FISH CATCHING TRAVEL
** For a super deal use promo code FCT15 and get 15% off on your online order!**
Like I said in yesterday’s post, I need a little change of scenery. Over the years I have caught tons of white bass, and really do miss the annual run we had in Arkansas. While Coleto has a small run there are a couple of places I have heard about and wanted to fish. One is the Pendernales off of Lake Travis, the other is the Nueces River down south. I got this post from Joe in SA and so early tomorrow I will head that way. And as Joe says, see how I do. This is fishcatchingtravel.com and lets see if I have a clue. I used to be pretty good at it. I am looking forward to a new place, and will probably wake up to dang early.
White Bass Are running on the Nueces River in George West. People have been fishing from the Airport and Route 59 ramps. Pictures in the facebook groups show them getting their 25 fish limits. The river at Airport ramp is narrow(can flip a bait across the river), my bass boat fits but wont run in the 4-8ft water there. The day i went at least 20 people went past me and churned the hell outta the water. Never caught one. Should have gone further south were it widened out. Make that drive and see how you do…
91/56 Partly Cloudy giving way to sun. Wind W 10-15 10% chance of rain.
Best 8:08 to 10:08 (Only period when I will be fishing.)
It has been to long since I just went somewhere without a clue. I have seen prior reports online and always wanted to give it a go, so after Joe’s report time to see what happens. I got to the ramp on Hwy 59 at exactly 7:00, and was first. After putting in there were a couple of good old boys in a Mako so I strolled over and only asked one thing, up or down? When you are up a river with a good spawning run, that is about the size of it. Are they all the way up, on shallow shoals, or more downstream in the main channel? They were kind enough to fill me in. They were trolling down river with Rattle Traps. Trolling is they way I would have started, best way to locate a hot area. Little did I know I would not shut the motor off for 5 hours.
That took about 5 minutes.
The Nueces there is about 12 foot deep right after the ramp, and got as deep as 20 feet as I worked down river. There is a bunch of brush in the water where the bank collapsed a little down river you need to not troll by, but after that have at it. The water temp was in the high 60’s, and slightly off-color. On one rod I put a deep running Shad Rap in the foil and black back, and it never got taken off all day. The other was a yellow looking Cabelas copy that I got in the bargain cave, and that did fine.
They just kept biting, and some were pretty nice.
Initially they wanted it about 3mph on the GPS, and they definitely wanted it deep. I was fishing the Rapala on braid with a 20lb. leader and it was probably running about 8 foot deep. Generally I put it about 45 feet behind the boat. I caught the first one in about 5 minutes, and from then on it was white bass all day. Nice ones, small ones, mediums, they kept biting. I trolled way down river and some of the bigger ones were down river. It was foggy, but as it cleared off and got hot I noticed something watching the graph. And then I made a great decision.
Once I got the speed down, 3.4mph, it was awesome.
As I trolled back up I noticed the bait and fish on the graph had moved up to about 5 – 10 foot, so I tied on a shallow running Rapala Shad Rap and it was game on. They knocked the crap out of that. So now I have two Rapalas going at once, and they are biting. I am knocking over coffee, getting them in the other line, trying to get one off so I can get the other rod, and sticking the crap out of my hands getting them off. It was awesome.
Then I started doing the trick I have used on them for 40 years. The shallow running Rapala is perfect for giving it a pull. Not quite a rip, but a good quick pull, then jerk it a little, and they just can’t resist. See a wad of bait on the locator? Wait a second and then give it a couple of pulls. And one other nice thing about that bait, you can feel them bump it, then pull and twitch and you can make them eat. Today was classic great white bass fishing. By time I trolled back to the ramp the water was in the 10 foot range, so I tied on a different shallow runner on the other rod and kept going past the ramp. Of course they liked that. I mean those fish were biting.
I think it would have been even better just cranking, if that is possible.
So I made one pass a mile or so above 59 and kept catching them right along. Then to finish the day it was time to cast just sliding down river so I started near the ramp. That is really fun when they are hitting that way because often you can feel them really smack it. And that they did! I caught 5 in 15 minutes and said for the love of God you are back at the ramp, quit dude! My hands were trashed, the boat was trashed, and after catching 50+ it was time to call it a day. My only regret is not throwing small swim baits/jigs on the spinning rod, that would have been deadly. And it just so happened that I saw those same 2 guys later and they had their limit of 50 and were just catching and releasing. That is how good it was today.
Being a like to catch fish guy one thing that really helps keep the catch rate up is fishing for the right fish at the best time. Whites are a perfect example. They show up in the rivers and creeks, they bite like crazy, spawn, and it is over for the year. A perfect example of the progression, first the white bass, then the largemouth, then the trout. They all spawn at certain times, and that is when you need to concentrate on each species. Attempting to do that over the years has taught me, get it while it is hot. And by any definition, it was crazy hot today and I am glad I made the drive. Thanks Joe.
It is interesting how different the day can go from one guy to the next. I got these 2 reports from readers on their trip to Coleto this weekend. The first is from Jim.
We made the launch at 0900 due to some difficulty getting out of the shoot. Fished for the first time on the lake went to the left after exiting the no wake area and fished every cove and points. I had my fishing partner with me so I was fighting the wind while she did most of the fishing. I fished the purple and the brown swim jig with no bites. I fished a copy of the Bang’O Lure on wood where I could, nothing; did not fish the spinner bait. I did however fish a crank bait Black and Grey on top, White bottom with a splash of Red, proved to be the ticket on calm banks and coves. We caught about 10 boated 4. We had fun for the first time fishing on the lake. I fished from the launch up to what looked like a power station and stopped there when I ran into some shallow water on the left. So, I don’t know if that is up the lake or down the lake. I think I was on the other end than you were. Thanks for your tips Doug; thanks for writing your stuff and as Arnold would say I’ll be Back!
First where you went was up the creek (left) in what I refer to as the plant arm. The other way (right) is up the Coleto Creek arm, which has more water and varied structural options. For me “up lake” is always up to where the creek or river flows into the lake, no matter whether it is south or north. Sounds like you turned a tough trip into a success. It goes along with something I have been saying, fish what you like or are good at, they are biting. Coleto just takes a little while to get used to, but once you do you will have better luck. Nice that you have a partner who likes to fish, sounds like she is getting the hang of it. So keep trying it, the next couple of months should be good.
For a completely different Coleto report Joe from Katy fished this weekend and did it up right.
Hey Doug, it’s Joe from Katy. Your reports on Coleto had me itching. Not being able to sleep I pulled into the ramp about 1130 Saturday night. Slept in the truck and was in the water before there was another boat at the ramp.
I could not get my hands on a bang 0 so I got a rogue with a similar color pattern and a foil finish. I stopped at my favorite cove next to the big creek bend just past the dam. 30 minutes late I already had 20 fish. 4 whites and 16 small bass. I also caught 2 at once on the rogue. They fish were everywhere and were eating well.
As the day wore on they cove bite slowed as they moved more towards the mouth of the coves and main lake area but it was pretty consistent. With a super bowl party to go to I was off the lake by 1230. I boated 35-40 bass total and probably missed at least 10 between the swim jig and the rogue. Looking at the weather this week I can easily see myself there again this weekend.
Glad to see you are well and back it friend.
That is exactly what I have been finding for the last 2 weeks. It seems some days they are getting after in it the back of coves, other time they seem to be related to channels, points, and deeper banks. I really think it has a lot to do with how early the water has warmed. But no matter how it goes, the fishing should be good for quite a while. And the big fish bite is right around the corner. Good job. Thanks for the report and continued support.
Just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who reads this stuff. Last month was one of the biggest months for visitors we have had, and it looks like it will be a record year for fishcatchingtravel.com. Last year we had our 500,000 visitor, which was a big milestone, and it is looking like we will have our best year yet. Every once in while it is hard to get motivated to go fishing, much less write, but then it is all worth it when I realize how many of you read this. So thanks to all, but some of you, you know who you are, are what makes this fun. And I appreciate all the help I get from Cocoons, Bagley, and Wade Right. So keep those comments and reports coming, they are great.
And last, but definitely not least, the guys at Coastal Fishing Gear, makers of the Wade Right wading belt, just announced the addition of the Wade Right Tackle System to their line. I have been using it and loving it. If you wade the small boxes really are great, and make it easy to prepare and carry what you need.
So stop by the site and click on accessories and take a look. And if you are headed to the Houston Fishing Show, March 8 – 12 like I am, stop by the booth, say hi, and put your hands on one.
It seems like the almost a month I was sick and off the water actually turned out to be a good thing, if that is possible. Feeling rejuvenated, I have been fishing a lot, and well. It seems crazy but I have caught a couple of hundred fish in the last week or so. There is nothing like spring. What is next? Who knows, but one thing is sure, it will be on the water somewhere! So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.
Good Luck and Tight Lines