WE ASK captains, guides and those in the industry what they’re throwing, for what species and what they’re drinking after a long day of fishing.
WAYNE DAVIS: Full-time fishing guide of Hook Down Charters specializing in wading with artificial lures in Port Mansfield, Texas. www.kwigglers.com | 210-287-3877
First, I use soft plastics (KWigglers) 95% of the time, the other five percent you can catch me throwing topwaters. Over the last couple years, I have found myself throwing the Willow Tail Shad (WTS) most of the time. This is a very effective shallow water bait and I always rig it on our 2/0, 1/8 oz. short shank black nickel hook.
All of my charters are done wading with artificial lures. I am never fishing over 3 feet, and most of the time it is less than thigh deep. With the WTS and small jighead I can effectively, and with control, work the lure in just about any condition (grass, potholes, ledges etc..)
Every short twitch with the rod tip makes that WTS tail flip flop around – I believe the lackadaisical attitude of the bait entices a strike from just about any fish. The WTS is a lazy bait, not designed for a simple cast and retrieve method. The angler should work the bait. The mere profile of the WTS is in and of itself luring to big fish.
Over the last two years I have been targeting and have been able to somewhat pattern South Texas Snook. To date, I have landed 52 during my trips. Almost all of them have been over 28 inches, with the largest one taping out at 35 inches and 13 pounds. All have come on the Willow Tail. I also caught the STAR winning trout while snook fishing – a 31+ incher at 9.5 pounds. Since I am a licensed captain I do not qualify for CCA STAR so the fish was released (it would have been anyway).
As far as a dock cocktail after a day of fishing – well of course the “Wiggler.” White rum, cranberry and a splash of grapefruit juice. I took it to our local restaurant in Port Mansfield, The Pelican, and they loved it so much they put it on their menu and it is the number one selling cocktail.