Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine VOL 41, No. 1 - Page 33

copolymer or monofilament lines will reduce the chance of ‘break-offs.’ Anglers should also frequently check the drag to make sure line peels off smoothly and evenly. Line guides can also be problematic. If they are nicked, cracked or broken they can fray line and should be replaced. Spraying line and reels with products such as Reel Magic will reduce line memory and help reels move freely. And, as mentioned above, using super sharp hooks is a must for monster trout fishermen. It is handy to carry a file to touch up points during the course of an outing. Treat a Monster With Kindness Finally, anglers should treat all monster trout with kindness. There is really no need to retain trophy trout, as photos and replica mounts can take care of any necessary mementos. Instead, fishermen should handle all monster trout gently and spend extra time reviving them to increase their chance of surviving after being released. Anglers dedicating themselves to chasing trophy trout stand a good chance at hooking a monster fish during the next few months. And, by picking their spots wisely and utilizing a patient approach, wade fishermen can tilt the odds in their favor during their monster trout quest. GCF Rockefeller Refuge (Continued from page 27.) at their heads and at low tides are not accessible to craft much larger than 15foot aluminum skiffs. To enter them, read the water, pick the “chute” where noticeable current from the deepest water lies between the exposed mud flats, blow through it, and you should be back in reasonable depths after 100 yards, or so. Incidentally, the tides along this reach of the Louisiana coast can get pretty extreme, so let discretion be the better part of valor, and DO NOT leave your push-pole or a hell-for-stout paddle at the house. Cool weather canal fishing is best done here in two fashions. The first is to work the canals’ shoreline drop-offs with a trolling motor, understanding that structure does not normally occur right at the water’s edge. Generally, bottom slopes a short distance from the grassline to the drop-off and can be covered with the high tide, thereby allowing reds and flounder to feed along the deeper part of it. However, on the lower end of the tide, the entire breadth of the slope can be exposed. This can concentrate the fish along the drop-off and, in my opinion, often makes for the best fishing. In both cases, it’s best to cast your spinnerbait as close to parallel to the edge of whatever is then denoting the “bank” and retrieve it with slow short pumps. This technique is effective when the fish are scattered. The second method comes into play on days when the fish tend to gang up. While speculating spinnerbaits and quickly experiencing two or three quick strikes or hook-ups, quietly move the boat out into the deeper water, set the anchor, and give the spot a thorough going-over. Those spots can occur in a canal’s straight-away as well as in its turnaround, too! Without a doubt, though, a canal’s dead-end is usually the most popular and most productive spot. Usually! If pickings have been a little thin along the straight-away and turn-around, move to the back end and set the anchor a medium-range cast from the bank. Then slowly speculate a shrimp-tipped jig suspended some three feet beneath a small weighted popping cork to points just outside of the drop-off there. This technique works best in the shallower canals. The deeper ones are made to order for a fish-finder rig comprised of a size 1 hook on a two-foot leader and baited with a fresh shrimp in the 26/30 count range, and a quarter-ounce egg sinker. These should also be worked near to or just outside of where you presume the canals’ drop-offs might be. Getting to the Refuge does indeed require a journey from the nearest populated areas, and that is a limiting factor for lots of folks, but it’s a journey that can end with a lot of rewards. Take your time, enjoy the scenery – and the wildlife, and don’t forget to bring your camera! Getting There From LA14 in Kaplan, take LA 35 south to LA 82 at Forked Island and continue on LA82 south and west to the Refuge. From I-10 just east of Lake Charles, take LA 27 south through Creole to LA82 just east of Cameron and follow LA 82 east to the Refuge. There are convenience stores in both Grand Cheniere and Pecan Island. GCF Editor’s Notes (Continued from page 5.) It’s not something every fisherman will find to their liking, but for those that pursue trophy trout, it can prove a very rewarding time of year. Big trout are not the only big fish on fisherman radars this quarter. In the marshes and bays of the North Gulf, bull reds are a favorite pursuit of many anglers and can magnify the fishing fun factor many times for those lucky enough to find one on the end of their line. “Bulls in the Red Zone,” by Alabama author John Felsher, covers many of the top spots to check out this winter if you want to put your tackle and endurance to the test. The Louisiana marsh is also a prime location for bull reds this quarter and they can be found in some very surprising places. Rockefeller Refuge is a little out of the way for many anglers but holds many reasons to make the trip. Check it out in this issue’s Gulf Coast Closeup. One othe [Y]وX[H\]X\\\]]XX\[۝ Bݙ[H[\\\XYH[ܙB[\[[X[\BZH\HۈH]\[[^\Y\[^YHۈHX]\8$[[Y[X\X\] тт‚SPTH8(PPTH8(PT  H ‚