I knew we were in the midst of big trout.


The fight was on.

South Texas Snook by Capt. Danno Wise
Fishing the seasons for year around snook action.

Snook are one of the most romanticized fish species along the Gulf Coast. Due to the fact it occupies such as small range - only South Florida and Deep South Texas harbor year around, fishable populations - it has gained almost mythological status among some groups of fishermen. This is especially true in the Lone Star State where the fishery has traditionally been confined to a narrow stretch of coastline just above the Mexican border. However, although anglers hooking into a large linesider for the first time may imagine they are stuck fast to a Greek god, these fish are real and are a much more realistic catch than many Texans believe.


Over the past few years, a series of warm winters has resulted in some snook being caught far above their regular range. And, while it is true that previous generations were treated to good snook fishing as far north as Port Aransas, today the coastal waters of Cameron County, which is nestled between the Rio Grand River and the Mansfield Cut, are home to the only true snook fishery in Texas.

Galveston's Big Trout Season by Capt. Nate Skinner
How and where to find the trophies - right now.

"If you can consistently catch trophy trout in the Galveston Bay Complex, you can likely fool them anywhere. There are twenty-five plus inch fish swimming all over these waters, you've just got to do your homework to find them," says Captain Greg Francis of Salt Water Assault guide service.

With four million people living in the five counties that surround Galveston Bay (Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Harris and Liberty counties) providing immense fishing pressure to the largest estuary in Texas (over 600 square miles), Gulf Coast anglers might be discouraged from putting the complex's hot spots as top priority in their repertoire of big trout destinations for 2011.

Composed of Trinity Bay, Upper Galveston Bay, West Bay and East Bay, the complex lacks the sex appeal of systems south, as much of the estuary is void of grass beds, pot holes, and clear water. An average depth of 6-8 feet creates opportunities for rough, swelling bay waters and gives speckled trout more water to hide from hook-clad plugs and soft plastics.

Gulf Coast Closeup - by Capt. Danno Wise
Port Isabel, Texas - A Gem in Deep South Texas

One of the oldest towns on the Gulf Coast, Port Isabel was once home to the largest shrimp fleet in Texas. Although the commercial fishery has begun to fade, recreational fishing is on the upswing in this small South Texas town. As the mainland launching point to the Lower Laguna Madre, the same waterfront community that once saw pirates and Civil War soldiers land on its shores now welcomes thousands of light-tackle fishermen in search of speckled trout, redfish, snook and tarpon.

Thanks to its sub-tropical climate - it is located just a dozen miles above the Texas/Mexico border - Port Isabel offers fishermen year around angling opportunities. Additionally, the warm climate and shallow, clear waters of the Lower Laguna Madre offer a variety of species and habitat not found elsewhere in the United States, with the exception of South Florida.


This issue in OUR DEPARTMENTS...
Paddling Out - Motoring Rules - by Jeff Herman
Rod & Reel'n Offshore - Mono Leaders & Reef Fish - by Patrick Lemire
Equipment Notebook - Lure Care & Maintenance - by David Ayers
The Bay Naturalist - The Underappreciated Hardhead- by John Hook
The Fly Guy - Jack Attacks! - by Pete Cooper, Jr.
Tackle Time - Guilty Pleasures - by Colby Sorrells
Bait Hook - Spring Ling Fling - 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

If you would prefer to order by phone, please call 800-552-4853

U.S. Subscriptions Only