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Not your Daddy's fishing report...
August 30, 2014: Well the three day weekend is here.. And so is a tropical depression that is bumping up against the coast just below Corpus Christi.. And while it may or may not peter out, at least it has brought some shade to south Texas.. I just don't see us getting much rain outta this thing.. I'd love to be wrong..
Yesterday it looked so promising.. But imploded when the thing hit land.. This morning it is spitting out a few storms around Corpus and a few in the valley.. Hopefully some will crawl up here..
I fished yesterday morning till about 11:00 with Gary Harlan, because he convinced me that he was catching some fish on the top end of the lake. And you know how much I have been talking about going south.. And while I still think the south end of the lake will produce bigger fish, and a good number of fish, we did manage to catch an easy twenty five between eight and eleven O'clock.. Most of them in two places.. Exactly where I can't say.. Sworn to secrecy..
But I will tell you this.. The pattern was exactly the same as the one I am fishing on the south end of the lake.. Rocks.. Gravel.. Wind.. Scattered stickups..
It has been a fantastic week to fish down here, with light winds and biting fish.. Yee-Ha..
I think it is time to put the golf clubs up..
While we were running around, we headed upriver to take some pics of the old Bridge abutment in the river and the old bridge to the east of it.. And when you see it you understand why it is important to miss it.. It ain't moving.. Neither are the concrete rails to the east of it.. This of course is in the river channel about 500 yards below the mouth of Hedieona..
What you see in the distance is old bridge rails.. East of this concrete monolith..
We also flipped some hardwoods in the middle of the river channel where a bunch of brush was hung up on some trees.. We did not catch any fish there, but I did rescue an old timer that was stuck in a piece of old net on top of an old hardwood just above the surface.. I think he is gonna make it.. But he was not too happy with me despite of me saving his ass.. Wish I had a sack full..
If you go out on the lake without a red eye shad in sexy shad color you are screwing up.. I am murdering them on that thing.. I was not really a believer in it till late.. But I is one now.. This bait is catching them right here in the Veleno as well..
Enjoy your long weekend.. You deserve it.. After all, it is the laborers in this country that make it great..
Not the no working slacker son of a bitches.. Not the politicians.. But those of you who bust your ass every day to get er done..
Happy Labor Day!
August 28, 2014: While it is late in the month, it is certainly still August around here.. And I don't know how many days in a row we have been a hundred or better.. It is a bunch. But maybe we will break the streak today.
There is a little disturbance down in the gulf just off shore. And I am hoping it will disturb the valley, if not us. It does not look too impressive but at least getting to talk about rain around here is somehow stimulating.. And we have a slight chance of seeing some rain around here.. I hope this thing will get its shit together and come on shore and stay a day or two.. We'll see..
The lake is still dropping as round the year irrigation is going on to the south of us. We are down to 267.94, or 33.26 feet low. We were about five feet lower at this time last year..
We caught water all thru the fall last year. Lets hope for a repeat..
And speaking of low water, lets talk about a couple of hazards that we have kinda of gotten used to in the last couple of years.. The bridge in the Veleno needs to be avoided to the right.. Or west.. The markers on it are all but gone, but there are three still there and you need to skirt the brush to the right of them.. You have plenty of room and water to miss it.. Just be sure that you do..
And if for some reason you find your self scratching the itch to head upriver, be advised that there is not a lot of water above the Salado. There is the old bridge abutment in the river channel just below Hedieona. If you go this far up run the channel just to the west (Mexican side) of this chunk of concrete.. There is an old bridge about a hundred yards to the east of this concrete chunk. And right now it is barely under the water.. It is also something you want to avoid..
From Zapata south you have no problems..
I had to make a quick trip to the ranch on Tuesday, but I did fish on Monday. Till about noon. And I boated about a dozen fish, and had another four or five launch my crankbait like the space shuttle. I was throwing a Red Eye shad in Sexy Shad pattern.. I also threw a 1.5 in Sexy Shad and caught fish on that as well.. After I lost the Red Eye.. Both those baits catch more than fish.. But if you find a bare rock bank and there is wind blowing on it, there will be fish there. I also caught fish on a 10" Blue Fleck power worm..
And I have a little familiarity with that bait.. In days of old, all I would bring to Falcon was a hunnert pack of 7" and weights and hooks.. It is still a great bait..
Fishing is really pretty good right now.. I can only think it is going to get better as the fall approaches.. That should only be about two months away..
Labor Day weekend is just a day away, and many folks and families consider this weekend summers last Hurrah. I do believe that we will have a bit more summer this year, at least here at Falcon.. I know a lot of the midwest and the south are already enjoying some cooler weather.. We gonna have to wait a bit..
So if your journeys bring you down to Falcon this weekend, be prepared for the heat..
Dove season opens Monday for a lot of you, and that doesn't suck. I'll have to wait till the next weekend to pull the guns out of the closet.. But I am looking forward to it..
Somebody said to me the other day that hunting here must be boring after hunting in Argentina.. Not in the least.. I guess I am just eat up with it.. And I have some new dove recipes I brought back with me I want to try.. If you did not get to read about this years trip here's a link to the story.. If you're interested..
We hope to see you this weekend, but wherever you go be careful out there. There will surely be a lot of boats on the water wherever you can still float one. Pray for rain. Maybe we'll even get some here..
And we'll see you on the water..
August 23, 2014: You'd swear it is March around here if you looked at the freakin wind everyday. Of course when you stepped outside you would soon remember that it is August.. Hot and Windy has been the order of the week..
But for those who are bold enough to brave the elements; they have been rewarded with some decent fishing.
I had planned to fish on Thursday, but when I got up and backed up to the boat, and looked at the trees across the street, I said "Screw it," I live here.. I don't have to fish in this shit.. And I can't blame anyone else if they wouldn't either.
There are a few folks down this week anyway, but most of them are hanging it up about noon. And a couple of days it was just plain howling.. And any of you that have been on Falcon much know how this thing gets when the winds get 25 or more.. It ain't pretty..
We talked to a few folks yesterday that did well, including a couple that fished with guides. And they caught em pretty good, but with no fish over seven pounds.
And a lot of fish were caught near the bank out of necessity.
Fishing a finesse style is also working well, if you can find a place where you can kinda hide from the wind. Case in point, the dam.. Throwing a trick or finesse worm on the rocks is catching fish. You have to fish something that won't hang in the rocks too much.. A light weight is a must..
If you get off some main lake points or secondary points, a square bill or a mid-depth running bait is a good choice. A rattle trap or red eye shad in Sexy Shad is also a good bait to throw.. And you can throw it in the wind.. Had some guys buy every one I had on Wednesday.. But not to fear I'll have plenty on on Monday..
Those things do hang up every now and then..
And if you are launching at the state park be sure to use the middle lane of the ramp..
The Lone Star Lunker bass club is in town, and they got lucky with winds predicted to be about 14 today, and 7 to 14 tomorrow.. We'll let you know what they do..
The gar are still active, although they have been hard to hunt with a three foot chop on the water.. But whether we are hunting them or not, they will still be hunting every day.. Here is a pic of a fish that was caught this week.. That crazy fish must have swam into those bad ass thorn bushes again..
We see this stuff all the time..
The TPWD commission is set to meet in September, and I am sure that at the minimum the recommendation will be made to raise the limit on these fish eating machines. And that recommendation will come as a result of the Alligator Gar study that is being conducted here on Falcon. I do not believe that a recommendation for raising the limit on any other lake will be made.
And if the folks at TPWD remain true to their word, then we should see an increase in the daily bag limit here on Falcon.
I am waiting.. Patiently..
We have such a population of little bass in the lake right now that it has given me a feeling of great optimism for the near future. I believe that this spring we are going to be catching big numbers of fish..
Many people that I am talking to do a lot of bank and live bait fishing. And these people throw a lot of cast nets.. And they are a great asset when it comes to knowing what is in the water out there.. In a lot of different locations..
And every one that I talk to that has thrown a net has reported catches of small bass in their nets. From San Ygnacio to the dam.. And that is a good sign.. Last years spawn was near nonexistent.. Thank God we had water in the bushes this year.. I have seen this scenario here on Falcon several times before. And I have never seen any other lake bounce back like this one can.. Squat and watch..
On a different note..
How are you folks feeling about the peaceful allah loving son of a bitches that have been named ISIS.. Or whatever..
Just makes you want to give em a hug, don't it? And for those of you pacifist assholes out there that still think that they are just misunderstood and have been oppressed by western views and actions, then I suggest you pack your shit and go join them.. Cause then when the shit hits the fan, we won't have any problems with who to shoot..
We're coming up on the thirteenth anniversary of 9-11 and I think that a lot of folks have already forgotten about what happened on that day.. Do you remember? Do you ever think about it? Or has what you saw play out on your television screens that day just blended into your memories and become a blur, and you can't remember if what you were seeing was real or just a scene from one of the Die Hard movies..
These assholes want to kill us. Period.. And the reasoning really does not matter to them.. It is engrained in their society.. There is no reasoning with them..
As an American citizen today there is little you can do as an individual to make a change in this situation. And that is the frustrating part. But supporting politicians that understand that this is a problem that will not just fade away is a good start..
I hate the idea that we have become the worlds policemen.. It is bullshit.. But in today's world, WTF are you gonna do.. And to all those other countries that are supposedly our allies and say that we are bullies and should mind our own mitten I ask you this.. When these assholes kill your people, invade your cities, bomb your markets, and rape and kill and mutilate your women, Who You gonna Call??
So pull your heads out of your asses and look at the world around you.. Before you realize that you are no longer in your world.. You're in theirs..
August 19, 2014: It is about as quiet as a cemetery at midnight around here with fewer people in town than I have seen all summer. And the fishing is as good as it has been all year.. Least that is the way I see it..
Some of the reason it is so quiet is that there are at least fifty (50) highway patrol units working out of Zapata and the surrounding area. They have a major task force working out of here and they are all bunking at the Holiday Inn or Sunbridge. So good luck getting a room at either of those two motels any time soon..
That's a lot of black and whites.. I hear that the National Guard has shown up in Brownsville, but we have seen no evidence of them around here..
If you are heading down here for the Metro tourney, make sure and book your room early.. If you haven't already..
I have not put the boat in the water this week, but plan to tomorrow. And I am planning on putting in at the state park early in the am. It gets freakin hot by noon and this week the wind has been howling in the afternoons..
Anyway I have a little intel that I need to check out down on the south end of the lake.. I'll let you know what happens.
There have been very few fishermen to talk to this week, but the few that are here are catching some fish. Still mostly shallow, and still on a variety of baits. A topwater will or should get you bit in the first hour, and I am not talking about the first hour after sunrise. You need to see the sun come up.. It is an early bite..
And the squarebill is still catching as many fish as anything. It is true a lot of these fish are rats. But a decent number of fourteen to sixteen inch fish are also being caught. And an occasional "look at this" fish is being brought to the net.
The soft plastic bite is going pretty strong while fishing bushes and hardwoods, and let me tell you that you better be paying attention to your bait and line. These fish are swimming and biting in stealth mode and many times the bite is so subtle that you just do not know there is a fish gumming your bait..
Kinda like Granny without her dentures eating apple sauce..
If you are fishing the top of the lake take you some Junebug Red brush hogs, and if you are fishing the south end get you some Watermelon Red Magic ones..
Stop by the store and we'll point you in the right direction..
Is it just me or is the world spinning particularly out of whack right now? What the hell is wrong with people these days?
I am not even going to list any the numerous events that are going on across the country.. Or the globe.. But Gee Whiz..
I know there are plenty of reasons to get upset with things on a day to day basis. And with people. And with government. And no one can make you crazier than your own family sometimes. Trust me.. I know.
I think I'm getting to the point in life that I am pretty much irrelevant.
When you get my age you have to pretty much admit that you are late in the third quarter, and might already be into the fourth. And when that clock hits triple zeroes I don't care who you were or how much money you made or how many people are crying or celebrating because you are gone, it is just down to you and God..
And the older I get the more I wonder what God will think of me when we meet face to face..
And when I think about the world today I don't worry about me. I worry about my kids and theirs.. And yours..
So here's my thought for the day.. I'm going to try to improve my little corner of the world, and maybe I will rub off on some others.. And I bet you can do the same thing as well.. If you want to..
Life is too short to run around pissed off all the time.. And I ain't doing it.. I'm gonna go and do as long as I can and wear a smile all the while.
But that won't stop me from speaking out when I need to yell Bullshit..
The world we got ain't perfect, but our world is a hell of a lot better than most folks.. Just look at the news..
So get your ass out there and enjoy life..
And keep an eye on that clock.. You only got so much time to make a difference.. And you never know when the coach is going to pull you out..
August 16, 2014: The Gar Guys are gone, the smell has subsided, and things have calmed down a lot around here.. But the fish have not.. Actually nothing has changed..
We are still catching them shallow, on a variety of baits. But nothing I haven't told you in the last week..
I have been working on my Argentina story and if you want to read it I have finally gotten it finished and posted it. You can read it here.
I'll give you a report of the weekends fishing action on Monday. Have a good weekend..
Whew.. I'm about writ out....
August 13, 2014: Well here we are in the middle of the month, past the super moon, and it is almost time for back to school.. What the hell happened to the summer?
And in an unrelated twist, last night we got 1.60" of rain right here in Zapata, as recorded here at the shop.. It was awesome.. Hell of a light show as well..
This was the first appreciable rain fall since May the 12th when we got 1.65. And seven and a half months into 2014 we have received 5.1 inches total here in Zapata. That is drier than a popcorn fart, as my Dad would say.
And there is little nicer than to wake up the day after a good rain.. No dust.. Puddles.. Birds taking a long overdue bath.. And trees whose leaves are not curled.. Thank you for the rain Lord..
As I talked about earlier we are in the middle of Garapaloosa III around here, and the cuttin and guttin is in full swing. So far we have not had a giant run of the nets, but the fellows and gals have set out nets in new areas that we have not tried before. And some have been less productive than in the past.
Today many of the nets will move to the Tigers area and that is where we have caught a ton of gar.
It is a common observation as of late that there are a lot of gar out in the open water in the main lake. And that is common around here in the summertime. We'll see if we find a concentration of fish today. If we don't it isn't because of a lack of trying. PAW has a bunch of assets here..
The guys from TPWD also have a few interns working with them this go round, and they are all of the female persuasion.. They are pursuing degrees in the biological sciences and this is a good place to get some hands on field experience.. And so far they have been right in the middle of the action..
I'll of course give you a final tally on the gar when they wrap up tomorrow..
Fishing remains pretty steady this week and we actually had a few folks around the last few days. The flipping bite is coming on and I am hearing of a few more better quality fish showing up. But the majority of fish we are catching are two pounders, give or take.. With a few decent ones mixed in..
And if you are not fishing the hardwoods, which there are tons of, make sure you are around some rocks.. Nothing new.. And if you are an early riser, DO NOT forget the buzzbait.. That is some giggly fun..
I am even hearing of some decent fish up here on the north end of the lake. Water up here is certainly fishable but not as pretty as on the south end.. Like usual.. The Veleno looks pretty good but the wind does mix it up when it blows with the receding water levels.. Although we did catch about 2.5 inches last night.. The valley did not get the rains we did so I do not look for them to decrease the releases from Falcon..
Not a lot else going on round here.. We are getting ready for the Metro tourney that is coming up the first weekend in October. Please let me know when you club is coming in September so I can add you to our tourney schedule..
Don't forget you can buy your new Fishing and or Hunting license starting on Friday. No price increases this year that I see.. Dove season is only 18 days away.. And it has been a while since I killed anything.. Cept for these damn crickets..
My story on Argentina is coming along pretty well, but it is turning into a damn book..
See you when you get here.. Or when I get there..
August 9, 2014: Well it's back to catching things instead of killing things.. At least till the end of the month..
Yesterday I woke up at 5:00 and could not go back to sleep. I thought about poking a little fun at the Ol Lady but I have done that before.. She was still in REM sleep anyway. And I knew there were fish out there I had not caught before.. So I settled on the latter.. I love new things..
I am sure twenty years ago I would have done both.. Getting old sucks but I reckon it beats hell out of the alternative..
I launched at the state park and there were two trailers besides me there.. I told you it ain't too busy down here.. The ramp is still fine and there is about seven feet of water in the channel.. But we are still dropping..
It was a beautiful sunrise..
I headed for a rocky bank I know in Government Cove and started throwing a buzzbait.. And on about the third cast I had one whack the hell out of it but no hook up.. I tried him several more times but no cigar..
About five casts later I caught a 13 incher or so.. Man they are mean.. About ten casts later I had a shark attack my bait.. He was half way out of the water coming at it.. Bout a three pounder.. And he blasted it.. But no connection again.. Dammit.
I got hung up on the next cast and had to go fetch my bait.. Which had me really tight to the bank. So I paralleled it behind a few stickups in water I had already fished.. Another Son of a Bitch crushed it, had him hooked for a minute, and then he came off.. What the hell.. Checked my hook.. Like a hypodermic.. Made another cast or two and caught another rat.. And another..
I had fished myself out of the line of rocks so I cranked up and moved to the rocky point just left of the dam and the floating barrels.. Missed a couple and caught a nice one about two and a half..
Lots of fun in about thirty minutes..
I headed to the Salanaias and threw the buzzer around the island at the front right side but no dice.. Big waves were making it hard to fish and I am sure the bait was drowned out by the waves.. I guess. Either that or they weren't no fish there..
So I headed a little deeper into the creek on the right side.. And guess what I found some hardwoods in there.. No shit.. And the second one I flipped I caught my best fish of the day out of that went three and a bit I would guess.. No monster but a meanie..
I continued in the same manner for about an hour and got bit on every ten to twentieth tree.. Lots of little fish.. But some fun action.. I missed a good number of the bastards too. They are absolutely not hammering the bait.. You gotta pay attention.. I think I caught two by accident.. And one of them jumped off because I did not set the hook..
I finished up on the point on the north side of State Park Cove. I had heard there were some schoolers hanging around there. The waves were a bit big for someone just screwing off, and I did not find a bite there..
The cisterns are two out of three out of the water.. Be careful up there.. Lots of rocks..
I made a short morning of it..
But it was fun to get bit.. I was back at the shop by 11:00..
BTW.. The Plum Ol Monster caught all the flipping fish.. Go figure..
When I got back to the ramp there were twelve rigs launched.. Crowded..
The boys from TPWD will be back down here on Monday for Garapoolosa round three.. And Tommy is going on vacation midweek so if I am going to get out of here I gotta get it done by Sunday.. That's Tomorrow.. Dammit..
I'm working on my Argentina story.. Should have it whacked out next week.. For those of you who like to shoot birds..
Here's a link to a U-toober video my buddy posted.. Just for a taste..
Get down here and get you some topwater fish.. I gotta find my Chug Bugs..
August 7, 2014: I am not sure how many days in a row we have been over a hundred degrees, but the number is starting to get up there.. And the next seven are all supposed to be One-O-Something.. Yes, August is here..
And I just came back from a locale that was a mite cooler.. More on that later..
We do not have a lot of folks fishing down here right now, but all of them that are are catching fish. Even the top end of the lake is putting out a few fish, but the south end is surely better, and has been for a while.
Moving baits are the deal on the shallow rocks, and that freakin squarebill is still whackin' em shallow. And while it might be as generic as vanilla ice cream, Sexy Shad is still the best thing going.. And the smaller bait is getting more bites. Period..
But lets talk deeper water.. Like ledges in ten to twenty.. There are several things working in that range. I heard from a couple of fellows that caught them good off the dam and surrounding areas on deep diving cranks. Same place you can throw a C-rig or a Texas rigged plastic.. Like a fluke. The big fluke is catching fish, but you will get more bites on the super fluke.. The 5 incher.. Sometimes less is more..
A jig is actually catching some fish as well.. In those same areas and on some house foundations.. If you can keep from hanging it up.. Cranks and lightly weighted Texas rigs have been working on the rock piles as well. I plan on hitting some of them tomorrow.. Got a new theory or two.. I'll let you know what I find out..
The last two times I have been out, which has not been a lot here lately, I have been charting some fish on a couple of ledges on the river channel.. And I don't know what they are, but there are a shit load of em.. And I can't get em to bite.. I'm thinking I have a species problem. But I have caught hundreds of bass off of them in the past..
Let me just say that I am taking some "alternative" baits out there with me when I go..
I know these reports are sounding like the last ten conversations with an ex wife.. Same old shit.. But that is the way it is.. (feel free to insert "ex husband" into text above if it fits the situation.. I am not being sexist.. Just speaking from a mans point of view.)
Man I am getting too PC.. Anyway..
Best colors in the soft plastics is still a W/M Red or Magic, or maybe a W/M Candy.. But W/M based for sure..
The flipping bite has been tough, but a few folks have been catching a few in the back of the Salanaias on the trees. A spinnerbait is also catching some fish in the trees as well..
Fishing is good.. But if you are deep ledge fisherman and stay on the north end of the lake.. It might not be described as that.. Go south young man.. Go south..
I was talking last week about a gar tourney that was going to be held last weekend at the state park.. And it was.. And it was well attended.. Fifty eight fishermen participated but few fish were brought to the scales. And for good reason.. It was a very windy and cloudy day, which does not bode well for seeing fish.. But I heard all had a good time and the winning fish weighed only 33 pounds.. Not a good day for hunting..
But that is the way it goes.. As with any tournament.. I have often wished for a crystal ball so I could only schedule tournaments on the good days..
I think another tourney is in the works.. I'll let you know..
I got back into town yesterday about noon, and I am still a little draggy.. Twenty four hours and three flights tends to screw up ones rhythm.. Or whatever.. I kept my streak alive with travel problems on the way over..
We got to the lodge at 1:00 am instead of 5:00 pm.. I hate sitting in airports.. But we did it again..
We did not miss out on a day of shooting though.. We had seven hunters in our party and we whacked em pretty good..
In four and a half days of hunting we killed 27,458 doves. And on the last morning a couple of guys did not hunt.. They missed out on an awesome shoot.. But it is not like they did not shoot any..
I personally shot 243 twenty five count boxes.. That's 6,075 shells.. I hit 5,231 birds for a ratio of 86.1%.. Down about 1.5% from last year.. I must be slipping..
This is what greeted you on a typical morning hunt.
It was an awesome trip and I will be working on a story about it in the next week.. I know I said that last year.. But it is coming I promise..
Well I gotta get back to work.. Come see us!
July 30, 2014: The heat parade goes on in Zapata, but it has not driven the fish out of the shallows. And for whatever reason a buzzbait is catching fish.. Well into the day..
It may well be that we are turning into Amistad.. Catching fish on a drop shot and now catching them on topwater while the sun is beating down.. Sounds awfully familiar..
But hey, we are catching fish so I don't really care..
Long rocky points and just plain old rocky edges are holding fish, and you can catch em on a squarebill or you can chunk that buzzbait all day long. And it is certainly better down south.. Anywhere the water is nice and clear.. Or what we call clear anyway..
There are also a bunch of fish out in the ten to fifteen foot range that can be caught on a middle diver, like a 5XD or a DD14.. That Sexy Shad is hard to beat and the Citrus Shad is always catching some fish.. Same places you can catch fish with that drop shot..
Lots of these fish are small and some are undersized in the eight inch to ten inch range, no doubt the product of December and January spawns. And seeing these smaller fish in good numbers gives me a lot of optimism for the spring. And the coming years.. It appears we had a good hatch this year.. Like any year we have some cover in the water.
And while some have pushed the panic button about Falcon, those in the know understand that we cycle with the conditions.. Done it many times before, and we'll do it many times again.
And those in the know also know how fast this lake can bounce back. You should see the shad in the shallows right now.. The water is alive.
Use those techniques this week and you will catch some fish.
Don't forget the Gar tourney this weekend down at the state park. Contact info and information on the tourney page.
And speaking of tourneys.. If your club is coming down in the next few months please let me know when you are coming so I can add you to the tourney page. It helps others plan (including us) their weekends. I know a lot of you are headed down here in September to prefish for the Metro tourney.
And don't forget that your fishing license expires at the end of August. Well for most of you anyway.. New licenses will be available for purchase starting on the 15th of August.
You're gonna need one to go dove hunting anyway..
And speaking of which, I'm outta here.. See you in a week or so..
July 26, 2014: It has been another hot one this week down in Zapata, but it has not hurt the fishing. For those few that are. And methodology has a lot to do with the success or or lack thereof you may have.
Thinking small, and or finessey has been the best way to get your groove back. We have been talking about the smaller flukes and squarebills as of late, and for good reason as they resemble the summer hatch of shad.. In size anyway. The 1.5 in sexy shad has been the hardest working man in shallow water.. Can't seem to get bit on a spinner up there..
The damn drop shot appears to be working again.. But man I have trouble picking up a fairy wand and throwing it.. I keep expecting Tinkerbell to appear and zap me cause of the things I have said about Homosexuals..
But Matt Reid was using one yesterday and he caught this 10.25.. Maybe that is why he fishes professionally and I am a hack.. But anyway.. Nice fish..
He's been catching good numbers on it as well.. Show em' something different I reckon..
We have a shit load of little fish around right now, and many of them are under legal size. And we have a decent population of fish up to three pounds around as well.. But I do not see and hear of many five pound fish. There are some seven to ten pounders here and there, but where the four to sixes are I don't know.. Maybe they are the preferred breakfast of champions.. For the gar.. I don't know..
With the tremendous spawns we had in 2010 and 2011 we should be swimming in five and six pounders.. Call me crazy but I still wholeheartedly believe that lots of em are gar shit..
Speaking of gar, the boys from PAW will be back down here on the 11th of August for their third round of Garapoloosa. And yessir folks the blood and guts will be flying once again..
I can't give you a final report on what is up with the gar around here, but preliminary data surely shows sexual maturity is much younger than believed (with Falcon fish) and growth rates are off the charts.
And of all the things I have seen so far during this study the most impressive is the sheer volume of eggs that these females carry.. It is mind boggling. And it will be interesting to see the development of the eggs in these fish as they get closer to fall.
It is also amazing to see the amount of fat in their bellies.. Stay tuned for reports from round number three in a couple of weeks.
And don't forget that there is a gar tourney being held here at the state park next weekend. If you are interested see the tourney page for contact info. Sounds like fun..
August is traditionally a slow month around here, with kids getting ready to go back to school, and let's face it.. It is just plain hot.. Time to boil up a few hurricanes.. But ain't nothing good happened yet..
We are still dropping very slowly and today we sit at 271.43, or 29.77 feet low. In the last five days we have lost about four inches.. Not a lot of releases from Amistad and just a bit more from us.. Of course there is a lot of water being pulled out of the river between us and Amistad..
There are so many of us dependent on the river for our livelihoods and life itself.. And the demand ain't getting any smaller.. The demands for water for irrigation below Falcon are at an all time high, as year round crops are being grown in places where they did not used to be. Farmers in Mexico are also planting two cycles of corn here lately in some areas... And it is almost all flood irrigated.. No pivots over there.. Lots of water wasted.. Same on a lot of the Texas side..
Zapata and Falcon lake will once again be hosting the San Antonio Metropolitan League of Bass Clubs tournament this fall, after two years in Del Rio. The "Metro" tourney is a big deal and it pits its clubs against each other in a two day event where the top weights of each clubs top eight anglers decide the winner.
The event is being hosted by the Zapata County Convention and Visitors Bureau. A banquet will be held at the county pavilion on Saturday night, where last years top finishers will receive their awards. The date for this tournament is October 3-5...
But Zapata will not have to wait to benefit from this tournament till October.. All of the clubs will be bringing their September tourneys to Falcon in advance of the big show.. To do a little scouting. So the business community will benefit twice from this tourney.
If any of you would like to donate items for goodie bags for this tourney please contact me and we'll get your promotional item in the bags.
We are only 36 days away from the opening of dove season here in Texas.. And I don't know about you but I think it should be a state holiday. And I know I have been picking on PAW for the last eon or so and here is another beef I have with them. They open the season on September 1st every year. Regardless of the day of the week. Labor day is September first and on a Monday this year.. Why not open the season on the 30th of August and give hunters a three day weekend to open the season.. This happens all the time.
Think of how much more revenue would be raised by businesses and the state if there was a three day dove opener.. Many won't or can't get to the lease or to an outfitter for a one day Monday hunt.
It would just make sense.. Maybe that is why they don't do it..
They did raise the possession limit to 45 birds this year. That is a step in the right direction. Now give us the three days to kill the 45!!
Speaking of killing doves. I'm headed out of town next week to do exactly that. And I won't have to worry about going over the limit.. Cause there ain't one..
Last year I killed what would equal about 45 years worth of dove hunting here in Texas, if I hunted eight times a year and killed a limit each trip. And that's in four and a half days of hunting. That's why I like to go to Argentina.
If you are a serious wing shooter you owe yourself a trip there at least once in your life.. It ain't cheap but it is something you will talk about forever. At least anytime you are talking about dove hunting.
If you have any questions about putting together a trip give me a shout and I'll tell you about all the details and hook you up with the right people if you want me to..
Well I gotta go clean out my field bag.. See you on the water.. Or under a mesquite tree..
July 21, 2014: Fishing was pretty good over the weekend, and Sunday appeared the be the better of the two days. It was hot and still out there.. Some might call it brutal.. It is summertime in Zapata.
The Uvalde Bass club had 29 anglers make their way to Falcon, and they did pretty darn good overall, and on Sunday everybody caught fish.
On Saturday Gustavo Chavez won the tourney with three fish for 13.01 pounds. Everybody figured them out a bit for Sunday and Cody Johnson figured them out the best. He had three for 20.78 pounds, including a 8.85 and a 8.55.
Thanks to all of you who stopped by the store. Thanks Ricky for the report and the Pics.
There has been a lot of talk around the Texas bass fishing world the last couple of weeks about a joint venture between TPWD and a south Texas land owner that has built a new 60 acre lake between Zapata and Laredo.
And to this point I have remained silent about the "Deal".
If you have read anything I have written for any length of time you know I am an opinionated son of a bitch.. Been called that.. I kinda wear it like a badge of honor. And I have always told you the truth as I see it.. And will continue to do so. I'm not gonna sugar coat anything and I am not gonna blow a bunch of smoke up your ass telling you the fishing is good when it ain't. ( Fishing is pretty good right now..)
And in the same light I don't like it when someone is trying to blow a bunch of smoke up my ass either.
Which is exactly what is going on with the story mentioned above.
I know both parties in this adventure and have some insight that others may not.
One of them is the land owner, Dr. Schwartz. He and I are friends. I have been to La Perla ranch and fished in the first lake he built there. It is awesome.. And will continue to be.
And I have seen the new lake, before it was impounded. Quite a sight to see a fifty to sixty acre hole shaped and sculpted for optimum fishing structure. And I have no doubt in the coming years it will be a fantastic fishery.
The other party is TPWD, and in particular Alan Forsage who is the head of the Freshwater fisheries Center in Athens, and head of the Sharelunker program.
I met him somewhere in 2009, when I was on the Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Board. Which is basically a bullshit session twice a year where no advising ever gets considered. But I am not here to talk about that.
An alliance was formed between these two, to put Operation World Record fish, fish developed and paid for by the taxpayers, in a private lake.
And that is the part that gives me heartburn.
I don't know, but I would guess that Mr. Forsage and PAW are frustrated with their failed Sharelunker program and they are looking for any means to advance their ambition to grow a bigger fish.
Never mind that even if they did, this experiment can not and will not ever be re-created on any public lake or reservoir.
The Sharelunker program is in its 28th year and has yet to produce a single thirteen pound bass in Texas' public waters.
Oh they'll take credit for the thirteen's that show up. But they had nothing to do with them. And don't be confusing the stocking of Florida Bass with the Sharelunker program. That is just ignorant..
I find it curious that many think this has been such a transparent arrangement between the state and a private land owner. It got real transparent when a few outdoor writers found found out about it.. But not before then..
The contract between the parties was signed on April 24.. The fish were stocked on June 25th.
Some articles in the Lufkin, Nacogdoches, and Dallas newspapers came out talking about it on the 13th of July, drawing some negative viewpoints.
The transparency was started on the 14th..
If this was a big planned event and PAW thought it was a great and honorable undertaking and it was a groundbreaking new research project, then why in the hell didn't they publicize it before they got their hands caught in the cookie jar?
Why in the hell didn't Larry Hodge put out a news release promoting it like they do every time they want to pat themselves on the back? My guess is that he did not know about it.. Or was not instructed to. My guess is also that it was a hush hush good ole boy arrangement. And this ain't the first one that has been done I guarantee you..
I have fielded a dozen calls from people upset at what has transpired.. And I'll have to lump myself in with that group.
I'm not pissed that they did it.. I'm just pissed that they did it in the dark of night..
These fish are nothing but pure Florida bass anyway. As has been evidenced by the failure to produce any bigger fish in the last quarter century. And anyone with an ounce of curiosity can surely see that the biggest of our fish in Texas are getting smaller and less plentiful. Only nine fish were turned in to the SL program this year.
AND NOT ONE WEIGHED FOURTEEN POUNDS. There's something to hang your hat on..
Yeah.. This shit is working.. And don't go blaming it on low water.. This program was designed to grow bigger fish. And lots more of em.. And we have had plenty of high water over the years..
What do you think?? Do you think?? Or just drink.. The Kool-Aid that is served up by the Sharelunker program..
But an artful spin has been put on the whole deal telling the public that this is common practice and it is no big deal. And for the most part nobody gives a shit.
I guess I am just too sensitive..
July 18, 2014: If you are having an outdoor wedding, you need to invite me.. That would assure that no rain would fall on your party.. Of course the bar bill could be a bit higher..
It has rained on every side of us but cannot seem to drop a quarter inch at any one time here in Zapata. Maybe it is me.. We got over two inches at the ranch last night, just after I left.. Coincidence?? I don't think so..
Fishing remains pretty good numbers wise it appears, with a lot of folks catching shallow fish. The 1.5 squarebill on rocky points remains one of the best things going. And don't be afraid to throw some topwater's including chuggers and buzzbaits. We have a ton of bait up shallow and the 1.5 is about the same size as the shad. Keep you eyes open for some schooling bass on the windy points.. And not all of em are little fish.
The south half of the lake is still a lot better fishing than the top end. Even though the water is clearing nicely up north.. If I knew why I'd tell you.. But the north end has just not fished as good for a long time.. Which sucks cause I love fishing up here. And a lot of you do too..
The Salado has some great looking water in it, but if you can go up there and catch five fish I will buy you a six pack.. It has been tough. Same for the other river creeks.. And not a lot of water in them either..
I would not get off the pad till I was south of marker seven.
And don't ask me why but the super fluke has been a fish catching machine as well as of late.. Guess it is a lot closer to the bait size in the lake.. But when you have been fishing with the Mag Fluke, the super fluke sure looks small.. I ain't saying the big fluke won't catch em.. But it won't catch as many.. Least right now.. Stay with the watermelon based baits..
Go ahead and take the time to rig it Carolina style.. And then drag it on some rocks.. But drag it slowly.. And have your cull rings ready..
All you gar hunters take note.. There is going to be a one day gar tourney on August second.. That's two weeks away.. It will be held at the state park.. There will be a $30 per man entry fee. No bank fishing will be allowed. Any legal means of capture will be permitted.. Weigh in will be at 4:00 PM. You can register at the State Park ramp that morning.
Call Joe Cortez at 956-739-5751 for more info.
This should be fun and maybe it will help us get rid of a few more of these fish eating bastards..
Here in the store we have also added a bunch of terminal tackle for gar fishermen, and we have a good selection of Gar hunting equipment, including bows, arrows. retrievers, and and a lot of accessories..
If you can use it to catch or kill gar, we have put it in stock..
Uvalde bass club is in town, and they will have about 30-35 fishermen here this weekend. They also have a great time when they are here and we'll see what they bring to the scales tomorrow.
July 16, 2014: Well I had to run to the ranch for a few days.. Which always involves me sweating from one project or another. We made a bunch of hay and I spent all day Sunday on the tractor from field to barn.. My Daddy would just never let hay sit out in the open.. So we have several Leo Domes to keep round bales in..
He also installed two awesome drink holders on the fenders of the tractor.. So it weren't so bad..
I spent all morning Monday walking coastal patches and chopping sprouting Mesquites and Huisache's.. Rain makes things happen.. And we were lucky to have some really good ones a month or so ago..
And yesterday I was taking care of some giant Mesquites that were hit by lightning and wind during one of those last storms.. Some giant son of a bitches got blown over.. I'm getting too old for this shit.. Where are all those undocumented democrats who used to pass thru all the time looking for work. We haven't seen one in years..
Anyway they were right around the Dove hunting party area at the tank, and dove season is on the way.. Gonna miss that shade..
That was about the baddest SOB I have ever fought.. Couldn't reach around it at the base.. That's a big Mesquite..
The rest of the time was split between spraying brush in the fence lines and shredding a few jungles where I don't want them.. Mostly around the tank of course.. Dove season is on the way.. First time we have had water in it in three years..
Enough of that shit.. Had to come back to work to rest up..
Last weekend Ralph Celadon caught this whopper and did not have a good scale.. So he brought it up for an official weight.. 10.88 is a goodun.. Don't worry. It is still swimming..
There have been a good number of good fish caught lately.. Things are looking up..
If we kill a few more gar...
Last weekend there were three bass clubs in town.. In Helotes Bass Club Mike Ross came out on top with a six fish total of 18.57. Most all of the club had six fish limits for the two day event. Big bass was caught by Fritz Collier and it weighed 8.32.
The Universal City Bass Club was also here and on Saturday the heavy stringer was caught by Jeff Mergle, and he had three fish for 15 and a half.. Or thereabouts.. I do not have final results from their tourney..
And the Medina Lake Bass Club was also here.. Winning stringer was caught by Jim Clauser and it was a ten fish limit that weighed 22.77. Big bass in their event was a 4.44 caught by Steve Strunk..
This weekend we have Uvalde Bass Club in town. Please let me know if your club is headed to Falcon so I can add you to the tourney schedule..
Most of the fish caught last weekend and to date are being caught on square bills and believe it or not buzzbaits.. Folks who caught them today caught em on the square bill in shallow as well..
The small fluke is still working well as well..
Shallow seems to be the best thing going.. The big fish pictured above and the big bass caught by Fritz were caught in two feet and one foot respectively.. Don't you just love freakin Falcon??
Yeah, I like shallow water.. Some hate it.. But evidently the fish like it.. Maybe that is why I like it..
Some fish are being caught on deeper rocks.. Throw that little fluke..
Well after bustin your ass all day a little recliner time is in order.. And for whatever reason there seems to be an inordinate amount of mattress commercials on the air these days.. Maybe because there is a lot of talk about Monica and Bill again.. And who did more for mattress sales than Slick Willie.. Well, maybe Wilt Chamberlain.. I'd have hated to walk into one of his motel rooms with a blacklight.. Yeesh..
Anyway you hear of all the reasons to buy a new mattress.. And all the new innovations in mattress manufacturing..
This one tilts.. This one is adjustable on either side for firmness/softness.. This one has cooling foam.. This one is impenetrable to dust mites.. This one shapes to fit your body.. Yada, Yada, Yada
Why in the hell don't they make a mattress that absorbs sound.. Like from one side of the bed to the other.. If someone made a mattress that absorbed snoring noises their sleep number would be billion$..
What an idea.. Now get to work on it..
But I think there is a lot more money to be made off of people who are a bit more adventurous.. Have you seen some of the chunks of iron people have skewered into their bodies these days? Have you seen those folks with holes in their earlobes big enough to flip a double wide beaver through? I am not sure I get that..
But I have an idea for the homosexuals that might really help them.. After all they are becoming mainstream with all their marches and their drive for equality and all.. And the government surely agrees that they should have all the rights and privileges that any other couple enjoys.. More power to em I say.. And I have an idea that might be something that goes along with piercing's and being homosexual.. I'm not connecting the two..
How bout if they got a grease zerk piercing just above their A-hole.. Couple of pumps from a K-Y Jelly grease gun and they'd be ready to go.. In the heat of the moment it would really speed things up.. Don't you think?
There is a lot of money to be made out there.. You just gotta think outside the hole.. I mean box..
July 11, 2014: Well here it is the weekend again. The summer is flying by.. Before you know it we will be shivering and shoveling snow again.
We have had some lovely weather around here this week.. It was 75° here yesterday afternoon at five o'Clock.. With rain scattered around, but most of the good stuff in Mexico south of us. Although a little did water the lower valley from Brownsville to McAllen.. We got a trace here.. Maybe a tenth.. I was still able to mow the grass so it was not too wet.. I heard there was some good rain in the Salanaias..
The lake is still slowly dropping and we are at 272.23, or 28.97 feet low.. Water temps are right at 83 degrees most days.. Certainly not as hot as a lot of years.
Fish are still biting senkos, and a 5" one seems best. Smaller is bigger I guess. The super fluke is also good, We have been hearing of some good fish on Carolina rigs. Fished slow.. Matter of fact you can fish it like a night crawler.. Let it rot.. Use a plum power worm in the 10" size..
And while we are not slaying the fish, you can go out and catch you some decent numbers. It has been nice to see and hear about the improving state of bass fishing on Falcon.
The top of the lake is starting to put out a few fish as the water clears, but still nothing like the bottom of the lake. Water clarity is getting better on the north end, but it is still nothing like the south end. I know it is psychological, and that every fish in the dirty water is still eating and they did not swim to the dam.. But man it messes with my mind..
I have trouble fishing water that looks like a roux.. Although I have no problem eating anything that is made with one.. I loves me some Cajun cookin.. Been a slow year around here for crawfish..
Last year at this time were were sitting at 264.63, so we are about seven and a half feet better than we were last year. I'll take that as a positive. And with any luck we'll have a few more water adding events this summer and fall.. I'm all about the optimism..
The other day I was talking about the running of the bulls in Pamplona.. And lo and behold the next day I hear someone from Chicago got Shisk-ka-Bobbed..
I thought for a minute.. Could it be??
No such luck.. Obamma was in Austin taking cuts in line to get some Bar-B-Que.. And then he used your money to buy everybody's lunch.. What a guy! Gotta love Him..
I wonder how many Secret Service agents are with him in Texas..
I got a new idea.. He was in Texas on a fundraiser for the Dimocrats.. Two stops.. Lets think this out.. I don't know how much money they raised.. But let's say two million..
Let's think about what it takes to get the pres anywhere these days. Months of planning beforehand by a bunch of GS 21's.. Secret agents scouting out the venues in advance. Money for hookers for the secret agents.. The best of hotels and food for the entire crew.. Flying AF One around can't be cheap.. How bout that Cadillac they roll out the back of the plane.. The Beast.. That can't be cheap.. All them black Suburbans.. Plus flying and feeding the press core.. Snipers on the rooftops.. Those little curly wired thingys all the secret agents have plugged into their ears.. All those sunglasses..
Well I am sure I missed a thing or two.. But any way why don't we just give the Dimocrat Party two million dollars out of the general fund and save the ten million extra it costs to raise that money.. Therefore reducing the carbon footprint of the POTUS. And no one has a bigger carbon footprint that the POTUS.. And in doing so we could keep him out of the state of Texas.
I mean it is not like he came down to check out the flood of children he invited here.. He could at least be at the gate a day or two to welcome them into America and hand out welfare sign up forms....
I figured he'd at least get in a round of golf down here in the Lone Star State.. Maybe it would take too long to search all them bushes around the course..
I'd like to play him heads up for pink slips. You know.. Birth certificates.. If he wins, I move to DC and become a street vendor and a Democrat.. If I win, he moves back to Kenya.. Or wherever..
Start planning the party boys.. We can do it right here at Zapata National on the shores of beautiful lake Falcon and the Rio Grande river.. You know. The one that separates the US from Mexico.. And then maybe at least he would see where Mexico is..
Have a great weekend folks.. Come see us when you can.. We're catching fish!
July 8, 2014: I was gonna go fishing this morning, but when I got up the 10 to 15 had morphed into 20 to 25.. These weathermen stink.. I'm not gonna plan another trip till they predict negative wind speeds..
I was trying to fry some fish a while ago and I had to move into the executive shitter to keep my fire from blowing out.. That exhaust fan came in pretty handy.. And the toilet does give you a two level equipment shelf while you are cookin.. If you remember to put the lid down.. And when you're through you got an instant dishwasher buillt in..
Nothing has changed from yesterday but the date on the calendar.. When it comes to fishing anyway..
I think there were four or five boats on the lake..
There are a couple of clubs headed down this weekend from San Antonio, and hopefully the wind will let them fish. Some high pressure is supposed to sit on top of us this week, so maybe it will spread those isobars out some.. It will be warm..
I saw this morning that the running of the bulls is going on in Spain.. Or should I say the running of the idiots.. Sounds like a good way to end up like Uncle Hilbert..
Headlines read that four have been injured.. No shit..
From what I've seen these people are not very smart..(Goes without saying) And their bulls ain't very big.. These critters have some horns I'll give you that, but they are punie compared to what we call a bull here in south Texas.. That's about the size we send em off to the feeder pen..
But from a country that calls soccer a sport I reckon it is the best they can do.. But you know what.. I can see some money to be made here..
All of the guys in the "race" seem to be wearing the same sissy looking white knickers that we give to little girls here in America.. Sounds like a great place to set up a Kohls or a Forever 21 store.. Bribe a state official or two and pretty soon you'd have to wear the "gear" that the organizers say.. Bingo. Millions..
And WTF Nike?? Why in the hell ain't you sponsoring the best bull runners? You (I mean the Chinese kids) make shoes for basketball, football, soccer, track, tennis, jogging, fishing, cricket and even cheerleading..
Why not a specialty shoe made for running with the bulls? You've already got those kids chained to the sewing machines.. So what if they gotta work another twelve hour shift a week.. Cook another pot of rice and get on with it..
And here's some pointers.. Make a special tread for the bottom of the shoe.. One that will not slip when you step on bullshit.. Or on your own blood.. And maybe you should go Maxwell Smart and build a cellphone in the heel that only calls 911.. For when you have that inevitable horn stuck up your ass..
And I reckon the tongue should be made out of toilet paper so you can wipe your ass when you crap your pants..
You know me.. Always thinking outside the box..
I was trying to think of a sport in America that compares to this event.. And while I can bring to mind a lot of stuff that rednecks do, none of it is on this level.. Cept' Nascar..
And here's a couple of examples to make my case..
The bulls are the Jimmy Johnson's, Jr's, and Gordons of the pack.. The rest of the racers are like the people in front of the bulls.. They're just trying not to get run over.. (I am sure there are some other good "athletes" driving as well, but don't feel slighted if I left you and your favorite driver off my short list.)
Watch three laps of any Nascar race and you'll see my point.
Of course if Danika is "racin" all bets are off.. I am not a Nascar fan but I have seen enough to tell that she should not be allowed on the track.. And if you are driving close to her your sponsor should make you pit..
There should be a nad inspection before the race.. If they can check your carburetors they should be able to check your balls..
And why in the hell does Nascar limit the horsepower that they can have on those stock cars. This is supposed to be racin.. Leave em be..
What's that? It would be too dangerous? It might cause wrecks? Why in the hell do you think people watch the races anyway? Sportscenter don't show em just turning left.. It shows the wrecks..
Case in point.. Why do you think the people come to watch the running of the bulls? So they can get some tacos from the street venders? Shit no!!
They want to see someone get a horn stuck up their ass..
And that in a nutshell is what the running of the bulls is all about.. And maybe to show how macho you are if you are one of the contestants..
Come with me to the ranch and we'll cut the balls off of a few.. Then you'll find out what the runnin of the bulls is all about.. And it is possible that you might need to do some runnin too..
Honor is a gift a man gives to himself.. And it is demonstrated by a mans actions on a daily basis.
Not by jumping over the Grand Canyon.. Or running in front of no panicky bulls..
July 7, 2014: The holiday weekend has come and gone, and around these parts it was done with little fanfare. Oh we had our annual fireworks show on Friday evening.. But other than that it was fairly quiet around town, with a slight increase in the number of fishermen on the lake. Crowded it was not. But fishing was pretty good.
It is hot down here, and if you are heading our way be sure to prepare for the heat.. Shade and hydration.. You know the drill.. Just don't forget it..
Small baits are the order of the day around here, with lots of fish being caught on super flukes and baby brush hogs and the like. Texas rigged or Carolina rigged, a small bait will get you bit.
Points with rock are key and being off the ends of such can find you good numbers when you get in the right spot. Most fish are three pounds and under, but occasionally a few good ones get in the mix.
I have been impressed with the number of small fish around here lately. And that bodes well for the near future.. You know how fast these fish grow down here, and small baitfish are in good supply right now.
We also have a good bit of shallow cover and I am very optimistic about this years fry survival. We were fortunate to get the water we caught last month, and it will certainly help provide some extended protection for our growing baby bass population. Many of this springs hatch are now in the four to five inch size, and are eating anything they can get their mouth over.. Including each other..
Bass do not have mirrors so they have no idea how big or how small they are.. They just figure that if they can see it, catch up to it, and line it up, they can eat it.. Sometimes to their demise..
I was on the water twice last week, doing some fishing and some recon. I found the fishing much better on the south end of the lake as I have been saying. And I have been doing best in the creeks and on the points therein south of the Tigers.
My favorite bait is still a 5" senko.. Which does not go against the grain when we are talking about small plastics.
I talked to a couple of fishermen who whacked them in the Salanaias on Saturday and Sunday.. They said they were the only boat in there. And they caught them on hardwoods as well as rocks..
I like a combo of the two.. But I gotta admit that the flipper in me cannot resist a big old tree anywhere close.. And it is not uncommon to see me on high bypass running from tree to tree.. I know, I know.. There is no such thing as high bypass any more..
We are off to a hellova dry start here in Zapata this year.. It has rained around us and north of us but we can't get a drop here at the shop. So far we have had just 3.35 inches in 2014. Compare that to 14.25 at the end of June last year.. It has been dryer than a popcorn fart. And on we go with our lust for dust..
It is July.. Half a year already shot to hell..
I fished a few spots last week down by the dam.. Community holes for a reason..
I'm gonna show Keith Combs this spot next time he is in town..
Dear Lord please note: Plenty of room for more water..
It is nice to sit out on these humps and ledges with no one else around.. Kinda peaceful..
We're about two months away from our next national holiday, and it is certainly one of my favorites. Mainly because it coincides with the opening of dove season. I always somehow managed to be away from work on the opening day of the season..
Speaking of which, I am only about 24 days out from heading back to Argentina. Already having trouble sleeping. Here's a pic my outfitter sent me a few days ago.. Bastard is messing with my head..
It is that good.. Two years ago I sat under that tree in the distance and melted a Beretta 391.. Well almost..
If you ever get a wild hair to go, give me a shout and I'll hook you up with the best place in Argentina.. You gotta do it at least once if you are a dove hunter.. There ain't nothing like it..
I figure we're fishing as good as anything in the state.. So get your self down here and get you some.. Or I'll have to catch em all myself..
July 3, 2014: I can't believe it.. I just read the five day forecast, and we have winds predicted to be under fifteen MPH for the entire time period.. And after having my shoes blown off three of the last five days that sounds pretty good.
The lake is kinda hovering at just below 273, or about 28 feet low. And while I'd like to see some more water in the Ol Gal, we have certainly been lower this time of year in the past. And I've got this weird feeling that something major is going to happen this year.. I keep trying to hide it but it's kinda like a sixteen year old at his first co-ed pajama party..
Yeah Mother Nature.. I'm aroused..
Now quit teasing me and let's get this thing out of the wrapper..
Big things have happened in June and July in the past, and I keep watching the Pacific.. Yeah lots of folks talk about the gulf, but that ain't where the big water will come from..
It has been a busy storm season out there already this year.. We just gotta get one into the Sea of Cortez..
Fishing remains pretty good here on Falcon, with decent numbers of fish reported. It has been common in the course of the day to run into a school of fish on a point or a ledge and catch you a mess of fish in a hurry..
Throwing what they want can be an issue, and it can change on a daily basis. A square bill has done some damage here lately, but soft baits in the smaller size are also doing well. I told you a while back that I was catching them on a 5" senko.. It is still a good choice. As is a super fluke. Watermelon something is a good choice..
You must get to the south half of the lake to catch any numbers of fish. I was out last Friday and the lake is muddy down to about Bobs Knob.. But better after that. Tigers look good..
The Fourth of July is tomorrow of course, and I wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday weekend. And although I do a lot of bitchin I am also grateful that I am in a country where bitchin is still allowable..
And a birthright.
And a responsibility.
If you see something wrong, it is your obligation to speak up. And do something about it where you can.. Lately there is a lot of dissension about what is right and what is wrong. But most of it is over political correctness and not about the facts.
Good people are still good people.
Sorry Son of a Bitches are still Sorry Son of a Bitches..
And we have em both a plenty here in this country.
I applaud those of you that have not chosen the easy path to your existence and have tried to make things better for you and your family and your country by the sweat of your brow or the churning of your brain. That is what America is all about.
The rest of you users can kiss my ass..
And special thanks to all the fine folks that serve in our military, at home and abroad. Remember those that are spending their Fourth in some shithole defending the freedoms that we take for granted.
And remember those that have given their lives so you can sit a home and watch Opra..
Happy Fourth of July!
God Bless the Founders and God Bless what they created in his name..
June 29, 2014: It's another windy weekend and another bass club is here enjoying the southerly breeze. San Antonio Bass club is in town, and they got beat up a little bit yesterday. It was rough out there..
I do not have exact numbers on their catches yesterday, but I know they are fishing a three fish tourney, and somewhere around twelve pounds is leading it. I hear there were three seven pounders weighed in.. That's about all I got..
Last weekend Helotes Bass Club also fished a three fish event, and the winning two day six fish weight was 16.56 pounds. And the big bass was a 4.10.
They also were subjected to the Big Lewinski..
We are forecast to be a windy locale for the next few days..
I am back to watching the Pacific for some likely storms to shoot up the Baja Peninsula and drop a rain bomb on the mountains in northern Mexico.. There's a couple of things roaming around down there. God made those rivers for a reason.. To bring water to Falcon.. And I'm feeling like we might see some water in em this summer..
Seems funny that summer starts on the day the when daylight hours start getting shorter in the northern hemisphere.. Hell if I know.. Man has made up some strange laws and names while he has been on the earth.. Don't look like we're stopping any time soon..
Most of the fish were caught on square bills and small plastics I hear.. A crankbait was probably the best it appears. There were no points that were not windy yesterday.. So pick one and go at it.. Main lake or big secondary points are a good idea. If you can hold there..
I don't know about you, but I am about tired of having this soccer tournament shoved up my ass.. And I have not watched one frame of it.. But how can you avoid it? If you buy an order of fries your little paper fry holder has a soccer ball on it.. If you turn on the radio they're talking about it.. If you happen to watch TV every commercial has a soccer ball in it..
Soccer.. It is uniting the world.. Horseshit.. It's making me nauseous..
I was half way through a roll of charmin and there it was on sheet number 162.. World cup tonight on channel 18.. Panama Versus Uraguay.. How do they do that?
Who wants to see a bunch of long haired smelly Euros running around on a hay field kicking a round ball. And don't touch it with your hands.. What? And the games are usually a tie.. So then they just kick it at each other till one of them gets it in the little chicken pen looking thingy..
And if the guys with the little queer looking flags point them at somebody, and the fans don't like it, there's quite likely going to be a riot where people get trampled to death, and they hurl baggies of excrement at each other..
Let's face it.. Soccer is a game for pussies.. Unless you are a fan.. Then it is downright dangerous..
What else is in the news..
I heard Kim Jong Il was caught naked, playing with Barbie's.. But don't worry he is having the witnesses executed. When is somebody gonna swat that gnat..
The kids of Occupy Wall street are trying to get a law passed that will outlaw reverse mortgages..
Kim Cardashian is coming out with some new "How To" videos.. That should be educational..
The hosts of "The View" are all quitting.. Except for the one true genius they have there.. Yep Whoopi is staying.. They sure kept the pick of the litter..
The EPA is outlawing any gas powered lawnmowers on golf courses.. From now on only battery operated weed whackers will be allowed inside the ropes.. They say if you want recreational grass then you need to go to Colorado..
I don't know what else. Summer is here.. Fourth of July this weekend.. Yee--Ha!!
June 25, 2014: Still won't rain around here.. But all around us.. Some of you got some.. Some of you got it good..
Well it looks like we are going to top out at about a four foot rise, bout what I figured.. But they did let out at least a foots worth since we have been catching water.. We are sitting at 272.20, or an even 29 feet low.. Even though 29 is not an even number..
We might catch a tad more.. But it will be just that if we do..
Fishing is good, compared to what we had a few months ago.. Still catching good numbers of small fish and a few good ones mixed in..
If your club or organization is planning on coming to Falcon for a tourney please let me know when, and I will add you to our tourney schedule.
I know that the SA Metro tourney is headed down here in October, and that should mean a lot of SA clubs will be coming here in September. Or before.. Please give me a heads up. As it will help others and you schedule your trips to Falcon.
If you hate fishing when there are three boats sitting on your favorite rock, then you need to get down here now.. You will have the lake to yourself.. Virtually.. There was one boat at the state park ramp all day yesterday..
Other that that, Obammas ass is still showin, the wind is still blowin, and Reids nose is still growin..
June 23, 2014: We still ain't got over twenty drops of rain here in Zapata.. But it has rained all around us.. Maybe I should not bitch as we did get some good rain in our watershed.. And there is still some water in the pipeline.
So far we have caught just a shade over two feet, and we should catch another foot and a half or so.. But keep in mind we are letting out the equivalent of about two inches a day.. Not sure when that is going to stop. There are a lot of varied crops being grown in the valley these days and water usage is drawn out over a long period of time.. And it has not rained much there either.. The vast majority of precipitation has all been to our north..
Which is good for catching water in the lake but does not do much for my tomatoes..
The river crested in Laredo last night at about 17 feet, and that is the last of the big water headed our way.. If we get lucky we might catch another two feet.. We'll see in the next few days..
Fishing was pretty darn good over the weekend, with most everyone catching fish.. No monsters mind you, but some good numbers caught by bass clubs in town. Both SAPD and Helotes were here over the weekend.. I do not have final results in just yet.. (That's a hint for those of you that fished..)
It was a windy one again and open water fishing was again tough. But I heard lots of reports of fish on windy points and good numbers of them when you found them. Crankbaits were good on the points and on the dam.. The community holes have been putting out some good fish and good numbers. The rip-Rap on the dam is again producing fish.. It is summertime..
Plum colored Ol Monsters were reported good, and shad patterned DD-22's also caught a lot of fish.
I think the lake is fishing better than it has in months.. Even if a lot of big fish are not being caught.
There were a couple of DD's caught last week while I was gone.. But the pics I got were corrupted.. And I finished them off trying to fix em.. Still no computer skills..
Hopefully later in the week the wind will lay down a bit and I'm gonna hit the water for a few days.. I need to get me some. We do have rain in the forecast all week..
The lake is a muddy bastard down to about marker nine. Creeks off the main river are OK up here.. But the best fishing is still down south. And there are a few things drifting around out there on the top of the lake.. Not as bad as I expected but use caution up north.
Catching water down the Rio Grande can be a little like teaching a fat girl with open toed shoes how to Polka.. There's gonna be a little pain..
Did you hear about... Wait a minute.. That reminds me of the time I threw one of my old girlfriends on top of a table at Quihi dance hall back in the seventies.. No.. Not to service her.. But I missed her hand doing a high speed version of "The Whip." Al Dean and the All Stars were bad ass..
We left early as she got soaked in beer and bourbon.. But it wasn't all bad as I got to give her a tongue bath later.
Dammit, I shouldn't have said that.. I'm sorry..
The guys from TPWD were down here again this weekend doing more angler opinion surveys about the alligator gar. And I have interviewed all of them that have had this duty lately.
Over 95% of anglers want the limit raised or removed completely, and the vast majority of them want a check box on the survey that says kill em all..
This one fish law is ludicrous, and and public opinion bears it out.. It's time for PAW management to pull their heads out and rescind this rule on Falcon.
Will we ever see the results from this survey published publicly? I doubt it.. PAW rarely publishes information that is does not like, facts be damned.. It is a government agency..
Well get your ass down here and catch some fish. I ain't the only one that says the fish are biting.. Come check it out.. See you on the water..
June 20, 2014: It ain't rained in Zapata.. But we're gonna see some water come down the river, if not out of the sky. The rains above Laredo on Wednesday were followed up by big rains around Eagle Pass and Del Rio yesterday evening and last night. And it is still raining around Del Rio and and right on Amistad as we speak.
The Rio Grande in the town of Del Rio is at 10.25 feet at this writing and that is considered major flood stage. These high water peaks might be short lived, but there is some serious water in the pipeline that will take a week or so to make its way to Falcon.
The river crested in Laredo last night at midnight at 14 feet, which is a good bit of water.. And there will be another crest when the water above makes it down..
I'm thinking we could see a four or five foot rise in the lake level here.. That's my best guess.. We'll see but it will take a week for it to all settle out.. And of course we are still letting out a good bit of water as it has not rained south of Laredo.
Lots of variables.. But still a good thing going on..
If you come to Falcon any time in the next few days, you need to think crankbaits and rocks.. Ledges and crankbaits.. Points and crankbaits.. And maybe a fluke on a Carolina rig..
And if you are flippin then a senko is still good. I also had a good report on the Ol Monster in Plum fished on rocks.. Imagine that..
The south end of the lake will certainly be the place to be, because the lake is going to be dirty from damn near the Tigers north.. You heard it here first.. I am sure the backs of some creeks will be fine.. But the top half of the main lake will be chocolate starting a few hours ago.. Well from Diablo north anyway for today.. Also lots of debris and cane will be in the upper end of the lake. Use caution out there on plane..
If nothing else the phone has been ringing with excited folks asking about the water in the pipeline.. I am thinking the spinnerbait bite may just take off with the rising water.. We'll see..
Come on down and watch the water rise..
June 19, 2014: It is good to be back home again.. Where I can actually breathe..
I drove in last evening from San Antonio.. Of course it was right into the teeth of a bad ass thunderstorm. And some of it is still going on this morning just north of Laredo.. I hope it camps out there for a week..
We have still not gotten a drop here in Zapata.. And the only way you can drink a martini is dirty..
I have been out of the loop for a bit, but from the sounds of it not a lot has changed around here.. It is windy once again and that has made fishing tough. There are still a lot of smaller fish shallow. So if you want to catch some numbers you can do it backs of pockets.. A senko and square bill are working OK I hear..
I'll glean some more info today and pass it along to you tomorrow.. But I can tell you that fishing pressure is light and there are not a lot of people to ask..
But I'm on it..
Last Thursday TPWD stocked another 80,000 LMB fingerlings in Falcon, and that puts us at right around a half million for this year. And although the lake is dropping slowly, there is still a good bit of cover for the guppies..
Thanks Randy Myers at TPWD for putting us in for the max amount of fish available.. There is still a possibility that we might get a few more, depending on what's left over when they finish stocking the rest of the lakes in Texas.
No other species is scheduled to be stocked in Falcon this year.
And while it is true that as of late I have said some disparaging things about TPWD, none of it has ever been directed at our hands on, district biologists and technicians. These guys are top notch and understand the unique circumstances that we have to deal with here on Falcon. Something that is hard to see from Austin..
The smell of gar slime is no longer lingering around the shop, and that is a good thing. Those things are slimier than Harry Reid.. If that's possible.. If you have ever had a couple of Gar in the bottom of your boat, you know what I am talking about.. And you need to watch your step.. It gets slick.. Kinda like hanging around a porno shoot..
Caution is advised..
When I got home last night I turned on the news to see what I had missed.. And the first thing I heard was they they were indicting a suspect in the Bengazi terrorist attack..
And the first thing that popped into my mind was that it had to be Hillary Clinton.. Then I heard the rest of the story..
I heard that Obamma addressed the homosexuals at their annual love in.. And after hearing all the things I heard him say I think that he might be homosexual himself.. That's a whole lotta love for his fellow man.. But I guess you pander for votes wherever you can..
I bet there are a lot more bass fishermen in this country than there are homosexuals. When is the last time Barry spoke at the Bassmasters classic??
I guess being a "redneck" does not qualify as a special interest group, and therefore he has no interest in speaking to us.. Just down to us..
Harry Reid is mad at the Redskins for being the Redskins.. And he says it is racist to be called the Redskins. I personally never use this racist term.. I always call them the Foreskins.. If you're a Cowboys fan you gotta hate them.. It's on your Texas birth certificate..
But in this case I gotta say that ol dirty Harry is way outta line.. Maybe he is feeling guilty for screwing the indians out of so much stuff in his own state.. I don't know.. But I think we would be better off if he worked on stuff that mattered a little more.. Like protecting our borders and the economy and unemployment and shit like that.. The public will take care of the social issues.. It always has. Ask Chick Fil A..
He is a freak show.
You know the more I visit other states the more I like Texas.. Colorado is beautiful.. Too bad they don't have any freakin oxygen.. Maybe that is what's wrong with all those tree huggers up there.. Their brains just aren't getting enough oxygen, and this is what happens..
Bottled water or Aspen tap? What?? You'd think they trademarked it.. And if you don't like dogs peeing on your feet then don't eat anywhere in Aspen..
Dogs are people in Aspen.. I was in a public bathroom (waterless urinals) that smelled like a Mexican whorehouse bathroom.. I heard the toilet flush in the stall next door and then out came a guy with his golden retriever.. I ain't sure what happened in there but I got the distinct smell of Alpo.. And I really don't want to know..
I was playing golf with burning lungs.. I had to drive my cart on the greens.. The last three holes were like playing polo. Just substitute the carts for horses..
I just couldn't make it.. I wrestled an oxygen bottle from an old man in a wheel chair in the parking lot.. I've got bruises on my shins from that hickory cane.. Damn that hurt.. But he quit fighting when he ran out of air..
It snowed on us when we were on the course.. It freaking snowed.. It is the middle of June, and it snowed.. And our Tee time was delayed one morning because of frost on the greens.. You gotta be kidding me..
It was so dry that you could pour a glass of Aspen Tap out and it would evaporate before it hit the ground.. Take a shower?? Don't need a towel.. Just stand there for ten seconds.. My nose might be permanently damaged.. I thought I had an embolism in my right lung..
It sure felt good to walk off that plane and run into that wall of humidity in San Antonio..
There is no doubt I am a flatlander.. No offense to those of you from Colorado.. But you have all of my money you are going to get..
And speaking of San Antonio, how bout them Spurs? Good to see a bunch of good guys back on top..
Well I gotta go take care of some business and I'll get back to you with a real fishing report tomorrow.. Or at least something that resembles one..
I think I got some of them marijuana cigarettes left.. So it could be later..
June 12, 2014: It's about as hot as it gets down here this week, as a batch of Mexican desert air has moved east into our area.. So if you are headed this way, be prepared for some high temps.. Bout 105 the last couple of days.. And it is supposed to hang around for the weekend..
Good numbers of fish are showing up for some, and most of the people catching numbers are not fishing too deep.. Even though the wind has relinquished control back to the fishermen.
Senkos, cranks, and even spinner baits are getting them around the outside brush lines. Fish the mag fluke on some deeper main lake rocks. We are even hearing of some fish caught on the north end of the lake.
So it does seem a little better, for numbers if nothing else. But like I said.. If you are coming down , prepare yourself for some sun.. And drink lots of water..
Yesterday was another day of gar work.. And we worked on a lot of them.. And this morning this things wrap up.. We saw a variety of fish in the stomachs of the gar, but 90% of them had nothing in their stomachs at all. These fish are loaded with fat on the inside. It is amazing. The final read on this project will not be in for months. And we have two more collection points to do before it is over. This will be the most extensive alligator gar study ever done.
We also saw the biggest male gar we have caught to date, one weighing right at 100 pounds. We were all surprised. I want to see the age on that one..
I am headed to Colorado for a few days.. Highs in the sixties and lows in the forties.. Why the hell am I going there.. No rods.. No guns.. I am not sure this makes sense..
See you in a week..
June 10th, 2014: Just an update on the gar netting.. We set ten nets in the Tigers and Pierces cove. Eight in the Tigers. This morning we had 42 alligator gar to 120 pounds.. And in that number a school of small ones at 17 to twenty pounds.. We caught em all sizes.. And the twenty pounders were full of milt.. We'll see if we can catch some bigger ones.. But I am not sure the mesh at 5" is big enough to catch a monster..
I know these little fish at twenty pounds are from last years hatch.. We'll prove it when we age em.. And that'll be shortly. Even these little fish were full sexually mature..
The eggs in the fish this go round certainly look bigger than in April.. I am sure of it. So I am starting to think these fish will spawn in the fall.. Or late summer.. Especially after what I saw last October.. It all makes sense.. These fish do not need running water to spawn.. I guarantee it..
Gar are on top everywhere today as it is hot and still.. We just got through processing them at 2:30.. And we will be running the nets again around six.. But night time is much better from previous experience..
It's 105° in the shade and very humid.. Brutal out there..
June 9, 2014: It was a busy weekend for me, and a busy week is in store for us this week as well..
The API tourney has come and gone, and a record amount of money was raised for some good causes. And a bunch of fish were caught as well. Even under the toughest of conditions.
Big bass and big stringer of the tourney were both caught on Sunday. And while I have an idea of the weights I can only speak for a few. The wining two day stringer for six fish was thirty one pounds and change.
Second and third were just behind with similar weights. I am waiting on a printout of the entire list and will provide names and exact weights asap..
Good numbers of fish were reported by most anglers, despite the tough fishing conditions. Dead batteries and tired bilge pumps were the order of the day. Most fish were caught shallow.. Out of necessity..
Flukes and senkos were still as good as anything, but there were also a good number of square bill fish reported on rocky points. Keep an eye out for those egrets.. They ain't there to discuss politics..
Lots of bait on the shallow rocks on the main lake.. If you can fish it.. Some schooling of smaller bass is going on at main lake points. And if you happen on them you can catch a bunch in a hurry. As long as it lasts..
The lake continues it's slow decline, but it is adding up. We're at 269.92 this afternoon.. That's 31.28 feet low.. We're still good on ramps at both ends of the lake, but if we loose another six feet we will be off the concrete at the state park.. Hope they wrap up irrigation soon.. Or it rains.. Both would be good..
The boys from TPWD are back in town and we are underway in Garapaloosa II. So the next few days should be filled with gar guts, gar eggs, and gar slime.. What fun.. I'll keep you updated.. And we'll see how those gar eggs are developing. I find it hard to believe that a gar can instantly be ready to spawn, just because of rising water.. I'm just gonna go out on a limb and call bullshit..
But it's a pretty big limb..
Stocking of LMB and other species is underway across the state, and of course we were one of the first to receive some fingerlings.
I saw on PAW's facebook page for sharelunker that you should run out and buy a 2021 calendar.. So you can mark it and will remember to fish Marine Creek Reservoir.. A small lake NW of Fort Worth. Because this week they are going to put some sharelunker fry in it. And then seven years from now, according to the sharelunker page it could be "swarming" with thirteen pounders..
Ahhh.. Yeah.. I don't think so.. If that is the case, where are the lakes that could be "swarming" with thirteen's now.. Cause I want to go there.. This farce has only been going on for twenty eight years.. I wonder how the private lakes with sharelunker fry are doing?
But in any case I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting on Marine Creek..
I assume that PAW did a habitat and forage fish study on Marine Creek. To be sure that the sharelunker babies will have a place to thrive. But more likely they will just be fodder for the huge population of bass less than one pound that live there now.. Least that is what I hear and read..
My Sirius radio subscription ran out.. And in Zapata that is not something you want to happen.. The only english speaking station you can pick up on FM is Big Buck Country, 98.1 on your dial.. (Or digital display..)
And I been busy as hell and have not had the time to pleasure myself by giving them a call and re-upping.. I just love talking to them anyway.. (Like putting your balls in a vice..)
In any case I have had my radio on Big Buck Country for a few days.. And I want to know, how do you do it?
How can anyone listen to the exact same song sung by forty different people.. Oh the words are different.. Well some of em are.. But most of em ain't..
I have figured that 90% of them have the words beer, pickup truck, moonlight, my baby, stars, creek (crick) dog, cutoff jeans, (short shorts) daddy, momma, hat, boots, my old guitar, front porch, and love at first site.. All in the first stanza..
I might be stuck in the seventies.. But I just can't listen to that crap.. That ain't country music.. I've heard country music.. That ain't it.. I love country music.. It is just damn hard to find on the radio these days..
And I saw a new hybrid commercial on television the other day.. I am sure you've seen the Scotts fertilizer commercial when Scott says, "Feed your lawn.. Feed it!!"
Well this commercial was intertwined with a Cialis commercial where two old blue hairs were sitting in two bathtubs holding hands and watching the sun go down over a mountain lake.. A beautiful site..
Then the old lady turns to her man and says " Feed you penis, Fred! Feed it!!"
I look for more and more of these commercials in the future as advertising rates continue to rise.. Stay tuned..
Oh you sharelunker guys.. You better exhale now.. You're starting to turn blue..
June 7, 2014: It's a Saturday that seems like a Sunday.. Lots of going ons round here..
I said I'd give you a report yesterday but I got tied up at the errrr.. weigh in... Well it wasn't all weigh in. But anyway..
The wind was howling yesterday and again today.. It was brutal out there.. And the weights reflected it.. No one was fishing for long on the mainlake.. Dead batteries by noon were the norm.. It's good to run em all the way down now and then..
Big stringer yesterday was sixteen and change for three fish. Big fish was nine pounds even. There were a lot of small fish weighed, and most of them were caught shallow.. But shallow was the order of the day as it was near impossible to stay on any open water..
It is already blowing this morning.. I'll give a report on the winning weights later..
June 6, 2014: It's Friday morning.. Early friday morning.. And it sure feels like Saturday morning.. I reckon due to the fact that last night was the big preamble to the API tourney over at Beacon.. Which included food, drink, a Calcutta, and lots of noise..
That high volume has left me with a headache this morning.. Five O'clock came awful early..
There are fifty seven or so teams fishing the tourney. A decent turnout I guess.. Over thirty teams in the BBQ cookoff. Gonna be hard to sample it all..
Weigh in is not over till 4:30.. A little late in my book but I ain't makin the rules.. Gonna be hot out there.. I'll give you a report later on what has been weighed in..
On Tuesday, PAW brought a second load of Florida fingerlings to the lake, and the reported total was around 360,000.. That should put us at about 490,000 so far. We'll see if there is a few left over after stocking the rest of the state.. We could get a few more..
And as earlier mentioned, PAW will be back down here on Monday to start Garapaloosa II..
I am getting mixed reports from a few folks about the fishing.. Mostly I reckon cause most folks that I have talked to are fishing the tournament. And being the intuitive SOB that I am I have gleaned enough knowledge to ascertain that a few folks are on fish.
We sold a little bit of everything yesterday, and had a lot of fun doing it. Thanks to all of you who stopped by.
Water temps are right at eighty, and the lake is still dropping an inch or so a day. Sure hope that they get their fill of water in the valley soon.. We are over thirty feet low.. Water quality/clarity is great on the south half of the lake.. Visibility is about two feet in a lot of places.. Maybe more in some..
Good for fishing.. Good for shooting gar.. But if you are fishing where you are seeing a lot of gar.. Pull up the motor and move on..
What else is going on.. Not a lot around here.. But on the national front, I see that we traded five of the worst terrorists son of a bitches we had in captivity for I'm not sure what that some other terrorist son of a bitches had in captivity.. I guess in Obamanomics a one for five exchange is pretty good..
Why don't we trade Pelosi, Reid, Fienstein, Durbin, and a bonus player.. Say Sharpton, for the soldier that they are holding in Mexico.. Now that's something I could get behind.. Getting rid of idiots is where we should start anyway.. And we got no shortage of em. How can the voting public be so damn stupid..
If the founding fathers came back today, tomorrow they would be meeting in some cramped building scribbling out a new Declaration of Independence.. Cause what we got, ain't what they left..
We talked with a lot of folks yesterday, and the vast majority of them are employed in the oilfield. And the oilfield in Texas is boomin.. And one of our buddies who used to run heavy equipment was in and he is no longer sitting on yellow metal but is sitting in the office. And I asked him how he liked the office compared to being in the field.
He said it is all fine and dandy, but occasionally they bring a brand new D-9 into the yard. And he said that he has a reoccurring thought..
Kinda like being in a bar at about 2:00 am when this chunky chick keeps looking at you.. And you're thinking.. "I'd like to get on that.." Old habits die hard..
We're all just searching for happiness..
The hockey cup is going on and I can't believe that this stuff is on national TV.. It should be on ESPN6 or something.. At least in Texas..
The Spurs beat the Heat in game one of the NBA finals.. Without air conditioning.. Big deal.. We never had no air conditioning when I was coming up.. We played in the heat every day.. And the fans watched with no A/C as well.. That was probably just a ploy to sell more of them 12 dollar beers and waffle cones..
That Peter Holt is a marketing genius. You know he makes them big yellow bulldozers..
I'd like to get on that..
June 2, 2014: After enduring six weeks of wind, we have been blessed with a week of near perfect weather.. As far as fishing goes anyway.. Low winds and nineties makes one forget how many endless fronts blew through here over the winter.. Prognosticators say the winds will return some time later this week as high pressure settles in.. But we can handle it.. Round here it as natural as the sunrise..
The tropics seem to be off to an active start, which seems about right as the weathermen have predicted a slow year.. If you have been paying attention to the Pacific you have seen a couple of decent sized storms for this time of year.. One was a Cat four for a day or so.. Sooner or later one of em will head up the Baja and put some water in the Conchos..
I know I talk about water as much as I do fishing, but around this country they are inextricably linked.. Cain't have one without the other..
Falcon continues its slow decline as the irrigation cycle is still in play.. At least it is not currently at a ludicrous rate.. We are sitting at 271 as of this morning, or 30.2 feet low. We've lost about seven inches in the last seven days.
June is typically one of out wettest months. But it does not look like the first week will start off too damp. Looks like we are still running a month behind when it comes to the weather.. We'll see..
Fishing remains decent around here, due to the fact that the little fish are out in numbers and eating a little more than in the last few months. Some days they are actually chomping a bit.. I believe the dropping water has pulled them out of the thick cover a bit and we have more access to them.
Shad and bait fish are pretty thick in the backs of most creeks, and these little fish are putting the hammer on em. They won't stay little too long..
The fish I caught last week were footballs.. And mean.. They are in good shape..
Over the weekend the senko still caught a lot of fish. I also heard of some squarebill fish in those same areas of trees and rocky banks in water less than eight feet deep..
There were also some fish caught on deeper rocks and rockpiles, but not in fantastic numbers. But a few quality fish are coming a bit deeper. Although I did not catch them there last week..
I think I am gonna cast net me up some perch about three inches long, and Carolina rig them on some of them humps in the tigers I like.. I want to know what that is down there on my locator.. Might get my ass drug out of the boat by a hunnert pound blue cat.. I dunno..
The API tourney is this weekend, and we are tuning up for it around here. I will not be fishing, as I am working the weigh ins and doing fish care, but if I was not committed there I certainly would fish it. You should give it a try if you have an open weekend. These guys do a hellofa good job and all the money raised goes to scholarships in the Laredo and Zapata area.
BTW if you are thinking of fishing it, know that the fishing days are Friday and Saturday.. Call us if you want more info or check out LaredoBorderChapterAPI.com for more details.
I read the Bass Champs results from Amistad yesterday.. Ouch.. I know I have spoken poorly of Falcon in the not too distant past, but I have to say that Amistad is really sucking.. But you already knew that..
Choke Canyon should be on the rise, water level anyway, as I type. I don't think it will catch a lot of water but it should pick up a few feet. And anything would be a blessing. I know that water that came down from the D'Hanis area had to fill up a lot of holes and soak a lot of ground. But the Frio river at Tilden is up about ten feet this morning.. It won't last too long but it will give Choke a shot in the arm..
Maybe it'll drown a few of them gators..
I would sure be good to see Choke and Ivie back on a few tournament schedules next year.
I just got an e-mail that says that PAW will be returning tomorrow with another 360,000 bass fingerlings.
Glad we have some cover this year for them to hide in.. Last year it was like throwing some twinkies inside a weight watchers convention..
I don't know if you are a basketball fan or not, but the NBA finals are due to start this Thursday. It's no secret that I'm a Spurs fan and I am looking forward to to the rematch from last year.
And this is a double opportunity for you if you are looking to get a tattoo.. You will see dozens of samples of some of the best ink work money can buy. I guess those guys gotta do something in the off season.. Besides impregnating a bunch of hoochie mamas..
Only a couple of months till football.. Hang in there..
May 30, 2014: After a long hiatus, I have been back on the lake the last couple of days. There has just been too much stuff on my plate as of late, (admittedly a lot of it was screwing off) but I am finally catching up..
So I can get back to working by fishing.. I love my job.. But it ain't all gravy and four bit cigars..
On Wednesday I ascertained that I can't catch fish deep.. On Thursday I found that I could catch some fish shallow.. Flipping the hardwoods.. Hey catching beats not catching.. So I am gonna stick with the shallow water for now.. Till I learn a thing or two.. But it is not like I fished a long time either day or really gave the deep bite an all day test.. But I did fish some of my favorite humps in the Tigers with no luck..
Don't be afraid to get back in the creeks some and hit all the woods you can between three and seven feet of water. A five inch senko in W/M red or Red Magic is a great choice.. Where have you heard that before..
Anyway, it will get you some bites, and occasionally you will catch a good one.. I did not catch anything over three and a half pounds.. But I am famous for catching small fish anyway..
The Salanaias was good to me as were a coupe of creeks on the Texas side south of the Tigers..
The 400,000 bass that were going to be stocked on Wednesday turned out to be 130,000.. And they were released into the Tigers.. We have another batch coming next week and they will be scattered out a bit more.. I'll keep you posted..
Next weekend is the API tournament, then on the 9th thru the 12th the boys from TPWD are coming back for stage two of the Alligator Study, and on the 13th I am headed to Colorado for a few days of "high" level meetings.. I have never smoked any legal marijuana and I am not getting any younger..
I am just not sure if I can blend in with them ultra liberal slackers.. But I'm gonna try.. I have already quit shaving and bathing, and am going to apply for goberment assistance.. And I plan to "occupy" Aspen for a few days.. Still waiting on my camping permit..
Do you think I will get the shits if I just eat Big Mak's for a week?
Anyway life goes on and I got plenty to do.. And if I don't I'll invent something..
The wind has slowed for the last few days. And we have had some excellent water skiing opportunities down here.. Slick as a new corvette.. Water temps are 80 to 82.. And the water on the south half of the lake is beautiful..
I see that TPWD has implemented another law across the state regarding Zebra mussels.. They have deduced that Zebra mussels are the devil and that they can prevent their spread by making you do something.
While it may be true that the Zebra mussel has caused problems with fresh water equipment up north, a lot of folks that I have talked to say that fishing on the great lakes has never been better. Due to clearer and cleaner water, a byproduct of the Zebra Mussel..
Time will tell what happens here in Texas but TPWD does consider them the Great Satan.. But it is unlikely that they will affect many south Texas lakes as the water gets too warm.. It is said that they do not like water over eighty degrees.. We we get plenty of that..
In any case I wish we could get them to consider Alligator Gar in the same light..
A known enemy of game fish..
And fact of the matter is, they won't slow the spread of Zebra mussels by thirty minutes with this new regulation..
Yeah.. Government is government.. And politics rule, not common sense..
I find it embarrassing that our national government can be this shitty.. And our state government has the ability to follow suit on occasion. Texas is not as bad as a lot of other states, but we have been known to stick out heads in the commode on occasion..
I see Obammas VA chief has resigned.. Yeah right.. Yesterday he said he was going nowhere.. I guess even Obamma could see the writing on the wall.. So he accepted his resignation.. Yeah. That's getting fired with benefits..
Fact is that the heads of every department he has, have sucked.. Are there just not any competent people out there? WTF? How can this winner keep selecting more just like himself? They all suck.. At least they suck at their jobs.. But I guess if you are incompetent then it is hard to judge competence..
How many "scandals" can this administration put out??
Stay tuned.. We got two more years of this shit to go.. And all this from "the most transparent presidency in history."
I see that he selected the ultra liberal Mayor of San Antonio to be the next HUD Secretary..
That should be a death sentence for him politically..
I lived just outside of San Antonio in a previous life.. And I seen this game before.. It did not work out too well for Henry Cisneros, the last HUD Sec from San Antonio.. The proclaimed front runner to be the first hispanic American president a few decades ago..
Aw... He couldn't keep his dick in is pants..
Of course not many of these guys can.. Democrat or Republican. And they learn to always have their palm up in a hurry.. Cash is king my friends..
And there is no doubt that Castro is an Obamma lover. But at least he is an American Citizen..
Maybe that is why Hillary had a secret meeting with the Obammanator yesterday.. So he could tell her that she can't run for president cause he wants Castro..
She didn't do too good as Secretary of Fate..
Well I'll get off politics for a bit..
Hope to see you in the next week for the API tourney.. It will be fun..
We're just a little over a week away from killin some gar.. I'm starting to get a warm fuzzy feeling allover..
May 27, 2014: It has been raining everywhere but here.. Close.. But no cigar.. We at least got to watch a hell of a lightning storm just west of us last night.. We did get a tenth..
One thing that did happen is that we have the first day in weeks that the wind is not howling.. And it is not supposed to tomorrow either..
A lot of lakes across north west Texas are catching some water as we speak, which is also somewhat out of character as of late. I told you I feel a wet summer coming on..
There is a big ass hurricane in the Pacific that bears watching as well.. Hopefully it will hit about Cabo and collide with Big Bend.. We'll keep an eye on it..
Fishing over the weekend was good, for smaller fish if nothing else. Lots of fish reported on the hardwoods back in the creeks.. With the lowered water levels some of these fish that have been hiding in the thickets have had to come out a bit.
We are still letting out more water than I can understand.. But it is what it is.. The rise in the river this weekend above us is just keeping up with the outflow.. But that won't last long..
There were also a few nice fish caught I heard about but no DD's.. Here's a nice 8.7 caught by Lori Gilliam on Saturday.
I heard of a bunch of five and six pounders as well.. But no real monsters.
Not a lot of folks fished the main lake again due to the winds. And now that we have some nice weather, there is nobody in town.. Bout normal I reckon..
Five inch senkos and super flukes seem to be working as good as anything. Throw a spinner bait between trees as you motor between them.. And flip the hell out of the hardwoods.. These fish are from three to eight feet deep.. Fish slow of course.. Sometimes you gotta knock on the door a few times..
Parks and wildlife is bringing the first batch of fish to stock tomorrow.. At least that is on the schedule.. Supposed to be about 400,000 baby bass on the way. At least this year they have a little something to hide in.. It would have been sweet if we had the water we had a month ago.. But like I said.. It is what it is..
Speaking of TPWD, I was listening to the commissioners meeting from last week on the internet.. And I gotta tell you it is a hoot.. They certainly are members of their own fan club.. Kinda like a self licking lollipop..
And it must taste good.. I gotta admit that I learned a lot about the sharelunker program from listening to that presentation..
Did you know that the Sharelunker program is responsible for all the state record breakings since it started? Going all the way back to Medina lake.. Yep sharelunker.. Hell I didn't know it either..
Did you know that the SL season was a great success this year? Hell I didn't either..
Maybe they are looking at different data than me..
I thought that SL only had nine (9) fish turned in this year.. BTW.. That's the third lowest number of fish ever turned in since the program started twenty eight years ago..
And also BTW.. There was not one fish caught over fourteen pounds.. Not one.. And half of them were squeakers.. I would like to have watched the official weighing of the perfect thirteen..
Yeah the Sharelunker program is really helping us catch some giant fish..
PAW blames the cold winter for fewer fish turned in.. Or that is the reason I heard.. I say Bullshit..
There just ain't that many.. Damn few..
And you can get used to it for the foreseeable future.. Giant fish? Forget it.. Those days are over..
Breaking the state record? Breaking the world record? I don't think so, Tim..
Keep in mind that the Sharelunker program to this day has not produced one of the fish that weighed thirteen pounds that is in the program. And if by some miracle one day a thirteen is caught that can be traced back to the SL program, BFD.. We have had thirteen's for years..
And if you think that the SL program is growing bigger fish in our lakes, then you need to quit carpooling with Superman and Santa Claus..
I guess that's enough on that. Those of you who refuse to look at the facts won't after reading this either.. The Kool-Aid is on Aisle four..
For the rest of you I am just preaching to the choir..
Come on down and fish where the gar ain't.. You can actually cast between them in a few spots..
May 22, 2014: The wind is not cutting us any slack this week, and it has been giving it hell every afternoon. The mornings have not been too bad, but by about lunchtime it usually gets to humming.
And there are not a lot of folks out fishing in it either.. But those that have are doing fairly well. With the small fish anyway.. Shallow fish have gone to biting decently, and flipping the woods and some spinners are catching fish. Most of these are inside eight feet of water.
A few jig fish are starting to show up on the deeper rocks. But not all of them.. When you find a pod you can usually catch a few in a small area. So when you do catch a fish, beat the crap out of that area for a bit.. It should pay off..
Just not a lot of fishermen down here.. And while the fishing is a bit slow by Falcon standards, we're fishing about as good as we have in a while..
As a reminder the API tourney is coming up in a couple of weeks. Actually two weeks from today the festivities start.. This year it is an open tournament and anyone is eligible to fish it. You do not have to have an oilfield affiliation..
They will be "puttin on the dog" as they say.. You can see rules and entry info at their website.
Not a lot of other tourneys scheduled this summer, except for a few clubs that will make the rounds.
We are still working on a Gar tourney for later this summer, probably sometime in September. That seems to be when the biggest and baddest are most active. Although we are seeing plenty right now..
With all the meetings with State Reps and Commissioners and Judges and business owners and just those putting in their two cents worth we have gotten a lot of local press.. The Laredo and Zapata papers and television from the surrounding area have covered the gar and the shrinking bass situation on Falcon.
Much ado about nothing some might say.. Some say otherwise.
There is also talk from a lot from the locals about the armored catfish, the devil fish, or what is really a plecostomus. A sucker fish that is from central or south America and was introduced into Texas waters by who knows who.. And some around these parts think they are eating the eggs of other game fish to include bass..
I will admit that I know nothing of this fish's habits. But I do know they exist in Falcon in pretty big numbers. I also know that we did not see them here till about four years ago.. They are highly susceptible to the Mexican nets.. You can't kill one with a ball peen hammer.. But that's all I know..
I have seen piles of them where the Mexicans have cleaned their nets..
I do know that male bass guard the nest once fertilization has occurred and until the fry are fairly mobile.. And I know they will defend it against predators but I have no idea what the interaction of these two fish might be if one of these bottom feeders tried to eat the eggs of black bass..
Another thesis opportunity..
But lots of water and lots of spawning bass should prevent this problem, if it even exists.. But we are not long on water or spawning bass right now..
I do however know that Alligator Gar eat bass.. A lot of em..
What else.. I see that the US and Russia have split the sheets over the boondoggle that is known as the International Space Station.. Being we have treated them so bad for invading another sovereign country.. Old habits die hard for the KGB..
I think it is utterly stupid to build a space station and have no way to get to it.. Wouldn't you plan for that? That's like building a vacation mansion on an island and burning your boat when you get back home..
This might be a blessing in disguise though.. We have been paying Russia 71 Million dollars per astronaut to get them there.. For whatever reason we are sending them there.. To date the space station alone has screwed the taxpayers out of $150,000,000,000 dollars.. One hundred and fifty billion dollars.. Maybe we can sell it to the Russians and recoup some of our costs.. Maybe we can trade it for Snowden..
And we can't even take care of our Vets..
Speaking of which, Memorial day is this coming Monday. And regardless of our political leanings, we all owe a debt to many that we can never repay.
To those that serve our country now, and to those countless thousands that gave their very lives so we can live as we do today, I say Thank You!
And on this day we remember the sacrifices they made, some small, some the greatest of all..
And I can think of no better way to say thanks to them than to continue to be the country they were fighting for.
Although we seem to off the path they laid..
So when you're cooking your dogs and burgers this weekend on your extra day off, please take time to remember those that died so that we may live, in the ways of our forefathers.. Or however we see fit.. Within reason..
Wouldn't it be neat if our government had a "restore" button like computers do.. When things to to crap and its frozen and nothing is getting done we could pick a date when things weren't so out of hand and hit restart from that date..
That could fix a lot of shit..
Shit, maybe somebody is doing it already and we don't know it and we are all just stuck in this temporal time loop... Like Groundhog Day.. I think they are controlling it from the International Space Station..
I guess I watched too much Star Trek..
I know I am old school, but I just got my first DVR last week.. This thing is like crack.. Once I figured it out I have started recording everything I watch.. And then I watch it later..
I can zip through all those commercials for hard-ons, ambulance chasing lawyers, cell phones, political ads, cars, hamburgers and feminine hygiene products..
And I can actually watch fishing shows that are not on in the middle of the night..
You guys gotta get you one of these..
Well I ain't said much about nothin today, so thanks for bearing with me.. I'm a little bored..
But don't forget to Thank a Vet and remember those who have died!
God Bless You All!
May 19, 2014: I guess the weather is running about a month behind schedule round here.. We are still getting cold fronts and when that ain't happening we have strong south winds.. And they are forecast for all week..
It'll be great when the dog days set in with light winds.. Whenever that will happen..
It has been tough to fish any open water the last few days, with winds in the twenties and gusting at times.. But a few folks have toughed it out and caught some fish.
Quality Bass Club and C.A. S. T. were two organizations fishing down here last weekend. I heard 17 and change was leading the Quality event on Saturday. Results are not yet posted on the C.A.S.T. site.. I think there was one other club here but my memory sucks..
I have been in debrief mode since I got back from Picachos.. Lots of phone calls and questions.. Let me know if you want info on a trip there.. It's gonna be hard to fish here for a while after that..
But back to work..
Last Friday afternoon the Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism held a meeting in Zapata. There's something you don't see everyday.
The Committee is made up of seven Texas State Representatives, and is chaired by Ryan Guillen, who just happens to be the state rep for Starr county wherein Falcon Dam resides. Also on the committee is Lyle Larson who is from San Antonio, who is an avid fisherman. Also at the meeting was State Rep Tracy King who represents Zapata county, among others..
There were three other board members there and in no way do I mean to slight them by not mentioning their names. I just do not want to be inaccurate as to their names. And like a dumbass I did not write them all down.
My apologies.. But I want to thank all of them who came for hearing us out. And I want to thank all of you who came out to voice your opinions to the Committee..
The top three chiefs from Inland Fisheries were there, including Gary Saul, Dave Terre, and Ken Kurzawski.
TPWD put on a presentation that in my mind, was laced with inaccuracies.. I'm being kind..
But after they were questioned by the committee, I was allowed to testify (that's what they call it) and rebut some of the things they said.. And given more time (I talked for twenty minutes) we could have really had some fun.
I was not the only one to testify, and two hours later I believe that the committee started to get the gist of what the locals were serving up.
Long and short of it is that this town's economy has one thing going for it right now.. Falcon Lake.. And Falcon lake is not in the best of shape.
Of course the management at TPWD, who have not fished this lake in years (or ever), are still reading reviews from Bassmaster from three years ago. That goes for the board at TPWD as well.. They have no freakin idea what is going on down here.. It is hard to see what is happening at Falcon from a Lear Jet at 35,000..
But the folks from Inland Fisheries, mentioned above, should certainly know what is happening.. This was their second serving of Zapata Gar Chowder.. But I am still not sure their taste buds are connected..
Oh.. Their tongues are.. Cause they can sure sling the Bullshit..
Oh darn.. Let's not call it bullshit. Such an ugly term.. Let's just call it spin.. Kind of like most politicians.. We'll just adjust the facts to suit our needs.. Getting a straight answer out of these guys is like getting one out of Jay Carney.. Ain't gonna happen..
In any case Gar were certainly discussed.. At length.. Still not one person in the room likes the restriction on em.. All wanted it totally removed.. I made my case..
Sharelunker came up. When the board asked TPWD how many were turned in from Falcon this year.. Of course the answer was zero.. Only one over thirteen was caught that I heard of this year.. And I hear about these kinds of things. Not even a rumor of another..
And since it was brought up, although it was not on my agenda to talk about it, I threw out a couple of "facts" about Sharelunker.. These people need to know.. They're not fishermen for the most part..
Like the "fact" that of the paltry nine fish turned in not even one weighed fourteen pounds.. Something that happened religiously before the introduction of Sharelunker..
And how a bounty on every thirteen will certainly lead to a decrease of fourteens, fifteens, and the ever so scarce fish larger than that. Including the not-ever-gonna-happen new world record they tell you they are growing..
BTW.. March is usually the month that most SL fish are weighed in.. This year there were two.. Ties an all time low.. Record for March you ask?? 19 in 1996.. Eighteen freakin years ago..
Yeah.. This shit is working.. NOT ONE fourteen pounder!!
Meanwhile.. Back at the ranch..
From what I gleaned, the Committee is not going to wait till fall of 2015 to see some changes for Falcon regulations. I'll keep you posted..
But you knew that..
Fish were reported on secondary points last weekend.. Mostly I reckon cause fishing a main lake point was near impossible.. I took some Chutzpah to fish out there..
Flukes are doing as good as any.. Small ones as well.. Some folks whacked em on the Plum Apple in the super fluke.. The W/M Candy Red is a favorite of mine when the fish get a little persnickety..
And I reckon that the flipping bite has caught up with the bite off shore.. Seems I heard that a lot of fish came on spinners or by soaking your worm near big hardwoods.. That shade is the real deal..
We have leveled off right around 272, about 29 feet low.. I have a good feeling about some big water coming this year.. It could just be gas.. But I have a feeling..
Pacific activity is already kinda ramping up, and I think we are going to get some water out of the Conchos this summer.. But for now we'll just have to hide and watch..
I'm still packing around some wood since I came back from Mexico last week. Hot Damn that was fun.. Now that the pain from the Airline ordeal is over.. I am just remembering the good stuff..
I'm gonna go slam this thing with a tackle box lid and maybe the swelling will go down..
See you on the water. Or at the emergency room..
May 15, 2014: Thank God for the rain.. Hope you got some at your place.. We got about 1.75" here and a lot of places got it better.. Including some spots in the valley.. Which led to shutting down the tremendous releases from Falcon..
And just to keep appearances it wouldn't be right if I didn't mention that if this would have happened two weeks ago it would have saved us about five feet of water.. Sounds like a lot of bitchin..
Once again, thank you Lord for the rain.. I wasn't here when it happened.. But I see its effects already.. There is actually some green showing up around here..
As of this morning we are sitting at 271.66, or 29.54 feet low. We have actually caught a couple of inches the last few days. As of yesterday, Amistad was still releasing about 6000 CFS, and we are releasing about 800..
Not sure where we are headed as they move some water around..
The wind has been quite a problem I hear for the last few days.. Especially this last norther that blew through a couple of days ago.. I wasn't here for it either, but I did find it interesting that this is the middle of May and we landed in Laredo yesterday headed into the gusty north wind.. Very unusual..
Fishing is as good as it has been in a while by all accounts, with fish setting up in a summer pattern of sorts. The big fluke, in watermelon something is a good choice.. It sure feels good saying that because it is one of my favorites, and it is certainly one of the most versatile baits around. No weight, Texas rigged, or Carolina rigged will all work around rocks.. Did I ever mention rocks before.. You should try them.. Honest..
And the shady side of anything made of wood is a good area to flip.. Ah, summertime..
Don't forget to throw a big ass crankbait on the deep rocks either..
You know every time I sit down to post something it seems like I am making excuses about the fishing.. Or bitching about something.. And I don't want to do either one today. Cause the fishing is really not too bad.. Maybe our expectations are just a bit out of whack.. Life ain't always easy.. Neither is fishing..
Well not here at Falcon anyway.. But I just came back from a place where it is.. Holy shit..
I told you last week that I was headed down to this new lake in Mexico called Picachos.. I am not sure what Picachos means.. But I would give it a definition something like this..
Picachos. N/ Body of water held in place by a concrete dam, then stuffed with giant trees and what water was left filled with bass.. Lot of em and mean son of a bitches to boot..
Do not leave a lizard dangling in the water.. If you're not paying attention..
The fishing was awesome and more on that in a minute..
This was the travel trip nightmare of all times.. Well maybe not for you but it was for me.. No.. No bomb threat at the airport like last time I was there.. That trip only wasted two days..
No gangsta problems.. Everything in Mexico was awesome.. This nightmare was created by the airline..
It all seems fuzzy to me now but it went something like this..
We had a 6:00 am flight on Wednesday so we got a motel near the airport just to make the logistics simple and easy on the wives.. Bad enough getting up for a six o'clock flight when you are close, but it is a hard hour to the airport from the ranch.. Besides, it is easier to get some team bonding going on before the trip in a hotel bar than just sitting at home..
Anyway.. We were up and at em early and at the airport by four in the morning.. Glowing with anticipation..
(Faron young and Carly Simon in one whack..)
We were informed that our plane was having some mechanical difficulties.. And we would be boarding an hour late. And then maybe another hour late.. Someone left the lights on and the battery was dead.. I'm Serious.. So they got some jumper cables and got it started.. And then went and flew it around to charge it back up.. And we got ready to board.. We were in line. And then it wouldn't restart.. Or some shit.. And then "Ladies and Gentlemen we regret to inform you that this flight has been cancelled.."
That was the only flight out to Phoenix for the day and the next day the flight was not offered.. So they rescheduled us to Dallas to Phoenix to Mazatlan.. The next day.. So after a lot of hand wringing and bitching we went to another motel and back to the bar to drown our sorrows. We decided we could all add a day to the trip after five of us spent an hour on the phone to work things out.. On all ends.. But we got it done and went to bed with that great anticipation part deaux..
That flight was not quite as early but we were up and at em and on the plane in the early am.. And we sat on the plane for two hours at the gate.. Waiting for a thunderstorm to clear DFW..
And then the inevitable announce came over the PA.. "Folks another plane needs this gate so we are going to have to take you off the plane.." So we got off.. Knowing we were going to miss our connection in Dallas.. And no way make it to the lake for another day.. Shit.. Here we go again..
We found a flight to Dallas that afternoon, and then a straight flight to Maztalan.. But not till the next day.. If we wanted to take it.. But it meant cutting a day off our fishing time.. So after more hand wringing, bitching and anguish we decided three days would better than nothing.. So we stayed the night in Dallas. Three freaking nights in a row in hotels and still no farther than Dallas.. I could have pulled my boat to lake by now and have already fished a day..
And I don't know about you but if I hang around a hotel for three days I can go through some foldin money just being there.. And I find stuff to eat and drink in airports real reasonable.. Of course I did the end to end terminal tour trying to find the best bloody mary.. I think it was a tie. But I can't remember..
We finally got there on I don't know what day and fished the afternoon.. And we whacked em.. I thought.. Me and my partner caught about eighty in four hours.. Best going about five pounds.. Buts lots of three to fours.. And mean.. And willing..
The next three days went similarly, but on Sunday we got em figured out and absolutely killed em in the morning and in the evening.. All fishing days were separated by lunch and a short nap..
On Sunday morning we found a wolf pack of fish in the middle of nowhere suspended in some tree tops down about ten feet. We were throwing some DD-22's and when you felt the trees we would just almost stop the bait and Wham! It was awesome and reminded me of Falcon a few years back.. And we caught them almost every cast for two hours.. Most of these fish were three to five pounders. All solid chunky bad asses..
That was after we slayed them on buzzbaits and Chug-Bugs at daylight.. The buzzbait bite was awesome for about thirty minutes on the same point.. Loaded with two to three pounders.. Every cast.. What a place to make a video..
After lunch it was a hot bitch and we did not go out till 2:30.. And we fished in the shade of some giant rock walls that are easy to find.. And we caught em good, including a six pounder my buddy caught.
And at about 5:30 we headed into a creek that was full of big trees and lots of twenty foot deep flats.. And we were catching them just blind casting towards trees and brush lines.. Too deep to flip and the trees make it hard to get a fish up from the bottom.. So we were fishing the open spots between deep trees.
We got to a spot and we doubled up with four pounders.. And did it again.. There was a tree handy that the breeze wanted to hold us against and we ended up tied to it.. For two and a half hours.. Till the sun went down.. And the moon came up..
I have no idea how many fish we caught. But for two hours solid we never went a cast without getting bit. Our "Guide" was constantly netting fish two at a time while we turned our ribs purple.. Literally..
Only two of these fish were over five pounds. Only three or four were under three.. Mostly cookie cutter four and four and a half pound bad asses..
At first we were casting and after a few minutes we were just letting it free spool to the bottom with your thumb on the spool.. It rarely made it to the bottom. If it did it was just click it and hop it once. And it was on..
My buddy said that absolutely that was the best fishing day of his life. It was certainly a top five for me. Maybe top three.. But I only say that because we did not catch any monsters..
All of the other boats reported similar periods during their days.. When you found one of those wolf packs it was freakin on.. Hard to describe without being there..
My buddy used a dozen packs of Zoom 8" lizards in Kudzu.. They hated that bait.. Then he used all we had in W/M Red..
I was using the Mag Fluke in W/M Magic and Red till I ran out.. And several assorted colors I took along as a test worked well also.. And I think I caught a little bigger fish on the Fluke than the Lizard.. But shit we caught em on everything.. But that lizard is a numbers bait I guarantee..
We did not catch any fish that came close to double digit in size. There were a lot of sevens caught in the group.. My big fish was also a bit over seven..
The lodge is in its infancy, but they are getting things worked out.. Still no A/C.. But it cooled off nice at night.. Food is decent.. Drinks all you want and bottled water abounds.. But this is not and Orvis rated fish camp.. But if you want in on the ground floor you sometimes gotta put up with a few growing pains..
I'd go again in a heartbeat.. Lookin at the calendar. .
That's where the story should end.. But Hell no.. We were still in Mexico and needed to get home.. Back to Maztalan for a one night stay at El Cid on the Pacific.. Nice Hotel.. Great food and drink all around..
Flight out at 12:30 for Phoenix.. No sweat.. Got thru customs.. Got to the gate.. Hour and a half to kill before the flight to Dallas and on to San Antonio.. Giant hamburger and a few cold beers.. Off to the gate..
What the hell you mean the flight is two plus hours late?? Here we go again.. Our plane shows up.. We get on and get off in Dallas bout midnight.. Whole airport in Chaos.. They will not give us a motel because their co-ops are full.. Offer us a cot.. I say.. Well I won't write that here.. But I ain't sleepin in no airport where some idiot can piss on my head while I am asleep.. We call a cab and rent a motel on our own dime.. For now.. But I ain't through callin and writin just yet..
They can't even get us all on the same flight back to SA in the morning.. I find a flight to Laredo.. Other guys finally get settled on a 6:00 am flight. After getting to motel at 1:45.. Not a lot of sleep.. I didn't fly till noon so at least I got some sleep.. Go to Laredo and had wife pick me up there.. Halfway home she realizes she left her phone at airport.. Back to Laredo we go..
Finally got back to shop at 3:45.. Kissed the ground..
I don't recommend any of you guys travel with me..
May 5, 2014: It was a weekend of two halves around here.. Saturday was nice.. But Sunday was a windy bitch.. Was there a political campaign stop somewhere around here??
Ingram Bass Club was in town, but that was the only club I know of that was here at Falcon. And I did not hear final results but they were catching them fair on Friday and Saturday..
Flukes and brush hogs and the Spro DD Little John in Citrus Shad have been some good choices..
I have not heard of any whoppers caught here on Falcon in a while.. There are still some six to eight pound fish being caught but not a lot of DD's as of late.. Or for the last couple of months for that matter..
But fishing is as good as it has been in months.. If not better.. But it is still hard for me to call it good by any means.. I'm a little jaded..
And a lot of the reason for the fishing picking up, in my opinion, is because of the incredible amount of water they are pulling out of the lake.. And I mean they are sucking it.. Monica would have to have been re-liped by now.. We have lost almost exactly four feet in the last two weeks.. And that is not counting the three or four out of Amistad..
And just like the spinning wheel, who knows where it will stop..There is no freaking way they can be putting this much water on crops.. At least not efficiently..
The moving water has concentrated the fish on the ends of main lake and secondary points, anywhere a small bit of current might exist.. Even in big creeks like the Tigers or Salanaias.
And speaking of dropping water, the floats that mark the old 83 bridge here in the Veleno are back out of the water.. So if you go roaring out in the early morning be sure and drive in-between or around them.. Still plenty of water over the bridge.. For now.. We'll see where we end up..
The white bass in the Veleno are still being caught near the boat ramp and around the gravel near the Hwy 83 bridge.. Some of the locals are cleaning all they can catch.. A few times a day..
The gar are easy for anyone who wants to chase em.. They are ruining trotlines and juglines on a daily basis.. But if you like catching them, your ship has come in..
Bring your heavy equipment.. If you chop them right across the head with a machete it kills the son of a bitches pretty good.
There have also been a few gar hit with boats on occasion.. And this can be bad.. I bet PAW will soon put a 5 MPH speed limit on Falcon to protect the gar.. Or maybe we'll have to tie a bell around the front seat pedestal so they can hear us coming..
And while I may be speaking facetiously, somebody is going to hit one of these giants at Mach II, and the results ain't gonna be good..
I am packing for my trip down to Lake Picachos in Mexico, and my dilemma is that I can't fit the entire tackle store into a duffel bag.. And you would think that with all the crap we have around here that I wouldn't have to buy a thing.. Wrong.. I am as bad as you guys.. I have probably spent $400 on shit that I don't want to leave home without..
One kind of big ticket item was a portable depth finder.. I hear the boats down there don't have em.. I also hear you can go to the bank and catch a hunnert a day no sweat.. That might be fine for day one. But I know the bigguns don't live on the bank.. And I'm gonna find me some humps and some offshore stuff.. Cause it has been a long time since I added another lake to my ten pound list..
I'ze havin trouble sleepin already.. Leaving tomorrow.. We'll see if this lake is all it's hyped up to be..
So I won't be posting anything till get back.. On the 12th.. And I'll give you a full report when we return..
I am sure the airline is going to treat me like a $500 hooker at the check in desk.. I should have just bought another seat and strapped my shit in..
Where's that Skycap...
May 1, 2014: Nice stretch of weather around here.. Specially after that blast furnace for a couple of days last week. Highs in the seventies and eighties for the next couple of days.. And fishable winds..
We have a few folks in town that have come to fish. I mean why else would you come to Zapata if you weren't coming to fish.. Maybe I need to read the new visitors guide to find out what else there is to do round here..
Even got a couple of guys that drug a boat from California here for a week..
The super fluke is still catching a decent number of fish. Texas rigged and fished slow.. You still need rocks in your head to catch fish..
Oh you can still catch a few in the shallows flippin the hardwoods and throwing a spinner bait.. But the better quality fish are deeper.. Well maybe not better quality but bigger..
Don't put a lot of weight on that fluke.. Bout a quarter ounce is fine.. Fish it slow.. Imagine yourself as a stoned minnow just slowly flitting around.. And try to make your bait act the same..
The south end of the lake is far out producing the top end. I'd spend all my time fishing from Pierce's south.. But that's just me and that's what I hear.. You won't have too much company wherever you go..
We have actually heard of some decent numbers here and there..
If you are looking to fish a tourney on Falcon next month, the Border Chapter of the API will be holding their annual event here on Falcon on June 6th and 7th.. And breaking form from the norm this year they have opened it up to any fisherman, except for guides and professionals.. Used to be that one of the team members in the boat had to be working in the oil or gas industry. Not this go round..
It is a great tournament with lots of food and drink and a calcutta to boot.. It'll be over at Beacon as usual.. Give us a call if you need more info, but you can go straight to the horses mouth if you email Robert Chavez at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be a BBQ cookoff and lots of other activities..
I know I have been stirring the pot a lot lately when it comes to alligator gar and TPWD and management.. Or a lack thereof.. And in my mind justifiably so.. Maybe not in yours, but I can only speak for myself.
But I can tell you that if you never say anything about anything you are going to continue getting more of what you have been.
"Well that's just the way it is.." Bullshit..
I can't abide that.
And let me be clear, because I don't want to be taken as a basher of all things TPWD. TPWD has a lot of great people that work hard every day. We have had the privilege of meeting with many of them and working with many of them on many occasions. And always look forward to helping them in any way we can.
And our regional biologists and their staffs are the best and most conscientious that you can assemble.
Of course for this consideration we also expect a few things. We expect to be kept in the loop. We expect equal treatment when it comes to stockings and resources devoted to Falcon. We expect transparency when it comes to the dissemination of information that TPWD has developed and attained at the expense of tax payers.
TPWD does work for the people after all.. At least they're supposed to..
And we expect sensible and timely responses to problems.. Not considering what the lunatic fringe might think about an action we might take that is supported by 95% of the fishing population. And financially, that 95% supports 99% of TPWD.
Seems pretty simple don't it? Or are we down to kissing the asses of the lunatic fringe and pissing on the wishes of the monster majority? How is this serving the people?
Balls.. That what it takes.. Balls. And there are none where we need em..
Maybe there is a secret society of eunuchs running our government that we don't know about.. Forget about the Skull and Bones and the Knights Templar.. Maybe we should be worrying about the Empty Sack Society..
Membership is at an all time high..
I said the other day that PAW had basically ignored Falcon for forty years. And while that might be overstating things a bit, it is not too far out of line.
Until Larry Bridgeman and Jim Murray started putting some pressure on PAW for some semblance of equal treatment fifteen years ago, Falcon was certainly treated as the red headed stepchild.. We got the scraps..
If you don't believe me then go to the PAW site and check out the stocking records.. And while we still don't get what a lot of lakes get they now at least admit that we do exist.
I know that removing the limit on alligator gar will not be a cure all for our problems. In fact, we can probably never get the numbers of gar back down to a reasonable level. But it is at least an easy thing to do that cannot possibly hurt.
And if by some miracle we see the number of these terminators decline, we can always reinstate a more restrictive limit.
That's what management is.. And we are seeing damn little of it right now.
April 29, 2014: Well April is about shot in the ass and the warm weather has certainly made itself known around here.. At least for the last couple of days.. We had a freaky dry line move east of us and allowed some desert air to cross the Rio Grande and it was hot.. 109 on Sunday and 107 yesterday.. But another front is on our doorstep and we're headed back to highs in the eighties.. That's more like it..
I'll still take 109 over 40.. Any day..
Fishing remains fair, with the plastic bite on the mend it appears. Super flukes and brush hogs are the best when it comes to dragging the bottom.. The Big fluke is also a good choice.. Rocks.. Yes Rocks are the key to catching fish..
If you read my report before Bass Champs you'll see that it was dead on with what is happening.. Rocks in eight to twenty feet.. And nothing has changed this week.. Except that the fishing might be slightly improving.. If you can find an area that has no gar..
Just not a lot of fishermen to talk to bout it.. It's pretty dead around here..
The locals are still whacking the white bass here in the Veleno. Right around the boat ramp or around the Hwy 83 bridge.
Blue cats are in the deep holes in the river and with all the water that has been rolling thru the lake they have been pretty active..
And speaking of moving water.. We have it.. And we are loosing it.. But it is almost May and this is the first real drawdown we have seen.. We have lost almost two feet in all, but one foot in the last four days.. And they have it running hard now.. We were letting out about 11,000 CFS as of yesterday.. Cowabunga Dude.. Surfs up!
The gar are showing up in most every area of the lake, and in some areas they are unbelievable.. Across the creek from Vela's Camp in the Big Tiger there are some clear water pockets where they are stacked up.. One of my buddies who bowfishes all the time said he has never in his life seen them like he saw them last Sunday.. He said there were thirty or forty in a thirty square yard area.. And they wouldn't leave.. Easy pickens if you are a bow fisherman.. I'm working on a boat deal.. I need to start killin some of these son of a bitches..
Bass Champs results were about as expected.. Some good stringers but not very damn many.. Still took over a seven pound average to win.. Not too many places you can do that.. Lots of folks that caught fish showed me pics of cut up fish.. Guess it is still those damn Retamas..
Thanks to all of you guys who stopped in..
I assume that Texas Parks and Wildlife management is happy with the way that bass fishing is going here on Falcon. They basically ignored us for forty years. Then things got really good down here, no thanks in particular to them.
Maybe the best thing would be for them to go back to ignoring us.. Take all limits and laws off all the fish.. You can't enforce them 99% of the time anyway.. It should be easy to do given the disdain they have for Falcon.
Look at the money we are taking away from Fork..
Then the commercial fishermen could come back.. They'd put a hurtin on the gar and trash fish, and the rest would take care of itself.
Yeah.. Maybe we can secede from the rest of the lakes and rivers in Texas.. Then we could stock as needed from a fund we could collect from Falcon fishermen..
I am sure by now that you think I am a genius or an asshole.. And I am sure this did not sway you either way..
But what is going on down here right now is a travesty.. Purely at the hands of TPWD's management and their board of directors.. Their ignorance and close mindedness is astounding..
I guess if you never look out the window it is hard to see if it is raining..
But they are building one hellova gar lake.. Guess that makes about one percent of Texas fishermen happy..
But I wish I'd of known they were going to do it before I put everything I own into this little venture..
I was hoping we could work together to build and maintain something special. We've got all the tools..
But those special interest groups.. You just can't get away from em.. It is a government agency after all.. And I have seen little in government work worth a shit.. I'm sorry.. I mean effectively..
See you later.. I have to go get ready for a fishing trip.. In Mexico..
April 25, 2014: Did not make it back to the computer yesterday.. Gar wars was still going on.. We should be making a documentary of this shit..
But back to that fishing report I was alluding to..
Now remember that there are almost no fishermen down here.. And Bass Champs is tomorrow so I am not hearing a lot.. But here's what I got..
My second favorite bait is back on top of the list.. Of course that is the Zoom Mag Fluke in something watermelon based.. But basic watermelon red is always a good choice.. It is kinda like a blonde wearing basic black.. Always a head turner..
You can Texas rig this marvelous invention or put it on a Carolina rig.. And throw it on rocks.. Duh..
Fish it slow and pay attention to your line.. Sneaky bastards..
A jig fished in the same water will also catch some fish.. And with both of these two baits depth does matter. Find some eight to eighteen with fast slope or ledges. Don't be in a hurry.. Give the spot a chance..
Old foundations, while composed of rock, are not necessarily the ticket. They are putting out a few fish. But nothing like the natural rock.. Don't ask me why..
You can also throw a big crank bait to tickle the stones as well. Think Citrus Shad..
Up shallow the spinnerbait is still catching some fish. But from what I hear most of these fish are smaller on the average than fish offshore..
People are asking if I think the spawn is over.. I think 95% yes.. It's about done.. I weighed a lot of females at our tourney two weeks ago and only one did I think still had eggs.. So that is my guess.. I am sure there are a few still out there looking to do the deed.. But not many..
A brush hog flipped into wooded cover is always a good bet and I know a few folks that have done pretty good flipping the shady hardwoods..
There is a ton of water moving thru the lake.. And just in the last couple of days have we started letting out more than we are getting. This has moved some fish out to the ends of points and a few fish have started showing up along humps and ledges near the dam.. Go figure..
We are down to 276.01, or 25.19 feet low.. And slowly falling.. For now.. We'll see what happens in the next week. But that is still less than a foot of total drop since the irrigation has begun.. This at the expense of Amistad.. But hey.. It is usually us..
As I guessed about a few weeks back, they are also letting a lot of water out of Sugar.. And it is watering a good bit of land as well, thank God..
We'll see how long this irrigation cycle lasts.. But we are already ten days into it or better..
As a wrap up on the gar survey, at least for this go round, eighty two gar were collected. Very few had anything in their stomachs.. I hear from commercial netters that this is a very common occurrence, as usually when a fish is stressed, as in caught in a net, they will puke up whatever they have in their stomachs. Not unlike a bass in your live well..
I could have used regurgitate but I like puke better.. But I would say that on this adventure we saw about a 15% bass presence in fish stomachs that had fish.. But our sample size is too small to make me happy.. Or the biologists for that mater..
One other thing.. We had two bigger fish yesterday.. And one of them had thirty pounds of eggs in her.. Not a typo.. 30 pounds.. Un freaking believable..
Several more collections are planned so we can track the egg development thru the summer..
This will be the most extensive gar study ever done. And from what we have seen so far, these Falcon fish are way.. Way ahead of anything seen on other water bodies.. But some of us already knew that.. We'll know more when we get the aging back on some of the bigger fish.. Biggest fish caught was about 170 pounds..
I for one do not believe at all that these fish only spawn with rising water. I think all these fish will spawn about September or October. The eggs in the fish we caught last fall were much larger, and I think these fish are a long way off.. That is not scientific.. Just my hypothesis.. I could have used guess..
In any case we were all shocked by the sheer volume of eggs in these fish..
These fish were caught everywhere they put out nets.. But the Veleno and the back of Big Tiger were best. Boat problems and rough water did not allow much netting on the open water..
More info as it becomes available..
I'll give you an update on Bass Champs as I get info.. I think more good stringers will be caught this go round.. We'll see soon enough..
April 23, 2014: It has been some busy times around here the last week.. Not from a fishing standpoint.. Just lotsa irons in the fire.. Easter weekend came and went.. And I never made a mention about the fact that Jesus Christ died for your sins.. And mine.. Thank you Lord.. Hope you thought about that some last Sunday..
I have been resting up since our tourney was over last week.. I'm getting too old for this crap.. Thanks again for coming..
This week the boys from TPWD are here doing another gar netting survey.. And they are getting it down to a science..
Yesterday they caught thirty two, and another sixteen this morning. And the locals are lining up for the free "Catan." Somebody called the cops as they they thought we were causing a traffic hazard.. No shit..
But they will not be given away before they are aged, measured, weighed, sexed, and stomach contents examined.. So far there has not been a lot of fish found in the stomachs of the gar.. Out of the thirty two from yesterday, only four had anything in their stomach. One 54 incher had a 19" bass in his stomach. One 38 incher had a 20" carp in his stomach. Other than that there were a couple of small tilapia and a few unintelligible something's.. Gooie... Several had fish bones from who knows what..
All the gar are loaded with fat inside. Very healthy fish. And even the smallest of fish were all sexually mature. Smallest fish captured so far was about a 36 incher.. These nets have 6" squares so they are not going to hold too many small fish..
But here's the crazy thing. We weighed the eggs from random females, and they are averaging 10% of their body weight. Ten Freaking Percent!
Ok in a ten pound bass they might have a pound of eggs in them.. That's 10%.. These eggs are slightly bigger than bass's eggs.. But ten pounds of eggs from a hundred pounder.. You know how many freaking eggs that is??
Well I don't either but we are going to find out.. But I can tell you it's a lot!
Well Hell.. It's thirty minutes later and I just couldn't stand it.. So I weighed out a half ounce of gar eggs and counted them.. There were 687 eggs in a half ounce.. I ain't too good with math as you know but here we go again.. 687 times two is 1374 eggs per ounce.. Times 16 equals 21,984 in a pound.. This particular fish had 11.87 pounds of eggs in her so that equals 261,389 eggs in this one fish. And this fish was a slight over achiever as she weighed only 84 pounds.. She had roughly 14% of her total weight as eggs.
One fish.. 261,389 eggs. Som bitch. No wonder we got millions of em.. Both of those cellophane looking sacks are egg sacks..
Here's a pic of the techs removing the odoliths for aging purposes..
I'm telling you it is getting pretty medieval around here.. But not as bad as last time when we used a chain saw..
The carnage will be going on around here for another day or so.. I gotta go hire a traffic cop for this evenings garapooloza..
I'll give you a fishing report tomorrow. We're going out to do slip-n-slide on the gar goo...
April 16, 2014: The last couple of mornings have been pretty darn cool down here, and we had a record low yesterday.. Not sure about today.. Not cold, but cool.. And not surprising the way this winter has gone..
Water temps are right around 72° this morning, and will be in the mid seventies this week.. Optimum from a bass's standpoint..
And while were on the subject of water, let's talk about what is going on with the water along the Rio Grande..
Falcon dropped about eight inches in the last ten days, due of course to releases for irrigation. We are sitting at 276.31, and are just starting to tick back up due to releases from Amistad, which are much higher as they are releasing about 6,000 CFS. Compared to the releases from Falcon at about 3,600.
Falcon started releasing water about two weeks ago. Amistad about six days ago.. So we have actually quit dropping for the mean time.. We'll see what happens in the short term. But looking at NOAA's hydrology prediction graphs it appears that this will go on for the next few days at least..
Falcon is also getting about 500 CFS out of Don Martin, the lake that feeds the Salado river and runs into Falcon across the river from Beacon Lodge..
And while all this sounds either good or bad, depending on your perspective, it could be worse..
Sugar lake is still overfull, and it is releasing 2137 CFS for irrigation as well.. This is water that is not coming out of Falcon.. I'm not sure if they are using it soley on the Mexican side or if they are putting water into the Rio Grande with it.. And another good thing about Sugar is that El Cuchillo, that feeds it, (near Monterrey) is at 87% of capacity..
Amistad is dropping rapidly at this time..
Let's talk fishing.. I am not sure if it is the flowing water that has gotten the fish a bit more excited.. Or whether they are finally through with their shallow water antics and are ready to set up in some sort of summer pattern on some deeper rocks.
But the last couple of weeks we are hearing of a lot more fish on rocky points and ledges in water from eight to twenty feet deep. Transitions are the key.. If you can bounce a deep diving crankbait or a jig or a big fluke off the rocks you can get bit. A Carolina rig will also get you a bite or two..
The Spro Little John DD is a good choice.. Try the Citrus Shad (here we go again) or the Cell Mate color.. Put a Magnum Finesse worm on a C-rig and drag it around..
In either case if you quit hitting rock reel it in and repeat..
There are still a few spinnerbait fish in the bushes but there always are. But the flipping bite has slowed a bit it appears.. Calm sunny days are best for the hardwoods.. Hit the shady side of anything..
We got in a few of the new Curado 200HG reels.. 7.2 retrieve.. Already sold most of em but got a few left.. Still ain't got the 200I.. Call me if you have been looking for some.. Also have a few of the Cronarch 150 C14+ in the 150HG..
And while we are talking bout fishing stuff, I also have a special on 10 XD's.. $11.99 ea.. Some colors are are in limited supplies.. But I got a bunch of em..
Enough on the commercials..
We have a new Certified Scale courtesy of TPWD to weigh your new world record alligator gar or blue cat on.. This sucker goes to 450 pounds.. And we are working on getting it rigged up so you can back your boat right under it and we can winch that big slimy bastard up right out of your boat.. No muss. No fuss.. Coming very soon.. Till then we'll use an engine cherry picker.. Bring em by and we'll weigh em..
And speaking of Gar. We are working on putting a gar tourney together this summer. Probably gonna be in late summer.. Maybe September.. More coming on that before too long. It will be an any legal means tourney.. So if you want to Bowfish, trot line, jug line, rod and reel, spearfish, noodle, or wrestle em in I don't care.. I just want you to come here and kill some of these son of a bitches.
Bass Champs will be back in town in a week an a half, and I look for weights to be generally better this go round. Maybe I am being optimistic. But I think more people will find better stringers than the first time.
Now if a fish bigger than the 15.37 gets caught. Well that's a different story..
I know the spawn is about done, but I just think more quality fish are going to be more accessible this tournament. And it won't be too long till we find out.
The sharelunker season is about done and I am surprised by the number of fish caught this year. Nine fish have been turned in. Bout what I expected from Fork and Austin, but I was surprised by Athens.. Although I don't know why.. They have a pipe from the hatchery to the lake..
But I am sure they are beating the shit out of Athens and it will be ruined in a year or two. And TPWD will have all the grass killed out of Austin in another year and the fishing will go to shit there as well. Especially with the dramatic increase of fishermen on the lake.
But that is what sharelunker does.
Any of you happen to notice that to date not one fish that has been turned in weighed fourteen pounds? Just wondering.. Over half are under thirteen and a half.. Hate to say I told you so.. But there is no doubt that our biggest fish are getting smaller..
You're not gonna catch any monsters when you keep taking the very few thirteens that we have out of the lake..
But management at PAW doesn't really give a shit about facts.. As is evident with the SL program and their stance on alligator gar. They'll just make up their own..
What else is happening..
I am headed for a new lake down in Mexico next month to go fishing. It is called Picachos and it is supposed to be the best thing since they started shaving beavers..
And if it lives up to the hype I am hearing I am going to need a recovery period. I'll give you a report when I get back I am sure. I am already having trouble sleeping..
One other pic I wanted to post was of young Mister Nelson here who fished his first tournament at the BassBlast! And he caught this 7.04 pounder.. His first tourney fish and a new PB..
I do think that the fishing on Falcon is improving.. Time will tell. And I am not talking about a lot of time.. And you'll be the second to know the second I know..
April 14, 2014: Well the 2014 version of the BassBlast! is in the books as they say, and while I am always glad to see it come I am always glad to see it go.. I think every thing we own gets utilized and moved at least twice during this week.. And I ain't got it all put away just yet.. But I'm working on it..
Congrats to Ken Fairley and Chris Conner for their first place finish yesterday, with a very impressive stringer of three fish that weighed 20.96 pounds.
That's a seven pound average any way you slice it.. They had a 8.37 big fish.
In second and third were two teams.. Both had 14.83 pounds.
They were Tommy McGuire and Rick Vannett, and Adam Peirera and Mike Long.
The winners picked up $1600 for for first place, and second and third split the places and they each received $950..
Big Bass was caught by the fourth place finishers Jeff Wilson And Cody Ney. They got $600 for fourth, and $500 for their 9.02 pound whopper..
Both the Big Bass and the Big stringer were weighed in early. Thanks for taking care of your fish guys..
Speaking of which, we only had one fish that did not swim away.. Cool water temps did not hurt but good fish care in the boats and at weigh in certainly did not hurt either..
And I would be remiss if I did not thank all of our friends and family that help make all this come together on one weekend. Thank you all. We can't do it without you.. I am in your debt.. Again..
And thanks to Jim Robertson for helping a fellow competitor who had boat problems. You went above and beyond.. In the true character of a sportsman. Thanks!
See you soon.. I need to go lay down..
April 13, 2014: Well if you missed out on on entering the BassBlast! yesterday, you missed out on some mighty fine groceries and a truck full of prizes. We have 37 teams entered this year, down some from a couple years back. But not surprising how the lake is fishing.
Here's a few pics of the festivities and I'll post the results this evening or tomorrow in the AM.. Depending on how much gas I got left in the tank..
April 11, 2014: They say that idle hands are the devils workshop.. If that's the case then I am heaven bound.. Well maybe if I died this week anyway.. Naw.. I know where I am going when I strap down the rods for the last time.. Drop kick me Jesus thru the goalpost of life..
Anyway, my hands have been busier that a couple of fourteen year olds that just found their dad's stash of Playboys.. Did I use that one before?? I can't remember..
Batch number two of brisket is well on it's way to being sliced..
Hope to see you tomorrow.. Come hungry..
April 8, 2014: I guess it is a good thing to have a tournament every year or so.. Makes you clean up around the place a little.. And I been on it..
I think I got the details pretty much worked out.. We'll eat something..
We plan on eating about 5:00 on Saturday, and bout 6:00 we'll give away a bunch of stuff and have a short captains meeting.. Or something that resembles one.. Feel free to bring an adult beverage of your choice. And you can register anytime, cash or check only..
Here are a couple of highlights of the rules..
You may trailer.. You MAY NOT be on plane till safe light. First cast at 7:00.
If you are not in the weigh in line @ 3:00 I will not weigh your fish.. Don't be coming around the corner in the Veleno.. Don't be putting it on the trailer.. Don't be standing by your truck.. Be standing in front of me..
Don't make me be an asshole.. Play fair and be on time..
That's easy enough.
If you have any questions just give us a call. And we have been getting a few this week.
The weather looks like we will be alright.. Maybe a little breezy on Saturday, but from what I have seen Sunday looks pretty good.. But they are probably just guessing anyway.. We'll see.
Fishing has remained the same for the last few days.. What can I say?
Hope to see you this weekend.. But we'll talk before then..
April 5, 2014: The weekend is here, and so is another front.. Not that it is that cold, but I am just wondering when they will stop.. But in all fairness, we were 101° on Thursday..
Fishing is about the same as it has been.. And as long as it remains the same I guess my reports will also remain the same.. Yes we are catching some fish.. No we are not catching a lot of fish..
There has been a slight uptick in fish being caught a bit offshore. And a deep diving crankbait or a jig is actually putting a few fish in the boat.. Most of these fish are not super deep, but more in the twelve to eighteen foot range. You might try a Texas rigged mag fluke as well..
Make sure you are around some rocky stuff when trying the above.
There is still a bit of a shallow bite, with the same old methods involved. About every three hundred casts you will get bit on a spinner bait.. But if you miss him you start over again..
A small senko fished in the leverite pattern is also catching some fish.. Throw it at the base of a tree and leverite there.. Watermelon red is hard to beat..
So there you have it.. My weekly fishing report.. I could copy and paste it the last three months..
And I don't like it any better than you do.. But it is what it is..
The Bud Light Trail is fishing Falcon today.. And I am not sure how many they will have. But I would guess in the twenties. And I'll let you know later..
Next weekend is the FLT BassBlast! of course, and I have been running around like a chicken with his head cut off getting ready.. And so it goes.. But things are falling in place, and I am looking forward to cooking a bunch of briskets and seeing some of you next week.. Tommy just brought back a load of Medina County Mesquite. And there ain't nothin' better to cook over.. Come hungry..
And the next weekend is Easter, and the following week Bass Champs will be back down here for their final home game of the season.
They are starting to pull some water out of Falcon, and just started pulling a little bit out of Sugar.. I don't know how hard and how long they will draw us down.. It is not a major thing as of yet.. But it has begun.. We have dropped slightly to 276.69.. And while this drop is very slight, this is the first week we have lost altitude in months.. I'll keep you posted..
TPWD is down here this weekend and into the coming week doing an angler survey.. Asking you about gar fishing.. As in do you? So if you run into them take a minute and tell them your habits and opinions.. Won't take long..
Speaking of PAW, their leadership is still oblivious to the facts, and evidently do not care what the public thinks. Sounds just like Washington.. Don't make a shit what the people want, we know what is best for you.. So shut up and take it.. I won't do either..
If TPWD was Chevrolet they'd have to recall Falcon, Amistad, and Choke..
And speaking of politics.. I hear that the State of Texas had put off killing a couple of murderers and rapists because we are not sure what kind of pain killer or drug was going to be used to gently put them to sleep.. What a crock of shit.. I guess they took into consideration how they killed their victims..
Well here's a sure fire way to get around the "non transparent" methods and chemicals that we use to put these little darlins to sleep.. And it is "all natural."
Oak trees have been grown in Texas for century's. And heavy cotton ropes are made from products that have been grown and manufactured here forever.. And Texas is also home to some mighty fine horse flesh..
String em up, slap that stallion in the ass and game over.. For a lot less than we're spending on the procedure now.. And what could be more transparent..
"The answer my friend, is swingin in the wind..."
Buy local I always say..
And how about this second shooting at Fort Hood.. Why in the hell is an army base a gun free zone.. At the minimum every officer should be wearing a sidearm.. That makes zero sense..
How many deaths and injuries could have been prevented if a threat of retaliation were present? It is easy to be a badass when you are the only one with a gun..
It's an Army base. What's an Army base without guns? That's like me selling you a crankbait without hooks.. Change the rule for Pete's sake..
Our prayers go out to all the families affected..
On a brighter note, Obammacare is fine and is working well now.. It has cured all the health care problems in the US.. Least that is what I heard..
Well I got to go pay for some briskets I got ordered.. See you soon!
April 1, 2014: I did not grow up on a farm.. But I spent a lot of time on a few.. My Grandpa's mostly and some uncles and great uncles.. And it was always a treat for me when I was at any one of those places, because I could leave the pellet gun at home, and break out the big gun.. The 22..
And I don't know how it was for you, but for me, growing up in LaCoste, Texas, it was about as good as I could imagine. My Daddy always made sure we had plenty of work to do.. Cause, like you have deduced, he was the son of a subsistence farmer. And subsistence farmers did not sit around much watching TV and scratching their balls.. There was work to be done. Always..
And my Dad kept us out of trouble (for the most part) by keeping us busy helping him meticulously maintain our home and property in LaCoste.. From the mundane like burning the trash to mowing the grass.. To spraying our twenty one pecan trees with DDT.. Killin them damn case borers..
We did our edging along sidewalks and curbs with an antique twelve inch meat cleaver.. Not the most efficient but it did a damn tidy job.. And we had plenty of time..
Every day after school we had a "to do" list when we got home. And he better not find you playing baseball when he got home if the list was not checked off.. Or there was going to be some more swinging done..
In any case, (I am trying to get to the point here) part of my job was protecting our tomato plants and fruit trees.. And I mean plural.
We had two gardens.. He couldn't get enough stuff planted in the quarter acre one in the back yard.. So we had another in the side yard.. I think one year he actually affected the commodities market.. But I am not sure..
But back to protecting the fruit and tomatoes..
There were few things that would piss my Dad off more that finding the perfect peach, plum, or tomato that was pecked up by mockingbirds.. If he heard one squawking outside he'd get that look in his eye like Clint Eastwood does before he busted a cap into some low life SOB.. He hated em.. And for me that was a good thing.. Because he instigated a twenty five cent bounty on em..
And before long I was buying rounds of Hippo's at the local grocery store for all my friends. Cause I was a mockinbird killin son of a gun..
I had a Benjamin 22 cal pellet gun, and if you could see it you could kill it.. Well almost.. Ten pumps would go thru a stop sign.. In any case, that was my killin stuff basic training.. Of course I had been weaned from a Red Ryder years before.. And had been promoted to heavy artillery.. And this story is about shootin..
In any case I started out to tell you the story of Fred the Frog Dog.. But even the Constitution has a Preamble.. Maybe this is a pre-ramble.. I dunno. But if you're still readin'..
My Dad's uncle Fred, who was a brother to my Grandma, was a share cropper down a little south of Floresville in Wilson county. He farmed a half section and generally grew milo and hay grazer and ran a few cows. He was the epitome of cowboy, rancher, an farmer all rolled into one.. He loved them trail rides and cold beer..
He had throat cancer at some time in his life and he had his voice box removed.. And he used one of those hand held vibrating devices that he had to hold to his throat to talk.. It was a little scary for some younguns to hear him talk.. And to see him smoke a roll-yer-own by holding it to the hole in his throat.. But when Star Wars came out I was not afraid of Darth Vader..
He was a great guy and I loved him.. And he spoiled me..
I got a hunnert stories about being there on his place..
Like when I was ten and begged him to let me drive his 1951 five window Chevy down to the tank.. Good thing he turned the key off.. I think we was going 40 in reverse once I got the clutch out without out choking it..
And the time he took me to Fox's bar and let me drink a few beers. And then we went to Three Oaks in Pleasanton and I got a big ice cream.. And threw up all over the side of that Chevy on the way home..
I learned early on.. Shit Happens when you're partying..
Anyway we used to go there all the time when dove season opened.. And we practically lived there on weekends when quail season opened.. It was phenomenal quail hunting.. The stuff you used to hear about.. We'd kill a A-Tub full before lunch..
I don't know if you remember Fred Maly, who used to be an outdoor writer for the Express News in San Antonio, but he used to come hunting out there some times. He told me the first time I met him that I was too young to be carrying a shotgun.. And then I killed four doves in four shots and he retracted his statement..
I was using Uncle Fred's single 16 with the forestock attached to the barrel with some rusty old bailing wire.. Probably been that way for years.. I loved that gun. Uncle Fred said I could have it but Daddy said the shells were too damn expensive and if I could shoot a 16 I was ready for a 12.. That son of a bitch kicked like a mule..
I got more stories about that single sixteen and road huntin quail but dammit I came on here to tell you about Fred the Frog Dog..
There were three ponds on Uncle Fred's place. Two had catfish, one had nothin.. Except these bullfrogs.. Bigguns.. I mean really bigguns.. Big enough to make love to a house cat standing flat footed..
Anyway Uncle Fred had this dog that went where you went.. Specially if you was carrying a gun.. He was a mutt for the most part, bout the size and shape of a border collie but no relation.. And I don't know why they named him Fred other that the fact that Aunt Tillie could always get somebody to turn an ear if she yelled "Fred!"
One Saturday we were dove hunting round this tank and the frogs were everywhere.. But no birds. I was sitting on my bucket and hadn't fired a shot. Looking at all those frogs.
The men decided they would change water holes and I asked Daddy and Uncle Fred if I could go get the 22 and shoot some of them frogs. It took some convincing but finally they decided if I was the only one there I couldn't shoot nobody.. So back to the frog tank I went.. With Fred the Frog Dog in lockstep.
I knew them frogs would jump back in the water as soon as I got close, so I snuck up on the tank like Daniel Boone and hid in a tree line. And there them big ol Son of a Bitches were, sitting all around the tank. Sunnin them selves.. I figured I might get a couple if I started on my side of the tank. I was using shorts so they weren't too noisy.. I had it all figured out. I sat on my bucket and leaned on a tree, clicked the safety off and bam! One big dead frog floppin around on the bank.
But I weren't ready for what happened next. Ol Fred lit out for the frog barkin and raising hell. And all of the other frogs hightailed it for the water.. And here came Fred, frog in mouth, and he dropped it at my feet..
I was really pissed that Fred had scared all the other frogs into the water. Now I'd have to wait forever for them to crawl back out..
After about one minute I started seeing frogs popping up in the middle of the tank everywhere.. But they would not come back to the banks.. They were keeping an eye on me for sure..
And the longer I waited the madder I got and after a bit it got the best of me. There was a monster about twenty yards out in the middle of the pond.. And he was looking right at me.. Had about three inches between his eyes.. Coulda worn a pair of Foster Grants if he had ears..
Anyway, I drew a bead on him and let him have it.. Just outta meanness..
To my surprise Fred bolted to the water and did a long jump into the pond, swam out to where the frog was, and brought him back.. Holy Shit..
Well after the commotion settled, the frogs came back up and I shot another one out in the water.. And this one sunk like a rock.. Fred swam out there, dove down, was under water for about ten seconds, and came up with the frog.. My hand to God..
Well I wasn't believing this shit.. I was laughing my ass off. So I shot another one. And another one.. Till I had a five gallon bucket full.. And Fred fetched every one.. Sometimes he would make three or four dives but he never came back without a frog.. And you might think I am full of shit but this is a true story. Swear to God..
Well I walked back to the house and the menfolk were there drinking beer and cleaning doves. And my uncle Lewis said "Well we heard you shootin.. Where the hell is all them frogs?"
I told em the bucket was too heavy and I needed them to drive down there to pick it up.. Of course they all started laughing and went back to cleaning doves.. And when they got through I told my Dad, "Hey.. We need to go get them frogs."
He looked at me and said "You're serious?"
Well the guys got in the truck and we drove down to the tank and there I pointed out my bucket of giant bullfrogs..
I told them the story bout Fred diving for em' and fetchin em' back.. But they weren't buying it.. I had to shoot one more just to prove it happened..
We headed back to the house, with three men in a truck scratching their heads, a bucket full of frogs, and a young boy and a dog on the tailgate of the truck....Both with a shit eatin grin on their face.. Livin in paradise..
I really miss Ol' Fred.. Both of em'...
March 31, 2014: They say that March is a windy month.. I don't know about the entire month but yesterday surely was.. You better check the balls on your wind chimes..
There were a few clubs in town this last weekend, including Mr. And Mrs. from Austin, Fritztown from Fredericksburg, and TI out of the Austin area.. And we also had the International group out of Laredo on Sunday.. So it was actually pretty busy on the lake..
And there was some big water out there.
I do not have final results from anybody as of yet.. But on Saturday fishing was about like it was for the last month.. Hit and miss is as good a way as any to describe it.. I did not get any feedback yesterday..
Hopefully some folks will send me some results..
We are hearing that a few fish are being caught on some jigs in water a bit deeper. It is post spawn time afterall.. There are still a few fish on beds here and there. But I do believe that most of the spawn is done.
Senkos, and trick worms in watermellon red are still as good as any.. Chartruse and white spinnerbaits are still as good as any to cover some water. You gotta chunk it a lot but it will catch fish sooner or later. And while a few deeper fish are starting to show up, better numbers are still inside twelve feet.
I got invited yesterday to go fishing at La Perla ranch, just north of San Ygnacio. I had been invited several times before but was never able to make it till yesterday. And I am not sure if you have ever heard of it or not, but you will.. What they have going on out there is incredible. They are building a fishing paradise, and before too long it will be open to public fishing, but for a price.. A big one.. But for many in their quest for a monster it will not be too much to pay.
Ten to twelve pounders are becoming common and a 14 plus was shocked up this spring. And this lake is only in its sixth year. These fish are fed by several holding ponds of several acres where giant freshwater prawns and threadfin shad are raised and then drained into the main lake..
We did not catch anything over six or seven, but lots of quality fish. The wind was a bitch..
The main lake is a 90 acre impoundment with 7 miles of shoreline.. Not a typo.. You gotta see it to believe it..
And right now they are about ready to fill a new lake that will cover between 50 and 60 acres. It is incredible to see the amount of dirt they have moved, and the structure they have built into these lakes..
You will hear a lot about it in the near future I am sure..
But back on the home front, it is business as usual. There have been some really nice fish caught, just not a whole lot of em..
Mike Williams caught this 10-4 here in the Veleno..
And on the Gar front, this 7'5" fish that weighed 239 pounds was taken in the Veleno as well, along with another that weighed 157. The smaller one is under the blanket..
I reckon that TPWD will be closing down gar fishing on Falcon any day as the gar are spawning like crazy. And here is a pic of a giant longnose fixing to have some group sex down by Pierces cove.. This pic was taken on Saturday.. Is the lake on a big rise?? I don't think so..
That's a big ass longnose..
We have fifteen to twenty four inch gar in the shallows everywhere.. And the bigguns are really starting to show up..
I have been working on this story about Fred the frog dog, but have not had time to get it on paper.. Or in pixels.. Or whatever the computer does with it after you type it.. But I am working on it..
This coming weekend The Bud Light Trail will roll into town for their team event. This is the Del Rio division that has one stop down here..
And of course in just two weeks the Falcon Lake Tackle BassBlast! will be held. I have rounded up a bunch of goodies to give away again, and of course we will be feeding you. You can stop by the shop and register anytime now or on Saturday before the tournament when the meal and meeting will take place. We plan to serve about Five O'clock and will have the giveaways and a short captains meeting shortly thereafter. Click on the link above for more details..
If you want to donate a door prize it is still not too late..
So come hungry and we'll see you then, if not before..
March 27, 2014: Well this ain't gonna be a fishing report, so if you are looking for one you'll have to check back later.. Or read what's below.. No changes..
I have been listening to TPWD's live feed from their commission meeting today. With particular interest to the gar issue of course..
I am sure most of you do not have the time to listen to this stuff.. And I don't want to.. But felt compelled although I already knew what the outcome would be.
A representative of the Texas Bowfishing Association (please forgive me if I got the name wrong) testified to the commission about the difficulty of killing a trophy alligator gar, something that the board has been led to believe is so easy.. He also spoke quite well about the fishermen who pursue them, the populations of gar in general, and the conservative nature of the vast majority of bow fishermen.
He also passed along some information on gar data that they had no idea about.. When asked where he got that data, he told them it was from TPWD biologists and it was TPWD data. The same data I have been passing along to you..
And the commissioner said something to the tune of : Well that's not what we have been told by staff..
You are being told what you want to hear.. And what a chosen few in power wants to tell you.. Nothing more..
And evidently nobody on this board has taken the time to look at studies and papers and actual research.. That would be too much to ask..
Not a person in the room considered what the public had to say about the matter. And how the public is overwhelmingly against this new regulation change..
Oh they talked about all the other percentages on other issues of what the people thought. But not on this one..
I found it quite interesting that Commissioner Duggins actually asked him,"What's the thrill in killing a giant gar?"
Why is this man on the commission?
What's the thrill of killing a big gar? Are you freaking shitting me??
Hell I dunno.. What's the thrill of killing a 200 inch whitetail? What's the thrill of setting the hook on a 28" trout? What's the thrill of shooting a dove or a beard draggin gobbler?
That's the most ludicrous question I have ever heard asked of a sportsman, by an alleged sportsman..
And I am not a psychologist, (but I am married to one) but that question was asked with as much disdain and disrespect as I could imagine..
I have written two letters to all of the commissioners. One ten days ago and one several months back. They also were copied to everyone from the governor, senators, and to our state reps.
I heard back from the elected.. But not one peep from anybody on the TPWD commission. Not a letter.. Not a call.. And I sent them the facts.. Did they call me to confirm them, challenge them, or ask where I got them..
None of the above.. Crickets..
I realize that these rich folks are appointed by their rich buddies and for the most part they are there because it will look good on their resume' when it says that they honorably served on the TPWD commission..
We might have to take that honorably part out..
I also thought it was funny that they had to explain to the board what "recruitment" was..
I have always tried to be supportive of PAW. Way before I came here.. I offer them my facilities and assets on drop of a hat notice and have worked with the biologists and technicians right in there in the ditches when we need to get dirty..
I love it.. And that part I will continue to do if asked.
I have served on the TPWD Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Board since February of 2011. And not that it matters but I will be promptly submitting my "resignation," for lack of a better word.
I actually thought I could make a difference there.. Well.. It will look good on my resume'.
And until we get a leadership change at the top of Inland Fisheries I am through talking with them.. I am not, however, through talking about them..
And I was gonna write a story about Fred, the Frog Dog...
March 24, 2014: You know, this winter has been kinda like an ugly girlfriend.. No matter how bad you treat her or what you say about her, she just won't go away.. And she keeps showing up every time you're hanging out with something much nicer.. Relationships.. I need a therapist..
But I am damn glad I was born and raised and stayed in Texas.. Cold weather Sucks!
Water temps are still right around 68 degrees, with some warmer and some cooler spots. We have been cloudy for the last few days and are supposed to be for a few more.. I don't look for the water to warm up much more this week. But there ain't nothing wrong with 68..
Last weekend was a tale of two days, with Saturday being nice and warm and very calm. Yesterday was damp and warm till about noon.. Then that bitch from the north came back.. With a vengeance..
And while it is not super cool this AM, it is a long way from short britches weather..
Fishing remains so-so at best.. There have been a few folks that have had some twenty fish days, but they are few and far between.. If anything a few of the fish have started to get a bit deeper and are hanging out in the ten to twelve foot range on hardwoods. Close to creek channels on the flats.
Soft plastics are doing the best.. That senko or a brush hog or lizard has been best..
Crappie are still widely scattered with a few showing up here and there. They never got under the bridge in the Veleno this year like in years past. Standing timber has been best..
The white bass that were all over the Veleno have thinned out quite bit as well. There are still a few being caught near the boat ramp and around the bridge. I imagine we will see them school up some this summer.
The giant bream have disappeared as well. I used to whack em here around the rocks but it is not happening this year as of yet. I think most of them have turned into gar shit as well.. What self respecting perch won't bite a wiggler on a hook??
Speaking of gar.. If you are a gar hunter you need to get your ass down here. Or at least be planning on getting here. Normally it is early in the year to really see a lot of fish, but they are already all over the lake in the shallows. I guess just because we have so many of them and that is where all the tilapia and bass are.
I had some friends go out on Saturday.. There were three of them in the boat.. It took them fifteen minutes for them to all get one.. Biggest was just under five feet..
The TPWD commission meets on Thursday I believe.. 66% of people who answered the gar survey disagree with the states proposal to allow the Director to stop the pursuit of gar if they think the gar might be spawning..
Think it will matter? 66% would be a landslide for a politician getting elected.
What do you think will happen? Do you think they will listen to the voice of the people?
I've got my theories..
The BassBlast! is only three weeks away.. Made reservations yet?
See you soon..
March 19, 2014: It is good to be busy, and I've had more irons in the fire than I can handle.. Not that we have been that busy in the store.. But I got plenty on my plate..
First off getting ready for our tournament, which is less than a month away. And I think I got it under control for now.. Of course the shit hits the fan about the Friday before the event.. Like always..
We'll have a bunch of goodies to give away again, and we'll have a 'slap yo Mama' quality meal for you as well on Saturday. Click on the link at the top of the page for more info.. We hope to see you here..
Fishing is still about the same, with a few folks figuring them out but it certainly ain't no fish in a barrel event. Spinners and Senkos.. Spinners and Senkos.. How many times can you hear that without throwing up?
But that is the best advice I can give you.. A 5" senko in W/M Red is as good a plastic as you can get.. And a slow rolled spinnerbait thrown repeatedly is a good bait to cover some ground with..
Shallow is still the order of the day. Make that week.. No.. Better make that month.. Very few deep fish are being caught.
There are still some reported bedding fish, but water color is not as clear overall as it was a few weeks ago. You can usually see a few if you are on your toes.
Get in the backs of creeks as far as you can go.. I really thought we would see some fish up shallow over the last weekend with the full moon but it was not as good as it could have been.. But what has been lately..
I keep saying how bad fishing is down here, but I saw the results from the Bass Champs tourney at Amistad last weekend and I think Falcon is on fire..
I used to refer to Amistad, Choke, and Falcon as the golden triangle of bass fishing in Texas. Now it is more like a rusty rhomboid.. Yikes.. Pray for rain..
It is just hard for me to accept what we have now after having what we had in the golden triangle for roughly the last thirty years.. In all those years I cannot ever remember a time that fishing sucked so bad on all three lakes.. And the lack of big fish is glaringly apparent..
I got some theories on why.. And you already know em..
I am getting a lot of calls about Sugar Lake here lately and what I think of the situation in Mexico.. I figure it can't be worse than going to Detroit or Chicago..
The fishing there has been spotty, but reports have been somewhat better the last couple of weeks.
As always you travel at your own risk. Shallow is the order of the day there as well. It is a real good idea to hire a guide on your first trip over there. Call me for some recommendations on all of the above if you decide you want to make a trip.
We're working on getting some tourneys here in the fall, and on some tourneys for next year. The fishing might not be too good around here, but it beats hell out of a few other places. I'll keep you posted.
There's a lot of crazy things going on in the world today..
The people of Crimea are downloading The Beatles White Album so they can play "Back in the USSR."
A Boeing 777 disappeared from the face of the earth.
Where is David Copperfield these days.. He started out with a fighter jet... Maybe more proof that that Marijuana leads to harder drugs..
I'm going to Colorado this summer. Maybe I'll try me some of that Marahoochie.. I think it is hilarious that government of Colorado tells you how bad cigarette smoking is for you.. And says it is OK to smoke pot.. And promotes it.. I think they're conflicted.. I hear they are going to build a new EzeWider plant in Denver.. But so far they just can't seem to get anybody motivated..
Obammacare is falling apart because the law says you don't have to buy insurance if you think it costs too much.. Maybe Pelosi was right.. You are starting to find out what's in it.. And right now it appears that they are starting to pick the peanuts out of the shit..
March madness has started, and you can watch a bunch of future NBA semen sprinklers play at the college level.. And you'll be able to say, "I watched him before he had thirteen kids.."
Winter still won't release it's icy grip on the folks north of the Mason Dixon.. This global warming.. errr.. Climate change is a bitch.. But Burlington Coat Factory and the Salt Mines are doing fine..
I reckon for some folks this winter has been great. Maybe I'll still be able to go skiing in August when I get to Vail.. If I ain't too stoned..
Come on Summer! I cain't wait forever!
March 14, 2014: Another weekend here on Falcon with good weather in the forecast.. For the most part.. It certainly was beautiful yesterday..
Water temperatures are still not back to seventy, but mid and upper sixties are the norm right now.. The full moon is right around the corner so we should have a few fish up there makin babies.. There has been fry seen in most areas of the lake, although not in numbers that are record breaking.
The lake is still rising ever so slowly, but still rising. Amistad has decreased what it has been releasing slightly, but is still letting out about 900 CFS. we are releasing about 300 CFS, and in an unusual fashion, Don Martin, which feeds the Salado, is releasing about 420 CFS.. I haven't seen that in years.. Or since the flood anyway..
Sugar is still overfull, and El Cuchillo that feeds it is still gaining water ever so slightly as well, and it is at 86% of capacity.. That's awesome..
And the Mexicans are moving some water around in northern Mexico in the Conchos system. They are letting water out of Boquilla, which will end up in Luis Leon, which is the last stop before it would hit the Rio Grande at Presidio.. They are also letting water out of Madero, which will also run into Luis Leon.. Luis Leon is at about 98% of capacity.. It will be back to over full soon. But that is not unusual..
We need a turd floater in the Northern Mexican Mountains again and we'll fill these Texas Rio Grande lakes up.. And it appears to me that the Mexicans may be preparing for one.. Well.. Maybe a little.. I heard they had a guilty conscience and were going to pay us back some water they owe us.. They usually do when they can't hold it any more..
In any case all this bodes well for us.. If this year we can get a pacific system to hammer them up north..
I realize that all this gibberish I have been writing is about worthless without a watershed map.. But trust me.. I ain't lying on this one..
Fishing remains about the same around here, with some folks doing decently, and some folks struggling a bit. Four to ten fish a day has been the norm for a boat with two guys in it. Some quality is still showing up, with several seven to nine pounders reported yesterday. But most fish are in the two to five pound range.
A watermelon red senko in 5" size is a good thing to throw. And when I say throw.. I mean treat it like you are going to throw it away. Like you are never going to move it again.. Fish it slow..
Other than that, a spinner bait is still catching most of the fish. We have heard of a few fish coming on brush hogs and lizards as well.
Shallow is still best, but rumors of some post spawn fish out on the ends of points and creek edges are starting to emerge.. We'll see about that one in the next week or two.. It's gotta happen sooner or later..
Well the big TPWD dog and pony show was in town on Wednesday night. And I don't know if any of what they heard will make a difference, but they certainly got a facefull from locals who hate gar, hate cormorants, and despise the decisions that TPWD has made and are proposing to make.
And after reading what has been released by TPWD concerning their intentions of giving "Executive Order" privileges to the Director, I'd say it is a done deal and all these public meetings are just nothing but show..
Because I guarantee you that 95% of Texas fishermen do not want this gar "Off Limits" regulation passed. And I can tell you that number is 100% here in Zapata. Not one person at the meeting was in favor of it or the one fish limit on gar that is now in place.. And rightfully so.. They have seen what is happening down here..
There were about 65 people by my count that showed up for the meeting..
I want to make one more point about the alligator gar problem here on Falcon. And of course it involves math so bear with me.. It is not my best subject but I can count to 21 if I get naked.. And that's really only 20 and a half.. But I digress..
Much of the blame for the decline in the numbers of fish is blamed on tournaments and meat hunters, and there is no doubt that they play a big part in the lower numbers of fish we have.. But let's do some comparisons just for shits and grins..
I'll start with the fishermen.. We have a lot of fishermen down here, but nothing like the pressure that is on lakes closer to high population densities. We are pretty much on the end of the road in south Texas when it comes to bass fishing. So you gotta be coming here to get here..
So lets grab a number.. And lets not include any tournament fishermen in that number.. We'll get to that later..
So how many non tournament fishermen come to Zapata fishing each year.. How many fishing days are there on Falcon that are not tournament related.. Hell lets start with a ludicrous number.. Let's say 25,000. That should cover it..
So if 25,000 fishermen all keep 5 fish per day, which is the current legal limit, then at the end of the year they would have killed and removed 125,000 bass. (Of course! this number is preposterous.)
And now lets talk about the tournament fishermen on Falcon.. Instead of breaking down the clubs and the championships and the other stuff that goes on here and there.. Let's just say that Bass Champs comes to Falcon a lot.. I mean a lot. Like every freakin weekend of the year. And they bring 150 teams to the tournament every stinking weekend.. (Of Course! this number is ludicrous.)
That should cover it.. And lets say that every team catches three fish . And we kill every one of the son of a bitches..
Lets see 150 teams times three fish.. That's 450 fish a weekend.. Times 52 equals... 23,400 dead fish..
So lets take the 125,000 bass that the casual fishermen kill.. 125,000. And add the number that tournament fishermen kill, 23,400.. That adds up to 148,000 dead fish from angling pressure..
Think that number is crazy? I do too.. But hold that thought.. But punch that number into the M+ button on your calculator..
Now lets talk about those adorable Alligator Gar. And lets be just as crazy with the numbers.. But the other direction.
Using the best data we have available, based on TPWD estimates from Choke Canyon, we'll say that there are 20,000 Alligator Gar in Falcon. (I assure you the number is much higher.) But it is un quantifiable for the most part..
But let's use it because TPWD does.. And let's use TPWD's guess, that bass only compromise 5% of Alligator gars diet. (Which we know is not accurate, and in one study on a lake most similar to ours the rate was over 50%.) But we'll use five.. Just to stay in tune with the ludicrosity of this story we got going here.. I mean, why stop a good thing..
So if we say that we have 20,000 gar. But only five percent of their diet is bass. (snicker..) Well lets just use a number that is 5% of the gar to make things simple. That's 1000 gar. And let's say that they only eat a bass every other day. So we'll divide that 1000 by 2 just to keep things simple.. 500..
Five hundred times 365 equals 182,500 bass a year eaten by gar!!
And I am not even using a leap year!!
Remember that number you stored in memory.. About how many bass fishermen kill?? Well if you don't I'll remind you that it was 148,000..
And the numbers I used were insanely skewed against the anglers and for the gar!
Are you starting to get the picture??
Wake up TPWD. You are killing fishing on Falcon and Choke Canyon. Hell.. It is about already killed..
Remove gar limits completely and beg commercial fishermen back into our waters.
And then you can get started on the cormorants next month..
March 10, 2014: Cold front number 264 hit Zapata on Saturday evening, and this one has been a wet one. It is still drizzling here on Monday morning. And it is a wet cold.. The kind of stuff that makes babies..
We have had about a half inch of rain all together here at the shop.. Some places south of us got a bit more.. Not sure if it is enough to keep them from lifting the gates on the dam before too long.. But it ain't hurting anything..
We are sitting at 276.74 as of this morning, and that equates to 24.46 feet low.. Not too bad a shape compared to a lot of years.. The water temps are back down in the middle 60's, some places a little cooler, some places a bit warmer.
There were two clubs in town over the weekend, The Permian bass club had their annual Classic down here, and they did fairly well. The winner had a six fish, two day limit that weighed in at right about thirty pounds. And a five pound average is not too shabby.. Second and third were not too far behind. I do not have a lot of details on this one.
UCBC was also here, and Saturday, the nice day did not fish as good as Sunday, the ultimate in crappy days. Jeff Mergle had a two day total of 18.13 for top honors. Tom Mix was second with 14.11, and David Glenny was third with 12.83. Big fish of the contest was an 8.18 caught by Mr. Mix..
I think there is still some fish out there.. You just gotta go out there and catch em. And I would love to see the weather settle down once and stay there.. But wait it gets better.. Another front is on the way..
Most of the fish caught were caught on Spinnerbaits and Senkos.. Same thing I been telling you.. Shallow.. Jeff caught most of his fish on the Jo Baby Falcon Special.. Go figure..
Your bait needs to make contact with the cover.. Clank it off the hardwoods and fish it right thru the bush.. Most bites occur when you rattle their cage a bit.. You still need to fish the Senko as slow as you can.
Brush hogs are also catching some fish.. W/M red or something with some gold in it is a good choice also..
The water is still a lot clearer that we are used to on Falcon, but there are several areas with some algae bloom going on. Don't be afraid of the green tea water.. It has been as good as anything.. So if the depth and cover looks good, fish it..
Covering some ground is your best chance to find some fish. If you catch a couple in a small area, beat the crap out of it till you are sure there are no more fish there. We have been finding a few fish grouped up..
I am sure some would argue but I think fishing is getting a bit better.
This kind of weather will make a man (or woman) hold down the Lazy Boy for a day or two. I either fish or golf on Sunday afternoon, but yesterday was a ten in the shitty department..
So naturally we had the TV on in the shop watching movies.. And doing not much..
And I don't know if you have ever seen Friday Night Lights.. It's a football movie.. Duh.. But it was on..
And if any of you have ever played the sport, from Pop Warner to the Pros, then you know there is no question that it is the manliest of sports. And of course on every play something happens.. People get the shit knocked out of them..
Hence the manliest claim.. And if you have played, like I know many of you have, then you know what it is like to 'clock' some son of a bitch that was not looking at you.. And vice versa.. You don't play football and not get your ass kicked every now and then..
I loved that shit.. And what a life lesson for young men.. Football teaches things that cannot be described.. Cheerleaders actually wanted to be at football games.. Ever see a happy cheerleader at a tennis match.. I didn't think so..
Anyway, watching that movie brought back some good and some painful memories.. I guess that is why on any Friday night between September and November in any small Texas town you will see nobody in the local restaurants and businesses.. They will be parked by the acre near the high school.. Just look for the lights..
And after the game is over those same businesses will be packed.. So if for whatever reason you ain't going to the game, get your eatin' done. Cause about 10:30 things are gonna get busy..
On Saturday morning at all the local coffee clutches, there will only be one topic.. Go figure..
Of course I am talking about Texas, and I know a few other states have football too.. But most of em also got Soccer.. The girlie man sport.. Or Ice skating with paddles.. Them guys forgot their canoes.. Hockey is not a sport.. Any game that regularly ends in a tie is not a sport.. Of course Soccer is just hockey on grass.. Good waste of a football field..
We gotta have us a shootout.. Why in the hell didn't you just do that in the first place and save that three hours of boring shit in the first place..
Even little league games are played till there is a winner..
Speaking of Baseball.. It is almost a sport.. And where else but bowling can you have a giant belly and be considered a badass.. Maybe golf.. I know.. Some people love it.. I loved it when I played it.. And I have felt the rush of taking the mound and throwin' smoke.. But striking someone out on a high heater was never as fun as 'clockin' that left side linebacker on a trap play..
Man, I loved basketball.. We had a hellova team my senior year.. I will play horse with anybody out there.. I can shoot the rock.. And when I was younger I could jump out of the gym.. But I am getting too old and fat to do much more than watch.
And while setting a pick or slapping a shot away was fun, it was never as much fun as trying to break somebody's ribs as he reached for a pass that was thrown high.. Clocked another SOB..
That's why football is football.. Even though title 9 has tried to destroy it.. You don't see all those cars at a basketball game.. Hell a blind one armed man could wash all the cars in the parking lot by halftime..
Yeah, Football is the shit.. When was the last time that you did not go fishing on a Sunday afternoon because a soccer game was on?? I rest my case..
And I know that the older we get the better we were.. And I don't mean to sound like I am bragging or anything.. Just remembering how the old days was..
At my age, that's about all a man can do.. But if I find out who's stealing my Sunday paper, I'm gonna clock their ass..
March 6, 2014: Looking in the mirror it has been a cool few days this week. But today seems to be starting out nice.. And supposed to get better.. I need to start looking for my Speedo..
Yeah, every time I start talking doom and gloom, someone walks in with a good fishing report.. But who really knows, one day to the next around here..
That's irony for you.. Well it's not quite like a lawyer getting run over by an ambulance.. But it is irony..
I did hear of some better results yesterday.. No barn burners.. But at least a few numbers.
TPWD did not turn up a lot of fish in their shock survey the last couple of days.. They did find two nines and an eight.. But frankly the total number of fish was poor. Especially if you compare it to a few years ago..
They may shock some of the same areas again next week to see if any more fish move up.
Senkos fished slow.. I mean slow.. Are catching some fish. If you can stand it.. Otherwise throw that damn spinnerbait till your arm falls off.. And then pick it up with the other one..
Chart/white is better on the cloudy days, gold or mouse still top producers on the sunny ones..
And still you must fish as shallow as Paris Hilton to get a bite..
These bass should be dropping more eggs than a blind chicken farmer, and some of them are. But it seems like there should be a lot more of em doing it.. It is March..
The BassBlast! is only a little over five weeks away, and I have been busy working on scraping up some door prizes and making arrangements to get er done.. This years tournament registration and meal will be served here at the shop. I really liked having it down at the pavilion at the park, but the logistics of everything and the weather uncertainty just makes it easier to have here..
So if there is a bunch of us we'll just have to get a little cozier.. It'll all be fine..
If you have a product you'd like to donate as a door prize, we'd love to give it away and put you on our sponsor list. It does not have to be fishing related. I'm starting to get a pile of goodies in the corner..
Of course we will be feeding you some Bar B Que and all the fixins..
You can read the rules here if you have any questions.. But there are two that I'll point out.. If you ain't standing in front of me at 3:00 I ain't weighing your fish.. I don't mean standing on the bank, or coming around the big point in the Veleno.. I mean standing in front of me..
The other is cheating and poor sportsmanship.. Neither will be tolerated, and cheating could be cause for an ass whoopin.. Not by me, but I'll have some big guys handy..
This is a fun tourney so leave your "Macho" at home and come and have a good time.. Of course it has been known to pay a dollar or two to win.. And of coures ALL entry mony will be paid back. What a deal!
I'll have More details before too long.. But if it ain't on your calendar, it is time to circle the date.. That's April 12th and 13th..
Don't forget the public forum with TPWD next Wednesday here in Zapata.
See you then.
March 3, 2014: 92 yesterday.. 42 today.. Is this crap ever gonna end? I'm not sure how much more I can stand.. And they tell me people like to live in Alaska..
And I was for global warming before this crap started.. What could be wrong with hot pants and bikinis 365 days a year? Fish that are not covered by sheets of ice and golf courses with green grass year around? Sounds like a great world to me..
I am not sure that the cold spell that is on us can make the fishing any worse.. As a matter of fact, it might do it some good..
It certainly can't hurt.. So I say come on down.. Misery loves company..
Especially if you are a gar hunter.. These bastards are all over the lake already.. No need to wait till summer.. Come on down..
Bass fishing is poor.
TPWD is going to be here tomorrow to do another shocking survey in search of black bass. If ever they find any it should be this trip. The only fish that have been caught have been in less than ten feet of water. So we'll see what we see.. I am not real optimistic..
There have been a few fish caught, but damn few. And in that mix of thousands of man hours a couple of DD's have been caught. But honestly if two guys fish all day it is not uncommon for them to catch one or two fish.
And I'm not talking about guys that just got their first Snoopy rod..
So if you've got more balls that a driving range, wipe your ass with a porcupine, and can kick Putin's ass, come on down here. We got just your kind of fishin' going on..
Did you give your thoughts to TPWD about the new gar regulations?
Don't forget that on the 12th there is going to be an open forum in Zapata with TPWD to discuss proposed rule changes for the coming year. And Gar is on the menu.. Be there if you can. 7:00 at the Civic Center next Wednesday.
I know you're tired of hearing me talk about it..
February 25, 2014: I know it has been a week since I posted anything. But I have been busier than a three peckered billy goat in a new pen of nannies.. And so it goes.
I wish I could tell you that the fishing is good.. But I can't.. Sure there are fish being caught but not in the numbers that we are used to.. And yes there have been some big fish being caught, but not in the numbers we are used to..
And I can't figure it out.. I'm as frustrated as the customers in the store..
I fished a half a day last Wednesday, and caught four fish.. And while that sucks, I thought I had something working. So I went back on Friday, and caught zero.. Wednesday was sunny.. Friday was cloudy.. For whatever that is worth..
A couple of the local guides are having fair days, and occasionally good days, but overall they are struggling as well. Every day is different. All I can tell you is that you just have to go out there and go fishing.
One thing about the fishing being slow is that lots of different tactics and baits get tried. And lately we have heard of them all.. Never underestimate the imagination of the American fisherman..
I think I am going to Carolina rig a Zorro Spook on my next trip out..
A dark colored buzz bait has caught some fish.. A bubble gum brush hog has caught some fish.. Hell if I know..
But overall a senko, fished slower than you can fish it has caught some fish. A brush hog in Watermelon Gold is as good as anything. And a spinnerbait, with gold or mouse colors has caught them as well. Of course Chart and White is always a good one to try.. But I think it is all about hitting one in the face..
There has been next to no bait in the shallows. Just in the last few days have I started noticing some egrets and cranes standing on the bank. And occasionally they will spear a shad. But that is just starting to happen.
There are very few little fish being caught. Catching an undersized fish has been rare, and usually they will keep you entertained, or at least awake.. If the shad ever make a move up to the shallows to spawn, hopefully we will see a bunch of little fish follow them there. But it is not happening as of yet..
There were no less than six bass clubs in town last weekend, and it was busy on the lake. This weekend should be a bit quieter.
Helotes Bass Club had some so-so results..
Charles Parchman had a two day limit of six fish for 22.64, and he had a 11.47 in the mix.
Felix Huerta was second with five for 11.12, and Mike Ross had two fish for 4.92 for third..
I don't need to translate that for you..
San Antonio Bass Club was here as well, and they brought a lot more folks and did some better.
Rodney Marbach had six for 26.27 pounds to win it. Second was Dennis Asher with five fish for 22.14, and in third was Joe Aker with six fish for 21.97 pounds.
SABC has gone to a three fish limit for all of their tourneys this year, and we commend them for it..
I don't know what to say about the fishing overall. It has been a disappointing spring so far. Many folks that have made their annual pilgrimage to Zapata have gone home with a frown on their face.. And several have cut their trips short, or moved on to other lakes.
When it gets better, I will let you know..
I told you a few weeks ago that TPWD is considering whether to allow the Executive Director, Carter Smith, to make an emergency shutdown in the taking of alligator gar. This would happen when TPWD thought that spawning conditions were right for alligator gar. Because they they think that AG are more susceptible to capture during the spawn. They may be.. They also think they have to be ten years old to spawn, and that they may only spawn every few years when the conditions are right.
And they think that conditions are right with rising and running water in rivers.
Last year in October TPWD caught a bunch of gar in nets here at Falcon. We found a lot of three and four foot gar with eggs in them. And they turned out to be two to four years old. Six footers that weighed about 100 pounds were five years old.. And while the lake may have been on a slow rise, there is not a lot of running water in the middle of Goose Bay..
This lake does not compare to any other east Texas river or lake. Fact is that TPWD's data on gar is very sketchy, and skewed to the direction of their liking. What little of it that they have shared with the public..
Aren't Largemouth Bass more susceptible to capture during the spawn? Have we ever considered stopping Bass fishing during the spawn? Wouldn't that make more sense that stopping the pursuit of Gar during their spawn?
Of course I am not advocating either scenario. Both are ludicrous..
But here is something you can do.. And need to do.
PAW is having a public comment period to hear from... Well.. From the public. There are several proposed changes in the works that include the gar issue. And they need to hear from you.
Here is a link to their site that will tell you which regulations and powers that are being considered for modification. Be sure and tell them what you think about the changes in the comments area.
Please e-mail, call or write.. Robert Macdonald at 512-389-4775. Or e-mail him at:
Mailing address is 4200 Smith School Rd. Austin TX 78744
Please let them know your opinions on alligator gar in Falcon lake. Not MY opinion.. But yours.. Let them know what you think of AG and their one a day limit on them, and their effect on bass and other species. And your opinion on whether they should be allowed to stop the hunting or pursuit of gar whenever they see fit.
Also please copy and paste your thoughts to these two men as well.
These are the number one and two men at TPWD Inland Fisheries. And they make the ultimate decision on what goes on and what is presented to the Board..
They need to hear from you!!
Dr. Gary Saul.. Gary.Saul@tpwd.texas.gov
And Dave Terre.. Dave.Terre@tpwd.texas.gov
There will also be a public hearing here in Zapata on the 12th of March. If you are in the area it would be great if you could attend. It will be at 7:00 PM at the civic center in the middle of town. 605 N US Hwy 83.. Right across the street from the courthouse.. I am looking forward to it..
It is imperative that these people hear from you.. DO IT!
Please take a few minutes to give them your thoughts..
February 18, 2014: If it got any nicer around here it would be hard to take.. I mean.. How many days of mid eighties and low winds can you take..
Thanks you Lord for the arrival of spring.. Even if you interrupt it a time or two more..
And all this warmer weather has the water temps and the fish warming up. I have heard from a lot of folks that they are seeing a lot of fish moving into the shallows. And we have the clarity to see fish in the water..It is amazing by Falcon standards..
Now all that being said, shallow fish do not equate to biting fish all the time.. Has it gotten better? Without a doubt. Is it great? Not yet..
Will it get great? Stay tuned..
Water temps have been reported over seventy degrees in several places, and that is a good thing. But I have heard of water that is still 60 degrees in the main lake.
Most of the guides I have talked to say that fish are definitely more active than they were a week ago. I also hear that a lot of the fish in the shallows will move your bait without eating it.. Sounds like spawning fish to me.. Anyway, the spawn is upon us. Put your polarized glasses on and be on the lookout for fish..
Fish water six feet and in, and make long casts where possible.. These fish are pretty damn spooky up shallow. And they can see and hear you before you see them..
A spinnerbait is still catching fish, but a flipping bait is is really starting to take off. A brush hog is a good choice or any creature bait of your choice. Fish it slow.. Concentrate on woods with bushes at the base.. That is Falcon SOP..
As always some folks are struggling, some are doing pretty good.
By now I am sure you saw the big fish pic from Bass Champs, but here is another courtesy of the folks at BC.
That is the second biggest fish ever caught here, at least that we know of.. One perch short of a new lake record. Caught on a spinnerbait in four feet of water no less I hear.. Maybe even I have a chance..
It took about a nine pound average for first place.. About an eight pound average for second.. And about a seven pound average for third..
And I don't give a shit what you say, you're just not gonna do that on any other lake in Texas..
And by the way.. If you leave out the B when you type in BassChamps.com, you're not gonna end up at a site that is talking about fishing.. And that is why I was an day late writing this report..
There was also another monster caught on Falcon on Saturday. And this one was 7'3" long and weighed 203 pounds. It is winter and these fish are supposed to be hibersleeping.. Here we go already.. Other big gar have been reported in the shallows as well.. Where the food goes the gar goes..
I forgot to tell you that last week PAW was down here doing some gill net surveys. In one net that was 125' long they caught 43 gar. Only one alligator gar and the rest were long nose and spotted.. Many of them three to four feet long.. I wonder what they eat.. That's a gar every 2.90 feet.. That was in Little Tiger.
Lots of small blue cats showed up in the nets. A few big blues, but not a lot of mediums.. A few white bass, a few blacks, and a ton of big gizzard shad. Not many tilapia..
They will be down here in a couple of weeks to do an additional shocking survey specifically looking for bass. And it should be the ultimate time to find fish.. If we're ever gonna find fish.. I'll let you know what happens..
They will also be down here quite a bit in the spring and into the summer doing angler surveys. So they can get the info they want straight from the fishermen's mouth. I have yet to see what the survey will ask. Upper management did not like the last one or the results they received from it. So they are going to do a survey where they do not directly ask what you think about alligator gar. Or so I hear. I have not seen it yet..
And I believe that they think that filling out a survey in a local tackle shop is a bad idea. As certain tackle shop owners may persuade some anglers to skew the poll against the gar.
But I can promise them that what they received in their original poll was pure unadulterated angler opinion. And results of future man power wasting polls on alligator gar will illicit exactly the same answers, if they ask fishermen what they think of gar and their effects on other species that co-habitate the lake.
And here is a question they won't ask bass fishermen.. Would you care if gar populations were reduced by any means, to levels that are 75% below current levels, whenever we find out what that number might be.
I'll put the over/under for the "NO" at about 98%..
And so it goes..
I did not know that curling was such a popular sport.. They have given it more coverage than the O. J. trial.. Now I am just hoping that they get the olympics over soon so I can go back to watching the local news at 10:00..
Curling was invented by some Scotsmen back in the 1500's.. Now we know why Scotsmen don't wear underwear.. Cause when you slide along the ice, just before you release the rock and start yelling for the sweepers to get busy, your body has to be at exactly the right level above the ice.. To make the perfect release.. Just about the time your nads start scraping the ice..
Hey.. I just do the research and report..
I was also noticing that the Obaminator has appointed some new ambassadors to some of our ally countrys.. Like to Norway, Argentina, and Iceland.. Or Greenland.. Or one of them other ice cube countrys..
And all of these folks are highly qualified to do the job.. Some of em can't even spell the countrys they might be appointed to.. All they know is that they raised a bunch of Jack for Obamma's campaign..
What I want to know is when is he gonna give one of his buddys an ambassorship to Benghazi??
I don't see none of em applying for that job..
Shit.. I am a lot more qualified to be the ambassador to Argentina than his current nominee.. I have been there.. I have tasted the culture.. I speak Spanish.. I have friends there.. I have helped the poor farmers living in their country by ridding them of thousands of natural pests that destroy their crops.. I have stimulated their economy by spending copious amounts of money on shotgun shells and tipping the bird boys at ludicrous amounts..
I have consumed cases of Malbec and seen the starry skies of San Miguel de Tucuman.. I have smelled the smoke from burning sugar cane fields.. I know their president by first name! I have seen Eva Peron's grave..
I have read the graffiti all over the buildings in Buenos Aires..
I'll take the job!! I am good at drinking champagne and I do own a tux..
I think that's a hell of a resume.. When can I start??
Well get down here and sample some of our fantastic weather.. And maybe some good fishing??
Bass Champs Update: Here are the heavy weights from when I could stand the sand no more.. These are not official!
This 15.37 was just weighed in at Bass Champs.. Congrats to Bruce Benedict! She was released after weigh and pics in great shape!
February 15, 2014: It is about as nice as the weather can get.. Anywhere.. Light winds, if any.. Headed for eighty degrees..
Busiest day of the year so far on the lake.. Bass Champs has 170 boats on the water.. And I'll give you a report this afternoon on what they caught.
Water temps are gonna hit the low sixties this afternoon I would think.. Not sure if it is enough to get the fish busy.. But they just might in the next few days.. Looks like eighties all week and warm nights..
Bout damn time..
More this PM..
February 13, 2014: I am not sure what we will do with a week of sunshine.. I haven't been this excited since 1969 when that knot fell out of the fence at the nudist colony..
Yesterday was a bit cool, but sunny and nice. Today is predicted to be 72 with light winds, and Friday is supposed to be around 87 freakin degrees! We ain't been there in a while..
And Saturday is supposed about 82 with light winds and a morning low of about 53..
Sounds like a great day to have a tournament.. So all I can say is..
Water temps rose a degree or two in response to the sunshine yesterday, and I heard that it was sitting around 58 or 59 in the afternoon in the shallows.. It should improve a bit by the weekend, but I am not sure if it will warm enough to start a mass migration to the spawning flats. But it can't hurt anything..
A lot of where the fish are going to want to spawn is a jungle and you are going to have to get in there amoungst em.. There might be a few new scratches on the old Hogmaster this month.. But that's what they make rubbing compound for..
The water in some places is so clear it is hard to believe you are on Falcon. My depth finder said six point five feet the other day and I could see my spinner bait laying on the bottom.. I don't think I have ever seen this much water this clear on Falcon.. So go easy in the shallows as it is easy to spook some fish that usually won't see you.
Spinnerbaits and senkos are still the bait of choice round here. But nobody is killing em on anything. Long story short, not a lot has changed. But this warming trend has me optimistic, and Hope Springs Eternal..
If nothing else, it is finally going to be a nice stretch to fish.. I need to get me a sunburn..
Inland Fisheries is here this week doing a gill net study looking for white bass, crappie and catfish. They haven't done one of these in a couple of years I don't think. Next month they are going to do another shock survey looking for bass. And I am most interested to see what we will find once the water warms up a bit.
Also planned for this spring and summer is several alligator gar netting surveys. The first one is planed for April I hear. This will be the first real study done on these fish in our area and I am excited about the prospect of exposing the sheer numbers of these fish in Falcon and their impact on other species that inhabit the same waters.
Also in the works is a possible public imput meeting with TPWD that will be held here in Zapata. I'm looking forward to that one.. And I'll let you know when it is going to happen..
Have you been watching the Olympics? I have and I know you have been glued to the screen as well. It has been hard to contain my excitement while watching the curling matches the last few nights..
How in the hell can this be considered a sport? Where do they get their athletes.. Surely not from the top ranks of colleges.. I will assume their best come from janitorial schools and bowling alleys.. The only thing missing is a waitress.. "Another pitcher of Bud Light please!"
I have come to realize, that due only to politics, I do not have an Olympic Gold Medal.. I am a washer pitchin Son of a Bitch.. And I could be standing proudly on top of that podium chomping on that gold circle.. If only they would let Washer Pitchin' be an olympic sport..
How bout the ice skating.. Yeah. That's a sport.. I saw the Russians bust their ass twice in one performance last night.. And they still got a bronze medal.. That wasn't rigged..
Any competition that is judged, is not a sport.. If there ain't no scoreboard.. It ain't a sport.. It can be an exhibition.. But it ain't a sport.. Any game that ends in a tie.. That ain't no sport..
Put all them skaters out there at one time.. Let em use them skates like the knives on fighting roosters.. Then that would be a sport..
At least all the gay sports bars were busy last night..
The sun is shining.. See you on the water!
February 10, 2014: It is a busy time around here in Zapata.. Yes February is here.. And so are a lot of fishermen. But much to their dismay, so is the cold water..
But it is getting better.. Yesterday we heard of water up to 60 degrees.. But it may be short lived..
We have a cold front on the steps as I speak.. But it is supposed to be short lived, with a stretch of nice headed our way.. Allegedly..
There were several bass clubs in town over the weekend, including South Houston, Uvalde, and Capital bass club from Austin. And the South Texas 5 tourney was here as well.
Thanks to all of you for stopping in, and thanks to the fellows that passed on pics and reports.
Uvalde bass club frequents Falcon, and they weighed in 34 fish each day of the tourney. And overall they reported slow fishing.. They had two sevens, an 8.90, and this big bass of the shindig that went 10.33. It was caught by Javier Avila..
South Houston Bass Club reported tough fishing as well. The few fish that were caught were on creek channel edges. And that was only when the sun came out on Saturday afternoon.
The South Texas 5 tourney saw a bit better results on Saturday. The winners were Walter Caddell and Bubba Gibson, who had four fish for 21.05, with the big bass of the day that went 8.05 pounds. They also had a seven something..
Second place was another four fish bag that went 15 pounds even, and third was five fish for 14.10..
Ty Watson caught this 9-13 in the the Diablo on Saturday.. Not quite ten, but a Rosie for sure..
There have not been a lot of ten pound fish caught as of late. I have heard of a dozen or so in the last month. I have heard of a lot of seven to nine pound fish.. But not a lot of 12 to 15 inch fish..
The last few years I was hearing of six to ten DD's every day.. And if you followed this report long I am sure you can attest.. I certainly have not had to work too hard on pictures this spring just yet.. I'm hoping to show you a few more once the weather, and the water warms up..
I don't know if there is a best bait right now. I do know there is a best place to fish right now.. I am just not sure where it's at.. And it keeps changing day to day..
We have heard of fish being caught on a plethora of baits, from a swimbait to a rattle trap.. From a spinnerbait to a fluke.. I think it is about being in the right place at the right time.. And hitting one in the head.
I did hear of a few very deep fish. But most caught on creek edges and channels in about six to twelve feet of water. Same old song and dance..
The lake is still rising ever so slowly.. We are sitting at 276.13, or 25.07 feet low.. And the water looks awesome, with visibility down to six or seven feet in a lot of areas.. Yes Falcon will have some sight fishing going on this year.. If any fish ever get up there in the skinny water..
Water temps bumped up against the 60° mark yesterday afternoon.. But it looks like it will drop a bit before we get on a steady climb.. The cool front hit FLT at 1:30 this afternoon..
And don't forget to circle the date on your calendars for the FLT BassBlast! coming up in April.. That's the 12th and the 13th.. I am already working on scraping up some door prizes and the like.. And we will be having some mighty fine dining on Saturday.. You'll need to dress for dinner.. So wear your best T-shirts.. ..
And if you're fishing Bass Champs this weekend, you'll be glad to know that the county ramp is launching four to five boats at a time.. Depending on who's doing the backing..
I was talking to a fellow on the phone the other day, and I was telling him that the fishing was tough. And he said something like, "Cain't you just lie to me?"
I told him, "Who do you think I am? Obamma?" He surely has no grasp on the ninth commandment.. But then a Muslim probably did not study the bible too much..
I reckon he didn't get the eight commandment too good either..
How bout Windy (not misspelled) Davis running for Texas governor.. Her platform is that it should be legal to kill babies that are over twenty weeks old.. Unborn babies anyway.. Let's see.. Twenty weeks.. Divided by four.. You know I am not very good with numbers.. 20÷4=5.. Five months?? 5x30=150.. 150 days.. A hundred and fifty days to decide whether you want to kill your baby or not??
I guess it would be too inconvenient to have to get an abortion within only the first 150 days of your pregnancy.. They build houses faster than that.. But I guess I can see that if you're irresponsible enough to get pregnant it would be hard for you to get to the clinic within the first five freaking months..
Why don't you duct tape your knees together before you go out clubbin'..
I know there are exceptions.. Don't tell me about em..
How Bout Greg Abbott.. He's making a lot of points with me with his commercials showing gun ships running up and down Texas waters.. Isn't that what the freakin Navy is for?? Are we expecting an invasion? Last time we got invaded was in 1836.. And I got news for you Greg.. Santa Anna is dead as fried chicken..
Besides.. By the time you got that ship in the water us rednecks on the border will have already kicked their ass.. What a freakin waste of good taxpayer dollars.. I know.. I know.. Perry started that shit..
Do you really think that
there is anyone out there that really cares what the Constitution says? Maybe
if we would reprint the Constitution on 80 grit sandpaper they would quit wiping
their ass with it.. I know there are a few good guys out there.. But Obamma ain't
one of em..
I hope come November you get the urge to purge..
I reckon by now I have already pissed off all the Dimocrats.. And that makes for a good day.. So I might as well go work on my ice machine..
Thou shalt not put finger in contact with back of circuit board... Yeeeoowwww!!
February 4, 2014: It has been a while since I posted anything.. I reckon cause I watched Bambi too many times when I was a kid.. "If you don't have something nice to say, then don't say anything at all."
You know that has always been my mantra..
I wish I could say something nice about the fishing.. Or the weather..
I will say that we have some really nice customers that do have a great sense of humor.. And patience..
And a great outlook.. Several in the last few days have told me; "Hey man.. It beats the hell out of standing in the snow at home.."
And I reckon that is right..
We have been on a weather roller coaster without doubt. One day in the forties and the next in the eighties.. And the cycle continues.. I think we're back in that temporal time loop like in Star Trek.. Or at least like Groundhog Day.. Winter will just not go away..
Water temps are still in the fifties, with an occasional short term rise into the low sixties.. The mercury in the thermometer must feel like a prairie dog up on the plains.. Every time you stick your head up it gets blown off..
I'm counting on March from here on out.. Maybe it will be the new February..
There are still some fish being caught.. But numbers of fish are still a tough proposition. And most of the fish I am hearing about are four pounds or bigger.. Catching a bunch of rats is just not happening..
And sometimes you just want something to stretch your string..
I wish I had something better to tell you.. But we are just going to have to wait them out..
Spinnerbaits are still the most popular baits, and soft plastics and square bills are a close second. Small plastics seem to be best, like a 6" senko or a maybe a small beaver or brush hog.
Sandy Ghere did catch this nine pounder last week.. Nice fish!
I wish I could tell you something better, but I got no silver bullet at this time.. I just hope for an end to the long procession of cold fronts that have kept our water so cold. And hopefully that is what will bring a few fish out of suspended animation.. We need 65 degree water.. Sustained.. We'll see when that happens..
The South Texas 5 tournament is here this weekend.. And if you are itchin' to fish a tournament here on Falcon then here is your chance. You can find them on the web for more info.. But it is a team tourney and it is on Saturday..
Of course next week is the first coming of Bass Champs for the year. And I think we'll see a good crowd of fishermen turn out. They had almost 200 at Amistad.. We'll see how many make it down our way..
I was reading the TPWD fishing report for south and west Texas this morning.. They say that bass are good at Choke Canyon and Amistad, and fair on Falcon.
Who's writing these reports? Jay Carney?
Seems that the entire state of Texas is fishing poorly overall.. I know a lot of it is due to the cold weather.. Enough said about that.
Sharelunker season is doing better than I thought it would, with six fish turned in already.. I bet Lake Athens is getting beat like Tina Turner.. On the days when it is not frozen over..
Three from Fork, and one from Lake Palestine.. A first for that lake..
Not one of the fish has weighed fourteen pounds..
Falcon has produced none that I know of.. And odds are that we would have heard about it if it happened..
Do you think there will come a time when fishing in the state of Texas will be good all over the state? Do you think that stocking and regulating harvest can control how good the fishing is? Because basically that is the only control that man has over any public fishery.
Do you think that we have already seen the best days of bass fishing in Texas?
Do you think that water shortages, pollution, poor management strategies, over harvesting, or under harvesting will someday leave us in a state where consistently catching a limit of bass will be a problem?
Some might argue that we are already there..
I guess the most important thing is to make sure that a lot of the things I mentioned above DO NOT happen at the same time.
And there is no doubt that we will go thru periods of too much water, and not nearly enough..
And we have very little control over that..
Would it be possible to have great fishing all over the state of Texas if every lake was constant level?
Will it ever be possible to balance the wants and needs of all of the people who have different ideas for the same lakes?
Should we designate certain lakes as recreational lakes, and leave them for Skiing and Wake boarding?
Leave them to themselves as far as fishing goes and concentrate on managing lakes with better structure and cover for gamefish? Getting a better bang for the buck by being able to better focus personnel and assets to intensely manage these fewer bodies of water?
I know that these things will never happen.. Just thinking out loud..
But Texas certainly has a challenge ahead trying to juggle all of these issues and keep everybody satisfied.. Which is an impossibility.. But that is the task that water managers and Parks and Wildlife deal with every day.
Some of you may have inferred that I do not like Parks and Wildlife. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I know a lot of great people that work there, and we work with them every chance we get. And being on one of their many advisory boards has given me some insight into the workings of the organization that many do not get to see.
And like any state agency, TPWD is a political animal. And of all the things they have to consider, the first thing they think about is, "How will we look to the public" before any decision is made..
For better or for worse..
And as old Walter would say, "And that's the way it is.."
Hope to see you down here before too long. These bastards have to eat pretty soon or they'll starve to death..
January 30, 2014: I have been reminded as of late that I am good at bitching.. No..No.. Not by my wife.. Well, maybe a little..
But there is a big difference between bitching and pointing out things that need attention.. Or changing.. Or fixing.. Or managing..
And while it is true that I am not one to sit on the sidelines and say nothing when I see something that needs doing, or fixing, I try to do it in the most constructive manner that I can muster. But there comes a time when asking nicely don't feed the bulldog.
There is an old saying that says, "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself." But I believe the saying should be, "If you want something done your way, you have to do it yourself."
And I live that one.. And I ain't afraid to get dirty.. Or to break a nail..
But sometimes there are things that need to be done that a man can't do on his own.
Currently I am engaged in a debate with Parks and Wildlife about the numbers of Alligator Gar in Falcon Lake and their eating habits. And this is not a new thing. I broached the subject of Gar and their numbers at several Advisory Board meetings in the last two years, and my concerns about the incredible number of cormorants on Falcon since my appointment in February of 2011.
To date, I have had no impact on influencing the control of numbers of either species. When it comes to cormorants, the reply I always get is that the birds are protected by international treaty, and federal law, and PAW is not interested in opening that mess kit.
Meanwhile many reservoirs are being depleted of baitfish and small game fish. Studies have shown that adult cormorants can, and do eat up to a half pound of fish a day.. In some cases more. And I don't know if you have ever seen one of these things swim underwater but they make a sea lion or an otter look like a humpback whale.
And I can't imagine there being many lakes where there are more of them than Falcon. I know Choke Canyon has a lot of them, and I hear about a lot of them all around the state from fishermen we talk to every day..
Fact is their numbers are exploding and their control needs to be a serious topic of conversation at PAW and whatever step up the ladder it takes to get us the ability to control them on public waters.
This year South Carolina opened a two month season on them, and it is currently underway. If they can do it, we certainly can do it.. And I'll be the first one to sign up..
But more pressing right now, certainly at Falcon, is controlling the alligator gar.
I understand the concerns about preserving a fish that has been around since the dinosaurs roamed the earth. And I am not advocating for the extinction of the fish. But a balance is something that we should all be able to agree on.
I realize that there are areas in the country where gar used to be plentiful, but are no longer that way. And programs are underway to reintroduce the fish. More power to em..
But in south Texas we are not short on gar..
Since the 2009 rule change in Texas that changed the daily bag limit for gar to one a day, several lakes in our area have gar numbers that are out of control. The two most notable are Choke Canyon and of course Falcon.
In 2009 the fishing on Choke was awesome, with six Sharelunkers caught. But on the decline from its glory years ever since.. Only one has been caught since, and that was in 2010. And now if you catch a bass there it is reason to celebrate.. It's that bad.. Some due to low water.. A lot due to gar.. And alligators..
And in 2009, Falcon was in the middle of its incredible run of fishing. I mean the best bass fishing the world has ever seen.. But the conditions that made the bass fishing incredible were also conditions that made the gar population explode. And given the few numbers of people that fish or hunt for gar, and the one fish limit for those that do, the gar population and the size of the gar went apeshit.. And remains that way to this day, while the bass numbers have been depleted so bad that catching a fish here on some days is cause to celebrate as well.
Maybe I'm and idiot, but I think this is poor management at best. Let's look at it from this angle..
When it comes to fishing in Texas, no fish produces more income for PAW, towns, and the businesses therein than the Largemouth Bass. More money is spent on bass fishing than all other fish in Texas combined.
Bass are like Football in high schools and colleges.. They are the money makers.. But title 9 forces the other sports to be paid for by the one that produces the money..
Seems that PAW has incorporated the Title 9 thinking into their thinking.. All fish are equal.. And deserve equal attention and protection..
And I don't have a problem with spreading the wealth around.. When there is some. A lot of PAW money is spent on stocking catfish into put and take fisheries, and stocking trout in rivers where they are not native. And neither of these is a good return on money invested..
I can't tell you how much I have heard about trout at advisory board meetings, and all the complicated regulations about where and when and how big and what part of the river at what time of the year.. Creates an information and an enforcement nightmare.. But we're doing it..
And I don't have a problem with it..
Let's talk about Gar.. Maybe one percent (1%) of fishermen in the state of Texas fish for gar on a regular basis..
And these fish are so valuable that we can only kill one per day. A fish that in the big picture generates next to nothing in revenue.
And we can only kill ONE per day..
Largemouth Bass, that produce the vast majority of money for Inland Fisheries, and garners the huge percentage of fisherman hours in the state of Texas, are limited at five (5) per day.
What? We can slaughter five trophy bass per day.. But only one freakin gar..
A fish considered by 98% of fishermen as a trash fish..
I realize that you two percenters are as passionate about shooting the gar as I am about catching bass. And I am all for it. I love it when you have a great hunt. I'm fixing to take up the sport myself.
And we have plenty of em.. All over the state from what I hear from people telling me here lately. And being we have so many here I might as well get in on the action.. And believe me, I have heard from hundreds of fishermen on this issue.
And if you want to whack a trophy then get your ass down here this spring/summer. Keep your ears open for a tournament this summer..
The job of PAW is to manage the wildlife that runs thru the woods and swims in our waters. And one of the principal jobs of managing is to change rules and regulations as conditions and populations warrant.
And this should be based on facts. Not on a guess or emotion..
We need relief from this one fish limit yesterday.. And a return to common sense management practices with decisions made by people that are in the field, not in Austin.
If we see gar numbers reduced to the point of concern, the law can always be modified.. That what management is..
But I can guarantee you that with the number of fishermen chasing gar on Falcon, that will never happen. A five fish daily limit would be a good start and we can take it from there.. And it, (five fish limit) with the number of fishermen we have down here, would probably still not make any noticable impact on gar mumbers..
This law reminds me of what Nancy Pelosi said about the Obammacare bill.. "We have to pass it so we can see what's in it.." That's the same thing doctors say about a stool sample..
And this gar regulation, it's a piece of stool sample as well..
January 28, 2014: I guess I might as well talk about something other than fishing.. On second thought, I guess I can talk about fishing, but I can't talk too much about catching..
The news here is the same as the news across the south.. Cold.. With cold water.. And Florida bass living in the cold water.. And Florida bass and cold water equals a lot of casting and a little catching..
I'm not saying that no fish are being caught.. But it is still a tough grind out there..
Seems like every time we get a little warming trend going, another front comes down the pike and we head back into the refrigerator. And sometimes the freezer..
It is sleeting in San Antonio as I write, and we have another chance at some frozen something falling out of the sky tonight.. And that just ain't right..
I figure that when this crap finally does break, it's gonna be like a boatload of sailors hitting the beach on shore leave.. There is gonna be some lovin' and there will be some sea men spreading some semen..
Dammit.. I promised not to make any sexual innuendos this year.. I'll try harder.
In any case I think there will be a lot of fish sex going on whenever the day comes that we get the water back to 64° and hold it there for four or five days.. And I am looking for that to happen sometime between now and the end of June..
The real shallow bite has backed off a bit, at least for now, and most fish are in the creek channels not far from the shallow flats. Find about eight feet of water and throw a crankbait or a senko along the trees on the creek edges. This seems to be the best thing going right now.. They'll move back up when the water warms.. For the fifth time..
There have been a few folks down doing some looking around in preparation for Bass Champs.. Which is only two and a half weeks away.
And don't forget to schedule the weekend of April 12th and 13th for the FLT BassBlast! tourney.. It is bound to be warmer by then.. Either that or we'll have all frozen to death and it won't really matter..
The fish that are being caught seem mostly to be good quality fish, with lots of six to eight pound fish in the mix. There is a shortage of double digits so far this spring. I make it a habit to only post pics of fish that are ten and over, and I have not had too many to deal with. I'm hoping that will change before too long.
But in the meanwhile we wait.. And wait.. Come on sun.. Burn a hole in this crap..
January 24, 2014: It's a cold son of a gun down here this morning..
We did get close to freezing but no road problems or weather related issues, other than being nasty, are affecting Zapata county. But it did snow for about an hour just after sunup.. That's something you don't see every day in Zapata..
Here's a pic of some fellows boat that drove in over night. Not exactly flip-flop weather..
There have been some decent fish caught this week, as the water temps reached about 64° before the cold front hit yesterday. But any real numbers of fish have been hard to come by for the common man.
These guys all caught nice fish this week.. And so did some other folks.. Just not a lot of em..
One thing of note is that maybe a mouse colored spinner or a gold skirt is doing a little better than the generic chart/white..
There have been more fish caught in areas that might indicate that some movement towards the shallows is taking place. The creek channels on the edges of flooded flats, just off the edges are starting to collect some fish. Typical pre spawn fish..
It is not unusual for these fish to be here and back off several times each spring, with the passing of major fronts, not unlike the one that is visiting us now.. And again this year it appears that they will be up and down more than a cheap hookers panties..
A wacky rigged senko is also catching some fish.. Throw it at the base of a hardwood and let it sit.. Roll one up and hit it twice before you move it.. I'm talking about Bugler.. We're not in Colorado..
Fish it slow..
The PAW commission board met on Wednesday and Thursday, and they discussed a lot of things.. And during that discussion they talked about and authorized the director to make an "Emergency" regulation to stop the taking of Alligator Gar during the spawn.. If they can figure out when that might take place.
And all of this is due to the fact that the commissioners on the board have faulty information. I don't fault the board.. All they know is what they are told by the people at inland fisheries.
And for the most part it is purely conjecture..
I am not sure what else has to be done to convince them that gar are adversely affecting the fishing on Falcon.
Our regional PAW biologist, using PAW's numbers, estimates that there are at least 20,000 gar in Falcon.
Lets say that of the 20,000 gar in the lake, they only eat every other day. So to make it simple then we'll use the number of 10,000 fish in the lake eating every day.. But let's say that only 5% (five percent) of a gars diet is bass.. (which we know is bullshit but that's what we'll say..)
So if five percent of 10,000 gar eat a bass a day, then that is 500 bass a day being eaten..
And I am not good at math but I think that adds up to 182,500 bass per year.. And that is only if bass make up 5% of gars diet.. And I refer you to the statement above.. The part about bullshit..
And according to the only serious stomach content study ever done, and that was at Lake Guerrero, done by the Aggies no less, that said stomach contents were about 60% bass.. 60%!! 60 damn Percent!
Hell.. I'd hate to do the math on that one.. Aw shit.. Let's do it anyway..
So if 60% of 10,000 gar ate a bass a day.. Let's see.. Naught form Naught... That's 6,000 bass a day! 6,000 times 365 is... 2,190,000 bass per year..
Holy shit.. Maybe that has something to do with the numbers of bass shocked up being 66% less than a year or so ago.. In back to back studies..
Now that is hard data.. But the powers that be don't see a correlation there.
Now I'm not an idiot, (some people might argue) and I know that right now the gar are not eating that many bass.. But two years, three years, and four years ago they were eating bass like Rosie eats Twinkies.. Because we were loaded.. I mean freakin loaded with bass.. Now we are freaking loaded with gar..
Gar are opportunistic feeders and if there are a lot of bass they are gonna eat a lot of em.. It don't take a biology degree to figure that out..
Show me some research.. Come on TPWD!! Show me some freaking data to substiantiate your claims..
You got Nothin..
And I got a lake full of gar..
This makes about as much sense as the global warming bullshit or Obammacare.. Stay tuned for more..
January 19, 2014: It has been pretty busy around here this weekend.. No less that four bass clubs are in town. Uvalde, Medina Lake, SAPD, and Helotes, and are all here.
And though no one is setting the world on fire, there were a few that found some fish.. Biggest fish I heard of yesterday was a nine something. There were also some that did not catch a fish..
We have more people in town than we have had in a long time, and once again the place to find some lonely women is in Oklahoma.. Cause half the states men are down here..
Spinnerbaits and senkos, fished shallow, are still the best things going.. There are some staging fish in the ten foot range that can be caught on deeper cranks.. But be advised, neither deeper or shallow fish are overly aggressive.. It takes some patience and time to catch some fish.. Keep your eyes open in the shallows as you are likely to see some fish.. The water clarity is awesome in a lot of areas.. Some places six feet of visibility..
I'll give you a report on the final results of the bass clubs when I get em..
Lake still rising ever so slowly.. Awesome weather.. See you soon..
January 15, 2014: A warming trend is upon us, although we are still having some cool mornings. But beautiful sunshine has taken over south Texas and we are supposed to be in the seventies for the next week.. And this sun will warm our water a bit. But not in a big hurry.
But that's more like the winter we're used to round here. Today is fabulous.
I talked to a lot of fishermen the last couple of days, and the consensus is that fishing sucks.. But probably no worse that the last couple of weeks.
This cold water has the fish in a non eating mode..
The only bright spots, if you can call them that, is in the very back of some of the creeks.. In the very backs.. These are the warmest of places in the afternoons, and a lot of buck bass and a few females are up there checking out the maternity wards..
I still think that the water is too cold for any major kind of spawn to take place.. But if we get up into the sixties and stay there for a few days, things could get interesting.
Water in most areas is still around 58° but 60 or a little over has been reported in a few places the last couple of days. And with lows in the 50's and highs in the mid 70's for the next week.. Well.. We'll just have to wait and see.
I know that winter is far from over, but it is not uncommon to have fish up and down several times during the early part of the spawn.. And February seems to always have a cold and wet period for us.
The lake is still on a slow rise, and we are sitting at 275.58, or 26.62 low. If you're wondering, we were at 271.7 at this time last year. So we are about four feet above where we were a year ago.
If you make it back there to the back of some of those creeks, take some W/M Red or Red Magic lizards with you. The lizard always catches fish during the spawn and this year will be no different.. Besides.. A little birdie told me they are catching some fish.
Of course a spinner bait is still a good search and destroy technique..
When I say the back of the creeks, I am not talking about as far back as you can comfortably get.. I am talking about as far back as your boat will float. Every year the shallowest of fish get caught by the few that are not afraid to get a few scratches on the ole Hogmaster.. And that is where the few good fish that are being caught are getting caught.. Least that is to the best of my knowledge. And I have talked to a LOT of people..
On a different front, I am still working on getting PAW to eliminate, or at least raise the bag limit on alligator gar. There was a big meeting yesterday within PAW Inland Fisheries to discuss gar on Falcon, and in general. Of course I was not invited to this one. I have been promised a meeting with the department heads and the gar "experts" that work for PAW.
The only problem with with PAW's data on gar is that they have very little.. And certainly not enough to warrant instigating a one fish limit on Falcon. And next to ZERO on data on Falcon, except for the 36 hour study we did last fall.. But that is about as much as they have for anywhere in the state.
Next Thursday, the TPWD Commissioners meeting will be held in Austin. And after reading their agenda, I can see a spot where Alligator Gar might be discussed. I will be listening to the webcast of the meeting to hear if any of our pleading and enlightening has made any dent in the misinformation that the commission may have previously heard.
After all, none of them have been to Falcon.. Including the gar "experts" that are employed by PAW. Much less any of the commissioners..
This kind of reminds me of "Taxation Without Representation" .. Where did you hear that before..
Back to back shocking surveys show bass numbers down 66%.. After two periods of over full lake levels and the ultimate in spawning and fry survivability conditions..
We should have two four pounders and a six pounder in every bush.. Where the hell are the fish?
I can tell you that most of them are gar shit..
More on this as it progresses.. And in the next two weeks it is possible that we may hear what may or may not happen.
I promise I will let you know what is happening, and may enlist you to help me.. Because I know that you too, care about the fishery here at Falcon, and do not want to see the demise of Falcon continuing.
January 14, 2014: Tough.. I guess that is the best way to describe it.. Despite of a pretty decent stretch of weather.. With some wind mixed in..
Fishing has been just that, with not a lot of catching mixed in. And it doesn't matter who you talk to.. The reports remain the same..
Despite the sunshine we are still seeing water temps under sixty degrees. And this mornings low was right at freezing, so we are not making any strides in the right direction..
I just checked the calendar.. It is January 14th.. What the hell did I expect..
I guess what I expect is that we have a winter a little closer to our norm, not this Siberian tundra we have become.. I haven't worn a pair of short britches in months, and I am getting as pasty as Rosies inner thighs..
I need some sun.. And so does the lake.. It seems that the older I get, the longer and colder the winters become..
I had a wonderful dream last night. I was standing on the deck of my boat. It was 109°.. I was flipping a brush hog to the shady side of a big hardwood.. I was sweating.. It was awesome..
But then I woke up and discovered that the cat had knocked into a broom that was leaning against the wall and it hit the thermostat and turned the heat up to 95..
It was good while it lasted..
Nothing has changed around here when it comes to bait selection and depths.. Everything has been glued in place.. Or so it seems.. If you spilled your martini on the chessboard no pieces would have to be reset..
Status Quo.. SOS..
Patience is a virtue they say.. And patience is not one of my strengths.. At least not when it comes to fishing..
The white bass are showing up quite a bit as of late.. So there is something that is biting.. Throw a chrome rattle trap or a grub on a lead head and reel the hell out of it in the backs of some rocky creeks..
More info soon.. But it may sound similar.. Like the last month..
January 9, 2014: We're in one of those kind of transitional states this morning here in Zapata.. The transition between cold and warm.. And the transition has created some fog as thick as the pubic hair on a seventies playmate.. And like anything else, you just gotta work your way through it..
Caution is needed in these types of conditions as there are more boats on the lake than yours. And many of the Mexican netters are out bright and early, no matter the conditions. And unless you have radar on your rig, that GPS can't help you dodge objects that weren't there yesterday.
Believe it or not, the sun finally popped out for a few hours yesterday, and almost made shirt sleeve weather of the afternoon. It was good to stand outside and let it soak in..
There were a few fishermen on the water yesterday, and fishing was reported slightly better than the last few days. Any kind of warming would help. And it appears that we will be in the seventies for the next five or six days.. And that is sweet music to the ears.. Somewhere between AC/DC and Ray Price.. I love em both..
It was sad to hear of Ray Price's passing last month.. But he made it a hell of a lot longer than Bon Scott..
Warming water can only help the fishing, and if this little heat wave persists, who knows what might happen. We have fish ready to spawn by all appearances, and time will tell whether any numbers of fish take to the deed.. But they're gonna sooner than later..
A squarebill is still a pretty good idea on the edges of the brushy creek channels. We still have a lot of flooded salt cedars and retamas in the water.. And these plants both take the water pretty well and are still quite green. It will take a while to kill them, and they should provide a great hiding place for freshly hatched fry once the commingling has been done..
There are staging fish out on the creek channel edges and points, but getting them to bite has been a tough proposition. Several guides that I know well have told me that they are seeing fish in the very backs of creeks in very shallow water. And getting them to bite has been tough as well.
Slinging a spinnerbait in the shallows still seems to be the best numbers bait. But odds are good that you will not have to take off your shoes or get naked to count your fish. If you and a buddy go out and catch twelve or fifteen then you have had a great day. I expect that to change soon.. But of the fish that we have been catching there has been some really nice quality in the mix..
We are still rising slowly, and we are sitting at 275.37 as of this morning. And that equates to 25.83 feet low. Not too shabby when you consider that we were 41 feet low last summer..
I have a optimistic outlook for this spring when it comes to water drawdown.. Two reasons..
The valley is wet, and I am hoping they have enough water in the ground to keep them from pre-irrigating before planting this spring..
Sugar lake is at 110% and El Cuchillo, which feeds it is at 76% and rising.. The Mexicans owe us a bunch of water and I hope they put some of this water in the Rio Grande for the American farmers to use as well..
The lakes on the Conchos also have good water in them, and several of them are overfull.. But they are just letting about 450 CFS into the Rio Grande at Presidio, which makes its way to Amistad.. But that and springs above Amistad is what has kept Amistad and us rising ever so slowly.. Along with a few spotty rains..
Carranza, or Don Martin, the lake above Falcon on the Salado river, is at 66% of capacity.
So overall we have a decent stockpile of water. But the best thing that could happen to us is rain.. In all the right places.. It's on the way.. We just gotta wait.. It is damn sure time for this drought to be over..
We have a club or two in town this weekend, as the good guys from Ingram bass club invade town for sure. And the weather should suit them fine.. Maybe we'll have some good fishing to report on Monday..
The Falcon Lake Babes catfish tourney is also on Saturday.. Those gals have fun no matter what..
We're settling into the new year here in Zapata, and yesterday I took the Christmas lights down.. Seems like Christmas was a long time ago..
Back to work.. See you soon.. I gotta whack a nanny this weekend as deer season is winding down.. And all my kids, nephews and nieces have raided my dried sausage and jerky supply..
See you next week..
January 6, 2014: It ain't too often that you see snow in the forecast for Zapata, TX, USA.. 78076..
WTF.. I guess winter has arrived.. And somebody needs to take Al Gore to the woodshed.
The front hit Zapata yesterday morning about nine thirty, and it hit with a vengeance.. No rain but some weird clouds and a wind that gusted to.. Well I don't know.. But it was a blowin..
And a lot of the college kids fishing got their first Falcon Lewinski.. A lot of em were off the water by noon..
Can't say I blame them. Fishing was tough for most of the contestants, but the guys on the fish had decent stringers both days, considering the conditions.
The winners had 29 pounds and change, and second place had 27 something. Here's a pic of the top five teams from left to right.
Only one fish died during the tournament, another testament to cold water being easier on the fish.. That hot water just doesn't hold much oxygen.. But I bet it would hold more active fish.
All of the fish caught were beautiful healthy fish. Fat as corn fed hogs and so marked up that you'd think they were spots.. That's what clear water will do.. And we've got it.. At least by Falcon standards..
The lake continues to slowly rise, and as of this morning we are sitting at 275.33, or 25.87 feet low. The valley is wet, as all parts here and below us had up to three inches of rain last week, all the way down to Brownsville.
Sugar Lake is at 106% of capacity, so I am hoping the Mexicans will be using a lot of that water on their side. They can also put that water in the Rio Grande around Rio Grande City if need be. And all of Mexico in the valley area got the same rains and some places more that we got on the US side..
So what I am getting at is that I think a lot of the farmers will not need to pre-irrigate this year.. And maybe that will delay our annual big drawdown by a month or so.. And who knows, maybe we will get lucky with some more spring rains..
But it is just as possible that they pull the plug and we drop five feet in two weeks come February.. Hell if I know..
But for now I am being optimistic, and hope the wet pattern continues.. We surely need it, as does much of south and west Texas.
Here in Zapata we finished the year with over thirty inches of rain. More than ten inches over our average.
In 2012, we had 20.2, which is just about average, and back in 2011, we had only 13.15..
I'd like to see the rain continue it's trend, and give us about 40 inches this year.. If we're having climate change, that's one I can get behind..
Lots of fish that were caught this weekend were still caught on a spinner bait, but we are seeing more and more caught on crankbaits.. We just need some warm water to get things going..
But that might be a while..
January 4, 2014: I am handling the weigh-in and fish care for the College tourney here this weekend, so I figured I'd give you an update.. I just came back and this is what I saw..
First place (three fish tourney) weighed in three sisters for a sack that went 20.45, I believe.. Second was 15 something, and there were a bunch around 12 pounds. There were two bass weighed over nine pounds.
Twenty six teams fished the tourney. Eight teams did not weigh fish, but that is an unofficial count.
I will have the final results with accurate figures, on Monday.. I did not write down anything as I was busy, so these numbers might be off a tad.. But not much..
Not one dead fish and not one that was weak.. They were the prettiest and fattest and most spotted up falcon fish I have ever seen.
Final results to come..
January 3, 2014: If you bought a new Mexican fishing license from me in the last few days, be sure and check the dates I put on it.. I am having a ton of trouble writing an expiration date of 2015.. Somehow that just don't compute.. But here we are..
I remember a teacher asking the class when I was in the first grade, how old will you be in the year 2000..
I did the math and figured I'd be dead.. Nobody lived to be 45.. But looking back, 45 seems pretty young..
Another year in the books.. And a new one off and running..
And we're off and running around here as well. The South Texas College Championship tourney is starting tomorrow, and from the looks of things they just might have a pretty good turnout. We have seen quite a few of them thru the store.
They have been hampered by about the worst weather possible this week as several groups of them have been trying to do some prefishing. Cold, wet, and yesterday windy conditions have plagued their efforts. And their catching.
But today started out frost covered and clear, and no real wind to bother anybody on the lake. And Glory Be! the sun is shining! And tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and warm as well.. Maybe up to 70.. But then on Sunday we get hit by the next norther..
So I really don't have much to say about the fishing, at least nothing that I have not said before. It is still tough. Last Sunday was the last sunny and low wind day we have had, and it was the last day that I heard of generally decent fishing. Not that I had a good day..
Water temps this week have started out around 55 degrees.. Too damn cold for these fish.. Fifty eight is about the warmest I heard of all week.. No sun and highs in the forties will do that for you..
I'd like to tell you about a hot new bait that is tearing them a new ass.. But there ain't one. The best bait in your box is one you can fish slow and cover a lot of water with.
Fact of the matter is that we are just going to have to wait out the cold weather before the fish are going to get very active. It sucks.. But I am a realist.. Just the way it is..
So now that I have you all excited about heading down, we can talk about something else..
The duck hunting is awesome.. Really.. We have a ton of birds on the lake in the backs of creeks and access is easy.. Easy limits are reported by the few that are hunting..
Catfishing remains pretty good on trot lines and jugs.
The crappie are slow, and have still not moved into the Veleno.. I hear of better luck in the Tigers arms in the trees. Back of Big Tiger has a few nice crappie in the woods on the right days.. Goose Bay does not have any game fish left in it.. The Gar ate em all..
You think I am kidding..
And on the gar front, I am continuing to contact anyone and everyone I can that could possibly help us get out from under the one fish limit imposed on us by TPWD in 2009. I can't say that I have made any progress.. But I can guarantee you that a lot of talk is circulating within PAW, and that is a good start. And I won't stop until I am finished..
I would love to see commercial fishing for gar opened up here on Falcon.. I figure that will never happen. But something has to be done.. Soon..
I don't know if you are a fan of M*A*S*H or not, but I will put down the remote if a Mashathon comes on..
One of my favorite episodes, is when the 4077th is being hit by a mortar barrage.. By US troops.. And Radar is on the phone with ICOR telling them that they are being hit by friendly fire.. And the Major on the phone tells him, "Son, I assure you; you are not being shelled.." As jeeps and latrines are getting blown up all over camp..
That's the way I feel about the gar.. When PAW tells me, "You do not have a gar problem.."
It is hard to see what is going on from a leather chair in Austin..
More on this subject in the near future I promise..
The spring tournament season is upon us, and Bass Champs heads to Amistad next weekend to kick off their south division opener. And a short six weeks from now they will be here at Falcon. I hope both lakes fish better than they are currently by the time we get into February.
The South Texas 5 will have their one visit to Falcon this year on February eighth. It is also a team event and you can get all their info on the web.. Just google South Texas 5.. It would be a good warm up for Bass Champs the next week..
The C.A.S.T. folks will be in town on the weekend of February 23rd..
Of course we are already making preparations for the BassBlast! tourney on April 13th.
And speaking of tourneys.. If you club has a trip to Falcon scheduled, please let us know so we can put you on our schedule. It helps other clubs doing their scheduling, and us plan and prepare for your visit.
We may have a big tournament or two in the fall, but that is a long way off. But big tourneys don't happen over night and we will be working on the details in the next month or two. I'll let you know what happens.. Or is going to..
There are a lot of Snowbirds arriving daily, now that the first of the year is here. And from the looks of things up north, it's a good time to be in Zapata..
But when ain't it?
December 30, 2013: After a beautiful day here yesterday, we're back in the soup this morning, as another cool front has forged its way into south Texas. And it is cool.. And wet.. I remember why I hate winter..
Basically because it sucks..
And being it was such a nice day I decided to ditch the golf clubs and hit the water.. And I am glad to report that all my equipment performed flawlessly..
Other than than that I can't say much about the fishing.. Other than that it was slow.. I boated one fish and had another one smack my spinner bait right at the boat.. And I think I had a couple of em tap a worm.. But they surely did not eat it..
I fished the Tigers and no where else, and it has some of the best looking water I have ever seen. There are thousands of acres of flooded timber and brush and if you had to draw a picture of what bass habitat should look like then this would be it..
This is the creek channel in the back of the Little Tiger.. Well.. Not all the way back.. It goes on forever..
I assume that 58.3° water has some to do with it.. These fish do not like cold water.. Seems like the fish were nipping the bait but not eating it.. In any case, they were not very active for me.
I talked to some folks on the water that did better than me, and they said the bite was better early.. I was not out there early as I don't like forty something degrees either..
I was telling you about how healthy the fish look around here.. And here is a prime example of what a Fat Rosie looks like as of late..
A lot of the better fish lately are looking pretty plump.. And some of them are coming deeper on crankbaits and and a few on big flukes. These fish are being caught out on the corners of creeks in early staging areas..
I am waiting for the days when they are out of that crap and up in the bushes where I like to fish.. Someday.. But we still gotta live thru some winter first..
Well the suffering is over.. The Cowboys season has finally come to an end.. Just about what I figured.. But in the immortal words of Cowboy fan.. "Just wait till next year!"
Hey.. I love the Boys as well.. And I know when you are born in Texas, right after they print your birth certificate they stamp that Blue Star on your ass.. We all suffer together.. Next year baby..
I see that Phil on Duck Dynasty has been returned to action after a slight period of "Persona non Grata.." I guess that money talks and bullshit walks.. Least that's what my Daddy always said..
And the folks at A&E network are in business to
make money after all..
I just find it grating that when anyone with an opinion that differs from the homosexuals opinion renders it, they are pounced on by all the leftist whackos. Like we do not have the right to have an opinion unless it agrees with theirs.
What a hypocritic bunch of Son of a Bitches.. If you want to be mainstream America, then start acting like it. Pull your panties up and quit bitching and whining every time someone says anything you consider offensive.
You go crying to the media like it's your Mama.. "They're pickin on us..."
You certainly practice your first amendment right.. So quit crying when someone else exercises theirs..
If you don't like beards, ducks, Bibles, deep fried foods, praying, and shootin, then don't watch.. None of the people bitchin are watching that show anyway..
Do I call the networks every time I see two homosexuals swapping spit on TV? I don't think so.. It ain't worth my time.. And this ain't worth yours..
Heaven knows that we rednecks get picked on for most everything under the sun. And you don't see us making the stock prices of Kleenex rise..
Global warming.. Yep.. Rednecks.. Driving them pickups..
Gas prices.. Yep.. Rednecks. Drivin them damn SUV thingys..
Obesity.. Yep .. Rednecks.. Drinking 44 oz Big Gulps and eatin' Big Macks..
Flu Epidemic.. Yep.. Rednecks. Swappin spit and makin' babies..
Frackin Oil Wells.... Yep.. Rednecks.. Killin our planet and ruining our water..
School Shootings.. Yep Rednecks.. Gun loving bastards..
Anti Abortionists.. Yep.. Rednecks.. Thinkin' that a fetus is a person.. How ridiculous..
Cruelty to Animals.. Yep. Rednecks.. Killin Bambi and all..
The Missionary position.. Yep Rednecks.. Only having sex two ways.. Up and down..
And you don't hear us crying and whining. So shut the hell up..
I think I'm gonna start some clubs with some fancy acronyms for a catch phase..
Maybe RATSOA.. (rat-so'-a) Rednecks Against the Spread of Aids..
Or RFTPOL (reft-pol) Rednecks For The Proliferation of Life.
Or the RAATAT (ra'-tat) Rednecks Against All The Anal Thrusters. That ones kinda catchy..
If you want to be equal, the best way to treated equal, is to ACT equal..
So shut the hell up, and go campaign for Hillary.. I hear she leans to the left..
And somehow that is considered "Normal.."
Happy New Year!
December 26, 2013: After five days in the deer blind, too much food, too much drink, too many presents, (not for me.. I just had to carry em all) and a day of high volume with a house full of Bendeles, it is good to get back home to good old Zapata.. Where it is peaceful.. Till I opened the store this morning..
Seems that a lot of folks took the opportunity to take advantage of a few days off. And what better place to kill a cold and miserable wet day than in a tackle shop.. If it is too nasty to go fishing, at least we can talk about it.
And the scuttlebutt around here is that nothing has changed.. Nada.. Zip.. Zero..
It is now December 27, and it is early.. At least right now.. And it had been drizzling for 36 hours. And it is cool.. Yesterday we had about 3/4's of an inch of rain. And we are over an inch now..
Beautiful fishing weather..
We have a 80% chance of more rain today, according to the NWS, so it looks like another washout.
There were a few boats that braved the conditions yesterday, but I have not talked to any of the fishermen as of yet. Maybe they decided to wait a bit before going out..
Water temps before this cloudy and wet and cool spell were about 60°, and I can't see this mess helping matters any. We have a little warming trend coming, or at least that is what the long term predictions say. So maybe we will have some good conditions for next weekends College tournament.
A little bit of sun would be great..
Of the limited number of people that I talked to, about fishing anyway, the report remains the same. Tough.. But the fish that have been caught are quality for the most part.
The spinnerbait is still king, and 90% of the fish being caught are in water less than ten feet deep. Why these fish are up here in the shallow cool water remains a mystery to me.. And a lot of others..
One would think that some fish would gang up on some deeper ledges and edges. But no concentrations of deeper fish, or at least catchable fish, have been reported. There is still a ton of fish showing on your electronics, but turning them into biting fish is another matter.. Maybe my machine is set on simulator mode.. I don't know.
While winter has her icy grip on us I am not sure how much things will change. I do believe that if we get a week of warming weather some things are going to happen. Many of these fish are swollen to the point of critical mass and before too long something has got to give.. I'm cutting open the next three pound blimp that I catch to see what's in there.. These are either the fattest fish I have ever seen, or they are about to lay more eggs than the Obamma administration..
So here we are at hurry up and wait..
I reckon it's a good time to stop and reflect on the past year, being we're closing in on the end of it.. And I reckon that overall 2013 was a decent, but not spectacular year here on Falcon.
There were still a lot of big fish caught, but nothing like the past few years.
We saw water levels drop to over forty one feet low in April, as we lost twelve feet of water from the middle of March to the middle of April..
We saw good rises in July, with a drop in August, but October and November brought us back up to 275+-, and we sit today at about 26 feet low. That's about eight feet higher than we were last year at this time.
In May we had 8.1 inches of rain, and in September we had an incredible 11.40 inches. Those two months delivered our average annual rainfall. We are sitting right at 30 inches for the year. These readings were taken here at the shop..
So while it is dry in a lot of areas, we have been blessed right here in south Zapata.
And with the moisture, our summer was not as hot as in some recent years. We only had one week of "Holy shit it's hot!" weather..
Giving fishing a rating is always subjective.. I guess it depends on what and when you compare it to.. Compared to 2010, fishing sucked.. Compared to 2002, it was freaking awesome..
It's all relative.. But I will still bet you that more people caught their personal bests on Falcon last year than any other lake in the country..
Bassmaster's came back to Falcon in 2013.. Results were not as good as they were in 2008.. But anybody coulda told you that.. Before or after.. But there were three stringers (4 days) over 100 pounds I believe.. Where else you gonna do that..
The Sharelunker season had twelve fish turned in last year. Only two of the fish were Pure Floridas.. They both allegedly spawned.. One of the Fx fish came from Falcon..
I'm not looking for a good numbers year for Sharelunker this season.. Poor conditions statewide, mostly having to do with water levels and fishing pressure will probably keep submitted fish to well under ten.. That and the fact that more and more people are realizing that the SL program is not working.. You can rub my nose it it in the spring if I am wrong.. But you can bust my chops any time you like.. If you need something to do..
Falcon received about 500,000 pure Florida fingerlings this spring. The only bad thing was that there was very little vegetation in the water when they were stocked. But bass are born in the spring, so there is not much you can do about that.. I wish we'd of had the cover in the lake we have now.. But I am sure a few survived..
The white bass are making a comeback of sorts in Falcon. It is now common to catch one or three if you are throwing a crankbait. Schooling activity has been reported on the south end of the lake on several occasions. There are a some adult fish, about 12" long and last summer we were seeing a lot of two to three inch fish in cast nets. I look for this trend to continue and the white bass to become a fishable population in 2014-15.. Unless we see really low water conditions again, and if that happens the netters will hammer them again I am sure.
The crappie that were so abundant the last few years have done a disappearing act as of late. The last few years have been awesome here in the Veleno, but currently we are seeing very few. The better numbers have come from the south end of the lake. Thousands of giants were filleted the last few years. We'll see if they show up here in the home creek anytime soon.
The catfish in Falcon are doing.. well.. Fantastic. If you are a blue cat fan then you should be here.. Jugliners and trotliners and rod and reel fishermen are tearing them up.. Bigguns.. We see an occasional yellow, and some channels on stink bait.. But if you want to catch some big old blues, get you some cut carp and set some jugs on a creek channel edge.. Then the work starts..
The Gar population on Falcon has exploded the last few years. At the detriment of our bass.. And whatever else they can catch. If you are a bow fisherman then you need to plan a trip to Falcon this spring, and anytime thru the summer.. We have some creeks that are loaded.. It's like watching the whales off the coast of Maui..
We are working on a gar tournament for May or June of next year.. Stay tuned..
Other than that it is pretty much business as usual around here.. We are just waiting for the sun.. At least I am..
December 20, 2013: Not a lot of days left in the year, and not a lot of days left to get your shopping done. And if your not through with one, you'll have little time for the other..
We want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and once again thank you for your continued support. And please keep in mind the reason that we celebrate this time of year.
We share time and gifts with our family and friends, and often get caught up in the materialistic meaning of Christmas.. Take some time to yourself and remember what this holiday is actually about.
I don't want to get preachy on you.. But remember that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth, died for your sins, and paved the way for you to get to Heaven.. Believe it or not.. Put your faith in him and you got no problems..
We will be closed on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, and Christmas day. But I will be here bright and shiny the day after Christmas.. Sporting a new fishing pole if Santa comes through.. I was naughty a time or two this past year.. But I am hoping he can overlook those times I picked on a few people..
But hell... They deserved it..
God Bless you and your family and we'll see you next go-round.
And from all of us here at Falcon Lake Tackle, and the entire Bendele family, we say
December 17, 2013: Eight days till Christmas.. Hmmm.. Better get started on that Christmas shopping.. Throw in a few days of fishing and you got yourself a situation..
And what a time to be fishing.. Back in the seventies and eighty by the end of the week.. Awesome.. And there are even a few fish being caught..
I know what I am about to say will be viewed by many as pure lunacy by a bunch of folks... But I'm used to that.
There are a few spawning fish on Falcon.. I know.. I know.. I'm a freakin idiot.. But like it or not, it is happening..
Water temps struggled to hit sixty last week, it was cloudy and cold.. But big, fat, Rosies are being caught in some mighty skinny water.. Dripping eggs, bleeding tails, and well.. Spawning..
You call it what you want..
The full moon is in full effect, so add that to the equation.. I know some of you don't think the moon has anything to to do with it.. Yes, yes.. I've gotten your e-mails.. And you wouldn't think that this water temperature is conducive to spawning..
Ok.. Ok.. So let's say they're not spawning.. They're just up in the shallows, with a case of the red-belly; they look like the Hindenberg, and and they need to be wearing a Kotex.. Sorry for the visual..
It is not unusual to be catching spawning fish on Falcon on Christmas day. I have done it a lot of times in the past.. But not usually when the water is this cold. All I can say is that Mother Nature does some strange stuff.. And with the advent of Global Cooling these fish just might have to spawn in cooler water..
Yes Global Cooling.. Get used to it.. If those idiots can sell Global Warming, then I oughta be able to sell Global Cooling.. But personally I like global warming better.. I hate the cold..
Anyway, there have been a lot of nice fish caught as of late.. I'm not talking twelve pounders, but decent numbers of six to ten pound fish. Lots of eights..
I'd like to tell you they have been caught on jigs and worms.. But they ain't.. The spinnerbait and the shallow crankbait have been best, and that is basically no change. For the last month.. But hell.. If it works, don't fix it..
Here is one caveat.. Not everyone is catching fish, or a bunch of fish. But some folks have got on em pretty good.
The south end of the lake is still better than the top. Mexico is still better than the Texas side.. And I know exactly why.. Because that is where there are more biting fish..
I am not saying the the Texas side is devoid of fish, but Mexico sure seems better from all accounts..
Last weekend San Antonio Bass Club and Helotes Bass Club were in town. Neither club brought a crowd.. And neither club whacked em.. I did not hear the final weights from SABC, but Helotes fished a two day, three fish tourney. The winner had only five fish, but they weighed 27.03. That would be Mike Ross.. Charles Parchman was second with six for 20.32.. All three of Mikes fish weighed over six pounds on Sunday..
Caught on spinnerbaits and cranks.. Thanks for the report Charles..
Here's a couple of fish caught very shallow last week.. Sorry but I got no names for the fishermen..
Both nice fish.. And we should start to see a few more fatties in the weeks ahead..
You'd be wise to take note of the cover behind door number two.. The flooded vegetation in water less than eight feet is where most of the fish have come from as of late. There are a few deeper fish starting to show up and a deep diving crankbait is catching a few.. These have been quality fish for the most part as well. I don't know where in the hell the small fish are..
The South Texas College Championship tourney is only two and a half weeks away, and from the sound of it, they might have a pretty good turnout. They surprised me last year and I am not sure why. The interest in fishing in the college ranks and in the High Schools these days is awesome. It is great to see our sport blowing up with the younguns.. Don't buy those X-Box POS.. Buy em a new Lews.. Or a Shimano.. Or whatever..
If you are a college student and want to fish the tourney, e-mail Derick at email@example.com. He can fill you in on all the details..
Bass Champs is headed to Falcon on February 23rd, for the second stop of the south circuit.. Why they scheduled Amistad in January is a mystery to me.. That can be a cold and slow time of year on The Big Friendly.. Maybe it is logistics.. Maybe they got a deal with the Del Rio Chamber.. Maybe I don't know what I am talking about.. But I would have scheduled Falcon in January and February, and went to Amistad three in a row in the coming months..
If you think Falcon is tough.. Head out to Amistad for a couple of days..
And I know it is a long way out, but Lord willing the Falcon Lake Tackle Bass Blast! is back on tap this year and we have it scheduled for April 13th. You might want to put that on your calendar..
Last year both Tommy and I had a few health problems we were dealing with, but I reckon we're up to about as full a head of steam as we can muster. And yes you can count on some good groceries and a shit load of door prizes again for all who enter.. It'll give you a chance to prefish for Champs.. Which is two weeks later. Separated by Easter.. Yall come..
This week should bring out a few good fish.. And weather wise it is the best looking forecast we have seen in three weeks.. Better come get you some.. If you've got some vacation days to burn..
Yeah.. Merry Christmas!! And God Bless You!
Not Happy Holidays.. Bunch of pussies are afraid to say Merry Christmas for fear of offending some idiots.. They can all kiss my ass..
Well I don't want to get myself out of the Christmas spirit so I'll leave it at that..
If we don't see you soon, then we'll see you next year!
December 11, 2013: I hear that every few million years the poles on planet earth reverse and what happens in between can cause some freaky weather events.. Like the new record low recorded in Antarctica, of minus 136°.. Give or take a few tenths.. Don't look for Al Gore to report on that.
But maybe we are heading towards a new ice age.. It has certainly felt like it around here the last two weeks.. The very idea that winter actually exists in Zapata is a bit repulsive. And nobody round here likes it, including the fish.
As the temperature goes down, so does the number of fishermen on the lake. We did have a couple of boats that were here thru the last week, and being they had driven so far, and had the time scheduled off, they tuffed it out and were on the lake every day. And while they caught a few nice fish, they were certainly not compensated equitably for their efforts..
Another day, a warmer time.. What can you do..
Water temps are somewhere around the lower sixties the last few days, and I don't look for a big shift in the short term. I would love to see a stretch where these arctic fronts don't make it down to us. We have certainly had a cool start to the winter this year.
We do have a few winter Texans down here that do not mind the cooler temps and are fishing on a fairly regular basis.. And while they are not sunup to sundown fishermen, they do put in some hours on the water, especially on the warmer days. And they are having some decent, and some tragic days as of late.
And the best I can tell you is that it is hit and miss. The fish seem to bite in spurts. You might get an hour of decent action, and then not catch a fish for the next two hours. That has been very common. So if out you go, take your persistence and patience with you..
And I know that I have said it a thousand times of late, but the freakin spinnerbait is still the best thing going. And I truly believe that it is because you can cover a lot of ground with it.. And I think that is the key to catching any numbers right now..
A few folks are throwing some square bills and some mid divers in the hardwoods and in the brush where you can get it done. And catch rates are about the same as the spinner bait. And if you are fishing the same water where ten boats have been throwing a spinnerbait for weeks, showing them something different can be a good idea. You do have to go fetch it every now and then..
And after talking to dozens of fishermen the last few days it still sounds like the best numbers of fish are inside ten feet of water. They gotta get deep one of these days.. But as of yet, I don't think so.. Or if the bastards are out there, they just ain't biting. I guess they have all the bait they can eat out deep. Because the shad have left the shallows.
How can you say that, you ask? Because yesterday I was coerced into being a net man on a TPWD shocking boat. And we covered a lot of shallow water.. While we shivered.. And we saw damn few shad at the dozen or so different locations that we shocked. Which included the Veleno, Opec, Pierces, and a few un-named creeks along the way. They were headed for the Tigers this morning.. I stayed in bed.
I guess you want to know about what we found in the way of bass.. I would call it poor.. Not a lot of fish, and no fish over four pounds. But what can you expect in 60 degree water devoid of baitfish.. Hell if I know..
I was not expecting much.. I know if we were in a warming trend we would have seen a lot more fish. But schedules are schedules..
The fish we did raise were some butterballs, and some of the prettiest, dark green, heavily marked, healthy looking fish I have ever seen.. We did see some gizzard shad, a ton of grass carp, plenty of common carp, big talipia, and zero perch.. What you might call brem..
And keep in mind we were working water mostly in the six foot and less range. Shocking is not effective in water more than eight feet deep..
It is always interesting to go along, because you just never know what you might see. We also saw a world record picastumus, (the only one we saw) and we made a thirty pound blue cat shit his pants.. I couldn't get him in the net.. And if you're wondering, these fish are fine after you let off the juice.. Occasionally you can fry one, but it is usually the big grass carp or common carp, I hear because they are a lot bigger and more lectricticity hits em.. Hell if I know.. But if one of those big grass carp is on the edge of the current field, they come out of the water like a Tomahawk missile out of a Trident sub.. They no likie..
The sun finally came out about four.. Thank God..
And being the weather has sucked for the last week, I opted for the deer blind last weekend instead of the bass boat. And while it is still cold, the deer blind is holding still.. And it has windows.. The rut is raging at our place and I ought to be there now, but like I said above, schedules are schedules.. And I gotta work sometime.. Dammit..
It was a cold SOB.. And you rarely see this picture at our place.. The ice anyway..
And as luck would have it, I made a mess the first evening I was there.. And a bunch of it turned into this..
I had never made Salami before, but I figured that if I can make sausage, I can stuff some salami.. And who knows more about stuffing sausage than some old squareheads like us.. Making sausage at our place has always been a family get together and a bull-session.. More often than not a lot of "catchin up" gets done and a few corks get pulled.. It's one of my favorite times of the year. And the time of year that I miss my Dad the most.. But as Ol' Hank would say, "We're just carryin on an old, family tradition.."
And I hope that long after I'm gone they'll be doing the same..
It turned out really good too.. Stop by the store and I'll give you a sample..
P.S. FLT gift certificates make some good stocking stuffers.. While we're on the subject of stuffin..
December 5, 2013: Remember the last two winters when we were were fishing in short britches right around Christmas? And when a pair of blue jeans would last five or six years? Don't look like that is going to be the case this winter.. At least not the way it is starting out..
I will have to admit that this week has been very pleasant, and we had two days in the ninety degree range.. And light or no winds.. Beautiful fishing weather..
But somebody should have told the fish..
If the fish bit any better at all after the last front, it was only yesterday, and reports of active fish were only slightly better. Ten to fifteen fish per boat has been a pretty good trip as of late.. It is still tough.
The aggravating thing is that before the last front, we had been whacking them pretty good.. Not killing em'.. But catching em pretty good. In the shallows, on spinnerbaits and chatterbaits..
But after last weeks three days of no sun and highs in the forties, we had surface temps that were starting out in the upper fifties and in the afternoons you might see it warm up to sixty four or so.. Yesterday water temps were around the sixty eight to seventy range.. Just enough to get the fish a little more active..
Now here we go again.. And like I have told you before, if Falcon water gets down in the mid fifties.. You might as well stay home and watch captain Kangaroo.. This cold weather, and water, is certainly early by Falcon standards..
A lot of the fish that have been caught lately have been good quality, with a lot of fish in the five to six pound range. And they are meaner than Rosie on a diet.. So fishing with braid on a spinner bait is a good idea. These fish know where every tree and bush is and when you hook one they will be headed there post haste..
The flipping bite was really coming around as well, and senko style baits were working well, along with a big ribbon tail worm like the Ol Monster.. But with all these baits a slow and repetitive presentation was a must..
Not what I would call the most active of fish. But sooner or later you were bound to happen on a few biting fish. Enough to get your itch scratched..
I too, have been less that enthusiastic about fishing, being ruined by the last half decade of the most incredible fishing ever seen on planet earth.. But I am still very optimistic about the spring.. Meanwhile, I, and you will have to endure another three months of natures savage cruelty, known as winter..
I've got a good stockpile of wood, about six chickens, some jerky, and two gallons of Old #7.. Hopefully that will get me through this coming blizzard..
As long as the lines don't go down from all the ice on them I reckon it will be a good time for me to get on the internet and try to get signed up for Obammacare.. I hear it can take some time..
I understand, that setting up a website that has the supposed capability to handle thousands of customers.. Wait.. Customers are not forced to buy anything.. So they can't be customers.. A website that is designed to collect a tax from people who are compelled to give their money for something they may or may not want.. That's better..
A website that allows said individuals to pay their tax for socialized medicine.. Ah.. That's better..
In any case, where in the hell did they get the geniuses who set this thing up? Three years and untold millions of dollars for a completely unworkable piece of binary bullshit.. I haven't seen such incompetence in government since Benghazi.. You do remember Benghazi don't you..
Oh I know it is hard to keep up, with all the scandals, incompetence, lying, hypocrisy, and war between the parties that have surrounded this administration.. But now at least Jimmy Carter can die knowing that he was not the worst president that the United States has ever seen..
Maybe it is just me, (and that possibility exists) but have you ever noticed that generally poor people vote Democratic, and all it has gotten them is more poverty.. Do you think that maybe they should take a step back and take a look at where they are and what has gotten them there..
It is certainly easy in this day and time to survive as a slacker.. You can get free rent, free groceries, free gas, free electricity, free phone, a raise every time you knock out another kid, and spending money, just by being good at being a lazy irresponsible slob..
Sounds pretty good don't it.. And let me tell you millions of people have their applications in.. And we have millions that are over qualified.. Yep.. No problem filling those positions..
Where are the people from a couple of generations ago that would not think of taking welfare.. The ones that busted their ass and did whatever it took to get by, raised their children with some morals, put Trust In God first in their lives, and had faith that those things would deliver them to a far better destination than any government could..
Oh Yeah. I forgot.. Those are the retired people living in their mortgage free homes, cruising the country in their motor coaches, taking cruises, jetting around to all parts of the world, and enjoying life.. Because they worked and took care of their money.. Not because the government gave it to them..
Unless they were a high ranking politician..
I am appalled at what gets by these days as news.. Pop culture has become the new normal and all else fades into gray.. If a rapper does it it must be cool.. If you have no talent then just make a porn movie and put it on the internet.. You may have to swallow a few things.. Not the least of which will be your pride..
December 1, 2013: The last month of the year is here and Christmas is right around the corner.. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around that.. Another year shot to hell.. Almost..
And from reports from the last two days I'd say that the fishing has been shot to hell as well.. It seems that the cold front from last week has had some lasting effects on the fish.. Like they ain't biting..
And as soon as I say that this warming trend will put em back to eating.. But it hasn't yet..
Not everyone that I talked to did poorly.. But most of them did..
And it is not like we had no one in town. There were, and are, quite a few folks out on the water..
Hey.. I promised to tell you the truth. It has been slow..
One good thing is that we have four days in a row coming up that are going to be in the eighties.. High eighties.. That can't hurt anything..
Morning water temps have been in the high fifties, if you can believe that, and warming to about 63 or 4 in the pm.. A far cry from the middle seventies we had last week before the front..
But that's what three days of no sun and highs in the forties will do for ya..
I have heard a few stories of fish appearing to be spawning.. It is a bit early.. But I can't say that a few couldn't be doing it..
I have heard of a lot of fish cut up from gar here lately.. And the gar are still very active for this kind of water temperature..
I'm telling you that these fish have hurt, and are still really are hurting our bass population..
Here's a couple of pics of fish caught last week with gar bites on them..
I have written letters to everyone with a title the last few weeks, in an effort to get the bag limit on Gar raised or eliminated. Do I think it will make a big difference? No.. But it sure as hell can't hurt any thing..
I cannot understand why some at TPWD have become so enamored with alligator gar. When in reality, probably less than two percent of fishermen pursue gar.. And the rest of us consider them a trash fish.. And those that do pursue gar don't like the one fish bag limit either.. And don't try and tell me that they are low numbered or over fished..
Purely and simply PAW over reacted with their blanket the state law change that was done with NO scientific research. If anything we should allow commercial fishing for gar here on Falcon..
We have them coming out of our ass.. And the recent gar study that we did here on Falcon showed that these fish are very young, and some of the eighty and ninety pounders were only five years old.. You gotta eat a lot of fish to get to that weight in five years.. More netting surveys are planned for the spring..
Shocking studys from last spring showed our bass numbers down over 50%.. Could that be a signal?
You are gonna hear a lot more about this problem in the near future.. Choke Canyon is also suffering from the same problem as us.. And fishing there is about as bad as it has ever been..
There is an ongoing study of netting, tagging, and releasing gar at Choke Canyon. And the re-catch rate over there is less than 2% I hear.. It is full of gar..
I have been trying to get my point across to TPWD for two years.. But I have had no success getting anything changed to date.. I have a lot more to say on this subject.. But for right now I am biting my tongue, and giving them a chance to do right.. But it ain't going to last much longer..
November 29, 2013: It has been a cold, miserable stretch around here, and colder where I have been.. But not a lot.. Highs in the forties and windy is not my favorite kind of weather.. Matter of fact I can't think of much worse.. Unless it was snowing.. Fortunately we don't have to deal with much of that round these parts..
And as you can imagine not a lot of folks were out on the lake for the last few days. But no matter the weather, there are always a few die-hards that are going fishing no matter what..
And I have not talked to a lot of people the last week, other than Jack Daniels, Drop Dead Gorgeous, and to this freakin' woodpecker who was making love to my deer blind all week.. I've still got a headache..
But those who have braved the elements have done decently with some really nice fish being caught. And some that I did hear about were still shallow, and still being caught on the blades.
I was thinking that the cold might run all the fish out of the shallows, but evidently not. Pitchin some trees is still a good idea, and several pitches to the same tree can pay dividends as the fish can be a little slow to make a move on your bait. Those trees should be close to the creek channel, and if there is a little depth change on a tree line that is a great place to start..
That never seems to change around here..
Senkos and big worms seem to be about as good as it gets when it comes to bait choices..
I am still hearing next to nothing about offshore or deep structure fish. Occasionally I hear of a fish or two, but the lions share of biting fish are still in the shallows, or water less than ten feet deep.
There is a warming trend going on this week, according to forecasts, and if anything, I think there will be more shallow fish in the coming days.
But right now water temps are starting out in the mornings in the high fifties.. That's January temps.. Low to middle sixties in the afternoons.. They should come up a bit in the next few days..
Since I started this report, I have talked to three groups that fished yesterday afternoon.. None of them fished the Mexican side, and none of them did very good.. But that sounds a lot like what was going on before the front.. One boat had a big fish day yesterday.. They only caught ten fish, but they were all whoppers.. I saw the pics but not a lot of details just yet.. They did say they were on the Texas side..
I meant to write a report before Thanksgiving, but I never got to it. And I don't have an internet connection at the ranch.. That's probably a good thing..
But I certainly intended to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving! and thank all of you who have stopped by the store in the last year. Or ever for that matter. We certainly could not be here without you.
We appreciate your business and look forward to seeing you the next time you're in town.
And while we're on the subject of Thanksgiving, I hope you'll take the time to give thanks for all the blessings we receive daily just living right here in the United States.. It ain't perfect, and God knows I do my share of bitching, but it is still the best thing going.. I just want to keep it the best thing going..
So enjoy your turkey sandwiches, and your long weekend, and we'll see you when you get here..
Thanks For Your Business!
November 20, 2013: We've been enjoying some awfully nice Fall weather the last week, with highs at or near 90° the last few days.. But all good things must come to an end..
Looking at the forecast for the coming week makes me want to stock up on chickens, chili meat, and long johns.. And firewood..
We are supposed to have highs in the forties on Saturday and Sunday, with wet conditions to boot.. Don't sound like no global warming to me.. And the whole week of Thanksgiving is going to be cool as well.
And don't tell me that it is Thanksgiving, it's supposed to be cold.. That shit is for Yankees..
Meanwhile the fishing remains pretty fair, but not everyone is catching fish. If you are fishing the Texas side only, you will be handicapping yourself.
Speaking of fishing Mexico.. Mexican Licenses are back in stock! We got them in yesterday afternoon..
Spinner baits are still the best thing to throw.. You may (or may not) be tired of hearing me say it but it will out catch any thing else.. Flipping the edges of channels is still a good thing to do as well.. Big worms still seem to be in demand by the fish. Try an Ol Monster or similar in a dark color. Plum comes to mind..
The spinner bait fish are in the green stuff.. I said they are in the green stuff.. Look for the salt cedars and anything else that is not brown.. Seanie Beans are an exception, and the mixture of Seanie Beans and Salt cedars is good stuff. But concentrate on the green..
Flip the hardwoods, patiently, and fish them in the five to ten foot range, but best results seem to be in the six foot range.. Some flats have had fish on the woods, but edges of creek channels seem to be the best.
I will say again that the the south end of the lake is producing more fish.
Some folks have recently tried to fish some deeper rocks.. But little to no luck has been reported on them. Remember a few months ago when you had to take a number to get on the dam? Well it ain't so now.. But if you want to cruise around over there mapping the bottom, now is a good time.. And you won't end up with a spook stuck in your ear.. Even the local trollers have pretty much abandoned it.. Maybe they ate all of them already..
I am hearing a few stories about some American side bass. A few isolated spots in the Tigers and State Park Cove. And Pierces has been putting out a few numbers.. School bus is putting out a few fish as well.. Way in the back. Diablo up here on the north end has been hot and cold.. Of course that is in Mexico..
Water temps have been down in the high sixties some mornings.. But not the last few.. Seventy three or five is pretty common this week.
Well one thing about the cold snap is that it just might convince a few fish that winter is on the doorstep.. And around here that means that spring ain't far off.
And a good cooling trend, followed by a warming trend can can make some early spawners start to think about getting shallow.. Or staging to get shallow anyway.. I have caught a lot of spawning fish at Christmas in the past.. Just a little over a month away..
You do realize that Christmas is only thirty days away, don't you? Time to start checking those light bulbs..
Sitting in the deer blind sounds a lot more appetizing than sitting on a butt seat the next week.. And I am gonna do a little of that.
Speaking of Thanksgiving.. We will be closed all day. But I'll be here bright and early on Friday for those of you who push back from the table and jump in your truck.. We used to drive down all the time after dinner at Mamas.. That triptofan is a sumbitch.. Travel safely.. There's nothing wrong with Turkey sandwiches in the boat either..
I was playing golf last Sunday afternoon, my version of it anyway, and while it is not unusual for me to score a birdie or two, I got one in a rather unusual way. I was in a spot more suited for lumberjacks, but but it was still in bounds.
And If I couldn't scramble, then on most holes I wouldn't get there..
So I pulled out my trusty six iron, and was planning on playing a hooded cut, back in my stance, around a Hackberry tree, and roll it up on the green from about 150 out.. I had it perfectly mapped out in my mind..
But as luck would have it, I got under it just a bit, and it came out a little hot, and with a little too much elevation.. And clunked right into the middle of the Hackberry.
Well from a hundred yards away I saw a clump of something fall out of the tree, and my partner was laughing, especially since I had so vividly described how I was going to escape the prison I had been in..
And while I figured what I had knocked out of the tree was a piece of Mistletoe, I was surprised to find something completely different when I reached my ball, lying under the tree.
No other bird flew out of the tree either.. This was just a case of bad timing for Mr. Dove.. And certainly a one in a million. And while I have killed thousands of doves in a single day before, I have never killed one with a golf ball.. Until now.. Got him right in the gizzard..
I looked down at my six iron and found it was still set on Argentina..
I think this shot is right up there with Costners shot off the shithouse onto the green..
Have you got your new Obammacare insurance yet? I am so glad to see that I now have coverage for maternity, diaper rash, and mono.. I am also getting the rider that covers circumcision .. Just in case..
I don't think I'll be impregnating anything in the future.. As a matter of fact, I don't think I could survive raising teenagers again.. And this time around they might not survive it either..
But I digress..
If you're heading out on the highway next week, make sure and get back safely. And I hope you are getting to spend some time with your family and friends. I'm sure looking forward to it..
More on Thanksgiving later in the week.. Looks like there will be plenty of time to sit in my office and type..
I gotta go clean out the flue..
P.S. Gar Wars.. Look for it coming to a lake near you.. I mean me..
November 15, 2013: I can't believe that it is the middle of November already.. I haven't even killed a turkey yet.. I've heard em.. But I ain't seen em..
The last few days around here some big fish have been starting to show up. There are a few fellows here from Ingram Bass Club getting ready for their tournament this weekend. And yesterday one boat had one over eleven and another had a 10-4. So far I only have a pic of this fish caught by Roy Lee Graham. This one is the ten..
My neighbor had an 11-11 on Monday..
Yesterday Jim Edwards had a 10-7 and a 8-4 in four casts..
Suddenly some bigger fish are starting to show up.. And I heard of a few other whoppers but have not talked to the fishermen themselves..
The eleven caught yesterday was on a chatterbait, and the other three big fish were all caught on a spinnerbait. And if I was going fishing today I would have one of each tied on.. And you might want to tie it on some braid if you are up in these bushes.. The cover is a little intense in a lot of places..
Before I forget I need to warn you that Mexican fishing licenses are not available right now.. I ordered them two weeks ago and still have not received them. Normally this is a three day turnaround, but they are having a problem with the people who print them I hear. I may get some next week.. But it is hard to tell.. So if you are headed this way and have access to Mexican licenses somewhere else, from someone who does have a few left, you better get them there till I can get a new shipment..
It sucks.. But it is out of my control. And I'll let you know when I get more..
Our water temps have finally gotten down into the seventies, and the fish sure seem to like it. Or maybe they just like the flooded brush and accompanying bait that is up in the flats. I'm not gonna question it either way. I am just glad they are chomping a little..
But needless to say, the spinnerbait and the chatterbait are tops right now.. You may hate it or you may love it.. But that's what is working best..
Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries is scheduled to be here late next week to do some fall shocking surveys. And with what appears to be a lot of shallow fish right now, I am interested to see what they find. I might have to go with them just in case they happen to run into some shallow crappie..
They are also doing an angler survey in relation to the gar. You will be able to find a survey sheet at some local businesses this weekend. And of course we already have them here. If you are in town please make sure to fill one out. TPWD is seeking opinions on gar and their popularity.. Or unpopularity as you may see fit. Just takes thirty seconds to fill out so please take the time to give your opinion. Believe it or not, angler opinion weighs heavily in decisions made made by PAW..
Last week or so I was talking to some fellows who fish Amistad all the time and Falcon on occasion. We were discussing the reasons why we think the fishing is so slow at Amistad right now, and why a lot of the fish are so poor. I am sot sure what to make of the fish's condition, but I do know one thing that can have some to do with their condition. The picture below is from a two and a half pound bass caught at Amistad two weeks ago. It died in the live well and it was cleaned. And the guys who caught it said it was skinny as all get out..
All seven, yes seven of these old plastics, came from the stomach of this one fish. I don't think he got all seven off of someone's hook. I am sure this fish picked up most of these off of the bottom. Please don't throw your used plastics in the lake. Most fish cannot digest them and most can't pass them. And this leads to a fish that will slowly starve to death..
So for the fish's sake, please dispose of your used baits properly.
I hear there are finally some shallower crappie starting to show up in the Veleno.. No record catches.. But a few are being reported.. I know crappie like concrete.. And sooner or later these critters will end up rubbing their fins on the concrete posts under the 83 bridge.. I wouldn't mind powder coating a few of them myself..
Well I gotta go order some more spinnerbaits.. See you out there.. Between the bushes..
P.S. Here's a link to a story on Falcon and mean bass and Big Tackle.. And some other stuff..
November 12, 2013: Sorry I have not written lately.. But I got cheated on the first weekend of deer season, so I wasn't sitting out the second.. Well cheated ain't exactly the best choice of words.. But I wasn't there. Tommy and his son did manage to get some sausage made the first weekend.. So it ain't all bad.. More on deer blind stories later..
The fishing remains good here on Falcon, with more of the skinny water fish being caught. I know a lot of you like to sit out on structure and do the Levinworth style of fishing, (beating big rocks into little ones..) but for for us shallow water lovers, things are good.
The spinner bait bite remains strong, and there ain't anything wrong with a chatter bait either.. White or chartreuse and white is still the ticket.
Senkos and ten inch worms are still the best bet for pitchin or flippin.. Colors are running the gamut as of late, but Mardi Gras and Baby Bass are a couple of good choices..
The south end of the lake is still doing better than the top. But the Salado is starting to turn out a few fish. You may recall that a couple of weeks ago I was talking about some rotten weed smell up the Salado and in the backs of a few creeks. Most of that is over with now and the water on the top end of the lake has cleared up a lot. And all of the lake is in a fishable color to me..
There are a lot of Seanie Bean bushes mixed in with the Salt Cedars, and this is a combination that has been good. Those Seanie Bean stalks are pretty tough, and they will last for a few months.. Once the bean pods dry out you can hear the fish chasing bait in the bottoms of them as they shake the stalks.. There were years when we fish the bean rattle pattern.. And it is liable to happen again this year..
Don't laugh. It works..
The lake is barely eaking up, as Falcon water releases have slowed since the rains last week.. Or maybe that is not the reason at all.. All I know is that for right now releases are low. Oh I also know that I have no idea what they will do with our water levels.. I am hoping we can hold what we have till the spring.. We'll see..
But I hear that they have a good crop of grasshoppers in the valley and they are trying to keep em growing..
We are sitting at 273.5, or 27.7 feet low. Amistad is sitting at 1080.1 or 36.9 feet low..
I was supposed to go to Amistad to fish the SA Metro tourney last weekend, which got pushed to November because of the all important government hatedown. I had already missed the first weekend of deer season, and the fishing at Amistad sucks, so I opted for the deer blind.. Good choice. Saw lots of deer. And it rained on Saturday morning.. Another reason I quit fishing tournaments on the calendar.. I am more and more a fair weather fisherman.. Guess I am getting old.
On Saturday morning I saw a buck and I watched him for thirty minutes at the feeder.. I was sure that if he turned sideways he'd have Hoover stamped on his side.. I couldn't decide whether to shoot him or not.. He was a ten pointer and I figured him at about 18-19 inches. Which is a monster at our our place given the propensity of our neighbors to shoot anything that has horns.. Here's a pic of him..
I was packing my brand new gun.. Well it was made in 1966 but it was new to me.. And I had shot it in at 100 yards a couple weeks before, and it was putting them all in a quarter.. Laying on a sack of corn across the tailgate..
So I was confident in it, but the trigger about had to be hit with a two pound ball peen to get the SOB to go off.. I made a mental note to take it to the smitthie to get a trigger liposuction and remove a few pounds of unwanted trigger fat..
But like I said I am getting old and forgot to drop it off locally to get it done.. So it was with me on Saturday morning as I had not had time to shoot my 25-06 that I affectionately call "Drop Dead Gorgeous". And I just won't hunt with a gun that I have not shot in a year.. Guess I shoulda..
Any way after lookin at this pig gobble up all my corn, I finally decided to shoot this bastard.. And he turned broadside at about 97 yards.. Could have been 98.. I don't know..
Anyway I put the hairs on the spot bout where the skull meets the neck and squeezed the trigger.. And then I pulled the trigger. And then I yanked the trigger and remembering thinking "Is this mother ever going to go off?" Bout that time it did and I reckon I shot under him about three feet..
He stood there and looked at me like, "What was that noise?" Then he ambled off into the brush looking back at all the other deer that just stood there..
I didn't want to fool with a deer all by myself anyway..
I got back to the house and my Mom asked what I saw.. I said "I missed.."
She said "You missed! You never miss!"
I love my Mama..
But fact is that I got what the little boy shot at..
And me being the "show-me" type guy that I am, I went back to the range, which is really a mountain of oak logs and a pickup for a shooting bench a hundred yards away.. And I stuck that gun in a Lead Sled and shot at a one inch square of duct tape on the target frame.. Woulda center-punched a dime..
So after gathering my ego from the tops of my shoes I drove to the gunsmith.. He had five pounds of stack weights and the bastard still wouldn't go off.. I told him it hadn't been shot in fifteen years till I did it.. He told me I shoulda brought it to him earlier.. I thanked him for that sage advice.. He also said that the oil and grease in that trigger mechanism was probably thicker than play dough and a good cleaning would probably do the trick.. I said that that was fine.. As long as it has a one and a half to two pound trigger when I pick it up..
I'll probably see this deer again, if the neighbors don't whack him. And if I do I'll probably give him a pass.. I think he earned it being he gave me a free shot.. Still have not seen "The Ghost" the last two years.. Maybe he has gone on to the the happy hunted grounds.. But I ain't seen his picture in the paper..
He is slicker than a minners dick.. Maybe he is still around..
In my hurry to get out of town last weekend, I overlooked the fact that Yesterday was Veterans Day. And I apologize..
I cannot even start to thank the Veterans that have served, and are serving our great country. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands that have given their lives for this country since its inception.
Thank you for your service, dedication, and excellence in all that you do.
I know that there are a few whackos out there that have no idea what you do, while you provide a blanket of security for us here at home. And many of them have no sense of gratitude towards our Military. Ignorance is Bliss I hear..
But rest assured that us rednecks have your back.. And if the shit ever hits the fan here at home we'll be right there besides you.. I promise..
Thank You For Your Service!
Another thing to pass along, is the passing of Jessie Warren of Rio Grande City. He was an avid supporter of Falcon Lake, and fished Falcon for over thirty five years. He was an active member of Starr Bass Club and recently the president of Los Lobos Bass Club.. He will be sorely missed by Falcon Lake, and all his fishing friends. RIP Jessie..
Get down here and get you some of this shallow water fishing.. Best we've had in a while..
November 6, 2013: Ever had one of those times when you're not very busy but you can't seem to get it all done? Or at least it seems that way.. I've got ten projects going on and I can't seem to get the last screw in any of them..
We are still in the middle of the gar battle.. And I am not sure how things are going.. Our goal is to get the one fish per day limit raised or done away with down here. I am not sure about the latter, but I am hoping we can get the limit raised at the least. I'll know more later this week. And hopefully we can get the limit raised without too much fanfare.. But I may need your help.. And as Paul Harvey would say, "Stand by for news!"
The fishing is still pretty damn good, especially if you compare it to a month or two ago. Lots of shallow fish being caught. And we're talking about the get in there amoungst em style of fishing..
I fished yesterday and did decent for someone who has sucked as of late.. More on that later..
If you're coming to Falcon, bring your flippin stick and a spinner bait rod.. We're done with that drop shot and shakey head shit for now.. And don't worry if your crankbait rod needs a new tip.. Leave it in the garage.
Yessir the story of the day is still shallow, with most fish coming from inside ten feet. Some from one foot. And that is spinner bait and chatterbait country. And be prepared when you get bit cause these fish are about as jacked up as I have ever seen em.. I caught a ten pounder in the bushes yesterday that tipped the scales at about three and a half.. Meanest bastard I have caught in months.. And then the SOB bit me while I was trying to get the bait out of his mouth..
The flipping bite is doing pretty good as well, and a lot of folks caught fish off the hardwoods in about six to ten feet of water..
It appears that a Junebug or a Redbug Ol Monster in the hardwoods is working pretty good.. I wouldn't rule out Plum either..
Most of the better fishing is still going on on the south end of the lake, on the Mexican side.. And there were plenty of boats down there yesterday. And most all of them caught fish..
I was in the Salanaias for a good while, and worked my way back down the lake.. The forecast I saw was for eight to ten mile an hour winds.. So no sweat.. I launched at the county ramp, put the Skeeter on 70, and was there in less than twenty minutes.. And it was near dead flat at the south end of the lake..
And fishing was slow till the breeze came up, and that seemed to turn the spinner bait bite on.. But as with all things, too much of something is not always good.. And when I got ready to leave the Salanaias I knew the water would be a little wrinkly.. And it was.. The ride back was a lot closer to thirty than seventy..
And halfway back I decided to stop into Pierce's cove to check out a couple of rocky points that are back underwater.. And stopping would give me a chance to get my guts stuffed back up my ass..
Anyway, I know that there have been very few fish on the rocks as of late.. But I wanted to check it out.. Remember two months ago when I said you Have to be on rocks to catch fish?? Well forget that for now..
Anyway.. I worked the rocks with a couple of plastics.. And threw a spinnerbait at em as well.. But nothing happened.. But back in the cove a bit was a stand of Seanie Beans and some salt cedars mixed in.. So I proceeded to fish that way chunking the spinner bait.. I was casting into about two feet of water and sitting in four.
And on the only eventful cast of the visit to Pierce's, my bait landed between a salt cedar and a little hardwood sticking up to the right.. And about the time I clicked the reel into retrieve mode something got ahold of my bait.. And I couldn't do a thing with it. I tried to turn the crank but this bitch had other ideas.. I was just holding on.. Trying to stay in the boat..
All this crap happened in about two and a half seconds.. Whatever it was swam to the hardwood and when my line hit it, it was all over..
I know what you're thinking. It was probably a gar.. I thought that too for a minute.. But if it was, it would have made made a huge wake taking off that fast in that shallow of water..
So either I foulhooked a Trident Class submarine.. Or a big Goddaaamn bass kicked my ass..
I'm done with this fluorocarbon shit on the spinnerbaits.. Back to braid..
Cause at my age I don't know how many more chances I'll get with one of these big bitches.. I'm gonna say she was between three and fifteen pounds.. Somewhere in there..
In any case.. Find you some water that looks like this.. And throw you a chartreuse and white spinnerbait in there.. Like the Jo Baby Falcon Lake Special.. Good medicine.. For bad fish..
The Falcon Lake Babes international catfish series is holding their first tournament of the year this Saturday. This is a "ladies only" tournament series so if you are a member of the fairer sex and are looking for some tourney action, this is the place for you.. Registration is at Beacon Lodge rec hall this Friday from four till six..
They will be fishing once a month and I will have their schedule posted in the tourney section ASAP.. They have a lot of fun.. I promise..
Come catch you some shallow fish before we have to go chase em off shore again.. See you on the water..
October 30, 2013: Halloween is almost here.. But it is hard to think of the month of November with afternoon temps in the mid nineties.. And that is fine with me.. I'd like winter to be outlawed..
The lake has stayed about as level as an Olhausen the last week, and we are currently sitting at 273.32, or 27.88 feet low. Amistad is doing about the same with fairly steady water levels for the last couple of weeks.
Mexican lakes on the Conchos remain full or over, but no water is being released from them that will make any difference. Sugar lake is now full due to great releases from El Cuchillo.. I would hope they filled it in anticipation of using the water this spring for irrigation.. But a full Sugar will require me to make a trip before to long.. I think my brush piles are still intact enough to hold some fish..
But meanwhile, back at the ranch.. Falcon is still turning out a good number of fish. And the Mexican side of the lake is by far out producing the Texas side.
Spinner baits and chatterbaits are still the best things going. Find some clear water in the back of big creeks and secondary creeks, and start slingin'.. A senko is still a good bet, and flipping it or a soft plastic at a hardwood that is surrounded by flooded brush is the ticket..
And speaking of flooded brush.. A lot of the weeds and soft stemmed brush are starting to break down and some areas are down right stinky.. And I ain't talking about the fishin..
This degeneration of vegetation has some areas devoid of fish, while others are loaded.. Your assignment, if you decide to accept it, is to find the areas that are holding fish. A lot of the locals and most all of the guides down here are having some really good days. If you want to eliminate some of the hunting, hiring a local guide for a day will really help your success..
However, if you catch no fish we will disavow any knowledge of your trip..
The last two days the wind has blown a lot more than anyone likes.. And traveling the open lake and fishing the windy side of anything has been a bitch. Of course there is not a non-windy side..
The top of the lake is really starting to clear up.. It's not gin, but maybe a more of a Evan Williams.. But it is fishable in most areas.. There are still a few spots of muddy water, but it is all starting to settle out..
The gar are still plentiful on top in a lot of creeks. And with the warm weather around here, they still think it is summer..
And speaking of gar, I am headed to a public meeting this afternoon in Roma where citizens will be able to ask representatives of TPWD what is up with the fishing, and what is up with the gar. I am not sure who all will be there from PAW, but I hear that some state officials will be there as well with questions and comments..
To date, no decision has been made on raising the daily bag limit on gar.. But I am working on it. As are a few others.. A lot of it is politics.. And I am not very good at it.. I am a more of a direct and to the point kind of guy.. But we'll play it this way for now.. And hopefully we will get the response that we want, and the lake needs..
These two young ladies had a good day fishing with Jim Behnken the other day. Of course they both caught their PB's..
That's a great way for some time with Grandpa.. Congrats..
Well how's that Obammacare insurance thingy working out for you?? I hear it is going swell.. And lots of people are saving big bucks.. Err.. Not..
And when did it become a law that employers had to insure their employees anyway. When I was in the "Employee" world, having health insurance provided by your employer was a perk.. Something they offered you because they liked you, and wanted you to hang around.. Now employer provided insurance will be the reason many companies will not survive.
I don't have a problem with single payer insurance.. But I want all single payers to be treated the same.. And that ain't gonna happen.. Health insurance, for many, under this POS will be another entitlement, to go along with your welfare, WIC, food stamps, housing, and EBT cards..
And I still talk to liberals all the time that think this is the best thing since boneless bananas.. And I got to be around a few of them last weekend at a wedding in the hill country.. Not bananas.. Liberals.. And my blood pressure is finally about back down to normal..
There was also a state rep there that I know and he said that the last few weeks in DC were the worst thing he ever experienced.. (in politics) And that the divide between parties is so great that he is not sure if things can get fixed.. That's good news..
Meanwhile working people continue to get fleeced by those unwilling to work.. This crap is going to be one of the biggest tax burdens ever put on the American worker..
What was the Revolutionary war all about anyway? I wonder just what it will take this time to push working Americans over the edge.. Will it start with an individual, a small group, or an organized grass roots uprising.. Just wondering..
Those Patriots that started this country warned us about over-reaching government.. They also tried to prevent it with our Constitution. The one that is now a floor mat at the entry to the Oval Office..
Don't forget to wipe your feet..
October 24, 2013: Fishing is picking up a bit around here, and we are starting to hear a few more good reports.
Spinnerbaits and Senkos are doing the best.. Spinners in the shallow clear water in the flooded bushes and weeds..
Senkos on hardwood and rocky slopes.. Fish it slow...
The south end of the lake is starting to get going as well..
There was a lake record caught here this week.. Hell it might be a state record.. Hell it might be a world record.. The current state record is 290, and the world record is 365.. From what I can discover..
This fish bottomed out a 300 lb scale.. And a game warden in Star county is hopefully going to get it certified.. Somewhere.. I'll let you know what the official weight turns out to be .. Hopefully..
This fish was 8'9" long..
Wonder how many bass this bastard has eaten in his lifetime..
October 22, 2013: There is still a lot of ziggin and zaggin going on on the top end of the lake.. At least for the people in boats.. There are still a bunch of logs, trees, cane mats, and beer bottles floating down the river..
With that being said, navigating is still easily done.. But I do not recommend running the lake at Mach II with your eyes watering..
There are still fish being caught on the top end of the lake, but you have to get into the back of some creeks and find some clear water. Or get down past marker seven where the water is a bit clearer.. Earlier in the week the water was off color down to the mouth of the Tigers..
It is better now and some of the upper creeks are starting to clear up. The Salado is still muddy and I think there is still a bit of a flow down the river.. But not a lot..
We have slowed down on the rising, but in the last three days we have come up three inches. We are currently at 273.25, or 27.95 feet low.
I have been curious about how much water is under the Hwy 83 bridge,(cause I like eating crappie and big ole perch, (brem to you yankees..) )so this morning I headed that direction instead of south. And while I figured there was seven or eight feet of water under there, I was surprised to see ten feet! I followed the creek back to around the corner where the creek turns south and I followed it for another four hundred yards.. Ended up right behind our shop to the east and the water is still six feet deep.. And it looks awesome..
I threw a buzzbait and a spinnerbait for an hour and never got bit.. Lots of gar in there..
I had heard of a few folks catching some fish back there, but I did not.. But it looks like spinnerbait paradise..
I caught a big perch off the posts under the bridge and had a few other bites with bass equipment.. I'm gonna head back with some worms and catch me a batch.. And I am sure some of the bites under there will be big ole crappie.. I better stock up on cookin oil..
There is not one boat trailer at the state park ramp this afternoon.. And it is a beautiful day.. About eight boats at the county ramp when I got off the water..
So fishing reports are few..
But everyone tells me that a spinnerbait is still the best thing going.. Or a senko with some chartreuse on it.. But finding clear water is key..
I still have an AOL account.. I have no idea why.. Because it really does suck.. And it, like any ISP or e-mail provider, make their living selling stuff.. And AOL is about as ad ridden as anything I have ever seen.. And when I got off the water and turned on my Commodore, like everyday, they have a top twenty or thirty stories of the day.. And what they call news, I would not..
I can see a story about a Bigfoot sighting being like number twenty or something like that.. And hell if Jen has a new diet plan I could see it mixed in somewhere in the top fifteen..
But today's top story was that Jenna Jameson was whacked out during a TV interview..
That's it.. That's the hottest story out there.. I'm not sure what planet these people are on.. I know of three better stories right here in Zapata.. But I'm not a gossip..
I am not sure if you know who Jenna Jameson is.. She is an over the hill porn star that was famous for taking it...
I better leave that one alone..
But suffice it to say that Stanley Steamer turned down the job of trying to get her clean..
Maybe she got nervous in front of the cameras because she had her clothes on and there were not five naked men around.
What passes for news these days is incredible.. Maybe these stories are put out there to keep our minds off the real problems..
Another headline I saw lately was "Mans Shoots Himself While Cleaning His Gun." Maybe we do need more restrictive gun laws..
Like we will not allow idiots to have guns.. Instead of a background check maybe we should give an IQ test.. Naw.. That wouldn't work either.. I know a lot of "smart" people who could not pour piss out of a boot with the directions on the heel..
P.S. The first rule of cleaning a gun.. Unload the SOB.
Rule Two: Repeat rule number one..
There was a headline that I saw last week that I was sad to see. A Texas legend passed away.. And I am talking about Bum Phillips. You probably remember him best for being a Professional Football coach.
And probably one of the greatest things he ever said was that "People fail every day.. But you're not a failure till you blame someone else for it.."
Lot of truth in that..
And speaking of being Texan, Bum had a special way with being Texan.. And this story is credited to him.
And while you might not have time to read this right now, read it when you get time. It will make you appreciate the man if you do not already.. Even if you hated the Oilers..
Reckon I'll quit bitchin for now.
I got to go sign up for Bamacare.
Come on down here and give me something to talk about..