Coleto Creek 10/19/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Tomorrow will be Coleto where I hope to do a little better job of catching fish.  The afternoon’s weather is looking a little sketchy, but it will be what it is.  I am hoping this approaching front will get them a little more active, in other words to eat what I want to toss.  But if not I will slow down, and maybe size the plastics down some like some of my readers have reported catching numbers.  Fishing is a game of choices, and Coleto seems to be with fish smaller and catch a bunch, or fish big and boat a big one.  As usual, the only way to know is to go.

Weather

82/66   Partly cloudy morning giving way to clouds with possible rain and thunderstorms.  70% chance of rain.   Wind  East 5 – 10 mph.

Solunar Times

10:44 am to 12:44 pm   (Only relevant period.)

Lake Levels

Tuesday 97.84 msl   Today  97.77 msl   (A continued slow drop.)

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            First and last fish, and the rest fit somewhere in between.

Until noon I did not fish one place that I have fished in the last month.  Great plan, or so I thought.  I figured if it is that slow then I am either doing something wrong, which is highly possible. or they are just not feeling it, which seems to be the case.

It continues to be one fish here and one fish there, with no real consistent place, other than the couple I did not fish today.  Basically I spent the day roaming the lake waiting for the wind and clouds, which finally showed an hour before I quit.  And once the wind started to blow 3 jumped on spinnerbait in the last hour on a windy bank and I imagine if I had fished later than 5:00 they might have continued to bite a little more before dark.

While it is clear that plastics are the way to go, I was still searching for an easy shallow pattern that might be better for inexperienced fishermen on Sunday.  While a couple made a pass at the Bang O Lure, spinnerbait accounted for 4, buzzbait 3, and plastics 3.  The only real common theme was a little deeper banks.

The water continues to be that funky tannic/brownish/milky color that is hard to describe.  Fishing the skiff I have no temp gauge but the fish are warm when you put them in the boat.  And the water  slowly receding is not helping matters.  This so reminds me of October in the Ozarks when the fishing there was probably the toughest period of the year.

That about covers today’s report.  As you can probably tell I am a little stumped  at this moment.  When it gets like this it just takes time and patience to figure it out, often getting out of your comfort zone, and I need to do just exactly that.  You can try to force feed them, but after a while change is your only option and obviously I need to take a different approach.

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Reader Comments 10/18/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Here are a few posts and comments from readers.  I love getting them and really do appreciate your shares so keep them coming.  (Excuse the funny look to this today, I can not figure out how to fix it.  I may know how to talk but as far as the mechanics of blogging I am often clueless.

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First up is this great Coleto report from Katy Joe.

Man that sounds like a great weekend. I don’t do the salt y much but last Tuesday the 10th I had to retry Coleto.

I saw the front coming on the weather reports. Was hoping to be on the lake before it blew in and fortunately for me I made it. Got to the ramp at 6. First person there. Fishing by 630.

First place I stopped was a cove with a good creek channel in it. Third cast with topwater and BOOM!! Huge blow up!!! Thought of you immediately as I hauled a 14″ catfish over the side of the boat.

Caught 4 nice keeper and about 6 small ones on the top water but by 7:30 that was over and it was back to the same thing. Soft plastics worked super slow. Still nothing of decent size when it gets like this. I fished out of the wind until about noon. I had maybe 12 under my belt. I ran to the northern discharge and fished the rock wall to the left. I caught 7 pretty quickly but again they were all small.

With my time getting short, I started working my way to the current. On the left side there is that little flat point that comes out. I was throwing a drop shot and as soon as it hit the water I got bit. This little 12″ bass spit up 3 shad on the deck of my boat. Looked in his mouth and there was another half down his throat. I sat right there and went through 3 bags of zoom worms, believe me color did not matter, and probably caught 30-40 12″ bass that were gorging themselves on shad, which left me completely perplexed.

I ran every small crank, trap, spinner bait, topwater, swim jig, swim bait I had and could not get them to chase it but if I dropped that damn worm in there it was automatic.

Almost looked like a big fish kill with all the dead shad floating from these fish spitting them up. I just don’t get it.

I am going again for a dark to dark trip this Saturday. The better fish are somewhere and I am going to find them. I will be looking to the wood cover of this lake now. They are not chasing so maybe I can find a few big girls willing to eat a jig or worm rubbed down the side of a tree.

-Joe (Katy)

Funny you should mention using shad imitators and not having any luck.  While not included in my last couple of reports I have actually thrown a couple of different shad crankbaits the last 2 trips without success.  And what you found is exactly what I am hearing.  I know I should slow down even more and go with some smaller plastics but I expect them to get going any day now, especially if the weather does what they say it will by weeks end.  Good luck Saturday, it has real potential  and with the cloud cover hopefully the topwater bite will last in to the day.  And I will get at least one, or possibly 2, chances to go this week so keep checking in.  I will definitely be out there Sunday with a couple of kids so if you find anything particular let me know.  I can use all the help I can get.  Thanks for the report.

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And this report is from Lee on his recent work trip to POC.

Hey Doug,

Just wanted to report back. Thanks for the recommended spots. My work schedule changed so I was only able to fish Thursday morning. I settled on Keller Bay and was there by first light. I tried to make it to the kayak launch but the road was underwater. So I went to the main boat ramp. I hit the opening to the back bay that is right by the ramp just thinking it might be a good spot. Started at the outside and had a few hits on top from small trout. I worked my way into the neck and found trout and some really nice slot reds. I fished there until the dolphins showed up and headed over towards the houses that looked abandoned.. Started fishing there all the way to the marsh. I caught another red and a trout. Did some wading in front of the marsh in waist deep water to no avail. There was a boat set up in front of that main marsh drain that probably would have been good. Anyway, no luck on the Wade but needed to stretch the legs. Heard fish blowing up in the marsh which marsh fishing is my sweet spot but didnt have enough time. Anyway fun day and I got to scope out Port O for the future. Checked out the back of Powderhorn and definitely want to fish there in the future. Did some some driving around Port O and it is straight up a fishing town. Boats everywhere. Cool place and hope to get back.. Thank you very much for the recommendations. Oh, and I used a paddle tail with chartreuse tail and a white/chart walk the dog top.

Glad you got a chance to at least give one place a go and even boat a few.  There are so many places, so little time.  And yes POC is a fishing town, and the boat traffic this weekend was something.  It will slowly slack off some but the days of having it to yourself in the winter is over, but at least the traffic is down.  So keep in touch and let us know when you make it back again.

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

And I got this great picture from James R.

That is one nice redfish.  James said it gave him a great ride in his kayak.  Congrats and as usual love your reports and comments, good to hear from you again.

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And last but not least I got this from my buddy Clyde concerning my slight mishap this weekend.

I laughed so hard when you described your waders full of air and you floundering around ; all I’ve got to say is thanks bro! I’ve got tears in my eyes! Good times , good times! I’m jealous about the cooks who have taken you in ! Life’s good !

It really was funny, even when it was happening.  Gonna have to find a better way to attach the pliers.  And I appreciate being included with those guys and their trips, maybe a comment on their good sense, but hey we do have some fun.  Hope you get a couple of days on the water before that Northern Iowa winter comes roaring in.  And hey, our rivers are about to turn on, so the offer is open.  Good to hear from you.

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This was just a catch up post.  Today it is a ride through Rockport, Corpus, and Port A.  Of course that will include stops at Roy’s, Tackle Town, and maybe a little window shopping for boats.  I am definitely not in the market for a boat, but looking at boats and cars is one of our little entertainments.  Tomorrow it will be off to the lake again, with clouds moving in pre-front I expect the bite to improve daily this week.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto Creek 10/17/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Happy Birthday Joy Mellinger.

I would like to wish an early Happy Birthday to the best mother-in-law a guy could have.  You raised a great daughter who is the love of my life.  Have a great birthday.

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Tomorrow is the first of what I hope is at least 3 days at the lake this week trying to get them patterned somewhat.  Funny but it feels like when I used to practice for bass tournaments.  There is actually, in a funny way, a lot of pressure taking Santiago’s boys fishing Sunday.  I always want to put folks on fish, especially when they are in my back seat.  And there is nothing better than getting a kid on some fish.  The day will be interesting as it will be day 2 post cold front with mile high skies, it might be tough.  So I will hit it hard tomorrow and we shall see.

Weather

81/49  Mainly sunny.  Wind NNE 5 – 10mph.  0% chance of rain.  (A great day to be alive but not sure it is the best for bass fishing.)

Solunar Times

8:35 am to 10:35 am  (The only relevant period during the day.)

Lake Level

97.84 msl   Last trip  10/2  98.15 msl  (Has dropped a third of a foot in 3 weeks.)

It was a good thing that I had my day bag with me.  When I took off it was 50 degrees with a light north wind as it cracked daylight.  It was cool so I slipped on a pair of socks with my sandals and my sun gloves and off I went up lake.  Taking the skiff I had no idea what the water temp was but the fish sure are warm.  And the lake has clearly dropped some from last trip.  During the morning I say deer, gators, the turkeys were gobbling again, and a pack of coyotes were just over the hill howling their ass off.  A great day to be alive.

It was at least an 1 1/2 hours before I got my first bite.  And it was a good one.

Glad to have one like this any day.

I was pitching a stick worm, watermelon red, with a 3/16th slip sinker rigged Texas style.  She started swimming with it and when she jumped I was a little surprised as she did not feel that big.  I was pitching it to cover because nothing else had even generated a bite.   I made a move and for the next couple of hours there was a slow bite.  With the weather that was not surprising.

         Run of the mill on plastics.                  The best one on the buzzbait.

5 more came over the side on the senko, working it slowly, but as I am looking for an easy shallow pattern I gave the buzzbait a try, and I caught 4 on it, one which was a keeper.  The sun definitely started warming the water and a few shad started flipping here and there.  I kept hunting and pecking around and before I quit at 2:30 it was a total of 10, not bad considering conditions.  They were not exactly smashing the buzzbait, and a couple just pulled the trailer under.  The only real dang it moment of the day, (See the first fish above, why he made the pictures.)  one bumped it and when I set the hook somehow I pushed the thumb bar and got one of the backlashes that could not be taken out.  Somehow the fish stayed on.  Oh well, I needed to change line on that reel anyway.

So looking back on the day no complaints.  2cnd day post cold front, that swirling cold wind out of the north, falling water, and a mile high sky, everything working against catching fish.  It surely made them much more inactive.  Actually I am satisfied with what I caught.  It is going to warm the next couple of days, then cloud up with a chance of rain for a couple of days.  It really does have potential to get good.  I really worked the upper end over and will cover down to mid lake next trip.  If I can find a couple of more places Sunday with the boys is shaping up to be some pretty good fishing.  And there is an obvious bite on slow moving small plastics that can be exploited, but not quite what I am interested in, so I will be betting on the weather change to really get them moving on both topwater and buzzbait.  And if all goes well I can put the boys on a big fish or two.  You never know.

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I got this comment from Rick one of my loyal long time readers.

Glad you took time off from the blog to relax and enjoy yourself. You need to do that more often! Life is so short, enjoy it while you can. Great report as usual.

At times I definitely take things way to seriously in the boat and feel pressure to catch fish to support the blog.  Some of that intensity comes from the knowledge that it is the little things that often separate great catches from the run of the mill.  I am trying to learn to start taking it a little less seriously and enjoy what I have, the ability to fish when and where I want, often with some great folks.  So I will not be slowing down, just trying to put things in proper perspective.  But I still want to knock the crap out of them every time I get on the water!  Thanks for commenting.

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And Elaine sent along this question.

Sounds like you all had a great trip. Lots of fun and good eats to boot. Friday nights menu really caught my interest. I wonder if Todd would be willing to share his redfish-etoufee recipe. Thank you for sharing the weekend with all of us.

It gives me great pleasure to share what has turned out to be a great adventure for me the last 6 years. I am fishing my life away, which I will do until they pry the fishing rod out of my cold dead fingers.  As far as the recipe I will holler at him and see what I can find out.  But trust me, I did not in any way exaggerate how good it was.  It is easy to expand the fishing story, or the fish caught, all fishermen do it at times, but as far as that meal exaggeration would not even get anywhere near how good it was.  So thanks for commenting, hopefully I can get you an answer.  (Besides the recipe I sent your way he dropped me a note that he is NOT Cajun.  Hell I thought everyone from south Louisiana was Cajun.  You learn something new every day.)

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Before I call it a day I did want to add one more comment on the weekends fishing.  Dez, Maggie, David, and Johnny literally knocked the crap out of them fishing the pass and jetties with live and cut bait.  Dez is the man who gets the job done.  Lots, and I mean lots, of big reds, sharks, jacks, and even a 7 foot tarpon for the weekend.  To confirm their POC results the online posts from jetties and passes up and down the Gulf are full of big reds.  If you ever wanted that bucket list bull red now is the time.  It will be on for a while longer so do not miss your chance.

And one other comment on the fishing to come.  As fall begins to rear it’s head the flounder are starting to move around some.  Lots of folks are floundering at night all along the coast.  And when we were cleaning fish Saturday night a couple of guys had a nice cooler full they caught during the day.  So if you love you some flounder now is the time.

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It was really a beautiful day, just not for catching.  But clearly if you are willing to work at it there are fish to be caught on the lake.  This is my favorite time of year with bay and lake both fishing fairly well, with the best fishing to come.  So I will continue to make up for lost time by fishing every chance I get.  So thanks to the Boss for being so understanding.  My life is so much better because she understands my obsession, and never gives me any crap about it.   And thanks for your reports and comments, they are appreciated.  I have a couple more I will get posted next time if fish, including a good Coleto report.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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The Weekend at POC. 10/15/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Before I start there are almost no pictures on my part and this story will be somewhat disjointed.  Instead of a determined fishing weekend with a story written at the end of each day it turned into a fun trip, so while not my usual report and pictures, rest assured, we fished our ass off and had a great time.   I admit I blew it off and just decided to enjoy the weekend, which is nice to do on occasion.

The sun sets on another grind.

My fishing buddies from Austin were down for 2 1/2 days of fishing and a good time was had by all.  Todd, Pete, John, David, Ro and his son, Perry, Dennis, David and his buddy Joey, and last but not least Dez and his girlfriend.  They arrived at different times over the weekend but everyone got together 2 nights for eats and adult beverages.

All that needs to be said about that before I get to the fishing is Todd (A born and bred Cajun.) may be the best cook alive not working in a restaurant.  His gumbo was superb, but the Friday night’s fresh sautéed redfish covered in crawfish etouffee was one of the great meals in the history of the world, and I mean that.  New Orleans has nothing on Todd.  Dez made a cornbread casserole which was smothered in everything both nights.  And to polish it off was a fruit cobbler that flat disappeared.  Of course fishing, football and baseball were the main topics of discussion.  And as usual it was great to get together with them.

Pete with a few.

I met Todd, Pete and John Thursday about 1:00 at the house, we off loaded and to Froggie’s we went.  With less than a half day we decided to do a drift in Pringle, then off to where I was catching them.  Pete and John waded the south shore and I drifted with Todd.  He was throwing popping cork and shrimp, plastics for me.  They struck out and Todd and I caught a couple drifting.  From there it was the shoreline where we ended up catching around 30 – 40, with 7 or 8 keepers.  (Lots of shorts was the norm for the weekend.)  As daylight dwindled I did end up in a little cut in the grass and boated 13 trout and reds without taking a step, with only 2 keepers, but it was fast and furious.

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Friday Todd wanted to try some new places, or some places we had not fished in a while.  The day turned out to be a grind.  Here is a quick list of where we waded and drifted for the day.  Powderhorn Ranch shoreline, the airport shoreline on the island, then the shoreline close to the pass.  After that we fished Grass Island and finished up in Barroom.  We caught a few here and there, with John losing a nice trout putting it on the stringer and I missed a real good one that came out of the water and tried to come down on a topwater.  Grass Island produced a dozen or so to the our boat and Perry and Dennis, we then finished the day on the Barroom shoreline where I caught about a dozen with 3 keeper trout.  It was really spotty and slow but thanks to Pete we had a few nice reds.

He was doing just fine without a tail. 

Saturday saw a complete change of area.  We got a late start Saturday morning after a late night when everyone came over for the crawfish ettouffee over redfish.  We started in Shoalwater first and Todd and I caught a couple on the drift, mine on topwater, and the boys did not boat a keeper wading.  From there to South Pass area to fish Steamboat, where Pete put a nice red in the box and I pulled off the best one of the weekend.  As I started to slide out of the boat my pliers on the belt caught on something in the boat and I ended up falling face first in the bay.  And then because my waders were full of air my feet were floating and I floundered around before I got my footing.  No harm, no foul, but I have to admit it was funny.  Last we fished the Twin Lakes/Cedar  area and I finally got them going.

Having fished quite a bit the last week I had a pattern and the last couple of hours I stuck with it.  It is simple folks – Find a long grassy shoreline, get exactly waist deep and throw in or out, and you will find them.  For about 2 hours as I went down that shoreline they bit, and bit.  They were a super long cast out, and once I got it down it was fish after fish, including my limit, and the boys also getting in on the act.  I did lose a really big one on the Knocker B that broke my line, but fortunately my topwater floated up and I saved it.  Before we called it a day for the long ride back in the dark if I had to guess it was an easy 25 – 30 for me.  So after a long grind weekend it finished with a bang.

The sunsets on a great weekend.

Baits for the weekend.  For me it was Controlled Descent plastics, DOA Cal, another small plastic, and the Knocker B.  Todd was using his popping cork and shrimp, and the boys were throwing larger TTF paddle tails and probably their best choice, the Thumping Mullet.  As far as color it was dark with chartreuse tails for most plastics.  Pete was the redfish guy this weekend, I did not boat a keeper, and all of his came on the bigger bait.  And while I stuck with the smaller baits and had to wade through a bunch of shorts, in the end it seemed to work out about the same.

Dez and the folks in his boat on the other hand had a big weekend.  Live bait guys they used cast netted mullet in the pass and before the weekend was over they caught a bunch of sharks, a bunch really nice bull reds, and then a big finish.  And he put his girlfriend on her first bull red, a 40″ plus.  Then last cut bait, last cast, and 7 foot of angry tarpon which they landed.  The pass is hot and their weekend sure proved it.

Perry, Dennis, and Ro and his son had a Saturday of lots of shorts but managed to put some nice reds in the box.  They were wading a back lake where I was wading the outside shoreline, which might account for more reds for them and trout for me on the outside.  It is pretty apparent the trout have not move wholesale into the back lakes, though we caught some in Shoalwater and Pringle, but this little cool front we are having today will help move that along.

It was a grind but  few ended up in the cooler each day for the trip back to                                                                         Austin.

While the fishing was a grind for us all weekend, we had more fun than a barrel of monkeys.  We fished from the Airport flats to Twin Lakes and lots of places in between.  We had a periods of good fishing and periods of complete strike out.  One thing that became apparent, the best bite was definitely later in the day.  With super high tides the water moved better as the days wore on, consequently the evening bite when  they turned on was good.  Back lakes were ok, but main bay shorelines produced the best bites.  Towpater had it’s moments, with some of the better keepers hitting it though it was not near as fast as plastics when the bite was on.  They will be back for a weekend in November, then the mass gathering of the clan for the December trip now known as Fishmass.  So tons of fishing with the boys to come.

The original plan was back to POC this morning with my buddy Chris, but with this cold front moving in the wind was projected to blow up to 30 mph so discretion was the better part of valor.  And when I got up this morning the weather channel listed POC as windy so it turned out to be a good choice.  The rest of the week is pretty much set.  I will be fishing Coleto with Santiago’s boys on Sunday, so I will fish the lake tomorrow and Thursday to see if I can get a pattern down so I can put his boys on some bass.  They are interested in bass fishing and have not fished Coleto so maybe I can get them to hook a few, and then hook them for life.  Wednesday weather looks good so it will be back to the bay.  I am really refining this light line small bait pattern, there is just something about catching trout and reds on light tackle that I enjoy.  Remember I am still making up for lost time so it will be fishing until I have had my fill, which may never come!

Occasionally I need to relax and not be so focused on the results and learn to enjoy it for what it is, time in the outdoors with good friends where the results are not measured in numbers, but in fun.  It is not all about the catching, though that helps, but learning to enjoy the experience and all that comes with the privilege of being outdoors and sharing good times with friends.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading mu stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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And the saltwater fishing continues. 10/11/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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The original plan this week was to fish yesterday at POC, then maybe sneak out to the lake a day before joining the boys in POC, when something came up.  On my way home from the bay I got a text and then spoke with my fishing buddy Aaron.  He had a friend, who happens to guide for lots of stuff on Texoma, who was planning to fish with a friend a day at POC but his buddy had to cancel.  So what looks to be crappy weather aside I will be fishing with Terry tomorrow.  Sometimes you have to help a brother out.

And we shall see, it has been a while since I fished in +20mph winds out of the north.

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Weather

81/71  Mix of clouds and sun.  10% chance of rain.  Wind NNE 15 – 25 mph.

Tides

 High     4:04 AM     1.5   
 Low      4:43 PM     0.6

Solunar Periods

Good  10:28 am to 12:28 pm   Best  4:43 pm  to 6:43 pm

(I wanted to say a couple of words about the solunar periods.  Just because it is a prime period does not mean you will catch fish.  Just because it is not a prime time does not mean you won’t catch fish.  But over the years I have noticed one thing, most of my great catches came during the prime time.  Anyone else have anything to say about it?)

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What a difference a day can make.  Monday I laid the smack down on them, today not so much.  I had the pleasure of fishing with Terry Kasper, the owner of Trophy Hunters Guide Service.  Terry fishes Lake Texoma and he catches big fish, both stripers and huge catfish.

https://www.facebook.com/terry.kasper.92?lst=1576293590%3A581116279%3A1507808173

He catches fish year round and if you ever wanted to boat a real catfish or striper he is the man.  So if you want to see some really big fish stop by his website, those are some big catfish.  Trust me I will be sharing a boat with him this winter when the time is right.  But back to the fishing.

The wind was blowing straight out of the north at 20+ mph.  The first problem with that is it was blowing all the way across the bay right on the bank where I have been catching them.  The water was already coloring up as we rounded the corner into Barroom.  Since I was unsure where or what due to the weather change we drifted the leeward side of Barroom.  It started a day of a couple here, a couple there, and not a fish on topwater.  It took my little brain a while to realize the most important factor, besides the ugly looking water.  The water temp had dropped from 83 degrees on Monday to basically 72 degrees every where we went.  After only boating one keeper there it was time to move.

To make a long bad fishing story short, it sucked and I feel like I did not fish worth a crap.  Next up we fished the Oil Cut, which was the most consistent place we found.  We boated another 3 keeper trout and some small reds and several sand trout and croaker.  While the sand trout were big we just could not find a pattern.  We ended up on the island later in the afternoon but other than some small trout and couple of reds we could not get it going.

We finished off the day hitting my milk run in Barroom and Big Bayou but they had just plain quit.  Yesterday was one of those days when I really wanted to catch fish, and while we did catch 20 or more, it did not happen.  Terry grew up fishing the coast with his dad, so he was understanding of how it works.  We had a really good time fishing together, it is always a great day when you are fishing with a new friend.

Terry was headed from POC to Matagorda to fish with a friend who shook loose to take him for a couple of days.  Terry is a live bait pro, and their plan is to fish the jetties for bull reds, his favorite saltwater fish.  As you can see from his website he likes big fish.  So good luck on the rest of his coastal trip and I will be looking forward to catching some stripers this winter.   It was my pleasure to spend the day in the boat with a great guy.

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And I wanted to apologize to Dan.  I actually thought you were coming this week, old man brain fart, so I missed you guys.  My apologies it was my intention to hunt you down.  So some time when you are heading this way to fish Coleto let me know.  Sorry.

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No pictures today, sorry, but once I did not get the camera out of the bag I never got with the program.  Now to the next 3 days.  A bunch of the Austin Boys are coming into town the next couple of days and it will be a real fishing extravaganza, along with some great eats.  If I had to guess, which I do but shouldn’t, the fishing should be great.  Winds down, tide right, it has the makings of a good trip.  The water temp should stabilize and I expect one of the next couple of days to be something.  It always it when they come. So time to sign off and get my stuff together to meet them later to start the fishing.  Not sure when I will be able to post again but keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Port O’Connor Texas 10/9/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Time to take one more run to POC before the boys get here and the wind kicks up.  The wind is supposed to be straight out of the south so we shall see how that works out, but looks like there will be good water movement during the day so there is potential.  Either way I am gone first thing in the morning to be in the water at daylight.  Fall is coming and I intend to take full advantage of it.

Weather

88/77  Partly Cloudy 105 chance of rain.  Wind S 10 – 15 mph.

Tides

High   1:46 AM     1.4   
Low    2:42 PM     0.6

Solunar Times

Good  8:22 to 10:22 am   Best  2:36 to 4:36 pm

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

Topwater, Topwater, and more Topwater.

What a way to start the day, and it only got better from there.

It was just cracking daylight as I headed out the cut towards the island.  The wind was blowing around 10 -15 out of the south, it stayed that way all day, and the water temp was 82.  The tide was completely over the fingers at Froggie’s, it might have been a little higher than Friday.   First up it was farther down the bank from where they were last trip.  I slid over the side and caught one on my second cast on a Controlled Descent plastic.  There was tons of bait flipping so I gave a topwater a toss and wham, fish on.

Not sure how many reds I caught but it was several.

Basically making a long story short I kept throwing the topwater until I quit at 3:00.  I tried several and then went back to my old standby, the Bagley Knocker B.  If you have read this stuff before you know it catches fish, end of story.  If they will hit a topwater they will eat the Knocker B.  The thing I like about it, besides the fish like it, is it makes a lighter flip when you walk the dog, better replicating the small bait fish.  In fact a couple of trout today puked up baitfish that were just a few inches long.

It was a fun day of fishing.

The tide was dropping slowly, basically clearing the water up and that was when the bite was really on.  And once it started dropping around noon and really cleared my favorite trout pattern happened, they positioned on the edges of sand pot holes in grassy areas.  The perfect cast over the tips and along the edges got a bite.  It was real anticipation waiting for the bite, and it always amazes me how many you miss even when you are ready.

It was nice to catch this size off and on all day.

And what good bites they were.  It wasn’t so much that blowing up on it and missing it thing, it was more like they were wallowing on it, often head out.  Some got it first go, some would follow and hit it on the stop, and a couple hit it right in front of me.  And with them bunched up on the potholes if you missed one you could throw back and often get several bites right there.  Though I did not land a big one I had my shot.  She came half out of the water to eat and just pulled off.  Other than that little hitch in the git’ along it was basically 7 hours of topwater bites.

The best position was exactly waist deep, where I could almost hit the grass, and still cast out towards deeper water.  They bit better out in a couple of feet but it was still worth it to cast to the grass.  And while I was not interested in redfish, I could see the moving about fairly regularly and they were catchable.  The trout wanted the Knocker B just flipped along and occasionally a red would jump on, but it was mostly trout.  I made 3 moves and fished 4 places along the island.

The only strike out was the area of Conte and Long Lake, where the water color was just not right.  The reason I stopped there was the pelicans were diving, but not a one bit, so I headed back to where I left off and caught another 5 or 6 before I called it a day.  It has been a while since I caught them all day on topwater, and all I have to say about that is, I love it when that happens!

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

Billy dropped this comment on the nice limit of trout he caught on topwater last week.

Kind of in line with where you stated you caught your fish today.  Last week, I was walking down a shoreline that has no grass. Tide was high, but not as high as you are talking about. I never got in water deeper than my knees and most fish were caught casting straight to the bank.

The best topwater bite for trout there is, super shallow water.  It seems like when they are that shallow the only way they can hit it is to blow up on it.  I am still waiting to hit a good topwater bite, but it is coming.  (I wrote this yesterday, good guess.)  Good to hear from you.

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

A quick word on this weekends football.  I didn’t watch but a little of the A&M game and apparently they made a showing after getting spanked early.  My Hogs played like some, they are in total disarray, if the coach’s buyout was not so big he might be looking for a job today.  I did watch quite a bit of the Texas game and they are starting to look pretty good, the freshman quarterback looks like the real deal, look for them to get back to the glory days.  The Cowboy/Packer game was everything you want in a game, to bad the Boys left Aaron Rogers with over a minute, always a bad idea.

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

Our big trip plan for next year has changed.  Instead of New Zealand we are headed to Peru to see Machu Piccu, then a stretch on the Amazon, some white water rafting, and maybe some marlin fishing off the coast or roosterfish, which is still on my bucket list.  Plans will continue to develop but it has real potential. We had actually planned that trip a few years ago and it looks like the timing is right with the weather.

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

That is the most fun fishing the bay I have had in a while.  It was consistent, the bites were awesome, and the wind was just right.  The 6 pictures I posted today are very representative of the day, and I won’t bore you with the other 15 or so.  (And that does not include a bunch of small ones.)  6 is enough to get the idea.  I give the day an A, it was fun.  Of course being an old shallow water guy I would rather catch half as many as long as it is on top.  Next up will be the Austin Boys and as freakin’ usual they are bringing a cold front.  Not sure how they get that done, but they sure are good at it.  So lots of fishing to come.  Keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Port O’Connor Texas 10/5/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

Brought to you by waderight2-50

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After a couple of days struggling on the lake it is time to start the serious fall bay fishing.  With a 3 day trip coming with the boys next week, then another in 6 weeks, not to mention my usual fishing, time to see if I can get a few figured out.  And after seeing Billy’s nice mess on topwater the other day it got my blood running.  Fall brings on what at times is an all day topwater bite, and for an old shallow water bass fisherman nothing warms my heart more than a big blow up.  The tides aren’t all that hot but the rest of it looks good so nothing more to do than go fishing.

Weather

85/72  Sunny with occasional clouds.  Wind ENE 10 -15 mph.  10% chance of rain.

Tides

High   4:27 AM     1.1  
Low   12:30 PM     0.8
High   9:54 PM

Solunar Times

Best  11:12 am to 1:12 pm   Good  5:25 am to 7:25 am  (Both right on.)

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

The wind was blowing 15 mph right down the bay as I unloaded at Froggie’s.  The tide was so high that it was over the fingers and on the dock and the water had some color to it.  It was still dark as I eased out and headed to the island with visions of a gator trying to drag me under!  The ride was a little choppy but I was feeling good.  Time to see it they were biting, and they were.

A great morning to be alive!

With the tide so high I decided to not fish a drain.  Instead as I motored down Pringle shoreline, the water was so high that it was past the grass, and there were openings making little coves and pockets.  So I stopped there where I could fish the little points, which had a good breeze right across them.  The tide was so high it was waist deep in front of the grass.  But guess what?  They were there.  While the reds were not all that big they sure were willing.

You get the idea.  This size cooperated all morning.

For the next 3 hours I just eased down the grass tossing plastics and topwater, catching mostly reds and the occasional small trout.  They were very active.  The fish tended to be right in front of the grass, which again was why I think they wanted a smaller bait that did not sink to much as there was about a foot of water. Unfortunately there was tons of floating grass, but a few during the morning jumped on the topwater, with the Bagley Knocker B preferred.  As far as plastics go it was small again.  I do not know if it is me or the fish, but again there was tons of small bait on the shoreline.

            Not big today but it was lots like these guys on the second place.

As the wind got up a little it was time to head to Barroom.  It was a little more protected, and I hoped to catch some better trout.  While that did not happen, they were biting just as good there as on the island.  And again they were shallow in front of the grass.  I caught very few over 2 foot deep, which might be because that is where the bites were coming so I threw very few deeper.  And the more I throw that super light jig head on 8lb fluorocarbon the more convinced it is a flat killer in real shallow water.  Besides a slower fall, it is easier to keep out of the grass, you can fish it fast or slow, and when combined with 8 and 10lb fluorocarbon it is really effective on super shallow fish.

They basically bit from dark thirty until about 1:30 when the water fell just a little and seemed to just sit there.  Until then it was very consistent, with lots of bites and lots of fish.  Unfortunately I am not on real good fish, but after the last couple of days at the lake I could have cared less.  It was nice to be in the water and catching fish the whole trip.  There is just something so intimate catching fish while wading  Just you and the fish, cool.  The redfish were super active both places, and I caught quite a few on the first place, including a bunch of really small ones.  Then the second place also gave some up, it was just a good bite.  Though the small reds can be a pain at times, it is a great sign of things to come.  So I will be back after them this week, and once the boys are here for 3 long days we should have them surrounded.

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

It was good to hear from Rusty, one of the long time regulars here.

Doug, I may be wrong but I think those birds are wood storks. Heading to Toledo Bend tomorrow
Tight lines
Rusty

That is exactly what they are so I looked them up.  They are migratory but common to North and South America.  They are water creature eaters and run and live in flocks.  So thanks for the answer, looking it up was interesting.  They have one big beak.  And good luck on Toledo Bend.  How I have never fished it I do not know.  Thanks for the comment and let us know how the Toledo Bend trip goes.

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

And Nelson dropped me this answer and he is right.  It was my intial guess just looking at their bill.  Thanks for commenting Nelson, it is always great to hear from first timers.

I believe your birds on 10/4 were storks. I’ve seen them at our place in Weesatche around our pond.

And speaking of those birds I got this question from SAJoe.

Are those birds in the tree, the ones that half digest their bait fish.
Then as they crap in the water.
Catfish gather around those trees to get the droppings? Saw that on Fox Sports Southwest or Honey Hole All Outdoors one time. Just cant remember the birds.

The birds you are talking about are actually Cormorants, which are federally protected, and I have taken to calling shad eaters, among other names.  And yes a good roost tree over the water that they use constantly are known catfish hot spots.  They are common but if you want to see a couple, oops, I mean a bazillion, be on Falcon Lake at daylight as the flocks come over.  It seems to last an hour as flock after flock flies over.  There are literally hundreds of thousands there and some folks are not that happy about it as they eat almost anything with scales.  A couple of years ago a couple of fish farmers killed some that were raiding their ponds.  If memory serves me it cost them a ton of $$$$.  As you know from reading above the ones pictures were wood storks.  Good to hear from you.

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

Additionally Dan sent along these comments.

Hi Doug,
I have been reading you posts for the lasts 6 years always hesitating to leave any comments. However, seeing how many new friends, acquaintances, and fishing fanatics you have met through the years, I figured I would throw myself into that bunch.

I am out of San Antonio and will fish anywhere there is a big enough puddle of water. But, lucky for me I love to fish out of POC and Coleto so your reports are a perfect match. Thanks for being committed to reporting and staying on top of the fishing reports and just talking about life.

Good luck and tight lines if you make it down to POC this next week.

-Dan

Thanks Dan, I took the license to shorten some of the rest of your comments.  I will definitely be fishing POC a day or two this week coming up and if I do I will holler at you.  Sounds like you guys have one great annual trip.

********************** 

I would give the day a B+.  As I continue to get back in the groove my keeper production will start to rise.  But I prefer to not look a gift horse in the mouth, and when they are biting I am happy to be catching.  Must mean it is time to maybe fish Keller, or Indianola.  The Powderhorn Ranch shoreline should have some good fish on it right now.  So with that in mind I am already thinking about where next.  And to those of you who have commented for the first time, thanks, it means a lot to me.  We all appreciate what you have to say.  It will be a while before I have made up for the lost summer, but I am going to do my best to get it done.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Beating my head against the wall. 10/4/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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I started a little later this morning, around 8:00 and unfortunately I should have stayed home.  I have had a slow day or two on Coleto, but the last 2 trips have been past rough.  I was able to catch some small ones, but inactive would be the best I could give the fishing right now.

                Not sure what these were but I do no see them very often.

Just like last trip I fished it all, working shallow to mid depth, fast and slow, but it was still one here, one there, and none of them worth a hoot.  Uplake, downlake, and somewhere in between, and the results were the same.  Plastics, buzzbait, swim jig, topwater, crankbait, it just never got going.  One thing is really clear, they are not chasing crap.  (See Joe’s report below.)

It was good to hear from Joe again, and his experience is exactly what I am finding right now.

Hey man, Joe from Katy here. So glad to see you up and at em again. A friend and I fished Coleto this past Saturday the 30th. Man it was a tough day.Started out in one of my favorite coves on the way up lake. Managed 3 small ones there. Moved up lake just past the bridge and managed 1 fish. From there it got slower. I threw a squarebill, trap, topwater, swim jig, crankbait, spinnerbait, and a jerkbait (once the sun got up high) They wanted nothing to do with a moving bait.

From there on it was fish deliberately and slllllooooowwwww. We started putting fish in the boat with shakey heads and drop shots. My worm of choice was a Zoom finesse worm and a SK Ocho.

We stayed at it all day¦.all day. as the day wore on, one thing was certain¦.they would eat but you had to put it right in front of them. At about 530, things started picking up. Water came alive, and we started catching them on top water. Again most were small and between the 2 of us we maybe had 6 keepers but we caught somewhere around 50-60 fish. We were on the water at 630 AM and came off at 745 PM. It’s been a long time since I went dark to dark. OMG I was sore for 2 days. LOL!!

Water still stained but not necessarily dirty. Temps were running in the 84-86 range depending on where you were.

So glad you’re back my friend. Happy Fishing!

Hell I did not need to write a report, you found exactly what I have been finding.  Coleto is just plain tough right now.  Not sure if it is an oxygen problem, a PH problem, a half ass turn over, I just do not have an educated guess right now.  But hey, you were fishing.  But in my case I am going to lay off the lake for a week or two and hope things change.  But thanks for the report and as usual I appreciate your participation.

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

Today was just a bad decision.  Guess I thought the other day was just an aberration, unfortunately it wasn’t.  Guess when you get to the ramp and there is only one boat left out, and I only say 1 boat all day, that is probably a pretty good indicator of just how slow the fishing is.  I am not a happy camper by any definition.

So the next couple of weeks will be dedicated to the bay.  The fishing there is picking up daily so time to switch gears.  Hope a gator don’t get me!  Keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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This and That 10/3/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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

Gator Watch

I hate to prolong the gator thing but I got another reliable gator report from this weekend.  My buddy Justin, and some fishing friends of his, were wading the Pringle shoreline when Justin saw a gator watching him.  He kept fishing and then the gator slid under, and with discretion being the better part of valor, he high tailed it to the boat.  (They did fairly well on red and white paddle tails.)  Obviously all the fresh water post hurricane has moved some out from the marshes and into the bay. A few years ago at the Indianola Marina I actually saw a big one at the ramp, and there was even a small one in a puddle in the parking lot.  Not sure exactly what can be done about it other than keeping your head on a swivel, it is their home, not ours.  But if you are wading right now, and I will be, just be aware of your surroundings and probably the shallower you wade the better, but as we all know nothing is certain.

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

I got this question from Richard and guess I will have to look at the video and see if I can answer it.

Saw a vid of you fishing Shoalwater with a type of paddle tail in pink and green. What brand ?
I would like to try some this Fall.

Blessings,
Richard

It was a Gambler Flappin’ Shad, the longer one.  Had to go to the tackle room and check a bag to be sure.  The thing I like about it is the tail is long and thin with a flat tail, not a paddle.  But the tail flaps to beat the band and it catches fish, as you can see from the video.  It also reminds me that all of us get stuck on particular baits for a while, and that one was the ticket that winter.  But as usual, a specific plastic may make a difference one day to the next, but the real answer – Location, location, location.  No fish, no bites, no matter how great a bait it is.  So when you try it this fall let us know how it works out.  Just might transfer the bag from the tackle room to the boat.  Thanks for the comment.

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

And our chief head banging reader sent along this comment on the ninja turtle.

Never done so myself, but always heard those soft shell turtles were good eating.
Wouldn’t have a clue how to clean one.

We actually had this discussion yesterday evening over a cold one.  They are good to eat according to folks, though I have only eaten snapping turtle, which is freakin’ delicious.  Of course that brings up a story.  My best friend from grade school was a professional trapper and one of the things he trapped in the summer was snapping turtle.  He would brown them in the pan, cover with mushroom soup and simmer for hours, you talk about good.  And even years ago he was getting good money live with the shell on.  And though they are a hassle to clean, I have only seen it done once, it sure is worth the effort.

And as long as Billy sent this comment along here is his nice limit he caught this weekend on topwater.  He has a topwater fishing habit.

A nice solid limit.  (Stolen from his facebook page.)

Billy caught these in the Palacios area, he never met a topwater he did not like.  And Capt. Aubrey Black even gave him a little dig on his throwing a topwater, which he does even when fishing with the Black’s and everyone else is throwing plastics.  But hey, there is no wrong way to fish, usually, and Billy throws it year round and catches fish.  Thanks for the comment and nice string.

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

One thing I forgot to add to my post yesterday was crappie.  I spoke with Mr. Crappie 1 and Mr. Crappie 2 on the lake and they had a nice string of good ones.  They are using minnows and report that the 8′ foot range was the ticket.  And when I pulled out there was another gentleman cleaning a few.  On many lakes some of the best crappie fishing of the year is fall extending into winter.  So if you love you some tasty filets Coleto has them.

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

There really is not a lot more to say about the massacre in Las Vegas.  As usual the f’n coward killed himself before law enforcement could administer the double tap.  What could possibly prompt a piece of crap like this to do such a horrible thing?  Maybe nothing could have been done to prevent this, but I have learned a couple of things about criminals and guns after representing hundreds of fools over the years.  While we can not stop idiots from being idiots, no matter what subject we are talking about, there is something that can and should be done.

If you use a gun in commission of any crime we should impose severe mandatory minimums, and I mean in the 20+ year range with no parole.  The problem with folks who would do this is they have no soul and no conscience.  I know, I know, you do not have to tell me all cases are different.  Tough shit.  Once you pick up a gun and use it in that way you have forfeited your right to live among us.  We are incarcerating way to many non-violent criminals for way to long, and not jacking up fools who use guns to commit crime.  One thing that is not well known is almost every penitentiary system in this country are in a one in, one out, mode due to overcrowding.  Send in a hot check artist, send out a violent thug, happens every day.  Time to re-evaluate who is incarcerated, animals who use guns in the commission of a crime need to be caged until the fight is out of them.  Trust me, most who use guns like this are animals who are a danger to you and your family.

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

Today is maintenance day on truck and boats.  New trailer light, fix and replace running lights on boat, grease hubs, inspect them both front to back, and check air and fill all tires on both trailers.  Also getting tires rotated on truck, differentials all drained and replaced, oil change, and on and on.  Trailering constantly is hard on a vehicle and nothing extends the life of your tow vehicle like constant attention to maintenance.  The easiest way to spoil a day of fishing is sitting roadside waiting for a tow vehicle.

It is raining right now so the decision to get some stuff done today looks like a good call.  Even doing all that the fish are calling me and watching the weather will be my favorite activity the next couple of days.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto Creek 10/2/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Since I just got back from Louisiana fishing the salt, and the skiff has only been out of the garage twice in about 4 months, I decided to go ahead and hit the lake and give the skiff a run.  Ultimately the worst thing for a boat is sitting, the carbureted models definitely need to be run on occasion.  If it clouds up it should be pretty good as the day goes on, maybe extend the bite, but the only way to find out is to actually go.  So here is the stats and it will be launching at daylight trying to bust a big girl.

Weather

90/75    Increasing clouds during day with chance of a stray shower.  20% chance of rain.  Wind 10 – 15 out of East.

Lake Level

Today  98.15 msl     9/19  98.18 msl

Solunar Times

Best Time   7:48 – 9:48 am.

At Least the Day Started off Beautiful.

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

Today started off with high hopes.  The weather wasn’t to bad and the prime period was mid morning so it should have been good.  To bad it started slow, and then proceeded to get slower, if that was possible.  There are days on the water when things do not work out even close to what you expect, and my expectations were high.  The water temp was in the low 80’s and it still has the tannic looking tint to it.  It is not dirty, just off color.  And once I got up lake the owls were hooting, which got a few turkeys going and it was music to my ears.

One thing that was on the plate today was fishing that crazy prop buzzbait.  So I threw it, and threw it, and after a couple of hours, and 5 small ones, I went to everything else in the box.

   Not all that big but I sure learned something about the prop buzzbait.

The thing that makes the prop bait so unusual for a buzzbait is it floats.  I had several bites that came when I let it sit after the cast, then moved it a little, then buzzed it, stopped, just using it very erratically.  I missed several, some over halfway back when I stopped it.  There is definitely a time for it and only more experience with it will reveal the right time and place, but it has potential.  And it is fun anyway.  Though the bite was slow, this kept me entertained for a couple of hours until the sun was up and I switched.  I kept expecting the big bite that never came.

I was sure the swim jig would catch fish so it was next up.  I made the perfect cast right down the side, and right off the tip, of a nice willow hanging over the water.  And then the thump, that swim jig bite you hope for.  I set the hook and first thought, huge bass, second thought big cat, third thought – are you kidding me.

                                                     Crazy Killer Turtle!

I have caught lots of different things over the years but this is the first time a turtle actually bit.  A real hard thump, and hooked right in the jaw.  It was quite a tussle, in fact one of the better fights in a while.  Once I got it to boatside I was real careful and finally got him off, he was hissing and snorting the whole time.  Just have to chalk this up to one of those crazy things that happen when you are fishing.

Nothing else was interested in the swim jig so I started pitching a creature bait and was able to catch a few, all small.  I did catch 3 out of 1 tree pitching but they were small enough to move on and not work it over any more.  As the morning went on I tried some topwater, spinnerbait, senko, and a few other things that produced exactly zip.  I kept waiting for the bite to start, and it didn’t.  Uplake, downlake, mainlake, coves, channel banks, grass, it did not matter.  This is one of those days where it was not right place, wrong time, they just were not biting shallow.  My last bite was probably around 11:00. Looking back on it pitching was probably the way to go today, as usual hindsight is 20/20.

So at 2:00 I called it a day.  I had plans for this evening with my buddy so instead of waiting the fish out I just went home.  Every day is an adventure, and the turtle saved the day.  Crazy.

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

I got this text from Ed who is heading to POC next week.

Hey Doug. So glad to see you back at it full steam! My friend Paul and I should be in POC the same weekend you’re there with the Austin boys. I hope to meet you there one of the days you’re fishing.
Louisiana sure looks like a blast and I really want to get my friend to set up a trip that way.
Thanks for the reports and all. Keep it going.
Ed

Thanks.  Not sure what the plan is at POC other than fishing from dawn to dusk, but you can always find us at the cleaning table at Froggie’s around dark.  And the Louisiana trip is definitely one of the great places to catch fish and is well worth the drive.  So thanks for commenting and maybe we will run across each other next week.

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

The only redeeming thing today was the skiff ran great.  Funny how when it has not been run in a while you forget how fast that little thing is with that 50hp.  A real flat bottom it scoots right along, and today it did not miss a lick.  Touch the key and it started, so the last tune up right before I got sick must have done the job.  But I did manage to break a tail light backing the boat in when I got to close to the dock, you would think I never backed a trailer before.  It really looked bad wrapped in bungy cords holding it on the way home, but it still worked.  A job for tomorrow.

Next it will be the bay, weather dependent.  We have a pretty good chance of some weather the next couple of days so will just have to see how it plays out.  And if there is a little window if it is raining to fish an evening stretch I will slip out for a few hours on Coleto.  It can not be any slower than it was, and maybe it is an evening bite.

And I love your comments and reports, keep them coming.  Really appreciate hearing from each and every one of you.   So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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