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Grand Isle, LA by Al Rogers
Made to Wade... & Walk
 
For many anglers, rituals have become closely associated with their fishing trips. It may be as formal as a group prayer or safety meeting in the helm, or something as casual as a routine stop at the same bait, coffee shop or gas station. One of my biggest rituals takes place each spring.

I start by filling my tackle bins with lightly colored baits to replace the darker, winter colors. I know there are different schools of thought on this, but I just feel the lighter colors (i.e. clear and chartreuse) are better suited as cleaner water conditions prevail in the spring.

After cleaning and oiling my best reels and fixing any broken eyes on my rods, I'll replace the hooks on my favorite topwater plugs. Then I'll make live bait rigs with new popping corks and fluorocarbon leader.

And, I'll call Greg Jack, my go-to man in Grand Isle, Louisiana.

Touring Texas by Capt. Danno Wise
Top Spots for Trophy Spring Specks

Texas' coastal curve was once a playground for plundering pirates, anxious to grab the treasure aboard passing Spanish galleons.

Today, it is fishermen who flock to the over 300 mile long coastline of the Lone Star State. However, like the pirates before them, they have treasure in mind, only today it is in the form of giant speckled trout.

From South Padre Island to Sabine Lake, Texas saltwater fishermen have a variety of venues capable of producing an over 30-inch speckled trout. Mark these spots on your map and you'll drastically increase your odds of striking it rich on your next trophy trout treasure hunt.

SABINE LAKE
Location: Upper Texas Coast
Primary Feature: Mud and mussel shell
Top Baits: MirrOlure Top Dog, Texas Tackle Factory Big Mino
Top Spot: Louisiana Shoreline, Coffee Ground Cove
Tips & Tricks: Most of the fish will be taken over shell beds in 2 to 4 feet of water. It is best to stand, or anchor if fishing from a boat, at some distance away and cast to the shell beds. A shell bed over muddy bottom near a marsh drain deserves extra special attention, especially during a falling tide. Also, think dark when fishing Sabine. Since the lake's water is often off-color, Morning Glory and Red Shad are often the best colors. In topwater baits, black/chartreuse or black/red work well....

Mississippi Barrier Islands -
Pompano Paradise by Capt. Robert Brodie

Starting in April and running well into October in-the-know anglers in south Mississippi have the opportunity to fish one of the best Florida pompano runs in southern waters. Yes, that's right, and these fish aren't dinks with most specimens well over a pound with many over three pounds.

Pompano are a light tackle anglers dream come true, a lightning fast swimmer capable of making incredible runs mixed with frantic leaps. These small exotics, a mini version of a permit, prowl the shallow flats of Mississippi's barrier islands sandy bottoms looking for tiny morsels of food including coquina clams, sand fleas, and various small crabs.

All of the barrier isles including Petit Bois, Sand Island, Horn Island, East and West Ship Island, as well as Cat Island have miles and miles of crystal clear shallow flats and bars that lure in the silver beauties. Besides their great fighting ability, Florida pompano are considered one of the finest eating fish on the planet.

Many anglers locate pompano while cruising the shallows waiting for fish to start jumping in their wake, and then back track and begin fishing. It's possible to drift for them, but anchoring up and setting out the proper rigs seems to be the most effective method.

 
 
 
Gulf Coast Closeup - by Nate Skinner
Texas City, Texas... A diamond in the rough

If you ever find yourself on south Highway 146 heading toward Galveston Island from the Kemah/Bacliff area of Texas and look towards the east, the unmistakable site of industrial smoke stacks can be seen miles away, as their flares burn bright in the smoky haze. Below this layer of atmospheric smog, lies a seaport town right smack dab in the middle of Galveston Bay, known as Texas City, Texas.

My hometown of 21 years, Texas City is commonly seen by outsiders, as the "arm pit" of the world, with little to offer other than "blue-collar" jobs and health concerns for residents. However, from an angler's point of view, I think visitors, as well as locals, would argue that this seaport location puts fishermen on an ideal spot in Galveston Bay for something incredible to happen.

Lying about 40 miles southeast of Houston, Texas City traces its roots back to several small settlements along Galveston Bay as early as the 1830's, including the very first settlement of Campbell's Bayou near Virginia Point, both of which can still be seen on current maps of the bay system. Texas City has for the most part, lent itself to the shipping industry serving as one of the main ports in the state, as well as one of the largest until the development of the Port of Houston.

In the past century, the petroleum industry has taken over much of the labor force within the town and surrounding cities and counties, as it is home to one of the largest petroleum/chemical plant centers in the state.

With all the commotion from petroleum companies, it is difficult at times to see the beauty of what Texas City's coastal access to the Galveston Bay Complex has to offer. As the largest estuary in the state, it stretches some 610 square miles and is composed of five bays: Trinity Bay, Upper Galveston Bay, Lower Galveston Bay, West Bay, and East Bay...

 
This issue in OUR DEPARTMENTS...
 
Paddling Out - Bragging Rights - by Jeff Herman
 
Rod & Reel'n Offshore - Flash Weights - by Patrick Lemire
 
Equipment Notebook - Install a Boat Compass - by David Ayers
 
The Bay Naturalist - Oyster Defense System - by John Hook
 
The Fly Guy - Refined Surf Tactics - by Pete Cooper, Jr.
 
Tackle Time - My Aching Feet - Latest in Wading Shoes - by Colby Sorrells
 
Bait Hook - Jumping to Conclusions - 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
Publisher
 
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