Monday, August 26, 2002

Trout Fishing Port O'Conner

I am definitely living a charmed life for sure amidst the dog days of summer. No mistakes and a linear approach to solid boxes of both Trout and Redfish. As the tide has fallen out with the full moon, I have lost the Redfish which were dominating solid Trout numbers that put us in the bonus division. I’m still catching a couple with Trout limits but they are much less accessible in 8” less water.

For nearly a weeks worth of trips I was burning 5 gallons of gas for every two days afield. Close fish, big fish, and plenty of them. The Croaker bite is on the way out and it is being replaced by a vicious bite on Piggy perch. The only place you can get them on this stretch of the coast is at Boat House Bait in Port O’Connor (361)-983-4764, across from Clarks. I’ll trade you five dozen Croaker for two dozen pigs at this time. Pigs are more effective when water is screwed up, i.e., water release from Canyon Lake in concert with sun up to sun down shrimping and supported by winds in excess of 15 knots. That’s pig country for sure.

The key to fishing pigs, you gotta whoop’em and whoop’em hard. The tenacious little bait has a big bark but it takes an @ss whoopin to get them to cut loose. I’ll snap the rod hard and fast about three times to 45 degrees and then let the bait fish for a minute or so. This action is way too hard for a Croaker and will kill most Croaker in short order. Sometimes you will stick on the whoop, other times the take down occurs when the bait is fishing. The most lethal piggy perch are roughly an inch and a half long, however, they are effective up to 3” or so. Much beyond that and you’ve got a “Redfish specific” finfish. If you are on Trout under 17”, you will have one heck of time getting a hook in the fish. Be prepared for plenty of spits and misses. The small pigs are hard to throw and while I’m no fan of spinning rods, they may have an application in this case with a light or very light “medium light action rod.” Something that you can get a good load on the rod before throwing. An eight foot rod along the lines of a Castaway 8’ Coastal Special Medium (limber by any standard) is ideal.

Bait houses in Port O’Connor have burned a many a customer selling Pinfish as Piggy Perch to the general public. Consequently, the piggy tank at Boat House is flush with the baits and you can bet that Robbie Hawes will have only the best real life Piggy Perch available. While Pinfish can be lethal on Redfish over sand and grass as well as “high water” tight to shell, they generally have no place in a quest for Trout. Many anglers don’t know the difference, but here it is. Pinfish look like a little perch, are generally silver with light coloring and more or less have a pointed nose. When grasped, pressing on their belly just below the pectoral fins will yield “no sound” from the bait. Piggy Perch look like a little Trigger fish; are greyish in color with light wavy yellow lines; and have lips that are quite pronounced. When mashed on the belly just behind the pectoral fins (fins beneath the gills), they will bark. When hand picking my pigs, not one of them goes in the livewell if they aren’t barking when I grab them under the pectoral fins.

If you get into a dragging day, they may begin to “lock down” on you and not want to bark when you grab them from the bait tank. Don’t worry, when you get them on a hook amidst a Trout bite, they will do plenty of barking. While efficacious on Trout, Redfish would rather slam into a Piggy Perch than any other bait in my estimation. As Redfish begin to stage on shell as we move toward their migration to the gulf here in September/October, you will not find a finer way to intercept them if finfishing.

AUGUST AT A GLANCE

If you want to get a quick handle on the fishing in August, check out the photo gallery at http://www.coastalwaterfowl.com Go to the Trophy Room and then click on “photo gallery”. The stage is set for AWESOME lure fishing this FALL!

COASTAL NEWS

(Appearances)

I will be speaking at the Central Houston CCA chapter meeting on September 10th. We will be discussing wade fishing strategy for the coming months. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 10th, 2002; TIME: 6:00 p.m., Speaker begins at 7:00 p.m.; PLACE: SRO Sports Bar & Café, Northwest Mall (W. 18th St. side), Intersection of Loop 610 & Hwy. 290; COST: Food and drink available through SRO. Door prizes and raffle available. R.S.V.P. Gary Brogdon – gbrogdon@fishgame.com - 281-227-3001 x235

NOW IS THE TIME TO CONSIDER SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER DATES. The “Blue-winged Rockets” of the north are right around the corner in September along with some awesome Fall wade fishing with artificial lures.

Bowed-Up!

Capt. Kris Kelley
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