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Autumn Gold

by Ed Snyder / Ed Snyder Outdoors
Page(s): 1
[Click to enlarge image]

These anglers panned a nice catch of golden croaker nuggets
Photo by Ed Snyder

[Click to enlarge image]

A golden sunrise greets this Gulf Shrimper trawling a mornings catch of shrimp
Photo by Ed Snyder
(Sep. 08, 2003 - Rollover Pass- Gilchrist, TX)... The group of pan fish anglers cast deeply into the honey hole for the treasures rumored to be there, and within only seconds they hit the bonanza as they hooked and landed several gleaming golden nuggets that made them smile with anticipated delight.

Rollover Pass harbors many secrets that when "whispered" among the fishermen’s network will cause instantaneous migrations of anglers who’ll play hooky from far and wide to take advantage of those "whispered" secrets.

Golden Croaker, a robust little critter, are one of those secrets at the pass that are well known for their fall runs, when, literally millions of these pan-fish sized grunions begin migrating from out of the bays & bayous through the passes and into gulf waters. This is when it’s possible for normally non-fisher type people to have some fun catching 100’s of these tasty table fish without too much ado. A cane pole, a loop of line and a hook will suffice for you to join in on this annual "croaker-riot’ of catching and eating one of the most flavorful food fish to ever swim the inshore waters of the Texas Gulf coast. In fact, only one other species of inshore fish, the flounder, can claim such extreme fishing popularity.

Most croaker aficionados use light fishing gear that can spool line "tuff-enuff" to withstand hours of casting, catching, and reeling in these feisty golden nuggets, which are then quickly admired before being tossed into rapidly filling ice chests before being carted home for those tantalizing croaker fries.

Fresh-dead shrimp is your best bait for enticing the croaker bite, but live shrimp and fresh-cut croaker are also very productive options for these smallish, but brawny fish that commonly reach 10 to 12 inches, with some stretching well past the 16 inch mark.

Small #8 or #6 Aberdeen hooks are the best when rigged above a sinker-weight that is heavy enough to minimize line drift on tidal currents. Use small pieces of dead shrimp impaled on the tip of the hook only and the croaker will usually hook themselves when biting. Some anglers will tie on multiple hooks in hopes of catching multiple fish, but be forewarned that these chunky little critters are very hard fighters and more than two hand-sized croaker on one pole may be way too much for your fishin-rig to handle.

Presently, Texas Parks & Wildlife fishing regulations have no restrictions on the size or daily bag limits of croakers, but be advised that works are in the change-box for future croaker regulations. So this just may be the final season for anglers to enjoy the unlimited windfall that we always have enjoyed during these past Autumn Golden Croaker runs. The Golden Croaker run usually starts in September and lasts until the middle of October......
"Go Gettum!"

This article sponsored by www.fishingworld.com and Hazel’s RV Camp at Rollover Pass-(409)-286-5228

[Click to enlarge image]

This young anglerette managed to string up a nice catch of croaker
Photo by Ed Snyder
 [Click to enlarge image]

Anglers play hooky from far and wide to take advantage of the annual golden croaker run at Rollover Pass
Photo by Ed Snyder
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