The Laguna Madre's
Nine-Mile Hole by Lefty Ray Chapa
Kayaking the Graveyard...
big," Amancio Cantu told me, "And far," Todd Fleming added.
They were talking about the Nine-Mile Hole, a destination below the Texas
coastal bend that held, if the rumors were true, schools of 40 inch long
redfish. All summer I kept hearing about tackle bruising reds who were
very skittish, hard to catch, and if you did get a hookup, hard to land.
Our solution was to approach them in kayaks. Paddling over 30 miles south
from Corpus Christi was way out of the question even for highly experienced
kayak fishing compadres like Amancio and Todd. Todd knew we would need a
sizable boat to ferry three kayaks that far. His solution was Captain Tom
Callahan. Tom has a very wide Carolina Skiff that is 24 feet long with a
very roomy front deck. Todd's idea was to fashion a wooden kayak rack to
fit Tom's skiff and lash it and the kayaks down in some manner.
Days later we all rendezvoused before dawn at the Bird Island Basin boat
ramp at the Padre Island National Seashore...
From Ashphalt to the
fishing tactics that will keep your tires dirty and you lines tight!
The transition from late summer to early fall on the Texas Gulf Coast
sparks a feeding frenzy among the water's top predators and game fish. Schools
of baitfish and shrimp will start a slow migration process, moving from
the bays and estuaries, back to the saltier waters of the Gulf as the seasons
begin to change. With this migration, you can bet that some toothy, hard
hitting, spotted predators are not far behind looking for an easy meal.
For anglers, this means one thing-the surf is on fire, and full of speckled
When the surf goes flat during the months of August to October, it's
time to get some sand on those tires and walk out into the Gulf of Mexico.
The upper Texas Coast, from McFaddin Beach to the San Luis Pass, offers
nearly 100 miles of sun drenched beaches that are lapped by the salty, game
fish-filled waters of the Gulf, much of which are free to public and vehicle
- Louisiana's LAKE DECADE by Pete Cooper, Jr.
- Prospecting Lake Decade for Reds & Trout
Over the years I heard a lot of
glowing reports about the autumn and winter speck fishing in Lake Decade,
located a little southwest of Houma. But as such, it was a comparatively
long way from my erstwhile home in the Delta - where I was literally surrounded
by some excellent autumn and winter speck fishing! So I had to get displaced
by K. before I made my first trip there, which was complements of my Acadiana
rice-farmer buddy Durel Romaine.
Durel had recently gotten some inspiring news about the action on the
lake, so we picked a decent mid-December day, made the run, and found the
marina in Theriot socked in with fog! No real problem there, though, since
a fairly well defined bayou west of the launch-site leads to the lake, and
Durel had made the trip several times beforehand. So we picked our way down
the bayou without incident, swung around a fleet of stacked drilling rigs
at the point where the bayou met the lake, and on my suggestion kept them
in sight until we located the lake's eastern shoreline...
- Gulf Coast Closeup - by Mike Price
- Captain-Coach Floyd
Captain-Coach Floyd Ciruti is a fishing guide who listens to his clients.
Ciruti said, "I ask them what they would like to know and then I coach.
I'd like the whole experience to be fun for them. I want them to feel like
they learned something about reading the water, watching bait, and how to
decide whether or not to fish an area. And I try to get them to understand
and see nature."
Ciruti has a unique background especially suited to his profession. A
native of Baytown, Texas he grew up playing sports and fishing in Trinity
and Galveston Bays. After high school, Ciruti went to college at Sam Houston
State University in Huntsville where he played baseball. In 1972 he was
named to the All-America first team in the Lone star conference National
Association of Intercollegiate Athletes as a center fielder. After graduating
from Sam Houston, Ciruti played semipro baseball for four summers. He found
his true calling however, when he accepted a position with Wharton High
School as coach and teacher.
The Wharton High School baseball team won 550 games in the 30 years that
Ciruti coached. They only had two losing seasons, and were almost always
in the playoffs. Fishing was Ciruti's way to escape during his coaching
career, to get away from everything and sort things out in his head. He
said, "I didn't have a boat when I moved to Wharton, and I just started
driving to places to fish. Then I got a boat and started fishing East and
West Matagorda Bays, and have been fishing them ever since." When asked
what it took to be such a successful coach he said, "Good coaching
is finding ways to get average kids to perform up to and beyond their capability.
The ones with talent are going to perform well anyway." Helping fishermen
perform up to their capabilities involves a lot of factors, but after retiring
from coaching in 2007, Ciruti got his captains license and decided to take
on that challenge...
- This issue in OUR DEPARTMENTS...
- Paddling Out - Going
Offshore - by Jeff Herman
- Rod & Reel'n Offshore - The Boss, etc. - by
- Equipment Notebook
a Hatch Spring - by David Ayers
- The Bay Naturalist
- Roasted Drum (or red)
- by John Hook
- The Fly Guy -
Proper Puddling Procedures - by
Pete Cooper, Jr.
- Tackle Time
- A Rebel and a Rebellion - by Colby Sorrells
- Bait Hook
- !!!@#%!! OIL!
- 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
Subscription starts with
FALL 2010 (OCT-DEC)
One Year Only
If you would prefer to order by phone,
please call 800-552-4853
U.S. Subscriptions Only