This and That 5/31/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Baby Wren is still a little suspicious, of everything.

I hope everyone had a safe and fun weekend.  We spent ours on Lake Travis, and though fishing was not really in the cards we had a big time.  The Boss as usual found a great place.  Dock for the boat, pool, and a golf cart to get to them both.  With a 2 and 6y/o nothing like a pool to keep them busy.  Mia, the oldest, wanted to fish so we picked up some minnows to crappie fish under the lights, but that did not work out as after an hour she was done.  She was a little scared of the dark, but hey she is 6.

Ick!  Mia seems to like the process much better than the results.

So the last morning we did some trolling.  You could see fish breaking water in the creek so we dropped a couple of shad imitations over the side and caught two small bass.  The problem, as soon as they got close to the boat she did not want anything to do with any fish stuff.  After an hour we called it a weekend and put it on the trailer.

The weekend itself was great, not to hot, but the traffic in Bee Creek bordered on insanity Saturday and Sunday afternoon before the storms came and everybody called it a weekend.  It really reminded me of Lake of the Ozarks during it’s heyday, lots of big boats, lots of traffic.  But in spite of all that spending time with the kids was great, they grow up fast.

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Sidney, Australia

Since I have no fishing report today thought I would share a few pictures from Sydney.  It really is a cool town and we had a great time including the zoo.

The famous bridge and one of the oldest pubs in Australia.

The iconic Sydney Opera House.

We stayed in the oldest part of the city near the harbor where we could walk to most of it, or hop on one of the many ferries that cross the harbor.  Along with a visit we made a trip to the zoo, a highlight to how different animals evolved, so unlike the US.

Guarding the harbor.  The cool cable car up to the zoo from the ferry dock.

Always time for a nap.

All I have to say is the whole trip was a barrel of monkeys.

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More Boat Stuff

On my last post about selling a boat I got a couple of comments I thought I would share with you.  First is from my buddy Clyde.

Pretty funny shit Doug; some of it too close to home!!!!

Over the years we have fished out of some great stuff, and some real crap.  Clyde always had faith, just load it up and go, it will be ok, and it usually was.  And here is my favorite boating story ever from 6/14.

The Trailer From Hell

It really is necessary to review Clyde’s trailering adventure in chronological order.  To see it all in one place give you some perspective on what a hassle it turned out to be.

1.     After a 18 hour drive they drop the boat in the water, stop at the first point, drop the trolling motor in the water all cranked up to fish, and then the cable breaks.

2.     Off to the shop, no repair cable, and it will take a week to get one, so he buys a new trolling motor,  Ouch.

3.     On the way back to the resort they get a flat tire on the trailer.

4.     When they went to buy a replacement tire they only have them on chrome rims, so instead of one tire it is tires and rims.

5.     When putting tires on the axle find bad bearings on one side so they fix those.

6.     But when tried to put boat on trailer the tires are a little to big, so final result is cutting fenders off with a torch.

7.     Now after we tow 20 miles to a new ramp we stop for gas, and one side of the new tires was not properly tightened and the lug nuts have come loose, wallowing out the new chrome rim and the lugs on the hub.

8.     Luckily Paul at Musky Bay brings us a new trailer and Clyde changes out and we still fish.

9.     Then we are getting ready to fish and someone has taken the key out of Clyde’s boat.  Everyone helps and the van, cabin, boat and everything else is sight is searched.  Jake even takes out the ignition before an hour later Clyde finds it in his pocket.

10.     Clyde and John pick up the new hub which was ordered and delivered and they do not check it until back at the resort, it is to big.

11.     So they tighten the old one on, and now since we are leaving the next day Jake welds the trailer fenders back on.

12.     We leave the next morning and Clyde and John will drive on the old hub the 70 miles to the US where the auto parts store has a couple of hubs and put it on there.

13.      They get to the store and the guys says ooops, thought the  caller wanted bearings.

14.     They leave and see another store and low and behold they have the hub, they put it on, and off they go.

15.     Outside of Des Moines Ia the van starts blowing fuses.  They get that resolved and make it home to Arkansas.

Through it all Clyde remained upbeat and never let it get him down.  He just kept fishing and like it always does for him, it all worked out.  But it was the Trailer From Hell and we were all on him about it – Time for a new boat.

He finally bought a co0l new Lund so hopefully this kind of thing can be kept to a minimum.  I have a rule related to the whole buying a used boat thing, never from a hard core fisherman.

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

And from Rusty, one of my oldest and most regular readers, comes his comment.

Doug, after reading your synopsis on boat problems, it sure echoed my experiences

I have become so irritated with ramps and crowds that I have ventured into new ways of finding fish and catching them. After two boat thefts, and my Dr. telling me to try to kill myself by saying ” IF SOMETHING TASTES GOOD, SPIT IT OUT” and TRY TO KILL YOURSELF BY VIGOUROUS EXERCISE SUCH AS KAYAKING”, I now are more prone to take care of my older self.

I am building a wooden water scooter with a small kayak rack for the coastal back lakes. It is only 10 ft long and I can launch it without boat ramps. It will be equiped with a 5 horse outboard. The ride will be wet at times, but I had one in the 70’s and loved it.
Growing up in Port Aransas , I learned of 90 % of fish living 10 % of the water and now fish in the far back water and enjoy the isolation. Kayaking also has really improved my own healthy life style. I still like a cold Guiness after a long day on the water and my wife, who is from Ireland, says the stout is full of iron, low in calories and is served in Irish hospitals. “NOTHING LIKEA COLD BEER AFTER A LONG DAY OF FISHING REGARDLESS OF ONE’S LUCK”

Your story of boat marketing will be enjoyed by all your readers. You put a lot of time in writing it as you do in all your stories. When and if you get to old to fish(God forbid) and slowed down, keep your words coming to us all.

Thank you, Doug–Mac

I always appreciate hearing from you.  Building a simple, cool, functional boat to put yourself “back there” where the fish see little pressure is great and I love it.  Not to mention the side benefits of not having to use a ramp.  One of the reasons I have kept the Carolina Skiff, simple is better.  I know it is great to have a big ass boat, as long as you have the wallet to go with it, always something.

And last the health thing.  Funny you mentioned that as I have spent a couple of days messing with a health issue.  My biggest complaint is it has kept me off the water.  If the mood strikes you as soon as you get your rig on the water take a pic.  Then drop me a comment and I will make sure you have my email to send it.  We would love to see it.  As usual thanks for your support.

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

And keeping with my stream of consciousness here is another word on getting “back there.”  I got a comment a few years ago from a guy who was using Google Earth and finding back lakes with no real way in or out, except dragging the kayak.  Now it sounds like a lot of work, and it is.  But his results were all you needed to know about that.

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

I have had to basically spend what works out to be 3 days on a medical issue since Tuesday.  Of course the timing during the day is never great, and tomorrow I have to wait on UPS to sign for a package so tomorrow will probably be another waste.  If I am lucky I might get out for a couple of hours on the lake, though I am itching for the bay.  At least I got the Carolina Skiff tuned up, and the Mako will be next.  Tomorrow will be new line on reels and a walk through on all the tackle.  Then it will be back to fishing.  So keep stopping and thanks for staying with me.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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How Not To Sell A Boat – OR – Which Boat Not To Buy 5/26/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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How Not To Sell A Boat  –  Or  –  Which Boats Not To Buy

Most boys dream of rebuilding a car, or maybe even a boat.  To find that perfect one and do it all, and then when we get to adulthood most of us outgrow that little bit of folly.  But some folks do “projects”, they love them and complete them.  You see it occasionally in the boating arena, and they are some cool boats.  But most of these “projects” end up behind the barn in the pasture, behind a fence in the backyard with weeds growing up, tires flat and shine gone.

I have read thousands of boat for sale ads over the years.  Most days I peruse Craigslist and fishing sites to see what is new and I am continually amazed at what folks come up with in their ads.  So I looked at few to share with you.  I can’t believe these are the best way to sell your boat.

There seems to be 3 different classes of boat ads that run consistently.  First is the high dollar boat that someone bought, has few hours, little use, and is priced high.  I always wondered why if you can afford a $50,000 used boat why in the heck would you not buy a new one?    Second are the mid range boats, well priced and coming in all conditions and styles, what most of us own.  Last are those “Need to get it out of my yard” boats.  The ads include terms like, project boat, needs a little work, as is, runs well but….., no title, ran last time out 7 years ago, and on and on.  These are the ones you need to run from as fast as you can.  Some of the sellers seem to not have a clue on how to sell something.

If you have ever had the pleasure of chasing down a title for a car or boat you know what a hassle that can be.  One of the things that makes me crazy in boat ads is how many are out there that have not been transferred, or even titled, is some cases.  Believe me, if they could have done it without a huge hassle they would have done it a long time ago.

Motor has title but it’s from out of state and I never transfered it, if this is a problem please don’t contact me.   Price is firm.

Great, try  resolving an out of state title issue.  But even better………….

i dont have titles they never came with it when i bought it so dont ask me

Take a breath dude!  I won’t ask, you might sick your hound dog on me.  At least these folks have a title.

We have a title that was signed but we never transferred

Even better, these folks have one and tell you how to fix it, sort of.

will need to go to the state for the taking over of title or taking over as new title request, it is being sold as is

These folks crack me up.  Whatever happened to transferring it right after you buy it?  But as these sellers tell us, there might be another problem or two (as is) besides the title.

boat needs work doesn’t run   no title

Great selling points.  So now we have one with no paperwork and the damn thing doesn’t even run.

Now that we have entered the old “Needs a little work” zone, here a few for your reading pleasure.

it needs 1 maybe 2 new 454’s some new batterys Upholstery work and cosmetics

Just another motor or two?  Or you just might end up going in a circle if you buy this one.

port engine needs a short block & port exhaust manifold
Starboard engine runs great

In other words, take this broken boat off my hands cause it would not be worth it to fix before I sell.   Which means if you buy it and fix it it still will not be worth what you have in it.  And trust me, there is no such thing as “a little work” on a boat.

Here is a couple of good ones, if they only worked.  This one won’t start, but hey it is a great boat.

Ignition switch needs to be messed with, And then it’s ready for water.

And this one is flat excellent.

Motor two stroke that has a bad cylinder – excellent condition

Huh?  It must look good.  Here is another “Huh?”

Everything works on it as is only thing it needs is carbs cleaned

Just whip them off there and clean them and it will be wind will be in your hair as you fly across the water.  Sure.  At least this one is almost ready to go.

Needs work inside but won’t take much to enjoy

But until the work inside is done I promise you will not enjoy the experience.  This next fix is a breeze.

engine runs just needs a starter

No it does not run like an outboard engine is supposed to run without a starter.  I promise you would get more money if what you say is true and you went ahead and put a starter on it.

And now we enter the “RUN FOR YOUR FREAKIN LIFE ZONE”.  Or as I like to call it the “Get this thing out of my yard.” boat.

Selling this project boat.. AS IS
No title … boat trailer and motor

This is not a project, this is a large item the landfill won’t take.  And here is his buddy.

The hull is in great shape will need Stringer, transom and floor. Trailer will need tires and the neck has some pretty bad rust

How can a hull be in great shape and not have any stringers or transom?  No floor? No problem right, except when the trailer breaks down on the way to the dump.  And like the one above, this one will costs you money to even move it after you buy it.

needs fiberglass work  no titles  Tire on trailer is flat

Think about it, it needs work to float, has no titles, and the freakin’ tire is flat, what more could you want in a boat?

And our last group of sellers – The Clueless.

NEEDS WORK. MOTOR HAS SAT FOR OVER FOUR YEARS AND HAS LOW COMPRESSION

Ya think?  And this is one of my favorites

Boat has been sitting and don’t know if it still runs

Come on man.  You are trying to sell a boat and you haven’t even looked at it in so long you can’t remember?  This next one looks promising, or not.

needs cleaning and carpet motor may or may not need work been stored for 10 years

I can promise everyone who reads this if you buy this boat it won’t be a question of needing work or not, only how much it will end up costing you.  I often wonder how many of these boats actually get sold.  It won’t work, has no title, a rotten trailer, a trailer flat, no floor, not this and no that, who would buy such a thing?  Most of the boats in these examples were not priced all that high, and for the true do-it-yourself guy there are diamonds in the rough to be found.  But most of them are truly “Get this thing out of my yard.” boats, someone else’s headache.  But I sure think with just a little more thought and effort folks could get a little more money and get them out of their yard a little quicker.

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After my pointless fishing trip the other day donf dropped me this comment.

We are all in the process of setting new standards on the worst trips. After rebuilding the fuel pump I decided to do a little road test just to be sure. Got launched, fuel pump was fine. I decided to drift and watch the sonar. OK, time to go home, except now the starter just goes whrrrr. I pop off the cover and see that the spring loaded starter gear popped off. After quite a while of running the trolling motor a nice ski boat comes over to tow me in. OK, not so bad after all…..except I lean over to hook up the tow rope and plink, plink, there goes my glasses and cellphone to the bottom. Lesson learned, if you must have your phone and glasses in your pocket be sure to button the pocket.

Ouch.  The phone I have now is the 3rd one since I moved to Texas, and I lost one in Arkansas, basically all that way.  But your trip is particularly ugly.  You are saved,  and oh crap, now it is back to a bad day.  Thanks for sharing, makes the rest of us realize we are not alone.

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And one last comment on hitting the outdoors this weekend.  The forecast looks flat spectacular, and with that will come some serious traffic.  So before you head out do a walk around on the boat.  Jackets, fire extinguisher, paperwork, tail lights, there is plenty to look at, and it will take less time than it will to make money to pay the ticket if you get checked.  And be nice, be the bigger guy, give the right-of-way whether you need to or not.  Be nice at the ramp, get it all ready in the boat before you back up, and take a breath.  For lots of folks it will be their first weekend on the water so cut them some slack, you can’t kill them.  It will be a lot easier on you.

Have a happy and safe weekend with family and friends.  I have the joy of  spending time with my daughter and her family and fishing with my granddaughter Mia, sure hope to see her catch some fish.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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The Worst Trip Ever. 5/23/17.

 FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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The best laid plans of mice and men, in other words when I get up early tomorrow morning (Monday) it will be turn on the radar and look out the window.  Then it will be fishing POC, I hope, or the lake if it looks to sketchy.  Or maybe nowhere, as a 60% chance can mean all out flooding, or not a drop, often times depending on where you are standing at the moment.  So I will get both sets of stuff ready to go, because unless it is to damn ugly it will be fishing somewhere.  (The forecast below is for POC, I just checked Victoria and it has a 90% chance of heavy rain, possibly over and inch, so we shall see.)

Weather – POC (Tuesday)

82/67    50% chance scatter thunderstorms in the morning, then cloudy.  Wind ENE  5 – 10.

Tides

High   8:12 AM     0.8
Low  10:25 PM     0.1

Solunar Times

Best:   9:04A – 11:04A

Well guess what?  When I got up Monday at 5:00 it was raining and blowing.  I flipped on the radar and it was covered up and would be for hours.  With more rain possible in the afternoon I did the rational thing and took care of a couple of things that needed doing.  So it is Monday evening and I am going to POC tomorrow no matter what.  Lets see how that works out.  I do not have a clue.

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So it is Tuesday morning, I am up at 4:30 and ready to go.  Unfortunately I am not feeling all that hot, but I am going.  The drive to POC is a breeze and I am at Froggie’s as it barely cracks daylight.  Load the stuff up, back the boat in, and the trim only goes down so far, then makes a weird noise, and stops.  So I try it a couple of times but the engine will not go down.

I pull back out, look it over and try to get it to work, no luck.  Time to go the house where I can do a complete check.  I thought the fluid was ok, but who knows.  Driving all the way back home to Victoria, then the diagnosis.  There is a horizontal rod that connects with the piston on the trim, and it had worked its way out just enough to hit the inside of the motor bracket.  It turned out to be simple fix, so the only thing left to do was hit the lake, I sure wasn’t driving back to POC after I missed the perfect morning.  Bad choice.

Getting there about 9:30 the lake was clearly up.  Since I have a fish fry request for the holiday weekend it was going to be a meat hunt.  The fish decided that they were not having any of it.  In 3 1/2 hours I caught one 13″, and not another bite.  Buzzbait, crankbait, swim jig, and pitching plastics were an almost perfect strike out.  There was not a fish in visible cover.  I can count on 1 hand how many times that has happened on Coleto.  At this point the wind is not blowing, it is hot and humid, I am wishing I was wading, and I don’t feel perfect.  Then I see the biggest freakin’ snake I have ever seen in a brush top, but by time I got the camera out it was gone.  Dang it.  I saw 3 snakes today, unusual for Coleto.   But it gets better.  The boat has a livewell that self fills on plane, but it does over fill at times and put water in the bilge, plus I just washed it, so I was pretty sure there was some water in the bilge.  As I put it on plane for a move I hit the switch and nada.  No noise, and no working bilge pump.  There are several things you can do without on a boat, but a bilge pump is not one of those things unless you are nuts.

At this point I am done.  Time to go back to the house and replace the bilge pump and make sure the other fix is still good.  I probably spent over 3 hours on the road, went to 2 places, had a small, but important, screw up at both, used over a half a tank of gas, and had one bite.

But the real problem?  I was at Froggie’s at the absolute perfect time, the wind was fine, and looking forward to a great day, hopefully with cloud cover and big topwater bites.  Instead it was turn around and go back home.  I guess considering how often I go something like this is bound to happen sometime.

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I was really glad to hear from my buddy Voe.

Hello Doug,
Extremely glad to see you had a very exciting trip to Amistad. Still enjoy reading about the fishing excursions. Have been interested in that new soft jerk bait you have been using. Just need to get off my lazy ass and order it.
Everything on this side of the world is good Mary and I have spent the last year getting this house back into shape and it’s looking pretty good.
On the fishing front, I have been using the kayak about once a week and having good results. Bluegill chatterbait is the ticket for me right now.

Take care and say hi to Nancy,
Voe

Great to hear from you and that things are going well.  We had just started really fishing together when he moved.  In that clear water you fish out there a Controlled Descent in a pearl/white jerk shad would be killer and easy to see on long casts.  So when you catch one send us a pic or two.  And now that I think about it a bluegill chatterbait might have been killer on Amistad, there sure were lots of them shallow.  Thanks for keeping in touch.

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I spoke with a couple of guys working on an older Carolina Skiff at the ramp.  It was a 96′ which is 4 years older than mine, but what made it interesting, it had a full tunnel with sponsons and a step in the back.  I have seen lots of Skiffs, but this was the only one even close to that.  I am sure it ran fast and shallow, and as I well know, they are rock solid and will be around and in service longer than most any boat ever made.

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Today was not so fulfilling, in fact it sucked.  The mechanical aspect is no big deal, does not require professional services, so that is good, but it functionally ruined my day.  I guess the boat and trailer is going to get the once over to make sure the rest is up to snuff.

Mia showing Baby Wren her tackle box.  Think about it folks, she is getting her stuff ready on Tuesday for the weekend.  Looks like we may have a fisherman.

And I have some things to get ready for the grandkids.  Mia is the oldest and she loves to fish.  Do you have any idea the pressure on Grandpa?  With 3 days on Travis I should be able to get her a dang fish.  To give you an idea how hard core that little 6 y/o is it took her over 5 hours to catch one out of a pond.  Now that is dedicated.  The rest of you have a great holiday weekend, and be safe.  As usual it will be crazy out there.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Amistad – Last Call 5/19/17.

 FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Today was as good as I could hope for on a short day.  The plan was to fish a half day, and then make the 6 hour drive home, basically a pretty long day.  The weather looked like it was going to be cloudy with a chance of rain, and as I loaded the truck for the drive to Rough Canyon it started to sprinkle.  I was first at the ramp, the wind was blowing about 15, and it was perfect as I slid the boat in the water as it cracked daylight.  With a short day there was going to be no experimenting, just re-fish where I have been catching them.  Crank and wind as fast I can.

I love buzzing that spinnerbait, the bite is usually explosive.

Funny how things work out.  The best bank was one where I have caught them in the past, and it is right across from the ramp.  It had what turned out to have a long stretch of prime habitat.  They wanted points and rubble, in whatever combination you could find it.  And with the wind blowing on it spinnerbait and paralleling crankbaits was a no brainer.  The only change today was I wanted to throw the Bagley Sunny B 05 in the Shad (SD).  Over the prior couple of days there were fish chasing small shad and it is a perfect imitation.  And it is a really easy bait to crank, good after buzzing that huge spinnerbait for 2 days.  They definitely wanted the spinnerbait making a big wake and it had to be moving the minute it hit the water as most of them were right on the bank.  At this point I was flat wore out.  Pulling that number 5 willow leaf blade is work, but when they would eat it was awesome.

I vote for the fish on the left!

For the 6 hours I fished I alternated with both baits.  The fish were related to points, and if it had big rock on it there was a fish.  The pattern was so specific that you could almost call your shot, but when you missed one you had no one to blame but yourself, it was that specific.  And like so many other days, there just might be a fish on the back side of a windy point waiting for bait to blow by the point.  I basically caught them from the moment I started today until I quit, in fact it was that way the whole trip.  There were actually fish in the coves, but I maximized my time by fishing long stretches of rubble, then the point, then hopping across the cove and fishing the prime real estate on both sides of the point.

I had the good fortune to first fish Amistad 10 years ago or so, it was one of the hottest lakes in the country and then it started a period where it got tough.  If I remember correctly the last trip I made there about 6 years ago it was tough.  Well I can tell you, no more.  The sheer numbers of fish, especially the small to mediums was impressive.  It is on the rebound big time and the future looks bright.

They liked the Bagley Sunny B.

The Sunny B caught fish of all sizes, including bluegill, which are everywhere, not to mention a drum, but it turned out to be different day, same result.  Yes it happened again, I lost the biggest fish I had on today.  The Sunny B is a smaller crankbait, with a tight wobble that drove them nuts, but the hooks are small, matching the bait.  It ran a good 6′ deep on 10lb. line, which is a good match.  So shortly after I started throwing it one knocked a foot of slack in the line and it was game on, for a second.  It was clearly another big fish and I got in to big a hurry.  You can not horse them on a small crankbait, and I did just that.  I can not think of a trip where I actually managed to lose all the big fish I had on, 3 this trip, but as my buddy Tad used to say;  “With your superior skill you managed to F’ it up.”   From then on it was nice and easy and most of the rest of them came to the boat.

 The bluegill were aggressive, should have thrown a bluegill swimbait.

They bass ate the Bang O Lure on top, the Sunny B and the 1.5 square bill, a Pointer jerk bait, and the big bladed spinnerbait.  And on all of those I caught bluegill/bream, it must be full of them.  And today I caught 5 or 6 smallmouth, and though small, they are one beautiful fish.  And of course I handled the big drum no problem, just the way it goes sometimes.

In spite of those 3 moments, it was a great trip.  Over the years I have gotten over losing big fish, fish enough and it happens.  I have learned to take it all in stride, it is exciting when it happens and not the end of the world.  But I will say the first one I lost on day 2 was a real giant, guaranteeing I will be back.  Any time you can cold fish a lake and catch fish from the minute you start, until you quit 3 days later, is a success.  And I can only imagine what the guides who fish it regularly are putting in the boat right now.

Amistad is a really special place to fish, the wildlife, the scenery, and the clear water make it one of the country’s best all around fishing experience.  And having very few houses near the lake, along with fishing it during the middle of the week, was like having my own reservoir.  It really was good to know that the fishing is better than it has been in a while.  And for a totally impromptu trip with zero planning it could have gone a lot worse.  I have always liked doing that and will get back to it in the future.  So I am already thinking about Amistad early spring white bass, stripers, and jerk baiting for big bass.  The fishing was good enough that it will be back on the schedule on a regular basis.

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This week has some thunderstorms in the forecast for most of the week, we will just have to see how that goes, but I am headed to the bay.  With early morning clouds the topwater fishing promises to be good, and low light never hurts.  So time to look back at May in the search history and read about where it was good the last couple of years, then loading the boat and making it happen.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines 

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Amistad, the beat down continues. 5/18/17.

 FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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There so much cool stuff to see on Amistad.

I fished like a freakin’ pro today, for 9 hours and 59 minutes and 30 seconds, it was that other 30 seconds that just did not happen.  I have been fishing Amistad occasionally for over 10 years, and I can honestly say I have never caught this many fish.  It started when I hit the water at 6:45, and continued all the way until the last stretch where I put at least 12 in boat on square bill in the last hour.  It was just those few short seconds at the beginning of the day, and right before I quit, that hurt.

Today there was clouds until about 2, and the wind blew, actually just perfect for bass fishing.  And I can honestly say, other than that 30 seconds, I made great choices all day long.

     If you go to a clear lake without a Bang O Lure you are missing out.

The wind was blowing right on the bank I found the yesterday.  I started with spinnerbait, and they were cooperating just fine.  To make a long story short, I buzzed it over a small rocky point and I got the bite I was looking for.  Hyperbole aside, it was a freakin’ giant, it came all the way to the boat, and I messed up.  Instead of keeping it down I let it jump, and it was gone.  Damn it!  It had been a while since I had one on that size, it really was a hoss, and it hurts me to even think about it.  But stuff happens.

Slow roasted in a fire pit.  Makes my mouth water seeing them.

The pattern today was solid, fish the windy banks with spinner bait and then when around the  point the throw the Bang O Lure on the calm side.  And there are still a few fish in the coves, though main lake was clearly the best.  I caught them. and caught them, for the first  2 hours.  Then there was a little slow down for a while, but things picked right back up.  Probably bank choice more than a slow down.

And if you want to get your arm broke buzz a spinnerbait on a windy bank.

They were shallow, find a rock pile, or a point or nice bush, and hold on.  They kept biting and I kept fishing.  From when I started at daylight, until I quit a 5 there may have been the occasional half hour without a bite, but it was constant action most of the day.

We were having fun now!

It is hard to tell you how many I caught , but it was lots and lots.  Finally about 3:30 my hands and arms were burning from jerkin the Bang O Lure and buzzing the big spinnerbait so it was time for a change to something easier to fish.  I am not a crankbait fisherman by any means, but looking for something easier to crank I put on a Sexy Shad 1.5 square bill.  Easy to crank, I decided to give it a go, and boy did they like it.  And an additional 4 or 5 smallmouth also ate, they were just small.

An easy dozen on the square bill in the last hour.

I made all the right choices today, but now the other 15 seconds where I did not fish well.  I tossed the square bill on a small rocky out crop and it was on.  All the way to the boat, and disaster struck again.  It was the other fish I was looking for, big and heavy, and damn it jumped off close to the boat.  Like all fisherman I lose the occasional big fish, but I can honestly not remember a day where 2 real freakin’ big fish jumped off.  But you know what?  It was exciting anyway, just seeing fish that big was awesome.  If you are a bass fisherman and have not hit Amistad in while, it is all good, and with the number of small fish, basically all day long, the future is bright.

I really mean it when I say they are biting, and while the pattern will change as they head to deep summer patterns, there are tons of fish shallow.  If I had to guess it was an easy 30 today, and that is conservative.  I plan to fish until about 3 to avoid rush hour in San Antonio on the way home, and while tired to the bone it makes me excited just thinking about tomorrow.

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

And of course nothing like hearing from the peanut gallery when you are on the water.  I got this via text from one of my oldest buddies Clyde  (You know, the guy with 13 kids who lives in a trailer.) and then on the blog when I got to the motel.

Try the Alabama Rig for big fish!

Great idea, but by time you texted me I could not feel my hands, and my back was aching and the thought of throwing that extravaganza was out of the question.  So maybe tomorrow.  Just what I needed, another way to maybe catch them here.  Damn perch jerker!

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

My apology to Richard for getting his name wrong on the POC ramp post.  Not sure what kind of a brain fart that was.

I saw my response on your web and thank you for helping in this project. You called me James in your response. Just wanted you to know, I am Richard, but don’t mind what I am called if we can help those who are handicap or have difficulty getting in and out of the boat.
I have written other web sites for fisherman that discuss fishing in POC and hope to enlist their help. I have had a response from Kelly Parks, of the Wounded Warriors Project for POC last year and I know that he would also raise his voice for this ADA in POC.
Voices are heard if we have enough people to write and talk about this needed ADA facility

Blessings

Richard Pickard

Sorry, probably due to the fact I could not sleep the night before thinking about coming here, then drove 6 hours, fished all day, and was just tired as all get out.  But the point is made and I really thank you for highlighting a serious issue.  So forgive me and comment anytime, I appreciate your reading.

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

This has been a good trip.  Sometimes I get in a rut and forget the roots of the blog, which is loading the boat and hitting  the road.  Long drive?  Who cares.  It is what makes me tick, so many places, so little time.  As I get older there are only so many fishing days on the ledger, and I intend to re-focus and remember what got me here.  And it is hard to not get excited about tomorrow, maybe the big one will not get away.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Amistad Lake 5/17/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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I have  to admit that I have a case of the wind depression.  It was not helped by spending the day yesterday on North Padre and Corpus on a shopping trip.  We ate water side and it was flat blowing, and once I got home the forecast was for high winds, with gusts in the 30 range, and it was to stay that way all week.  I finally could not take it so when I got home I looked up several places, and Lake Amistad won.

I have not been here for 7 or 8 years, and I am happy to report the fishing is clearly on the upstroke.  I left at 6 and was in the water and fishing by 12:00.  I put in at Rough Canyon, my favorite ramp as I like fishing the river.  The water is way down, and the wind was barely blowing.

Reading some reports there were bass being caught on most styles of baits, so I threw the book at them in an effort to narrow it down for tomorrow.  I started out with a jerk bait and they basically hit that all afternoon.  Most were small, in fact in 6 hours it was an easy 15+ so on it, at least they were biting.  But they were not all small, and as the afternoon wore the wind picked up and so did the little better fish.

The better jerk bait fish.

They wanted the jerk bait fairly fast and erratic.  They were hard to feel as they were not slamming it.  As it got later, and the wind started to blow some, I switched to a spinnerbait, buzzing it right on the surface, and the bites from the better ones were cool, you could see them in that super clear water coming with a full head of steam and they smoked it.

           They are nice solid fish, none of that long and skinny thing.

The better banks were rubble rock, not deep, and not shallow.  And points definitely had fish on them.  As it got a little later I got out the Bang O Lure and caught 4 or 5, including the one smallmouth I boated today.  Right before I quit a really big smallmouth hit the Bang O Lure and I just did not get a hook in her.  Hopefully I will boat a couple of better ones the next couple of days.

Small, but it is a smallmouth.

As I was tired I called it a day at 6, and headed to the motel to check in.  I got done what I wanted today, and have a couple of pretty good patterns to start with tomorrow.  The weather is supposed to be cloudy with a chance of rain tomorrow, and the day has real possibility.  It was good to be back on the lake, this is one cool place and I always like fishing here, reminds me of the lakes in Arkansas.  And there is always something cool to see on Amistad.

Cool ruins, always wanted to go in there.  Buzzards.

  Mouflon, Audad, and goats everywhere.  Always something cool to see.

It was good to be back on the water, and I have always enjoyed fishing here.  Except for the occasional boat, and I mean occasional, it was beautiful, and quiet.  A really different experience from most places.  And while it had a slow period a couple of years ago, today’s results are a great sign that Amistad is back.  Who knows, might even  stick a big one tomorrow!

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

Every once in a while my rants, this time access, result in a comment that highlights a problem that I had not even considered, and when we get to my response you will see why.  So a big thanks to James for filling us in.

The Froggies dock is the only public ramp in POC to my knowledge. It was originally owned and maintained by the State of Texas and then leased or given to the County to maintain for a period of time. I believe next year the County might give back to the State since major work needs to be done on the ramp as the water is undercutting some of the structure.
I wrote a letter to Carter Smith, Executive Director of TPWD and cc’d Gov. Abott about the need to provide access under the ADA once this ramp is upgraded.

I got a favorable response and that was back in Aug 2015.  I worked on this project for over a year and talked to people with the TPWD and the County Commissioner for POC and found them to be willing to help put the needed funds for an upgrade and to provide accessibility under the American Disability Act requirement.  I am still waiting for this to take place but believe it will, but I do know, or was told, that a study has been done to do this work.

We have many people who need the ADA accessibility including the wonderful yearly event for the Wounded Warriors hosted in POC.  I hope they add new access not only for the fisherman and boaters but also for the handicap that love to fish.

If you or any of you readers want to push forward on this, here are the addresses of the people to write too:
Mr. Carter Smith
Executive Director
TPWD
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744

and
Governor Greg Abbot
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

You are absolutely right about Froggie’s being the only public ramp.  It needs upgrading badly, with additional parking, but it never crossed my mind about making it ADA compliant.  Why I am kicking myself for not seeing that is because I have a brother who has been in wheelchair for decades as the result of an accident, and he constantly fights access issues in his daily life.  My bitchin’ having to walk a couple of blocks to park is insignificant compared to folks who can not even go there.  Access is even more critical for folks with disabilities.  ADA compliance opens up places, ramps, buildings, parks, etc. to folks with disabilities.  Accessibility is a major struggle is some folks ability to get out and participate with the rest of us.

I salute you for your efforts, and will pen my letter and get it off tomorrow.  And the rest of you, take a minute and add your 2 cents worth, it takes public participation to make change.  And if you only do it for selfish reasons, better parking and easier loading and unloading, the side effect will help untold people in the future who would not have access to what we have, the great outdoors.  I appreciate your comment and your efforts, a reminder that there is never a single factor in any issue.  It is time to upgrade the ramp and I can not think of a better reason.  Disabled folks want nothing more than what the rest of us have, access.

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

So there is a quick report, I am tired, it has been a long day so it will be an early sack and up early.  It will be interesting to see how it goes, but I am feeling pretty good about it.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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This and That 5/13/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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HAPPY MOTHER”S DAY TO MY MOM AND THE REST OF YOU MOTHERS OUT THERE!

ACCESS

One my pet peaves is the limited number of ramps in the POC area.  Take any weekend and the ramps and lots are crowded with occasional mass chaos.  My favorite was the weekend we fished a tournament, one of 3 that day, and one held it’s weigh in Saturday at 5:00 at the ramp at Froggie’s, talk about chaos.  Over the last 30+ years I have launched at everything from dirt, to sand, to 8 lane monsters, and one thing that has become readily apparent is no matter where you go there are more folks on the water.

With the increased pressure on the limited number of facilities at many places, there just is not enough room during any area’s prime time.  A perfect example is the ramp at Froggie’s on almost any day for the next 5 months.  I understand that a great ramp with bathrooms and cleaning table are not cheap, but they are an investment in the growth to come.  If you had told me when I first started guiding that fishing was going to become this popular I would have not believed you.  And the sport continues to grow, especially inshore saltwater, and if the economy remains relatively stable, the pressure will only increase.

In my case the cost of the fishing license, and the excise tax that I pay in the cost of every lure, is a deal.  I would have no problem paying more for the privilege, either in ramp fees or license increases, if it went directly to providing more access on the water.  As budgets decrease many agencies are struggling, and with that is the closing of some facilities, the national parks a great example of that.  Reducing access is not the answer and only acerbates the problem.  Access has become an increasing problem due to the increased number of users, and if it is not addressed at some point it will reach critical mass in some places.   And the benefits of increasing ramp availability is not only lowering traffic and congestion at the ramp, but in the case of the Texas coast, spreading fishermen out over larger areas.

So whether it is updating facilities, or building new ones, there has to be an investment in the future.  I know times are tough for Game and Fish departments but acquiring access in the woods and water should be priority number one.  As more and more private land is closed off to folks it is imperative that public access for the common man is preserved and expanded.  The outdoors belong to each and every one of us and to keep our outdoor pursuits alive more access is an investment worth making.

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

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

I was pleasantly surprised to hear from Neal who with some friends has been developing a great website and it is up now and ready to go.  It is a great site and if you want to do a little dreaming, or some actual planning, at some of the best lodges in the world, this is the place.  It is easy to navigate and if some of those places do not get your blood flowing you are not a fisherman.  I already sent the link to the Boss in case there are options on our New Zealand itinerary.   And though he is a law student, and I might question his sanity, the site is a professionally done resource.  So do yourself a favor and check them out, I did and it makes me want to hit the road!

Your Fishing Adventure Awaits

Plan Your Perfect Trip with an Extensive Directory of Fishing Lodges Today

Your Fishing Adventure Awaits

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

I got this comment on the wind from Don, timely considering what the wind has been doing the last couple of months.

I am reminded that you may be a mere mortal after all.

From up here in Austin I have been paying attention to the wind reports and I can’t remember a single day thinking that the wind would be ok for the coast. Its even too windy for Lake Travis. My pleasant white bass kayak trip on Lake LBJ turned into a 4 mile paddle across the lake into a 20mph wind.

I forget its just a windy time of year.

This made me laugh for another reason.  As I approach my 64th birthday I am reminded I am a mere mortal every morning when I crawl out of bed!  The wind has been nothing else but consistent, 15 – 25 mph out of the SSE.  My problem with it, besides the occasional ass busting ride, is it has been blowing on many of my go to spots.  But if anything that should spur me on to look for more places that are not affected by our prevailing winds.  Unfortunately the other day the wind was not the problem, it was me, I just did not fish worth a hoot.  I just looked at the 10 day forecast for POC and they could just copy and paste, 15 – 25 for the next 10 days, great.  And Dude, paddling 4 miles in a 2o mph wind is definitely putting on your big boy pants.  After a while, wind or not, it is time on my part to quit bitchin’ and do something about it.  Drive farther, fish harder.  Thanks for keeping in touch.

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

It is Saturday morning and I am doing my usual watch fishing thing.  Some shows I really like, and some not so much.  One I do enjoy is Big Water Adventures, he is a freakin’ nut, and he fishes everywhere for lots of different fish.  Today they are in Venice LA, a bucket list place for me.  Funny when you consider it is not all that far from here, maybe a couple of hours farther than Grand Isle, which is an easy hump.  Though they are catching cobia, for me it would be a chance to catch some really big redfish.  When they are that big they eat crankbaits, spinnerbaits, plastics, and topwater like the Whooper Plooper, right down my alley.  A 5 day trip would be about right to figure something out.

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

 The last couple of years I have been doing a little experiment with reels.  Over most of my fishing life I was an Ambassadeur 5500C fan, but also had Shimanos, Diawa, and Lews.   After having several Corrados and Citicas, which I had trouble with, it was time for a new plan.  After spending $150 on a reel, and then the occasional cleaning and new bearings, running $50 or so at least every year due to heavy use, I was sick of shelling out the bucks.  So I started buying reels on clearance.  I have no preference for brand, only price, keeping it $40 and below.  Of course some are better than others, but I can honestly say I have not lost a single fish due to any reel.  So if they are really cheap I buy 4 or 5 whenever they come up.  The offshoot of that is it really has cost less over the long run.  My favorite, which I have a couple left, has been the Daiwa Laguna, it is a good little reel.  And when they start acting up, in the pile they go and out comes a new one.

And speaking of being a cheap skate I have found a good way to pick up the occasional rod at a great price.  Academy sells combos, some nice ones, some not so nice.  But what happens is the scum bags steal the reels and they are left with a rod.  There are 2 places to look for them, one if there is a rod without a reel in the combo section, or in the wall rack with a yellow sticker on the handle without a price on it.  They have a chart for the price without the reel, and it is a good deal.  Now they are all not exactly what I want, but good ones do come up occasionally.  I have gotten several Lew’s rods that way, and my favorite trout rod before I broke it was a Pflueger that I got for $12.  So if you like to treasure hunt there are some good bargains to be had.  It is nice to look at the pile of rod and reels in the boat and the total comes to $300 for the lot and it is not painful when, not if, I finally break something.

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

Thanks for letting me rant on a few things that I have been thinking about, a good way to spend Saturday morning if not on the water.  And it really has been hard to get over the fishing the other day.  It has been a while since I had a day like that on the bay.  Part of that is not going as much this spring, but if it is going to stay this way for a while, and it looks like it will, time to get some resolve.  So wind or not I am going to extract some revenge on those trout.  And thanks for your continued comments, we love getting them and read them all.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines 

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Port O’connor TX 5/12/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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It has taken me 24 hours to finally sit down and write this.  If it was possible to make any worse decisions, or fish any more poorly, I have no clue how.  First thing that I did not do was prepare the conditions before I left.  Then once I got there it was one wrong move after another.  By time I quit I was completely disgusted.  It has been a while since it went like that and I guess I was just due.

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

Looking at the tides it was supposed to be high at 10:42 if memory serves me right.  So the plan was to be on the water by 11:00 or so and catch the falling tide.  And the other factor was the wind, so I waited around until 10:00, it did not look to bad so I finally decided to go.  The first clue was the lot at Froggie’s was full, except for the open spots of folks who had already hit the road, it was blowing.  When you get spot 5 there that late you know something is up.

On my way out to the island it was not to rough, at least in the beginning.  But there were huge muddy areas, in fact anywhere there were spoils or shallow water it was pretty off-color.  It was down Bayucos island then Grass island, and when I rounded the tip of Grass headed to the island the white caps were rolling and it was a typical windy ride to the island.  The minute I got to my first spot I knew there was a problem.

Though the tide was supposed to be up, it wasn’t, at least not there.  What I think happened was it was blowing so hard that it blew the water out of the drain and it looked like low tide, and the fish definitely were not having it.  And it really surprised me there was no water on the flat with a projected positive 0.9.

The only thing that really pulled back all day.

To make a terrible story short I spent to much time in that area.  I would catch a small one every once in a while, but after spending a couple of hours in the general area I could only catch 5, a small red and 4 short trout.  The Controlled Descent was the only thing I could get bit on, (It was not the only plastic I tried.) and no topwater bites.  After that a couple of drains on Bayucos and Grass were next, and not a touch.  On the 3 wades I fished shallow and deep, and for some reason was not holding my mouth right.    Now I am getting irritated so back to the basics  for a little boat fishing.

I had not been in the Oil Cut in while, and with the wind blowing I found everyone else hiding out.  The water was a little off color and I managed to catch another small red on spinnerbait, and another short trout.  After hitting that it was a stop at a couple of drains in Big Bayou and it was 1 short trout.  Yikes!  At this point it was 6:00 and I called it a defeat and headed to the car wash.

When my wife got home she asked how it went and I said terrible.  “But you caught some fish.”  My response was I try to not blame the fish, when it goes like that there is only one answer, I fished like crap.  And I am not blaming the wind but it has been this way lake or bay, fish where you can and not always where you want.  But when that happens I expect myself to think things through, be able to adapt, and then make it work.  Today that did not happen.   The only bright side?  Just makes me want to head back out and make them pay.

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

Joe sent me a couple of comments on the time TPWD gave Sharelunkers to the owners of LaPerla Ranch.  He rightly remembered I ranted about it, but it looks like some good will come out of it after all.

I remember you getting fired up about this situation. I guess he felt guilty (I concur.) and is now giving back to Lake Falcon???

You are so right on that, in fact I just read it on the Falcon Lake Tackle website and was getting ready to comment on it.  And until getting your comments I knew it was high to fish there, but are you kidding me?   $4,ooo per person for a weekend.  That is insane.  All the more reason that TPWD made a big mistake, but you see it often.  At times fish and game departments confuse managing the fish and game with owning it.  Sorry we do and it is not to be given for nothing to a rich guy, end of story.  If your local city maintenance worker took home a truck load of gravel with city equipment and did not pay for it firing would be in order, and potentially criminal charges.  This case is a little different in that there was no intent, just clearly a case of head up butt and whoever made that decision is lucky they did not get fired.  First is the link you sent me and the next is Falcon Lake Tackle.  (Scroll down to his May 1st post.)  Interesting reading, and it looks like it might end up having a  good outcome and everybody learned a little lesson, I hope.  Good to hear from you.

https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/other-sports/moresports/2017/05/06/sharing-wealthfalcon-will-receive-sharelunker-offspring-ranch-hopes-revitalizing-big-bass-paradise

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

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

And thanks to Jim for his kind comment.  Nothing like winning one occasionally.

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

I assume that croaker fishing is on full blast at this point.  I should put my prejudice to live bait aside and give it a serious go, but I am a lure guy but a another trip like that may send me to the dark side.

So there it is in all it’s glory.  Fishing days like this remind us that we are not all that.  For every fabulous day there seems to be a day like this.  But looking at it from the perspective of a lifetime of fishing the bad days disappear from memory, while the fabulous linger forever, it is why we fish.  I promise my attitude will improve next time I have a rod in my hand.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto Creek 5/8/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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I finally ditched that slow laptop for one with more speed, which helps a ton when it is late and I am in a hurry to get this stuff up.  So while I am getting tomorrow’s conditions in anticipation of a day of fishing on Coleto Creek the new computer is getting a workout.

The weather looks good for my usual shallow baits so it will be buzzbait for starters and we will go from there.  The wind continues on the coast for the next few days but it looks like it will subside some later in the week, and if it will relax just a hair I will probably stay a night at POC and give it a serious go for 2 days.

Weather

83/68   Cloudy  10% chance rain   Wind SE  15 – 25mph

Lake Levels

4/28  97.37 msl    Today  97.17 msl   (Slow decline over the last month.)

Solunar Times

  • 9:29A – 11:29A   (The only major or minor time today.)

A beautiful day in the neighborhood.

When we hit the water most of us have a preconceived notion, or at least a plan, on how the day will, or should, go.  Today was one of those days, I thought they would bite, and they did.  I thought they would bite all day, they didn’t.  If I had to attempt to explain how the day went, it was the wind.

I made it out at the crack of dawn and there was a light breeze.  The lake is still dropping but has cleared considerably.  Up lake I went and started throwing the buzzbait.  They were biting.  I was still throwing the buzzbait with the toad instead of a skirt, and today they were hitting it a lot farther off the bank.  Obviously the clearing and falling water caused that.  There did not seem to be any bank any better, caught a few in the coves, long straight stretches, and points were good.

The best for the day.

What made it interesting is when the Boss heads to work she usually calls at 9:45, and today she did.  I had counted this morning and when she called I had already caught 13 and missed and lost several.  Nothing particularly big other than the one above, but most looked like the ones below.

          A dozen like this with a few other smaller ones tossed in.

And the punch line, that is when the wind started.  As you can see in the pictures it was dead calm, and they were smacking it.  After 10:00 I only put 3 more in the boat, when it stopped, it stopped.  I tossed a little swim jig and topwater and caught one on each.  For some reason I did not get the hook in a couple pitching the watermelon beaver style plastic.  They were swimming with it and for some reason it did not stick.

There was one other cool thing today, there is a big eagle on the lake.  There was one here earlier and the ospreys were giving it hell all the time.  But with most of them gone hopefully the eagle will hang around.

So after 3 hours without much, and white caps on the lake, I called it a half a successful day.  It really was interesting how quickly they quit, it went from a great bite to hunt and peck.  And of course once the big wind comes the buzzbait is done.  Dead calm to a light chop is perfect, and when it was like that they bit.  The lake is getting to the point where lots of places are about to lose the water, and things will change big time with summer right around the corner.  And with that is the rule, try to be where you should be fishing for what you should be fishing for, in other words off to the bay I go.

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

I also got this update from Jim, who I had the pleasure of fishing with on Coleto, and he included a picture of a nice one from Fayette.

Love those Fayette fatties.

Doug,
Thought got I’d drop you a line. Looks like you had a good day on Coleto today. Lots of nice fish. I saw that you went with toads on your buzzbaits, good call. Remember, I owe you a trip on Fayette. So to entice you a little I have included a pic of a solid 5#er I caught there today. My buddy and I boated 35 in 6 hours on a combination of spinnerbaits, pop r’s, shaky heads and of course CR’s. So enjoy your trout fishing trip and let’s get together soon.

Jim

First let me apologize for taking so long to get your report up.  I somehow managed to lose this and finally found it.  I will holler at you soon, would love to boat 30+ any day of the week, and Fayette is just the place to do it.  So as soon as possible I will be happy to learn a little more about Fayette.  Thanks for the report and I had a great time fishing with you.

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

My old buddy Clyde from high school and his lovely wife Maria have moved from Arkansas to some place in the middle of nowhere northwest Iowa, the state we originally met in in high school.They call that supper where I come from!

I initially wondered where they might fish but it turns out there are lots of places local, much less they are close to South Dakota, where we fished some in the past, and of course Wisconsin and Minnesota.  So there are lots of walleye and bass to be caught, and they will give that new Lund a work out.   Nice job on the walleyes, the Boss is jealous.

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

I had the distinct pleasure and honor of heading to Academy and buying my 2 grandbabies their first real fishing poles.  Baby Wren got a little short one, and Miss Mia who looks like she is really going to be a fisherman, a Zebco 33.  It is how I started and is a good easy to use first reel for kids.  It will be great to teach her how to use it and hopefully when we are at Lake Travis for the upcoming holiday I can figure a way for her to catch a fish.  She spent 5 hours trying at a pond a few weeks ago until she caught one, that is dedication.

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It was good to hear from Faye and Steve.  They had a tough trip, but who hasn’t had some of those. 

Well, we blew in to POC Sunday on a strong north wind, fished two days with hard south winds and arrived back in DFW Wednesday to north winds again.
Day one was really tough!  The winds had shifted back to the south and the water was chocolate milk in most places.  We chose not to beat ourselves up trying to get over to the back lakes.  We spent 6 hours on the water in every location we know that is somewhat out of the wind.  The days net result was one nice trout and one catfish. These came from fishing the ICW just off the 2nd cut in an eddy.  We could pitch to deeper water and to a flats area.  My trout came from letting the popping cork float over the flats area that had grass beds.

Day two was much the same but the numbers were better.  We caught 4 nice trout while anchored in Saluria at the opening of the large drain that has a houseboat in it.  We would pitch out and let the current carry our bait from the deeper water to the shallow opening of the drain.  All the bites and catches were just before the shallow water.  We were using shrimp on light jigheads and popping corks.  The trout were all of keeper size (this trip was a catch & release) and very healthy!  We look forward to making it back down in June.  As always, we enjoy all your posts,

Steve and Faye

I always enjoy hearing from you.  One of my longest running readers, they are always wiling to share their reports, good or bad.  As I know they work really hard with their business it goes back to that old saying; “A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work.”  We have all been fighting the wind for well over a month, and it looks like most of the week will be the same.  So you are due to have a good trip in June and we will be looking forward to hearing how it goes.  Thanks again for your support.

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Tomorrow and the next day I will actually be engaging in a little more manual labor helping my buddy out.  After that it will simply be a matter of the wind.  They are saying it may lay some at the end of the week, which will work out perfect.  A couple of days at POC is in order.  As usual I appreciate you all taking the time to read my ramblings.  You keep reading and I will keep fishing, I think I am getting the good end of that deal.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Ruiodoso New Mexico 5/6/17.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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What is not to like about this view from our balcony?

The Boss and I really do enjoy the mountains, and one of our favorite areas is Ruiodoso New Mexico.  Great mountains, hiking, hunting, fishing, shopping, skiing, a game of chance or two, it has it all.  We have visited several times, this was our first in the spring.  It actually snowed the weekend before, but the weather was great.  40’s in the morning, and mid 70’s in the afternoon.   In fact, the Boss met a store owner, the former basketball coach at Halletsville, who moved to Ruiodoso and opened a  hiking store.  He told her they only turned on the AC one day last year, must be nice.  And of course being a walker and hiker she found a couple of things she could not live without.

One thing we really enjoy is seeing wildlife, and this trip it was antelope.  Driving into New Mexico we started seeing them, but differently from how they usually are.  They were spread out over miles in groups of 2 here, a couple there, not bunched up like usual.  I wondered if it had to do with them having babies, and on the way out it may have been exactly that.  On the way back we saw 2 really new babies.  I know squat about antelope, but looks like that was what was happening.  They are one cool animal.  And we did see several turkeys, including a Rio Grande and a Merriam, and it was easy to see the difference.  No elk this trip, but we did not take the 4Runner so no mountain road drives this trip.

It is a pretty good haul, about 11 hours, but we knock that off pretty easily.  We stay at the Inn of the Mountain Gods, which is a cool resort and casino.  They have stuff to do, zip line, kayak and small paddle boats on the lake, fishing, golf, and hunting is all available.  I had never fished there so I decided to give the lake a try.  It is a clear mountain lake stocked with trout.  That is not my thing, bank fishing for stockers, but I had a mission from my granddaughter Mia.

Flat Stanley, who happens in this case to be a girl in a dress, got flattened to a bulletin  board, and so her 2cnd grade class sent him out to their relatives to get his picture taken on adventures.  Since she loves to fish, and I was on an adventure, I needed a Flat Stanley pic for her board.

Flat Stanley catches a rainbow trout.

The lake is pretty big and stocked with 20,000 rainbows a year.  You pay a day use fee and they have bait and even pole rental if needed.  You can walk around about half of the lake and there are ample places to fish.  In a couple of hours I ended up catching 3, losing a couple, one trying to set up a Flat Stanley picture, all on a Panther Martin spinner.  But as you can see from the picture, they are stockers.  So while it was great to catch a couple in such a beautiful place, my heart was not in it.  Do not take this as a negative comment on the fishing, but for me it wasn’t a 7lb bass smashing a buzzbait or a big red swallowing a topwater, guess I am spoiled.  But if you ever go, there are trout to be caught, and if you bobber and bait fish you could catch a bunch and it would be great for the kids.  So for me it was a scratch that off the list.

We also went hiking one morning in the woods.  There is a great hiking trail there, just tough enough but nice, so I accompanied my hiking wife with an ulterior motive.  Along the way is the hunting lodge, skeet range, and guide hang out.  I wanted to check out the hunting opportunities, as they have some of the best big bull Elk hunting in the nation.

When we got there the guides were hanging out, drinking coffee and watching tv.  The trophy bulls on the walls in there are freaks, worth the stop in and of itself.  They filled me in on the hunting which is elk, bear, and turkey.  Most of it on the 360,000 reservation with native American guides.  Of course the trophy bull  hunt is way out of my price range, but a cow elk is not, and I am considering it.  Yummmm.  They only issue is only permits by draw, and the success rate in the draw is the 25% range.  He said that had a lot to do with New Mexico not permitting out of state hunters to get a cow elk permit except through them, and probably other outfitters in the state.  Suffice to say I found the rest of the prices reasonable and I just might have a go at the draw next spring.  Not a bad trip if you think about it.  Close to Texas, and if you fill your tag day one you can still fish and hang out in a great place.

Of course we did engage in a little adult entertainment.  We are cheap gamblers, we enjoy it, but we have our measly limits and stick to them.  Of course being a cheap skate like I am a .50 bet for me is a big one.  So we rarely win, and we rarely take a beating.  Well this trip I got lucky.

That would be $1260 on a .40 bet!

There is nothing like getting your whole trip paid for in one push of the button.  But that is hardly all there is to do in Ruiodoso, there is so much more.  Inn of the Mountain Gods is a great place to take a break, and still get your fill of the great outdoors.  And if you take the family they will not be bored if you decide to sneak off and be “a guy.”  I highly recommend Inn of the Mountain Gods, great resort in a great place.

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It is that time of year again, time to pay the dues for the Texas Bar.  I am still an attorney, though on inactive status.  Though I have not given any legal advice or entered a court room in 8 years, I still keep my license, law school was tough and I worked hard for that, not to mention the $$$.  Though I have no plans to ever go back to that living hell, I keep sending my money.  Who knows, it just might come in handy some day.

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Those of you who read this stuff know how much we enjoyed Australia.  It was probably my favorite trip of all time.  Well I just found out how much the  Wow I did not see that coming!  (I can not tell you how much research and reading she does in preparation for a big trip.  They almost always come off without a hitch, tough job considering some of the places we have been.  She must have been a travel agent in a past life.)  We actually heard from many folks in Australia, much less folks that have been there, it is a trip not to be missed.  And the side benefit to her planning, I spent some time looking at the fishing.  The exchange rate is great for US money, and they have some of the best big brown trout fishing in some of the greatest scenery on the planet.  It looks like I will be fishing with some guides in 4 different places on the trip.  Time to get the fly rod out and start practicing.  The fish there are no “stockers”, they are some of the wildest browns in the world.  The only problem with her early planning, I have to be excited and think about this for a year!

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That catches me up for today.  Next trip to NM, and there will be more, it will not be without the 4Runner.  There are miles and miles of backroads through the mountains, and we love the slow drive looking for wildlife, and I still have to see a big bull elk there.  And I will fish the lake again at the Inn, but will do it with the flyrod, good practice for next year.  For now it will be off to Coleto in the morning.  With the wind expected to blow up to 25mph with all day cloud cover it has buzzbait written all over it.  Probably toss in a little topwater to go along with it.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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