Random Ramblings 7/24/14.

Fish Catching Travel

After thinking about it I have to come to a conclusion as to what the big topwater thing was all about yesterday.  First, I thought maybe it was the time of the tide or time of day, but that was not it.  It was that once I started throwing a bigger bait, I started catching keeper fish.  Until I made that switch it was good fishing as far as numbers went, but the size was lacking.  There were so many small trout there that they were getting to the plastics before the bigger ones.  So tossing a topwater the size of a bigger mullet really paid off and separated the wheat from the chaff.

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 The KVD Sexy Dog with a reel for reference.

I must admit I had not thrown the 3 hook version yet, though I do throw the smaller 2 hooker quite often.  These baits “walk the dog” easily, notice on the picture above the mouth area is flat and causes a little splash to go along with the side to side action.  And the bait itself is not heavy like some of the other topwaters so it has a livelier action with less work.  There are times when they want that bigger bait, and as the baitfish and mullet grow so does the size of their supper.  Something to think about.

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It is so easy to forget that not everyone who reads this stuff knows exactly what, or where, some of these places are we talk about.  So when Joe sent me a comment asking what is POC it reminded me that POC is not the be all, end all, of saltwater fishing, and not everyone knows what, or where, it is.  Well Joe, POC is Port O’Connor TX and it is on the coast near Seadrift TX, about an hour north of Rockport.  It has access to many bays and is a favorite of lots of saltwater fishermen on the coast.  So thanks for reminding me to not assume everyone knows what I am talking about.  And good luck on your Rockport trip, let us know how you do.

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I also heard from Rick who is coming down to fish Coleto this weekend.  His question was are there any good tackle shops around the lake?  Sorry about that Rick, Victoria has 4 places to buy tackle, none of them close to the lake.  Academy has the biggest selection of freshwater, actually a good selection of freshwater baits, but the Tackle Box on Ben Jordan is the only real “tackle store” in our area.  It is primarily a saltwater shop, but with the works as far as rods and reels, reel repair, waders, and the rest of it.  Victoria All-Sports also has some tackle, and of course Wal-Mart.   Good luck this weekend and let me know how it goes.

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This may be a little off topic but could not pass without comment.  My lovely wife suggested maybe later in the week we drive down to Eagle Pass on the border and see what that casino was like.  Sounded like a good suggestion to me.  I love that area and always enjoy the drive to fish Amistad so it seemed like it was a done deal.  Then as she was off Tuesday we headed to Cabela’s and then Gruene for a little drive.  When we were in the fly shop in Gruene she found this purse, and as she was looking for one, she bought it.  After we left town she said she spent the casino money on the purse.   I had to laugh, I did not know the choice was Eagle Pass or a purse.  Either way the purse won.  And she also said I should be happy, I got off easy.

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I ran into a friend of mine and her dad in Wal-Mart in the fishing department.  His team caught a $500 redfish in the last tourney they fished this summer.  It came from the Powderhorn.  We both like to fish the same area, an area if I had to go catch a redfish as fast as I could,  would be the back end of the Powderhorn.  If you float shallow and have a trolling motor they are there somewhere – all the time.

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One last note on plastics.  I stopped in Academy and bought a couple of bags of plastics and some jig heads.   It is really interesting how the count differs by company.  One of the colors I bought has 10 per bag, the other 8.  Some of the fancier plastics have as few as 5 per bag.  While occasionally some exact bait is the ticket, most of the time the most important aspect of catching fish is fishing where they are.  There are no magic baits, and fancy paint jobs are just that, fancy paint jobs.  Now as far as jig heads go I actually like the Academy brand.  I generally use plain unpainted heads and the hook size on the 1/16 and 1/8 is perfect.  It amazes me how much jig heads cost these days.  Wish I had not sold my lead pot and molds, it would save some serious jack.

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That is it for today, just a couple of things I was to tired to add to the last post.  Next I think it is back to the Gulf.  I want to throw that big topwater some more in a couple of spots that should be perfect for it.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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POC 7/23/14.

Fish Catching Travel

I love it when a plan comes together.  The weather looked great, the tide was perfect, and the wind was not blowing.  My last trip to POC did not go as well as I liked, but the more I thought about the flat at the old Coast Guard station it seemed like the place to be.  And I did catch 10 or so last time, but only a couple kept.  So the plan was to stay from the last of the rising through high, and until it started dropping.

I parked the boat not that far from the old ruins and hopped over the side.  For the next hour or so it was good, but none kept.  It was probably around 20, they were really biting on plastics, but the size was not cutting it.  So with some cloud cover I started throwing a small Skitterwalk, and though they were hitting that they were small.  But I did catch a nice Seagull who did not put up that good a fight so he was unhooked no worse for the wear.  So I actually used my head for once and went back to the boat and got the bigger 3 hook KVD topwater in a sexy shad.  At this point the water was just starting to fall.

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This is the 2 I did manage to land.

I was in less than waist deep and throwing out into about 4, right in the area where the grass ends and the sand pockets begin.  When the reds showed, or I found them, whichever, they were real active.  2 made the net, a couple got off, and 4 or 5 missed it or chased it.  When I was in them they were chasing it right up to me.  An awesome flurry.  When they slowed I just worked the grass edge, and the trout starting eating that topwater.

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The best of the trout.

As the water fell the trout were right on the edge of the grass where the was a current ripping by.  I caught 3 more keepers, and several that were right on the edge.  It also helped that the cloud cover stayed.  With the rip came the floating grass.  It was in a long line and there were baitfish flipping around in it.  So I worked the edge of that and then I got this guy.

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This is the biggest Spanish I have caught in a long time.  Reminds me of some of the Florida Spanish.

The bite was off and on, for about 5 hours.  The plan was to work that area over the whole trip.  There just had to be some good fish there, and once I switched to the big topwater it was some good fishin’.  Not to often you get little wind, a light cloud cover, and a perfect tide, but when you do it all comes together.  It is so awesome when they blow up on that topwater, I had not had that good a topwater bite in a while.  I did lose several nice fish, but considering it was topwater it goes with the territory.

Normally I try to avoid the dead fish pictures but my buddy Jeffish’s 96 y/o granddad is here, he loves him some fish, so I took these for him, ergo the dead fish pictures.  I have really tried to keep off the trolling motor and just stick to wading.  So after a couple marginal trips I finally got in to them.  It will be interesting to see if I can duplicate today.  It was probably 2o on plastics and a dozen on topwater, which made for a really great day.  Where next I am not sure, but this has got my saltwater juices flowing.  I have a few other things on my mind, I will get to them tomorrow.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines.

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Coleto Creek 7/21/14.

Fish Catching Travel

Funny how life gets in the way of fishing sometimes.  It happened to me the last couple of days.  Sunday I thought I might get out to the Gulf somewhere but I got a call from my buddy Jeffish and it was off to his house to work on his boat.  We have rewired the whole electrical system, including installing a new fuse panel, and the only thing left is getting the motor running properly.  Before it was over we spent the day getting it running, and after a short period of “wtf is the problem here?”, we got the problem diagnosed and hopefully he got the part and all is well.

Monday the president and chief financier of Team Nancy was off work after pulling a week long shift, so to spend a little time with her later in the day I decided to hit Coleto for a quick morning trip.  So it was up early and on the water at daylight.  I headed up lake first but I just can not get it going up there.  Swim bait, swim jig, buzzbait and Senko all hit the water, and other than a couple of weak attempts, I did not even have one good strike.  So with the last couple of trips in mind it was all the way back down lake to clear main lake water.

I missed one on a Strike King Swimming Jig and then finally hooked up.

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Love that Strike King Swim Jig.

The last couple of trips it has been real main lake banks, with the best being somewhat grass free near the bank with isolated grass patches.  The fish are shallower, at least the few I am catching, than one would think.  I stayed with Swim Jig for an hour or so, and then went back to the Senko style bait.  I am a big fan of watermelon red flake and basically almost all the soft plastics, no matter what the configuration I throw, are in that color.  I did manage to catch a couple with this one being the best of those.

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Of the 5 I caught, 4 were near, or on a point, of a main lake bank with isolated grass.

The fishing, or maybe it is just the catching, remains spotty for me on Coleto.  Being in the middle of summer that is not that hard to digest, it comes with the territory.  And it was apparent that the water is starting to fall, you could clearly see the wet line, and with the summer heating up and electrical demand peaking, I am sure the lake will continue to drop.

Looking at last year when this happened the fish went to the points, and stayed there until the fall bite started.  It was worms and senko type baits, and the bite was best in the morning, again all normal summer time fishing no matter where you are.  So nothing new or unusual about my last couple of trips to Coleto.  It is tough, you just have to stay with it.  Try some plastics in that watermelon red, it has been the go-to color for me that last couple of summers.

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Tomorrow it is off to the Gulf, I have not even unhooked the boat, it is just a matter of swapping fresh water tackle for the saltwater stuff.  The wind forecast looks great, so instead of sleeping in like the last couple of trips I will get up and be out there at daylight.  I hear the topwater fishing is ok, at least according to the fishing reports, but have not actually talked to anyone who is actually catching trout that way.

Have not heard anything on the boat repair situation.  I am still skeptical that I will see it anytime soon.  There was a hint it would be about 2 weeks, but any of you who have boats know that it sounds good, but rarely works out that way.

So that is it for today.  It will be an early morning tomorrow so I should have a report up tomorrow night.  It should be an interesting day, and as long as I do not dilly dally topwater should get a good work out.  Where is still the question, so after looking at the tide times, and throwing some chicken bones out, that decision will be made later today.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Random Ramblings 7/19/14.

Fish Catching Travel

I really got fooled yesterday.  The weather report was for rain and possible thunderstorms, and when I got up there was  a big storm on the radar just south of us and the forecast was it was coming this way.  So all day I kept checking the radar and it was close, and the hourly forecast had the rain chance at 95% at 3:00.  But I kept hoping but finally gave up about 4 of even hitting Coleto Creek.  So it turned out to be a wasted day, especially since we did not get a drop.  It is very irritating when it works out like that.  I should have just put on my big boy pants and taken my chances.  Oh well, if I do that next time it will start pouring right after I get there.

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If  you are a hardcore fisherman I can not stress enough how much you need to put a tarpon on your bucket list.  Sometime in the later 80′s or early 90′s I started trying to catch a tarpon all by myself without any help or guidance.  That turned out to be a real project.  I learned real quick, hooking one was often not the problem, putting your hands on one at boat side was another story.  Do not quote me but I believe it was around 15 before I actually landed one.  So when I saw the following link of a guy catching a big tarpon from a paddle board it brought back some great memories, though not as cool as this.

http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/excursions/post/tarpon-catch-from-paddleboard-verified-in-photos/

 These are some cool pictures and now I am all cranked up about a trip to south Florida next spring.

                           A nice Belize tarpon.

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And speaking of the weather forecast it ended up causing Poco Bueno to cancel the offshore part of the weekend’s tournaments.  I imagine some teams wanted to fish, and some didn’t.  I can only imagine how miserable it would be to spend a couple of days offshore in 5 foot seas.

If you have not seen a picture or read anything about our new state record Blue Marlin go to the article link, it is an awesome fish.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Massive-blue-marlin-breaks-Texas-record-by-nearly-5619909.php

Having been fortunate enough in my life to actually catch and tag a blue marlin I can only imagine what that was like.  In fact my lovely wife Nancy even put one to boat side with a successful tag and release that day.  To tag 2 marlin in my only day of marlin fishing was real lucky.  But those are the days that fisherman live for, and I am so thankful I got that one done.

 

The deck hand wires my blue off the coast of Puerto Rico.

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 One of the things I hear from folks occasionally is I saw you at the ramp or the store but did not say anything.  Folks, I really like it when people who read my stuff say hi.  Just like when I get comments from my readers, it lets me know you all are out there reading my stuff.

And to go with that I met Jerry (Hope I am right, I am so bad with names.) who lives near Coleto and is a bass fisherman.  He is catching fish on Coleto right now, but I am sworn to secrecy on how he is doing it.  I can tell you one thing, it is no great secret method, and as usual it is nothing more complicated than figuring it out.  I love to get fresh reports on our area, but if you do not want the how and where shared, I do not share them.   So nice chatting with you Jerry and hope to see you on Coleto.

The same day another guy, I did not get his name, was there buying baits and said he was catching some really good fish on Texana.  He mentioned that somewhere in the Jungle they caught some up to 5lbs schooling.  Wish I new more about Texana, my few trips there have never gone well.

I also heard from Rick who jokingly calls bass a four letter word.  For all of you who come for the Gulf reports like Rick I promise there will be lots to come in the future.  It would help some if I could get on those trout a little better, but that will take care of itself soon.  As the old saying goes, “The more I fish the luckier I get.” 

And Steve sent me a comment asking me about the first island, which I assume you meant the first chain.  There are several nice reefs and islands in that area that hold trout and reds.  I have had good luck both wading the adjacent reef and drifting the small pass.  Probably the best success I have had there has been in the winter.  So next time you are down give it a try.  And being right next to Shoalwater there is enough water for a day of it.

So if you see me say hi, and feel free to send me a comment if the spirit moves you.  I love hearing from all of you.

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And finally we have all of our travel plans set for Costa Rica done and the dates are set.  I am lucky enough to get to fish offshore 2 days for sailfish and 1 day inshore for rooster fish.  It would be nice to knock both of those off my bucket list.  The only fish left on my current list besides those 2 is a big tuna.  Guess it is time to work on the new bucket list depending on how it goes in November.

That is it for today.  I will be back at the coast either in the morning or Monday morning.   So sorry about no fishing report at the end of the week, but I fully intend to cure that little issue asap.  And the countdown begins on the boat repairs.  It has been in the shop a week, so we shall see how long that takes.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Keller Bay 7/16/14.

Fish Catching Travel

Today it was off to Keller.  And keeping with the plan, trout were the days quarry.  While Keller is one of my favorite redfish places, I am determined to catch some trout if it kills me, and it just might.

I put in at Olivia around 9 and headed down the north bank, starting about halfway back.  Wading was the plan, and I was going to stick with it.  The first spot is a high looking bank that tails into a big sand point.  After anchoring in 2 foot it was over the side.  There is grass and some shell there, and it is nice to be able to cast into 1 foot or turning around and casting into 4 foot.

I stuck with the Sea Shad in Sexy Shad or Chicken on a Chain on a 1/16th ounce jig head.  It took a little while but I caught one in about 3 foot, so I started concentrating on that.  8 managed to hook themselves, and of those 2 or 3 were close, but no real good ones.

(Insert picture here – a little tough with the camera in the truck.)

I covered a lot of ground, but never did get them cornered.  From there it was to the back.  I wanted to fish a drain near the south side of the duck blind, but there was a boat anchored in it and the guys were wading the bank.  It drains a little off the north side of it so I settled for that.  I actually threw topwater quite a bit there, and did not have a bite on it.  In fact I threw it later  and did not have bite on it then.  Guess I need to start getting an early start instead of sleeping in.  And adding to that the last 2 trips have been right in the middle of the day, looks like I’ll have to re-think this middle of the day thing.

I did catch a couple of small ones on the Sea Shad, and fished from 1 to 3 foot.  There was no bait to speak of so it was time for a change.  With only 2 more little ones to show for that stop I headed back to the north bank and stopped at the long sandy stretch.  There was more bait there, but again it was just 2 little ones.  I did miss a few today, but other than the first bank, there never was a big bite.

I did have one cool thing happen – I got spooled.  It has been a while since one took off and just kept going.  I burned the end of my thumb as the line smoked, and I mean smoked, off.  I watched the spool until it had about 10 wraps on it and then tried to stop whatever it was.  And then the line just broke, it turned out at the hook.  If I were a guessing guy I would say it was big jack.  Keller has some big jacks in it and while fun for a minute, a long tussle with one of those turns into work.

After the sandy bank I headed back to the first place to see if things had picked up.  Unfortunately the wind was starting to blow right on it, and by time I got anchored and in the water it was starting to color.  It only took about a minute to remember last trip, so I only gave it a short try, then called it a day.

What fish I caught were all in the 3 foot area, and I had little success shallow.  I think next it might be Austwell and some San Antonio Bay reef fishing.  I need to change a couple things up and see if I can put a few more fish in the boat.

I never did any redfishing, but I am starting to get a little irritated that I can not catch any more trout than I am.  Sometimes I think I am the worst trout fisherman alive.  Other times it is too easy, and today it was not easy.  I think it was 12, of which maybe 3 would have made it.  So it was deja vu all over again.  There is always tomorrow, the great thing about being a fisherman.

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There was quite a few folks at POC the other day, and then I saw it was Poco Bueno.  So for the next week it will be one busy place as the boys hit the open ocean for marlin.  And I am sure it will be at a fever pitch with the 950+ blue marlin that was just weighed in at Rockport this Sunday  It was the new state record and was caught in a tournament.  Who knows, maybe a grander is on the way.

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I have a couple more things to say but it is late.  Where next I am not sure, but it will be before the weekend.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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POC 7/14/2014

Fish Catching Travel

It was good to get back to the Gulf.  I have not made it near as much as I would like but I am about to fix that one.  So this morning I headed to POC and was on the water by 9:30.  The barge canal was really off color, and as it turned out until you get farther from Froggie’s it is all off colored.

I started on the south bank of Barroom.  The last couple of years the trout seem to come there for a little while in the summer.  So I hopped over the side, starting in about 2 feet and working out to around 4 feet.  Working the area over pretty good I missed one and finally caught one about 15.  Finally I gave up and so before I left I waded the drain coming from Big Bayou into Barroom.  Though a good redfish spot, I think the tide was a little 2 low because I did not get a bite.

So then it was off to the old Coast Guard station to wade the big flat leading into the J Hook.  The first place was pretty far down that bank, and after wading some of that I finally put a keeper in the boat.

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Finally put a keeper in the boat.

Unfortunately I did not catch another fish there.  So back in the boat and down to the edge area where the flat drops off near the old station.  That turned out to be a better choice.  It was a pretty good bite and I ended up  catching 11 trout and one rat.  They were right where the flat started falling off from 2 to 3 foot.  I was throwing a Sexy Shad Bass Assassin paddle tail on a 1/8th ounce jig head.

It turned out to be real important to throw against the wind, a hassle, but they wanted it coming with the current and they were right on the little drop.  Of those 2 more were good keepers, and I had enough for a nice fish fry tonight.  From there I went around the corner, not sure what that island is, and waded down the edge trying to fish the drop.  Not even one made a pass at it, so it was one more place before I quit.

The big drain out of Big Bayou near the last island was the next stop.  The water had cleared some, but it still didn’t look to fishy, and it wasn’t.  I waded a good bit of that, but it just wasn’t right.  So at that point I called it a day.  While the number of keepers left something to be desired, at least I caught some fish.  And the water sure is warm, which makes the wading so much nicer.

Wading was the order of the day, and as usual when you found them you caught them.  I do know that next time, which will be soon, keeping clear of the off colored water will be the first order of business.  I did not spend any time on the reds other than the one quick place, but a little spinnerbait fishing is coming.

So there you have it.  Six of one and half dozen of the other.  The fishing is good right now, it is just a matter of fishing lots of places until you find them.  I plan on getting on them, and will hit the Gulf at least 2 more days this week.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto Creek 7/9/14.

Fish Catching Travel

The original plan was to hit the Gulf on Tuesday after I got the boat thing squared away.  So Monday while I was waiting to hear from the adjuster I came up with a good idea, lets cut down that tree in the back that is getting near the wires.  It has been on the short list for a while, so Monday was the day.  So what does that have to do with not fishing Tuesday?  Once I cut the dang thing down Monday it took most of Tuesday to clean it all up.  With that project done it was off to Coleto Wednesday.

Of course I went up lake and started throwing buzzbait, and just like last time it was about the same results, if that.  I almost made a mistake and did not take a picture of the first one, which is almost a superstition now.  So after fishing a lot of the way upper end I had one fish to show for it.  The first one was small and came on a buzzbait, but it did not take me long to realize those days are gone until this fall.  It is summer time and I just have to get over it.

From there it was Senko (2 bites), frog (1 bite), spinnerbait on a windy bank (0 bites), and even a couple of flips in heavy cover with out a bite.  The water color up lake is pretty ugly, and the grass continues to grow.  And like last time I even fished a couple of mats with frog and did not get a bite.  That is actually a little puzzling as it will normally work at least some with the mats we have.

So to get to clear water I headed back down, the lake gets clearer as you go down.  So with a case of frustration I went to the one go to bait on Coleto when all else fails, a Strike King Swimming Jig with a Rage Craw trailer.  On the first windy main lake bank I missed one, and the near a small point I finally put another one in the boat.

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No giant but I will take it right now.

Then it was another main lake bank with a couple of small points.  On the first point a little one jumped it, and over the side he came.  The next little point produced a good bite, and thank goodness I did not miss that one.

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Again no giant, but at least there may be something to learn here.

What made it interesting was these fish came from less than 2 foot of water, between 11 and noon.  In fact, I was throwing it right on the grassy banks, in the trash if I could.  So the issue is are there more, I only fished that way an hour, or is it just a few scattered here and there and I picked the right bank.  It was simply a matter or reeling it and they were eating it.  Sad to say I missed 3 or 4, they can  be tricky.  One of those “that is  a fish“, right after he lets go.  Most of the fish came between the heavy submersed grass and the bank.

There are still shallow fish, and there will probably be some all summer thanks to the big raise.  The clearer water down lake has been better for me.  Next time I will stick with the Swim Jig and see how it works out, there are tons of places on the main lake that are like the ones that were holding fish today.   Though I do not fish the bass assassin type plastics, it, along with a smaller swim bait, just might be the ticket on those grass edges.  And of course the points are still the best potential holding spot right now.  While I sure would like to catch a few more, today about half of the poor result was me missing them.

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I am still having a small case of delayed PTSD after hitting something with the boat.  The adjuster will look at it Friday, and we will go from there.  And not only was the doing a bummer, but not having the flats boat for most of the summer, I can see it coming, has me more worked up than the actual f”p.  Who knows, it may come out a lot better than I think, but we will see.

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Speaking of things happening, after I told you about Chris and his broken axle I got this from Billy -

Just saw your random thoughts post from 7/6. Couldn’t help but to reply. You say that you have never heard of an axle breaking. Not only has that happened to me, it happened to me with my…….Dargel 170 Skout with a Sportsman trailer. A buddy and I were coming back from fishing. Turned into a convenience store parking lot to get gas and heard a thump. Thought maybe we had a blow out. Get out of the truck and, nope, it was the axle. Wasn’t a very fun evening from that point on.

Sorry, also meant to say, I have another connection to this post. My son, wife, and myself just got back from Calcasieu this week as well. Caught a mess of reds and yes, the color on them was absolutely stunning.”

Interesting Chris’s was a Dargel.  I have to ask him if it was a Sportsman trailer.  Things happen with boats and trailers, it just comes with the territory.  But it sure does suck when it happens to you.  Thanks for the comment Billy, I love to know you all are out there and love hearing from you.

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And thanks for your kind comments Faye.  I can always count on you to have the right outlook.  When stuff happens you just have to keep on keeping on.  Be sure to let me know right before you come down next time.

Todd, if you have room and are going to wade let me know.  I would like to hook up with you guys this weekend.

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That is it for today.  Tomorrow is my birthday and I plan on spending the day with the lovely wife and a little adult entertainment, then it will back to the fishing grindstone.  So keep stopping in and I will keep trying to catch them.  Thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Random Thoughts 7/6/14.

Fish Catching Travel

We all know the old saying that BOAT stands for break out another thousand.  The way things have gone lately with me and friends, it has never been any more pertinent.  First it was my friend Clyde in Canada and the Trailer from Hell.  Then on Wednesday I hit something with the boat.  Finally my friend Chris had something happen that just says it all about things that can do wrong.  If you are a friend of mine with a boat, be careful, it may be me.

I got the following message from Chris with a photo attached.  “Yep, the BoatUS tow insurance is worth it…….”

tow

Boy I hate it when that happens.

He said he was just turning a corner when he thought the bearings went out on one side, but it turned out the axle broke.  I can actually say I have never heard of that happening before.  And he is so right about the insurance.  When you buy a policy from any of the boat towing companies you can buy a rider for anything that happens to the trailer while you are on the road.  I had that policy and let it lapse, time to renew it, you never know.

And speaking of insurance, the policy on our boat has a zero deductible, well worth the cost with what has happened.  Always carry insurance, it can save you money at some point, and helps protect you and others if the unthinkable happens.  In 41 years of boating I have never hit anything that required repair, but it happened.  Maybe the odds were coming around to my turn, but no matter what that policy we pay yearly is going to pay off.  But it does not make having something like that happen any easier on my pride.

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My friend Todd got to spend the weekend fishing in Lousiana.  He sent me these pics, and it looks like it was a good trip.

11sight

Todd with an 11lber caught sight fishing.

groupreds

A nice mess for the group.

redder

Todd commented on how “red” they were.  Love the color of marsh reds.

Looks like they had a good trip.  There is nothing like hitting some new water.  Makes success all that much sweeter.  Thanks for the pics.  And for the rest of you, send me some pics, we love to see them.

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 I got the following question from Joe, one of my regular readers:

“When you all say that Coleto Creek has risen, is there a way to gauge from the full pool line that runs around the lake? Or from the boat ramp platforms? Its amazing what 4-5 feet do to that lake . Thanks”

The best way to tell is by using the fingers of the docks at the ramp.  When the lake was around 4′ down the water just came to the ends of the fingers, and when it was at it lowest there was no water touching the docks.  Now it is about halfway up the docks and the lake appears to be at full stage.  Sorry that is a pretty simplistic measurement, but it works for me.

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When we were in Canada we met Troy and his son Logan.  I got a nice note from Logan telling me if I am ever in Oklahoma I have a fishing invitation.  Thanks Logan, since my daughter lives in OK City, and I get there a couple of times a year, maybe we can get it together.  The reason I bring this up is Logan got to Canada the second week we were there and the smallmouth went on the beds big time the day after he got there.  He was just pitching a beaver style plastic to them, and those nice big smallies were eating it up.

So he had his dad film him pitching to a big smallie, and like clockwork the bass did his part in that clear water, but dad turned off the camera before he got it all.  So Logan tosses the fish back in, dad turns on the camera, and Logan pitches to the same fish, and he eats it again.  Cool story.  Logan send me the clip, folks would love to see that.  One thing I found that was hard to get across to folks, especially you bass fisherman out there, just how amazing the smallmouth fishing can be when it was on.

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 I did want to tell you the best thing about my site, at least in my humble opinion.  And that is the ability to be able to search by month.  Just use the archive search box on the right hand side.  Select a month and year, and all the posts for that month will come up.  For me it has been a real useful tool to get a head start on what the fish were doing at the same time last year, and the years before that.

Now it is no guarantee that it will be exactly the same conditions, but it is close.  It gives me a place to start, and the patterns that worked in the past.  At times it also helps me to not repeat the same mistakes.  And do not forget to cruise the fishing boards, there is often lots of useful information to be gleaned from reading the fresh reports.

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 That’s all I have today.  It has been a quiet weekend here, but hope the rest of you had a great holiday.  Now I get to head to the Gulf and find out how the fishing is after a couple of million folks flogged the stuffing out of them.  Monday it will be making sure the boat situation is in order, and then a few days of fishing.  I knew I kept the Carolina Skiff for some reason.  Keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Powderhorn and Kellar Bay 7/3/14.

Fish Catching Travel.

Sometimes you can not win for losing.  After not fishing the Gulf for a month I was excited to be heading out on a day when there was not a lick of wind.  I wanted to hit several bays to get my feet back under me as far as where the fish were and what they were doing.

After putting in at Indianola Marina it was off to the mouth area of Boggy Bayou.  There were a few boats in the area and I decided to fish the cuts and bars in front of Boggy.  It was 9 before I got to fishing, and it was dead flat calm.  For the next 2 hours I worked that area over, and then headed back down towards the marina on the Powderhorn Ranch shoreline and fished it.  I had exactly 0 bites, not even a pass on both plastics and topwater.

So next it was off to fish a couple of places in Kellar Bay.  After not being there for a while I headed to the long pasture bank on the north side.  Over the years that has been one of my better trout places.  There is grass along a drop into 4 feet of water and the trout are there somewhere, it is simply a question of finding them.

When I pulled up there was bait on the surface everywhere.  On my second cast I caught a keeper trout, put down the power pole, and caught another 3 smaller ones in nothing flat.  And then the surface activity stopped like someone cut off the switch.  I ended up losing a really good one and catching a few other shorts, and then it was over.  I can only imagine what it was like there an hour earlier.  So now it was time to hit one of my favorite redfish banks.

Since I wanted to fish the Powderhorn for reds next it was the bank on the way out of Keller.  Redfish Magic was the bait of choice.  I ended up catching one that just made 20″, but back in he went, then I caught 2 more short ones on that bank.

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His lucky day, he just made the line, but with cooler shrinkage my rule is you either make it or not, no close calls.

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One of two little guys.

So with that the total for that bank it was time to hit a couple of places in the Powderhorn I wanted to fish.  I will say this about Keller -  I did not fish in the back area for reds, but it should be awesome right now, especially around the docks and back in on that bank.  And for the trout I was just a little late, so Kellar is worth the day, a little effort and the fish should hit the cooler.

After a bumpy ride back across Lavaca Bay I headed back in the Powderhorn on the north bank and started throwing the Redfish Magic.  It was not 10 minutes when I had one of those classic redfish spinnerbait bite, a solid thump.

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Now that is what I am talking about.  Why they desert me on the few tournaments I fish only the fish Gods know.

The tide was slowly falling out and it was getting real shallow in the back end so it was time to move out to the front and hit some off the trout places I have caught them in the past.  As I was running out, I felt the boat hit something, then the prop, but it wasn’t a solid hit, though I did feel the boat go over something, so on I went.  More on that later.

I love the grassy flat parallel to the boat lane, and when the trout are there it can be fast and furious, but not today.  I caught a couple of small ones on popping cork, along with a couple of trash fish.   It was now 4:00 and hotter than heck so I called it a day.  Not bad for not being on them.  4 reds, around 8 trout, and a few assorted get off my line fish.  It was just good to be back on the water.  With my love of spinnerbait fishing in both fresh and salt I am looking forward to the rest of the summer.  I know one of those reds just has to have a tag from CCA.

When I pulled the boat on the trailer I noticed the prop took a pretty good whack.  So no big deal, prop repair just comes with the territory every so often.  So off to the house but when I got about 2 miles from the bypass there was a massive blow out on a trailer tire, I mean it was loud enough to hear.  I pulled over and there was a car behind me and it started to pull over past me.  I thought wow, they are checking on me, but that was not the case, they also got a flat.  I never saw anything on the road but obviously it got me and them, and who knows how many other folks.  But I have the stuff for a quick change and in 15 minutes I was off.

When I got home it was time for a power wash and putting the boat to bed for the next couple of days.  When I crawled under to take the plug out there was a big a$$ gouge in the hull.  It is about 4 foot long and 3 or 4″ wide, ugly.  At least I fished after it happened and the boat was not taking on water, so that is something.  Over the years I have gotten stuck, hit a thing or two, but it has never resulted in real damage.  Unfortunately this is ugly.  So today I am off to find a repair place to see what the damage really is.  Oh well, as much time as I spend on the water I had one coming, it just sucks when it does.

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And with that happening it is time for the old holiday safety comments.  It is shaping up to be a big weekend on our area waters, and with it comes big traffic.  So as I have said many times in the past, take the high road.  Yield if you can, there are no points for winning a chicken contest, especially if the other guy does not have a clue.  If you need to move, just move.  If someone cuts you off, give them the evil eye but nothing more.  It is not worth it to end up in a hassle on the holiday weekend, and people end up dead from what starts as nothing more than a simple argument.  Just yesterday a collision by a pleasure boat and a bass boat on Conroe resulted in at least 2 deaths, it happens.  So be the bigger man this weekend, everyone will be safer for it.

Keep the kids in life jackets, and while we should all wear them when the boat is running I know that will not happen, so at least keep non-swimmers in them.  And the kill switch lanyard is not on the boat for decoration.  It can save your life and that of innocent boaters.  So clip it on, I put mine on my wrist, while the boat is on plane.  It only takes a second, and the thought of a boat still running fast, going in a circle chasing you down, is to frightening to think about.

And be smart about where you run.  It happened to me yesterday, in a place I know. but should have been more careful.  Just because you can run in 12″ of water does not mean you should.  Could I have avoided it?  Maybe, but it happened.  It could have been worse, a lot worse, so be careful.  Besides someone possibly getting hurt, nothing like a repair bill to increase the cost of the weekend.

And last, keep you throwable floatation device out and where you can use it.  Not only could you save a life, the Coast Guard are checking that.  And along with that, the life jackets must be easily accessible, not in some  compartment under the anchor.  And to go along with that how about a quick check of horn, flares, fire extinguisher, and registration.  Not only is it required we are right back to why pay a big ticket, it is cheaper to make sure you have everything.

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 You know how I love to hear from you folks.  It lets me know you are out there and reading, just looking at the numbers does not mean anything to me.  It is great I will probably top 150,000 visits this year, but it just does not mean the same as hearing directly from you.

Chad dropped me a note, which was nice, and nothing like hearing your last fishing experience was not an isolated occurrence.  Chad fishes Coleto and had been smoking them in the grass on crankbaits, until his last trip, where he blanked for the first time since he got back into bass fishing in 2006.  Ouch.  His conclusion was the same as mine, the rise in the water level at Coleto has them in transition.  It will be interesting to see where they settle.

I also heard from Aaron who fishes Coleto and the Powderhorn.  Aaron is lucky enough to get to fish with his dad.  He grew up fishing the Hill Country with his dad, and they still fish together.  They are kayakers who fish artificial and are just starting to get into saltwater.  And their experience mirrors mine, getting the reds figured out, but still struggling with consistent trout fishing.  Take heart Aaron, it will get better, though I am still amazed at how often I struggle with the trout.  And your Coleto experience is something I had not heard before.  Thanks for your kind comments.

Folks I really mean it when I say let me hear from you.  I will post what you want me to, I will keep the secrets you do not want me to tell.  Your comments make me a better fisherman and person.  So keep those cards and letters coming.  I keep up best I can.

Have a safe weekend.  Remember the reason for the 4th, it is why we can all be out there enjoying our freedom.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto Creek 7/1/14.

Fish Catching Travel

After almost a month it was back to fishing in Texas.  I was real excited about hitting Coleto this morning and anxious to see how the fish reacted to the rise in water level.  So at daylight I was fishing.

My first stop was up lake, where the water was as off colored as I have seen it this late in the year.  That is a credit to how much rain we have had.  Of course the buzzbait was the bait of choice.  It is always a great search bait and you can cover lots of water fast.  But that is not quite how it went.

I stopped at the first bank, a shallow one with tons of grass and on my second cast I caught the one below.

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A good start.

This one just blasted it on the outside edge of the grass.  On my very next cast I missed another one about this size, and then 2 casts later I caught another pretty nice one.  Now things are really looking up.  And an hour and a half later fishing the upper end I had one more hit, and caught a little one.

From there I fished all the way back to the ramp, hitting main lake areas I usually catch them on, without any luck.  I fished buzzbait, frog, and Senko, but just could not get the bites.  I fished a couple of big grass mats with the frog, and that was a complete bust.  I finally threw a Strike King Swim Jig and put an ok fish in the boat right off the bat.  So now I am thinking that may be the ticket, no such luck.

By now I have fished deep, shallow, and somewhere in between as Buck Perry said in his ground breaking book.  It was real apparent I have not fished the lake in a while, and thinking back on it, it is kind of a mystery why I did not do any better.  My best guess is it is probably time to go to soft plastics.  One thing is for sure, the lake will have more grass in it than it has had in a while.

I called it quits around noon not unhappy with the results.  I could have re-fished the first place but the plan was to cover water and see what could be learned.  One thing learned today is there must be a better way to catch them than I was doing.

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I get the occasional report from folks and one of the regular readers boated a 9+ largemouth last week.  Congrats, that is a good one.

I got this nice note from Andrew:

“Great write up! You really did red fishing the justice it deserves. Being from Louisiana I have the burden of dividing my time between redfish and bass. I leaned more towards the latter for years, but recently have found red fishing to be equally challenging, but more rewarding. Next time you’re in Louisiana give Delacroix a try. The water is always clean, the grass is endless, and both red fish and bass are amazingly plentiful. Again, I enjoyed the article, and will defiantly be giving wake baits a try because of it. Thanks!”

I am getting out the map and looking Delacroix up.  Give me some clean water and grass and the redfish are  coming in the boat.  Thanks for the tip.  I appreciate the kind words, especially from another redfish fanatic.  It is always nice to hear from folks, so send me your comments, I read them all and love to share them with my readers.

Tomorrow it is off to the Gulf.  And then maybe Thursday, depending on tomorrow’s results.  Friday is July 4th, and I will be leaving it to the rest of the folks for the weekend.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

 

 

 

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