POC 11/23/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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To all of you I know, and the thousands who I have not met, I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.  Eat some turkey and cheer on those Cowboys. 

Billy and I made plans to fish a day while he was off.  Initially we were going Tuesday but with a possible wind of 25 mph I decided to move it to Wednesday.  The wind forecast is a lot better, the tide and fishing forecast is much better, the only variable will be how and when it rains in the morning.  And there is a small “norther” coming in today and that could be????????   So with that it will be what it is, at last there is what should be pretty consistent water movement and a little rain never hurt anyone.

Weather

74/60  AM showers partly cloudy later.  80% chance   Wind NNW 10 – 15

Tides

High 2:20am   Low 10:36am  -0.7   High 3:03pm 0.9    Low 5:53  -0.7  Tidal movement is average.  Wednesday is rated a one fish day.  (Tuesday was a no fish day.)   A major High Activity period from 8:03 to 10:03am.   And an average activity period from 2:20 to 3:20pm.

FISH ON!

Well there is one thing to say about today, that there is lots of things to say about today.  We had some rain, we had some clouds, we had a big ass north wind when the front blew through, we wacked the snot out of them after the “norther” blew in, and it was one of those days for Billy.

Billy and I have chatted off and on via the blog and  Facebook, and this year he was kind enough to contact me and give me 2 of the original Bang-O-Lures which are impossible to find.  So we finally were able to fish together, and we had a great time.

First let me tell you about the tide.  While it was basically flat today but what it had in flat was more than made up with pretty steady movement all day.  When we got on the water it was moving out, then it kind of slacked, then it dropped some more when we moved, and the color was perfect.

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A couple of real nice flounder.

Our first stop was the flat near the Army Hole.  We worked the mouth of the drain, and the fish were there.  Billy is a committed topwater fisherman, and he got the bites, and some more bites, and for the amount of bites he had he was disappointed in the results.  They were just not hooking up.  I on the other hand was having one of those “Fish On’ days when it seemed whatever I did put them on the end of the line. We fished there until 10:30 and caught fish on several plastics and topwater.  And I managed to land several flounder including the best in a while.  With our fall weather being so warm the flounder run is late and it looks like the good fishing is now.   And I have to plug my Wade Right belt.  With the fish hitting top and plastics the belt was the ticket.  No bait changing, wrong line or rod, no back to the boat.  It is so nice to be able to swap out so when you catch on one bait or the other you are able to toss a completely different bait and techniques to the same fish without moving.  Trust me it works.

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I did not know they grew them this small.   A rat red, one of four or five today.

It was at least 15 or so there, including the flounder.  The bigger flounder came when I was straight reeling near the surface for trout, and he smacked it.  It was one of those bites that you knew was a good fish the minute you set the hook.  The plan was to leave there after 11 or so when the tide was slack but I waited just a minute to long and here it came.  You could see it coming across the bay as the cold front hit.  The original plan after the first place was to head to Barroom which would be protected from the front.  So with almost 3 foot rollers we pounded across the bay.  It was cold and rough.  We finally hit the barge canal and I told him I am taking the long way around and then it will be Barroom.  He told me later he would have just put it on the trailer and called it a day, and at times I might have, but when we rounded Fisherman’s Cut it was perfect.  Protected, it had a nice ripple, and the water color had that perfect little bit of milk to it.  Best of all the fish were there.

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Does not do this stringer justice.  A trout limit and one big ugly. The trout on the left was a hoss.

With the tide low it was perfect as we stayed a little more than knee deep and casted to the break which is in 4 feet or so.  It is now around noon, we just got hit by a “norther”, and it is clear as a bell.  Not what traditionally I would call great conditions, but it was.  Billy was still tossing his topwater, and dam if they were not hitting it.  A few finally managed to hook up after his little dry spell, and he added a couple to his stringer.  My flat out luck continued as I was catching them hopping and dropping plastic, reeling it slow, fast, or in between.  They were a little tough to feel, but any change resulted in a hook set, and dang if they weren’t on there.  It was just one of those day when it seemed like every time I tried a little variation in retrieve, jig head size, color. length, it did not matter, they ate it.  I really do believe using 8lb fluoro makes a difference, at least it makes me more confident and that is important in fishing.

I needed to quit about 3 or so, lots to do before we hit the road early tomorrow for Jerry’s world.  We had a real nice limit of trout and 2 flounder.  And one nice keeper drum had his lucky day and got released.  Any day I catch the slam and add a drum is a successful day as far as I am concerned.  We caught lots, and funny no big reds, which surprised me as well as the others were biting.  And it also said something about the putting on the big boy pants and dealing with the front.  We could have wussed out, but we made the right move and finished out the day with the fishing better than it was early.  Not much else to say but it is so nice how the average trout seems to be getting bigger and bigger.  And with the numbers in the bay right now, things are looking up.  So thanks for fishing with me Billy, I had a great time.  Now if we can keep the Austin Boys from bringer their usual “norther”  that trip has the potential to be epic.

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And we got the weekly report from the Mad Trout Fisherman, who has been having an epic run the last 4 months.

Matagorda island drians epic bite, this damage was done in the first 45 min of daylight.

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Chad, all I have to say about the run you have been on is that it is freakin’ crazy.  Some of those trout are the real thing, much less the numbers!  Like we had this morning, set up on the right drain, right time, and right tide and you are in business.  I really want to thank you for keeping us up to date, it is so appreciated.  Folks just one thing to say today – The Bite Is On!

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Good to hear from Rusty, our Fayette guru, nice to know you are still out there.

Happy Thanksgiving Doug!!!!
Just booked my Canada trip for 2017, already thinking about those big northern and walleye.
Tight lines

Happy Thanksgiving to you.  One thing I like about making reservations for trips like that is it gives us great daydreams and anticipation until D Day.  I won’t make it this year, but can honestly say it will not be missed.  Why you say?   Because I will just be getting back from Australia!  Most of our trip is planned and tickets bought.  Right after the first of the year I will be planning what I hope is a day or two of river fishing trying to boat a Barramunda, and maybe see some of those huge saltwater crocs.  Next will be 2 days offshore chasing tuna and other crazy Barrier Reef fish.  It make me excited just typing this!  I hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving.

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The only word to describe the bay fishing is gooooood.  Our fall got here just a little later, and the good fishing is finally coming with it.  The flounder run has been flat, but looks like they are on the chew.  The average trout is just plain bigger, and solid 18 – 24″ are so much more common than the last few years.  I love the 5 fish limit.  Not sure where I will fish next but it will involve the salt.  The time is now so get em” while the getting” is good.   But first it is “How about those Cowboys!”  Keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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A short Coleto trip. 11/22/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Monday morning I had some things to get done so I thought I would slip out for a few hours and catch a couple of bass.  So I hitched up the skiff and great, no taillights.  At times I just want to park it and take a break, but as with all boats, things happen.  The ground wire broke so I pulled out a spare plug and re-wired it and was on my way.  One thing about being prepared is when things like that happen it may piss you off, but you can still hit the water.  But to bad I was not really ready to go, I left the camera at the house.  Oh well, my much maligned flip phone will save the day, just not all that well.

Weather

80/62  Sunny Chance rain 20%  Wind  SSW 10 -20

Lake Levels

 Last trip  95.45 msl  Today  95.29 msl  (It is really dropping!)

It was 11 by time I started fishing.  The lake continues to drop and the ramp is just a little bit away from maybe being a real issue this winter.  It was sunny and the wind was blowing around 20 out of the south.  I started on a main lake channel bank and caught a nice one right off the bat on a white swim jig.   I stayed with it for an hour and did not have another bite.

So up lake to my fall back stomping grounds, and the fish were there.  I alternated between the white and the bluegill swim jig, and the darker was by far the better bait.  One thing I really like about fall is the number of big gators out there soaking up the sun.  So with my little flip phone I took a couple of this guy.

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One big lizard!

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He was not the least bit concerned about me.

If I had to guess he was around 8 – 9 foot long and really a solid looking terrifying eating machine.  As they are want to do at this time of year, he was out on a sunny bank soaking up some heat, not even a little bit concerned with me as I fished right by him.  You see most of the big guys in the late fall, and then early spring, usually on flat banks with full sun.  This time of year with cool nights they hold up waiting on the sun.  Winter, to cold, and summer, they feed at night, they seem to disappear and you rarely see these big guys.  Don’t know why they interest me so much, but I have always like seeing them.   There weren’t many of them in the farm ponds of Iowa when I was growing up.

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Yes I really did catch a couple.

I fished all types of structure and banks up lake, and while the ones that bit ate it, I only had around a dozen bites the 4 hours I fished.  I did put 9 in the boat, and had a limit of smaller keepers, all like the 18″ incher above.  With the wind whipping right along I gave spinnerbait a go after a couple of bass tried to catch the swim jig next to the boat as I was reeling it in.   Spinnerbait, along with buzzbait, did not produce a fish.  But with a mile high sky and rapidly dropping water levels it was not surprising.

Today I was really in a holding pattern.  With the wind expected to blow up to 25mph today (Tuesday), the planned trip with a reader to POC today got moved to Wednesday.  I hope that was the right decision as the wind speed is not supposed to be that high tomorrow, but there is a chance of rain early.  But like every fishing day, and every cast, you make your decisions and you go with it.  So tomorrow right after daylight we will be wading POC somewhere.

It is really interesting how differently I feel about each day I fish.  It is always different, from hard core desire to knock the crap out of them, to taking it easy like today.  Actually sitting down as I fish, watching gators, birds, ducks, and just enjoying being outdoors.  Those type of fishing days are few and far between.  I ended up boating 9, 1 on the white and 8 on the dark swim jig.  They were a nice average, but that is what they were, average.

Tomorrow will be a wading day, just hoping it starts off ok.  Thursday morning it will be off to Jerry’s world to watch the Cowboys play the Redskins.  The game on Sunday was a thing of beauty.  All detractors aside, the Cowboys are for real and their performance the last 2 games is living proof.  So if life works out perfectly it will be some big trout and reds tomorrow, then a Cowboys victory.  A great 2 day stretch, life is good.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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How to get it done on the bay. 11/18/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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While I was flailing away on the river Chad went to the bay, and just like I found, light winds before the blow.  So they made the run, got in the water, and I mean flat way laid them.  His stringer today is just plain crazy, these are not small trout.

We are so fortunate that Chad the Mad Trout Fisherman takes the time to share his knowledge and fishing reports.  As I have said before, the only thing he could do besides this is take you to the fish.  There is much to be gleaned from today’s report and I wanted to get it up while it is fresh.  Enjoy.

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That is Freakin’ Insane!

Matty island Thursday, with 20mph gust out of the south.  A trip to matty island was planned and upon arrivial at Charlie’s the wind hadn’t got there yet, so we shot straight across the bay.  I found lots of bait on the shoreline in front of Cedar Lake.  It was the gin clear water color that I didn’t like so down the shoreline we went. Through south pass cut down the shoreline we went looking for the right mix, slightly stain water with bait, as we rounded Pats Bay.  Bingo!  With a four man crew a leap frog was the plan, one on the shoreline, one out deep.  Wasn’t long before we established a pattern of tight to the shoreline was the best bet.  It wasn’t gang buster at any one spot.  Just three or four good trout each wade.  We worked alot of shoreline.  Dropping two off then idling out and running downwind 200 yds and parking. Then letting them wade to the boat to pick us up.  We caught lots of small trout when we would wade out deep.  But the fish that every angler loves to see in the net were on the shoreline.  Total oppasite of what I had been finding the last 10 trips.  Probably has to do with back to normal water levels in the backlakes, pushing the bait out of all those tributaries ahead of the front thats coming this afternoon.  By noon we had a sweet box of trout to 22″to 18″ and some bigger trout released !  Not by choice, so it was a great day on the water.  I had a big bullred make a big pony mullet dance for 20 seconds right in front of me.  What a sight, he had that thing in the air for awhile before he got em.   Also saw a 4 ft plus shark in 18″ of water.  That’s why i love my wading bag, having experienced being dragged down by stringered fish.  And many big trout gone at the head after working for hours to put together a good string. Very disappointing!  A busy weekend with a select baseball tourney in Yoakum  for my son Taylor.  I will try a quick duck hunt Saturday morning, or sit in the deer blind.  I’m like you Doug, I have the best wife ( boss) in the world.  She has put up with my fishing and hunting addiction for 28 yrs now.  Lol,  I should say more like tolorated it!  The ducks on matty island are thick with tons of birds in the air, should be an awsome shoot this weekend. Be safe out there and courtious of all using are public resources! Thanks chad!

Nothing like getting on a good pre-front bite.  Interesting how you found the good fish up tight.  And the decision to keep looking for the “right” water turned out to be the key.  Also, by actually making a plan, one deep and one shallow, it allowed you to establish the “pattern” and then key in on it and smoke them.  Again many thanks for clueing us in.  Folks can learn a lot if they will just listen.  We caught some fish in front of Cedar last trip with the Austin Boys, it is one of my favorite spots from now until “real” winter, always trying to be there when that sucker drains.  And tell Taylor good luck this weekend, could be an interesting tourney based on the possible weather we have coming.

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I almost went this morning to beat the front and see if the bass would cooperate but decided to be responsible.  Stuff needs cleaning and fixing, a 2 boat owner’s work is never done.  Fix one thing and another breaks, the never ending struggle.  So before this big front hits today time to do a little outside work.  And I so hope we get some rain out of this, we are over 3″ down and sinking fast, clearly evident when you launch at the lake.

As far as the fishing not a clue what is next.  Jeffish has his son and if we are lucky we can get on the water somewhere this weekend.  It will be interesting to see if this front actually amounts to something.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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POC – NOPE! 11/17/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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As  I write this today (Wednesday) before I hit POC tomorrow it almost scares me off.  It is always about being at the right place, at the right time, and the prognostications for tomorrow on the bay can be summed up in one word, it sucks.  A possible 20mph wind right down the pike, combined with a low Solunar activity leading to a “no fish” day does not exactly fill me with hope and anticipation.  So what does all the mean, I can’t wait.  So lets see tomorrow how it all comes out.

Weather

81/71   Sun and clouds mixed.  Wind South 10 -20  10% chance of rain.

Tides

High 1.3 at 1:02 am   Low  -0.2 1:20 pm  Tidal Velocity  is 88 and is considered high.  But as far as the 17th it is a “no fish day” on the 3 fish scale.   Solunar periods during the day – Low 9:56 to 10:56 pm   Average activity  3:28 to 5:28 pm.

No POC For Me

So after I wrote the stuff above the Boss and I went out for a little socialization and of course the first thing I did when I got home last evening was check the weather.  The wind forecast was already bumped to possible 25 mph and then the weather Dude at 10:00 said it might blow, especially in the afternoon.  So when I got up I looked at 3 or 4 weather sites, listened to the local morning guy, and watched the constant weather channel.  It just looked like it might blow so I made an executive decision and changed course.  Out went the wading stuff and in the skiff and off to the Lavaca I went.  Good call, first of several today.

When I got to the river it was way up and about the normal color.  There was almost a bare breath of wind so I headed way down river to the Swan Lake area.  The minute I got there the wind started out of the south.  It blew harder and harder, not gusts really, straight line at 25 mph right up the river, and stayed there.  It blew.

So here is where it gets sticky.  The tide is trying to fall but the wind is blowing water right back in the river.  And the current wants to flow down river and the wind says you are going back up river.   The minute I would cast there was an immediate big bow in the line.  Talk about hard to feel, river flowing one way, boat and line headed the other.  But the fish did me a favor and I figured out the rest.  And the wind did one other thing, lots of folks called it a day.

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A nice flounder headed to the grease.   Lots of rats scattered around.    

When I say this, the trout were right on the bank, most in the first hop or two, it is not because I am sure that is where they all are.  It may have been the result of the wind and lack of feel once the bait got deeper.  It was hard to work the plastic properly throwing across a 25 mph blow so I did 3 things and caught fish basically until I quit.  The first, changed to a 1/4 ounce jig head which not only helped it sink, it straightened out the bow some.  I was throwing a regular paddle tail but the tail working against the current and wind reduced the feel so second I went to the Down South.  The paddle is considerably smaller which reduced drag and increased feel.  Third I got way closer to the bank than I normally would, allowing shorter casts that helped keep the line straight so I could feel the bites.

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         The Boss ordered supper – 18″ and a 17″ headed to the grease.

Don’t get me wrong, it was really tough fishing, but it sure was better than being on the bay at POC and the snot knocked out of me coming back in.  So I just kept letting the wind blow me up river making short casts and missing way more than I caught.  A big red broke me off,  and of course I boated several rats.  The Boss ordered supper so I needed 2 trout and the couple above were in the cooler pretty quickly.   For the rest of the morning it was 12″ – 15″ trout, I didn’t measure any more but could have probably squeezed out a limit.  And that was the first flounder in the box in a while and will be pretty tasty later.

Before I quit, just because I was tired of fighting the wind, I went above the bridge into the creek to check out my secret really cold and windy day hole.  I decided to troll up to it just to see if one would bite.  I met a couple of guys who had trolled way up and back and did not have a bite.  I didn’t either until I stopped on my spot and tossed plastic.  A couple of small ones cooperated, but it is still just a hair to warm for that far up creek.  That will really change if we get what is coming this weekend.  The man was talking some folks hitting a low in the 30’s.  Bring it on!

There are days when I fish like crap and make poor decisions, and I tell you.  Today I fished like a pro.  Conditions were flat tough and I made it work.  I caught an easy 20 in 4 hours, and missed or lost that many more.  By changing the plan from bay to river, and then adjusting the presentation to fit with what I had, I caught fish.  Nice work if I do say so myself.  Not to often that I can say that about an adverse condition day.  The real thing to take away is the river and creek pattern is about to get after it.  Not sure how long it will last but the crazy fishing is right around the corner.

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It was good to get this great report from Jim on Fayette County.

Glad to see you had a good day on the lake. I fished a club tournament on Fayette Saturday. There were two other clubs fishing and a whole bunch of kayakers. Even with all the traffic there the bass fishing seemed to still be hot. I caught 25 fish. The first 5 were on a swim jig before 6:30 then it was CR’ing points. My partner and I caught 20 fish off one point on the north end in 14-16ft of water. Everyone in the club caught fish so I assume everyone else on the lake did as well. Out clubs 1st place was 22#, 2nd place was 21# and 3rd was 17# which was me. Conditions were great. Light breeze out of the north-northeast. Water temp was 75. Clarity was probably at least 2ft. Hope you get up there soon!!

Those are nice weights, and really good for a weekend on Fayette.  Plus who can complain about the numbers, that is the thing that makes Fayette a great fishing hole.  And congrats on the 3rd, when I fished tourneys it was always nice to be at least close.  Heck of a lot better than an embarrassing weigh in.  And I will be making the trek soon, probably right after Thanksgiving and before another round on the bay with the Austin Boys.  Thanksgiving I will be watching the Cowboys at the Jerry’s World as they beat the Redskins and hopefully clinch a playoff spot.  So thanks for the report, comment anytime.

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I can only imagine how good it would have been if it had not been so windy.  But putting 20 plus over the side is never a bad thing.  What is next is really up in the air/forecast.  It seems like when a big front is one the way from the north we get these high SW winds that seem to blow against it until it lays, and then the big north wind howls in.  That is what is supposed to happen early afternoon tomorrow and we may see a daytime temp Saturday that is around 25 degrees cooler than this afternoon.  That will surely get them going.  And thanks to all of you who keep reading this drivel, sure makes it easier to write.  Your comments and reports are an important part of this, so thanks all and keep them coming.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto Creek 11/15/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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After a couple of days on the creek I did my usual Monday thing, fishing for bass on Coleto.  Doing the blog it is funny how at times I feel pressure to fish the bay, especially when it is as good as it is.  But when I got up Monday morning I wasn’t feeling it.  So I wussed out and hitched up the skiff and headed to the lake.

Weather

80/58  Sunny  Wind 5 – 10 SW  Chance of rain 10%

Solunar Times

  • Best Times    9:51A – 11:51A
  •                        10:21P – 12:21A
  • Good Times  3:36A – 5:36A

Lake Level

Last Trip 95.58      Current  95.45  (Still on a slow steady decline. If we do not get some rain we may have the same ramp issues as 2 years ago.)

Today’s post is slightly boring as far as the fishing went.  But all was not lost based on what I “learned”, or sunk in, based on the Solunar projections.  Deciding to go to the lake was actually a pretty interesting decision.  As far as conditions go I should have gone to the bay.  Low wind, super high tide velocity, and a high activity day.  The conditions really affected the size of the fish on the lake today, but one thing about the projections was so right, super high activity.  I saw snakes, a ton of deer, pigs, and the alligators were out all over the lake and real active.   Paying attention to the critters it was apparent that the big full moon had things moving around.

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They were out all day long.

With no wind and high skies in the forecast I assumed the buzzbait bite would be nonexistent, and that turned out to be true.  On the other hand, find a piece of wood with some substance to it and there was a fish there, in fact on almost every one I tossed to.

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The best I could manage today.

So I started concentrating on the swim jig in areas with no cover and then picking up the 5″ senko style stick bait in watermelon red as I got to some cover.  While it was a slam dunk pattern, the big girls were just not having it.

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                        Every piece of wood had one of these on it.

I caught fish up lake, down lake, and in both arms.  Only one area did not produce a fish, the rest had at least a bite or two, with cover/wood being the necessary factor.  Note:  I am not fishing standing timber, they are on lay downs, brush, and other isolated wood.  So that about covers it as far as the fishing went.  Lots of bites, an easy 2o in the boat, but barely a limit of keepers.  The conditions were not the best for bass fishing, but it was a beautiful day that I really enjoyed and never worked to hard.

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No telling how many deer I saw today.

But the real thing I liked about today, and took away from it, was the high level of activity on the lake.  As fall turns to winter you always see lots of gators out, today was one of those days.  They were out all over and very active.  I saw a couple of blow ups by the bank, always an awesome sight as they eat, or try to eat, anything that swims.  To go along with that the deer were out all day, and I saw a nice buck.  As unconcerned as they were the hunting pressure must not be that prevalent around the lake.  I saw another big snake, not all that common on Coleto.  And the (small) fish were really active considering the adverse conditions.

Reading the tide and solunar times for Monday revealed one of the higher activity days I have seen since I started following them.  Seeing everything on the move really drove home that there are days that can be identified as good days to hunt and fish, today was one of those days.  To bad there was not a little wind and clouds, it would have been ugly.

That really is the size of it for today.  Pretty “normal” day on the lake.  Can I say it enough, we need some cold weather to drop this water temperature.  Fortunately the fishing is still heading towards the full on fall bite, so who knows, it may actually extend our good fall fishing.  Next for me is definitely back to the bay.  I did not have a case of the serious on Monday, but after seeing a couple og pictures with big trout that will change.  And my buddy Jeffish will have his son this weekend so we will probably hit the creek and let him catch some trout.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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The bay bite continues hot ! 11/13/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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It is Sunday morning and though I am not fishing, I am thinking about fishing.  And I wanted to get Chad’s latest report out to you while it is fresh.  As I have repeatedly said, read his reports closely, the only other thing he could do is come to your house and mark the map.  There is plenty of great information on location and lure choice to be gleaned from his reports.  While other folks keep this kind of information close to the vest, Chad is kind enough to give us the real stuff.

Wow what a great report on the garcitas, thats why i love this blog. Good job doug! I live 20 min from both ramps lavaca and garcitas. So its really a blessing when i can fish close to home.  I normally dont fish weekends but my son was rearing to go. So of we went for a quick trip to the bay for a wade.  We are still catching good fish on matagorda shoreline.

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As daylight broke we eased in the water, and hit a few good ones right out the gate. About 10 min into the wade i see a boat approaching us at a high rate of speed wondering what the hell! And sure enough four young broncs decide to blow by us 40 ft away and run up in the cut where were fishing. 20 yrs ago one the cats would of been wearing a topdog as jewelry . Good part about it we still caught 3 more trout 21″-23″ 19″ but i think we could of filled the box on the first stop. Oh well ! I heard the famous sound of of the prop coming out of the water and the boat going from 40 to zero in 2 seconds so i didnt have to ruin my morning. My son Taylor did have to hear about boating education for a while though. So after a 100 yrd wade we loaded and left. To the next spot which made the box right. 15 trout 2 red and a flounder. Nice day!

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We did a little scout fishing on the way in, fishing panther reef, post lake, and shoalwater. My opion is the better fish are still on shoreline. Headed to the deer blind.  Good luck out there and watch out for the idiots!!!! Thanks chad

It is so awesome that you get to spend such quality time in the outdoors with your son.  And education him on sportsmanship is part of our responsibilities to the next generation.  And I, without your knowledge or fresh experience, came to the same conclusion, the fish are still on the shoreline of the open bay.  And thanks for the tip on the Down South plastic.  I have been a big user since I first saw them.  The only downside is the tail is so tempting to pinfish, needle fish, and other smalls with teeth so one snap and the tail is gone.  It really has a completely different vibration on the fall that I think is a higher/quicker pitch, and it works.  It was really the bait on my last trip to the Upper Laguna.  As a side note I actually was going to promote them on the blog after speaking with them, they called me, and then I never heard from them again.  Never did figure that out.  But either way, they catch fish.

And thanks for the compliment on Garcitas.  Fishing the creeks and rivers is a whole different animal, one I really like.  And it may be good for a month, or two, but it is one of those things that has a specific hot time and then it is over.  For a fisherman like me who likes to catch fish, it is one of those things I look forward to every year.  Just like I do pre-spawn bass, the white bass run, or the fall gathering of the redfish.  It is just trying to maximize results, doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right place.

“Because We Can” but Should We?

Now to the important point of your report that I want to address.  Those of you who have read this blog for the last 6 years know that I constantly preach about etiquette on the water.  Your experience with the 4 knuckeheads is a perfect example of self centered behavior with not a shred of thought for the other guy.  Hope they buried that thing deep and it f’d up their morning.

I have had this experience quite a few times.  So I want to say this whether any of you like it or not.  DRAINS ARE NOT THE INTERCOASTAL!  Just because it happens to be the entrance to something does not make it an area where you can blow by folks who are wading or anchored fishing that drain.  It is your tough freaken’ luck you did not get there first.  Just because it is the only way in is totally irrelevant.  If you were wading a stretch on the open bay and a boat blew by you less than 100 feet away you would be pissed correct?  Then why do folks think it is ok to run close to people wading and fishing a drain?  Apparently some thoughtless folks think they have more rights than the rest of us.  I have never understood that other than it must be a case of head up a$$.

Sometimes I think it is what I call the “Because We Can” syndrome.  Boats are now able to run in nothing, and get up in a foot, so we do it “Because We Can”.  If memory serves me it takes 7 years to start recovering a prop scar, if ever.  And we make those scars because we do not want to idle down and then in to the bank, or “Because We Can” get in this way and not have to go around.  And we want to get up in a foot instead of idling to a little deeper and water and getting on plane.  All “Because We Can”.   So as a group we are wantonly destroying the very thing responsible for our fish, the sea grass.  Not to mention pissing other people off.

I know I enjoy exploring the bays and back lakes as much as the next guy.  Fishing places that used to be unavailable to most boaters is great.  And blowing through back lakes and cuts is often just plain fun.  But with that has, and will, come consequences.  Florida has really addressed these issues in a big way.  Huge no wake zones are common, and any destruction of sea grass is a crime that is taken seriously.  Texas has made it a crime to destroy sea grass, but if they had to document prosecutions they could probably not show one.  Trust me, increased rules and restrictions are coming, it may not be soon but they will come.  When they come we only have ourselves to blame.  If you operate in saltwater and have not read this do it, it is part of both responsible and legal boat operation.

http://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_br_v3400_1101b.pdf

Sorry for the rant but as outdoorsmen we have a responsibility to not only protect the environment, but to protect our rights to use the great outdoors.  The anti hunting and fishing crowd will use anything to restrict us, and if we do not acknowledge where our behavior fits into this thing we deserve whatever comes down.  The use of our woods and waters grows steadily and we need to police ourselves and not open the door.  If we don’t the government will be happy to step in, and we all know how messed up that is when it happens.  So be nice, think about what you are doing, and respect the law and our great outdoors.

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

Now that I have this done it is time to check the weather and tides.  My plan for tomorrow keeps changing, and just might until I hitch the boat and leave the driveway.  Fall is such a great time of the year.  Fresh or salt, there is something on the chew.  And if you have anything to add to the discussion above please chime in.  My rants are only my opinion and it is neither more valuable or informed than yours.  So anytime you want to vent or comment please do, it make this so much more interesting than me holding up another fish.  So I am headed to the boat and tackle room to make sure stuff is ready to go.  Another day on the water and I can’t wait, at least until the Cowboys are done kicking the snot out of the Steelers.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Garcitas Creek 11/11/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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I did not get in a real hurry this morning but managed to get on the water at 9am.  The first thing I noticed was the tide was rolling out.  So when combined with the natural river flow, and a 15 mph wind blowing right down the river, I was hauling butt floating down.  It is the kind of day that will try your patience, tough to fish.

Since I had some great blow ups on topwater yesterday it was up first.  I started down river where I caught them and had some super blow ups.   There was one shallow point you could not see on a long deep bank unless you noticed it on your locator, and there are some really nice reds on it.  And boy oh boy did I have some bites.  It was almost mesmerizing to see those big fish materialize out of nowhere.  You would think a guy who has caught lots of them would not feel that way, but they were big and the bites/misses were epic.  Why those big fish are here and not gone out the jetties I don’t know but they are surely old enough and big enough.

If I had to guess I had 6 really big ones blow up on it, roll on it, chase it to the boat, but none hooked up.  It would have been better if I had changed baits earlier, but it was just awesome.  After making several passes on both sides of the river without boating, or even having, a trout blow up, it was time to throw spinnerbait and catch one of those reds, and the one below made the commitment.

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Hooked 1 out of 5 or 6 who missed the topwater, but lots like this on plastics.

After catching a good one, and several smalls, I was on a shallow bank way down by the bay and I started getting the trout bites on the spinnerbait.  You can always tell, the quick jerk/tap.  So after spending way to much time trying to catch these guys it was time for plastics and to see if the trout are really in there.

The first thing I had to do was go to a heavier, in this case a “heavy” 1/8th jig head to compensate for the current, tide, and wind.  When they are getting after it you had to throw a little downstream and maybe get 4 hops before you were past your cast.  It was just a little tough to deal with.  So I motored back up the bank to where the spinnerbait bites started and it was game on.  As the tide fell they were up against the grass and feeding on what looked like small finger mullet.  As they were coming over the side they were puking baitfish all over the boat.  A pearl/dark back 4″ paddle tail was the preferred bait, seemed to match the hatch.  I probably fished a mile without lifting the trolling motor.

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   And a limit was no problem, but catching one over 16″ was no bueno.

Not sure how many I caught down river but it was plenty, most in the 14″ – 16″ range.  I don’t think I even had a bigger one on.  But once I went to plastics exclusively the rat reds were also plentiful and willing.  Then about 1:00 the water quit moving.  And with it the big bite.  Funny how you can re-fish a bank you just caught 15 or 20 and not get a bite.  So it was time to head back up river and see if some of the places I have caught them in the past held a few.

One of the better banks did not produce a bite so I tried another, and they were there.  And again like down below they were against the grass, especially if there was a pocket or a cut in the grass.  Once the wind laid later in the afternoon it got a lot easier to fish and they bit pretty consistently until I quit at 4:00.  I was surprised by a couple of things.  First, not boating a few bigger trout, but I figure that will come with colder weather.  Second, that one bunch of reds was big, bigger than I have found in the river in the past.  And last, no flounder.  With a good 3 hours fishing a falling tide on grass edges it is almost always a recipe for flounder.  That may have just been luck, they are surely in there.

So what to take away from today.  They are in the creek/river and are catchable. While a real whooper cold front would help tremendously, the fishing is good enough to go.  It should be the same way on the Lavaca.  It may takes a little more work to find them, but find them and they will bite.  So we have the window to catch them, only time and weather will tell how the rest of the fall shapes up, and how long the bite lasts.

River fishing out of the boat is fun.  As I said yesterday it can be described as a hybrid style which fits me well.  A side benefit of fishing down river was seeing flocks of geese, ducks rising out of the marsh, and the Sandhills making their racket.  All in all a great day to be on the water.  The only downside to the day was having the bait break on my Penn spinning reel.  Oh well, broken things comes with the territory if you fish enough.

Not sure what is next, but as long as the wind does not howl it will be back to the bay and wading.  I have a little work to do on equipment and will be ready to go on Monday.  And of course there is weekend football.  Arkansas has the Coon Asses from LSU tonight.  Our season is over in the bigger sense, but we always play them well so it should be a real game.  A&M has Ole Miss and a chance for some redemption.  It will be interesting to see if they can recover from that devastating loss last week.  And the Cowboys see if they can continue their winning ways.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Speaking of creeks and rivers. 11/10/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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I finally made a decision this morning to take the trolling motor to Kresta’s in Edna.  I spoke with some guy at the repair shop in Corpus and he was rude, so that took care of that.  The side benefit of going to Edna was taking the skiff with me and dropping it in Garcitas Creek.  Since we have been talking about trout in rivers the last couple of posts, there is no better time to see how it is compared to last year.  And I can say they are not full on in there yet.

I did not look at the weather, tides, zip, I just hooked up and took off.  It was 67 degrees and sunny when I left.  By time I quit at 3:30 it was blowing 15 out of the north and a chilly 63 degrees.  To bad I did not look at the weather, no jacket and it was cool.  But I really love fishing rivers from the boat.  Kind of a hybrid bass/saltwater thing.

p1020139p1020142                         Fish #1 on plastic.                         A jerkbait fish.

The water color in the creek looked good, and though I have no temp gauge on the skiff, it was warm.  Since it was a quick exploratory trip I headed down river to fish the places that are always good if they are in there.  At the first place a baitfish jumped, I tossed a plastic, and caught one.  The next fish was the nice jerkbait fish above, and of course it was on my first cast with it.  Did I catch another one on it?  Of course not.

From that point on it was just keep heading down river fishing one side or the other.  It was slow, but it did pick up the closer to the bay I got.  Exactly the fishing I found on the Lavaca the other day.  It was just one here and there.  If we would get one of those hydro blasting norther’ both places would take off.

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              Another plastic trout.                            A spinnerbait red.

I caught on jerkbait, topwater, plastics, and spinnerbait, though plastic was the preferred bait.  Fishing all of those different baits was simply getting an idea what they want, because in the morning I will be thrashing the water down creek.  A couple of really big reds got all over a topwater but just did not hook up, so I threw the spinnerbait and managed to catch a smaller one.  And then 3 more small  trout jumped on the spinnerbait and not another red.  Also, something broke my 8lb line, could have been a big black drum.  There never was a “hot” place but there is plenty of bait in the river and the color is good.  I probably boated around 10 and will do better than that tomorrow.

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Speaking of how, when, and why of trout movement into rivers on the Texas coast we are fortunate that our resident outdoor writer has taken the time to add to the discussion.

Doug,
Sorry for being slow getting back to you on fish in the river and creek.  Had some Louisiana flounder population control to help out with.
I also wanted to do some checking with a few anglers that fish the creek and river more than I do and certainly know more about it than I do.  So back to Matt’s questions on the river. He is correct there are some fish in the river and creek all year long.  Kind of like fish in the Army Hole or Fish Pond.  SOME fish are there at any time but the concentration of fish most anglers are interested in happens in the winter when the temperature in the open bay waters has dropped.  Another factor in fishing the river and creek during the warmer months is the mosquitoes.  Most anglers will not fish in parts of the creek and river because there are so many mosquitoes during the warmer months.
I agree with you that the water level does not have a lot to do with the fish being there unless for some reason, like a big rain or drought, the water level is abnormal.  Under normal conditions the fish are there for the food.  The life of the prey determines predator trout location more than anything.  You’ve heard it thousands of times but it’s true – find the bait and you’ll find the fish.  The bait is more concentrated in deeper water during the winter months and the reason they go up the creek and river.
Speckled trout and all of our bay fish spawn differently than largemouth bass.  They don’t make a “nest” in the way largemouth bass do.  Most are scatter spawners relying on the tides and currents to move their eggs and fry.  Speckled trout come the nearest to spawning something like a largemouth bass where the big females seek out a pothole to find a date.  But once the date is over the eggs do not lie in a “nest” like largemouth bass eggs do with the male protecting the eggs.  The trout eggs are moved by the current eventually ending up in brackish water to begin their growth cycle.  The brackish water is also where very small shrimp, crabs and baitfish all begin their growth and thus the reason for freshwater inflow being so important to the whole coastal fishing scene.  Without freshwater inflow there is no brackish water and no place for very small fish and food to shelter during their early days.  This is also one of the reasons there are class years of fish where one year has many more (or less) juvenile fish recruited into the overall population.  During a drought the young have no place to grow and are quickly consumed by larger fish, leaving no fish for that particular year or class.  During a rainy period more young fish make it through to adulthood and we anglers get to catch more trout over 15 inches just like what we’re experiencing right now.
Trout can move a lot.  A neighbor of mine worked for the Coastal Fisheries and they tagged a trout one day and re-captured it the next day 21 miles away!  That’s a lot of moving.  No doubt bay trout go in and out of the river and creek as the food and temperature change each day.
One of the seasoned anglers I fish with regularly said he had only caught small trout, most under 15 inches, in the creek in warmer months but had caught larger trout up to 28 inches in the same creek during winter months.  Again like the Army Hole or Fish Pond, you don’t see boats lined up in those locations during warmer months but they can get crowded during colder months.  Fish seek out deeper water during cold times and then return to their daily search along the flats as the water warms and conditions become more favorable.  Captain Sally Black used to call it their Bomb Shelter and that’s a pretty good way to think about it.  When the fish are getting blitzed by bad weather they seek out protection and warmth of the deeper water.  When the rough weather is over they search for food on the flats and in shallower water.  Next front hits and it’s back to the bomb shelter whether it’s the river, creek or a deep place in the bay.
Great subject and fun discussion.
Colby S.
Never apologize for any response, we are fortunate that you take the time to educate us.  Basically all that fits what I have learned the last 4 years.  As I found today, there are a few fish in the creek, but it is just not quite cold enough to be all on like it will be soon.  Thinking about it really drives home what a small, or big, window it really is.  Conditions all have to come together at the right time, and then it may not last long.  And thanks for the spawning info as I really had no knowledge of exactly how it happened.  So it still comes down to 2 things, temperature and bait.  The rest of the conditions, color, clarity, flow, are all secondary as long as they “normal”.  And your example of the swimming trout was interesting.  I am sure you read that electronic tagging study that really proved just how far trout will go.  So it really makes sense when you have a river with deep water off of a shallow bay that the fish would flock there if the water cools enough.   Last, I hope to make a trip to Louisiana this year, it is always a good trip.   Thanks again.

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So by time some of you read this I will be on the water throwing topwater.  Billy’s suggestion to fish topwater on some shallow stuff down river is a good one, and is the plan for first things in the morning.   And before I let you go there is this.

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Fresh speckled trout, gulf shrimp over squash and pepper white wine reduction cream sauce, with steamed broccoli.

Not only is Ro a great all around fisherman, he is a heck of a cook.  That looks freakin’ fabulous.  I told you those Austin Boys know how to eat!  Thanks for posting Ro, couldn’t resist grabbing it and sharing it with these folks.

So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto Creek 11/9/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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It looks like the wind could reach 20mph today so I decided to leave the trout for tomorrow.  But there are clouds, and when combined with the wind and slowly dropping water temp, there is a good chance to catch some big bass today.  And the winds will be dropping off the next 2 days and it will be back in the water tomorrow.  Got to get my monies worth out of those fancy waders!

Weather

73/58  Cloudy with stray showers.  20% chance rain.  Wind NNE  10 – 20mph.

Lake Level

Current   95.58   Last Trip  95.56   (Up a hair)

Solunar Times

Best Times    5:44A – 7:44A        6:09P – 8:09P    Good Time  11:31A – 1:31P

I waited around until the roofers got started on the garage and then headed to the lake.  it was feakin’ perfect, wind and heavy clouds.  The water temp was down to 75 degrees, about 4 cooler than last week.  Today was going to be a buzzbait all day for big fish thing.  There are days in the fall when big fish get after it, and there was no doubt today was it.  On the first bank I got a great bite.  So why I am so pissed off right now?

p1020137She blasted that buzzbait with all her might.

So now I am really pumped up.  It is not even noon and I am going to have the day of the year on big fish.  I know where they are and what they  want.  It is all good, until the trolling motor quit!

I just had it fixed and this is only the second time I have used it.  They had it 3 weeks and this is the best they could do?  Man this boat crap drives me nuts.  Of course the more you use one the more chance of stuff breaking, but in this case obviously it was not fixed properly.  I am not one of those guys who bitches about the bill, I just want it done right, the first time.

So now what to do?  I am not taking it back to the same folks, I should have known better.  Now it is just a question of whether I take it to Houston, Corpus, or Kresta’s in Edna.  I have heard from a few of you, any of the rest of you have an opinion send it along.  But that thing is going somewhere tomorrow.  The last couple of places I have lived had a trolling motor repair shop so having to take it somewhere is a hassle I am not used to.  There really is a good business out there for someone.  But oh well, at least I caught a nice one.

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And of course the Mad Trout Fisherman is still at it.

Matagorda island , holding quality fish! After a week of putting the smack down on them last wk. i couldnt hardly wait to go this week. With rain and ne wind predicted to blow. We said the heck with it and went anyway. Glad we did had a fun trip, my diehard fishing partner, and my diehard duck hunting buddy! Was a good recipe for whatever the weather does, we aint scared attitudes(crazy) is why i love these guys! My suggestion to folks is dress for success. And follow the bait!!! The lure has been the same for us for about a month wsky/chart hogie. Presentation the same let it sink slow roll the bottom. Reds on shoreline and trout chest deep. The big girls are here had many trout over 5 lbs last week, and one 71/2 lbr .

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With a couple sdr on some really good ones! (Sdr) short distance release. I saw ur big school of jacks today. Thanks for that report the other day cause i took a second look , and let our group know what was up. That would of burned an hour. We kept it simple today, and just threw plastic. We have followed a school of bait from aries bay towards rockport over the last week back to pats bay . The fishing is good hope yall go get em. Nasty weather equals a duck hunt in order, so being in construction and wet ground. Time to pull out the a5 browning try a little blast then cast tomorrow. Thanks chad.

First I am with you on the weather thing.  Often some of the worst weather leads to some really great fishing.  And on the bait.  I so often think in small terms, do I see bait before I stop.  Your experience shows that the bait moves in BIG bunches, lock on them and follow and we see your results.  And it was this month last year when we did real well from Cottonwood Bayou to Aires Point.  It is a long way down there but sure can be worth the trip.  I will be back at it wading probably tomorrow and will keep using your technique.  It put a big trout in the boat for me this weekend and I am anxious to keep working on it.  And send us some duck pictures, I still think they look better than they taste!  Thanks again.

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And before I could get this report up Chad came back with the goods.

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Cast and Blast!

I always thought it should be blast and cast as you usually hunt first, but either way things are hot in the South Texas outdoors and will only get better.  Thanks Chad.

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And I got this comment on the run away trolling motor.

Thank You for the great report. I have not made a poc trip in 2 months. So your report filled a void for me. I also had a great laugh at the fire extinguisher story not out of any ill will but simply this is the kind of stuff that has a habit if following me around!! Glad it all worked out and Thanks again for this site!
RL.

I appreciate your kind comments and what else is there to say about a possessed trolling motor.  At least no body died!  And don’t feel alone with stuff following you around, I have to have 2 boats just to keep on the water.  Keep on reading, thanks.

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

So this morning (Thursday) I will be taking it somewhere.  As usual with boat stuff there is a point of diminishing return.  Is it worth fixing?  How much do you want to spend on a 7 year old trolling motor?  It can be pretty easy to just buy a new one and get it over with, but $1000 for new vs. a couple of hundred for the fix is a tough call.  We all have those little things on the boat that aren’t quite up to snuff, but the trolling motor for bass fishing is a manadatory.  So wish me luck, another case of B.O.A.T.  Keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto Creek Monday 11/8/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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It is Monday so it must be fishing Coleto Creek.  On the radar it looked like a pretty good rain storm went through there early this morning so I did not get in a hurry.  It was 10 am by time I slid the boat off the trailer.   It has been a while since I was there and the first thing I noticed was how far down it is.  But it was cloudy with a light wind and I had a pretty good feeling about things.

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(Thanks for the share Robert.)

Lake Level  Current  95.56   Last Trip  95.78    (The decline continues.)

Buzzbait Bite Beginning

I headed up lake intending to fish it all, buzzbait, senko, swim jig, and topwater.  And before I quit I caught fish on all of them.  Don’t interpret that as I killed them, it was not like that.  Starting with a buzzbait no bites, then a swim jig, one small one.  When I got to an area of wood I pitched the senko as I have been doing and there was obvious fish on wood.  Actually the first one boiled a buzzbait and that started it.

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                                                  A nice average today.

I caught the first good one and 4 or 5 more, losing another really good fish, all on the Senko.  After doing that a while it was time for some serious buzzbait fishing.

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                             The most explosive strikes in a long  time.

The first one absolutely exploded on it.  At that point I cranked up the trolling motor and started covering water.  It was not a bite after bite thing, but the ones who did made about as much noise as a bass can possibly make when it engulfs a buzzbait.  There never was a “place” that was any better than another, but when you found one who wanted it was a thing of beauty.

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    First fall topwater minnow fish.                       One ugly snake!

Before I left up lake I saw this big ass snake swimming the lake.  That is not a regular occurrence on Coleto.  Snakes swimming as a rule have a real short life span.  Down lake I got very few bites but kept after it.  In a small pocket I had “the bite” and flat missed her.  She was one of those Coleto big girls who looked an easy 7+.

One of the patterns that has been so consistent on Coleto in the winter is the minnow bait topwater bite.  As I went past a log and got no response on the buzzbait a quick toss with the minnow bait produced a fish.  That twitching a minnow bait on top has been a pretty consistent pattern for me the last few winters and early spring.  But with the water temp still 83 degrees we have a ways to go for a “winter pattern.”  Besides the big snake the deer were running everywhere,  the Eagle was back, several osprey were harassing it, and I saw my first big bunch of geese.  Nothing like the great outdoors in the fall.  With the front coming, which will cool us off just a little, our fishing has nowhere to go but up.

Considering it was a short midday trip the results were not to bad.  While there were not tons of fish shallow, the good ones are wanting to go shallow and the clouds which should accompany the front will keep the fishing good on the lake.  Gets me thinking about a trip to Fayette.  And the crappie are continuing to tear it up on the lake with lots of slabs making the cleaning table.

Net or Boga?

The last couple of trips, including 3 days with the Austin Boys, I have used a net instead of the Boga Grip because putting fresh fish on the menu was the plan.  Makes sense the net should be better.  I had been using the Boga exclusively for quite a while.  It has shown me that I think for wading I am going back to the Boga.  Several things have led me to that conclusion.  First, I still lose the occasional fish who was in the net and for one reason or another manages to make an escape.  The Boga might be harder to “catch” them with than the net, but once you got them they are not going anywhere.

Using a topwater as much as I do can lead to real hassles with trout or reds thrashing around in the net, finally getting the hooks tangled in the no tangle webbing.  And then twisting the hook in the net next to their face and having to untangle the net from the hook before removing the hook from the fish.  Unhooking a topwater out of the face of a big redfish is a lot easier when they are swinging from the Boga.  And occasionally the net floats around and the stringer gets tangled with the fish swimming around you.  And the final thing the original Boga has going for it is how really well made it is.  Mine is over 10 years old and looks and works like new.  It is actually the best made tool in my fishing arsenal.  So though they are a little pricey, it is worth every dime.  That thing will be working fine when I am a memory.

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And I got this question from Tomcat the river rat.

Hi Doug this it TomCat. The wife wanted to take the 2 granddaughters somewhere during the Thanksgiving Holidays, she ask me where I wanted to go and I told her anywhere just book it! She informed me that we will be going to Fairfied Bay Arkansas for 4 nights Thanksgiving week. Then it hit me (DUH) that you are a former guide from Ark, I thought who else to ask about fishing that lake.
So can you tell me how to enjoy fishing the lake and how to do it. Or you can just come up and show me….LOL
Thanks Doug

TomCat

I will see you before you go but here is a little info on Fairfield Bay.  It is a big resort complex on the north side of Greers Ferry Lake.  It is a beautiful lake, deep and clear, in the mountains in the central part of the state.  It is known for its striper fishing, and has some real monsters, along with some big hybrids, and I mean line stretching big fish.  It also has some huge walleyes, as in up to 15lbs, along with good bass fishing.  The river below the dam is the Little Red River which is home to trout, and if my memory serves me a brown  trout caught there was a world record at over 40lbs by a guy named Rip.  And when he died he was stood up in his casket at his wake dressed in his waders and fishing stuff.  My kind of guy.  That river is always good year round, and there should be several access points where you can fish from the bank.  Or you can save your pennies and hire a guide for a cool float trip.  Trust me you will catch trout, probably lots of them.  The striper fishing that time of year is also very good.  Almost any tackle store in the area can fill you in on that.  I only guided one of my old regulars on it once to catch stripers, but it fishes like all the highland lakes.  Trust me, it is a far cry from your river haunts but a great place to vacation.  Have a good time, wish I could join you!

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And I got this great question from Matt, who actually thought about trout and the river.

I was wondering if they staged outside of the river this time of year waiting on the temps to drop and bring them in. Just thinking in weather like this if they would be stacked on near by reefs outside of the river.

Very interesting thought.  The fish have been making that annual migration for eons.  It is not a conscious thing so the question seems to come down to a pretty simple either/or.  Does the slow spreading of warmer water into the cool bay draw them in, or does that collective memory position them on the reefs waiting for whatever triggers the big move?  That is a question for the biologists.  But I do know one thing, if you are correct there is the proverbial honey hole just waiting to be discovered.  Other than a tracking study, which would help answer the question, the real way to know is go.  I really like it when readers pose interesting questions like this.  It makes us think, and ultimately makes us better fishermen.  Plus, if you are the guy who finds them positioned in big bunches it would be a big deal, and you would get to knock the living snot out of them.  Thanks for the question, feel free to comment anytime.

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(I have not written anything about the election as who you or I like is irrelevant to whether they are hitting topwater or croaker.  This is a fishing blog, but I do have these first, and last, comments on the election.  Sorry.)

It is Election Day and watching all the folks lined up to vote this morning is actually inspiring.  As I write this America is making one of its biggest decisions in decades.  It has been a long crazy campaign, but today it is finally over, thank God.  So I hope you voted, or don’t bitch.  And no matter who wins it is time for our federal government to do SOMETHING on a ton of important issues.  And if they don’t it is time to starting voting them all out regardless of party next go round.  Time for term limits for every government employee, at all levels.  And last, whoever wins, wins.  They will be the President and that is the end of it and the loser needs to get over it.  And if you don’t respect the outcome you might be part of the problem.  Time for the politicians to get back to really running the country.  That is the last politics you will hear from me, I could not resist, it was that pesky 1st Amendment thing.

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It is pouring right now.  We have had a shower or two here and there the last couple of days.  This on the other hand is a real rain. Not sure what the temperature of the rain is but sticking my arm out the garage it is cooler than the bay, river, and lake by a good bit.  The big issue of course is the rivers and creeks.  Will it lead to that ugly cool water that really can have a depressing effect on the trout in the river?  Looking at the radar it will be out of here soon so it shouldn’t do much more than cool the water off some.

There is really only one way to know, hit the river again.  I think a good plan is the suggestion Billy sent us the other day.  Fish topwater, especially in the afternoon on those flatter banks close to the bay.  Putting it in writing makes me want to hitch the boat and head there right now.  I will be fishing several days starting back up tomorrow.  Tough when your biggest decision is back to the bay and wade, hit Fayette, or smack them in the river.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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