FLT Flash Fishing Report!
Not your Daddy's fishing report...
September 14, 2023: We're still waiting on the rain around here, and some is promised this weekend. We'll see if it shows up.. This week has been no cooler than the last couple, but we are supposed to drop below a hundred for several consecutive days in the very near future.
And I haven't interviewed anyone that is against it.
The fishing has been really good for a few folks, with big numbers of small fish up shallow if you want to go beat on em. Sub-keeper sized fish are plentiful, and smaller soft plastics and small crankbaits will surely get you bit.
A wacky senko is a good choice, or a super fluke on a teeny weight is good medicine.
Bigger fish, and some groups of them, are scattered about, and a lot of times on offshore structure that is less than obvious.. Areas of scattered rock can have a big group of big fish on them.
Matt Reed is about the only one doing much guiding around here right now, and he is on some good fish is several areas. He and his clients had a 38 pound day on Monday, and thirty four or so on Tuesday.
A 10.90 as been their biggest fish this week. But he says they're not everywhere..
You can certainly count the boats on the water on weekdays on one hand. And I reckon I can't blame you for not wanting to fish in this heat.. But it is gonna get better soon, I promise..
I just wish we could catch some water so we can launch on concrete down at the state park.
Speaking of which, the butterfly launching beach is no longer do-able for a big bass boat.. We did it last Sunday, and it was a bitch.. Back out on the point past the ramp canal is the best option.. Well really, it is the only option.. And four wheel drive is nice to have as well.. Although there, it is a good rocky bank and not soft at this point.
Zapata county ramp is still useable for a few feet, but not a lot.. Biggest problem is the sand bar built up at the mouth of the Veleno at the confluence of the river.. Only about three feet deep on top of it right now.. Silt City..
Crappie are still very scattered, and no one is looking for them this week.
Catfish still very good..
White bass are schooling on top near the state park most days.. Look for birds..
Small gar are being caught on rod and reel quite well.. And they are all over.. Big hatch last year..
Bait is every fuckin' where.. Still unbelievable amount of baby tilapia..
All species are eating good..
I spent two days this week putting a new machine on the boat.. And I hadn't done one in quite some time.. But used to do it a lot..
And I remember why I hate it so much.. Fighting cables and wires from front to back and everywhere in between.. Contorting ones self in more positions that the Kama Sutra contains.. Bleeding everywhere I have skin..
Maybe some of the problem is that I'm a lot older than I was..
But the pain is over now, and I am eager to get it on the water and try it out.. But it will have to wait till next week as dove season is now wide open and I am heading to the ranch on Saturday evening to whack a few..
Last weakened the game wardens collected a truckload of nets from the lake, and with them a shitload of fish, mostly tilapia. They had a big fish give away at the Stripes parking lot, and word travels fast in Zapata when that happens..
I'm glad to hear they are paying more attention to this problem. I am sure they have a significant influence on the decline of the crappie population.. Crappie are a spiney fish and they stick in the nets like glue.. As do the tilapia..
I know I bitch when no enforcement is present.. But I also thank the fellows for doing this pain in the ass task..
I still have not met the new wardens that are stationed here as of yet.. I have seen them on the water a few times..
If I'm not writing much, it's because nothing has changed.. Nobody here to speak of.. No tournaments scheduled.
Few reports.. You know what I know..
Fishing is pretty decent.. See you when we do..
September 6, 2023: The days are getting shorter, and there is no doubt that soon we will be in the cold and evil clutches of winter.. But for the meanwhile it is still hotter than a Howitzer barrel in Ukraine..
Again this week we are staring down temps that are uncomfortable, especially for the folks that live somewhere a lot north of us.. Of course you guys have had a taste of summer this year as well..
We're forecast to to top out around 104° for most of this week, but a bit down the road it is predicted to drop off a few marks on that thermometer thingy..
Water temps are still in the upper eighties, and maybe in a few places a bit more..
I would not say that we are in a fall pattern just yet..
As I have been telling you, the small fish are really doing well, and growing fast. And they have reached the size that they are starting to eat some baits pretty good.
They are mainly inhabiting the shallows, eating like Rosie after a Weight Watchers meeting..
Small tilapia and shad are abundant and easy pickens' for the fish. And this spring you are going to see what a one year old fourteen inch fish looks like.. A lot of times..
And the good news is that they are getting bigger than the desired forage size of these fuckin cormorants. Although I have seen them trying to swallow fish about the size of a boxcar..
These fish can be caught on small squarebills, a wacky senko, or most anything they can get in their moths. But smaller is still best if you want to go out and whack a bunch of the little fellows.
Some buddy were down last weekend, and stumbled on forty to fifty a day, with some three to four pounders mixed in. They said a wacky senko was best. They also caught a nine off an isolated rockpile..
Ten days ago the Laredo bass club had their year end tournament, and the top three places weighed 28, 24, and 23 pounds respectively.
And overall I hear the fishing has greatly improved the last three weeks.
Bigger fish are still out deeper, and a deep crank, a C-rig, or a shakey head have been reported best.
All around rock of course.. Some things never change..
The crappie are still pretty much in hiding according to several reports I have received. Either that or they have died off, or gotten the stainless steel massage last spring..
What the brush piles are full of, is perch. Bream.. Shell crackers. Panfish.. Or whatever you like to call em..
If I catch a few of em they certainly become panfish.. Sweetest fish in the water..
Scale em, decapitate em, eviscerate em..
Soak em in a bowl of milk and eggs, sprinkle a little salt and pepper on em.. Dip em in half cornmeal and half flour..
Make sure they are coated good and drop em in hot grease.. Fry till golden brown, and be sure to flip em one time in the oil bath..
Sprinkle a little salt on em to taste and you're eatin batter than Obamma is.. Well at least since his cook died..
Few bones to deal with but if you're any good at cunnilingus you can figure it out pretty fast.. And them fins.. Bettern' any tater chip you ever ate..
One of my old girlfriends said there is nothing better.. But can't remember if she was talking abut the fish or the latter..
But I digress..
The white bass have been a little spotty, but you can stumble on a few here and there..
Night fishing for catfish has been really good.. Some big mo-fo's too..
Small gar, up to two feet are fuckin everywhere, and a lot of them are being caught on rod and reel with shad for bait.
They also had a bumper crop hatch this year.. Fuckers will probably be a problem down the road as well.. Along with ten zillion plecostomuse's.. Not sure what their effect will be..
Water level is at 258.1, or zackly 44 feet low. Butterfly ramp is getting sketchy at this level.. Back to the point if not already.. At 257 I know big boats are a no go.. Zapata ramp still good..
No help on the radar as far as water goes.. No help for the Conchos so far in Mexico, and nothing in the pipeline of the Rio Grande. We're in the prime time for tropical activity, but nothing looking promising right now..
Maybe the spirit of Jimmy Buffett will steer those Florida storms our way..
Opening day of dove was a bust at the ranch.. Bastards ghosted us after swarming the place a few days before the weekend..
I had a big erection driving there on Saturday afternoon.. Nothing showed..
Kinda like hurrying to the whorehouse and them runnin' outta whores..
Very disappointing.. We had to do it by hand. (slinging clay pigeons of course..)
But we had a great family gathering and cooked way too much and drank a few beers.. And that is never a bummer..
And we'll give it another go on the 17th, and do it all over again, when we can whack some mourning doves..
Thirty days from now, the Snowbirds will start to arrive, and we'll see a lot more action the lake.. And I'll have more to talk about.. And hopefully more folks to talk to..
And we are going to spank them fishies when it cools off..
Come join us when you can!
August 29, 2023: Last week I was all excited about the possibility that we might actually get some significant rainfall from the farce of a tropical storm that invaded our airspace, but left little in the form of precipitation around these parts.
And it is not at all uncommon for storms that reach the coastal bend to bring us next to nothing.. Seems like they always jog to the left or the right.. Hitting Zapata is like landing a punch on Casius Clay.. You might land a glancing blow once in a while but scoring a knockout punch seems pretty impossible..
We garnered a whopping .25" of rainfall here at the store.. Northern Zapata county got a bit more, and some places in Laredo got three inches. And we did get a bit of runoff that lifted the lake level almost a foot. A lot due to the fact that Amistad did not decrease its release rate but we did..
Of course they had been dropping us at least six inches a week for the last month. As of today we are sitting at 258.48, or 42.72 low..
It did keep us on the butterfly launch down at the state park, at least for the time being. Of course we are still good on the concrete ramp here in Zapata. Only bad thing about that is that you have to motor ten miles south to get where the fish are biting.
Speaking of biting fish, they are.. At least they are biting a lot better than they were a few weeks ago. Early in the month, catching eight or ten fish was a good day. I appears that that number has doubled or there abouts, as several customers have reported so.
Numbers have improved due to a lot of smaller fish eating a lure. A few eights are being caught daily, but have not heard of any DD's in the last week.
Three's and fours are pretty common. Of course your results my vary..
And as my stockbroker used to tell me, "Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results."
Bout the same as me going to a bar in the seventies and trying to get lucky..
You might get slapped once in a while, but if you don't ask, you ain't ever gonna get laid.
Same with fishing.. You gotta put your worm in the water if you wanna get bit..
And fishing in the right spot can make all the difference.. If you ain't fishing around rock, you might as well keep it on the trailer.
Same with a bar.. If you ain't in the right place, you ain't gonna get bit there either..
Rock was not as important at the bar, but it was OK for some of the high-revving models..
Shout out to "Number 10 Cocktails" on Babcock Rd. in SA.. About 1976.. Don't look in any car windows in the parking lot.. Back in the days of big hair. On top, and down there..
And give me a shout out if you was ever there..
Shit, I could be a fuckin' poet..
But most of the bars I went to played both kinds of music.. Country and Western..
It's hard to whisper in a girls ear when you're dancing to, "You Shook Me All Night Long.."
I bet Bon Scott could have sung it better..
But I digress..
Where were we...
Best baits are wavering between a deep crank and a shakey head worm.. And not the crank or the shakey head worm you took to Number Ten..
Plum and Plum Apple are still go to's, but Junebug or the like will work as well. Something dark.
The Spro 70 series is a good choice, as is the 6XD Strike King.. SOS on colors.. Citrus or a shad pattern, as long as it has some chartruse on it.
Isolated rocky patches are also holding some fish. It is not a must to have a depth change.. But it sure as hell won't hurt you..
The crappie that have been in hiding are starting to show up in spots.. But the brush piles need to be deep.. Over twenty five is good.. There are a few BP's that deep, but most are in fourteen to twenty.. Start on the deeper ones if you know some..
Catfish are still very good, especially after dark.. The locals have flat out been fucking them up.. Cut shad is best..
On creek channel edges, or right here in the Veleno near the old bridge.. Which is mostly out of the water again..
Some folks are fishing the river off the bank, and doing quite well..
Also be advised that the brush piles are full of perch.. And they will peck you to death on small baits. Especially crappie fishing..
This is the first year in a long stretch where the perch have really made a comeback..
I don't know what it is about this year, but every species is making a big comeback in the numbers department..
And yes, the baby bass are all over.. More and more reports of six and seven inch bass biting a crankbait..
Man we are so set up for a fillup.. Or just a good gain in water levels.. And this motherfucker will go nuts in a year or so..
Dove season opens this weekend, and I have cleaned and polished my shotguns.. If you show up here at about four o'clock, and the door is locked.. No worries I'll be back in the AM..
Not that I'll do it every day.. Dove surveys say that we have 30 to 40 percent more birds in Texas than last year..
I'm gonna try to get the numbers back down..
More fish.. More birds... Hmmmm..
It's gonna cool off soon..
So as John Hyatt says, "Come on Baby, Drive South.."
See you on the water.. Or sitting on a bucket under a mesquite tree..
Either way I'll have a shit eatin' grin on my face.. Hope you will too..
August 16, 2023: Halfway thru August.. And hopefully more than halfway thru this heatwave. It's been a warm summer, but it always is.. But some of this shit has been ridiculous..
We've gotten away from the 112 or 114 stuff. But 105 has been pretty easy around these parts the last week.
There is a front; not gonna call it a cool front, but it is/was draped across the middle of the state yesterday, and I heard of some high sixties for lows in the northern tier of the state last night.
We actually had some pop up showers in the county yesterday afternoon, but they were micro bursts and did not last long or cover much area.
This mean little SOB popped up just west of my house yesterday.. Probably wasn't two hundred yards wide.. But it was giving it hell where it was.. Couldn't smell it.. But I could see it.. And that's the most I have seen since Trump only had three indictments against him..
As far as fishing goes, not a lot has changed.. Again. And the amount of fishermen has not changed a lot either. There are probably five or six boats out daily, and several of them are guides.
I was telling you that there is a hell of a batch of this years hatch in the lake, and a few of them are getting big enough to bite a crankbait. The amount of bait in the lake is ungodly, and they are eating well.
It seems that every species in the lake had a hell of a spawn this spring and summer.
But a few casts later they caught this one in the same place.
Small tilapia are everywhere.. Fifteen inch gar are lousy.. The plecostomus are insane. You can catch twenty or thirty in a cast net in the right spots.
White bass are schooling all over, especially at the dam, and baby bass are all over the lake as well.
PAW is coming down to do a shock study in the near future, and I am excited to see what the juice brings up.. I won't be here that morning..
The crawfish are also thick in many areas..
So many good signs.. Just add water..
Early in the year we had a lot of weeds and very light brush in the water. During the early spawn. The lake dropped, but still there was some cover for the fry to hide in.
Then we dropped about five feet, but only for a short period before Amistad gave us eleven feet, plus a couple from rains just to the north. And that put five feet of brush, weeds, and woods in the water.. Something we hadn't seen in several years.
And during that time there was another spawn, and we stocked almost 500,000 fingerlings. And for a good time they had the densest of cover to hide in. We still have some sparse thin cover in the water, but we're loosing it fast..
As of today we are sitting at 258.37, or 42.83 low.. If you recall, last summer we got down to almost 48 feet low..
We are still launching on concrete here in Zapata, but at the state park we are off the concrete of corse, and about through at the Butterfly ramp. You should probably start putting in back out on the end of the point past the ramp canal.
There is a little trough supposed to form in the gulf next week, and locally they are predicting some possible rain and temps back down under 100..
I'm not thinking it will be a drought buster, but anything would help. And being under a hunnert won't bother me any..
The days are getting about two minutes shorter every day.. Fall is coming.. And of course dove season in only two weeks away, so some rain is highly likely.. At least somewhere in Texas.
There are some fish being caught, and most of them are nice sized. Four to eight pounders are in decent supply, and a few folks have landed on some schools of fish. But there are others that have not fared as well,,
Sounds like fishing..
Deep crankbaits on rocky ledges, and adjacent to drops are best.. Some folks have stuck with the big soft plastics, like the Ol Monster or a Mag U-vibe worm. Same areas.. Like alway's, think rock.
A shakey head is a good choice as well.. That chunk rock will eat em, so take plenty.. Fish slow..
Gotta go. Come see us when you can.. I'll leave the lights on..
August 7, 2023: The high pressure dome continues to sit over Texas and droop over the edges like Rosie's ass on a barstool..
The only area that seems to get a bit of rain is in extreme north east Texas, as what storms do develop circle around the periphery of the high and often run into enough moisture to stir up some action.. And so far the fronts that do venture to the Red do not have enough oomphf to dislodge this motherfucker, and they slide to the east..
And of course high means dry, and boy we got it.. To date we have received only 6.20 inches of rain for the year. A few spots have more, and a few have a bit less. That total was recorded here at FLT.
We have not seen a late afternoon pop-up storm in weeks.. Which are fairly common down here this time of year.
August and September can actually be good to us some years.. Still waiting..
The lake has dropped to 259.32, or 41.88 low in layman's terms. We still have several more feet of launching capabilities on concrete here in the Veleno. At the state park we are still launching at the Butterfly beach.. Not a problem, but 4X4 don't hurt you..
The fishing is still tough for bass.. Some nice quality fish have been caught, but numbers continue to disappoint. It might have something to do with the incredible amount of baitfish in the lake.. From top to bottom..
Hard to believe till you see it. And you don't need to have FFS to see what I am talking about.
Big worms on Shakey Heads and Texas rigs seem to be best.. Or a senko.. Deep Crankbaits are catching a few.. But nothing has changed since last report.. But you probably already guessed that.. Cause if they were jumping in the boat you know I would have already spilled the beans..
White bass are very good.. Catfish are good in the deeper holes during the daylight, and at night you can catch them good here in the Veleno. Locals are also catching them good in the river above Zapata.. Some big ones too..
Have not spoken to anyone pursuing crappie in two weeks.. So I don't know.. But they have been slow lately as well..
Just very few fishermen in town..
So I have been framing some arrowheads, cleaning up around here, and usually getting in a nap or two..
I hate winter, but I am ready for some cooler temps.. But it ain't coming this week.
So far the Hurricane season is a bigger dud than the US women's (and I use that word loosely) kickball team..
No storms or disturbances in the gulf, and those in the Pacific seem to be able to avoid land. We're just gettin to the active period historically, so we will wait and see what happens.. Not a lot of other choices..
Speaking of Team Skittles, (and no I do do not want to taste that rainbow) why in the fuck do they want to play for the US?
Seems like if you had that much disdain for America, you would move to some other place where your freedoms are more respected..
I guess they play here cause the gravy train comes by every day..
But honestly.. It's soccer. Who gives a fuck.. As far as I'm concerned they can all suck it.. Or lick it or whatever..
Now hopefully the hype and constant bombardment about this debacle will pass like a turd that took too long in the colon..
Don't forget to flush..
Speaking of rectal matters.. I saw a commercial (I know.. I watch too much TV) for a drug that has been around for a while.. But they now have a new claim in their advertisement..
I think the name of the drug in Rinvok or Rinvoke..
It actually says that it will help visually repair the colon lining.. That got me to thinking..
Do they offer a home exam that comes with their product? So you can see that you are getting results by using their product? Has the FDA looked up enough assholes to verify these claims?
Or maybe this product is only prescribed to democrats.. The have their head up their ass all the time.
They should be able to get to the bottom of this..
Well this report has turned to shit so I better go..
Not a lot to report.. Status Quo..
Come on rain!!
See you when we do..
July 28, 2023: As summer rolls on, so do we.. Waiting patiently, or maybe not so much, for things to turn cooler and give many of us more willingness to do a few more things outside.. And one of them might be fishing..
But for the time being, there are just not many people out on the lake. Although the folks I have heard from this week seem to be signaling the fishing is improving..
Jimmy Steed and is customers had 28 pounds plus last week.. And one of my regulars had over thirty pounds by himself last weekend on senkos..
Most folks catching fish, are fishing deeper of course.. Fifteen to twenty seems to be a common denominator..
Rocks of course..
OK.. There's your fishing report.. About all I have heard.. On the bass anyway.. There is nobody here..
Haven't heard of anyone chasing crappie.. Or white bass..
Catfish still good I hear..
The lake is still dropping slowly.. And we're down to about 18% of volume.. But probably less when you figure in all the silt and sediment in the lake..
Getting in the water is still no problem.. Although damn few folks are doing it.. A few on weekends... Still on concrete here in Zapata, and at the Butterfly area down at state park..
On a positive note, I am hearing of a lot of small bass, up to six inches being caught in cast nets as the locals are catching bait.. I do believe that this will be the first year in a few that we could have a decent year class of fish..
Hopefully the cormorants will all get a disease and fucking die.. We should be giving them lead poisoning..
Glad PAW is really pushing the feds on this topic..
And in case this is the first time you have read my writing I will go ahead and tell you that I often employ a bit of sarcasm in the text..
Speaking of the feds..They are as fucked up as a Millennial's checkbook.
You got to start at the top.. The president doesn't know which side of his underwear goes out.. And trying to decipher his blathering requires and enigma machine.. He's as fucked up as Hogan's goat.. He needs to be in a home..
Sounds like his son is apparently involved in some kind of prostitution, drug, gun, embezzlement, bribery, illegitimate father, influence peddling scheme..?? Have you heard about this? He needs to be in a prison..
My Dad always said the apple doesn't fall far from the tree..
Where was honest George when this tree needed chopping down.
We got ol Nancy.. Who thankfully we haven't heard from too much lately.. But I am still sure she is dumb as a mud fence.. She needs to be in rehab..
We got Festerman.. Who also can't put three words together.. He needs to be in speech therapy.. And a trip to Men's Wearhouse wouldn't hurt him either.. He looks like shit on a white rag every time I see him..
Yesterday Mitch had a mini stroke at the podium it appears.. It's time for him to go.. He needs to be in a home..
That Finesten chic from California, who grew up with Sacajuea is also in a dementia state and it is absolute elder abuse to keep wheeling her out in public.. She has no idea what is going on. She needs to be in a home..
But on the other hand, we have some of the dumbest young motherfuckers on board, and I have no idea how stupid their constituents are to keep electing them..
Oh wait.. Yes I do.. Stupid is as stupid does.. Nice job, assholes..
Our country is the laughing stock of the world.. And we don't need to worry about any other country's kicking our ass.. If they are smart they will just sit back, take our money till it runs out, and wait for the final implosion that looks more likely every day..
But the economy is doing really good.. Thanks mostly to the tourism industry.. Cause we sure have a lot of tourists coming across our southern border..
And when these motherfuckers take a vacation, they are serious.. Lots of Euro trash countries people go on what is called, "Holiday." Taking a month off and traveling all over the globe..
These vacationers are staying and the US taxpayers are paying for their sojourn.. Although sojourn is literally defined as temporary.. Maybe that is a bad choice of words..
We have to be the stupidest motherfuckers on the earth..
We send hundreds of billions of dollars to Ukraine.. But we can't defend our own borders..
Last time I checked, Russia was still in Europe. Those motherfuckers should be taking care of problems in their back yard.. And we should mind ours..
Yeah I think Putin is an asshole.. And should be removed by any means.. But those means should come from Europe.. And dragging this shit out for more years is only good for defense contractors..
Is the human race still so barbaric that we cannot get past killing each other en masse on a regular basis?
I know it is in our nature to war among the tribes. Been going on since the dawn of time.. And maybe this is something that mankind just cannot get past..
But you will have to admit that the fate of the world is tightly held in the hands of less than one hundred people..
And the other billions of us only want to live in peace and be given opportunity..
But this shit could all be over soon with all the visits we are getting from interstellar travelers as of late. Or so I hear..
But if they have any intelligence, and they must, to be space travelers, they will probably just eat at The Waffle House and then get the hell off the planet.. I do believe I have seen some aliens in there..
And suddenly Bigfoot sighting on on the rise..
Coincidence? I think not..
Could it be that the Bigfeets are from a cold planet, (Hence the fur) and they are marooned here due to not paying attention to the factory recalls on their spacecraft?
That low uranium light comes on for a reason..
Well come see us if you get bored.. Cause I certainly am.
I'll let you know how the fishing goes.. If anybody ever goes..
July 21, 2023: Time sure travels fast..The older I get the faster it seems to go.. Although I am quite sure there are the same amount of minutes in this year as the last..
One year ago today, my brother and partner Tommy passed away.. Hard to believe it has been 365 days already..
Been kinda a tough week at the Bendele households.
But here we are in the middle of summer, and boy is it.. We are still experiencing temps above normal, but not near as bad as a few weeks ago.. But 107 is still pretty damn hot..
Fishing is still pretty tough, but a few folks are figuring out a few fish. Jimmy Steed and his customers had 28 plus pounds yesterday, and that is the best I have heard in a couple of weeks..
There have been some quality fish caught, but numbers of them, or numbers in general have been hard to come by..
Deeper water has produced best, with a Texas rigged big worm or a shakey head with a big worm on it have been decent.. And a deep crankbait in the same areas will catch a few..
Sloping rock of course.. Ledges and edges.. Nothing new..
I did speak to a couple of folks that caught a few on squarebills on the shallow rock. The bait is unbelievable.. Everywhere.. Tilapia by the millions.. Shad.. Big and small.
I have been fishing here for fifty years, and I ain't never seen nothing like it..
I don't think the fish have to work too hard for a meal..
The white bass are still going crazy.. Easy pickens.. Catfish are good.. Crappie have disappeared.. Where the fuck they have gone I do not know.. Of course there were a lot of them that left town this spring.. In freezers..
Launching a boat is no problem.. On the butterfly down at the state park and still on concrete here in Zapata..
Plenty of room in the parking lots.. Traffic is light..
That's about all I got today.. Not in the mood.. Nor have I been..
But I am sure I will be back to my usual obnoxious self before long..
Thanks for checking in..
July 10, 2023: After a week of highs only around 100°, we have a week of the high 100's predicted again. 107 or 8 in the afternoons makes it a little toasty on the water after lunch.. But with a little breeze across the water it ain't too bad..
Unless you're accustomed to Yankee type temps.. Then all bets are off..
The lake is sitting 262.18. And I say sitting as we are wavering around that level, with a very slight downward trend that at this rate will equate to an inch or two drop in a week.. But there is no telling what the near future brings.. But right now I see no influx of water in the immediate future.
This level means we have moved back to the Butterfly launching facilities at the state park. And I use the word "facilities" extremely loosely..
There are no fucking facilities other than a trash can.. And a slope to the bank that does allow fairly easy put and take, but there spots that are not perfectly level.. It is not hard to see where most folks are putting in..
Of course at the concrete boat ramp at the state park we have a nice new aluminum boat dock.. Too bad the water is a hundred yards from it.
We got a new fancy sign at the entrance to the park as well this year.. That's nice..
Think we could get low water ramp? Fuck no..
Well at least we are still on concrete here in the Veleno.. For now..
The chances of rain this week are about the same as Hunter going to jail. High pressure has returned and has us covered like Rosie's ass on a barstool..
I'm watching the tropics, and the Pacific is starting to get a little more active.. A few storms have formed but headed out to sea.. It's coming..
I was on the lake yesterday, and I went down to the dam with some buddies to catch some white bass for the deep fryer.. And it was pretty easy pickens.. Them fuckers are everywhere.
I have fished here a long time, and have fished the lake under most all conditions and at all water levels. And in that fifty plus years, I have never seen the baby tilapia as thick as they are..
I'm talking about massive schools and lines of fish as far as the eye can see. Clouds of fish about two inches long. And from what I hear is that they are all over the lake. They were certainly from the ramp to the dam.. Big brown spots on the surface.. Looks like schools of mullet in the salt water..
We spoke to some fellows that were fishing at marker three and they said the same thing was going on there.. Of course I have been hearing this from a lot of other folks for weeks. You need to see it to appreciate it..
There will be no shortage of food for the bass for the near future. They should be growing like the National Debt..
And maybe this incredible food source is what has made the fishing tough, although reports are some improved since my last writing.
Reports on the bass are from four fish to the middle teens.. Most of the fish you catch are good sized, from four to eight pounds.. Just not a whole of em.. Soft plastics are best, in about ten foot and deeper. But more important is fishing on rock, near depth changes.. No news flash there..
I did talk to some boys fishing jerk baits around the bait and they caught several but nothing over four pounds..
I'm hearing next to nothing about crankbaits..
As I said the white bass are going nuts.. And yesterday we blended in with the flotilla near the gates and everybody that wanted to caught an easy limit.. Most fish were from eleven to twelve inches long, but we caught a few fourteen inchers I'd guess.. And a dozen or more undersized fish.
The fish would push the tilapia up against the gates or the concrete and the water would boil..
Crappie are still tough, and no one I have talked to has whacked them.. Of course there have been very few fishermen on the water, and I have not spoken to anyone that has specifically targeted them. But if it was going on, I would have heard about it..
Catfish are still good.. Not like they were when the river was running.. But still good.
The gar are rolling in places, but that are not everywhere like they were a month ago.
The bulk of the fishermen on the water are not chasing bass..
Only fifty one days till dove season, and around here there are a lot of mourning doves.. And I plan on putting a lot more of them into mourning..
Not seeing too many white wings yet, but there are a few around.. And some of them big fat ring necked fuckers, but I rarely see them in the field. They like it here in town, for whatever reason..
Well come fishing if you dare.. And we'll see you when we do!
June 27, 2023: I've about run out of euphemisms to describe how damn hot it has been for so damn long.. I do believe you could bake a cake if you put it in a black trash bag out in the sun.. And I just might try it..
If you need to wash some clothes on cold, you're shit outta luck.. I don't think there are any water pipes in Zapata buried more than six inches deep..
And while we enjoyed a really wet spring, them days are gone, and it is dryer than a crackheads toothbrush around here..
It's gonna take a disturbance from the gulf or some weird front to push this high pressure off the top of us.. And I hope it shows up soon..
They have been letting a bunch of water out lately, although it has slowed the last couple of days.. And Amistad is turning a bit of water out the last few days as well. But not enough to hold us steady.
We are down to 263.48, down about two and a half feet from the recent high.. Which is taking some of our good cover out of the water..
There is still a good bit of it left, but I hate to see any loss of habitat which we have had so little of the last few years..
But one thing going on is truly amazing. Not in years have we seen so much forage in the lake. There are literally millions of tiny tilapia which are swimming in twenty yard and longer schools just cruising up and down the banks.
And in open water there schools of them on top, making it look like a shadow is on the water.. I have seen them this way before, both here and on Sugar lake over in Mexico. Sometimes the schools on Sugar would cover five acres..
Whether this bodes good or bad I cannot say. But I will say that this happened during the Hey-Days of both lakes..
Bait balls of shad are everywhere as well.
Schools of white bass numbering in what has to be thousands are scattered across the lower part of the lake. There are some up north as well.
You can sit in front of the gates at the dam and catch them every cast. Every cast.. Yes I said every cast.. So far no one has lasted over a couple of hours.. They'll wear you out..
The catfish are still excellent and not hard to figure out..
That's the good fishing report..
Bass and crappie are another subject..
The Laredo bass club was in town last weekend, and I think they had about thirty boats. Eighteen pounds and fifteen pounds were the top two weights I heard.. But a lot of folks caught one or none..
Alamo Bass Club out of San Antonio was here also, but only had about ten fishermen so I heard.. On Saturday only two fish were weighed.. Did not hear anything about Sunday.
Matt Reed is back in town and has several guide trips the last six days. He reports low numbers but some nice quality when you do get bit.
And I heard of two thirty pound sacks caught over the weekend, but with less than ten bites during the day..
Tough going for sure.
But here's a couple of pics of some nice fish caught by Matt's folks this week, and like usual Falcon is always nice to the ladies.. Natalie caught this PB over the weekend.
And this 10.03 was caught on Monday, out of only a handful of bites..
They're still out there.. But been hard to come by.
The crappie are absent from most brush piles.. Not sure were they went.. And no one has told me about running into a pile of them lately..
I have been surveying a lot of my local customers as of late, particularly those that I know throw a cast net for bait all the time.
I have heard from more than one fisherman that you can throw a cast net off the dock at the county ramp and catch more bait than you can use in a single throw. Threadfin and gizzard shad, tilapia, crappie, and all sorts of minnow looking fish are all thick in the nets.
Including a lot of baby bass in the shallows adjacent to any cover.
What does all this mean?
I'm gonna take it as a sign Mother Nature is stocking the lake up to populate all the new acreage that is going to be flooded when the water comes..
We're due baby.. And when it happens it's gonna be epic..
A few folks have e-mailed me lately and asked why I haven't delved into the political cess-pool for a while.
I really can't give a good reason, other than I know I am preaching to the choir.
Recent events and developments continue to point out the hypocrisy of the press and the DOJ..
Maybe a few eyes have been opened, but as the saying goes, there is none blinder than those who just won't see..
And as a lower middle class, red blooded American, I am truly embarrassed by what is going on in this country..
It appears that the old adage that we are trying to help the rest of the world catch up to us has gone by the wayside..
And like the "Alice's Restaurant" song implied, instead of bringing that trash up, we just decided to throw ours down with the rest..
And it is sad that we have let ourselves become part of the heap of smoldering horse shit, instead of the shining city on the hill that President Reagan referred to..
It's a crying, fucking, shame..
June 20, 2023: Ok.. So here's a couple of tests to check your psychological intelligence and vision.
If you go out on the lake right now, and stay out till noon, you are three quarters crazy and may have predilection for finding out what heat stroke feels like..
If you stay out till three o'clock, and survive, you are either native to the deserts in the Middle East or from Death Valley..
Either way you might be certifiable.. Fuckin' crazy at the least..
And if you are a fan of deep psycho examination and mental acuity, you have no doubt heard of the Rorschack personality test.. The one where examinees were asked to look at inkblots and and tell the examiner what they saw.
Most of the inkblots look like the work of a clumsy calligrapher, who spilled ink all over their work surface..
After examining hundreds of these, I have concluded that one could discern just as much about an individual by having the patient look at skid marks in a dozen pairs of Fruit of the Looms..
Sometimes a stain is just a stain..
But this week I saw something that is surely a signal.. A sign that water is coming to Falcon.
Look at this spot and tell me what you see..
Last week I was washing my truck, and after the water around it dried up, except for this patch, it was clear that I had seen a vision.. And yes it is true that there is a lot of peyote around here, but I promise I have ingested nothing stronger than some Weller and water..
This is obviously an apparition of a pregnant Mother Nature, wearing a hoop skirt that is concealing a ton of water..
Not sure if I have ever seen a cleared indication of things to come..
Meanwhile, back at the ranch..
The last ten days have seen us loose about fifteen inches of water. WTF they're doing with it I don't know. They should be growing rice in the valley with all the rain they got the last month..
Guess there are some crops that need more.. Fuck if I know..
And this water loss puts the concrete boat ramp at the state park out of service for big boats.. I had a buddy launch on it this AM, but he told me a while ago that he is not going to load there.. I'm sure flatbottom's can get by for a bit yet..
We have dropped to 264.94.. And at 264, no boats will be able to utilize the concrete ramp. So if you are planning on putting in down south, launch at the end of the ditch where we were a few weeks before.. No sweat, but a 4X4 is recommended with a big boat..
Right now, the words "No Sweat" should not be used in conjunction..
It is hottern' a bitch wolf in August suckin' seven larapin' pups..
Yesterday we got up to 114° and supposed to be about the same for the next two.. Then we get a break and only hit about 107 for a few days..
Our local weather man in Laredo, "Heatwave", says that this is the hottest spell in 25 years..
I was fishing here back then, but I am sure I skipped that stint of weather.. And I don't blame you for skipping this one either..
This is certainly the hottest stretch of days I have seen since I have been here permanently for the last fifteen years plus..
But just like a bad kidney stone, this too shall pass..
I have not spoken to three serious bass fishermen in the last week. So what the bass are doing I truly cannot say. Maybe the moving water woke them up a bit.. It couldn't have hurt..
I spoke to a couple of Falcon regulars last week that said they had four fish by noon, on squarebills, But that was it..
But basically no one is fishing..
The white bass on the other hand, are going crazy. Schooling in lots of areas and they have been consistently piled up right in front of the gates.. A buddy of mine is out there right now with his grandsons catching them every cast on Little George's..
Heard that from several locals this week..
The crappie are in select deep brush piles, twenty feet or more.. You can catch em but you night have to hop around a bit till you land on em..
The gar are rolling around in several locations, including right here in the Veleno. And some one to two hundred pounders have been killed lately.
Yesterday I also talked to a local who was throwing a cast net for bait near the lower boat ramp here in Zapata.
He said he was catching six to eight baby bass from two inches to four inches long on every throw.. It's coming, baby.
And you only have to make a few throws to catch a bucketful of shad, from two to six inches long, right off the dock..
And yes the catfish are still biting well most any place you go.. Drop offs are good.. And shallow hardwoods..
Last weekend was Fathers Day, and I hope you had a great day of it.. If you're like me, and your Daddy has passed on, I hope you remembered the good times you had together..
I know all Father/child relationships are not perfect, and I have certainly had many a tough period with my own younguns.. Still do. But I know we love each other thru it all..
Here's a pic of my dad with his biggest bass ever, a eight pounder caught back behind the Veleno bridge. I can't believe he has been gone 12 plus years.. I'm getting old.. I miss him every day..
And while I'm feeling sentimental, here's a pic of my two rug rats.. Both pushing forty.. Damn I am getting old..
My daughter holding a fish for her friend Kerri. Michael with a flippin bass out of the woods near marker 7.. It's in the blood..
If you don't hear from me don't get alarmed.. It's too freakin hot to fish.. Either that or I dried up and blew away..
Watch the weather and when it cools off get your ass down here..
See you in the funnie papers..
June 16, 2023: You know why there are never any Bigfoot sightings in Zapata county? It's simple.. Cause no shag carpet wearing motherfucker could survive in this country..
It's hot.. And allegedly it is going to be really hot this week.. Predicted highs around 110°.
I hate cold with a passion but this is a bit ridiculous.. Two layers of any clothing is ludicrous and I think I am going Commando the rest of the week..
Fishing is still a bit hit and miss lately, and I keep hearing the same results from most.
Elite Bass Club was in town last weekend and on Saturday they had fair results. There was a eighteen pound bag, a fifteen, and two thirteen pound limits on Saturday. And actually I am not sure if those bags all had limits.
On Sunday they did not fare as well, and thirteen pounds and change was the best stringer brought to the scales. And several boats blanked I hear.
Most all of the fish caught were in deeper water, although many of the fishermen tried the flooded brush.. Cause it just looks so good..
Most of the fish were caught in about twelve to fifteen feet of water. Crankbaits worked to some extent, and on Sunday the best sack came on a five inch Senko with a light weight on ledges, ie: State Park Cove to marker three..
Typical summer pattern setting in, with water temps in the middle eighties.
The lake has dropped a couple of inches in the last three days, as they are letting a bit of water out. Why I don't know, cause the valley should be wetter than whale shit.
But I never know what is going to happen with the water levels here..
This morning we are sitting at 266.09, or 35.11 feet low.. If you say it fast it don't sound too bad..
There is no rain in the forecast for us, but they did not predict the last few we got.. It is that time of year when a thunderstorm can pop up most anytime, and they can be bad som bitches..
But for the next seven days we are supposed to have a hot air cap sitting over us and that don't bode well for showers.. And until this shit goes back to Mexico where it belongs, I don't see much happening..
Hope the tropics get busy soon.. It's early..
The crappie have gotten a little bit busier, but you are wasting your time if you are looking for them in water less than twenty feet. Deeper brush piles are the ticket, although I did hear of a few near the dam..
White bass have been schooling up right against the gates and at the right side screen, as there is some current there.
Take a number on weekends..
Catfish are still very good especially on the top end of the lake. The river above Zapata has been excellent if you venture up there or have bank access.. Which is hard to come by..
But you can catch aplenty here in the veleno or on the river channel edges down to marker eight.. Shrimp and cut shad are the best baits it appears.. Stink bait will get a lot of bites, but most fish are small..
Slow times indeed around here.. Send me an e-mail when you get bored..
So you can help me deal with mine.. If anything exciting happens I'll let you know..
June 6, 2023: Well, month number five is shot in the ass, and as is typical, Zapata is pretty much a ghost town.
Not even the exhaust fumes of the last of the Snowbirds can be smelled, as they are long gone and north of Texas for the most part.
And in a short while summer will sit in on us for real.. Mother Nature has been going easy on us as of late, and I don't think we even made a hundred all month long.
The late fronts that have pushed down have run into some good gulf moisture, and we have been wetter than our norm for this time of year.. And I hope it continues.
We got another 2+ inches since I last wrote, and a lot of the places around us got a lot more.. If you get under the right thunderstorm you can put some water in the gauge in a hurry..
It did not however, put any water to speak of in the lake..
There are basically no fishermen on the lake, most days seeing six to ten boats out from top to bottom.. A few more on weekends.
We are still just rising a few hundreth's a day, and currently we are sitting at 266.29, up right at four inches since I last wrote some ten days ago.
It has rained around us and/or on us almost daily for the last week. But nothing to put any real water in the lake. And according to forecasts, we are headed to warmer and drier for the next week.
But no complaints.. Its Green Acres around here and the valley is wet. We should not loose any/much water in the next month.. But like I have said, who knows with these folks..
As far as the fishing goes, your guess is as good mine. I have not talked to a bass fishermen since last Thursday.
And what I heard was the quality was good, but numbers are hard to come by.
Catfish are still good, but not stupid crazy like they were when the river was running..
White bass have been schooling in places, to include right in front of the gates at the dam..
Crappie are still spotty, but no one is chasing them.
Water clarity is the best we have seen in years as all the greenery is filtering the water and protecting the banks. It looks awesome..
We have a lake twenty five miles long and nobody on it..
I have seen more gar boats than bass boats this week.. And if you're a gar hunter it's a good time to be here. Lots of cruising fish I hear.. And a shit ton of little bastards..
If it sounds like I'm less than excited, you have read me right.. It's deader'n fried chicken around here..
And I have cleaned and dusted and thrown out shit I ain't seen in five years..
Bored to tears..
I'll report when anything happens..
Pray for more rain... We got a good start, but we got room for a whole lot more!
May 25, 2023: Well since I last wrote about nine days ago, we have come up right at six inches.. A far cry from what we were hoping for with all the rain that was predicted.. And in the last week we got a few sprinkles, barely enough to wet the sidewalk.
But I ain't gonna bitch too much.. I was at the ranch last weekend and it was a freaking swamp.. Tank running over the spillway and the big creek running.. Bigly.. Where do all them croaking frogs come from when it has been drier than Hillry's nether regions..
Outside at night it sounded like Rosie singing the National Anthem.. Lots of croaking..
The country there and here looks great though.. Greener than 100 day old cheddar.. And like I said, if you are on the lake you'd swear it is over pool, looking at all the trees and bushes in the water..
But we are still 35 feet low! We are sitting at 265.99 and have not been here in about four years.. Pre Woohan..
That seems like a long time ago..
Here's something you ain't seen in a long time..
Yes folks the state park ramp is now open.. BFT. We have been at this level for a fuckin week.. You can actually launch your boat on concrete.. Just like at the lakes that TPWD State Parks Service likes..
I feel truly honored.. And you'll be glad to know that the new low water ramp is almost complete.. Well almost.. Well they were supposedly doing a study for one.. Well they were thinking about it.. Someone might have mentioned it..
Naw, they ain't done a fucking thing..
They had the perfect opportunity a couple of months ago.. I could have put in a three boat wide ramp in two days at the Butterfly area..
Tie up a steel mat. Set some screed pins.. And call them big fuckin trucks that go round and round, and Beep, Beep, Beep, when they back up..
Game over.. The government moves at the sound of smell. If they move at all..
The fishing is a bit on the spotty side. The fish are scattered.. Like when you accidentally rip open a bag of elbow macaroni and that shit lands on a tile floor. It'll take you a while to find em all and get em corralled.
And by most reports, you might find fish most anywhere.. It appears that some fish have moved to the bushes, but just as many are out in about ten to twelve feet of water.
The spinerbait has caught a few shallow around the trees, and maybe a swim jig will do you some good.
Offshore a crankbait or a Texas rigged bait drug around the rocks in that twelve foot range can get you bit..
If it sounds to you like I am not trying to oversell the fishing you have understood correctly. I have gotten a few good or at least decent reports, but they are the exception.
And of course you must understand that there are damn few fishermen on the water.
This weekend the Laredo club will be down, so I reckon I will get a lot more reports on what's happening..
The catfish are another story.. They are still going ballistic.. Bank or boat..
Crappie are a bit scattered as well, and I have not heard of a limit in some time. But again, damn few fishermen..
Catching a lot of water often leads to periods of this.. Both the fish and the fishermen gotta get used to a lot of new water..
But I'll gladly accept the tougher fishing right now, cause I know what this leads to..
I've been busy back in the workshop, working on my new invention.. And this one really should put me over the top..
As you know in the past I have had some doosies, and if I had filled out the patent paperwork properly I surely would have been retired by now.
You remember the Shadnick.. Worlds first satellite, powered purely by fish oil, that instantly transmits water level data back to FLT. But the fuckin Chinese hacked my server, and sold my technology to NASA and NOAA..
Still in use today..
Of course you remember the self propelled, GPS enabled marker buoy.. Punch in some cords on your graph.. Blue toothed to buoy. Throw it overboard and the Mother fucker headed right to the spot.. Also had a "home" button that brought it back to the boat.
Incredible technology.. Fuckin spotlock put me out of business..
Of course there was the self licking lollipop..
And the transmission for women's cars that came with no reverse.. Which I thought was brilliant.. But as it turns out, there weren't that many houses with circular driveways..
But this time I got it.. And I'll have to admit that I was inspired by some other inventions that I've seen advertised on TV lately..
Namely the commercial for the period panties that absorb as much liquid as seven tampons..
That's right.. I'm making panties that come with a dipstick..
Cause how do you know when you are about to hit maximum saturation?
I am also making some Depends type briefs for the President.. If he'd a had a dipstick before he visited the Pope he'd a been able to avoid an international incident.
Oh well.. I better go before this conversation starts to hit below the waist..
Come and find some fish. And be sure to write down them coords!!
May 16, 2023: Well I waited to write this report till I could report that we had caught a bunch of water.. Because the big rain prediction for last week was a lock..
Like I have said.. Them fuckers cain't predict yesterday..
Here in Z town, we got a total of .35 inches of rain.. Checked with my double redundant analog rain detection devices.. Otherwise known as glass rain gauges..
Not exactly what I was hoping for..
It did rain a little along the river all the way up to Amistad. And in the last couple of days it has rained above the Big Friendly and will add a few inches of water there..
Above Zapata and below Del Rio several locations got two inches of rain, and with the ground being somewhat wet a lot of it ran into the Rio Grande.. And as I type, a little water is hitting Falcon.
We have picked up four inches since last Friday, but that is a long way from the four feet I was hoping for. As were a lot of you from the phone calls and e-mails I received.
I believe we could catch about another six inches in the next few days looking at what is in the pipeline. And we are releasing almost nothing currently, as the valley did get several doses of generous rains, and some spot flooding in some areas.
And water retained is as good as water caught.
I am still optimistic as to the future weather pattern.. It appears that we have had a bit of a wetter cycle in play the last couple of months. And I pray it continues.
We still have rain in our forecast for the next couple of days. Of course these are pop up thunderstorms that may or may not visit all areas..
Our tank at the ranch had about one foot of water in it yesterday morning.. And low and behold a bad ass storm popped up right above our place and filled it up in two hours..
Looks like I better get my ass on the shredder.. It would take two pickups (long bed) to haul off the doves I have killed around that pond in the last forty years.. Hopefully we will still have water in September.. Only 107 days till the opener..
Falcon is sitting at 265.47 today and that equates to 35.73 feet low. But if you were a newbie down here and on the lake for the first time you'd think the lake is full.. Green all the way to the water with a lot of flooded brush and weeds..
Water is back under the Veleno bridge and it goes all the way around the corner to the east. Granted it is not knee deep in most places.. But it is something we haven't seen in quite some time.
Most of this water came out of Amistad.. So now you can fish Amistad and Falcon at the same time.. Here in Zapata county..
From the few reports I have received, I am hearing the fish have started relating to a lot of the flooded brush, especially on the south end of the lake. Flip the green trees in the water and beat the heck out of any hardwoods that are mixed in.
Your favorite flipping bait will work, but a couple of good choices are a Zoom Z-Craw and the Plum Ol Monster.. Or the POM as I affectionately refer to it.. That is a fish catching motherfucker wherever it goes..
And with all the cover in the water it is time to think bushes and shade. There are millions of little baby fishes in the water.. Lots of shad.. And a shit ton of assorted who knows what all.
The other day I was talking about flipping the hardwoods just across from the Veleno on the Mexican side.. Well some buddies beat them for two hours and did not catch a thing,
Guess it is not time yet..
The catfish are still hell bent for leather, and the Gar are thick as fleas here in the Veleno. And for those of you who worry about the population of the little darlins', don't fret. Evidently the bastards had a hell of a spawn last year and there are a shitload of twelve to eighteen inchers swimming around in the shallows.
No doubt the gar came up the shallow Veleno to spawn, and the locals have whacked the shit out of them. Heard of a lot of six footers and one 7'6" whopper.. Three to fives were common. And still are..
The crappie are slowly making their way back to the brush piles, but it is still hit and miss. Several folks with FFS say they see em down there, but getting them to bite can be a little tricky.. Don't forget to use some nibbles.. It will certainly help when they are a little finicky.
I had a bunch of company in town last weekend and we fried up a passel of em.. In my opinion they's the best eatin' fish that swims in Texas waters..
White bass are back on the south end of the lake and they school anytime anywhere.. Got reports of several thirty minute limits.. If you happen on a school.. Watch for shrieking birds..
Overall the lake's health is in the top percentile.. And I'm jacked about it. It's gonna be good..
I'm gonna head to the ranch this weekend, so I am slipping out a bit early on Saturday and won't be back till mid-day on Monday.
I'm playing in a golf tournament on Sunday morning.. And a card game on Sunday night..
Could be an OOfer two weekend..
I'll let you know what the water does.. Come see us if you get the chance..
May 5, 2023: Happy Cinco de Mayo! Not sure what happens in your neck of the woods.. Or here either but I am sure tequila sales are up across all of Mexico.. And there is nothing like a shot of Hornitos to start the day..
I know I have posted that picture ten times.. What the hell..
Well it has been an interesting week around here. I guess.. Nothing too exciting ever happens in Zapata.. And I guess that is some of the reason I like it..
But Wednesday and Thursday we stocked about 500,000 baby bass in the newly flooded bushes that line the banks of Falcon. And boy there are a lot of them. If you didn't know better, you'd think the lake is full as there are trees and brush down to the waters edge from top to bottom.
It looks awesome. We are still about 36 feet low. But that is still about 11.44 feet higher than we were just about six weeks ago.
And hopefully we will maintain a lot of this water for the next little while. The valley is wet for now.. And we appear to have entered a little wetter pattern than we usually have this time of year.. We had thunder storms come across from the mountains again yesterday evening/night. We didn't get squat, but some areas did.. We did get a nice light show if nothing else..
For some reason I feel more optimistic than I have in years.. Maybe it is just gas.. I duno..
I do know that we had the best spring of fishing we have had in five or six years.. Maybe Mother Nature is setting us up for something good..
More good news is that The Game Wardens have marked the bridge in the Veleno.. It has three large orange markers on it now.. One on each end, and a smaller one in the middle.
My recommendation to you is to exit the Veleno on the west or right side of the creek. Put two boat lengths between you and the westernmost marker and you are good.. I am sure you can go by on the east side, but there are a few hazards over there that it is better to avoid.. The top of the bridge posts are about six inches under water.
And that concrete is much harder that your lower unit..
I was on the lake last Sunday, and I was on the lake on Wednesday, when we were putting out fish.
And by the way, special thanks to all the folks that helped disperse the fish.. I think we had eight boats on Wednesday and five or six yesterday.. I salute you!
Anyway, I was really impressed with how much the water has cleared up on the top of the lake. On Sunday it was dirty all the way down to between marker seven and eight. Wednesday the water at marker ten was fishable.. Even in my jaded opinion..
Of course the river has quit pushing.. The wind has not howled.. And the green stuff in the lake is filtering the the water for the first time in years.. And not having exposed mud banks being beaten by waves don't hurt any either..
I sure would like to flip all those hardwoods just across from the Veleno while they were surrounded by water that does not look like coffee with a shit ton of creamer in it.. Some serious tonnage of fish have come from there..
I have had some unbelievable days there without burning a quart of gas..
A few more feet of water and we will be able to fish some of the creeks up the river.. Which we have not done in years. And years..
The fishing appears to have slowed some, as the fish and the fishermen adjust to the new water. I did hear of a few spinnerbait fish caught out of the newly covered vegetation.. But most folks have struggled to catch any real numbers this last week.. But there have been damn few fishermen out during the week..
We have a bass club or two coming to town this weekend, so maybe I'll get a better report on Saturday evening.
A buddy of mine was over in the old town of Guerrero last weekend. So for those of you that used to fish around the old church, here's a pic of what it looks like today..
Caught a lot of fish on the rocks around that old town.. Hundreds of rockpiles there when the lake is full..
Just add water..
I have been watching way too much TV lately.. And frankly I'm all caught up on my recordings of Jeopardy! and beyond that there is not a lot of quality programs on TV.. And I'll have to admit that Jeopardy! probably will not get sued for lack of diversity when it comes to contestants..
Sometimes I think I have tuned into drag show trivia night at a gay bar..
It's a strange new world out there these days..
But I digress..
If you watch TV you see a lot of commercials.. And the freak show continues there for sure.. I think it must be a contest to see who can assemble the strangest collection of folks to represent their products..
I reckon I'm just too old fashioned..
And there is no off limits about what is advertised.. There was a word back when I was a kid.. It was "unmentionables.."
Well there ain't shit that is not mentioned today..
One of my favorite commercials du jor is about the women's panties you can just pee in, or that can absorb up to seven tampons worth of unmentionable..
Are you serious? If this product does exist I just don't want to know about it..
And if I was on the hunt I would want a disclosure from any possible dating candidates about which feminine hygiene products she employs..
Do you ever see any lawyer commercials? Jeez.. Down here they need a big brush guard on the front of their Mercedes for when they rear end ambulances..
Do you think Leroy Jethro Gibbs has his Camp Lejune claim in yet?
Ever see those commercials asking if you have an empty room in your house.. Or if you travel a lot.. Or if your MIL suite is vacant during half the year?
If you do, you have a VRBO.. Turn that room into cash..
Who wants a total stranger living in your house with you? Haven't you seen Psycho? There are five of them..
But think about it.. You want some gen Y, Z, or Millennial using your shower?
I love acronyms.. I think VRBO could also stand for Visitors Regularly Beat Off..
Who's cleaning that shower/tub combo when they're gone..
Well I better quit cause it appears to be going down the drain.. Fast.. Well I hope it does..
Come see us..
April 29, 2023: The cool front and thunderstorm pattern happened again last night, with good rains along the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass all the way to Brownsville. It rained an inch or so along the river above us, and watered a wide swath of the valley on both sides of the river that is irrigated with Falcon water.
And with the rains from last week that should keep water demands low for the near future.
Here in Zapata, we got an inch or more in most areas, and a lot of it ran.. It rained really hard for an hour or so, with some small hail at my house. Nothing serious..
The lake is up to 265.00, and that is the magic mark where use of the state park ramp is possible. Surely with smaller boats.. Have not heard if the park folks have officially opened the concrete ramp. It would be nice to see another foot of water on it.. But I don't see it coming anytime soon..
We may catch a little more but it will be a very slow rise indeed, as releases from Amistad have all but stopped.
Bass were stocked in Amistad this week, and next week is out turn..
We are scheduled to get a couple hundred thousand fish on Wednesday, the third of May.. That's four days from now..
If you are going to be here next week, and would like to help scatter fish out down the lake, we would love it if you brought your boat to the county ramp about 11:00 am, and we will load your livewells with fingerlings and let you stock your favorite fishing spots.
All you need is working livewells and I don't care where you drop them off as long as it is in Falcon. If you have a fine mesh dipnet that will be a plus.. I will provide some small ones if needed..
PAW will bring a stocking boat as well, but they are slow and won't range too far. And there are a lot of fish to disperse.
If you would like to help, give me a holler and we'll get it done.
Fishing remains very good, and there are few boats on the water. Senkos on rocks are good, as they have been for quite some time. Mainlake points and most anything windblown can be good..
A lot of the fish can be found grouped up, and it is not at all unusual to catch five or six without moving the boat,
A dropshot is really working well with a senko or a fluke on it..
The fish are from ankle deep to twelve feet. And there is a ton of flooded grass and light brush in the water.
Crappie are more relating to rock than brush.. Ledges and rockpiles, and the rip rap at the dam..
The catfish are still really good on shrimp and cut bait..
That's all I got for today.. See you when we do!
April 25, 2023: The Snowbird Exodus is pretty much complete here in Zapata, and things are pretty quiet around town. And here in the store. And lately I have been able to get in a little cat nap after lunch. Till those fuckin spam callin' sons a bitches call and wake me up..
I swear, they have been on a tear here lately..
Since we last talked, there have been several interesting things.. Well, maybe only one thing.. We got some more rain.. And above us got a lot more than we did.. Like all the way from Del Rio to Brownsville rain.. Right down the river rain..
And the Valley finally got wet enough to stop releases from the Falcon dam.. Alleluia..
And as you know, Amistad has been releasing a good bit of water for the last two plus weeks. And we have had a pleasant rise in water levels.
And when you combine the releases from Amistad, get three or four inches on our skinny watershed above us, and quit releasing water that we already have, you get rising water levels that can be observed daily.
A month ago we were sitting right at 254 amsl, and today we are at 263.45, nine and a half feet above our low.. That's still 37.75 feet low..
But thirty seven and three quarters feet low never looked so good..
The launch at the butterfly garden is still in very good shape.. You don't even need to get your back tires wet. But if we catch another foot of water, which I know we are going to do, we'll be back on the concrete ramp at the state park. But I'd probably let it get up to about 265.5 before I would put in a big boat over there..
We have some water in the pipeline for the next couple of days, but the river at Laredo has already peaked. So the rate of rise will surely slow after tomorrow.. But I do believe we will catch two more feet in the next week.
What this does do, is put the Veleno Bridge back under the water.. Which is exactly where we are today.. Dead flush with the top of the rails..
It is pitiful that IBWC does nothing to mark this hazard, much less eliminate it. And I personally have not had a chance to do it this go round.
If you ar leaving the Veleno from the county ramp you need to know where this fucker is. It will ruin your day, and maybe hurt you as well.. It will certainly hurt your pocketbook..
If you don't know, ASK! For some reason I can't find my coordinates for the west end of the bridge, but I will try and post them very soon.
Fishing remains very good, and those that fish here often are doing rather well.. It' still all about rock.
Mainlake old houses are holding good numbers of fish, and some dandy's. The dam and rock in close proximity are all good.
Tigers can put on a show at any time, as can the main lake ledges from marker three to the mouth of state park cove.
Just think rock..
The crappie are good on the rip rap of the dam, but hard to catch in numbers on the brush piles.. There are some on rocky ledges as well..
The catfish are still excellent on cut shad.. Especially on the top end of the lake..
White bass have been schooling in the Tigers.. Top water.. Lots of fun..
Years ago, like twenty, I used to write for the Castroville.com website, before it was taken over by the Castroville C of C.
I don't think it was a hostile take over.. But my buddy ran it and was looking for free content so I used to do a monthly column called: Castroville.. From the Outside
Funny that only twenty years ago the internet and website's were still in their infancy, compared to what we know as the cesspool it is today.
And last week I found a box of 3.5 floppy's and an external floppy disc drive in a box..
Well that turned into a rabbit hole..
But just for shit and grins I'm gonna include a story from back in March of 2003. So you can see how my writing skills have degraded and profanity has invaded my vocabulary..
But not back then.. I was a Choirboy..
Don’t you just hate it when someone gets stuck on a subject and just won’t quit talking about it? And every time you see them it’s always the same old thing… That drives me crazy. So I’m not going to start out this article by complaining about the weather. I would rather speak of pleasant things like Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes. And I’m telling you that this year there’s going to be a bumper crop of wildflowers, so get your Brownies and Hawkeyes ready.. I saw a lot of them already in full bloom right around Laredo last weekend and they aren’t that far behind here in Medina County.
And right on schedule all the trees in the area have started popping out their buds, in anticipation of the warmer days. Before long the cold days of winter will be just a memory and we will be surrounded with the beauty that only spring can bring. (And boy am I ready)
I think that all the Purple Martins stopped in Cotulla for de-icing and have yet to be cleared for takeoff. There’s a passel of em in Deep South Texas but for the most part they’re not here yet. There are a few scouts around but the cold end of February has delayed their full-scale return. Seems that the only ones chirping and singing happily is the Big Oil Companies. It about makes me cry to fill up my pickup.. The gas prices are eating into my butter and egg money.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen in the near future with all this Iraq stuff, and I’m just praying for a quick resolution with a minimum loss of lives.. On all sides.
But back to things more pleasant. The St. Louis Society’s annual Wild Game Dinner is coming up on the 15th and the menu is full… Wild Hog, Rabbit, Quail, Wild Turkey (Not the bottled kind), Venison, and Calf Fries are just a few of the tasty treats that await the adventurous souls that head down to Koenig Park. When I grew up this stuff was on the weekly menu. We’ve come a long way in the last 50 years. I personally have a preference for Rattlesnake.
And speaking of wild game, that reminds me of a time when I was just married and was living in San Antonio on Mulberry street. We were renting a 400 square foot apartment in an old house that was turned into a fourplex. All of us in the building got along famously and it was not unusual to hear someone yell into the foyer that “We’re cooking Dinner tonight! About seven! Bring Wine!” And so it went that we dined together often. Four couples yapping in a 400 sf apartment.. What a decibel level..
Well anyway, one Saturday morning I yelled into the foyer that I was cooking a mid afternoon lunch.. Back then we slept till 11:00 on Saturdays. (I said we were newlyweds) Any way what I intended to do was to defrost the freezer and cook what I did not throw away. Turned out to be a wild game feast. The neighbors below us were from Wisconsin, and Kim’s mother was in town for a visit. A perfect opportunity to share the wealth of the great state of Texas. We decided we would eat in their place cause it was a lot bigger. (500 sf) Well I was cooking on the balcony, and I had whipped up a full meal of fried venison backstrap, mashed potatoes and gravy, and fresh corn. Just about my favorite meal. At first Kim’s mom wasn’t too excited about eating deer meat but after we convinced her to give it a try, we couldn’t stop her. I told her that the deer steak was just a first course and that some fried quail was on the way. Next came some doves that were also deep-fried, a little wilder taste but delicious nonetheless. She was really enjoying the meal and I about had her convinced that us Texans weren’t all bad, and we knew how to cook. I had one last entrée to present and when I sat it on the table everyone dug in. They all commented on how good it was and what is this any way?? When I made the announcement that it was Rattlesnake Kim’s Mom turned white as a ghost. She politely got up and left the room and did not talk to me for the rest of her stay.. And I was just being friendly!
I guess there aren’t too many Rattlesnakes in Wisconsin. Or at least not too many places to get a Diamondback sandwich. I still smile every time I think of that day…(Sorry)
Growing up in La Coste afforded me a lot of opportunities that kids these days just don’t have. Of course it didn’t get as cold back then as it does now, and we were able to spend more time outdoors, doing a lot of things that parents of the current day would not even consider letting their kids do. I’m gonna list a few here, in no particular order.
We had campouts.. All the time. If the weather was good, we’d do it almost every weekend. Sometimes in the back yard… Sometimes in the creek… Sometimes in the outfield of our neighborhood ball field. We all had army surplus cots.. Don’t ask me where we got them.. Everybody had em. I remember needing help from a buddy or two to get the cot sticks fastened to the side rails. We always had a campfire. We always barbecued. Well, we called it barbecuing..
Before we would have our campouts, we would go hunting for what we were going to barbecue. Now before you get excited I want to remind you that the year was about 1967 and there wasn’t too much emphasis put on what kids could shoot with a BB or pellet gun. Robins and Field Larks are really pretty good eating when Barbecued to a crispy crunch. After we graduated to pellet guns we were able to bring down much larger game like rabbits and squirrels, and our meals were much improved.. Of course they were still cooked to a crackly crunch. A big bottle of Ketchup borrowed from somebody’s folks’ refrigerator usually made it all edible.
And another thing we would do before a big campout was to go on a massive bottle hunt to raise funds for sodas and candy so we could stay up all night.
We built forts… All over the place. In trees… In the creek… Under the railroad trestle bridge on Polecat Creek. We put pennies on the Railroad tracks so the train would smash them flat. We built traps and caught birds all the time. We kept a ledger of all the birds we caught. We put bread bag twisties on their legs so we could keep track of the birds we caught more than once. We used to catch the same field lark every day..(If I was writing this currently I would have included something like, "Stupid fucker..")
We would pick up pecans anywhere we could to make money. We went swimming in the river almost every day in the summer. We fished in the river all the time. We borrowed a long board that the gravediggers used at the LaCoste cemetery to keep the dirt from the hole and made a diving board out of it. We pretty much had the run of the town.
We played baseball almost everyday. We even played two against two… And you had to declare which side of second base you were going to hit the ball to. If you didn’t make it to second base you were out.
We would climb a tall tree and watch for dust devils out in the fields and then run to get in them. Mark Lagleder got picked up one time. (He said.. and we believed him)
I guess what I’m saying is that the things that we did back then were a whole lot of fun to us. Kids of the modern era would not even consider doing the things we did back then. Too boring.. But we entertained ourselves…With a great amount of imagination, I might add. I know that the times we live in make a lot of what we knew growing up pretty much impossible. But I wouldn’t trade it.
Well anyway, those are just a few of the things we did as kids. I did not mention a lot of the things we did, strictly out of the fear of self incrimination. How long is that statute of limitations thing?
If you grew up around here, I’m sure you did a lot of the same things I did as a kid. And I hope that your kids can do the same. And looking at the world thru a child’s eyes, it’s easy to see, that Castroville looks good…
From The Outside!
Twenty years ago.. And just think of the changes since then, and the kids of today probably can't believe what the kids were doing just twenty years ago..
Times change.. But I am not sure if they are better than when I grew up..
Actually I would have to say "No fuckin way.."
Well if you read this far you've stayed around long enough to get a super fishing tip..
Throw a Senko..
Hope to see you here.. You're missing out..
April 18, 2023: Well it is wet and drippy here this morning. Not enough to turn the dust in the gauge into mud but I wouldn't want to run around naked in it.. Don't think anybody else would want to see that either..
Sunday night we heard thunder for four hours.. It was all west of us but slid down the river on the Mexican side.. It did get some ground wet we water so that is a good thing.. The valley is fairly wet in most places so I hope their insatiable thirst is quenched for a while.. We'll see.
Meanwhile here at Falcon we have picked up seven feet of water in the last fifteen days or so. Mostly at Amistad's expense. Releases from there have slowed, but they are still turning out a good bit more than we are and we continue to rise a few inches per day.
As stated before, I have no idea what the long or short term plan is.. I hear rumors and conjecture, but nothing I would make a hat peg out of.. We'll see..
The good news is that we are back to launching at the Butterfly landing with no problems, and we are several boats wide at the county ramp here in Zapata. Access is no longer a concern.
The top half of the lake is still to thick to drink and too thin to plow.. Just plain muddy.. And if you can catch a bass on the north end of the lake then you need to join a pro circuit..
I wouldn't take it off plane till Pierce's if I put in up here.. But the water does start to clear up a bit around marker eight..
Fishing is still excellent for some and good for most. Although I will have to admit that there are not many folks on the lake this week. Better for you..
If you go out and bust it there is an excellent chance that you will catch a bass between six and ten pounds on any given day. I stand by my statement that we are fishing better than any lake in the state.
And if you're lucky, you might catch a fish like eleven year old Emilio Gonzalez, who caught this 9.56 pound beauty last week.
You couldn't get that smile off his face with a Brillo pad..
Lots of quality fish have been caught in the last ten days. If you don't know that you ain't been paying attention.
A senko is still catching a lot of fish, and a Plum power worm is good as well. A lot of fish have been caught in that ten to twelve foot range, and the fish seem comfortable there. Of course there are still a lot of fish that have followed the rising water up shallow, and if there is shad flipping around up on them rocks it is a good idea to throw a squarebill or a chatter bait or a spinner in amongst em..
A Texas rigged big worm is working well on sloping gravel and rocks. Main lake rockpiles, that are back to eight feet or so of water, have been holding fish, and sometimes there are a shitload of them on the same pile..
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find the old house that has changed from housing people to housing fish.
Sometimes having the piles is not a bad thing..
The catfish have gone absolutely ballistic, and I have seen stringers of fish caught by the locals that would wear out a pair of skinning pliers. Cut shad, which is fairly easy to cast net, has been the best thing going. Smaller fish have been caught on shrimp fairly readily.
With the rising water, the shallows are full of carp, and if you like shooting them with a bow, you should be here.. There are also some gar mixed in in the skinny water.. I reckon some of it is for the easy pickens for groceries, but probably a few are spawning with the rising water in the weeds..
The crappie are finally returning to the brush piles, but they are not stacked up like in the summertime.. It's coming..
Overall the fishing for whatever species you like to pursue is excellent.
Walleye, Pike, and Northerns are slow..
As spring turns to summer, at least here in the 956, the fish should start to turn to some deeper water as our water temps remain above eighty. But that has not happened as of yet..
And like always there will be fish in the shallows.. And who can resist a rocky windblown point with shad flipping all over and the egrets lined up like illegals at the border..
It's a no-brainer as they say..
If you're tired of the wake boats, jet skiers, and a hundred of your closest friends fishing within casting distance, get you ass down here. We got plenty of room.
See you when we do!
April 12, 2023: Well we're cruising thru April at an alarming rate, and half the month is damn near gone. Before I know it I am going to be an old man.. Odds are I am already in the fourth quarter..
So if you're still able I'd get my ass down here ASAP..
Fishing is still pretty darn good..
Let's do a water level catch up right quick.. On March 30th the powers that be, dropped us all the way down to 253.92.. That's 47.28 feet low.
That was about a five foot drop from where we sat for a couple of months.
As of today, we are back up to 258.44, or 42.76 feet low. So we have about got back what they dropped us from two weeks ago..
So basically they fucked up our spawn, and now they're fucking up Amistad's..
We had good rains last week in the area, and better rains below us in the valley.. Which has led them to shut the releases down from Falcon.. While water still flows from Amistad.. And they have not cut that flow back as of yet so we are in line to catch a foot or so if they cut it off today.. But I have no idea what they are planning to do..
I hear a lot of rumors, but I have found over the years that there is no telling what IBWC is going to do.. Even if they told you something. Don't mean it's gonna happen..
Let's talk ramps.. Last we spoke I was telling you not to launch here in Zapata, due to silt buildup near the ramp and at the mouth of the Veleno.
That is no longer a problem.
As of tomorrow I am going to guess that we will be able to utilize the Butterfly avenue ramp again. I heard that TPWD launched a metal boat there yesterday.. So we should be good to go.
How much more are we going to get? Who knows.. And those that do aren't telling.. Seems like a federal agency would have a page online where they take a guess at their water plans for the short term.. I guess the folks at IBWC got too much on their plate to share amy info.. They got plenty of other info on their site.. Stuff most folks don't care about..
Back to the fishing.. Not a lot has changed in methods or locations.. Find some rock, catch fish. If you can't find any rock on Falcon, the golf course is behind the grocery store..
Wind on rock is much better.. Wind makes the fishing better.. Within reason..
Just like oxygen don't burn.. But it makes a fire better.. Immensely better..
Bait selection is pretty wide.. Senkos, shakey heads, small drop shotted plastics, spinnerbaits, and chatterbaits will all get you bit.. A super fluke is also bonnafide..
The thing that makes all this work is the presence of bait.. Find the shad. Find the fish..
The catfishing is stellar, and the locals are wearing them out right here in the Veleno. Cut shad is easy to come by with a cast net or here..
The crappie are still a little scattered. But some reports are starting to show up with them gradually returning the the brushpiles..
Well other than that things are just dandy around here.. We got an inch and a half of rain.. The ranchers are happy.. And the fishermen are smiling..
Cain't really say the same for the government..
We got a president that hasn't been told whether he is running for re-election or not..
A justice dept. that has mono vision..
A press secretary that don't know if she'd rather eat it or lick it..
And a shitload of Democrat run cities that suck from the inside out..
Speaking of sucking.. Did you see the new Bud Light spokes-thing? I bet it can suck one down..
Not sure if it drinks beer..
I better go.. See you when we do.. But I'm telling you that you should be here..
April 3, 2023: If you still haven't made it down here, it ain't my fault.. I been telling you how good the fishing is for months..
And it still is.. Catching a twenty five pound stringer is no big deal, and thirty or more is certainly doable..
Last weekend most everybody who fished caught the shit out of em.. But I didn't hear from anybody that did not catch fish.. It's been pretty easy..
The hardest part of it is getting your boat in the water.. But it ain't really that bad, and most folks say it is a snap.. There is just no dock at the state park, so launching single handedly can be a bit tough.
Last week we lost two feet of water in five days.. We have now caught right at a foot of water in the last four.. Due to releases from Amistad. We are letting out a lot as well, but not as much as we were. And Amistad is currently releasing a lot..
We'll see where all this settles out.. But with IBWC who the hell knows.. Seems like they could put something on the web.. And not just the fishermen could use the info..
But reps from their hierarchy have stood across the counter from me in the past and told me they don't care if another fish is ever caught out of Falcon..
Like I say, we are fishing good in spite of the actions/inactions of the feds and TPWD..
But it could be so much more, if only we got any help..
I will have to admit that PAW has had some enforcement on the water as of late, and they are fucking with the netters some.. A welcome change.. I know a lot of others complained as well, and I thank you.
We are sitting at 254.76, or 46.44 feet low.. Hopefully the lake will continue to rise, and hopefully the predicted rain for the latter part of the week will materialize. It would be awesome to see the valley get a good soaking and they could stop our huge releases. It did rain good down there along the river last week in several areas.. But apparently not enough coverage to curtail releases completely.
But back to the fishing.. It has been a long time since I said you could catch em on whatever you want.. But I think you can.
But best reported baits are still a senko, when it comes to plastics. A shakey head is a favorite but a Texas rigged bait on a light weight and hook will catch em good as well.. Pay attention on slow moving baits because the bite can be really subtle..
If it feels mushy or you can't find your bait you better be yankin'.
A chatterbait or a squarebill is still catching them as well. And this AM a fellow I know said he caught em on the Plum Ol Monster on a C-rig.. Go figure..
You could fill up an Amtrak car with all the fish that the Ol Monster has caught down here.. Whether it was still on the track or laying on it's side.. Seems like it's about a 50-50 as to how you see em..
The dam is still putting out a lot of fish, but honestly you might run into a shit load of fish on any rocky point, ledge, or drop off. The main lake from the north mouth of State Park Cove to marker three has been really good. As are the smaller rocky banked coves between there and Tigers.
There have also been some reported flipping fish as well.. The rockier the location the better..
I guess what I am saying is that the fishing is good..
Getting out of the Veleno has also been a bit of a rodeo as there is a silt berm built up at the mouth of the creek where it connects to the river. That situation is healing itself with the influx of new water, and hopefully in a day or so things will be better. Hell it would probably work now with the water humped up on the top end of the lake..
Also if you launch up here watch for debris in the river.. I am sure there is a lot of floating shit in the channel.
The Winter Texans are packing up and heading north by the droves, so traffic on the lake is thinning out.
The lake is fishing pretty big, so there is plenty of room for you.. It ain't too late for you to catch a bunch of fish.
I'm glad to see April arrive as March was a motherfucker for me.. Between having a shit load of business and personal shit going on, having the Woohan for ten days, which turned me into a pussy for its duration. And last week I had an arthritis flare up that had me walking with a cane for five days..
My Daddy told that getting old ain't for pussies.. He spoke a lot of truths, but none that have rang truer than that one.
Well maybe one time when he told me to be home by midnight or he was going to whoop my ass..
He didn't lie about that one either..
But it was worth it.. You shoulda seen her..
I'd like to talk about some pop culture or politics, but honestly the world is too fucked up to pick a topic..
Keep the faith and I hope to see you one of these days.
Easter is this Sunday, and I am headed to the ranch for a couple of days of R&R and Mama's cookin.. So I will not be in the store on Sunday or Monday.. I'll be back on Tuesday AM, Lord willin..
I hope you too will celebrate Easter with the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ in mind.
So in that spirit I will leave you with one of my favorite bible verses, from Deuteronomy 31:6.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you"
Good armor for today's times..
See you when we do!
March 23, 2023: The Good: Fish are biting like crazy. The Bad: The wind is beating us like a tenderizing hammer..
The Ugly: Lake is dropping like panties at Mardi Gras..
Irrigation is in full swing and the lake is down to 256.98. That's 44.22 feet low. That's ridiculous.. That's preposterous.. That should be criminal..
We are just four feet higher than we were last summer when we got down to about forty eight feet low..
It is March.. Where we headed? I don't know.. But they damn sure should be putting some pressure on the Mexicans to turn some water out of the lakes in northern Mexico.. They got a lot.. But ain't releasing shit.. Except from Falcon.. And so are we..
Amistad is releasing about half as much as we are, and of course they are sucking water out of the river in-between us as well.. That means we are dropping several inches a day.
More Bad: The butterfly launching area at the state park is no longer useable for any boat unless it is very small or a kayak. We are back to launching out on the point past the conventional boat ramp. Here in Zapata the main ramp is still working fine, but for how long I don't know.. A couple of more feet and we will putting in on the point ramp here.. Guess you could call that Ugly as well..
The Good: The shad spawn is going again after the last bad ass cold front backed em off.. They are back shallow, but maybe not in the force they were a week ago.. We had a few mornings in the forties..
The fish are right there with em and I heard that yesterday the fish were in ankle deep water, on rock, eating chatterbaits and squarebills.
In a very aggressive manner..
The soft plastic bite is still good as well, but if you like chunking and winding your ship has come in.
Almost any rocky point, hump, or bank can have fish on them. Fish the wind when you can.. Old house foundations also have been putting out good numbers.
In short, fishing has been very good.. Best we have seen in years.. And better than anything in Texas..
And that is Good.. Just not many people down here chasing them.
Yeah you gotta put up with some crappy launching conditions.. But that lasts five minutes..
More Bad: The Mexican netters are all over the lake and all over the Texas side. The TPWD is not patrolling the lake and they know it. And could give a fuck. Both of em.. Evidently..
It is ridiculous that we can't get any enforcement on the water.. Maybe this summer.. When the new class graduates..
What a crock of shit.. Talk about taxation without representation.. I've been fed more excuses than I heard running a thirty man construction crew..
Maybe in your part of the state they do their job.. Down here they suck..
They won't do a thing about the cormorants.. Unless you kill one of the motherfuckers..
We get a pittance of stocking.. And the only law they enforce is if you are fishing off the bank without a license..
While the netters take thousands of fish out of Texas waters a day.. It's mind-boggling..
We would be better off if PAW just said "Fuck it.. You guys are on your own down there.."
Well basically the only difference would be that they said it..
I invite anyone that works for PAW to call me and discuss the matters at hand. Bring your ammo, cause I'm bringing mine..
You might be thinking that, "He's in a pretty foul mood today.."
Not really.. But our government agencies are not doing us any good.. Whether it is IBWC or TPWD.
Or the border patrol that watches the netters on our side as well.. They have no fear of enforcement at all..
But then, why would they?
Before long the city will be talking about dredging the river again so we can provide water to the people who live here.. Two feet of water in the river at the pick up station..
Yeah but last year we caught eight feet and the problem disappeared..
No use worrying about a fire till you have one right?
This lake needs to be held at a minimum of 270. Either that or they can just blow up the fuckin' dam and we will just river fish..
Just like the good old days.. In 1950..
March 13, 2023: While the rest of the country, and much of the state, deals with the remnants of winter, we have been blessed with warm air, and temperatures more akin to summer.. Which is what we are famous for after all..
And I will be the first to bitch about the cold, and the last to bitch about the hot. And trust me the fish are not bitching about the hot either. Falcon fish love warm water and we got it, with water temps on the right days in the upper seventies.
The shad spawn has been raging for two weeks, and anywhere you see egrets lined up on the banks like illegal's along the border, you know you are fishing near a lot of eating fish.
And this has greatly simplified the game plan for catching bass.. A month ago the lake was fishing pretty small, with a ton of boats stacked up in the Tigers, especially on the north bank of the big body before you go back to any of the three arms of the creek.
Most any rocky wind blown bank can have a bunch of fish on it at any given minute. Those birds are a good indicator.
A plethora of baits have been reported catching fish up shallow when the bait is there.. Not all spots are created equal, but if you hop around a bit and keep your bait in the water something good is going to happen.
The chatterbait is as good a choice as any on these shallow fish. But squarebills and rattletraps have caught a shit ton of fish lately as well.
A senko is still an excellent choice if you prefer soft plastics. Something with a little sparkle in it is best. Especially on the sunny days. Creature baits are also good flipping certain hardwoods. Hardwoods with a hard bottom under them is a must. Silty, muddy bottoms are not nearly as good.
So what that means is hardwoods in open water, not near the influence of nearby creeks, that silted up the bottom, are are infinitely better if you want to flip up some fish.
And the flipping bite has been the best we have seen in years.
Of course fishing in general has been the best we have seen in years. Like I been telling you..
The south end of the lake is still fishing better than anywhere north of marker seven. That has not changed. Water clarity is immensely better from mid-lake south. And the fish certainly prefer it..
We are loosing a lot of water as I type, and we have lost about 18" in the last couple of weeks.
This is starting to affect the launching locations at the state park. It is still possible to launch at the Butterfly beach down there, but in quick order we will be back to launching around the cove out past the concrete ramp on the point. If you are familiar then it is no big deal. If you have questions stop in and ask.
Several folks I know are going to launch out there today and get back to me with details.. Boy I am sure glad they put in that low water ramp down there.. (sarc)
Like I have told you we are the red headed stepchild of PAW, and we get shit.. Or maybe I should say we don't get shit.. We really don't use Pesos down here, and you would think that we are part of Texas.
We spend our money on licenses and use fees just like everybody else. Seems a little discriminatory to me..
We have to beg for enforcement and support.. While other lakes take it for granted.
I will say, that after a bunch of bitching and phone calls to certain individuals, by myself and a lot of others, we have seen a few game wardens on the lake working the illegal netting that is so prevalent on the Texas side..
But we shouldn't have to beg..
Launching on the upper end of the lake here in Zapata is no sweat. We are still on concrete and will be for several more feet. Use the left center of the ramp here at the county park.
But with irrigation in full swing, and Amistad letting out half of what we are, it looks like we will be dropping for the foreseeable future.
You can certainly see and feel the current in many areas.. The fish don't mind it, it appears.
After three years of this Whoohan shit going around, I finally contracted the crap a couple of weeks ago.. I thought I was going to skate..
And I will have to admit it kicked my ass and for about a week I barely had enough power to blow my nose.. And I was doing the minimum and trying to stay away from people. Which is not my style..
I might even change socks tomorrow.. I think I am going to make it..
In any case, we still have a few spawning fish, but more and more fish are finishing up the deed.. And they are hungry and ready for a cigarette..
Get your ass down here and catch em while they are piggin' out.
Cause they are shallow and pretty easy most days.. See you in Zapata..
February 28, 2023: Here we are sticking a fork in the shortest month of the year.. And the best month we have seen here on Falcon in years. And it is not at all uncommon for a plethora of big fish to be caught in February.
February and March are certainly big fish months here on Falcon. It is a little different that we have had an elongated warm stretch with no real cold fronts in the last two weeks, more or less. And this has allowed our water to warm to the seventy degree range in the PM.
The fish are up.. And I believe they are committed. And they ain't heading back out till they're done spawning..
Reports of a lot of very light colored fish have been plentiful, and it is obvious that these fish have come from their deep water haunts to join the festivities in the shallows..
You cannot fish too shallow right now.. Lots of fish reported coming from three feet of water.. On rocks.. Go figure..
That is not to say that there are not fish out to the twelve foot range. There is. But these fish are coming and going as we speak, and bloody bottoms and pissin males are the order of the day..
The spawn is on..
While the Tigers is certainly garnering its share of attention, and for good reason, I am hearing stories about more and more locations holding fish. But still most of it is from Marker 7 south.
I'm not sure why the upper end of the lake is so different, other than water color in a lot of places.. I had a friend fish the Diablo, just south of the Veleno on the Mexican side, and he said the water was beautiful. But no fish. Go figure..
The Veleno itself, with it's great rock structure, has been a disappointment all spring.. Maybe there is just not enough deep water nearby..
School Bus, not too far away, has put out a few fish but nothing to write home about.. Pierces at marker 7 is not what it should be, but it has awesome structure and shallow rock.. But no one I know has done any bragging about it.
Senkos are still catching a lot of fish. And here's a blast from the past.. The Magnum Fluke is making a comeback.. And why wouldn't it.. Watermelon red as good as any.
Squarebills are also catching fish.. And loosing some.. I swear that crankbaits are witchcraft.. You never know if the fucker is going to stay stuck or not.. There is always that shaking fish with a mouthfull of hooks to contend with. Cause the mouth is the only handle built on the fish.
You can take ten minutes getting the bait out of the net if you have the wrong one.. And on occasion the bait will pull out of the fish and come flying at you like a Bumble Bee with six stingers..
Dangerous stuff indeed.. But sometimes you gotta put some chips at risk if you want to win..
I'm gonna include a few fish pics.. No names. Guess cause I don't have em all and I'm lazy.. But you'll get the point. Some caught with guides.. Some not..
A couple of those fish look like they been shot by the Pufferizer 5000..
We have a few windy days to contend with. Yesterday was nice.. Sunday sucked. Today is awesome and I expect to hear about a lot of caught fish as conditions are near perfect and there will be a lot of boats on the water..
Well, for Falcon..
We do have a windy day on Thursday scheduled. Over a hunnert on Wednesday and Thursday.. Ain't it great.. Of course some of the Yankees spending the winter down here ain't too happy with it. I tell em it builds character..
The lake is holding steady with releases from Amistad holding off the drop as we release water for irrigation down below.
Launching is no sweat.. Same as it has been for the last two months.. Or longer..
Water temps around 70°.
And a note to all of you northern folks.. Feel free to keep the rest of winter north of the Red River. We got no use for that shit.. But if you can spare a little rain, we'll gladly take the day off to re spool..
Well what else is happening.. I hear Mayor Pete was on his way to the scene of the train wreck in Ohio.. But his limo got rear-ended by the Weinermobile.. Well.. That's what I heard..
In other news.. Biden has taken time off from shooting down balloons and other stuff floating around the atmosphere.. But I'm wondering.. What the fuck happened to Pluto.. That orbiting collection of space rock used to be a planet.. Did we shoot that motherfucker down?
If yall ain't thinking about this kind of shit, then maybe I am doing something wrong.. Maybe it's the alcohol.. Although it is not yet nine am and I am still stone sober..
I believe that alcohol dulls the mind but tends to sharpen the tongue.. Well for sure it loosens the connection between the two.. As a matter of fact.. Most of the bar fights I have witnessed had alcohol involved..
Ah... Probably just a coincidence..
And I do have to admit I get much of my material from TV commercials..
When I see something truly good, I text myself a reminder while sitting in the Lazy Boy.. My wife looks at me and says, "You're not going to write about that, are you." She knows better, but she try's anyway.
Did you ever wonder why all pawn shops have burglar bars on the windows and doors? It's a simple answer really..
The shit in there has already been stolen once..
Well I better GTFOH cause I got more irons in the fire than roundup time at the Yellowstone..
I like being busy.. Or at least occupied..
Thanks to all of you who have ventured down and stopped in.
Hope to see you soon as well.. And if I don't , it's you that's missing out on some really good fishing..
See you when we do!
February 21, 2023: Well we're sailing right thru February, and it looks like we are finally getting some warm days lined up.. At least a weeks worth and the water temps are responding well, with daytime temps heading back into the middle sixties.
That's water temps.. And air temps are supposed to be in the middle eighties and low nineties this week.
And if you were lucky enough to have your Falcon trip scheduled for this week you get two gold stars on your report card.
As far as the report card on the fishing goes, I'm going to give it a solid B+.. There have been a lot of quality fish boated in the six to eight pound range. With a few other whoppers mixed in.. Like this 12.47 caught a few days back by Kelly Chase.
Best one I have seen lately.. Here's a few pics of some recent catches..
A different Kelly caught this porker..
I'm drawing a blank on this anglers name.. Old age is real..
And Glenda caught this one last weekend as well. Falcon is always good to the ladies. That is a long fish..
That's just a smattering of the fish pics I have seen lately.. Lots of good fish have been caught, but there have been a lot of folks on the water no doubt. I heard there were 24 within sight in the Tigers on Saturday..
It is so weird that so many fish are concentrated in a half square mile. Same as last spring.. And there are lots of other areas that have almost the same structure and rocky bottoms.. Go figure..
That is not the only place that is holding fish, and those with less patience for close quarters fishing have found fish from Bobs Knob south. I heard some good reports of fish on the deeper rockpiles on the main lake on crankbaits..
Last weekend there were three bass clubs in town, and we have not had this many people in Zapata (fishing) in a couple of years.
Ingram Bass club fished two, one day tourneys.. On Saturday Tommy Moose had 21 something for first place. There were two over seven weighed in. On a short day Sunday, Ronny Gazaway won with eight something.. Big bass on Sunday was a five plus..
SAPD and Alamo were also in town, but I have no results from either of them.
There is no doubt that the fish are going to spawn.. The Huisache trees are blooming and that means bass on the beds at Falcon. This week should see a lot of aqua sex taking place..
I heard a couple of reports of fish as white as snow being caught.. These are deep water fish moving up to do the deed. Probably see more of that as the week progresses.
I am sure some fish will wait a while.. They ain't all coming at once..
There are always those females that are penile resistant and they might take a little more warming up to join the party..
But it's gonna happen..
Senkos and Spros.. Seem to be the best baits going.. And some really shallow fish are falling to both. Three feet ain't too shallow. Chatterbaits have also caught a few..
But a 5" senko on a C-rig has been very effective according to many accounts. You can put that senko on a shakey head as well and catch some fish.
The lake level is holding steady, and we have wavered a few inches either way the last ten days.. They are releasing some water for the valley farmers, but Amistad is releasing about the same and a bit more to keep us level.. Where we're headed who knows..
Launching is no sweat.. No changes. Read posts below if you have questions about ramps or call me with any questions. I'm full of answers.. And a few other things I am told..
If you are coming to Falcon this spring, the next couple of weeks could really be good.. February is a fickle motherfucker, and it could freeze in two weeks. But the long term is looking good for now..
I hate it when they start talking about this chunk of Arctic air that might break off and bum rush the southern tier.. That shit makes me crazy.. But right now I don't hear any such thing. I'd be fine calling this winter good, and just move along to the good stuff..
I hear there are fish being caught on a few other lakes.. But not many. And if you want to get away from the BIG crowds then get your ass down here.. Especially during the week if you can.
For the next forty five days, any writing about anything but Falcon is a waste of ink..
Of course I could also be considered a Falcon homer.. Go figure..
Come see us and let me know if you need anything Falcon related..
See you on the water..
February 13, 2023: To say I have been busy might be inaccurate.. But I have certainly been more than occupied..
Like a one legged man in an ass kickin contest.. Cept I was the one gettin my ass kicked.
But it is February and I am a bit busier here in the store, as we have our annual migration of cold country fishermen down here. Because for a lot of them their water is too hard.. Gives a whole new meaning to surface baits..
And as February always is, the weather has been as moody as a fourteen year old trying to figure out which pronoun to use. We have had winds from all quadrants, temps from freezing to eighty five, and a finicky bite with spurts of Vesuvius to something more akin to a glacier.
This morning the water temp is around 61°. Two and a half weeks ago it was mid to upper sixties, and the bite was fairly consistent. Today; not so much.
But one thing that has remained consistent is that some really nice fish have been caught. Numbers have been lacking for the most part. But I have heard of a multiple of double digit fish being caught.. Even on the shitty days.
We seem to have a good population of fish in the eight pound range, because I have heard of a bunch of them and seen pics of a lot of them.
Like these two caught yesterday by James Kosub of Universal City Bass Club. Both over eight..
But it was not enough to win the two day event.. David Glenny topped all fishermen with a two day weight of 37.54. Second place was in the mid twenties.
There were three fish over eight caught in the two days.
Of course there were a lot of folks that struggled. Overall it was tough and only two five fish limits were caught in two days by twenty fishermen. They were somewhat hampered by wind both days.
It appears to be a tossup as to what the fish want, and a mixture of soft plastics and crankbaits thrown from shallow to twelve feet seems to be best. Throw one till you get tired of it.. Switch.. Repeat.
A shakey head with a senko on it is as good as anything, or Texas rig a senko or worm. I did not hear too much about squarebills this weekend.
In slightly deeper diving hard baits, the Spro's in the 60 or 70 series seem to be working best.. I reckon you can get by with a 5 or 6 XD.. But here lately the Spro seems to be best.
I can't say that the spawn is truly on.. I've seen too many pics of fish still really bellied up. I am sure there are some doing it and done with it. But I am not going to say the birth spasm has begun..
The crappie are deep and shallow, with some folks catching them dipping the hardwoods, and some folks catching them on brushpiles. Try Monkey Milk or Electric Chicken..
There are some on the rip-rap on the dam as well.
We are getting some water from Amistad, and it is holding us steady at the moment. I hear rumors and conjecture, but I really have no idea what IBWC and TCEQ are planning. We are sitting at 260.07 as I write, up and inch or so in the last couple of days.
Launching is still no problem. See previous posts for details or call if you have questions.
I had to get my binoculars out in the last few days. To assist the feds in watching the skies for inanimate objects..
Back to the days of the DEW line..
I think I am suffering some eye strain as I was sure I spotted a balloon over Zapata. But it was just the Goodyear blimp hovering over the Superbowl.. Or some fat gassed up bitch that floated off the set of a talk show..
These binocs are some bad Mo-Fo's..
Is it possible that we are living out a skit from a bad SNL show? Maybe I'm being redundant.. All the SNL skits suck till you get back to the days of the Land Shark..
If you are a jet pilot, and shoot down a balloon.. Do you get to paint a balloon on your fuselage? Does the missile blow up on contact with the Balloon or do they just go thru it like a good boner thru a Chinese made condom?
Where did the missile land?
Just like in, "There's Something About Mary," you ever know where a wild shot may end up..
(Don't google it if you don't know..)
These are questions that need answers. Maybe you'll get an answer on that question but they ain't going to tell you shit about the real deal..
Don't worry.. We got it all under control..
This admin scares the shit out of me.. In more ways than one.. I ain't seen Ol Joe this excited since last April when he was playing pin the tail on the Easter Bunny..
Well come see us when you can.. You don't need no augers and tip-ups down here.. And on the right day you can work on your tan.
We're still fishing bettern anywhere else in Texas.. Come get you some.
January 31, 2023: It has started.. Three days of miserable shit that will see highs in the forties and drizzle and mist and basically just bullshit weather..
Cause we don't actually get rain in January in Zapata. We get this shit..
I did say the other day that February always has some nasty for us down here. And I am sure this year will be no different. And it ain't February till tomorrow..
And like every year, we have some warming trends, that get the fish into the biting spirit.. And then we are subjugated to several days of this.. Which runs the fish back into a state of hibernation..
Kinda like when the giant toad frog put Han Solo into the giant frozen chocolate bar.. He ain't doing shit till he thaws out.. And neither are the fish..
But.. A few days ago the fishing was really good.. And a good number of really big fish were caught.. Including a twelve and an eleven. Caught by the same guy..
That's a pretty good weekend..
But a lot of folks are catching decent numbers, and there are always a few good fish mixed in, from to six to eight pounds.
But I will say that very few folks are catching twenty fish, but it does happen.
Seems that reports mention more soft plastics the last couple of weeks, and creature baits and senkos appear to be the most popular. I ain't saying that you can't catch em on something else..
Carolina and Texas rigs have been talked about the most. Some shaky heads, and a few spinnerbaits.
The north shore of the Tigers main bay is once again a very popular spot, and those gravel ridges and shell beds on the flats are holding fish.
And it don't take a brain surgeon to figure that one out. You may need to tie some tires on the sides of your boat on nice days..
Mid diving crankbaits are also catching some fish, and you can get away with fishing them shallow on a lot of the gravel humps.. As long as it ain't too chunky.. Raking them rocks around will often get the attention of nearby fish.. One of my favorite things to do..
There are also some fish coming on main lake rockpiles, and a lot of them have four to eight feet of water over them. There are some shallower as well, and some days they are good.
But ends of points that taper off, like in the Tigers, and say, state park cove, can have fish on them at any time.. These fish are in a transition to go spawn..
And I am quite sure there are a few doing it. But very little evidence of spawned out fish has been seen..
The hard part is consistent warm water for any duration.. We ain't had it..
And we have this same conversation every year.. Mother nature is a creature of habit..
No matter where you are on the lake, think about rock or gravel, and the slopes from deep to shallow. I would be fishing from zero the ten or twelve feet right now. No deeper.. You are going to find them somewhere in that range. And there are tons of places you can cover that range without moving your boat..
There are a few fish coming form the hardwoods, and try a rage Craw or a spinnerbait between the limbs.. Don't fish it too fast.. I also heard of a senko working there as well.
Water levels are still dropping ever so slowly, and releases have slowed some.. No help from Amistad as of yet, and I wouldn't be surprised in nothing shows up for a while.
But if it doesn't rain soon, and I mean an inch or two, the real irrigation will commence in the next thirty days..
Launching is still no problem, on concrete here in the Veleno, and off the shore down at the state park. Look where everyone else has been putting in.. At the Butterfly Blvd. beach of course.. Ask if you don't know..
Folks are also putting in at the Tigers as well.. If you don't mind three miles of gravel.. But a good choice on a windy day.
It's true that February and Falcon go together like Moonpods and the Kama Sutra.. All you need is the females to cooperate..
With all the bullshit going on in the world today, I think it is time to take fishing a little more seriously. As we flirt with international catastrophe, with the most cavalier of attitudes, things could turn to shit overnight.
I wonder how many people were fishing a lot during WWII.. Maybe a lot. Maybe out of necessity to feed the family..
Maybe I'm crazy.. It is, of course, at least a fifty-fifty chance..
I guess it has always been this way, but I wonder how it has come to the fact that there are just a couple of hundred people in the world that control the destiny of the rest of us..
When the rest of us just want to be left the fuck alone to pursue our interests and take care of ourselves and family's.
We didn't get get here overnight.. And we ain't gonna change things overnight. And maybe you think the path we are on as a nation is no big deal..
But it scares me to think about what future generations of Americans may have to go thru because of their apathy and "ignorance is bliss" attitude.
I am appalled at how ignorant the younger generations are. They have had it so good their entire spoiled lives that they think all this is just a natural occurrence. That there are no threats in the world, and that we are the guilty ones for making their lives so easy..
With no respect or reverence for the country that has provided them the opportunity to survive with little or no effort on their part..
I know I am painting with a 4' roller on this one, and that not all kids are in this category.. But it is scary to see the ignorance on display in today's American society..
And it ain't all just the Millennial's and post generations..
There's an old saying that we usually get what we deserve.. And I am afraid it is true. And if a whole bunch of the younger generations don't get themselves un-ignorant in the not too distant future, they are going to wake up someday and wonder what the fuck happened..
As they slowly discover what Socialism truly is..
The shared misery of all..
I know I am pretty much preaching to the choir on this one.. But there is no doubt in my mind that we are being led down a path to destruction.
And if you think things are better today than they were two years ago, ten years ago, twenty years ago..
Please seek professional help..
Or go fishing.. Some of the best therapy on the market today..
Come see us.. I'll be waiting..
January 24, 2023: It's been a while since I wrote, and in my defense I have had a full plate. But honestly I am not sure what to say about the fishing.. But I'm getting a better idea..
The last two weeks saw days of really good results, and some that left you scratching your head.
Weekend before last Uvalde Bass Club was in town, and they fished two one day, three fish tournies. On Saturday, it took nineteen pounds and there was a nine pounder in that sack..
There were about twenty fishermen competing, and there were several one fish, two fish stringers as well.. And a couple of no fish..
I did not hear the Sunday results as I was fucking off..
Last week and weekend, a lot of really nice fish, from six to tem pounds were caught, and some stringers in the thirties were reported by several boats.. But it wadn't everybody..
Over the weekend we had a mix of weather, with some north winds and slack periods, and some folks did really well.
The secret? Landing on the right rock pile or gravel bar at the right time.. And lately timing has been a lot of it.
Afternoons appear to be best, and most folks in the know don't go out till ten or so.. Some mornings it has been so foggy that you couldn't see the end of your rod till then.
Water temps are in the middle and even upper sixties on a lot of days, and we are certainly seeing signs of a spawn trying to get started..
I have seen lots of pics of bloody fins and tails the last five days, but cannot say that I have seen a pic of a fish that was spawned out.. And no one thinks they have caught a fish that was through with it either, from the folks I have talked to..
But I am sure there are some fish doing it right now.
I had a friend catch 23 on Saturday, and about thirteen on Sunday in half a day.. The had several sevens and a handful of sixes..
Mixed reports from across the Snowbird camps say that the fish are biting.. Sporadically..
But some really good days have been reported.
All I can say is that it is time, the water is warm, and it is only going to get better for the next sixty days.. If you are planning a trip down here, and you can come when you want, watch for the next extended warm trend, pack your shit, and hit the road..
We have had a unprecedented number of ducks on the lake this year, and with that, we have had a few duck hunters. They have reported good success on the upper end of the lake.
We also have an unprecedented number of cormorants on the lake.. And these motherfuckers are so thick that sometimes you have to stop in the middle of the lake to let the thousands of them take off..
Or risk running over one of the precious little bastards..
I cannot understand what the fuck is so important about these pieces of shit that we can't control the population to some degree.
Have I conveyed my disdain of these vile son of a bitches yet?
Let's say that there are only twenty thousand of them on the lake.. And depending on who you talk to, they eat from a half pound, to a pound of fish a day each. Lets go with the former..
That's ten thousand pounds of fish a day being consumed.
I am sure they eat a lot of trash fish like tilapia, but you can bet your ass that they eat a shit ton of shad, white bass, black bass, and crappie, anytime their size suits their diet.
And then they convert 95% of that fish into a beautiful white stream of shit that kills every bit of foliage they roost on, poisons the ground, and pollutes our only source of drinking water here in Zapata.
But they're a magnificent bird!!
The EPA doesn't even know they exist down here, and TPWD has done absolutely nothing to try and remedy the situation. Other than feeding me a line of bullshit saying we are working on it.. My ass..
And I have heard not one thing in well over a year about the subject..
PAW has zero game wardens on the lake, and right now the netting on the Texas side is rampant..
Because the netters know there is zero enforcement on the water..
We've known for years that Falcon is the stepchild of PAW, but it has never seemed as apparent as it is now.
So I guess you don't even need a license to fish down here. Nobody going to check you.. At least not in a boat..
We are supposed to get a real north wind today, and it has commenced.. But it is supposed to lay down by tomorrow afternoon..
I'm sure I'll hear more about the fishing when the small craft advisory has been dropped.
If you need anything, or have any questions about what is going on, give me a call..
And bring me some steel shot and some trash bags.
January 10, 2023: Two questions are being asked a lot around here.. And on the phone..
What are the fish doing? And what are they going to do?
Well I can answer the first.. At least in regards to some of the fish..
A lot of them are biting. But more are not.. And maybe that is less than accurate.. Some of the fish are biting, and a good number of those that are are quality fish.
But no one I know is going out there and catching twenty fish.. And that is the cold, hard truth.
Most of the stories I am hearing is that four to a dozen fish are being caught on the average outing.
But usually in that outing there are a couple of really nice fish landed.. And of course there is the daily stories of the one that was not seen or came off just out of reach.
Seems that you can fish for a long period and catch nothing, and all of a sudden you are at the right place at the right time, and you catch a handfull..
What are the fish going to do? Little tougher question.. But.
The water is still on a slow warming trend, and water in the Tigers is middle sixties in the PM. In front of the dam it is high fifties in the AM, and warms slightly later in the day.
We are releasing some water and maybe that is keeping the deeper water stirred up in that area. And we are releasing more than we are getting and we are slowly dropping, currently sitting at about 261.06. But still within a few inches of where we have been for months.
If we stay on this warm water pattern, and it looks good for the short term, we should see some spawning fish any time. But I'll remind you, and me, that we are only in the second week of January.. What some folks would consider winter..
And odds are that we will still have a few considerable fronts make it down here before we put up the long britches.
Best baits still appear to be crankbaits, in the eight to twelve foot range. But there is nothing wrong with raking the rocks with this same bait in the shallow rocks on their way to deeper water.. I have caught a ton of fish on a 5XD in two or three feet of water in years past..
Some spinnerbait fish have been landed back in the trees, and yesterday I spoke to some fellows from Laredo who caught several males back in the hardwoods. Not any real numbers, but maybe an indication of things to come..
One thing to keep in mind, is that back in the shallow creeks, like all three Tiger arms, or State Park Cove, or any flat bottomed creek, which most of them we have are at this level, is that they are mostly silted in and there are few areas with rocky or hard bottoms.
And it has been my experience that fish do not like to spawn on a mud bottom. And rarely do.
And maybe that is the reason we have not caught many fish off the hardwoods.. Now, or in the last couple of years.. Even summertime. There just aren't that many places where there are woods with gravel bottoms. Being that is where the trees grew/grow, and also where situation is the most prevalent.
So it is my recommendation that you fish rocky bottomed areas.. For what it's worth.
There are several areas, but not a lot, out in the main lake that are on rocky ridges. Might be a good place to look. especially if there are some woods on them.
I am positive that fish like some sort of cover to nest near.. And the thicker the better..
Now go find it..
A few fish are also being caught on shakey heads and assorted soft plastics.. But nothing to beat your chest about.
But like with the rest of it, there is still a lot of hit and miss..
Uvalde bass club will be in town this weekend, and I am sure I will get some feedback from them. And it will give some insight to what the short term visiting angler might expect.. And I'll report of course..
Well.. Old Uncle Joe visited the border last weekend.. But the old fart did not stop at Falcon Lake Tackle.. I did prepare for his visit, but I will have to admit that I did not sanitize the shop like they did with the whole town of El Paso before Brandon got there..
It probably did need a good cleaning, and I doubt that if they toured him through the illegal's camps, he'd see anything but ice cream shop signs thru those rose colored aviators.
This administration is a fucking joke.. Top to bottom..
We'll see if the new House actually does anything to thwart the damage done and in progress as we watch this clown show.
But I have my doubts as I think the whole DC crowd (with few exceptions) are pretty inter-changeable.
I'm not holding my breath.
I have been watching some college football, and therefore watching a lot of commercials.. What the fuck is Dr. Pepper going to do now that football season is over? Will State have a good recruiting year? Will there be a new sheriff in town?
And I see that Dominoe's Pizza is now delivering your pie with electric vehicles.. Big fuckin' deal.. Will it make the pizza better?
Now if they wanted to impress me, being they have an electric car, why don't they bake the pizza in the fuckin' car while it's on the way to my house.. Then you'd get a fresh pizza.
I used to complain that commercials were not realistic, in their portrayal of actual customers.. Their actors had perfect skin, hair, teeth, and were skinny and attractive..
After seeing the general population on TV commercials these days, I must recant my old opinion..
It's freak show out there.
One other commercial of note, and I promise I stop after this one, cause it is hard to top, is for these new super absorbent underwear for women.. I'm not talking Depends, or even, "Oops I've crapped my pants," of SNL fame..
Here I am sitting on my couch, eating my supper, and on comes this commercial for panties that absorb more than seven tampons..
Now I've never worn/used a tampon.. But I can only guess what carrying seven tampons worth of sloshy goo in your underbritches would feel like..
But there's a picture of it in my mind that made put my sandwich down and reach for the remote..
Maybe I'll put seven or eight pumps of hand lotion in a ziplock, warm it in the microwave, shove it down there between the boys, and go for a walk.. Or do some somersaults. Like those big girls in the commercial..
And see how it feels..
Yeah I'll get back to you on this one. Gotta do a risk assessment first..
I have a bunch of fish pics to post.. But you seen a bass before..
And if you come down here maybe you can take one of your own..
Here's picturing you, Kid.. We'll always have Falcon..
January 3, 2023: Well we're off and running in the new year.. And a lot of you guys have been screwing the pooch for the last two weeks.. I know because I haven't been able to get a damn thing delivered or done..
Back to work you slackers! Oh yeah.. And Happy New Year! May she be a damn sight bettern' the last one..
Well.. After a cold snap that knocked our water temps back into the ice tray, we are finally seeing water temps climb back up into the middle sixties.. But that has been in the late afternoon and not a consistent day and night temperature.
Which is what I believe is needed to get the fish into spawn mode.
I know.. I know.. You're thinking that fucker is crazy.. It's the first week of January..
But this happens every year.. Some of these fish are going to go do the deed..
And there is no doubt that our water temps will be up and down like hookers panties in the next month. And we will see this cycle several times in the coming sixty days..
But between these fluctuations, there will be spawning fish when the water warms..
And I think we are on the verge of it happening, but the last few days have been poor when it comes to catching any numbers of fish.
I spoke with several groups of fishermen yesterday, and nobody was bragging.. Reports of two to five fish were the norm. And in my book that sucks.
Evidently that sucks in their books as well.. And I did not hear of any whoppers caught either..
So what's my recommendation?
If I had to drive any distance, I might wait a bit.. But this Friday and Saturday may be really good as we are supposed to have highs in the eighties all week with warmer nights, and of course the full moon is on Friday..
I know some of you don't believe in moon phases and spawning having any correlation..
But I do.. And when the warming water and the two intersect some good shit can happen..
Will it for sure? Hell if I know.. But you cain't catch em on the couch..
But the fact of the matter for now. Or as of yesterday evening.. Fishing was slow.. I'm never going to lie to you..
I will report as soon as I hear anything from off the water..
December 27, 2022: Well the brutal, cold assed, arctic air that sat on us for three days has moderated a bit.. We got up close to 70 degrees yesterday afternoon, and it felt good to stand in the sun. But it wadn't a sun beatdown.. Just sun feeling good on your face..
It was a cold 70..
This morning it was middle forties for the low, but we have low winds, sunshine, and a predicted high back around seventy again..
Lows for the rest of the week are supposed to be around the middle fifties and highs heading towards the eighties for the weekend. And a warming trend will do nothing but help the fishing as the week progresses..
But how far back this last cold shit knocked the fish we are still trying to ascertain.
I spoke to one boat of fishermen that fished yesterday so far today.. They said the water temps were around 55° when they put in yesterday morning, and almost 60 when they loaded the boat at 5:00..
They caught three fish.. Doesn't really surprise me. I've told you before that when the water here gets in the middle fifties that you might as well stay home and make babies.. Or watch Captain Kangaroo.. If you already have babies..
But I have also told you that when the water warms up into the middle sixties for a few days, to leave Mama home with Sancho, and get your ass on the water..
Cause weird things can happen in a short window..
Now I AM NOT saying that the spawn is imminent and that you need to be here immediately.. And I am not sure what the long term temps are going to do after this weekend. I don't hardly trust the fuckers to predict yesterdays highs..
But you can bet your ass that we will be watching the water temps this week and watching the fishing reports to see if there is some activity that looks like a spawn could commence..
I have received several e-mails from folks that are headed here now and later this week to see what the warmer weather might bring. And that will certainly help figure out what it going on. Because seriously, there have just not been many/any fishermen on the water the last five days..
Between the holidays and the cold, few people have been out.. But I am sure you already had that figured out.
The lake is holding pretty steady, and we are sitting at 261.32, and we have not fluctuated more than a couple of inches either up or down in the last month..
That equates to about forty feet low..
Launching conditions have not changed in two months.. Five lanes of concrete here in the Veleno, and on the bank down at Butterfly Boulevard at the state park..
Four wheel drive is a help, but not a must down south. Some boys that were in here this morning with a big boat did it with two wheel drive yesterday. Also said it did not hurt to have the fellow in the boat give a little push to get her moving.. But I have heard no reports of anyone not getting their boat out with two wheel drive..
You can also launch in the Tigers if you desire.. But with low winds I'd just choose an end of the lake and run it..
Well this report is pretty much some anticipatory bullshit ain't it? Talking about what might be later this week? If the water warms into the sixties.. And I think it will..
But if a bunch of big fish, or any fish get caught, it would not surprise me.. Them fuckers are in here. And they are gonna spawn and they are gonna bite sooner or later.. I'm just not sure which one.. Or in which order..
Here's a couple of fish pics from the day before the temps went south.. Both over ten..
You just gotta get your ass out there and show it to em'..
And hopefully a bunch of people will this week..
Well I hope you and yours had a good Christmas.. There were a dozen kiddos at the ranch opening tons of plastic Chinese shit and loving it on Christmas eve.. And the noise level was excruciating..
But it is always fun to see.. I am absolutely positive that we are spoiling the little buggers to the n'th degree..
That horse is out of the barn around our place, and probably at yours as well..
I tell my people not to buy me anything for Christmas.. For a simple reason.
I hate getting a gift that I have no use for, or already have five of.. Just seems wasteful. Practical I am..
I guess you're thinking, "He's a real fuckin joy at Christmas."
But truth is, that if my kids or wife can afford it, and I want it, I already have it..
I love Christmas.. And I love capitalism. And there is no doubt that the former is good for the latter..
But I'd personally like to see a little more emphasis put on the non-secular aspect of Christmas..
But like I said, that horse is done out of the barn..
Well I'll keep you abreast of the happenings down here on the water.. Fuck if I know what's going to happen.. But when I do, so will you.
See you when we do!
December 20, 2022: Guess the hell what.. Just when the fish are getting a little more active, we have a giant shit-storm of cold air headed for us.. Oh fuckin' boy..
Lows on Friday and Saturday night are supposed to be in the middle twenties.. And we ain't set up for that kinda shit. And my back already hurts thinking about moving all my plants into the garage..
I hate this shit..
But till then.. We are on a decent streak of weather, and on Thursday before the front gets here, we are supposed to be in the seventies. Yesterday was tough with some north wind; not a gale but enough to make it no fun out in open water. As was attested to by several customers..
The last week has seen a bunch of real quality fish caught, and some mid thirty and even a forty pound sack put in the boat. If you are at the right spot at the right time some magic can happen.. Not everyone is whacking em, but most folks are catching fish, and some dandies mixed in..
These fish range from seven to over ten pounds.
And I got a lot of other good fish pics as well but I ain't posting em all.. Several folks caught three or four really nice ones..
And the snowbirds that fish every day are catching some quality fish as well.
Big crankbaits deep, some squarebillin', and deeper soft plastics in the eight to fifteen foot range have all produced some fish.
Timing is everything and you gotta be there when they there and biting. So time on the water makes all the difference. Afternoons seem to be a bit better, but I have heard of several streaks in the AM where some bigguns were caught..
Can you go anywhere and whack em? No.. But if you get out there and show it to em you just might put the smack down on em..
Well Christmas is upon us.. And I mean upon us.. T minus five days.. Hope you got all your shopping done..
And I also hope you stop for a minute or two and remember that there is a lot more to this holiday than wrapping paper and eggnog..
We are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and affirming that he is our savior and path to heaven.. And I hope you do not need a holiday to keep that in mind.
I don't want to get too preachy on you, but once a year, (or maybe two) I will reiterate that no man can be truly and independently happy without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
And I hope you take time to consider what I just typed..
Merry Christmas to you and yours. And I hope you and your family get to share some quality time together..
See you when we do!
December 13, 2022: I'm not gonna say that the fish are jumping in the boats down here, but I will say that the fishing is much improved from a couple of weeks ago..
Although not all fishermen are knocking them dead, including me.. I fished for a few hours on Sunday and only caught a few fish, and most of them were little bastards.
But hey.. They were fish..
Better fishermen, or at least fishermen with better timing have done a lot better.. I fished a favorite rockpile for twenty minutes.. And had zero bites. And a buddy of mine caught a five and a seven off of it after three o'clock.. Of course by then I was in the Lazy Boy..
Water temps were in the low seventies early Sunday afternoon.. That was in the Tigers. But I hear the water is cooler nearer the dam. I am sure this front that will be blowing in tonight will cool the water off a bit.. But it is not gonna be one of them mosquito killers.. Highs in the 60 degree range for a few days..
The last five days have been awesome.. High in the eighties and low winds..
Here's a few pics of some fish from the last week..
There have been a lot more six to eight pound fish caught, and some folks are having a really good time while others struggle a bit. That's fishing..
But these fish are the shortest and fattest and meanest motherfuckers you will catch anywhere.. They are so healthy and full of groceries.. We are gonna see some whoppers the next two years.. There's just so much to eat..
Maybe that's why it is hard to get a bite sometime..
The crappie look a lot the same.. So fat and sassy.. And tasty.. If you get on the right ones, you can't fit a limit in a five gallon bucket..
And the catfish are still very good on the upper end of the lake..
No white bass in the river as of yet.. But it won't be long..
Launching is no sweat at either end of the lake..
The bass are so freakin fat, that I want to cut open a five pounder and see what's in there. I know they're building eggs, and could be spawning in the next thirty days.. But I know a lot of it is food.. They are just gorged with bait.. Or Blue Bell.. Or something..
There are also a group of eight to ten inch fish out there. No doubt born this last summer. Yes last summer. It happens all the time.. Remember that when conditions are right, we grow keeper fish here in one year..
And as far as eating goes.. They's plenty of it out there.. More tilapia than I have ever seen..
Go turn your forward looking sonar on out there.. Anywhere. It's incredible.. That's why I think we are going to see a bunch of DD fish in the next two years..
Like a Baskin Robbins truck crashing in front of Rosie's house.. They's gonna be some piggin' out goin on..
Christmas is less than two weeks away.. This year has gone by quicker than a cat can lick his ass..
And 2022 has not necessarily been one of my favorites.. So I'll be glad to welcome in the new one.
And I certainly hope I will see you in it..
Come see us. The fishing is better than where you're at..
And so is the weather..
See you on the water..
December 6, 2022: It's been a couple of weeks since I have sat down in front of this computer, and honestly I have not had too much to talk about. At least when it comes to fishing.
Basically cause nobody was doing it, and those that were, were struggling to catch many fish.
The weather the last two weeks has been atrocious, with little sunshine and wet soggy weather for the most part. Just the kind of shit that I hate.. Couple that with the fact that the sun sets at 5:45 and that can put me in a really foul mood.
We have been dealing with early morning fog the last two days, but by noon or earlier it has burned off and the temps have risen into the eighties.. And we are supposed to be in the eighties for the next seven days.. Allegedly..
Water temps that dipped down to sixty are certainly on the rise, with reports yesterday afternoon seeing the upper sixties mark. Should make seventy by the weekend if the forecast is accurate.
And for the first time in six weeks I am hearing of good numbers of fish being caught.
Yesterday a fellow I know had right at thirty pounds, with an eight mixed in, and Matt Reed and his clients had right at thirty fish, with a bunch of three to five pounders.
And at 10:30 this am they already had ten..
So something is happening out there. I also heard several other good reports the last few days.
A lot of these fish have been shallow, and a square bill has been the shit.
Rocks of course, concentrating on points and shallow ridges.. Typical stuff.. A bait with some chartreuse on it is a good idea.. More Falcon typical stuff..
I don't see why you couldn't catch em on a spinner or a chatter bait.. But if you got something going I reckon it is best not to mess with it..
We'll see how long this stuff will last.
The lake has actually caught about four inches of water in the last ten days, as the valley is as wet as we are and we are just not letting much out. Releases from Amistad have remained the same for two weeks.. It ain't much but it is more than we are releasing.. We'll take what we can get.
It was a little squishy launching down at the state park, but after this afternoon it should not be a problem at all.. Here in Z-town we are still in great shape on the county ramp all the way across.. And yes you can put in at the Tigers if you fear no dirt roads..
The lakes on the Conchos in Mexico are still at pool or above for the most part. But this is not the time of year that we good any real rain in that hood.. But it is good to know that there is more water in the pipeline that we have had in years, and the bastards should have no reason to withhold water that we are owed..
But I am sure they will come up with some bullshit reason not to. Of course I am hoping there will be more good rains over there this spring and summer that get us some water here in Falcon. We're a damn sight closer that if all the lakes were dry.. Like they've been for years..
You will remember.. These lakes, and ours are located in a desert.. The Chihuahuan desert.. And big rains here are the exception, not the rule.. And the lakes were built to catch the rain when it does.. And often it don't..
We are actually a little above our average yearly rainfall down here, which is about 18".. Hopefully we can keep this streak alive..
Grass is so tall in some pastures it is hard to see a pig, and quail hunters are having to struggle to walk some areas. The cows are fat.. Deer have good horns..
And the second half of dove season opens on the 17th..
And the fish are biting..
I guess things are alright.. Come see us when you can..
November 21, 2022: Well it's a miserable weather pattern that has been sitting on us for four days.. And as I type it is in the forties with mist and drizzle and it just basically sucks..
I hate winter..
We have accumulated over an inch of precipitation in the last few days.. I'm not gonna call it rain.. Just misty, drizzly, bullshit that makes doing anything outside no fun. And the north wind mixed in makes for some really pleasant outdoor ventures.. Not..
We are supposed to be in the seventies this time of year.. Global warming my ass..
Back in the seventies I would have said this is good weather for holing up with a $20 hooker in the Three Dollar Motel on Fredericksburg road for a few days..
I'm sure the prices on both have gone up considerably..
When you work construction there are always a few rainout days.. I used to go see this same gal for a few years when we got rained out..
Last I talked to her, via e-mail a few years ago, she said she still gets horny every time she takes a shower..
Ah, memories of days gone by..
I better get off that thought as today is my 43rd anniversary.. Same woman..
One of us is a saint..
As you can imagine, fishing here has been a challenge the last few days. And only a couple of boats have ventured out.. And it makes me wonder about their sanity.. Of course we all know fishermen are crazy..
Matt Reed had clients that he couldn't talk out of going yesterday.. They caught one nice fish.
And he just sent me this pic of their first cast fish this am..
So evidently these motherfuckers (the fish) have not all frozen to death..
I ain't got that much "want to" in me..
Water temps have dropped all the way from the mid seventies down to about 62° this morning.. In a five day period.. But if you don't get out of the forties or fifties, with no sunshine and a cold north wind..
Maybe we'll have an early spawn this year.. Cause we're certainly cooling the water off a lot earlier than usual..
Remember two years ago, when we like to froze to death down here.. And a shit load of tilapia died off..
Well don't feel too bad for em cause they have made a tremendous comeback. There are schools of em everywhere on the lake. From two inches long to four pounds.. In some places you can hardly pull your cast net out of the water..
And heard the same story several times..
There is just not a lot to talk about around here.. No one is fishing, with the exception of a few snowbirds, but even they have taken the last few days off.
The lake is kinda holding steady, but we have lost about six inches of water from our high.. We are sitting at 260.89, down about an inch in the last ten days..
The launching conditions have not changed at either end of the lake.. No problems.. Might be a little muddy down at the state park for a day or so..
Thanksgiving is only a few of days away, and it is hard to believe that the year is almost over already. Seems like I had a turkey sandwich yesterday..
Maybe that is not such a bad thing, and I am looking forward to getting together with the family at the ranch. And speaking of which, I will not be here on Thursday or Friday. But I'll be here on Saturday bright and early..
I hope you and yours have a great day and that you are able to get together with family, and/or those you have made family.
God Bless you all and Thanks! to all of you who have made Falcon Lake Tackle possible..
I look forward to seeing you when I do..
And hopefully it will be warmer than it is now..
See you soon..
November 8, 2022: It's the second week of November, and turkeys everywhere are nervously waiting to see what their future will bring.
And I ain't talking about a bunch of corn eatin, feathered fowl walking around in their own shit..
I'm talking about a bunch of Senators, Congressmen, Governors, and Mayors..
But they do have something in common with our tasty feathered friends.. They are also walking around in shit.. Mostly of their own making..
Only bad part about that is that we have to walk around in it as well..
More on that later..
The lake is sitting at 261.01 this morning, and we have been holding more or less steady for the last six weeks, within a few inches plus or minus.
We have not been passed any level changing water from Amistad, just enough to keep us kinda steady. Which can almost be considered a win.
I wish I could tell you what the next few months will bring, but I honestly have no freaking idea..
Launching here is no problem, and the county ramp is four or five wide on concrete. Down at the state park we are launching off the bank at the Butterfly beach.. Which is no problem at all. It does not hurt to have a four wheel drive, but no one I have heard from has had any problem with a two wheel drive vehicle.
There are a few more people fishing these days, mostly due to an influx of Winter Texans. Although I am only talking about a half dozen or so.
I am sure a bigger migration will take place after Thanksgiving.
But if there are eight or ten boats on the lake weekdays, I'd consider it a heavy traffic day.
Reports have been mixed, and frankly I have not had many. But it does sound like the shallow bite is picking up.
Square bill and some spinnerbait fish are being caught, in the usual places. Rocky points and on the rip-rap on the dam, like I have typed a thousand times.
Mainlake points from the dam to marker three have produced some fish. And I am talking about the shallow shorelines from the north corner of State Park cove to the number three marker.
This area, as most of you know, has the river channel not far from the bank, and the fish move up and down with the groceries.
The bait has been thick in the shallows, and in some places your graph will almost be entirely filled with bait.. Or tilapa.. Or white bass.. Or something..
Just a shitload of fish beyond description.. And identification..
Some deeper fish are also being caught on ledges and rockpiles. And a few select brushpiles..
Crappie are still a little elusive.. Some newer brushpiles have em on em pretty good, but it has been tough to catch a bunch off any one brushpile. School Bus pattern..
Catfish have been excellent on river channel edges and in standing timber.. I'd try around marker eight to nine.. Good reports on rod and reel.. Stinkbait and cut shad.. Cast-netting bait is as easy as it gets lately..
The Veleno also has some small fish in good numbers on stinkbait as well.. We have a shit ton of eight to ten inch fish in the lake right now.. Blues of course..
Hadn't heard anything about gar here lately.. But we still got plenty of em..
Still no new word on a low water ramp at the state park.. Or the improvements that were promised here at the county park..
Speaking of which, today is election day as you can't possibly have missed..
As a TV watcher, I can't possibly explain to you how glad I will be when today is over.. I think I have gotten the message.. This guy sucks. This guy is great..
If you have read this column a time or two, I don't need to explain to you my political beliefs..
And if you think the democrats are doing a good job, then you and I don't ever need to have a conversation.. Cause you are just too ignorant to have a conversation with.
And please don't confuse ignorant with stupid. Ignorant means uninformed..
Stupid means... Well.. Stupid..
If you ain't voted, get your ass out there
and get it done.
If you don't vote, then I don't want to hear you bitch.
And what fun would life be if you weren't allowed to bitch..
Deer season is open, so send me some pics of your big buck.. I need something to look at..
Till you get down here and I can look at you..
And I hope to do that soon..
November 4, 2022: It's been a long time coming, but it appears that the fish are finally starting to wake up a little bit..
I'm not saying that you have to hide behind a tree to bait your hook, but this week more fish were caught than I have heard of in a long time.
And several reports (yes I have actually had a few) indicated that the fish have been showing up shallow.. In water in the six foot range. Which certainly doesn't piss me off..
And correspondingly shallow crankbaits have been working to catch some of these fish.
A buddy of mine caught them on the rip-rap at the dam yesterday, on a shallow sexy shad pattern crankbait.. Including a one that got away story.. I hate crankbaits.. Freaking witchcraft..
But I still throw them all the time.. Guess cause I get bit on em.. But I loose a lot of fish on em too..
I also heard of a few fish on smaller plastics, and basically in the same areas.
Maybe the greenery in the shallows is starting to get past the "stinky" stage and the fish are returning. There is certainly a shit ton of bait shallow. And one would think that the fish are going to go where the groceries are..
There was a local throwing a cast net here in the Veleno just left of the boat ramp.. I'm not saying he couldn't pull the net on the bank.. But I will say that he did not need to throw it again.. He had enough shad to fish for days..
It is November and the bait is supposed to be back up the creeks. Not sure if they are everywhere else on the lake. But they're sure in here..
The crappie are hit and miss as of late.. With a lot of miss.. Most of them are still out deep, in twenty feet of water or so.. But they ain't been chomping..
The catfish are still very good. From the Veleno to Marker eight anywhere near trees or the channel edge.. Stink bait and cut bait are good.. And bait is easy to catch..
There are a few snowbirds starting to show up, and hopefully we will have more to report as more folks start fishing..
I'll try to be more diligent about posting, but there has not been a lot of fishing to talk about..
Get your ass out there and vote.. And run these stupid bastards out of office..
See you soon..
October 25, 2022: If idle hands are the devils workshop, then it is abundantly clear that I own a giant factory with potential for deeds unbecoming..
There is just very little going on around here and almost no one on the lake. And that being said, I have little to pass along, other than fishing is still fair at best.
The few people that I have talked to are catching some fish, but it as been a while since anybody told me they caught twenty. Four to ten is more like the truth, and some days that's optimistic.
But when there are only two or three bass boats on a lake twenty five miles long, that doesn't give me too many folks to interview.
The crappie have been decent, with the Tigers being best. Bout twenty feet seems to be the magic number.
The catfish are still very good, with most fishing from the Veleno to marker eight.. Fairly shallow around hardwoods or right off the river channel edge..
White bass have been all over the top on some days.. Mostly at the south end of the lake and right at the dam on some days.
Water levels have remained about the same for the last month, so that means we are easily on the concrete ramp here in the Veleno, and we are still launching at the Butterfly beach down at the state park.
It is hard packed and with good slope it is no problem, even with two wheel drive.
You can also launch at the Tigers if you desire. BTW there is a new entrance to get to that ramp, just a mile south of the old entrance. There's a big sign on the gate and you can't miss it.. Well.. Maybe if you're a democrat..
We have had a couple of chances to really get some water in the lake.. But neither has worked out.. The Mexican lakes on the Conchos are still full or over, for the most part.
Two Pacific storms failed to drop much rain on the watershed.. And the last one really had potential. Just went a little too far east.. And at this time of year, we are quickly running out of chances.
Dove season has been good down here this year, and there are still a shitload of whitewings in the area. And deer season for real kicks off in about two weeks.. No offense to you MLD and bow hunters.. I know you guys are already out there after em.
Thanksgiving is only a month away, and before you know it we'll be freezing our ass off and drinking eggnog..
And I don't like either..
If you have any questions about anything Falcon, give me a call.. Or shit, just give me a call to keep me awake..
Get your ass out there and vote. If we don't put an end to this clown show, there might not be much left to save come 2024..
What America has become is downright embarrassing..
October 5, 2022: I guess you could say that fall has officially arrived.. We have been in the sixties for lows for the last week or so, and the highs have barely been making it into the nineties if they do at all.. Especially when we have had some cloud cover..
Yes it is nice.. But I know what's coming.. Cold and windy shit.. I hate winter..
The lake has kinda held steady, but the last two days we have started releasing a bit more water.. What for? Who the hell knows.. Is it a trend? Who the hell knows.. We have dropped about a tenth of a foot in the last three days.
We are sitting at 261.66, still right around 39.5 feet low.. Which sounds bad.. But I was on the lake on Sunday around the dam and it looks great with a lot of green shit in the water.
I did not take a bass pole with me.. We just chased a few crappie and never went north of State Park Cove.. We probably should have as the bite was slow for us, but some buddies tore em up in the Tigers.. Typical..
Launching down there is a piece of cake with pretty much a perfect slope to launch on, and the ground is like packed crushed granite.. Two wheel drive with any rig should be no problem.
Here in Zapata we are four or five lanes wide on concrete.. Depending on the backing abilities of the boaters..
And let me tell you some folks really need some practice.. You may have noticed this yourself at one time or another..
Although when there are only three boats in a days time launching it has not been a problem as of late.
Traffic is still light, to say the least, and weekdays you might see two or three boats on the lake.. Weekends there have been a few more folks out of course..
The fishing remains decent, but it is not what I would call really good. Those that spend a few days here are having decent results, but it is not a go out and whack em fest every day.
You have to put in a little time and keep fishing, and sooner or later you are going to end up at a place where they're biting. And the PM bite has been best lately it appears.
Rock has been the name of the game lately according to most.. The brushpiles are not producing like they were a month ago.. Ledges and drops in the twenty foot range are best.. Not to say you cannot catch some shallow fish.
There is a ton of flooded grass up shallow, but it appears to be in that stage of decay where it is a bit stinky as the vegetation breaks down.. And sometimes the fish just don't like it for a while during the process.
There are a few spawning fish out there like there are every October when the water has come up.. It happens.. Trust me.. And at least the fry will have something to hide in for now..
Last week I was hopeful that the hurricane over in the Pacific would hold together as it hit land at about Mazatlan, but alas the piece of shit fell apart like a fuckin' Yugo..
It was the perfect scenario as all the lakes on the Conchos are full or damn close.. And a good rain could have forced Mexico to dump more water in the Rio Grande..
I'm still hopeful that a storm will develop or a low will sit over the area and drop some rain that will be beneficial to us..
Amistad is still rising slowly, but releases from Luis Leon have been reduced, although the lake is still at 118% as of yesterday. Amistad has caught 23 feet or more of water.. Haven't done the math lately.. Hope they will at least hold us steady..
It is hard getting treated like the red headed stepchild down here.. We're used to it.. But that don't mean we like it..
And like I have always said, Amistad will have to be full before we ever will be. I have never ever seen Falcon catch a huge amount of water from rains between us and Amistad.. Yeah may be fifteen or twenty feet from a freak storm.. But it will have to rain twenty inches all along the river from us to Del Rio.. And that ain't happening..
It's gotta come out of Mexico.. At least there is no fuckin' reason for Mexico not to fulfill its water obligations for the next couple of years.. But we'll see..
Do you watch any TV? I do.. And damn I'll be glad when the mid-term elections are over.. I don't know what both sides are spending on commercials, but it has to be astronomical..
I'll admit that I can recite the entire dialog of Tombstone.. But the bad part now is that I can also do a verbatim resuscitation of several political ads.. They need to make some new ones.. And don't we know by now that the other guy/gal is a dick?
I'm not about to tell you who you should vote for. I figure we are on the same page or you are too fuckin' stupid to have a conversation with.
I got a call from a pollster the other day.. Seems that lately some folks are starting to take notice of what the populous of south Texas thinks about what is going on in Texas, specifically on the border..
After all, the river counties have been taken for granted for a hundred years..
And like I said, it is slow around here, and I didn't have shit to do..
We didn't make it to the end of the questions before the interview ended.. And I don't know who they hire to make these calls.. I guess some unemployed Poly-Sci majors who just can't seem to hold a job..
I guess those Karen's need something to do when they're not at a march somewhere..
And if you can't answer either A or B during the interrogation, well it just ain't going to work.. I thought they wanted my opinion.. Guess not.
Granted, my delivery of responses probably did not fit the parameters of their questioning, and they were not sure which box to check after hearing my reply.
Yeah well, it entertained me for ten minutes of my day.. She might now need to seek counseling.. But I'm good.
Speaking of commercials.. Have you seen the one for Lume deodorant?
Yeah you rub this shit in your butt crack and you won't have a stinky ass..
I'm not making this up.
Unless you are around someone with a lot of flatulence, do you really smell their ass? And I have a very keen sense of smell..
I've been on some three or four day camping trips, where we were all getting pretty rank..
But I would think that most folks are gonna clean up every day or two.. And if they don't, well I'm not apt to hang out with em..
There are a lot of nasty looking mutants running the streets out there though. Maybe they'll buy it. Or their Mommie will..
Hygiene doesn't seem to be a priority to a lot of today's youth. Or maybe that is just me..
If you now me you know I am always working on new inventions and products, many of which are in use all across America today.. Like the Shadnick Satellite system.. The battery powered cottontail skinner.. My GPS enabled marker buoys.. And the self licking lollypop.. Just to name a few..
But this time I think I've got one that will put me on easy street..
You know everything in support wear is copper infused these days..
Socks.. Knee braces.. Elbow pads.. Back braces..
Well I have invented the first ever, copper infused, chastity belt.. For young girls twelve and under..
I figure I'll buy a used taco truck.. And set up at places all across America where Joe Biden is holding a rally or whatever..
As Americans, it is our duty to keep our kids safe..
Thinking of marketing it as the "Hymen Helper".
Still working with the marketing department team on it though..
And if it works out I'll probably be selling some franchises.. Get in early...
Well things in this country are surely degrading. And so is this report..
I'll try to do better next time..
See you on the water..
September 27, 2022: Three days left in September.. Three quarters of the year already in the books..
TV is shoving pumpkins and goblins up our ass with a slight emphasis on Christmas.. Capitalism baby..
And before you can eat all your Skittles and Reece's you'll be bombarded with commercials for electronics, jewelry, computer games, and condoms with Rudolph embossed on the sides..
And depending on the user of course, ol' Rudolph could score from 150 class to Boone and Crockett numbers..
The month of September did leave us with eight plus feet of new water in the lake. Amistad has caught over twenty two feet of water as well.. And still rising.. And will for a while..
Till the Mexicans decide to cut it off.. Six of the seven lakes on the Conchos chain are full or a little over pool.. We just need a little event over there to put us in some real water..
We still have time...
And I'm going out on a limb here but I don't think we'll see any Amistad water till they think we have to flush our toilets with bottled water.. Which we were doing about six weeks ago..
I was using the blue Gatorade cause it looked like Tidy-Bowl..
We are sitting at 261.78, which is still 39.42 feet low. It has still been raining around us, and Sunday night we got 1.5 inches, and another short downpour yesterday evening. And the valley below us has been getting good rains so I hope they don't need any water for a while.
No one is fishing.. Other than catfishermen up on this end of the lake.. A few out shooting gar..
Matt Reed and clients had 35 pounds on Sunday.. Haven't talked to anyone else in two days.. That's bass fishing anyway..
Launching is fine at both ends of the lake and even in theTigers..
Bored to tears.. TTYL.
September 21, 2022: Well I can't tell you too much about the fishing that I didn't yesterday.. But I did talk to Matt Reed's clients this am..
They had over thirty pounds yesterday and got off the lake by 1:00. Thunderstorm blew up down south.. And made it up here eventually..
When it started here the drops were as big as chicken eggs.. But it didn't last long..
They said the fish were deeper, in twenty feet more or less.. Matt seems to think the fish really did not move with the new water.. Still in the same places they were before the rise..
They also said that there was one other bass boat on the lake..
As mentioned yesterday, I have a whole lot of thoughts about what is going on in our country today. And most of those thoughts are not ones of great admiration for behaviors I am seeing reported on a daily basis.
And besides all the political bullshit, which we'll get to in a minute, what really pisses me off is man's inhumanity toward man.
Now don't go thinking that I have gone soft, and have suddenly decided that I (we) need to care for and support all the downtrodden of the world.
Firstly, it is not even in the realm of possibility, and secondly it is not wise, just, or prudent, to forcibly take from those willing to work, and give to those who would not.
Just like Granny in Josey Wales said.. "Round here if you don't work, you don't eat.."
I guess the times have changed a lot from the era of the timeframe that picture represented.
And I will never understand the mindset that predisposes someone to expect that they should be taken care of all their lives with no effort on their part.
Unless someone/something planted that thought in their minds.. And fertilized and watered it till the plant took root, flourished, and filled the entire skull of the individual and pushed out all free thought, guilt, remorse, ambition, and compassion.
And yes compassion is in that list because when you are the one seeking it you are rarely one giving it out.
And if you hear the government talking about compassion for the needy, you can bet your ass the compassion that they are going to be handing out costs them exactly zero..
But you know who it is costing.. And you get no credit for it.
When is the last time you heard a politician say we are going to be giving out millions of dollars for whatever cause, and say, "This is entirely due to the voluntary generosity of the American taxpayer.."
That, my friends, is something you will never hear said..
Americans are the most generous people in the world. In spite of being taxed to death, we still find a way to give to those in need.
And all we expect in return is that the people we are trying to help make an effort, to make that help make a difference.. Not just a bridge till the next bailout..
But much of the US population has become dependent on the government to provide for them.. Housing, food, phones. You name it..
Why does this happen? Because that's the way the government, or at least a lot of members of it, want it.
No other reason.. They have built a dependent sub-society they depend on to keep them in control.
While they throw you a few crumbs.. Enough to keep you from revolting, while they brainwash you into thinking you can't survive without them.
And that is exactly what is happening, and has been happening for years, in our biggest cities..
Where are most of the freebies dispensed in this country? Mostly in the biggest of cities.
Where are most of the murder numbers off the charts.. Mostly in the biggest of cities.
Where are crime rates exploding? Mostly in the biggest of cities..
Why? Because mostly these assholes committing the crime got nothing better to do.. And I guess in a lot of cases, it is easier to steal shit and sell it than to go to work.. And you even get to work (steal shit) your own hours..
And with the geniuses we have in control of these big cities, and some in congress, reducing and some wanting to eliminate the police..
Well all I can say is that there are going to be a lot of openings at the coroners office..
And if I were you I'd find out who makes the chalk they use to outline dead bodies.. And buy some stock in that company..
And most of this anarchy takes place year after year in the same paces.. I'll name a few..
Detroit. Chicago. New York. New Orleans. Cleveland. St Louis. Atlanta.. Houston..
What do all these towns have in common? They are all Democrat run shithole's..
Too broad a brush? I'm listening.. Explain it to me..
The same people you elect year after year that promise you free shit and safety are barely providing a piece of the former.. Yet you send em back year after year...
That's just ignorance.. And it is on full display..
I know not all parts of all the towns I mentioned above are shit holes.. Ask our local cops and they'll say we have a couple here in Zapata..
But it is a lot easier for a rat to hide in a jungle than in a terrarium on the back porch..
And rats like living with other rats..
Next time we'll talk about the border.. That'll be fun..
September 20, 2022: Not much going on around here.. Maybe less than that..
And I haven't had any trouble slipping in a cat nap or two during the day.. And at my age I just gotta hope I wake up from em..
The lake has leveled off at 261.60, and that is only about 2/10ths higher than we were a week ago. And I don't think there is any immediate water coming for us.
Amistad is still catching water at a decent rate, catching a foot every two or three days.. And I am guessing that they will be getting some for a while longer..
After releasing water for over a week at a good clip, Luis Leon on the Conchos is still at 150% today.. But they have slowed the releases some and are currently letting out about 6000 cubic feet a second.
That should get the Rio Grande thru Big Bend out of flood stage, or close. But it will take a day or few..
And who knows what levels they'll take their lakes down to.. Six of of the seven lakes on the Conchos chain are at pool or over.
Now we need a turd floater to put us over the top.. But nothing I see in that neck of the woods that looks imminently promising..
But we'll keep an eye on er..
There is basically no one on the lake, and you might see two or three rigs at the county ramp.. Maybe..
At the state park, you might see a couple more during the week.. But not many more..
Maybe everyone went to Queen Elizabeth's funeral..
Kamala must have cause she sure ain't been here.. Border Czar my ass..
The guides are reporting decent catches, with high twenty and some thirty pound bags most days. Most of them say that numbers are not super, but they seem to run into a flurry or two each day.
Some shallow.. Some deep.. Scattered a bit.. Typical for having eight new feet of water..
The locals have been tearing the catfish and gar up on the upper end of the lake. We got another little impulse of water in the Veleno last week from a 3" downpour on Thursday, that sat out highway 16 east of town.. It took two days for the water to get here, but the gar run up the creek every time it does..
They whacked em. Again.
Launching on either end of the lake is still fine.. No problems..
I went to the ranch last weekend and hauled hay and shot doves.. Good to get out of here for a day and a half.. I only broke about half the equipment I messed with, so it wasn't too bad..
We call it three trip ranch.. If you bust something, it is going to take you three trips to town to get it fixed..
I don't care if you buy the whole fuckin' hardware store on the first trip.. You're still going back..
I'm kinda settling into a rhythm of sorts around here.. Getting a lot of things worked out..
I now have my brothers house up for sale if any of you are looking for something substantial in Zapata..
Or maybe you're looking for a nice building on main street.. Right across from the county ramp..
You've got my number..
There's just not a lot going on around here.. Maybe tomorrow I'll bring a bottle of whisky to work, and get worked up and motherfuck a bunch of politicians.. And maybe TPWD for opening up dove season in such a fucked up manner..
We'll see.. And hopefully we'll see you one of these days..
September 12, 2022: We have dried up some around here, and in the last week the rain as halted. Although we have had a few scattered showers in the neighborhood. But none of any consequence.
The Rio Grande has returned to what we have become used to calling normal. Amistad is releasing little water, but we are releasing little water as well.. I do believe we caught a little water out of the Salado, but there are no gauges on that river to substantiate my theory.
Currently we are sitting at 261.43, up 8.32 feet from our low water level. Amistad is up a shade over thirteen feet since this rain event started..
There is currently a lot of water in the pipeline headed for Amistad, and it should start hitting the lake in the next couple of days.
I look forward to seeing the water level at Luis Leon this afternoon. Last Friday it had climbed to 154% of conservation capacity.. Or in other words it was 54% overfull..
It has had three days to do what it has been doing since the last report I have gotten. The government don't work on weekends.. At least not this part..
In any case, Amistad is going to catch several more feet of water in my estimation. Maybe a good bit more depending on what Mexico decides to do with the lake levels on the Conchos. Who knows if they will let the lakes down some below pool, to help mitigate a possible near future rain event. But in the past they have been reluctant to turn loose any water they do not have to..
We'll just have to wait and see what happens.. But as Tom Petty said, "The waiting is the hardest part."
Fishing has remained steady here on Falcon, and the south end of the lake is still the best area to fish.. For bass anyway..
Here in the Veleno the catfish have gone crazy and the Gar moved into the rising water to spawn. In the creek behind Oso Blanco they caught the shit out of the gar over the last week.
The smell of hot oil was in the air..
The bass are being caught on rock and brush of course, but some fish have moved shallow to the flooded grass and quick growing bushes that line the banks.
The Laredo bass club had their championship on Saturday, and it took 29, 27, and 17 pounds respectively for the top three places.
We are back on the big ramp here in Zapata, and have been for a couple of weeks. And down at the state park we are back to launching at the Butterfly launch (local vernacular) and it s a breeze I hear. Lotsa parking and a great slope.. But not on concrete.. We need about four feet to get back on concrete down there.. Hope springs eternal..
Big worms, crankbaits, and some spinnerbaits and a few topwater baits in the shallow weeds have been best.. We have water over inundated weeds and grass out to at least six or seven feet in a lot of areas.
Spinnerbait heaven.. And the weeds and bushes should help clear up the water a bit on the entire lake.
It's about the middle of September, the peak of the storm season.. And I am hoping and praying that we get another shot of the H2O before we head into winter..
It is hard to believe that not one big storm has it the mainland this year.. And of course all the doom and gloom hurricane predictors are having to eat some crow.. I'd like to shove that crow up the Global Warming alarmist's ass.
Mother Nature is going to do what she does, and there is no way that man can predict what is down the pike.
I might give the meteorologists a pass on the seven day guess, but anything after that is just that.
Meanwhile I'll just keep an eye on what develops, and I am sure you will too.. We've still got a good month of possible storm development window. Or one more low sitting over west Texas or northern Mexico that gets run into by a stalling front could do it. The water in the Conchos now did not come from a hurricane..
It could happen!!
Someone was in the store the other day, and of course we were talking about old times on Falcon, and whackin the shit outta fish. And of course the conversation devolved into a dick measuring contest..
Don't it always.. And there is no doubt that the older I get, the better I was..
Of course back in the day, Ray Charles could have caught thirty pounds sight fishing.. (No offense meant to Ray..)
And these days there is no doubt that I am better at talking about it than doing it. But even a blind hog's nose bumps into a watermelon once in a while..
Two sightless jokes in two paragraphs.. How visionary. Anyway..
After the zippers were pulled up, we started talking about the talking about Falcon. And of course I have always been a Falcon Homer, and I biasly still think it is the best lake on the planet with immeasurable potential.
Sure, it can kick your ass on any given day. So can any lake..
But if you come here, and put in a little time, you might think similarly.
But back to talking about talking about Falcon.
Someone asked me the other day how long I have been doing the Flash Fishing Report!
I had to stop and think about it for a bit, but I think the first time I wrote something for this site was back in 2005 or 6, and Larry Bridgeman posted it.
And after his death in 2007, I started maintaining the site for his wife Barbara, a year before we bought the store..
When I look back to the first postings I wrote, I can see my style has changed a bit.. Some fifteen years later..
I never used bad language or talked politics.. Much..
But I can't tell you how many e-mails I have received over the years that said, "Screw the fishing.. Talk about them fuckin' Democrats!"
And man it has been easy.. Hard to go wrong when you've got good material..
Whether you are talking about the fishing on Falcon.. Or them fuckin Democrats..
Well I better git before I devolve into something more political.. Not that there aren't a shitload of idiots in the current administration who need to be called out..
They're all batshit crazy..
But you can watch Fox News for that..
Come see our new water!
September 7, 2022: It is amazing how a little rain can change your whole outlook on life.. Or maybe I should say it can change your current outlook anyway..
Last Saturday when I got to the ranch at about five o'clock, it was raining straight freakin down dashing my hopes for sitting under a mesquite tree and shooting some birds..
Which made my outlook worse..
But as I watched the radar and river levels from Mexico and west Texas, it made me feel much better.. And I am still smiling about what is going on..
And as you have probably already guessed, this will probably be more about water than fishing. But you cain't have one without the other..
Falcon is currently sitting at 260.02, or exactly forty one feet low. That's up 6.91 feet in the last month, and we still have a little bit of water in the river above us.. Not a lot more currently on the way.. But there is a chance we might get some out of Amistad if the Rio Grande above it gets too unruly..
But I am not gong to say it is just yet.. Projections are that there will be some pretty big volumes coming down it to Amistad for the next week..
A bunch of the smaller lakes on the Conchos watershed are overflowing, and they all culminate in the reservoir known as Luis Leon.. Once the water leaves there, it can't be stopped before it hits the Rio Grande west of Presidio.
Yesterday Luis Leon was at 132%.. Today it is at 142%. And the release rate is 12,148 CFS..
That's a lot of water..
There are too many factors to figure in for a simpleton like me to make a decent guess on what is going to happen..
And some more water could be added to the equation if Hurricane Kay throws some rain bands far enough east to impact the watershed of La Boquilla, which is sitting at 71% today, up from 19% just a couple of weeks ago..
And that takes some doin'.. Because as I have told you in the past, Boquilla is a big SOB by volume, and holds 88% of the volume Falcon does when full..
And what I can't figure at this point is zackly how much water we're dealing with..
Anyway.. I been working on this all day but can't seem to get finished.. I gotta go..
Fishing is decent.. Lake rising.. More BS and predictions tomorrow!
August 30, 2022: Another month about shot in the ass, and it has been a hot one.. Of course August is usually considered summer around here.. Along with about eight other months of the year..
I do believe the extreme temps are past, and I don't think we'll see any more of the 105 to 108 temps..
Cold fronts are starting to push their way farther and farther south, and I am sure before too long I'll be bitching that it is too damn cold..
Of course it's all relative as some folks like it hot, some like it cold.. And I'll have to admit that you don't see women wearing Minks much around Zapata..
And believe me there are plenty of em that could afford em.. Reckon we're more of a hoodie and sweat pants type of town..
But I for one think that Spandex should be ranked right up there with the cotton gin.. That is a great invention..
Speaking of cooler, there is another front draped across the San Antonio to Del Rio corridor, (that's highway 90 for you Yankees) and as I type there are some flood warnings out west that might put a little water in the Rio Grande.
And believe it or not, last Tuesday night we got another 2.6" of rain here in Zapata.. Didn't do much for the lake level, but it certainly helped with the psyche around here..
I hope those storms hang in there around Eagle Pass and the rocky creeks that feed the river and give er hell..
Problem with most of the rain falling right now is that it is headed east of the watershed that is probably only about fifteen miles wide east of Eagle Pass.. See map below..
But a lot of rain has fallen on both sides of the river and we'll just have to wait a bit to see what happens. It just so happens that I have time to write right in the middle of this event.. (11:00 am) River gauges are just starting to show a little rise around Eagle Pass.
As you can see there is just not a huge watershed in Texas or New Mexico. But when the right system comes, neither Amistad or Falcon or the two together can hold all the water Mother Nature can produce..
But she has been pretty stingy lately.. And neither dam has earned their money as of late..
Back in 2010, most of the water came from Mexico, and a shit ton of it came out of the Conchos..
And speaking of the Conchos, some of the lakes have caught some water as of late, as a lot of storms have sat on the mountains and the eastern side of them in northern Mexico. Which is a good thing..
My last info from TCEQ and the Rio Grande water masters has not been since last Thursday.. I guess they are fucking off somewhere..
But at last report, Lake Boquilla, which is a big son of a bitch, was up from 19% to 30%.. That's a start.. But I am very curious to see how much it has come up (or not) in the last five days..
Of course it is on the Conchos River in Mexico.. But one of the places from where good things come..
If only our government would have made all these illegal motherfuckers bring a five gallon bucket of water from Central America with em. At least we could have gotten something out of the deal..
Well this is supposed to be a fishing report but there ain't nobody I've talked to fishing Falcon.. Except Matt Reed.. And he has been whacking the shit out of em this week.. Thirty plus pound stringers most every day..
Same old pattern.. Which is get out there and show it to the for eight hours, and sooner or later you are gonna land on them.
He said yesterday they caught 30 pounds in half an hour right before quitting time.. Don't believe me?
Check out his Facebook page..
Of course he has put in his time on the lake and has a pattern or two working. He is fishing from the Tigers south, and a lot time nearer the dam than Tigers..
And according to his customer yesterday, who is still wearing a big shit eating grin, they caught all their fish on OL Monster worms..
Go fuckin' figure..
I did talk to a couple of fellows I know well at Stripes on Sunday morning.. And they said they struggled on Saturday, fishing from the Veleno to the Tigers.
They said launching here was not any trouble, but it is still shallow getting out of the Veleno to the main river channel. Or at least they didn't find the deeper cut..
You'd think that if we caught three feet it wouldn't be a problem.. I wish I could tell you exactly where to run going out, but alas, I have not been on the water..
So just use caution going out to the river if you launch in Zapata.
Launching down at the state park is gravy according to all reports .. Drive past the concrete ramp.. Follow the dirt road out to the point and launch where everyone else is.
Hey TPWD.. How's that low water ramp study coming.. Ridiculous..
Well I can't catch the motherfuckers for you. Hell lately I can't even get out on the lake.. And this weekend I have another distraction..
Dove season.. The reward for all good boys and girls that suffered thru the hot summer.. And now we get to sit under a mesquite tree, in rather cool air temperatures of only about the mid nineties, swilling cold beer and watching for approaching specks in the sky..
Of course there is a lot more to it than killing the international bird of peace.. Although it appears that I like killing shit.. Hell I get excited when a bug hits the windshield..
There will be a fire burring all day, and all my buddies will take all the freezer burnt shit out of their freezers, and we will cook it and start all over again..
The bullshit will flow.. And all will be well with the world.. At least for that precious time we get to spend with good friends and family, something we have been doing at the same place for the last forty six years..
Thanks for your vision, Pops.. Gonna miss you.. And Tommy..
Yes, it's Dove Season.. It's like a rebirth..
And I know a lot of you don't hunt and that's cool.. It's all good..
But if I were you, I'd turn around quick.. Here comes a whole flock right down the creek!!
See you on the water.. Or under a mesquite tree..
August 24, 2022: Well WTF do you know..
The tech wizards at my hosting company were finally able to fix what I had screwed up, which is still a mystery to me.. But my Dad always said I could screw up a ball bearing..
And in my younger days, I screwed up many a ball bearing.. Most of which were attached to cars, dune buggy's, or motorcycles..
I once tried to jump a bulldozer across the big creek at the ranch.. I had even filled the tracks with helium.. Still didn't make it..
I used to try and jump over everything..
When I was sixteen, I could scissor jump a four foot chain link fence.. No sweat..
When I was fifty I could jump a five wire fence with my dick in my hand.. And now I can trip over a crack in the sidewalk..
Getting old sucks. But like Papillon said at the end of the movie, "I'm still here you bastards!"
But I digress..
Big news, or really old news now, to anybody that follows Falcon water levels, is that we have gained over three feet of water in the last two weeks. All this water came from rains in Laredo and points east, and just a bit of it fell north of Laredo.
Of course since then we missed out on what could have been a really beneficial rain, but that system that came across the Yucatan last week turned out to be a bigger dud than the raid on Mar-a-Largo..
We have talked about those storms that come from The Bay of Campeche a dozen times.. If they head towards the northern coast of Mexico below Brownsville, you'd have a better chance of gettin wet in the Sahara.
Of course I would love to be proven wrong..
Speaking of rain.. Last Sunday evening we got 3/4" of rain at my house.. Over by Beacon Lodge.. It did not rain a drop here in Zapata..
But two nights ago, we had a storm pop up and our entire village got 1.6".. And it made more noise coming than Madonna.. I guarantee you the entire town of Zapata was awake at 1:45 am..
What that water from Laredo did do, was put us back on the main concrete ramp here in Zapata. No sweat.. But do know that we are still 45 feet low more or less, and you should still exercise caution till you are out in the river channel..
Down at the state park, it also improved launching conditions, but we are still putting in out on the point out past the official boat ramp.. Not back to the butterfly garden area just yet..
Reports have been few, but I have heard some really good ones from the guides on certain days. And some really nice fish in the seven to nine pound range have been reported.
I have seen a lot of pics of some of these fish and they are so fat and full of food you would swear they are full of eggs.
And crazy as it sounds, we always have a few fish spawn in the summer down here.. Ain't no fish born in Falcon back in January or February that is still six or eight inches long in October or November. And we see em every year..
It happens .. Trust me.. I don't know of any species on earth, that when Mama says it is time to get it on, that she can't find a willing partner to do it with..
Big Texas rigged worms have been the best thing going around here, with the Plum Apple and Plum Ol Monsters leading the way.. Probably any dark colored bait would work, but when I tell you something I ain't making this shit up.
Crankbaits are also catching some fish, and some fish have been really shallow. Won't hurt you to start on the bank early and move out some after a bit.
A buddy of mine caught a handfull of fish on a top water popper last weekend. That is not something I often tell you.. But you might give one a try.. Right on the bank..
Later in the day, brushpiles situated in about ten to twelve feet of water can have a bunch of fish around them. Throw that big worm in there on a light weight.. Hop it.. Don't drag it I hear..
The catfish are still decent. Crappie are not being pursued by too many folks around here right now, but I have heard of a few caught.
White bass are anywhere on the south end of the lake. Look for schooling action and the birds..
As I have said lately, traffic on the lake is minimal, and during the week you may only see two or three other boats. Weekends get a little busier of course, but still there are just not many folks around.
While I am here let me tell you that I am no longer opening the store on Sunday mornings. And I am currently opening the other six days of the week at seven.
If you are coming down here and need anything that does not fit that time frame just let me know and I will go out of my way to accommodate you.
If you need a Mexican fishing license give me a call and I can fix you up..
Thank you to all of you who have supported me spiritually, emotionally, and financially during the last month.
I am getting things sorted out around here and it seems I am making decent progress dealing with all the BS that is associated with the seemingly endless details.
It will never be the same for me around here without my brother, and there are days that really suck.
But nothing has changed when it comes to the way I think about doing business, and I am here to help you if I can.
Hope to see you down here this fall. Or before..
And keep them storms coming. One of these days the right one is gonna land on us and it will be game on. I promise..
See you when we do!
August 24, 2022: I have been having hell with my server, surely due to something I have screwed up, deleted, dragged and dropped, or generally just did something above my pay grade..
Why? Because I am a dumbass I would reckon..
Below is a test pic.. If it's there.. I got it fixed. If not.. Well it is still F'd up and I got more work to do.. But I am about out of hair..
August 11, 2022: Like the old saying goes, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."
Our water level has changed a bit, and not for the better.. Today we are sitting at 253.11, down .42 from the level the last I wrote on the 3rd.
And we are not trending upwards just yet.. But I could have said that for the last few years in the big picture.
I have had my hands full, and have not made it out on the lake, and neither have very many others.
Fishing is still good down south, and the Laredo boys had another tournament two weeks ago and it still took about 28 pounds to win.
There is no pressure on these fish and if you head out around the dam up to Tigers and fish rock, you're going to catch some fish. Of course there is little else to fish.. Brushpiles on rocky slopes or on flat ground are holding fish.. Some of them have lots of fish on them.
As you know this is all hearsay..
Launching is still the biggest issue, and I understand that is a big concern to a lot of you.. Me too.. It has kept me from going a time or two when I could, because I didn't want to do it by myself..
But with two people it is no sweat.. At either end of the lake.
Here is a pic of the main ramp here in Zapata; of course it is not the one we are using up here. There is the alternate ramp out closer to the creek channel that is on concrete and is still fine.. Little bumpy getting down there. But nothing like going to launch at the Tigers.. Which is still closed to the public.
And here is a pic of what was the river ramp over at Beacon Lodge.. Both pics taken four days ago.
That's marker 13 that is probably in about two feet of water. Looks like a river, but you could probably walk across it and not get your balls wet.. If it was a hard bottom. But I got a feeling you'd bottom out at about your balls sinking in the mud..
Catfishing has still been very good, and you don't have to go far to find em.. And some local kids have been whacking the crappie right here in the Veleno off the bank, especially late evening and into the dark. Rocky banks around the old bridge..
Speaking of the old bridge; you can't go under it yet. But it may be coming..
I remember back in 2002 I took my windshield off the console so we could get out of the creek. Of course that was before they dug out openings at the ends of the bridge to allow passage.
I hope we don't get back to that, and surely time will tell.
We were about six feet lower back in 02.. But how much we have silted in since then I just don't know..
But I damn sure remember a lot of spots where we whacked em back then.. I just gotta get my ass out there..
Like a lot of Texas we have finally got a chance at some rain this week, but it won't be the kind we need. But at this point we'll take anything.. We did smell some on Monday.. And it was awesome..
Some spots around us got good showers.. Especially east of town..
Our time is a coming..
Here at the store, I have modified our hours a bit. I am no longer open on Sunday mornings, and I am not opening the shop till 7:00 in the mornings..
But if you need anything please just let me know and I'll make arrangements to get you what you need. When you need it.. My philosophy has not changed when it comes to business..
You need something down here, I'll do my best to accommodate..
Dove season is only about two weeks away, and I am looking forward to it in a big way.. Last year sucked around here.. This year there are a lot more birds flying around..
And that means that your fishing/hunting license is about to croak.. Well for most of you..
You can start buying them on the 15th of course for the new year.. That's just four days from now..
I better find my soft soled shoes for that first weekend. We usually spend a lot of time standing in front of hat machine..
Of course it is pretty simple to go to PAW's Outdoor Annual site on your phone and get legal.. I know I'm hard on PAW on a few things, but this is one thing they have done well with.
This year I hear you can even tag your deer online.. Pretty neat..
I have a lot of things to say about what is going on in politics these days. But honestly right now I just don't feel like motherfuckin' anybody..
I told a friend of mine that the other day, and he said I need to seek help..
I'll check out with this note.. From John Adams and I am sure you have heard it before..
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
Personally I fear the people he was referring to are in short supply..
See you when we do..
August 3, 2022: There will be no getting back to normal around here.. There might be a new normal, but it certainly won't be what it once was..
And for the meanwhile you will just be stuck with me..
I want to thank all of you who have called, texted, e-mailed, stopped in, sent cards and flowers, food, and attended the services for Tommy last week.
From the entire Bendele family, we want to say "Thank You" for the overwhelming support and compassion that you showered us with during this difficult time.
Special thanks to those who gave their time and resources to make things easier for us during this hectic period..
You had our backs and you know I got yours..
I'm not sure how to describe the feeling around here.. And I am rarely short on words..
But there is definitely a hole around here that I am trying to fill..
My task list has expanded, and I am trying to fill in my time by taking care of business.
Both of us had tasks that we took care of.. How it came to that I don't know, as it was never discussed, it just seemed to work out naturally..
And I am finding that Tommy's filing system was similar to Max Klingers.. He's got it all, but it is not exactly stored like I would do it..
It'll all work out..
It is still hotter than we like it around here.. And it probably is in your neck of the woods as well..
Rain is a distant memory and we haven't had any since May 23rd. We have had .1" since that date..
The lake is down to 253.53, and we have not been this low since April of 2002. And for those of you with long memories, 2002 is when Falcon reached its lowest level since the first time it filled up in 1954..
We got down to 246 and change back then, and it was not a pretty sight..
So if you're one that likes to know just how low is it, right low we are at 47.67 below pool.
Despite low water levels, you can still put in a boat at either end of the lake. You do need to have a bit of a sense of humor though..
We are still launching on the concrete here in Zapata, on the ramp down the hill at the county park.
If you launch here take it easy going out the Veleno till you get to the river channel.. Then run the river channel as you proceed south.
The Border Patrol is still putting in their big boats there so it is not hard to launch a bass rig there as well..
Launching at the state park is a bit of a rodeo, but with two people it is not bad at all.. If you are single sticking it you re going to get your feet wet..
You would think the State of Texas could be working on some low water ramps down at the state park.. Now would be the perfect time to concrete a few areas that we have been using for months.. Another opportunity missed..
We are still putting in out on the point that is past the official boat ramp.. Stop in or call if you need more info..
Tiger Island is discouraging boats from coming there to put in.. They have had a few folks get stuck there I hear..
Once you're on the water down south, what you see is what you get..
This is not rocket science.. The lake is low, so use appropriate precautions when running in the flats or heading back into creeks that you are unfamiliar with..
The fishing has still been good, but there have been few fishermen on the water.
Lately the catfishing up here on this end of the lake has been excellent. Lots of big fish shallow, especially at night.
And some sink bait will always get you bit by some smaller fish.
Crappie have been a little scattered I hear, and a buddy of mine that was down about ten days ago said he had to do some brush pile hopping, and of course the brush we have out is shallower than it needs to be to hold a lot of fish.
And he also said he caught eight bass while crappie fishing.
Yes the bass are really relating to the brush piles right now. And as previously stated the brush is shallower than intended when it was put in..
But these Falcon fish don't mind shallow or hot water. I have heard several reports about the fish being super shallow early and a square bill or a chaterbait will catch em..
A little later crankbaits off ledges and humps will catch you some fish. Also a C-rig with a worm on it can get the job done..
The white bass are all over.. And you can watch for schooling fish in open water. And pay attention to the birds.. The sea gulls will tell you where they are a lot of the time..
You can throw a pickle in there and catch them when they are up on top.. But I'd throw a rattle trap or a Little George in there for faster results.
There are also a LOT of whites down by the dam off the rip-rap most days..
I'm gonna close for now, but I'll be back before too long.
Pray for rain, God knows we need it..
And hopefully we will see you one of these days..
And holler if you have any questions about these low water conditions..
July 23, 2022: I guess after my last post, you might think that I am/was a little depressed with the way things are going around here.. And it is pretty easy to be with the current state of affairs.
If you know me, you know that I am not a person that thinks negatively. (Other than the things, mostly in government that I like to bitch about)
And when I write about them, it is usually just me blowing off steam, and hopefully you get a little bit of entertainment out of it.. And hopefully a chuckle or two..
Either that or you say to yourself, "This guy is a freakin idiot.. I'll never click on that link again.."
Well today I bring you news, if you haven't heard already, that I can only classify as bad.
My Brother, Tommy, passed away in the early morning hours on Thursday, the 21st.
Of course our family is devastated and I also am still in a state of shock and denial. I keep expecting him to walk thru the back door..
The quiet here is deafening..
To the dozens and dozens that have called, texted, emailed, stopped in, and offered assistance and prayers and condolences, my family and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Believe me when I say, we love you all, and we have loved serving you here in the store and running FLT..
We'll see where this new road leads.. I'll still be here, but we will surely be closed a few days next week.