COASTAL FORECAST: Aransas to Corpus

September 25, 2017
September 25, 2017

Wells, Wells, and More Wells

W ells in Corpus Christi Bay, Aransas Bay, Redfish Bay and all the smaller bays in between should be trout producers in October.

The above-water well structure has been taken down, but the unmarked shell pads are still there. Capt. Jim Leavelle says you might even tangle with a tarpon off some of the wells in Corpus Christi Bay. 

Submerged well structures attract a number of sought-after gamefish, including tarpon.

Don’t laugh. Leavelle cites a tarpon migration that comes into the bay in the early fall. Anglers are catching them on live shrimp. I bet they were fishing for trout and got a big surprise.

“I fished for them off the Galveston coastline for 20 years,” Leavelle said. “If I can find the well pads in Corpus Christi Bay I can catch them just like we caught them out of Galveston.”

Anglers in Galveston used to use a lure called the Coast Hawk for tarpon. According to Leavelle the company was sold to a buyer in Costa Rica, so if you want one of the lures now, you would have to go to Costa Rica. “Fishing Tackle Unlimited in Houston has a knockoff,” he said. “They’re calling it a ‘Sea Hawk,’ a very effective bait.”

He described the lure as looking like a number two pencil. “It’s nothing but throwing a piece of lead that weighs two to three ounces with two treble hooks hanging on it,” Leavelle said. “I think the tarpon are hitting it as it falls, or as you retrieve it.”

Capt. Jack McPartland and his clients key on the wells for speckled trout. No artificial baits are used, just piggy perch under a cork or free-lined live shrimp.

At the wells McPartland uses 30-pound braid line on his reels and 25-pound test monofilament for leader material.

“The 30-pound braid diameter is equivalent to eight pound monofilament,” explained McPartland. “When a hook is made the hook eye is just crimped over, I have actually had the knots pop out that little bitty crimp spot where the eye isn’t welded to the shank; the knot slips through that little spot, and the hook comes off the line.

“I knotted the braid on my hook, moved it around the hook, and had the line come off the hook when I popped it with my hand, popped right off the eye,” he said. “Also, the braid is not going to break if you hang some junk down there. You lose a lot of terminal tackle as you have to cut the braid. A 25-pound monofilament leader gives me a bigger knot that will never slip out of the eye, and I can break it off if I hang a pipe or something.”

He uses a two-foot leader, so if he has to break a line, he can tie on a new hook several times before he has to redo the complete rigging.

No artificial baits—not at the wells. “When you throw live bait when fishing around the wells, you throw it right next to the structure. Let it sit, let it swim around, and do its thing.

“With an artificial you are working it away from the wells,” he said. “As soon as you jig a plastic two times, you’re six feet away from the well. When I throw a piggy up there, I want it next to the well the entire time until I see the rod bend. An artificial might work if you throw past the rig and pull it by the outside of the structure.”

Check out the Hotspots in this issue for GPS settings for several well locations in Corpus Christi Bay or any of the other bays in the Aransas area.

Email Tom Behrens at

[email protected]



Email Tom Behrens at [email protected]

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