FISH CATCHING TRAVEL
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As I get some of this prepared on Wednesday it is just beautiful outside. It really bodes well for tomorrow’s fishing. Jim is driving over from the Houston area, and of course I feel some pressure to produce. It always generates a little apprehension in how the fishing will go when you first fish with someone new. But Jim is a tournament fisherman who won on Coleto last year so I am sure it will work out just fine. Thinking back on first trips like that I had a couple that stand out.
I took a non-fisherman to the Powderhorn one morning and it was so foggy you could not see your hand in front of your face. We idled into the lake just a little and started with popping cork, it stayed foggy, and we caught trout literally non stop all day. He did not have a clue that was not how it works, so he was not suitably impressed. And the first time I took my buddy Jeffish spinnerbait fishing on Coleto we killed them. 3 – 5lbers all afternoon. They were literally trying to jerk the rod out of our hands. He being a fisherman was suitably impressed as he knew it does not always go like that. And of course there are lots of days where it did not go worth a hoot. Time to go do any equipment checks and re-tie fluoro leaders. We will be on the lake in the morning trying to have that epic first day.
77/65 Cloudy patchy morning drizzle possible. 20% chance. Wind SSE 15 – 25.
Today – 98.03 msl 10 days ago – 97.53 msl
- Best 2:29P – 4:29P
- Good 8:17A – 10:17A
Well the fishing today turned out to be far from epic, but in another sense it was a great day. Jim and I have been corresponding since he started reading me a couple of years ago, and when he suggested we get together and fish I was all about it. We met at 8:00 at the ramp and were fishing 15 minutes later.
The gators were on the prowl all day.
It was real evident how much the lake had come up. It is still off-color, especially way up lake. The water temp was 68 degrees in most places in the morning, and later in the day as the sun came out we found some 70 degree stuff in the back ends of some of the pockets. With the wind supposed to hit up to 25mph, which it did, I wanted to hit a couple of spots that I knew would have the wind on it when it started to blow.
We struck out on the first place, and on our next move to a main lake bank we started catching them on swim jig. Jim fished blue/black and I stuck with the bluegill color. The blue/black was clearly the better color today with the off-color water. Guessing I think it was 5 on the second place. After that we moved to a small creek and caught another 4 or 5, all on the swim jig. From there we scooted up lake to fish a long windy main lake bank. We caught a couple on spinnerbait when we hit a small cove and I had my “bite.” I made a perfect cast, buzzed it right on top making a big wake and when it got next to a bush one in the 8lb range blasted it, and after a cool jump was gone. Simply a case of a larger trailer getting in the way of the trailer hook, which I remedied by removing the trailer. Who knows? Operator error may have played a small part. As my old buddy Tad used to say, with your superior skill you managed to *&^$ it up!
Jim with a good one. And my stretch of catching “other stuff” on the swim jig continues.
From there it was up the river where the water is still really off-color. We picked up one or two here and there, but it soon became evident that the fishing was better in the clearer water. As the day wore on the fish moved shallow, and I mean into water where we saw several move on the bait in the shallow grass. Spinnerbait worked during the day, but the swim jig still produced the most fish. They really like this rise and the fishing is going to get better and better as the next week goes along.
Though no real big ones it was a nice average size for the day.
We also had a bite or two on topwater and one on a buzzbait, they are getting there. After fishing up lake we headed back down to re-fish some of the places we had fished initially and the fishing stayed pretty good. One here, 3 there, they kept biting. They really have moved into the new water, and even though the lake is way up they are making beds in that new water as fast as it is coming up. I am telling you, flipping and pitching plastics in super shallow water is going to be the way to go, and should be really awesome in the coming weeks. Funny how I will be in Australia next week and wondering what I am missing.
The best areas were mid-cove with grass and shoreline cover, and as the day wore on they moved really shallow. One thing that was interesting today was when we missed a fish we were able to throw back in there and catch them. We probably added 2 or 3 fish that we initially missed to our total by throwing back on them. And today we had quite a few bites that did not hook up, slightly unusual for the swim jig. I suspect they were crappie and catfish. Everything is up and biting.
Jim sure did his part today. Funny how a guy 6’6″ makes a good one look small.
For the day it was an easy 25 plus, and while we never boated a big one, our top 5 were nice fish, and we definitely had a fun day. Very few places we fished we did not catch one or more. Jim is a good fisherman and a great boat partner. As we moved back to the creek we fished earlier it was 3:30, and before we knew it we had fished until 6:30. Time to get him back to the ramp for his drive back to Houston.
I feel pretty good about what we caught considering how hard the wind ended up blowing. It often limited where we could fish, one of those days when we were often fishing where we could and not where I wanted to. But I can flatly say this, if we do not get any more rain letting the water clear just a touch, the fishing will be off the chain on Coleto next week. It should be a stretch where you can fish what you like, and catch fish. But no matter your preferred method there is one piece of advice, shallow, then shallower. And last, the crappie I caught was shallow and spawning. Get back in a likely looking spawning coves and dip jigs and minnows in the new cover on a long rod and you just might load the boat.
Many of you know I finally broke down and bought some real waders and boots. Having owned 3 pairs from 3 different companies in the last 6 years, they all leaked. In fact, the longest one brand made it without leaking was 2 springs. So I finally broke down and bought some Simms and they are the bomb. Nice to not worry about “how much” they will leak. One thing that happened on the last pair was a leak started on a seam right where the ray guards were. So I emailed them and asked about that.
They responded immediately with some good information.
Depending how abrasive the fabric is on the inside of the guards, the rubbing may cause that area to wear quicker overall. In regards to gravel and debris getting between the two layers, that could most definitely cause quicker wear. I would suggest first, rinsing your waders and ray guards after every use to clear out the gravel and debris, and second, depending on how often you are out fishing, send your waders into us for general maintenance as I’m sure there will be additional spots where your ray guards sit that will need to be tended to.
Yes, we have a repair and warranty center here where our GoreTex waders are made and if we can fix pinholes and tears/scrapes before they become larger issue(s), that will help to extend the life of your waders.
So I am not sure how much of a problem it could cause, but sounds like not much with rinsing after each use, which I do. With what they costs I was wanting to be sure I wasn’t messing them up. But one thing is perfectly clear now that I have been wearing mine, they are worth every cent. In fact if I had started with them the cost would have ended up being half that as I have 3 leaky pairs sitting in the garage which I would not have bought. Some quality stuff is all it is cracked up to be. And the real kicker for me being a little guy is they had waders that fit me perfect, something new and different. I appreciate their quick response, definitely living up to their reputation.
I got this comment from Gary, which applies to all of you as far as I am concerned.
I’m taking my grandsons Friday and Saturday, it you see my black and white center console with a raised platform on the lake, say hi.
Thanks for the offer, not sure if I will make it out there then, but I will watch for you if I do. And the rest of you are always welcome to stop and say hi. I have an all white Mako LTS 18 with a white power pole on it. I always like meeting folks who read the blog.
After Jim picked up some Controlled Descent Lures to use on a Carolina Rig he did a little experimenting in his swimming pool.
It may not be clear enough here, but this is the idea.
He was able to get his bait to suspend just right, nice and level. And when he would move it the bait would dive down, and then slowly suspend back up perfectly level. For those of you who fish this way the benefits are obvious. I am looking forward to fishing with Jim on Fayette when I get back and see if it works as good as it looks like it will.
While I was the usual amount of apprehensive fishing with a new partner, like I was every morning facing new guide customers, it was all good. We managed to figure out enough to catch fish all day, and once we really started going shallow it was apparent the fish are loving this rise. The future looks bright for the lake. And my desire to fish with a few more readers this year was bolstered by spending the day with a good fisherman, and more importantly, a great guy.
Now the countdown is in full freak out mode. Funny how when you are planning a big trip it seems like it will never get here, and now only 4 days to Australia. We have been planning this for 18 months and have done everything we can do to prepare, nothing left to do but get on the plane, and maybe eat a little kangaroo on a stick. I might fish one more day this weekend, if for no other reason than to make these last couple of days pass quicker. So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.
Good Luck and Tight Lines