Raymond French's Redfish & Black Drum Catches

Some nice Redfish and Black Drum are being caught at the packery channel today. Raymond French made some nice catches. 22" Redfish, 23" Redfish, and 24" Black Drum. Not bad for a Monday morning. Weather was sunny with clear calm waters. He was using Live Shrimp. http://tales.justgofishin.com
Check-out other great catches at Papa John's Fishin Tales

Charlie Hill Nice Redfish Catch

Visiting from Austin Texas, Charlie Hill caught a nice 23 inch Redfish using Mud Minnows at the North Copano Fishing Pier. http://tales.justgofishin.com
Check-out other great catches at Papa John's Fishin Tales.


Chris Moore's Redfish Catch

Chris Moore caught a 20 inch, 3 lbs speckled trout using live shrimp on the shoreline near the South Copano Fishing Pier in Rockport Texas. He's enjoying the day with his buddies from Waco Texas. http://tales.justgofishin.com
Check-out other great catches at Papa John's Fishin Tales.

Angela Boultinghouse Gaftop Catch

Angela Boultinghouse caught a nice gaftop at the Copano Fishing Piers in Rockport Texas on Saturday using live Eal. Visiting with her family from Seguin Texas. http://tales.justgofishin.com
Stephanie Estefanym showing off the Eal they were using for bait.
Check-out other great catches at Papa John's Fishin Tales.


Colorado Don's Spanish Mackerel

Colorado Don's was using artificial lures to catch and release several Spanish Mackerel at the Port A Jetty. http://tales.justgofishin.com

Check-out other great catches at Papa John's Fishin Tales.


Carlos Hernandez Spanish Mackerel Stringer

Very nice Spanish Mackerel Stringer caught by Carlos Hernandez from Robstown Texas. Fishing at the Port A Jetty using live shrimp on the Gulf side. Anglers were catching redfish, black drum and sheepshead on the channel side. http://tales.justgofishin.com

Check-out other great catches at Papa John's Fishin Tales.

George York's Stringer of fish at Port A Jetty

George York of Normal Ill is a winter Texan and was out at Port A Jetty this week where he caught a nice 27" Redfish, black drum and sheepshead using live shrimp. http://tales.justgofishin.com

Check-out other great catches at Papa John's Fishin Tales.

Mike Burkhart and Butch Crofts Catches

Nice way to fish the Port A Jetty is to take a backpack. This backpack is full of Spanish Mackerel and sheepshead.

Ran into Mike Burkhart again at the Port A Jetty. This time he and his buddy Butch Crofts (Blanco Texas) had caught several Spanish Mackerel and a few sheepshead using live shrimp. Check-out Mike's catches from last December. http://tales.justgofishin.com
Check-out other great catches at Papa John's Fishin Tales.


Bay Fishing with Bait 101 4th Series of 5

Calm Fall Mornings to Windy Afternoons – In The Flats: Sand Pockets
4th of 5 Articles

This is the 4th in the series of articles written for the average bay fisherman who is interested in a professional fishing guides view on how, where and what bait he will select to get the day started. The next two articles are perfect for the approaching fall and winter fishing patterns. This article will cover bait and tactics for fishing the sand pockets in the flats that can be used on almost any day of the year however some of the specific bait and presentations in this article are more directed to the Fall and Winter patterns. Sand pockets are very important to isolating the effective water and intercepting the fish, almost any sand pocket can be lucrative on any given day. With that said I have limited out on Redfish many times within a few hundred yards of where I launched my boat, you just have to learn how to read the conditions and use that compiled knowledge to target those same areas of your previous success.

When I wake in the morning the first thing I do is fire-up the laptop and check the weather readings at several area locations and then I go on to review the forecast for the day. I pay particular attention to Temperature, Cloud Cover, Wind Direction, Wind Speed, in addition it is very important to note if the wind will be changing direction or speed during the day as that could mean the bite may slow down just before the switch and also alert you to change the way or direction you present the bait. Needless to say adapting to the weather is an extremely important asset for successful fishing. Also, when I'm getting to my boat I make sure the weather conditions seem as they did online, sometimes this is not the case. I have seen many a wrong forecast, more wrong forecasts than correct ones so you should learn to do your own forecasting too.

Now for selecting the bait or baits I will be using, if the wind is blowing 12kts or so I'll surely select shrimp for drift fishing over the flats targeting the sand pockets or the edge of Oyster humps on my casts. You should be able to see the different shades even if it is very windy, the lighter shades are the sand pockets the darker shades are the Oyster humps or Grass areas. I like the smaller pot holes, however the bigger ones can produce too but when you fish the larger potholes or sand pockets try to cast for the edges or fingers if they have them and you should be able to cast to several edges before getting too close. If you have a power pole and hook up with a good fish in a pot hole or oyster hump, use your remote to deployed it as soon as the fish is taking drag, more often than not you will get extra fish off that area but don't wait longer than 5 minutes without big fish action! You can use this sand pocket tactic when anchoring up using shrimp on a jig head (rip the head off and thread it on), a weighted line with a finger mullet or cut mullet to name the most often fished bait. Don't forget there still may be croaker or piggies perch this late in the season too and they are still effective free lined in these pockets.

Remember on calm days you really have to cast far from the boat, even farther than that. I also GPS my favorite holes for those days that the sun doesn't shine or it is too windy to see the sand pockets. On windy days and the fish are active avoid making ridiculously long casts, think about it, make casts the appropriate length from the boat to catch fish...you will cover more water! Now there are some days that are very windy/cold and you must cast very far from the boat because the fish may be a little slow, you will recognize these days by the amount of fish you or others are catching and the way the fish are taking the bait...adapt!

Carolina Rig for live & cut mullet
Jig Head, Long Shank for Large Shrimp, Short Shank for Smaller Shrimp

Shrimp and Popping Cork

Let’s get down to the rigs I prefer when fishing these baits. I always use 20# fluorocarbon leader tied to the main line or cork. I use a Carolina Rig when fishing cut bait or live mullet with a 1/4 to 31/2 oz weight. As with most live bait or lures I use a loop knot at the terminal or hook end.

Leader – Easy, I use only 20# fluorocarbon! The leader length should be about 18” give or take. It should be long enough to were the knot does not have to go through the eye when casting which prevents longer casts. When using a popping cork you want the bait to sit just above the height of the grass.

Hooks – 3/0, 4/0, 5/0 6/0 Gamakatsu or VMC Kahle hooks depending on the size of the bait.

Weights – 1/4oz - 1/2 oz barrel weight.

Corks – I predominantly use Cajun Thunders. On lighter wind days the old Mansfield Mauler could be an option too. I even save old corks for those days that the Redfish don’t want a lot of sound!

Cork Colors – I always start with two primary colors, pink and chartreuse. Most of the time you will find Redfish like one and not the other and the same for Trout…however they may be hitting both or you can select the color depending on when you are fishing an area more conducive to the fish you expect to catch.

Knots – I use a line to leader knot instead of a swivel for the Jig Head leader however I tie a loop knot on the Jig Head. The only time I use a swivel is when fishing the bait on the bottom using a weight because at times I need a longer casts on the calm shallow flats and i want the bait to stay down. I tie a loop knot at the Kahle hook or end of the terminal tackle for more realistic movement.

Accessories - Beads are not as important in this type of fishing but can be used, unless you are using the popping cork then use beads. If you’re going to try beads the general rule of thumb is to start with small beads and at least one rig without a bead. Really make sure your buddy’s is fishing the bait properly before ruling out any combination! Sometimes going to a larger bead when the water is very muddy or stirred up makes a difference!

Special Techniques

Here are some special tips to work these baits in the areas I mentioned, after time you’ll be adding your own special touches that work for you or your fish, whatever the case may be!
  • When the bite is slow try using smaller pieces of cut bait.
  • When fishing with Shrimp on a jig head make sure you squeeze the shrimp head off to leave the juices in place and don't drop it in the water before the cast because you will loose some scent.
  • When using shrimp on a jig head try to get larger bait even if you have to buy more than you want to get the right size, that is just the expense of fishing!
  • Never use the huge Shrimp under a popping cork, the medium to small shrimp work a lot better! When you are on a hot bite you can us the shrimp a little bigger than medium.
  • Remember to work the edges of grass or shell!
  • Big shrimp can also be used on the Carolina Rig.
  • Don't hammer a small area, if the bite stops leave quietly and come back in a few hours, besides you won't attract a crowd!

As always remember that nothing about fishing is set in stone, pay attention, vary your approach and find what works! If fishing gets slow after a couple of good catches I find that the angler gets a little pumped and not letting the fish run enough!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and remember if you don’t eat it release it and try to release all big Trout especially over 25”…get a picture it will last longer, preserve some fish for our kids!

Bay Fishing With Bait 101 Series:

  1. Five Major Types of Fishing
  2. Windy - Popping Cork and Shrimp
  3. Calm Summer Mornings to Windy Afternoons – Croaker and Piggy Perch
  4. Calm Fall Mornings to Windy Afternoons – In The Flats: Sand Pockets

Capt. Scott McCune (USCG Master)
fishntexas.com with 'The Saltwater Cowboy'
Email: scott@fishntexas.com
Web Page: www.fishntexas.com


Patti Alexander Nice Black Drum Catch

Nice catch by Patti Alexander Last Monday, April 5th, at the Land Cut using live shrimp. This was her biggest fish ever. The weather was windy but mild. Patti was able to catch her limit at the land cut of black drum. More on her trip at JustGoFishin Tales and Reports Podcast. http://tales.justgofishin.com

Check-out other great catches at Papa John's Fishin Tales.


Gary Billings Blue Cats at Guadalupe

Gary Billings caught a couple of nice blue cats at the Guadalupe River last weekend Gary ran into John Little while fishin, who is a friend of the John Little family and just happened to be up there the same time.
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John Little Family Catfish Adventure

We went to the Guadalupe River last weekend and caught several nice catfish. We caught them on limb lines and ended up with 23 on Sunday. The majority were blue cats and one was a big ugly yellow cat. "The one that looks like its got a flathead is the yellow cat". Captain John Little
Check-out other great catches at Papa John's Fishin Tales.

Mantas Sabaliauskas Sheepshead Stringer

Mantas Sabaliauskas and his Dad caught a nice stringer of Sheepsheadat the Packery Channel. Visiting from evergreen Colorado and using live shrimp to hook these catches.
Check-out other great catches at Papa John's Fishin Tales.