Cold weather means it is time for winter fishing

Nov. 13, 2011 at 5:13 a.m.

Clarence and Sharon McCraw hold up four redfish they caught on a recent trip to Rockport. The fish were caught on cut mullet under a rattle cork.

Clarence and Sharon McCraw hold up four redfish they caught on a recent trip to Rockport. The fish were caught on cut mullet under a rattle cork.


Hello Anglers!

My favorite time of year to beat the waters with artificial baits instead of live or natural bait is almost in full swing.

This past Friday morning, air temperatures were predicted to be in the mid 30s. With air temperatures this low, water temperatures may fall into the mid to upper 50s.

If this happens for even a short period of time, above sized or larger speckled trout will begin to feed and fatten up for what lies ahead - Winter.

Waders come out, warm winter clothing is put in the front part of the closet instead of the back, and men will head back to the tackle shop to buy more Corkies and soft plastic lures!

Some may even buy a new pair of Simms waders after they tell their wives their old waders have a "leak."

It seems like with all the lures and tackle I own, I never have one of the latest and greatest.

My wife tells me I have enough fishing tackle, and I then sweetly tell her she has enough shoes and purses.

I don't know how many shrimp were back in the marshes and sloughs along the Coastal Bend because of the high salinity levels, but I do know the shrimp are there and will be migrating to the Gulf to spawn, and the fish and birds will be following them.

"Tis the Season" for winter artificial lure chunking!

I had written an article that came out several weeks ago on Sunday, Oct. 9, about four wonderful ladies who call themselves the "A-Team."

At the time, I wasn't able to tell the most exciting part of the story, but some special chain of eventshave happened on my boat since that trip to make the story even more exciting!

I noted we brought 11 redfish to our pier, but one redfish was extra special.

About halfway through the feeding frenzy, A-Team member Cathy Taylor hung a big redfish that started pulling her line out and, eventually, wrapped around an old post and broke off above the cork.

I jokingly said 'It wasn't real common for a fish to break a line above the cork, but, who knows, your cork might come back up later with the fish still on it.'

After hauling 10 big redfish into the boat, along with several break-offs, we started to idle out of some back country water when Kathy Taylor noticed a cork floating on the edge of the shoreline.

She immediately noticed that it was her cork.

Can you believe that?

I tied a light lure on one of my poles as I eased over to where the cork was floating. The cork was moving slowly, so the fish was still on the hook of the broken line.

I eased up to where I could make a long "prayer" cast, hoping to miraculously hook the bottom of the cork with my lure.

I told Kathy to come towards the front of the boat just in case I get lucky.

I got lucky on the first cast and hooked the cork.

I handed Kathy the rod and she vigorously fought the very fish she had lost earlier. She got the fish in the boat and it was a 27-inch redfish.

Kathy and the rest of the A-Team ladies went ballistic. I felt like I could walk on water.

Well, believe it or not, just two weeks ago, we were fishing in Ayers Bay on top of a shallow shell reef with cut mullet under a rattle cord.

This was the same set up the A-Team ladies used but in a different bay system.

I was fishing with Clarence and soon-to-be wife, Sharon McCraw. Sharon had just caught her first redfish ever and went from being a rookie to a pro in a matter of minutes.

It was time for lunch, so I staked out Sharon's pole and put it in a rod holder. We then ate some of the best Rueben sandwiches on the planet Sharon made the night before.

As we inhaled Sharon's sandwiches, I told her and Clarence the entire story of the A-Team's experience in detail. I told about how the redfish broke Kathy's line above the cork, etc.

I promise as soon as I finished the story, a redfish got on Sharon's pole and broke the line above the cork.

All of our mouths dropped open as if we were hit with a stun gun.

No sooner than I had finished telling them the story, the same thing happened.

This normally doesn't happen in a lifetime!

Well, I told both Sharon and Clarence the same thing I told the A-Team, which was maybe the cork will come up later.

You guessed it!

About 30 minutes later, the cork came up over 100 yards from the boat with the fish still on it.

I said, 'Reel them up, we're going to try to get that fish!'

I idled the boat slowly to where I could see the cork, turned off the outboard motor and set the trolling motor down, and eased over to get within casting range.

Still amazed at these mirrored circumstances, I told Sharon to get to the front of the boat because I was within casting distance of the moving cork.

My first cast missed, but I could see the fish was on the line, and it was a beast.

My next cast went past the cork, in line to snag it. Just as I was about to snag the cork, another huge red came out of nowhere and inhaled my lure.

I handed the rod to Sharon, and she fought another huge redfish that wasn't even part of the plan.

Oh well, can you even believe this?

By now, after all the commotion, the cork had disappeared. We still had a box full of beautiful redfish.

What a great adventure on the water.

That was on a Saturday. On Monday, I had a trip and went back to the same area.

We were all anchored up, and now I had two stories to tell.

As I began telling about two great adventures, one of the guys on the boat saw a cork come up.

It was mine!


Good Fishin,Captain Danny



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