Late fall and winter fishing techniques along the middle coast

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TF&G - LEVI PRICE

Here are some tactics that Capt. Levi Price is beginning to employ that should work through the winter, depending on how much cold the angler can take. The report covers Aransas Pass, Port Aransas, Rockport and Corpus Christi.

When a front comes through, fish the dropping tide, which piles up sport species at the mouths of the back lakes and in areas draining to deeper channels.

Target red drum, or redfish, first thing in the morning, which may include an occasional trout or flounder. Then move and add black drum.

Redfish: “With piggy perch getting too big this time of year, free-line smaller live mullet or small, weed-less spoons and plastics in about 18 inches of water in back bays, flats and areas leading to deeper channels. To avoid getting cut off on oyster reefs, use a 30-pound leader and 30-pound braided line.”

Speckled trout: “They’ve quit hitting live croaker and piggy perch — which have grown larger — so switch to live shrimp over a popping cork, D.O.A. shrimp and Gulp. Deeper into winter is time for trophy trout from 27-32 inches. Wading with artificial or live shrimp can produce several a day along with keeper sizes.”

Black drum: “This excellent table fare runs in schools of 50 up to 200 in low tide on the edges of the bays just outside the flats on the San Jose Island shoreline and through Redfish Bay. Sight fish and cast in front of them with fresh dead shrimp on a 3.0 Mustad Croaker Hook on a 30-pound leader and 30-pound braided line to avoid being cut off on oyster reefs.”

Flounder: “Fish channels and areas that drain off flats with small live mullet or mud minnow on a Carolina rig and a 3/8-ounce sinker. Let bait sit if tide is running; if not, reel in a foot or so every once in a while.”

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