Saturday, June 20, 2009

The ONLY bait that works!

Friday I had a chance to fish -- but the wind returned and the Corpus Christi surf was as brown as it gets. I noticed seagulls feeding very actively in the Packery Channel, so I thought I had one good chance at catching fish -- use minnows. When the seagulls are feeding, that usually means small baitfish in the water being chased by big fish.
I had been hearing from many people about one fish that has always eluded me -- snook. As I got out of my car, a fellow stopped to tell me he had caught a dozen snook right there the day before, in the brown surf. He said he had one lure -- bright green "speck rigs," little lures that simulate small fish or shrimp. He said no other color worked. I asked about live shrimp or live minnows. His answer: he NEVER saw a snook caught on shrimp or minnows.
Well, I still went to get a few minnows. Just a few, because it was blazingly hot and I didn't expect a large number of minnows to live long under that sun in my bucket.
When I got back, Mr. Greenlure was gone. But, surprise, I saw a tourist from out of state who said he was catching one snook after another. His bait -- live shrimp! He caught a snook while I watched, close to the jetty rocks in the rough brown water, using a float to keep the bait from the rocks.
I took my five minnows in the bucket out to the end, put a float on and hooked on a small croaker to the size 1/0 "circle" hook. (The circle hook is a miracle invention, nearly circular, and as long as it's sharp, it will hook fish better than regular hooks. More in another entry.) In ten seconds I had a great big trout, biggest in a year -- 24 inches and very very fat. It weighed 4-1/2 pounds.
Unfortunately, the fight cost me my float, and I was just a little too lazy to walk all the way back to the car for another one. I fished with no float, just the bait and the hook. I lost three minnows, then with my last minnow, history. My first snook. It was hard to get a photo since it came free from the hook and wiggled so much. I had to throw it back because snook are protected, but first I got its picture, secure in my hands.
(In Texas you can keep one snook per day, but only if you're lucky enough that it's more than 24 inches and less than 28. This was maybe 16 inches.)
So remember, snook will only bite on green speckrigs. Make that live shrimp. I mean, minnows.