Coleto Creek 6/23/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Since the last time I hit the lake it was basically over at 8:30 it was on the water as it just cracked daylight.  In fact I was fishing at 6:15.  Since there has been no rain lately I assumed that the upper end would be clearing, and it was.  The water temp at the ramp was 87 and from then on most of it was in the 90 degree range.  And with the lake clearly falling, and the one ramp starting to silt in, I wasn’t sure how it would go.  The lake needs a little rain.

Weather

96/77  Mix of clouds and sun.  Winds 10 – 20 SSE.  0% chance of rain.

Lake Level    .

5/8/17 – 97.17 msl    Today  – 96.45  (Down 3/4 of a foot in 6 weeks.)

Solunar Times

  • 10:32A – 12:32P
  • 4:16A – 6:16A  (Were biting as soon as I started.)

I didn’t catch one on my first cast, but it was close.  Starting with a buzzbait, duh, the second fish broke the wire so I had to put on a new one.  I got lazy, and it ended up costing me.  Switching a skirt to a toad on the new buzzbait, they have been liking it the last 3 trips, I did not take the time to put on a trailer hook.

Not fast by any means but they did bite.

I caught a couple of small ones and had two smash it and not even hook up at all.  At this point it is getting apparent that it needs the trailer.  But I make another cast and there she was, blew up all over it and in the boat she came.  One thing can be said about the lake right now, keep it in the water and there is a pretty good chance to boat a big one.

I just love it when this size explodes on it.

So now of course there is no need for a trailer, right, until 5 casts later.  The minute it hit the water it disappeared in a big boil and I just did not get a good hook set on her.  All the way to the boat, looking good, and she just pulls off.  My fault all the way.  Last trip I took a minute to straighten the trailer hook and caught the biggest fish of the trip.  Today I got lazy and did not take a minute to put on a trailer and it cost me dearly.  Like I always say, it is the little things that separate a good fisherman from a great one.  Everything on every cast has to be perfect.

The bite was on until about 8:30 or 9:00 like last trip and then it slowed to a crawl.  The wind came up and with white caps and a high sky the buzzbait bite was clearly over.  I decided to fish a little more swim jig down lake as I caught one on it earlier.  So I headed to a main lake deep channel bank and fished the grass edge.

A nice average for today.

From 9 until I quit at 11:30 I had 3 more bites on the swim jig and boated 2.  Of the 3 or 4 on swim jig today they definitely wanted it jerked erratically while reeling.  The last one came right to the boat, freaked out, grabbed it, and I flipped her in the boat.  Love seeing them eat like that.  With the bite slowed and already above 90 degrees I called it day.

Everybody was eating this morning.

All in all a great morning.  Deer were moving everywhere and a really small fawn was hiding in grass, in the water, and I scared the crap out of it as it did not hear me coming.   Life was moving everywhere today, it was that kind of a morning.

The better fish were on the deeper banks, with falling water and high temps that only makes sense.  Today there were a couple of places where I got 3 bites on the buzzbait.  I should have boated a few more, they gave me plenty of chances.  If I had to guess it was around 10, half of which were small.   But any day I boat a big fish is a successful day.

On a more general note I spoke with a guy at the ramp who had been here the week.  They are big jug fisherman.  They had a really slow week compared to their usual success.  He said he normally needs a gaff but they did not boat any that size this week and their numbers were down.  And from what I gathered they fished from the campground to way up lake.  They use a specialized rig to fish channel edges, great for big cats.  So not quite sure why it was slow for them, but it is changing as summer comes on full bore.

On the other hand the crappie are still biting.  Most folks on the lake are chasing them, and I took a peak in the trash can at the cleaning table and they are definitely biting.  So if you are looking for some tasty table fare they are out there to be caught right now.

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My buddy Faye sent me this.  Pretty impressive.

Though I really wanted to fish the bay with the water this high you just don’t know what to expect, at least I don’t.  So combined with the potential winds today the lake was a little better alternative, and it ended up working out just fine.  I will be interested to watch the posts from the bays this weekend and see how it goes.  Even with the high water being the weekend there will be folks out there.  Monday I will be there and it can not come soon enough.

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My buddie’s stepfather has a nice spread with a good quail and turkey population.  So he decided to thin the critters out a little hoping to keep nest predation down and ended up catching a bunch.  Amazing sometime how many animals are out there trolling around and we just don’t see them.

Some grey fox and a couple of coons.

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I am so happy to be back in business.  If the rain will just hold off the first couple of days Monday and Tuesday I intend to get back to the salt.  Got a new rod, some new Controlled Descent Lures, and a new attitude.  And there is lots of other places to go and fish to catch, every day I get to spend on the water doing the thing that we all love is a blessing and I am just plain lucky.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Random Ramblings 6/22/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Finally back from visiting the folks and they are as good as old folks can be.  We really like Arkansas, the Boss actually got a case of home sickness while we were there.  We took the back roads to Fayetteville through the hills and it was as beautiful as ever.  And one thing Arkansas offers is plenty of places to fish, from rainbow trout, to stripers, smallmouths in mountain streams, big rivers, it has it all.  I will admit I miss the variety, if they could just move the coast about 300 miles north life would be perfect.   While we were there I got a text from my daughter who thought I was home asking me if it was going to get us.  Huh?  What get us?  I looked at the weather and went wow, I have been out of the loop.  All that aside it is time to get back to fishing.

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It was good to hear from Billy who commented on wading with “critters.”

First off, glad to see you are back at it.
Second, put me in the category of no fish on the first cast. I would have cringed.
Lastly, while I completely understand your hesitation to wade with the gators that you can see in the lake, it’s no different than wading with the sharks, that you rarely see yet know are always there, in the bay. You or a part of you is always a potential meal while fishing the salt. I’ve had about four encounters with the gray ghosts. Call me hardheaded or stupid, but it hasn’t deterred me yet.

Keep on keepin’ on.

I am with you on the shark/gator comparison.  I too have had a couple of real close encounters with sharks, including one when I was wading in deep off color water when I tossed a little one back and felt a rouge “wave” hit my leg.  I thought shark?  I hooked another small one and when I tossed it back a big shark exploded on him right in front of me and chased him all around me.  Hasty retreat to the boat.  So while I know the potential is the same there is just something about a big gator that gives me the willies.  Kind of like watching your live snake feeding online.  And a first cast fish doesn’t bother me, unless it turns out to be my last.  Good to hear from you.

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I got this pertinent question from Jimmy.

How about some info from you and your readers on fishing before, during and after a tropical system. Okay, maybe not during the storm. Seems like a good time with Cindy knocking on the Texas coastline. Glad to hear you’re on the road to recovery and I do enjoy reading your “stuff”. Keep it going!!

First, sorry it has taken a few days to answer, out of town visiting the old folks.  I remembered that the fishing in the Houston area actually got a lot better after the last hurricaine, so I decided to do a little research and maybe learn a little something.  So here is a little info.

Basically the affect on fish seems to depend on the difference between a big saltwater storm surge making marshes and inshore highly saline, which may actually attrack more fish shallow or inshore, and a big freshwater event.  A big rain event which lowers salinity levels actually tends to “float” above the denser saltwater.  Interesting.  One of the consequences of that is it reduces the ability of  oxygen to mix with the salt.  Of course that causes stress on the saltwater fish and may adversely affect them.  But who knows, if there are deep reefs in the area they just might stack up there.  On the flip side, freshwater fish have been observed moving farther into the bay after a heavy freshwater flow.  But as a side note a real flushing of our bays is a good thing, and has positive effects on the whole system for years, as ours of a few years ago seems to have done.

That is a simplified explanation but does not address our question;  “How is it going to affect my fishing?”  In my very limited experience prior to my moving here I somehow managed to be in POC prior to a couple of near misses and actually fished up until time to hit the road, and it was good.  Typical of many pre-frontal events in freshwater, they feel it coming.  I fished a couple days after a real high water event a couple of years ago and did ok.  My guess is it becomes a question of when will the water clear, from either rain or wind.  And then how much fresh came in to the system, which would obviously affect my bank location.  Lots of rain, get away from creeks and rivers.  So that is all I know about that.   In my case it doesn’t matter, I tend to go when I can, crap conditions or not.   If anyone else has an opinion chime in, we all might learn something.  Thanks for commenting.

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And it was good to hear from Joe.

Hey buddy, Joe from Katy here. So glad to see you are feeling better and even happier to see you made it back on the water!!

I’m sure it will take some time for your body to get back to 100% so don’t rush it and let it come as it will. Take care sir and when I get a chance I’ll send you a nice report on my Saturday trip to Fayette and my Sunday trip to Coleto.

Welcome back. We missed you!!

As usual great to hear from you and will be looking forward to anything you would care to share with us.  And I have been taking it easy, and I am freakin’ sick of it!  Thanks for your kind remarks and good luck this weekend.

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And last I heard from Jim who I had the pleasure of fishing with on Coleto this spring.

Doug,
Good to see you back on the water. Take it slow and steady. Remember I have a trip on Fayette reserved for you. Take care and rip some lips.
Jim

Believe me I have not forgotten fishing with you on Fayette.  If anyone ever needed a lesson in Carolina Rigging it is me.  And I am slowly getting up to snuff and should be back full steam ahead soon, like this week.  Thanks for thinking about me.

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Spent the day doing catch up work on stuff and got it all done when the shop called and the service on LTS was done.  500 hours with 125 on all 3 cylinders, not bad for 7 years old.  Doesn’t mean it will not come apart tomorrow, but every thing else looked great and a couple of small nagging things got fixed.  I have learned my lessons over the decades, do the maintenance, it pays in the long run.

 Tomorrow I will be headed to the lake.  The wind looks like 25mph out of the south tomorrow at POC, so with that combined with post high water and the weekend crowd, I will leave it to them.  Plus Monday and Tuesday look cloudy with a chance of rain and 10 mph winds, which has topwater bite written all over it.   Thanks for hanging with me during this little lull, time to get back after it.  A little time off has given me a new appreciation for doing the blog, and the days I do get to spend on the water.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto Creek 6/16/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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So great to be back on the water!

It was going to be hot, windy, and humid today, so I got an early start.  Even though I am just about back to my old man self, I intentionally limited this day from sun up to 11:30 just to ease back in to it no matter how hard I want to go.  It was just great to be back fishing, and even though it was an intentionally short day, the fish as they so often do ended up being the final arbiter of when it was quitting time.

The reason this guy made the page is he came on the first cast.

Of course making it out early it was straight to the buzzbait.  My fist stop was a deep main lake bank on the way up lake.  The first cast this one jumped on it about halfway back to the boat.  Even though it is often said folks hate to catch one on the first cast that ain’t me.  Being off the water for 3 weeks made this a great fish.

After that bank a couple of things became real apparent.  They were not interested in chasing, and of the 6 I caught on buzzbait, only that small one came off the bank.  And today they were not really smashing it, the ones that bit were just getting it, many on the trailer hook.  And when I caught the one below it re-enforced a good habit.

This is the size that keeps me fishing that buzzbait.

When using a trailer hook I try to check it every cast when I bring it in.  Keeping it straight with the head is important, but this time it was something a little different.  I had just caught a small one and right before I cast I noticed the trailer hook was straightened some so I hopped off the deck and fixed it, and the next cast I caught the good one above.  Notice how she is hooked?  Just lipped on the trailer hook.  If I had not taken that second to fix it this fish would have come off and the biggest fish of the day would have been nothing more than a “one that got away” story.

For a couple of hours I just kept casting and winding getting one here and one there.  I may have had more than one bit in a few places, but basically they were scattered.  I did take time to pitch the beaver style plastic around a little wood cover, and while I caught a small one, they were not specifically on the wood, at least on what I fished.  And what little I tossed the swim jig produced nada.  In fact today, most were on points with some grass.

Most were like this, ok when you haven’t seen one in a while.

All of the fish came before 9:00.  Though I might have had a bite or two later, after 9 it was clearly over.  I finished up down lake on deeper main lake banks but they were obviously done.  So to stick with my promise to only fish a half day I loaded it up and called it a morning around 11:00.  It was nice to be back on the water, great sunrise, deer and gators active, nice breeze.  It takes a little forced time off to remind yourself it is not all about the catching.  Love of the outdoors and all it offers is the reason for the season and this morning reminded me of that.

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When I have those little periods where I wonder if keeping this up is worth it things come back to remind me that I am one lucky guy to do this.  I have met some great folks and I love it when someone comes up and introduces themselves when they see me on the water, and today I met a great guy.  Ron came over and introduced himself, he was just taking his Ranger out.  Speaking with him was great and I learned a couple of things.  First his Ranger is over 30 years old and looks great and runs fine.  He is the only owner.  That is awesome, really a comment on his care and Ranger’s commitment to quality.  Sometimes we (me) forget that the boat is a platform and nothing more when I get that new boat fever.

He was actually talking fishing with a friend at work and he mentioned my blog.  His friend is also Ronnie, who I fished with several times in the past, so we had a mutual acquaintance.  Ronnie was kind enough to take me to Baffin on my first trip, and taught me a lot about using a drift sock for winter trout.  I forgot to tell Ron to let Ronnie know I owe him a river trip this fall.  So Ronnie, lets try to get together in November and lay the smack down on some Lavaca River trout.

Ron also had some sympathy for me after going through the exact same thing I did the last 3 weeks.  I was lucky enough to keep the meds down, gag me, he couldn’t.  Folks they were nasty.  He actually ended up in the hospital for a week on IV meds.  Just when you start whining about being sick something like this puts you in your place.

Last, his experience this morning mirrored mine.  He was the first one out and figures he boated 9, the biggest a 3 1/2, most on buzzbait.  He was throwing the one with a toad on it instead of the skirt.  And they also quit for him around 8:30.  So if you are headed to the lake make it early or late, summer is here.  So thanks Ron for introducing yourself, great to chat with you, and the rest of you feel free to holler at me anytime you see me on the water.  Reminds me that there are folks out there reading the blog making this all worth it.

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I did have a couple of things I wanted to tell you about that happened today.  You who read this know I do not like how folks throw the term potlicker about.  And while I find that term to be over used by self important folks who figure anyone fishing in “their’ spot must be there because they saw them fishing there earlier, there are the exceptions.  There is a guy on Coleto who may be the definitive potlicker.

The 2 old guys I call Mr. Crappie 1 and Mr. Crappie 2 have been crappie fishing Coleto for decades and this new guy just basically started fishing anywhere he saw them.  Now obviously they don’t own those places, but if the sum total of your fishing ability is doing that you ain’t no fisherman.  Why I bring it up is I was sliding down a bank fishing and he idled right by me and tied off on a top right beside me.  So not only is he the quintessential potlicker, he also rude.  There is no fixing stupid.  But that aside, they are catching some crappies on minnows and cats on jug lines, so there are fish to be caught on the lake.

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Another thing that happened today was not a problem for me, but it could have been ugly.  As I headed down lake a ski boat pulling a tuber was coming at me head on and it became apparent he was going to go in front of me and pass on my right near the visible tree line.  No problem for me. I just went left and they went by.  What made it bad was he was pulling a couple of kids right over a submerged tree line, a couple which are currently right below the water line.  Coleto has some places like that, I know, I have hit a couple in the past.  Dang those prop shafts are expensive.  So when you are out enjoying the lake there are plenty of wide open safe places, the farther up lake you get the more stuff there is to hit.  Be careful, a trip to the ER is quite a bit more expensive than a prop shaft.

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And last something I just can not get my head around, maybe because I have seen some of the true giant alligators living in Coleto, is folks wade fishing.  I am sure your chances of getting eaten by a gator wading the shoreline is probably less than winning the lottery.  But the only problem is if one of those giants gets ahold of you it will be ugly.  So each to his own, but as many monster gators I have seen on the lake, no thanks.  Scary!

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My buddy Todd, one of the Austin Boys, dropped me a text letting me know one of the techniques they used on the plastics when they absolutely killed them out of Mansfield last week.

Meant to tell you.  Those Wedgetail Mullet were killer in Grand Isle and in LLM.  We were just reeling them over the top of the grass and they were knocking the snot out of it.

Thanks for the info.  The reason I brought this up is the way they were using the plastics.  Last year a little earlier, and then leading into this time, that is exactly how I caught quite a few trout last year.  It seems they liked the bigger profile, slowly and steadily reeled over the grass or right on bottom, just prior to croaker time.  Who knows, a medium-sized swim bait might work like a charm.  This is what make fishing so attractive to me.  Work hard, figure something a little different out, and put the mass hurt on them.   And it is always appreciated when folks share some great knowledge with the rest of us.  And by the way, I am inviting myself on your next Mansfield trip.

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I am happy to be feeling better and somewhat rejuvenated.  Nothing like be stuck in the house to remind you what is out there.  It was so nice to put it on plane as the sun rose, critters everywhere, bass chasing bait. it was all good.  And to top it off with a good one just made the day even better.  And chatting with Ron at the ramp made for a great finish.

Next will be a couple of days visiting the folks and then back at it.  Hopefully the Mako will be done at the shop because seeing all these giant messes of trout  is making me crazy.  I really appreciate all of you, and hope every once in while you garner a little bit of knowledge that you can use to put another fish in the boat.  And feel free to comment anytime, we love hearing from all of you.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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The Mad Trout Fisherman Getting it Done! 6/14/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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It was good to hear from Chad the Mad Trout Fisherman again, and he sent us this detailed report.  Folks Chad is a croaker pro and has shared his knowledge with us in the pat and you won’t get any better tips than from the Mad Trout Fisherman.

Hey Doug I couldn’t agree more about the Facebook post i don’t have it myself but my friends are always talking about it. I still read your blog, but haven’t posted in a while. I spent a week in poc last week with my son Taylor, and a few of his friends came down. As you know I love turning little fish into big fish!

Croaker season is the upon us as water temps began to soar. There is nothing better than taking 12 yr olds out to experience a smack down on some healthy specks. As for me and my fishing partner we both did a upgrade on our boats. I bought his 22ft gulf coast and he got a 23ft Shoalwater cat with 120 hrs on it. Practically new. Fishing has been catching for us when we are able to do a few things, find water that’s clear and off color near by with bait being present. The size of hooks really need to match the croaker. meaning i may use 3/0 one day and 6/0 the next.

I found that the really big croaker that I usually let go when I see them in my bait bucket can be really effective on big trout.  By placing the hook in the eyes and working them like a big crank bait has paid off big time.

Throw them far where you see big mullet, let them sit for 3-5 seconds then reel them as fast as you can for 10 ft stop them for 3-5 seconds and repeat. Note when you stop them be ready for your rod to be jerked out your hand. By hooking them in the eyes it allows the to look natural coming to you and you can get several more cast out of them. Important note about your bait, all bait stands ain’t the same. You want your bait to be frisky and no red spots or tails missing. My suggestion is really pay attention when they are getting your bait out the tanks. If you see this, ask to get them out of another tank or go to another bait stand. At 8 dollars a dozen. Its okay to be picky. Heck don’t you check the eggs at the supper market before purchasing. The croaker clickers we prefer have to be made. Ill send a picture with this post and tackle box has everything you need to make them. The clickers really do make a difference.

The size of fish this year beats last year the but quantity of schools of fish is way down in my opinion. But the fish that hatched five yrs ago hatched in a drought. So keep that in mind. Please be considerate on the water and if you are a shoreline burner, quit being so thoughtless as our young kids cant wade deep so stay a hundred yards off the shoreline. Thanks chad

Where to freakin’ start on this great report.  First, I love the way you not only spend really quality time with your son in the outdoors, but you are taking the time to spread your love of fishing and hunting with his young buddies.  Nothing is more important to your son and his friends and I can only imagine how excited they must have been.  I can just see them at the cleaning table playing it cool.

Second, all the “look at me” posters on Facebook are just that, posers.  There are so many great fishermen out there who do not blow their own horn, they just catch fish and go on.  I am so appreciative with you sharing your fishing knowledge with all of us.  There is way to much bragging and not near enough sharing of information.

Next, I remember last year when you were kind enough to share how you were catching them, and I immediately applied it to my fishing and it worked.  So if you are reading this and fish croakers pay attention, this is information that will put fish in the boat, period.  And it must be cool to crank it fast, then stop it, and have one knock the crap out of it.

I wish I had something to say about how rude folks can be to waders, but no matter how many times folk say it, some folks just do not get it.  Why in the world when there is acres of water in the bay and someone runs close has always puzzled me.  Education is the answer, but unfortunately you can’t fix stupid!

And last, congrats on the boat.  I know it is nice to upgrade, but it is not the boat folks, spend all the money you want on some high dollar boat, but Chad has been catching fish like this for decades, out of an aluminum jon boat.  It is not the size of the boat but the size of a fisherman’s knowledge, and you have my sincere thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

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And I got this comment from SAJoe, who is rubbing it in.

I guess I’m having to rub it in some while you are laid up.

Headed north to Chicagoland and Mazonia gravel Pits, Been doing 50-75 bass a day. Its a blast when they come look at the bait in clear water, pop it once and they attack it.

The in-law ponds on their community act like they never see a lure, lizard, craw. Should count how many bass i catch walking around their 3 ponds.

Sorry to rub it in. Not really….but my thumb needs reconstructive surgery cuz its worn out from lippin them

Rub it in all you want.  I cut my teeth fishing creeks, ponds, and pits.  Some of it was in the “good old days” when bass fishing was nothing like it is now.  Nice to know there are some places left like that.  So get em’ while you can.  Good to hear from you.

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And you wondered why it does not run right.

I figured as long as I was going to be laid up for a few more days it was a good time to take the flats boat in for it’s 100 hour service.  Sitting on the counter was this liter bottle with I am not sure what.  Angie said they took 7 gallons of water out of that fuel tank.  So if you find that great boat that has been sitting remember this, that could be what’s in the tank, or even worse, what is in your tank right now.

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What a great report from Chad.  Like I always say it is the little things that make the difference, and that technique of reeling them fast and the stopping the bait must be so much fun.  I can only imagine the anticipation.  Reel, reel, reel, stop, then THUMP.  Oh yea!

On the medical front I finally am done with the medicine from hell, and I am getting back to normal.  I get to spend a little time in the hospital in the morning for a test, then I am free.  Free to do what?  How about a stinkin’ beer?  Not trying to tell on myself, but I have to admit is has been a while (maybe 30 years) since I went 14 days without a beer.  So after tomorrow’s test I will admit that a cold one sure will be nice.  But better than that, I can get back to doing what I do, fishing.  Somebody has to pay for this, think I will take it out on the trout!  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines 

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This and That 6/11/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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I did want to comment on Michael Okruhlik, the owner of My Coast Outdoors and designer of the Controlled Descent Lures, going to ICAST.  The biggest and best trade show in the country, it is a great place to introduce new products and is attended by the who’s who of the fishing industry.  Good luck and hope you have a good show, it is a big step.  It is a great product and should be well received.  And we will be looking forward to your Facebook posts at the show.

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A Reader’s Amistad Report

I get the occasional question about fishing somewhere and it is so nice to hear from folks after they get back.  And folks, I told you it was good!

Hi Doug, your tips on Amistad were great. My buddy Joe and I went Tue-Friday and caught them until our hands were sore. Probably 40+ fish for each of us each day. Biggest was 3.5 lbs but many in the 2.5 – 3# range….and LOTS just short of 14 inches.

Joe with some good ones.

We fished Castle Canyon and Devils River, where we liked the rocks and banks better…and had more success. Every point had 2 fish on it. Some on crankbaits (KVD 2.5 square bill in Sexy Shad color) but mostly on plastics. Lizards, senkos, flukes, it didn’t seem to matter as each caught fish.

And Roy with a nice mess.

I did some scouting too, searching out the status of Amistad Resort and Anglers Lodge. The resort is boarded up and chain link fence surrounding it. Angler’s lodge has been bulldozed over. So no lodging that is set up for fishermen. I stayed at the La Quinta, right next door to the Ramada Inn. Nice enough room, but would have been a real problem if we were trying to leave for a tournament. We parked the boat and unhooked it and then parked the Tahoe next to the boat. Luckily, the vehicle parked ahead of the boat left just as I was contemplating how to hook up the boat. It was still a challenge to extract the boat from the cars tightly parked around me. We managed but it wouldn’t have happened at a 6am tournament time, where many guests were still parked. I think we were the only boat in the entire parking lot. If our club were to have a tournament at Amistad, I’m not sure if there are many places that can accommodate boat and truck parking.

Indian Cliffs on Devil’s River

I’m headed back next week…Tues-Thursday and will make a few scouting trips to other hotels to check out parking situations. I’ll give you an update after that visit. Thanks again for all your info and inspiration!

Thanks for your kind comment, looks like you guys did great.  And I love the picture of Indian Cliffs, a must see even when I don’t fish that far up.  Last trip I did, and actually caught a few in those very trees.  I really appreciate your follow up and if any of the rest of you have any suggestions for places to stay let us know.  I actually stayed at Angler’s Lodge and it was by far the dirtiest place I have ever stayed, so no great loss.  Keep in contact. 

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

It has been tough being stuck at home but it is coming to an end.  As soon as I get off this medicine from hell it will be directly to the Gulf.  What has really made it worse is the report from the Austin boys on the LLM.

Congrats to my buddy Todd on his personal best!

According to their Facebook report they caught 2 personal bests along with somewhere around 150 yesterday, nothing like an epic day to keep the juices flowing.  Hope to get a full report on where and how when they get done smacking them.  Way to go guys!

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

Again thanks to all who sent me well wishes.  I got his comment from Jim, who has divined the issue pretty succinctly.

Sounds you are on your way to recovery Doug; good to hear. Be cautious about going full throttle after you get on the water if you know what I mean. I need your inspiration!

I will do my best to keep it to a dull roar at first, but I have to admit seeing all the reports, the bay is on fire, makes me want to hit it hard.  It always amazes me when you have a little sick period that you really don’t know how bad you felt until you feel good, and I am feeling good.  Time to get out the stuff and get organized!  Can’t remember that last time the boats were not in the water for a couple of weeks.

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

One thing about having the fishing channel when you are out of commission is there is something to occupy the time.  Of course the downside is it just might make it worse in some respect.  Can’t go, so watch, then want to go, but can’t go, ends up driving me nuts.

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

Monday is the last day of the meds, though according to the info the effects could linger another 3 days, though I have no intention of lingering around the house.  So while I am not sure when I will be on the water, it is coming.  I really appreciate you all sticking with me, we will be back on track this week.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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The Cure………. 6/8/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Well I am happy to report that the problem I am being treated for is rapidly improving.  What makes it ugly is the medicine I am on has some side effects that are obnoxious.  And to make matters worse, both have the same side effects.  After a couple of days we finally realized that it is the medicine that is making me ill.  So with 5 days to go it won’t be long and I will be back on the water.  To all of you who sent me well wishes you have my thanks, nice to know you guys are out there.

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

One of the things that has kept me occupied of course is reading about fishing.  Social media is a good thing, but boy there are some really interesting characters out there.  One thing I see a lot is the “Look At Me” self indulgent post that permeates some folks posts.  There is a self proclaimed “Great Fisherman” out there who says people hate him “Cause He Catches Fish“.  Interesting.  (Me thinks there might be another reason or two.)  And he made fun of someone who pm’d him asking where he was catching them.  This type of fisherman is the guy who makes the rest of us look bad.  His posts add nothing to fishing knowledge, include no information other than self promotion, and diss other fishermen without knowing their particular situation.  Keep it to yourself if you want, you can keep your big secret and opinion of your bad self to your self, you will find in the long run no one gives a flying crap.   To bad so much of fishing includes stuff like this.

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

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

I got this comment and question from Roy concerning my Amistad trip.

Hi Doug,

thanks for the Amistad report. I’ve been wanting to get back there for some time and your report just got me fired up to go. I’m heading there Wed Jun 7.

I used to stay at Amistad Lake Resort or Anglers Lodge. It seems that both are closed now, since their phones don’t work. Any suggestions on lodging?

Thanks!

I personally answered him but did want to comment on a few things.  First, I have tried calling Amistad Lake Resort several times over the years and not only did no one ever answer, even when I left a message I never received the curtsey of an answer.  Not sure what is up with that but cross them off your list.  I stayed at the Ramada this trip, the price was right and it had a bar and restaurant.  The boat parking was not optimal by any stretch, it did have electric, but on a busy fishing weekend the parking might be a hassle.  And it is not secure by any stretch of the imagination.

I did speak to a guide at one of the shows and he recommended the following place.  I have not stayed there, but with so few choices there it is an option you might want to explore if you make a trip there.

River St. Lodging and Rv

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

And it was good to hear from one of my long time readers who sent me this link.

Three Sand Springs fishing teams qualify for National Championship

Thanks for the link Faye, always good to hear from you.  One thing I really like seeing is the proliferation of Bass Fishing Clubs at the high school level.  With colleges getting on the bandwagon, along with the support of the fishing industry, it is possible to have a career in fishing.  It is big business and while the ability to catch fish is the underlying skill, it has become a small part of it.  A college degree is becoming critical, and unless you have some specific technical skills an education is the way up, it is an important part of making a living fishing.  It is a dog eat dog business and sponsors are looking for well-rounded and educated reps, the day of the tobacco chewing old boy living in a trailer with a dozen dogs getting promotional deals is fading.  But best of all, if the possibility of scholarships or help with college costs can motivate a young person to stay in school all the better.

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

And a word to the wise, take it for whatever.  Wading season is in full swing and wet wading is upon us.  With that comes the potential to contract vibro.  The Boss is a PA in the ER and the other day they were talking about vibro season.  The Doc said there has been 44 documented cases of vibro since this date last year.  Now I know exactly zip about vibro, but I do know this, I want no part of it.  It will either kill you or make you wish you were dead.  So if you are immune compromised or have a fresh injury be careful if you wade wet.

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

I guess today’s final word is the weather is driving me nuts.  The wind seems to have subsided some and it has not been blazing hot yet.  So here I have sat for a week being driven nuts reading some of the great reports coming from the bay.  Croaker time is in full swing and some big numbers are coming over the side while I am on the sidelines.  I could be pissed, wait, no I am, but I am counting the days until I am fishing.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines 

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First the good news………. 6/3/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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

The last thing you want to hear about your medical issues is, “First the good news.”  I had been feeling a little poorly for a couple of weeks but figured it was just a passing thing but last week it got a little more intense so for the first time in 10 years I visited the Doctor.  After tons of $$$ and a bunch of tests I know the following.  I feel worse than I did yesterday, and oh the Good News? – There are some things I don’t have.  Yahoo.  Ok that’s nice, but that is kinda like I almost got killed in a car wreck that didn’t happen.

The bad news – I have some kind of infection.  What? Where? How?   It is narrowed down some, but so far nobody knows for sure.  But in my case I know one thing, this sucks.  The symptoms are enough to keep me laid up, and so far nothing has really helped.  And to add company to my misery – You know that $400 anti-biotic I bought yesterday and took for exactly one day, not the right one so quit taking it.  For the love of God.  Just like throwing $400 out the window as you cruise down the highway.  I don’t feel good enough to rail against pharmaceutical companies, but suffice to say I am closing in on $7oo+ in meds and still feel like crap.

So here I sit watching my usual Saturday fishing, but not because I don’t fish the weekends, but because I am to freakin’ sick to go.  So while the rumors of my demise may be premature, it looks like it may be a few days before I am able to get back on the water.  It has been particularly painful as the wind seems to finally be diminishing on the bay and I am stuck in the house.  Plus, I have a fancy new casting rod for throwing the Controlled Descent Lures, and there it sits, new and unused with a lonely CDL Jerk Shad hanging off it.  But oh well, we play the hand we are dealt, and this to will pass.

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

I have mentioned Major League Fishing in the past, it is my favorite fishing show.  I would encourage everyone who fishes to watch it at least once.  You will see the best bass fishermen on the planet and inevitably a few have a tough day.  Today they are on Eufaula in Alabama, a great lake, and they are struggling to catch 12lbs.  So remember next time you are struggling it happens to the best of them.

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

So I just wanted to let you all know I have not disappeared or quit reporting or ranting on the blog. I won’t shut up that easily.  As far as when I will be back on the water, it will be the first minute I succeed in feeling better than road kill.  At times like this you get a new appreciation of the time on the water you do get.  Each day out there is a blessing and when it is taken away it becomes that much more precious.  So hang with me, keep stopping in, and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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This and That 5/31/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Baby Wren is still a little suspicious, of everything.

I hope everyone had a safe and fun weekend.  We spent ours on Lake Travis, and though fishing was not really in the cards we had a big time.  The Boss as usual found a great place.  Dock for the boat, pool, and a golf cart to get to them both.  With a 2 and 6y/o nothing like a pool to keep them busy.  Mia, the oldest, wanted to fish so we picked up some minnows to crappie fish under the lights, but that did not work out as after an hour she was done.  She was a little scared of the dark, but hey she is 6.

Ick!  Mia seems to like the process much better than the results.

So the last morning we did some trolling.  You could see fish breaking water in the creek so we dropped a couple of shad imitations over the side and caught two small bass.  The problem, as soon as they got close to the boat she did not want anything to do with any fish stuff.  After an hour we called it a weekend and put it on the trailer.

The weekend itself was great, not to hot, but the traffic in Bee Creek bordered on insanity Saturday and Sunday afternoon before the storms came and everybody called it a weekend.  It really reminded me of Lake of the Ozarks during it’s heyday, lots of big boats, lots of traffic.  But in spite of all that spending time with the kids was great, they grow up fast.

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

Sidney, Australia

Since I have no fishing report today thought I would share a few pictures from Sydney.  It really is a cool town and we had a great time including the zoo.

The famous bridge and one of the oldest pubs in Australia.

The iconic Sydney Opera House.

We stayed in the oldest part of the city near the harbor where we could walk to most of it, or hop on one of the many ferries that cross the harbor.  Along with a visit we made a trip to the zoo, a highlight to how different animals evolved, so unlike the US.

Guarding the harbor.  The cool cable car up to the zoo from the ferry dock.

Always time for a nap.

All I have to say is the whole trip was a barrel of monkeys.

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

More Boat Stuff

On my last post about selling a boat I got a couple of comments I thought I would share with you.  First is from my buddy Clyde.

Pretty funny shit Doug; some of it too close to home!!!!

Over the years we have fished out of some great stuff, and some real crap.  Clyde always had faith, just load it up and go, it will be ok, and it usually was.  And here is my favorite boating story ever from 6/14.

The Trailer From Hell

It really is necessary to review Clyde’s trailering adventure in chronological order.  To see it all in one place give you some perspective on what a hassle it turned out to be.

1.     After a 18 hour drive they drop the boat in the water, stop at the first point, drop the trolling motor in the water all cranked up to fish, and then the cable breaks.

2.     Off to the shop, no repair cable, and it will take a week to get one, so he buys a new trolling motor,  Ouch.

3.     On the way back to the resort they get a flat tire on the trailer.

4.     When they went to buy a replacement tire they only have them on chrome rims, so instead of one tire it is tires and rims.

5.     When putting tires on the axle find bad bearings on one side so they fix those.

6.     But when tried to put boat on trailer the tires are a little to big, so final result is cutting fenders off with a torch.

7.     Now after we tow 20 miles to a new ramp we stop for gas, and one side of the new tires was not properly tightened and the lug nuts have come loose, wallowing out the new chrome rim and the lugs on the hub.

8.     Luckily Paul at Musky Bay brings us a new trailer and Clyde changes out and we still fish.

9.     Then we are getting ready to fish and someone has taken the key out of Clyde’s boat.  Everyone helps and the van, cabin, boat and everything else is sight is searched.  Jake even takes out the ignition before an hour later Clyde finds it in his pocket.

10.     Clyde and John pick up the new hub which was ordered and delivered and they do not check it until back at the resort, it is to big.

11.     So they tighten the old one on, and now since we are leaving the next day Jake welds the trailer fenders back on.

12.     We leave the next morning and Clyde and John will drive on the old hub the 70 miles to the US where the auto parts store has a couple of hubs and put it on there.

13.      They get to the store and the guys says ooops, thought the  caller wanted bearings.

14.     They leave and see another store and low and behold they have the hub, they put it on, and off they go.

15.     Outside of Des Moines Ia the van starts blowing fuses.  They get that resolved and make it home to Arkansas.

Through it all Clyde remained upbeat and never let it get him down.  He just kept fishing and like it always does for him, it all worked out.  But it was the Trailer From Hell and we were all on him about it – Time for a new boat.

He finally bought a co0l new Lund so hopefully this kind of thing can be kept to a minimum.  I have a rule related to the whole buying a used boat thing, never from a hard core fisherman.

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

And from Rusty, one of my oldest and most regular readers, comes his comment.

Doug, after reading your synopsis on boat problems, it sure echoed my experiences

I have become so irritated with ramps and crowds that I have ventured into new ways of finding fish and catching them. After two boat thefts, and my Dr. telling me to try to kill myself by saying ” IF SOMETHING TASTES GOOD, SPIT IT OUT” and TRY TO KILL YOURSELF BY VIGOUROUS EXERCISE SUCH AS KAYAKING”, I now are more prone to take care of my older self.

I am building a wooden water scooter with a small kayak rack for the coastal back lakes. It is only 10 ft long and I can launch it without boat ramps. It will be equiped with a 5 horse outboard. The ride will be wet at times, but I had one in the 70’s and loved it.
Growing up in Port Aransas , I learned of 90 % of fish living 10 % of the water and now fish in the far back water and enjoy the isolation. Kayaking also has really improved my own healthy life style. I still like a cold Guiness after a long day on the water and my wife, who is from Ireland, says the stout is full of iron, low in calories and is served in Irish hospitals. “NOTHING LIKEA COLD BEER AFTER A LONG DAY OF FISHING REGARDLESS OF ONE’S LUCK”

Your story of boat marketing will be enjoyed by all your readers. You put a lot of time in writing it as you do in all your stories. When and if you get to old to fish(God forbid) and slowed down, keep your words coming to us all.

Thank you, Doug–Mac

I always appreciate hearing from you.  Building a simple, cool, functional boat to put yourself “back there” where the fish see little pressure is great and I love it.  Not to mention the side benefits of not having to use a ramp.  One of the reasons I have kept the Carolina Skiff, simple is better.  I know it is great to have a big ass boat, as long as you have the wallet to go with it, always something.

And last the health thing.  Funny you mentioned that as I have spent a couple of days messing with a health issue.  My biggest complaint is it has kept me off the water.  If the mood strikes you as soon as you get your rig on the water take a pic.  Then drop me a comment and I will make sure you have my email to send it.  We would love to see it.  As usual thanks for your support.

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And keeping with my stream of consciousness here is another word on getting “back there.”  I got a comment a few years ago from a guy who was using Google Earth and finding back lakes with no real way in or out, except dragging the kayak.  Now it sounds like a lot of work, and it is.  But his results were all you needed to know about that.

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

I have had to basically spend what works out to be 3 days on a medical issue since Tuesday.  Of course the timing during the day is never great, and tomorrow I have to wait on UPS to sign for a package so tomorrow will probably be another waste.  If I am lucky I might get out for a couple of hours on the lake, though I am itching for the bay.  At least I got the Carolina Skiff tuned up, and the Mako will be next.  Tomorrow will be new line on reels and a walk through on all the tackle.  Then it will be back to fishing.  So keep stopping and thanks for staying with me.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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How Not To Sell A Boat – OR – Which Boat Not To Buy 5/26/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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How Not To Sell A Boat  –  Or  –  Which Boats Not To Buy

Most boys dream of rebuilding a car, or maybe even a boat.  To find that perfect one and do it all, and then when we get to adulthood most of us outgrow that little bit of folly.  But some folks do “projects”, they love them and complete them.  You see it occasionally in the boating arena, and they are some cool boats.  But most of these “projects” end up behind the barn in the pasture, behind a fence in the backyard with weeds growing up, tires flat and shine gone.

I have read thousands of boat for sale ads over the years.  Most days I peruse Craigslist and fishing sites to see what is new and I am continually amazed at what folks come up with in their ads.  So I looked at few to share with you.  I can’t believe these are the best way to sell your boat.

There seems to be 3 different classes of boat ads that run consistently.  First is the high dollar boat that someone bought, has few hours, little use, and is priced high.  I always wondered why if you can afford a $50,000 used boat why in the heck would you not buy a new one?    Second are the mid range boats, well priced and coming in all conditions and styles, what most of us own.  Last are those “Need to get it out of my yard” boats.  The ads include terms like, project boat, needs a little work, as is, runs well but….., no title, ran last time out 7 years ago, and on and on.  These are the ones you need to run from as fast as you can.  Some of the sellers seem to not have a clue on how to sell something.

If you have ever had the pleasure of chasing down a title for a car or boat you know what a hassle that can be.  One of the things that makes me crazy in boat ads is how many are out there that have not been transferred, or even titled, is some cases.  Believe me, if they could have done it without a huge hassle they would have done it a long time ago.

Motor has title but it’s from out of state and I never transfered it, if this is a problem please don’t contact me.   Price is firm.

Great, try  resolving an out of state title issue.  But even better………….

i dont have titles they never came with it when i bought it so dont ask me

Take a breath dude!  I won’t ask, you might sick your hound dog on me.  At least these folks have a title.

We have a title that was signed but we never transferred

Even better, these folks have one and tell you how to fix it, sort of.

will need to go to the state for the taking over of title or taking over as new title request, it is being sold as is

These folks crack me up.  Whatever happened to transferring it right after you buy it?  But as these sellers tell us, there might be another problem or two (as is) besides the title.

boat needs work doesn’t run   no title

Great selling points.  So now we have one with no paperwork and the damn thing doesn’t even run.

Now that we have entered the old “Needs a little work” zone, here a few for your reading pleasure.

it needs 1 maybe 2 new 454’s some new batterys Upholstery work and cosmetics

Just another motor or two?  Or you just might end up going in a circle if you buy this one.

port engine needs a short block & port exhaust manifold
Starboard engine runs great

In other words, take this broken boat off my hands cause it would not be worth it to fix before I sell.   Which means if you buy it and fix it it still will not be worth what you have in it.  And trust me, there is no such thing as “a little work” on a boat.

Here is a couple of good ones, if they only worked.  This one won’t start, but hey it is a great boat.

Ignition switch needs to be messed with, And then it’s ready for water.

And this one is flat excellent.

Motor two stroke that has a bad cylinder – excellent condition

Huh?  It must look good.  Here is another “Huh?”

Everything works on it as is only thing it needs is carbs cleaned

Just whip them off there and clean them and it will be wind will be in your hair as you fly across the water.  Sure.  At least this one is almost ready to go.

Needs work inside but won’t take much to enjoy

But until the work inside is done I promise you will not enjoy the experience.  This next fix is a breeze.

engine runs just needs a starter

No it does not run like an outboard engine is supposed to run without a starter.  I promise you would get more money if what you say is true and you went ahead and put a starter on it.

And now we enter the “RUN FOR YOUR FREAKIN LIFE ZONE”.  Or as I like to call it the “Get this thing out of my yard.” boat.

Selling this project boat.. AS IS
No title … boat trailer and motor

This is not a project, this is a large item the landfill won’t take.  And here is his buddy.

The hull is in great shape will need Stringer, transom and floor. Trailer will need tires and the neck has some pretty bad rust

How can a hull be in great shape and not have any stringers or transom?  No floor? No problem right, except when the trailer breaks down on the way to the dump.  And like the one above, this one will costs you money to even move it after you buy it.

needs fiberglass work  no titles  Tire on trailer is flat

Think about it, it needs work to float, has no titles, and the freakin’ tire is flat, what more could you want in a boat?

And our last group of sellers – The Clueless.

NEEDS WORK. MOTOR HAS SAT FOR OVER FOUR YEARS AND HAS LOW COMPRESSION

Ya think?  And this is one of my favorites

Boat has been sitting and don’t know if it still runs

Come on man.  You are trying to sell a boat and you haven’t even looked at it in so long you can’t remember?  This next one looks promising, or not.

needs cleaning and carpet motor may or may not need work been stored for 10 years

I can promise everyone who reads this if you buy this boat it won’t be a question of needing work or not, only how much it will end up costing you.  I often wonder how many of these boats actually get sold.  It won’t work, has no title, a rotten trailer, a trailer flat, no floor, not this and no that, who would buy such a thing?  Most of the boats in these examples were not priced all that high, and for the true do-it-yourself guy there are diamonds in the rough to be found.  But most of them are truly “Get this thing out of my yard.” boats, someone else’s headache.  But I sure think with just a little more thought and effort folks could get a little more money and get them out of their yard a little quicker.

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After my pointless fishing trip the other day donf dropped me this comment.

We are all in the process of setting new standards on the worst trips. After rebuilding the fuel pump I decided to do a little road test just to be sure. Got launched, fuel pump was fine. I decided to drift and watch the sonar. OK, time to go home, except now the starter just goes whrrrr. I pop off the cover and see that the spring loaded starter gear popped off. After quite a while of running the trolling motor a nice ski boat comes over to tow me in. OK, not so bad after all…..except I lean over to hook up the tow rope and plink, plink, there goes my glasses and cellphone to the bottom. Lesson learned, if you must have your phone and glasses in your pocket be sure to button the pocket.

Ouch.  The phone I have now is the 3rd one since I moved to Texas, and I lost one in Arkansas, basically all that way.  But your trip is particularly ugly.  You are saved,  and oh crap, now it is back to a bad day.  Thanks for sharing, makes the rest of us realize we are not alone.

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And one last comment on hitting the outdoors this weekend.  The forecast looks flat spectacular, and with that will come some serious traffic.  So before you head out do a walk around on the boat.  Jackets, fire extinguisher, paperwork, tail lights, there is plenty to look at, and it will take less time than it will to make money to pay the ticket if you get checked.  And be nice, be the bigger guy, give the right-of-way whether you need to or not.  Be nice at the ramp, get it all ready in the boat before you back up, and take a breath.  For lots of folks it will be their first weekend on the water so cut them some slack, you can’t kill them.  It will be a lot easier on you.

Have a happy and safe weekend with family and friends.  I have the joy of  spending time with my daughter and her family and fishing with my granddaughter Mia, sure hope to see her catch some fish.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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The Worst Trip Ever. 5/23/17.

 FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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The best laid plans of mice and men, in other words when I get up early tomorrow morning (Monday) it will be turn on the radar and look out the window.  Then it will be fishing POC, I hope, or the lake if it looks to sketchy.  Or maybe nowhere, as a 60% chance can mean all out flooding, or not a drop, often times depending on where you are standing at the moment.  So I will get both sets of stuff ready to go, because unless it is to damn ugly it will be fishing somewhere.  (The forecast below is for POC, I just checked Victoria and it has a 90% chance of heavy rain, possibly over and inch, so we shall see.)

Weather – POC (Tuesday)

82/67    50% chance scatter thunderstorms in the morning, then cloudy.  Wind ENE  5 – 10.

Tides

High   8:12 AM     0.8
Low  10:25 PM     0.1

Solunar Times

Best:   9:04A – 11:04A

Well guess what?  When I got up Monday at 5:00 it was raining and blowing.  I flipped on the radar and it was covered up and would be for hours.  With more rain possible in the afternoon I did the rational thing and took care of a couple of things that needed doing.  So it is Monday evening and I am going to POC tomorrow no matter what.  Lets see how that works out.  I do not have a clue.

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So it is Tuesday morning, I am up at 4:30 and ready to go.  Unfortunately I am not feeling all that hot, but I am going.  The drive to POC is a breeze and I am at Froggie’s as it barely cracks daylight.  Load the stuff up, back the boat in, and the trim only goes down so far, then makes a weird noise, and stops.  So I try it a couple of times but the engine will not go down.

I pull back out, look it over and try to get it to work, no luck.  Time to go the house where I can do a complete check.  I thought the fluid was ok, but who knows.  Driving all the way back home to Victoria, then the diagnosis.  There is a horizontal rod that connects with the piston on the trim, and it had worked its way out just enough to hit the inside of the motor bracket.  It turned out to be simple fix, so the only thing left to do was hit the lake, I sure wasn’t driving back to POC after I missed the perfect morning.  Bad choice.

Getting there about 9:30 the lake was clearly up.  Since I have a fish fry request for the holiday weekend it was going to be a meat hunt.  The fish decided that they were not having any of it.  In 3 1/2 hours I caught one 13″, and not another bite.  Buzzbait, crankbait, swim jig, and pitching plastics were an almost perfect strike out.  There was not a fish in visible cover.  I can count on 1 hand how many times that has happened on Coleto.  At this point the wind is not blowing, it is hot and humid, I am wishing I was wading, and I don’t feel perfect.  Then I see the biggest freakin’ snake I have ever seen in a brush top, but by time I got the camera out it was gone.  Dang it.  I saw 3 snakes today, unusual for Coleto.   But it gets better.  The boat has a livewell that self fills on plane, but it does over fill at times and put water in the bilge, plus I just washed it, so I was pretty sure there was some water in the bilge.  As I put it on plane for a move I hit the switch and nada.  No noise, and no working bilge pump.  There are several things you can do without on a boat, but a bilge pump is not one of those things unless you are nuts.

At this point I am done.  Time to go back to the house and replace the bilge pump and make sure the other fix is still good.  I probably spent over 3 hours on the road, went to 2 places, had a small, but important, screw up at both, used over a half a tank of gas, and had one bite.

But the real problem?  I was at Froggie’s at the absolute perfect time, the wind was fine, and looking forward to a great day, hopefully with cloud cover and big topwater bites.  Instead it was turn around and go back home.  I guess considering how often I go something like this is bound to happen sometime.

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I was really glad to hear from my buddy Voe.

Hello Doug,
Extremely glad to see you had a very exciting trip to Amistad. Still enjoy reading about the fishing excursions. Have been interested in that new soft jerk bait you have been using. Just need to get off my lazy ass and order it.
Everything on this side of the world is good Mary and I have spent the last year getting this house back into shape and it’s looking pretty good.
On the fishing front, I have been using the kayak about once a week and having good results. Bluegill chatterbait is the ticket for me right now.

Take care and say hi to Nancy,
Voe

Great to hear from you and that things are going well.  We had just started really fishing together when he moved.  In that clear water you fish out there a Controlled Descent in a pearl/white jerk shad would be killer and easy to see on long casts.  So when you catch one send us a pic or two.  And now that I think about it a bluegill chatterbait might have been killer on Amistad, there sure were lots of them shallow.  Thanks for keeping in touch.

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I spoke with a couple of guys working on an older Carolina Skiff at the ramp.  It was a 96′ which is 4 years older than mine, but what made it interesting, it had a full tunnel with sponsons and a step in the back.  I have seen lots of Skiffs, but this was the only one even close to that.  I am sure it ran fast and shallow, and as I well know, they are rock solid and will be around and in service longer than most any boat ever made.

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Today was not so fulfilling, in fact it sucked.  The mechanical aspect is no big deal, does not require professional services, so that is good, but it functionally ruined my day.  I guess the boat and trailer is going to get the once over to make sure the rest is up to snuff.

Mia showing Baby Wren her tackle box.  Think about it folks, she is getting her stuff ready on Tuesday for the weekend.  Looks like we may have a fisherman.

And I have some things to get ready for the grandkids.  Mia is the oldest and she loves to fish.  Do you have any idea the pressure on Grandpa?  With 3 days on Travis I should be able to get her a dang fish.  To give you an idea how hard core that little 6 y/o is it took her over 5 hours to catch one out of a pond.  Now that is dedicated.  The rest of you have a great holiday weekend, and be safe.  As usual it will be crazy out there.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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