Keller Bay 7/23/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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

It seems like it has been a coon’s age since I fished Keller.  With an order for tonight’s fish fry the pressure was on.  In fact, the order was specific, trout.  Since I had not been in a while I had no current clue what to do, so it was off to the big pasture on the east bank of Keller.  It is a good consistent bank most of the year.

P1010583

What a sunrise.  A great day to be alive.

Weather

75/98 degree  Wind ESE 10- 15 mph  0 chance of rain  (The wind did not get there before I quit)

Tides

22      Low   1:39 AM    -0.2
22     High  11:48 AM    0.4

(Always remember, the high and low are fairly irrelevant to catching fish.  The important thing is when does the water move.  High and low are usually  when you can drink a beer and sit on the deck cause this is usually when the bite is slowest.)

Solunar Times

Best    1:04A – 3:04A   1:30 P – 3:30P

Good  7:17A – 9:17A  (About right on today)

There was 4 trucks at the ramp when I got there at the crack of daylight.  In fact, there were waders in the water as I headed to my first bank.   The wind was blowing lightly down the pasture down the bank towards Olivia.  The initial plan was to wade, but the wind was right so I set up for a drift.  I often start that way on that bank and then get in when I catch a couple of good ones in one area.  The tide was up and lightly rising, but the water was not really moving.  The nice thing about that bank is if you get in a couple of feet of water you can cast shallow or out into about 5 feet of water.

First up was topwater and I ended up catching 3 small ones, but as soon as the sun got out that was over, end of story.  So next it was assorted different plastics in assorted colors and I caught several, and I mean in the 10 range but there was one problem, see below.

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Thought I would show you what was all over that bank.

Now that bank is several hundred yards long and there were mullet all over it.  Big rafts of mullet with the occasional blow up had me thinking this was the place.  Though I was getting bit they just did not measure up.  So time for a change.

Dick’s Sporting Goods had a 2 for 1 sale on Mirro O Lures and I picked up a few so thought I would give them a try.

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They liked this one a lot.  Wish I had thrown it earlier.

Basically it was just twitching it along and they would whack it.  The speed was moderate with constant short erratic jerks, and even though the bite was tapering off I had a bunch of bites and put several in the boat, including supper.

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At least we will be frying fish tonight.

So the Boss did not jinx me, I caught around 15 or more, to bad it took all morning to find something the little better ones liked.   I did lose a really big red while I was trying to get the Boga Grip out of the bag, real smooth move.  One did fall for a plastic.

P1010591

He will be dinner in another inch.

It was around 10 when the bite really slowed.  So it was time to run across the bay and hit the right bank coming in to Keller.  Over the years I have caught lots of really nice reds off it.  Unfortunately the tide was totally slack and there was little wind, the kiss of death.  It was definitely dead water so it was time for another change.  With no bait working the area it was time for one more stop before quitting.

What little wind was blowing was down the bay back towards the ramp so I did a drift in front of the ramp and point.  There is a big flat on the opposite bank from the park with a good drop in to the channel, which is covered with oysters.  Without even a bite in that area it was time to call it a day.

So not a bad day considering I did not have a clue.  Supper came in spite of the jinx, and though most were small I did some catching.  It was one of those days where I was unwilling to leave fish to find fish.  In that heat, and with no tide movement until mid afternoon, I made a stand and once the bite was over moving did not help a lick. Hard to tell if all the fish there were small, or whether fishing the jerk bait earlier would have made a difference.  I really do think that if I had started with the jerk bait earlier it would have made a big difference.

I just may go back in the next day or two and wade first thing with the twitch bait, it should improve the size some.  One final point, the water color was good in the bay and was actually better back in the big bay than near the mouth.  The question was just whether it was a function of slack tide when I fished the outer bank, or if that off color water came out of Lavaca Bay.  No matter what it was good to be back on the Gulf.

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

My buddy Chris and a couple of his friends spent a few days at Port Mansfield fishing last week.  One of the reasons for the trip was catching a redfish on a fly rod.  He has been trying to catch a redfish on a fly rod, but it has not been happening for him.  But that is definitely a keep after it thing.   What will probably happen is when he does catch one it will be 3 or 4.  I told him we should get that done this fall.  Once the schooled up last year we were often standing in them, I can’t wait for that again.  They did catch a few trout and reds fishing conventionally, but had to work for them.

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

Zerust

On my stop at Cabela’s the other I picked up a bunch of new plastic boxes for tackle, including some of those fancy ones designed for crank and stick baits.  Time to reorganize some more, like that ever stops when you have 2 separate complete sets of tackle.  To go along with that I have been using a product made by Flambeau, Zerust.  They come in 10 packs of plastic strips which you put in your tackle boxes, along with anywhere else that needs protection from moisture.  They also make plastic boxes with it in them.  I put a strip in each separate box and it really has made a difference in keeping rust and corrosion off of treble hooks.  I have no idea when I first put it in my boxes, but it has done it’s job for over a year.   If you read this stuff you know I only endorse or tell you about stuff that works, and for $6 Zerust is worth every penny.

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

Before I close a get well quick to my brother Kelly.  He fell out of his wheelchair and broke his leg this week.  He has fought back from major injuries before and will do so again.  So get well quick.  With my mother-in-law breaking her hip this week we now have plenty of folks in the hospital.  Ever notice how when it rains it pours?

Not sure where is next but it looks like we have a constant chance of rain and clouds coming this week, and I can guarantee you I will take advantage of that.   Hopefully I will get the flats boat back from the shop Monday, San Antonio Bay is calling my name.  Today there will be highs of a easy 100 degrees over much of the country, welcome to our world, it is August.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Humminbird, Cocoons, and Repairs. 7/21/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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

First I want to wish my mother-in-law Joy a fast recovery.  She fell and broke her hip 2 days ago.  It is great to know she is already up and walking, and knowing what kind of person she is it will be a speedy and complete recovery.  We are thinking of you down here in South Texas so get well quick.

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

I must admit that I was surprised to hear from Humminbird again, but they actually got back to me pretty quickly.  I knew the day the lady told me on the phone it could take 20 minutes to get a fix that it was just pure nonsense, but I let it slide.  The woman I spoke with that day was really condescending and basically blew me off.   I never brought her attitude up when I contacted them this time, this is just for your background.  After 40 years of using all forms of sonar, and then GPS, I have a pretty good idea how things work, and she made that up, plain and simple.  But here is why I am telling you this.

I also have some blame in this matter and here is why.  First I should have taken notes, day, time, complaint, and gotten her name.  Next I should have contacted someone else or asked to speak to a supervisor.  There is never any use arguing with what in sociological terms is the gatekeeper.  Fight with them and you will get nowhere.  If I had then properly documented my complaint and concerns obviously Humminbird would have responded differently after my first contact.  Now I know I should not have to do all that, the onus is on the company to treat their customers with respect, but I should have done a better job.

And their response clearly indicates that they do care and in the all fairness I wanted to share their response with you.

Dear Doug Coppernoll,

Thank you for contacting Humminbird Customer Service.

We do apologize for any inconvenience and would like to confirm that this is not accurate and would need to come in for service. Due to the statement we would like to offer a no charge service of the unit and will receive the unit back with a 90 day warranty.  The unit can be returned to the following address with your ID Number of 100069417 and a copy of this email for the no charge service.

Humminbird
Service Department
678 Humminbird Lane
Eufaula AL 36027

Please also confirm if the shipping information we have for you is correct, if not please confirm what the correct address is:

DOUG COPPERNOLL                   
Victoria TX  77904

Good Fishing and Boating!

Dawn Turner
Humminbird Customer Service

First let me personally thank Dawn and Humminbird for making it right.  It is a fair way to handle this issue and it restores my faith in them.  And that goes to my point on how I should have handled it right when it happened.  Then I would not have had to rant and be pissed off for over a year or more.  And they would not have had to listen to me complain.  You know me if you read this stuff, like a product or get treated right, whether they support the blog or not, and I support them. Make a bad product or service and you will hear it from me.  So it looks like all is going to be right with the world.   It is in a box and on the way to Humminbird and I hope to get it back before I head to Baffin for a few days.  So stay tuned for more.

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

I got this comment from Jim, one of my regular readers, and wanted to share it with you for several reasons.

Doug!
Many thanks for the tip on the fuel line. I have a 150 Mercury never changed the fuel lines, will be checking that. Additionally, I used the coupon on the Cocoons yesterday and my girlfriend, fishing Buddy, did the same; so thanks for that tip as well, I love them. This purchase will make my 3rd pair. Not just for fishing. Lastly, I have yet to get to Coleto and would love a mess of crappie. I like to fly fish for those blue gill as well. My Dad and I used to fish the bayou’s in Louisiana for them when I was a kid.

First I hope the line is fine but it sure is something that needs to be checked on fairly regularly.  And I love the panfish comment.  That is how it I got the fever, sitting under a Mulberry tree with my dad catching fish after fish, and I was hooked for life.  And the Cocoon deal is too good to pass up and I know you will enjoy them.  So thanks for your support and comment anytime.

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

And speaking of keeping junk out of your motor Joe Bass had this great suggestion.

Another good idea is have a fuel filter as close to the motor as possible. Could catch most of that junk that breaks off saving you that big bill.

Good common sense suggestion when anyone has to change fuel lines.  As usual your comments and suggestions are appreciated.

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

I just wanted to let you know the Cocoons sale is on for another week or so.  You will never find a better deal than this.  They continue to expand the line and there are literally hundreds of sizes, frames, and lens combination, including some fashion options.  Which is important to some one like me who is a real fashion statement.  Just ask the Boss whos usual comment when I get dressed is:  “You aren’t going to wear that are you?”  But I digress.   As you know, I love mine, and having several different lenses is the bomb.  This is a shameless plug, but I don’t care.  The $350 prescription sunglasses I own are a one trick pony, having different lens for the conditions is the answer.  And for me spending $50 or so right now to get 2 pair is a deal.

BUY 1, GET 1 FREE!
PROMO CODE: VIP16
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 www.cocoonseyewear.com

 
                                                    http://cocoonseyewear.com/

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And speaking of boat troules, here is a comment I got from my buddy Bobby after towing him in the other day.

Well Doug you are right boat means bring out another thousand!!!!! Cost me almost 500.00 to get it fixed. It was was a voltage regulator. I may be the next at my place of business!!!!

Since Bobby is a mortician it was a good thing it did not cost anymore!  But as we all know, a trip to the marina with boat trouble can cause a potential heart attack.  I know repair bills sucks, but it could have been worse.  So at least you are back in business and I will be watching for perfect weather for our trip to Fayette.

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

And this final comment from Jason says it all about our summertime fishing this year.

I hope u r enjoying the RNC. If u want any stories no problem. Hope u get some fishing on the coast soon. If it stops at about 8 am this time of yr get some 3-5 inch mullet and get on the intercostal in front of magnolia beach and fish off the edge with no weight. U will catch ur trout. But artificial r no good past 7:30am for me at least. Good luck

No question live bait is the ticket right now.  And those spoil piles adjacent to the intercoastal there are a great place right now.  If they are not up on top they are holding in the deeper water off the edge.  In fact one of the good days I have had this time of year at Baffin was fishing topwater on a falling tide on exactly that kind of structure.  And speaking of live bait,  I got a great report from East Matagorda where the guy is catching lots of 25″ trout on croaker.  And that bite goes on most of the day right now.  Get around the fish with live bait and you can catch them.  And I must say the Republican Convention has been nothing but entertaining, and the Democrats are next week.  It has been, and will be next week, a laugh a minute.  So thanks for the report and feel free to add your .02 anytime.

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

After taking care of more license plate things, my 6th trip there in 2 weeks, it seems all the vehicles are up at the same time, now it is time to fish.  I am going to the Gulf before daylight in the morning.  I have been instructed that we are having fresh trout for dinner tomorrow night.  I appreciate her never ending faith in my fishing prowess, but now the pressure is on.  I only need 2, hopefully I can get that job done before Medicare kicks in after she jinxed me.  Like I always say all fisherman have an excuse, and in this case I can actually blame someone who is not even there if I don’t catch any fish.  Life is so unfair!  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto and Other Stuff 7/18/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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

Coleto

Since I was taking the Mako to Victoria Marine for new hubs I decided to hit the lake for a couple of hours.  This first picture tells it all, then we will get to the fishing.

P1010574

They were waiting for me to finally give up the ghost.

The first thing I noticed this morning was the lake is finally starting down.  It looks like a good couple of feet.  It was pretty easy to see on the bank where the water had been, and I mean in the last couple of days.  So it will be easy to blame the fishing on the falling water, and a water temp of 90 degrees surely did not help.  nd when you combine that with the high pressure system we have been under for weeks, conditions are not the best on the lake.  All fishermen have good excuses for not catching anything, and I am right there with them.

I started up lake on a channel bank, figuring the fish will be dropping off bends and be on the outer points waiting for the water to stabilize.  Shows you what I know.  Fishing the lizard deep was just was not happening.  From daylight until around 8 only 3 came over the side, and they were all small.  In fact not even worth pulling the camera out of my pocket.

So next it was to a flat with a good drop in about 8 foot of water.  It still has brush and grass on it and on my first cast with a buzzbait I got the curse, I caught one.  So now sticking with it a couple of more made a pass at it, again all small.  The only good bite I had really blew up on it, but missed it by a mile.  The water color is still brown up lake, but not muddy, if that makes sense, so it was time to head down lake and fish clear water.

The first cove did not provide a bite, even with good cover, so I grabbed the popper and of course caught one right off the bat, rats, double cursed.

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Here is the big fish, and I use the term lightly, for the morning.

So with just an hour left I stayed with the topwater.  The next 2 were smaller than this one until I had what I thought was a big bite.

P1010578

His eyes were bigger than his stomach.

Growing up in Iowa as a kid we caught lots and lots of these nice bluegills, many of them ice fishing.  They are great eating and if you get into enough to make cleaning them worth it they make a great fish fry.  I just might give them a go next week, it is making my mouth water thinking about it.

That was the last fish I caught and around 11 it was time to head to the ramp and take the boat in.  The only thing I can say about today is I am a little confused why I had no luck fishing deeper.  That surely is the answer, guess I just did not stop in the right place.  So though 9 cooperated, 3 on each bait, it was hardly a good trip.  Now if you catch 9 while in Major League Fishing you might be doing ok, but clearly not up to Coleto’s standard.  So it was off to see Bob at Victoria Marine.

Warning – Warning.

Though the fishing report ain’t much, there is something important I wanted to show you, it could save you thousands.

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Look at the white flakes.

See those things laying over the prop on the mat?  That is the liner from the inside of the grey fuel hose, which was not all that old.  Here is what you need to know.  With the advent of ethanol eating the old fuel lines the companies decided if they lined the hose it should solve the problem.  The only problem was the ethanol slowly dries out the liner, and all the flakes you see I shook out of that hose with 2 shakes.  That liner turned to chips, and think about it, it is headed for your carbs and engine.   When you put it between your fingers it just disintegrates.

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Look inside each of the 3 hoses, they are all coming apart.

What had been happening was the old black hose would actually get almost like gum on the inside, should have taken a picture of that too, sorry.  If you look at the grey one you can see the brown, that is the liner.  There was about a foot of that hose that was opened up, so see the bag?  That is what came out of that hose!   Apparently it can really accelerate when the boat sits a while, and with little or no gas in the hose it starts drying rapidly.   Now if you look at the white and blue hose, the liner is actually staying together, sort of, but is completely separating from the hose.  What a mess.  I was lucky a couple of years ago that Bob at Victoria Marine checked my hose, the liner was separating, so he replaced it.  Who knows what might have happened if it did not get caught.

Now Bob just basically replaces all the grey hose and most of the others.  There is a company making a hose that reduces this risk and that is the only one he uses.  Sorry again, should have got the name of the company.  But be warned.  If you have not changed your gas hoses time to take a look.   The cost of a hose is far cheaper than having them open your engine to get this crap out.   So there you have it, as we all say:  BOAT = Break Out Another Thousand, and this happening is a quick way to get there.

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Before I sign off I did want to report on the other fishing on Coleto.  The crappie are biting on minnows fishing the isolated wood.  Many of them are not as deep as you might expect and the folks I talked to this morning caught a nice mess of crappie.  And I know the gentleman I call Mister Crappie has been catching them right along.  Speaking with another boat today who was jugging and limb lining, they have not done all that well, but they are catching a few.  So hot or not there are fish to be caught on the lake.

So today was not a total loss.  If one person finds out their hoses are doing this it is worth it.  With the cost of engines and repairs, good maintenance is mandatory.  My first real boat was a bass boat with a 70hp on it, and it cost $3000, that probably will not even get you a power head these days, much less have it installed.  That is actually why I am replacing the hubs.  They are going on 7 years old so I am replacing them with galvanized hubs and stainless steel Bearing Buddies.  Then will keep one of the old ones for a roadside spare, which it never hurts to have.  When you tow thousands of miles you have to expect trouble at some point.  I actually had a galvanized trailer frame break going down the interstate at 70mph.  Stuff happens and there is no such thing as to prepared.

That will do it for today, next up is a little wading.  I have not been to Keller in a while and as long as the wind is right that is next.  First I have to make the old trip to Cabela’s tomorrow.  I have a bunch of points and like a little kid they are burning a hole in my pocket.  I am not even sure what I need, or if I even need anything.  But funny how when you stop at a tackle store and stuff spontaneously just jumps off the shelves and sticks to you and just won’t come off.  At least that is the best excuse for the Boss I have come up with yet.  And one last apology for yesterdays post, it was off topic.  But now we are back to the reason for the season, fishing.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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The World Has Gone Nuts 7/17/16.

(As I was sitting down to post some fishing stuff I turned on the TV and heard the news – More cops shot for no reason.  I will not talk about fishing today.  Today, like many other days lately, has become a day of mourning.   As in the past when I post about issues other than fishing, this is not a discussion, though please feel free to comment, I read them all, but this discussion will not go further than this post.  If you have a comment direct it to your elected representatives, they need to hear your opinion no matter what it is.  Who knows, they just might get off their ass and do something.   I try to keep to the reason for this blog, but occasionally I feel the need to speak out.  This post is simply my opinion.)

The whole world is going crazy!

A couple of more mass murders by Muslims (not Methodists).  Demented cop killers.  An 0fficer shooting a man in the back in South Carolina when he is stopped for a traffic violation and runs away from a ticket.  Officers ambushed and killed in Dallas by a demented lunatic (Law enforcement’s description).  Little children mowed down in an elementary school with his momma’s gun.  Murder in our movie theaters.  Now this morning it looks like another 6 officers were shot with 3 killed in Baton Rouge.  The whole world has gone nuts.  Unfortunately my simplification – Nuts – is much more complicated than that.

The Police Chief of Dallas said it all, police officers are required to handle to many of our societal problems, and a big one is mental illness.  Our country has made mental illness a criminal problem and not a mental health issue.  When I was practicing law for the State of Arkansas I had extensive experiences with the mental health aspect in both the criminal and civil arena.

On the criminal side I represented hundreds and hundreds of criminal defendants, give or take a few.  One very common theme was how many folks had serious, and I mean flat out raving lunatics, problems.  Often their crime did not involve violence in any way.  Many needed to be hospitalized, but when we would have a mental competency hearings in court Psychiatrist and Psychologists repeatedly came to court and said simply they were fine.  Ok – but what it did was occasionally keep people in the criminal justice system when they needed to be hospitalized and treated.

Now flip the coin, we were often appointed to involuntary mental commitments where the State was attempting to force treat folks.  And you can probably guess how that went, to the hospital you go.  The judge ordered them held and off they went.  Guess what?  These were often the same people who where later charged with a crime and of course found competent.

To give completely polar opposite examples first I start with a man I represented who was “someone” in the community and had a mental history, but basically was referred to the court for giving some money away.  He was promptly returned to the hospital.  On the other end, a friend of mine represented a guy who was charged with a crime.  He had escaped from a mental institution in another state, and plain and simple was bat shit crazy, and the judge ruled him competent.  I even represented a guy who called me continually because his air conditioner was speaking to him from outer space.  Result – Competent!  And once I was called in on a guy who had been in jail for almost 3 months with no charges, but he was to crazy to let out and ended up slipping through the cracks.  Multiple ends of the spectrum, completely different outcomes.  But all involved the police having to deal with them, keep them, transport them, sit in court with them, all the while spending valuable time and money that should have been spent on doing their job.

We as a society have decided that we are willing to let law enforcement and prisons deal with our mentally ill.  And with no treatment it just becomes a revolving door.  If we do not commit more money to treatment these problems will not go away.  It seems that helping these folks with treatment just might be cheaper than dealing with them in the criminal arena, maybe even prevent more crimes as the untreated sink further into their illness.  As the great Police Chief of Dallas said, this is not the job of law enforcement.  And it should not be.  How much clearer does he need to say it.

(Think I am overstating the problem for those suffering from mental problems and the consequences to police departments and society?  Read this from today’s paper.   More:  https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2016/jul/16/mentally-ill-in-crisis/ )

Before I start on another point let me make myself perfectly clear.  The 2cnd Amendment is clear, and as the Supreme Court has affirmed, we have a right to bear arms, end of story.  As far as I am concerned this is not negotiable.  I have guns and they are not taking them.   But one problem I see in some of these situations is some of the folks who do this stuff are flat out nuts but have access to legal guns.  We will always have that problem, it will not be fixed by more laws, but at least responsible gun owners can help the police.  If you have someone in your home with firearms, or access to yours, and they have serious mental problems, you have a duty to do something.  Easy for me to say, but guns and mental illness do not mix and responsible gun owners will do whatever it takes to keep their personal firearms out of an unstable or disturbed persons hands.  When your firearm is used to kill a police officer, or my family, by someone with mental illness who has access to your guns you are just as responsible as far as I am concerned.

So why is it our responsibility?  Because every time something likes this happens there will be another  attack on our constitutional right to bear arms.  It does not make it right, or maybe even possible under the law, but the pressure to wear away our rights will not go away, period.  In fact it will only intensify.  Mental illness and crime often go hand in hand.  Our choice as a society is are we are willing to forgo easy access to mental health care and use law enforcement to handle this problem?  Not one police officer will tell you that is the way to handle the problem.  Law enforcement does not have the resources, training, nor time, to handle these folks.  They have it tough enough, and they deserve our help.  How we got here is not the issue now, it is what are we going to do about it.  Our rights are under attack and just say no and screaming about crime is not the answer, we have to do something.  Keeping your guns out of the hands of those that do not need to have them is our duty.  Our response as gun owners to these crimes will direct the conversation in the future, good or bad.  And trust me that conversation is coming big time.

Before you think I am some kind of raving lefty, or do gooder, I have a couple of things I need to say that come from my experiences as both a criminal defense attorney and a paramedic.  I have been there, done that.  From police officers protecting me when some a$$hole was trying to hurt me, to dealing with folks facing life who need to be locked up forever, I have seen a lot in my life and it has cemented my feelings on criminal justice.

Ambush police?  Expect a .357 hollow point to take your worthless life.  Point a gun at law enforcement, prepare to die, you earned it.  Use a firearm in the commission of a crime, mandatory sentence with no parole.  There are lots of folks that we can release from jail to make room for these animals, and we need to do it.  Break into a home, don’t bitch when you get shot.  Use a gun to commit a crime on another?  Bye!   Crying to me in the jail because you are going down?  What the hell did you think was going to happen.  Funny how many of these tough guys were crying for their momma when I would meet them.  It is time to lock a select few of these animals up and throw away the key.  But we can not have it both ways, there is not room for all at the inn.  Folks, jail is basically a one in, one out, deal all over this country.  Send a crazy dude to jail for felony hot checks and a violent felon will be released.  It really is simple as that and it happens day after day in this country.  If you really support police listen to them – We need treatment for the mentally ill.

We all pay lip service to supporting our police.  Easy to say, but at some point we need to make some decisions as a society.  The Chief told us – We are asked to solve many societal ills, and we can not do it, we should not have to do it, mental illness should not be a primary responsibility of law enforcement.  They are not trained or paid to do it.  We have to increase treatment for mental illness.  Maybe spending a little more money will help our officers by taking some of the load off and making it safer for them and us.   And just maybe with early and constant intervention of the mentally ill we can keep some of the folks out of the criminal justice system.  And if we are really lucky their illness will be controlled and they will not do something as horrible as what happened in Dallas or Nice France.  Both of them had the signs.  Don’t kid yourself that mental health issues were not a play in these and other shootings.  But with that said, if you commit a gun crime you need to pay a big price, make it clear and final.  F’up with a firearm and you are going down, mentally ill or not, no breaks, no mercy.  Treatment can only pay positive results, our cops want it, and we should provide it.

I know this is a big simplification, I understand that.  It is but one aspect of the problem.  But from the back of the ambulance as I kept a killer in a head lock for a half hour on the way to the hospital so he could not hurt me, to watching as my client, a barefoot crazy woman, is led from court in handcuffs on her way to prison for a property crime, I have been on both sides of the equation.  And dealing with real dangerous criminals on a regular basis, a really small portion of folks in the system, taught me one thing, we are doing a terrible job at deciding who we lock up.  Once the mentally ill become a part of the criminal justice system the have almost no chance to ever get out.  Treat them early and maybe just maybe they have a chance at a life, and no one else has to die later.  I do not have all the answers, but we have to advocate for more treatment.  I know nothing is this simple, but this has got to stop.  So next time you see an officer or a first responder tell them thanks, they need it right now.  I am sorry to subject you to this and I sincerely hope you will stick with me but sometimes I feel a moral responsibility to speak out.  There will be plenty of time to fish tomorrow.

Good Luck to us all and Tight Lines – God Bless America

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This and That 7/13/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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

The Water is a Dangerous Place

The reason there is no fishing report is I have been battling a real pleasant stomach virus, or whatever it is, for 3 days now.   But no matter what it is, I am glad to see it go.  So since I have not had the boat in the water this week I did want to assure you all I am alive and will be fishing soon.

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But there is another thing I wanted to spend a little time talking about.  Things that can hurt you in the water.  We all talk about stingrays, sharks, gators, among other things, but there is one bacteria that has reared it’s ugly head in our area, Shigella.

A bacteria, Shigella comes from contact with fecal matter.  It causes vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, occasionally with blood or mucus in the stool.  Unfortunately Coleto Creek has 8 confirmed cases with maybe a total of 20 suspected that they know about.  Though the lake has been tested and not shown an increase in the bacteria, clearly folks are getting sick swimming there.

Other than avoiding the bacteria all together by not swimming, hand washing is the next best defense.  So be advised that with the continued hot weather swimming in Coleto is at your own risk.  And remember if you handle fish, or come in contact with lake water, be sure to wash your hands.  Trust me, intestinal illnesses suck.

And like last  year, there have been multiple cases of Vibro reported from the coast this summer.  Most I have ever heard about usually started in the legs, but there was a case starting in the arm.  Now I know the argument, it is about the same chance as being struck by lightening.  Ok, but when the lightening starts we usually take cover or get off the water.  That is why, with the Boss’s prompting, I have gone to lightweight breathable waders as the water warms.   It is not nearly as pleasant as wet wading, but oh well, beats an amputation with a $200,000 hospital bill.

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Thanks for all your positive comments on Humminbird’s response to my question.  It really shows you what has happened in the fishing industry.  More and more the industry is only really concerned about their pros and not really all that concerned with the average fisherman.  Take my situation, what do you supposed their response would have been if I was some hot shot guide or tournament angler?  I know – Here is a new one.  End of story.  Unfortunately the  market is so large many companies have lost sight of who buys the stuff that allows them to make TV shows, run the best boats, and use tackle like it grows on trees.

Now do not get me wrong, of course there are companies that really do care.  Take Cocoons, they stand behind their stuff.  And when I had trouble with the Booyah spinnerbait wires breaking they immediately replaced them.  When the onboard charger went out under warranty, Minn Kota was kind enough to send a new one and said no hurry, just put the bad one in the same box and send it back to us when you get the new one mounted.   And when I had a bracket break on the trolling motor right before a big trip they overnighted me the part, at no additional cost, when I did not even request it.  Now that is customer service.

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I do not know how much tackle you have in the boat, but depending on what I have at times it is an easy $500 (real low side) to $1000 at any one time.  Now a word to the wise. Does your boat insurance policy include contents?  Does the company differentiate between boating stuff and rods, reels, and tackle?  You might be surprised when contents do not include tackle.  It happens and it hurts when it does.  So several questions to your insurance agent, what does my boat policy actually cover?  Does my homeowners cover any of it?  Hell, I am a freakin’ attorney and find some written insurance policies to be indecipherable.  So call your guy and ask him and then hold him to his word if something happens.  A 5 minute phone call just might save you a cool grand.  You are going to be po’d enough as it is without finding out you have no coverage.

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So that is it for today.  I am off to get the truck serviced, then to the marina to check on switching hubs on the Mako.  Though they are an oil bath, they are virtually impossible to remove for a bearing check.  So time to change hubs back to a pressure grease for ease of maintenance.  As they always say, BOAT stands for break out another thousand.  If I can get all the organized today I will be lucky.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Big Bend National Park 7/10/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Mowdy

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.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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.
Doug
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.

http://www.humminbird.com/Category/Support/FAQ/RepairFees/

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!

Beverly

Customer Service Representative

ARE YOU KIDDING ME BEVERLY!!!!

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.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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.

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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,
Dave
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!
BUY 1, GET 1 FREE!
PROMO CODE: VIP16
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 www.cocoonseyewear.com

Coleto

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Jim

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.

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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.

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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.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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

Weather

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

Tides

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.

P1010552

Not sure if I can get him up!

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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.

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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.

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                       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.

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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.

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

Doug,

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.

Jim

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.

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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.

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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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