Big Bend National Park 7/10/16.


Boat Decal Home of the all time great Bang O Lure!

If you love heat, and I mean freakin’ hot, head to Big Bend National Park in Terlingua Texas.  As Ed used to ask Johnny – “How hot was it?”  The top for the trip was 111 degrees, and folks that is hot!

For my birthday the Boss kept asking where do you want to go?  It was easy, Terlingua, the old ghost town on the edge of the Park.  A town of about 60 – 70 people, give or take the weather, it is one crazy place to visit.  The Boss was all about it because she got to pick the place.  For me it was just being able to do some extensive backroad driving over some of the most interesting land on the face of the earth.


Made from recycled phone books and scavenged stuff.

We stayed in an eclectic house using solar power and water collection, basically what is called off the grid here.  Cynta, the owner, was so helpful with information and saved us from making a mistake or two.  One was rafting, the river was way to low so we passed on that.  Historian, archeologist, with years of river guiding and still hiking 100 miles a month, her knowledge of the park and the area is limitless and she tipped us to a couple of great off the beaten path sites.  It was nice to get her knowledge, she is the first person I ever met I would call a real desert rat.


Sunrise from the porch.

A quick primer on Terlingua.  There ain’t much, it is a ghost town.  But in true weird form there are 3 places to eat and most of them have music every night.  la kiva, the famous cave bar is finally reopened after the mysterious death of the owner.  The new folks have struggled to remodel and it is a mandatory stop.  The Starlight Theater is a good restaurant and they have music most nights.  There are a few places to stay depending on your wallet, and in some cases your need for your own bathroom, or maybe even a roof over your head.  Full of interesting folks, it is my kind of town.

(There will be several warnings along the way – Do not come to Terlingua if you want a Wal Mart, Hilton, or green grass.  This is a deserted desert mining town on the edge of nowhere.)

But the real reason for coming to Terlingua is Big Bend National Park.  Running along the Rio Grande for 188 miles it is the border between the US and Mexico.  The park is on the northern edge of the Chihuahuan desert.  It can get to freezing in the winter and 180 degrees on the surface in the summer.  (Warning:  This is the freakin’ desert, rocks and stuff, got it?  It is not a “Park”.  So be sure to do your research.)  Our warmest day topped 111, and it was a real 100 every day.  We made a half mile hike in the middle of the day and that was enough for that day.  (Warning – Hiking boots, water, walking stick, all that stuff.  Fall and break a leg and see how that works out for you.)


Walk down this trail to get to Ernst Tinaja and this cool hole.  Don’t fall in.

This is as remote and unspoiled outdoors as you can find.  Rough, unforgiving, there is even a book detailing the stories of folks who have died in the park.  There are miles and miles of trails and rough off the grid roads available.  With 4 wheel and good sense you can take some great rides and see some great stuff.   (Warning – Good tires and spare, spare water, shovel, first aid kit – and then some.  This is no place to f’ up.)  For me it is just driving so far off the grid you really know it.


He lived to 108 , outlived several wives, and farmed this area to help feed the minors in the hey day of Terlingua mining before the quicksilver played out.

Giant mountains, mesas, the basin, huge canyons, washes, hot and cold springs, ruins, cliffs, the park has it all.  It can be beautiful, imposing, terrifying, lonely, alive – all in the same minute from the same view.  It looks barren, but it is alive.  The more I visit that area I realize you can not force yourself on the desert, you have to let it come to you.


The desert is alive, you just have to slow down and take it all in.

The park has bears, mountain lions, (Check the park website, total monthly sightings are kept.) mule deer, coyotes, rattle snakes, rabbits, bugs, cactus, things that sting, bite, and are so pretty it is hard to describe.  We did not see near as many big animals this trip, but it was the middle of summer in the desert.  And as far as wildlife sightings we saw one that will always remain at the top of my list.

We were driving on the River Road East which is way out there.  To get off the River Road you either head off on to Glenn Springs Road and then to the black top 27 miles away (it took us almost 2 hours) or continue on the River Road for over 50 miles before you see civilization again, or anything else but the great outdoors for 6 hours.  I mean the sign says it all when you get on: It is hardly ever patrolled.  This is rough slow driving, and 4 wheel is mandatory.   (Warning –  This is rough, no place for crappy equipment.  Be prepared or try spending a couple of days in the desert at 100 degrees before just maybe someone comes along.)  That is what makes some of the drives there what they are, awesome out there.  But I digress.

As we came around a corner  at a roaring 10mph here comes 3 cows, none are supposed to be in the park, running for their lives.  Before we could even say what the hell, here comes 2 cowboys chasing them back towards Mexico.  Now folks these were not no cowboy hat wearing, King Ranch Ford driving, iPhone facebooking cowboys.  They were chiseled faced weathered Apaches, (learned that from Cynta) riding paint horses as they chased their cows in the middle of the desert.  All I could say was wow!  And then wow!  They were real Apaches who rode across the river to get their cows before they were caught by the park and sold.  Of course they are not to be there, but it is part of the border here, it is one of the things that works down here, and I love it.  We waved and so did they.  One of my great memories – When you grow up on westerns like I did it was as real as my memories.



Cattail Falls – A secret oasis only a mile and a half straight up the mountain.

Unfortunately it is time to talk about the border.  Reading the local paper there was an article about a bill in the House that I thought must have been written by a deranged brain damaged crack head but I was mistaken, the bill was written by some politician we pay.  The end result proposes to add 3 new checkpoints with detention centers and build 200 miles of roads in the park to handle a completely nonexistent problem.  You see Border Patrol in the park and of course we need them in Texas.  But when I asked an official for an unofficial comment it was we have no comment.  (Except their real comment to me:  We do not want, nor need, that here.  It is a solution for a completely nonexistent problem.)

Speaking to Cynta at the house she said it best, there is no illegal immigration issue here.  She knows this desert, and the people here, like the back of her hand and her response – it is almost 100 miles of barren desert to get out.  This is not where that is happening.  And the thought of them building 200 miles of road in the park is terrible.  Another person told me their sheriff is not in favor of it.  And worst of all, the bill basically exempts them from any and all environmental regulations.  Nobody, and I mean nobody I spoke to there says this is needed. So hopefully nothing will happen, but I will be doing some reading in the next few days.  The Park should be sacred, we are not making any more of them.  It is a National Park for God’s sake.


One beautiful part of the world.

I have nothing against the Border Patrol and this bill does not come from them.  The border on Big Bend is not what is portrayed in the media.  Of course there are problems at times, but so does every city in America.  The people down here on both sides of the border love and respect the park, and it has started to affect me the same way.  Whether hiking on a trail to see something spectacular, or driving over rough roads full of washes and rocks, everything is so cool.


Illegal goods for sale in the park.  The shelter across the river with horse tracks leading back and forth across the river.

Sitting on the porch as the sun rises and then watching the brush reveals how alive the desert is.  Gophers, chipmonks, quail, rabbits, road runners, and lizards all moving on their morning business.  No TV, no cell phone in the park, little light besides the moon and stars, coyotes howling, the desert either gets you, or maybe you get it, or it does not.  So if you hate to many rocks, mind if the electric goes out occasionally, and need 200 channels this may not be the place for you.

Now I do not want my warnings to make you think about not coming.  They are actually a good thing, it should let you know what a wonderful place this is.  You can do the safe thing here, or you can really get after it.  This is the kind of place everyone should see once in their life.  Our world is shrinking and when you are there it is big as all outdoors, an experience that should be protected for our children and theirs.  This is our 4th trip to the area and will not be the last, this year.  What a place.

I did want to share this comment with you:

Sorry about the Hummingbird! I am looking forward to your post on West Texas. I recently purchased a Jeep Rubicon and am looking forward to a trip to West Texas. I have never been farther than Del Rio. That part of the state is beautiful!


This is the place to break in that jeep.   And it is only about 5 hours west of Del Rio.  Have a great trip and let me know how it goes!

So there is the quick story.  Tomorrow it is chores related to mundane tasks like the bank, clerk, and whatever else needs to be done.  Tuesday it will be up early and off to the coast.  Thanks for staying with me during this little fishing hiatus.  Keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

(Search Big Bend National Park and Villa Terlingua for more information.)

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Humminbird – Customer Service? 7/10/16.


Boat Decal Home of the all time great Bang O Lure!

A Rant.

First a little background.  A couple of years ago we decided to switch from Lowrance to Humminbird when we changed GPS/locators.  (I do not have the exact dates, except we called them after less than a year from the date of purchase.)  From the git-go the unit was just so inconsistent at finding and keeping a fix on the GPS.  After a few months I called Humminbird and spoke with a representative and explained the problem.  We were led to believe that it worked fine, we just needed to understand that it could take up to 20 minutes to find a satellite.

After guiding and traveling this country for decades to fish I knew that seemed like a load of BS, but I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.  Who knows, maybe the boat gremlins would get it working better, and some days it would, then it would go off and on repeatedly, but hey, the company told us during the warranty period it was ok, just the way it worked.  So I finally got tired of it the other day for not finding a fix until I got to the first bank and so I sent them an email last week simply asking if it could use an external antenna like some have suggested to me when I wrote about this before.  So here is a copy of my email, then their response.

we put the 688CI HD on the boat about 2 years ago.  it has always been slow, real slow to find a fix, and at times it will lose it repeatedly throughout the day.  As a full time blogger and fisherman who fishes new places this is a real issue.  I called last year and was told by the lady it can take 20 minutes to find a fix, hard to believe, and not really acceptable for what the average fisherman uses it for.   So before I ditch it I have a question:

Will the antenna ASGRD 408920-1 work with the 688CI HD?  Will it improve the GPS performance?  It really has become a pain in the rear.
Thanks for any help you can give me.
And here is their awesome response!

Dear Mr. Coppemoll,

Thank you for contacting Humminbird. We appreciate your interest in our products. I apologize for the issue with your unit. The 688CI HD are not compatible with a external antenna. Please copy and paste the link below for repair information if you choose to send the unit in.

If we can assist you further on this subject or any other Humminbird related questions please feel free email us again or contact our Customer Resource Center at 1-800-633-1468 to speak with a Customer Service Representative. Our hours are Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. C.S.T.

Good Boating and Fishing!


Customer Service Representative


So we buy your unit and it seems it does not function properly from day 1.  We first call your company and are told there is nothing wrong with it, it just takes up to 20 minutes to find a satellite, (I definitely again call BS, but hey your representative knows right?) and then your response to my question implies that there is something wrong with it.  No offer to look at it or suggestion to return it when it was under warranty when we first called your customers service number?  So which is it?  Does it function properly or not?  It acts exactly like it has from day 1.  Is this the way Humminbird works?  When it is under warranty no offer to help but now you are happy to look at it if I pay?   Tell a customer with a new unit that there is nothing wrong with it, and then later after the warranty is out send a response that I can pay to fix the problem your representative told me was not a problem?  One thing about being an attorney is I have a pretty good memory – and that is what your company told us then – there was nothing wrong with the unit.  Well it works exactly like it has from day 1.  Good freakin’ God.  What a way to deflect warranty work.

So for the 100,000 of you who read this stuff every year a word of warning.  If you buy their products this is the kind of help you can expect.  So if  you interact with them be sure to get a name and take extensive notes.  And a word to the wise – What freakin’ good is a GPS to a traveling fisherman that can take 20 minutes to find a satellite?  Man this kind of stuff drives me nuts.  Buy their crap at your own risk.  And Humminbird, I am not asking for nuttin’, and you guys did great.

I would like to apologize to you who loyally read this stuff, I try to keep it all about the fishing but sometimes I just don’t get it.  Who knows, maybe it is me.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Line

(I am back from my desert trip last week and will post the pictures and some interesting stuff later today but I wanted to share the above with you.  As you can tell I am not impressed!)

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Happy Birthday USA 7/1/16.


Boat Decal Home of the all time great Bang O Lure!

Please excuse the lack of reports, but I am on a mini hiatus.  Every once in a while it seems like I need a break to recharge and regroup.  The weather has been so hot and humid I just can not seem to get my mack on.  We just took a few days off for a Louisiana trip and will be headed to the desert (crazy huh?) for several days for my birthday this week.  I really love the desert and we will be traversing Big Bend looking for mule deer, javelinas, rattlesnakes, and in my wildest dreams, a lion.  So I am still here and trust me, it will back to hard core fishing soon.


What a Deal!  2 for 1!

Before I get to the other stuff here is one great deal.  As you all know I have worn Cocoons for years and flat love them.  They have been kind with their support and they stand by their products.  Then a couple of days ago I got this email offer from them.  They labeled it for VIPS so I emailed them to see if it would be ok to share it with you.  Here is their response –

Hello Doug,

Yes, the email went out to our loyal Cocoons fans that have registered their warranties and requested to receive special offers.  If you would like to share it with your readers that would be great!  We always hope that our VIP members spread the word and share the benefits Cocoons offer with their friends and family.  One of those benefits is exclusive offers like this one that only VIP members receive by email. This is not something that we would email out to a generic mailing list, but is definitely something our fans can share with their friends and family.
Thanks for asking and I hope you have a safe and fun 4th of July!
Best Regards,
It is rare that you get a true 2 for 1 deal and this is it.  Though they are “fitovers” you do not have to wear glasses to wear Cocoons.  They have many different fashionable sizes and styles with lots of new frames and lenses.  There is no better time to give Cocoons a try.  They are also a great birthday or Christmas present that your fisherman will thank you for.  So thanks to Cocoons for sharing this with all of us.  So buy some and register your warranty, they appreciate loyalty and they take care of their customers.  All I can say is what a deal!
Offer Expires: July 27, 2016  
Buy any pair of Cocoons or Vistana fitover sunglasses (priced at $44.95 or more) and instantly receive an additional pair of the same value or less for FREE! Use promo code VIP16.
Discount applied at checkout. Promo code can only be used one time per order.  No limit to the number of separate orders that can be submitted. Limited to available inventory.  Not valid when combined with other special offers or discounts. Valid only at


I did manage to crawl out of bed early for a quick trip to Coleto.  The purpose was to catch fish, but something came up that did cut off some of trip.  I was way up lake when another boat, one of the only two I saw all morning, came idling over about 9:30.  It was my buddy Bobby who gets out occasionally and we shot the breeze.  He reported a grand total of zero over the side, and I actually had not caught a fish until right before he stopped.

The only bites I could get were on the lizard, and I put three in the boat along one stretch of a deep wood covered bank.  I would have a picture on one good one but he was hooked and bleeding so I promptly got him off and put him back in to reduce the stress on him as much as possible.  So Bobby headed back down  lake and I moved to another bank and started fishing when the phone rang.

Bobby had just made it past the bridge when his motor just quit.  Trim worked, lights worked, it just buzzed under the dash when he tried to start it.  I tossed him a rope and back to the ramp we went.  Funny how over the years I have only needed one tow back to a ramp, but have towed a ton of folks over the years.  Just luck, and good maintenance.  So next time you are out and see someone in distress do not pretend you do not see them, stop and see if you can help.  So you lose a little fishing or recreation time, that will be returned to you ten fold.

So once I dropped him off I hit 5 more banks with only one bite.  That one was a good fish, but I just could not pull him out of the wood and he broke off.  So around 11:30 I called it a day.

The water color on the lake is still terrible, and I can find almost no deep grass growing anywhere.  But I am seeing something up lake that may be a real problem.

Water hyacinth


Water hyacinth is a free-floating plant native to South America. It was introduced in Florida during the late 1880s. It currently infests 218 public water bodies in Florida and many more private waters. Water hyacinth has a fast growth rate (populations can double in as little as two weeks) and expands rapidly on Florida waters. Unmanaged waters typically become filled with dense, floating mats of water hyacinth. This species caused such severe problems that federal efforts to control water hyacinth were initiated by Congressional action during the 1890s.

“Thanks to the Southwest Florida Water Management District for this information.”

Though there seemed to be a few small pockets here and there now there is lots of it floating up lake, some of it is starting to really mat up, and I wish I knew why.  They sure are right about doubling, as I have only fished a day a week there over the last month it is real evident it is expanding rapidly.  Is it related to the increased nutrients from the off colored water?  Has it been brought here big time by other boats?  Has the lake had this in the past or is this increase something new?  Whatever it is I just have a feeling it is not a good thing.  So if you have any comments, suggestions, or information please chime in.

The water temp was 89 over almost all of the lake.  It seems that those fish that were shallow in the heavy cover are rapidly deserting the banks.  So after this little hiatus there will be a major change in my tactics.  You have all heard the old saying -“Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.”  I may be crazy but I am not insane so time for a change.


We are about to enter one of the busiest outdoor weekends of the year.  With gas prices way down there will be more people traveling and enjoying all this country has to offer, so here is your 4th of July rules for a great weekend.

  1.  Be nice.  Yield to the other guy on both the highway and the waterways.  Be the bigger  guy.  No reason to ruin your weekend with a confrontation over absolutely nothing.
  2. Hydrate.   With our humidity this high dehydration is not some abstract theory.  A trip to the ER will ruin your weekend.
  3. Sun screen.  Keep covered up, a sunburn may not kill you, but it sure can ruin your weekend.
  4. Life jackets.  It only takes a moment for a kid to pull a fast one.  Not only does the law require them, they save lives.  So if you are headed to the water make sure they fit and are in good shape.
  5. Equipment.  Whether the car or the boat take a second and make sure it is all working.  Tires good?  Spare have air in it?  Stickers and inspections good?  Tie downs, winch, tires, bunks, there is lots to look at before you hit the water this weekend.  And it just might save you a massive tow bill or a big ticket.
  6. Alcohol.  Hey I love a cold one as much as the next guy, in fact maybe more.  But mixing booze and the steering wheel is a horrible idea.  Not only does it expose you to a DWI both on land and on the water, but you are p0tentially taking the lives of the rest of us in drunken hands.  So have fun, then when you are settled in for the night have at it.

So have fun this weekend.  Enjoy family and friends along with whatever you have planned for the weekend.  There are lots of other rules for a safe weekend but it all comes down to safety first.  As a former paramedic I have seen the results of a simple bad choice.  Do not let it be you or your family.


For you crappie fishermen I have a good report from the lake.  As I was putting the boat in at daylight a nice lady offered to help and we got to talking about fishing.  She has been fishing with a friend and they are just knocking the crappie stupid.  So they are there to be caught.  She also wanted me to show her a few bass baits  and I was happy to do so.  Sharing information is the heart of what I try to do and taking a few minutes our of my fishing day is a small price with a big reward.  I did not get her name but she was willing to to help me put in and I was happy to share information.  We both had a better day because of it.


There you have it for today.  The offer from Cocoons is off the chain (Thanks Dean), my fishing report was marginal, and the weekend looks like it will be busy.  So please be safe.  And if you have any comments of suggestions please send them this way.  Your participation is crucial to making this blog what it has become.  I really appreciate every one of you who reads this stuff.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Happy Birthday USA – God Bless America!

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Random Ramblings 6/25/16.


Boat Decal Home of the all time great Bang O Lure!


After my post the other day Jason responded with a couple of stories on Lee Richter.

You ask about Lee Richter.  There will never be enough time in any of our lives to tell all of his stories or really about this mans life.  Everyone wanted him to write a book, I wish he would have.  My father and Lee(Mr Badwrench met a long time ago).  Lee owned his shop in POC and we needed help on a engine.  He was a regular at our ranch in Gonzales County and he was the only one allowed to shoot whatever he wanted.  I don’t know if that was my fathers decision or just Lee’s. 

Ill try to make this short but Lee was a pilot in WW2.  Flew 70 plus bombing missions with B-26’s in Africa and Italy.  I think he was like the second or third most.  After 25 missions I think you were allowed to go home but he stayed on.  If you ever went into Lee and Maries house it was amazing, Flying Cross and all kind of stuff(Marie was like another mother to everyone, I guess she deserves some of these medals putting up with Mr. badwrench).  Said he enjoyed bombing the Krauts or something like that, even though his family was German.    Said they would never let him fly a b-17 because they would be afraid of what he would do with it.  Told me he went to bomb the japs but they dropped the bomb and it was over.  Whatever that means. He limped back in and crash landed a few times and lost some of his crew but he was always ready to go again.   Basically Lee was one of the most decorated and alltime best American soldier that ever existed. In my mind at least.  

He opened a boat shop in Pasadena I guess in the 50’s  and said he drove boats for Fred Adair.  Did some type of work for NASA but I really don’t know if that was to0 much Chivas or the truth but with this man I don’t doubt anything.  Really I can fill pages of BS as he would call it, but this man was one of a kind.  

Working on his boat greenlighting at the jetties was something else as a high schooler.  My dad had a boat made exactly like Lee’s and we wore that thing out. Lee would get a new engine every yr from Mercury and he would give us his from that year.  Always perfect and never failed.  Usually a 225.    Put it this way, with a charter, when we would go to the jetties and someone was in Lee’s hole he would drive by and let u know he was there.    If u weren’t out of that hole on the second pass then by the third u were(lol).  All I will say about that.  Fishing was crazy.  April 17 was his date when the tiderunners would come in he would say.   Seemed to be correct.  Loved those trout.  April 17th

One story I will tell.  He said he was hired by I think Stihl but maybe not.  But a Chainsaw company to fly their customers to Alaska and back to Houston back in the 50’s for fishing trips.  One fall trip they had a bunch of Halibut. Before they left Lee asked if he could keep a chicken Halibut whole to take home.  So he did.  That evening he said he went down to around the floundering area around the jetties I think where there would be a bunch of people floundering.  He put that halibut which was about 30 lbs on a stringer and started walking around talking to everyone seeing how they were doing. They were killing them that night and he would say I only got this one(acting like he didn’t know what he had)showing that flounder(lol).  He told me that there was a article that week in the Houston Post about a world record Flounder being gigged in Galveston.  Who knows but I don’t doubt that at all.   One of a kind.   Mr Badwrench. 

Sounds like one hell of a guy.  Ever notice how folks who are one in a million are never single issue guys, they tend to do it all and it seems like he was that kind of guy.  These are the characters and stories that need to be preserved.   As our world continues to change these type of characters are becoming a thing of the past.  So thanks a lot for your story.  And the rest of you, there are tons of great stories out there that need to be told, if you have one let us know.  We would love to share it with everyone.


The boys from Austin had a little slower trip than they have been having, but a good time was had by all.  They found trout in Espiritu Santo Bay over grass on soft plastics.  They had very few redfish with no keepers.  They did catch a couple of flounder with one making the box. Dennis had a fish on that spooled him which they never got a look at it.  The bite slowed after 10 a.m. and the evening bite was slow and they were tired.  So they settled for beer and BBQ.  They had their usual good time and I look forward to catching up with them on their next trip.


And my experience the other day sure confirmed what they found, the get out early plan.  Fishing on the rise is not my favorite way to fish the bay, and we have been in a morning rise pattern for a while.  And speaking of tides, I just looked at the next 2 weeks and the high is consistently around noon with one tide everyday.  I need to do some reading on catching fish on the rising tide in hot weather, or maybe just go late and catch the falling tide like I like.  But as with all conditions, it is what it is and it is our job to figure it out.


I read lots of the saltwater mags and rags and just could not help myself from commenting.  Having to write often, I have sympathy for writers, it can be tough to get your mind working.  But with that in mind I read an article the other day on retrieving soft plastics.  Tons of verbiage and anecdotes, it was long and windy.  Actually it comes down to this:  Sometimes they like it reeled straight, sometimes the like it jerked.  Sometimes they like it fast, sometimes they like it slow.  So there you go.  The real important issue with plastic retrieves is this:  Keep you head in the game, vary your retrieve, and then Do Not Forget How You Were Reeling!  when you caught one.  That is the really important point, what were you doing when you caught a fish?  Then cast and repeat.  It really is often no more complicated than that.


Just like my last trip to the TPWD office on Navarro Street, I was really impressed with how nice the folks are there.  I had a paperwork issue and they helped me resolve it and went above and beyond to help me out.  TPWD is a great organization and it is nice to find employees like that.


I got this comment on  the big black drum I caught the other day.

50# black drum on 8# line!! SAWEET!! That must be some sort of record. And I was wondering how you got the pictures, lol. How exciting for you and us to read about. Felt like I was there. Good job.


Thanks.  I have to admit that it really was a good job.  I did not mess it up, which as any fisherman knows it could have come unglued at any moment.  I really was impressed with the Stren Fluorocast.  I decided to try it because of the casting distance I am trying to get with the 1/32oz. jig heads.  It held up great.  And as far as 50lbs, trust me it was all of that and even more.  It really was a freak.


And before I sign off we finally committed to Australia.  It is real now.  The Boss checked ticket prices and happened to hit a sale and saved a ton, we bought them on the spot.  The date is the last week of March and the first week of April, 2017.  I am communicating with an offshore captain for a 3 day 2 night live aboard trip on the Great Barrier Reef.  It will be both offshore and reef fishing.  It looks like it will be yellowfin tuna time, which is perfect as it is one of my bucket list fish.   Talk about excited, I won’t be able to sleep for a month.  It promises to be the trip of a lifetime.


That is about the size of it today.  My big plan is to clean the tackle room and organize stuff even more.  Tomorrow I will  be on the water somewhere, unless I head out to fish somewhere else Tuesday.  Either way, keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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POC 6/23/16.


Boat Decal Home of the all time great Bang O Lure!


A mix of clouds and sun. High 93F. Winds SSE at 10 to 20 mph.


Low   1:55 AM    -0.2
High  12:38 PM     0.6

I Thought I Saw Something Tailing.

As I eased down the bank in the last arm of the Oil Cut I saw a redfish tailing.  I toss to him but no bite.  So I reel in and see another.  I make the perfect cast, and the world explodes.  I never saw this guy.


Not sure if I can get him up!


That thing is a freakin’ monster!

Over the years we have had a few really big black drum in the boat but this is the King!  The pictures do not do him justice.  As thick as me this thing was a mutant freak.  Every time it happens I think back to that guide at POC who told me you can not catch them on lures, man I must be some fisherman.

When I tossed at the tail this guy just rolled it.  I was using 8lb fluoro and the 1/32 jig head with a paddle tail.  He immediately started ripping off drag and the fight was on.  It goes back to the little things, do not freak out, do not hurry them, get out the big net, and always, always on a big fish like this, keep the nose of the boat pointed straight at him.  It gives you the ability to spin the boat when they go under it, which it did multiple times.  And during the fight do the down and dirty used by fly fishermen, changing rod angles to tire and confuse, then do not mess around with the net until you are ready to stick him.  It all went well and after a major battle it was over.

There actually was a boat coming by and they stopped and took these pictures.  I honestly could barely hold him up.  An easy 50, he felt a lot bigger than that.  One thing about black drum, they are bulldogs.  The fight is pretty recognizable and it doesn’t take long to figure out what you have on.  It was the best part of the morning’s fishing.

The tide was coming up as  I dropped the boat in the water at Froggie’s before 6.  The water temp was 84 – 86 everywhere.  The plan was easy, do the milk run, no wading, catch few for supper, and call it a day when it got real hot and the tide slacked at noon.  The water was off color from Froggie’s to Big Bayou.  I kept with topwater to long, but did put a 17″ in the boat for supper.


A fighting filet on the Knocker B.

I started with a Skitter Walk, but it had the saltwater hooks on it, and using 12lb mono like I do on a softer rod I had several right off the bat that did not stay hooked up.  Forgot to change the hooks.  Finally changing to the Bagley Knocker B I put a couple in the boat.  Unfortunately it was to late and they stopped hitting it.  The water just was not clearing so I thought I would head up to the Oil Cut and see if it was any better.


                       This was the best I could do with the reds.

Once I got to the Oil Cut the water color was only slightly better.  I alternated between Redfish Magic and a 3″ red/copper paddle tail on a 1/32 jig head.  The trout were just not having it and the reds were on the small side.  The 2 above were 18″ and the other 3 I caught were nowhere near that.  But the black drum made the whole morning worth getting up for.

One the way in I stopped back in Big Bayou and tried to catch a few more trout but that is not where they are right now.  So I fished one more bank with spinnerbait and caught the last small red.

At this point the tide was up and slack.  The wind was not bad, but the water color just did not clear enough to be right.   I really think out on the island shoreline the fishing should be a little better.  For the morning it was around 10 fish and this guy.


This thing came all the way in holding the paddle tail.

There were several lady fish, some kind of hog fish thing, a blue crab, and the usual pin fish.  So off to the ramp and when I get back to Froggie’s everybody has the same idea I do, call it a day.  The parking lot is full, and there are 3 waiting, welcome to summer time in POC.


I got this great report on Fayette.  Speaking of a summertime pattern.


A friend and I fished Fayette today from 6am to noon. And like what you reported on Coleto, there was barely a breath of a breeze on the lake and flat calm conditions. I wasn’t sure how the fishing was going to be today after the full moon last night. It started slow but picked up quickly. When I got off the lake at noon we had caught 43 fish with the biggest going 5# and the rest being good solid 2-3.5# slot fish.

All fish were caught Carolina rigging Berkley Havoc bottom hoppers in the color of Redbug and Watermellon Candy. We fished deep water points ranging in depth from 18-25ft. One spot yielded 20 fish as they are really stacked up and in a solid summer pattern. The real keys to catching fish today though was using a “heavy” rig and working it back SLOW. By heavy I mean using a 1.25 once weight to make long casts to cover a lot of water and to stay in contact with the bottom in the deep water. Some bites were very light while some about pulled the rod out of our hands.

All in all it was another great outing on Fayette.


PS: Two weeks ago my bass club, the Metropolitan Bass Club, fished our overnight tournament on Fayette. It ran Friday 6/10 at 6pm to Saturday 6/11 at 6pm. Hardly anybody fished past 1pm Saturday as it was just to blazing hot! I caught a respectable 20.20# but was nowhere close to the winners. 1st was 29#, 2nd was 28.58# and 3rd was 27#. Those were some big stringers!

That is some serious good bass fishing.  I love that lake, traffic and all.  Looks like I need to start fishing that way here on Coleto.  Without any major grass to hold them shallow I just might be beating my head against a wall.  (Not unusual!)  As usual your reports are appreciated.  And folks he could not be any clearer about where and how.  So those of you who fish Fayette, there  you have it, the summer time pattern is in full swing on Fayette.


And Rick sent me this note on Jason’s couple of comments.

If you want to spice up your blog a little, get Jason to tell some of those Lee Richter stories. Lee was a longtime fishing guide and marine repair shop owner in POC. He and my dad used to race boats back in the late 50’s and he took my family out green light fishing at night at the jetties a couple of times. Lee was a real character (in a good way).

That would be awesome.  So Jason the ball is in your court.  It does not have to be a novel but any stories you could share about a POC icon would be appreciated.


Looks like we are in a consistent weather pattern.  Chance of showers, high low 90’s, it is Texas summer.  It is fishin’ light shortly after 6, and as much as I like to sleep in it is not going to work right now.  Will be watching the tides closely looking for the high to be in the early a.m. and running water at daylight.  I wish I could figure them out better on a rising tide, I really am not all that good at it.  Give me a falling tide and a couple of drains and I am in business.  Makes me want to load the boat and go right now.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto 6/21/16.


Boat Decal Home of the all time great Bang O Lure!

I spent yesterday working on boating issues trying to get both boats squared away.  One thing about having 2, there is always something that needs doing.  I have seriously considered becoming a one boat operation, and it just might happen.  Will just have to wait and see.  And to add to things I hit something with the lawn mower and busted a part, and it took a couple of days to get that resolved, or at least maybe in a few weeks!  So then it was trying to find someone to mow my lawn.  There is supposed to be someone coming tomorrow, I hope so, the Code Cops may put a sign in my yard soon.  The reason they could not come today was the same reason I chose to go to Coleto today, somewhere between a 50 – 70% chance of rain.

So with a real chance of rain, which of course we have not had any today, I dropped the boat in the water.  The lake is still up and there is plenty of cover in the water.  Buzzbait on a couple of down lake banks resulted in exactly zero bits.  So since it has been a while it was time to play it safe and head up lake and pitch plastics.

Once you go past the bridge it starts to cloud up some, and when you make the big turn it is really off color.  The first couple of places resulted in nada, so I headed further up.  Though it was really off color I finally had a few bites.


Finally caught a keeper on the 4th fish.  But it wasn’t much.

One thing I will give them today is that when they  bit that lizard they held on.  I put 3 or 4 in the boat on one bank way up lake.  Basically the rest came off little points here and there and if there was some rock it helped.


But they never got any bigger.

I kept after the plastics but only caught one here and there.  The watermelon lizard was by far the better bait.  The senko style got several bites but they did not hold on to it near as well as the lizard.  Both baits I was pitching to shallow cover and grass.  I thought that the swim jig might work some in the cover but it did not result in a bite.  So after a couple of hours I went back down lake to try a couple of other places.



Nice when you can bed down and eat your shade.

I tried a popper like they were hitting last month, and other than one blow up, not another bite.  I fished a couple of small deep coves and the end of a channel bank, all without success.  It might have had something to do with it was approaching noon, smoking hot, and not a breath of wind.  If I had known it was not going to rain even a drop I would have gone to the Gulf.  Oh well.  So finally at 11:30 after catching 8 I called it a hot day.

One thing that happened, and it is the second consecutive trip I have seen this, the fish came up chasing shad.  Neither time could I get to them in time, but bait and fish were frothing the water.  The fish are clearly on a shad diet right now, so there must be a better way to go as far as catching them.

It is hot folks, and whether the lake or the bay, go early, drink lots of water, and cover up.  And there has been another case of vibro.  We are off to another fast start this summer.  So take what precautions you can.  My wife is a PA in the ER and after seeing how it was last year she laid down the law, no wet wading.  There are other things you can do, no immersing cuts or wounds in saltwater.  Your chances of getting vibro are probably astronomical, but it never hurts to keep your risk factors to a minimum.


After fishing the Powderhorn Ranch shoreline the other day I got this great comment from Jason on catching fish in the Powderhorn.

Hello. Name is Jason. Emailed you once before. Grew up fishing out of indianola. Family has lost 2 fishing cabins over the years and we have not rebuilt since Little Claudette took the last. Still fish there from time to time. Enjoy reading your trips. Was there a couple of weeks ago and the trout were there and easy to catch. Recognize some of the places you fish. One thing about powder horn is that the best fishing is usually within a few hundred yards of the marina. And we have fished all over west Matty and powder horn. Right before a tide change trout get stacked up in the cut. Bouncing soft plastics and big sassy shads on the bottom with the tide. Fish the last hr of a incoming and hang on. Mr Bell showed that to my grandpa a long time ago. But still works.

First I remember your prior comments on Indianola.  Folks I do not know how he could be any clearer.  This is a bona fide piece of information.  Funny all the times I have fished there I have never tried that.  Especially since I do a similar thing in Kellar Bay in front of the park where it narrows down, making a funnel or a drain.   And as much as I like fishing drains around POC it is clearly case of blinders on my part.  When I dropped him a note making sure he did not mind me posting this, my usual course of action on “places”, I got this answer.

Enjoy your blog.  Doesn’t matter to me. 95 percent of the people fishing that area usually get frustrated and leave. That’s why my family has loved it for so long. Hope the powder horn ranch park deal doesn’t bring too many people in.    Just to let u know I lived on garcitas after deer season for a few yrs camping out with big mullet free lined all night. Didn’t get my state record trout that I thought I lost one time there trolling, but tried. lol. Those big gators would swim by every once and awhile while sleeping on a sand bar. Yikes. Young and dumb. I thought one big trout might be in there. Lots of decent ones   Then I moved to north padre and fished 4-5 days a week.   I slept in my boat in Baffin weekly.   East kleberg.  Cat head etc.  with big live baits.  Caught some nice fish. But not the one. Best was 10.75 lb  33 in just didn’t have it.  I have 2 yr old twins now and enjoying life but I gave it my all.  Good  luck.  But I will say for some reason the best trout I have ever caught in indianola was 28 inches.  That was the norm down south per day.  Don’t know why that was. Nobody in my family caught any bigger.  Heard of a 32 gigged one night and a few 30 out front.   I caught a 30 at the jetties.  I use to help lee richter the inventor of the green lights at the big jetties at night.  Lots of stories there.  Good luck.

Love your response and stories.  I am sure it is so different now from what it was just a few short years ago.  Reminds me of when I was young and hard after it in Arkansas.  Sleep was optional.  And as far as good trout, as I have said all along I am not the best trout fisherman, but more over 25″ have ended up on my line in the last year than the 6 years prior.  I know there are definitely better fish, so it is probably a combination of better fish and getting to be a little bit better fisherman.   I can not thank you enough for your tip and continued readership. Your comment about fishermen getting frustrated and leaving is one of the things I have said about sharing info, most fishermen want info, want to know how and where someone catches fish, but rarely actually act on it.  We are creatures of habit, most bad.  Feel free to comment anytime.


Sorry about the dearth of reports but the weather combined with other stuff has kept me busy.  But I should get everything back in order shortly.  I do not have a clue what is next.  Tomorrow I have to find someone to cut this grass.  Then it will be trout fishing next.  It is  supposed to stay real hot so it will be up at 4:00 to be on the water at daylight.  The tide is still not quite right for the perfect morning, though that will not keep me from fishing, but it should come around in the next 2 weeks.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Indianola 6/16/16.


Boat Decal Try a KnockerB today, you will like it as much as the trout do!

And considering where I fished today this was one timely comment.

I really enjoy reading your blog. Even though I am a lady angler and pick up on your humor. My husband and I fish for trout and reds and we are headed to Powdwehorn fishing for a few days. We are new to Powderhorn and have found a few spots holding trout. Any suggestions on Powderhorn would be most helpful. We put our boat in there at the Indianola Marina.

First Barbara I want to thank you for reading this stuff.  I love hearing from lady anglers and let me first get to the fishing today, and then a little more specific for the Powderhorn.

It Is The Bait Stupid

Often when we trout fish we are fishing a bar, a weed bed with potholes, drain, point, or some other structure that either holds fish or directs water and bait.  It can actually be pretty simple if you think about it.  Today was not simple but when I got my mind working I was able to pull it out.


Get out early to beat the heat.

When I got to Indianola Marina at daylight the tide was still moving in just a little and the water color was ugly.  I assume it was from the freshwater runoff.  But it was not an issue as the plan was to wade a long stretch of the Powderhorn Ranch shoreline.  I started about half way between the Ranch house and the boat ramp.

Idling into 2 foot of water the color still did not fill me with confidence.  Topwater was the bait of choice and there was tons of baitfish.  I had one just jump all over it and miss, and the missing went on.  Before I finally put it down 5 took a pass at it one way or another but just did not hook up.  That was a mistake on my part.  I wear a wading harness with a tackle box and spare rod, but today no different topwater.  Who knows they may have wanted one a little bigger like the mullet or just another color.


Finally caught a fish.  Took a picture of the first one, was starting to wonder if he would be the last.

After not catching anything for a couple of hours I finally started using my head.  So I picked up the watermelon red paddle tail on a 1/32oz jig head.  The first fish was this small red.  Then I caught a smaller trout, and then another.


A finally a trout.

The bites on top were shallow but as soon as  I turned around and casted out I started getting bites.  Three or four were ok and then I caught a couple of nice ones in a row.


Getting bigger.

One thing about that shoreline there is miles of it that other than a few troughs it is fairly featureless.  But what really made the morning was I finally started following a big bunch of bait, both mullet and shad.  While I did not get a ton of bites, maybe 10, once  I concentrated on the bait it was a nice bite.


Now that is a trout!  There is the plastic they wanted today.

It just took me a little time to figure it out.  That bank usually has tons of bait on it, moving up and down with the tide.  You can see it everywhere, and I did actually catch a small mullet on the topwater that actually hit it.  It was interesting thinking  back on it how they hit the topwater in a 2 foot or less and when they quit, or I did, the bait was in 3 – 4 foot of water, and so were the fish.  I made a pass on the grass along the shoreline and caught 2 little bitty reds, the future of the fishery.

Then just to see what it looked like I went in the big pocket on the left inside as you come into the Powderhorn to see the water color and see if I could catch a red on spinnerbait.  The tide was stagnant, the color was marginal, and that pocket has more grass in it than it has had in a while.  I should have boated one on a topwater but missed him, and never had a bite on spinnerbait.

And before I quit I made one drift along the grass near the boat lane.  I did not have a bite on plastics trying to catch trout so as it headed to super hot  it was time to call it a morning.   Having not been on the Gulf in a while it took me a second to get in that mind set.  Speckled trout are another animal, easy to catch, if you can locate them.  As usual location, location, location.  And today that location was under the bait.


Back to your question Barbara.  There is basically 4 places I catch trout in the Powderhorn.  Now that does not mean it is the only places depending on time of year, conditions, etc.  Nor is it related to the redfish.  But as far as trout here is where I have caught them the most.  First, as you come around the boat lane and head straight as you go towards the back there is a long bar, with grass and sand, that runs along the left side of the boat lane.   It slowly flattens out and gets deeper about 3/4’s of the way down the boat lane.  I like fishing the back side of it.   Usually I set in the slot that runs on the other side of the bar.  That can be 3 – 4 foot deep and has isolated oyster, but I rarely catch them on the oyster, they are usually on the flat.

The second place is about half way back on the left.  It is near the second old well platform.  If you stop there and idle to towards the bank you will see a pole which marks the end of the bar.  There is a small pocket to the right of that that has a channel running into it.  I have waded that quite a few times and when they are there it can be good.  Just remember that when the tide is out the back area can get pretty shallow.

As you follow the boat lane in the very last stake on the right has a small oyster reef that seems to start past the last stake then heading right towards the small town.  It can be good but has mainly been a winter spot.

And last is drifting the right hand side of the bay past the last stake.  I try to keep in 3 foot of water and drift down that right hand side.  Do be careful back there as there is a couple of obstructions that I believe are from an old RR track.  And it seems generally if it gets shallower than 2 feet I am generally not successful on a regular basis in the Powderhorn.

So there you have it, where I catch trout.  But really the Powderhorn is my redfish go to spot.  If I intend to trout fish I usually wade the ranch shoreline out in the bay.  And that bank can be easily drifted depending on the wind direction.  So I hope this gives you a place to start and would love to hear from you on how your next trip goes.  And feel free to comment anytime.


Mac sent me this on a bait he discovered and caught some fish on.

Doug, the heat index in Bastrop is 108 degrees!! I may slow down bay fishing until Sept. I just found out about some new baits, ordered a few and boy howdy did they catch shallow water Reds. Heath Hipple, owner and founder of Buggs Fishing lures. They are tied like flies, fished like lures–Buggs catches fish. They come in different weights, and are made with feathers and rabbit fur His redfish lures are fabulous. I fished Burgantine lake at the back of St Chales Bay last week with them. The water was still clear and I had a blast with these baits. Reds came up from behind and sucked them in from a foot out Heath is a personable young man who will tell you how to use these when you order some. I just love sightcasting. It is fishing and hunting combined together. Mac

Actually I know about his baits.  I met him 3 years ago at the Houston Fishing Show and will confess I did not buy any.  He was actually tying them at the show.  Looks like I will have to get a couple, love to see them eat it like that, kind of like catching bonefish on jigs.  As usual it is good to hear from you and comment anytime.


Looking at the tides and weather I may get back out there again in the morning.  I will be sure I have 2 different spare colors and sizes of topwater, and if there is that much bait all I have to do is think back to today – It Is The Bait Stupid.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Back To It. 6/15/16.


Boat Decal Try a KnockerB today, you will like it as much as the trout do!

The last couple of days have been a matter of me catching up on stuff.  My old body feels the 1700 mile drive and the short nights.  So the last couple of days have been detailing the truck, putting stuff away, reorganizing tackle, and resting up.  New line on reels, tackle back in the right box, and a little repair work on odds and ends.  Today I will finish up a few things and then back at it.  And with the Boss living it up with family on Broadway in New York City I am baching it for a few more days.  I ain’t much for singin’ and dancing’, hell I can’t even carry a tune so I passed on that extravaganza.

Starting tomorrow it will be back on the Gulf.  If the reports of the morning topwater fishing are even close to the truth it should be some pretty good fishing.  Where I am not sure yet, depends on whether my buddy Chris is going to fish or not.  Could be POC or maybe the Powderhorn, but I am somewhat leery of what looks like is a bunch of fresh water influx.  And remember freshwater can relocate trout, but if yours are gone the redfish are still there.  I was really surprised at how high the river is, you all must have gotten a bunch or rain last week.


I got lots of comments from folks and wanted to share a few with you.  The first one is from Faye and Steve.

Good morning,

I’m sorry your trip was cut short.
We made a trip to Cabellas and got a new graph. While there I stopped at the Cocoons display. I would never noticed them if not for your blog.  I came away with these awesome slip ons and Steve got a pair of fit overs. We love them and he’s also used his golfing.
We made a trip down to install the graph and fish a couple days.  Steve rocked that install! But the fishing was not rocking.
We are headed down tomorrow for a couple days on the water and will have our new Cocoons on duty!!
Looking forward as always to all of your reports,
Faye & Steve

I hope you like them, I sure do.  Several folks have tried them and the comments I am getting are all good. Optics are critical in many types of fishing, amazing what you see at times.  And be sure to register your warranty.  Unlike some companies they stand behind their stuff, as long as you register them they will take care of you.  And good luck the next couple of days.  I will be looking forward to hearing how it went.


I got this comment form Peter on my page about redfishing for the bassfisherman.  This is the kind of comments that keeps me writing.

Thank you for this article. As a bass fisherman visiting SC, this helps a lot. Tight lines!

Good luck on your trip and we would love to hear how it goes.  A redfish is a redfish no matter where you are.  And thanks for reading.


And I got this comment on my post Saltwater Lures – The Basics from January of this year.

Awesome Post !!.

First thanks for your kind comment Jack.  What makes it so interesting is just a couple of days ago I was watching a fishing show from Australia and saw what turned out to be one of your baits being used.  So when I got this comment I visited the website where it originated – Noeby Fishing Tackle Australia.  Since I am visiting Australia next year it could not have come at a better time.  And then I went to your facebook page and love the fish you catch.  My only problem is how to fit it all in.  I want to fish offshore and would really like to catch a Barra.  They look like my kind of fish.   I will be looking for you baits to appear on the US market.  From the pictures looks like they catch fish!  So if the rest of you want to see come cool baits and pictures of some really awesome fish check out their website and facebook page.


And this one from Raymond really goes to the heart of what I hope comes from all this.

Thanks for your blog, I enjoy reading about the different locations you fish and one day plan on fishing as many as I can.
Raymond ( Bastrop )
Mac turned me on to you a couple years ago and I can’t stop reading!!

Thanks for the comment and thanks to Mac for turning you on to the site.  Mac has been with me from the beginning and I really appreciate his loyalty.  Getting to fish different areas and species makes anyone a better fisherman.  What I have found over the years it is a matter of money and time to keep expanding your fishing, but it can be done on the cheap if you want it bad enough.  In the old days it was a tent and a budget that would not even buy a rod and reel these days.  But the important thing was to make the decision to try something new, make plans, and get it done.  Often it is nothing more than deciding to get up way to early and drive to some place you have never been and just go for it.  As an example – The first time I went to the Everglades not only had I never fished there, I barely knew where it was.  Once I got there I sat on the dock for an hour and looking out over a very imposing sight, 10,000 islands.  And then I got in the boat and got it done without help or a GPS.  If I can do it anyone can.  So good luck, start small and go from there.


Getting this post written was the last thing to do on the list.  I am fully caught up and looking forward to watching a couple of 20″+ trout smash the Bagley KnockerB a foot in the air before they crash down on it and eat.   And again I than all of you who take the time to comment, I really appreciate it, it makes this a much better place.  I learn from you and I hope you learn something from me.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Home 6/9/16.


Boat Decal Home of the Bang O Lure.

Unfortunately the last report will be the last report from this trip.  Circumstances required that my trip  be cut short so that is why no reports the last couple of days while I was driving back.  When you travel there are things that come up, and it often does not go as planned.  So I am home and will be reflecting on the trip in the next couple of days.  For now it is time to unpack and reorganize.  I see on all the local fishing reports that the topwater fishing on the bay is going strong, so I can not wait to get back out there.   So thanks for following me, and after a day or two to get settled it will be back to fishing.  Keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Bear Bay/Day 6 6/8/16.


Boat Decal Home of the Bang O Lure.

Excuse Me?

One of the baits we are using is the Whopper Plopper by River2Sea.  It catches fish and we all decided to buy some before we headed up here.  Shoedog and Clyde have caught bass in Arkansas on it and I have caught a couple in Texas on the medium.  So our buddy John was at the store and picked out a couple, including one that caught a big muskie yesterday.  He picked out a couple of colors that he thought we good and took them to the counter.

The clerk looks at him and said, “You have a monkey butt.”  John goes, “Excuse me?”  The clerk repeats, “You got Monkey butt.” John goes, “Huh?”  Then the clerk goes, “That is the color, Munkey Butt.”  As that Redneck comedian says, “Now that is funny right there!”

But do check them out if you have not seen them yet.  Designed by Larry Dahlberg, who I contend is the best all around fisherman on the planet, it comes in 3 sizes and it catches fish.  Occasionally a new bait comes along that really works, and the Whopper Plopper is that bait.  So check them out.  If you like explosive strikes you will love them right out of the box.


Almost all my life I have had the get up gene as far as fishing goes.  It is now 5 a.m. and I am up making coffee, writing this, and getting ready to make lunch, pack the cooler etc. for what will be a long day as we drive up to Sioux Narrows for the long ride to Bear Bay.  Clyde must have heard me, I try to be quiet, and his response – Are you insane!  It was not a question, and back to bed he went.

But wait, here they come.  For the first time this trip folks are moving around as early as me.  I am shocked.  But the annual pilgrimage to Bear Bay is on tap and it is hard not to get excited with the though of over 100 smallmouth, many in the 3 – 4lb range with a few bigger ones tossed in.  So we shall see, I will fill you in tonight.


Paul and his son Jake were guiding yesterday and had a good day.  Walleyes were on tap and they found them in 9′ on the outside edge of the deeper weedlines.  The water temp is rising rapidly and the fish are in various stages of transition.  The pike are way done as they are really early spawners, the walleye are done and are moving deeper every day, and the muskies are getting ready to spawn, which is why we are seeing so many.  The bass are in various stages depending on the lake and area. Clyde and John saw 19 muskies the other day, which is a whole bunch of muskies.  The opener is in a week and those guys are absolutely going to knock the crap out of them.


Bear Bay

Before I get to today’s fishing we need to talk about something.  Today John had a smallmouth thrashing around in the boat, his popper pulled out and hit him like a shot right in the face.  It is a good reminder of how things like that can happen, and what you can do about it.

Bear Bay is a 30 minute run from the nearest ramp and this thing was buried.


Well here he is, Munkey Butt as he will always be known from now on, with a Pop R in his face.  We told him not to eat his bait but he wouldn’t listen.

Clyde buried a hook in his hand a couple of years ago and I used the line out method and popped it right out.  The hook in John was not all the way through and the line out method worked like a charm.  So instead of a 30 minute boat ride, a 20 minute car ride, and a $500 ER bill he was back to fishing.  The only thing that was really hurt was his pride, and I am not sure even that was to bad other than the guff he took from us.  So if you want to see how we get them out go to my video page and watch Hook Out.  It works.  Now back to the fishing.

There may be some places in this world with better smallmouth fishing but Bear Bay, off Yellow Girl Bay, way up on Lake of the Woods, is right up there.  The 4 years we have come here we always make it up there, and it always is an adventure.

LOW is almost at mid summer level, which is low.  To get into Bear Bay you go through 2 channels and 2 small lakes and we barely made it all the way.  But we made it, and it was game on.


Shoedog starts it off.

We started with jerkbait and buzzbait and were catching a few when we talked to John and Clyde a little later and they were using small topwater minnows, so we started using topwater and it was catch, catch, catch.  They could not have been more right on the bank if they crawled out.  Toss it to the bank, twitch it once, and they smoked it.


Now that is a smallmouth.

A nice jerkbait fish.  They were eating it but once we went to topwater we pretty much stayed with it.


No wonder my hands are sore.

We also fished some for pike and caught a few, and I missed the first big one I have had on.  Clyde and John did some fly rodding and kept catching smallmouth.  To tell you how good a fishing hole it is, they stayed in the main bay for 9 hours and caught them the whole time.


I mean it is just hard to explain how awesome it is to catch big smallmouth until you can barely look at another one.

 I was using a Chug Bug for a while but went to small light balsa minnow on a light spinning rod and had a great time.  Back to my Cocoons, but they are an absolute mandatory.  You could see many of them and it was so fun to twitch it at just the right minute and have them exploded on it.


They were just sucking that topwater down.


Somebody took a big bite of out this guy.

Until we went in we only say one boat all day.  LOW is a freakin’ monster.  Grouse drumming, Golden and Bald Eagles, flocks of geese overhead, this is the great outdoors.  It gives me a renewed appreciation for Mother Nature, God, The Grand Poba, whoever you believe is responsible for this world.  I am lucky to get to do this, lucky to be alive, and lucky to have a wife who puts up with this passion that burns inside me.

Clyde sent me a couple of his pictures.  Hope they are not sideways,  If they are pick up your computer and turn it sideways, it will all work out.


Clyde with a good one.


John did his part.


Clyde with another of those muskies that won’t leave us alone.

It is 10:30 as I finish this.  I am blind tired and happy.  And nothing like venison loin on the grill that Clyde cooked.  Paul who owns the resort guided today on an area of LOW we know fairly well and they caught 50 pike.  His customer was reeling in a 23″ pike when a monster pike came out of nowhere and latched on.  That is the second time we have heard that this week.  So as I close, visions of monster pike will fill my dreams, and I will wake up ready to go.  My hands will never be the same, but I will still hold on to that rod for dear life.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

(And a word to my coastal boys – There has already been a case of vibro on the coast.  Be sure to wear waders if you have an open wound.  That stuff is ugly.)

(Please keep excusing the lack of editing, but it just ain’t happening!)

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