This and That. 1/19/18.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Fishing Season is coming so get the best wading belt on the planet.

**For a super deal on your Wade Right use promo code FCT15 and get 15% off on your online order!**

(I am getting real bored sitting in the house, time to get back to it.)

Hopefully this stretch of weather has not been to hard on you or the fish here in South Texas.  And as I write this it is actually thundering outside, weird after days of flat freezing cold weather.   We finally reached 50 degrees today, and it looks like it will stay that way from now on, if we are lucky.  To bad the last bit of rain we had was cold, but looks like the end is near.

Monday it looks like we could be in the 70’s with rain, just what the doctor ordered.  Time to start looking for that perfect storm.  Once lake waters cool in the winter there is a period where a good rain in the 60+ degrees will start pulling bass from the deep points and channels where they are staging for the pre-spawn.  You can often find them way back in the big spawning coves and creeks after a good warm rain, often with white bass, cats, crappie, and anything else that swims in your lake.  In fact on Coleto as soon as I start catching catfish on lures in the back end of those places it is on, and it happens every year. It is as simple as just idling back in those places looking for a big water temp change.  Find that and you can find some real concentrations of fish, making spring what it is.  It is often then as simple as just jumping back end to back end.

What really got me thinking about that was a post from Falcon Lake Tackle with pictures of some really big fish taken in the last week, and the report says things are heading to full pre-spawn.  Even though I caught 3 personal bests on my first trip there, Falcon had a few years of decline but looks like it is on the comeback and about to have some of that famous spring fishing it is known for.  And as Falcon goes in the south, so it moves north as February wears on.  This is the time to catch the biggest bass of the year and I am trying to figure out just when I can get to either Falcon or Amistad asap.  (I am still waiting on my new trailer before I go very far on orders from the Boss, the voice of reason.  It is taking a lot of self control to not call and ask how it is going, but that never helps.  I just need to take a breath.)  Spring is coming and with it some of the best fishing of the year.

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And speaking of the weather after seeing that huge die off from Pringle, the effects of the freezing weather on the bay remains to be seen.  After a couple of years of good fishing, with a definite increase in bigger trout, who knows what is to come.  There have been some really big trout caught in the upper Laguna Madre and Baffin and that is also about to take off for really big spring fish.  With a government shut down looming I was worried that PINS would be closed along with access to Bird Island, but according to a government spokesman the parks will not be closed this time if there is a shutdown.  There will be reduction in some services but if he was correct the ramp should be open.  And just like bass, some of the biggest trout of the year are caught in February.  So watch for a warm day with light wind and cloud cover and you could boat the biggest trout of your life.

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I really like watching Major League Fishing,  you quickly learn that pros have bad days just like we do.  They do not always smash them as you often see on the show.  Occasionally some of the best fishermen in the world have it tough at the same time that other folks are knocking them stupid.  One thing I have learned at cleaning tables and tournaments over the years, anybody can have a bad day.

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One of the things I have always liked about doing this is all the fine folks I have met in person and online.  I wanted to take a second and thank Jay for his kind offer in the event I ever make Alabama.  Tons of great bass fishing to go along with big catfish and stripers, Alabama is one of the great fishing states in this country.  So thanks for the offer, it is in the books if I am ever passing through.  Thanks, I won’t forget.

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I finally relented and got my eyes checked and the left had a cataract, no surprise.  So surgery is scheduled for 3 weeks from now and I could not be more excited, when it is done I could potentially not need glasses full time as I got the other eye done a couple of years ago.  For that little boy who got his first pair in 2cnd grade that is something he could never imagine.  And besides, having it done by a great fisherman makes it all the better.  Not only is Dr. Ro a good fisherman, he is a top surgeon and a great photographer.  His bird photography is awesome, and most of his fishing trips result in great pictures.  And after last year (3 months down.) I intend to make that it for medical this year.  It is heck getting old but I intend to avoid the rest of the medical community like the plague.  (Other than the Boss.)

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I did take this weather break and spent some time putting all new line on, adding 3 new Lew’s reels to the arsenal, and generally getting ready for the fishing to come.  It really is important to take time occasionally to go through the whole mess, rods and reels, line, baits, wading equipment, all that stuff we can not live without, and get it organized.  It really is funny when you find something you forgot you had, or maybe have not used in while.  There is no downside to keeping organized, and once you get on the water that preparation will not only make the day more pleasurable, it can add to your fishing success.

And while I am thinking about getting ready it is time to do a complete walk around of the boat and trailer.  Looking for those little things that have been hanging around causing trouble, this switch, that light, bearings, tire pressure, etc. that need to be dealt with.  There is always something, and now is the time to get ready.  Who wants trouble that could be avoided by a little maintenance to rear it’s ugly head when the fishing is hot, or leave you on the side of the road.  And one last word on that, whether you use Sea Tow or Tow Boat USA there is a certain comfort in knowing that if all else fails someone will come to help if disaster strikes.  And having the towing package when you tow the number of miles I do is worth every penny.  I have never used the service but it is nice to know they are out there.

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More and more on the internet you see companies looking for “pros” or “reps” for their products.  Many are nothing more than a discount program available to just about anybody.  Some seem to be really nothing more than giving folks a chance to buy stuff at wholesale.  (Think about it, whether they make a sale to a wholesaler or a “rep” is all the same to them.) Now there is nothing wrong with that, especially if you fish a lot.  So when one came up for a rod company I dropped them a line and of course got an immediate response.  (Canned of course.)  And here was their offer – To be a “rep” you had to buy at least 5 rods at a 40% discount, a good deal, but there was a catch – You had to use their  rods exclusively!  Since they primarily made bass rods, of course some would be useful for saltwater, their offer is hard to justify if you fish lots of species in lots of places.  I don’t know about you, but having a exclusive use agreement when they do not make rods for most types of fishing seems pretty one sided.  This was one of those “save your money” deals, just buy the rods you like on sale they will not cost any more, you just won’t get the fancy decal.

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And last I got a great book from my buddy Chris, American Seafood by Barton Seaver.  It is the history, culture, and cookery of seafood.  It is so interesting and every page is full of cool pictures and information on the history of commercial fishing and has a catalog of 500 different species.  Every time I pick it up I learn something cool.  I could not recommend it more highly if you love history or want to learn, and cook, seafood.  So thanks Chris, I am actually reading it!

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That gets a few things off my chest on this rainy day.  Time off the water is nice to recharge, but that is enough of that.  I am going fishing, and with the Boss out of town some next week I have no excuse.  So the next couple of days will be watching the following weather:  Corpus, Falcon, Amistad, Lake Texoma, not to mention the usual places.  Time to wave winter goodbye, let the spring fishing begin.  Keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Sunday Ramblings 1/1/4/18.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

Brought to you by waderight2-50

Fishing Season is coming so get the best wading belt on the planet.

**For a super deal on your Wade Right use promo code FCT15 and get 15% off on your online order!**

It has been a couple of days since I blogged thanks to responsibilities getting in the way.  First I was plumber extraordinaire a few days, really at best a good tool go getter.  Not sure if I will be helping out this week but as long as Ken and Jeffish need the help I will be working.  Ken breaking his hip is a good reminder of how quickly things can change.  And speaking of the getting old thing, sorry Ken, there was another medical issue out there that I had to deal with.

Friday it was off to Austin to get our eyes checked.  The Boss came out just fine, but she still needs new glasses because who could possibly be caught dead in last years glasses?  I on the other hand have a cataract on my left eye.  I did not need an exam to know that as I have not seen squat clearly out of that eye for over a year.  Having worn glasses since the 2cnd grade I have never been able to see much so I just let it slide until it is just got to bad.  The right one got fixed 2 years ago and is great so I am actually excited about being able to see, maybe without glasses or just readers, for the first time in my life.  Hope to get that done in the next couple of weeks.

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And while we were in Austin a new record was set, one that may never be eclipsed – I shopped at Dick’s and Cabelas and spent a grand total of $13.00!  The point of mentioning this is it really was a matter of  having everything I need.  To hear that coming out of a fisherman’s mouth is something.  And that point was further driven home the other day.  Cabelas had $150 Lew’s reels clearance for $70 and with my points I got 3 for $135.00, a great deal.  As they will be here tomorrow I started looking at rods in the tackle room trying to decide what each reel’s application will be and on what rod.  First I looked at the 11 rigged, 6 fresh and 5 salt, that I use each trip, and then I looked at the new spare rods sitting behind the rod rack.  Low and behold there are 9 new rods in that pile.  (At least in my defense there is not a one that was not bought on clearance.)  So when I barely spent any money the other day it made me realize – You have enough stuff Dude!

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Randy sent this comment along and it added something I forgot the other day talking about the water color and changes on Coleto.

Does anybody remember when the lake was 4′ low, about 4 years ago. You could not use the boat docks and they had to dredge the ramp on the left side because it was
too shallow to use.
I think the grass died when the lake was low, and the water color has been too stained
to let the sunlight reach what was left.

You are absolutely correct.  It was after the low water year and then spring flood which brought all the color was the beginning.  So now the question – If the water level remains fairly stable, and I notice it was a little bit clearer the other day, will some of the aquatic grasses come back, or are they gone until brought back in on boats and trailers?  So no way to tell until this spring into the summer.  I have no clue if the seeds/plants/whatever are still there waiting for the right conditions to grow, or is it just gone?  That is a question for biologists, the rest of us will know something as the spring wears on.  So thanks Randy, it reminded me what started it.  It was just the “perfect” storm.  And thanks for reading my stuff.

And from Joe, our hard core bass guy, on the same subject.

Do you think the game wardens or the folks at Coleto entry find out an answer to the water clarity/Grass question. Water biologist? Gotta be someone.

I know some of the small ponds I fish have houses around them or use them as drainage ponds and alot more grass in the water from them sucking water and maybe going back in with chemicals. Wasn’t like that when it was a no house ponds.

I miss the clearer water at that lake. That’s why I haven’t really rushed back due to some dismal fishing trips there.

I hate to hear that last line, but I feel your pain.  The conditions have changed enough that like I said the other day part of the problem may be us.  If it remains the same, and there is no reason to think it won’t, we just may have to rethink methods and location.  So as the spring plays out we shall see.  And as far as GBRA being overly concerned, or willing to investigate, it might be like it was all those years I lived on Corp of Engineer lakes, they had a purpose, power generation and flood control and the fishing was not a consideration.  While I am sure GBRA would like the fishing to be good, I am not sure that is a big concern on their part.  But it sure would be nice to have a real study done.  And if any of you have any more ideas lets hear them.

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And I got comments from Billy and Joe on the dead trout picture the other day. Billy’s first:

Is there any way you can repost the pictures or put them up in a different format?
Obviously in and of themselves, they tell a story. However, you cannot enlarge them to see better detail.

Thanks,

I am sure there is but how to do it but I do not have a clue, though I tried with my meager skills.  So sorry, not sure how to enlarge it and sharpen that type of photo, I just could not find a way to do it.

And from Joe.

While you were gone up north TPWD Temporary Fishing Closure in Place on Texas Coast during Freeze.

Shows how out of touch I was while gone.  And after seeing those pictures it is no wonder they closed it.  And unfortunately it looks like we have another round coming this week so lets all hope it does not get as bad as it was.  We shall see Wednesday and Thursday.

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And last it was good to hear from Rusty, one of my most loyal and long term readers.

Hello Doug!
I too am looking for a new replacement boat trailer. Can you steer me to someone?
Rusty
LaGrange

Here is what I found out when I started my search and what the companies I checked with had to offer on aluminum trailers.  (Note the prices are not specific but close as I can remember.  And most trailers were the same quality within reason.)

Mako  –  $3800.  I contacted them first, you know, the original trailer for the boat, mass produced, should be perfect right?  Way to high as the original under the boat only lasted 8 years.  (But with the number of miles on mine that is not surprising.)  I was really surprised that they did not have one that could be shipped and ready to go in nothing flat.  While I love my boat, my experience in dealing with the Bass Pro Katy store over the 8 years has been less than satisfying and I would not buy a boat from them again.  Poor customer service, poor rigging, it may have simply been that store.

Here is a little side story illustrating how incompetent the Katy store riggers were.  We had it rigged with a 24 volt tm and had continued problems with it shutting off.  We even took the boat back to them and had it checked out twice, and they said the tm was just fine.  (Turned out to be true, sort of.)  Got it back and had a tourney 2 days later so I went to practice and it started shutting off first time out.  I called them and raised hell so they actually sent a guy to Victoria with a new one to replace the almost new one.  But it kept happening so I called Minnkota while I was on the lake a week later and they said check the breaker.  Bass Pro did not even read the manual when they mounted it.  It was one of the few Minnkotas that need a 60 amp not a 50 amp breaker, which was why it kept shutting off.  So after allegedly checking it out twice at the store, and yes the tm was fine, and then driving to my house and giving me a new one, including replacing the front plug, to shut me up, it was simply the wrong breaker.  You would hope the riggers might  actually read the directions on anything they install!

Kresta (Edna) –  $3400.  That was lock stock and barrel with the works ready to go.  Nice trailer, like all of these custom made.  This included spare and mount.

Coastline (Seadrift)  –  $2800.  That was using my wheels and tires. (Just put 2 new with spare on the old trailer.)  So you can add an easy $500 to that quote for a complete ready to go.

McClain  (Houston) – $2600.  Does not include spare.  Will have to take the boat there for the final fitting when done and have a friend drive to take the old trailer home.  I did ask them about a galvanized and was surprised to know that they are actually more expensive due to the cost of steel.  (I am real happy with the galvanized under the skiff, but in the past I had a galvanized frame break not at a weld but on the actual frame doing 70mph on I10 on my way to Florida.  That was fun and could have been deadly.)  So I went with McClain, they have been building trailers for years.  The only downside is if something goes wrong it is back to Houston and not Seadrift.  It should be here in a couple of weeks and will let you know what I think.  The Coastline and one at Edna were fine trailers, I just decided price was the most important, and if the engine lasts 8 more years like the new trailer should that boat will belong to someone else by then.

As far as a bass boat, which I assume you are talking about, all these were aluminum saltwater trailers with stainless rigging.  I have a feeling that a bass boat trailer is a little cheaper but not sure.  I do know no matter the trailer I sure do like the 5 year no maintenance hubs and torsion bar axles.  Not sure which direction you are heading, but no matter what it sure is nice to put a new trailer under the boat.  Good to hear from you.

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 And last on a non-fishing note I am excited about something else this week.  It is time to send in the application for a cow elk hunt in New Mexico.  I am applying on the reservation for all 3 hunts and maybe I will draw.  I believe it is the only way to get a cow permit for a nonresident.  Trophy hunting is clearly not my thing, but meat eating sure is, so if I am lucky I will get one.  Not only will it be cool to shoot an elk, it will be great to spend some time in the mountains.  It can be a do-it-yourself hunt, but since an elk hunter I ain’t, it will be a guided trip.  It has been 20 years since I hunted but this is one of those bucket list things.  Funny how the bucket list is a living breathing thing and seems to have no end to it.

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This morning will be back to helping my buddies.  Ken is making a remarkable recovery and is moving around fantastic for being 2 weeks post op.  So I will keep helping them until they find some real help.  But all you have to do is take a look at the weather this week to see it is going to flat suck here starting later tonight.   Around midnight the wind will howl and here will come sleet, freezing rain, and then cold weather wet weather for the next 4 days.  So stay bundled up and keep stopping in.  Thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Ice Age 1/11/18.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

Brought to you by waderight2-50

Fishing Season is coming so get the best wading belt on the planet.

**For a super deal on your Wade Right use promo code FCT15 and get 15% off on your online order!**

I have not fished because I am plumbing.  My buddy Jeffish’s dad, Ken, broke his hip skiing, happens to us old guys, and is out of action for a while.  So after being gone a week of course the work piled up, so I am jumping in there to help out until they are caught up or find some real help.  But I actually enjoy working with them, and who would not like a little spending money that I can waste on more fishing stuff.

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But the real purpose of this post is the following picture.  It was sent to me from the Boss who got it from a friend at work who knows a guy.  (One of those deals.)  This is nuts!

I have not clue who these folks are, but it is apparently a guide from the POC area and these trout were picked up in Pringle after the freeze.  This is incredible.  They were literally picked up dead.  It really gives you an idea what even a couple of days can do when well below freezing.  I have no doubt as to the time and place and simply wanted to show you what can happen in a freeze.

And speaking of freeze the next few days are going to be ugly.  The wind is expected to blow up to 40mph all night and drop to freezing, then another colder night with the temp expected to drop into the 20’s.  Hopefully it will not be as bad as it was but only time will tell.  So back to work I go, definitely not fishing weather for the next few days.  Not sure how many days I will be working but trust me, I will figure a way to get back on the water.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto Creek 1/8/18.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

Brought to you by waderight2-50

Fishing Season is coming so get the best wading belt on the planet.

**For a super deal on your Wade Right use promo code FCT15 and get 15% off on your online order!**

I was going fishing, then I wasn’t going fishing, then I woke up, and I was going fishing again.  What happened is my buddy Jeffish, who works as a plumber with his dad, came by to tell me his dad, Ken, broke his hip on the slopes.  So if he needed some help I was willing and then he found some real help and I was off to the lake.

Weather

68/39   Sunny.  Wind NNW 10 – 20 mph.  0% chance of rain.  (There is a little cold front blowing through tonight.)

Lake Level

Today 96.91 msl   Friday  96.94 msl   (It has been a very slow steady drop.)

Solunar Time

Good  10:17am to 12:17pm.   Best  4:28pm to 6:28pm.   (The best bite was late afternoon the other day.)

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It was definitely a lake day, if it was any day to fish.  After a couple of really warm days a cold front rolled through and when I got to the ramp it was blowing a steady 20+ cold out of the north, and it basically stayed that way all day.  The compass on the console read almost dead north when you were right into the wind, and it was cool.  There were white caps on the main lake, and way up lake.  With the prime period mid morning I headed straight to the place I got the big girl the other day, getting there about 9:30.

Best I could manage today, I will spare you the others.

I stayed with the swim jig for the next 4 hours, and had a total of 5 bites, and missed 2.  One felt like a crappie, the other I had such a big bow from the wind that by time I set the hook it was gone.  The wind was blowing everywhere, around every corner, and it was a pain in the a$$.  The fish I did catch did not want it hopped, the only bites came on a slow steady retrieve.  The front clearly had them not interested in anything I was feeding them.  Plus it was blowing right down the lake and it was hard to fish slow enough where I wanted to fish.  One of those fish where you can and not where you want.

Later in the afternoon it laid just a little so I headed down lake and tossed the big swim bait and the Alabama Rig,  Again a small one jumped on the swim bait fairly quickly, and then not another bite.  Still not sure what that is all about.  So at 4:00 I called it a day.  I fished up the river, main lake coves, points, all without success.  But no problem, it was no surprise it was tough.  Reminded me of those day when I was guiding or fishing a tournament, definitely a put on your big boy pants day.  And the best thing was I had a good time.

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And Billy sent along this question and it is a good one.

I’m not sure, but I think somebody said something about the…….RIVER!!!
Correct me if I’m wrong.

On a serious note, how is it that Coleto has not cleared up? We have not had enough rain at any time in a very long time to make the creek rise.

My initial answer is I do not have a clue.  But there was definitely a slow enough steady decline that it was easy to track.  It really started about 3 springs ago, if you remember we had a small flood.  It left the lake off-color from that point on.  Then the aquatic grasses did not show in any great amount that summer.  I spoke with the guy who just retired from Coleto that summer and he said that once it got that off-color the light did not penetrate and that was why there was a loss of grass.  Instead of deep grass, mats, edges, pads, the lake had it all, and the color was almost always clear, real clear at times.

Around that time the upper end started to gets some pretty good rafts of hyacinth, and there was lots of pads.  Slowly everything died.  Think about it, the hyacinth died, almost everywhere that gets it can not get rid of it and ours literally rotted and died.  There were a few patched of aquatic grass here and there that summer 2 years ago but it was definitely not green and slowly it all disappeared.  So here is the big question – Why?

First the water color is at least one result of being without the grass to filter the water.  Unfortunately this color may be it for a while.  We have had a gully washer or two, but again, not enough to kill grass over a whole lake, unless there is a reason.  They are building a lot more homes on the way upper end, there is another great big area being cleared right now, and I mean right down to the water.  Run off?  Maybe it is just the grass losing a foothold, but that seems impossible.  Responsible, who knows?  They did kill the grass in a 2 coves a few years ago, but nothing like the whole lake.

There are some real appreciative effects.  The bass spend a whole lot more time on wood than they used to.  It has become a real pattern when the fish are up.  But it is clear that the fish do not spend near as much time shallow as they used to.  It may require some changes of tactics on my part.  No coots in the winter.  For years I cussed them as they tore up the grass, and were often right where I wanted to fish.  Now with no grass there are very few, but this year there are more “other” ducks than I have ever seen.

So there is your final non-answer.  I really do not have a clue, but things have changed.  The good news, there are still plenty of good fish, and there is always a chance to catch a big girl every trip.  (See last trip.)  The fishing is just different.  If anyone else wants to put in their 2 cents worth, chime in.  To really have a good answer is above my pay grade.  But thanks for the question, I have been thinking about it regularly just did not know what to say, and obviously still don’t.

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I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put
in writing this site. I am hoping to see the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own website now.

Not sure who this was from but the site it came from was “castable depth finders”.  I always thought they would be good for ponds that you fish regularly.  Just grid them and you are in business.  And I assume it would work for ice fishing.  So hope he gets it done, it actually becomes somewhat addictive if you can get over the hump and write some.  The only advice I would give anyone who wants to have a blog, write, then write some more.  No writing, no blog.  So good luck.

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It is 7:30 as I finish this report.  It is clear and cool and the wind is not supposed to be calm all day so since I have all the bass stuff in the boat I am simply going to walk out, start the truck, and head back to the lake.  Nice to be able to fish where I want today.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto Creek 1/5/18.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

Brought to you by waderight2-50

Fishing Season is coming so get the best wading belt on the planet.

**For a super deal on your Wade Right use promo code FCT15 and get 15% off on your online order!**

It was about noon when the boat slid off the trailer.  Air temp was 50 degrees and the wind was about 5 mph out of the east, and the lake was dead calm.  The water color still sucks, but at least up lake it looked like it might be thinking about clearing a little.

Weather

66/42  Cloudy becoming partly cloudy as the day wears on.  Wind ESE 5 – 10.  0% chance of rain.

Solunar Times

Best  1:47 pm to 3:47 pm.  Good  7:33 am to 9:33 am.

Lake Level

Today  96.94 msl   Last Trip 12/20  97.04 msl.

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The plan today with the obvious falling water temp was to stick with 3 baits, a jerk bait, a big swim bait, and the old standby, the swim jig.  First up was a deep channel bank in the plant arm with the jerk bait.  After an hour with no bites, disaster struck.  I picked up the swim bait.

I was happy to catch a fish, for a little bit.

It was good to catch the first one of the year, and only throwing the swim bait for 5 minutes when this guy jumped on made me think things were looking up.  The only problem?  This fish is the dreaded “Fish Who Tells You Nothing”.  I hate these guys, especially when I am doing something different.  For the next 2 hours I fished it deep, slow, shallow, points, and did not have another bite.  As I was doing that I would occasionally pick up the jerk bait, which they were not having.  I was starting to get nervous it was really going to suck.

At this point, after staying down lake and fishing deeper for a good 3 hours, it was time to head up lake and see what it was like.  The Skiff does not have a temp gauge. so while I couldn’t tell you the temp, sticking your hand in the water it was cold everywhere.

A nice one.  Things were looking up.

The last couple of hours 5 jumped on the bluegill looking swim jig.  Like the few I caught last trip they wanted it reeled off the bank and then hopped up and letting it fall as I took up the slack.  The ones that bit hit it pretty good.  I might have had 2 bites straight reeling it, the rest seemed to be following it with the water so cold, and hopping it at the perfect time, whatever that was, would generate a bite.  It was not fast by any means, then I started my 2018 with a bang!

I tried to get her to fit in the picture.  This was one solid fish!

The pictures do not do this girl justice.  It has been a while since I used the net but this was to big a fish to mess with.  Though I do not have a scale I did measure her, 24 1/2″.  You could easily put your fist in her mouth!  And it was actually the last bite of the day.  To finish the afternoon, it was 5:00, I hit another couple of deep banks, seems logical, but could not get another bite.  The only thing I learned today is I still do not have a good pattern.  But with warmer weather on the way the pre-spawn season will begin, and I can not wait.  So happy with a real big girl it was time to put it on the trailer and call it a good day.

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And our resident Head banger dropped me a note after I posted the other day about what might be next.

As to where to fish for now. One word for you: RIVER, RIVER, RIVER!!!

BTW, did I mention the river?

Huh.  Maybe I should go to the river.

**********************

 It was good to be back on the water.  One thing I will say about the 50h Merc on the Skiff is it is a strong running motor.  Touch the key and off you go, not bad for the last of the carbureted 2 strokes.  Hope it lasts.  And the new trailer  for the LTS is being made as I write this.  It will probably be 6 weeks give or take a week, but it is needed.  Plus the Boss has banned me from a long trip until the trailer is under the boat, so the clock is ticking.

The weather looks great next week and I will be hard at it.  The Boss is on her rotation and I am basically a free man this week.  So this weekend I will be doing the total check of all my stuff, just get organized for the spring fishing to come.  And with the tackle room a complete mess and a couple of dirty boats it is time to get organized.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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This and That 1/5/18.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Fishing Season is about to start so get you the best wading belt on the planet.

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Time to get back in the saddle.  Not having fished for a couple of weeks here it will be interesting to see what the conditions are after this pretty serious cold front.  After getting some stuff done to get back to real life I will be heading to the lake  this morning.  Then next week it will be giving the trout and reds a serious go after the weather warms.  Here is a few loose ends before I head out the door.

************************************

One thing I forgot to mention is where we stayed.  2 years ago some great kids, at least to me, a couple and their friend, bought a condemned old style motel and worked it back into shape.  Folks the Hyatt it is not, it is bare bones, which was great.  No TV,  close to town, a light breakfast, and a happy hour that included a big campfire most nights.  You might even toss a hatchet or two.  And if you really are feeling tough just attend one of Chris’ work outs.  At night folks carried on early, and then went to sleep.  When you are there you need the room for sleep, otherwise it is out you go to take advantage of Pagosa Springs.   One of the unusual things was this guy – Known as Grandpaw.

This guy was a freak!  Really great stickers.

They had bird feeders outside of the bar/breakfast area and this big muley would come up and ravage the feeders.  He was maybe 5 feet from the window.  One night while the Boss and I were sitting around the fire he snuck right past us and was eating the bird seed and could have cared less we were there.  We enjoyed our stay and the folks who hang there are an interesting, well traveled (Austin owners.), eclectic bunch who treat you like friends the minute you step on the property.  And thanks SoCo, I stole the picture off your web site.  You can whip me when I see you next!

https://www.motelsoco.com/

********************

Santiago sent along this comment with a question.

Excellent write up. Our family echoes your every sentiment about Pagosa. It’s a true gem which will continue to provide vivid memories past my lifetime.

What type of gloves were you wearing? Waterproof?

Thanks,
Santiago

Of all things the gloves are the Hardy brand of work gloves available at Harbor Freight.  They are thin enough to fish when it is cold, and have a material on the palm and fingers that helps hold on to the rods when your hands get cold.  And if you fish in the winter your hands get cold, period.  They are like $5 and I carry a couple of pairs when one gets wet on goes another pair.  That day I had a pair of wool fingerless gloves over them for warmth, which works great.  Of all the gloves I have used for winter fishing I like these the best.  They do not water log to quickly and you have good feel with them.

And big thanks to you for telling the Boss about Pagosa, we so enjoyed the trip.  In fact, it may actually be my big fishing trip this year.  I really enjoyed it there and the number of big trout makes it interesting.  And it looks like you had a good trip to Florida, saw a few of your pics, and love the Peacock Bass.  Thanks for keeping in touch and the offer to you or the boys is open anytime.  The good bass fishing is right around the corner, I hope!

*******************

After putting me the big rainbow Aaron sent along this picture from the ranch.

First great to see you and your son fishing together.  Not only is that a nice trout, but folks take a look at the background, this is what makes the Pagosa Springs area so beautiful.  Who would not like fishing with that background!

*******************

And speaking of Pagosa Springs………….

Thank you for the narrative of the trip! The Pics are incredible. I am glad you both had such an awesome time. I look forward to your blog every day! Stay well!Thank you for the narrative of the trip! The Pics are incredible. I am glad you both had such an awesome time. I look forward to your blog every day! Stay well!

Elaine sent along this comment and it is the kind that warms my black heart.  Nothing makes it easier to write than hearing there are actually warm bodies out there reading this.  Thanks for your support.

******************

While I was gone Jesse the Neighbor sent a comment about going fishing, and of course I was gone, but looks like it did not slow him down any.

Congrats on the nice fish, the first one is a stud.  And not to hard to figure out where you were.  He had a couple of good trips the last week and it is nice to see the results.  So hope to get with you soon and put the hurt on them.  Thanks for the pics.

*******************

And always good to hear from Rick.

What a great recap on a great year! I don’t get to go fishing very often so I live out my dreams about fishing through your blog. Here’s to good health to you and your family in 2018 and hopes that you continue with the amazing adventures of Fish Catching Travel.

Thanks a lot for hanging with me.  My health this year should be a whole freakin’ lot better than last year.  Missing 2 months last summer, then another month to get my feet back under me, can be summed up in 2 words – It Sucked!  So there is no where to go but up.  So if I have to keep fishing I guess I will put on my big boy pants and carry on!

******************

A MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours.
Here’s to a fresh start in 2018.

FISH ON!!!

Thanks Billy, our resident Head Banger, same to you and your family.  This new year is a fresh start and I am excited about getting with the program.  I am with you – FISH ON!!

*****************

And I got this after posting the year’s pictures.

Hi Doug

No Catfish, lol

Thanks Catfish Tom.  And mark it on your calendar, we are going to the Nueces River in a month or so, and we are going to load the boat with white bass.  Who knows, we may even let Jeffish and Korbin tag along.  See you for the back porch Happy Hour next week.  And one final word, the Boss says I am the worst catfisherman alive, and she might be right!

******************

It is 44 degrees as I type this and there are some pretty serious concerns on the coast after the cold weather.  The game wardens and professional animal rescue folks have been saving and warming hundreds of sea turtles who are stunned.  Several estimates say 10,000,000 fish have been killed, which includes baitfish.  So the question is what will the effects be?  The photo I saw today of ice in Seadrift is concerning.  In the coming days the real extent will be know, it will not be to bad.   With that I am out the door to see if it is possible to catch a bass, the TV report said the lake was “slow”.  Can you say jerk bait?  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Pagosa Spings Colorado 1/3/18.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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PAGOSA SPRINGS  –  WARNING

Do Not Go To Pagosa Springs – Unless

  • You hate the thought of 300 days a year of sunshine!
  • You do not like an average daily temperature of 40  degrees in the winter DAYTIME!  It is the same temperature there as it is in Victoria today.
  • You like the wind in Texas, Pagosa is famous for calm winds as the rule.  It did not blow a lick while we were there.
  • You would not want to visit a place that gets over 400″ of snow on the mountain 20 miles away but only 60″ in town.
  • You would never want to fish the world-famous San Juan River, and about 50 other places within an hours drive, including lakes and tons of streams and rivers.
  • You would not want to have almost unlimited access to some of the most beautiful country in the world.
  • You hate hiking trails leading to hidden mountain lakes, waterfalls, the Continental Divide.
  • You don’t want to see magnificent wildlife.
  • You do not want to ski, snowmobile, and enjoy the snow.
  • So don’t ever visit there, but you know what?  This is one of the best places we have ever visited, (And I mean in all our travels.) it is world-class and I am already trying to figure out when we will go back!

So all that aside here we go…………………

This guy jumped a high fence and crossed the road in front of us.  I am no Mule deer expert but this is a keeper!  And to add to what we saw on the trip the Boss wins the award.  As we were coming home a mountain lion crossed the road while I was looking the other way.  Truly a life experience for her, and a dang it for me.  So here are the pics in no particular order.  They are not all the best but you will get the point.

************************************

 

Around any turn as we drove the mountains there was something to see.  We were lucky as there was little snow so the Forest Service roads were open and if like some 4wheeling this is the place.  We probably drove a couple of hundred miles in the mountains and saw some beautiful country.

The San Juan River.  One of the great trout fishing rivers in the world.  You can even catch trout right in town!  It is something, and this area might be my big fishing trip this year.  Spend a couple of weeks would be a good start and a great adventure.  And boy did I get lucky this trip.  Of all things my buddy Aaron was there at a friend of his’ private retreat with no public access and he was kind enough to take me fishing and I got a bite.

Nothing like a personal best rainbow on my third cast!  Thanks Aaron.  And his son got in on the act.  We ended up catching a few and I lost another pretty good one.  What a place.

Unfortunately I can not tell you on what property or where we were or someone would die, and that would be me.  Suffice to say this place was out of our pay grade.  And to make that point, here is their swimming pool.  Massive stone hot tub, dressing rooms with massage facilities, retractable roof, heated, if memory serves me right in the neighborhood of 4,000 square feet.  It costs more, and I mean lots more, than ALL the houses on my block combined with change for another block, multi-millions.  The property was by far the most spectacular place I have ever had the good fortune to see. This retreat was a special place and I respect their privacy, who knows, maybe I can go back.

Unfortunately we were going to fish some the next day but somehow when doing nothing more than putting on a sock I pulled my back.  It was one of those mother humpers that I seem to get every few years.  Thank God it was on the last day and I could at least ride in the truck on another drive, though the 16 hour trip on the way home was no fun.

A couple of things on the fishing.  Colorado has that law I hate:  The land owner owns the river flowing through their property and you can not access it, or any stream, or even anchor a boat or wade in middle of the river, on private property without permission.  But the good thing, there is plenty of public access, even in town.  A little research and there is all the water you could want to fish within a short drive.  And lakes, boy was I surprised.  Trout, salmon, crappie, bass, walleye, some of them have it all with boat access.  There are lots of lakes all over the area, on one 20 mile drive we saw 3 alone that looked great.  And of course ice fishing was happening on the upper lakes while we were there.

This lake was really high in the mountains with a Forest Service campground that gives miles of access to the river flowing out of it.  It looked like a freakin’ awesome for fly fishing, and with that scenery how could you go wrong?  I learned later, dang it, that the ridges on that road are home to the Bighorn.  I have wanted to see one my whole life and will definitely be getting that done in the future.  And one thing you can say about the Pagosa Springs area is look this way, look that way, and it is spectacular.  We drove miles of back roads over the 3 days, along with a hike or two, and it is hard to tell you how cool it was.  All I can say is we went in the mountains, including over 11,000′ feet on the continental divide, and barely touched the surface.  There were forest service roads everywhere giving you a chance to really explore and even some real 4wheeling if you are so inclined. What makes this area so cool, if you like 4wheeling, a cool hike, and then some beautiful fishing, you can knock it off in the same trip!

See what I mean?  There are state parks, national forest, reservation land, and it goes on and on.  I can not even imagine what it would be like to wake up every morning and look out and still be amazed.  (Oh yes I can!)

And as you can see the game viewing was spectacular.  The mule deer where everywhere, more turkeys than I would have thought, eagles, geese, driving and watching was excellent.  Pagosa is 50 miles from Chama, with some of the biggest trophy elk in America.  You know what?  We only saw one elk all trip, which was surprising.  With the lack of snow and warm weather I assume they were still higher up.  Other than that the wildlife was tremendous.  And there is always the possibility of seeing a bear or a mountain lion, which folks see often enough.

I do not know what else to say about Pagosa Springs.  The town is small with the usual breweries, shops, even a hot spring on the river you can jump in right in town.  It is a really laid back place.  From the owners of the motel where we stayed, (From Austin.) to the owner of Riff Raff brewery, the place had what they call a “vibe”.  Folks were friendly and it was my kind of place.  It definitely had a good vibe, not at all like Steamboat or Breckenridge, Pagosa is laid back and not at all pretentious.  So all that is left to say, we will be back.

Funny how when we got back it was cooler here than there.  The trip back was something, the wildlife was on the move.  We saw hundreds of deer, and I mean hundreds of whitetails and mule deer from Colorado to outside Victoria.  The mountain lion, coyotes, antelope, everything was on the move the whole way back, which made the trip so much better.  Now back to real life.  There are some other stuff to get on the blog and but it will take another day to get my stuff together, then it is back on the water.   Hope you had a great new year. I am renewed and looking forward to the best fishing year yet.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Merry Christmas! 2017 Year in Review.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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I want to start off with a Merry Christmas to all of you out there.  I hope you and your family have a great holiday and are looking forward to the new year.  At the end of every year I look back, and it never ceases to amaze me.  Having a real record lets me put things in perspective.  It has been an interesting year for lots or reasons.  A couple of great trips, some really big bass, and then a forced layoff, made it a different kind of year to say the least.  Normally I fish Christmas day, but this year I am getting stuff organized for a trip to see the folks, and then the kids.  We then finish out the year with a trip to Colorado for some snowmobiling and 4wheeling, along with a little fishing.  So out with old and in with the new.

January

Killed them on the Bang O Lure this month.

My first Colorado Rainbow on the fly.  Hope to repeat that this month.

And we did some dog sledding which as a blast.

February

************************************

My Coast Ourdoors came on board with the Controlled Descent Lures.

The reds and trout cooperated on the bay.

And the lake continued hot.

And this my friends is a big one!

The lake was stupid good!  No wonder I spent so much time there.

And there was a killing on the Neuces.  It was a hell of a month!

March

POC remaind good and the Controlled Descent Paddle Shad smacked em’.

And a trip to Lake Travis was really good.

And the big fish on Coleto just kept on coming.

April

Coleto was seriously good all spring.

And the bay was hot.

It was hard to decide where to fish it was so consistent this month.

But Australia took the cake.  What a trip!

My second blue marlin of the trip.

A Queenfish.   A tarpon has nothing on this jumper!

The Boss won the crazy fish award.  What a fight.

And several mackeral.

And I paid a visit to the holy grail of offshore fishing, the Cairns Big Game Fishing Club.  This is why the little boy sat by the tv every weekend hoping to see some marlin fishing and dreaming about his turn.   Where my dreams were made.

Half of Lee Marvin’s Grander mounted on the ceiling at the tackle store.  Really the trip of a lifetime.  That was a freakin’ fish!

MAY

I had a great 3 day trip to Amistad with lots of nice bass.

And of course some buzzbait fishing on Coleto.

They were eating the buzzbait.  Never did figure out why this big one bled.  The hook was in his jaw.

JUNE

Coleto kept spitting out the big ones.

No wonder I spent so much time bass fishing this year.  Doing this gives me a real chance to see how it went, and as far as bass this spring it was good.

JULY

I had not been feeling well for a while, and then the dreaded news, surgery.  Even better, on my birthday!  It was ugly, but could have been so much worse.  I am so thankful to the everyone who took care of me at Detar, and to the Boss who was there by my side the whole time.  Thankfully things worked out so much better than I deserve, I know I skated by on that one.  But the real problem, absolutely no boating for 6 weeks.   So it was a rough month on me, the recovery not so much, the no boating was the worst of it all.  But finally I was back in action in August.

AUGUST

I fished little this month as I recovered but did put a few in the boat.

And one of the best sunrises ever over Biloxi Bay.

SEPTEMBER

And the trip to Grand Isle LA was freakin’ redfish heaven.

The Controlled Descent Paddle Shad had it’s moments in a consistent month on the bay.

This one was a real one!

Of course I took some time out to catch a bass or two this month.  It was a good month.

OCTOBER

The bass fishing slowed as the month went on but this one took a little of the sting out.

We had a great trip 4wheeling in New Mexico.

The Austin Boys came and we had a good trip.  The bay fishing this month was consistent with a good topwater bite.

And it was great sunrises one after another this month.

NOVEMBER

Some good wading out of POC.

I have seen tons of gators but this guy was a real monster.

The Lavaca River and Garcitas Creek were like catching fish in a barrel.

And the Bang O Lure kept putting them in the boat.

DECEMBER

A hurricane and snow in the same year.  It is true what they say about Texas weather.

We laid the smack down on some nice drum when the Austin Boys were here.

And this was the result of a twitch bait bite.

We finished a great trip off with a fish fry for 25.

Turn out the lights the party is over.  So long to 2017.

So there you have it, what a grown boy did all year.  It was different from years past for lots of reasons, and I look forward to a better year this year.  I was fortunate enough to get to fish with some great new people, much less fish Amistad, Lake Travis, the Nueces, the Great Barrier Reef, Colorado, and Grand Isle Louisiana, along with my usual stomping grounds.  The bass fishing this spring was so good, and the bay fishing rarely disappointed. Looking at it this way it was a heck of a year and I have no complaint.

2018 is looming and first up it will be some winter time trout fishing in Colorado.  From there who knows.  But I know there are a couple of things that are definitely happening.  A 2 day offshore trip in Peru (Could we possibly add a 5th marlin to our life total?) and then time on the Amazon which should be right up there with some of the more interesting places we have been.  Amistad and Falcon are definitely on the list this year, as is Baffin.  (Not making it there this year is irritating.)  And a striper trip to Lake Texoma will be awesome.  While I did not fish the Gulf as much as usual, this year part of the plan is fishing on the bay with more new folks.  Fishing with new folks keeps it fresh and I look forward to meeting more of you.

With everything that happened this year the blog at times was a chore.  When I was down this summer it seemed like a good time to finally close this chapter in my life, but the new year has given me a renewed determination to keep it going.  Your support has been appreciated.  Every day we have a fishing rod in hand is a good day, and it is easy to lose sight of that.  So this year I will try to balance the blog and the fishing, remember what this is all about.  Spending time outdoors, meeting new folks, stretching some fishing stories, and even catching that occasional “big one.”

So a final thanks to those of you who have stayed with me.  Faye, Joe, Jim, Aaron, Rusty, Rick, Billy, My Coast Outdoors, Coastal Fishing Gear, and all of the rest of you it would take a list a mile long to thank, you know who you are:  Thanks!  To everyone who sent a comment or a report, it makes this a much better blog so keep them coming.  And finally to the Boss:  You have made this possible, you never complain when I hitch the boat and head out, you let me be me and act like the spoiled brat that I am.   I am forever grateful to the best wife a guy could have.

There is so much more to say but it is time to close the book on 2017.  New water, new faces, and lots of new stories to tell, 2018 will be a new day.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines!

 

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Coleto Creek 12/20/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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The eagle encounter yesterday took the fun out of the day, and I never did recover.  It was impossible to keep my mind on my business.  Tomorrow will be another story.  It is supposed to really warm up and be sunny, which might help the fishing.  I decided to hit the lake because of the weather, and with the rest of the week looking rainy it will be some trout fishing.

Weather

77/59  Sunny with a 10% chance of rain.  Wind WSW  5 – 10

Solunar Time

Best  11:31 am to 1:31 pm

Lake Level

97.04 msl  (No change.)

************************************

I took the skiff today so no water temp, but it has cleared maybe just a tiny bit.  And I am so not on them.  There have been some slow periods since starting to fish Coleto, but this fall takes the cake.  Whatever the plan is the one I am following is just not working.

The plan was to head way up lake and see how it looked.  It is obviously a little more off color, and colder.  So starting with the swim jig made sense, and over the next 3 hours they bit, though not a one was worth a hoot.

Half smaller then #1, none bigger than #2.

About half were right on the bank in some form of cover, the other half came off the bank after a slow crank out, then a big hop, and they hit it on the fall.  7 fell for the crawdad color swim jig with a watermelon red trailer.  One totally slack lined it, usually the bigger fish, and I just flat missed.  I hate missing that kind of bite.

Occasionally I would toss the stick worm with a 1/4 ounce slip slinker Texas style at isolated wood.  A small one ate it, and there was one miss, but other than that they were just not interested.  So next it was time to try a crankbait.  First problem, absolutely no wind, which is the kiss of death usually.  Of course the opposite happened, I caught a small one on maybe my 3rd or 4th cast, and that definitely was the kiss of death as I did not have another bite fishing it on several types of banks.  Both square bill and medium diver bumping bottom in 7 – 8 just did not produce.

Now it is about noon so down lake I go, and it went from tough to impossible.  I fished main lake stuff down lake, coves, channels, etc and had exactly no bites.  Not even a nibble.  I even drug a football jig around and jerked a jerk bait some on a deeper bank, nothing.  But no quitter here, so it was 3:30 before I called it a butt kicking with me on the losing end.  Talk about tough, today was it.  This is a continuation of a rough fall where I have just lost touch with them.  I know it is time to keep changing places and techniques, but this is ridiculous.  All on me though, there is a way to catch them.

And speaking of not catching them, today was big gator day.  I saw the monster, he is easy to pattern, and in another cove the other big boy with a smaller one.  What made it different is usually you can slide right up and get a good pic, but not today.  Even knowing they would be, I had the good camera ready, but the minute they saw me it was that explosive entrance back in the water.  They would not let me get anywhere near them today.  Usually when they are laying in the sun like that in the afternoon they are feeling pretty lazy, not the case today.  So no picture, but seeing them smash the water like that is cool.

********************

It is never to late to send along a comment or report, and it was good to hear from Aaron who has been a long time contributor.

Doug,

It’s been too long since I dropped you a line but your story about the eagle on Coleto really bummed me out.  We see that pair of nesting eagles on Coleto from my parent’s house year round (my parents own the small floating dock on the far shoreline right there across the lake from the discharge… the only dock on that shoreline).  They have a huge nest up in a tree way back on the hot water side of the discharge (other side of the dam).  What a sad story.

I haven’t sent many fishing updates this year because I didn’t get out as much as usual.  Some good days around POC over the summer and fall but nothing remarkable.  Hunting out by Fredericksburg was really frustrating this fall.  The good deer just disappeared at the beginning of October when the acorns started dropping and left me baffled for two straight months.  Didn’t even get trail cam photos of the one I was after for over 60 days after regular appearances all summer.  My luck finally changed the first weekend of December when he passed through at first light (pic attached).  He’s a base 10 point with split brows and a 20” spread but he knocked off his G-3 on one side (and a good chunk of each main brow tine).  His right side looks pretty funny without that G-3 so I have it getting repaired by the taxidermist.

On the ground!

As always, I enjoy the blog and hope you and the family have a great Christmas!

Aaron

It really is hard to describe how much it bummed me out.  I stayed fishing waiting for the Wardens, but my heart was not in it.  All I could think about was how he would not make the night.  I will always feel bad about it, and if I had it to do all over again I would have followed him in the woods and kept an eye on him no matter how long it took.  Live and learn.

And your fishing experience this year mirrors mine.  With being sick this summer, and gone a lot, my fall was like that.  A couple of great days and some so so.  But like we all do we keep on throwing.

And congrats on the great deer.  I am actually a fan of “different” looking deer, and a big fan of nontypicals.  It has been a while since I chased them but I like eating them a lot more than shooting them, which kind of makes it hard!  You seem to put a good one on the ground every year, it is all about going.

So thanks for the report and same to you and your family.  I so appreciate your support.  Merry Christmas!

*****************

And speaking of Christmas day I want to say a little something about the Boss.  Over the years she has graciously worked Christmas and other holidays so that her co-workers can spend time with their kids.  She does that out of the goodness of her heart and I am the beneficiary in a round about way.  This Christmas morning, like so many others in past decades, I will be heading to the water as folks are opening their presents.  I love that day, not a soul around until the first folks start sneaking out, it is my present to me and I look forward to it every year.

Now my Christmas story, or, let me tell on myself.  It was 6 or 7 years ago about 8:00 Christmas morning as I ran up lake.  Not a soul in sight, freezing cold with barely a car on the road.  So in my little pea brain that must mean I can go ahead and ignore the no wake buoy on the Coleto bridge and just run on through.  Now if you know me I strive to keep the breaking of all boating and outdoor laws to an absolute minimum, like none, but that day the little devil on my shoulder took over.

As I ran on plane under the bridge I hear a Whoop Whoop, and low and behold there is a game warden, on Christmas morning, in uniform, hitting the siren as he crosses bridge.  I slow to a crawl, wave, and head up lake.  I worried about that all day, and it makes me nervous thinking about it now, why did I do that?  I never do crap like that, and that encounter is the very reason.  So be nice to folks this Christmas, don’t break any laws, and  remember, they could be watching.  Plus, respect the game and fish laws and the folks that enforce them.  My bad!

********************

Not so sure what to do about all this no bass thing.  Obviously whatever I have been doing is not the way to go.  I am sure fishing smaller plastics on light line would probably boat more fish, so that will be next trip.  Unfortunately I find that style of fishing boring, though if it is your thing have at it.  There is something different going on this year, and apparently I have not adapted.  But there is one fairly sure way to get out of a fishing slump, hit the Lavaca or Garcitas.  And the potential benefit will be a fish fry, nothing like counting the fish before they are caught tomorrow.   So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto Creek 12/18/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Weather

67/61   Scattered thunderstorms.   50% chance.  Wind NE 5 – 10 mph.

Solunar Times

Best  10:14 am  to  12:14 pm   (Only relevant time.)

Lake Level

Today  97.04 msl  Last trip 11/28  97.10 msl

******************

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A Sad Day

I was on my way to the lake by about 8:00.  With the prime period midday and cool weather there was no hurry as I was expecting a late bite.  The water level is still stable but the color still sucks.  I have some thoughts on that which I will get to another day.  The water temp was 60.5  at the ramp and the wind was light out of the north.

The first stop was the discharge just to see if they were running water, and they were, and to see what the temp was, 69.0, which was the highest anywhere.  I gave plastics a quick go there with out success.  I fished the channel side out and had 2 bites on Bang O Lure and landed a peanut. From there it was a big cove, and like basically everywhere I fished the water temp was low 60’s, cooler as you went back in them.  Since I caught the small one I kept with the Bang O Lure and missed the only other bite on it.

All 5 today looked just like this.

I hit one more main lake bank on the way to the big cove on the right in the plant arm, where I did manage to catch one on a swim jig.  As I started halfway back in the cove there was a bald eagle on down the bank that I figured was eating a fish.  I thought about getting the camera out, it was raining, but figured he would fly away.  As I got close it was apparent he was in real trouble.  He was dragging one wing with no control over it.  It was scared and started running in the woods and was banging and dragging it, no way it could fly.  It was impossible to see if it had been shot or just an accident.  Not having a clue what to do I called TPWD in Austin after the Boss texted me the number.

I explained where I was and what happened.  She took my number and said she would contact someone.  I could still see the eagle but it was getting further in the woods.  Unfortunately I waited in the rain for almost 1 hr 1/2 and no one called.  I did catch 3 on plastics in standing timber to pass the time, and they were small.  So I called her back and she took the information again and in 1 minute a Warden from Victoria called and said he would be right out.  At this point it was raining pretty good and I fished a couple of places without success waiting for them.

When they got there I led them to where it went in the woods and they started looking.  They spent quite a while, it was thick, without success.  So before I hit the road they told me they were going to troll the banks and look on the back side and see if they could spot it.  I have always respected Game Wardens, and these guys are great examples of why.  Someone calls and out they come.  Raining, snowing, middle of the night, their birthday, doesn’t matter, they love their job and most of what comes with it.  I apologized for getting them out there and of course their response was no problem.

So now that I am home it looks like I will never know what happened to that eagle.  But it is a cruel world out there, and with the number of coyotes and bobcats on the lake little chance it will make the night.  I felt bad seeing it like that, I just hope it was from an accident or fight, and not some knucklehead taking a pot shot at the symbol of America.

Today was not the way I wanted it to go.  After hanging for a week I was looking forward to a great experience catching fish or not, unfortunately the plight of the eagle took all the fun out of it.  I think it was the same one who has come the last 3 or 4 falls and usually hangs in that area.  The ospreys always harass the crap out of it and I saw them at it last month and actually mentioned it on the blog.  So who knows, might have lost the fight.  They are just so magnificent, and from Canada to Florida I appreciate seeing every single one.

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I heard from Billy after our less than successful trip to POC last week.

Dam, it’s bad enough I have to claim him as my cousin, and you want to call him my brother.  (When I said he and his brother were gigging some good flounder.)
Yep, most definitely believe the regulations have increased the average size of flounder.
As for the fishing, yes, you are right, there have been better days. Water was just too dam cold.
Any time you feel the urge to go on a weekend, give me a holler.
It’s the rare occasion that I don’t have at least one, if not both days open.

Sorry about getting it wrong.  The way my fishing has gone the last 2 weeks I might take up knitting.  But if I get a weekend hankering will drop you a note.

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And speaking of Coleto, Dustin dropped this comment.

I’m curious as to the temp as well, we are headed down for our New Years tradition. Last year we caught over 200 fish before I blew my motor, most of them were white bass. I hope it’s the same this year

The water temp is obviously way down from where it was just 2 weeks ago.  Unfortunately I did not get to fish how and where I wanted today, so my results are not very helpful.  But I will be back on the lake this week at least one day, hopefully the results will be different.  Todays results were my fault.  So thanks for the comment, I really appreciate hearing from any of you that have anything to say.  I get tired of listening to me!

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The weather looks like it will remain this way for the week with off and on again rain.  The river is calling so will hit it in the next day or two, then another day on the lake.  It just might be crankbait time on the lake, and I definitely want to spend a little more time on the swim jig.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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