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#12466312 - 10/15/17 05:35 AM Croaker
karstopo Offline
Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 404
Loc: Brazoria County
Anyone target these on the fly rod?

When I've fished artificial plugs and tails I might have caught by total accident just a very small handful in hundreds and hundreds of hours of fishing. Fly fishing I've never targeted them but seem to pick up a few fairly often mainly while targeting speckled trout and flounder fishing structure and sign. Not ever having targeted Croaker, I don't know much about their preferences or seasonal patterns. Seems like the only pattern I've been able to come up with is they seem to like to be near oyster reef. I'd like to know more about their preferences for water and structure, but really don't know where to start. Maybe they just hang out with the other fish and picking up a couple here and there is as good as it gets. They are pretty tasty and that's the main reason I even care.

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#12469743 - 10/18/17 06:24 AM Re: Croaker [Re: karstopo]
Bruce Mc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/25/16
Posts: 56
Loc: Edna, Tx
My salt water fly rodding experience is limited but I used to catch a lot of big croaker during the summer along the packery channel when I was a kid, mostly on dead shrimp. Caught a few on gold spoons. They run into the bays during the summer I think. Never caught many any other times. You are right about them being tasty. I'd think they'd be easy on any shrimp pattern.


Edited by Bruce Mc (10/18/17 06:26 AM)
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#12469891 - 10/18/17 08:46 AM Re: Croaker [Re: karstopo]
karstopo Offline
Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 404
Loc: Brazoria County
Thanks for the information. I seem to only enjoy fly fishing with floating line so deep channel fishing might not work unless they are not too deep on the rocks. I suppose I'll just keep on pecking around oyster bars and see if I can't scratch out a few here and there. Looking back at my fish logs, I caught a couple from an Oyster infested marsh drain on a small redfish crack in 2015. I haven't been using a shrimp pattern heavily for all that long, maybe since last Spring. That's about the time I picked up a couple next to a reef in Drum Bay. My biggest came from a large marsh lake with shell and that was in the summer of 2016. Everywhere I've caught them there's been hard structure nearby so a channel like Packery with rocks seems to fit that pattern.

I don't ever see making croaker my primary focus. I do have a few gold spoon flies that I carry around but never tie on. Maybe I'll make a point to use them in what looks like good croaker water.

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#12470295 - 10/18/17 02:14 PM Re: Croaker [Re: karstopo]
Bruce Mc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/25/16
Posts: 56
Loc: Edna, Tx
In 1968 the packery wasn't the improved channel it is today, it was more of a natural estuary with oyster bottom in most if it, and not very deep. A big yacht couldn't of navigated it like it is today.
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"Garg 'nuair dhùisgear"

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#12472103 - 10/19/17 10:05 PM Re: Croaker [Re: karstopo]
Jim Ford Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 1533
Loc: Texas
I've caught a few on flies blind casting around oyster bars for reds. The wife (she didn't fly fish) used to catch a lot of them at Goose Island SP on fresh dead shrimp. We always released them but we'd always heard that they are great table fare.

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#12472677 - 10/20/17 11:35 AM Re: Croaker [Re: Jim Ford]
karstopo Offline
Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 404
Loc: Brazoria County
Originally Posted By: Jim Ford
I've caught a few on flies blind casting around oyster bars for reds. The wife (she didn't fly fish) used to catch a lot of them at Goose Island SP on fresh dead shrimp. We always released them but we'd always heard that they are great table fare.


Do you remember what pattern they went for? It definitely seems oyster bars are the place to fish for them. I typically start out on redfish hunts or whatever else might be up shallow and when and if that doesn't pan out I'll hit the oyster bars, drains and drop offs. I enjoy structure fishing with fly gear and croaker help add a little interest.

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#12473292 - 10/20/17 08:56 PM Re: Croaker [Re: karstopo]
Jim Ford Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 1533
Loc: Texas
I don't recall specific patterns, but I mostly throw shrimp imitations. Around shallow oysters I frequently throw unweighted bendbacks on a #4 or #6 hook. I generally throw grey, sand, or olive, and I've been known to combine colors. The only other fly I throw with any frequency in shallow water would be a crack fly. I'll make note the next time I catch them (now I'll probably never catch another one again) and let you know.

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