FISH CATCHING TRAVEL
Fishing Season is coming so get the best wading belt on the planet.
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(I am getting real bored sitting in the house, time to get back to it.)
Hopefully this stretch of weather has not been to hard on you or the fish here in South Texas. And as I write this it is actually thundering outside, weird after days of flat freezing cold weather. We finally reached 50 degrees today, and it looks like it will stay that way from now on, if we are lucky. To bad the last bit of rain we had was cold, but looks like the end is near.
Monday it looks like we could be in the 70’s with rain, just what the doctor ordered. Time to start looking for that perfect storm. Once lake waters cool in the winter there is a period where a good rain in the 60+ degrees will start pulling bass from the deep points and channels where they are staging for the pre-spawn. You can often find them way back in the big spawning coves and creeks after a good warm rain, often with white bass, cats, crappie, and anything else that swims in your lake. In fact on Coleto as soon as I start catching catfish on lures in the back end of those places it is on, and it happens every year. It is as simple as just idling back in those places looking for a big water temp change. Find that and you can find some real concentrations of fish, making spring what it is. It is often then as simple as just jumping back end to back end.
What really got me thinking about that was a post from Falcon Lake Tackle with pictures of some really big fish taken in the last week, and the report says things are heading to full pre-spawn. Even though I caught 3 personal bests on my first trip there, Falcon had a few years of decline but looks like it is on the comeback and about to have some of that famous spring fishing it is known for. And as Falcon goes in the south, so it moves north as February wears on. This is the time to catch the biggest bass of the year and I am trying to figure out just when I can get to either Falcon or Amistad asap. (I am still waiting on my new trailer before I go very far on orders from the Boss, the voice of reason. It is taking a lot of self control to not call and ask how it is going, but that never helps. I just need to take a breath.) Spring is coming and with it some of the best fishing of the year.
And speaking of the weather after seeing that huge die off from Pringle, the effects of the freezing weather on the bay remains to be seen. After a couple of years of good fishing, with a definite increase in bigger trout, who knows what is to come. There have been some really big trout caught in the upper Laguna Madre and Baffin and that is also about to take off for really big spring fish. With a government shut down looming I was worried that PINS would be closed along with access to Bird Island, but according to a government spokesman the parks will not be closed this time if there is a shutdown. There will be reduction in some services but if he was correct the ramp should be open. And just like bass, some of the biggest trout of the year are caught in February. So watch for a warm day with light wind and cloud cover and you could boat the biggest trout of your life.
I really like watching Major League Fishing, you quickly learn that pros have bad days just like we do. They do not always smash them as you often see on the show. Occasionally some of the best fishermen in the world have it tough at the same time that other folks are knocking them stupid. One thing I have learned at cleaning tables and tournaments over the years, anybody can have a bad day.
One of the things I have always liked about doing this is all the fine folks I have met in person and online. I wanted to take a second and thank Jay for his kind offer in the event I ever make Alabama. Tons of great bass fishing to go along with big catfish and stripers, Alabama is one of the great fishing states in this country. So thanks for the offer, it is in the books if I am ever passing through. Thanks, I won’t forget.
I finally relented and got my eyes checked and the left had a cataract, no surprise. So surgery is scheduled for 3 weeks from now and I could not be more excited, when it is done I could potentially not need glasses full time as I got the other eye done a couple of years ago. For that little boy who got his first pair in 2cnd grade that is something he could never imagine. And besides, having it done by a great fisherman makes it all the better. Not only is Dr. Ro a good fisherman, he is a top surgeon and a great photographer. His bird photography is awesome, and most of his fishing trips result in great pictures. And after last year (3 months down.) I intend to make that it for medical this year. It is heck getting old but I intend to avoid the rest of the medical community like the plague. (Other than the Boss.)
I did take this weather break and spent some time putting all new line on, adding 3 new Lew’s reels to the arsenal, and generally getting ready for the fishing to come. It really is important to take time occasionally to go through the whole mess, rods and reels, line, baits, wading equipment, all that stuff we can not live without, and get it organized. It really is funny when you find something you forgot you had, or maybe have not used in while. There is no downside to keeping organized, and once you get on the water that preparation will not only make the day more pleasurable, it can add to your fishing success.
And while I am thinking about getting ready it is time to do a complete walk around of the boat and trailer. Looking for those little things that have been hanging around causing trouble, this switch, that light, bearings, tire pressure, etc. that need to be dealt with. There is always something, and now is the time to get ready. Who wants trouble that could be avoided by a little maintenance to rear it’s ugly head when the fishing is hot, or leave you on the side of the road. And one last word on that, whether you use Sea Tow or Tow Boat USA there is a certain comfort in knowing that if all else fails someone will come to help if disaster strikes. And having the towing package when you tow the number of miles I do is worth every penny. I have never used the service but it is nice to know they are out there.
More and more on the internet you see companies looking for “pros” or “reps” for their products. Many are nothing more than a discount program available to just about anybody. Some seem to be really nothing more than giving folks a chance to buy stuff at wholesale. (Think about it, whether they make a sale to a wholesaler or a “rep” is all the same to them.) Now there is nothing wrong with that, especially if you fish a lot. So when one came up for a rod company I dropped them a line and of course got an immediate response. (Canned of course.) And here was their offer – To be a “rep” you had to buy at least 5 rods at a 40% discount, a good deal, but there was a catch – You had to use their rods exclusively! Since they primarily made bass rods, of course some would be useful for saltwater, their offer is hard to justify if you fish lots of species in lots of places. I don’t know about you, but having a exclusive use agreement when they do not make rods for most types of fishing seems pretty one sided. This was one of those “save your money” deals, just buy the rods you like on sale they will not cost any more, you just won’t get the fancy decal.
And last I got a great book from my buddy Chris, American Seafood by Barton Seaver. It is the history, culture, and cookery of seafood. It is so interesting and every page is full of cool pictures and information on the history of commercial fishing and has a catalog of 500 different species. Every time I pick it up I learn something cool. I could not recommend it more highly if you love history or want to learn, and cook, seafood. So thanks Chris, I am actually reading it!
That gets a few things off my chest on this rainy day. Time off the water is nice to recharge, but that is enough of that. I am going fishing, and with the Boss out of town some next week I have no excuse. So the next couple of days will be watching the following weather: Corpus, Falcon, Amistad, Lake Texoma, not to mention the usual places. Time to wave winter goodbye, let the spring fishing begin. Keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.
Good Luck and Tight Lines