The first qualifying tagged red in the CCA STAR tourney
Sabine angler catches 8 pound, 1 ounce trout to take second place in CCA STAR tourney
The very popular CCA STAR tournament is in full swing, and already there are some pretty impressive catches being brought to the scales. The heaviest trout in the Upper Coast Division is going to be tough to beat. She weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and was caught on the Galveston Bay complex. But get this: The second heaviest trout on the upper coast weighed 8 pounds, one ounce and came from Sabine Lake. It was weighed at the SGS Cuaseway and caught by Corey Frank.
Gina Rice, director of operations for CCA/STAR, said they know of 10 tagged redfish caught so far, but only one winner has been confirmed. That means there are still four truck/boat packages and five boat packages remaining in the Texas Ford Dealers Redfish Division and 50 tagged redfish still out there waiting to be caught.
The first qualifying red was caught on June 4 at the Indianola Fishing Marina near Port Lavaca.
The heaviest king mackerel in the STAR tourney weighed 55-7; the leading dorado weighed 40-13. The number one ling is a whopper and will be tough to beat at 84 pounds.
Let your kids brag about their huge catch—and have the state record to prove it
Getting credit for catching a record fish in Texas is easier than you might think, especially if you’re a youngster.
Better still from a conservation standpoint, you can hang a nice Texas Parks and Wildlife certificate on your wall instead of a mounted trophy.
“With school out and plenty of time for fishing, the department would like parents to know the chances of their kid becoming a record holder are really good,” said Joedy Gray, who runs TPWD’s Angler Recognition Program. “The odds are in a young angler’s favor because there are a lot of bodies of water in Texas for which no one has applied for a record yet.”
Junior anglers under the age of 17 are encouraged to set records in fishing holes around the state this summer. In areas where there is no existing record, fish must be at least the legal size. To record the fish, remember to find a certified scale location and have a measuring tape handy. For a list of locations with certified scales, visit the TPWD site at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/programs/fishrecords/scales.phtml.
If you are unsure of your fishing hole’s records, look them up on your phone with the program’s mobile record search at tinyurl.com/texfish.
For more information, visit the program’s site at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishrecords/.
The ABC’s of wading the surf for trout and reds
Top five baits in the surf
1 – Silver spoon.
2 – Topwater lure like a Super Spook or Top Dog.
3 – Soft plastic jig.
4 – Live shrimp under a cork.
5 – Live mullet on bottom for reds.
Photo by Robert Sloan
When the surf around the Sabine jetties is clean and green to the beach wade fishing can be an excellent option from now until the first cold fronts of September begin moving through.
Wading the surf is like walking into outer space – you never know what to expect. Every trip out is a new angling adventure. And from about now through the end of September, this is an excellent option that doesn’t require a boat. Better yet, the surf fishing options on the Southeast Texas coast are wide open from the Sabine jetties to Galveston.
One of the best quick hit surf wading options out of Sabine can be found at the newly reopened Sea Rim State Park. To reach this stretch of sand and surf, simply drive to the town of Sabine, turn right at the four way stop and travel about 7 miles. The park will be on your left. Pay your entry fee, park and start fishing.
Another surf fishing option out of Sabine is just across the border in Louisiana. What you want to do is cross the causeway bridge and travel about three to four miles until you see a sign on the right that leads you to beach access. This is some of the best and most remote surf fishing on the right side of Texas. But entry comes with a price – loose sand and lots of it. The best way to fish this section of sand and surf is with a four-wheel drive vehicle or four wheeler. The drill is simple. If the water is green to the beach, cruise the sand until you see birds or baitfish.
Another way to fish the surf around the Sabine jetties is to access it with a boat. On a calm day, you can anchor the boat on the second sand bar and wade for miles. It’s not unusual to catch trout upwards of 7 pounds right about now in the Louisiana surf just east of the Sabine jetties.
Another very good and popular surf fishing beach is along Bolivar Peninsula. To reach the peninsula, head south on Highway 127 from Winnie until you run out of road. It will dead end at the Gulf of Mexico. From there, you can head east or west. If you go east, there is no road, and it is four-wheel drive real estate. If you head west, you’ll have a paved road all the way to the Galveston ferry. What a lot of anglers do on Bolivar Peninsula is find a cut off Highway 87 and run the beach looking for birds and bait fish.
The Bolivar Pocket is located at the base of the East Galveston jetty. This is not technically surf, but it’s a very good area to wade fish. The shallow flat on the east side of the jetty is shallow and goes forever. If you can catch the water right, it’s a great place to catch trout, reds and flounder.
Wading the surf is easy once you figure out how it’s done. First you’ve got to be dressed right. Wading booties are a must. The high-top boots will keep sand and shell off your feet. A pair of long pants and a long sleeve shirt will keep the jellyfish from stinging you. Needless to say, a hat is a must. The best, if you can still find one, is the old Styrofoam pith helmet. It not only keeps the sun off your head but also holds a lot of lures.
Other gear that will complete your wade fishing experience in the surf is a good belt that’ll hold a pair of pliers and a stringer. Besides a good rod and reel, that’s about it.
The key to being successful in the surf is to hit it right. By that I mean hitting the beach when the water is clean and green. For that to happen, you’ll need a light wind, preferably a variable wind out of the north or southeast.
A variety of lures will work in the surf. Regardless of what you tie on, the best time to wade into the surf is at first light. That’s when the topwater bite will be the most consistent.
There is good news and bad news associated with wading the surf. The good news is that it’s a quick hit option for catching a stringer of trout. The bad news is that your fish are on a stringer that is attached to you. And sharks definitely like to take advantage of an easy meal. That’s why it’s always best to wade with a long stringer and keep the fish on that stringer away from your torso.
The number one thing to keep in mind is to play it safe and wear a life jacket. Over the years a lot of fishermen have drowned while wading the surf. In most of those situations strong currents were a key factor. A speckled trout is definitely not worth risking your life for.