by David Brown
Tackling Yellowfin at 3000 Feet
Dockside recon made it clear: If you want consistent yellowfin action,
run deep. Local charter boats were reporting limit catches around the Mars
platform, so off we went to the big yellow floater operating in the Mississippi
Canyon area in approximately 3,000 feet. Warm, blue water invigorated by
strong Gulf upwellings keeps the massive structure washed with nutrients
and microscopic life forms that create the foundation for an entire ecosystem
of sea life.
MEAN AND NOT-SO-LEAN
Ranking below only billfish and huge Gulf sharks, yellowfins are definitely
the big shots of the rig. Stocky, muscular ruffians, these fish will test
your resolve as well as your tackle. Forget finesse - this is old-school,
smash-mouth football and yellowfins play rough.
Also worth noting is the tuna's chronic case of A.D.D. Hold their attention
for more than a couple of minutes? Good luck. Unlike nearshore fishing,
where gamefish orientate to wrecks, reefs and ledges, bluewater fishing
can be more of a cat-and-mouse game. Although the briny buffet of various
forage species found beneath a rig's superstructure attracts the yellow
bullies, yellowfins simply won't sit still.
120 Degrees to Ling by Capt. Nate Skinner
Try the Galveston Buoy Line for Summer
"Ling - BIG Ling!"
This short exclamation from the mouth of Michael Plitt, perched on the
bow of my Nautic Star like a blood hound sniffing out the trail of some
runaway game, was like an alarm for my adrenal system. It triggered pulsating
heart beats that sounded like rapid drumming in my ears, sweaty palms, and
a sort of chaotic scramble on deck as we grabbed for live baits and ready-rigged
rods in hopes of gaffing the sighted brown monster.
When the described scene comes to life, you know we're in the thick of
summer here in the Port of Galveston. Connecting the Houston Ship Channel
to the Gulf of Mexico, the shipping lanes that lead through the jetties
on up to the Galveston Channel are unique compared to those of many other
ports along the Texas Coast. They are quite a bit busier, as they lead to
the largest shipping center in the state, and they contain quite a few more
buoys. This means more structure for fish to hide in and feed from.
Storm Tide Flounder by Chester Moore, Jr.
to Use Bad Weather to Your Advantage
It almost felt criminal. In fact, had we not been vehemently against
poaching, my fishing partners and I could have very easily ventured on the
wrong side of the law as we caught flounder with every cast.
Yes, every cast for over an hour.
We caught upwards of 50 and kept just enough to treat our families to
flounder stuffed with crabmeat and slathered in butter.
The year was 1998 and we were fishing the brackish bayous of southwestern
Louisiana as Tropical Storm Frances rolled ashore, producing stiff rain
and super high tides.
The rain was irrelevant but the tides were over the banks and causing
flounder to feed like crazy. The trip was an experiment to see if extra
large, incoming tides excited flounder to the point of frenzy, and the results
spoke for themselves.
Tides are the be-all, end-all of flounder fishing, usurping all other
factors that come into play. And, incoming tides are the best until the
first big cold fronts blast the coast...
- Tampa Bay Specks by Capt. Fred Everson
- Take Care of Trout and They'll Take Care of You
everal years ago, Tampa Bay's trout population was devastated by an outbreak
of red tide that hit most parts of the bay. From late June through early
August the Southshore was white with dead fish mostly catfish, jacks,
mullet and trout. Only a few weeks before, I had marveled at the big trout
I poled over while looking for bait in front of Cockroach Bay. A month later
they were all dead.
It could have been worse. There were not as many snook and redfish that
bellied up, and because these fish grow a lot slower than trout, the effects
would have lasted longer, and the recovery been much slower. But trout grow
fast, and now have recovered and then some. Trout have also been a
beneficiary of Florida's inshore net ban of the late 1990's. What could
be better than a fish that's easy to catch, good to eat and grows fast?
Gulf Coast Closeup - by Vernon Summerlin
Dixie Bar Reds
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 - "Wake
Up" Those Summer Reds... - by Jeff Herman
- Rod & Reel'n Offshore - The Kingfish Nightmare -
by Patrick Lemire
- Equipment Notebook
a Topdown Power Flusher - by David
- The Bay Naturalist
- Gender Equity -
by John Hook
- The Fly Guy -
For When You Can't See 'Em - by Pete Cooper, Jr.
- Tackle Time
- Modern Rod Buying Tips - by Colby Sorrells
- Bait Hook
- The Janus Syndrome
- 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
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