Whiting are very good to eat too. I'm sure he wouldn't be throwing one of those back either. Golden croaker make a spawning run in early fall and maybe a little into November. Target the passes sort of like you would for flounder but just do it a month or so earlier. In the Galveston Bay area, we used to do really well around the first 2 weeks of Oct. right at Port Boliver just inside the ICW from the bay. I don't know if a lot of bay shrimp by catch is to blame for lower numbers, or the increase in using small croakers for bait, or if I just don't here as many folks fishing for them or what but, I surely don't hear or see boxes of big croaker like there used to be.