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#12473623 - 10/21/17 09:28 AM Packery Channel Jetties
Shoreboundangler Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 07/06/15
Posts: 19
Fishing at the Packery Channel jetties has been very good this October. There have been flurries of redfish for the mullet soakers. Also, the trout have been cooperative for guys throwing live shrimp, small live mullet, and mullet imitating hard bodied baits. Plenty of big spanish mackerel are mixed in too. My focus has been on alternate species though.

Mojarra have been around in good numbers this year, but they are behaving differently that years past. My usual spots for catching them have been hit or miss. When I've been able to get a bucketful for bait, the Mangrove snapper bite has been exceptional. Bottom fishing with live mojarra tight to the rocks near the end of both jetties has been very good for both numbers and size. I've put together several good boxes of fish 12" and larger. My largest this year has only been 16", but I've caught several in the 14" to 15" range.

One of my best outings was on a Tuesday after work. Guys were stacked up at the end of the north jetty, jostling for positions on the best rocks and catching some nice reds on live mullet. I was successful with my Mojarra hunt and posted up just before the crowd on the channel side. I pinned a little mojo on my hook and tossed it right in front of me into the the rocks. The guy fishing next to me had enough time to tell me that I needed to be farther out to avoid getting snagged and catch a red, before my rod bent and line peeled off my little Penn Pursuit 2500. That first mangrove was a fat one which I tossed into my cooler after pulling out the one beer I'd brought along. I ended up boxing a dozen or so nice mangroves before the sun set.

My very last mojarra one was a big one, half the size of my hand. Just for grins I tossed it way out to the middle of the channel. Before it hit bottom I saw my line go tight and streak to the right. I didn't really set the hook so much as just lift my rod and hold on. Line poured off my reel. For one of the few times in my life I thought i was going to be spooled. Fortunately the fish turned with plenty of line to spare and swam back towards me. I raced to catch up, reeling furiously while pointing the rod at the fish and pinching the incoming line to keep tension. A moment later a 2' long torpedo was streaking back and forth in front of me .... Spanish Mackerel!

While snapper fishing earlier, I had broke off and re-rigged several times. The last time i rigged I got lazy and didn't tie on a leader. This oversight went thru my head as I thought of how I was going to land the big mackerel. I let it tire itself out a while, leading it back and forth on the surface in front of me. When it looked whipped, I waited for a little wave to help me slide it up on the rock just below me on the waters edge. As I lifted the rod and the fish slid out of the water, I watched the hook sort of fall out of the corner of its mouth. The fish just laid there. Going down to grab it seemed dicey. Before I had a chance to make up my mind, the guy who'd coached me earlier on how and where to cast dropped his own rod, then slid down the rocks to grab the mack by the tail. He heaved it up onto the top of the jetty and scrambled back up just before a big wave came and washed over the spot where the mack was previously beached.

"Nice Mack" he said. After recovering his own rod he realized that he was hooked up. While he fought it, I borrowed a long handled landing net from a guy fishing the surf side. Right as I got to the edge of the rocks he led the fish directly into the net. Up top it measured 27". The fish had a second hook, a 3 oz weight, and about 5' of someone else's line hanging from its mouth. That red completed his 3 fish limit.

Going into the end of October, I plan to watch the tide charts for big outgoing tides. I'll continue soaking mojarra for snapper as long as that plays out. I'll also be soaking dead shrimp for croaker and maybe thinking about targeting flounder in the surf at the base of the south jetty. We need one really good cold front for that action to really light up.

the shoreboundangler

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#12474432 - 10/21/17 10:37 PM Re: Packery Channel Jetties [Re: Shoreboundangler]
chapcat Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 21
Loc: Corpus Christi
Awesome report, Bugs. I am retiring on the 29th of this month, and will be out on the jetties regularly. I hope to run into you and bend your ear if possible. I followed your blog religiously, and was sorry to see it go, but I understood your reasons. I am really looking forward to this years sheepshead season in particular.

Funny you mentioned getting spooled, as that almost happened to me yesterday while at the South jetty. I was fishing along the walkway starting just at the base of the jetty, and began working a Gulp 4" natural shrimp along the drop off looking for flounder on the strong outgoing tide, just as you mentioned. I had worked my way down to where the gray posts start as you approach the entrance to Padre Lakes, when I had a big hit. I thought it was a bull red at first. Right after it hit, it swam a couple of circles toward the center of the channel, but then it took off for the Gulf, peeling drag like it was not even there. I was certain at that point I had a big Jack Crevalle on. I was near getting spooled on my 3000 series Daiwa, when I started chasing the fish down channel trying to get line back, but he always peeled it right back off. It was just stopping to fight, then running. I did that all the way back to the jetty, and just before he spooled me, I tightened the drag in a last attempt to turn him, but to no avail. He then broke me off. What a fight that was.

I also tried to find some flounder in the surf at the base, tossing a chartreuse 4" swimming mullet around the rocks, but found no takers before I called it a day. I have had good success at the Port A jetty doing that, but have yet to find a flounder at Packery. I know they should be in there though. Hope to run into you out there and say hello.

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#12474592 - 10/22/17 08:41 AM Re: Packery Channel Jetties [Re: chapcat]
Shoreboundangler Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 07/06/15
Posts: 19
Awesome story CC. I'll be out there a bit this morning (Sunday) before the front hits. I'm hearing that Oil is washing up at the fish pass from the barge that blew up Friday night. I'll put my Saturday report up this evening after the Cowboys game. Preview: I caught drum at north pac ......

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#12474907 - 10/22/17 02:03 PM Re: Packery Channel Jetties [Re: Shoreboundangler]
parttime Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 5654
Loc: San Antonio
What is a mojarra?
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Parttime (John)

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#12475163 - 10/22/17 06:56 PM Re: Packery Channel Jetties [Re: parttime]
PiePuncher Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 3131
Loc: Fort Worth
I'm assuming he's talking about menhadden or pogies.
The menhadden have been thick around the rock edges.
Mojarra are small funny looking silver baitfish. Google it. I have never heard of anyone targeting them specifically for fishing.
Large mangroves are easily caught on shrimp and finger mullet.


Edited by PiePuncher (10/22/17 07:04 PM)
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#12475342 - 10/22/17 10:10 PM Re: Packery Channel Jetties [Re: Shoreboundangler]
Ledeez Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 09/01/15
Posts: 943
Loc: Lake lavon
Great read guys! Thanks for sharing
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#12475548 - 10/23/17 08:17 AM Re: Packery Channel Jetties [Re: PiePuncher]
parttime Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 5654
Loc: San Antonio
Originally Posted By: PiePuncher
I'm assuming he's talking about menhadden or pogies.
The menhadden have been thick around the rock edges.
Mojarra are small funny looking silver baitfish. Google it. I have never heard of anyone targeting them specifically for fishing.
Large mangroves are easily caught on shrimp and finger mullet.

Thank you for the explanation.
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#12483137 - 10/29/17 10:08 AM Re: Packery Channel Jetties [Re: PiePuncher]
Shoreboundangler Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 07/06/15
Posts: 19
I'm talking about what I'm talking about. Mojarra, or more specifically our local species the Flagfin Mojarra (Eucinostomus melanopterus) are small finfish that have become more common here in south Texas in the last few years. Around August thru November, they've been migrating through the pass at the Packery Channel in good numbers. When they are around, everything is eating them.

I've been targeting them as bait and using them specifically for mangrove snapper since 2010. Snapper aren't the only fish that eat them though. To date I've caught Mangrove Snapper, Lane Snapper, Gag Grouper, Wrasse, Rock Blennie, Gaftop, Hardheads, Speckled Trout, Sand Trout, Gulf Trout, Redfish, Flounder, Snook, Skipjacks, and Spanish Mackerel using them. That's 15 species and counting. The only common types of fish that I haven't caught using them is a black drum or a sheepshead.

There's no way this baitfish would ever be confused (at least not by me) with a Menhaden. The casual fisherman who doesn't really distinguish one bait from the other might confuse them with a scaled sardine. Side by side, those two are readily distinguishable too. Pogies are what East Coasters call Menhaden.

This year at the Packery Channel Jetties, the Mojarra run started early and seems to have petered out. I've only had a handful of successful days catching them. When I have them, I've cleaned up on mangroves, and small trout. Interestingly one recent night after work I tried all my favorite spots and couldn't catch any. I switched to using dead shrimp and started catching some big gaftop right at sunset inside the channel near the end of the rocks. Every single gaftop had a bulging belly and was coughing up Mojarra all over the rocks. That got me thinking that the schools of bait must have been running the bottom in deeper water rather than hugging the rocks like they normally do.

bugs .... the shoreboundangler

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#12483383 - 10/29/17 04:23 PM Re: Packery Channel Jetties [Re: Shoreboundangler]
KQT Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/21/08
Posts: 955
Loc: Dallas and Port A
Shore....I googled mojarra, but there are a lot of types of mojarra. Any idea of the species? Interesting that we have them here.
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#12483612 - 10/29/17 08:16 PM Re: Packery Channel Jetties [Re: KQT]
Shoreboundangler Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 07/06/15
Posts: 19
Flagfin Mojarra. (Eucinostomus melanopterus)

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#12484085 - 10/30/17 08:09 AM Re: Packery Channel Jetties [Re: Shoreboundangler]
parttime Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 5654
Loc: San Antonio
Originally Posted By: Shoreboundangler
I'm talking about what I'm talking about. Mojarra, or more specifically our local species the Flagfin Mojarra (Eucinostomus melanopterus) are small finfish that have become more common here in south Texas in the last few years. Around August thru November, they've been migrating through the pass at the Packery Channel in good numbers. When they are around, everything is eating them.

I've been targeting them as bait and using them specifically for mangrove snapper since 2010. Snapper aren't the only fish that eat them though. To date I've caught Mangrove Snapper, Lane Snapper, Gag Grouper, Wrasse, Rock Blennie, Gaftop, Hardheads, Speckled Trout, Sand Trout, Gulf Trout, Redfish, Flounder, Snook, Skipjacks, and Spanish Mackerel using them. That's 15 species and counting. The only common types of fish that I haven't caught using them is a black drum or a sheepshead.

There's no way this baitfish would ever be confused (at least not by me) with a Menhaden. The casual fisherman who doesn't really distinguish one bait from the other might confuse them with a scaled sardine. Side by side, those two are readily distinguishable too. Pogies are what East Coasters call Menhaden.

This year at the Packery Channel Jetties, the Mojarra run started early and seems to have petered out. I've only had a handful of successful days catching them. When I have them, I've cleaned up on mangroves, and small trout. Interestingly one recent night after work I tried all my favorite spots and couldn't catch any. I switched to using dead shrimp and started catching some big gaftop right at sunset inside the channel near the end of the rocks. Every single gaftop had a bulging belly and was coughing up Mojarra all over the rocks. That got me thinking that the schools of bait must have been running the bottom in deeper water rather than hugging the rocks like they normally do.

bugs .... the shoreboundangler

Thank you Sir for the education! I assume you were cast netting them?
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Parttime (John)

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#12484225 - 10/30/17 09:52 AM Re: Packery Channel Jetties [Re: Shoreboundangler]
gar1970 Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/23/11
Posts: 1373
Loc: southwest more west than south...
Can someone post a pic of a mojarra

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#12484515 - 10/30/17 12:37 PM Re: Packery Channel Jetties [Re: Shoreboundangler]
parttime Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 5654
Loc: San Antonio
Can't post the photo, but here is a link with the photo.

Flagfin Mojarra
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Parttime (John)

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#12486412 - 10/31/17 06:03 PM Re: Packery Channel Jetties [Re: Shoreboundangler]
gar1970 Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/23/11
Posts: 1373
Loc: southwest more west than south...

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#12486729 - 10/31/17 08:46 PM Re: Packery Channel Jetties [Re: parttime]
Shoreboundangler Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 07/06/15
Posts: 19
Yep, throwing blindly to submerged rocks on the channel side near the beach.

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