A Busy Week In The Outdoors!

The black drum is about to kick off on the Texas Coast and Galveston is a great destination for doing battle with these hard fighting fish.

Most hunters and environmentalists including myself strongly oppose the introduction of chemicals to the ecosystem for killing hogs. In this week’s radio show on www.catfishradio.com, I recorded an in depth interview  with Mr. Miller.  From what I’ve learned, there simply is not enough science behind the use of this deadly (on hogs for sure) chemical. Mid-week, Natalie Solis with Fox 4 in Dallas and her cameraman came out to join me on some land where I do a lot of hog hunting. We were filming just after lunch and the piece aired on the 6 pm news the same day.  I explained what I knew about this impending new way of killing hogs and after the segment aired on TV, I received a good bit of positive reinforcement from folks that agree with me that it simply is not a good idea.

But, my entire week was not spent dealing with all the negatives of poisoning wild hogs. I had the chance to visit with a couple of very interesting guys that make their living in the fishing industry.  Stubby Stubbyfield, makes “Stubbys” Catfish bait and headquarters at Lake Fork and the most veteran fishing guide on the Texas coast, Capt. Mike Williams. 

When it comes to catfish baits, I have just about used every commercial variety on the market. Just about every serious catfish angler knows that “punch baits” are highly effective for catching lots of good eating channel catfish, they are also aware that most all punch baits are very rank smelling, thus the name “Punch” bait! A forked stick or screwdriver with a notch on the tip are used to punch the hooks into the bait bucket rather than actually touching these foul smelling concoctions. A couple years ago, I was fishing with a good buddy at Fork who introduced me to Stubby’s Dough Bait for catfish. I watched my friend scoop out a chunk of bait from the bucket (with his hand) roll it into a tight tear shaped ball and place it on a #4 treble hook. Then he handed me the bucket, expecting me to do the same. I remember asking, “Where is the punch stick? I’m not sticking my hand into that bucket!”

After a quick sniff, I quickly ascertained that “Stubby’s” was not the rank smelling bait that I had become accustomed to through the years. I balled a little chunk of the bait, just enough to cover the hook, dropped it down near bottom and proceeded to catch the first of what turned into a limit of good eating channel catfish!

In an interview earlier this week with Stubblefield, I learned there are some “secret” ingredients imported from Asia that make the bait so effective. Rather than depending upon a rank smell to attract catfish, Stubby has obviously taken a cue from a culture that has to catch fish to survive. Asians are known for their fish catching ability and it stands to reason that through the years they have developed baits that work.  I have a fishing trip with Stubby planned later this week at Fork. He tells me those jumbo sized Lake Fork Channel Catfish are biting well in creek channels 30 to 40 feet deep. He favors baiting with soured grain submerged channel crossings. More on the results of the trip in next week’s column!

“The bite is not what it will be in May when it’s nonstop catching but fishing has been very good lately with good stringers of 2 to 5 pounders landed. Most of the fish we’re catching are good eating size with an occasional bigger fish.” Says Stubblefield.

If you are planning a Spring Break get away and wish to do battle with some big fish, You might consider a trip to Galveston and fishing for giant black drum during their annual spawning run from the open waters of the Gulf into the bay system. Capt. Mike Williams says spring break coincides perfectly with the peak of the best Drum Fishing and his team of guides are making ready for the big fish action. “This is a great trip for Mom, Pop and the kids or the veteran angler that wishes to break free of cabin fever with some hard fighting fish.” Says Williams.

These trips occur within a ten minute boat ride of the Galveston Yacht Basin around the Jetties or close in waters. Everything is furnished and William’s crew of guides use sections of blue crab, the best bait of all for drum fishing. It’s common to connect with a big redfish or two while fishing for Drum and serious trout fishermen wishing to catch trophy size trout can opt to free line live shrimp along the base of the Jetties.

Vacationers coming to Galveston this time of year find many activities in addition to fishing to keep them busy. We often rent a beach house in one of the communities on the west end of the Island for a few days. Moody Gardens is close by and it’s just a short drive to visit the San Jacinto Battlegrounds. Galveston has some world class restaurants to get your seafood fix. You might wish to spend some time crabbing off one of the docks. All that’s needed is a crab net, some string and a package of chicken nets and oh yes, SOME SHRIMP AND CRAB BOIL!

Listen to “Outdoors with Luke Clayton and Friends” on radio stations from Nebraska to Texas on weekends or anytime online at www.catfishradio.com.

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