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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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