Coleto Creek 9/18/16.

    FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

I do my usual preparation by getting the  weather, tides, and solunar times the day before, so it is done when I get back from fishing.  I am sorry but I am getting flat out sick of this high 90’s crap.  It is hot, it has been hot, and it seems to want to keep hanging around.  The only thing about the numbers today is there is a good solunar period first thing, so it will be interesting to see how the bite goes.  I know one thing, the tides sure are not worth a dang, probably a better day to be bass fishing.  And we want to be back in time for the Cowboy game.

Weather

97/74 Partly Cloudy  10% chance of rain  Wind NW 5 – 10 mph  (I am SICK of 97 degrees)

Tide

Low   1:00 AM     0.8
High   5:46 AM     0.9   (Talk about a flat 2 tide day)
Low   1:08 PM     0.7
High   9:28 PM     1.0

Solunar Times

  • Best     12:11A – 2:11A
  •              12:38P – 2:38P
  • Good    6:25A – 8:25A   (Good and stayed good.)

I had a buddy going with me but when I got to his house he was not up.  I texted him, gave him 5 minutes and then hit the road.  That has been my habit for years, ready to go or not I am hitting the water.  To bad he did not make it.  It was hot, humid, and foggy on the way to the lake.  When I got there it was just daylight and there was only one truck at the ramp.  The first thing I noticed was that the lake has come down a foot or so.  With that I knew that up lake would have cleared some, which it did, and still have that good shallow cover, which there was.  The only thing I wondered about was the moon, which was basically full and out until around 9.  If that made a difference I sure could not tell, unless it made them bite better,

I was fishing by 7:15 and on my 3rd cast I put one in the boat.  From then on they bit consistently on shallow banks and on 4 different baits.  First up was pitching the Rage Craw to shallow cover, and I mean shallow.  Several bites today hit it before it sunk right on the bank in a foot of water.

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                        They liked that Rage Craw pitched to cover.

So after catching a few, and with them so shallow, it was time to break out the swim jig.  It did not take long and several more ate that just reeling at a moderate speed.  One bite was my favorite, is feeling a tic as you reel it and your line goes completely slack.  They are almost always good ones and that one was. Love that bite!

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They liked that Strike King Swim jig in Bluegill with a Rage Craw trailer.

At this point they are biting right along.  I had not pitched the watermelon/red senko style bait so I pick that up and of course they liked that too.  It was getting on towards 10 and they were still biting right along.

It really does seem totally, super duper, counter intuitive that with the water falling over a foot and the temperature up 3 degrees they are biting.  And more importantly that they were shallow.  What is interesting about that?  They were shallow on the flattest banks up lake.  After catching the first couple I decided to keep count, and before it was over I boated 17 in 4 hours.  Some of them nice and husky.

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   A couple nice ones.  One on the pitching the senko and one on buzzbait.

With everything working there was no way I was going to not throw a buzzbait.  I probably should have tried it earlier, but I still managed to catch a couple and miss one.  And if you look at the one above you can see how far down that buzzbait was.  That thing exploded on it, a great way to end the morning.

It is really hard to emphasis how shallow these thing were today.  I would guess the majority came on one hop or less.  Even the buzzbait fish were first crank.  I did lose a couple trying to get them over or out of wood.  And of course the day would not be complete without breaking my favorite swim jig rod.  The fish had me sideways on a log and I set the hook sideways, hit the console, and snapped the end off.  Oh well, have to see what kind of action it has when fixed.   How I manage to break 2 or 3 rods a year I will never know.

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Way Off Topic – Football

I really enjoy college football, and watching it gives me time to work on my blog while wasting the day away, depending on the action.  First up it was Alabama and Ole Miss, both on the Hog’s side of the SEC.  What a good game.  Ole Miss looks tougher than you might have thought with a great defense, and Alabama looked rough around the edges on both sides of the ball.  Saban was not happy but the Tide Rolls on.  They are still the team to beat.

The Hogs played Texas State in an ugly mismatch.  You need one of these on your schedule but who knows what they learned from beating them so bad.  But 3 – 0 is better than our usual start.  And the boys from San Marcos hung in there and played a good second half. But the better game was the Aggies vs. Auburn.  The SEC opener for both, the Aggies played a solid game, not counting 3rd down failures, and are 3 and 0.  So it sets up the Hogs and Aggies in Jerry’s World.  It looks to be a good game.  And with LSU winning things are about to get interesting in the SEC West.

The Cowboy – Redskin game was a real dandy.  That they are playing this well with rookies at QB and running back, and 3 defensive players on drug suspension, is amazing.  We will be at the Thanksgiving day game in Dallas and I am excited about that and I sure did not want them to start 0 – 2.  So a big win.  If Prescott keeps playing like this it will be really interesting to see how it all shakes out when Tony comes back.  The Cowboys are always a trip, but hey, Jerry is from Arkansas.

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Hope you liked that croaker how-to from Chad.  I sure learned something about fishing them, and also learned how effective they truly are when the weather is hot and the plastic bite is slow.  That will definitely be on next years agenda.  So thanks again Chad.  And the rest of you, it is not that hard to share something you know with the rest of us.  It does not require anything more than putting it down, I will fix it if it needs it.  You do not have to know how to spell, we don’t care.  Hell, I don’t even know what an adverb is!  But we can all learn something, so keep those reports and comments coming, it makes this blog what it is.

There is some fishing to do this week.  Some folks from Austin are down at POC and I hope to join them the next day or two.  That will not be the only fishing, when it this good on the bay and lake it keeps it interesting.  A trip to Keller Bay, or Fayette, may also be on the agenda.  And today did not hurt my fishing feelings any.  Anytime you can catch 17 in 4 hours, several of them good fish, the fishing is good.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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How to Fish Croakers 9/17/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

How to Fish Croaker –

Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

by Chad “The Mad Trout Fisherman” McCrory

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With croaker fishing, first lets start with the rod and reel. I use a 7ft bait casting rod 1/4 to 3/4 ounce.  I use a baitcasting reel in a 150/ 200 series with the only difference being spool capacity.  With spinning gear I use the same 7 ft med/ heavy which allows me to get the maximum possibly distance out of my cast.

Now lets go to the line, first thing i want to say about that is, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I use 12lb Big Game green.  While many people have gone to no stretch braid I refuse.  When throwing croaker with a baitcaster, if you throw one off it could mean disaster with a big backlash if you are not quick enough to stop the spool.  Mono is not so bad when that happens, but braid can be a nightmare.  Though I’m good at getting out backlashes, and have had plenty of experience, that braid backlash often makes them it knife cutter.  So I am a mono guy.

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Not croaker fishing?  You are missing out!

Now the leader line is a 20, 30, or 40# attached to a swivel. I generally use about 18″-24″ of leader.  When croaker season starts the croaker are small so I use a 4/0   on a 20lb leader and freeline them, which usually starts in mid May to early June.  Then as the croaker get bigger I go to 5/0 and 30lb.  Finally to the 6/0 and 40lb leader with the bigger baits.  Simple, bigger baits = bigger hooks and leader.  Usually by mid July the croaker are strong swimmers so I add a croaker clicker.  This does two things, first it adds noise to the bait.  Second it also sinks the croaker quickly, keeping it away from those liar birds, which can be a real pain in clear water due their ability to dive so deep to get your bait.  The clicker (noise attractant) I prefer is a piece of wire with brass and glass beads on it.  It seems to cast better and produces more fish for me.

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Redfish Candy.

A bait stand is a bait stand if they have croaker, right?  Wrong!  I have learned over the years that fresh live croaker are considerably better than croaker that are weak and full of tank sores.  (Implication – buy from a busy bait stand.)  Here is another tip, croaker are naturally slimy and that is how you want them.  When transporting your croaker in the live well an oxygen set up is best, with second best being a Mr Bubbles or air that comes through an aeration stone.  Aerators that blast re-circulating water do two things.  First, they wash all the slime off your croaker, and second, they will heat the water in your livewell, making the croaker weak and unnatural.  Fish won’t eat something they think may make them sick.  So the well being of your bait is very important.

Now with that out of the way, lets talk about presentation and hook placement in the croaker.  The surf is the easiest of them all when conditions are right. Meaning, when you can anchor in the third gut and are in no danger of waves breaking over the bow.  That anchor placement allows you to throw your bait in both the second and first gut.  (Obviously a weight is necessary, and is determined by what is necessary due to current and tides to keep your bait stable.)

I like to keep my rod at a 45 degree angle which allows me to feel the thump and then feed the fish line without releasing my thumb bar.  When the rod gets parallel to the water I set the hook hard. Like you do when worm fishing for bass.

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Are you getting the picture yet?

As for the bay, I fish croaker a little differently, especially in grassy areas.  I throw it out, let it sink, and jig it back up to the top of the water column, all the time waiting on the thump.  As soon as I feel it, I immediately push my thumb bar allowing the fish to run for a bit, then locking him in and setting the hook.  Some days when you feel the thump they will run straight towards you, often like the bite bass fishing Texas rigged worms.

Most of the time hook placement in the croaker is right above the mid line in between the dorsal fin and tail.  However, when looking for fish on a flat I will hook them underneath the bottom lip, coming out right below the nose.  This does a couple of things, it allows me to get many cast out of a croaker without throwing him off, and it gives the croaker a more natural look as I slowly reel him in across sand pockets and guts.  It is the most effective locator technique I use.  It also works well when the trout, instead of eating your croaker, just want to kill it.

Hope I have helped a few folks out.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

(Chad is an experienced all-around fisherman.  He is highly successful wading and fishing croaker for big strings of speckled trout and redfish on the Texas Coast.  We are fortunate that he has taken the time to share his knowledge with us.  There is much here to digest, but for those of you like me who are learning, or wanting to learn to croaker fish, this is all you need to know to get started.  There is a wealth of knowledge in his words.  So a big thanks to Chad.)

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Buying a Hat. 9/16/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

The Big Hat Hunt

One would think that buying a hat is a simple process.  Thank again fish face!  There are hats, and hats, and more hats.  They come in every size, shape, and color you could think of.  So what is the problem?  It should just take a minute and be done, but that is not how it went yesterday.

Of course you have to have the good hat, the fishing hat, the warm weather mesh back, and the full cover hat.  And then there is that hat you have that the boss does not allow you out of the house with if she is along.   In my case I needed an everyday hat that is not the fishing hat, or the working in the yard hat.  You know the hat, the one you can wear in mixed company that does not have that ugly sweat ring around it.  So the hat hunt began.

As I was shopping, first at Roy’s and then Dick’s in Corpus, and finally Tackle Town in Rockport, it really hit me, we are paying them to wear their logo on our head.  Better than free marketing on their part.  Think about it, what other industry besides the outdoor market does it so well.   Perfect, pay them to market their stuff.  We have become a walking billboard, including our boats, and somehow the clothes you wear and the boat you drive somehow equates to what a big time fisherman you are.  It definitely does not have squat to do with whether you can catch fish or not.

Being the cheap skate I can be I set a limit, not one penny over $20.  Of course if it had a logo it can not be something I don’t use or believe in.  It can’t look like it was designed by Jimmie Buffet, have a flat bill (Not in this lifetime), or have that really long stupid looking bill with the desert flap on the back.  (Though that is actually the best for your health.)  One my wife liked was a Costa, not on this Cocoons sunglass wearing angler’s head.  So right away 90% of them were off the list.

Then there were the cool Huk hats.  Problem one, I am not paying $30 for a hat!  And as an aside, they have burst on the scene the last couple of years, and I am sure their stuff is good stuff, it is just pricey.  And problem number 2, as far as I am concerned, is their fishing show.  They are fishing lots of big money offhshore tourneys in their new 70mph quad boat, and they are doing it all for us.  You know, to field test their stuff for our own good.  They seem like great guys, but their prices reflect their hobby, and the premium you pay is keeping that lifestyle alive.   As my old friend Denny used to say, “I am not mad at them, I just want me some.”

And after wandering around in those great stores, and thinking about the hat, it got me thinking about the way it was in the good old days, and what as a sport we have become.  Reminds me of the old Saturday Night Live Skit – It is not how you feel, it is how you look.  We have succumbed to the big marketing scheme, which is fine if you are really marketing their product, otherwise you are buying a $30 hat which makes you a walking billboard.  And my question is this, What have they done for you?  The answer, happily take your money.  Do not get the wrong idea, I am a capitalist, the more money the merrier.  But where are the dam hats I can buy that does not advertise something?   It looks like they do not exist.

The old fishing store is becoming a thing of the past.  Cabela’s, Roy’s, Tackle Town, Bass Pro, Offshore Angler, one and all are becoming a department store with fishing stuff.  It is not a bad thing, it is just change.  But I worry about the future of our sport.  I wonder, what do the poor folks do?  Stuff has gotten so pricey.  Where is the old guy in the store who helped the kid find some catfish?  Where is the store that the owners are really helpful with fishing information?  What are kids wanting to get into fishing to think?  How is a kid from a broken home even going to get started?

So I fretted as I put on hats, hats, and more hats on my head,  I noticed every gosh dang one had an ad for something or someone.  After 3 stores, and a couple of hours, I finally made a decision, a $12 Tackle Town hat.  Actually it fit me best, I liked the color and bill, and it fit into my cheap skate lifestyle.  So they won.  I am now wearing an ad on my head for a store I go in a couple of times a year, where no one has ever even said hi.  Crazy!

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I had not heard from Rick in a while, good to know he is upright and taking nourishment.

That was a great salt report!!! How was the water clarity? Me and my business partner had to go to Corpus to pick up a truck on Tuesday 9-13 and booked a trip with Shawn Harvey with gofloundering.com out of POC .We probably traveled 30 miles looking for clear water. Pecked out 10 flounder and 6 sheepies but really had to work for them. It was’nt that windy but the water was extremely murky everywhere, even on protected shorelines and in the back of coves. Keep those saltwater reports coming!

You found exactly what I have been finding the last couple of weeks.  Water to die for, and I knocked the crap out of them the other day in that perfect water, and then what you found.  Your description of the color was perfect, that not really muddy, but that milky murk, which I hate.  I have never flounder gigged, but it is on my list at some point.  At least you managed to stick a few so the trip wasn’t a total bust.  So good to hear from you, and the saltwater reports will be coming right along.

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Here is a good question from Steve, and it is easy to answer.

Good afternoon Doug
Glad to hear you have your saltwater grove back. This is kind of off topic. When you put in at
POC how do you navigate out to the army hole flats. We recently bought a weekend place at Seadrift and have a 21’ Nautic Star, not shallow running so I take it very slow. Really need to know the easiest path out of POC.
Thanks
Steve ( from Waco)

That is easy enough.  The quickest route to get to the whole island shoreline from POC is to head down the barge canal, opposite of heading out the small jetties.  When you see Army Cut, which will be on your left a mile or two down, take it.  From there just follow the channel markers and you will go past the that big clump of wells and you are on the island shoreline.  Stay in the boat lane and there is no problem getting over there.  From there you have the whole island to fish, That immediate area is often called the Pringle Shoreline, which is great to get out of the wind.

Now if you do not want to fight Froggie’s parking lot on the weekend just stop at Charlie’s on Lane Road and pay the $5.  From there you head down the barge canal towards POC a few miles and you will come to Army Cut and take a right.  Army cut is across from the big development with all the fancy high dollar houses, with a pier or two on the inter-coastal.  Easy to find.  Once you get out on the island just take it easy, there is nothing wrong with stopping far off the bank and idling in, or parallel the bank.  My boat runs in around a foot, but I believe in idling in to the shoreline for several reasons.  Gives you a great chance to find the bait, and it is really mullet run time, so find the rafts of mullet and you will find some fish.  It also lets you start seeing where the grass starts and where the drop is as you approach the bank.  As Buck Perry, one of the greatest fishermen of all times said, “The fish are deep, shallow, or in between.  And last idling to the bank keeps me out of trouble.

And if you do not have a Hook-N-Line Matagorda Bay Map, go to Academy and buy one.  Map study lets you visualize what folks tell you, and to learn all the local names you will hear for places.  And last, Sea Tow.  If you are going to explore the area now that you have the place, buy it.  You may never need it, a friend of mine has used his 4 or 5 times, and we have been saved way the hell and gone down on the Lower Laguna.  Without it we would have been way past screwed.  It is simply peace of mind and worth every penny.

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I am happy to report that there is a great new sponsor coming on board.  I love their stuff and am humbled that they contacted me and wanted to participate.  That will be coming in the next week or two and I will fill you in on all the details later.  Suffice to say it will be a great fall of testing and fishing.  Heck who knows, they might even have a hat!

Hope you are having a great weekend whatever you are doing.  We just got back from a night in Rockport and I am chomping at the bit to get back on the water.  My trout fever is on the rise, visions of smashing topwater strikes are playing in my mind like that bad song you can not get out of your head.  And now that folks are off killing stuff the no weekend fishing rule is about to expire.  Bring on fall.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Port O’Connor Texas 9/14/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

Boat Decal Trout love the Knocker B.

Since  I started preparing the preliminary stuff the day before I fish, to be sure I get the forecast right, it is interesting to look at all the factors that can affect the fishing and what has been done in the past.  So Chris and I will be on the water at daylight.  The only thing that concerns me is the wind direction considering where I whacked them Monday.

Weather

91/73   Scattered clouds with a 30% chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon  Wind NE 12 mph

Tides

High   8:30 AM     1.1   7:11 AM         Low  10:54 PM     0.5   7:31 PM

Solunar Times

  • Best Times      9:07A – 11:07A
  •                           9:33P – 11:33P
  • Good                2:53A – 4:53A

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It was rough.

When we got to Froggie’s the wind was blowing pretty good, I would say it was an easy 15mph.  The tide was up and the water in the barge canal was a little dirtier than it was Monday.

After our ride across the bay we started on the flats near Army Hole.  There was a serious chop, Chris went right and I went left, in my case heading for the area I got them on Monday.  We both kept after the topwater for a while in spite of the rollers, but after only a bite each, it was plastics.  To make a long story short we did catch some fish, me 4 or 5 small ones, in his case it was probably 25+, and between us it was only 2 keepers.  At least his was a nice 20″ fattie.

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The best for the morning.

Besides the rollers, we should have left earlier, the water was slowly coloring up.  The water I was in was clear, and with the direction he went he ended up on a color line on the outside edge of a drain.  The fish were there and biting but they were small,  I on the other hand caught one here and there, but had the same problem as the other day.  There were so many needle fish that a paddle tail on a plastic lasted around a cast or two.  And dam those things stink!

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That says it all about my run of trout today.

Basically we stayed to long.  But with the bite best later in the morning we kind of made a stand.  Unfortunately it did not play out.  With the wind out of the NE lots of places were starting to really color up so we headed to Barroom hoping to find a little calmer water.

Well it was calmer, but the fishing was not better.  I think I caught another 4 or 5, all small, and he might have caught a couple.  We talked about what to do, and where, but decided to call it a day other than make a long run.  He had some things to take care of so we headed back to the ramp.

There are some days when things just do not work out, right place, wrong time, right time wrong place, it was just one of those days.  We stayed in the water all morning but just did not get it done.  I have a feeling there was a bite coming, we just didn’t wait it out. But no matter, this is the beginning of the fall beat down, and we will be back at them with a vengeance.  Somebody has to pay.

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As we were unloading this morning someone yelled asking if I was Doug.  Tim and his friends were getting ready to head out, and they said they read the blog.  I love meeting you all on the water.  So anytime you see me holler, we can talk fishing or just say hi.  I like meeting any of you.

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Before I show you Chad the Mad Trout Fisherman’s reports from his last couple of trips, Chris  had several reports from friends on Monday’s fishing.  It was dead calm most of the day and a couple of his friends headed out to the surf, it was a perfect day for it.  One boat spent time chasing what they thought was a redfish school with over a 1000 redfish.  Yahoo, fall is coming and so is the gathering of the redfish on our bay waters.

Another friend had an epic tarpon day.  He and his significant other did battle with 13 tarpon.  That is awesome.  One they estimated at 170lbs, a freaking monster.   So Monday the fish were biting everywhere on everything.  Those days are so rare and it is a real treat when you are fortunate enough to be on the water.

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Here is the Mad Trout Fisherman’s report from Monday and Tuesday, starting with Monday first.

Poc all i can say is the trout bite is good. We made 3 stops today all places holding rafting mullet. Tide still pouring in, we had 3 man limits at 8 am and continued to catch some quality trout at all places. 24″ was big trout today. Released many over the 20″ mark. We found some reds at byucos but only one made the mark. So i released him as well. Im glad you decided to get wet, and get after them. That is what its all about. Ill be headed back in the morning its my fishing partners b- day.

That just says it all about Monday.  The better fish were on the prowl and hungry.  The they got out again, and this says it all about live bait when the conditions are tough.

Poc again today light winds yesterday strong ne winds today. Murky water and not being able to visually see the rafts of bait and having to set up our wades in the opposite direction as yesterday. Confidence was down after the first 20 mins without a bite. My head was telling me to move but my guts said stay. Then i felt that thump thump and bam the bite was on! Wow what a relief after telling the guys how great it was yesterday. After a 45 min session of double and tripple hook ups we had our trout and released some aswell. The redfish eluded me yesterday somewhat, so i was ready to outsmart them today. We eased over towards the cityslicker shoreline about a 500 yd move and began a wade targeting reds. We started out at waist deep and kept moving shallow, when got to knee deep i noticed tails out the water up shallow . Then wack the first one bit and the redfish rodeo was on! It amazed me that every one we caught was inbetween 201/2″- 21″ So with a box full of red and trout we headed in at 11:30 with 3 happy fisherman! My main fishing partner todd turned 56 today so what better way to spend ur birthday with limits of trout and red and back at the dock before noon. We saw quite a few flocks of teal this morning buzzing around before sunrise, I used to be hardcore teal hunter but getting eatin up by misquitoes trudging through mud mud when its 85 degress aint much fun anymore . Regular season is around the corner and ill give hell then. I know my black lab radar is ready, its been a long hot summer ! Thanks and god bless chad

First nothing like making your buddies birthday special, and that will do it.  So happy birthday Todd.  Your roll is impressive, and I can guarantee you we would have had a much better day if we were chunking croaker.  That is something I will put in my bag of tricks for future reference if high winds with color winds are in the forecast.  I may become a part time bait fisherman yet.  I also saw a few teal Monday. Chris my fishing buddy is a hard core duck hunting nut.  Teal, ducks, geese, he chases them all. I on the other hand could never be accused of being a hunter.  I go occasionally, but if you ever wanted to meet a truly bad shot, you will whenever we run into each other.  So congrats on your ongoing success and keep those reports coming, we love them.

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I don’t know if you checked out the link to Falcon Lake Tackle I put up the other day concerning the big fish kill on Falcon.  I checked his new post and TPWD is finally going to come and do a fish kill count.  Now that is a good thing, if it had not happened 2 weeks ago!  They knew it happened and this is the best they could do?  They must have just been soooooo busy.  Nothing like calling an ambulance and they show up 2 weeks later to see if they can find the body.

And one point he makes is that the outdoor writers are complicit occasionally by letting them off the hook, or even actively criticizing them concerning important issues.  And I think the magazines and publications themselves also deserve a little criticism.  It seems that the outdoor mainstream media just does not deal with real issues relating to the TPWD, everyone is just to cozy.  You know, the banquets, turkey shoots, media days, and all the other cool stuff they get to do.

As you know if you read this stuff I have been critical on the appointment of commissioners, the giving away of bass we paid for to a rich Doctor who was charging a couple of thousand a weekend to fish his place  (They tried to fix that one, but it still worked out for the rich guy), and now their slow response to a major fish kill.  (Don’t get me wrong, I love the 5 fish trout limit and the ongoing stocking programs.  They do good work, but that does not make them immune to warranted criticism.)  A rapid response was warranted and they dropped the ball.  As we see so often in some of the fish and game department’s dealing in many states, what is good for them and their friends and backers is not for the rest of us.   In this case it is a major construction company.

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I have a good dilemma, where am I going to fish in October when the wife is out of town for a week visiting her mother who will be recovering from hip surgery.  I have at least narrowed it down to 2 choices, Falcon Lake or the Upper Laguna out of North Padre.  They both have their appeal.  The fishing report from Falcon has really improved the last year, with 50+ fish days common and big fish over 10lbs much more common than the last couple of years.  And according to the Blacks the Bafffin/Upper Laguna fish are biting and the traffic is way down.  Tough choice, the possibility of a 30″ trout or a 10lb. bass.  I have skirted both of those, my biggest trout is 29″ and my heaviest bass is a 9lb. 3 oz fattie.  One thing about true trophy fish, close does not count.  I need a 30″ and a 10lber, either will do!  So with about 6 weeks to decide I can wait before I make a decision, and it may be no more complicated  than what the weather has in store.  Either way I am looking forward to it.

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So in spite of our poor showing today the bite is still on big time on the bay.  Other than a quick Coleto trip next time it is cloudy and raining the bay extravaganza is on.  This could be the best fall since I have been in Texas, and I am getting excited.  Days like yesterday will happen, but they are a lot fewer and further between.  And please keep those reports and comments coming.  If you see a grey 4 Runner with a hood scoop towing a Mako 18LTS it is me, say hello.  I love meeting all of you.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Do Something Spectacular? Ok. 9/12/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

Boat Decal A Knocker B topwater will be up first this morning. 

Sliding over the side this morning with topwater and plastics in hand there was no way I would have guessed it would be 6 hours before I would be back in the boat.  Sometimes we stop on the right place and make good choices, and this morning it was all good.

Weather

92/72  20% chance of showers.  Wind  5 – 10 SSE.  (Wind did not blow until 10:00)

Tide

High   7:26 AM     1.1   7:10 AM     (It was up and running in and stabilized at noon.)
Low   9:16 PM     0.4

Solunar Times

Best Times    7:33A – 9:33A    7:59P – 9:59  Good Time  1:20A – 3:20A  (Hard to tell as they bit all morning.  The good time was later, probably around noon, when the water might have just started to move.)

I got to Froggie’s about 6:45 as it was just cracking daylight.  The water was up but looked good, and there was barely a breath of wind.  After my last trip it was time to take the bull by the horns and really fish serious, so the plan was the flats around Army Hole.  The run was great, sun peaking out, dead calm, love those mornings.  It just had that feel about it, they were going to bite, and boy did they.

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A perfect morning!

Slowly idling to the bank it was hard to believe the mullet.  I mean thousands, 10’s of thousands, rafting down the bank as far as I could see.  There were fish busting them here and there.  So out I went in a foot of water and started tossing the topwater.  First up was a nice red.  It turned out to be 1 of 4, and it should have been more.

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        One on the Knocker B, one on the paddle tail on a 1/32 jig head.

Wading where I could reach the bank, the water was way up in the grass, I alternated between the topwater and plastic, fishing the shallow stuff.  One problem today was there was so much activity, including lady fish, that they were just eating the paddle off the plastic.  I caught some on plastics, but the topwater was still working.  After having 5 or 6 plastics destroyed I made the decision to stay with the topwater, my first good choice.  I was catching small trout on both baits, some barely keepers, but I stuck with it.

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You know it will be a good day when a free $7.00 Spook One Knocker floats right up to you.  It was new!

After working the bank I headed out to waist deep and fished the outside edge of the millions of mullet school streaming by, y second good choice.  They were hitting the Knocker B, but I was not getting the size I mwanted.  Then I made my third good choice after going off the bank, give the Chug Bug a go, and off it went.

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          They were flat busting that white with a red head Chug Bug!

Initially I was walking the dog and then I tried one fast, and from then on it was game on.  The best retrieve was almost reeling it real fast throwing lots of water, then walking the dog, then stopping, chugging it, and they would suck it under.  I had a wad of them hit within 6 feet of me, and I could see some of them rolling on it.  Love those Cocoons!  I think the big noise got them coming, then slowing it down they could not stand it.

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When I got home there were 42 pictures on the camera, it was that good.   The one on the right was the best one on plastic.

Since I had not been back to the boat I had no clue what time it was, but if I had to guess the good bite was around noon.  I was in waist deep and more on the outside of the mullet throwing to deep water.  It had the perfect amount of chop to help topwater fishing.  There is no way to guess how many trout I caught  today today, but it was a bunch and I missed way more than hooked up.  Finally I got around this big pot hole and there were some real ones there.

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This was a big girl and she smoked it!  No way she was fitting in the picture.

I had 4 bites in that one pot hole on about 10 casts.  I caught 2 really good ones, one I  dropped while trying to get ready for a picture, the other above.  One pulled off and one exploded and missed.  They were right in front of me, and I would use that Chug Bug super fast and erratice and then slow it down, or stop it, and I could see them come for it.  There were some big fish in that pot hole.   It has been awhile since I hit a run like that, and it was exciting.

So I kept fishing for a while, caught a few more trout, and then the gremlin reared his head.  And of course that little thing had to intrude.  I talk and talk about doing the little things, and in this case how about re-tying?  Not me, why would I practice what I preach?  So I am working it along and I mean the toilet flushed.  It was definitely a big ass over red, and after catching all those trout I did not have a chance, and there goes my red/white Chug Bug.  So since I was close to the boat I headed back to see what time it was, and see if I had another Chug Bug.  I was astounded when it was 1:30.  I actually stayed in the water and had bites for over 6 hours, from the minute I jumped in until I quit.  Lots of little trout, some nice ones, and a couple of big ones.  Add 4 reds landed and a couple lost, it was a great morning.  So on that note I called it a day.

I do want to take a minute to plug the Wade Right wading harness by Coastal Fishing Gear.  I have used them for 3 years and it is so great to be able to easily carry 2 different rods and have that nice tackle box up and out of the water.  It made an important difference, I never had to go back to the boat.  So look them over, great stuff.

Your Wade Fishing Headquarters

So yes, I can fish the bay and catch a couple of trout.  Looking back on the last couple of years this is when it starts, and it goes all the way to the dead of winter.  It has been a slow summer for me, but it has been worth the wait.  Now it is time to start getting after them.  I think that Chug Bug has an action and noise they just don’t see or hear all that often.  It worked great in Florida, and that is what made me give it a go today.  Of course now I have to head to Academy and see what they have.

I will definitely be heading back again this week, it is to good not to.  And looking at the tides next week it could get ugly.  It might be one of those times when I stay down at POC a couple of nights so I can get 3 solid days of it, and I sure will not miss the drive.  It is nice to get up and be on the water in nothing flat.  So I feel a lot better about things.  I guess I am getting spoiled in my old age.  Being able to fish whenever you want is a good thing, and it can be a curse.  Makes it easier to say heck with it I will go tomorrow, but the good fishing is coming, and I intend to take real advantage of it.  Thanks for staying with me.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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9/11 Never Forget

Fish Catching Travel

9/11 – Never Forget

Today we remember that 15 years ago Islamic Terrorists flew 2 planes into the World Trade Center.  Another hit the Pentagon, and one crashed when brave passengers made a stand and saved more lives by giving theirs.  Before the day was over more than 3,000 innocent people were murdered, many of them first responders who rushed in to save lives and lost theirs.  People ran away as the first responders ran to the World Trade Center.   They made the ultimate sacrifice.  Paramedics, firemen, cops, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, all murdered in the name of religion.

As former paramedics, my wife and I visited Ground Zero a couple of months afterward.  The site was still smoking and folks were still walking around with pictures of loved ones. Walls everywhere covered with pictures, stories, flowers, teddy bears and memorabilia, as people held out the last bit of hope for their loved ones.  It was a solemn place and very moving.  These horrific murders were done by Islamic terrorists.  It was done in the name of Allah.  It was done by cowards.  I can not, and will not, forgive or forget.  We must remain vigilant against this twisted version of Islam, both here and abroad.   George Bush was not my favorite president, but at Ground Zero he said something that is as relevant today as it was 15 years ago.  “You are either with us or against us.”  As far as I am concerned we should wipe every single one of these scum, participants and sympathizers, off the face of the earth.  This is a fight we must win.

God Bless America 

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And as far as my whining about being caught in a rut, Colby did not mince words.

Doug,
You ARE in a rut. Get below all that freshwater with a 1/32 ounce jighead and a soft plastic. Those fish reluctant to hookup on a topwater will hit that light weight jighead and soft plastic. Make a change! Keepin’ It Fun. Colby

It is time to get back in the water and throw that 1/32 jig head and Down South plastic, a quick way to get back on track.  Well hopefully tomorrow I will get out of that rut.  Stay tuned.  And thanks for your comments, keep them coming.

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I got this question from Walt, and if I knew the answer I would be a millionaire, or start organizing fishing trips.  Oh yeah, I do that occasionally.

Would like to fish POC next week, but, rising tide to midday. How would you fish this, or just go to one of our Oklahoma lakes and wait a week or two? Ever a good afternoon bite, and where. (drains inside?)

One thing I have learned from fishing places I have never been to is to try and put as much in my favor as possible.  A couple of examples would be the Arkansas lakes in early spring pre-spawn, Falcon Lake on the spawn, POC with early high tides, and Florida when the tarpon are there.  But by the same token, if I could predict when folks should visit anywhere I would be rich.  But now to your question.

Looking at the tide tables for the next couple of weeks you should wait.  Of course there is no accounting for what the weather may do, but looking at the tides next week there are multiple tide days, not my favorite.  The next week, September 20th on, have a high tide a little before daylight with a fall during the day.  No guarantee, but it is usually better.  As far as the rest of it, grass and sand flats should really start to take over.  So while I will always hit drains if one is close, it is time to start looking for them on the flats off the island.  (That is where I will be next time out.) Remember for the drains to be the place the water needs to be moving. otherwise I am looking at the flats adjacent to the major back lake drains.  And as we slip into fall, and the water temp drops, the fishing picks up and you can whack them all the way till dark, which makes for some interesting rides back.  So good luck on your trip and I should have several new reports by then. Drop me a note before you come and maybe I can help out.  And please let us know about your trip when you get back.

And always remember the old joke.  The owner was at the counter of his resort when Joe, who comes the same week every year walks in, a week early.  The owner says, “What are you doing here, you are a week early!”  Joe says, “I have been coming here for years and you keep telling me I should have been here last week, well here I am.”  So take any suggestion above with a grain of salt.

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I really want to give a shout out to the Razorbacks.  What a win!  Those are the ones that often got away from us early in the year.  Hopefully it is a sign of things to come.  An easy game next, then those freakin’ Aggies.  The Aggies are looking good after beating the snot our of nobody, just what they are supposed to do.  One thing about the game with the Aggies, it could not be more important so it will be strap it on and get it done.  As Jim Ross says, “Expect a slobber knocker.”

The Cowboys on the other hand looked pretty good considering.  But like last year they just could not get it done.  You can not hit the red zone 4 times and come out with 3 field goals and win many games.  They are still a work in progress and obviously need help on defense.  So it may be exciting but it could be a long year for Cowboy fans.  And last congratulations to the Texans, they looked good beating the Bears.  They just may have signed a quarterback.

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Excuse the 9/11 rant above, I know this is about the fishing, but every once in a while I can’t help myself.   Never forget what happened that day, and be sure your children know and keep the memory alive.

It is Sunday night and I am trying to decide where I am going to fish tomorrow.  First I will start with the weather report, then the tide tables, and last the Solunar times.  Who knows, maybe that will help.  But when it comes down to it the only thing that tells the story is bait in the water. And if you caught some fish or have a comment bring it on, we love to hear from all of you.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Port O’Connor Day 9/10/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

Boat Decal A Knocker B topwater will be up first this morning. 

I will be real interested in how many folks are fishing POC in the morning.  (Friday)  The tide looks good and I will get lucky if the weather will cooperate.  Unfortunately we are still in this oppressive Heat Index that will reach 100+ again on Friday.  So it will be up early and hopefully be putting fish in the boat as it cracks daylight.

Weather

91/73  Cloudy with 50% chance of scattered thunderstorms  Wind SSE 10 – 15

Tides

High   5:40 AM     1.0   (Not the best flow but the timing is right)
Low    6:14 PM     0.4

Solunar Times

Best    5:13A – 7:13A    5:37P – 7:37P       Good  11:01A – 1:01P

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I really had no specific plan today other than catching a couple of keepers for supper.  The wind was blowing about 15 when I got to the ramp at Froggie’s.  The tide was way up, almost to the top of the piers, so it was high and had some color to it.  I was surprised at the number of folks at the ramp, and the parking lot was almost full. But the bigger point is I fished uninspired and this report is boring, a reflection of the morning.

From there it was off to Big Bayou.  I was hoping the water would start to run out at some point, but when I started fishing it was still coming in and the wind was blowing it right along.  The first stop was a sign of things to come.  Topwater (Knocker B and Skitter Walk) produced 6 or 8 bites, but only 2 hooked up and neither were worth a hoot.  I caught 4 or 5 there but nothing close to a keeper.  It stayed like that all morning, especially the good ones not staying on.

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The best of 3 or 4 reds today.

After that first little flurry it was hunt and peck with a bite here and there.  But there was one big problem, I could not for the life of me get a hook in them.  I lost several (Lots) of really nice fish, both trout and reds.  For some reason they just pulled off, and it happened on both spinning rods.  My hooks were sharp enough, not sure what the problem was.  I did drop my rod tip on one nice trout and of course it jumped off.  And to add to the misery the small ones managed to stay hooked up.

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This was the biggest trout of the morning.  She had a mullet in her bigger than some of the trout I caught today.

There was one thing different today and that was I caught some fish on a couple of really shallow flats behind an island in Big Bayou, so actually it was in Barroom.  The tide was so high, and not really dropping, and that obviously had something to do with it.  And with the wind helping to keep the water moving it was actually tough to fish the drains with the water running off the reef into the Bayou.   And the water color was not as clear as the last couple of times.

I did throw spinnerbait for a little bit and even managed to lose one on that, which is a really rare occurance.   The only one I boated on it was a rat, just like the others I caught on plastics.  Nothing got bites like the watermelon red/white paddle tail anywhere water was running around a point.  I did catch a bonus Spanish Mackeral but even he did not make the grade.  But on a better note, the fishing seems to be trying to creep into the fall pattern, we just need to break out of this hot weather.  Nothing those cool fall mornings won’t fix.

So here it what I learned today.  First, I should have been wading.  The couple of shallow places where I caught them would have been a ton better if I had been in the water with them.  Second, time to get out of the Big Bayou rut.  I can blame it on several things, including hot weather meaning shorter trips, but really it comes down to being lazy.  No matter what the reason, my saltwater reports have been fairly boring, and even I am somewhat sick of them.  My trip yesterday really did leave me bored and uninspired.  I achieved the goal, supper, but that is hardly motivation.  As my good buddy Randy would say when the fishing was slow, “Somebody do something spectacular!”

Fortunately there is a really simple resolution to my boring saltwater reports, just drive the boat another 15 minutes and jump in the water.  Add in a little experimentation and you have the makings of a good report, and a good day on the water.  So I hear you Randy, time to get back into doing something spectacular.

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The Mad Trout Fisherman (aka Chad) is at it again.  The boy has them down pat on croakers.

Poc today light winds to start off the morning . A livewell full of croaker a 4 man crew, and a 5 min boat ride to cityslickers. When we shined the spotlight on the water upon arrival, and bait was everywhere i knew i made the right choice. We made short work out of it today. 4 man limits of trout, 7 redfish 0ne 45″ oversized released. The tide was falling and the fish were right on the drop off. Big trout of the day 22″ i love it when the fish make look like i know what im doing. Last time i had one of these guys on the boat was at baffin at yarbough pass and i shut the boat down in less than a foot of water. We had to push it 100yds . He hasnt forgot lmao!!! So it was good to wack em today!

The nice thing about your current run is you have got to share it with some folks who make it great when you whack them.  Nothing like right place, right time, and right bait to make it come together.  Good job.  So keep those reports coming, we all love them.  Thanks.

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There is a bad situation happening on Falcon, and as usual the folks at Falcon Lake Tackle are all over it.  He works hard at keeping TPWD, and other state agencies in line, and again there is a another big issue on the lake.  A contactor building a new bridge has built a dam which ended up causing a huge fish kill.  Basically all the involved agencies and contractors are getting away with fishocide by their inaction.  You try causing a fish kill in the thousands and thousands and see what that gets you.  So if you are interested in how TPWD has responded to the killing of your fish please read his blog, it is very informative.  Plus nobody would ever accused him of not speaking his mind.

http://www.tackleandrods.com/lake/flash.htm

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One thing that happened Friday was fairly spectacular, though not in a good way.  As I was fishing a drain in Big Bayou a couple of guys in a fairly big deep V came roaring into the next cut headed onto Bill Days reef.  If you know anything the back side of the islands in Big Bayou they are shallow, even at high tide, and covered in oysters.  So they slam into the bottom and spent the next 1/2 hour trying to get moving.  When they finally did they were chewing up the oysters and the bottom of both the bay and the boat.  So here is my point, other than being amazed they did that, your GPS is not the be all, end all, on new water.

It really seems that map study has gone by the way side with the widespread use of GPS.  As maps were the only way we got around they have been a part of my fishing for decades.  Even today I buy a map first thing anywhere I intend to fish.  Not only does it give you the big picture, it can keep you out of trouble.  Fishing with folks who have different mapping on their GPS there is a big difference in the information they contain.  It was real apparent these guys were not local because even a basic examination of a map would have prevented the whole fiasco, or maybe hundreds of $$$ when you break something.  Plus on the good maps available now it seems like you always learn something reviewing them.

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It can be hard to keep it fresh when you try to write 150+ days a year.  Your comments and reports really help keep me motivated and I appreciate them all, feel free to comment anytime.  Next up is a weekend full of football and door painting.  Easy to get started on the football, harder to get started on the painting.  Then Monday it will be back to fishing, though still in the 90’s and a 50% chance of rain.  It is like a broken record around here.  Here’s to hoping you all are getting to fish some, the good times are coming.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto Creek 9/7/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

Boat Decal Pick up a Knocker B topwater next time you are at the tackle store.

First up this week is fishing on Coleto.  With the wind forecast to blow some with possible thunderstorms I decided to fish close.  Plus, the bass fishing has been good, and the fishing did not disappoint today.

Weather

93/74  Partly cloudy with afternoon showers or thunderstorms  40% chance  Wind SSE 10 – 20mph   (wind blew 15 – 20 after 9 and it was partly cloudy)

Tide

High   6:39 AM     0.9
Low   4:26 PM     0.4

Solunar Times

Best   3:38 am to 5:38 am    4:00 pm to 6 pm

Good  9:49 am to 11:49 am  (Right On)

Like I said in my last post this is one of the slowest weeks of the year on the water.  And when I got to the ramp there was nobody but me.  In fact, I only saw one crappie fisherman and a TPWD boat all morning.  And there was only one truck at the lot when I took out.  Lots to be said for having it dead quiet on the lake as the sun rose.

One thing I can say for sure about the bass on Coleto, I know where they are, and I sure know where they aren’t.  It was just cracking daylight as I headed up lake to pitch the Yum Dinger.  It was definitely a go with what you know day.  Just like the last 3 trips they seem to be on shallow banks, and many I caught today were in a foot of water.

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                                    Just a nice average size today.

I am still pitching the 5″ Yum Dinger in watermelon red on 20lb. test with a 1/8th slip sinker.  Today I actually had more bites than the last couple of days, but never did boat a big one, though who knows what I missed.  I did have a hoss broke me off in big mess of wood, and I am thinking of going to a 30lb. leader.

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                         I am not complaining about this average.

One thing that happened today was several stretches would give up 4 or 5 fish.  So when I caught one I really concentrated and hit every little bush or blade of grass.  Again several boiled it (which I caught) easing it over a bush.  And one really nice one rolled on a small bass I was bringing in.  During the bite they were very active.

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                                           They were eating that Yum.

I caught one on my third cast, then got a bite here and there until about 10, and then they bit like crazy.  One of those deals where I wondered if I just got to the right place at the right time, or whether the bite was on.  It was definitely the later.  Again I only started the big motor once or twice once I started fishing.  I just kept the bait in the water and fished any cover I came to.

After catching a wad of them on shallow flats it dawned on me that maybe the Strike King Swimming Jig might be the ticket.  It has not really been effective this summer but it sure seemed like time.  I had one literally try to take the rod out of my hands on my first cast with it, which I missed.  Then another one hit it hard, and I missed that one too.  I finally got the feel back and put the next 2 in the boat.  The swim jig is easy to fish, but takes a little practice.  And those were the last bites I had today.  So after the big  flurry they flat out quit.  I mean at 11:30 it was over.  So I decided to try a couple of places down lake.

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                                 It was a solid consistent bite today.

Before I left up lake I caught a bunch, probably an easy 15, and missed that many easy.  They were a nice average size, so things are picking up on the lake.  So I figured that there had to bee some place down lake to catch them, wrong again.  First thing the water is a good 3 – 5 degrees warmer down lake and a whole lot clearer.  I hit a couple of points, a long deeper  bank, and my favorite bank down lake and did not have a bite.  So the Solunar Tables were pretty much right on.  Other than a few small ones down lake has not been kind to me.  I can honestly say I do not have a clue how to catch one down lake.  So with that result I called it a day at 12:30.

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Looking at the weather report for the week it is definitely fishable both from the wind perspective and the rain.  One day has a 90% chance and the rest of the days seem to be you will get wet somewhere, or not at all.  So time to head to the bay.  One of the real important part of keeping my blog is to be able to look back at the months and see where I was fishing.  Last year near the end of the month I had a couple of good days and caught one of the bigger trout I have caught out of POC.  So with that in mind it will be the bay in the next day or two.  Keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Summer Is Over 9/6/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

Boat Decal Pick up a Knocker B topwater next time you are at the tackle store.

I hope everyone had a great holiday as summer comes to a close.  You might not be able to tell with our  heat index forecast to be as high as 110 degrees the next couple of days, but it is coming to a close.

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While I took the weekend off the Masked Flounder Assassin, who shall remain nameless due to the outstanding warrants for continuing to murder innocent fish, was hard at it catching reds.

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Nice Red!  He is not gigging, but is still giving them a go at night.

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The guest of honor at dinner tomorrow.

Thanks for the pictures dude, can’t wait until you are back in full foundering mode.

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Following my trip to Lake Travis I got his question from Joe Bass.

So when you were on Lake Travis how did the water clarity look like? Last April 2016, I was there and in coves you could see at least 10-20 feet down. Haven’t been back with all the rain we been having. Not sure how clear it is. Thanks

The visibility was good but it was not quite that clear, but you could see a good 5 feet plus where we were on the lower end.  Fishing many highland lakes it reminded me of the Ozarks, but not quite as clear.  Because of the kids there was only a little trolling to let them catch one, but I really liked the looks of things.  I know the pressure there is pretty heavy but come late winter/early pre-spawn I will be back up there for several days.  That is my favorite time of year on clear lakes like that.  I can just feel one thumping that jerk bait.  And it sure was nice to put the boat in a dock and not have to trailer, and the wife can have the car and shop Austin until she drops, or runs out of money.  Everybody wins on that trip.

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And speaking or Travis here are a few from a great trip with the grandkids even if I didn’t catch a fish.  It was a great way to end the summer.

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             Summer Fun.  Baby Wren was unsure of the whole tubing thing.

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                            No I will not kiss the bass Grandpa!

I did a little trolling so I was sure to catch Mia a fish and we finally caught a small Guadalupe bass.  She is a fishing nut and we did not get to fish as much as she wanted, she is going to be a fisherwoman.  I can not wait until they visit, we will wear those Coleto crappie out.  It was a great weekend and there were several highlights other than Mia catching a fish.  Baby Wren, who was quite skeptical of the tube, immediately fell asleep while being towed with dad and mom.  And then she topped off the weekend by throwing up like a volcano on the way to the restaurant.  How a little kid can throw up that much I will never know, but it was amazing.  So a great weekend was had by all, as the older we all get the more important family becomes.

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On a side note I really try to be prepared when traveling with the boat.  Of course we stopped at Cabela’s and I noticed a trailer tire was losing air.  A quick change and we were back on the road.  There is no such thing as preparation or taking to much stuff.  You never know what will, or in my case, is going to break.  Taking a moment to check the works before you hit the road can make what would be a big hassle into a small bump in the road.

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Any of you that went dove hunting hope you sacked them up.  You too Orlando!  Looking at the forecast for the next few days it is going to be super hot and more rain is on the way.  So I guess it will be off to the lake tomorrow until the weather stabilizes and then it will be back to the bay.  I know all the time I lived at the boat dock on Lake Norfork this week was one of the quietest of the year on the water.  So time to get out the waders and take advantage of the great parking at Froggie’s.  So keep those comments and pictures coming and I will do my part and try to catch a few.  Keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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This and That 9/4/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

Boat Decal Home of the mighty Bang O Lure!

We are still at the lake enjoying our time with the grandkids.  The weather is great and we have been swimming and tubing, and they even did a little kayaking today.  The house is great but the walk to the dock down the bluff is a little much for a lazy old man like me.  As they all take a nap I thought I would take this time to share a couple of things with you.

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The Mad Trout Fisherman is at it again with another good report.

Well the surf on friday would of been great if we would of had a surfer on boad. After stopping at a couple spots, we headed for greens with a couple of prime time hours gone bye i was hoping to find some reds. Our first wade was not bad we put 3 reds and 2 trout in the box. Due to the extremely high tides we weren’t able locate rafting mullet, and at our go to spot the porpoises beat us there coming down the shoreline blowing up the water. So a bit disappointed and aggravated we headed to good ole cityslickers were we found a consistent bite of 16″-18″ trout . What a relief it was to finally be on a good bite as the four of us burned through our croaker with double and tripple hook ups. I didnt trust my guts this morning when they said go there first. So i decided to burn alot of unnecessary boat gas. We boxed our 4 man limit of trout and released many more. Again the trout were right off the drop off. After seeing the big ole green fish you been hooking , i may have to use my annual pass that i buy every year for coleteo. Looks like the wind will be switching back to the se this week. Thank god ! Thanks, chad

Your report puts emphasis on something I truly believe is important in fishing, especially if you fish a lot  –  Listen to your gut or that little voice in your head that is talking to you when fishing.  It is often the way to go, and that little voice is telling you what your mind knows.  So you still got there and got it done.  And you are still catching most of them deep on drops, which will be changing more and more every day.  As far as the lake goes, it was a tougher than usual summer but things are changing fast.  Thanks for your reports and keep them coming.

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It was really good to hear from my old buddy Voe.  In the time we fished together before he moved back to Las Vegas we became good friends, and actually caught a fish or two together.

That’s some nice fish my friend. I am still reading your reports and enjoy doing so. The short while we got to fish together I came to know a wonderful man and I feel blessed for that. As for my fishing I have been sidelined, I fell off a ladder while trimming a palm tree and shattered my funny bone (not so funny, so I keep hearing). Had surgery on the 23rd and in for a long rehab according to my doctor.
Great Fishing and Tight Lines!!!!

Wow that is a tough break, no pun intended, as that is a bad place to break.  Kinda hard to cast, which is never funny.  So as you know, do what they tell ya, take it easy, and you will be back in action soon.  We will be looking forward to seeing you holding up some of those big desert fish, if there is any water left in those lakes out there.  And if the Boss and I get out that way for a little adult fun we will holler at you.

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Just a quick note on Lake Travis.  It really is pretty and reminds me so much of the highland lakes in Arkansas where I made my fishing bones.  Of course it is a holiday weekend and there are boats every where, but we expected that and it is nothing we have not dealt with on lots of water over the years.  So we got out early with the grandkids and did some tubing and swimming today, and will get back out on the water again tomorrow.  One thing I know is I will definitely be back sometime in really early spring.   Looking at the map I think I know where to find those pre-spawners.  Can you say early season jerk bait fishing.  And I forgot how nice it was to leave the boat on the water instead of trailering every time.   So stay tuned for that one.

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And we are continuing to follow Jay’s trophy Blue Cat adventure.

Doug,
Well, I went out and drowned cut skipjack today. Wind howling 20mph up the river from the west, current flowing east… I set up drifting main channel ledges and holes in 35-60 FOW. Took me over an hour to realize that wind blowing from the west pushing the boat east does NOT present bait in a natural presentation against current. Yes bait swims up river, but catfish tend to hold on the base of ledges or scour holes to catch what flows down stream… Had a bunch of big marks on the Graph, swimming up, take a peek or a sniff and swim right back down. May have been my problem before with the threadfin shad…..
Got turned around, but controlled drifting with 4-6 rods out, 3-5ft off an inconsistent bottom contour, in a 20mph headwind is not an easy task. Folks think catfishermen drop cut bait, sit on their duff and wait. HAHA! I was running around my 18′ boat like a longtail cat in a roomful of rocking chairs. Constantly adjusting bait depth. Nothing like getting 5 baits hung up in a trotline in 55FOW. Try breaking off 85lb braid with a 50lb mono leader!
Discovered another problem. Had several really good takedowns, as in MedHVY rods bent in the water and fish coming off. Plastic rod holders do NOT provide good hooksets on 8/0 circle hooks…. Too much flex. Have some Heavy stainless ones on order.
Fun trying to selfie with a 7lb blue cat. No idea how I’m going to do a 70lber. Guess I need to charge up the gopro and remote and figure out boat mounting.

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Of course, after I’m out of bait, I go graph some more water and find the attached.

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Now that is a wad of fish!
Next trip.
Enjoy reading your stuff. Can’t wait to get back down to Perdido Bay by Gulf Shores, AL and try some of your salt techniques. Thanks for running a down to earth fishing blog!
Jay

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Oh, BTW, watch out for these guys if you get on a river. They come around the bend quicker than you think! Talk about a scramble getting 6 rods in, trolling motor up, big motor fired up and run out of the way!!

My first comment is if a person has never tried this on a river they really do not have a clue how hard it is to fish efficiently.  And of course the wind can play havoc.  I know when I have drifted for Blues on the lake it is not easy to keep a bunch of rods at the proper depth and speed, much less when I tried it on the Arkansas River.  As you said it is not as easy as soaking bait.  Catching trophy fish be it catfish or marlin successfully is not just dragging bait around.   Presentation is everything.  There is nothing like watching as a heavy rod slowly bends over as the circle hook takes a bite.  You never know.  And while you did not score the one in the picture looks like supper to me.   At the rate you are going it will happen, and when it does it will be out of the blue like it always is when we catch a big fish.  And have a great time at Perdido Bay, we were there last year and though I did not get a chance to fish it looked great.  And there is a great lake/bay right behind Gulf Shores that had a great ramp as you drive down the coastal road and the guys I talked to there were putting in to catch flounder and reds.  So have a good time and we can’t wait to see that first trophy Blue.

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Wooooooo Pig Sooieeeeeeeee!

Even though this is a fishing blog we will be talking some football this fall.  I always tell folks that it cost me a hundred grand (Law School) to be a fan, and by God I am going to stick with them to the bitter end.   As I write this Oklahoma is having a meltdown, losing on day 1 is a killer, just ask the Hogs last year. Miss State just joined the beaten by a nobody club, it is shaping up to be  a tough day.   Here comes the Gaggies on the field, for Sumlin’s sake they better play some ball.  Oops – nice fumble dude!  And my buddy Todd from Austin is at Lambeau Field in Green Bay to watch his #5 LSU Tigers play the Badgers.

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 Ripped this off my Facebook page.  Hope you guys have a great time!  Even an old Chicago Bear fan like me knows that Lamdeau is hallowed ground, in spite of the stinkin’ Packers. 

It turned out to be a tough day for several folks, especially LSU.  I know from Todd’s Facebook page even though it was a tough loss he had nothing but great things to say about Lambeau and the fans, who were very welcoming.  Over the years if the Hogs were not in a bowl we have always rooted for those coon ass Tigers.  But I do have to comment on the late hit at the end of the LSU/Wisconsin game.  That was a dirty play, not just a cheap shot, but a dirty play.  And then when Wisconsin players came to the aid of the fellow player that dirty player from LSU was taunting them.  Miles needs to set that knucklehead down for a couple of games.  The question is if he is smart enough to even understand that type of play does not get it.  That was just plain crap.

Congratulations to the Aggies, they were favored by 3 over #10 UCLA and they got the job done.  It wasn’t easy but maybe this years team will keep it rolling.  And in the case of my Hogs they squeaked it out by the skin of their teeth over La Tech.  Now that may seem like it was a bad thing but it wasn’t, last year we had a terrible run early before we figured out how not to lose.  So the season begins.  We are still at the lake and after some fancy supper tonight it will be Texas vs. Notre Dame.  I really hope Strong gets it going and survives the inevitable calls for his hide.  He came in and did something that should be done more often in college sports, get rid of the jerks and knuckleheads that do not know how to act or appreciate the chance they have been given.  More colleges should recruit on character than do.  Hey I love to win as much as anyone, but I am not a win at all costs guy.

And speaking of that general subject, when I took sports law in law school there was quite a discussion of whether college players should be paid and how little or how much.  There were several D1 athletes in the class and they talked about how much time athletics took and of course the discussion was also about how much the colleges make off their play.  I really was against them being paid.  A full ride at a major college now runs around $120,000 give or take a buck, and then a degree adds somewhere between $250,000 and a million over a lifetime, adequate compensation as far as I am concerned.  Of course part of my perspective is my wife and I paid every last cent of the cost of our educations and paid back every cent we borrowed in student loans.   Just saying, or whining.

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So there is a quick holiday report.  I hope all of you are having a big time.  There will be no fishing on this trip, time to spend it with the kids who we do not get to see as much as we like.  So be careful, be nice, and have fun no matter what your choice of activities this holiday.  Keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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