25mph+….Time to go fishing. 2/21/18.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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No better time to pick one up than the Houston Fishing Show!

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

Monday I got my stuff together so I could fish, maybe, Tuesday.  The forecast for the area is for rain, rain, and more rain, which we really need.  Tuesday looked like it might be it this week, with Wednesday  forecast to have a 20 degree temp drop in the afternoon as the big north front finally pushes through.  So with almost no plan at 8:00 I finally put on my big boy pants, and my rain pants, and headed to the lake.

Weather

Rain and Wind SE 25mph+  (It freakin’ blew!)

Lake Level

Today  96.78 msl    Week Ago  96.68 msl

Solunar Times

Best 2:15 pm to 4:15 pm  Good  8:57 am to 10:15 am

*******************The Houston Fishing Show is next week, no better time to stock up!

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

It was a fish where you can, with what you can, day!

It was not yet raining when I headed to Coleto, but the wind was blowing, and I mean howling and there was a light drizzle.  It was nice and warm and I knew the fishing would be tough simply due to the wind.  One of the attributes I have always liked about Coleto is that it is “fishable”, and though like today it can be a hassle, it is not life threatening like a major reservoir or the bay.  So at 8:30 the Mako slid off the trailer, the full rain gear came on, and off I went.

It was definitely a spinnerbait kinda’ day, and I started on a flat point at the mouth of a spawning cover on the down lake side of the bridge.  On my second cast, running a big willow leaf white tandem spin right below the surface making a big wake, 4 small bass came for it when one grabbed it.  As I fished the cove another 3 or 4 came over the side and things were looking up.  Next was another cove a little farther up, and a couple committed.  So I kept heading up lake and then a funny thing happened, I quit getting bit the further up I went, exactly the opposite of what has been happening to me.  I my be slow buy I ain’t stupid so it was time to turn around and head back down lake.

Best I could manage today.  Love it when this size and bigger stop it right on top.

The lake is really starting to clear and the water temps were in the mid 60’s on up, and for whatever reason the small fish were on the move.  But the falling water is really starting to affect things.  Many of the coves that are regular spawning coves are losing water, and the back ends all had some color.  There were very few visible beds and the tilapia have deserted the coves compared to last week even though the water temps are definitely up.  Due to the particular water level on the lake right now it seems that the minimal drop in the grand scheme of things really has changed things.  Thank goodness rain is on the way, the lake really needs it.

After striking out up lake it was time to head back down.  It really was apparent that lots of males have flooded the banks where I was having trouble catching them the last few weeks.  It is a great sign and the lake is about to get into real spring mode.  After putting about 10 smalls in the boat in the morning it slacked off and there was a period of a couple of hours where it was slow.  (See solunar periods above.)  The spinnerbait was the best choice  (In most places it was the only bait I could fish.) in the high wind, it was blowing around every corner so I stuck with it.  Mid afternoon they started biting again.

The best banks, unlike the last few weeks, were main lake banks with a nice chop.  That’s a joke.  If there were stumps on it there was a fish or two.  After that slow period another 5 or 6 jumped on, including a white bass, before I called it a day around 3:30.  A steady rain started around 2:00 and the fish seemed to react to it by starting to bite again.  I did have one big fish boil it and miss, but other than the one above the rest were small.  Buzzing the spinnerbait is one of my favorite ways to fish, it is so awesome to watch them come in the clearer water and smoke it.

The wind never did lay even a touch, and it was really raining when I called it a day.  It thundered a couple of times way off in the distance and you could tell the real rain was on the way.  There is not much that runs me off, lightning is one.  No sense in screwing up a perfectly good fishing trip by dying.  As far as numbers things were definitely looking up and the lack of a good one today was simply a matter of not being able to fish some of the best places.

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Thinking about last weekend on Falcon I really did enjoy fishing with Aaron.  It is nice to let someone else drive the boat, pick the places, and run the trolling motor.  As I get older I really do appreciate the whole experience, and watching Aaron do his thing was great.  At times I put to much pressure on myself to catch fish and it is nice to occasionally sit in the back of the boat and just fish.

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I would like to thank John for his nice comment and offer.  I just have to say with 9 in the corner that have not seen water yet I am stocked up.  Your consideration letting me know was kind, so thanks again.  Nice to know you are out there.

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What is wrong with women?  What woman in her right mind would not want to spend her birthday in the lovely town of Zapata Texas while I fish all day?  I mean come on, how selfish could she be?  There must be literally minutes worth of things to do there.  So instead I will have to suffer in Ruidoso New Mexico for a long weekend.  Some serious hiking is in the plans, I will drop off my elk hunting application, and there might even be a game of chance or two.  My favorite part, 4 wheeling in the mountains, you never know what you will see.  And who knows. she might even get a birthday present.

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

 Tomorrow will have a low in the 40’s and the north wind will continue, though not quite as bad as it has been.  I may not get a real early start but I want to fish one more time before we hit the road.  And don’t forget the Houston Fishing Show next weekend, there are always some good deals to be had.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Falcon Lake TX 2/19/18

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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No better time to pick one up than the Houston Fishing Show!

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

This was a really great trip, and not because I killed them, but for lots of reasons.   A couple of weeks ago my buddy Aaron and I decided to take a short weekend trip to Falcon. and then the first of several interesting things happened.  I got an comment from someone who wants to come to Coleto some time and fish some swim jig, which I said cool, so hope they are hitting it then.  I mentioned Falcon, and he and a partner finished first and second in a tournament on Falcon the week before and he gave me a general location and bait.

*******************The Houston Fishing Show is next week, no better time to stock up!

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

Fish On!

So with a little advanced info off we went.  We started about 2:00 Friday in a mid-lake pocket, which is the area I have made hay in the past.  We ended up catching 8, it took us a while to get a clue, but we found them in approximately 4 foot of water around brush, and Aaron took it from there.  We were throwing senko style baits (Aaron stayed with plastics most of the time though he caught quite a few over the weekend on a Chatterbait.) and I of course threw a spinnerbait along with a jig and craw. None fell for the jig, and it became clear the Fluke Stick was the ticket.  It did not take him long to find “the” bait.

Aaron with the first good one.  (Remember he is 6’3″ and he makes them all look small.)

That gave us a starting place for Saturday morning.  This is where Aaron’s fishing experience and knowledge paid off.  We started in the same area, and they were not there, so he headed us further back in and there they were.  Nothing big, but we put some in the boat.  Next it was the Tigers without much success, but he was putting it together so we headed up to the Velano for the rest of Saturday afternoon, and after one unproductive stop we caught fish for the rest of the weekend.  I got to see a real pro start to put a hurtin’ on them.  They moved to the bank area in the evening as the water temp hit 70 and some went on the beds.

                                 The beat down begins Saturday.

So before it was over on the first full day we put around 30 in the boat.  We did not have a bite that day from a real big fish, at least as far as we know.  By this time it was perfectly clear that the pattern was hardwood, and not one stinking inch off the wood.  From that point on he put on a clinic in pitching.  Just to finish on that thought here is exactly what he was doing.  He was using a tungsten 3/8 weight with a worm hook and a Zoom FLuke Stick in watermelon red magic.  (Note:  We went through 5 packs (50) of the Fluke  Sticks.)  And when I said he was pitching, Sunday was really something with a serious 20mph+ wind.  His accuracy was amazing, always right in the heart of the cover from any angle, then a straight drop, a short wait, then a shake, and on they came.  By time we called it a weekend he literally called multiple shots.  It really was something.

Fish number 1 had a rough spawn.  Nothing like those solid Falcon bass.  And look at the water, pool table slick on Saturday.

I on other hand learned I have some serious work to do on my pitching.  It was absolutely critical to barely making a splash, landing it right on their head when they are that shallow without spooking them.  And then not moving it immediately and not much when you do,  just little hops and jerks, leaving it right in their face.  And if you try the Fluke Stick he advised to make sure the forked tail is horizontal, if not it spins and does all kinds of stuff they did not like.  Ask me, I sure found that out.  But the mechanical aspect of catching bass is just part of it.

              Sunday was a clinic.  Falcon Lake has some solid fatties.

The impressive part was his putting together a pattern on a lake he has not fished since an FLW almost 15 years ago, when every ones else we spoke with, including the owner of Falcon Lake Tackle who fished Friday, was struggling.  It was simple, in the morning and evening they went shallow, but later in the morning and all afternoon they went to the hardwood.  We of course eliminated some water that did not have enough hardwoods by not having any success in a few places on Saturday.  But like all knowledge sometimes a negative is just as telling as a positive.  The final word was he put us at the right place, at the right time, as the weekend wore on.  All I have to say is if the wind had not blown us off Sunday, and we had another day, it was headed to epic.  I told him I almost had him meet me there instead of picking him up so I could stay a couple of extra days, and he kiddingly offered back that he would take a bus home.  What a guy.  After fishing with lots of good bass fishermen in the last 40+ years, he is the best I have shared a boat with.  He is also the one who introduced me to the swim jig, fishing with him is always an education.

Turn out the lights he parties over!

We both had a shot at a big fish on Sunday.  His came pitching early, he set the hook and it came up, wallowed big time, and was gone.  One of the few he lost this weekend.  My big bites of course came on a spinnerbait, and I did catch 5 or 6 on it Sunday.  It was the 2 I didn’t catch that hurt.  I finally removed head from rear end and started slow rolling a 3/8 with a big willow.  3 of my top 10 lifetime came on Falcon doing it just that way, a slow roll from the bank out to about 5 feet, letting it bump the brush, then giving it a little jerk when it hits something.  The first one just slammed it and it felt like I got the hook in her but she pulled off, it was a real one.  Then a little later one smacked it again and when it came back she had to have had the whole freakin’ thing in her mouth  It actually closed on itself when she hit, clamping the blade on the hook.  One big mouth.  That is why you go to Falcon, the big bite.  I had 2 and as it will in fishing it just did not happen.

There were several cool things besides the fishing this trip.  First, Saturday you could have played pool on Falcon, I mean dead calm.  Both mornings there were packs of coyotes howling and yipping every where and Aaron being the hunter he is called them and got them going.  We saw tons of ducks, lots of bird activity on shad and white bass, and a big snake headed up a tree in the water for a bird nest.  But the almost best, the best was yet to come, was a big Redtail hawk who decided Coot was on the menu and the chase was on.  That hawk went after about 50 ducks, dive bombing them as they went under, it was right in front of us and an epic 100 yard chase.  Not a Coot was lost, and it was exciting to see.  But there was something else that topped the crazy list.  While I have seen some crazy things in my life, hell I have done a few, but this was right up there.

Since we quit at 2:00 we headed home and at 3:00, in broad daylight, we saw 8 illegals, 2 actually on the fence, who had just been dropped off right before we got there, 5 miles before the Falfurrias INS checkpoint.  Right in broad daylight they are scaling an 8 foot high fence with razor wire on top.  I have heard they walk maybe 10 miles in the middle of nowhere around the checkpoint, then get picked back up again.  We stopped an agent we saw 4 miles down the road and told him exactly where it was, I kept the mileage, and then stopped at the checkpoint a minute later.  We told the agent and his response was an incredulous “You are shitting me!”  We said “No shit”, and that we told the agent we saw a minute before.  He thanked us and we were all laughing.  Like I said, I have seen some crazy stuff but that by far is up there on the list.  A couple of minutes before that 2 cars passed us, probably the coyote with another car running interference.  Think about it, in broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon.

Falcon Lake is one great place and to really fish it would take months.  I have been lucky enough to fish it several times over the last 8 years.  First in the hey day, when catching multiples over 7 in a trip were the rule, and the lake was high.  My 3 personal bests after 30 years of bass fishing on one trip, another a 7 on my first cast with several more over 3 days, and the time my brother caught 3 in one place in nothing flat that totaled 23lbs.  Then the lake went through a few tough years when it dropped some crazy thing like 30 feet and the fishing was tough, we had one trip where we only caught 5 or 6 over 3 days.

Now the water level is what I would call perfect.  Plenty of offshore structure if that is your thing, and lots of cover for shallow fish for folks like me.  And while it got the occasional bad rap, there are more wardens,  (One we talked to on the water had been checking folks all day and said we were doing great compared to other folks.) immigration agents, and assorted law enforcement on the lake than anywhere in the country.  The biggest danger there is from a serious north wind or hitting a tree while running.  If you are a committed bass fisherman like me you owe it to yourself to at least fish it once.  What makes it special is the real possibility of catching a monster every single cast, even if it does not happen like it didn’t this trip.

So the trip was a hit.  Just watching a real pro do his thing was worth the drive.  The things I learned about putting together a real pattern, and then proper presentation, will put more fish on my line over the rest of my life.  And you know what else?  We had a hell of a good time!  There is so much more fishing to come this spring.  And be sure to put the Houston Fishing Show on your schedule next week, plenty of great deals to be had.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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I Can See! 2/14/18.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

Brought to you by waderight2-50

No better time to pick one up than the Houston Fishing Show!

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

For the first time in my life I can see without glasses.  It is still a new experience that my brain is trying to get wrapped around.  First thing in the morning I reach for my glasses, and then remember.  My Buddy Ro is a freakin’ artist and I can not thank him enough, this is a miracle.  So all that aside it is with great anticipation that I am off to the lake this morning.  (Note:  I am not supposed to do anything that “makes my face red”, in other words exert any pressure or strain.  Today I sat on my butt while I fished, did not violate any rule loading or unloading.  It just looked to good.)

Weather

72/62  Overcast with dense fog early.  Wind S 5 – 10.  (It is foggy as hell this morning.)

Solunar Period

Best  9:21 am to 11:21 am  (Right on.)

Lake Level

Today  96.68 msl   5 days ago  96.71 msl  (The slow decline continues.)

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I Have Seen This Movie Before

With the heavy fog it was 8:15 before I left the house, and 9:00 before a cast was made.  The first impression, the water temp was down around 3 degrees over the whole lake.  And the slow fall of the water level is really starting to affect lots of places.  And last, for some reason I am still not catching anything down lake and have not clue as to why.

It was uplake first, and the water temp had dropped to 55 degrees.  So keeping with the no strain or effort I put the front seat in, sat down and grabbed the jig.  And just like it has been, keep throwing it and you will get a bite.  It may not be fast and furious, but they will eat.

A big headed skinny male.

The first bite came out of a brush pile, see above.  And 2 casts later a real hoss jumped on and with my superior skill it pulled off.  I thought that would be my last big bite of the day, but oh, no, there would be more.

She knocked a foot of slack in that jig.

This picture does not do her justice.  This was a big fish, and she jumped it in 2 foot of water.  So at this point I kept after it.  It was a 1/2 ounce br/pumpkin jig with a watermelon beaver style plastic, a big mouthful, and they wanted it hopped and dropped.

When they bit they were eating it.

And since they were eating the crankbait the last couple of trips I threw it some.  And like the last couple of trips, they ate it.  They like the shad color, and I am cranking the bill off at a stop and go medium speed on moderately shallow banks with most of them coming 3 foot or so.  Best to bang it all the way to the boat.  It tends to catch a little smaller fish, but a good one hops on every once in a while as did another white bass.

Another nice one knocks the slack out of the crankbait.

The wildlife was out today.  From lots of deer, a couple of hogs, some turkeys, things were moving.  Later in the day a big gator made an appearance.  I even saw an Osprey catch a fish off the water.  As far as the total outdoor experience, today was a 10.  But here we go, it is now noon,  I have caught some big fish, and had a big one pull off and another around 5 flopped off trying to lift him in the boat, good morning.  Why would I leave that kind of good fishing?  Obviously I need to head back down lake and fish that warmer water.  I have been determined to catch fish on the lower end but I sure have not figured out how.

Fishing from around 12:00 to 3:45 was fruitless.  Not a bite, not a touch.  The same jig, along with the Bang O Lure, crankbait, and a swim jig, could not buy a bite.  I really am not sure what is going on there, but at some point it has to turn around or I have to do something different.  By the same token, I have caught some big fish the last month, and today was a great day.  The dead calm, cloudy, drizzly days this time of year are the best on Coleto.  Normally the water temp is a little higher and the Bang O Lure bite is in full swing.  Obviously that last cold front slowed them down some, but with better air temps the fishing has no where to go but up.

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On the travel front there are lots of things set and some are in the works.  Falcon this weekend with my buddy Aaron, time to catch a real big one.  Then the end of next month off to Peru for the Amazon and then 2 days of offshore fishing.  And then in June a trip to Port Mansfield for 3 days of fishing with the Austin Boys.  (I must be a glutton for punishment!)  This year there will be lots of fish catching travel and I hope you keep reading.

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I really did mess up today moving, at the rate the morning was going a couple of more big bites and it would have been classed as epic.  It really hurt when I lost that one out of a brush pile.  Fish that pull that hard don’t come around everyday.  But maybe they do as Aaron and I will be heading for 2 days of fishing on Falcon.  It is always something going there.  From full on awesome, to a slow grind, Falcon can still be the place dreams are made, and just maybe we will get it done this weekend.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Austin Boys at POC. 2/9-10/18.

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!**

It is Thursday afternoon and I am about half way through the to-do list so while taking a break it was time to get this ready from the weekend.  The it will be tackle prep, which should be quick as I am so ready do some wading.  Todd and the boys will be down here around noon Friday and we should be fishing by 1:00.  Then after what I am sure will be a great meal, we will be off Saturday at daylight and fish until dark.

Weather

Friday:  66/60 Clouds, periods of rain in afternoon.  50% chance.  Wind ENE 5-10mph.  Saturday:  70/53 Variable clouds/poss thunderstorms.  40% chance. Wind S 10-15mph.  (Love the forecast, so lets see the other stuff.) 

Tides:

Friday:  Low 7:21 am.  -0.5  High 8:14 pm. +0.1   Saturday  Low 8:09 am.  -0.5  High 8:40 pm.  +0.1.   (Both day rising, not my strong suit, but at least at some point there should be some water movement.)

Solunar Periods

Friday:  Good 11:33 am to 1:33 pm.  Saturday  Best 6:27 am to 8:27 am.  (Only relevant periods either day.)

Zigged When We Should Have Zagged

One thing about doing a blog on my fishing extravaganzas is when it sucks I have to put it out there, and this trip hit a new low for me in my POC experiences.  Where to start?

When we hit the bay at about 1:00 on Friday it was so freakin’ foggy it was not funny.  So the best way to start 2 days of fishing?  Slam into a reef and spend 20 minutes pushing and pulling Todd’s big Shallow Sport off, and it was work!  Good thing there was 5 of us or we would still be t here.  We finally got off the reef and hit a couple of places and nada, to make a long story short I did not have a bite that afternoon.  There have been some tough days in the past, but this was something.

We met up with Ro and the boys in his boat, and while they caught around 30+ trout, they only had 2 that made the grade.  We managed to catch a total of 1, for the whole boat!  By 5:00 it was seriously foggy and time to head to the house and call it a day.  So off we go and then wham, aground again!  And I mean stuck.  And out we go, heave ho, heave ho, to work we go.  We finally got off the reef and made it back to Froggie’s no real worse for the wear.  But all I can say is I have never been stuck like that, and I have never fished there without a bite.  A couple of new personal “bests”.

Let me set the conditions for the whole weekend.  Fog, fog, and more fog.  It was either foggy or foggier than hell all weekend.  While there was a tide it was basically low all weekend with very little water movement, at least where we were.  It was not a complete deal breaker but it was accompanied by heavy cloud cover, drizzle, water temps in the mid 50’s everywhere.  And talk about clear, the water was like drinking water.  So the next day we decided to make a big run in the morning and fish The Twin Lakes area.  But for some reason we did not actually drop the boat in the water until well after 9:00.  It was one of those mornings where getting everyone going was like herding cats.  So after the long run 2 of us wade the mouth of the pocket and 3 head to the back end.  (Note: The only place we saw good mullet, most of the banks on both sides of the bay were barren.)

I caught 6 that wouldn’t make it on the Academy Hover Shad at the mouth.  A “corky’ style twitch bait, I normally have no faith in Academy brand lures, but the trout like it and that is all the endorsement I need.  It works well on light line and can be fished fast or slow.  After no keepers we hopped back in the boat and headed to the back end of the lake where the boys found a few shallow.

There was lots of moss, slime, whatever you call that stuff, and basically a foot deep, so time for the Controlled Descent Paddle Shad.  They did not want the Pink Limeade but once switching to the Pumpkinseed/Chartreuse Glitter I got some bites.  I managed to catch 3, 1 keeper, and had one break my line. (That was clearly my fault as it was a good one doing the mouth open thing, like dragging in a bucket, and I put to much pressure, oh well.)  I used it with a rattle and inserted a small weight so it just sllllowwllly sunk on the stop, necessary in a foot of water, and they plowed into it from behind slack lining me.   John put a fat 25 1/2″ on the stringer on his topwater and he had several other blow ups, some from big fish, all on topwater.

We stayed there a little to long, and while we were there we talked to the other boat and they had their limit in the box, all on shell.  So we headed towards some shell but before a long boat ride was over we were in Barroom and never did stop on shell.  That had a lot to do with our fog episode the evening before and we did not want a 10 mile run if it got any foggier.  On the way we started checking places in the boat, seeing absolutely nothing for miles, no bait, and with the tide not moving and the water cool, it did not seem to be happening. We should have gone directly to shell.  To make matters even better, while idling in to check an area we grounded again!  And for the third time in the weekend we had to push the boat off.  Crazy!  I have only been grounded like that one time in the 10 years I have been fishing there.

So we finish the day on Barroom and I put a nice one on the stringer with that twitch bait, the others struck out, and we called it a day.  Then we spoke with the other boat, and they were back on them.  From what Ro posted on Facebook over the day they caught a solid hundred on shell.  Somehow we only managed to fish a grand total of 2 places Saturday.  Not a guess how that happened.

So that was the fishing weekend.  Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you, and this trip we continually zigged when we should have zagged.  That has a lot to do with why I did not take picture one.  I would have at least taken a pic of us pushing off the first grounding, but the camera was in the boat and I was pushing.  And I never got it out again, which gives you the best clue how it went.

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I saw a comment from an internet troll the other day that says it all about some “fishermen.”  A guy posted he broke off a fish the other day and this knucklehead posted “I have not broke a fish off in 8 years”.  All I have to say is he has not caught that many fish in the last 8 years.  It happens to all of us but some folks feel compelled to show folks up for no good reason.  Just like the guy who after viewing one of my videos where I wacked the reds posted he could get them in way faster.  The point?  So if you don’t have anything constructive to say, try not to say anything.

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By time you read this on Monday morning I will be headed to Austin for a 9:30 cataract fix.  My buddy Ro is one of the top eye guys around and I am fortunate to have him for a friend and a Doctor.  (And he is also a hell of a fisherman and a great photographer.)  Hey, so you can catch a bunch of fish, or you have the biggest boat, or the most sponsors, but you know what, Big Freakin’ Deal.  Occasionally we all need to sit back and put things in perspective.  Think about it, Ro returns sight!  What a gift and a talent all packed in a great guy.  If it were not for the first surgery, and now this one, I would be functionally blind, instead, I can see like I never have.  So thanks Ro, I so appreciate it and can’t wait to get it done.

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So while the fishing left something to be desired it was the usual good time with the boys.  As I had not been out any I had nothing to add to the confusion, and we clearly fished like crap.  But that is not all the weekend is to the boys.  They work hard and their few trips to POC every year are not just fishing, but sharing time with friends, not to mention the occasional adult beverage.  I am lucky to participate, and am already looking forward to the Port Mansfield trip in June.  Recovery and return from Austin will have me back on the water by Thursday at the latest.  If one thing came from the weekend, I am now mad at those trout and they are going to pay.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Guess I am nuts! 2/7/18.

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 really did mess up by not fishing yesterday but I had a couple of things to do.  It was beautiful and warm.  In fact, when I went over to Jeffish’s house at 5:00 it was 72 degrees, and when I went home at 7:30 it had risen to 79.  The wind was blowing hard out of the south as it tried it’s best to fight off the front that was coming last night, and it lost big time.   This morning it was 41 degrees, a 38 degree drop from last night, and the wind was blowing 20+ straight out of the north.  So the obvious choice – Go Fishing!

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Weather

47/39  Cloudy with a 90% chance of rain.  Wind N at 15 – 25mph.

Solunar Time

10:28 am t0 12:28 pm.

Lake Level

Today 96.71 msl   Monday  96.72 msl

This was definitely a “put on your big boy pants” day.  It was cold and ugly, and did not improve one bit.  Take the lowest number above, add in wind at the top of the forecast, and a constant drizzle which just about covers it.  It really reminded me of fishing what was called the Bass-A-Thon every winter in Arkansas.  Held 4 consecutive months in the dead of winter, it was not cancelled no matter what.  So with that in mind off I went.

One of 4, I could not be anymore proud.

First up I headed to the back of a good spawning cove to check the water temp and lo and behold, it went from 64 degrees Monday to 60.  No surprise.  In fact the whole lake dropped an easy 2 degrees.  In some spots it dropped a good 4 or 5, and the most stable temp was way up lake.  Obviously the fish were out the back ends as they took the biggest hit.  So I took the long bumpy ride up lake.

Today I went to a shad colored crankbait, but one that ran a little deeper than the Sunny B due to the front, figuring they would be deeper.  So back to why I am confused.  The water temp was 59 and I fished about half of what I have been fishing and put 4 in the boat and they were surprisingly shallow.  Nothing big, but with the weather like it was I can live with it.  I should have stayed up there the rest of the time as I would have kept catching a few, they are still biting the crankbait.  But I could not help myself knowing the water temp was still in the 60 – 62 range below the outflow cove so I headed back down.  I mean, they have to be biting there somewhere, right?

Oh so wrong.  It just puzzles me to no end why the fishing is better in the cooler water, and why it still continues to be one here and one there down lake in the warmer water.  Not a bite there on swim jig, crankbait, or spinnerbait.  And that was on windy banks, calm banks (There weren’t a bunch of those today.), coves, and a couple of other places.  One interesting thing about the water temp difference, up lake did not drop as bad as down lake.  Near the damn really shallow places would have a 5 degree drop in stretches.  Being clearer there that is not unusual, it might have affected them a little more.

So what to make of it today?  First, it was nuts to be out there, and great fun in a suffering kind of way.  It just “might” take the bass a day or two to recover from this, the lake will only cool off more tonight.  At least if you keep grinding the bill off a crankbait from the bank to out about 6 foot you can catch a few.  But what sent me over the edge and out in that this morning was I heard Todd and a few of the Austin Boys are coming for the weekend and I will be joining them at POC.   With a couple of things that need doing before going I need to get a little responsible tomorrow so I had to go today.  (At least I told myself that.) The boys always fish hard, with any luck maybe we put a couple of big trout in the boat, or on the stringer.

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

My friend Jeffish sent me this the other day, and it made me laugh.

Our local channel is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.  This was the accompanying graphic on the story about a lost donkey and his return.  The graphic stayed up the whole report.  Guess the cows were happy, but how do you tell with a cow.  Guess they missed the donkey.

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

Looks like the Austin Boys are headed here with some rain in the forecast.  They seem to drag weather of some sort most times they come.  At least the temp is going to get back to normal, and hopefully the fishing will be good.  I am really looking forward to seeing how it goes on the bay this weekend.  Lots of the reports I am seeing are pretty good and I have a couple of good ideas on where to give it a go.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Good News – Bad News 2/5/18.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Weather

63/57.  Cloudy.  Wind 10 – 20 NE.  50% chance of rain later.  (The wind was 20+ for the first hour and settled in around 10 -15mph the rest of the day.)

Solunar Period

Best 3:03 to 5:03 pm.  Good  8:51 to 10:51 am.

Lake Level

Today  96.72 msl   5 days ago 96.78 msl.  (It is still on a slow decline which is not helping any.)

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

I could not decide where to go today so I waited until I got up early and stepped outside.  The wind was blowing pretty good so I put the bass stuff in the boat and headed to the lake.  It was not all that cold, but the wind was straight out of the north but the ride up lake was not to bad.  And a good thing – the water temp was up 2 -3 degrees, in the 60’s over most of the the main lake.

So up first was the Bagley Sunny B, and besides they are still hitting it right along, a couple of things happened that are really good news.

The second one did not have a gill plate on that side.

There is no more consistent sign on Coleto that the water is starting to warm, catching catfish on crankbait.  As soon as the water gets above 60 I always catch a few every spring and they are shallow and aggressive and I almost always guess right as their bite is so distinctive.  They also eat the swim jig and almost always knock the crap out of it.  And then I snagged the first tilapia of the year.

A bit of bad news?  The bill on my Sunny B finally broke.  What a piece of junk.  It only caught somewhere around 50 white bass, 30 or 40 largemouth, and a few other things.  I mean, it spent 3 days with me intentionally grinding the bill off.  So it is far from a piece of junk, in fact if every bait I bought caught that many fish I would be thrilled.  That thing survived some serious fish, and even when the bill cracked, it was still catching fish until I quit cranking.  That thing really does catch fish.

The crankbait is still the bait of choice up lake.

So here is the punch line, some of the back ends of coves are in the middle 60’s, not only did I see the first big bunch of tilapia, one cove had 4 beds in the back end.  And that means it is about to improve, though none came from the back ends.  But if that is the case why is the fishing no better?  (Funny when catching around 18 is not good enough.)

   Can you say eating it.  My first spinnerbait bass of the spring, Yahoo!

I only stayed up lake until about noon, catching a good 10 on the Sunny B, then headed back down lake.  They were still biting when I left.  But I was determined to catch fish “down lake” and not just on crankbait.  It just had to be spinnerbait time with the water temp in the low 60’s over most of the lake.  It has always been one of my favorite ways to fish so I gave it a serious go the rest of the afternoon.  I ended up catching 4 on spinnerbait on windy places, running it right on top, and they were smoking it.  I just could not find “the place”.  Additionally 4 jumped the Bang O Lure on banks where it was out of the wind.  The problem?  They were all small, in fact I did not have a big bite all day.  Of course moving back down from where I am catching them had something to do with that, but no matter what the fishing is about to get good.

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

Getting old is hell, or at least has some periods of “heck”.  Hard to believe I actually wrote the last post the other day and then failed to hit post.  In the past I have posted a couple before I was done, but this is the first time I just did not finish.  “Old Timers” rears it’s head on occasion.  Oh well, it was a great day cranking the other day, and there is tons of fishing to come.

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

Looks like we are about to have a couple of days of rain, maybe 4 out the next 6, and boy do we need it.  I just hope when it comes it is a warm rain, which will improve the fishing.  Plus it just might get the water back in the shoreline cover.  Looking at the forecast Thursday looks like a good day for some serious wading.  And if it does not rain to hard I will obviously get out before that.  The time is now, and I am still waiting for that early spring big bass killing.  Heck, it might be a really early spring.  It really surprised me to see spawning beds today but with the water temp in some coves there will be more as it continues to warm.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto Creek 1/30/18.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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(What an idiot, I forgot to hit post on this the other day, better late than never!)

I got the trailer basically squared away today, truck washed, tackle organized (A never ending task.), and am ready to roll to the lake in the morning.  The last couple of days should really have warmed the water some and there is no question the bass fishing will be improving daily.  With the number of bass that came over the side trolling shad color crankbaits a little time will definitely be devoted to the Sunny B tomorrow.  And it just might be time to switch to the white swim jig, or even a spinnerbait on the really windy banks.  No matter what it will be nice to drive to the lake not worrying something is finally going to come apart on the trailer.

Weather

70/54  Periods of clouds and sun.  Wind SSE 10 -20.  10% chance of rain.

Solunar Periods

Best 10:18 am to 12:18 pm.  (It could not have been any more right today.)

Lake Level

Today  96.78 msl   Sunday 96.82 msl   (Some places are beginning to show the slow decline.)

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

I Don’t Freakin Get!

The Bagley Sunny B in a silver foil black back.

You are about to read a rant from someone who caught give or take a couple or 22 bass.  When I got to the lake at daylight it was foggy as snot, just like they said it would be.  So it was ready set – Go – Slow.  It took over twice as long to get up lake but I finally made it.  It was so foggy everything was drenched when I got there.  And the one big surprise, there was very little change in the water temp from the ramp to up the lake in both arms from Sunday.

The plan was to throw cranbaits, jerkbait, and the 1/2 ounce jig.  The first bank I caught 3 on the jig, all small.  (I did break one off on the jig later, braid and a 20lb leader, my fault.)  So I turned around and started throwing the Bagley Sunny B, the same bait we killed the white bass on, and caught a nice one.  And one word on the Bagley line up of balsa crank baits.  The white bass will not stay off that thing, and I caught a couple bonus white bass today.  And it was by far the hot bait today and Sunday, it catches fish.

A nice one.  They were just getting on today.

Next up it was a different bank and I immediately caught one on the Bang O Lure, but I just was not feeling it.  So back to the Sunny B and the catching began.  They were on shallow banks and using a soft rod was really important.  They were not smacking it, just getting on, and letting the rod bow before setting the hook resulted in very few misses.  I had 2 do one of my favorite bites, as I was reeling it along it just went slack, no bite, no twitch, nothing, both them made the boat.  Basically I was banging bottom out to 5 feet with an erratic retrieve at moderate speed.  From 10:00 until 12:00 around 15 made it over the side.  (Until I got home and looked at the solunar times it did not cross my mind that it was right on.)  The wind had started to blow some and the bite was on.  Most were small, but enough were nice to keep it interesting.  And they were on shallow soft banks, which was probably the result of daytime heating.  It did go from 40’s to 70 air temp in the 2 hours they were after it.

They were liking that Sunny B.  If I catch 3 this size every day the rest of my life I will be happy!

So what’s the bitch?  The fishing was good so it was time to head down lake and fish the lower end some.  The water temp from the out flow cove to the dam is in the 64 degree range, where I am catching fish it is 57, which means it did not significantly warm anywhere much since Sunday morning.  But as soon as I get in the warmer lower end, just like the last couple of trips, I can not find them.  Today I boated 4 on the lower end, all on the Sunn B, over the next 4 hours.  I fished coves, main lake banks, channel banks, and it was one little one here and there.  Maybe I am over thinking it, but 64 degree water should be perfect,  and I can not figure out why I am not having an luck down lake.  And it seems like in the lower end where I caught  a fish last time produces zip next trip, and I continue to catch random fish with no pattern or clue as to why.  Those historic pre-sawn places are just not producing, yet.  I just don’t get it.  Obviously I am doing something wrong.  So seems funny to rant a little when the fishing was good, I caught a lot of fish with some good ones in the mix, a successful trip any time.

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

After my review of the LTS it looks like Gary is going to buy him one.

Thanks for the time you took for the lts review, I got the chance to actually fish with a couple of former customer, who just got their new lts with a 115. I like the size, layout, and it should fit my needs well. I’m glad you covered all the different aspects that you did, I love bass fishing but mostly do saltwater due to my location. Coleto has been my favorite place for years simply because I don’t have to drive through Houston to get there. Thanks again for your help.

You will be happy with it, it really is a multi use boat that gets the best of both worlds.  Hope you enjoy your new boat.  Thanks for letting us know.

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

It was really fun today, it has been awhile since I spent that much time cranking.  When they are on it, and they were today, it is a great way to catch fish. And mark it down, the Bang O Lure fishing is going to happen any day, I can’t wait.  Tomorrow we are off for a couple of days and on the way home will pick up the old trailer.  I am already hearing it from the Boss about more “stuff” in the yard so it will be out of here on a fire sale next week.  And it is time to get back to the salt a few days.  One of my better days on the bay last year was in February and a repeat sounds great.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Boat Stuff 1/30/18.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

Brought to you by waderight2-50

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This post was looking like it was going to be a long one if I added the next fishing report so I decided to post it today.  Getting the trailer had been in the works awhile and it is good to finally get that taken care of.

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

Today I took the boat up to McClain’s to have the boat fitted to the new trailer.  I found Michael and he said drop the boat right there and we will get on it.  Saying it would be about an hour and a half I took off for Cabela’s, which would be about right.  While I was there I picked up some free stuff with my points and was headed out the door when he called and said it was done.  When I got back it was on the trailer and ready to roll.  He walked me around it, I forked over the bucks, and I headed to the house.

Time for a long trip!

So now the good stuff, I can not say enough about dealing with Michael Aguilar and the folks at McClain Trailers.  First, the cost was super competitive, I looked at 3 different trailers before McClain.  While price was a consideration, once I stopped and talked to Michael I was sold.  And the best thing, the trailer was exactly what Michael promised it whould be.  It was built specifically for the boat and looks great.

Second, when I ordered it Michael said 4 – 6 weeks, and guess what?  It was done in a little over 3 weeks.  Dealing with boat stuff for decades things rarely gets done early, in this case it actually happened and was done correctly.  But more importantly was what I saw when the boat was sitting next to the old trailer.  Yikes.  There was a big visible difference in material, hardware, and workmanship.  And I love how the warranty on the axle can be extended to 10 years for a small fee, and in my case the extended warranty is a must.  So the only thing left to see is how it survives me, the Boss has green lighted long trips now that I have replaced the old one with a “real one”.  The whole experience was great and I can not recommend them more highly.  Thanks Michael, it was a pleasure.

Check out their web site:  http://mcclaintrailers.com/

(And one final note.  After owning lots of bass boats I would never replace a trailer with a standard bass boat trailer.  I can see no downside to going to a saltwater trailer.  No way it won’t last longer.  Just a thought.)

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

Speaking of boat stuff I got this very interesting and complicated question from Gary.  I really had to think about it for a while and what should have been a short answer ended up being a dissertation.

I’m considering buying a mako 18lts, what do you think about yours? I’m downsizing from my JH performance since I quit guiding. Thanks

I have had this one for some 8 years now, it was one of the first rigged in Texas.  I love some aspects, and some not so much.  Keep in mind that when I bought this there were several considerations besides fishing salt.  Most importantly I fish lots and lots of fresh water and it is a great little bass boat.  Weight and size was a serious consideration considering it is 30 hour tow to the Keys, 10 hours to south Louisiana, 12 hours to north Arkansas, not to mention tows to places like Amistad and Falcon.  (And I am considering a late fall muskie trip to Canada this year.  Since the 4Runner is a V6, I am a lifetime Toyota man and have towed with 4Runners for 30 years, that is always a consideration.  Being a “smaller” boat it really is a great 2 man boat if you are casting, 3 man if they are good fishermen and careful, and it runs fine with 4 in it, though that is a load.  And with the 90 Optimax (I chose the Opti because I had a couple of 4 strokes that came apart and this thing after hundreds of hours has equal compression and runs like a top.) and the big gas tank it has a huge range.  As an example I van just about fish 3 days say on a trip and not have to visit the gas pump.  Love that!  And it trolls like a dream, great for me 3 days every spring.  Now it come with a 115hp which I am sure speeds it up a bunch.

I can tell you that if you are downsizing from the JH Performance you will notice a big difference.  When it is super rough on the bay the LTS has it’s limitations.  There are days when that long run is just a little to much for the boat (Or me.) and you can take a pounding, been there done that.  It does not have the “solid” feel of your JH or a Majek, again a compromise with a lighter boat.  And another thing, it is not near as shallow a runner as they say it is.  It is not a real tunnel and consequently will not run as shallow as a  lot of the other boats I haved fish in, which depending on your style would be a big difference if you are used to really running shallow.  When I fish out of my buddy Chris’s Dargel we go places the LTS just can not go.  Now we did not get a jack plate, and I know it would help some, how much is the question.  But my days of just jamming like a mad man are over, so running really shallow is not a consideration since I spend most of my time now on the bay shoreline wading.  To give you a practical example there are lots of days and tides where running into Pringle ain’t happening while other folks make it.  Mine runs just fine at 4500 rpm at 26 mph, top end with the 90hp is probably 38 mph with me wide open, at best.  Right after we bought it the saleswoman actually called while we were fishing and had a couple of guys in the room considering one and she said: “You get 50mph don’t you?”  At which point we had to hurt the sales pitch as high 30’s with a light load is the size of it.  But since speed is not a real issue with me that part is fine.

There are a few complaints, some which they have fixed on the boat, some that came with buying from Bass Pro.  I got this one at the Katy store and I would not let them rig a canoe.  Completely incompetent rigging, the whole experience with them sucked in that respect, but at least it was their first and many of the issues we had have been addressed on the new boats.   And the lay out, it is a tough boat to do simple things like change trolling motor batteries or do other work under the console.  It is way to cramped, stuff is crammed in there, and nothing, and I mean nothing is all that simple to work on.  So take a good look under the console before you buy and think, “What would I have to do to fix “X”?  With most of the rigging below the floor that is not particularly helpful either.  The only thing I have to say about the live well, is they should have dropped the live.  I built a live bait tank if that tells you anything.  And do not even think that the storage is anywhere close to “dry.”  Stuff gets wet all the time in any of the boxes, as I type this all the life jackets and other stuff out of the boxes are hanging on the fence drying.

I am actually picking up a new McClain trailer today to replace the factory one.  The factory one was poorly designed, though lots of the “problems” with the design of the boat and trailer have been fixed over the years.  One advantage of the factory trailer is it is low profile, if you can get the trailer anywhere near the water you can get the boat off.  But since I am not buying a new trailer from them it should tell you something.  But again in their defense, the trailer had a hard life, it has been thousands and thousands of miles on the worst roads, bad ramps, you name it, and I always made it home.

Enough of the “bad” stuff, I can have a new boat if I want one and seriously considering doing so, but I am happy to keep the LTS, it suits my needs just fine.  So first a new trailer, then new trolling motor, and finally upholstery and it will be good to go.  It has fished literally hundreds of times and I readily admit I am hard on stuff but it still has some good years left.  So would I recommend it to you, that is a tricky question, not knowing what you do and what you want to do.  Of course price is a consideration, but with that comes a little “less” boat.  They have to get the savings somewhere.  So I guess the final answer to your question is – I can have any boat I want and I am sticking with the LTS.  And thinking about it, as long as I fish salt and fresh water, from big water to creeks, if I was looking at buying a new boat it would be first on the list until proven otherwise.  The multi use thing is important to my style of fishing.

Since you had a JH the one piece of advice I would give you is absolutely find a way to take a ride in one before you even think about plucking down the bucks, you will see/feel the difference.  But I bet with the 115hp it hauls butt.  If you are ever in the Victoria area drop me a note and I would be happy to give you a ride, lake or bay.  So if it seems I am wishy-washy about you buying one, it is tough to give that kind of recommendation.   In the end it is a great multi use boat, including taking the kids tubing, and the upfront costs are not as high as some of this type of boats have become.  It has served me well and it says a lot that I didn’t sell it when stuff started breaking and wearing out.  So good luck in your search and we would love to hear what you finally decide.

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

And speaking of Houston the fishing show is coming up February 28 – March 4.  I love the show and like the rest of you occasionally drop a buck or two while I am there.  I am looking forward to what My Coast Outdoors, the makers of Controlled Descent Lures, and Wade Right have in the works this year.  If I hear anything early I will let you know.  Besides both of them making good stuff they are family owned Texas operations and the small guys deserve our support.

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

And SA Joe sent along this comment.

Nueces river are producing white bass. A couple of guys that are in my Facebook groups have guide trips running down there for $75 a person. And they are posting pictures.

Thanks.  That is why I said the other day they were either there or on the way, and it sounds like they are moving,  it is so temp sensitive and now is the time.   So if you are a white bass fan get over there, with this second moon it won’t last long.  Good to hear from you and thanks for keeping in touch.  And the rest of you this is exactly what I hoped the site would be 7 years ago, sharing information that helps us all catch a few fish.  So keep it coming.

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

The Boss is back in town after her excursion to Minneapolis and Iowa.  She visited with her folks in Iowa but while in Minneapolis she toured Prince’s house and went downtown to the area where folks are beginning to gather for the Super Bowl.  All she had to say about the weather was it was cold, real cold.

Today it will be licensing the trailer and getting a few things tweaked on it then back in action.  Time to sit down and look at the weather and make a plan for the next trip, which is going to be Amistad or Falcon.  That is always a tough choice for me, fishing Amistad is just like fishing Norfork and Bull Shoals in Arkansas where I did my guiding and it rarely dissapoints.  And of course Falcon is the place dreams are made, and where I caught what at the time was my 3 personal bests in 3 days.  Additionally I will be watching the Corpus weather looking for the perfect couple of days to try and catch a big trout.  It feels good to have the trailer issue resolved and it is time to get my monies worth.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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White Bass Mayhem! 1/28/18.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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This morning I am meeting Jeffish, his son Korbin, and their friend Steven at Coleto for a little white bass trolling.  Reminds me of guiding in the old days, taking a bunch out for white bass.  So the goal is to sack enough for a couple of fish fries, and just having a good time with friends.  It has the potential to be a pretty good day and I am looking forward to it.  The only problem – When it goes well they don’t clean themselves.  But if that is the only problem we have today it will be a great day.

Then tomorrow it is off to Houston to pick up the new trailer.  Excited about that, but not excited about having to drive back and get the old trailer.  Guess I will convince the Boss we can double up, spend a night or 2 in Houston for entertainment, then pick up the trailer on the way home.  The coffee is done and the boat is loaded so out the door I go.

Weather

71/41  Cloudy then clearing later in the day.  Wind N 10 – 15mph.  0% chance of rain.

Solunar Times

Best  7:25 am to 9:25 am  (Perfect, though I am not sure it really is relevant to white bass fishing,  They are there or not.)

Lake Level

Today 96.82 msl   3 days ago  96.81 msl   (Up a tick, keeping fairly stable.)

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

I said in my last blog that it should be a white bass killin’ this morning, and it was.  It was a little cool and the wind was blowing about 15mph out of the north as we headed up lake.  There were a few folks out, but no one up lake where I have been catching them.

Of course Jeffish and Korbin have caught them with me before, but Steven I don’t think had ever caught one.  Before the morning was over he was having a hard time believing what just happened.  My plan was not to fish, just drive and take fish off, and that was a good thing considering it would have been a real hassle at times, like the multiple times we tripled up.

Jeffish, Korbin, and Steven.  The said they wanted some fish, so here you go.

I got everyone with a crankbait that ran about 5 -6ft deep, spread them out, kept it at 3.2mph and off we went.  It might have taken 2 minutes, maybe, and from then on it was consistent for the next 4 hours.  Lots of doubles and triples, everyone was having some serious fun.  They were not big, but of the hundred, and I mean the over a hundred we boated, all but a few did not measure.  Many times they would nip the bait, miss it and when the boys got the hang of tricking them by pulling or jerking and then stopping it, everyone was laughing and having a great time.  And occasionally Korbin would be messing around and sit his rod down, lucky it did not launch several times.  It was just mayhem.

And the occasional largemouth jumped on, we caught 10 or so to boot, and 3 made the cooler.  2 are for the Boss when she gets home, she loves eating bass.  We made no attempt to keep count, just measured and in the cooler.  We finally started throwing them back if they were not obvious keepers, and it was time to think about calling it a day.  My plan was to stop fishing when the cooler was full, and the timing was perfect.

A real cooler full.

Everyone caught a bunch today and at noon it was time to at least get a fair count and get them cleaned.  So Korbin held the net and we started counting, when we had 40 in the net there were still an easy 20+ it was definitely time to call it a morning.   A short trip to the ramp, a half hour of cleaning, and a successful day was complete.

I have always loved taking folks when the white bass are going like that, and I especially enjoyed watching Steven catching fish.  Trolling takes care of anyone who is not that great at casting, it gives everyone an equal chance.   In this case a 6 year old boy and a Gulf War vet, both not that experienced, were able to catch a ton, making it a great day to be one the water.  And I never boated a fish.  Perfect.

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

I realized after reading yesterday’s post nothing was said about how to find early spring white bass no matter where you are.  After catching them in different states and on different types of water, there is one thing you can take away from that – Put your boat in at the furthest ramp “up the lake” on just about any lake in the country when the water temp hits 50+ degrees.  From that point head up the river or a big major creek and drive until you have to idle because it is to shallow to run.  Start there and fish your way back down.   Pay special attention to any shoals, especially if they have 5 feet of water, and watch for sandy banks with the sun beating down on them.   I am assuming, correct me if I am wrong, they are actually spawning there.

As far as baits a simple jig on light line is great for the really shallow areas.  Small tubes on 1/16th heads or a 1/8 or 1/16 simple marabou jig, nothing fancy.  They like a hop and drop method and almost always hit it on the fall. .  If you are more of a lure guy shallow running shad imitations and small jerk baits also work well.  One thing about the jerk bait bite is it definitely catches the bigger whites and they smack it.  And if you find them in 5 feet or more trolling is the easy way to load the boat.  If you troll keep it from 2 – 3 1/2mph until you find the speed, depth, and bait they want.

The advantage of starting as far up the river as you can get is sooner or later you will find some.  And if you keep after it a time or two a big day is usually possible.  A perfect example was my trip to the Nueces last year.  As soon as they were going good over here I drove there, totally clueless, in fact I had to look it up on the map.  Then I practiced what I preach and absolutely clobbered them.  Catching white bass is not rocket science, it is a timing thing, and now is the time.  And speaking of the Nueces I got this timely question from Dan.

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

Dan actually took the words right out of my mouth. I had just looked up the Nueces right before I opened his comment.

read your stuff almost every day. I find it really interesting and helpful.
do you have any word on white bass fishing on the Nueces river

Not a clue.  But guess what, right after I posted about the whites on Coleto, I did the one thing that the blog is perfect for, I looked up my last trip there.  And then I opened the comments next and saw your question and I have an answer, sort of.  It was absolutely an epic white bass trip there February 9, 2017.

A big one from the Nueces last year, should wet your appetite, does mine.

There is a search box on the right side of the front page and you can look stuff up by month for the last 6+ years.  I always look back at the beginning of each month to see what I did in the same month for years.  Trust me that is a great research tool and looking back on things gives me the ability to save a little time.

So while I do not have any new info, trust me, I will be headed that way in the next week or two.  (Since I wrote this a couple of 2Cool reports both had slow fishing.  But that was last week and trust me, they are there or will be any minute.)  Give it a couple of days of sunshine and look out.  So get em’ while they are hot, I plan to.  Good to hear from you.

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Fishing the last 4 out of 5 days has been a good time.  The bass while slow continue to give you a chance at a big fish every day, and that should not change.  Those “other” bass are hard at it, and today I about got that out of my system, though there will be one more day on the Nueces within the week.  Glad that will be a simple catch and release trip, those suckers over there are big.  Hard not to get them while the getting is good.  Then I am going to try to start splitting time between the bay and the lake.  Don’t want to miss out on big trout time.  IT IS FISHING TIME!  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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I Got To Go Fishing! 1/26/18.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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I missed the trailer guys call yesterday, all I know was that mine was done.  So up this morning and ready to hit Houston but when I spoke with them it was going to be Monday before they could do the final fitting.  So with that change I hooked up the Mako and headed to the lake for the third day in a row.

It was almost 60 degrees and flat calm as I headed up lake.  It drizzled off and on all day, and that was how long I fished.  Immediately I caught one on a jerk bait, which is either a bad thing or a good thing.  Fishing the rest of that bank without success I turned around and re-fished it with the 1/2oz jig and craw trailer and caught 3 more.  One thing has become real apparent, most of the jig fish are shallow, coming in the first couple of hops.  And though I caught several on jerk bait, the jig is still producing the good fish.  I kept with it the rest of the morning, catching a couple here, one there, just enough to keep it interesting.  At least there is a legitimate shot at a good one every day.

Though I am still only catching 8 – 10 bass a trip, a couple of these makes up for it.

One thing I wanted to check today was the white bass.  So I took the LTS instead of the skiff and it was interesting to see the water temp.  It was 58 in the ramp cove, 63 in front of the big intake cove, 59 at the bridge, and 56 way up.  So being warm enough there should be some white bass in the river so around 1:30 I put on a small crank bait and caught one on my first cast in 4 foot of water.  Then another, and another.

After a while I started trolling and it was a periods of mayhem.  Though not all that big, they never are on Coleto, they were willing with lots of doubles.  It was simply a matter of finding the right speed, which was 3mph, and then any shad imitation that ran about 4 foot deep.  After a while I was ripping the baits forward on occasion, and they would smack it.  I ended up trolling until I quit at 4:30 because the fish just kept biting.  I kept saying, “Last pass” and it never came until I quit.  Most were in 6 – 9 foot deep, and would re-act on turns and jerking it.  Otherwise just keep it in the water and hold on.

All the same year class there were lots of them.  Good eaters, there is a killing coming Sunday.

White bass fishing has been a part of my fishing for 40 years and I look forward to it every year.  Trolling is not part of my normal fishing, but you can put a whoppin’ on early spring white bass and it is a quick way to locate them.  And if it gets boring, (Catching fish can get boring?) or you want to do something different, you can cast crankbaits, spoons, or throw jigs after you locate them trolling.  But no matter how you catch them, and there is lots to be said about catching fish for 3 hours, and that is exactly how long it lasted.  Fun day.

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I try to put just enough pictures when I post to give the reader a good idea about how it went.  There are pictures, but then there are pictures.  I had the pleasure to fish a day at POC with Terry last fall and have kept in touch ever since.  All I have to say is the boy can put them in the boat.

Last month.  That is not a fish, that is a FREAK!

https://www.trophyhuntersguideservice.com/

Terry is the owner of Trophy Hunters Guide Service on Lake Texoma and as you can see he gets it done. Both monster catfish, and I mean lots, or steady limits of stripers, Terry is a good fisherman and a good guy to boot.  He also does airboat trips on the Red River below the dam and puts the whipping on them there.   Seriously, if you want to catch some fish, Terry is the guy.   The striper trip on the lake would be good for kids or inexperienced fishermen as his boat is big to handle Lake Texoma.  I hope to make it up there myself in the next few weeks.  Seriously, the stuff he puts on Facebook is amazing.

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And here is a great report from Joe in SA.

Doug,
So i’m not one for taking pictures cuz a bass looks like a bass unless its a FATTY !!! But yesterday was a good day on a little creek we have in san Antonio.
11 total.
One hit with 5 inches of line out coming back to the kayak-so 7ft rod + 5 inches=Almost crapped my pants !!!
2 missed. 1 of the missed hit my crawfish 3 times 3 casts, the last i set the hook and it came back empty. Must have had it by the pinchers…Enjoy the pics.
Joe

First love the pics, this ain’t Field and Stream Magazine.  Looks like you had a great trip and there is no better bite than one right out of the blue at the boat, the kind of strike we live for.  I never did get into the kayak thing, but grew up fishing and wading streams and love how intimate the fishing is when on small creeks.  And a couple of those are good fish for a small river, and they always seem spunkier on the “crick”. (Depends on where you grew up.)  Thanks for sending that along, I love getting other peoples reports.  Fish and where you catch them come on many sizes and places and it looks like you put it together.  And the rest of you, we all like to read real folks reports so feel free to send one along.

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And there was a cosmic suggestion from the resident Head Banger.

An ethereal whispering coming through the mist…….river, river, river.

Ya’ think Billy might want to fish the river?  The real problem this time of year as the serious fishing begins, to many good bites, to many good fish, in way to many places.  For me it is just making sure to take advantage of certain things when they happen, in other words today.  Good to hear from you, and as usual your comments make me laugh.

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I had hoped to fish a few days and with it being day 3 in a row I can not complain.  The bass fishing while slow as far as numbers go, has produced a good fish or two every day, including my biggest in a long time.  And today the white bass made an appearance, and Sunday I am taking a bunch on a meat haul trip, hope they hold up.  And the crappie fishing should be about to get in to full swing, so will have to break out that rod to hit all the usual suspects.  Like the white bass, once you get them down in early spring, it can be another consistent fishery.  This is my favorite time of year, and the serious fishing will continue.  Hopefully I can drag myself away from the lake next week and get in some wading.  It is big trout time and I need to get with that program.  Tomorrow I get my stuff back together, then back at it Sunday with friends.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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