Port O’connor 10/5/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Looking at the numbers for tomorrow it has potential.   Hopefully when I get there at daylight the water will be running hard.  I have not seen a low tide in the last few trips so tomorrow I will fish until dead low.  And as a side note, Monday the fish bit pretty hard on topwater in the wind, so if my first place or two does not pan out I may give the wind a try again.  The basic plan is to fish the island tomorrow.  With Monday’s results  I am really anticipating a good day on Wednesday.

Weather

91/71  Partly cloudy becoming cloudy in afternoon.  20% chance of rain.  Wind SE 10 – 15 (No wind to speak of.)

Tides

High   1:21 AM     1.3
Low   2:50 PM     0.7

Solunar Times

  • Best Times      1:20A – 3:20A
  •                           1:43P – 3:43P
  • Good Time      7:32A – 9:32A  (Oh yeah.)

Bite After Bite!

It was flat calm when I dropped the boat in water at Froggie’s before daylight.  There were a few trucks in the parking lot and no one off loading.  As I headed down the barge canal the water was not moving, it was slick as glass.  Today it was straight to the area on Pringle shoreline I like to fish.  And I will admit to opening it up a little and flying across the dead slick bay.  It was beautiful out there and I was having one of those “You are a lucky SOB and it is great to be alive”.

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It was like glass.

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Bite number 1 – 6 steps from the boat.

I want to get the picture thing out of the way.  These are just a small part of what I caught today.  Some days it is just your day, today everything was absolutely perfect.  2 or 3 jumped on the topwater right away as I worked my way to the drain.  And low and behold the water started moving out, and there were rafts of mullet getting worked over.  Sometimes it is as good to be lucky, and my timing was perfect.  I tossed the topwater a few times over the deeper part of the drain without success.

Switching to plastics, I would toss it across, let it hit bottom and then hop it, letting it drift with the tide down the center of the channel, and it would be a bite, and a bite, and more bites.  There is no way to guess how many I caught without moving a single step.

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                  Keepers, small ones, and a bunch in between.

As the tide began to really flow the water really started clearing.  I saw lots of small reds, plus a couple of hooters, along with sheepsheads swim by me.  The Cocoons let me see a couple of trout roll over as they ate something.  It was clear.  I stood in that one spot and whacked them.  After a while for something different I threw the twitch bait and caught 4 or 5 on it, still in the same spot.  The only thing that did not cooperate was a flounder.  We probably need the next moon and just a little cooler water to get that going. Finally I left them biting right along, it was time for a little topwater.  As I keep saying, the Wade Right belt lets me carry all the crap I need, and again not having to go back to the boat made a big difference.

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                                        Probably a dozen this size.

I keep giving the Chug Bug a chance, and though I caught a couple small ones it was back to the Bagley Knocker B.  Not sure why they went nuts for the Chug Bug a couple of weeks ago, but they are not having it now.  From probably 10 until they quit at 1 it was a steady, not spectacular, bite.  Both trout and reds were scattered on the flat and were willing to have a go at the topwater.  And you have to give redfish credit, when they really want it they want it.  One of these exploded on it in one of those bites that keeps me throwing it.

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I just can’t put that topwater down.  If they keep hitting it I keep throwing it.

Everywhere you looked you could see water moving, bait jumping, everything was active.  They kept after the topwater, and while I know I could have put more on the end of the line with plastics, I just love having them blowing up on it.

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           The shore line was loaded with some really small reds.

The reason I showed you the little guy was that bank had lots of them on it.  I caught 5 or 6 and missed that many rats.  I could see them with the Cocoons, and when I would see one roll over I would toss the plastic and get a bite.  It was quite the school of what must have been first year rats.

So I moved out to about thigh deep water and would fan cast the area, then move 10 steps and do it again.  The water was dropping and clearing to flat gin clear.  On this particular bank I catch them in the potholes when the water drops, but today they were not related to anything particular.  Some were shallow and some were out in about 3′ of water.  They did want the topwater fairly quickly in a walk the dog retrieve.  Finally about 1 the water quit moving, the bait disappeared, the fish quit, and so did I.

All in all it was a great day of fishing.  If I had just stayed in the drain throwing plastics until the water quit moving it would have been really ugly.  It was one of those days when there is no counting, they just kept coming.  And though I did not stick the big one today, it more than made up for it in the sheer number of bites.  I have not had that many bites in a morning since last spring some time.   And the redfish are getting ready to go nuts.  Some cool nights and it will be on.  And it was good to see the number of small rats, it takes small ones to make big ones.

Again, like Monday, they bit the towater until at least noon.  Today it was a slight ripple and gin clear water, Monday it was blowing, rough, and had some color to it.  My only comment on that, they are biting.  End of story.   If you can get a falling tide in the morning there are plenty of fish to be caught.  So I will be back out there soon, and I do mean soon.  The only thing that did not happen was since they kept biting I never did get back in the boat, or move and try another spot.  But you know the old saying, “Don’t leave fish to find fish.”  So next trip I will try a different place, and I can think of several places that might be loaded.

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

When I posted that you all should send me some deer, I know you guys are out there, Austin Aaron came through.  I actually figured I might hear from him as I knew he was a committed hunter.

Hey Doug,

I’ve been following the blog but haven’t had much to report lately.  Looks like you had a great day on Monday.  I spent some time on Mustang Island with the family last month and fished the Wilson’s Cut area for the first time.  With no knowledge of the area I didn’t expect much action but actually had a great morning with three nice reds (including one at 32”) and plenty of small trout.  A bull red can really pull the kayak a long way!  It was fun to fish some new territory.

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I can smell the backstraps sizzling in the pan!

I’ve been anxious for bow season to roll around and opening morning didn’t disappoint as I connected with a nice buck I’ve been watching just west of Austin on a small low fence property that’s adjacent to some neighborhoods.  Glad he piled up after 40 yards because the grass is high and full of chiggers!  Gross 138 for those that like scores.

I hope to get down to POC later this week if work permits and will let you know how it goes.

Aaron

Nice buck!  And taking him with a bow only makes it all that much sweeter.  And it is always fun to fish new places, doing that over the years has been an adventure.  I will always look back on my first trip to the Everglades/Ten Thousand Islands.  I towed all the way there, knew no one and nothing, and it was an adventure.  Fishing new places always makes us  better fisherman, and helps keep us out of a rut.  Good to hear from you and will be looking forward to a report if you get down this way.  The fishing is really improving so good luck.  And the rest of you – whether you catch it, shoot it, spear it, we want to see your pictures.

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

Killer Deer

And speaking of deer, I read an interesting Washington Post article the other day.  I did not know they kill more Americans than any other animal.  Deer are involved in 1 million accidents that kill 200 people, the average repair claim is $4000.  In Texas we have a 1 in 288 chance of hitting a deer.  So time to thin the herd, when you were hunting you didn’t realize you are actually saving lives.  So whack em’ and sack em’.  Nothing like a little backstrap.  Yummmm.

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

I got one of the most interesting question concerning tides from Steve in Waco.  I was going to answer him from my experience in general terms and then I got to reading online, both articles and fisherman comments, and realized there is lots to digest.  Before I was done yesterday I had over 9 pages of notes, with a little more reading to do.  It kind of reminded me of researching the law, I want to give the best answer I can.  Reading what I have so far, I really am learning something.  And I also found a couple of sites that can help make an intelligent choice on where and when to fish.  So Steve, I am not ignoring you, in fact it is just the opposite.  In the next few days I will distill all the information I researched on tides into something we can all learn from.  So thanks for your question, the answer is on the way.  The topic will require it’s own post.

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

So what a day.  Both days this week on the bay have been good.  It sure makes it worth it to get up early and be in the water at daylight.  And it has been nice to not have to move.  Fish a good bank with cover, grass, a drain, some bait and the  fish are there.  It makes me excited just thinking about the next couple of months.  Big fish time is coming and it will be back to trying to break 30″.  Tomorrow it is off to Coleto with my buddy Bobby.  As good as it has been going maybe a big one is in my future.  Nice to have someone take me occasionally.  Fall fishing is on and I intend to keep after it.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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We are having fun now. 10/3/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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There is nothing bad to say about tomorrow’s forcast.  Light winds along with a good tide and solunar times should combine for a pretty good day of fishing.   So the plan is off early to POC and in the water as close to daylight as I can get.  I haven’t decided where I am fishing today, it will just have to wait until I turn left or right down the barge canal in the morning.

Weather

89/68  Sunshine   Wind ENE 5 – 10  (15mph and never slowed a bit.)  Chance of rain 10%

Tides    

High   4:33 AM     1.2     Low   1:39 PM     0.8

Solunar Times

  • Best     12:32A – 2:32A
  •              12:54P – 2:54P
  • Good     6:43A – 8:43A  (They bit on and off al morning and into the afternoon.)

Making Good Choices

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You know how the old folks would always harp on making good choices in life?  Well this morning I did.  On the way to Froggie’s I could tell the wind was blowing, and it was not 5 – 10 by any means.  When I got to the ramp it was blowing right down the pike.  I was headed to the island to wade but when I got in open water it was clear it was blowing right on the island.  So I made a good choice and turned around.

It was blowing steadily right down the whole bay system, and it was fairly rough in open water.  So back to the Barroom Bay shoreline, which had wind on it, but not as bad, and the water was perfect.  That is a great redfish bank when the water is way up in the grass, and the fish did not disappoint.

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It was a Knocker B morning.

First up I tossed the Chug Bug with that much wave action, and it did not produce a bite.  So next was the slow sinking twitch bait, and a funny thing happened, the wanted it on top.  I was missing them, but it seemed top was the way to go so I got out the Bagley Knocker B.  From then on it was steady.  I missed a ton, but had lots of bites.

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This was a hoss!

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This one ate the Knocker B head first.  It always kills me how a redfish can get that thing head first all the way down their throat.

I stayed in a little over knee deep water throwing in to 6″ and out to 4′.  It was rougher than I like it for topwater, and normally do not throw it with that much wind, but they were hitting it.  If I stuck 1 out 5 bites on top that would probably be stretching it.  And though the trout were cooperative, they did not amount to much.  I probably caught a dozen anyway over the morning.  And just maybe 1 or 2 might have touched the line, if I stood on them.  But as usual I was not keeping fish so any trout on the end of the line is a good trout.

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The size the trout today.  But they were sure biting.

After not getting any size to the trout I finally put down the topwater and picked up plastics.  The wind was blowing right along and by now there were white caps in Barroom.  The high bank was just enough to keep it to a dull roar on this side of Barroom.   I was throwing the 1/32 head and that VooDoo Shad by Nasty Baits,  (Brown/chartreuse tail.) and they were liking it.  One advantage to the straight tail on the VooDoo Shad is they are biting the paddle of other baits, making short work of a plastic.  And I do like how soft it is.

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This one fought like crazy on the light spinning rod and 8lb test.

It was tough fishing that light plastic.  To get them to bite it had to be cast straight across the wind, then almost fished like you were in a big current.  Just sliding it along and I could barely feel them, and they got me way more than I got them.  I kept throwing to shallow and deep and you never knew where the bite would come.  Several were there when I lifted up and were gone before I got a hook in them with that big bow in my line.

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A great way to end the morning.

The reds never did move all that shallow, considering how much flooded grass there was.  As the morning topwater bite slowed the water was finally starting to get a little color to it.  Most of the fish were in 2 – 3 feet of water, and the trout were mixed in with the reds.  Keeping on the edge of the clear water, which was about 2 foot, and fishing both towards the bank and out produced strikes.  It was basically one of those keep yourself and a bait in the water, and you would get bit.

Finally I headed back to the boat for a cup of coffee and it was 12:30.  I had been in the water over 5 hours.  So with the wind whipping it up, and another spot a big run away, I called it a morning.  So it was a good choice to change plans midstream.  One of those times when knowing how a particular places will be relative to the tide and wind was the ticket.  No guess as to how many I caught, but it was a really good morning and the reds are really beginning to move.  Fall is coming and it is about to get ugly.

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

It was nice to get an improved update on the fishing at Fayette from Rusty, our Fayette fanatic.

Happy to report fishing has improved on Fayette. Fish have started to move out of the deep water back up to the 2-10′ depths. Caught some very nice fatties this past week. Fishing Bastrop next week, so I should have a report for you. I think the extra rain water and cooler nights have helped. Water temps two weeks ago was 95-97 degrees this week it was 85. Love fall fishing!
Tight lines,
Rusty

Amazing what a few cool nights with dropping water temperature will do.  When the Fayette fish are in that depth I can actually catch a couple.  Can’t wait to toss that jerk bait!  So Bobby if you are reading this we need to get there sometime this fall.  Thanks Rusty, will be looking forward to hearing how it goes on Bastrop.

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

I hope any of you that are bow hunters got one on the ground this weekend.  We love to get your hunting pictures so if you kill something cool drop me a comment and I will get my email address to you so you can send some pictures.

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

I really am getting a case of saltwater fever.  The fishing is so much better than it was, or I am fishing better, but whatever, there is a good bite.  And with our temps moderating and the water temps slowly dropping, the fishing is only going to get better.  I intend to take full advantage of it.  It will be off to the Upper Laguna in 2 weeks, which I am getting pretty excited about.  And having some flexibility as to the specific days, maybe I can hit it just right.  But until then there are some places I want to fish way the hell and gone down the island.  Time to do a month search on the blog and see where I was catching them this time the last couple of years.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Line

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The Wade Right Tackle Box

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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One of the joys of doing this blog is of course the fishing stuff.  Now you would think that getting free stuff, or big discounts, would be the best thing about it.  In my case that is actually secondary.  I have always loved “the stuff” from the time I was a little tadpole.  Loved the lures, fishing poles, catfish bait, Outdoor Life fishing stories, nets, it did not matter.  I just loved “the stuff”.  So when I got a chance to be one of the first to use and review Coastal Fishing Gear’s Wade Right Tackle Box I was all about it.  Gave me a perfect excuse to mess with the stuff.  But seriously, this thing is flat out cool.

The New Wade Right Tackle Box

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I really like the new Wade Right Tackle Box by Coastal Fishing Gear.  It can best be described as cool, just the right size for my wade fishing needs.  And the way it integrates the small boxes is innovative and a great use of space.  It folds like a standard box and comes with a shoulder strap if needed.

Being well made this thing is virtually water proof.  I need to make a comment concerning any claim, by anybody, that anything is waterproof.  A plumber once told me there is only one place in the world water will not go, that is up a frog’s butt.  But with that caveat, the box lid has a rubber gasket and locks the lid down tight as a drum when closed.

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                       Top view.                                                   Small boxes pulled out.

Looking at the first picture above you can see the carry handle and what looks like 2 black buckles.  That is exactly what they are.  In a really cool feature, especially for those of us that like wading with a small waterproof box.  In a cool slot there are 2 small boxes that slide in and lock below the bottom of the box.  It is not open into the box itself, reducing chances of water entering the big box, cool idea.  The 2 small boxes are also basically waterproof and snap into the buckle chest high on the Wade Right belt, which I like for keeping it dry.

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                           Top open.                                                     Shelves rotated.

When you open the box it looks like above.  The 2 top trays rotate open and you have access to the bottom.  And I like there are no moving parts on the trays to break with use.  The dividers allow you to partitian the bottom and trays into whatever size you need.  In my case, it was 4 sections in 2 different sizes on the bottom and different sizes on the trays, all which fit the stuff I use just right.

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If you need more than this there is no hope for you.

Once I had it all organized I had all the jig heads and hooks I could ever need separated by size and weight in the shelf on the right, and a bunch of topwaters on the left.  By dividing the bottom of the box I was able to make 4 compartments.  One bottom compartment has 6 topwaters in it, one has 8 spinnerbaits, one about 6 or 7 new lures still in the box, and the last compartment in the bottom has 9 different bags of plastics in the colors and styles I use.  It could easily hold another 4 or 5 bags if needed.  When combined with the stuff I load in the small boxes the day before a wade, this box holds a lot of stuff.  And while there may be some seasonal changes, it just boils down to what is working at the time, and this box will hold it all.  If I can, which is most of the time, my plastics are glued to the jig head in advance.   That makes it nice as it tends to get me prepared in advance and ready to hit the water without messing around with baits.

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One of 2 small boxes and the New Gulp box.    A small box ready for a wade.

If you notice in the small box there are 3 spare hard baits, 2 topwater and 1 twitch bait, along with 8 pre-glued plastics ready to go.  Generally that should be enough to limit out without having to return to the boat.  And with 2 of the small boxes it is possible to make a plastics box and a hard bait box if that is the way you like to carry your stuff.

The smaller blue box is the new Gulp box.  It looks blue because inside is a soft rubber try that you can take out and clean.  In the case of this box it really is waterproof, both ways if you get my drift.  Somehow, some way, Gulp juice always seems to get all over everything.  Not sure how that happens, but it does.  This box has a side set screw that makes it air/water proof when tightened.  Tim has had some Gulp in his box hanging for 2 weeks and it has not leaked yet.

Funny this box should appear on my door step now.  A couple of years ago my buddy Aaron basically rigged up a drop shot rig and used 3″ Gulp New Penny shrimp and knocked the doo doo out of stuff.  Since then I have wanted to use that method in the drains for fall flounder.  It should be killer.  So it will be off to Academy to pick up some Gulp.  Guess I will have no excuse now.

 I was really impressed how much this compact box could hold.  I basically emptied a boat bag and my stuff is way more organized.  And if it can keep stuff fairly dry like advertised, it is perfect.  It integrates with the wading belt and the complete wading system Coastal Fishing Gear is developing.  I may be gushing a little over it, but grab your wading bag and this box and you are ready to go.   It should be available on their site soon along with even more cool new products in the works, I will fill you in as they become available.  And like I said above, if you need more room than this you might need to see somebody about your problem.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Keller Bay 9/30/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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It really seems to make a difference in not only where I fish, (Locations and spots.) but more and more how I fish, by just putting down the weather, tides, and solunar times the day before I go.  It seems looking at them together allows me to contemplate the fishing day and just how I might approach it.  (Never forget though, the best time to fish is when you can!)  In this case a light wind will be coming out of the NNE, which is usually good for Kellar Bay.  These tides really give you very little clue due to their flat nature, but looking at the Solunar times tomorrow the best time starts later in the tide and runs until it is full up.  So here is my guess for tomorrow’s trip – no hurry in the morning to Keller Bay, fish my favorite shoreline which will not have any wind, fish until early afternoon, and I should catch some.  So we will see how that projection goes after tomorrow’s fishing.

Weather

84/58  Sunny Skies  Wind 5 – 10 NNE  0% chance of rain

Tides

High   6:42 AM     1.1
Low  12:33 PM     0.9   (Talk about a flat 2 tide day, this is it.)
High   7:29 PM     1.1
Low  11:47 PM     1.0

Solunar Times

  • Best times   10:38A – 12:38P (Yep.)
  •                       11:00P – 1:00A
  • Good time    4:27A – 6:27A
No automatic alt text available.

Keller Bay  –  Making Chicken Salad out of Chicken Stuff

It was hard to believe that after the last 3 months it took a jacket this morning on the way to the first stop.  There were probably 6 trucks at the Keller ramp even though it was barely daylight.  The wind was about 10 out of little more north than the forecast NNE.  Tide was up and the water had a little more tinge to it than I like, but you take it like you find it.

I hopped in the water in on the pasture shoreline right before the sun peaked out in the east.  I should have known better after seeing, and feeling, the water temp.  The water temp according to the GPS was 77, 14 degrees cooler than my last trip.  In fact you could feel the difference in 1 foot of water compared to 3 foot, it definitely cooled off.  But I stuck with it, and what jumped on was a sign of things to come.

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The biggest thing I caught this morning.

The thing I like about that long high bank is you have water out to almost 6 foot on the edge and there is quite a bit of grass from shallow out to 4 foot.  With the tide up I fished real shallow, then a little deeper with the topwater, and only caught 3, that red and 2 small trout.  Today they wanted no part of the Chug Bug and wanted the Knocker B in a walk the dog pattern.  So it was time to switch to plastics.  I started catching them right away on a plastic I had not used before, and they all looked like this.  (In fact all of them did on everything I used today.)

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VooDoo fish.

The trout above made the site it for 2 reasons.  First, I basically caught trout, lots of trout, and they looked just like this.  Second, this was on a plastic that I had not used before.  It is made by a company called Big Nasty Baits, and the one I used was the VooDoo shad in pumpkin/chartreuse, and boy did they like it.  It is a nice soft bait and does have a slot in it if you want to rig it assassin style, but unlike some plastics there is plenty of plastic to hold the jig head on.  I admit I bought them because they were on sale, to bad I didn’t buy a few more bags.  They will definitely make the arsenal.  Check them out, I did and found I like the looks of their original Big Nasty.  It has a small pyramid looking tail which should have a high pitched vibration.  A little something different from most baits.

http://bignastybaits.com/

For about an hour I waded a pretty big area (football field) catching small trout right along, and deep or shallow, that was all I could catch.  So time for another change.  I really am trying to expand my trout horizons.  A bait I promised to get good at is the hard twitch baits.  Never having all that great a luck on them I thought what a good time to try them.  If there is that many here I should be able to keep catching them so a little practice was in order.  By now I was waist deep casting back to 1′ or out to 4′ and there was lots of bait.

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This one thumped it.

It turned out to be the right decision.  The trout never did get bigger, but they sure were willing.  First it was a MirrOLure floater that dives just a hair, and next was the slow sinker/suspender.  A quick little twitch with a pause seemed best.  When throwing it to shallow water, fishing it like a worm to keep it out of the grass worked.  Easy lifting and dropping it I could feel some of them peck it.  I did learn that if you twitch and it ain’t there, they got it.  And basically if you thought you might have felt something it was already to late, so set the hook.  There is lots to learn to become proficient, but it is just another technique to add more trout.  Even though I never put myself with the better trout, it was nice to catch a dozen+ and get a little feel and confidence in the hard twitch baits.

So today was not a total bust, unless I had planned a fish fry.  It seems every once in while you have a day like today, catch the snot out of them, but they don’t amount to nothing.  It was an easy 30 this morning, so I got plenty of chance to practice the twitch bait.  At least I feel confident enough to throw the twitch baits, and I will do it more this fall.

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I forgot to tell you all something that happened when I was fishing the lake Monday.  I saw a big gator try to catch a heron feeding in knee deep water.  He just exploded in a huge boil of water and mud, it was that shallow.  He missed and the heron flew off squaking his head off.  That is the 4th time I have seen them try to hit birds.  Just cool when it happens.

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It was nice to take a couple of days off for a little adult fun in one of those gambling dens.  Nice to tune out every once in while.  But it was also great to be back on the water.  Keller is probably not on the list for a while.  As I spend more time trying to improve my trout fishing means less spinnerbaiting for reds, the usual motivator when I fish Keller.  And reading the Falcon Lake Tackle report on a tournament this weekend makes me want to head that way.  They had a first day leader with 21lbs.  Now that is a good string anywhere, but in this case it is a 3 fish tournament.  I will take a 7lb average all day.  Falcon appears to be getting back it’s Mojo.  The boss is about to start another long stretch so I will be hitting the bay pretty hard.  And I have just about finished a post on a new tackle box from Coastal Fishing Gear and will get it up tomorrow.  It is awesome.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Boat Gremlins 9/26/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Ok weatherman.  For the last 3 days we have had a rainy forecast, but we maybe got a 1/4 inch here at the house.  As I look at the radar storms have been streaming past Victoria and just missing us.  As I prepare this the night before I have decided to take a chance and hit the lake and see if I can get in some fishing even if it rains.  We shall see how it shakes out in the morning.

Weather

84/69  Cloudy with 50% chance rain/thunderstorms  Wind NNE 10 – 15 mph

Tides

High 7:05 am  1.3    Low 9:25 pm

Solunar Times

  • Best  Times    7:48A – 9:48A  (They were biting.)
  •                          8:13P – 10:13P
  • Good TIme    1:35A – 3:35A

I did the official weatherman thing after checking the radar this morning by sticking my head outside.  It was cloudy and warm and there was no thunder off in the distance so it was off to the lake.  Even if it rained it shouldn’t hurt anything, in fact it will help.

The water temp was still 90 degrees near the ramp, and 86 up lake.  The water is still slowly on the decline, it looked to be down over 6″ from last trip.  It is clear at the lower end and milky up lake.

I was hoping the conditions, real cloudy, light winds, and clear water, might get the fish down lake biting.  After fishing several places with topwater, buzzbait, and plastics without a bite it was time to head way up lake.  First stop was the same bank that has been holding them for at least the last month.  I started pitching the watermelon/red stick bait and caught a small one on my first cast.  Then a keeper jumped on.

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The ones that bit ate it.

For the next hour or so they bit right along.  As they have been they were tight to cover, you had to pitch right to it.  Today they were ticking it pretty good, so if you felt anything set the hook.  And a couple of them were really in woody stuff and it took a pretty good tussle to get them out.  But usually if you just let them pull to be sure they are on, then slack and let them work out, they will end up in the boat  Both of them did.

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A nice chunk.

Mixing in buzzbait and swim jig, only the swim jig produced a bite.  And that one swam right at me and by time my pea brain registered it was off.  Other than that, the bite was steady for about an hour or so pitching the stick bait when disaster struck.  The trolling motor decided that I must have some spare money this month because it shot craps.

It is 7 years old and has done yeoman duty.  That thing has towed that boat thousands of miles from the Everglades to Falcon.  Lately it had been turning on when driving to the lake or back.  The handle was getting all kids of sloppy, so who knows.  There was power to the head, and I could hear it clicking when I turned the handle, so it may just be a switch or one of those other electrical gadgets.  So it is already at the trolling motor Doctor.   Hopefully it won’t need a brain transplant.  We shall see.

So I am actually pretty disappointed the trolling motor quit.  But it was not because some mechanical thing broke, it was because conditions were perfect and the fish were biting like crazy.  I put 6 or 7 in the boat pretty quickly after going up lake.  It is about 5pm as I finish this and it is still perfect for bass fishing.  The weather shows a line of heavy thunderstorms headed this way, and they would have bit like crazy as the front arrived.  It would have been a real killing today and I was prepared to keep after it.  Dang it!

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So there you have it.  B.O.A.T., but hopefully it was just be breaking out a few bucks to get the trolling motor fixed.  And here we are again, liking the 2 boat thing.  Since it is off the Mako that will not prevent using it for wading, and the skiff has a trolling motor if I head to the lake.  I think this is an omen, talk about selling one and this happens.  Oh well, at least I am not out of commission.

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 After our minnow fiasco the other day I got this question from Jim.

As usual Doug THANKS for all the reports. I need the phone number to the store where you purchase your minnows. I know the store I scouted the entire park out in preparation for fishing for Bass and Crappie this fall. I would hate to get there at dark 30 and enjoy the outcome you experienced.

Much Appreciated

We get them at the Damn Store but there is another place in town.  We went there saturday and they were not there but did answer the phone number on the sign.  Looks like you can easily check the night before and make sure of time and whether they have the stuff you need.  Marsha’s Bait Shop is a couple of blocks off business 59 as you head out of town towards Coleto. 361-212-5516.  I would definitely contact her, it is only a couple blocks off 59, but a little tough to find.  The adddress is on her facebook page.  Good to hear from you, I will hold on to your comment, just might stop and check on my way through Seadrift.  Thanks.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marshas-Bait-Shop/408259172614037

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On a personal note I want to send along my best wishes to my mother-in-law.  Joy is recovering from hip surgery number 2 in a month.  Hope you are feeling better and get on your feet soon.  And my brother Kelly is finally getting over his broken leg and is back in action.  Ever notice how stuff comes in bunches?  Hopefully that is it for a while on the family medical front.

That is it for today.  I am going to take a couple of days off, then to the Gulf I go.  The weather is finally going to straighten out and I am itching for some topwater action.  And if any of you have any questions, reports, or comments, send them along.  I always like to hear from you no matter what you have to say.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines.

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Sunday Ramblings 9/25/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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It is Sunday morning, though I have not been fishing since Friday there are several things I wanted to share with you.  All I have to say is the fishing is improving daily and it is going to be a great fall.  So lets get to it.

Big Black Drum

Besides being irritated that we could not get minnnows yesterday, I got even more irritated when it did not rain at the house the rest of the day.  Then when I get up this morning all that rain that was absolutely going to drown us has not materialized.  Heck I would have taken Jeffish and Korbin today.  Dang weatherman, it is all his fault.  Then I got the following from Jeffish, it looks like things worked out just fine.

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What a fish.  A mug only a mother could love!

After our failed crappie trip and chance of rain Korbin was not having it so we headed to Indianola Fishing Marina. Within seconds of arriving Korbin is catching live bait on his perch pole and into the bait bucket. We caught everything from little snappers to dogfish and couldn’t keep bait in the water as the tide began moving out. Then after a pause we caught several sand trout. Found out from a marina employee they would cook what you caught for 5 bucks so fresh caught trout filets with side of fries and hush puppies for supper. Yum! Says Korbin. After some rockin live music by 1 Nation I was asked to jump start a crabber’ s truck and for payment half a dozen live crab. Lights on the peir and here come the black drum. Guy next to me broke one off before he caught a nice one. I broke off two using my superior Wal-Mart pole rigged up with crab before I landed this beast. Nice fight and nice crowd cheering us on at the Marina. Korbin is satisfied but is ready to go fish somewhere again this morning.  And here is a blacktip a guy next to us caught.
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Korbin doing what all fishing kids will do, playing with the shark.
 
Sweet.  Fries and hush puppies with fresh filets.  Then a epic battle with a giant drum on sturdy Wal-Mart gear in front of the cheering crowd.  What could be better than that!  And the rest of you, if you want to catch a true trophy drum, from now until Christmas the pier at Indianola Marine is the place to be.  There have been tons of monsters like the one above taken there, and Jeff’s post tells you all you need to know.  Dark, crab, and heavy tackle is the size of it.  Thanks for the report and the picture of that ridiculous fish.
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I had not heard from Rusty, our Bastrop/Fayette expert, in a while.  I should have known after the whippin’ the Aggies put on my Hogs he would have something to say.

Gig’em Aggies Whoop!!!! Having pork chops tonight in honor of our victory. Arkansas QB is the real deal, NFL stuff. Fayette and Bastrop has been tough fishing. Hope the cooler weather coming changes that
Tight lines
Rusty

First to the game.  For a while I wasn’t sure who was interested in winning.  Both teams coughed it up, but when it came down to brass tacks the Aggies defense in the red zone was strong and may help carry them the rest of the year.  We were down there on the 2 several times, you gave us plenty of chances, but we could not punch it across.  And that was the end of that.  And you are so right about Allen, he is accurate and rarely does something stupid.  But now that we have played the Aggies I can get on board – Beat Bama!

Sorry to hear it is tough on both lakes, but it does not surprise me as Coleto has been spotty also.  I will be heading that way sometime in the near future.  Just waiting on those cool nights to get them active.  So here is hoping the fishing improves.  As usual good to hear from you.

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This summer was so hot it was hard to get motivated with the fishing and the blog.  I think some of that is the knowledge that I can fish whenever I want, for whatever I want, wherever I want.  It makes it so easy to go tomorrow, or write about that another day.  It can be hard to keep motivated with the time and expense needed to keep plugging this thing along.  Then I get the occasional comment like this one from The Mowdy.

I love reading your stuff. Look forward to it every day!

Thanks, and I really do mean it.  I try to make the blog interesting and entertaining, fishing reports aside.   And you can tell from the last couple of weeks that I am excited about the fishing and consequently writing a lot more.  I really appreciate you guys who have stuck with me along this journey.  It is over 5 years now, and there has been over a half a million visits to my site.  But it is still the core of you that have supported me from the beginning.  So my thanks is the best I can do for your loyalty.

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And speaking of keeping motivated it is so cool to be working with Coastal Fishing Gear.  Here is a response from Ken to my Facebook post on the Wade Right.

Nice! I’ve sure enjoyed my set of gear. 😎

That is the very thing I am talking about.  Telling you all about something that works and then getting feedback from you.  In the next week or so I will do a post about their cool new tackle boxes.  The big one is freakin’ awesome and I am playing with it like a little kid at Christmas.  Initially fishing reports were the primary reason I started this, but it has morphed into a general fishing blog.  So having them on board is a great motivator that keeps me writing.  Plus, wading time is here, big fish time is here, and their products will get a work out during this great time to be in the water.  I look forward to posting reviews on their great stuff.

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Ro, one of the Austin Boys, is catching some good fish on Lake Travis.  While I rarely hear anyone extolling the virtues of fishing Travis, Ro has sure changed my perspective on the lake.  Ro is an all around fisherman, a known striper killer, bass fisherman, and the wading beastmaster.  His wading prowess is legendary and the stories are something.  And on a personal note he can fix an eye good as new, and I can not thank him enough.  So when I saw these picture I wanted to share them with you.

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Ro’s son Michael with a nice Guadalupe bass.

Ro filled me in on this fish when I commented how it looks like a Kentucky and whether this was “a good one”.

Similar to kentucky spotted but the horizontal lines on the belly define it as guadalupe. This 17 incher was about two pounds. A three pounder is a “trophy” guad, whatever that may mean! Sorta like a “trophy” bluegill!

Made me laugh with that comment!  The term trophy really is relative as far as fish, and fishermen, go.  One man’s trophy is another man’s bait.  Thanks for the information, that was definitely a little one we caught with the grandkids on Travis over the holiday.  One thing Ro is known for is his striper fishing abilities.

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Ro with a good one.

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The proof is in the pudding as they say.

Thanks, your pictures bring back old memories.  We fished stripers hard at night, especially early spring and late fall on topwater.  Many a night we stayed out till all hours, and when it happened it was usually something spectacular.  Half asleep, then Kaboom!, one would eat that spook 5 feet from the end of your rod tip.  And the stringer picture reminds me why they were such an easy fish to guide for, if there is such a thing.  Get your customers the string above, or maybe have one break 20lbs, and the day was a success.  It was nice because the stripers they caught were often the biggest fish my customer ever landed.  And last, I am definitely going to be on Travis late winter/early spring and get me some of that.  Of course the Boss is all over that, rent a house on the lake with a boat dock and I am fishing, and she is shopping Austin.  Everybody wins.  Hope to see you down at POC this winter.

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One of these days I will get some of the old striper pictures out and scan them in the computer and share them with you.  The mid 70’s into the 80’s were the golden age of striper fishing on Lake Norfork.  Whether trolling, live baiting, topwater fishing, or winter vertical jigging we absolutely killed them.  It was easy to catch a 50lb stringer with the occasional 100lb+ in the mix.  Fish 10 – 20lbs were common, and everybody was catching them.  Those were the days.

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Ok weather guy, this is your last chance.  Looking at tomorrow we have a 60% chance of rain.  Yesterday we had an 80% of rain, so I slept in and there has not been a drop here at the house.  And then I look first thing this morning and the forecast has morphed into only a 20% chance, what happened?  So I guess I will get my lazy butt up and do the best review of the weather possible – Stick my head out the door and see what is up.  No Rain? Go Fishing.  That will be as accurate as the forecasts have been the last week.  But they sure did not have any trouble correctly forecasting the heat.  So what will the day hold?  Only tomorrow will tell.  Hope you all had a good weekend.  Keep those comments and reports coming.  And keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Port O’Connor Texas 9/24/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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POC  –  I Hope!

I am getting the weather and other pertinent information tonight in preparation for meeting Ken and his wife Cindy at POC in the morning.  They are down to participate in the annual Beach Cleanup, which they have done for years.  As a side note they have done plenty of camping on Sunday Beach.  Tomorrow might be touch and go whether it is storming or raining to much, we will just have to see in the morning.  Ken is one of the loose confederation of fish catching, adult beverage drinking, good food eating boys I call the Austin Boys.  I have fished with him on the Lavaca River, in fact we got hit by a big norther that day, and I am looking forward to meeting his wife .  Hopefully it won’t be a nice drive to POC, and then back home.  But I sure like the looks of the tides and solunar times.  My prediction – Clouds with light winds and the fish will bite, maybe.

Weather

91/75  Scattered showers and thunderstorms  60% chance of rain  Wind SE 10 – 15  (It blew 15 in the afternoon and we got sprinkled on a minute.)

Tide

High   6:01 AM     1.3
Low   6:04 PM     0.4

Solunar Times

  • Best Times     5:16A – 7:16A
  •                          5:45P – 7:45P
  • Good Time     11:07A – 1:07P

That Ken is a real Boy Scout!

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One beautiful morning!

Well my prediction when preparing the days conditions the night before ended up being right  on.  I met Ken and Cindy at their rental around 6 and we loaded up and headed to Fisherman’s Center to put in.  It was partly cloudy and almost calm when we set up on a drain on the Pringle Shoreline.  The water temp was 86 and the tide was way up and the water color was almost clear.  Ken and I were going to wade so we anchored Cindy in the mouth of the drain so she could throw shrimp from the boat.

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Nothing like catching one on the Chug Bug 10 feet from the boat.

I hopped out and started with the Chug Bug topwater.  As you know from a couple of posts I have just started throwing that topwater here in Texas.  The first trout of the morning just blasted that thing.  There was plenty of bait, but the water was still barely coming in.  Though we were getting a few bites it was not fast, but we were getting the bites.  Here it is, the shameless plug for the Wade Right.  It was another day where having 2 different rods with plastic and topwater made the difference in my results.

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Watermelon Down South on a 1/32 jig head.

One thing that I have noticed the last 3 times fishing the Chug Bug is how many follows it gets.  It definitely gets the reds to follow, often boiling that thing close to me. That water throwing chugging action seems to draw them from a long way, but getting them to eat is another story.  At least for the number of follows the takers have been fairly few.  It may simply be a color thing, we shall see.

Funny how differently the trout want it from the usual way I use a walking the dog bait.  I mean I am using it really fast, throwing water everywhere in a chug/chug/chug pattern, then slowing it down, or stopping it, to make them bite.  I did change to a Skitter Walk for a little bit, only catching one small trout.  The Chug Bug clearly got more strikes.  But there is still some work to be done learning how to make them eat it.  It will be a tough job but somebody has to do it, and I am the man for the job.

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Aonther on the Chug Bug, he was one of the probably 4 keepers out of the 13 caught this morning.

Again the Wade Right proved it’s worth.  I took off and waded the flat, fishing pot holes and mullet schools.  I fished the shallow flooded grass out to about 4 feet of water over pot holes in the grass.  I think it was about 5 on topwater before they really started to follow or boil it without eating.  It was great to reach back and grab my spinning rod and throw the Down South watermelon red on the 1/32 without going to the boat.  They bit right along, and if I had to guess it was somewhere in the 8 or 10 range on plastics.

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Cindy with a Black Drum headed for the fry pan. (Robbed this from Ken’s Facebook page.)

Ken meanwhile caught a couple of keepers and a small one or two, and Cindy was catching fish right along.  She boxed a drum and maybe a keeper trout, and then a few other rat reds and small trout.  As a group we caught 25 or more anyway, so while not gang busters on the big fish, we caught fish fairly steadily.  Not sure what time it was but Ken said lets head down the shoreline, eat something, and check an area with a drain where they caught a few earlier in the week.  When we got to the drain and anchored the tide was finally starting to move, but the water coming out was definitely to off color for out tastes.

So after eating some lunch, and making a couple of casts without success, it was time for a move.  We decided to fish our way back, with the planned first stop being in the Big Pocket area.  Ken puts the boat on plane and after maybe 1/4 mile we hear the prop bog down.  Both of us knew immediately either we were running in mud, not, or we spun the hub.  Congratulations, you have selected door number 2.

Now we are still on the Pringle shoreline and it is a no-go.  First, I want to say how nice it was to be with 2 folks who took it in stride.  I am thinking oh crap, and their response is no problem.  Second, you know how often I comment on being organized and having stuff, well Ken is definitely more anal than I am.  In the box is the composite prop, the wrench, and the wood block to put between the prop and fin so you can take it off.  No problem.  Organized, the whole process took a second.  So off we go, right?  Well not so fast, it ended up being exactly that, not so fast.

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         The proper tool for the job, on with the spare and off we go.

Hard to guess whether the prop was the wrong pitch, or the composite flexed a bunch, it really did not matter either way.  We could just not quite get on plane.  As you can see we are all in the front hoping, and the boat is driving itself.  Funny.

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Hauling Butt Now at a mighty 5+mph.  But who was driving the boat?

So we putted along at the steady speed of 5 mph back the Fishing Center ramp, and that was the end of the day.  But we had a big time idling back and shooting the breeze.  Though  it took a while to get back, we got back.  When it comes down to it, he had the goods.  We made it back without calling Sea Tow, or hitching a ride, and it was no big deal and could have been a considerably bigger hassle.  So nice job Ken, you were prepared!

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Then Not Prepared

Early this morning I was working on this post when Jeffish called and said lets take his son Korbin crappie fishing.  We have a big front headed this way, it is supposed to be here around 2, so cool, we can safely get in 4 hours.  So I headed to his house, picked them up and off we went.  First a gas stop and then the Damn Store at Coleto.  And that is where it started, and ended.

There was a sign on the door, On Vacation until Tuesday, and No Minnows.  Dang it.  So we head back to town to a little bait store called Marsha’s, nobody there.  Jeffish called her and there was a minnow problem, and would be none till next month.  Great.  So lesson learned.  First we should have called ahead.  Second, I threw all the other rods, reels, and fishing stuff in the garage so it would not be in the way with 3 of us.  So here we are, no other equipment.

We were hardly prepared this morning.  You can always get minnows, can’t you?  And of course you won’t need the bass stuff at Coleto either.  So with those lessons learned, call on the bait the day before, and take it all, we called boat fishing off.  Both of us had tunnel vision, so here we were 1 1/2 hours later, nowhere near the water.  So with weather on the way, it is thundering as I write this, they decided to go fish off the Indianola fishing pier.  A good place if it is raining, and the tide will be right later in the morning.  So one day prepared and the next day not.  Just goes to show ya’.

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I hadn’t heard from Jay in a while, and he commented on my whining about having to sit around waiting for that dang dryer.

Doug,
You could have just hauled the dryer home in one of your boats.
Then you could be fishing instead of waiting for it
Or still trying to figure out how to get it out of the boat.
LOL!
Jay

I can honestly say there just might have been a time I would have gone ahead and tied it to the top of the bosses’ Lexus, no big deal right?  All you have to do is untie it and push it off.  And then I would have taken the old one out in the yard, maybe next to the junk car sitting up on blocks, the one close to the upside jon boat with the coon dog sleeping on it.  I am from Arkansas you know!  Good to hear from you.

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I will be spending the day watching a little football, all in anticipation of the Razorbacks doing battle with the mighty Aggies.  If both play like they have in their prior good games it should be a dandy.  But if either falls down on the job it will be a long evening.  But for either, 4 – 0 is a great place to be.  But no matter what it still all goes through Alabama.

I really enjoyed fishing with Ken and Cindy.  To bad we couldn’t have hit a couple of more spots when the tide was right.  But no complaint, it could have been a real hassle.  And speaking of the Austin Boys I have a question.  Is the annual December extravaganza still on for the first weekend?  I want to be sure to block out the date on the calendar before the Boss fills it in with something manly like a visit to a Bed & Breakfast and dinner at a  Tea House.

Monday looks sketchy but I hope to be on the water somewhere.  I am all about this cold front and the anticipation of the good fishing to come.  Other than putting myself in the right place at the right time to catch a 30″ trout this fall, I want to catch a redfish on my fly rod.  So maybe this fall instead of just talking about it I can get it done.  The big schools and clear water of fall provide the perfect combination for getting it done.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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This and That 9/21/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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The First Day of Fall!  Thank God!

THE POC SURF

The Mad Trout Fisherman is at it again.

Poc surf at 6:30 am and I was already sweating as we ran out pass cavo. The gulf was flat today, too flat for my liking if there is such a thing. Bite started off good in the first gut and as the sun started to show they moved to the second. A convoy of boats blew by about 8:00 am, must of been ten boats. By 9 am we had our ten trout and 2 sharks .

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With a livewell full of croaker what to do? Tried a few more spots in the surf but only one rat red. So we headed for some coolness in waist deepwater by cityslicker shoreline. No luck so we hit bayoucus shoreline, no reds there just more trout.

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So we hammered down to fishpond and broke out the plastics. Nope, more trout. So I dont know if the reds won, or the sun. We had a healty box of trout 1-24″ 2-23″ 2-22″ and some 19-20″ ers and 2 blacktips so we called it a day.

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We saw some tarpon and lots of jacks blowing up the mullet. Didn’t bring the big rods or I would be really hurt. Tides were back to normal after being extra high for two months. Stay blessed , chad

Nice mess.  If you had some bait left it must have been one of those get a bite, catch a fish days.  Sounds like a rough day when you move and those pesky trout won’t leave you alone.  I in spite of my best interest would have taken a shot at the tarpon, of course with my trout stuff.  That would have resulted in a battle like some I have had with big tarpon in the past, most lasting less than a minute.  Reminds me of my first bite on a Zara Spook in the Everglades.  I saw the tarpon coming out of the mangroves in a big hurry.  He smashed that Spook 5 feet from my rod tip, jumped and looked me right in the eye, then under the boat.  One more jump on the other side of the boat and he was gone  Looking that fish dead in the eye is still one the most exciting strikes I have ever had.  But no matter what, it is always exciting to see them, they are one magnificent fish.  I feel your pain with the sweating thing, it was rough out there and it ran me off after 3 hours the other day.

And I want to make one more comment, the average size of our trout is definitely increasing.  I was a big proponent of the 5 fish limit for purely selfish reasons.  I eat my share but since most of my fishing is done for pleasure, and since I have caught a couple fish over the last 60 years, I wanted bigger trout and I think the rule is working.  And while I might occasionally rail against the TPWD, they are also get credit where credit is due.  As usual, love the reports.   Drop us a note anytime.

(If the pictures are not oriented properly let me know. Thanks)

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Ken and his wife Cindy have been at POC this week enjoying the water.  Ken is part of the loose bunch I call the Austin Boys.  Now I am not sure they are enjoying this week’s temperature, but they have caught a few fish and love their time down at POC.  Dedicated participants, they are looking forward to the beach clean up this Saturday.

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                      A great sunrise.            Cindy starts the beach cleanup early.

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Ken (notice the Wade Right) with a couple of nice reds.  Happy Birthday!

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A Sea Robin, one crazy fish, and a nice slam headed for the fry pan.  Funny how the only other Sea Robin I have seen at POC was caught by one of the Austin Boys.

Our forecast for the coming days is a slight cool down with a pretty good chance for rain beginning tomorrow lasting through the weekend.  Hopefully it will hold off until later in the day Friday.  My plan is to join them at daylight and get a guided trip.  I love it when the Austin Boys come, I get to hitch a free ride.

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And I was glad to hear from my buddy Bobby.  He has a case of the fishing Jones, but is alive no matter how his comment reads!

Here I am stuck at the Morgue and you are out fishing and catching!!! Your killing me smalls….But I always find time to read the reports…

Not sure whether to be depressed, or impressed, when folks in the morgue are reading my stuff.  I was just thinking about our talked about fishing trip to Fayette County yesterday.  It is getting time.  So the ball is in your court.  Get a day and lets go, but don’t bring any of your work with you, they are not all that great conversationalists.  A trip to Fayette is always quick way to get right with the fish Gods.

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If it was any more possible to be in a hurry for fall to get here I don’t know how.  This stretch of weather has been the hottest of the summer, and our summer was hot.  I have been almost obsessed with visions of schools of redfish streaming out of the back lakes and cruising the shorelines, or feeling a big trout thump a plastic on the Lower Laguna.  Wading on nice cool days, big fish smoking a slowly worked topwater, and huge flocks of Redheads filling the sky on the Texas coast, I can see it now.  What is not to like about that?

To me it does not matter, fresh or salt, late fall into early spring is my favorite fishing time of the year.  More big trout and big bass are caught over those approximate 4 months than the rest of the year combined.  And for those of us who are hard core fishermen, we appreciate it when all our hard core hunting brothers leave the water and hit the field.  One of my favorite trips ever was to Falcon Lake opening week of deer season.  It felt like we had a giant lake all to ourselves.   But no matter what your outdoor pursuit is, do it safely and introduce a kid to your sport.  The future of hunting and fishing depends on it.

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B.O.A.T.

Every time I think about simplifying my life by selling the 2cnd boat I get all nervous.  Heart palpatations, sweats, tremors, it makes me real nervous to even think about it, much less do it.  Having 2 boats saved me several times when something broke, or one was in the shop for annual maintenance, and plans were already made.  So as I head out to buy a new trolling motor battery for the Skiff I got to thinking about the old saying  – “Boat means Break Out Another Thousand.”

In my case, other than a few big breakdowns over the decades I have owned boats, it really is more a break out another $100.  Batteries, running lights, gallons of oil, replacing life jackets, the occasional prop, new bunks, trailer tires, and on and on.  Minus the prop I have been fortunate enough to get to buy everything mentioned above in the last couple of months.  Owning 2 boats, and keeping them both in a condition where you can get in either on a moments notice and head out, takes effort not to mention the $$$.  So today I may sell one, or maybe tomorrow, or maybe never.  Plus, nothing makes my lovely wife happier than having a driveway full of boats, drying wading gear, the smelly fish cooler, along with a host of other important fishing stuff.  To bad I don’t have a junk car up on blocks.  Perfect.

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First I want to thank the guys at Coastal Fishing Gear for letting me work with them.  I will have the pleasure of testing a couple of new products next week, and I am excited about that.  And they have been kind enough to extend a 15% off promotion to any readers who do an online order.  If you have been thinking about a new wading belt now is the time, you won’t be sorry.

I am bored today and seriously wishin’ I was fishin’.  After having to go buy a dryer on Monday I am now sitting around Thursday waiting for delivery.  This is one time I miss the pickup truck because I would have picked it up the other day and be on the water today.  Funny how life continues to intrude on the important stuff like fishing.  I now wonder how I ever got everything done when I was working.

Finally the real deadly heat is coming to an end and I am looking forward to POC in the morning, of course weather dependent.  We have a 50% chance of rain or thunderstorms so it will be hard to guess how it will be in the morning.  And again depending on the weather this weekend I hope to take Jeffish and his son Korbin somewhere to catch something.  Then according to the weather service the highs for next week are going to be in the low 80’s.  So fall really wasn’t that far off and that is the kind of weather that keeps a guy fishing all day.   So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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I Get a New Hat! 9/19/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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                                           Brought to you by  waderight2-50

Click on the logo above to view all their fine products.

Welcome Coastal Fishing Gear and the Wade Right Wading Belt.

I am so pleased to announce our new partnership with Coastal Fishing Gear, LLC.  And when I term it a partnership it is truly a one sided partnership and I use the term lightly.  The owners, Tim Stamps and Jason Law, are committed saltwater wade fishermen.  They make and design the best wade fishing belt on the planet, the WADE RIGHT.  Why would I term it as a “one sided partnership”?  The 2 friends have done the heavy lifting in the design and continuing expansion of both their company and the product line.  My miniscule part in this “partnership” – I get the pleasure to use and test their fine products.  Kind of a marriage of convienance, I like what they do and they like what I do.  I am clearly the winner in this deal and I can not thank them enough.

While Tim may not remember meeting me, we met at the Houston Fishing Show at least 3 years ago.  I only bought a couple of things that day, and the Wade Right was my big purchase.  As I walked through the show I came across their booth where he and his wife were working and it was an instant sale.  There was no need to talk it up to me, the advantages of the belt were obvious and I was instantly on board.

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The Extreme Combo

After using the belt for almost 4 years the advantages have clearly come into focus from on the water experience.  One thing I really like, the ability to keep my tackle box out of the water.  I use the small one that hangs high on my chest and love it.  (See above.)  Though small, I can get 3 hard baits and a dozen or more soft plastics in the box.  If I run out of stuff I have either limited, or took a whipping.  And if you saw last Mondays post, I actually stayed in the water over 6 hours and had plenty of stuff when the bite was really on.  On my other brand of wading belt everything in the box was always wet at the end of the day.  I used to come back and have to spray the waist tackle box, including contents, then letting it all dry.  Unless I step in a hole, or head for the chest deep water, my tackle box is usually dry at the end of the day.

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Big Trout and the Wade Right go Hand in Hand.

But the thing I really appreciate, the ability to carry 2 rods.  I need 2 rods.  I am a light line spinning gear guy for much of my trout fishing with plastics, often with the 1/32 jig head.  But for topwater, spinnerbait, and twitch baits, casting gear is the way to go. So carrying 2 rods is necessary in my case.  It just does not work to throw topwater on 8lb line, (If you want to keep your bait another day!) or 1/32 plastics on 20lb with the baitcaster.  Both have a time and place, and having 2 rods with me increases my chances of figuring it out by being able to throw completely different baits.  And the real practical result of carrying 2 rods, not having to go back to the boat to change tactics.  Then if you happen to get spooked 100 yards from the boat right after you get to the fish, you can keep fishing without having to trudge back to the boat and back to get another rod.  The amazing thing about carrying the spare rod in the holder on your back, unless I stand on my head it stays in the holder.

The rod holder on your chest is also a thing of beauty.  Whether using a net or boga, I prefer the boga, the ability to net or grab a fish and then put the rod in the holder while you unhook and string is great.  It really reduces the times you dunk your reel while messing with an unruly fish who just won’t cooperate.  And anything that keeps the dunking to a minimum is worth every penny.   Dunks happen, I do not care how careful you are, it is going to happen if you spend many days in the water.  The belt more than pays for itself in reduced reel cleanings and bearings.

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Notice the Carrot Stick in the rod holder and the reel right under the redfish?  Keeps the reel high and dry while wrasslin’ with one of these.

When I met Tim at the show I was actually in the market for a new belt.  My first was purchased at Academy, the one most of us are familiar with.  The reason I was shopping was the other brand was a little over 2 years old and was already dry rotting.  When it started to go it went, fast.  Nothing worse than getting to the spot and finding out the seams on your belt are rotting.  So not dissing them, just letting you know that my Wade Right is as strong today as the day I bought it.  Of course I always wash it off after every use, but saltwater is tough on stuff no matter how well you take care of it.  The Wade Right has lasted in spite of me.

So there you have it.  Basically everything I have been saying about them since I first started using the Wade Right.  As you can tell I am pleased and excited about being associated with them.  Their belt is everything it is cracked up to be and I love it.  They also have some new products, with others coming out the first of next year, and I am really looking forward to testing them out and telling you all about it.  And the fact that they are a home grown business right here in Texas is a great thing.  So if you spend anytime in the water check out their quality products on the website.

Last, we all love getting some new fishing stuff, but you know what I am most excited about?  A free hat!  When I blogged about hats the other day some of it was tongue in cheek, some sarcasm, but I hope you got the real picture, I am just cheap.  So the real problem with hats is me, $20 is what they cost these days.  I guess I am still living in the 70’s.  So let’s hear it for the free hat.  Thanks guys!

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto Creek 9/20/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

(A new sponsor on the way!)

The weather guy (My favorite guy to hate.) said that Tuesday may be out hottest day of the year.  That is nuts.  What are we, a couple of days from the official start of fall?  So with that in mind I decided to just hit the lake for some bass fishing Tuesday, then head for the shade early.  Our temp will finally begin to moderate some by the end of the week.  And I still intend to get to POC and fish with Ken and his wife one day this week, so that is on the agenda if it gets below a 100.  Instead of fishing today (Monday) I got the pleasure of buying a new dryer.  Ain’t life grand?

Weather

97/71  Heat Index  105 – 110   Partly cloudy with stay thunderstorm or show  20% chance rain  Wind East 5 – 10  (It was ugly hot by 10.)

Tides

High   5:07 AM     1.1
Low   2:50 PM     0.5

Solunar  Times

Best times   2:14A – 4:14A  2:42P – 4:42P   Good Time   8:28A – 10:28A  (Not sure when the bite was.)

How hot is it?

I really had no logical reason for going fishing today, and I should have listened to that little voice in my head telling me to do something responsible today instead of baking my brain.  The forecast was for the hottest day of the year, and while I am not sure what the final high for the day will be, it was oppressive, and the fishing was not worth a crap.  (Note:  Just for back from buying birthday cards and the truck registered a 100, and it was in the garage.)

There was no question that it was going to be a short day, and it was.  So to change it up some I decided to head up the plant arm to fish some different stuff.   It was dead flat calm, a sign of things to come, when I stopped on the first bank.  There were lots of alligators cruising around, but almost no bait activity.  There is always that old rule, never leave fish to find fish, and in my case I know where a bunch are, but the pattern should be the same right?  Oh so wrong.  It was an hour before my first bite.

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Here is what a grown man did all morning.

I pitched, flipped, cast, buzzed, hopped, dropped, and jerked, and some other stuff, but it was slow.  The one above came off wood in about 6 foot of water and I thought we might be getting there, but no cigar.  Fishing the same type of bank in the plant area as up lake was not productive.  In fact, the exact same structure that I am finding them up the Coleto creek arm had no fish on it.  Those flat banks that have fish on them up the main arm were devoid of fish in the plant arm.  Not sure whether I just didn’t hit the right place, or is the pattern just that different in the plant arm? That will have to wait for another day.

After catching 2 and struggling I tried some deeper banks, some timber points, a couple of shady banks, all of it different than I have been catching them on, and I only picked up one on a timber point.  I am pretty sure if you just point hopped on timber that there are some fish to be caught.  The water temp way up was 87, and when I fished the last bank near the dam the water temp was 92 freakin’ degrees.  Before it was over I had 5 bites, missing 2, and of the 3 that came over the side only the one above was worth a hoot.

It was getting ugly fast.  Totally drenched in sweat, not a breath of wind, and no bites for an hour all conspired to send me to the house.  For a fleeting second I considered running all the way up lake to the fish, but good sense prevailed.  It really was hot and it just took it out of me.  So at 11 it was back to the ramp and home.  All I know is I am ready for it to break, which it might do at the end of the week, if you consider a high of only 90 a cool down.

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I ran into Kevin, who fished in the surf with a guide the other day, and their report mirrors what Chad has been finding.  Kevin said the 4 of them had 19 nice trout, sounded like in the second gut, by 7:30.  Then they moved in closer and whacked the reds in the froth.  The surf season is lasting just a touch longer this year due to the water temp, and when you can get out there a limit on croaker is the order of the day.

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And the crappie are still biting right along on Coleto.  In fact, there were more crappie fisherman out today than bass fishermen.  I checked the can at the cleaning table, the crappie they are catching right now are good ones.  It crossed my mind to do that this morning, should have, would be having a nice fish fry tonight.

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Next it is the Gulf.  I have been in a catch them one time, then struggling the next, whether it is the bay or the lake.  Not sure whether waist deep in the Gulf is cooler, but it sure has to be somewhat cooler than standing on the boat.  But fall is around the corner, and it won’t be long before things settle down.  I am making plans for Baffin next month, and have visions of big trout smashing topwater.  In my wildest dreams we will get a cloudy cold front when I am there.  The nice thing is I have a 5 day window so maybe I will get lucky.  I appreciate all of you who stick with me, keep those cards and letters coming.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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