FLT Flash Fishing Report!
Not your Daddy's fishing report...
June 20, 2018: I have been praying for rain.. And the lower valley is getting it.. I guess I need to be more precise when it comes to the area that I want it to fall in..
Areas along the lower Rio Grande, especially around Mercedes, have gotten hammered. I hear that Corpus over to lake Mathis has gotten from eight to ten inches.
And in some areas, it has been a disaster.. But that's how we get rain in south Texas.. A lot. Or not much..
Last night we got 1.25 inches here at the shop. And while that is certainly a blessing, we could stand a lot more..
This event is not finished up just yet, and I am hoping that as this low slides south and west, we will end up on the wet side of it..
Releases from Falcon have all but stopped, and as of yesterday we were letting out less than 2K CFS.. We have actually caught a few inches of water, due to a little local rain and the slowing of water going thru the dam. We are stilting at 263.89 as of this morning.
There is a bit of turbidity in the river and on the top of the lake I hear. And you will find stained water all the way down to marker seven in some areas.
But lets talk fishing.. Being I haven't done any.. Not in three weeks..
Besides not having a boat, (still in shop) and moving, I have not wet a line in what seems like forever.. I got invited to go today, but we chickened out due to the weather forecast.. As it turns out, we should have went..
And let me tell you that if God intended old people to move, he probably would have given us better knees..
Getting old ain't for pussies.
There have been damn few people fishing this week, but from the sounds of it, those that have gone have caught them pretty darn good.
Hardwoods still have some flipping fish, and where they are located in a bit cleaner water, they can be loaded up. A few good fish in the mix as well.
Brushpiles in the Tigers continue to be populated with bass and crappie, and some nice quality fish are hanging out on them.
Windblown rocks (how many times have I talked about it) can have a shit ton of fish on them.. These are still mostly smaller fish, but it is not unusual to catch a bunch of them in one spot. And often times there is a surprise mixed in when a biggun gets ahold of your bait.
A squarebill and a lipless bait are still good choices on the shallow rock. But you can also throw a small plastic up there and get bit.
If you move out on long sloping points, a C-rig is a good selection.. Just drag it out down the slope till you figure out what depth they're at.
I have not heard from anyone that has been fishing the ledges and humps near the dam. Often times when water releases are diminished, that bite slows down. Current is a big deal with those fish.
It is not unusual at all to catch a bunch of fish on any type of rock..
And the return of the jig and Mag Fluke bite is a welcome sight as well.. Talked to some guys a few days back that caught them on a stand up or shakey head jig wearing a Mag Fluke.. Good stuff..
The biggest thing is that there are just not many fishermen to talk to.. So my info is limited.
If you are looking for a lake with plenty of room.. You might consider Falcon..
I am sure that the weather has scared a few folks off. More room for you and me..
Well you anyway..
The state park ramp is probably not useable, but it might be in a few days. But launching on the bank down there has been no problem. Of course it could be a bit muddy right now. Four wheel drive is great, but was not a pure necessity before the rain.
The county ramp is a bit flat, but no problem to launch your boat.
Remember the old bridge in the Veleno.. Give it a wide berth to the west.. No sweat. If you don't know, ask!
I have decided that I am going to buy a bunch of Advil stock.. I can probably make money on just the amount that I have been taking. I know that shit is bad for your liver.. And it is quite possible that I have damaged my liver in the past, with the help of Lem Motlow.. I have admired his work for years..
I used to think that moving was more emotional than physical..
Well I have decided that my thought process on that was bullshit.. I'd rather piss on a spark plug than move.. Guess that's why I lived above the shop for ten years..
I'm not leaving town, just moving across it a bit.. I'll still be here most everyday..
Stop in and see me.. Or what's left of me..
June 13, 2018: Well if you ain't been here by now, I'm not sure what you are waiting for.. Other than a cool spell.. Which is allegedly on the way..
If you call nineties cool.. But it beats the heck out of 104°..
Over the weekend there was some good fishing.. And some not so good by some reports. And there were a lot of folks in town, as there were several clubs down and the API tournament was also going on.
Saturday was a banner day for big fish bites I hear, and of course I heard the stories from several seasoned fishermen and several guides that said they just could not get the big fish in the boat.
The API fished a three fish format, and on Saturday there were four stringers over twenty pounds, and the leaders had a shade over twenty two..
Sunday there were not as many giants weighed in, but there were still a lot of nice bags weighed..
And I believe the winning weight was 36.50 and second was about a tenth of a pound back. The first four teams all had great two day weights.
I have not heard final weights from the club tourneys. Uvalde Bass Club and Helotes Bass Club were in town for sure, and I believe one other..
No clubs in town I know of this weekend, but SAPD is scheduled for the next.
Remember a few years ago when we were throwing the Magnum Fluke and a lot of football jigs? Well it is time to do it again, as a lot of fish are being caught out aways on points and on ledges a bit offshore.
The big fluke on a stand up jig or a wobble head jig is catching them too.
Bout time that shit starts working again..
But back to the jig.. A lot of folks have had good luck on jigs near rock and on brushpiles..
One rule of thumb around here is, that when the lake gets low, like the conditions we have now, there is just not a lot of cover in the water.. Other than rocks and hardwoods..
And brush piles are a freaking fish magnet during these times.. So if you know where some are, or if you run over one... You might want to flip it a time or two..
I heard that a lot of the better fish caught this weekend were off brush piles..
I'm just sayin..
The crappie are also loaded up in a lot of these piles as well. And there's only two things bettern' a crappie.. The first is a filleted crappie.. The second is a fried one..
And those crazy ass white bass are also on the loose.. Lots of places to run into them out there.. Whether you want to or not.. If you catch one, there's more nearby..
Most any soft plastic will catch you a fish if you throw it into the right tree..
But if you ain't tried one yet, the Zoom Z-Craw in Tilapia or South Africa Special are two good choices.
Speaking of which, Jay Skrivanek (easy for me to spell) caught this PB 10 pound 9 ounce on a Z craw last weekend.. And he had never heard of one before I showed it to him.. It also fishes well on a C-Rig..
Guess I should have told him about getting some slime on the lens as well! Congrats!
There have been a shit load of real quality fish caught lately.. And with all the missing water they are getting easier to find bunched up.. Sometimes..
They are still hammering us on the water.. I can't believe that they can't at least keep us on the state park ramp.. Because after today I am going to say that launching on concrete there will be no longer feasible.
We are at 264.06.. And I always say that at 263.5 it is over.. Add in a little siltation and that number gets higher a bit as we go along..
What pisses me off is that there is plenty of water in the Mexican lakes to keep us at 270 or so.
Piss poor management..
The bridge in the Veleno (in, not over) has claimed three lower units that I know of this week.. Go around the buoys to the west!
Somebody ought to sue em.. Not only will they not destroy it, or keep water over it, but the management is so shitty that they won't even mark it as a hazard..
I mean seriously.. Does someone have to get killed before they might even notice that we have a problem?
Plenty of water on the west side of it to easily go around.. But not everybody that comes to town knows it is there.. Although I try..
There are some rain chances around.. I have been praying for a flood..
Hurricane Bud is heading up the Baja, and I hope it stalls out in the northern mountains and rains two feet..
Like I said.. We're due.. There is also another system behind it and I hope it follows the same path and rains two more feet..
I don't mean to be insensitive.. But it takes an event to put any real water into this lake..
If the Mexicans start turning some water loose.. I'll quit praying for a rain that has all of em standing on roofs..
But for now I am sticking with the status quo..
I haven't written lately because I have been busy.. Like very busy.. Like I bought a house and am working on it day and night and moving busy..
And this shit is kicking my ass.. I'm too old and fat to be doing what I have been doing in this heatwave..
And if it cost a dime to shit, I'd have to throw up.. So I ain't hiring anybody.. I'm too damn particular anyway..
And I don't want anybody looking in my underwear drawer..
But I'll get her done and when I move the last box I ain't doing shit for a week..
And maybe I'll be able to get back on the water.. But it ain't happening this week..
Take care of yourselves.. And come fishing.. Come buy some baits.. My first payment is due in thirty days...
June 5, 2018: June has come in about like May went out.. Hottern a Model T exhaust pipe..
But there is less light at the end of the tunnel as highs are only supposed to be in the upper nineties over the weekend. And after two weeks of 104° that sounds pretty good..
Well not really.. But the fish don't give a shit..
They're still biting like Mike Tyson..
Very good numbers of fish are being reported on both ends of the lake. And if you are worried that you have a smaller boat, it's all good as you don't have to leave the Veleno..
From all accounts, it is fishing as good as any creek on the lake.
Rocky points and drops still have crankbait fish on them, and any timber you see may have a biggun on it. The Veleno is fishing as good as I can remember. Course I been telling you that for a month.
Hardwoods on the main river channel, from the top of the lake to Blanco have also been putting out good numbers of fish. Your favorite flipping bait in the shadows of the trees will get you bit.
A big worm or a beaver or brush hog style bait is a damn good place to start. The water on top of the lake is a little off color so using a darker colored bait is a good idea.. Junebug Red, black and red, or the good ole' Plum Ol' Monster are good choice.
The Rojas Fighting Frog or the Zoom Z Craw in Tilapia are good choices as well..
And these bastards are full of piss and vinegar. Typical of Falcon fish in the summer..
A little farther south, Pierces and the tigers are full of rocks, and these points can have a shit ton of fish on them. A lot of them are in the one to three pound range, but it has been very common to snatch a pig off the same rocks you have been catching fifteen inchers off..
I know I sound like skipping record, but the Red Eye shad in Sexy Shad pattern is a must to have laying on the deck.
And keep your eyes open for schooling bass on any ridge, hump, or point.
South of the Tigers, a lot of good fish have been grouped up on deeper rock, and the big cranks and jigs are catching some real quality fish.
The area around the dam has been stacked up with boats, like usual. But for good reason. Those community holes are community holes for a reason.. Cause they hold fish. And if you happen on the right hump, you can catch some gooduns.. Several of them.
The white bass are still very active as well.. And in the course of the day you are bound to run into a batch or two of them. Lots of small fish, but some nice eating size ones in the mix..
And speaking of white bass, I hear a lot of folks think that they are a problem up on Texas' greatest lake, Lake Fork.
And coincidentally, when we were doing our continuing gar study here on Falcon a few weeks ago, we found decent numbers of white bass in the gar stomachs..
Are you thinking what I am thinking..
Being that many at PAW think that gar are the greatest thing since toilet paper, (two ply) we damn sure ought to be taking some from Falcon and stocking them in Lake Fork.
Sounds like a win win to me.. We got too many gar.. Fork has too many white bass..
We need to fight this gar extirpation up in north Texas. And being that they don't eat largemouth bass, this should be a no-brainer..
Think of the possibilities..
Just some food for thought.. What's good for the goose, is good for the gander..
It's been a while since we have had a decent sized tourney on Falcon in the fall..
Well that ain't true, we had TABC down here last September.
But in any case, I am happy to hear that Texas Tournament Zone has decided on Falcon for their championship on the weekend of September 22nd and 23rd.. And if the fishing stays anywhere near as good as it has been, they're gonna wreck em..
Thanks for choosing Falcon guys, I don't think she will disappoint..
And you better make your reservations now.. That will be a busy weekend around here for sure..
The lake is still dropping, albeit a bit slower that it was. We need some water and we are headed into the time of year when that can happen.. First little storm down south of Mexico brewing as we speak.. But so far it looks like it is heading west..
It is time for the tropics to get going.. Maybe it will be our year.. We're due!
I have been hearing a lot about the Dark Web as of late.. Any of you guys know what the fuck they are talking about? Where do you find it?
I hear that my social security number can be running around on it.. And worse yet, someone could hack into my savings account and get my twenty three dollars..
I have dimmed my screen, turned out the lights in my office, and put on a black hoodie while I have been searching for this dark web shit..
But I cain't find it..
My hacking skills are renown on the golf course, but evidently I don't know shit about computers..
And I have decided to stop my search, cause I don't want the FBI kicking in my door when I crack the Kremlin..
What I would like to hack is the IWBC control room, and release some water from the Mexican lakes..
If any of yall have mad skills and you are bored, there is a project for you..
I'm really still trying to figure out how to opt out of a group message with my Android pone..
And seriously, if any of you know, that is an e-mail I would love to get..
Well come see us if you get a chance.. No lake in Texas is fishing better. And the big ones have been biting..
My boat has been in the shop for ten days, and I am having withdrawals..
So you come catch em and tell me all about it..
See you on the water... Well.. Not really..
May 29, 2018: If these ain't the dogs days already, then I never seen em.. And I ain't talking about a Chihuahua, I'm talking Rottweiler..
But you know what else is hot? The fishing.. Some of the best I have seen in a few years..
There were a few Coon-Asses (Don't get excited.. That's a term of endearment..) in town last week.. Well more than a few.. Bout fifteen..
And them boys beat the fish like Ike beat Tina.. I mean they probably caught a couple of thousand fish..
I ain't bullshittin..
And in that batch of fish they caught some real nice quality fish as well.. No DD's but a good number of six to nine pound fish..
And none of em had a bad word to say..
Thanks for coming in boys.. We enjoyed your visit.. And glad yall whacked the shit out of em..
And what they did ain't nothing you can't do either.. I'm telling you the fish are fuckin' chompin..
I know that none of yall like fishing shallow.. Like throwing a lipless crankbait, a squarebill, or a spinnerbait right up on the rocks. And getting bit before the bait gets wet..
Naw.. Nobody likes that shit..
You like flippin? You can catch fish, and quality fish on woods in ankle deep water.. If there is a tree or laydown in a foot of water, don't skip it because you think it is too shallow.. Cause a lot of times it ain't..
There are fish on trees in deeper water as well.. All the way out to six feet, if you are one of them offshore guys.
There are also some fish on rocks out in the open water on ledges and ridges.. Long as there is rock there, you got a shot..
And the fact of the matter is that if you see a hard break, it is going to rocky.. 99.9% of the time.. We don't have much hard clay down here, and what is a drop is a rocky drop.. Of course any fisherman worth his Humminbird can tell what is rock and what ain't..
I usually gotta stick my rod tip down there and listen.. When I am fishing offshore..
You may think I am overstating how simple it is to catch fish down here right now.. Then don't take my word for it.. Check out the local guides reports and the TFF and see what other folks are saying..
Larry and Mary Shadrick are Winter Texans and stay down here when the Missouri water is too hard to fish. But they decided to make a summer trip to see what is going on.. And this AM Mary caught a 9-11 on a Red Eye shad in about two feet of water.. And they caught some other gooduns as well..
Lots of us think that the fish have a mini-spawn going on, as we have seen a lot of big fish up shallow, and a good number of them are bloody tailed and a bit beat up..
It happens all the time.. We see it every year.. Don't ask me why.. They're like teenagers.. Thinking about it all the time..
It is hottern' a three peckered billy goat down here, and if you come you need to remember to take precautions when fishing in this heat..
Hats, glasses, sunblock, and lots of water.. You gotta stay hydrated..
Beer don't count..
The water level is slowly dropping, but not like it was a week or ten days ago.. We are down to 267.25.
The ramps are still working fine, but if we loose a few more feet we will have to go into plan B.. At least at the state park.. We can launch for a long time here at the county ramp..
If you can stand the heat, it is a good time to get your ass down here..
Yesterday was Memorial Day, and while you were cooking you weiner, I hope you took the time to remember those that have given their lives for you, so you can live in freedom in this greatest country ever conceived on God's green earth.
It is hard for me to imagine what it was like for anyone to actually be in combat.. Yeah I seen movies.. I've watched the documentaries.
And more than once it has brought tears to my eyes watching a soldier recounting the horrors of war..
I just can't imagine..
We owe all who lost their lives for us a debt that we cannot ever repay. And we owe no less to those who have served, and those that are serving now, and are prepared to lay their asses on the line for us everyday.
I offer my thanks to you, and your families, but it seems so small a gesture that I cannot even describe it..
But in lieu of something better and grander, I say THANK YOU ALL..
And I for one will never ever forget or take for grated the sacrifices you have made.
God Bless America.. And God Bless you all..
May 24, 2018: Some of the best fishing that has happened in a couple of years is going on at Falcon right now..
By all reports..
And that's not just my opinion, but the opinion of dozens of fishermen that we have talked to of late..
Numbers have been awesome.. With some really nice fish mixed in..
Don't know no better way to say it.. Fishing is good..
Square bills and lipless baits are still kicking ass up on the shallow rocks, and you need to have one or both tied on. I would also have a spinnerbait tied on..
You need a flippin' stick with some heavy line and your favorite soft plastic on it, and if you like draggin', you need a C-rig setup as well..
You also must have a deep diving crankbait adhered to some string, for those deep ledge fish that won't bite a plastic..
That's only five rigs.. You still got room to get around the front deck..
There have also been some folks throwing a shakey head with a big worm on it.. Or a little worm on it..
Shit it don't matter.. Just get out there and fish the way you like.. And fish around rocks.. You are gonna catch em..
The north end of the lake is fishing pretty good too, and you don't have to leave the Veleno if you don't want to.. I have some buddys that caught forty six here in the home creek before lunch on Monday.. With a couple of gooduns mixed in..
Rockpiles on the main lake are holding a lot of fish, especially early.. Long points are often covered with fish.. More fish than you can catch..
There are fish, and some good fish, in the laydown trees and hardwoods.. And don't be afraid to fish water that is barely deep enough to float your boat..
Well it had to happen.. And on Sunday night we got two and a half inches of rain. At least that's what I found in the gauge. It's hard to get it in there if it is coming sideways.. And boy was it..
That rain has messed up the county boat ramp, washing a bunch of silt on top of it and creating a few canyons in the parking area adjacent to the ramp. We're working on it..
It it still easily useable.. But it is a little sandy on top.. And the ramp is a little flat.. Use the center section for best results..
We are down to two lanes wide at the county ramp.. Thanks IWBC, TCEQ.. And whatever other acronym you can think of for water "management" around here..
What a waste.. There is no way that that much water was used efficiently.. Fifteen feet.. Plus two feet from Amistad.. You gotta be kidding me..
What the hell am I bitching about.. I should be used to it by now..
Another factor that needs consideration, is the old Veleno bridge here in the home creek. It is a hell of a piece of architecture.. And it will evidently last as long at the Coliseum..
Or till somebody knocks it down with a boat.... But so far it is bridge, 123.. Boats, 0..
I don't think you can hit it with your boat today.. But it is a good idea to get in the habit of going around it.. Just in case.. There is still a big buoy on the west end of the bridge. Go past it to the west and you won't have a problem..
The ramp at the state park is down to the center lane.. But you still have plenty of water to put in on the concrete..
TPWD put another 100,000 baby bass in the lake yesterday, and they were stocked up here in the Veleno as well.
There is still another load coming I hear, and hopefully they will get some down to the south end of the lake.
I am not sure if the water levels will continue to drop drastically, but for the mean time, the severe bleeding has been stopped. The rains that covered the area had to help in the decision to slow releases.. I'd like to think..
It's time for some tropical shit to get started up out in the Pacific, and I am hoping it is going to be a busy year.. Last year we got close to getting some water out of the Conchos, and the lakes there are still in really good shape.. A couple of properly placed storms could bring us some real water..
And real water we need..
If you got a few days to kill, and you like getting bit, you better get your ass down here.. I don't know how long this shit is going to last..
Come get you some!
May 17, 2018: School is almost out, and summer is on our doorstep..
Oh.. Wait a minute.. I guess you could say that if you lived up north..
Summer has been here for weeks.. But it really has been pretty nice, by Zapata standards.
Water temps are hovering around eighty, and as the days remain long, and we get into the real dog days, I reckon we'll have some water temps in the middle eighties..
But Falcon fish love the hot water, and it seems the hotter it gets, the shallower the fish get.. And the more active they get.
I spoke to several groups of people yesterday that caught the ever lovin shit out of the fish, and one boat said they caught forty fish off the same spot. Which has been a pretty common occurrence here lately..
If you get on the right rock, you can catch more fish than your arms want to reel in..
Like Coke Smith, yesterday, who was catching fish after fish, when this personal best 10-10 happened to be mixed in with the crowd..
Or long time Falcon fisherman Troy.. Who keeps coming back.. How come?? Well for fish like this 10.37 he caught on Tuesday.. Crankbait.. Said he lost another monster as well.. I hate crankbaits..
You just never know..
Fishing is good all over the lake.. With the exception of the Salado.. And I just can't figure what's up with that..
It has some awesome structure, plenty of water, lots of trees... But no biting fish.. WTF..
Bait selection has been all over the board as of late, and it depends on who you ask what the best bait is. And that tells me that the fish are just chomping, and it really ain't that critical when it comes to bait selection.
The super fluke has been good. Big Texas rigged worms have been good.. Senkos have been good.. Beaver style baits have been good.. Like the Z-craw or the Fighting Frog.. Especially on wood or brushpiles..
Square bills and lipless cranks have been excellent at times.. And deep diving crankbaits like the DD-22 or the 5 or 6 XD have really caught some nice fish as of late.
Of course the common denominator is where you are using them.. Around rocks.. Around rocks...
I said around rocks...
You get the picture.. We ain't splitting no atoms here folks.. It's pretty simple..
Of course this shit ain't nothin' new.. Every year the water is droppin, the water is getting hot, the air is getting hot..
And Falcon fish go on the warpath.. You're missing out if you ain't doing some Falcon summertime fishing.
The lake is down to 269.66, and I have no idea where we are headed.. The water that was sent from Amistad is gone, and they have slowed Amistad releases to a trickle.
I know I say this every year, but what in the fuck can they be doing with all that water.. It boggles the mind..
Hopefully before too long we will see the end of the cycle and maybe get some beneficial rain.. We're due..
Where the hell would we be without the freak rain last fall that put 22 feet in the lake..
It has been eight years since we have been full, and I believe that the cycle has to be near complete.. One of these days.. The Chief always to say it was a seven year cycle..
Well it has been eight, Indio.. Get that rain dance going..
All we need is a couple of well placed hurricanes in the Pacific.. The lakes on the Conchos still have a lot of water in them.. Maybe this will be the year..
Of course they could send us some of that water.. But they ain't..
Back to fishin..
The Crappie are going great on brush piles, ledges, and concrete, and I mean these are some nice fish.. Lots of true pound and a halfers.. Falcon crappie ain't your typical skinny ass fish that produces a fillet you can read a newspaper through.. Sometimes the fillets are so thick you need to split them in half before cooking..
I ain't bullshittin'..
White bass are still all over the lake..
Catfish still good on jugs..
A few nice gar have been shot..
And more cormorants than you can possibly imagine..
Man we got it all goin' on down here..
I wonder how long it will be till something gets done about the cormorants.. Whattya think?
Reckon that the state will continue to sit on their hands until..
Well until what? Is there some precipice that we have to arrive at or go over before something gets done..
I mean the government already mismanages and wastes our water so bad that it is beyond belief.. And exposes all our game fish to the gar and cormorants with no regard for their need of a protective habitat..
It's like they hate us or something..
Last week the State stocked about 280,000 baby Florida bass here.. Last week the Cormorants ate 52,500 pounds of fish out of Falcon.. Conservatively..
I ain't saying that all the baby bass are now cormorant shit on the bottom of the lake.. But some are.. And more will be.. And with less and less cover in the lake, the problem is only going to be exacerbated
I don't know what those baby bass cost apiece.. But the equation is not making sense to me..
It's like being a sheep farmer, and putting your lambs in a pasture with a giant population of wolves.. And not protecting the sheep.. But protecting the wolves..
And expecting your sheep to thrive..
I just can't wrap my mind around the logic.. Or the lack of it..
If only I was in charge...
Well I gotta go get some shit done.. Tommy is on vacation this week, so I am stuck in the store and won't be fishing till Sunday.. Wind permitting..
But I am itching to get out there and get me some.. You should too..
We got a couple of new college grads down here that wanted to come to Falcon as a graduation present..
Good call.. Reckon you guys education is paying off already..
See you on the water..
May 9, 2018: There have been some pretty fishable days around here.. And there has been a bunch of fish caught..
But that ain't nothing new as of late.. The fish being caught anyway..
Even I am spanking em pretty good, and mostly up here on the north end of the lake. Which I like because it fits my time frame to fish a lot better.. Most of my trips out are for three or four hours.. Getting old sucks..
But man I have had some good trips lately.. And I am catching them my way..
I have been fishing shallow points, and points with a good drop on the edges of them. If you can find some gravely flats with hardwoods on em, you can find fish there as well.
Vertical rock, which there is some of, also has fish on it.. But whatever you fish, rock makes it better..
I have caught a few lately on hardwoods with a dirt or mud bottom.. But rock is better..
We had a bunch of windy conditions during last week, and it made it hard to fish a lot of the lake. But last weekend and the last couple of days have been pretty decent, and pretty fishable..
The Poor Boys tournament that was in town had some pretty good results.. On Friday, the leaders had twenty one pounds with a three fish limit.. There was an eight and a seven in that stringer..
On Saturday the eventual winners had a similar stringer, and a lot of good fish were caught.
There have been a lot of fish caught lately.. A lot.. And like I have said, if you like catching fish, you need to get down here..
One story I have heard from most folks is that the white bass have gone nuts.. In the course of the day, you are bound to run into a few packs of them. Lots of small ones, but a bunch of good eating sized ones as well..
Back to the bass.. If you like to fish a worm.. You can catch em.. If you like crankbaits, and that's where a lot of the bigger fish are coming, then mid depth and deep cranking will also catch you a lot of fish.
A five or six XD is a good choice, and color seems to not make a lot of difference. We have sold a bunch of everything.. Of course fishermen are picky, and everybody has their favorites.
I am a shallow water fisherman, as most of you know, and I am whacking them on the Red Eye shad and squarebills. Of course I'm flipping the Plum Ol Monster every time I go.. And it has been catching me a lot of fish.
Flukes and lizards are doing well, and basically anything I have hanging on the walls..
In a nutshell, the fish are just plain biting..
Parks and Wildlife brought the first of our Florida baby bass delivery yesterday, and the estimated delivery was 280,000. These fish were distributed to the the thickest cover they could find, from the Veleno to School Bus.
We should be getting another delivery in the next month or so, and it is likely they will be scattered on the south end of the lake..
The water spigot has been turned off at Amistad, and river levels have returned to normal.. If there is such a thing. And the water in the pipeline will peter out in the next couple of days. We are still releasing about 4500 CFS, while the river flow above us has been reduced to an average of about a thousand.
It is possible that we may reduce releases here to coincide.. But that is just a guess. It ain't happened yet. And if we don't, we'll be back to dropping very soon. We did pick up about a foot of water in the last two weeks, and we are sitting at 271.61, or 29.59 feet low.
We're still in pretty good shape, and there are no navigation problems at this level.. Bring on the summer rains and Pacific hurricanes..
Ramps on both ends of the lake are fine..
Here are a couple of personal best fish caught this week.. Jim Gudermuth caught a fish he has been looking for for sixty years.. This one went eleven pounds nine ounces..
George Frentz III caught this fish that went 10-1.. Another personal best.. Says he's been looking for a while as well..
Both of these fish were caught down near the dam on deep diving crankbaits.
We've seen pics of a lot of other nice fish as well..
Here's a pic of the trees on the river channel across from the Veleno that I took on Sunday.. Lots of hardwoods that look awesome, but I did poorly there while I fished it for thirty minutes.. The water is off color due to the river being on the run.. But when it clears up, this spot ought to be a flippers dream.. Like it has been in the past..
I am catching a lot of fish out of structure that looks just like it, but where the water is clear.. er..
And of course the freakin cormorants love the hardwoods as well. They are some eatin' and shittin' machines..
I really don't think there is a bad way to fish right now. Cause you can catch fish your way.. Whatever way that is..
I have fished a lot here lately, as the wind has been manageable, and I know where a bunch of them bastards are.. And for the first time in months, my thumbs are a little fucked up..
Oh what a feeling!! Get down here and get your thumbs fucked up too..
See you on the water..
May Day, 2018: Month number five of 2018 has rolled around.. And with that the wind has decided to rule the lake around here.. And a lot of other places in Texas as well I see..
And if your woodie ain't what it should be, then don't go for any outside sex.. It'll probably blow your rubber off..
Point her into the wind, Admiral!!
Just wait. It's probably gonna get worse.. (The wind or the fishing report?)
Anyway the wind is predicted to get up to ludicrous speed in the next couple of days.. That's why I am in here. Not fishing.. And today is the good day of the next few.. Oh boy..
I did go out for three hours on Sunday after I closed up the shop.. And for some unknown reason I decided that I would give the Salado a try. Because it has been two months since I fished in there.. Well that and the wind was blowing like a bitch..
Anyway, after an hour and a half, I had caught one fish.. Way in the back..
The water is off colored a mile in, compared to what it has been.. And of course that is due to the Rio Grande being on the run.. It has pushed some dingy water in there a good ways.. It's not horrible.. But it is not Falcon Green either..
So I decided to make a move. And I went to another creek where the water was much prettier, and started to fish some points in there.. Well that ain't true either.. I fished one point in there..
For an hour and a half.. And I caught twenty plus fish all in the distance of one cast.. The biggest was a four pounder on a deep diver, but the majority of them ate a Red Eye Shad in Sexy Shad pattern..
And sometimes the bait would hardly get wet before they ate it.. I don't think any of these fish were under fourteen inches.. Of course a few came off and one was taking some drag and pulled off..
You've heard that story before.. Freakin crankbaits..
After they would not touch the RE anymore, I threw a plum ol Monster in there and caught three or four more..
It was a fun outing, and I was back at home before noon after a rough but manageable boat ride back.
This wind shit is giving me the redass.. Finally getting caught up on shit I had to do and now the wind is rolling over Yugos and bulldozers..
Anyway.. The fishing was decent over the weekend, and Elite Bass Club and San Antonio Anglers Club were in town. (Please forgive me if I have the Anglers club wrong.)
I got a report from the Elite group (Thanks Jonathan) and the top team had 38 pounds 7 ounces in two days of fishing with a big bass that went 8-2..
Second was 29 -15.. Third had 22 pounds.. That's ten fish folks..
They reported lots of limits, but many of them were small.. We do have a shit ton of fourteen to sixteen inch fish out there..
You can catch fish pretty much any way you want to, and we heard stories of.. Well you name it.. From crankbaits to Texas rigs to C-rigs.. Just get around the fish. That ain't too hard..
If you want to catch a bunch of white bass give Pierce's a try.. They're everywhere in there..
I've got me a pretty good case of the gout going on.. And it started on Sunday afternoon.. Thought I felt a twinge on Saturday.. I'm taking more pills that Elvis trying to keep it at bay..
I'm taking three different pills.. I think it is getting better.. Wish I knew which pill was working..
But I might have to go see Dr. Mary and get a couple of needles stuck in my ass.. I'm gonna give it till tomorrow and see if the shit subsides..
I am sure that I have gotten a gout attack because I went whole hog when I went down to Lake Commedero with the Ron Speed Jr. outfit a couple of weeks ago..
I have been a good boy for eight months.. NO red meat. No Whisky.. Zero refined sugar.. But I have had a few sociable beers lately..
But I told myself that when I go down there that the food is too good not to partake.. And who am I to make them cook me a chicken every day.. Of course there were plenty of em running around..
And one Son of a Bitch was sure an early riser..
Front porch of camp.. And yes there is a rockin' chair there for you..
So I ate the Steak, Ice Cream, Cold beer.. Flan.. Pineapple upside down cake.. Three other cakes.. Ice cream.. If they had it, I ate it..
They had a Rib Eye as big as a fuckin' saddle blanket and it was the best cut of meat I have had in years..
Anyway.. I am paying for it now.
The fishing at Commedero was awesome for some, great for others, and I am gonna say that I sucked as bad or worse than anyone there.. I think I caught the smallest big fish (7-14) and the most little fish..
But I am a self professed small fish expert.. Oh, we got on some good streaks of nice sized fish up to six and a half pounds.. And found them piled up in a few places..
But the rest of the guys were catching eights and nines like it was.. Well like I'd like to catch em..
My dove hunting buddy from Georgia, Dave Krantz, and his partner said it was the best trip they had been on in his life.. He said that the first time I took him to Pichachos.. And this guy has been fishing all his life..
So I am going to put it down as my biorhythm being off or something.. If it sounds like I am bitching with my mouth full.. Well I am. It was a great trip.. Eight and nine pounders abounded and the best of our group was an 11-1.
Fish were caught on everything known to man.. Fished every way known to man.. Swim baits like a Cane Thumper and Skinny Dipper caught a lot of big fish slow rolled.
I happen to hate that shit..
We caught a lot of quality fish on the Magnum Fluke in white with the tail dipped in Chartreuse..
I love that shit..
I also caught a shit ton of fish on the Plum Ol Monster.. And as the trip wore on, I had to supply a few folks with them cause they were kickin ass'.. And they caught a lot of big fish as well..
A lot.. I never leave home without it.. And you shouldn't either..
I highly recommend this trip, and if you have ANY questions, drop me an e-mail or call and I'll tell you all about it.. I would love to go in January and February when the spawn is on and the fish are shallow but that's when we are busiest..
This lake is the most remote of any of Speed's camps in Mexico.. And that keeps people away for the most part.. Our boats and the netters are all I saw.. It is a interesting ride to the camp and the boat ramp every day..
The lake is the most mountainous of the three I have been to on the west coast.. Just plain beautiful if you will put your rod down long enough to appreciate the scenery..
But that ain't easy to do..
Like all of Speed's camps, the service and food is top notch..
You can't go wrong..
** Fishing report over.. Proceed at your own risk..
You know.. After all these years I am still amazed at the stupidity of the news media.. I'm still amazed at the stupidity of government..
And the incompetence of both..
But most of all I am amazed at the stupidity of Americans.. Well some of em.. Well a lot of them.. Bout half..
Mostly "Progressives and Democrats.." AKA communists, socialists.. Fuckin idiots.. You know the type..
Hey.. I got nothin against charity.. I give away a shit ton of time and some money.
And as long as I am giving it away, it's all good.. You give away yours.. And we'll be fine..
But quit telling me, that we, as a country, have to feed, clothe, house, provide health care for, and continue to pay for their offspring because they can't just because they can't keep their dick in their pants.. Or their knees together..
Come on folks.. Yes that same government that gives you all the other goodies can also help you prevent pregnancy.. I said prevent! Not end..
And I am not even talking about people from other countries.. How long can this really go on?
This is supposed to be a country of laws.. And we have immigration laws.. For a reason.. And a country with no laws and no borders don't last too long..
And there is nothing wrong with guarding your borders and protecting you citizens.. Both physically and financially..
I am quite sure that there are a lot of folks that just hate our president.. And there has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth.. And when something is fucked up I think it is peoples right and duty to bitch and get involved and try to improve the situation.
But it is hard for me to give any creedence to the socialists when they are just such fucking hypocrites..
Here's an example.. I have dozens but here is a favorite of mine right now..
The left is making a case about our president having an affair with a stripper, hooker, or whatever she is.. And from what I understand it was two consenting adults having fun..
I don't frequent strip joints and have certainly never hired a hooker.. But hey it is evidently a common practice these days.. You may.. Your right.. Within the law I reckon.. Wherever you may be..
And they think that this immoral act is almost treasonous..
But at the same time they think people have the right to change sexes, be homosexual, kill babies in the womb, take from hard working people their money to support their lifestyles, and habits with no regard for where the money comes from..
And if they can condone one man putting is pecker in another mans ass, what's the big deal?
And if in fact the Prez had some Russian hookers piss on him in a motel room, where's the foul?
In doing my due diligence, I did check out Ms. Daniels on the old internet, and I will have to say that back in the day she was not too hard on the eyes. And if I was a billionaire I wouldn't be chasing no skanky crack whores either..
These days her face is looking a bit more like a chicken fried steak that has suffered a few too many gravy impacts.. If you catch my drift..
But that is purely my opinion as I am no GQ model myself.. And no disrespect intended..
And with all the good things happening with jobs, the economy, opportunity, and international matters, all they can talk about is ol Stormy..
Hard to believe that Ol Hillary and Bill and Barak got away with so much.. And they never said a peep..
Like I said.. Fuckin' hypocrites..
I better get off the wagon here and go water my tomatoes.
This wind is drying them out fast!
Come catch you some fish.. We are on a numbers hot streak and if you like getting your line stretched you might want to get yourself down here..
Think I am going to build a kite..
April 28, 2018: There is an old saying that goes, "My cup runneth over.." Inferring that you have too much.. Or more than you can hold on to..
And in that fashion, in the last two weeks, my bucket has been running over..
Of course I will have to admit that some of it is my fault.. But a lot of it ain't..
Let's talk water.. Whether you want to or not..
Releases from Amistad are now about similar to ours, somewhere in the range of 8,400 CFS.. Which would water your one acre yard in about .25 seconds..
The results being that we are almost holding level, and this AM we are sitting at 270.52.. About thirty feet low..
Amistad is sitting at about 25 feet low, but is currently continuing to drop as no extra water has been released from the Mexican lakes on the Conchos.. They are in very healthy condition by the way.. A couple of properly located hurricanes and and we gonna have a mess.. But I like messes..
As I type, there is more good rain from McAllen to Brownsville, and the water level in the river is dropping at Rio Grande City.. So maybe over night they have slowed releases from Falcon.. We'll see soon..
Fishing remains very good for numbers, and some folks have caught some big fish mixed in as well. It is not at all uncommon to catch fifty to a hundred fish in a day if you bust it and land on a couple of schools of fish.
I made it out yesterday for about three hours, and ran into a couple small wolf packs of fish tearing up the surface.. I thought they were white bass at first.. Till I saw one come all the way out of the water..
And I believe you could have thrown a Jalapeno Pepper in there and they would have eaten it..
They were all keeper sized but nothing over three pounds in those groups.
Al green caught this ten plus off the bank last week, and like I have said, the Veleno has a bunch of good bass in it.
Another fellow who wished to remain anonymous caught two nines and an eight in the Veleno last Thursday on a ledge.. All in the same place.. I seen the pics..
So it is possible to catch some fish without running all over the lake..
Keith Ferguson caught this 10-8 down by the dam on a big crankbait.. Said she deep throated it, hence the blood..
A week ago I was talking about whacking the fish in the Diablo.. And while there are still a few fish where I was fishing, there is not enough water to float a boat where I was catching them. We did find a few on the edges of the gravel bars, but they were not there in the numbers they were in before...
Well either that or you guys pummeled em and I just caught the leftovers.. Which is what I intended..
Yesterday we caught them on Plum Ol Monsters in the darker water, and the Watermelon Red in the clearer water down south. As you can imagine, the water on the top of the lake is a bit chocolate with the river running. It's not horrible, but it is off color..
The Veleno and Diablo and Salado are fine.. But the main river channel, down to marker ten, is where the discolored water is..
A lot of good fish have come on crankbaits this week, and deep divers have been catching some better fish on long points and and ledges. Anytime they are pulling water, it tends to congregate fish in front of the gates.. And in turn that tends to congregate the fishermen in front of the gates as well.
So if you are a weekender, be prepared to fish with company down around the dam..
Generally speaking, any rocky point can have fish on it.. Some of course do not. But some are loaded.. We fished some with fish and some without yesterday.. And so will you..
Look for those egrets on rocky banks and points. They ain't there to direct traffic.. The shad are thick in many places and they are there to partake of the buffet as well.. Lots of fishermen have reported catching shad on their crankbaits.. They's a lot of em out there..
The white bass are reportedly going wild.. And a lot of them are on top in swarms in many areas I hear.. We did not see any yesterday.. But on a lot of places when you are graphing ledges and humps, you will see them in a cloud on your electronics.
Any jigging spoon, white jig, or a yo-yoed rattle trap will catch em..
The crappie are biting well and brush piles and concrete are the best places to catch em..
We got some boys in town from Medina County running some jug lines, and they whacked the snot out of em. Fresh cut perch on a jug line will get it done.. They had a 39, and twenty seven, and ten others over twenty..
Of course I am talking blue cats..
They are experts.. They took their lines out this morning cause they didn't want to clean no more..
Parks and Wildlife finished their gar survey a day early this week, and catching the quota they wanted was easier than in the past.. I think we still got plenty..
I will pass along the details on age and size when the aging is done.. They caught twenty six in they Veleno in a overnight set.. I'd say we still got a lot right here in the home creek..
Plenty of blood and guts in this report.. But the smell has finally subsided around here..
We got a half inch of rain on Wednesday evening here at the shop, and a line of rain moved down the river all the way to Brownsville.. Hopefully with the rains today, and the insane amount of water that has already been released, we will stabilize the lake level here.. We'll know more early in the week..
I think I have a handle on my to do list around here, and I will be able to get some fishing in.. And get to the computer a bit more often.. I've got a few thoughts to share..
Actually I have a shitload.. And I am sure some of it is bullshit as well..
If you like catching fish.. All kinds.. Falcon is the place to be..
Come get you some..
April 24, 2018: The continuing gar survey is under way here on Falcon.. And in the first run of the nets the fellows from TPWD brought in about 45 alligator gar.
They are fat as pigs and many of the females are full of eggs. I imagine they will be in spawn mode this next week with the water coming from Amistad.. If it continues..
A ninety seven pound female had 12.5 pounds of eggs in her.. That's over ten percent of body weight.. The rest of them are also running about the same ratio..
The biggest nets they are using have a seven inch square, so catching any really big ones is tough.. Biggest caught this am is about 120 pounds..
But there are a shit load of em!
I'll keep you posted on what is happening..
April 20, 2018: Well the summertime pattern has set in on Falcon and the fish have gone apeshit..
I don't know why I like the word apeshit.. My Dad used it a lot.. I seem to use a conjunction that is a bit harsher.. But in any case.. The fish have gone apeshit.. Or fuckin' crazy.. your choice..
Yesterday morning I had about two hours to kill, as I am still catching up with stuff that needs done from being gone last week.. And I left the shop at seven thirty and was back by ten thirty..
And I started out throwing a top water bait in the Veleno that was avoided by all but one fish.. So I got off the points and started flipping the trees that were in about four to six feet of water.
Good idea.. I caught three or four fish over by the floating pump near the old Veleno bridge.. All keepers, but nothing over three pounds.. But they are full of piss and vinegar and a ball to tangle with..
Speaking of the Old Veleno bridge.. Remember last summer when we put markers on the west end so you could safely go around it without removing your lower unit? Well the lake has dropped enough to bring them to the surface.. Well Kinda of.
One end of one of the big buoys came loose evidently, and it is sticking up of of the water about three feet.. And the markers I put on the markers are also out of the water.. Which have survived and are working as intended..
Currently you can still drive over the top of the bridge.. But why not get in the habit of staying west of these markers so you won't have any troubles?
So anyway, I headed up to marker 12, where the river channel comes real close to the gravel point on the Texas side.. A spot I like a lot in the summer.. And that SOB will hold a lot of fish sometimes.. But I only missed one and caught one on the Carolina rig..
My time was getting short, but I decided I'd run up to the Diablo, and check out some rocky points and hardwoods, being that I'd caught a few on woods in the Veleno..
I got on some flats on top of some gravel points on the right and commenced to kick their ass on the hardwoods. My biggest fish was just under four pounds, but I was picking out the trees that I knew had a fish on them..
Man I love that shit..
Of course I caught all those fish on the Plum Ol Monster.. It's like some Funky Cold Medina..
And the depth finder on the bow was reading two feet.. I love that shit..
Wish I could have stayed longer. But I saved em for you..
The Tigers are full of fish.. Rocky points.. Pick one out. Spinnerbaits.. Squarebills.. Flipping woods on points.. Shit it don't matter..
Keep your eyes open for schooling fish.. Plenty of that going on as well on points and ledges..
White bass are schooling up in the Tigers as well.. So get you a live well full of them sum bitches as well..
The Gar are also thick in the Tigers.. Speaking of which.. TPWD enters phase two of their continuing study on gar down here next week.. We're going to net a few and check em out an make sure that the population is healthy and of course age em and sex em and weigh em..
And let the locals eat em..
And speaking of big ass gar.. Here's one caught yesterday.. 240 pounds.. Seven foot six inches long..
Back to bass.. A lot of fish are being caught.. And mixed in the big numbers are some nice fish.. But you have to catch a bunch of sub five pounders between whoppers.. Like Ted Demos did with this 9.25 pounder caught on Tuesday.. Could that be a rocky point in the background?
I've got some other big bass pics somewhere in my phone. But I'm still out of whack..
The catfish on Falcon are also doing pretty good.. And it is not unusual to see this pic in the spring around here.. I believe this is a couple of males.. Probably fighting over territory.. Or who the hell knows..
Seen it myself a few times before.. These were both about fifty pounders.. After a few whacks with the rod.. They turned loose of each other and swam off.. But hell, they were both probably having fun..
Thanks for the pics Jeff..
In any case.. If you're feeling froggy.. Jump your ass down here and catch you some.. Before I get em all..
See you on the water..
April 17, 2018: It's been a few miles since I wrote.. But I am back in town and trying to catch up on a bunch of details.. Like always, a vacation don't mean you do less work.. You just gotta do more before and after..
Unless you work for the government..
I'm not sure where to start, so we'll start with water levels.. Today's number is 273.80.. 27.4 feet low.. That's a full ten feet lower than we were in January.. And February.. And March..
And ten feet of water off of thick cover that was a protection for this years spawn..
Well the best of that's about gone.. There is still some brush in the water.. But before long we will be down to all sticks and rocks.
There is some good news for you..
Not an extra drop of water has been sent our way.. Amistad remains a constant level lake for the last few months, and the lakes on the Conchos, which still have a shitload of water in them, also remain unscathed for the most part..
But I guess we should be used to getting the short stick when it comes to water here on Falcon..
Nothing changes.. Every year we get screwed.. Every year I bitch..
But remember.. This lake wadn't built for fishing.. And if water still comes out of you faucet, you should shut the fuck up..
Despite of the falling water levels, the fishing has remained good, or better, depending on who you ask..
Of course we have a few other factors to deal with.. Like the wind..
Yesterday it blew hard enough to keep most sane folks off the water.. But a few did venture out. Of course I dispensed my usual "This is serious Shit" warning.. And a couple of boats did stop back by to report that I was right.. It was some serious shit..
A Carolina rig is still a good method for catching a lot of fish I hear.. And all I am speaking of is hearsay.. As I have not been on the lake in ten days or more..
But good numbers of fish are still being caught on points, ridges, ledges, and drop offs.
Of course the one thing these places have in common is rock.. Big or little it don't matter.. But you need some rocks if you are fishing this offshore pattern. Of course most all offshore ledges and the like are rocky..
And anyone can see with their equipment what is rock and what ain't.. At least that is what they tell me.
Little baits are still working good on the C-rig.. A french fry or a little lizard or a trick worm are all fine choices..
Enough about the rig.. You can catch shallow bass on crankbaits and flipping the trees. Schooling bass have been reported in many areas, and if you are there when they are on the munch, you can catch a lot of fish in a hurry..
Recently I have been throwing the Red Eye shad in gizzard shad pattern and catching them pretty good.. A Chrome or Sexy is probably just as good.. But I am a streaky fisherman, and if they are biting it I am gonna throw it..
Till they quit biting it..
The Tigers, Pierces, and the rocks in front of the dam have all been really popular as of late.. I remember two months ago you couldn't buy a bass in Tigers.. Things do change.. Well some things do..
State Park cove has been a consistent producer of fish for the last three months.. And it is still putting out a lot of fish. Once again long gravel points and ledges is where it is at.. Or where they are at..
This ain't rocket science folks.. Come down here and get you some..
I am behind the curve in things to get done.. Most of you know I have been down at Speed's camp on Commedero for the last week.. Catching a lot of fish, and some damn nice ones as well..
And I will be posting a story about the trip in the very near future..
Of course I got home on Sunday morning.. And my A/C condenser in the house has taken its last breath.. And they are putting in a new one now.. So I gotta go..
Fishing is good.. And I'll be back to talk about it in more depth soon..
Back to the real world..
April 7, 2018: The water is still dropping like a worn out pair of socks, and Falcon has fallen to 277.00 as of this morning. Current release rate are still above 10,000 CFS.. Which is in the holy shit range..
You could surf on the tailrace at the floodgates below the dam..
But like I have been saying, these Falcon fish like that moving/falling water, and this week the fishermen have been kicking their ass..
I have talked to several boats that have reported catches of over a hundred fish per day.. That's a lot of jerkin..
A Carolina rig is hands down the best thing going according to all reports. A centipede or french fry is doing big numbers damage, especially on the fish that are schooled up and under three pounds. But what they lack in size they make up for in fight.. And numbers..
With all that being said, there are a lot of decent fish mixed in, with a lot of four to six pound fish being caught as well.. But several fellows told me that they have moved off of some points and breaks cause all that is there are fourteen inch fish..
But you could catch all of em you wanted..
A big crankbait is also catching decent numbers of fish in the right spots. A 6XD or similar on the right ridge or point can wear em out.
This is certainly the best fishing that we have had since the spawn has wound down.. And there are a lot of fish showing up in the shallows as well..
I had a couple of hours to kill on Thursday, and just jumped out in the Veleno for a bit.. And I found the fish up here in the home creek receptive as well.. Just think rocks and points..
Keep it simple and you will catch some fish.. I caught em on a Red Eye Shad and a W/M Red lizard..
If I was heading out to fish, I would fish Pierces and Tigers and State Park cove..
Do what I say and you'll catch fish..
I am out of here for a week to go fishing in Mexico.. And wouldn't you know it I'm going when the fishing here has really taken off.. But I don't think that things will change before I get back.
We had a strong cool front blow in this AM.. Again.. This global warming is driving me nuts.. Should be calmed down this evening..
But in other parts of Texas and north of that folks are freezing their ass off..
Well.. Better you than us.. But we'll pay in spades in a month or two when summer gets here..
If you have been thinking about coming, now is as good a time as there has been lately..
I'll see you in a week or so.. And I'll give you a report on Commedero..
I'm just a bit jacked up.. Jimmie needs some vacation..
Hopefully the Bendele Airport Curse will be kept at bay for this one..
See you when I get back..
April 3, 2018: Water dropping.. Wind blowing.. Getting hot.. What could help?
Oh Yeah.. Biting fish cain't hurt too much..
And they are..
Now before I go out on a limb and say that everybody is smacking them.. Well I am going to stop short of that.
But some very good numbers have been reported by a lot of fishermen.. Of course including the guides..
A week or so ago I was saying the the best place to start is in about twenty five feet of water. But from what I am hearing, the fish have not moved much from the spots where they were.. And now the water on top of them is fifteen to twenty feet deep.. Being that the IWBC as decided, like usual, for Falcon to take the brunt of the irrigation load for the valley.
And they are sucking it like a Chicago streetwalker..
We are down to 278.41,or 22.61feet low. That's a foot and a half lower in the last week..
All the ramps are still fine, and no concrete in the main lake is in danger of being hit at this level.. But we'll keep an eye on it as we go down..
A Carolina rig is still as good as it gets, and people have been hanging more shit on it than Judge Roy Bean hung on the gallows..
It sounds like a lot of different things will work, but like usual it is more about being around the fish than what you are dragging. And that ain't nothing new..
A super fluke, magnum trick worm, six inch lizard, and a baby brush hog are all good choices. Plum based baits have been particularly good.. Apple.. Crazy.. Or just plum..
If you don't like fishing deep, there are quite a few fish being caught in the semi-shallows, in six to eight feet.
There is a lot of bait hitting the banks to spawn, and the egrets are cleaning up on shad on a lot of points. And it is never a bad idea to throw a trap, red eye, or a square bill up in amongst em' and see what happens.
These are usually smaller fish up to three pounds, but every now and then you get a hold of something bigger.
But overall I will have to say that the better fish are out a bit deeper.
On some ledges and humps, you will find a great many fish ganged up. And if you get lucky enough to stumble on one, you can burn up a fish counter. It has not at all unusual for the guides to catch fifty or more fish in a day..
Yes a lot of them are small, but hey I like to get bit.
Use of your electronics is a plus, because a lot of good looking places are fishless.. At least a lot of the times.. Arranging a meeting between you and them can be greatly improved by looking at the areas with your machinery before you go to chunkin and windin'..
In the deeper water these fish don't give a shit if you drive over them a bit..
And I forgot to mention that a deep diving crankbait can catch you a bunch of fish as well..
The crappie are showing up big time on brush piles in the Tigers and State Park cove.. Nice fish too..
Catfish are biting.. But they always do.. Fresh cut carp is a good place to start for jugs and trotlines. Stinkbait and shrimp on rod and reel are always good..
The white bass are still stacked up in schools.. A lot of places.. But the Veleno is as good as any.. Try around the old underwater Veleno bridge.
I have been busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest, but I have things coming my way. Sometimes I bite off more than I should, and getting it chewed can be a problem. But I am catching up.
So I will try to update this page a little more often.. But not next week.. I am going to Commedero in Mexico.. And if it is half as good as the reports I am hearing we should kick their ass..
What does a guy that runs a tackle store and fishes all the time do on vacation? Well he goes fishing of course..
It has been a busy few months around here (thank you) and I need to get out of town and do nothing.. Well.. With exceptions..
There are still a few groups showing up down here,and some are doing pretty good, some not so good, between windy days that have plagued us as of late.. But it is April and the wind has been known to howl.. Like yesterday..
But it won't be long till the dog days set in, the water will be 85°, and a breeze might be hard to come by..
That's the kinda stuff I like.. And few folks to bother you..
I hope you had a Happy and enjoyable Easter.. And I hope you got to get together with friends and family..
Easter is kind of a time of re-birth.. And if you are struggling with with your existence, like we all do from time to time, try letting Jesus carry a bit of the load for you.. I can't get by without him.. And I promise you he is right there besides you, waiting for you to ask..
I promise to give an update before the end of the week.. Hopefully with some personal experience mixed in..
P.S. Fished Medina on Friday.. It was a dinkfest but we caught a lot of fish..
And that suits me to a T..
See you when you get here.. Or when I get there..
March 26, 2018: They say March can be windy.. Ya Think? Although over the weekend the wind was not as bad as earlier predicted..
But it is back with a vengeance today..
We have a big chance of rain Tuesday and Wednesday.. So keep praying.. They are sucking water like a pack of pups sucks milk.. And mama dogs can get pretty skinny with a lot of mouths to feed..
And so can Mother Falcon..
The lake level is at 280.83, down 2.77 feet since the middle of January..
And while there is a lot of water in the Mexican lakes on the Conchos, no increase in releases has occurred.
Some things never change.. Amistad has slightly increased water releases, but not by much..
For having decent weather over the weekend, the fishing was sub par for most folks.. Yours truly included.. Last week was so windy that I did not put the boat on the water till yesterday.. And I stunk it up while a lot of the guides I talked to caught good numbers of fish, including a few very nice fish.
Maybe my smelly Jelly has gone bad.. But it smells bad the first time you open it..
Deep is still working for the guides.. Twenty feet is a good number to start with.. Go deeper and shallower as the fish dictate.. If they dictate..
But one thing that needs to be a part of the equation is rocks.. Imagine that..
So think rock.. With slope or ledges..
I marked fish on a lot of spots.. But they weren't biting fish.. Whatever they were..
The new bridge over the Veleno is about complete.. Which has brought about destruction and removal of the old one.. And while the demo work is being done, access to the back of the Veleno will be disallowed, at least by conventional means..
So you crappie fishermen that like to fish the concrete poles in the shade.. Well that ain't happening.. A floating boom has been installed on both sides of the bridges..
I don't reckon I want to be under there with big ass chunks of concrete being hammered out.. I'll wait a bit..
You know I always promised to tell you about all the things on Falcon, good and bad. And I need to pass along a couple of reports of people in boats on the Mexican side that have had guns and approached boats "requesting" food, water, beer, and money.. Pretty damn intimidating..
I don't have all the details.. But one incident was in the Salanaias and one in the Coyote..
Here's what is happening, as I hear it from some of my contacts..
As we speak the Mexican government is dispatching some folks to take care of the situation, and get this nipped in the bud..
Hopefully sooner than later. And I promise I will pass along what I hear.. I was in the mouth of Coyote yesterday and on some main lake points.. And I saw nothing suspicious.. But I guess that don't mean shit..
So a word to the wise, if you are fishing the Mexican side of the lake, pay attention to your surroundings.. If you see something that makes you uncomfortable, you're probably feeling uncomfortable for a reason.
I'm hoping to hear something good soon.
Regardless of what a lot of folks think, the Mexican government does not like this shit going on any more than we do.. And I am confident that this situation will be handled in short order..
TPWD did their shocking survey last week, and it found the shallow fish as spotty as the fishermen. I did not go out with them this go round, but they said they had areas with no fish, and areas where the fish were grouped up a bit.
But it is hard to shock the shorelines when it is thick with brush.. And shocking is only effective down to about six or eight feet.
And areas that get shocked are randomly picked by computer, so it ain't always the most interesting areas that get worked.. But it is consistent from year to year, so you get a standard to go by..
It is not a perfect science.. But it gives guys like me something to talk about..
The Cast For Kids guide auction has ended and all the guides have been purchased..
Special thanks to all of you who participated and congrats to the winners!
I am sure you will enjoy your trips.. Don't forget to slip the guides a little bit for gas..
I've got a lot on my plate right now so please excuse the lack of reports..
Hope to get back to the computer sooner than later..
Come see us when you can..
March 19, 2018: Well it could be that summer has finally arrived.. It has been in the high nineties the last couple of days. And while some of you may not like it, Jimmy is happy as a puppy with two peters..
With that in mind, don't forget your sunblock, sunglasses, floppy hats and plenty of water.. Some of you northerners, like way there near San Antonio might not be used to this stuff..
Fishing over the weekend was a bit spotty, and a lot of folks I talked to did not do very well..
And as I have been talking about the fish being out deeper, a lot of folks who fished shallow seemed to do better..
The one thing that never changes is that things are always changing.
Spinnerbaits and flipping some shallow cover seemed to be the best, after listening to many accounts. Yesterday I spent two hours out deep.. And caught nada.. Only fish I caught were shallow.
But Falcon fish like it hot and shallow.. And that's why I don't live at Amistad..
All that being said, several guides have still been catching good quality fish deeper.. Big crankbaits and shakey heads and drop shots..
I need to go was my mouth out after saying that.. Yuck..
It had to happen, and in the last few days, the IWBC has started to release water down stream for the farmers.. I guess we have dodged a bullet in the fact that it has taken this long to start.
Current release rates are at about 5000 CFS, and that will surely put a current across long points and will move some fish to the rocks in front of the dam.. As a matter of fact, I have heard of some fish off the rocks adjacent to the gates.
Typical for summer with water going out.. So put that in your notebook for your trip down.
Last week was spring break, and I am out of earthworms, shrimp and chicken liver.. And only one Zebco 33 still in stock.. But I am on it..
There were a lot of folks in town over the weekend, including Uvalde Bass Club. And I did not hear the Sunday results, but Saturday was not as good as was anticipated. I think three fish (their limit) was only about eight pounds. Maybe someone will fill me in on yesterdays results..
It was hot and dead still.. I hate wind, but no wind is bad for fishin..
TPWD is heading here tomorrow for our semi annual spring shocking, and it will be interesting to see if they find a few baby bass in the shallows. Recruitment should be good this year, as we have a lot of cover in the water.. At least for now..
I hope we can hold some water in the cover for a while, or the cormorants are going to have a field day. They are already so fat it takes em a hundred yards to take off.. Bastards..
Their numbers are incredible..
I have heard nothing about the meeting Craig Bonds had with the Fish And Wildlife service.. Maybe I'll hear something tomorrow..
But something needs to be done sooner than later.. Just turn me and some of my buddies loose on these fuckers and I guarantee you we'll reduce their numbers and run some of them off..
I was down in Mexico last week at El Cuchillo, which is about 60 miles SW of Sugar, and that lake is infested with them as well.. And yes we did kick their ass.. (The bass.)
But long term, these birds are going to be the downfall of some great fisheries if something is not done..
Mark my words..
While I am thinking about it, the Cast For Kids auction is still up and running.. And I believe there are still a couple of guides available for purchase..
If you are interested in fishing Falcon with a good guide, and feel the urge to give something back to the fishing community, e-mail Jim Behnken at email@example.com and ask what's up..
You'll get a great Falcon experience and do something wonderful for some handicapped and underprivileged kids..
And it'll make you feel good..
I was thinking the other day, and that can be dangerous, about the school shootings in the recent days. And while everyone; well not everyone, wants to blame guns for the problem, it seems that some obvious things are being overlooked.
I try not to dwell on what liberals have to say.. Well mostly because most of it is bullshit.
Lets say that we ban Armalite rifles.. You know the ones with the big magazines.. But for now we will still allow semi auto pistols.. Similar to the 1911 or your common Glock..
I have several.. And a couple of them have a 16 round capacity magazines.. And as any officer of the law will tell you, there is no substitute for volume in a gunfight..
So AR's are gone.. Across the country.. Like you could make the millions of them vanish .. Which will never happen..
But let's say they did..
What's to stop a would be killer from using a handgun that can be reloaded in less than two seconds from using said weapon for the same crime?
And now that all AR's are gone, and mass shootings still occur, what is the next logical step?
Well if you are a liberal gun hater, the pistol would certainly have to go.. Of course, after that did not stop lunatics from killing people, all guns would have to go..
Then knives, clubs, hammers, and BBQ forks soon to follow..
Idiots.. It ain't the gun folks..
I know I am preaching to the choir here.. But I needed to vent..
When I was in high school, you could walk through the student parking lot and find a few shotguns, 22's, and an occasional deer rifle hanging in the gun racks in the back windows of pickups.. Depending on what season was open..
And nobody shot nobody..
It ain't the gun, folks..
I hear rumblings about raising the legal age for folks to buy a rifle to 21.. Well I might not be too opposed.. But I'm not sure.. Here in Texas, you mst be 21 to buy a pistol.. And I am fine with that.. But at 18 you can buy a rifle..
We sell guns here at the store, and more than once I have not sold a gun to someone that I thought was a little off.. We are required to use good judgment as a FFL holder. And we do the best we can. As I am sure the vast majority of gun dealers do. It is a great responsibility..
What we do need to do is raise the legal voting age to 25.. Putting so much creedence in the opinions of sixteen year olds is ludicrous to me.. And some places want to change the voting age to 16.. You gotta be kidding me..
These kids don't even know what to do with a hardon.. And we want them to make decisions that affect us all.. I don't think so..
I'm all for getting the kids involved in current events.. I did not say politics..
But they also need to be educated in past events.. And not just the ones that are hand picked by a bunch of liberal assholes that only want to tell half the story..
History, good and bad, ALL needs to be taught.. Because the only way to keep from repeating the bad stuff is to study the past..
And if you think Socialism is the cure to the US's problems.. Then you are just a myopic fuck..
Look around you..
I see the kids from Florida, and many others, decry gun ownership and see guns as a personal threat. And they are organizing an anti-gun campaign across the country..
Here's what they ought to do..
How bout starting a national anti bullying campaign in junior highs and high schools across the country. Nobody knows better than the kids in school who the threats are..
And this group of Leaders could have a profound effect on the lives of the bullied, slow, and less popular kids across the board.
And changing their lives, would change the lives of the leaders as well..
We all have a destination in life.. The hard part is that none of us know where it is.. And we are all struggling to get there..
A friend and I were talking yesterday, and he mentioned something along this line.
If you are young, and headed for a bad destination in life, and are on a straight line there, you will certainly get to your destination.. And it is a long road..
But if someone.. Anyone.. Young or Old.. Black or white.. Male or female.. Can change your heading by ONE degree..
You can miss the bad ending that seemed inevitable.. By a mile..
Ok.. I'm off my box..
But never miss a chance to make a difference in someone's life.. Someone not as lucky as you.. Even if at the time it doesn't seem like the cool or easy thing to do..
See you on the water..
March 13, 2018: It has been a busy time for me around here.. I got a lot of irons in the fire, and I ain't sure which one to pick up first..
And lately when I do grab one, it seems to be the hot end..
Spring break is happening, and we have several groups down with their kids.. Last weekend was the annual Zapata County Fair.. We have family down with their kids.. I have been fishing.. We installed a new air conditioner in the store.. I put up a Martin house.. Finished a woodworking project.. Helping my wife get ready for her annual art show..
Shit, I got it going on..
And I just ain't got to the computer..
Now that I am through with excuses, I'll try to give you a bit of a fishing report.. Although not a lot has changed..
The word of the day is rocks.. Well rocks with a bit of cover on em.. And then there are deep rocks.. With little or no cover on em..
But rock is an important aspect of catching fish down here right now. It's a good time to put some gravel in your travel..
Deep rocks are holding some of the better fish it appears.. And deep can be ten to forty feet.
A lot of post spawn fish are out there.. Feeding up..
They ain't everywhere.. But when you get on a pile of em you can catch good numbers of fish in a hurry..
I would be remiss if I did not say that you can still catch some fish shallow.. And I have.. But that's where I like to fish.
But the better fish and fishermen are out deep, dragging, dropping, and shaking the deeper rocks..
Man I hate that shit..
Small offerings on a drop shot have been good, as have shakey headed worms kinda dragged along the bottom..
A big crankbait is also producing fish way out across points and along ledges.. Not everywhere..
This is a good time to watch your electronics.. Out there in the depths it don't bother the fish if you drive over em and look at what's down there..
I ain't no KVD but even I know it don't do much good to fish where they ain't..
A lizard is still a good choice on whatever you are throwing.. At whatever depth.. Put some chartreuse on the tail if it is any kind of stainable..
A Baby Brush Hog ain't a bad choice either.. And if you are drop shotting, it don't hurt to have a little finesse style bait on there.. So I hear..
I rigged one up the other day. But I just couldn't bring myself to throw it..
I feel like it would be kinda like me watching soccer or hockey.. Makes me feel dirty...
I got my standards..
There have been some nice fish caught this week.. And here are a few..
Michelle Derrick caught this 9.3 last week..
One of Jay's customers caught this 10.59.. Freakin drop shot..
And Bill Arnold caught this 10 something as well..
Long story short.. The fish are biting, but you may have to do some work to find a big bunch of them.. But I have seen and heard of many quality fish this last week..
Just gotta put in your time..
I am hoping to have more time to get to the computer in the near future.. I got a few things to talk about..
TPWD is coming down next week for our spring shock survey.. TPWD Hierarchy actually had a conversation with US Fish and Wildlife Service about cormorants.. TPWD will be back at Falcon with its continuing Gar research project in mid April..
Bow hunters! Tilapia everywhere.. Get your ass down here..
There's lots to talk about.. But right now I gotta get to a few details..
And I am getting ready for a trip to Commedero with Ron Speed next month.. Already having trouble sleeping..
Have you looked at the reports of what they are doing down there?
Anyway.. I hope to see you sooner than later.. Holler at me if you need help with anything..
And get down here before it gets too hot.. See you on the water!
P.S. Don't forget about the guide auction for Cast For Kids! Info just below. Edwards and I are sold I hear.. E-mail Behnken with your bids.. See Below! And Thanks!
March 6, 2018: Spring has sprung here in south Texas.. And all I can say is, it's about time..
Now days with highs in the seventies and eighties have become the norm, not the exception. And with the warmer air temps, we are seeing steadily increasing water temps.
Over the weekend I saw the water meter say seventy five a couple of times. And I have heard reports of higher temperatures scattered across the lake.
We were gar/tilapa hunting up the river on Sunday afternoon, and a lot of the pockets that were very clear off the main channel have clouded up. And it appears that the dark water warms a bit faster..
BTW.. If you like shooting shit with your bow.. Shit that swims in the water... Get your ass down here..
The tilapia and grass carp are as thick as fleas in a lot of the creeks, way in the back. Lots of big grass carp and the gar are starting to show up shallow.
I hear that they are really thick up the river above San Ygnacio.. Really thick..
We saw a lot of tilapia that weighed over four pounds, and a bunch that were bigger. And shot a few. They are spawning in the shallows and they have the brightest red fins you can imagine. I don't know why I didn't take a picture of one.. Old age setting in..
We had a front blow thru last night and we actually had a two minute downpour.. But don't go putting up any barricades just yet.. Before this shower, we have had 3/10ths of an inch the entire year..
This morning is cloudy and cooler, with a north wind that is a bit stronger than I like.. But this crap is supposed to be short lived..
You probably clicked on this page to get a fishing report, so lets get to it..
In the last ten days or so, the fish have made a move to deeper water. A lot of em anyway. And a good number of fishermen have tracked them down.. Not all of them..
And my advice to you or anybody fishing right now, is that it is OK to start shallow.. There are still fish up there, but not in the numbers that were there two weeks ago.
There have been some schooling fish on rocky windblown banks in a lot of locations.. Not everywhere..
You can throw a squarebill or a lipless bait and whack em when you do find them. A spinner bait will catch em as well. Maybe not as good as the hauling ass action of a trap or Red Eye.. Shad patterns.. Or chrome and whatever..
These same points, that have gravel or rock that extend well out into the lake, and are still rocky out to twelve to twenty feet, are where a lot of better post spawn fish are hanging out.
Gravel bars and humps out in the middle of nowhere have fish on them.. And getting out in water over ten feet deep is the key to finding bigger fish right now. Using your downscan is really helpful.. You can eliminate a lot of water in a hurry.. No use fishin' where they ain't..
Most of these fish are post spawn, but there are still a few fish that have not delivered as of yet. But they are surely in the labor room..
I have heard every method of fishing discussed in regards to these fish.. From big cranks, to C-rigs to shakey heads to drop shots to good ole Texas rigging..
Odds are that if you get around the fish, you are gonna catch some.. But I will have to admit that the freakin drop shot will catch em when other shit won't..
Most of the time, I just ain't gonna catch those fish..
The Plum Ol Monster has made a comeback, and anything plum based seems to be catching fish. Redbug and Junebug have been good as well..
The one common thread of all this fish catchin' is rocks.. The offshore fishing anyway.. So keep that in mind..
If you are a die-hard shallow water fisherman, which a lot of us are, you can still catch fish throwing a spinnerbait and flipping the hardwoods and bushes in the shallows. But they aren't as thick up there as they were..
On Friday we caught a lot more fish off the green Retamas than we did the hardwoods. And we caught a dozen or so fish up in the shallows.
But when we moved out to the deeper rocks, that is where we ran into decent numbers of fish.. And predictable fish..
Falcon is kinda on the edge right now. And there several ways we could go.. We could drop severely, and the cormorants will eat everything in the lake..
We could kinda hold steady and have decent survival of the fry due to decent cover in the water..
Or we could fill up and put eighteen feet of water in this jungle that surrounds however many hundreds of miles of shoreline we have.. You cannot run a hog thru most of this shit on the bank anywhere near the river.. And if we filled up we would cover another forty thousand acres of this shit..
I gotta stop.. I'm gettin a woodie..
It would be awesome..
I sold my first fishing license to someone from New Hampshire.. And Al Conway utilized it well as caught this 8-10.. I hear after loosing a couple of earlier battles with other big fish..
Joe Cerney caught this 9-3 last week..
And Tim Jones, who always catches big fish, caught this 11-3 on Saturday..
Deeper rocks.. I'm telling you..
On a different note..
Every spring brings new life to the land, and every spring, we try to bring a little new hope and a bit of fun to a lot of underprivileged, disabled, and handicapped kids. And expose a lot of them to the world of fishing, which many have never had the opportunity to do.
And for guys like us, there are a lot of different ways to contribute..
Of course I am talking about the C.A.S.T. organization, (Catch A Special Thrill) whose goals are near and dear to my heart.
And their goal is to do just what I stated above.. To give some kids that may never be able to catch a fish, or even ever go fishing, that opportunity.. Even if it is only for the day..
If you are a long time reader of this site, you will probably remember that we do this every year. And of course this year is no different.
And this event, this year to be held at Calaveras Lake in San Antonio, like always, costs money to put on.
And here's how you can do something awesome, and get a day of fishing out of the deal to boot..
Once again many of our local guides have most generously donated a day on the lake.. Available to you..
If you are the highest bidder..
There is also a buy them now price for each guide for $600..
So if you are interested in doing something good.. And getting a guided day of fishing out of the deal..
E-mail Jim Behnken at firstname.lastname@example.org with your bids.. Title your e-mail FLT auction..
Jim used to guide down here a few years ago if you remember, and now he is the Western Program Director for C.A.S.T.
The guides that have donated their time this year are as follows.. In no particular order..
And of course yours truly.. If you are really desperate to fish..
These fellows have donated their time, equipment, and fuel for the trip.. Please be sure to tip accordingly.. But in the end, it is up to you..
In any case, if you have questions, drop Jim an e-mail and he will answer any questions you might have. This thing usually sells out pretty fast so if you are interested you better get in early..
It will be your responsibility to schedule a day with the guide that works for you both once the auction ends..
This video may answer some of your questions..
Or you can call me if you desire and I'll try to fill in any blanks..
It is still rainy and nasty here today.. But tomorrow looks a lot better.. I'm gonna hit em then..
Don't forget your rock detector.. See you on the water..
February 28, 2018: Well the shortest month of the year is in its final day, but the shortest month of the year is always our busiest. And you guys have done a pretty good job of kicking our asses..
Thanks, by the way, to all of you who have stopped by.. We can't be here without you.. And we like being here..
We've had real jobs.. And that shit is over-rated..
And with the crappy ass weather we had all of January, many who have the ability to come when they please, moved their trips to February. So it has been busy times..
Which has kept me away from the computer.. And fishing..
And Tommy was out of town last weekend, so it was nothing but elbows and assholes for this old fart..
One riot, One Ranger.. No sweat..
Well maybe a little..
The weather has finally straightened up a bit, and the water temps have consistently stayed above 65°, even thru the last couple of cool spells, and that has equaled pretty active fish. Which has got a lot of the spawn in the books.
And the few times I have been out roaming the shallows in the last week, I have seen countless beds with no fish on em.. Some fry..
There are still some fish spawning as we speak, with the full moon tonight and warm water, it is going on.. And on..
Of course not all of the fish spawn at the same time.. And I am sure we will have a trickling of spawning fish for the next two months.
Several folks I have talked to said that they caught some pre spawn fish recently in about twelve feet of water that were white as a ghost.. And I would bet that these fish are deep livers that are on their way up to spawn..
Not unusual.. But long story short, there are still spawning fish, but I think the majority of it is in the books..
And this year we actually have something for the fry to hide in.. So we will have decent year class hopefully..
If the fuckin cormorants don't eat them all..
I find it high on the ludicrous scale, that you can kill human baby in the womb, but if you go break a bunch of cormorant eggs in the nest, you can go to prison..
That's fucked up.. No other way to say it..
There are a lot of places on the lake that look like this.. And I was fishing one of them yesterday.. Well.. This one..
And if your lake don't look like this one maybe you ought to get down here and give us a try..
The Chief always said when them Huisache are bloomin'.. You better be in the skinny water..
Now's the time..
I think fishing has been pretty good, but some folks will tell you it is tough, and others will tell you it is awesome. And we have heard some of both.
But we always do.. But overall if you come down for a few days, you are highly likely to find and catch some fish..
Like Ed Knoll did when he caught this 9.34 out of his Yak..
Or Curt Covey with this 9.05.. Quality Bass Club..
Gary Ford caught this 9.15 during the Alamo Bass Club tourney last weekend..
Even I caught a good one on Sunday.. After I closed up.. 8.23..
And if I can catch em. Anybody can..
Soft plastics are still about as good as it gets, and if you are throwing one, I recommend that you throw it right down the middle of the shit.. Not close to it.. I mean in between the bark and the sap..
You'll catch some fish on the outside. But you will catch more on the inside.. It does require a bit of a cavalier attitude about your terminal tackle.. But you cain't get em in till you get em on..
Of course heavy line and and a quick reaction to the bite is a must.. You need to cut an O one light.. If you get my drift..
If you dally setting the hook.. You're pretty much screwed..
If you feel something that don't feel right... Set the hook.. He ain't holding it under his arm..
Watermelon anything has been pretty good, but lizards and baby brush hogs have been my two favorites as of late.. I ain't been throwing the plum at all with all the clear water.. But I reckon it would still work..
Secondly, you need a spinner bait on the deck.. Any combo of chartreuse and white will work.. I like putting a split tail trailer on the back.. Last week one day I was in the Coyote and caught em good on the blade..
Other folks have told me that a mouse color has been good in the clear water as well.. I have not tried one..
A lipless, like a trap or a Red Eye have been good as well..
But honestly, I hate trebble hooks..
Yesterday I was in the Hedieona, throwing a Red Eye down a windblown bank.. And I had thrown it thirty times without a nibble..
But on the thirty first cast something got a hold of it..And at first I thought it was a dink.. But after she realized that shad had hooks in it, things changed..
This bitch streaked down the shoreline, smoking my drag and removing my fingerprints from my left thumb.. I was trying to stop her before she got to this bush.. But I did not.. Anyway..
I put it on high 36 and headed that way while she went Paul Bunyan on the bush.. But as I got closer the hook just pulled out and I stood there knowing that I got my ass kicked.. Again..
Like I have said many times before.. When you get a big fish on down here.. You don't have them.. They have you..
And a fifty-fifty chance is about as good as it gets.. Especially with the jungle we are fishing in right now..
Some deeper fish are starting to get a tiny bit more consistent, but it is not time to sit in front of the dam with a 10XD just yet..
A senko wacky rigged has also caught some fish.. I cain't do it.. But some folks are.. Also heard of some C-rig fish.. I have heard it all this week..
There is probably not a method or bait that will not catch a fish right now, but there are certainly more productive baits according to the masses.. And I have been telling you what they are..
Lizard.. Brush hog, large or small.. Spinnerbait.. Shallow crank..
A month ago, I had ten rods on my deck.. Which means I don't know shit when it comes to what the fish are doing.. Right now I got three.. I am sure you can figure out what is tied on them..
I'm out the door.. Gonna be the last nice day for a few.. Wind wise..
Hook that bitch up.. And I'll see you on the water..
February 19, 2018: Well whaddya know.. The sun can shine in Zapata..
And it has.. For five days.. And I have fished the last four.. But not today.. The south wind has also come back with the sunshine.. Yesterday was bad.. But today, I'm leaving it on the trailer..
We had absolute perfect fishing conditions last Thursday and Friday, and by Friday afternoon, the water had warmed into the mid sixties, and Saturday and Sunday I saw water over seventy degrees.
And the fish have responded.. As have a lot of fishermen.
We have seen a lot of folks in town the last week, and there are more on the way.
If there have been any complaints, it is for lack of monsters.. Hell I have that complaint as well. But there have been a lot of quality fish caught. And I am talking about four to seven pound class fish.
I did not do near as well last Thursday and Friday, but since the water temperature jump, the fish have gotten a lot more active. And Saturday and Sunday I am going to say that I did pretty darn good on the numbers. Did not murder em, but I am doing something that I am not too good at or have much experience at..
The last two days I have been doing nothing but pretty much sight fishing, in the very backs of creeks. And the farther back and the shallower the better.
I had to take a feather duster along to make sure they were bass and not tilapia. That's how shallow these fish have been.
And I am sure that allot of you guys who sight fish on a regular basis got this shit figured out.. I do not.. But I am having fun trying.
Of all the fish I have seen, there have been only two fish locked on beds. And I ain't messing with them. Most of them are swimming around, doing.. Well hell if I know what they are doing.. But they are swimming around in groups of two to four..
Some of em will nail a bait thrown in their direction.. Some of them won't give it a sniff.. And I am going to say that the biters are about 20%..
But it is fun to pitch at em..
The biggest fish we have caught dong it is this 6-12, that was cruising the shoreline..
And she inhaled a baby brush hog instantly.. And honestly the bigger fish seem more willing to bite than the bucks..
She was the fattest, shortest, mini-Rosie that I have seen in a while..
Flipping a soft plastic and chunking a spinnerbait are still the most productive methods going.
A chatterbait and some squarebills will also catch fish where you can throw em. And we had a good one come off on a chatterbait yesterday.
I know yall think all I fish is shallow water, but I tried it all the way out to six feet deep the other day.. And shallow is better.
In all honesty, I did try some deeper water last Thursday, as the water was still a bit cool. And I fished a few of my old favorites in twelve to twenty feet. But had no luck.
I do know a few folks that are catching some fish deeper, but these spots are very site specific, and evidently I don't know where they are.
But I am happy getting bit.. And I have been..
A couple of groups have told me that they have caught a bunch of fish in a little area. I have not personally found a wad of fish that I can sit there and beat on.. But if I do, I will..
Did I tell you that the sun is shining?
It is so good to get outside and soak up some rays.. I'm dying to get back out today, as it is supposed to be 88°.. But the idea of thirty MPH gusts has taken the powder out of my cannon..
I am hoping the evil cold winds are through with us for this year.
Chris Hunt caught this 10.05 last week..
And Scott Olsen caught this 10.13 as well..
There is no substitute for time on the water. And there is no guarantee that you are going to catch a Rosie.. And hell, if you get the bitch hooked, you got no better than a 50-50 chance of getting her ass in the boat.
These fish are meaner than Oppra on a diet, and they are living in a maximum security gated community.. And getting them to the net or hand ain't an easy proposition.
But you ain't gonna get the chance to do either sitting on the couch..
I'd like to tell you that the cormorants have migrated north.. But they ain't..
There is some feathered copulation going on, and before long these bastards numbers will increase by half again..
I was in the Salado on Saturday, and there was a flock in there that covered five acres.. I ain't bullshittin'..
It is amazing.. But not as amazing as the lack of action on behalf of the EPA and TPWD, to do nothing about the impending doom that the continued increase in the number of these pieces of shit is bound to impart..
If you believe anything else. Then you are just ignorant.
And before you bird lovers get all insulted about me calling you ignorant, look up the definition..
It means uninformed..
Saved you the time..
If I was in charge of the TPWD, I would go Andy Dufrene and write a letter a week to the governor and to the head of the US Fish and Wildlife department and the EPA.
I'd wear out a fucking mimeographing machine till I got some relief..
If you see something, say something..
That's a phrase the government likes to use..
Well I'm seeing it.. And I have been saying something for years..
But I guess I might s well go pound sand up my ass.. Cause I'd have just as much luck getting anything changed.
If you get bored, and feel as I do, you might take the time to send a letter or e-mail to those mentioned above.
I'll bet money that the feds have no idea how many birds we have down here.. But they can't see it sitting on their hands in them big leather chairs we bought em..
Yeah.. It's time for a change..
Back on subject, I'd say that we have some good fishing looking us in the face.. So you better get your self down here and get in on some of it..
If not, I'm gonna get yours.. And mine..
See you on the water..
And I'm not near as grumpy as I was.. At least that's what the wife says..
February 14, 2018: Well In case you left home this morning before anyone was awake to say it to you; Happy Valentines Day!
Now do what the commercials say and go drop a couple of grand on a seventh ring for your wife.. Don't worry.. She'll give you that look when she opens the box.. And you know what that look means..
And if you do, please let me know what that look means..
I ain't exactly got it figured out.. And I don't want to overreact..
Knowing when to swallow the Viagra is very important...
It's foggy, drippy, nasty, and cool here this am.. But it ain't freezing.. And it could be so I am thankful for that.
We actually have a little nicer forecast on the radar than we have had in weeks, and maybe we can get a warming trend underway..
National forecasts differ from the local weatherman.. I'm going with Heatwave on this one, and it looks like we have a front coming in on Friday evening.. Not as severe as some of the recent stuff
But a chance for drizzle and crappy conditions for a day or so.. We'll see..
But tomorrow and Friday look a lot warmer..
Yesterday's weather was a bitch to fish in, but a lot of guys were out there showing it to them.. And mixed reviews have been tendered with regards to catching..
Most folks caught a few, a couple caught them pretty good, and several groups I talked to caught a dozen to eighteen fish. Which impresses me..
Water temps were reported at 57 to 59 degrees.. Not exactly what we are looking for.
The next few days should see some improvement in the water temps.. And I expect to see the fishing improve as well..
I have been talking about how bad the river fishing has been for months, and I have not exaggerated. But I am hearing of more fish starting to come from the waters north of Zapata as the days go by. I know all the fish in the river creeks did not swim to the dam when the river rose. But what they have been doing is beyond me.
There is hope that one day soon, a man can head north and actually have a good day of fishing.. Err.. Catching..
Last weekend during the Bass Federation tournament, Bruce White caught the big bass of the event.. She weighed in at 10.23 pounds.. Bigger than anything caught during the Bass Champs tourney.. They're out there.. Congrats!
I am hoping that the next time I write it will be with a personal fishing report..
Now don't forget to go to Jared.. Or Kay.. Or Americus Diamond..
I'm going to the Salado.. And the Chapote..
February 13, 2018: "Well it's 49 this morning, Warm air left us-withhout warning, sometime in the night.."
Sounds like a good reason to have a Bloody Mary..
Looks like we'll have to wait another day or two to see the freakin sun.. And to feel the effects of said same fireball..
This is some bullshit..
Water temps are still stuck at 60, or lower in the am.. And they don't warm much when the highs get to 55..
I'm not good at math, or geo-physics, or whatever the fuck you call the study of temperature and pressure and light..
But I can figure that one out..
There have been some rumors of some deeper fish being caught.. But I don't give a shit..
I ain't fishing for them either if it don't warm up..
Most folks are still fishing shallow, and a lot of them are catching some fish, the same place we have been catching them for months. In the woods and bushes in less than six feet of water..
And there is no doubt that that is where the majority of fish are.
And your favorite flipping bait and a spinner bait will catch a lot of em.. If they are in the eating mood.. Which is affected by the temperature..
As am I..
You might try a senko or a carolina rig out in some of that deeper water..
The fish actually bit decently yesterday from most reports, not that there were a ton of folks fishing.. But a lot of folks are down because this is when they had scheduled off..
And for good reason.. Usually by now we are wearing short britches and coating ourselves with sunblock..
Why in the fuck don't they make shadeblock..
There you go.. Wana make millions? Make a rub on cold protection.. You'd be rolling in it..
I would like to personally apologize to all of you that have taken your vacation and headed down to balmy south Texas to enjoy some bass fishing where the water ain't frozen over..
But it ain't far from it.. I hope you brought your parkas..
Hopefully you are staying long enough to get a few good days.. Looks like it might warm a bit.. But then the wind is supposed to blow.. It's a fuckin conspiracy, I'm telling you..
Here I am freezing to death, and I turn on my TV last night, and what the fuck is happening.. A bunch of kids are strapping boards to their feet and sliding down a trench covered in fucking snow..
The visual damn near had me dip into hypothermia..
I can't stand up on ice I spilled from my drink, and these freaks of nature are doing somersaults and cartwheels fifteen feet in the air..
I think smoking dope does help..
But then you knew it had to happen.. Ice skating..
Yep I bet the gay bars have been packed here lately..
I can 't wait till they give them ice skaters little sticks with ribbons on em.. There's a sport..
There is one good sport in the winter O'limpics.
Ski jumping.. Even the women have balls..
But you watch it for the same reason you watch NASCAR. Yep. Waiting on the wrecks.. You know it is going to happen... Sure as fuck, somebody is going to end up looking like a popsicle, with a ski stuck up their ass..
Of course there's probably going to be some ice soccer on TV in the next few days as well..
Bobsledding and Luge are pretty cool.. But you watch it for the same reason you watch NASCAR...
And in luge you can actually end up with your sled stuck up your own ass..
It's the fucking winter Olympics.. As in Winter..
Why don't they have some ice cream making contests??
Who makes up this stuff?
I don't know about you, but I would much rather watch some bikini clad flat bellied chicks playing beach volleyball than any of these so called sports. Not that sand volleyball is really a sport either..
But it is closer to a sport than skating or boxing..
Any "Sport" that is judged, is not a sport..
Anyway.. I gotta cleanse my mind of this winter distraction.. It ain't working..
There's plenty of other shit that don't work to talk about..
The list goes on and on..
But unlike them, I have a lot of shit to do.. And I'll see you later..
Hopefully on the water.. Some day...
February 12, 2018: I can't imagine how busy we'd be if there was any stretch of nice weather around here.. It's was 44 this morning.. It's 48 now.. No sun.. We might make 50 by five..
And it don't get much better tomorrow.. I need some xanax..
I can't remember a year like this in the last ten.. I know humans are apt to try and suppress shit they don't want to remember.. I'd love to forget this crap..
We even have folks from Michigan and Minnesota complaining..
It's been a while since I wrote, but I have been a bit busy, and I am dealing with a bad case of sunlight depravation syndrome.. This shit is real..
We had one good afternoon last week, and a half a good day on Saturday. The latter being the day of the Bass Champs tournament .. Which had a three hour fog delay to get things started.. Or rather; not started..
It has been a rotten year for doing anything outdoors..
I am sure that by now you have heard the results from the tournaments if you were/are interested. It took about 32 pounds to win BC. Bout what I expected but I thought we'd see a few more high twenty and low thirty stringers.
Big bass was only a nine something which really surprised me.. Thought we'd see a big fish and a couple of tens.. Didn't happen..
My buddy Steve Threlkeld caught this 11-13 last week.. Thought we'd see a few like it..
It was a busy weekend, and we were glad to have all of you in town.
I hear that the winners of the BC tourney caught their fish deep, about sixteen feet.. On plastics..
Congrats to Kyle and Josh on the big stringer..
Most folks however were fishing a lot shallower from what I heard.
Last week Mike Seils caught this 9.7.
And I have seen lots of pics of seven and eight pound fish in the last ten days as well.. But there have been a lot of man hours put in to catch them..
The Texas Bass Federation was also in town last weekend, and they fished a one dayer yesterday in deplorable conditions. I heard that about seventeen pounds won it.. I am impressed that anybody fished it at all..
Yesterday is a good example of why I quit fishing tournaments. I could circle a date on a calendar six months away, and you could bet it would be windy and wet and a unseasonably cold when the day rolled around.
There has been no real change to methods or tactics in the last two weeks.. At least none that are making any difference..
Yes, I have become an old, grumpy, bitchy curmudgeon.. I may never fish again..
Well at least not till it warms up.. Which it may never do.. So it could be that I have fished my last..
What's that? It's supposed to be 85 on Wednesday? Maybe I'll give it one more shot..
Son of a Bitch I am ready for some hot weather!!!!!
I have a few thoughts to pass along.. But I am too depressed to write.. This shit sucks!
February 3, 2018: You know, the older you get, the more you like warm weather, older whisky, better cigars, and biting fish..
But maybe that is just me.. But I am sure you like one or more of the things mentioned above.
But let's start with biting fish..
Believe it or not, there are actually some fish biting on the north end of the lake. And it has been a long time coming.
I did not say they were biting up the river, but the water closer to Zapata has started to produce some fish. And I will assume that the river will come back to life before too long. I have heard a smattering of reports of a few fish being caught in various creeks above the Salado. But it ain't going gangbusters by any means. But I have heard just as many reports that it ain't worth your time..
I'm still on the "it ain't worth your time" side of this one. But I am sure I will have to go up there and take my weekly drubbing before too long. It's gotta happen sooner or later.
Of course a lot of folks are in town pre-fishing, so I might not be getting all the facts exactly straight.
SAPD bass club and Uvalde bass club are both in town this weekend, and along with our usual crowd of February fishermen, and a bunch of pre-fishermen, the lake is hoppin.. Lots of boats in town, and they have me hoppin as well to keep the shelves stocked.
It is good to see a bunch of fishermen here. And believe it or not, there are quite a few fish being caught.
The one common thread from the many fishermen's reports is shallow..
There are many creeks here that have unusually clear water in them, and the reports of people sight fishing are higher than I have heard in years.. All that greenery and banks that are not just exposed mud have led to some water clarity that is shocking.
And we have not had any really windy days as of late.. I probably shouldn't have said that..
Tomorrow is supposed to be our first day in the eighties, and we have three days of warm on tap according to those that predict such things. Let's hope they know what they are talking about this time.
Lord knows their accuracy is about like a four year old trying to hit the toilet..
I am going out tomorrow morning about nine, and I plan on bustin' it for a good part of the day. The later in the day the better the fishing has been as of late.. But it don't take a genius to figure that one out.
I fished a few short stretches this week, about four hours on Monday and about the same Thursday. And Thursday was a beautiful day.
I caught nine fish on Thursday, including one about six pounds on a spinnerbait. And it was cool as I got to watch the fish swim out of a bush and inhale the bait. The water is clear.
Throwing a spinner on flats with scattered brush in four feet of water or less has been very productive as of late. I like the chartreuse and white, but I have heard of fish coming on a multitude of colors and patterns. I am putting a little split tail trailer on mine, but you might not have to. I don't know.. But it looks sexy.. And it is working for me.
But my favorite is still pitching a soft plastic at woods and laydowns, and that always works on Falcon.
We have sold a plethora of plastics, and everything form a chigger craw, to a beaver, to a brush hog, to a lizard, and yes, the Ol Monsters, are catching fish.
I can tell you that the fish are biting extremely light on the plastics most of the time, so paying attention to your bait is a must. If something don't feel right, I suggest you set the hook, sooner than later.
It is not at all uncommon for spawning fish to just pick it up and move it. And there is a lot of that shit going on..
I am sure I have missed a few as of late because of my ineptitude at detecting the bite.. But I am catching on.
There are fry in many areas of the lake, already swimming around in clouds. And like usual, we might think it ain't going on.. But is is.. And it has.. Sneaky bastards..
I got a couple pics of real fish yesterday, and here are a couple.
David Shaw caught this 9.88
And Mike McGinty caught this 11.96.. That's a real fish..
Of course there have been lots of other good quality fish caught as well.. And of course some folks have struggled a bit. I have those days too.. But it is getting better by the day, and the warmer the water gets.. Well the shit is fixin to hit the fan.. And I don't mind getting hit by some of it.. You probably won't mind either..
I'm all a'tingle..
If you like catching white bass, they have been easy pickens out around the old submerged bridge in the Veleno. They have been on top of it and on the roadbed to the west of it.. And I mean they are thick as peanut butter.
A buddy of mine and two friends caught a hundred in less than an hour two days ago.. Just look for the armada of boats around the area..
The crappie have been a bit spotty, as they have taken to the bushes for some thorny lovemaking as well. So they have been a little harder to find, but thy are still being caught..
The big catfish are also biting great on jug lines.. Cut bait is best.. But this one was caught on a chicken gizzard.. I weighed 59 pounds.. Forties and fifties have been pretty common lately..
So whatever you are chasing, you can find it here..
Love.. Happiness.. Fulfillment.. Enlightenment..
Oh Yeah.. And a bunch of freakin fish.. You choose the species..
Damn.. Went a whole report without using the f-word..
I'm gonna kick their ass tomorrow..
See you on the water!
January 30, 2018: This picture about says it all.. Thanks be to God for the sunshine..
And you thought I was the only one ready for some sun..
Man what a day yesterday.. Except for a bit of a north wind, it was about perfect out there.. This mornings low was back in the forties.. Something we don't need, but it is supposed to be a short lived cool down..
And on Thursday we are supposed to be back in the upper seventies.. Jimmie like..
The fish have responded to the warmer conditions, and the warmer water. And yesterday there were a lot of reports of shallow fish, and good numbers of shallow fish.. Even I got in on a little better bite.
But first thing first..
I did not fish during the week last week.. Too cold.. Too wet.. But I'll admit I am a sissy..
So the first time I was out was on Sunday. And I did not have a long time to fish, so I went back to the Salado because I knew where there were some fish. And while I caught about the same number of fish as the Sunday before, I am sure I caught different ones..
The water had cooled a bit in there, and it was only about 59°, down from 61 the week before. And I am talking about protected water in about a depth of three feet.. Some places less.
We caught four fish, and this spot was on the north bank.
And after all that success, we crossed the creek to the south side, and fished a bunch of rocky points and drops, close to the palapa/shiny roofed picnic area..
I can't imagine why, but I just can't catch any fish over there. It looks awesome.. But I ain't having any success in that neighborhood.
So yesterday, I went a little south of there, but not all the way to midlake. I fished from ten till two, and boated eight fish. Which I am considering a small personal victory.. I caught fish way back up a creek, in water that wouldn't get the fourth eye on your rod wet. Well depending on your rod.. I know that some guys have longer rods than others..
I was fishing a lot of water that looks like this..
Those fence posts are not ten feet long.
The water temperature back there was 64°. But remember we are talking about protected water in less than four feet actual.
All, I repeat, all the fish were on woods. It didn't hurt to have a bush nearby. The biggest I caught was a three pounder. Several of the fish were surely females, and I think I caught a pair off the same tree.
This same scenario was told to me by several folks in the store this am..
I also talked to some guys I know on the water that said they caught a dozen or more on spinnerbaits in the same creek. I threw a spinner a bit where I was catching fish, but had no takers. They were fishing closer to the mouth than I was..
Some of the guides I have been talking to have caught some fish on rattle traps and red eyes, but mostly down south. Namely the Salanaias.. I have not been there, but plan on going on Thursday when the predicted high is in the upper seventies..
Water temps are certainly on the rise, and the fishing is improving along with elevation in water temperature. A few days ago, Jay Grieshaw said he had found some water in the 65° degree range.. And I was about to call bullshit..
But I must admit that ol' Jay was not pulling my leg .. Water that warm is not everywhere.. But it is out there..
I really believe we are on the verge of some breakout fishing. And if old Mr. Winter will stay where he belongs, it could get plum fun around here..
I forgot to say that I caught all my fish yesterday on a 8" magnum W/M Red lizard. And caught a few on it on Sunday as well.. And that is a don't leave home without it bait right now.
A fast moving hardbait should be tied to one of your rods as well, either a trap or a square bill. And a spinnerbait is also good to have at the ready.
But I believe that a flipping bait will catch you more fish, and more locked in, holding up on a stump fish than any others.
In any case, it is all looking up. If you are planning a trip down, you need to make reservations at a place to stay sooner than later. It is getting busier by the day in Zapata, and in the next three weeks a lot of spawning fish are going to be caught..
So get your ass down here, and get you some before I figure em out and catch em all..
See you on the water..
January 23, 2018: The sun came out on Sunday.. But then it went away.. And then the sun came out on Monday.. And then it went away.. The sun came out this morning.. But it is going away..
And no I ain't talking about the periods of sunlight being broken up by night.. I mean it has been cloudy.. And about seventy.. And yesterday we had a stiff north wind..
There is a difference in seventy and sunny and no wind, and seventy and cloudy and a 15 MPH north wind..
Cold weather.. I'm just not that into you..
I did fish on Sunday, when the high temperature was allegedly 76.. My ass.. The clouds covered the sky after the sun made a brief appearance.. And it cooled off as the afternoon wore on..
I had a friend in town, and took him out for about five hours mid day. And being we did not have all day to fish, we stayed on the north end of the lake, namely in the Salado.
Lately I have considered it a personal challenge to catch some fish on this end of the lake. And I have been getting my ass handed to me pretty bad. It has been near impossible..
You would think I'd learn.. But I tried to do Mary Harper back in High School for four years.. Yeah.. That never happened either..
But I digress.
Long story short, (yeah right) we caught four fish in the five hour period we spent beating the water into a froth. You might think that that is pretty shitty fishing.. But to me, that is like getting to second base with Mary Harper..
Even some of my buddies were impressed..
"Were the buttons hard to get open... I mean.. What did you catch em on?"
We caught all four fish on plastics.. The Ol Monster in plum and W/M red.. Maybe one on a lizard..
Oh and I missed one.. That's like getting one more button..
All four fish were in water that would not get a leprechaun's knees wet.. And they did not exactly knock the rod out of your hands..
The biggest fish I caught was about a three pounder.. As big around as she was long.. A miniature Rosie..
The water clarity in the backs of some of those creeks and pockets is incredible.. And let me tell you that if there were fish in there.. You could see em..
We didn't.. But once and hour we'd get a bite.. From a fish we did not see..
We fished shallow.. Deep.. Flats.. Dropoffs.. Ledges.. Spinnerbaits, Crankbaits. Squarebills..
My recommendation.. Go shallow and flip.. Look for laydowns..
All right that was on Sunday. Saturday afternoon the sun came out, although it was a bit cool.. And I shucked out for a few hours to check out the Veleno, once again behind the bridge..
I have not seen the water this clear in years, and the water in the back of the Veleno is gin.. And I picked out a stretch back there a ways, and fished a half mile of it.. I fished the shallows, pockets, trees, and creek channel.. I threw a worm, spinnerbait, jerkbait, and squarebill.. I cranked the creek channel edges in ten feet of water.
Zero.. Zip...Nada.. I never saw a fish.. Not a shad.. Not a tilapia, not a bass not a carp not a gar..
Maybe I wasn't fishing in the right place.. Well I guess that is obvious.. But them fish are gonna get in there sometime.. The cover is too awesome..
But it continues my north end of the lake dry spell..
After that ass kickin' I decided I'd go look for something that would bite, so I headed out to the mouth of the Veleno..
It looked like a parking lot on the old submerged bridge, with boats anchored all around and over it.. I ran the downscan on the old road bed to the west of the bridge, a hundred yards from anybody else, and the screen was lit up with fish..
So I got out my jigging spoon and caught about fifty white bass in an hour.. And that scratched my itch to reel something in..
You could catch one every drop.. They are stacked out there.. And the locals are putting the smackdown on em..
If you want to catch some bass, the south end of the lake is still where the vast majority of fish are being caught.
From the Tigers to the dam.. If I was fishing seriously, that is where I'd be.. And I'm gonna be fishing seriously one of these days.. When the freakin sun comes out to stay.
Shallow is the name of the game, and creeks way back are holding spawning fish. I forgot to mention that on Sunday I saw some 61° water in the back protected pockets in the Salado.. Heard a bit of the same from a few places south as well..
Flipping is catching a lot of the spawners as you can imagine, but spinnerbaits and squarebills are also doing some damage.
Something with some red on it ain't a bad idea either..
There is no doubt going to be some sight fishing this year, which is unusual for us.. Rarely do we have water this clear.. And it is on both ends of the lake..
The Salanaias is still as good as it gets, from what I hear. And while there are nets, netters, lookouts, and import-export specialists in the area, if you are just fishing, I do not believe you will have any problems.
A conversation was had with the boat operator that was approaching folks down there.. He is a monitor, that is all.. And he ain't there to rob you.. Go fishin..
There have been a lot of fishermen in there lately, and surely more to come..
On Sunday, Matt caught his fish midlake, in three feet of water. It went 10-12..
Looks like them fish like some rough sex..
There have been a lot of good fish caught, and certainly the improving weather and warming water is going to turn this place on in the coming week or so.. We are only eight days from a full moon.. Shit is fixin to hit the fan..
The improvements at the Pavilion at the county ramp are about complete.. And it looks pretty damn good.. It is now possible to have a drive thru weigh in under the giant cover, with a driveway/road that will allow for two hundred and fifty yards (+-) of traffic to the weigh in site. Check it out next time you are down at the county ramp..
There are still damn few folks down here fishin.. I guess you either ain't coming, or you don't like the cold either.. So I guess I'll have to catch all these motherfuckers when they go to biting..
No Sweat. I'm on it..
January 16, 2018: How do you know when it is time? I mean really.. When do you say, "OK.. I give up..?"
"You win, Mister Winter.. I can't take it any more.."
From the deepest depths of desolation and darkness. To the coldest and wettest and freezingiest temperatures ever survived by manhood...
Well Zapata manhood..
This is Bullshit.. We ain't supposed to have to live like this..
Yesterday the temps got up in the low seventies.. Which followed Sundays middle sixties..
And guess what.. The fish were up in the shallows getting it on.. A bunch of em.. More in some places than others.
So much good work that had been done.. By the sun.. And the warm.. And now it is all out the window..
Now I know how James Carville felt on election night.. "It's gone... It's all gone!!"
Some of you may get that reference..
I just came back from the post office.. And I had rain freezing on my windshield.. And there is a lot of heat leaving the water as we speak.. As a matter of fact.. Deep Purple is setting up on the old Veleno bridge to do a remake of "Smoke on the Water."
It's freakin cold!
Any way.. I heard of a lot of fish caught yesterday.. And some good ones.. Lots of bloody tails reported.. These fish are on the edge.. They want to go.. They have to go.. They're gonna go.. Some have already gone..
Here's a few pics of recent catches.. Before the freeze..
There are a lot of buck bass in the shallows as well.. Well they were..
But I am sure they have not gone too far from where they were. Just a bit deeper.. And they will be back up there as soon as the water warms back up..
Yesterday water temps were reported at about 61° on both ends of the lake. Up from 51 a week or ten days ago..
And while that is a bit cool for these fish to spawn, I believe the fish got the signal to go.. And a lot did..
And who knows what is going on out there today.
But there ain't nobody fishing.. It is snowing out there right now..
This shit is supposed to be out of here by Friday. And I am praying that it is.. We are supposed to be back in the seventies on Saturday and Sunday.. But it is gonna take a few days of sun to repair the damage done by this clouds and cold.
The lake has dropped to about 283.60, and that is about a foot lower than we were a couple of weeks ago. That's 17.60 feet low. It seems they have started a bit early this year.
The white bass and crappie are still good under the bridge here in the Veleno, and a lot of white bass are headed up the river to spawn as well.
Lots of catfish are being caught on jug and trot lines on cut bait.. Some whoppers as well.. Lots of thirties and forties..
I fished the Veleno on Sunday for a couple of hours.. Above the bridge.. I had one bite and managed to screw that up.. So much good looking water that is fishless.. Or almost..
I keep trying to make it happen up here.. I just cannot believe that the two ends of the lake are fishing so differently..
And I have had no time to get down south as of late.. So I am living vicariously thru good reports..
I heard on the internet that we are heading for a government shutdown this weekend.. What a joke.. What part of it is going to shut down? The money spending part?
The government reminds me of a woodpecker.. It does everything the hard way..
A woodpecker spends his lifetime chopping out holes in wood to find insects and worms.. And there are insects and worms everywhere.. And they're not covered in wood..
All you gotta do is change your diet a little.. And it is quite likely you'll find some grub that you like just as good or better..
So if you are a government employee, get ready for some more paid vacation.. Maybe..
I hate my money being wasted..
And here's another pile of shit.. Why is it that all these companies spend millions to advertise, and during these commercials they tell me how they donated millions to this charity or that event..
Here's an idea.. Why don't you quit fucking overcharging me for everything I buy, and let me decide where I want my charitable contributions to go..
Why don't you pay your employees a little better?
Just some food for thought..
While I'm bitching.. Did you watch the college football playoff thingy? All the football stuff was good.. But if I hear one more TV announcer say "True Freshman," I think I might slit my wrists..
A freshman is a freshman.. You don't say I bought a new Chevrolet Chevrolet..
If he's a redshirt, say so.. But you don't have to keep saying true freshman every thirty seconds..
That's a fucked up premise anyway.. Like having a redshirt hooker..
Well.. She went through the program like all the other hookers.. She worked hard and practiced her technique.. Her tongue work in the off season was really incredible.. And I think she is going to be a valuable part of the team at the whorehouse next year..
Another commercial that drives me crazy is the ones for the Toyota Camry.. Yep the Camry..
Incessantly referred to as "The Wild One."
Really? The Camry? A four door family sedan that makes it to sixty in about a week.. The one whose standard motor has less displacement than a good riding lawnmower..
Toyota makes some fine products.. But this is blatant misrepresentation in my opinion.. When it comes to speed, this thing is a turd.. Maybe it is a wild turd..
How bout all the car dealers trying to sell you a station wagon and telling you it is a sports car.. What a crock of shit.. It's a fuckin station wagon buddy.. Maybe your wife thinks it is a sports car..
But a real man knows a sports car don't have a rear hatch.. Now go shave that three day growth off your scruffy fuckin face.. I hate those commercials..
How bout all the commercials for products that kill the odor of shit?
Well shit does stink. As does the air that is closely associated with it..
What about all of us in Texas who do not have a basement bathroom to use when you know it is going to be bad?
I always liked getting invited over to dinner at some gal's house and having to excuse myself in the middle of the meal because I have a very quick digestive system. And once peristalsis kicks in, it's all over. Was that your stomach or is there a cat under the table?
And the girls mother would invariably point to the powder room, just off the dining room..
Well this ain't gonna be good.. No soundproofing.. No Febreeze.. No Stickups.. But it would be a good place for one..
Always made it hard for me to finish desert with a straight face..
Yes I was always number one, when it came to number two..
My Grandpa always called me a "little shitass.."
When I was little.
This report has turned to shit, ain't it..
See.. Here's the problem.. It is too cold and nasty to be outside, and I have been stuck in front of the heater and the TV and have been lobotomized by the advertisers..
It's a hell of a way to die..
I have been trying to light the wood stove, but have you ever tried to get some diesel lit using two flint rocks?
This shit just ain't working..
Well all I can say is that we will just have to wait out the cold weather, and make up for it when the sun comes out.. By fishing every day we can, and forgetting this cold winter.
That's why God made the human body not able to recall pain.. You can remember you had it. But you can't make yourself re-feel it..
Which I am looking forward to. But for right now the pain goes on!
See you when the sun comes out!
January 12, 2018: Winter.. Who the hell would have ever thought that it would happen to us?
But let me tell you that we are having one.. Right here in Zapata.. It sucks!
Can you buy insurance for this shit?
While the rest of the country is freezing, shoveling snow, burning, mudsliding and earthquaking, we are stuck in a cold cycle that just won't seem to end. And the fish are none too enthused about the cold water either.
I ain't saying that you can't catch fish. But the bite varies every day with the cooling and warming water.. Not that it is warming a lot.
Water temps have slowly climbed back to around 60, but keeping it there has been a problem.. And we have another cool spell coming for the early part of next week. There is going to be some sun mixed in, but it doesn't look like we are going to be seeing any 65° water in the immediate future.
Yesterday a front blew in and we had sustained winds of thirty MPH with gusts up to forty five.. Not a pretty picture. Blew the stars off the flags..
Today is very nice but a bit cool for my taste.. Guess we'll get to around 62.. Bout twenty degrees light of where I like it..
The mid to south end of the lake is STILL fishing much better than up north. Reports from the Tigers are improving, but the closer you get to the dam, the better the fishing gets.
That being said, apparently not a lot of you like fishing in the cold and wind either, because there have not been a lot of folks out.
Long term the weather looks better.. I'd say that about August I might go out again..
Actually late next week is looking decent.. But I don't trust the weathermen any farther that you'd trust Charlie Scheen with your granddaughter..
A month or so back I was talking about a single boat in the Salanaias that was harassing people, asking for beer, cigarettes, fishing stuff etc.. Well they're back at it..
The Salanaias is the only creek where any tomfoolery has been reported.. But the rub being, that that is where a lot of good fishing has been experienced..
So if you go there, pay attention to your surroundings and if you are uncomfortable with something you see, move on..
We're working on it.. And I'll keep you advised if anything changes.
The mouth of the Salanaias to Benavides have a lot of fish in those pockets as well.
Even though the water is cold, it is time to start thinking spawning fish. A bunch of these fish can't wait much longer. And I have seen several pics of fish oozing eggs in the last two weeks.. A few degrees and we'll have a bunch of bedding fish.. I believe that some of it is going on now.
I ain't fishing over six feet deep for the next two months..
So get down here the first time you can as the weather warms.
Currently the fish have still been biting crankbaits and spinners, primarily. Somewhere in the six to ten foot range. Offshore fishing seems dead from all reports from the folks that have tried it..
All of this needs to be taken with a grain of salt.. Because truthfully, there have not been many man hours put in on the lake. And I have not been on the water in about a week. Hopefully Sunday will not be too bad and I will get out.
Now that I think about it.. I did fish last Sunday.. The wind was howling from the south, and a buddy and I fished six creeks up the river.. To stay out of the wind and just to get out of the house.. As it turns out.. We could have stayed in the house..
Gary missed a couple of tail tugger bites.. And I broke off what was surely a monster on the hookset.. Never seen her.. Never turned her.. My elbow must be about healed..
There is some of the most beautiful water on earth up the river in the back of some of those creeks.. You could not draw it any better..
If I could catch a fish up there I'd shave Rosies back..
I am sorry it took me so long to get back to the computer.. But I have not had much to say about the fishing. And I was at the ranch the last few days.
I watched a lot of bucks, but it don't look like I am going to see anything this year that will make me stick the barrel out the window.
I also spent a day tearing down some old cattle pens and pulling posts. And I am about as stove up as a ten year old pointer after a long day in the field.. Getting old sucks..
But I reckon it beats the alternative.
I hope to see you down here before too long.. It's gonna be good soon.. But don't hold me to a date just yet..
But it's commin'!
January 5, 2018: It has been a miserable week down here, but the sun has returned to some degree, and the air temps have made it up to the sixties. We are supposed to make the middle sixties this afternoon.. And none too damn soon.
Water temps earlier this week dropped all the way down to the low fifties, and we all know what these Falcon fish think of cold water.. Their attitude is similar to mine when it comes to cold..
Yeah.. They don't like it..
But we are on a warming trend and the next five days look pretty good, with a bunch of seventies promised .. Thank Goodness.. I was thinking this shit might never go away..
I was not surprised to read yesterday that this cold spell is caused by global warming.. It is a religion with the lefties..
I reckon that the Noreaster that hammered the New England states just decided to go against the grain..
Poor bastards.. But this is a mobile America we are living in, and I reckon those folks could move if they really wanted to.. But I hope they don't.. Not down here anyway.
The fishing took a hit in numbers on Monday thru Wednesday, but I heard of some fish caught yesterday.. I did hear of a few folks catching some fish early in the week, but not a lot, and there weren't many folks out on the lake.. Which surely made sense to me.
I plan on returning to fishing activities on Sunday, Lord willing.
We had five days in a row that got to freezing down here, and that had not happened since 2011, according to the news in Laredo.. And if it is another six years till it happens again; Well that will be just fine with me.
We got down to about forty this morning with no wind, so it wasn't too bad. And I got invited quail hunting and it was a perfect morning for that. (Shot the crap out of em too..) I likes me some shotgunning.. But then I like shooting my Red Ryder..
There have been a few guides fishing the last couple of days, and they managed a few fish even in the ice filled water.. It was froze over so bad that even a 6XD was a top water bait..
Not really.. But the water was freakin cold. Eight to ten fish was a pretty good outing the last few days, but I believe that in a few days the water temps will bounce back and this crap will just be a bad memory.
A buddy of mine with much thicker blood fished up here yesterday and caught six fish, all keepers, with the biggest being a six and a half. So I guess the fish did not all die off.
I was expecting to hear that a bunch of tilapia died, but no one reported any such thing. But them tropical fish really do not like the cold.
The fish that were caught were all on creek channel edges early in the week, but mi amigo said he caught them flipping yesterday.
It is my personal belief that these fish are ready to hit the bank and make some babies.. But we are going to have to see the water temps bounce back a bit before anything crazy happens.. It could happen quicker than I think, since the water definitely cooled off, and when it does warm a bit, these fish could get the idea that it is time.
I'm sure these fish do not carry pocket thermometers.. But they do sense warming water.. We'll see soon enough.
I heard on Monday and Tuesday that the fish liked crankbaits as good or better than anything.. Something that runs in the eight foot range. Something with Chartreuse or yellow on it.. And that has been going on for a while. Creek channel edges..
The lake dropped about four inches last week, as some water was released. I am not sure if it was irrigation or for increased power generation during the cold spell. It has backed off for now, and we are sitting at 283.99 and have been for about two days. That's 17.21' low.
They have been releasing water from Sugar, and there is no electrical generation there, so I am sure they are pre-irrigating some land down that way. For all I know they may have seed in the ground already..
I hear that the white bass are easy to catch up the river, and chrome rattle traps and spoons and grubs and the like have been catching them pretty good.
They have been real easy to catch in the Veleno on a lot of days, with the same baits..
Crappie are spotty under the bridge, but when you catch one, odds are that there are several others in the same vicinity.
Big blue catfish have been very active on cut bait, and jugs have been very effective here in the Veleno as well.. We have seen and weighed some forty to fifty pounders as of late. And the rod and reel fishermen have been doing good also.
Dealing with the boredom around here this week has had me cleaning the store and the workshop. I'm telling you I was bored..
Cold weather is just as effective at keeping me home as shackles and chains.. I hate this shit..
But hey.. Things are looking up and I plan on soaking up some sun in the next few days. We got a good looking stretch coming..
I cleaned reels and installed new pawls in a couple yesterday.. And changed line.. Just in case I latch on to one of these big mother.. Sorry I Forgot.. I almost typed motherfuckers..
Maybe you should join me..
I'll let you know what happens.
Hope to see you in Zapata!
January ONE, 2018: It's a new year, and let me be one of the first few hundred to wish you New Year prosperity..
I'm sure that by now you have heard the phrase a few times.. Happy New Year!
And in the immortal words of Col. Potter.. "May she be a damn sight better than the last one.."
I guess I have that hope every year.. That the next year will be better than the last.. But if you are living in the United States, and I don't care who you are.. Last year was pretty good..
Don't make me explain why.. Because I can.. At great length..
As a matter of fact, we are about the luckiest folks on the planet.. And we have discussed that before..
Yes, even you democrats have it pretty good.. You are still living indoors.. No jack booted thugs are hunting you down.. We are not hanging gays in the streets.. And your Obammacare and welfare checks are still working..
It's all good.. So sit back and enjoy the financial blessings that are being thrust upon you..
I was wondering the other day if any of the girls/chicks/women/workplace associates and or other folks of the female persuasion (sometimes it is hard to tell these days) could accuse me of sexual harassment..
I guess anybody could, but I know it would never be true.. I did assault some bull calves when I was younger.. I guess cutting their nuts off would qualify..
Now a days we just use rubber bands.. But they still ain't crazy about it..
What ever happened to the good old days when guys and gals could/would look at each other, and if there was any mutual attraction, sometimes things would work out where they could have a consenting adult relationship.
Like the guys ever had to be persuaded.. Women do wield great power over men, especially young men, who think with their balls.. Controlling sex is a basic tool.. Sometimes controlled by men, but not super common I would think..
At least since we quit carrying clubs..
I was there when I was younger, but fortunately I made it past the stage of thinking that every woman was available.
(I did not say that every woman was available, I said I was thinking that every woman was..)
But when you mix power, fame, ambition, talent, money, and opportunity into a relationship..
Well things can get pretty dicey.. And a relationship can be ten minutes or a lifetime..
Yes, sexual harassment.. Is the religion of the day.. I'm not saying that it is ever right, if you are truly being harassed.. But if somebody felt your bra strap thirty years ago..
I am damn tired of hearing about it.. Why is it so important now but it wasn't back then?
Let's put a cut off date on it and and say that all complaints have to be registered by the end of January..
Some of you might get pissed at me.. I know there are a few women that read this page..
And if you have truly been harassed by some asshole, I hope you get your pound of flesh..
How the hell did I get on this.. Nuff said..
It's a new year, and I reckon a lot of folks have made some new years resolutions. That shit never works..
I do make some new years intentions..
I intend to think about what I say a bit when it comes to personal relationships.. Instead of just blurting out the first thing the comes to thought.
But dammit, sometimes shit just jumps out of my mouth before I can stifle it.. So I don't try too hard..
Sometimes shit just jumps out of my fingers onto this blog..
Ah.. That's a rarity.. But it does happen..
I intend to use the F word less on this page.. Unless it is really fuckin' funny..
I started this blog back in 2007.. And for four years I never even used the word, "shit."
Ah the degradation.. It seems I have followed society down the wormhole..
One of my buddies told me I might have trouble keeping it fresh.. Back when I was writing for the Castroville.com website.. Once a month.. In 2000..
Nah, I never been short on words.. Spoken or typed..
I could seriously write a column every day.. If I had the time.. (I type seven words a minute..)
Cause there is always something to write about. Whether local or national or regional there is always something to talk about..
Or offer opinion on.. It's such fun.
On another subject, (finally) you remember the big fish kill behind the construction dam at the new Veleno bridge.. And all the shit stirred up about it.. (Ok, I was doing most of the shit stirring.)
Anyway the contractor doing the bridge work had agreed to donate some work at our pavilion down at the county ramp. And I am glad to say that work is progressing that will make the giant cover accessible and much more friendly to weigh ins, and I believe that a drive thru weigh in will be do-able, although the access road is not as long as I would have liked..
Of course we had to get the EPA involved in order to clear a patch of land as big as your den, so we could make sure there was no bladder weed growing on it..
Thanks to TPWD for coordinating the construction with the county and the contractor.. And the EPA.. Yes.. It did take a while..
So hopefully we will be using the facility for which it was designed in the near future.. Only took six years.. Since it was built..
The new Sharelunker program starts today..
Newsflash! Your fishing ain't gonna change.. We are not going to catch more big fish than we ever did.. We are not going to grow them faster than we ever did.
But you might get a ribbon if you catch a eight pounder..
This new program has, however expanded on what it was good at.. Publicity.. And that ain't a bad thing if you are in the business of attracting folks to Texas to fish.
And hey.. I'm all for it.. I'm the fishing business..
But quit blowing smoke up my ass and spreading rumors that the SL program grows bigger fish..
Cause we all know that is bullshit..
I'll stick with four for the O/U this year.. The years of double digit teenagers is history..
I'll let you know if anything changes..
You know the weather around here has been freakin' lousy for three weeks.. Maybe longer.. We see the sun less than Charles Manson did..
And right now we are in the grip of some bad ass cold shit that won't let go.. There is ice on my desk.. Errr.. Deck.. And tonight is the cold night of the week.. This ain't right.. This is south Texas and I am supposed to be wearing short britches and putting on sunblock and swatting mosquitoes. And catching spawning fish.. It is January after all..
And I am going crazy being stuck in this igloo..
So yesterday I put on some panty hose and all the clothes I had and went out for a couple of hours in the cold drizzle and hid under the Veleno bridge just so I could say I had fished the last month of 2017..
Barely.. I caught four crappie.. Four white bass.. And this pregnant pot bellied fish that ate my 1.5 inch crappie jig..
Took a minute on six pound test.. This fish was 16 inches long and weighed five pounds.
I hate cold.. But these fish are ready to pop I am telling you and when we get a bit of warm weather (probably about June) these fish are heading to the bank..
Jimmy Steed took out Tomas and his Grandpa, and he caught a new PB that weighed 7.92. His Grandpa also a caught a goodun or two.. Only sunny day of the month..
And Zach Seils caught this 9 pounder last week.. Yeah.. That's rain gear...
Well I got so much more to say.. And I will in the coming year.. Lord Willing..
And I hope that you and yours have a great 2018, and that all your expectations are exceeded. I know it can't happen for all of us, but I hope it happens for you!
Falcon is gonna be some fun shit this spring.. So make your reservations now.. And have no reservations about making your reservations..
Happy New Year!
And We Will see you on the water!
December 27, 2017: Trapped.. Trapped like rats.. Or so the story goes..
This shit ain't supposed to happen to us down here. I don't think we have seen the sun since October..
And it don't look like we are going to be seeing it this week either..
This is bullshit..
There are only so many quilt racks, gun racks, plant stands, and coffee tables I can build before I need to get my ass outside.. I feel like a factory worker in Michigan..
I have some of the finest rain gear in the world.. And you know why it is in such good condition?
Cause I never use the shit.. And I ain't about to start using it now..
We are supposed to be in the seventies and eighties..
Water temps had slipped to the very low sixties, and I bet after yesterday and today you will be lucky if you can find any water in the sixties.
And if the water gets in the middle fifties, and stays there very long, you might as well stay at home and play with Mama.. Or your new X-Box you got for Christmas..
Long as somebody has a hold of your joy-stick..
There are a few fishermen of questionable fortitude that are in town this week, even though they saw the forecast.
I guess I should not question their fortitude.. Maybe their sanity..
But when you have time off.. You have time off..
And dammit, I said we were going fishing.. And they are..
I did speak to a couple of folks that fished yesterday.. And today makes yesterday look like a good fishing day..
And they said they caught a lot of fish. I did not hear about any whoppers. But several fours and fives..
I heard there were five rigs at the state park yesterday.. And about the same here in town..
I haven't been on the water in a week, and it ain't looking too good for this week either. Saturday looks like a possibility.. We'll see.
The big fish I have been hearing about, are all full of eggs and bellied up. And some of them are amazingly shallow.. Well on other lakes it would be amazing..
But not here.. There are fish wanting to spawn.. And they are checking out some areas in which to do it.. And when the water bounces back a few degrees.. It's gonna be game on..
I know you think I am crazy.. But I can accept that..
I'm telling you.. It's gonna happen..
The lake is holding steady at 284.28, in spite of a slight increase in release rates. Hell if I know what they are doing.. Or planning..
All the ramps are good.. No hazards to speak of.. It's all good..
When you see a warm window.. You might want to get your ass down here..
I'll keep you posted.. If I can chip the fuckin ice off my keyboard...
Happy New Year!!
December 20, 2017: Well here we are five days till Christmas.. Almost time to hang the new calendar on the wall.
It's been an interesting year here in Zapata, with a lot of happenings, least of which is the twenty two plus feet of new water in the lake. It is awesome.
As we speak there are a lot of fish that are full of eggs, and some of them are getting a little antsy about spawning. Believe it or not. But that is not really unusual for Falcon.
Cover abounds and we should have a good rate of survival of the fry this year, a complete reversal of last years fortune.
Let's hope the water needs of the valley will not be too severe this spring. It is wet down there now, and I hope the rains we have enjoyed will continue into the spring.. Time will tell but things are looking good right now.
We are going to be having a few good days the rest of this week, and I am thinking some nice prespawn fish will be caught the next few days.
I finally made it back on the lake yesterday for a couple of hours, and we ran into a few fish, but nothing to brag about..
Of course we ran into a school of big white bass.. And that took an hour or so..
I'm headed to the ranch for a few days, and I just wanted to to wish you a Merry Christmas.
I hope you get to spend some time with family and friends, and I hope your plans include remembering what this day is all about.
Christmas can be a stressful time for many, and my life is certainly not without drama either.
But I hope you can let Jesus take the wheel for a while and enjoy your time off. I certainly intend to..
We'll see you when you get here..
God Bless you! and
December 18, 2017:
My Sun, My Sun..
Why have you forsaken me?
I long to feel your rays warming my skin..
To slip on my Costas,
And tug down the brim of my hat.
To feel your heat, burning through my T-shirt,
As I work a bank from east to west..
To pick at the exfoliating skin, as it peels off my arms,
After an overexposure..
Oh, to smell the pungent odor,
Of SPF 50...
And sweat like a twenty dollar hooker,
In the back seat of a Nash Rambler..
My Sun, My Sun,
Please make me aware,
That your balmy presence
still exists in my life..
So I may shed my tattered coat,
And get my ass,
Back in my boat..
Two weeks.. Two freaking weeks and I have not been on the water..
Could I have gone? Sure.. But I am not a fucking goldfish..
I am really starting to get a case of the redass..
I will have to say, however, that those that have braved the wind, cold, and rain have done surprisingly well..
Last week I was saying how Matt Reed had a monster day. Well he has had a couple more and so has John Adami.
Evidently these fish are different that the Falcon fish I knew.. The ones that said Un-uh to biting what I was throwing back in the day when I would actually fish days like these..
But in all honesty, I don't remember fishing many days like these, at least not in the last five years..
I ain't go to.. So I ain't doing it..
People ask me why I don't guide.. The last two weeks is a pretty good reason..
From what I hear, the fish are concentrated in some areas, and scattered out in the rest. If you can find one of these pods of fish, you can get fat in a hurry..
But they ain't everywhere..
The south end of the lake is still where it is at..
Think creek channel edges like we have been saying for months..
Throwing a mid depth crankbait or a big spinnerbait in about eight feet of water has been a very productive method of putting fish in the boat as of late.
As you can imagine, we
have not seen a lot of fishermen around here as of late..
Cain't say I blame them.. But the fish are biting.. If you will brave the elements..
You let me know how it goes..
I have some wood projects in the shop I need to finish before Christmas.. And I got a heater..
Here are a couple of fish that were caught during the blizzard.. These are John's clients.. But I have seen a lot more pics of decent fish as well.. Good numbers of four to eight pound fish being caught..
And I apologize for no name and weight on this beastie..
Well yall get your ass down here when you can.. Or when you can stand the weather..
And I'll see you on the water .. If the sun shines..
December 12, 2017: It is cool but fishable around these parts.. The last few mornings have been in the forties and highs have made it to almost seventy.. And that is what is in store for the next week it appears.. Forties to around seventy..
I'd like it a lot better if it started out at seventy..
Water temps have rebounded a bit to the middle sixties the last two days and under the Veleno bridge it was 65° yesterday . Some parts of the lake are slightly cooler..
The lake level continues to creep up.. And I mean creep.. We are at 283.89 this morning, or 17.31 feet low.
The lake looks absolutely awesome.. What else can I say..
Oh Yeah.. I can say that the fishing is pretty damn good.. And for some, a few fantastic days have been experienced..
The wind was a factor last Saturday, and from what I heard, the Quality Bass Club leader only had either fourteen or seventeen pounds after fishing day one.. But the wind was a bitch and no one ventured out of Government or state park cove I hear.
On Sunday the conditions were much better.. But I have no details..
I did talk to Matt Reed on Sunday.. And while I was testing my elbow (The golfing one.. Not the drinking one) at the course, he was having a banner day on the water.
He says that they had thirty fish over five pounds, with an eight and a nine mixed in..
When I heard that I was thinking to myself (because I would never say it out loud) that that sounds like a load of bullshit..
But to my surprise it was corroborated and sworn to.. So I guess I am going to believe it..
Most of these fish were caught on mid running crankbaits in creek channels, not necessarily in the bushes.. I reckon the cooler water has run the fish out of the trees a bit into slightly deeper water.
Falcon has been fishing good.. But not that good.. I need more info..
All this happened on the south end of the lake of course.
I will have to say that I have heard a few decent reports from the upper end of the lake the last few days. But I have also heard some shitty ones..
So I am going to say that the top of the lake has gone from the dead sea to a hit and miss possibility.. The fish have to move back into these creeks sooner or later.. But I have personally had no luck up here..
I have not been on the water in eight days. So I have no first hand info to pass along. You know that cold and James are like oil and water.. We try not to be in the same place at any one time..
But if it clears up and the sun pops out I will have to give it a try..
Especially if I hear any more reports like the one above..
There are very few people in town currently, and I have not spoken to many fishermen. Lots of hunters and Snow Birds.. But not a lot of fishermen..
The white bass are stacked under the Veleno bridge, but few crappie are being caught under there.. They have moved to the bushes so I hear.. Which ones? Well that's your job..
These three young fellows went out catfishing with weenies and shrimp yesterday.. Close to Lakefront lodge.. And here's their first bite of the day.. Thirty minutes later..
I am sorry but I missed the names.. I did hear that it was a personal best though..
So if you get your Christmas shopping done and still have some vacation time to burn, you ought to get your ass down here..
You might find some surprises under the tree..
The Retama tree.. See you on the water!
December 9, 2017: WTF Zapata?
I ain't saying I ain't seen it before.. But Zapata county rarely gets enough snow to build a snowman.. Although this is a miniature version.. But if you look close you can see that there is three to four inches of accumulation on top of this trailer..
This pic was taken just east of San Ygnacio. In Zapata itself we did not have quite as much.. But it did cover roofs in several locations..
But definitely an oddity around here..
Believe it or not there were a few brave souls that fished yesterday in the blustery north winds, and reports were a lot better than I would have thought.
What is a bit concerning is that water temps went from 73° on Monday, to 63° yesterday..
But I guess we need the water to cool down a bit before it warms up a bit to get these ladies in the lovin' mood..
Quality Bass Club is in town with about eight to ten fishermen, and I am sure I will get a report on what happens today this evening.
All it takes this morning is Big Balls, and Overalls..
Cause it is about 40° out there right now.. And if you stand on the skinny pedal.. Well that temp is gonna nosedive..
I'll let you know what happens.. But these Falcon fish can get a little uppity when the water gets cold..
See you on the water! After it warms up a bit..
December 7, 2017: I know I said I would write more often.. But I have been busy..
Are we busy in the store? Not really.. Although a few folks did come down last week to enjoy the fabulous weather and the good fishing. Last week..
And there were a lot of fish caught. Last week.. Before this bullshit weather moved in.. This week..
It is not too often that we have snow in the forecast here in Zapata.. But it has been mentioned by a lot of folks that predict weather for a living.. But we know how good they are at that..
They still have the Astros as underdogs to win it all..
I have been in the deer blind all week thinking that this frozen tundra shit would get the deer stirred up.. And it did to an extent.. But you cain't kill a monster if he don't exist..
More on that later..
Last week I did not get back to the computer as I was fishing my ass off.. And yes Virginia I caught them pretty good.. Some days better than others..
I fished four days out of six and the weather could not have been better.. Low winds and temps in the eighties.. Now that is what winter in Zapata is supposed to be.. Not this bullshit that has my nuts shrunk up to the size of a native pecan..
I hate the cold..
Anyway, three of the four days I fished, I fished the south end of the lake, mainly from the Benavides to the Salanaias.. I had intentions of fishing the Tigers and a few creeks south, but did not make it there..
Yes, cause I was having too much fun in Salsa Land..
Oh I forgot.. I did fish last Sunday morning on the Texas side between Bob's Knob and Pierce's..
And yes I whacked em pretty decent on a spinnerbait in about four to six feet of water.. Best one going about four pounds but not one of the fish I caught was not a keeper.. And I found one sweet spot about the size of the average back yard that had a bunch of fish in it.. This cold wind has probably scattered them to the four winds..
But I am sure I will have to go check on them when the ice breakers can make it that far south..
Two of my trips last week were to the south west end of the lake like I said.. And both trips we did not wear out a clicker counter, but we did manage to catch some quality fish. The kind that still keep me fired up about going fishing.
I caught a couple of fives and a few three to four pound fish, but more importantly than that, I caught a bad case of anticipation..
And I am feeling like I am going to bust a big ole bitch any day.. Too many nice fish have been caught as of late and I know I'm gonna whack one as well..
Most of the fish we caught last week were in about eight to ten feet of water. A LOT of them were in the Retamas.. Good news is that there are a LOT of retamas.. You just gotta find the ones with fish in em..
The big hardwoods are still holding some fish, but not as good as they were the week before..
Of course all of this info is slightly out of date..
And with this weather change, all bets are off for the next few days.. It will be Sunday or Monday before I get the urge to get out there.. It's freakin cold..
Water temps were 72° when I last fished.. I am sure they have nosedived the last three days.. Daytime temps in the forties.. No sun for four days.. We'll be down in the low sixties on the surface in the next few days..
And you know Falcon bass love cold water..
But you do gotta remember.. This is south Texas and this shit won't last long..
Oh yeah.. I almost forgot.. And I'd like to..
My buddy Gary and I went out last week one day.. I think Wednesday.. And we went up the river to take our weekly ass beating..
And that's what happened..
We fished Whitehouse.. Texas Chapote.. The little creek just above Texas Chapote.. Mexican Chapote.. And Hedieona..
Five hours of fishing and we caught one fish.. That's not a typo.. Not one limit.. Not one double digit fish..
One fish.. And I have been in those creeks before.. I am fishing the good stuff.. I made a living out of those creeks for years..
And I can't believe they are treating me that badly..
But I am sure I will be back again, in there next week or so, hoping.. Praying.. Wishing for a miracle.. That some fish swim back in there.. Cause I am tired of going south every time I want to catch some fish..
And some folks have told me they caught some in some of those creeks.. Or maybe that is what I thought I heard them say.. Maybe I imagined it.. Maybe I am caught in a temporal time loop..
But I cain't catch em up there..
Anyway, it'll happen one of these days.. But it ain't yet.. Least not for me..
I sat in the deer blind for the last three days.. Saw a lot of deer but nothing that made me pick up the gun before I picked up the binoculars.. So nothing got dead..
But the rut is in full bloom at our place, and I got to hear a bunch of grunting, witnessed a few sparring matches between the young bucks, seen plenty of noses to the ground, and saw a bunch of does playing hard to get..
I did see a new buck, at least one that I have never seen before. He is about a twenty inch wide eight pointer with short tines and light horns.. And truth be told he probably needs to be shot..
But I was hunting for something better and did not see it..
But let me say something about Mr. eight pointer.. This son of a bitch has a set of nuts like a young brahma bull..
I have nick-named him Pancho Villa in honor of his big balls...
Like the song says, "I could have had him any day.." I'll let one of my nephews take him out..
With all the shit in the news today about sexual harassment, it is a wonder that anything at all can get done at work..
I think it is best that maybe we separate the women from the men so that this kind of stuff doesn't happen..
I say let the women go to work. I'd much rather stay at home and cook and watch the kids and wash women's underwear than deal with all the bullshit that goes along with having a job.. I have had a real job.. Several of them..
Looking back I am gonna say that they all sucked.. But I didn't know any better..
I understand that women want equality.. I always thought they had it.. I certainly did not take it away from them.
And equality don't mean that women and men are the same.. That will never ever be.. In case you have not noticed the subtle differences between the two..
But they also need to understand what they give up when they jump out into corporate America.
And maybe not think only about what they are going to gain..
I am sure I am prejudiced because I am a man..
But I love you ladies. Which ever way you decide to go..
And I hope that if I pay you a compliment it is not misconstrued as sexual harassment..
What did the girls that went up to Weinstein's room at three in the morning think was on the agenda.. Did they think these were normal business hours?
The guy may be a pig.. I don't know.. But it sounds like he is..
But the women that went to "see" him must have been pretty ambitious.. and/or ignorant.. or willing to trade.. At least at the time.. Who knows their mind set? I guess it sounds like a lot of them "saw" more than they wanted..
I am certainly not condoning his behavior. But come on ladies..
What were you truly expecting.. Of course most actresses are young democrats/socialists so you can't expect their intelligence levels to be too high..
It is alleged that his practices were widely known.. But you went anyway..
To those of you who went without knowing a single thing about the man.. To you I apologize. This should never happen..
To the rest of you.. Sounds like a quid pro quo to me..
Why do I even care.. I love to see Hollywood eating their own..
And I love to see the democrats doing the same..
While we're on politics.. President Trump has stated the the new embassy in Israel will be built in Jerusalem..
It was supposed to be done for the last twenty five years.. But we were afraid it might upset the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis..
What peace process??
These fuckers have been fighting for centuries, and will be fighting for centuries to come. And if we are dumb enough to believe the the US can stop it.. Then we'll get what we deserve..
The only way you will get peace between the two is to eliminate one.. And that is not going to happen either.
Well I better get back to work.. Whatever that might consist of today..
It's snowing in Del Rio.. And headed our way!
I didn't sign up for this shit!
November 28, 2017: Yes I am still alive.. Yes the fishing is still good.. Yes I ate too much turkey..
I can yestify to all the above..
And yes I have been fishing.. The last two days.. After being stuck in the store for the two before that.. On two beautiful days I might add.. Although the last two days have been pretty darn nice as well..
Sunday was not predicted to be so good.. But after lunch it turned of gorgeous.. And the fish bit!
Yesterday morning the fish did not bite as good, but I still managed a five and a three and a few other rats..
On Sunday afternoon the fish were really eating and I caught a four and a half and we had a bunch of nice two and a half to four and a half pound fish.
Salanaias of course.. Yesterday my best fish came from the Benavides.. I guess that is because that is the only water I have fished lately..
I need to get to the Tigers.. I hear it has really picked up in there..
My better fish are coming of hardwoods.. In about eight to ten feet of water.. And they ain't on every one..
But on Sunday afternoon, we caught a good number of quality fish out of the middle of the retamas.. I mean in the middle..
And you better be on your toes cause these bastards will wrap you up in a hurry.. You got to get them fuckers coming your way.. Or it is over as quick as it began..
If I had to tell you three things about fishing Falcon right now, I would tell you to fish the south half.. Fish depth changes.. And throw a Plum Ol Monster..
Easy as one, two, three..
Well Ok.. Over the weekend a few folks that were down did not do so well.. A couple of them said that fishing sucked..
And I understand that we can all have our off days.. It happens to me all the time..
But if you'll practice the three steps discussed above, you chances of sucking will be greatly reduced..
I'm not saying that the Ol Monster is the only bait out there.. A lizard is still catching fish as well..
The spinnerbait bite has sucked for me the last two days.. And I gave it a fair chance yesterday.. But they wadn't biting it..
Some fellows told me they killed em in the Tigers on senkos.. Shallow..
But like always.. It is about getting around the fish..
I still have had no good reports from the top half of the lake.. But I will be making my weekly exploratory trip on this end tomorrow or the next day to see if there is any change. But from the folks I know, and I know several, their fishing on this end has sucked..
This "sucking" seems to be a reoccurring theme in this report.. Anyway..
It did not suck when Don Horner caught this nine something this week..
Some of the fish we have been catching are fat as pigs, and I am sure a lot of them are building eggs. Like this pot-bellied pig from Sunday.
And let me tell you that these fish are about as feisty as an Bronx street hooker..
They are mean.. And they don't quit pulling till you get em out of the water.. Of course I am not singling out Bronx street hookers.. I know they have feelings too..
I hope all of you had a good Thanksgiving. I know that this time of year is loved by many, and dreaded by others.
Dealing with family can be interesting..
Oh the drama..
Christmas in now only 27 days away..
I'll try to write a bit more often.. But the fish are biting and the rut is on.. And I have to get fitted for a new Santa suit..
Busy times, my friends..
But you better take time to get your ass down here and catch some last of the year bass..
Or I'll have to catch em all..
See you on the water..
November 19, 2017: The big fish parade continues around here.. But it ain't me that is catching them.. Which ain't unusual..
Mark Pena caught this giant on Friday, and it went 12-4.. Mark ain't no stranger to big fish.. Seems like every year he whacks a DD plus..
Gary Dodak caught this 10-1 on Tuesday I think..
On Friday another eleven was caught but I have not received a certain e-mail I was promised just yet.. But I seen the pic..
And I have heard of a lot of other really nice fish caught over the last few days as well.
I took a buddy out yesterday ahead of the front, and we had a fun day and caught about 18-20 fish before 1:00 fishing the Benavides to the Salanaias. Our best fish was a 4.5 on a Plum Ol Monster. Caught a lot of fish on the POM..We even ran into a small school of schoolies in the Salanaias and caught and missed a bunch of those little bastards..
In any case, fishing has been pretty decent with mixed reports. But the best I can tell you is to Go South my son!
I am headed to the ranch this PM and will be in the deer blind for a few days and will celebrate Thanksgiving with the family.. Should be a tho' down..
I hope you get to spend some time with family and friends as well in the coming week, and we'd like to wish you and yours the best during the Holiday season.
And a big Thank You! for your business throughout the year..
And don't forget to thank God and everybody else that you are living in the best country that ever was conceived on this green earth.
Be careful out there on the roads and I'll see you back here on Friday morning.
Happy Thanksgiving! Now back away from that dressing!!
November 15, 2017: All is well in Zapata as we speed thru the month of November.. Remember a few weeks back when I said we'd be plucking a turkey before we knew it..
Well it is time to get the water hot..
Of course we are way past the barbarity of actually picking a turkey ourselves.. The Butterballs are hard to beat..
Especially with those little thingys that pop out when you know they are ready..
Wish they'd invent one of them for a woman.. Just so us neanderthals would know..
I mean, after all.. A man has one..
Fishing continues to be good.. Especially on the south end of the lake. Much to my chagrin..
I have been spending some time in the creeks above Zapata, and in the Salado.. But my results have been less than spectacular. But when it happens.. I want in early..
I have River Rat stenciled on my ass..
I have had a decent outing or two up here, but if I had a day to fish and the wind was not kicking up, I would still be fishing in the Salanaias.
And nobody is more tired of hearing that than me.. Hell, I'm tired of typing it..
If anything has changed, it is the variety of baits that have been used to catch fish.. A couple of weeks ago I would have said that you needed to throw a spinnerbait or a lizard to catch fish. In fact, I did..
But these days, a Texas rigged worm is as good as any. I am partial to the Plum Ol Monster.. But the Plum Apple or Junebug has been good as well. Put it on a 5/16 tungsten and get to fishin'.
Of course I have been told that a Super Fluke in Watermelon something is working good. And a Baby Brush Hog there ain't nothing wrong with either.
Fact is that your favorite will probably catch em if you're around em.. And sometimes size does matter..
And smaller is a size..
Now don't get me wrong.. A spinnerbait and a lizard will still catch them..
Some folks are throwing a spinnerbait pretty much exclusively.
I talked to a couple of guys over the weekend that said they used six packs of Ol Monsters in one day..
That's my kind of fishing..
Creek channel edges are still the shit.. If you position your boat in casting distance from brush while you are sitting in the creek, odds are you are going to be bringing your bait thru the area and depth where the fish are hanging out.This is working well in a lot of the creeks on the south end of the lake.. And it is starting to up north in some of these creeks.
And after a bit you can fine tune the depth that the fishies are wanting to be that day. Usually it corresponds to the depth where the baitfish are hanging out..
In a nutshell, that's the pattern most productive right now..
This fish was caught by Rick Vannett this week.. It went 9-3. And there have more like it..
In other news..
Big schools of crappie have collided with several fishermen while throwing a small spinnerbait. And some of them have been magnums.
I have heard that Government cove and the Salanaias have both had a bunch of crappie in them. And you'll probably run into them by accident..
One crappie don't mean much.. But if you catch two in a row.. They's probably a party goin' on in that spot.. If you are interested. Hard to beat when subjected to hot grease..
The crappie under the Veleno bridge have slowed way down. But you can still catch a mess if you put in some time.. Eggs in many that have met the knife are very mature and it is my guess that a lot of these fish have headed to the shallower bushes in preparation for spawning..
We have a bit of an Indian Summer going on around here.. These Falcon fish of all species do it when they take the notion..
I went out yesterday afternoon with the guys from PAW to do our fall shocking survey. And they are still at it today.
We shocked from Bob's Knob north yesterday, making about eight stops before it got late. Many places we stopped did not produce much. Two places produces bass in some numbers. Two places produced no bass..
Biggest thing we brought up was one a bit over five pounds, here in the Veleno. We did find one spot that I am going to have to explore farther.. I will report..
But in years past, in places where we have shocked up good numbers, I have had very little luck catching fish.. So it has had little impact on my fishing.. But it has always intrigued me as to why I can't catch em where we found em..
Could be that it was because they had lightning bolts shooting out of their ass a few days earlier.
And being the genius I am, whenever we pull up to a spot, I always render a prediction as to whether we will see a lot of fish. And shit I think looks fishy as hell rarely produces much of consequence. And sometimes do-nothin lookin' water is loaded with fish..
Hell if I know.. Just reinforces the fact that I don't know shit about fishing..
We did see lot of shad.. Gizzard and Threadfin. Some tiny.. Some whoppers.. And lots of good eatin' sized.. For the bass..
We have cover galore, and all I can say is that currently we have a lot of hiding places for the bass. And everything else.
The lake is holding pretty steady and we have actually caught an inch or so in the last week. We are sitting at 283.13.
Water temperature is about 71° all over the lake.
It's all good! Come and see us!
November 7, 2017: I have been going to write a fishing report for the last couple of days.. But frankly I have been kind of disheartened and downright pissed off.
No, not about the fishing.. But about the shooting at the church in Sutherland Springs.. And I am sure that many of you are feeling the same way, and I know that some of you live in and near the area where this happened.
And honestly I have no words to describe the way I feel.
We have a lot of customers that come from the area and all I can say is that we cry with you.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the community and the families that have been affected by this senseless atrocity. And all Texans. And all Americans. This shit has got to stop.
There is no easy or quick solution to this problem. And I certainly don't have any cures that come to mind.
There is no way that anyone in their right mind could ever do such a thing. And that's the problem we have. Mental illness.
Although some may speak to gun control as as a cure all for these events, we all know that someone with intent can do great damage with any number of devices. As we have seen all too often as of late.
The problem is not the method.. It is the individual.
I grew up in a small town where everybody knows everybody. And I can certainly imagine what the community is feeling. But imagining what you are going through and experiencing it are two different things.
And I am sorry to say that about all I can do is pray for you and your community.
And rest assured that I, and millions of other Americans are doing the same.
The fishing on Falcon is steadily improving, and the decent to excellent fishing is moving up the lake. A couple weeks ago I would have told you that The Salanaias was the only sure bet on the lake. And it certainly has been getting its share of attention.. And rightly so.. It is still cranking out the numbers and a bunch of quality fish.
But in the last couple of weeks the midlake has started to produce a lot more fish, and for some folks that have figured them out, the numbers have been excellent..
And another note about the Salanaias.. There has certainly been a lot of boat traffic in there as of late. But there has been some questionable boat traffic reported in there as well.. So pay attention to your surroundings. If you feel uncomfortable in an area, move on..
I have personally been in there a lot, and have seen nothing of note. But that don't mean that the import business has stopped.. So just be aware when you are in there.. I told you I'd tell you what I know.. And I really don't know anything, but a couple of boats reported suspicious activity, but had no contact with anyone..
The pattern, if there is one, is that fish are on drops and brush lines with drops. The retama is the most prevalent green stuff in the water, and it is the thorniest, nastiest, grab everything bush/tree ever.
But the fish are sure hanging around it.
Hardwoods, big and small, also have had a lot of fish on and in them.
It ain't rocket science folks.. Just get close to a creek channel and fish the cover.. Keep your boat in eight to twelve feet of water and knock the bugs off the trees.. And there are a lot of bugs in the trees..
A few weeks ago the spinnerbait was the go to shit, but these days it seems that a soft plastic is working as good or better.. And we have sold every kind of bait as of late.. Long as it is watermelon something..
The green with some chartreuse on the tip is a great choice.. Although yesterday we whacked em pretty good on the Plum Ol Monster.. Go figure..
I have heard of hard baits working and even buzzbaits.. Funny as it sounds, a lot of these fish have been chasing dragonflies, and where that is happening you can catch some fish on a topwater.. For what it is worth..
There is a lot of dragonfly sex going on out there.. What a way to go..
Here's a few pics from the last week.. There have been a lot of nice fish caught..
Ed Knoll caught this 9.06 in the Tigers.
Frank Deviney caught this one last Saturday..
Blake Martinez caught his personal best last week.. 8-13..
Paula Nelson caught this 5.11 PB as well.. Ladies always get a break around here..
And our buddy Carter Williams caught this 9-6 over the weekend as well.. Along with a couple of other fives and sixes..
And John Buffalo caught this 10-3 on a spinnerbait a few days back..
Lots of good fish have been caught of late.. I've seen a couple but my landing the fish skills are apparently degraded..
I do believe the top of the lake is starting to show sign of awakening. But it is not exactly what I would call good as of yet.. As a matter of fact, I'd place the paddles between the the Salado and the Hedieona and yell clear!
I spent an two hours in the Salado on Monday and never took the bat off my shoulder.. Did a little better up on this end yesterday.. But it don't compare to Pierces/Coyotes south..
Deer season is now open, and I am having my annual month of confliction.. The fishing is good.. But I want to sit in the blind.. I ain't killed a deer in a year... But hell I cain't eat the shit anyway.. Instant gout connection.. And I ain't interested..
But I wouldn't mind putting some horns on the wall.. My kids love deer meat.. Decisions, decisions..
Tommy's kids put the smackdown on a cull buck last Saturday.. And this is what it looks like now..
Well actually it is a lot smokier than that now and is drying as we speak..
Samples at FLT forthcoming..
Yall better get down here and get you some of these fish.. It's been good.. It's not 'quit your job' good yet.. But it's coming..
And Oh Yeah! How Bout Them Astros! Congrats to the team and all you life long waiting for a championship fans!
See yall soon.. But a cool front is on the way.. Fishing will suck for a couple of days with the wind.. Think I'll head for the ranch..
This weekend should be good.. I'll be back and I'll see you then..
October 31, 2017: The end of the month has rolled around.. Again.. The older I get the faster it happens.. Or so it seems.. And the older I get, the crankier I get.. And less likely to tolerate a bunch of bullshit..
But hey.. I'm a friendly guy...
Of course today is halloween, and as freaky and fucked up as today's society is, there are probably more folks excited about today than there are about Easter.. It is truly a scary world out there. Just look around you..
If you walk thru a mall (I'm pulling this out of thin air.. I ain't been in one in twenty years..) you'd think every day was halloween.. The way people dress and their particular affliction for body art.. I don't get it man..
And I am not too sure about your chances for employment if you have a fender from a 55 Chevy stuck through your eyebrow and a tattoo across your neck that says, "Hit it and pass it to the right.."
Or you could have the big red lips tattoo on you neck so everyone knows you are a playah...
Let me translate what those tattoos mean for you..
"I will work the rest of my life for minimum wage..."
I know you just need to be you man.. But there needs to be a balance between the cost of tattoos and deodorant..
Like I said, it is a freak show out there.. And the only thing that sucks more than Dracula is the fishing up the river..
You remember fishing right?
The creeks off the river no longer look like witches brew, and actually they look great.. You can see into the water at least a foot in most of them, and in some places even more.. I'm not saying you could see a coffin billed crankbait four feet down.. But it is looking good..
I went into the first creek above Beacon yesterday morning, what is actually old Zapata, and spinnerbaited about a mile of shoreline and creek channel edges that look exactly like the water on the south end of the lake, and caught nothing..
Not even an eye of newt, or toe of frog..
So after an hour of that, I picked up a buddy at Beacon and we headed up the river.. To the Chapote creek on the Mexican side..
And the water in there looks awesome.. First pitch into a hardwood and Bam! I caught a three pounder..
The dreaded first cast jinx.. We fished another hour in there and only caught one more dink, and I had a tail tugger.. And we fished all the awesome rock bluffs and hardwoods that line them.. It just looks too good not to have a fish on every one.. But it don't.. At least not biting fish..
We headed to Texas Chapote and fished the rock ledge at the mouth on the south side.. Looks awesome.. But the fish don't think so.. The shad were thicker than maggots on a corpse.. But it didn't matter..
So we headed to my favorite creek on the planet.. Hedieona.. And fished two of my favorite points/ledges without a bite.. The fish certainly were not gobblin...
But the ghosts of trips past certainly were present, cause every time I throw a Mag Fluke on that one ledge in there, I get the feeling that something big could happen.. But it didn't..
And about that time I was out of silver bullets, so we headed for the trailer.. Although the fishing was poor, we enjoyed the morning and we were still in good spirits.. But we drove a stake thru the heart of the trip and called it a day..
Glad that is over with..
Now the south end of the lake is a different story.. And it is not a horror story..
The Salanaias is the best thing going from all reports.. We caught a lot of fish down there last week as well, and there have been some good quality and lots of numbers being caught. Six and seven pound fish have been pretty common, with an occasional whopper being landed.
A chartreuse and white spinnerbait in 3/4 ounce is about as good as it gets.. I had a split tail chartreuse trailer on mine and they ate the shit out of it.. But like usual our biggest fish was a three and a half..
I must have the bigger fish spooked..
And it ain't just me catching fish down south.. Lots of folks are..
Lizards and Mag Flukes are also catching some fish, and that damn white swim jig with a swimming tail on it has caught a lot of fish as well.
Some of these fish will knock the rod out of your hand..
The Tigers is also putting out some fish, as is Government cove and State Park..
I recommend that you launch down at the State Park, and fish that end.. Stop by the store and we'll talk specifics..
The crappie are still good on anything concrete..
Catfish are just stupid..
And white bass may show up anywhere at any time..
Deer season starts this weekend.. And I'm gonna have to be here at work.. I'd rather wait till it cools off a bit anyway.. But I am sure Tommy's son and/or son in law will dirt nap something on Saturday morning, and by Sunday evening there will be some meat hanging in the smokehouse..
Don't know why I am so excited.. I can just imagine some backstrap or a ring of sausage and my gout flares up.. Guess I will just be hunting horns..
They say you can make a soup out of those horns and it will bolster your boner.. Everything else from a deer makes me swell up.. Shit it probably does work..
I was at the ranch last weekend and the deer are thicker than fleas.. And we seem to be shooting less than we ever have..
With the grandkids coming of age, we built a new family deer blind this year.. I hope the county appraiser don't see it on the satellite.. Forgot to camo the roof..
It's not as big as some I have seen, but it does have split bedrooms and a bath downstairs..
I also checked out a few of my rifles on the bench..
I bought a 204 Ruger last year.. And I know a bunch of you think this thing is a squirrel gun.. But it is the best shooting son of a bitch I have had in years.. And I am gonna do some lasic on a couple of spikes I have seen on camera..
Last year I got invited on a doe kill em all hunt on a MLD north of Amistad.. And we salted the roads and were taking care of business.. And we had a little plumbing issue and we had to go to the top of a mountain and shut the water off from a cistern that fed the ranch from up there.
And while we were there, my host and I looked down from our lofty perch and saw a nanny way the fuck off eating on a road we had fed earlier..
And the only rifle we had with us was that 204.. I asked him how far away that deer was.. And he said, "I don't know.. But it's a poke.."
So I figured, what the shit... I held over her about a half body freehanded and turned one loose..
And after the flight time, she dropped in her tracks..
He looked at me and said, "I'm going to be hearing about this shit for the rest of my life, ain't I?"
And so far, he has.. Later ranged at 364 yards..
That was a 40 grain Hornaday right thru the heart..
Enough braggin'.. But Like I have said.. I have always been lucky..
And you can get lucky too.. Get your ass down here and get you some..
And let's hope the Astros get them some tonight!
October 23, 2017: It was a fairly busy weekend around here compared to late.. And it is good to see folks back out on the water.
I went by the county ramp yesterday morning about ten, and there were thirty rigs in the parking lot. Certainly more than I have seen in quite some time.
Over the weekend, Texas Classic Bass Club was in town, and they had some of the best results I have seen in quite some time. They fished a two man team format, and the leaders on Saturday had over thirty six pounds!
Second place after day one was twenty four and change. I have not received a final report as of yet.. And if you fished the tourney and have that info please pass it along..
After all.. Inquiring minds want to know.
There were several other thirty plus stringers caught over the weekend as well.
Where and what I guess you'll be wanting to know.. And from what I heard, the best stringers came out of the Salanaias.. On swimbaits and spinnerbaits.
Several of our local guides caught them good on the blades over the weekend as well..
In any case, the south end of the lake is still fishing head and shoulders better than the north end. And the water looks awesome down that way. When you look across the lake it kinda looks selsun blue..
You don't have to be too suave to catch the fish either.. The fishing down there has been pretty prell... I mean swell..
And if you hook a big one you might get some swelling in your johnson and johnson..
Don't forget your line conditioner..
White and chartreuse, and white are still the best choices for the spinnerbaits. A swimbait like the Skinny Dipper or the Rage Tail Swimmer that is light or white in color are good choices as well.
I have heard of folks using weighted hooks, a swimming jig, or pegging a small worm weight against the nose of those swim baits.. Any or all of them will work..
Were we prepared for this swimbait mania on Falcon here at FLT?
Uh.. Not really.. But we are about there now.. There has been some innovating going on around here..
Necessity is the mother of invention..
But mostly it is just a mother..
I am so wanting the top of the lake to turn on.. But it ain't there from 95% of all reports.. I did talk to someone that caught four fish in the Hedieona the other day..
And then again a guide buddy of mine spent three hours in the Salado yesterday and did not catch a fish..
I know all them bastards did not swim to the dam.. We were still catching fish in the Salado before the rise.. And some days we were whacking them in the woods across from the Veleno.. Where all these fuckers went I do not know..
But they are going to show up somewhere soon I do know.. And when I find them I will let you know.. But it ain't happened yet..
The crappie are still doing pretty good under the bridge.. It is not lights out.. But if you get out there early and work at it, you can usually catch a limit in a couple of hours or so..
I went and caught a bakers dozen to cook at lunch on Friday. Hard to beat once you get em shucked and fried..
All of the females are building eggs, and one fish I cleaned had a mature set of eggs in her.. So like the bass, I guess these fish will go and do the deed when they take a notion..
Conditions are good, and I look forward to seeing a monster crappie hatch this spring. With great survival..
Don't forget, there is going to be a Alligator Gar tourney this Saturday held down at the state park.. You must fish from a boat, and any legal means of capture will be allowed.. Call Joe Cortez for details at 956-739-5751.
Hopefully Saturday will be a good day to stick a few..
The lake is holding pretty steady, and we are coming up just a scosch every couple of days. We are at 282.62, which equivilates to 18.58 feet low..
Well not watching the NFL on TV has become pretty easy for me.. Especially when the wind ain't blowing..
But that wadn't the case yesterday.. It wasn't howling, but it was predicted to.. Maybe.. So I chickened out and stayed in bed till 8:30.. And that felt pretty damn good..
But dealing with the boredom yesterday gave me a fit, so I turned on the TV to see what other crap was on..
I had the choice of Desperate Housewives.. The Cardashians.. The Dead.. The Walking Dead.. Fear The Walking Dead.. Return Of The Walking Dead.. Zombies.. Return of the Zombies.. And The Dead Zombies Return..
Who watches this shit? I hope the San Andreas Fault swallows up Hollywierd.. And soon..
Anyway I settled on Boxing.. And I really couldn't watch it.. But it did remind me of my one time inside the squared circle.. And the memories are all bad..
I was pitted against a fellow in a charity event..
His name was Gasieus Clay..
Every time I hit him in the belly he would fart like a yard dog..
They had to use the smelling salts on the referee..
Boxing was not the only thing coming out of this guys boxers..
In any case, after the first two rounds, the front two rows of fans had gone to the concession stand.. And the fight was called because there were only two rows of fans.. And they couldn't stand the smell..
The stench was horrible..
And smell is one of the most powerful memory triggers..
And years later, when I was working construction, every time I walked by the Porta-Pottie I just kinda automatically broke out into the Rope-a-Dope..
Well this report has gone to hell in a hand basket, so I reckon I'll put a period or two on the end and turn this thing off.
I think I have gotten my daily digital lobotomy..
Think I'll go catch me some more crappie.. It's late in the day and if I leave real quiet..
See you under the bridge..
Wait.. That didn't sound right...
October 20, 2017: We have had about the most pleasant week of weather around here that anyone could imagine. Highs in the mid eighties and cool mornings around sixty with low humidity.
The perfect fishing weather.. Someone needs to tell the fish..
I'm not saying that the fishing sucks.. But it is not lights out either.
There have been a few folks that have caught big numbers of little fish, and some caught little numbers of big fish. But someone always does.
Jay from High Stakes Bassin went with me to the south end of the lake on Wednesday, and we had a fish plan in place.
And we followed it for a few hours. He had caught some fish down south the day before, so naturally we did not go where he had caught fish.. We're kinda ignorant that way..
But we was lookin for new fish.. And we found some.. But not a lot of em and no big fish. Jay had something on that was bigger on a swimbait.. But we did not get to see it..
Most of our fish came on a chartreuse square bill and a white spinnerbait. Spinnerbait in and near the flooded retamas, and the squarebill worked better anywhere you could get close to the bank..
One time I caught fish on back to back casts, but it was pretty much a hunt and chunk trip. We caught a dozen or so by lunch time..
It is now Friday at three o'clock, and we have talked to a lot of folks that have fished today. And some of them have caught the heck out of em.. With several eights reported. Including some flipping fish.
Which I can't seem to find..
Texas Classic Bass Club is the only club in town this weekend, and several of them say they got em figured out. We'll see tomorrow..
They are still buying swimbait's and spinnerbaits for the most part..
One thing that is agreed.. The south end of the lake is by far better than the top.. As it has been all week.. Or month..
The lake is still creeping up.. We are sitting at 282.42.. Up a couple of inches this week..
The catfish and crappie are still going great guns..
The water on top of the lake is clearing nicely, and it can't be too long before the fish figure it out..
And hopefully I'll figure it out shortly thereafter..
It's all good, and you need to get down here and see all this water..
And hopefully I'll see you on it!
October 16, 2017: Another cool front blew through Zapata yesterday evening, bringing blustery winds, cooler temperatures, and some rain showers from Laredo all the way down to Starr county, and gave us an honest half inch of rain here in Zapata.
And the temps are fabulous here this morning.. Although the breeze we still have is keeping most folks off the lake.. It is supposed to be short lived with light SE winds returning tomorrow and Wednesday.
Seems here lately I have been talking about the weather and rain a lot more than fishing..
But rising water is always big news around here.. And it is not news that has been very common the last couple of years.
But man the lake looks fantastic.
Fishing on the top of the lake and up the river and the Salado has still been disappointing. The fish have just not taken to the new water in the backs of the creeks just yet. But I know they are fixin' to.
I haven't seen this scenario quite as many times as I have seen Tombstone, but I have seen it many times in the past. And I know what is going to happen.
The south end of the lake is a whole nother story as they say.
From the Tigers south, good numbers of fish have been reported, and some folks have caught a shitload of fish. And what on, you might ask.
A kind of different phenomena has been taking place, and it started about the time that the TABC tourney was in town. About the same time the water to to rising.
Of course a lot of those folks fish a bit differently than a lot of us here do, and sometimes showing them something different makes all the difference.
We are not known as a swimbait or swim jig lake, but you need to be throwing one right now.
White is the dominant color, but a sexy shad or shiner color will work as well.
A hairy swim jig with a paddle-tail trailer like the Skinny Dipper or a Zoom Swimming Fluke has been really good.
Throw this thing in fairly shallow flats surrounded by flooded Retama and weeds, and reel it slow like a slow rolled spinnerbait.
And speaking of spinnerbaits, yes Martha you can still catch em on the blades as well.. But not as well..
A squarebill will also catch fish, and you can catch a few flipping. But I told you what the fish seem to prefer right now.
There are a lot of small fish in these schools, but catching a five or an eight happens all the time. You might have to weed through some smaller fish to catch one. But it does happen.
The pockets south of the Tigers on the Texas side have been producing fish, on the same pattern as discussed above. The Salanaias has also been very consistent as of late according to those I have spoken to.
I was in the Diablo on Saturday, and I fished if from where the brush starts way back there, to the very back, throwing a spinnerbait on the way in, and flipping a worm on the way out. I caught zip.
Although I have heard of some fish being caught in there.. They just are not in there in big numbers yet..
But it looks awesome..
Our water temps had not cooled off too much as of yet, but with these continuing fronts it won't be long.. And the shad will be headed back there before too long. And it is gonna be on..
Yesterday the water was still around eighty degrees here in the Veleno.. Where I was catching some crappie under the bridge.. Too fun.. Too easy..
The wind is supposed to lay down tomorrow, and on Wednesday I am going to head to the south end to see if I can catch these fish a lot of folks have told me about.
If you are a cat fisherman, you need to quit your job and get your ass down here. The fish have gone crazy and I have seen with my own eyes piles of whiskerfish caught over the last weekend.
Cut and live bait is catching fish and it has been just beyond description. A group of our hometown boys were here over the weekend and they flat ass put the smack down on em. They quit fishing a day early because they were tired of cleaning fish. Twenty and thirty pound fish were very common, and they had several pushing forty..
Another boatload of fellows put out some single hook jugs with cut bait during the day and never drove off from em before they started to get drug off..
It is stupid..
The gar are also very active and the rising water has them in the shallows chasing the monster schools of tilapia that seem to be in the back of every creek.. So if you are a bowfisherman, you should call in sick at the minimum..
What the hell else is going on..
Forest fires in California.. Earthquakes.. Floods.. Hurricanes..
And the US Soccer team did not qualify for the World Cup..
What is the world coming to.. Especially when the "football" world is so in need of a sport to watch. Being nobody is watching football.. At least "Football Americano.."
I am sure a lot of you are still tuning in.. But I ain't missed it a bit. Those brats can still kiss my ass.
I have always said that soccer would never catch on in the states, and I guess I am both wrong and right.. But it has received more notoriety than I ever imagined.
It is the epitome of hockey on grass.. Another sport a true southerner just can't wrap his mind around.
They should just go to the shootout from the get go and quit killing all that pretty grass.. Or better yet, forget the whole deal and run some Herefords on it.. Either way, you'll end up with a bunch of bullshit..
And the hockey guys.. All that ice, and no Jack Daniels poured over it.. Seems like a hell of a waste..
"It was a riveting game.. Errr.. Match.. A huge Euro crowd, of urine filled baggie chunking fans watched, riveted, as their Legnano Frogs and the Helsinki Roosters grappled to a nil-nil tie, after neither team could muster a goal..."
Sounds thrilling to me..
I'll take the Little League World Series for a thousand, Alex..
Besides.. We got the MLB Division Championships going on.. Go Astros!
I did see that the world championship cornhole competition was on ESPN the other day.. I did not watch it, but I had no idea that ESPN had started to show porn..
But what do you expect from a network that puts cheerleading on, and calls it a sport..
Anything you can do while swilling beer, is not a sport..
Among my other less than mainstream talents, I am a world class washer pitcher, and in the old days, the more beer I drank, the better I got..
Kinda like bowling..
You'll have to admit, that fishing has been a sport a lot longer than soccer or football..
You did not hear Jesus say to the Disciples, "Put away your soccer balls, and follow me.."
Hell no.. They were fishing..
And that's where I am going.. Wednesday..
Report to follow..
October 11, 2017: The first real cool front of the year blew through yesterday, and took highs from the nineties to the sixties..
I already hate this shit..
We had had a north wind last month, but it did not do much to the temperatures.. This one has.. We are supposed to be back in the seventies today.. And I can handle that.. But I know what is coming..
And it ain't a long term warming trend..
Yes, winter is on our doorstep..
We also got almost an inch of rain yesterday, as a lot of gulf moisture was headed north as the front was headed south. And a lot of the valley, and a lot of the valley that we water got good rains yesterday as well..
Awesome.. We should be holding on to this water for a decent amount of time..
Several locals have been venturing out into the river above Zapata, exploring legendary creeks that go by the name of Golondrina, Chapote, Oscars, White House, and of course the Rio Salado..
And of course there are pockets that remain nameless, too numerous to count, that snake their way to the river channel from arroyos that drain into the river above Zapata.
As of this morning, we are sitting at 281.39, which is hard to believe if you looked at the lake level about two weeks ago.. And it is hard not to smile..
That is 19.81 feet low.. The highest we have been since about the end of March back in 2016.. But it seems longer ago than that..
Fishing is decent on the south end of the lake, and I hear that the Salanaias is putting out good numbers of fish.. Pockets on the Texas side south of the Tigers have also been good..
Look for some wind on the rocky, brushy shores. Baitfish abound and a small swimbait has been a good choice as of late. Lots of little fish but some good ones mixed in..
The dam is always producing some real quality fish, but it takes some man hours sometimes to catch one.
There has been a hatch of something in some of the Mexican creeks like Blanco, and the fry are thick.. I am not sure what they are, but they have been reported by a lot of folks.
We will be shocking the lake in early November, and I bet that we will see some baby bass.. It happens every year..
A lot of the creeks on the upper end of the lake have some rotting vegetation, and the fish don't seem to be liking it very much.. But catch rates have been improving in these creeks as the water clears and the funk goes away.
I believe that in a week or two we will be whacking them up here on the north end.
I knew it was going to happen.. And it already has.. The crappie have moved back under the Veleno bridge in a big way.. Time to come get you some.. I ain't been after em just yet, but this weekend I am gonna get me some..
If you are a bow fisherman, your time is now.. Tilapia, grass carp, and gar are in the shallows.. Lots of em..
The catfish have gone apeshit.. In the lake and in the river..
White bass are schooling all over the south end.. Look for the gulls..
It is a great time to be on Falcon, whatever you are looking for..
Deer season is only a couple of weeks away..
Man I got a lot of options.. Life is good..
Get your ass down here.. This shit don't happen every day..
October 6, 2017: The first full weekend in October is upon us, and I can almost hear the Trick or Treaters already..
This year has flown by, as have the last few.. And when you get my age, everything speeds up.. Although I am sure that there are still sixty ticks in each minute..
One thing that has slowed down, is the water rise, as we are about to max out on any thing that you would call real rising water.. Yesterday at 3:54 PM, we hit the 280.00 milestone..
I was not sure early on the we would get that high, but we have and are slowly rising still.. But very slowly..
We are sitting at 280.24 as of this morning.. So we are still crawling up.. Releases from Falcon and Amistad have been slowed to a crawl. We still have a bit of water in the river as the creeks drain back out to the river, and there is still just a bit of water coming down the Salado.
I imagine that unless something else weird happens or release rates change, we'll crawl up and over 281 early next week.
If you are a river rat here on Falcon, as I am, you are going to find that a lot of fishing opportunities are going to be awaiting you pretty soon.. The water is there now.. But I don't think you want to fish it just yet..
And if you head up the river, keep in mind the old bridge abutment in the river just below Hedieona.. That thing is probably still in the kill zone so be sure and avoid it..
If you don't know about it, and are planning on running up the river.. ASK!!
Coordinates for this monolith can be found on the Ramps and Hazards page.. See home page for link..
The talk around here is all water of course, and there are not a lot of people on the lake this week. Well yet..
Ingram and Uvalde Bass Clubs are both in town this weekend, and they will be on the water trying to find out where the fish are.. I'll report on their results..
I launched at the state park on Tuesday, and did more sight seeing that fishing.
The water right up against the dam was a bit off colored, but the water on the main lake and up to the Tigers is pristine..
I got delayed on my trip by a school of white bass around marker two.. There were a hundred seagulls beating the water into a froth, so I stopped and caught a few whites on square bills and a beetle spin.. The small fish were on top.. A buddy was nearby and he had a jigging spoon on and was catching some keepers right off the bottom.
The depth finder was lit up like a Christmas tree.. There are balls of bait as big as a house out there..
Anyway I made it up to Tigers and fished a hump and ridge I like with no takers. So naturally I moved to the trees.
And my luck was not much better but at least I did get a few bites. These trees were in bays and on mini points.. I tried the way, way back of a couple of good creeks, but did not get a bit back there..
But they look freakin awesome.. The fish will get there.. But they weren't there yet.. Or if they were, they would not eat my plum ol Monster..
So I'm kinda leaning towards the, "They are not there yet theory.."
We had some rain around this week, and we ended up with about two inches in the last five days.. Spotty showers, and a good downpour or two.. Zapata County is as green as you will see it in October..
Things are looking up..
The tilapia and gar have invaded the backs of a lot of creeks.. Anywhere you find clear water there are big tilapia to shoot.
We went out Monday and shot em up pretty good. And we couldn't hit shit.. I should have thrown the arrows by hand.. Lots of shots between hits..
I shot at a gar and got a three pound tilapia.. That's how my shooting went..
In my defense, I was shooting with a borrowed bow I was not too familiar with.. Somehow I dropped mine in the lake the last time I was out..
And no it did not float.. There's another five hunnert..
The catfish are going absolutely apeshit, and I weighed a new lake record blue on Wednesday night.. I have seen bigger ones, but they were not recorded.. This one was a sixty five pounder, and she was released alive after being documented. Josh Paul caught this one on a jug line, and he has a giant tub in his giant boat..
They also caught a 56, a 46, two over thirty, and a plethora of eatin size fish from five to fifteen pounds.. All the big fish were released..
The catfish have gone apeshit here with the running water.. Lots of folks have shown me pictures..
They also shot a few tilapia and a few gar while they were here.. This was after a daytime hunt on Tuesday..
And speaking of shooting gar, there is going to be a gar tournament held out of the state park, on October 28..
Registration will be the morning before the event. For more info and registration details, call Joe Cortez at 956-739-5751.
Lots of talk about everything but bass.. Get your ass down here and help me write a bass story..
See you on the water.. Whatever species you are chasing..
October 2, 2017: Well the town is back to normal (if there is such a thing) for now, with the mass exodus of bass boats that headed north and east yesterday afternoon and evening..
And I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of the fishermen and women that came to Zapata to fish the TABC tourney over the weekend.
And thanks to all of you that came thru our store!
You guys were certainly a shot in the arm for the entire town. Thank You!
When all the fishing was done, Shelby County Bass Club came on strong on day two to take the crown.. For the third year in a row!
Those guys can catch some fish.. Congrats!
In second was Austin Bass Club, and in third was Universal City Bass Club.
All these guys did a great job of figuring out what was happening with the fish during the big water level increase during the last week. Some of the guys were here long enough to see the lake catch ten feet of water!
Here's a snap of the final results sheet. These numbers represent a possible thirty fish limit over two days.
Big fish of the tourney was caught on Sunday and it weighed in at 10.12 pounds. It was caught by Tim Champlan.
And there were a good number of fish over seven pounds caught during the event.. Seven or eight on Saturday.. Not sure what the total was for Sunday.
The lake is still on the rise, and as of this afternoon we are sitting at 277.51, or 23.69 low.
I believe we will get to 280 by the weekend, and I am still not sure what all is coming from the Salado..
But to be sure we will be gaining some water for the next week.. Unless something stupid happens..
So I am gonna go out on a limb and say that fishing is still pretty good, but you need to fish from Bob's Knob south for a little while..
But very shortly, it's gonna be on up here as well..
Fish were caught shallow and deep.. Both patterns were good over the weekend, and as you can imagine, with this many fishermen from so many different areas, they were caught on everything from Shakey heads to crankbaits..
It's all good. Come get you some..
October 1, 2017: Well hear's a quick update on water levels and the TABC tourney that is going on.
As far as water goes.. We are up to 275.26. And we are still rising at a decent pace.. Last night at 11:30 we were at 274.50, so we have come up nine inches in the last nine hours..
I do believe we will top out between 278 and 280. We'll see in a week or so..
As far as the fishing goes, it was pretty good considering the conditions.. And half the lake was pretty much un-fishable due to debris and mega muddy waters and the lake, being a lot bigger, fished smaller..
After day one, The Universal City Bass Club was in the lead with 54.03 pounds.
In Second was Shelby County Bass Club with 49.77.
In third was Austin Bass Club with 43.57.
And in fourth was Canyon Bass Club with 37.66.
These are fifteen fish totals.. So you can see the average fish weights are pretty darn good.
Final weigh in this afternoon at 2ish..
Lake is looking awesome and we are going to have some fun this fall..
September 29, 2017: As you can imagine the phone and e-mail and text messaging has been pretty heavy duty around here the last couple of days..
And it's all good! And the news is all good.. About the water anyway..
As of this morning, Falcon has risen just a bit over seven feet from earlier in the week. And of course we are all trying to guess where it is going to stop..
And I've got my theories.. But there are still a few variables to contend with.
The river has crested in Laredo overnight, but there is still a lot of water coming thru town. And in the river above Laredo.
And as I type, the water is back on the rise at Eagle Pass. Which will bring a rise back to all other places between us, but I doubt that it will be as high as what we have seen in Laredo and at Columbia Bridge..
There is no doubt that water is also coming in from the Salado, but it is hard to measure.
I have sent a scout boat out there to check on the current coming in from the Salado..
Well actually.. Them crazy bastards wanted to go look.. So I told em to report on what they saw.. If they don't get swept away..
The river is full of stumps, trees, cane mats, and all the trash that has been thrown into the creeks on both sides of the river from here to Del Rio..
And it will take a couple weeks for most of this stuff to settle out and find its way to the shore..
There are a few boats that have put in here in Zapata this am, and I even saw a bass boat east of the Veleno bridge.. Something not seen in a couple of years.. Some due to bridge construction.. Some due to low water..
But it was good to see..
The TABC directors have moved the weigh in for this weekends tournament to the state park, and I also believe that this is a great idea.. There is a mine field to navigate to get south from the county ramp.
I ain't saying it cain't be done.. And they are going to let fishermen trailer to the state park after a live well check here at county if they so desire..
There are some fish in the Veleno.. But it too has dirtied up..
Ok.. So the big question.. Just like Eve asked Adam.. How big is it going to get?
I believe that we could catch another five feet or so in the next couple of days.. And then a slow rise till the river empties itself, and the creeks that are now backed up with water, run back out to the river channel.
Of course more rain could certainly change the equation..
But it is too early to say for sure.. And the higher the lake gets, the wider it gets, and the more water it takes to raise the level..
In any case, we are all about to piss our pants around here we are so excited..
This is a hell of a time to have quit drinking..
Get ready.. It's gonna be awesome!
September 27, 2017: Just a quick note to tell you a little about the water rise.. And it is going on!
We have caught six inches since 11:00 this morning.. And we have caught 1.53 feet since yesterday morning at 9:00.
We are sitting at 265.19, or 36.01 feet low..
That means that we are back on the state park ramp as of.. Well probably now.. But certainly by tomorrow morning..
It also means that the old Veleno bridge is no longer visible.. But believe me, it is still there..
The big orange markers on the west end of the bridge are still floating on top.. But it could be that in a day or two, they won't be..
So I put a couple of big yellow jugs tied to one of them on about six feet of cable.. If you no longer see the big orange markers.. Just know they are still under the water, and go round these two jugs to the west..
You do not want to hit those big markers either..
We're glad to have the water coming, but hate to see it when we have a big tourney coming to town.
It is possible that the weigh in will be moved to the state park, due to all the debris in the water up here on top of the lake. I'm pushing for it out of safety concerns.. Lots of big floaters out there..
And if you want to fish the veleno it is all well and good.. But the river is a chocolate mess filled with wood.. Go with caution.. But better to go to the state park..
More soon.. I'm all giddy...
September 26, 2017: Well here it is, the week of the big TABC state tourney, and for the first time in a freakin year, they got rain predicted for most of the week..
Not that I would ever curse the rain.. Heaven knows we need it.. (And I guess that's why they are sending it.) But if I had my druthers, I'd much rather have it next week..
So don't forget your rain gear fellahs.. You might just need it..
One good thing that is also on the way with the predicted rain, is some cooler temperatures.. Highs in the upper eighties.. Are you kidding me..
Better bring a sweater too..
Fishing was decent over the weekend so I hear. The Texas Bass Federation tourney had sixteen or seventeen anglers that fished, and in the boater division, Derrick Kurykendal figured them out the best, and he had a two day weight of forty three pounds and change..
In the non-boater division, Doc Pruski came out on top.. But I am not sure of the weight he had.. Details are still a little light on my end, but I am supposes to have a full report tomorrow..
Congrats to both anglers and good luck in the next round..
Of course I was gone all weekend and I have not heard much on tactics and techniques.. But I have heard this AM that crankin and flipping are both still working..
It is a bit windy here today, so I am not sure that the fishermen that are here will have it too easy out there. Matter of fact, I am sure it is rougher than a weekend with Charlie Sheen..
The above was written yesterday.. Got busy and didn't get back..
Several teams have rolled into town for some pre-prefishing for this weekends tournament. And after talking to a lot of folks the bulk of them will show up today and tomorrow.
Yesterday a decent number of fish were caught, but these guys are pretty tight lipped about the methods and certainly the locations.. Cain't blame em.. But they bought a lot of plastics..
It is still not too late to call me with your license information.. I can get em done and have em ready to slap in your hand when you walk in.. I have plenty of licenses.. But you can make it easier on both of us if we do her early..
Anyway.. It is all good down here.. But bring your rain suit..
One thing I need to mention..
The old Veleno Bridge is barely sticking out of the water.. And with water coming down the river, it is possible that it could be under water before this weekend.. Look for the big orange buoys on your way out of the Veleno and stay to the right (west) of them going out of the Veleno.. Trace your steps on the way back..
If you are not sure about the location please ask when you come in the store and I'll draw you a little map..
This is a Must Miss!! attraction!!
Have you been watching any NFL games on TV..
When you are born in Texas, they stamp that blue star on your ass right after they spank it..
And I have been a loyal Cowboys fan, since I was old enough to know what football was. (I know some of you actually don't like the Cowboys and prefer another team.. Strange as that is..)
No I don't go to the games or buy the jerseys and hats.. But I have loved to watch them and many times scheduled what I was doing to be able to watch the game.
Looks like I won't have to quit fishing early on Sundays to catch a noon game anymore..
Cause the entire fucking NFL can kiss my ass..
I guess these spoiled, coddled, overpaid, prima donnas didn't actually get a dose of history while someone else was taking their college courses (that you paid for) for them.
You might have issues with the police, if you create them.
I am not saying that every policeman is perfect.. But can you imagine life in America without them?
And can accidents happen? Sure and they do.. It is not a perfect world..
But of all people to show blatant disrespect for our national anthem..
Those that live in a world that we cannot even imagine.. Whose security and safety is provided by the very same folks that they profess to hate. In a country with freedoms that others can only dream of..
Well enough said.. They are some dumb fuckers..
This is not the place, or time to show your disapproval..
And the same with the NBA.. They can kiss my ass as well.
I used to be a big Spurs fan.. But after Popavitch shot his mouth off last year.. Well it was easy to quit watching them bastards as well.
You might think I am crazy.. And maybe I am.. But I am old school enough to know that this country didn't just appear overnight... And a lot of people put their ass on the line so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have today..
Even if it is something as simple as watching a game.. A freaking game.. On TV..
So keep in mind folks.. That these people are just actors in a play.. And if you don't like the show.. You also have the freedom to get up and walk out...
I'm already in the parking lot..
September 20, 2017: Well believe it or not, Falcon is on a slow rise. And there is actually water creeping back up the creek on the north side of the Veleno. How long will it last.. Hell if I know..
Still not a lot of folks fishing down here, but I have seen pics of several eight pound fish the last two days.. One caught deep.. One flipping..
They're everywhere! Or nowhere..
But decent fish have been caught doing most everything, utilizing whatever style of fishing you might prefer..
It's really hard to get a true picture of what is going on with so few fishermen on the water.. And my time has certainly been limited..
I did get out for a couple of hours on Sunday and we caught a few fish in the trees and a few on the rocks. We did not kill them anywhere, but got enough bites to keep us entertained. Best fish came off a rocky ledge here in the Veleno right on the drop and it was about a four pounder.
It and a few others bit a chartreuse square bill. We caught a few flipping, and I also caught a couple on a chrome rattle trap..
That sounds kinda desperate..
There have been a lot of white bass schooling from the mid lake south, and sometimes you can catch some blacks mixed in or underneath the whites. If you can get a bait down past em..
A senko will often work in this situation.. For some reason the white bass don't seem to like one..
The shad are thick on a lot of points, and if you see a bunch of egrets hanging around it is a pretty sure bet that some bass are not too far off..
And I keep forgetting to mention it, but a spinner bait is also catching fish on those points and it has been working pretty decent in those shallow hardwoods when you clank it right off the woods.
Don't think you are too shallow. If your troller is kicking up mud that is a good thing.. Those laydowns that stretch from the bank out can and will have fish on them.
It may be boring, but the garden variety chart/white is as good as any..
If you are flipping the trees in the stained water on the top of the lake, you need to be tossing a a dark colored bait, like the Fightin' Frog in Junebug Red. A Biffle Bug or Beaver will also work well, and so will the Chigger Craw in a dark color.
Any creature bait will work..
And of course the Plum Ol Monster with some Smelly Jelly on it is the only bait you need.. Plum Apple ain't a bad choice either..
A couple of guys on a guide trip caught some fish on deep crankbaits along the dam on Monday. And I don't think that bite ever goes away.
So basically you have twenty plus miles of water to explore..
Nothing has changed with the launching situation, with the county ramp still functioning decently, and I have been on the county to keep the silt cleaned off it so launching two boats at a time is doable..
The state park ramp is creeping back towards usability.. But not yet. Launching off the bank at the end of the boat ramp cut is still working fine. But a 4x4 is a good idea.. You might not need it.. But it sure as hell don't hurt..
The little hurricane that was looking so promising down in the Baja has fizzled out, but it did send a little rain in the right spot. I am ever the optimist, and we have another month or so of storm season in the Pacific to send some rain over those lakes. I'll keep an eye on it, and next time I ain't gonna talk about it till it happens..
It has been a hell of a hurricane season this year, and our hearts go out to those that were and are being affected by all the damage.
But hurricanes are a fact of life when you live near the ocean. Guess it was just our year..
I'm going up to the ranch this weekend, cause Mama says the doves are lousy.. And I have some shells that are two years old that need to be emptied..
We have been busting it here getting ready for the upcoming tourneys, and hopefully we will have everything you could possibly need when you get here.
And if you are coming to fish the TABC tourney, let me remind you once more to call us and let us have your Mexican license ready when you walk in.. We'll have plenty, but it will sure make it easier on both of us if all we have to do is slap it in your hand..
Call us if you have any questions about anything, and we look forward to seeing you next week.. It should be a fun time.
See you soon!
September 15, 2017: The heat is back on down in these parts, with highs topping out about 105° the last few afternoons.. But with humidities in the teens and low twenties, it don't seem too bad..
There are still not a lot of folks down here fishing, and there have been six to eight boats at the ramp here in Zapata most days. Plenty of room for you and your rig..
We have not seen a lot of traffic thru the store the last two weeks, so we don't have a lot of fisherman input to report on.. And it's been eleven days since I last slid it in..
But it ain't going to be much longer.. I don't care what the doctor says..
But those that have fished, have caught some fish. Are they murdering them? I might not go that far.. But there are biting fish out there to be caught..
Flipping and doodlesocking trees is still king, especially on this end of the lake..
Dropshotting and deep cranking are still good down south. Isolated rock humps and ledges can be covered with fish.. Or barren..
But it you look at a few, you will find some..
Old foundations on the main lake river channel have fish on them from marker nine to the dam.. Let me reiterate.. Not all of them.. But many of them..
The shallow ones can have a bunch on them at daylight or shortly thereafter..
Anyway, it is up to you to cover my slack till I get back on the water..
We'll see a little more of what is happening next weekend, as the Bass Federation Boys will be in town.
I been yammering on and on about the lakes on the Conchos for the last month.. And Amistad has actually been the benefactor of several feet of water from the Conchos in the last three weeks.
And speaking of Amistad, I know a lot of you folks are heading there this weekend for the SIT tournament.. Should be fun.. Good luck.. Wish I was going..
Maybe you are watching what's going on out in the Pacific, maybe not.. But in case you ain't..
There's a little storm brewing up south of the Baja that could be of help to those in need of water.. Like us..
I'm crossing my fingers and toes (well nine out of ten toes) and hoping and praying for a wet, but gentle Cat One to cross the peninsula and rain like a sum-bitch.. (I'm trying not to use motherfucker quite so much..)
But whether it rains like a sum-bitch or a motherfucker I really don't care.. Either one will do..
Here's a screen shot of the storms predicted path at about 11:00 this AM..
I put an "X" where I want twenty inches.. But that general area will do.. A little northeast of there is fine.
We'll see what happens. Like I said, this is our best chance for some running water in a long time..
I hear the TABC has twenty seven teams signed up for the state tourney at the end of the month.. That's 216 fishermen, 108 boats.. Yeah.. That weekend should be a little busy around Zapata..
We look forward to seeing all of you..
Now go pray for rain in Mexico!!
September 12, 2017: It's been eight days since I last wrote. And in that time I have missed out on a lot of fantastic days to fish..
Low winds.. Lows in the sixties.. Highs barely breaking ninety.. Awesome..
And half the last eight days are a blur to me.. That anesthesia shit don't go away the moment you wake up..
Anyway I am up and kinda around, and I am typing with two hands.. So it looks like I am on the mend..
The lake level is kinda hovering in the same place it has been for nearly a month.. We were at 262.94 on the fifteenth of last mont.. And this morning we are at 263.08..
So I'll call that about dead level.. We were a inch or so higher.. But that is nothing to talk about..
Releases from the Conchos are still low.. Prayers for more rain in the Mexican mountains are still high..
We need one of these little storms from the equator to slip up the western coast of Mexico and end up in Chihuahua.. It could happen..
Lakes are still at capacity and above in the right places.. We just need some more rain to force the hand of the IWBC into releasing some water..
They certainly have plenty to share.. But they ain't giving us any..
I hate to bitch about them all the time.. But they are a poorly run organization.. It is a government op..
Meanwhile.. Back at the ranch..
Fishing remains good for most folks.. You can pretty much catch em your way right now.. I am excited about the flipping bite, but the scuttlebutt is that nothing has changed with the deep bite down south.
What is true for sure, that there is very, very, light boat traffic on the lake right now.. We have been here three and a half hours this morning.. And not seen a soul..
So if you decide to come down, you won't have too much competition for places to fish..
We have been getting a few calls about boat ramps.. Here in the Veleno the county ramp is still working fine.. The county has been doing a fair job of keeping the silt off the ramp, but some days the west side of it has some dirt on it.. But it is easily useable..
The state park concrete ramp is still out of the water, and we are only a couple of feet from it being serviceable.. What did I say earlier about the IWBC..
In any case, launching off the bank is easily done at this level. Four wheel drive is a plus, but I am hearing that a two wheel drive truck with good rubber will get it done as well.
Just drive past the concrete ramp.. Turn left and follow the waters edge till you get to the end of the channel from the boat ramp. There is a big boulder near the water.. You can launch on either side of it.. But you'll see where everybody is putting in.. No sweat..
You can also launch in the Tigers off the point south of the camp at El Tigre island.
Traveling the lake is not a problem, but when you get back in the creeks and off the main channel you need to pay attention to where you are. There are hardwoods and channel bends aplenty so drive with caution..
Of course this is a no brainer, but just use common sense and you'll be fine.. We've been a lot lower than this a lot of times before.. It's all good..
The South Texas Region of the Bass Federation will be holding their championship tournament here on Falcon in about ten days, and they will be fishing the weekend of the 23rd and 24th.
I believe that twenty something fishermen have qualified to fish it. Registration and captains meeting will be here at FLT on Friday the 22nd from 5 till 6 PM..
We look forward to seeing you guys again, and thanks for choosing Falcon for your tourney.. I don't think it will disappoint..
Of course in about three weeks, Falcon will be hosting the TABC state tournament, and that is scheduled for the weekend of September thirtieth and October first..
Captains meeting will also be here at FLT under the big top on Friday the 29th in the evening.. We look forward to seeing you here!
Once again let me ask you to order your Mexican license in advance. We'll have plenty, but it takes a lot less time to slap one in your hand when you walk in than to wait in a possible crowd to get yours issued.. We can hold it for you or mail it to you if you prefer.. Give us a call at 956-765-4866 and we'll get you fixed up in advance..
Make it easy on both of us..
There have been some decent fish caught this week I hear, but nothing in the DD headlines.. But good numbers of solid three to five pound fish.
But like I said, not many folks to talk to, and I have been out of commission. I think if my wife wasn't looking I might go out today.. But I know I best wait another week or so.. And it is killin' me..
Let me do a little more bitching before I quit..
Last time I was on the lake, eight days ago, I was fishing the woods across from the Veleno..
And I am happy to report that the survival rate of this years hatch of Cormorants was 100%.
I have absolutely never in my life seen seen so many of these black motherfuckers as I saw last Monday. The size of the flock is mind boggling..
And meanwhile the powers that be could give a crap..
Our biologists are coming down to do a habitat study this week, and I am sure they will get a first hand look at what I am talking about.. Again..
There is basically no habitat to study right now.. Hardwoods and rocks.. That's about it..
What else is going on..
Good dove hunting was reported over the last weekend.. And a group of teel hunters came in on Saturday morning, and they said they shot the shit out of them mid-lake..
I am not sure why I have never gotten into waterfowl hunting.. I love killing flying shit.. Guess I hate the cold and wet and early morning shit more..
Like I need another hobby... Habit..
Well I am still hobbling around like Walter Brennan with a hardon, and my fastball probably wouldn't break a carnival plate..
But I can tell I am getting better and before long I plan on getting out on the water and whacking the crap out of some fish and getting behind a shotgun..
Tommy says there are actually some birds at the ranch, and I feel the need to dispatch a limit or two in a couple of weeks when the south zone opens..
And isn't this split season a bunch of crap.. Only so many doves are going to get killed.. Open the season September one and quit confusing everyone.. Who could possibly dream up this kind of bullshit..
Oh yeah.. The government..
Well I hope to see you before too long.. And I hope I am in a boat when I do.. But I'll settle for seeing you here in the store if that's the way it works out..
Either way.. I'll see you then!
September 4, 2017: It's a holiday for most.. But not all of us.. And most folks in east Texas certainly do not have the day off.. I hope your seeing things get a bit better..
But I know for some of you it is not.. I can't imagine how bad it must be.
The holiday weekend around here was really slow. I put the boat in yesterday at 9:00 and there were five other rigs at the ramp.. Bout the same today..
We saw a lot more dove hunters than we did fishermen.
I have been talking about the water in the Conchos.. And most all the lakes are full on the chain.. And it looks like that's the way they will stay.
As of this morning they have really cut back on releases from Luis Leon.. We got the lakes where we need them.. Now we need a real rain over there..
Amazing how wet it can be in one place.. And how dry in another..
But as I type there are thunderstorms rumbling outside.. Maybe we can at least get the grass watered..
I bought a project boat a few weeks back, and I have been working on it while I have been doing little around here..
And yesterday I took it on a test/fishing run to check things out and see how everything worked..
I stopped near the old Veleno bridge, and I'll be damn but I caught the fish really good on both ends.. But better on the east side. That thing gets pounded but for good reason.. Structure holds fish. Go figure.. All but one were keepers.. But nothing over three pounds..
So after a bit I pointed it south and pulled into Pierces, and fished the island at the mouth.. Bout the third cast I caught a fat three pounder.. On a stickbait..
That SOB will catch fish..
Anyway.. About two minutes later the birds started pounding the water near me as a giant school of small white bass were tearing the shad a new asshole.. And I followed them around for thirty minutes and caught the heck out of em..
I stopped when they ran out of heck..
But it was a fun morning and I always liked reeling in whatever was on the other end.. Even though most of the whites were peter length.. And I ain't talking John Holmes..
I wanted to run my regular boat, so this morning I hit the water about nine.. And headed back to the bridge..
About the third or fourth cast I chunked across a big laydown, and low an behold I hooked into something that I could not turn.. Although I had the tree leaning on a 45° degree angle.. The fish pulled off after a two second epic battle..
Shit it coulda been a two pounder.. Knowing these Falcon fish.. But I don't think so, Tim..
Anyway there were a couple of other boats fishing kinda close, so I headed across the river to the hardwoods on the Mexican side.
I fished the outside of the tree line, which is in about ten feet of water.. And had no luck.
And knowing these Falcon fish, I went inside the row of trees, keeping the boat in about four feet of water, and flipped anything within twenty feet..
And I beat em like a red headed stepchild.. It was fuckin awesome!!
Like the old days..
Well not exactly.. Cause the biggest and last fish I caught was just a shade under five pounds.. But there was not a non keeper in the batch.. And I probably caught three limits.. And missed another two.. Sneaky bastards..
I came in about noon and a buddy stopped in and we compared stories.. He caught a few fewer fish than me but he had two fives and a seven, with only one peckerhead in the batch..
He caught his flipping the trees as well, but he was throwing a Plum Ol Monster.. I was using a Rojas Fighting Frog in Junebug Red.
That sounds backward.. He said he missed a good number of fish as well.. These fish ain't exactly thumping it.. So you gotta pay attention.. And if you cain't find your bait.. Jerk!
I did not get a lot of feedback from the weekend, but I did hear tell of a few folks that caught em pretty decent..
The south end of the lake is still fishing pretty good as well.. And the flipping bite is still good on the Mexican side from the Salanaias to the north..
Come fishing.. You're gonna catch some..
The work on the new Veleno bridge continues, and they are making progress.. We might actually drive over the son of a bitch this spring..
The contractor has done a nice job of removing the dirt dam from under new bridge, and thanks to low water conditions, it appears that the slope from above and below match up pretty well..
You may remember it looking more like this..
The old bridge is scheduled for demolition.. When that will start, who knows..
I have decided that I am watching too much television.. Or make that too much television with commercials..
But I have been hell bent on watching the Rangers piss off the chance at a wild card spot. And if you are gonna watch some baseball you're going to have to put up with some commercials..
And I will have to admit that I am seeing a few less commercials for Viagra and Cialis.. I guess that every fifty to eighty year old male is now walking around half cocked, and just a gumdrop and a swig of water away from being petrified..
But don't worry, we are now being inundated with new unspeakable's. That have become.. Well.. Speakable..
Forty years ago, nobody knew if grandma peed in her pants.. We just thought the roof was leaking while she was taking the biscuits out of the oven..
Now granny can wear depends.. And just let er rip when the feeling comes on.. Even if the feeling never comes on and it just happens.. Convenient I guess..
When I was a kid, mentioning a woman's period was unthinkable.. But now you got that Pearl thingy.. Good for heavy days and easy to remove on the light ones.. So the commercial says..
Condom commercials show everything but them putting one on.. But I reckon it is coming.. In the name of education and disease prevention..
Eight year old boys now know what a clitoris is..
Thirty years ago, forty year old males had never heard of it..
And the newest of the unspeakable's has to do with good ol, One A Day Vitamins..
Yep.. They got a new mission.. To make sure you have healthy sperm when you go to impregnating your significant other..
I ain't lying.. I seen it on TV..
I don't think we give kids time to grow up these days.. With what's on TV..
And who the hell knows what they see on the internet.. Being we have to give them all cell phones by the time they're five..
I heard that in New York and California they have to be able to recite all the positions of the Kama Sutra in Sixth grade.. I had a hard enough time with the fuckin presidents..
Try to figure out that Chinese shit..
I ain't that limber..
Well I better quit before yall figure that my earplugs are touching each other..
Come see us if you can.. Pray for the folks in east Texas.. And donate what you can, be it time and or money..
I am going to have some elbow and toe surgery tomorrow and my arm is going to be in a cast for a couple of weeks.. So I am not sure when I will be able to type.. I'm bad enough with two hands..
Guess that hookset finally got to me.. Or the fuckin gout...
September 1, 2017: Less than 24 hours till the start of dove season.. And there is water in every cow track from San Antonio east.. And hunting doves is the last thing on the minds of the folks in SE Texas..
This storm was about the worst case scenario.. Absolute devastation in many areas and the effects will be felt for years. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of you.
It is hard to imagine and prepare for something that is an unknown. And while Harvey was predicted to be bad, it was hard to conceive of this much water in this amount of time.
It is heartbreaking to see the damage and devastation left behind. But this is Texas, and Texans are currently swarming the coast helping their fellowman. And many from out of state are here as well..
God Bless You all... Victims and Volunteers..
August is a slow month around here. And usually Tommy and I schedule our vacations during this period.. Cause it don't take two to watch TV and sell shrimp..
As luck would have it, Tommy and his family were on a Caribbean cruise last week, and to say the least, their coming home schedule was re-arranged..
He got home three days late, and flew from New Orleans to Atlanta to San Antonio.. And his truck is still in Galveston.. Hopefully not being used as a livewell..
I got back yesterday from a dove hunt down in Mexico, and we were basically starved for information on what was going on back home in Texas..
The term has been overused, but I will have to admit that it is gut-wrenching to watch on TV.. I can't imagine being there..
The Falcon watershed missed out on all the rain, and that is not unusual with these gulf storms. They just very rarely put us on the wet side of the storm..
We have caught about six inches of water in the last ten days, as they slowed the releases from Falcon in anticipation of rainfall in the valley. Which did not happen either..
What is happening, is that many of the lakes in northern Mexico on the Conchos have continued to rise. Including the big lake, Boquilla, which was 99% full yesterday. This is a big deal.
Several of the smaller lakes downstream are still overfull, and they have continued controlled releases from Madero and Luis Leon into the Rio Grande. They had upped the release to around 9000 CFS day before yesterday and it looks like they will continue for an indefinite period.
If you are paying attention, you may have noticed tropical storm Linda that is working its way up the Baja peninsula..
This could be a good thing.. For Amistad and Falcon anyway..
You may have noticed that Amistad has caught about a foot and a half in the last couple of weeks. And there is more in the pipeline.. Maybe a lot more. We'll see..
But this is the best chance we have had at catching some real water in five years or more..
Like I said.. We'll see..
Fishing has been about the same around here.. Still decent.. But not off the chain.. You can still catch em the same way we were last month.. See below..
We see a lot of folks here in the store. And we sell a lot of them a Mexican fishing license..
And the vast majority of the time I'll ask , "Where exactly is that,?" When they tell me the name of the small town they are from.. And over the years we have had fishermen from about every berg in the state.
And there is no doubt that there are a ton of fishermen from east Texas. Many of them make an annual (if not more often) trip down here.
And it is depressing to see the names of the towns I have come to know on national TV, covered in water.
But if there is one thing I know, these boys will get past this, and they will build it back even better..
My thoughts are with you guys. And my prayers are going out to you and your families throughout the day..
Stay safe while you are doing what needs to be done..
And we'll see you when we see you..
August 25, 2017: Just an update on the happenings in Zapata.. It is about 3:40 PM here on Friday.
So far we have only had about a quarter inch of rain.. One shower.. The entire town is full of evacuees, and there is not a motel room available..
Looks like this could be a real rainmaker for the coastal plains, but so far the rains are staying to our east. Not unusual for these storms..
Of course you have internet and TV just like me, and you can see that Houston, Corpus, and points east are getting hammered..
I have talked to several groups of folks that are enjoying Zapata hospitality, but not because they want it that way.
Prayers out to all affected and displaced, and here's to hoping it won't be as bad as it appears.
I'll let you know if anything exciting happens around here..
August 24, 2017: Well Harvey has been peaking the interest of a lot of folks. Both here and across the state of Texas.
For two different reasons I would imagine..
I know the vast majority of folks that are watching the happenings in the gulf are kind of apprehensive about what the storm might bring.
Round here we are are doing a rain dance..
My wife had the weather channel on when I went home yesterday evening. And boy they like to spread the doom and gloom.. You would have thought that there was a Cat 5 out there in the gulf breathing down on us..
We'll see what happens.. But if you think they can predict what will happen four days out, you are crazy.. Much as they would like you to believe they can..
We will certainly welcome the rain in south Texas, and lets hope the valley gets a good soaking and they'll shut off the flow from the dam.
When it comes to putting water in Falcon, now there is another story.
We know that Falcon catches no significant water from gulf hurricanes. Don't we..
Real water for Falcon comes from the Conchos river in Mexico..
Now that we have that settled..
Some good things are happening out west.. Or northwest..
Good rains have continued to fall over the mountainous terrain in the Conchos water shed, and lake levels have continued to rise on several of the lakes in the system.
Including Boquilla, which has come up to 92% as of Tuesday.. Two days ago.. And I have not received a report since then.. But it looks promising..
All of these lakes funnel into the last lake in the line before the water makes way into the Rio Grande.. And that of course is Luis Leon.
And on Tuesday it was at 130% and was releasing 8300 CFS into the Rio Grande..
There are other lakes over pool on the system as well, and what we need is for rains to continue and force the hand of the IWBC into releasing a meaningful amount of water.
Being that no other method of negotiation has ever brought us any water..
The IWBC is run by a bunch of semi academics with no real experience in making a living in the real world..
Typical of government beauracracies.. The size of the organization and amount of waste is scandalous..
Come on Donald.. You got room on your plate for one more course..
While we are on the subject of government boondoggles, the coast guard cadets are back down riding with the Border Patrol doing you the service of violating your fourth amendment rights..
Fucking with you as you try to enjoy a peaceful day of fishing..
So be prepared if you get unlucky enough to get pulled over by the Gestapo..
There goes thirty minutes of your day.. I am sure they will be gone in a few days. These are mostly weekend warriors filing in their quotas.. Some of em got a lot of Barney Fife in em..
But shit this is supposed to be a fishing report.. Not Brietbart..
There have been a couple of groups down this week, and they have bout got the fish figured out. The last few days they have been smoking them in the trees.
It appears that the flipping bite is on, and they have reported fish in the trees from the Veleno to the Salanaias.
They have been really surprised how shallow the fish have been. Many fish, and some good fish, coming from water barely knee deep..
One boat had over a hundred fish on Tuesday, and several of them had thirty five to fifty..
Size you ask.. Nothing reported over seven and a half but some good solid fours and fives for most all boats every day..
These guys are having some fun. And if you are wondering, there are eleven of them..
There is also another small group in town that is whacking them in the woods as well..
And that about does it.. Fifteen anglers on the entirety of Falcon all week.. Plus a few locals.. And they have been doing pretty good as well.
Small flipping baits like a Chigger Craw or a Rage Craw or Super Speed Craw are doing well..
One of my buddies is doing really good on Speed worms in Junebug Red..
There is still a crankbait bite going on, but this week the fishermen prefer the trees..
I guess cause the fish do as well..
Besides.. Who the heck wants to chunk a giant crankbait with a car hood for a bill, when you can pitch a worm in a hardwood, and go at em mano a mano..
That's the kinda shit I like.. Getting a semi just thinking about it..
But if you prefer, you can still catch some fish crankin.. But right now it sounds like the woods is the place to be..
Yeah I been stuck in here for near a week, as Tommy is on Vacation..
And guess where he went.. Yep; on a cruise thru the Caribbean.. Down past the Yucatan..
Wonder if he's ever coming home.. Supposed to land in Galveston on Saturday.. Good luck..
I'm heading to Mexico dove hunting on Sunday.. SO.. If the store is closed on Monday, you know he is probably washed up on some beach, leaning on a coconut tree, swilling rum..
Drink up, Me Hardies, Yo Ho!!
This weekend is looking like a washout (and I hope the hell it is) so I don't reckon I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places..
And once again my Daddy was right..
"Opening weekend of dove season they'll be water in every cow track.."
He's been a lot more accurate than the national weather service..
See you when we bob back to the surface..
August 18, 2017: Another work week has pretty much passed.. And we didn't do too much work around here.
At least not related to selling tackle. It's been pretty slow..
Of course with twenty plus MPH winds everyday, it tends to kill a lot of motivation to get on the water.. Especially the midlake south..
They be monsters here... Monster waves that is..
And every evening about six the sea breeze gets here and it will damn near blow the house down..
On Monday I was talking about things being a little slow in the fishing category.. And wouldn't you know it, several boats managed to have some really good days.
Some buddy's of mine caught a eight and a nine the same morning, on crankbaits on the hump just west of the flood gates.. Yep.. The same one that everybody fishes..
But they fish it for a reason. That son of a bitch holds fish. As does the rip rap on the dam.
Another boat also caught them good on crankbaits with big fish going around six pounds.
Both of these boats reported thirty to thirty five fish per day. They also caught some fish on plastics in the same neighborhoods. A Carolina rig is a good choice with your favorite bait on there. A fluke or a brush hog will work.. Seems that smaller ain't a bad idea.
Some other fellows caught em decent here in the Veleno, around the old bridge and associated rockpiles and roadbeds. They had a five and a six in that general vicinity.
The common denominator for a couple of these boats was a 5XD in Sexy Shad.
I've said it a time or two before that that bait is a dead ringer for our threadfin shad. No wonder why it works..
So that's about it.. Three or four out of town boats were all that were here this week.. It is August and the last week before school starts.. Or in some cases it may have already..
The top of the lake is still off color, and while a lot of you are probably used to fishing stuff that looks worse; I just don't like it. And if the wind keeps up, it's not going to clear up much anytime soon.. Lots of dirt and sand banks on the Mexican side up here, and those waves just keep it stirred up. Water is pretty south of marker nine, and better as you go farther south.
I did hear that you can still catch plenty of small fish on the windblown rocks. A square bill is still catching them, or you can put a speed craw on a short arm C-rig, or throw a drop shot and have a bunch of fun.
On the south end of the lake, white bass have been schooling on shad on the surface and you can catch all you want if you run into a pod of them. Keep an eye out for the seagulls crashing the water..
There have also been a lot of them around the mouth of, and just inside Pierce's cove at marker seven.
The crappie on brush piles have slowed a bit.. I reckon they are hanging out in deeper water. But you can still catch em off the brush.. It just is not as fast and furious as it was a couple of months ago.. There are still catchable fish on the concrete tower at the Mexican outlet.
And no it is not a cement tower.. Cement comes in a sack..
So here I am.. Stuck in the store for nine more days.. Bored to tears..
But I have made some nice arrowhead frames..
I am working on getting ready for the TABC state tourney.. Plenty of details to take care of.. But I got it going on...
That's the last week in September by the way, in case you are making plans.. I imagine that motel rooms will be scarce about then.
Last Monday I was talking about some water coming into the Rio Grande at Presidio, from the Conchos river in Mexico.. I wish it was more, but the good news is that it is still coming at this point.
And it actually just started to hit Amistad yesterday. Those two smaller lakes are still overfull, so lets hope that they will release water for a good while..
And lets pray that the rains keep coming in those mountains in northern Mexico. Because those guys just don't seem to release water unless they have to.. And I want em to have to..
It takes an event to put a bunch of water in Falcon.. And we are on the verge of it being a possibility.. Best chance we have had in a few years.. And it's gonna happen.. Sooner or later..
If the world don't come to an end first..
Holler at me if I can be of service.. And if you are coming down to fish the TABC tourney, do us both a favor and order your Mexican licence in advance. It's liable to be a zoo around here, and if I have your license in will call, or I already mailed it to you it will save you time when you get here..
We look forward to seeing you!
August 14, 2017: Well here we are smack dab in the middle of August, and who would have guessed it.. It's hot and windy. And I don't have to go Nostradamus to predict that it will be hot and windy next August either.
It's that time of year..
The fishing is not as hot as the weather, and the bite seems to be a bit sluggish for most folks..
Of course there are always a few over achievers that happen on a few good fish. But it has been pretty tough the last few days. Fortunately the moon is fading and the morning bite should improve as the week progresses.
San Antonio Bass Club was in town over the weekend and their results were less than spectacular on Saturday. They fish a three fish format, and after day one everyone in the club was still in it, as the heavy sack of the day was just under ten pounds.
Several folks caught some five and six pounders but did not catch much to go with it. I did not get the final results after yesterdays fishing.
It was good to see you folks and thanks for stopping in and leaving some of your hard earned money here at FLT.
The lake has leveled off and pretty much stayed level the last two weeks. We are sitting at 262.94, or 38.26 feet low. We have actually caught a few inches of water the last couple of weeks.
Launching at the state park is of course still off the bank, but at this particular level it is working pretty good.. Four wheel drive is a good thing, but I have heard that two wheel drive is also do-able.
The county ramp here in Zapata is still working fine, although the ramp is pretty flat.
More on water in a bit..
From what I heard, the crankbait bite and the flipping bite were both slow the last few days.
Flukes and brush hogs were probably the best when it comes to soft plastics. The same old hard baits are still working, albeit slower this last week.
When fishing offshore, hard bottoms with a fast depth change are a must.
Smaller fish can be plentiful on squarebills and occasionally spinnerbaits on those rocky windblown points.
Nothing too complicated about it..
And don't be afraid to rig you up a dropshot if things are a bit slow. Throw it out there on those rocky drops and shake it like a dog shittin' peach seeds.. You might be surprised what you catch. That Plum Apple is still a good color choice on the drop shot.
Earlier I was talking about water.. Or a lack of it..
But there is something happening in northern Mexico that has not happened in a few years.
If you are a long time reader of this report, you have no doubt heard me talk about the Concho river.
The Conchos has a pretty big watershed in the mountainous terrain in north central Mexico. And there are a bunch of small lakes on the chain..
And one big son of a bitch..
A couple of weeks ago you may have heard about a bunch of flooding in Phoenix, and the same storm system of monsoon rains dampened the ground, or should I say rocks, on the Concho watershed.
I always talk about three lakes on this chain.
Boquilla, which is almost the size of Falcon when it comes to water volume at capacity.
Madero, which is a goldfish bowl.
And Luis Leon which is even smaller.
But in the last two weeks, Boquilla has gone from 68% to 80%.
Madero has gone from 98% to 103%.
And Luis Leon that has gone from 87% to 144%.
Luis Leon is the last in the chain before the Concho runs into the Rio Grande at Presidio in the Big Bend. And currently they are releasing about 5400 CFS, and that water is hitting the Rio Grande and has been for the last few days.
There was also a bit more rain in the Rio Grande watershed and it has the river levels up a decent amount.
I am not sure how long they will release water, but this is the first time in a while that I am mildly enthused about the potential of us catching some water..
Of course they horde the water in those lakes and often times they won't release it unless they have to..
But it is plain to see that they could easily put some in Falcon if they wanted to.. They've got plenty..
Of course what we need to happen is more rain in the same areas.
There have been a shit ton of storms in the Pacific, but all of them have been heading too far west to help in this area.
What we need is a couple of storms to go up the Sea Of Cortez's ass and drench the aforementioned area. Or have a low sit over it for a good while..
I've got my fingers crossed..
Mazatlan would be a good target point.. I'll keep you posted..
What the hell else is happening..
Dove season is only two week away..
Sharelunker season is only six weeks away..
And I don't know if you heard, but supposedly this year Sharelunker is undergoing a few changes.
Final plans are probably being hashed out this week as TPWD is having their annual confab starting tomorrow.
There have been a lot of ideas put forward, but nothing has been set in stone as of this writing.. I'll let you know what I hear.
I'm going to be trapped in here for the next twelve days as Tommy is going to take some time off.
Oh yeah.. You can start buying your new fishing/hunting license starting tomorrow..
I know I am excited about standing in front of that machine for the next two weeks..
Where's my Dr. Scholls?
August 7, 2017: The first week of August is shot to hell, and we have made it full circle to the full moon.. And like I have said a thousand times before, early morning fishing on Falcon during a bright moon phase can be a little slow. So it ain't a big deal if you want to sleep in a bit before you hit the water..
But the delay in getting on the lake does reduce the time you fish while temperatures are below 90.. Which happens about noon around here these days..
But while I am typing this, a bad ass thunderstorm is kicking San Antonio's butt.. And maybe parts of it will make it down here..
Hope springs eternal..
Fishing conditions were awesome the last week, with the exception of the bright night time moon. We had a week of low winds, and some days no wind.. Which ain't the blessing we sometimes take it for.. It can get hottern' Lucifer's shoes out there in a hurry..
Last Wednesday it was as slick as glass.. And the heat index was a bitch.. Hot enough to make a lizard wear sandals..
I'll still take it over fifty degrees any day.. Fifty degrees at fifty MPH equals a wind chill of thirty nine..
Piss on that.. I'm getting a chill just thinking about it..
How long have we been talking about the deep crankbait bite around here? Seems like forever but I guess it has been a good six months..
Well we're still talking about it.. Cause that what seems to be catching most of the big fish.. Not all of em.. But most of em..
I did see a pic of a 10-2 this AM that was caught on a jig..
There have also been some good fish caught lately on a Drop Shot.. Make that a power Drop Shot.. The power being delivered by heavier line.. These fish could give a shit.. Big line ain't gonna scare em off..
Once in a while a certain color bait seems to out-produce most others, and here lately the Plum Apple has been kicking ass.. (Thought I was going to say Plum didn't you..)
Well it is a Plum variant.. And of course I ain't sure if it is all that important to the fish but it sure has been to several groups of fishermen..
Any ledge or hump top can have fish on it.. Sometimes they are biting, sometimes they are not.. But that's fishing wherever you go..
This ain't first hand knowledge, but I have heard that the Tigers have started to put out a few more fish..
And while we're talking about Tigers, you need to keep an eye on your map in there while traveling at high speed and stay in the creek channels.. There are a bunch of ridges and humps in the big body of water on the north side and if you are headed back to Big Tiger you need to round the corner wide to the southeast..
There is some three foot water well out from the big point when you turn back north.. It's not too complicated, but something you need to keep in mind.. There is still a shit load of good water in there.. You could fish the Tigers for a week and not fish it all..
The flipping bite is still good to fair on a lot of hardwoods that are near deep water.. They can be in two feet and still have fish in them.. But I have found the flats with woods are not as good as the woods that have a creek or drop nearby.
Concentrate on the outer edges of tree lines and break lines and like always, be sure to hit that isolated or last tree on the point extra hard.. There are fish in there.. Don't forget to think shade either..
A Fighting Frog, Baby Brush Hog, or even a Super fluke can be really good in them woods.. Of course the darker the water the darker the bait..
And them crankbait fish still seem to prefer a citrus shad or a blue and chartreuse color in the maker of your choice..
Of course if you are throwing a square bill some, and who ain't, sexy shad is a great choice.. You can also catch a bunch of fish on a chart/white spinnerbait on the shallow rocks.. Look for our feathered friends on the points.. The white ones..
Not them fuckin' cormorants.. Who have again increased in population this year.. I have never seen so many in the summer.. These bastards never leave..
If there ain't ten thousand of them in this flock on the top of the lake I'll eat your hat..
How we coming on that TPWD?
If I was in charge I'd be on the phone to the EPA every day trying to get this cancer fixed..
I find it hard to believe that everyone in the EPA is an idiot, so someone, somewhere, has to be able to see the light and give us a lookover.. The problem being that they do not even know that this problem exists..
Is anybody ever going to help us?
Someone has to make this a priority.. Someone besides me.. They won't let me handle the problem.. Or I'd personally get it fixed..
How come the cormorant problem hasn't been leaked??
At this water level, with no real cover in the lake, it is easy pickens for these bastards.. And our fish populations are being hammered by these mother fuckers every day..
Let's see.. 10,000 birds.. Half pound of fish a day... That's 5,000 pounds of fish a day..
That's a hundred and fifty thousand pounds of fish a month..
That's one Million, eight hundred thousand pounds of fish a year!!
You think the netter's are hurting the lake??
You think fishermen are hurting the lake?
How we can enforce laws pertaining to the last two items mentioned, and ignore the birds is mind-boggling to me..
It's the epitome of the elephant in the room story...
And on it goes..