FLT Flash Fishing Report!
Not your Daddy's fishing report...
June 15, 2021: I like to bitch about a lot of things.. And my favorite thing to bitch about is cold.. And we had some in February.
But that painful memory is long gone and around here this last week it has been hotter than a three peckered billy goat in a pepper patch..
And being hot around here ain't anything new, but with the semi recent rains we have had, that pesky Mr. Humidity has also been a factor.
After three it's just plain miserable.
Falcon has continued a very slow rise, and we are up to 261.35 this morning. Nothing to brag about but it is a damn sight better than what we had, with a gain of over four feet from the low.
And we are entering our time of the year when we can actually catch some water. I ain't holding my breath, but we'll see what happens in the next three months.
Good news is that we are on the new concrete ramp at the county park, and you can launch six boats wide. And launching at the state park is no sweat, although we are not on concrete down there.
Last weekend found fishing to be a bit hit or miss, with some folks struggling, and some folks putting a beat down on em. Numbers are generally not what they were a month ago, as a lot of the smaller fish have vacated the shallows.
But the folks that did good over the weekend found the fish deeper, in fifteen to twenty feet. Fishing the same type of structure as we were, out from the same shallow points that were loaded with fish.
Rocky drops.. Gravel bars and humps.. Same ol same ol, just deeper.
Blake and his son were down last weekend, and he caught this nice 9.25. Said his son had one on that could eat this one.. ( I may be exaggerating a bit.. But said he lost a true monster..)
I am also hearing of fish returning to the deeper brush piles, which they have been avoiding all spring.
It is summer after all and that is where they should be.. But there are always some shallow fish around.
A word I have not heard mentioned in a while has also been used a few times here in the shop..
Jigs.. On those deeper rocks.. And brush hogs..
A senko on a C-rig is still catching fish, as are the crankbaits. But the shallow crankbait bite has slowed down.
There have also been reports of guys fishing little finessy stuff still catching good numbers with some bigguns mixed in. Five to seven pound fish are pretty damn common.
I have to believe that the bite has slowed some due to the rising water and the fact that there is no water moving out the gates.. Not something I am going to bitch about.. But it does affect the bite at the dam which was so prevalent this spring.
And while the valley is wet, I am sure it will not be too long till they are drawing water again. Unless the rain returns which we are all hoping for.
The water on the top of the lake is still off color, down to about marker eight. And the farther you go south the better looking it gets. And I don't look for that to change anytime soon.. Unless we get the water up in the weeds and bushes and off the dirt banks.
How I long for pretty water in the trees across from the Veleno.. Hope springs eternal..
The crappie are still very good in the brush piles, and there are brush piles aplenty. Not all of them are created equally, but the right ones can be loaded. And it can change from day to day.. Fifteen or more feet of water on top of them is a good thing.. Follow those contour lines in that depth in the Tigers and you'll come across some..
Catfishing is still good on stink bait. Try the marker eight to nine areas near the hardwoods.. We're gonna go catch a boxful on Sunday, wind permitting.. Not my normal fishing but I know a guy...
And hell I like jerking when my cork goes under..
Fathers day is this weekend and maybe you will get a chance to take the old Man fishing. I sure wish I had a time machine and I could go back and spend another day or two with mine.
There were a few years, say 1974 thru 1977, when we did not always see eye to eye.. Funny how that correlates to my age of 18 to 21.. When I knew it all..
He sure learned a lot in them four years..
I miss him every day..
You can probably figure out which one is him..
I'm ten days out from my cataract surgery, and man what a difference. I guess you just don't notice the slow deterioration in your sight. Hope to try my new vision tying some knots this weekend.
This getting old shit has its challenges.. Like my Daddy said, "Getting old ain't for pussies.."
Speaking of pussies.. Wonder what is going to happen to these latest few generations of kids that are clueless as to what the real world is all about.. After us old fuckers die..
And they have to make it on their own.. Hope Mom And Pop leave em millions of dollars.. Or a bunch of em are gonna be in deep shit..
And I don't want to paint with too wide a brush.. There are tons of really good kids out there. But I don't know if there are enough of them to support all the other lazy, unmotivated, uneducated, over medicated, and indoctrinated spoiled brats out there.
Maybe it is a generational thing, but I just don't understand the disdain that lot of youngsters have for work..
Work equals money.. Money begets freedom.. And the pursuit of happiness.. Or maybe I should say fun.
And life is supposed to be fun filled happiness..
No it ain't easy.. But nothing worth while is..
But it makes it all the more worth while looking back and saying that "I did it.. I got myself here by the sweat of my brow and the willingness to do what it takes to be a contributor to society.. Not a drag on it.."
And with that success comes a pride that only those that have put in the work can know.
And sad to say that many today may never know that feeling..
My Daddy taught me a lot of things..
The value of hard work.
That every person you meet is due kindness and respect.
To do everything you do better than it needs to be done..
Leave it bettern you found it..
To help those you can.. And realize it when you can't..
But most of all he taught us respect for ourselves. And that alone can carry a man for a lifetime.. Because it encompasses all..
Ok I'm off my philosophical soapbox.
It's time to go fishing so go when you can. And take your Dad.. I sure wish I could take mine..
See you on the water!
June 7, 2021: Looks like the wet period we have been experiencing has come to an end, at least for the short term. But we were fortunate enough to catch a few feet of water and that has made a lot of things better including the full use of our county boat ramp here in Zapata.
We are up to 261.13, up from our low of right at 257. That's about four feet and truthfully we are just entering out wettest time of the year.. If you can say that Zapata ever has a wet period.
The valley is soaked and we should hold steady or better in the next few weeks. Spoke to a buddy that works at the dam and he says they haven't even generated any electricity in a couple of weeks.. Just releasing enough water to keep the river below us alive..
And that is a good thing..
We are still launching off the bank down at the state park, but it has been gravy at this level and you don't even need to get your back tires in the water. And two wheel drive has not been a necessity launching down at the park.
We still have darn few fishermen down here, but the ones that are on the water have been doing well on a variety of baits.
Of course it is still all about rock.. If you ain't fishing rocks from 12 feet in you are missing out on a lot of bites. I'm not saying you can't catch a fish flipping a tree.. But rocky ledges and points are still the shit when it comes to getting bit.
I have not been on the water in about ten days, as I am still waiting on a lower unit and my eye doctor says no rough boat rides for a week..
Yeah, yeah, yeah.. I'm being a good boy but this shit is killing me. I'm needing to get some sun.
Shallow crankbaits will most likely get you bit more than anything else, although a lot of the fish we are catching on them have been on the smaller size. Of course every now and then one of them big motherfuckers gets a hold of it and then all bets are off..
A Carolina rig is still a good choice and a senko or a little bit more finessey bait is a good choice. I have heard that a baby brush hog is catching them pretty good as well.
If I was fishing today, I still would concentrate on the lower half of the lake, but I did hear of a boat doing good on the north side of marker eight. Old rockpiles are starting to hold some groups of fish and a light weighted soft plastic or a crankbait you can tick off the rocks is an excellent choice as well..
You will notice that I collect old rocks.. And rockpiles collect new baits.. Payback I guess..
But if you ain't fishing rocks.. See above..
Hurricane season has officially started, and around here we keep ans eye out for anything with circulation. In the gulf or off the Pacific coast of Mexico.
And sooner or later Mother Nature is going to spawn us a storm or two that will significantlly impact our water level here. But no expectant father can hurry the coming natural event.
Eleven years and still counting.. I hope at least Mother Nature has been inseminated.. I'm not sure about the gestation period of a baby hurricane..
I have informed Father Time that I am getting old and I need a few years to fish this thing after it fills up.
The lakes in Mexico that are on the Conchos river, do not have very much water in them. They are as low as Kamala's IQ.. Which means that it will take a lot of rain in them thar mountains to get them to release any water.
But it can happen in a hurry when it does.. The drought that has persisted over northern Mexico and west Texas can't last forever.. And I damn sure hope it don't outlast me..
I had cataract surgery last Friday and I haven't been that visually impaired since the seventies.. Still very light sensitive.
Did you know that a computer keyboard actually has letters and numbers on them?
It wasn't that bad.. But I was due..
Glad to get past it as this Whoohan protocol was a big pain in the ass..
Not supposed to go on any bumpy boat rides for another five days.. And on Falcon there ain't many days when that don't happen..
So I am going to have to live vicariously for another week or so..
Come fishing.. And tell me what is happening..
So I can tell you..
May 27, 2021: This week Zapata has been a ghost town as far as fishermen go. If we had any crickets we'd be hearing them.. But we got plenty of mosquito's.. One thing the rain will bring out.
The lake is up about two and a half feet from our low back in mid April, and the good news is that we are now able to launch on the county main ramp here in Zapata.
Launching at the state park is easy as well albeit on the shore. But at this level we are having no problems. Even with 2x4..
We are releasing very little water at this time, as the valley got the rain I wish we would have had above us.
Last weekend there were two tournaments held down at the state park.. One group on Saturday from the valley, and the Laredo outfit that fishes Falcon about once a month.
Rumor has it that on Saturday the winning stringer was right at 35 pounds. And on Sunday about 25.
So some quality fish are still being caught.
This week a few guides and a couple of boats from out of town are the only ones fishing.. So if you're tired of the crowds you might give Falcon a try.
The few reports I have gotten this week indicate that the morning bite has been a bit slow.. But the afternoon has been really good.. Not surprising to me with the big ol moon we have had this week.
Seems it is always that way on a full moon down here..
The same old baits are working.. A shallow crankbait with some chartreuse on it.. A senko.. Or a fluke or an Ol Monster in plum or plum apple. Texas rigged is fine but the C-rig is still working as well.
Of course I would not leave home without a Spro in Citrus Shad.
Rock is essential. From Pierce's south is best. Ten foot and in.
I have typed that so many times I should keep it in the copy que so I can just paste it..
Water temps are in the mid eighties on most of the lake. So summer is here.. If you are fishing a tourney make preparations to take care of your fish. You know the drill..
Zapata county has finally released the mask mandate at local businesses I hear. Glad to see em' join us..
And as I drive around I still see people in their cars all alone with a mask on.. Or walking their dog with a mask on..
These people ain't going to be smashing no atoms..
A lot of this stuff makes zero sense.. Next week I am having cataract surgery.. I have to go register at the surgical clinic.. Wear a mask.. Take a covid test.. And quarantine till the surgery is done.. After being in the doctors office three times before the surgery without the above..
Most paranoid Mo-Fo's I have ever seen. WTF did I get the shots for?
Why the fuck are all the Senators and Rep's wearing masks in session after they had the shots? But they want the public to get them so we're all protected?
That's instilling a lot of confidence in John Q Public..
I ain't sure where all this shit is headed.. But it does appear that some Biden voters are getting their eyes opened. Main street America is not down with this shit..
I cannot understand why back road America is being allowed to pilot the boat. I guess cause all of our so called "conservative" leaders are Enoch's.. And of course some of them were born without em..
I guess not all of em.. And a few of the ladies have some balls as well.. But not the vast majority.. Pussies..
And I have never seen a time like this when everything and everyone is racist.. Horse shit..
I could give a flying fuck about what color you are.. Or perceive yourself to be..
You're either a good person, working for the common good, with good will in your heart for all..
Or you're a no count fuck head that is just a drag on society..
And it don't make a shit what color you are..
And yes I can show you some prejudice, if you are the latter..
This shit has got to end..
And so has this update.. See you on the water..
May 17, 2021: Been a lot of crazy weather around since I last wrote.. Including a little tornado that passed just behind our shop and then crossed the highway and continued tearing up shit along the way.
A couple more of these and we'll have the neighborhood behind us cleaned up.. We sustained no major damage but it did bend my flag poles and Martin house pole..
Those poor Martins have been through enough already this year.. After having their kin-folk freeze to death here in balmy south Texas.. They came thru it fine but their floors were out of kilter for a few hours..
And during all this time we have caught about a foot or a little more of water from rains both local and up the river a bit..
And better news is that the valley got it's ass kicked with some really good rains several days in a row. We are releasing almost zero water right now and like I have always said, water saved is as good as water caught..
We are still a bit off of using the main ramp here in Zapata.. It's close. But for now we are still on the ramp on the point.. Which is no big deal.. It has a perfect slope..
The state park is still launching fine out on the point past the canal. If you ain't been there just look for where everyone else is launching.. No sweat..
The only problem with the state park ramp is that if you are there right after a big rain, it can be slickern' a minners dick getting back to the top..
Otherwise two wheel drive has been working for most.. But 4X4 ain't a bad thing to have.
Fishing has been good, but a bit spottier than it has been the last little while. We are releasing no water, and the lake is on a slow rise.. And it ain't unusual for the fish to be a little more tight lipped when the lake is coming up..
Rock is still the shit when it comes to catching fish. Windblown rocks is best, but on Friday me and my partner, (fishing, not sexual) found a school of fish on a protected point in the Tigers, at the mouth of Goose Bay..
And we caught em on a Spro shallow runner and on a wacky rigged Senko. One of our buddies did bettern' we did and caught them on a super fluke with a weight pegged about a foot above the bait.
All on gravel bottom of course..
There was a lot of hoppin' around on Friday, so I am gonna guess that there were other folks looking for fish as well.
I talked to a few folks that said they could get bit on a shakey head over the weekend.. But the bite is funny.. Like the fish are not really committed to eating the son of a bitch..
There are still so many shad on the rocks that I can hardy believe they will eat anything at all.. I probably foul hooked a half dozen on Friday on the crankbait..
I have not talked to anyone that fished the dam as of late.. It has been good but they're not letting much water out right now and it does affect the bite I believe..
The top of the lake is still as dirty as Nancy Pelosi, and fishing is much better where the water clears up.. It's better at marker eight.. But lots better at marker seven and points south.. Tigers main body looks great, but back up the creeks is a little off due to the local rains.
If you are running the lake from top to bottom, stay in the channel. There are still a lot of hardwoods on the flats off the main lake.. It ain't a problem.. But it could be if you hit a stump..
If it quit tomorrow it has been good to see a bit of a wet pattern around us.. We actually have the ground wet around here..
Nother chance on Wednesday.. We'll see..
On Friday we got our trip extended by about three hours, as we lost a lower unit on the way in.. No we didn't knock it off on anything, but a bearing seized up about Bob's Knob and it took about two and a half hours to tow the fucker back to the county ramp..
Worst part is that I never take any beer in the boat anymore.. Would have been a good day to have some.. The Game Wardens checked on us as we were being towed, and I asked them to go get us some beer.. But it didn't work..
I got some good sun on my legs though.. My partner did not think it was that sexy.. (sexual, not fishing..)
In any case the fishing is still good, if not better.. And some really nice fish have been caught like this 10.4 caught by Jake Trevino last week.
And yesterday this fish, that is not a monster, but still a nice fish and not at all unusual was caught by Saul Gonzales on a lizard.
I live over in the Four Seasons subdivision in northwest Zapata, and currently our property owners association is putting up a new Rec Hall..
I poured the slab last year, and last week we put the metal building up. Well we hired someone to do both.. And I have about a two hundred feet of walls to put up inside, partitioning off some rooms.. Card room, bathrooms, kitchen etc..
I have been in the construction business most of my life and I heard wood was crazy, but not this crazy.. $13.50 for a ten foot 2X4..
I should have rented a storage room and bought the lumber the day I poured the slab.. Hindsight is 20-20 they say..
If anybody needs a house torn down let me know.. I need lumber.. This shit is going to blow my budget like a cheap condom..
You bought any gas lately? $2.79 down here.. $3.28 for the mid grade I put in the boat..
I wonder how much we are spending on fuel for the 900 State Troopers we have stationed along the border. I went to Roma yesterday to eat lunch.. Bout forty miles south of us.. Saw 19 troopers on the way there.. 21 on the way back..
BTW.. Don't speed on the way to the state park..
It appears that our new president has opened the gates to illegal aliens and the border from Brownsville to San Diego is awash in new citizens.. And the only ones that are making any money on the deal is those importing and trafficking them..
Once they are here, they're on our tab.. Welcome to the Biden administration.. Or whoever it is telling him what they want..
This administration is playing a game of Wheel of Fortune with 36 spaces of Loose A Billion and two spaces of You're Fucked..
I got a spam e-mail the other day advertising the drug Ol' Corn Pop is taking to keep him sharp..
That really can't be a good advertising weapon.. But someone did tell me that he has advanced from Green Eggs and Ham to The Cat In The Hat..
Careful Joe. There a lot of pronouns in there..
Everybody gets to a point in life when your Yamalube won't mix with your gas.. This guy passed that milestone a long time ago..
But according to CNN there are eighty something million Americans who thought this was the best man for the job..
Hard for me to believe that the majority of voters are really that
Crime is up in most all of the major cities across America.. So is the hate level..
The common denominator? All these cesspools are run by Democrats..
Hypocritical, self serving, no count son of a bitches, male and female, that refuse to open their eyes to the problems that their party has created..
Meanwhile the people suffer and are kept on the dole and given just enough for the city.. (credit: Stevie Wonder..)
It's pathetic.. And disgusting..
And if you think the government is going to make you rich, or even comfortable.. You're crazy. They might keep you alive.. But is that a life worth living?
Ok I'm off the soapbox..
Get your ass down here and catch some fish.. I'm too busy to catch em all..
See you on the water..
May 5, 2021: It's been a while since I busted out this pic.. And the beer and teqilla is flowing freely here in Zapata today.. After all it is Cinco de Mayo!
That Hornito's is some fine sippin' sauce..
There has been some crazy weather around central Texas, and a lot of places got a lot of rain.. And while we got a bit above and below us, we did not get enough to do anything significant. We have picked up about eight inches of water in the last week, and really most of it came out of Amistad.
The valley got a little rain and releases from Falcon have slowed a lot. Of course it looks like they have also slowed the releases from Amistad..
We only got about .70 during the spell.. Most of the rain along the border fell too far east to get much in our watershed..
Instead of having a drainage the size of Rosie, we got something more along the lines of Twiggy on the Texas side of the river..
We need people standing on roofs in Eagle Pass to really do us a lot of good.. It's happened before and it'll happen again.. And we're getting closer every day.. We need one of those Pacific lows to get hung up between Eagle Pass and Del Rio for about a week.
And as crazy as the weather has been this year, who knows.. Maybe it'll be the one..
Water has actually crept up on the end of the new ramp, but we need about two feet to make it work.. The water at the end of the old Veleno bridge is about nine feet deep, and to the right about ten yards is the old roadbed.. Leave some paint on the bridge as you go by..
Run the channel on your way down the lake and you'll have no problems.. But don't wander too far from it as there are still a bunch of big hardwoods out on the flats..
I ran from Zapata to Tigers on Sunday and it is still no sweat.. Just pay attention like I said.
Launching at the state park is gravy.. Not on concrete but just as good..
If you are going to fish the south end of the lake, and I recommend it, I would probably just launch down there.
I caught a shit ton of fish on Sunday on a solo trip. And I fished the Tigers exclusively.. Well I did stop in Pierces to take a look around, but there were a lot of boats in there where I wanted to fish.
Most any gravely point in Tigers can have fish on it. And you want to fish the windy side of course.
Fish were right on the rocks out to about eight feet deep. And yes there were a lot of small fish mixed in, and truthfully I did not catch a fish over three pounds. But the numbers were stupid..
I threw mostly a senko on a shakey head and a C-rig, but a shallow square bill caught them just about as good..
I just prefer to whack the shit out of em when I get a bite.. The shad are lousy in there and the birds are thick on the banks. You couldn't run em off with a shotgun..
Last week I fished with Robert from Amigo guide service, and we were out on a scouting trip.. We fished main lake points south of Tigers and beat em senseless as well, to include two sevens, two fives and a shit load of two's and threes..
A lot of people are still fishing the dam and doing well.
It's pretty simple.. Fish the rocks and catch fish.
I cain't catch em for you.. Get your ass down here..
You know the tackle world is pretty fucked as a whole, and getting product has been a constant challenge the last year.. I thought things were getting better, but the last month has really sucked..
Zoom and Strike King, our two best sellers, have been as spotty as an Appaloosa. I may or may not find what I am looking for.. And seeing empty pegs on my walls really pisses me off..
We always try to sell US and Texas made products first, and to be quite honest it is getting harder and harder to find anything made in the states any more.
We have sold Falcon rods for decades. And still do. But they no longer manufacture their rods in the country either. And I don't think the quality is as good as it once was.
And truthfully you can't get away with a POS when fishing down here.. At least not for long..
Which has led us to develop some serious new rods made right here in south Texas. Waterloo rods in Victoria are making them, from the ground up. And we have three new rods in stock you might want to take a look at next time you stop in.
We have a 7'9" cranker, a 7'3' pitching stick, and a 7'3" flippin stick.
This has been a long process and we have fucked around with a lot of prototypes and I think we got it right..
Anyway, check em out the next time you're in.. They sell for $229 and I think you won't find any other American made rod of this quality at this price.. If you can even find another American made rod..
BTW they have full cork handles cause that's the way I like it.. You may not..
In any case.. You can catch a shitload of fish down here right now.. Why you're not here?? Hell if I know..
But know that I will be out there tearing them a new ass.. And I'll catch some for you..
See you on the water.. Or not..
April 26, 2012: It's hard to believe that a third of 2021 is about in the books.. We're sliding thru the year like Ricky Henderson into second.. Head first and making the dust fly..
And as we head into the second batch of fours we still have excellent fishing going on down here. The numbers of fish have been outstanding, and some real quality fish are being caught as well..
But that ain't nothing new.. This shit has been going on for months.
I know the state overall has been fishing pretty damn good wherever you are. Or at least there is a lake close to you where fishing has been good.
But I doubt if you can find it easier than here.. And no crowds..
There have been a plethora of baits working. Soft plastics, spinnerbaits, squarebills, a little jig action, shakey heads..
That tells me that the fish are just plain biting.
Senkos on a Texas rig have been excellent.. Find you some gravel points or ridges in about five feet of water with a slope and you're gonna get bit.. Same areas with a square bill or middle runner..
Put a super fluke on a Carolina rig.. Yep. That shit is working too..
The dam is still putting out fish.. When the wind will let you fish it. But any rocky bank from Pierce's south can have fish on it. Some spots are loaded up..
Our only problem has been that some days the wind can really kick your butt..
The lake is so full of small fish from ten to fourteen inches right now that it blows my mind. Been several years since we have see it and maybe Mother Nature is setting us up for something big.. Time will tell.. We're going to catch a shit ton of water sooner or later.. Might as well be this year..
I gotta wonder if the hundreds of brush piles that have been added in the last two years has helped the survival of the baby fish.. Sure as hell didn't hurt anything..
The lake has been holding level for the last two weeks or thereabout.. Releases from Amistad have held us steady..
We are sitting at 257.16, or about 44 feet low. Sounds bad.. But there is stile a lot of lake out there..
Launching at the state park is no problem but be advised that it is not on a concrete ramp. 4X4 helps, but is not really necessary out on the point past the ditch where we were launching forever. There is a good rocky slope there and you don't even get your back tires wet.. Right now.. We'll see about the future and I'll let you know if things change.
Here in Zapata we are launching on the concrete ramp on the point west of the main ramp.. Perfect ramp right now..
Speaking of the county ramp, you'll be glad to hear that finally.. After a year of pleading and begging..
We have added a giant addition to the existing ramp. Forty five feet wide.. And a hundred and forty feet long. (45x140)
This is right beside the existing ramp that was two or three wide before.. We will be easily able to launch at least six wide on it when the water comes up.. Eight if anybody can back a trailer..
We have had the permit to get it done for over a year.. But money and and the Whoohan had prevented us from getting it done.. And if you know Zapata, you know nothing happens here fast..
Somebody asked me about the crappie.. They have been so reliable that I have about quit talking about em.. Brush piles still have a bunch in em..
And they should be getting some rest as the vast majority of snowbirds have left their winter nest for cooler locations..
Catfish also still good..
White bass have kinda disappeared.. No doubt the netters took their toll on em this year with the low water in the river on top of the lake.. I ain't crying over it..
Speaking of nets.. I ran into three Game Wardens yesterday at Tractor Supply and we were shooting the shit about a bunch of things and they told me that in the last two weeks they have picked up 31 nets on the US side.. They have had a little task force working down here, in conjunction with the law enforcement branches patrolling the border..
It has been all hands on deck around here with the mass migration of illegal motherfuckers invading Texas..
The wardens found two Guatemalans and three El Salvadorans in the nets..
Ok Ok I made that last part up.. But it is ridiculous what is happening in south Texas..
Thanks to all the law enforcement working down here with their hands basically tied..
We really don't have many crossing the lake, as they are just crossing the bridges north and south of us.. But there have been several high speed chases as of late with officers in pursuit of drug and human traffickers..
I'm about rested up from being on vacation down in Mexico.. Well it is not really down from where I am.. It is pretty much due west..
Ten of us invaded Ron Speed Jr's camps at Pichachos and El Salto.
And I know I have told you this story before, but when you are fishing Pichachos, it is like fishing a south Texas stock tank that has never seen a fisherman. And those fish must be the goofiest son of a bitches on the planet. Cause they never quit biting..
But maybe there are just so many of them fuckers that you just can't catch them all. I spent an hour looking for holes in the mouths or what might be hook marks in the fish, and I had trouble seeing any..
There was not a top water bite happening at all. We tried a bit and I caught one little one in three mornings.. But we did not stick with it long any day..
The guides all said "Surficia no vaile.." They were right. But I have been there this time of year where you would catch em every cast..
We caught the piss out of em every day, and one day in particular we tied to a tree all morning, and after lunch we fished the same deep little hole till we had enough.
My fishing partner is 85 and neither of us are that mad at em anymore.. I think that day we had 138 fish and we could have caught a lot more if we wanted to..
Other guys in our group did similarly.
Ted and I had a double of nice fish with a big five and a middle six in the net at the same time..
Shit I love my job.. As a group we caught a lot of nice fish with several sevens caught..
After three and a half days at Pichachos (although me and Ted took the last morning off) we headed for El Salto.
The last morning I spent teaching the bartender how to make the perfect Bloody Mary..
And if you have not seen the new restaurant/bar and the grounds at the Pichacos camp you will be impressed.. It looks and is awesome.
When we arrived at El Salto everything looked the same.. Except I could not see any water from the camp. As a matter of fact you had to go quite a ways to see any water..
Even the guides said it was a low as they had ever seen.. But that is not a problem when you have high walls and deep creeks tucked in between the mountains.
What was a problem were the nets.. Holy shit I have never seen so many fuckin nets in my life..
But it did not bother the fish as much as it bothered the fishermen. It was tough to fish a lot of water that looked prime. Some places impossible.. But once you got your mind right it became less and less of an issue.
But I am telling you there were a lot of fuckin nets. Of course their season ended about the time we left and the nets are now out of the lake. So I am sure those fishing now are tearing them a new ass..
Now all that being said, I caught an 8-2 the first ten minutes we fished. It would be the biggest for me the rest of the trip. My partner caught a nine on day two, and about four fish from four to six pounds on the exact point..
Pissin me off..
Another boat in our group caught a hundred and thirty something one afternoon without moving the boat.. On crankbaits.
We did best on 7" Senkos and mag lizards and of course I whipped their ass on the Plum Ol Monster..
Another boat whacked em on spinnerbaits and another boat caught the shit out of em on black/blue 6" senkos.
It was a pretty easy equation.. At both lakes.. Go fishing... Catch fish.
At El Salto I think we had eight eights, one nine, and a 10.81 was the big fish of the trip.
Our group, after fishing both lakes, with my team taking three outings off, caught 2,997 fish..
I know I am a slacker but there is a lot of Mexican beer and tequila and Cuban cigars down there that need attention.
And to quote Kinky Friedman, "I don't look at smoking Cuban cigars as supporting their economy.. I look at it as burning their crops.."
As always the food and service at the lodges was excellent. I had not eaten a steak in two years.. But I had two of them big son of a bitches while I was there.. And five lobsters..
I pre medicated for the gout before I went.. Still waiting for that shit to sneak up on me..
In any case you cant go wrong with going to any of Ron's camps down in Mexico.. Or Peacock Bass fishing in Brazil as well.. He is about as anal with taking care of customers and providing great facilities as anyone could imagine..
If you are thinking of taking a trip down (or over, south or west) to Mexico give them a call and get the details..
Or give me a call.. I'll tell you all about it.. Or just google Ron Speed and you'll find more info that you can ingest..
I'm working on some thoughts about what our country is going through, and the incremental erosion of what was once a great nation..
But I am already running long and your ass is probably going to sleep sitting on the shitter..
So I'll be back before very long with a few thoughts..
Meanwhile get your ass down here for some hassle free American (or Mexican) fishing and catching.. It ain't been this good in years.. I'm tellin ya..
See you on the water!
April 22, 2021: Well if you're not at Falcon now, or on your way, it ain't my fault.. Cause I'm telling you it is as good as it has been in years.
A few of the local snowbirds have delayed their return to the northern homelands because the fishing has been so good.
A couple of buddies of mine caught a hundred and thirty something the other day.
And I went to Mexico to go fishing? Nobody ever said I was smart..
You can catch em anyway you want, I hear, and even the flipping bite has come around.. But most fish are still on rocks from Pierces south. Any rocky point can have fish on it.. Or a shitload of fish..
Crankbaits, C-rigs and Texas rigs are doing really well on long points. Most fish are still inside of twelve feet I hear..
In any case, the fishing has been excellent.
My passport is back in my desk drawer.. Where it had been for over two years..
It was good to get out of town.
We went to Pichachos and to El Salto and stayed at Ron Speed Jr's camps at both places of course. And like always the accommodations and staff were excellent.
And the fishing was Falconesque.. We whacked em both lakes and our group caught 2,997 fish. And that's with a few afternoons off for a couple of anglers.. To include me..
I'll be doing a write up on the trip here as soon as I get caught up.. Still answering e-mails and doing honey-do's after being gone for nine days..
I am too old for this shit..
In any case, if you have been considering coming to Falcon, get in your truck now.. And I don't say that all the time.
There have been a lot of small fish caught lately, but a lot of really quality fish have been caught as well.
And just a lot of really fun fishing..
And as fucked up as the nation appears to be these days, you might need to get away for some levity..
I'll post a full report on happenings in the next few days..
But it has been good.. Really good..
See you soon..
April 11, 2021: It's been hot down here this week.. But not as hot as the fishing.. And the catching..
I spoke to some fellers at Stripes this morning and they said they ran into a school of three and four pounders and they couldn't catch em all.. Similar reports from guides Jay Grieshaw and Matt Reed yesterday evening..
Nobody that is spending some time on the water ain't not catching fish..
I love employing a double negative.. In a positive way..
The numbers of giant fish have slowed a bit, but fish numbers overall are as good as I have seen em in years..
And I am going to Mexico this week fishing??
Happens every time..
Nothing has changed in the technique.. Go fish rocks.. Your way will work.. Keep point and ledge hopping till you find a passel of em..
Of course the dam is still putting out a lot of fish..
The lake has remained about steady this week, as Amistad continues to match what we are letting out. Of course this is subject to change at any minute..
Only the Shadow knows what will happen tomorrow..
Launching conditions have not decayed or improved at either end of the lake.
Doable.. But not optimal..
And once again let me remind you to run the river channel on the top half of the lake.. Stumps a plenty off the river.
Of course at this level what can one expect..
If you are launching on the North end of the lake, when passing the old Veleno bridge, leave a little paint on it as you go by..
The deepest water is right up against it.. Still got about ten foot of water at the west end of the bridge..
Any rock you find on Falcon right now may have fish on it.. That is rock that is seen and unseen.. Most fish inside of ten feet.. Not saying you can't catch any some deeper.. But best numbers in the five foot range. Still..
Well you fuckers are on your own for the next ten days.. I'm heading down to Ron Speeds at Pichachos and El Salto for a week of it..
I ain't been out of town in two years and there might be a bottle of tequila with my name on it down there..
My brother will be manning the store and he can help you with anything you might need..
And if you guys need a Mexican Fishing License for next weeks Bass Champs at Amistad give us a call. We'll fix you up..
See you when I get back!
April 6, 2021: Ah the sweet taste of summer.. It might not be summer where you are, but here in Zapata, summer is making a triumphant return this week.
We are supposed to be in the 100° range here the next few days, and there won't be no need to put on them long pants in the morning.
And for those of you who don't have any tan base working, you better lather up with some sunblock or you are going to look like a Maine lobster.
Summer protocols should be in place if you are fishing down here..
And the only thing hotter that the air temps is the fishing. As I said last week, we have not fished this good in a few years.
Why? Hell if I know but it is something that I don't question. Get it while the gettin' is good..
The numbers of fish, and very decent quality has continued to impress. There are a lot of smaller fish being caught, but while you are jerking on a bunch of them, sooner or later you are gonna jerk on one that don't move.
It's like, ohhhhh. Shit.. This one didn't move.. You might wanna grab that net..
The dam has still been a fish magnet, and it is crazy how many fish are still being caught there.. I talked to a couple of folks that fished there all day yesterday and did not go anywhere else.
Several baits and methods are still working well on the rip-rap. Well hell, almost anything is working well there.
A spinnerbait, a swimbait, preferably on an underspin, a crankbait, a dropshot, or a senko are all great choices.. Some days one might be better than the other but you can figure it out pretty quick.
The crappie are pretty thick on the dam as well and often times you will catch a big ol crappie on your bass stuff.. And if you are crappie fishing you are gonna get your ass kicked by some bass while you are there as well.
Small baits have caught a lot of bass. A five inch senko is good. Mardi Gras is still an excellent color.
Swimbaits in a shad or natural color is kicking their ass with a slow retrieve ticking the rocks.. The rocks also like your baits down there as well.
Actually any rocky point or drop off from Bob's Knob south can have fish on it. And some places are loaded with fifteen inch fish and you can catch a bunch without moving the boat.
Suddenly we are seeing a bunch of undersized fish. In the ten to twelve in size. And I am damn glad to see it. We went a few years without seeing a good hatch, and how all these fish made it to cormorant proof size is a mystery to me.
We are seeing fewer white bass right now, and I reckon the netters were taking a toll on em as they made their way up the river to spawn. I'm shedding no tears over it..
A few months ago you couldn't get away from em in some places.. But who knows.. I am sure there are still plenty out there..
Fishing pressure has backed off, as a lot of our winter Texans have exited the state the last couple of weeks.
And next week Bass Champs is at Amistad, so probably a lot of our regulars are out there looking around.
Launching your boat around here at this water level can be a bit of a shit show, but two experienced boaters can get it done no sweat.
It's funny that when fishing sucks we hear all kinds of complaints.. The ramps suck.. My mattress is a piece of shit at the motel.. My tacos were cold.. Gas costs too much.. The water is low...
But when we are whacking them everybody is happy..
Not much bitching around here lately..
Young Timmy here from Oregon came to Falcon with his spinning rod and and managed to whack a fish bigger than anything he'd ever seen.
And this fish caught by Kelly Gates went 11.35 and was built like a tank..
Both of those fellows were fishing with John Adami.. Thanks for the pics..
All I have caught lately is three and four pounders.. But I am fishing the trees.. Cause I like to.. And the flipping bite has really come around as of late as well..
Like I said.. Nobody is bitching about the fishing.. Like the last six weeks..
If you don't come, it ain't my fault.
After two years of barely leaving the county, I have finally said, "Screw it." I'm going on vacation.
After some research, I found a small opening in Ron Speed's camps out in western in Mexico, and I am going to fish Pichachos and El Salto next week. And from reading the reports out there, it looks like it is going to be a jerkfest. And El Salto as been putting out some really nice fish as of late and it has been a few years since I have been out there.
I'm a little pumped up.. And eating anti-gout medicine like Tic-Tacs..
What does a guy who can go fishing most any day of the week on one of the best lakes in America do on vacation?
Well I ain't going to Disneyland...
There's a lot more to it than the fishing.. Something everybody should try at some time.
And I'll give a detailed report when I get back.
BTW.. Congrats to the Baylor Bears basketball team on wining the National Championship. I'm not a big TV watching guy when it comes to basketball. But it was fun to watch the final four games..
Well specially when your team wins..
I was once master of the patented James Bendele "Geometry" hook shot.. Indefensible..
With the sun setting later and later every evening, I am enjoying being able to work around the house and shop after I get home.. And with every thing in my landscape pretty much decimated, I have had plenty to keep me busy.
I've cut down more shit that Paul Bunyan..
That freeze kicked my yards ass.. Plants that grow in Zapata are not too freeze hardy..
But the good part of this is that I am watching less and less TV. And I'm seeing less and less My Pillow commercials..
I am also seeing less and less Viagra and Cialis commercials, so I will assume that that America is now rock-hard..
But sheesh I have a couple of new ones to bitch about..
I guess that with today's "in your face" openness about sex and bodily functions, it was just a mater of time before we were assaulted by commercials with the latest in super absorbent space age materials designed for what I thought were delicate matters.. And delicate subjects..
But not anymore motherfuckers..
Now we have ads for pantie liners that are designed for the; and I quote, "Heavy flowers.. And Gushers."
I'm sitting on the couch eating my pork chop and this commercial comes on every day..
Dammit. I'm going back out to the garage..
I guess if they'd a had a case of these bastards on the Titanic that son of a bitch would have never sunk..
Is nothing sacred anymore?
I remember the first time my wife sent me to the store to get her a box of tampons.. And given her mood at the time I wasn't about to tell her to go get em' herself..
I think I bought $600 worth of groceries and two cases of beer and just kind of mixed em in.. Hoping nobody would notice..
As Bruce Hornsby sang.. "This is the end of the innocence.."
But going back farther than that. "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.."
Ah yes time marches on.. Not all things for the better either I am sure. But technology rules and we are getting lazier and fatter letting machines and modern marvels do our work for us.
But I guess that technology has been ruling mankind for a long time.
Hell, I reckon the Lone Ranger had the first voice activated transportation of all time..
"Hi Ho Silver, Away!"
Well I am going to Hi Ho Silver Wings it away next week.. And I'll let you know what happens..
Come get you some..
March 30, 2021: Well as we put the wraps on the third month of the year, the fishing here on Falcon remains very good. And while maybe the biggest fish have slowed biting a bit, we are still catching a lot of really quality fish, with five and six pound fish being very common.
I'm not saying there are no eights, nines, and tens being caught, but they have slowed down a bit in the last week.
But the smaller fish, many of them actually under legal size, are really showing up in some areas on the gravel bars and points. And then you might stick a biggun right in there amongst em'.
A senko is still catching fish about as good as anything, and a smaller one in the five inch size seems about the most popular.
And you can ask five different fishermen what color they like the best, and you might get five different answers.
But Mardi Gras, W/M Candy, and W/M Red are all good choices. Some folks dipping the tail and some aren't.
A crankbait in the shallow to middle depth is also still a good choice.. And a spinnerbait is working really well on some breezy afternoons in the right spot.
I also want to note that the flippin' bite has finally got in gear and we actually caught a few in the trees last Saturday. As did a few other folks..
We fished a lot of six to ten foot trees and had little luck.. Most of the fish we caught were in the three to four foot range.. But we tried it.. And when we got back shallower we got bit..
Shallow seemed to be good..
Saturday was a beautiful day with light winds and good and hot.. And a lot of fish got caught.
Sunday the wicked old north wind blew in.. Hard.. I was looking for a witch..
No fun and few fishermen.. Yesterday and today are fishable, but we have another front on our doorstep and it looks like tomorrow is going to suck..
This shit just won't go away .. I hate winter..
A couple of days ago, young Alex Montalvo here caught his first Falcon PB, and I am sure there will be more to come. This one weighed 5-1. I think they're both hooked..
Catching is good.. Just go fishing.. You're gonna catch some fish.. Throw what you like..
Man that sounds easy..
Launching here in Zapata has been good and bad. The county cleaned off the regular boat ramp, but there is still a silt bar out on the end of it.. And with the lake dropping it has once again become a problem.. Even though they just cleaned it off Friday.
I recommend that you use the ramp out on the point I have been talking about.. It is fine.. Just no dock out there..
We'll see what happens in the next few days, but we are hemorrhaging water and the ramp situation is always in flux.
Down at the state park things have improved, as we are now lunching at a new location across the ditch from where we were.
After you leave the office/ pay site, turn left at the butterfly garden.. Bear right.. And turn right at the first camp site/picnic area you come to..
Hopefully they have some signage up.. But when you get down there look for the fence and a couple of cones.. Launch close to the fence end..
And on another note.. Back on the other side of the ditch.. The side we were launching on.. Out the point a ways I hear there are folks putting in as well.. I knew it was coming..
I did not think it would work out there yet.. But evidently it is.. We have dropped a lot the last few weeks and where we are headed I do not know..
But once you get on the water catching fish has been pretty easy..
And I am not trying to make it sound like putting your boat in the water is impossible.. It ain't.. But I do want you to know it has had it's challenges.. And still has..
But it is easily doable for experienced boaters.. And certainly if you have hung around Falcon much..
But I guess at 42 feet low what can you expect..
Speaking of low, yesterday I drove over to Beacon lodge to look at the river down below.. The river I so dearly love to fish.. Well both rivers.. The Rio Grande and the Salado.. (Rio Grande to the right and Salado going away..)
Here's a pic I took of the confluence.. If you look to the circle I drew on the pic you can make out marker 14.. On dry ground..
To say we need a flood is an understatement..
Remember the old bridge abutment about a mile about up the river before you get to Hedieona?
It is also this one..
And this one..
I guess at some point the one on the US side got removed.. But I have no story on that.. Rubble from the old Customs house is still on the bank on the US side.. Along with the old town of Zapata.. In ruins.. What hasn't been scavenged..
While I am posting some pics, here's a locale some of you might recognize..
Last two pics taken from a helicopter in November of 2002.. Right after the big rise from being 54 feet low..
The lake went from 245 to 267 in four months and started the crazy re-population of fish in the lake.. Then in 2004 we jumped up to almost 290.. And after a dip in 05 and 06, in 2007, after being down about 25 feet we bounced back to about 290 again..
And that's where all your numbers and giant fish came from back in about 2007 thru 2012..
And no doubt that class of fish from 2004 was a motherfucker.. The lake was choked with cover and bait. No white bass existed.. And those fish grew so fast it was unbelievable..
And it'll happen again.. I just hope I am still alive and able fish it..
Of course we filed up in 2008 and got to a record high in 2010 at nine feet over pool..
And of course they fucked that water off so fast you could surf all the way to Brownsville..
We'll get it when God says so and not before.. But I know it's a coming..
Now it is possible that I might be dead and gone a couple of years after this thing has caught a bunch of water..
So you young whippersnappers write this down..
When this son of a bitch catches and holds twenty feet of water for a good spell..
Quit your job and get your ass down here..
It's gonna be Biblical..
But it ain't bad now. So get your ass down here while they're in a biting mood..
See you on the water!
March 25, 2021: Fishing continues to be outstanding here on Falcon, and the launching conditions continue to worsen down at the state park. Launching in the "ditch" is a bit of a bitch..
Of course this is happening as a result of the dropping water levels as Falcon water heads for the valley.
I had a long conversation with the park manager yesterday and all I can say is he is a lot less concerned with the launching capabilities of fishermen than I am..
I again requested that we be allowed to launch across the ditch on the south side where conditions are much more tenable.. He said he would have to talk to his superiors..
You would think he would be more interested in helping paying customers and in turn attract more folks to the park..
But I reckon it doesn't make any difference on his paycheck..
I love government.. You would think that the park manager could take it on himself to put up a couple of cones and make a cardboard sign that says launching area..
And these people are working "for us?" What if the game wardens or other emergency personnel needed to launch a boat?
Working on it..
Launching here in Zapata has had its challenges.. On the main ramp.. There is a silt bar on the end of it again, or really we have dropped back down to where it is a factor with big bass boats.
The county is supposed to clean it off today..
But if you are launching up here, just go down and launch at the point, due west of the main ramp.. If you don't know where it is stop in and we'll explain.. It is working great.. But there is no dock there..
Why put up with all this bullshit? Cause the fish are freaking biting.. Good..
And right now you cannot fish too shallow in a lot places.. We have heard of big fish in one foot of water.
Of course we always have shallow fish.
Rocky points are good choices and you might find fish on any rocky bank. But like most always, fish like to be near some deeper water.
The Tigers and the pockets south of there have a lot of rock and any of these might be great when you arrive.. Sometimes you have to cover some water to run into them..
But the folks fishing every day are pretty much wearing them out.
Squarebills, lizards, senkos, spinnerbaits.. Mid diving baits that run in the eight foot range that can be cranked out the slopes are good search tools on the rock or the dam.. Which by the way is still putting out fish at an amazingly high level considering the number of boats that fish it.
The trees have come to life a bit, and you can actually flip a few, squarebill a few, and sometimes whack em on a spinnerbait.
And don't be afraid to go shallow.. And remember the shady sides on the clear days and flip the shadow first.. I even caught a couple off the woods on Tuesday. But I did do better with the crankbait. And I was not in the back of any creeks.
Six to nine pound fish have been very common. And threes and two's have been pretty plentiful.
Not everybody is whacking monsters.. But if you come down for a few days, your odds are good that you are going to catch some quality fish, and maybe a fish of a lifetime.
I have heard of several ten's caught this week, but have no pics. I'll post some next go round..
I have a lot of irons in the fire, and I'll post a report right after the weekend.
But fishing is as good as it has been in years..
See you then.
March 17, 2021: It hadn't been too often as of late that I have told you to get your ass down here.. But you ought to be down here now.. As in Saturday, Monday, yesterday... The days in between have been a windy S.O.B. But those that braved the gales have still done well..
As a matter of fact, some folks have flat out wore em' out.. Catches of forty to fifty fish have been reported, and twenty five fish has been fairly easy.
And while a few small fry were caught, a lot of the fish have been really nice ones from three to five pounds.. And a lot of bigger fish have been landed as well.
And almost every boat has a story of a giant or two that fucked them up. Including the boat I was in on Monday.. Freakin crankbaits.. Nothing but witchcraft..
Baits that run shallow to eight feet have been the shit.. Some really big fish have been caught with ticks on em.. Right on the dirt.. But lots and lots of fish have been caught in the four foot range..
And then of course there is the dam.. Boats be lined up like bums in the soup line. There were thirty eight rigs at the state park when we put in mid morning..
And yeah.. Launching still sucks.. But it is what it as, as they say. When the fish are biting nobody seems to bitch too much.
There were eighteen rigs I could count within 100 yards of the dam on Monday.. And I thought to myself, well it is spring break week for a lot of kids..
But I didn't see any youngsters in the boats I saw..
Tigers is also a crowded zip code as a lot of fish are being caught off the rocky points and ridges in there..
Same technique.. Crankbaits and smaller worms.. Lots of folks are throwing finesse worms on pegged Texas rigs on the dam.. Light and small a weight as you can get by with.. And fish it slow..
Big fish are liking it too..
But rock is the common denominator..
Big fish are on the bite, and I have seen pics of a bunch of eights and nines and tens..
Here's a few.. Anthony Gallegos caught this 12 something a couple of days ago..
And I didn't get the name of this young man but this was a 12-4 caught on Tuesday.
And Jamie Edge caught this 10.54 on last Friday. They also caught several eights and nines as well.
There have been several other fish in the twelve and over range that I have not gotten pics of.
We are currently fishing better than we have in several years. I hope it lasts a while..
The shad are also up shallow.. If you are throwing a crankbait, you will know if there is a lot of bait around.. On Monday we foul hooked a dozen or more and I have heard the same story from several folks. Them bastards are lousy.. It is amazing that you can get a bite..
If you can get your ass down here pronto for a few days.. Well quit fucking around!
Get to packing..
Last weekend the Texas Bass Nation was in town, and they had about 23 anglers fishing the tourney. And it was windier that the lunch room at Bush's Beans..
But they still managed to whack shit out of em, with the winning weight being over thirty five pounds. Second was over thirty and third over twenty eight..
And this was an individual format.. Lots of twenty plus stringers were caught..
Fun fishin'.. Better come get you some..
Speaking of fun fishin and big fish. This spring has been really producing some big fish here in Texas..
Unless you are living under a bridge, you have no doubt heard about all the big fish being caught at O.H. Ivie.
And a few other thirteen's being caught at lakes scattered across the state.
And with all the hullabaloo some folks are thinking that a state record is out there and will no doubt be caught in the near future..
I still say bullshit..
And to that very end, the state record chase is, and has been for years, hampered by the Sharelunker program.
Regardless if you are a SL fan or not, you have got to see that removing the vast majority of giant fish from our lakes is a detriment to ever growing a state record.
And don't give me the shit about " They are going to return the fish to the lake.."
If the fucker survives.. And if it does, PAW's own data will show you that the fish quit growing after going on vacation to Sharelunkerville..
Don't ask me why, but all but one fish that has been re caught has lost weight. I think one gained a couple of ounces.
What fish has a better chance of making it to eighteen pounds than one that is already thirteen to sixteen pounds..
And if you yank the son of a bitch out of its natural habitat, where evidently it is doing well and has exhibited the propensity for hugeness, well that is just just self defeating if your goal is to break a state record..
And I don't buy for one second the argument that "Well that fish might have died from just catching her.."
If I were a gambling man.. And I am.. I would and will bet big money that fish has an enormously better chance at survival if you take a quick weight and pic and turn her back right where you caught her..
Like I said before.. Taking a big fish on a boat ride, to a holding tank.. On a truck ride of unknown duration.. To a life in a concrete tank four feet wide and twenty feet long..
Well she might survive.. But I just don't know..
It's like putting granny in the trunk of a Mitsubishi and driving to California..
When you open that trunk she might be alive.. But she might not..
Great conditions for an extended period of time make for big fish.. And sure it is important to have good genetics in place..
And good genetics equals pure Florida bass.. And pure Florida Bass equals Sharelunker fish.. Don't let em tell anything else..
Well get your ass down here and maybe you can get a pic with a big fat motherfucker.. And if it ain't a fish, I'll get in the pic with you..
See you on the water!
March 9, 2021: The waters on Falcon are finally starting to warm up, and as expected, the fish are warming up as well.
Temps have been all over the board, but finally 65° water is getting pretty common place. And while that might seem warm to a lot of fish, it is a temp that Falcon fish need to get in the mood.
And the last couple of days, they really have.
On Saturday, there was a tournament here that the Army Anglers put on, and it took 35 pounds to win. Those fish came out of the Tigers, and that has been the hot spot it appears the last few days.
Rocky points and ledges close to deeper water has been key. Most fish are coming from four to ten feet of water, on the edges where fish are looking to move up. Typical shit..
I have also seen a few pics of fish that are white as snow, and I am sure they are moving up out of deep water.
Last week, Mark Raveling caught a 13.32, and that is the first teener I have seen in two years.
Yesterday Tim Broadfoot caught this 11.35, along with a bunch of other good fish.
A lot of six to eight pound fish were caught yesterday.
Over the weekend, young Cameron Gates here caught his PB, a nine and a half fishing with his grandpa..
Falcon is often good to the youngsters..
A senko and a lizard are good choices. Mardi Gras and baits with some gold in it have been reported good.
The wind has been the biggest issue, but it has been fishable if not a bit uncomfortable.
March is known to be a bit windy, and it seems that we can't get a semi calm day between the north and south wind. But it has not bothered the fish as much as the fishermen.
There are still decent numbers of fish coming from the dam, and the magic depth there appears to be about eight feet. Looking at your sonar will show you a bunch of bait and bass in that range.
A crankbait or a slow rolled spinnerbait have been working well. Plastics catch them there as well.. But they also tend to catch a few rocks. and a lot of times those rocks bite and don't let go.. Use the lightest weight you can get away with.
But if you loose them all, we got more.. That's why we're here..
Launching conditions have changed little, although we are loosing some water every day. The county ramp is working fine, right in the middle.. The state park is still a bit of a pain, but experienced boaters with four wheel drive are having few problems.
I still find it preposterous that a Texas state park does so little for its visitors.. They'll still take your money.. And stop you for a 22 in a 20..
But a boat ramp.. Or even any kind of effort. Well that's out of the question.. It's bullshit...
No wonder people are so pissed at government.. All parts of it.. City, county, state, federal.. They all suck..
And suck money like there is no limit on it and who gives a shit we'll just print more.. It's ludicrous..
And while you and I will have to have inoculations and a Whoohan check to travel anywhere, the invaders from the south are allowed to come into Texas basically no questions asked..
We're supposed to be getting a handle on this shit with all the tests and restrictions on personal freedoms, but if you are from some shithole infested region just come on in..
Yeah that makes sense..
Have you looked at the latest "Stimulus Package?" Un fucking believable.. They are spending your grandkids money on shit that shouldn't even exist..
While placating the ignorant with a few dollars and telling them that relief is on the way!
You have to be a special kind of stupid to think this is good for America..
Yall liking the new gas prices? It's only up fifty cents a gallon here..
New voting laws? If you can fog a spoon you qualify.. Yeah and you should be able to vote if your 12..
Your opinion matters..
Teaching our kids that they can choose their sex in kindergarten.. Yeah that is one of my favorites..
Shoving all this green energy up our asses when it will never be cost effective of even viable in a lot of circumstances..
I'll take, "We need a bunch of new nuclear power plants for a thousand, Alex.."
Like always.. Follow the money..
Ever heard of the Velvet Divorce? Maybe that is what we need to happen here between Texas and the US..
In 1992 Czechoslovakia peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. For political and social reasoning differences..
Fuck, if them commies could do it I know we can..
Because we're heading to a point where the United States will no longer be recognizable..
And one more thing. All of you who move to Texas need to come here with your hat in your hand.. This ain't California or New York.. So don't try to turn it into the disaster you are leaving.
We have been getting along just fine without you..
If you want to move here for the weather, the opportunities, low taxes or whatever.. We welcome you.. As long as you can be a contributor to what makes Texas great, and not a purveyor of what made your last state of residence suck..
So think about that before you rent that U-haul..
Maybe that last part didn't sound too Texas friendly.. But I think you've got it figured out..
Well get your ass down here while the fish are biting.. Before another cold front shows up and we start over again.
See you on the water!
March 3, 2021: Aftermath.. In high school it was English.. Sixth period..
This week it is dealing with dead fish, broken pipes, and plants and trees that will take years to replace..
South Texas ain't cut out for this shit..
Have I ever told you that I hate cold?
And to top it all off I have been dealing with a case of gout in my left wrist that has basically incapacitated me for five days..
I've been a joy to be around.. Or at least that is what everybody has been telling me..
Things are getting back to normal around here, if there is such a thing. The sun has returned today and that alone is enough to be thankful for.
The water is warming and the fish are starting to bite again, although it is still not back to what was going on before the icy death grip Mother Nature had on us.
And speaking of a death grip.. The tilapia population took it in the shorts and we had thousands die.. I did not count the motherfuckers.. But there were thousands.. I did smell them all.
The Veleno seemed to take the hardest hit, but there were dead fish in the creeks everywhere.
Kudos to the county employees that cleaned them all up at the county boat ramp. They dug three giant pits and buried them by the truckload.
Talk about a good opportunity to do an episode of Dirty Jobs.. Should have called Mike Rowe.. Daytime Emmy for sure..
Here's a sample pic of the ramp area before cleanup. But this pic could have been taken a lot of places.
The Cara-Caras, Buzzards, Coyotes, and Hogs will be eatin' good in the neighborhood.. And yes the hogs are eatin them on the waters edge.. Them bastards will eat anything..
I don't think I'll be ordering the whole Tilapia plate around here anytime soon..
Water temps around the lake have varied greatly. I have heard of temps in the fifties and and temps in the middle sixties all week.. I am sure it will even out as the week goes on, but the disparity has been amazing.. Coldest water was found on the dam last week, and warmer water in the shallows in the backs of creeks.
Sunny shallow areas have warmed fastest of course. And some fish have returned to the four or five foot range and can be caught on slow moving squarebills and soft plastics.
I am not sure what this cold snap has done to the spawn. All the better fish pics I have seen still show bellied up bass that look like they will bust.. Some spawned out fish have been reported, but I don't think that a lot of it has occurred.
We'll see what happens as the fish adjust to the warming water.
As you can guess, last week had very few fishermen on the water. And the reports from those that braved the conditions were not very good. Numbers have greatly improved, but but that's comparing it to what it was.
There were a few clubs in town last weekend, but they did not do very well. Some folks did not catch a keeper. Some caught three or four. But saying it sucked would not be an exaggeration.
But it is improving as we speak..
I just got off the phone with Matt Reed, and he said they had two sevens yesterday, a big six today, and several other decent fish. Gravel point edges in the six foot range.. Probably where a lot of fish are going to spawn with the lack of cover in the water.
Young Rolondo caught this seven this morning under his guidance. Won't wash that smile off his face this week..
A lizard or a senko have been his best two baits.
Fish slow as afore mentioned..
There are signs of life.. By the weekend we should see the bite improving a lot..
Best I can tell you is to go out there and show it to em.. And give em a good look at your bait..
We are just coming out of the deep freeze, and these Florida's take a while to thaw.
Launching your boat at the county ramp is no problem.. Working fine with the new water we got. Use the middle of the ramp. The state park is still off the bank, but better with the new water as well.
There have certainly been plenty of challenges for us the last twelve months. And the best thing I guess I can say is a quote I like from Papillon..
"I'm still here, you bastards!" (ie: government, Whoohan, democrats..)
I'd like to thank all of you who supported us thru these tuff times.. We couldn't have made it without you. And please know your patronage is greatly appreciated..
I got my second dose of the Whoohan vaccine yesterday.. And then got two more injections in the ass for the gout..
Three shots in one day.. I feel like Dartanian..
With a shot in the arm, the gout, and two shots in the hip, I cain't even scratch my ass.. But the gout is on the mend and I am actually typing with two hands.
Up to fourteen words a minute.
Our Governor removed the statewide mask mandate yesterday as you probably heard. Maybe I'll recognize you when you come in..
I do believe we are rounding the bend in this year long adventure, and I am optimistic that we will soon be looking back on this dark time as a lesson learned for the future..
I hope.. But with the democrats in power I am sure there will be another event just around the corner that they will use to keep the weak minded living in fear and dependence on them to save the day.
As sure as Uncle Joe cain't read the ABC's off a teleprompter..
"Where am I?"
I'm sure he don't know where in the fuck he is..
But I'm in Zapata, Texas.. Here on Falcon lake..
And you should be too!
See you on the water!
February 23, 2021: My hatred for winter, and cold weather in general, has pretty much had my pissed off needle in the red the last week, as you can imagine.
And I know I am not the only one in the Lone Star State that shares those same thoughts. The week long ice age has made plumbers, electricians and HVAC guys out of a lot of folks..
While making us put down our fishing poles in lieu of pipe wrenches, hack saws, and every type of shrub and tree trimming and hauling equipment known to man..
And that purple primer staining my fingers and nails may just make a good color to dip the tails of several colors of worms in..
But I an not sure about the scent..
As you can guess, nothing in Zapata is rated for temps around 20° for extended periods of time..
And Jimmie here is surely not rated for four days with no electricity and two without water..
Good thing I had just gotten in a shipment of Weller Special Reserve..
But like the song says, "A country boy will survive.."
And we have..
Enough about that shit and I never want to think about it again.. And neither do the fish.. Or twenty three Purple Martins that froze to death in my houses..
No doubt them fuckers will never think about it again.. Sad..
Before the freezing fuckin weather set in, the fish were really starting to bite.. And a lot of really big fish were being caught.
And just in the last couple of days have fishermen returned to the lake. To find water temps bouncing back to the sixty degree range, and maybe a little warmer in the afternoons.
That's up from forty seven.. Forty seven.. Did I say forty seven? Forty seven down from seventy two or three pre front..
Oh these fish just love that shit..
And being there was as slight disruption in the electrical grid, Amistad released a lot of water as their generators were doing all they could. And we are the beneficiaries of that water as we are up a bit over a foot this week.. Most of the water is here but we are still on a tiny rise.. Which should peter out today or tomorrow.
But I am sure Falcon is a temporary home for it as irrigation season will be going full steam before too long.
We had Tilapia doing a death wiggle all over the Veleno, and the locals procured every device known to man to rescue them from the near frozen water.. And they took them home and warmed them up.. And then sprinkled a little salt, pepper, and maybe a little garlic on them.
Tilapia are African Perch and do not fare well in cold water.. Certainly not the first time I have seen it.. But I hope it is the last..
Three days ago I heard many reports of fishermen having zero bites.. Sunday got a little better.. And Yesterday was a big improvement with several boats catching up to eight fish..
I have told you about Captain Kangaroo, right?
As the water warms I am sure that we will see improving fishing, or catching.. I would doubt that much spawning occurred the last week. These fish gotta do it some time and it has to happen soon..
We are slated for eighties all week, and by this weekend we should see the catch rate improve dramatically..
This is typically our busiest month of the year, and the last thing I needed was to take a week out of it.. But after 2020, what should I expect..
I am just super optimistic that Bidens plans for the country will get us right back on track.. And by the end of the year I will be rolling in it..
I would expect that by years end, climate change will be a non-issue, the Whoohan virus will be eradicated, the lake will be full and we'll all be blowing smoke up each others asses..
While getting a government stipend monthly to buy more fishin baits..
Rainbows and Unicorns.. I can hardly fuckin wait..
You know I have seen Rover rolling in it in the yard.. But I don't think that was cash he was rolling in..
If there is a thing called normal, I hope to return to it soon..
Sorry for the long absence from the keyboard..
See you soon.. Hopefully down here.
February 9, 2021: Last time I wrote I talked about times being a changing.. And they were changing for the better.. Weather wise anyway. And the fish responded by biting.
We have had three days of middle to high eighties and we got two more coming, including today.
And I say this as the panhandle and points north and east are freezing their ass off..
And this slow moving heavy cold air is making its way towards us..
I didn't sign up for this shit..
My citrus trees are covered with blooms and dammit if I have a Mexican lime shortage this summer how in the hell am I supposed to make a proper Bloody Mary?
Them green hard ass limes you get at the store are just not the same.. It is amazing that I can get 1.5 pints of juice out of a golf ball sized lime..
Like I needed more shit to worry about..
Water temps here on Falcon have risen to the 70° mark, and that temperature is optimal for the fish to cooperate.. This cold spell coming ain't going to be doing us any good.
So far the worst problem we have here is the boat ramps, or lack thereof.
At the state park, things are becoming a bit tricky, as the ditch we are utilizing for access is getting narrower every day. You need to stop your boat as soon as it slides off the trailer and let your partner pull out so you can keep from backing into the other side of the cut.
Putting your rig back on the trailer involves some Houdini style gyrations. And bitching a plenty I have been hearing.
It is pitiful that the State Of Texas cannot provide us with something better.. We can build a fuckin skyscraper but we can't put in a low water access point and ramp..
"Three people in the boat sir? That'll be nine dollars.. Enjoy your day!"
I have paid up to $20 to put my boat on the water before.. And I bitched about that as well..
But at least it wasn't like solving a Rubiks Cube to get it done..
Meanwhile, back in Zapata, we have two concrete ramps that are useable. The normal ramp, has had silt problems for weeks, and as I speak they are back down there trying to clean it off again.. I'll let you know how that goes.. But at least it is on concrete..
However, we do have another single lane ramp on the point about two hundred yards west of the main ramp that is working fine. Only problem with it is that if you are by yourself, as I often am, there is no place to dock your rig and there is rock all around it. Two people = no problem.. And you can step off a rock ledge right on to your boat.
You can launch at Tigers off the bank, and I hear it is no problem as it is on a rock point with good traction and slope..
Only problem is that you have three miles of dirt and gravel road to get there..
If you have questions about the two latter mentioned ramps stop by and we'll give you the run down.
This shit reminds me of some of the no name lakes I have fished in Mexico..
I guess I gotta remember where in the hell I am.. Pretty close..
Once you get your boat in the water, things get much better..
Fish are still being caught on a variety of baits, and like usual it takes getting your bait in front of a fish that is willing to bite.
There certainly are folks that are not catching a lot of fish, but most everybody is catching some. I talked to several folks that caught twenty to thirty fish yesterday. And in that mix has been some quality fish.
Mary Shadrick caught this whopper yesterday.. Where I can't tell..
Bill Cirone caught this 11.10 a few days ago..
Bobby Moore caught this 9.44 yesterday.. Big Pic! Big smile as well..
John Beckett caught this 10.13 a couple of days ago..
And George Frentz caught this 10.2 flippin this morning and sent me this pic from the water..
A lot of the fish are still out a bit deeper, and the six to ten foot range has been pretty good. I am not sure where all these fish will spawn this year, but for now, a lot of them are still a bit deeper that usual.
And all those fish coming from the dam? I am not sure if they will spawn around there or if they will move shallower to do the deed. But some fish are surely in water in the four foot range getting ready and doing it as we speak. Bloody tails have been reported more and more the last few days.
Shakey heads and crankbaits are still doing well on rocky areas. A senko rigged whacky and Texas rigged is also catching fish.
Soft plastics around some hardwoods and laydowns are starting to produce more fish. For a while there you could not catch a flipping fish. But that technique is improving.
A chatterbait is also catching fish most anywhere one might think of throwing it.
So basically the pattern is all over the board.. You just gotta get out there and show it to em.
The lake is still dropping slowly, and we are down to 260.74.. That equates to 40' low.. Irrigation is underway, and we are in the early stages of it. We'll see where this road leads.
We've been a lot lower, but nobody likes what we are dealing with..
I guess I'm going to go cut the heads off a few chickens and make a couple of gallons of soup to carry me across the finish line of winter..
February always has a parting shot to throw at us down here and I pray that this will be it. And strangely enough, this looks to be the coldest spell of the year and and if what the weather predictors are predicting holds up, this will be the coldest weather we have seen in years.
Yeah.. I'm not too fucking excited about it.. But we'll manage and survive.
Hope your propane tank is full..
And I hope those of you with real cold manage and survive as well.
Better order that Snuggie for your ol' Lady for Valentines day.. And you might inquire if they have one for you as well.. Do they have one with a man pocket? Cain't stand having my junk all crowded up..
And maybe one of them new Moonpod beanie bag chairs.. Might as well try some new positions on one of those. Looks like lots of in the house time coming up..
Its got potential.. And maybe some 409.. Not sure what kind of fabric those things are made of..
And wine.. Get lots of wine.. And some chocolate..
If that don't work for you .. Well I tried..
Ok, so cold weather checklist..
Chickens.. Propane.. Snuggies, Moonpod, Wine and Chocolate.. And 409.. (Do not apply to sensitive areas..)
Yeah.. You should be good..
Come see us when you thaw out.. If we have..
February 4, 2021: All things in good time.. And it looks like the times they are a changing..
Water temps are finally holding in the middle sixties, and as predicted, the fish are finally starting to thaw out and are getting a lot more active.
This week during our warming trend, we have seen a lot of quality fish caught. Four to six pound fish have actually been pretty common, and some true trophies have been caught.
I have only heard of one fish that was spawned out, but we are going to be seeing a lot more of them pretty soon. Cause it is going on.
Most of the biggest fish have still been caught in the eight foot range.. Some a bit shallower and some a bit deeper.
I know a few locals that are whacking five to six pound fish every day, with a few eights and nines mixed in.
We are releasing a lot of water, and as is typical, we are hearing of a lot of good fish coming from the dam.
Every bait known to man has been spoken of in the process, but a crankbait, small plastics, and spinnerbaits have been catching a lot of fish.
I spoke about a feller who caught a 12 and a 10 in the Veleno a couple of weeks ago, and I finally got a pic of these fish.
Tom Nilssen had a good day with a 12.65 and a 10.2.
And truthfully, the Veleno has been fishing pretty good..
Nick from Oklahoma caught this 9.83 on Monday..
And this young man has had a career week. On monday he caught a PB that went 9 sixty something..
And yesterday he busted that twice with a 10.8 and then a 12.1!
Danny Baldridge if I were you I'd be buying some freaking lottery tickets!
Numbers of fish have been reported way up, and catching twenty a day has been common, with some boats doing better and some a bit worse..
All three of the fish mentioned in the three PB's were caught on crankbaits that run in the eight foot range..
Ledge fish.. Where the top of the rock is in three to four feet, dropping to eight foot or deeper, have been common as well. And these kind of places have been putting out some numbers as well.
If you catch a fish or two from a specific location, I'd hang around there for a bit.
I have also heard of some fish coming on the Plum Ol Monster on a Texas rig. Don't leave home without it..
The launching and retrieving of boats continues to suck. The state park is kinda in a in-between state as the lake drops. Still doable, but the cut where we are launching is getting narrow and you have to stop your boat as soon as you get off the trailer. Can't just back up ten yards off the trailer as you will run into the other side of the ditch.
I am making this sound harder than it is, and experienced boaters will not have a problem. But just so you know.
You will need four wheel drive to get out but it is not a problem.
Here in Zapata, the county ramp has been a little silted up at the end, and the prop wash has created a berm out about where your motor sits when putting your boat on the trailer..
But I just got off the phone with the county and they are on their way to alleviate the situation.
We have another ramp out on the end of the point that is concrete and working fine.. There is not a boat dock there, but if you have two people it is gravy. Good slope and good concrete. Gotta go across the parking lot take a left, and the second little road down there is fine..
Stop in and ask if you don't know where this ramp is..
We are droppin in water level daily, and currently we are sitting at 261.12, just a shade over forty feet low.. No real water in the pipeline and where we are headed is anybody's guess as irrigation season has begun.
We are still a long way from the record low of about 54 feet. And we will always have a place to launch to that point.. I did it for years when it was happening.. Although it has been so long I have tried to forget about it.
But this spring is going to be interesting as Amistad is currently not helping with any beneficial releases.. And my perennial suggestion that we drain Amistad has never gotten any traction..
Don't get excited Amistad fans.. We know we are always sucking the hind tit..
We're going on eleven years since our last fillup.. Way overdue.. I know it is going to happen.. And I hope I'm still alive and able to fish it when it does..
Because a year or two after it does it is going to get stupid.. Just like it always has.
You can't run a Russian boar thru the top fifteen feet of what would be pool level.. The bush is thicker than that of a seventies Playboy centerfold..
It'll take a hard man to penetrate that bush when it fills up.. But hell yeah I'm going...
Being old and decrepit has its advantages I guess.. As I got my first dose of the Whoohon virus shot this week. I have had no side effects and the only thing that hurt was ripping the band-aid off..
I think they used Gorilla glue on that motherfucker..
It surprises me to hear from a lot of folks that they will not be taking the inoculation.. I guess I can understand the skepticism, because skepticism is my middle name.
But I think in this case, if you can get it, get it..
I'll let you know if I start acting like a cockroach or anything..
Glad to see ol Dementia Joe rolling out his plan on combating the Whoohan..
Did you miss it? Shit I did too..
Good thing Trump had all the pieces in place to get this shit headed in the right direction..
Cause so far this new administration looks like the parking lot for the clown cars.
And one more thing.. Being they have a fence around the capitol, why don't we lock that fucker from the outside.. Keep all them loony son of a bitches locked up and let the National Guard keep them in.
What's going on is truly a shit-show..
I see AOC took a page from the Hillary play book, telling how she was pinned down during the capitol siege.. Yeah bullshit.. Like when Hillary landed in the helicopter under fire in some shithole country..
Yeah.. That didn't happen either..
Gonna be some interesting times ahead..
The battery is a little weak, but I think I see some light at the end of the tunnel..
So hang in there.. Keep the faith..
And tell them to take their idea of unity and shove it up their ass..
And get yours down here and catch some fish..
January 28, 2021: A bit of warming weather has come and kinda hung around for the last week. Of course we have had a few frontal boundaries come thru.. But no real cold and cloudy days like we had ten days ago,.
Which has resulted in some warming water and we have seen surface temps on the right days into the middle and even upper sixties.
Which has in turn resulted in some improved catching..
Fishing pressure remains light, but there have been a few more boats on the water with the warmer days. And having a few more folks on the water will always lead to a few more positive results.. And no I'm not talking about the Whoohan..
And here is a bit of a newsflash.. Some flipping fish have showed up in selected hardwoods. They ain't in all of em. But it's a start..
Trees in six to four feet of water have been best, and you know these fish are looking for any kind of cover to spawn in or near. There just is not a lot of dense cover in the lake. Multi trunked trees are better, and laydowns can be even better..
I remember the old days when there were hundreds of basket shaped hardwoods out there. And once you figured out which trees they were in, you could beat em like a drum.
And you can do the same to a lesser extent these days.. Pay attention to the tree shape, water depth, and the shade when the sun is out.
The shady side of the trees will ALWAYS produce more bites than the sun exposed side... Always.
When it is low light times, or cloudy, the fish spread out a bit more from the area between the bark and the sap.
I heard a couple of reports that when the fish is in there, there wadn't no hesitation about them biting it.. Sounds like the way it is supposed to be..
No doubt these fish are fixin to spawn. Mostly two and three pound males in there, but the fish are so fat that it is hard to tell what sex they are when they are this size. (They must be watching CNN. Hard to tell what sex they are there as well)
Seen some pics of three pound fish that are as big around as they are long. And the big fish pics I have seen are true Rosies' and look about to burst.
Spawn imminent.. And happening I guarantee.
An Ol Monster or a flipping bait of your favorite kind will probably work.
There are still crankbait fish being caught, like this one that came on a Spro in about six feet of water. Troy Jenkins caught this one last weekend as the water started to warm.. He said they struggled for a couple of days, but caught twenty fish the day this fish was landed.
Now don't get me wrong.. I am not saying fishing is lights out.. It is not. But it is a lot better than it was ten days ago. And I look for constant improvement as the water continues to warm and holds steady above 65°.
And if you are not fishing the shallow water, think guts and cuts leading to shallow water. Staging areas..
You know the drill..
Not sure if there is one particular type of bait that is bettern than the other.. But on Saturday I am going to beat hell out of some trees in shallow back water with a Plum Ol Monster.. Someone told me that was a good bait..
The crappie have been about as good as I have seen em.. Big. Fat. Plentiful.. And getting full of eggs.
Brushpiles still best, but more and more of em are showing up in shallower hardwoods as we speak. Two pounders have been pretty common..
The white bass have made their way up to San Ygnacio, and the locals are starting to wail on em pretty good. It is the time of year for them to make their spawning run, and they are doing it..
Going there by boat is a bit tricky this year with the low water levels.. And as a matter of fact, unless you know exactly what you are doing, I would not recommend taking a boat above the Salado. I hear that the water at Marker 13 is three and a half feet deep.
We are sitting at 261.45.. 39.75 feet low..
Not pretty.. But hell we got em more crowded..
Looking ahead to the fall, we have the Texas Association of Bass Clubs rescheduled for the weekend of September 18th and 19th..
They were supposed to be here last October.. But the freakin Whoohan fucked that up..
Better luck this year..
Speakin of the Whoohan.. So far in Zapata, according to our county judge, only 400 doses of vaccine have been administered. Today is supposed to be the day they start scheduling shots for those of us in the 1B category..
My phone ain't rung yet..
Last week I talked about the the hypocrisy of the left.. Seems I didn't even scratch the surface..
"It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds.." Joe Biden..
Oh hell, wait a minute.. That was Doc Holiday..
But at least Doc was doing a something that needed doin'.. Dispatching some no good son of a bitch..
Signing executive orders stacked three feet high..
A funny thought occurs to me.. Every time I see him trying to get the point to come out of the pen..
Reminds me of Radar getting Henry Blake to sign piles of shit that he has no idea of what it consists of..
I gave a four day pass to who?
I put thousands out of a job?
"It's OK Joe.. Kamala said so.."
There are two ways to look at the shit show that is being presented and performed by the democrats.
It will fundamentally change what is going on in the country, and there will be no going back..
Or what is being perpetrated by the left will serve to elicit a response from the conservatives in this country that may make The Reformation look innocuous..
Time will tell, but I think the alarm is going off at the Giants house..
Liberals have a very weird and perverted mindset. They cannot articulate or convey any factual or meaningful arguments against any informed conservative.
Fact is that they are poorly informed and basically ignorant. Which are synonyms I know..
But that's just the way their party leaders want them.. Drones.. Lemmings.. Pawns..
And there seems to be an ample of supply of the idiots.. But not 80 million..
Hang in there.. And they'll hang themselves soon enough..
Come see us.. And bring shorts!
January 20, 2021: Cold.. Rainy.. Nasty.. That's what we have going on here today.. But once we get past this bullshit we have a stretch of middle eighties predicted.. I'm talking short britches weather and I can't wait..
We cannot seem to escape water temps that have remained in the fifties for the last month. And we all know that these fish will not be very active when that happens.
Inactive probably is not even the right word.. It was tough fishing going into the cold. And tougher still to this day.
But spring lurks around the corner, and hope springs eternal in the human breast..
And that is something I look forward to this year more than most. Spring.. Or better yet, Summer..
I'm looking forward to the first day of the year when I am dripping with sweat. One of those days when your chonies are stuck to your ass..
I reckon if you are into fishin, and you follow Falcon fishin, you have seen or heard about the results of the Bass Champs tournament that was here last weekend.
Whooda guessed it but fishing was tough.. A few folks found some fish, but very few.. Twenty seven something won it, which in itself is not horrible, but the drop off after that was about unprecedented.
Eight pounds and change got a check.. I was having flashbacks to my Medina days..
I checked the GPS coordinates and sure enough we were at Falcon..
And as fucked up as this last year has been, this seems to fall neatly into place..
There were other factors as well.. Only 107 teams showed up to fish.. Down about forty or fifty from average..
And it was a bluebird high pressure day.. But beat the shit out of thirty MPH winds and a cold rain..
It is the middle of January after all..
I've made all the excuses I'm going to.. Fishing just flat out sucked and it's going to till the water warms up.
The Texas Bass Nation fished on Sunday, and their results were no better..
But hey.. Somebody won both tournaments..
Rumor has it that the fish were caught on crankbaits.. Like I say it is a rumor but one I'd be likely to believe..
I'm looking forward to fishing in the next few days when the conditions are more favorable.. But I'm gonna give it a few more days..
The crappie and catfish don't seem to mind the cold.. They are biting just fine.. Brushpiles.. Deeper ones have the crappie in em..
Catfish off creek channel edges..
It'll all be fine. Sooner than later..
Well today's the day we get a new president.. And certainly the "new" president is not new to the same old bullshit that has pervaded DC politics for the last half century.
He's certainly a poster child for the same old same old that has America at war with itself and in a financial state that no bank would finance a bicycle for. Forty seven years of cronyism.. And more to follow.
Here comes more policy's to keep the poor and welfare addicted on the plantation.. Count on it..
Here comes an attack on the US coffers to bail out all the democrat run shithole cities.. Count on it..
Here comes the continued attacks on the military and police forces.. Count on it..
Here comes the attacks on free speech, for half the population. If your opinion is different than that of the democrat party line, plan on being a target.
Plan on an assault on gun ownership..
Plan on a war on domestic oil production..
Plan on a war on religion.
Plan on hypocrisy at the highest levels one could imagine. But you don't have to imagine it.. Anybody with a lick of sense can see it.. It is on full display..
But mostly plan on being inundated with only one acceptable opinion.. Only one window to look thru..
Only one source of information.. And the facts will be what they tell you they are.. Because they will destroy any and all sources of information that they disagree with.. It's already happening..
If you do not toe the party line you will be outcast and vilified.. You will not be allowed to speak your opinion in public forums. And don't even think about it at work..
And he who controls information, controls the world.
Why do you think the Chinese government shuts down the internet when they wish, and disallows for free thinking and free speech.. And prevents any groups to form to oppose what is going on.. If you can't communicate, you cant organize..
Because they are the masters.. And their inhabitants are the slaves..
Are we that far from the same? Given the last weeks attacks on conservative platforms on the internet?
Any dissent shall not be tolerated..
Free speech is fine.. For some.. As long as it matches the masters dialogue..
I find it disgusting that supposed Americans, elected to office, think that America is a racist, classist, elitist, country, while they are living at the top of the food chain.
What tools did you use to get there? You hypocrite motherfuckers..
Any politician, that thinks that America is not an exceptional example of what a country can be, needs to get the fuck out of politics.. Hell get the fuck out of the US and go where it is so much better..
Show me a country, with a higher standard of living, for all races.. A country with more generous citizens.. A country with more freedoms to do as you wish.. A country with more opportunity.. A country with better healthcare..
A country where your voice can be heard!
There ain't one.. And if you think that don't make America exceptional then you need to buy a fucking dictionary. Cause you don't know the meaning of the word.
I know there are many of you out there that share my frustrations. And I say this to you..
Keep the faith.. Do the right thing. Keep God in your heart and lead by example..
Pray for our country and the few good politicians we have left.
Do not get down and do not let your faith in what America can be wane. Speak up. It's easy to prove your points.
Of course arguing with an idiot is a waste of time. They'll try to drag you down to their level of stupidity.. And then beat you with their experience..
So hang in there.. Do what you have to do to survive in this environment..
This is America.. Where good always wins in the end.. And will again..
January 14, 2021: Cold water.. We have had it the last two days with temps near fifty.. That's right.. Fifty on Wednesday morning.. Bout as cold as it gets down here..
It bounced back yesterday afternoon to about sixty, and this afternoon with the sun out and low winds it is back to about 60 or 61 on the surface..
Still not warm but a heck of a bounceback. And as you can imagine with cold rain, high winds and just plain cold Sunday thru Tuesday, the fishing was not reported too good.
Mater of fact, almost no one was on the lake last Sunday.. A few on Monday and Tuesday, and we saw the return of a few fishermen yesterday.. And their results were less that stellar as you can imagine with the cold ass water.
And those that did fish on Sunday had more balls that a Chinese ping-pong tournament.
But we are on a warming trend, and it is pushing 80 here this afternoon. Supposed to be about 75 on Saturday with friendly winds so fishing weather should be optimal.
If only the fish hear about it..
Often times we have spawning fish in middle January, but if they are, it has been a well kept secret.
Most fish still seem to be in that ten to fifteen feet of water.. Kinda close to the shallows where one might think they would spawn..
But nobody I have talked to has reported any numbers of fish that seem to be in the spawning mode.. I think they want to.. But water has just been too damn cold.
For whatever reason, the most productive bait as of late has still been the Spro in the 70 series. I have heard of a few fish on plastics, and a few on shallow cranks, but it has been spotty at best.
I don't have any reports from today, which is the nicest we have had in a while, and this warmer weather can't hurt a thing. I should have been out there today, but I have been in here, preparing for your visit.
If you need a Mexican fishing license, PLEASE call me before you get here.. It's painless and we'll have it ready for you when you get here..
The county is down at the ramp grading the parking area, and cleaning the ramp off so at least we can launch two boats at a time. Like I said before, bring your patience..
Water releases have slowed, but there is no telling what they might do on any given day. But for now, we are kinda holding to a very slow fall.. And the releases from Amistad remain a trickle..
Weigh in for Saturdays Bass Champs tourney will be under the big open air pavilion at the park, and we will have a few side by sides to help transport fishermen and their fish to weigh in and to their trucks.
Water temps are cool, so we should have very little problems with keeping the fish alive.. Put plenty of water in your bags and we'll be good.. You can also drive up to the pavilion and go in on the west side and loop around to the tanks..
I know from previous events, that if you catch a whopper, they will weigh it in early for you. And I highly recommend it if it's feasible.. Our sport depends on having fish, so let's do the very best we can to get them back in the lake in good shape..
If you have any questions about running the lake, launching, or where to cash that big check, give us a call and we'll help you all we can.
I got a ton of things to talk about, but I'll let it rest till next week.. I want you calm and stress free this weekend, so come to Zapata and enjoy the Zen..
Whatever the fuck that is..
See you soon.. Call me about that license!
January 11, 2021: Welcome to the new year! Bout ten days late but what the hell.. So far it seems to be eerily like the old one..
Winter time in Zapata is always a crapshoot, and this year is no different. We have had spells of fantastic weather followed by bouts of absolute crap. The last couple being a few of those.
And it does no good for the fishing. Water temps this morning are bound to be middle fifties.. And like I have said many times in the past you might as well stay at home and watch Captain Kangaroo when this happens.
These Florida bass will stick their nose in the rocks and eat about nothing till the water warms up a bit. And that is the report I have heard a lot this last few days.
Numbers have been slim, but there are always a few exceptions. I have seen pics of some really nice fish as of late, but if you do the math, there have been a lot of man hours put in for the amount of fish caught.
I have seen several pics of big fish, including two elevens, several tens, and one over twelve in the last ten days.
And sadly, those fish have not been accompanied by many other fish to go along with them. I have a buddy that caught an 11-3 on Saturday. But it was the only fish he caught..
But I reckon that if you're only gonna catch one..
That fish, like most of the other big fish we have heard of, was caught on a crankbait, in about ten to twelve feet of water.
The Spro 70 series has been by far the most productive as of late. Maybe that is because that is what a lot of folks are chunking.
But it is a great casting bait and operates in the right depth range right now.
If you know me, you know I like to fish shallow, and I have been, with some success, but certainly no better than anybody else. My problem, with the bigger fish anyway, has been with getting them in the boat.
I have had three good fish on the last ten days.. Saw only one. Hell I might have foul hooked the other two and they may have been carp..
But I don't think so Tim..
I have been throwing a squarebill in a yellowy/chart pattern and have caught my best numbers on that bait. Of course those were on sunny warm days and that is about the only ones I fish.
Last Tuesday I hooked a fish on a Rogue jerkbait that kicked my ass for about ten seconds.. And then pulled off..
Story of my life here lately.. I like to throw that thing when the water is cold.. And have had good success with it in the past. But they ain't treating it like a fat kid in a candy store..
Bites have been few, but what I have caught have all been decent fish.
The folks that know what is going on are all fishing deeper. Still in that ten foot range, all around rock, and that is one thing we do have in common.. Of course there isn't much else for cover/structure. The hardwoods have produced some sporadic fishing.. No consistent flipping bite that I have heard of.
Brushpiles always produce a few, and the crappie fishermen have been catching some as they probe the brush.
BTW.. The crappie fishing has been excellent in the brushpiles for those who know the ropes. It ain't rocket science.
Bigger crappie have been on non visible isolated hardwoods.. They don't get near as much attention as the brushpiles.. Deeper piles have had a lot more fish..
A few folks I have talked to say they have located some deeper fish, and we'll see if they can catch them this weekend.
Of course we have Bass Champs in town on Saturday, and then Texas Bass Nation fishes on Sunday.
I expect water temps to be about 60-62 on Saturday, with another front, albeit not too strong rolling in on Thursday.. But high air temps should be in the seventies on Saturday and Sunday according to the weather prognosticators.
Expect a non rapid deployment of boats on Saturday morning, as once again we have only two lanes working at the county ramp.
So bring your patience and put you best boat backer in the truck at go time.
Bass Champs folks always do a good job in assisting with launching and I expect no less this go round.
The Old Veleno bridge is out of the water about a foot, so there should be no issues with avoiding it.. Just run close to the west end of it on your way in and out. This ain't Talladega so four wide going past the bridge ain't a good idea.
Of course it is rarely a good idea at Talladega either..
Several folks have had issues in the Salanaias here lately, with insistent people in net boats telling them to stay out. I have not heard of anyone being threatened but it is common for them to be carrying firearms.
I don't know what would be seen if there are fifteen boats in the creek, but know that lately probably a half dozen folks have been invited to leave the creek. Of course I have heard of several folks fishing in there without incident.
But it is what it is. You know the routine and right now there seems to be a lot going on over there so take it for what its worth.
Have heard of no other problems anywhere else.
If you need a Mexican fishing license, do us both a favor and call ahead and let us have it done for you before you get here.
It can get a little crazy around here on Friday evening.
Our number is 956-765-4866..
If you have any questions about anything down here just give us a call..
I'll try and post another report about Thursday and tell you the latest.. We have a little warming trend for the next few days. But it is far from summer..
We look forward to seeing you!
December 28, 2020: As the year winds down, and I'm all for it, we have seen a few folks in town taking advantage of some good days to fish. That means days with less than fifteen MPH winds.
As far as winter goes, it has not been to bad but we did have a couple of mornings with frost on the boat covers.. But if your blood is thicker than mine, it has not been too bad..
Water temps on the lake are hovering right round sixty, but I did see 62° yesterday afternoon. I have also heard some reports of temps in the high fifties from the aforementioned thicker blood types.
The lake level is kinda holding steady, with minor fluctuations. For reference, the top rails on the Old Veleno bridge are showing about three inches or so. Posts are easily visible and if you hit it now it is on you..
Run just off the west end and you have no problems. But let me caution you about the river channel just before you get to Blanco. Well the river channel is fine. But if you cut that corner on the west side there are a few stumps that are visible that are about six inches out of the water..
Those stumps are harder than viagra infused steel and they will not do your rig any good.. Really not an issue.. Unless you hit one.. But they are easily avoided..
Traveling the lake is no problem. But if you don't know, ASK!
The concrete ramp in the Veleno is working fine; still off the bank down at state park. No issue with four wheel drive.
I fished from ten till two, and it was a nice day to be on the lake. I wen no farther south than Pierce's and fished in there for the most part. As did about ten of my closest friends. Popular place.
I think you should launch about noon, and fish till you're tired.. Early morning has not been good on these full moon nights.. PM has been much better.
I boated two bass, two white bass, and lost a small fish coming to the boat.. And got waylaid by a fish on a crankbait that I had on for about three seconds. Fuckin crankbaits.. Witchcraft.. Of course it could have been anything but I hooked it in a spot where I have been catching some decent fish.
I threw a rage craw and a worm for two hours w/o a bite. Then I threw a sexy shad squarebill for thirty minutes. Nada.. Then I went to a square bill in all chartreuse and started getting a few bites.. Naturally I had been staring at it for an hour before I picked it up..
I headed in to BBQ knowing I had cracked the code..
I saw a few other fish caught, and a bunch of crappie caught.. They have been good on brushpiles and isolated hardwoods in about twelve foot. You need some good equipment and the skill to operate it to find some of these isolated stumps. But they's fish on em..
You can run into white bass on most any point.. Or you might not.. Some folks told me they couldn't get away from em..
Reports have been as scattered as the fish. Some folks have done pretty good, catching a dozen or more, and some folks have done about like Jimmie..
But the quality of the fish has been good.. Not many undersized fish, and a decent number of five pound fish.
I did not throw a deep diver much.. Yeah I'm a bank beater.. Have heard of some rockpile fish and some C-rig fish.
But I'm thinking a squarebill is a good place to start.
There are a few fishermen down here scouting for Bass Champs, and those guys are as quiet as a gay guy at a weigh in..
If you are fishing Bass Champs and need a Mexican fishing license, and do not want to tread where many credit cards fear to go, give us a call and we'll hook you up and have it in your inbox quicker than a cat can lick his ass..
As a public service, Falcon Lake Tackle is offering a calendar burning service for your 2020 calendars.
This year has been a motherfucker, and I am quivering in anticipation of pouring some gas on mine.
Disposal service is limited to 18 calendars per person, due to expectations of high volumes.
This year has certainly been a challenge, and we have seen some exhibitions of some stupidity of the highest order.
And this mask shit is wearing thin on me. No two "experts" will agree on their effectiveness.. Maybe if you put on a new one every time you went out.. But I doubt it.
Another reason I think masks don't work is this. If they did work, why do all the bank robbers get caught?
That's evidence enough for me..
And running into screaming Karens' everywhere don't help matters either..
If you are afraid to go outside, stay the fuck at home. Go spray some Lysol on your telephone..
No offense meant to Karen's who got culturally appropriated..
I hope we can all get immunized by the government ASAP. Trump spent nights on end developing this shit in the whitehouse basement and I'd hate to see all the work he did go to waste. I heard he invited Hillary over to help keep the basement at sub-zero temps.
Hopefully this inoculation will get to all that are wanting and willing to take it, and we can get this shit behind us..
Speaking of behind, I have run all over town with my ass sticking out and no one has stuck a needle in it yet.. But I'm ready.. I turned 65 last month and I am now sure I am on the fast track to get the vaccine.. :-)
Not sure if the federal government has heard of Zapata.. We might be a while..
We wish all of you a happy and most prosperous new year. Things are looking up, whether you believe it or not.. Although it is hard to see if you listen to all the doom and gloom sub-bitches on TV.
You can't keep America down for long.. Because America is about its People, not Americas government.
So hang in there.. Just like the government has told all us small business people..
Better days coming!
See you next year!
December 15, 2020: Two weeks till we can hang a new calendar on the wall.. And none too soon. I don't think I will find it too hard to start writing and typing 2021 instead..
It's been a while since I have sat in front of this machine, and in fact, when it comes to the fishing there have not been a lot of changes.
Some real quality fish are being caught, but the numbers have been off for the last few weeks. Of course the north wind does us no favors, bringing cold water and rough seas to contend with. And on Sunday we had some north winds pushing forty in the gusts..
That makes Falcon unfishable.. Period..
Not to mention that these fish hate cold worse than we do, and fishing in the cold brings its own set of requirements..
A few mornings the water has actually dropped into the low sixties, which is a bit surprising for the weather we have had. Yeah we been cool but not really cold; as I type it is 46°.
And that'll put goose bumps on your ass cheeks at about 60..
I'm sure the water will make a trip into the fifties before it is all said and done.
On the warmer days fishing gets a lot better, especially if you can get a few in a row.. But it is damn near Christmas so it is supposed to be cold.
Of all the baits that there are to choose from, a deep diving crankbait is catching more fish than anything else. At least according to all the guides. And according to my sales..
The Spro in the 70 series is a good choice.
Most fish are being caught in the ten to fifteen foot range, off long points or on the edges of ridges and rocky irregularities.
And that ain't no news flash for sure. And a lot of the fish are close to spawning areas, although they may spawn a bit deeper this year, as once again we have very little cover up shallow for protection.
How I long for the days of flipping a brush hog into a green bush..
But as fucked up as 2020 was, how in the world could I expect a water windfall..
A few Carolina rigged fish were reported over the weekend, and I also heard of a boat or two actually catching a few fish out of the standing timber.
Put a super fluke on that C-rig and drag it in the same areas that you are throwing the deep diving crankbait.
Spotty is about the best I can describe it..
The fish that we are catching are absolutely the fattest and meanest bastards you are going to catch anywhere.. I have never seen the overall fish population so healthy.
Of course with all the bait in the water it is surprising you can catch a fish at all.
Right now the crappie are just stuffed with some little bitty shad and minnows. Puking them up all over your boat of course when you catch them..
Eatin' like Rosie at Golden Coral..
The spawn is about to go down around here, and every year we keep waiting on it and a lot of time it has already happened.. Or a bunch of it has..
Surely not all the fish go at the same time, but I promise you there will be some fish doing it before you believe it.
More than once I have caught fish off beds on New Years weekend.. And any warm stretch from here on out could start a migration to shallower water.
Of course a real cold front will back them sum bitches back out again..
Everybody wants to fish the spawn.. But it is the most unpredictable time of the year..
The lake is kinda hovering around where we are.. Varying a bit but not a lot.. We are sitting at 262.78.. If you like math you can subtract that from 301.20 and come up with 38.42..
That's how low we are.. Which equals no concrete ramp at the state park, and only a two lane wide one here at the county ramp in Zapata. We're not using the ramp out on the point yet like we were in late spring.. But we'll see what happens.
A few of you have been down doing some looking around in advent of the Bass Champs tournament coming up on the 16th of January. And I gotta think that water levels between now and then will be similar.. We do not typically have much drawdown this time of year.. What will happen In March I don't know..
That tournament is only 30 days away.. And if you need to renew your Mexican fishing license give us a call and we will handle it for you. And we can e-mail it to you as well so you will have it on record if you loose it..
Which I have seen a multitude of times..
Is it just me, or have you noticed a bit of a rift, or maybe an inkling of discord between the peoples of the United States here lately?
Seems a bit strange.. Certainly not what I had come accustomed to during these 65 years I have spent on this earth.
Like many, I feel a little overwhelmed by current events, and I long for that feeling of normalcy..
But many tell us that there will be no going back to that feeling of what we once thought was "normal."
There will be a new normal.. And that new norm will be fear.. That you must live your life afraid.
Afraid to go outside without a mask. Afraid you'll die of some airborne disease that we can't control. Afraid to go to church.. To see your Family and Friends. To go out to eat..
And maybe if you are not afraid to go out to eat, you might be afraid of what the government might do to you if you do not follow their protocol for being in public.
Or maybe you might be afraid to go out to eat because you might be afraid of some social justice warrior accosting you.. Because the government only has rules for you.. Not them..
Sound a bit like communism? Like you better toe the line?
We'll tell you how to act.. How to talk.. What to think..
Well I don't know about you, but in my mind that thinking is totally fucked up.
And totally anti American..
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.." A quote from Sir Edmond Burke..
That quote is well over a hundred years old, but never truer than today.
I find it highly insulting that our politicians can stand there straight faced and spout the utter bullshit that I hear on a daily basis..
The hypocrisy is beyond belief. And so many so called Americans, ignorant and ill informed, swallow it hook line and sinker.
I, for one, and I know there millions of you out there like me, will never knuckle under to this world order way of thinking.
Thomas Jefferson said that the constitution as written can only work for noble and God fearing honest people.
And it is plain to see that a very large percentage of Americans no longer fit that profile.
Maybe it is time for a peaceful separation of the peoples.. Draw the line.. And let me know which side of it I need to be on. I hope it is the warm one..
And I hope you will be there with me..
December 3, 2020: After having about the nicest October and November (weather wise), winter has reared her ugly head and we have had some cold mornings and days, with a low on Monday around 34°..
Which is total bullshit if you ask me..This is south Texas and we are not supposed to have to deal with any kind of temperatures that dip below sixty..
And it is reflected in our water temps as we have seen water temps just under seventy the last two mornings.. Last week when I was out it was in the middle seventies in the PM..
And no doubt it affects the fish, but I can't tell you if the fish are moving shallower or deeper. But I can tell you that there are some fish everywhere..
Stories of a few flipping fish have surfaced, but it has not been a consistent bite. But the days you find the fish up in the hardwoods you can catch a decent number of em in a short while..
The trees just across from the Veleno are still a disappointment most days, and the fish have just not stacked up in them lately.. They shoulda.. But they ain't..
It seems that Blanco south has been the best bet for hitting the hardwoods, and of course this has been a Mexican side thing.
There have not been many folks on the water this week, as it has been cool and windy.. North windy.. And if you have been around here in the winter, you know what a north wind does to this lake.. Even at this level..
You're definitely going to get some foam in your Big Red when the wind is over twelve miles and hour out of the north..
And don't fall into the weatherman's trap about a front blowing in and the winds only going to be 10 MPH..
Bullshit.. No front has ever hit Zapata with a North wind of ten miles per hour..
They might stall out before they get here.. Or slide east.. But when they get here that Mo-Fo will be blowing like an intern.. (Sorry Bill..)
A few folks have caught fish, and a Texas rigged soft plastic is a good place to start.. A Rage Craw or a senko are good choices..
Don't get in a hurry moving the bait.. Rocks of course..
A crankbait is still catching a few fish offshore, and a square bill will get a few in the boat on the points and edges of long banks, but it is not producing great numbers of fish right now.
There was a fellow in the store the other day, and he was asking me what all those fish are in the channels of the creeks, and out in the open water.
And while I would like to have given him a definitive answer, I could not.
There are so many bait balls, schools of who knows what, and generally just a shitpot full of swimming creatures in the lake, that only a scuba diver could tell for sure.. And I'd say that a bass would eat about 90% of whatever it is, and I am surprised that you can get a bite at all..
And it is evident in looking at the fish we are catching, as they are a fat and mean as any fish anywhere.. They ain't going hungry..
On the weekend of the 21st, there was a little tourney put on by some fellows out of Laredo. And it took 29 pounds to win, and the big fish was only six plus pounds in that stringer from what I heard. That's a nice sack of fish..
Bass Champs starts it's 2021 season here at Falcon in less than six weeks, and we are looking forward to seeing a few folks in town in the coming weeks.
I know that a lot of folks, including me, are ready to dust 2020 off of their shoes and step boldly into the next decade.
It has been a struggle for many of us the last year, and while we ain't had it good, there have been many that have had it worse than us.
We are certainly on an island down here, and there is no doubt you have to be coming here to get here.. We're not exactly on the way to anywhere..
Except on the way to good fishing opportunity's with plenty of elbow room. Trust me, even with low water levels, we got a spot just for you..
Speaking of low water, we are sitting at 262.75 this morning. For reference, that means the state park concrete ramp is out of the water. But launching out at the end of the cut has been no problem with four wheel drive.. You bought it, so here is your chance to use it.. I am sure that most of you rarely do.
The county ramp here in Zapata is down to two boats wide, still on concrete for a good time to come. Tons of parking..
For reference, the old Veleno bridge is out of the water some, with the tops of the rails just showing. So if you hit that son of a bitch now it is on you.. There is only one big floating marker on it now, but I will try and put another one on the end of it in the next week or so.
Just run close to the west end of the bridge on your way out of the creek and you'll be fine.. Run the river channel on your way south and you'll have no problems.
The crappie are still excellent in the brushpiles, and some really nice ones have been caught lately. We have a huge number of fish in that 12" range, and then a group of bigger fish that will straighten out them wire hooks..
The white bass have been a little spotty, but when you get around em you can catch a bunch in a hurry.. Not seeing a ton of schooling fish like we were in the summer, but we should be seeing more and more of them up here on the top of the lake in the coming weeks.
They'll be starting their spawning run here pretty quick.
I hope yall had a decent Thanksgiving, although I am sure it was not typical. Ours certainly was not.
And living with this Whoohan shit hanging over our heads is wearing thin on me.. This is not the way Americans are used to living.. And I am sure that many of you, like me, are about at the end of your patience when it comes to this shit being in your face every day.
I am certainly not a denier, but I think this stuff has been oversold, over reported, poorly treated, over tested, inaccurately tested, inaccurately attributed, and basically been the reported cause of death of everybody that died in the last year.
And what two experts can agree on the right treatments and prevention of the spread?
I hear that some perfectly healthy folks have succumbed to the disease. And I am sure they have.
But so much of this is more and more becoming a fear and control campaign that it is getting out of hand.
And I am not mentioning the political aspect to the virus that has been weaponized in current politics.
The "Fed Up" meter is about at an all time high..
There better be a vaccine soon, and a clear picture of things improving after its implementation.. Or the shit is going to hit the fan..
Americans will put up with so much.. And it is true, some pussies will put up with anything..
But a lot of em won't.. Once tasted, much less lived, personal freedom is damn hard to even think about giving up.
And it is totally unthinkable to me to think that any of this could be a "New Normal.."
I say Bullshit..
And you might too..
Come see us. While you still can..
November 23, 2020: It's Thanksgiving week, and this seems like the weirdest year I can remember.. And for the first time in my sixty five years it is possible that I will not be eating my Mama's dressing.
Which is a travesty to say the least.. Still not sure if I am going up or not.. But just having to think about it don't seem right..
In any case, I hope you can have some semblance of normalcy around your household.. Although I kinda doubt it..
Fishing here on Falcon appears to be picking up a bit, and the shallow bite, both on rocks and in the hardwoods has started to come around.
I fished with a buddy on Friday, and we fished Pierce's (marker 7) pretty much exclusively, although we did make a stop in Diablo on the way in. We did no good in Diablo fishing the rocks on the north side.
But in Pierces we caught a few nice fish really shallow, all on creature baits. They would not eat a square bill for me.. And I gave it the old college try.. But my second cast with a Rage Craw (W/M Red with chart dye on tips) caught me about a three pounder.. And I stuck with it a lot mixing in the square bill here and there with no luck.
And a bit later I caught a five pounder on the Rage Tail as well.. And we caught a few other fish, all keepers but no whoppers..
And we only fished three hours so I don't think we did too bad.
Also this last weekend we had Ingram Bass Club in town, and they had some decent fish on Saturday as well, and David Perry caught this 10.38 pound toad on a chatterbait.
A few other anglers I have talked to have also reported spotty quality fish being caught. Shallow still seems to be the key, with most fish being caught inside ten feet of water..
Of course your results may vary, and I am sure you can catch some fish on deeper methods. But most all of the fish are on the bank, or on break lines close to deep water..
I am hearing nothing about folks catching fish in twenty feet of water.. I ain't saying it can't be done.. But if it is happening, I ain't hearing anything about it..
I do know of some folks fishing deeper running plugs on ledges. But most of their fish are on the breaks in about eight feet of water..
The lake is dropping slowly, a continuation of what has been happening for the last few weeks.. We are sitting at 262.79 this morning, and actually the rate of release has picked up some.. Maybe that is what has spurred the bite a bit.. A little water moving thru, or at least out of the lake.
We sure need some water, but it isn't our time of year to catch any..
The ramp in the county park here in town is working great. The state park ramp is not in service, but launching off the bank is not a problem with 4X4.. Launch just past the blue bucket.. You'll see what I mean.. As long as it is still there..
We have had some of the most awesomest fishing conditions as of late. Temps from the high sixties to mid eighties..With a little variation.. And light and variable winds..
You'll want a jacket in the AM but you will shuck it by noon..
I am going to try and get out tomorrow and see if I can expand on what I learned on Friday.. I got a theory or two..
If you are going to isolate for the holiday, you might as well do it on the lake. We got plenty of room for you here and the timing just might be right.
I hope you have as good a Thanksgiving as possible. Given the conditions, I'm really not sure what that consists of..
Hang in there! Better days ahead..
I just love turkey sandwiches...
November 19, 2020: Howdy! If you are looking for a fishing report, scroll down below this post for the latest on Falcon..
If not, read on or or X out.. But this is not about fishing..
If you read this blog any at all I guess you have it figured out that I am a fairly conservative guy. And I have been doing this since 2007, and I don't really think that my views have changed considerably.
Other than being forcibly turned more and more against the liberal front, because of their ever increasing race towards insanity, exclusiveness, anti-Americanism, racism, and anti Christian beliefs..
And once again, if you have read this blog for long, you know that I live my life the best I can by Christian ethics.. Do I sometime fall short of my goals?
Sure.. But I try to treat every person, every day, with the dignity and respect that is granted to them just by being human.
Because I believe in the inalienable right of all humans to have and hold their opinions and beliefs. No matter how much they align with mine.. Or how much their thought and belief system is fucked up..
Whoa.. Sounded a little judgmental didn't it?
And the bible clearly says, and I'm paraphrasing here, 'Judge ye not, so you will not be judged.."
But in many instances it also talks about dis-associating yourself from the unjust, wicked, adulterous, and otherwise no-good Mo-Fo's..
In so many words..
And I have always thought the two lessons have been at odds with other, because in my mind, one needs to judge a persons character in order to stay away from the aforementioned crowd.
But I ALLWAYS give a person the benefit of the doubt, the first time I meet him. Do I have pre-conceived notions about a person covered with tattoos, piercing's, saggy pants, man buns, an indescribable Crayola hair color, and a Biden sticker on his car?
Sure.. But I always let them demonstrate to me whether they are an idiot or not before I categorize them..
It's a learned art..
I am sure that a lot of folks categorize me the first time they see me as well.. And old semi gray haired white male that at one time in life was a bad motherfucker.. (I threw in that bad motherfucker stuff just for fun..)
But in any case I would think that a lot of young folks would look at me and say there's just another old redneck.. Exactly what they see is wrong with this country..
Honestly I would think that we both pretty much want the same thing, but we are just not on the same page on how to get there..
Personally I have been working for forty nine years. Granted some of that was part time while I was in school.. And while I have punched cattle, assholes, dance tickets, nail heads, bearing races, and spinnerbait packages, I have been punching the clock far longer..
It is possible, that I punched an asshole in junior high.. But I am sure it was just reward..
And what I see a lot today, is that a lot of today's youth have the entitlement mentality that they should have what I have.. A mini battle of the haves and the have not's..
Not that I have a lot.. But what I got I worked for.. Hard and long.. Still am..
And all I can reckon is that today's society, much of which I was also a part of allowing to come to be, has given these folks, mostly, but not all less that 40 years of age, the idea that they are entitled to, and deserve to have the world delivered to them on a silver platter without any effort on their part.
Yeah.. I don't think so.. All these things that they want did not come to be without a lot of work on the parts of many others..
And believe it or not, some day we will will run out of even the printed money we are living on now..
The Goose that lays the Golden Eggs is the working class of this country.. Start laying eggs or fuck off.
No matter how much the central government tries to make you think it is them from whom all good things come..
As a country we just gone through one of the most contentious elections in modern history. Certainly the most fucked up polling practices I have witnessed in my forty six years of voting eligibility.
And unless you had an ulterior motive, who in the shit would design a ballot that could be duplicated, disseminated, collated, received, and counted days after the election?
What fucking moron thought this was a good idea?
Did they not know the election was coming? Anybody, with enough sense to pour piss out of a boot with the directions on the heel, should have had more sense than to even consider this idea.
All these votes should have been required to be in and counted days before the general election.. If you were too much of a pussy to come to the polls, then you should have been able to get your vote in in advance of the election.. Being we were making special provisions just for your ass..
Instead here we are with contested results from both sides with so many mathematical improbabilities that this will likely be the most disenfranchising election in history..
If we ALL do not feel that our vote counted as cast, and that no votes were cast by non-elgible voters, then we are going to end up, in short order, no better than a lot of the third world shitholes from which people are risking their lives to escape every single day..
I find it interesting that if you look at the national map of how the counties voted, you see a mass of red, dotted by blue specks.
It is easy to see that we are not divided north from south, but population centers from country folk.
And why is this? Because the big cities, a very high percentage of which are run by democrats, are home to the most government goodie handouts.
And I don't think even any liberals will argue that fact with me..
A record number of votes were cast in this last election.. And a record number of votes cast for each party. If you can believe the results.
And I see a change in the mindsets of a lot of my fellow south Texan and Rio Grande neighborhood dwellers.
Zapata County, by last count about 94% hispanic, went the Republican way in the presidential race for the first time since 1914..
That in itself is enough to cast suspicion on the entire election.
Starr county. Just south of us.. That four years ago Hillary garnered 90% of the vote from, almost went to Trump..
The mindset is changing.. The people here are starting to see that Democrat rule is not working.. That we are headed down the wrong path.
And if the eyes of south Texans along the Rio Grande can be opened, then there is hope for the rest of the country as well..
Like I have said.. This is the first time, for many, that they have looked behind the curtain, and realized that all that rhetoric, noise, and smoke is just that..
If this election goes the way it is looking, it is going to burn in my belly for a long long time. And I know a lot of you feel the same.
Hold on to that feeling.. And let it carry us forward with a resolve to put an end to this shit.. We will gather the masses and overpower the competition at the polls.
As long as the elected get us a level playing field.
And that is the least they can do if they want our votes..
If not, call me and let me handle it..
Keep the faith.. There are still a shitload of us, and our defenses are up..
We will rise again..
I've got a lot more on my chest.. And you'll read about it in the very near future..
And we'll talk some Falcon fishing as well..
See you on the water, and thanks for your support!
November 18, 2020: Not a lot has changed in the last week.. A couple of small cool fronts have blown through, and usually the high pressure right behind them makes for a day or so of unpredictable fishing. And reports have varied widely.. From all three fishermen down here..
Actually there were a few folks down last weekend, as a couple of small bass clubs were in town. SWRI was one of them, and I think they had about six boats. I did not hear their final results, but on Saturday there were some fish caught off the dam once again. Including several limits. No monsters were reported on Saturday.
A swimbait on an underspin was reported to be catching some numbers there. White or light colored.
You can also crank the rocks there.. Gently.. Rocks are hungry and think crankbaits taste good..
The spinnerbait and square bill bite is still doing pretty good, and if you find a school of fish up shallow you can catch a decent number of em pretty quick.. Some schooling has been reported and you can throw most anything in there when they are trashing the surface..
But it is not going on everywhere.. Points and wind blown gravel banks.. Not rocket science..
I'd love to tell you that we are just kicking their ass, but that is not true.. We are fishing like a lot of the state.. Transitioning into winter. Slowly.. And it has been a bit of hit and miss..
We are so spoiled down here that we think we should be able to whack em every time we go out.. Sometimes it is more fishing than catching.. But I know what lives here.. And it is still bettern most..
And probably by the time I post this things will have changed..
The crappie are still very good, and some whoppers have been caught lately, as they are growing eggs as we speak.. You better net those big ones.. They can straighten out a light wire hook easy and they don't call them papermouths for nothing..
A chartreuse and red tube is good, and like always Monkey Milk is a good choice..
In the brushpiles of course..
White bass are showing up in the Veleno, and that means that their migration up north has started.. Not much river flow these days.. But they'll figure it out.. It is weird how some years the fish will pile up on the boat ramp here at the county park.
You can find some of them now around the old bridge in the Veleno.. Small crankbaits and jigging spoons.. Near the creek channel.
Catfish are still good, with anything stinky.. Anchor off the river channel down about marker nine and fish the drop. Good numbers of nice fish have been caught lately.
Last weekend there was an incident that occurred over in the Salanaias. Two fishermen in a bass boat were fishing in the back half of the creek.
While there, a panga fishing boat approached, and the occupants stopped the fishermen, boarded their boat with firearms, had them stand on the front deck while they searched their boat, and after finding nothing of interest told them to get the fuck out of the creek..
Which they did.
Nothing was stolen and robbery was not on their minds.
This scenario has played out a few times in the past. And it appears that right now there is a little turf war going on over in the area. If I was a betting man, I would wager that these guys are checking to see who exactly is on their water.
For the mean time, I recommend you leave the Salanaias to the locals, till they get their boundaries established. Of course all of this changes constantly, and this year has been a year of turmoil over in Mexico as well..
I know that many folks think that I minimize or trivialize the incidents that happen over in the creeks on the Mexican side. And you must know that this is a drug trafficking area by now. Been that way as long as I can remember.
If you are fishing the Mexican creeks, know that people are watching you.. And you should be watching them. And if anything don't seem right to you, seek your entertainment elsewhere..
Ain't nothing changed around here.. The Feds are investigating this incident.. And I am sure they will be in contact with the Mexican authorities.. But given past results I don't see anything happening..
We got plenty of water on the rest of the lake to fish. And a lot more rock on the Texas side as well.
Thanksgiving is next week, although this year things will probably be a little different around most households. And our family will be no different.
Turkey Day at the Ranch is a big doin' in our family.. But this year we will have a skeleton crew compared to what we are used to.
I don't think a twenty pounder is going to be needed this year. And maybe we'll cut down the green bean casserole to one big dish. I love that stuff..
Like most families, we have folks scattered across the country, and a lot of them are staying put this go round.. And much as I hate it, it is probably for the best.
Lord willin' next year much of this will be a bad memory.
But there is a lot of 2020 I will never forget.. And in the spirit of the holidays, I will leave that to a future date to discuss..
There are several things in which I have lost my faith.
But that has only hardened my resolve in few others.
Hang in there.. We all gotta hang in there.. It ain't easy.. It sucks I know well..
But better times are around the bend..
We hope to see you soon, and don't be hoarding them Tums. I'm gonna need some too!
November 11, 2020: I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the Veterans that have ever served in the US armed services in defense of our country. It is because of you that we have the freedoms we so enjoy today.
From someone that has never stood in harms way, I would like to personally thank you for standing up for me.
You guys are my heroes and to all of you I say Thank You! You have earned my eternal respect.
There are a few more folks in town as of late, and a lot of our winter Texans are starting to roll in.. Of course we don't have as many as we used to, as many of them have gotten too old to make the trip, and unfortunately, a lot of the generation of folks that called Zapata home in the cold months have passed on.
Of course we have gained a few the last few years, but not as many as we have lost.
Those that are fishing are experiencing about the same results as I have been reporting the last few weeks. And if there is anything about the fishing that is consistent is that it is inconsistent.
You may smoke em one day on a squarebill up shallow, and the next day it is like they have evaporated. But surely more fish have been showing up shallow than we have had in a while.
I am hearing of a lot of bass being caught in the brushpiles while crappie fishin. And of the ones hooked, you are lucky to get them to the boat on light tackle.. But you get to see a lot of em..
Speaking of Crappie.. Yeah.. They're still very good..
Still the most consistent bass fishing is taking place on the dam.. You might have to interact with a few other fishermen on the weekends, but overall you can catch fish there most any day.. There are certainly lulls in the action, but if I was going to try to catch a big fish, that's where I'd camp out..
Like my neighbor Judy Shoffner who caught this dark beauty last week..
Early you can catch fish right up on the rocks.. Spinnerbaits and squares are the way to go. As the sun gets up a bit I would throw a senko or a worm of some type, lightly weighted, and fish it gently down the slope.
A trick worm is still a good choice..
The Tigers is still putting out a few fish, and somedays that squarebill fishing I was talking about can be good on the points in there..
Main lake stuff from marker three to the dam can also produce fish on the shallow rock early. Slide out a bit when the sun gets up.
I know we like to power fish down here, but a drop shot or a shakey head will get you more bites as the day goes on..
I know. I hate that shit too..
I'm still not hearing of many flipping fish in the trees.. There are a few being caught but the numbers are not as good as they should be..
The top of the lake is clearing a bit, and the water is plenty fishable up top in the trees on the Mexican side.. Some of my favorite water is directly across from the Veleno. And there are trees a plenty to chunk at..
If you launch at the county ramp, there are a ton of rockpiles to fish on your way south. and throwing a squarebill over and around them is a good idea. Or a chatterbait or a spinner will often get you bit. Mix it up a bit till you find what they like best.
The lake is kinda holding steady, and we are sitting at 263.21.. We are actually falling a few hundreth's a day at current in and out rates.. No new water in sight..
County ramp is still fine on the concrete, and we are still launching off the dirt bank down at the state park, but with four wheel drive it is no sweat.. Not optimal but easily doable..
While we are talking about water levels, I'd like to remind you that on the top end of the lake you need to pay attention the where you are running as you are headed south. Follow the channel as there are a lot of big hardwoods on the Mexican side of the lake from the Veleno down to marker eight.
It is very flat on the large area of water from the channel to the Mexican bank. And while it may be two hundred yards to the bank, there are some vintage hardwoods in there that a metallurgist would have trouble matching the density of while casting an engine block.
Been there.. Done it.. Don't be a James.. Run the channel..
The white bass will be heading up to the top end of the lake before long, and some already are.. You might want to check out the rocky banks and points from the Veleno up to Beacon Lodge..
We have one tournament on the books for January, as Bass Champs will come to Falcon on January 16. Of course last year we lost a couple of big events here, due to the Whoohan..
Who knows what the next year will bring, but I am sure as fuck ready to hang a new calendar on the wall..
My prediction that Donald Trump would win the election with 56% of the popular vote may not have come true. But hell it might have.
Ain't this a freakin mess.. I'll reserve judgment as of now.. But it surely ain't the first time I'd have to eat crow..
Well get your ass down here before the democrats tell you you have to stay in your room..
And holler at us if we can be of assistance..
See you on the water!
November 5, 2020: It is still slow times in Zapata.. Beautiful weather.. Low winds..
A few winter Texans are arriving daily, but the numbers of fishermen are still at very low levels..
The county ramp has been hosting about four or five boats a day.. Bout the same at the state park.
The lake is still dropping ever so slowly, and we are sitting at 263.28. Down a couple of inches since I last wrote. For reference, yesterday the tops of the bridge posts were showing in the Veleno. But the rails are still under water..
Those few that have gone a fishin' have reported a variety of results. There have also been reports of a bunch of very shallow squarebill fish, right up on the rocks.
The dam continues to put out fish.. The senko is still catching them there.. As is a trick worm.
You can catch em your way.. But some days numbers are good.. And some days not so much.
But honestly it is hard to get a handle on the fishing with very, very, few boats on the water.
If I was bored before, I am now bored x bored²..
I have been searching for a new (to me) boat for months.. And the prices and the inventory of good used boats are at odds with each other.
Prices high. Inventory low. I am looking for a metal boat in the 18 to 20 foot range.. One I can do without scrubbing.. And not afraid to run it up on the rocks or tie to a concrete post or throw a big, fat, stinky, gar in the bottom of..
But while bass boats are everywhere, utility boats do not seem to be.
Of course I am not looking to break the bank either.. Been there, done that..
Pretty particular MFer I know..
But I'll find it sooner or later.. Did not think when I sold my old boat I'd have this much trouble finding what I was looking for..
The brushpiles are still full of crappie, and the catfish are cooperating as they always do.
I have also heard of several folks catching a lot of bass while crappie fishing off the tops of the brush piles. Little baits catch big fish once in a while.. If you can get em to the boat..
Had a couple of em take my shit and leave the other day.. You're not gonna win too many of those fights with six pound line..
A lot of my favorite crappie baits are still hard to find. But production of a lot of stuff is getting better.
I spend half of my day looking for inventory.. Finally got a bunch of Plum Ol Monsters in the other day, so I feel a lot better..
Did you hear about the election results?
Watching the shit show to see how it progresses..
I'm headed to the ranch to sit in the deer blind and watch a part of the world that still makes sense..
While it is still legal..
October 28, 2020: It is cold and windy down in these parts.. The kind of shit that I really hate.. In the seventies I might have been looking for a $10 hooker at the $3 motel on Fredericksburg road..
Bout the only good way to spend a day like this..
But these days it is 100% more likely that I will just put on a big pot of beans..
And I reckon that a lot of beans are cooking down here today.. Cause you'd have to be really mad at em to be out there today.
Fishing has improved some it appears as we're hearing better reports from a lot of people we have talked to.
And maybe a "lot" is not the right word to use. but we have seen a slight up tick in the numbers of fishermen in town here lately.
The sweet spot is still a matter of contention, but fishing the rip-rap on the dam has yielded some really nice quality fish as of late.
Senkos and finesse baits have been best, fishing them down the slope of the dam. If you you have a penchant for using tungsten weights, this can become about as expensive as a bad coke habit.
Those chunky rocks are hungry for weights, even after all these years. You would think that the face of the dam would be getting smoother as all those weights have been filling in the gaps in those rocks for decades..
The afternoon bite still appears to be best, with a lot of quality fish coming to the boat after the noon hour. And with the cooling weather becoming the norm, it will be a lot easier on the body to be out a bit later.
Of course you can always start a bit later as well..
But before long, it will be dark at freaking six o'clock, especially with the time change coming this weekend..
Did I ever mention that I hate cold, wind, and long nights?
And these Falcon fish are none too fond of north winds either..
About two weeks ago there was a small tournament that some of the locals put on, and there were a few nice stringers weighed in. Just under 25 pounds won it. (five fish)
Another tournament is planned for the 21st of November, and this time I am giving you a little more warning than the last time. $100 entry.. Team format.. Yada, Yada.
Call me here for more details or call Richard Cremo who's number is 956-285-3474 .
Old building foundations have been good early and sometimes in the later afternoon. Squarebills are a good choice to start with and you can chunk a lightly weighted Texas rigged worm around them as well.
But these rocks are no more friendly to the weights and hooks than the ones at the dam.
Brushpiles are still putting out a few fish, but it has been a bit hit and miss.. And if you are throwing a small bait or something with appendages the crappie might drive you crazy..
Crappie remain very good in the brush piles.. Especially the right ones. Look in the fifteen to twenty foot deep piles for best results. Some piles are full of smaller fish. Some have all big fish.. And some are mixed with all sizes of fish co-habitating the cover.
An eighth ounce jig head on light line with a tube or minner imitator is a good choice.. Color sometimes makes a difference. But not always. Monkey Milk, Chart/Red, or Electric Chicken are a good base to start with..
But there are as many different colors as there are fishermen. You'll figure it out..
The lake level is dropping ever so slightly each day the last week, as we are letting out a bit more than is coming.. Minus usage between Amistad and here.
There was news this last week of Mexico paying back its water debt to the US. Several of you called and e-mailed and I appreciate the heads up.
I have been following the story of course, and here is the long and short of it..
A few weeks back it was reported that Mexico still owed some 300,000 acre feet of water to fulfill the treaty agreement.
Funny how this last week the debt was 105,000 acre feet, according to reports I read, (But who really knows). That piddly amount of water would only raise Falcon about three feet, if that much water was actually put in the lake.
You'll be glad to hear that Mexico has fully repaid their water debt..
But it ain't what you'd think.
Instead of releasing the water owed from lakes on the Conchos, and adding new water (to us) to the Rio Grande system , they simply transferred ownership of 105,000 Acre Feet (+ -) of water that they owned in Falcon and Amistad to the US..
So basically once again we have been played..
It is true that the US will now control that additional water.. But if you, like me, were looking for a boost in water level at either reservoir.. Well we're shit out of luck..
We are sitting at 263.65, or 37.55 feet low. And we have been hovering in this range for a couple of weeks.. With a slight drop going on as afore mentioned.
With that being said, nothing has changed with the boat ramp situation at either end of the lake. We are still on concrete here in Zapata, and off the bank down at the state park. Both working fine, but you will likely need 4X4 at the state park.
A foot of water and we could use the state park concrete ramp.. But I reckon that is just too much to ask.
We have had a few more Winter Texans roll into town this week, and it has been good to catch up on what is up with them. All of them are glad to be here right now with this latest arctic blast that has whacked a lot of the country..
Which seems strange as another hurricane heads to Louisiana.. Those folks have had a target on em all year..
Not a lot else happening here in Zapata, as we, like the rest of the country wait out this election and the Whoohan; seeing what is going to happen with both..
I have made my prediction and I am sticking with it.. If I am wrong, and I pray that I am not, then we really are closer to the edge of the shit pit the Democrats are yearning for.
I urge you to get out and vote.. Even if you don't like the messenger, you should appreciate a lot of what the messenger has to say.
You might not like the way he says it. But at least he has America's best interests at heart.
And if you're an American, and you can't support 'America First' principals, what the fuck are you doing here..
There are millions of other people in the world that would give all they have to make it here. Not because of what the left is trying to turn America into.. But because of what we are now..
I guess it would really slow immigration if we turn America into the same shithole that those folks are trying to escape.
Maybe that is the Democrats plan on immigration.. Hadn't thought of that before..
But by then the Golden Goose would long be dead...
Looks like a good stretch of weather on the horizon.. Once we get past this wind.
Maybe we'll see you this weekend..
I'll look for you.. On the water..
October 22, 2020: Another week has rolled past, and we are another week closer to to some cooler weather around here.. Granted we are no longer having triple digit heat, but we have been climbing into the mid nineties pretty regularly.
Not what some would call fall. But around here we'll get out the jackets if it cools off much more.
Water temps are still just under eighty, or somewhere close. And water levels are still not changing drastically, although we have dropped a few inches in the last ten days. But no real water flow thru the gates.. And no real current moving the fish near the dam or any other points that it can affect..
Although there are always some big fish hanging out around the rip-rap on the dam..
Case in Point: George Frentz caught this 9.2 this week off the rocks.. Or near..
There are a few folks that have been down lately, but we are a long way from our October Normal. A few Snowbirds are starting to show up, but we are still behind schedule. And I reckon till this Woohan shit fear is behind us, things will be out of whack.
End coming soon, I hope. More on that later..
Best baits as of late have still been big Texas rigged worms, and crankbaits.. Wish I had a dollar for every time I have typed that. But it is what it is.
This 11.22 was caught by Matt Reed this week on a big worm.
Although I have heard of some finesse fishing with a very lightly weighted trick worm on rocks that is catching decent numbers.
The Veleno seems to be the only bright spot on the north end of the lake. Same patterns working up here.. Cranks on rocks and worms out the points and off ledges. And I have heard a few rumors of some very shallow fish on topwater's early on.. If you're launching at 8:30 don't worry about it..
Water clarity has improved some up top, but it is a lot prettier down south, as is typical.. But the water up here on the north end is certainly fishable. Still no reports of flippin fish in the trees across from the Veleno.. But them bastards gotta be there..
The fish are on the move, no doubt, and finding them in the same place several days in a row might happen.. But it is just as likely that you may go back and find a vacancy sign..
There are still fish being caught in the brushpiles, but it is not gangbusters. You may catch only one, or none out of each.
Now the crappie.. Them suckers are piled up in a bunch of them. Like I said before.. Crappie is for eatin.. Come get you some. You might end up with a sinkfull of these suckers to clean.
There are three year classes of crappie out there right now.. Some ten inchers hatched last fall and early spring.. Some thirteen and fourteen inchers bout two years old.. And some absolute slabs that are true two pound plus fish, although they're not as common as the afore mentioned.
Catching you a mess or a limit has not been too hard hopping from brushpile to brushpile.
The white bass are still schooling on open water, especially on the south end of the lake. Look for birds.
Catfish are very good on rod and reel up the river (experienced river navigators only) in the deep holes like in front of Hedieona and White House.
But the common man can go and anchor off the main river channel and whack em on stinkbait around the marker nine area.
We weighed a 258 pound gar this week as well.. Somehow I have no pic of the fish.. Big SOB.
If you are a bird hunter, the dove are still lousy around here. And the Teal are here in decent numbers.. Some big flocks have been reported around Opec creek. There are a few ducks here.. But not many. Still been too warm up north..
But times they are a changing..
This Whoohan shit that is still consuming the thought process of so many Americans needs to come to an end. While we are told of spikes in numbers of folks with it, we are seeing the death rate from the virus drop off as medical professionals get better and better at treating it, despite the NIH, CDC, WHO, and the AMA and Big Pharma stiff-arming treatments and regimens that have obviously been very effective.
Follow the Money.. Always..
There is no doubt that many political forces are in play as well.
The presidential election is less than two weeks away, (thank God) and Millions of Americans have already cast their vote.. Like I have said, if you have not made up your mind by now you are an ignorant dumb fuck.
Either that, or you are not capable of processing mass doses of information/misinformation on a daily basis.
But all of it might not be your fault.
If you were raised in a family that has been on the government teat for decades, I can see how your opinions may have been formed.
If you have been told all your life, that you can't do it on your own, that you need government to help and provide for you, and that we as Democrats, will give all you need. Well I can see where the problem started.
You don't need to try.. You don't have a chance without our help..
You cannot do it on your own. Because you are too stupid..
And this is what the Great Society has devolved into.
Get them into the herd.. Get them under control.. And make them dependent on us for everything..
And then we will be in command of everything.. And they will keep us in power, because we are their everything.
Pretty good theory I guess.. But I believe that a lot more folks have seen behind the curtain.
Don't be a Karen.. It's time to be a Dorothy..
And once your eyes have been opened there is no going back.
Being taken for granted is about the most disrespect that a person can be shown. I won't tolerate it, and neither should you..
Be a free thinker. But be a thinker.. Not a re-actionist.. Do your due diligence and I think it will become obvious.
Do you want to be a sheep, kept alive by the wolf, till the wolf decides he's hungry?
Of do you want to stand in your front door, with pitchfork in hand, daring that fuckin' wolf to come over for supper..
I nay not have a pitchfork.. But I'll be standing in my front door.. And I hope you'll walk thru it with me as a free American.. Not as a subject of some beaurocrats who could really care if you live or die..
They'll have theirs.. And you'll have yours.. As they see fit..
Well get out there and vote. There is plenty of time to get it done.
I'm still standing by my prediction that Trump gets 56% of the vote. But you gotta make it happen..
Come see us when you can!
October 15, 2020: It has sure dried up around here, and we have had some unusually warm days, even for us.. We have been in the high nineties the last few days, after the remnants of the last hurricane went east of us, and that always drags desert air out of Mexico over us for a few days.
But it looks like we have a cool down coming tomorrow as a front comes through. It's that time of year..
The fishing remains a bit on the spotty side, but there have been a few brighter spots burn thru the celluloid this last week.
Now remember that there are only a handful of boats on the water each day. But from several reports I have heard of some spot specific places that have turned out some nice bags of fish.
Water temps are about 78 in the early morning, and still surpassing the 80 degree mark in the afternoons. But in the next few weeks we will see water staying under 80 degrees for a good time to come..
Bait fish are everywhere.. Open water to the backs of creeks.. And fish don't have to work too hard to eat.. We caught four bass in a five minute stretch and all of them were fat as hogs ready for market.
One of those spots I'm talking about. We put the rods down as this a guide spot and we were just checking it out.
And we went and caught a bunch of crappie, as that was the goal. And they are easy pickin on the brush piles right now.
And all of the crappie were just stuffed with baby shad, bout one inch long.. Puking them up and making a mess of the boat..
Overall I am going to say the fishing is improving, and we have seen a slight up tick in the number of fishermen on the lake.. I said slight.
Ingram bass club is in town this weekend, but I think they will have less than ten boats.
But here's a item of interest.. If you're looking for a tournament to fish this weekend, some local fellows are putting one on this Saturday. Weigh in will be at the county ramp..
7:10 launch.. Fish 7:30 till 3:30.. Five fish limit. No guides.. $100 entry per team..
Sounds like fun.. For more info Call Richard Cremo at 956-285-3474.
Ariel Garcia caught and released this nice big eyed 10-6 this week on a jig.
And like always Falcon is nice to the young-uns as as this young feller caught a 5.98 and a new PB.. Not bad for a ten year old. I am sorry I misplaced name info with this pic..
Texas rigged soft plastics are still the best thing going it appears, but a crankbait is a close second.
Spotty is the best word I can use for the fishing.. Fish are concentrated on some spots. And you got to keep moving and looking.. Ledges and rocky mis-configured hard funky shaped bluffy depth changes seem to be the best.
You know what I am talking about.. Just weird features on a feature.. And the more isolated the better..
The fish here are about the fattest and healthiest things I have ever seen.. Freakin butterballs a lot of em.. And full of piss and vinegar..
And they say that fish feed up for the fall. Well I don't know how they can eat anymore than they are..
The flipping bite is still not very good, BTW.. Much to my chagrin..
But the Ol Monster is a good bait to throw on the Texas rig..
Cover ground.. Cover ground..
I am leading in the fat left knee contest.. I got a case of gout that is kicking my ass.. Last night I looked at the clock at 3:32 the last I remember..
A couple of days ago my Sister and brother in law were in town crappie fishing, and they came over for supper and brought some ice cream for desert.
And I declined the ice cream and decided on another whiskey and water. And my Sis says 'which is worse for you?'
And I replied "I ain't sure.. But ice cream ain't never made my knee quit hurting.."
In any case.. This too shall pass. Get your ass out there and vote.. If you haven't already..
Pussies on the news complaining about long lines to vote.. BFD.. Maybe folks can find another day when it ain't so busy.. You have damn near three weeks..
Voting has never been easier.. No excuses..
Get your ass down here and go fishing.. You need a break..
We'll keep the lights on for ya..
October 8, 2020: It has been the most beautiful stretch of weather that I can remember in years around here.. Low to no wind, lows in the low sixties and highs around 90..
If you are doing anything outside it has been about as good as it gets.
Even though conditions have been near perfect, there are still not many folks out on the water. Three to five boats each day at county. And five to ten at the state park.
And maybe some of the reason for that is because the fishing is fair, and none better.. Folks that know what they are doing are catching fish.
And what I mean by that is that folks that have locations for a lot of old buildings and brushpiles are catching fish.
I did not mean to insinuate that if you are not catching fish you don't know what you are doing..
But right now, location is key. You can't just pull up on any point and go to whackin em..
I think those days are just around the corner, but it ain't here yet.
With the cooling water (bout 78° in the mornings) we should see fish starting to move back in the creeks a bit. I'd love to tell you that the backs of creeks are filled with dense cover.. But it ain't so..
There are several big creeks that have standing timber. And the very shallowest water on the lake has a bit of native grasses that have grown down to the water, and been covered by a slight rise in sea level..
And on occasion you can catch a few fish on those edges early and late.
But most fish are still on or near cover provided by man made brushpiles and natural and man made rocky structures.
Hopping from rockpile to rockpile is a good pattern. And hitting any brushpiles in between is a good idea.
Texas rigged senkos and big worms are still the best thing going around the brush.
Squarebills over and around the rocks are good. And after making several casts with the hardbait, throw a plastic over those rocks to maybe catch a fish or two that weren't tuned in to the fast moving baits.
Shad pattern crankbaits have been better lately it appears than the bright chartreuse sided baits.. Just personal observation at this point..
But hell who really knows one day to the next.
A few days ago I was talking with one of our local fishermen that fishes three or four days a week. And we were talking about fishing naturally occurring rocky structures. From a crankbait perspective.
And when we are talking about fishing ridges and rocks, many times it is imperative to have your bait on exactly the right spot on the formation.
Especially when the fishing is tough.
It is easy to look up on the bank and see an eight foot long overhang, or a jut out on a long rocky ledge.. Or three or four boulders on the bottom four feet below that ledge..
And that shit is where it all happens a lot of times.
Knowing precisely where that shit is, and fishing it precisely, can and does make all the difference.
Finding these spots, that are covered with water is a challenge, but today's electronics are fairly amazing at drawing a picture of the underworld. And tech-savvy fishermen certainly have an advantage over us old farts that just want to know how deep it is..
I'm probably a mixture of the two. And I am a spot fisherman that fishes a total of one lake. And I have been fishing here so long that the tracks on my machine had about become indelible..
Because there is no doubt that I fish the same ol shit a lot.. A lot, lot..
But if it works, don't fix it, right?
Well sometimes it does, and sometimes it don't..
I am currently between boats, and my fishing lately has depended on invitations from others. And I have ridden in some late model boats with very modern electronics.
And I am amazed by the quality of the pictures compared to the high dollar (at the time) units that I had that were six years or so old.
That technology is advancing every day.. Before too long they will probably be able to biometrically ID the fish.. And maybe tell you if you saw that fish on your last trip..
Like I said last year. This internet thingy may actually catch on..
AI is no longer a futuristic vision.. And it can probably tell if you are wearing boxers or briefs..
The lake has not moved a half inch in the last two weeks, and there is very little water flow going out the dam. Another reason the fishing is so-so. No current.
And fishing in front of the dam has been less that stellar. You can still catch a few off the rip-rap, but they are not stacking up there as they often do when there is water flow.
Now I ain't in a hurry for them to start letting out water either..
Mexico is evidently going to renig on their water debt.. Again..
As of yesterday they were letting out about zero from Boquilla..
And don't look for US officials to do anything about it.. Ain't got the stones..
The county ramp is still fine on concrete albeit a bit flat. If you are by yourself you are probably going to get your feet wet.. State park ramp is not functional on concrete. But a buddy of mine launched his 21 foot Ranger there yesterday off the bank.. No issues..
But 4X4 is recommended..
And with traffic so light at the state park they have not required pre purchase of day passes.. But I guess it can't hurt on weekends.
While the bass have been a little slow, the crappie are off the hook. Or maybe I should say on the hook. The brushpiles have been loaded with fish and catching them has been easy. No need for minnows with these fish.. Tube jigs and crappie baits of all styles are catching fish.. Of course we all have our favorites.
The white bass are schooling all over the lake from the Tigers south. Watch for birds.. Or water being thrashed on the surface.. You can probably throw a used spark plug in there and catch one.. But traps and small swimbaits will catch em good. Or any shallow squarebill in white or chrome..
Bait is everywhere..
The catfish are still on the bite, like always.. And as it cools down they will go crazy.. They are "Fall Guys.."
I reckon that is about it when it comes to the fishing..
It has been a banner year down here for dove hunting, and there are still thousands of white wings and mourning doves around.. I have been lucky enough to get invited a few times and we have shot the shit out of them.
Sunday I killed my limit in less than thirty minutes.. Could have been faster but I was waiting on whitewings a lot of the time.. They are lousy.. And I had a bird boy which helps..
Hope to go again this evening..
Have you guys seen any political commercials on TV lately? Criminey..
And it is funny how the commercials rarely say if the candidate is a Republican or a Democrat..
As the old knight defending the Holy Grail recommended, it would be best if you "Choose Wisely.."
But I will say that I am glad that I did not have to strap myself to the skid of a Huey and keep on shootin.. That candidate looks like they been strapped to the leg of the buffet table.. (It's local humor folks. Get over it..)
You know I love you guys in uniform..
I guess the phone, automobile, beer, pharmaceutical, and lawyer companies have been outbid for airtime..
How am I supposed to remember to take my Viagra.. Although these days I think I am swallowing it too slowly cause all I am getting is a stiff neck..
Maybe the rut is starting and I am too old to remember why..
Less than a month till the election. Thank God.. This has been the most fucked up year in my 65.. Don't know about you..
I plan to vote on the first day of early voting.. And the second.. And the third..
Payback is hell motherfuckers..
In all seriousness though, I truly cannot see how there can be any undecided's out there.. Seriously?
Either you like the idea of communism/Marxism or you like being free to do what you want.. Not what somebody else wants..
Ain't too hard for me to figure out.. But evidently I am smarter than a whole lot of folks out there..
I feel better already..
Get out there and vote.. And then go fishin'..
We got room fer ya.. See you on the water..
September 29, 2020: It's been a while since I wrote.. And I appreciate the fact that some of you have e-mailed me wondering if I was still kickin'.
And I am glad to report that the rumors of my demise have been slightly exaggerated.. I'm still here but barely on the edge of consciousness..
These are slow times here at Falcon. And more than once I have been awakened by the sound of the door buzzer.. But this daytime napping is not a bad thing for us old timers. I think I have gotten more sleep than Jeffrey Epstein's jail guards.
Of course I'd rather be bullshittin' and selling something...
A buddy of mine emailed me and said that we should get a credit on 2020 and not have it count against our age.. But I replied that it is probably gonna count as two..
This too, shall pass..
I am personally going to push for a new national holiday called VC day.. Victory over Corona.. And I hope to have a date soon..
As previously stated, there has just not been very many fishermen down out way. Bumper boats may be taking place on other lakes, but not here. Jay Grieshaw and I fished last Thursday and I think we saw three or four other boats.
We caught a couple of nice fish with the biggest being this seven that Jay caught. I caught one about five and we caught a few other rats..
And you can't fish for long on rocks and without catching a few white bass on a square bill.
We fished a lot of rockpiles, mostly old houses but a few natural formations. And of course we dredged a few brushpiles. We did not find them stacked up anywhere, and most stops were one or two fish. Usually on the first cast.
Shad patterns were best but I did catch the five on a rage craw.
We got a lot of nibbles on the brush piles, and I jerked the bait off the hook a few times without doing anything but pulling the kinks out of my line..
Damn crappie.. Right now the brush piles are loaded with em..
Reports overall have been similar, and folks that are catching fish say that you just got to keep moving.. Sooner or later you will stumble on a pod of fish.
Water temps are cooling, and some fish are starting to want to move a bit shallower. But I think they are still a bit confused. They have not made a big push to the shallows just yet. We did see a few schoolers busting bait, which is everywhere.
There are so many shad in the lake I am surprised you can get a bite..
Big worms like the Ol Monster in Plum or Plum Apple are good choices.. If you can find any. Zoom baits have done a heck of a good job keeping up with demand.. Till about now.
Even their inventory has been depleted in a lot of choices. I make it a point to never run out of the Plum color in Ol Monsters..
Yeah.. But I don't have any.. And I bet you can't buy any either.. Good thing I keep a personal reserve..
I got a bunch of bites on the Rage Craw in Chartreuse Pepper. And I hadn't thrown it in a while. But I will be on my next outing. And evidently the crappie like the pinchers on them as well.. Had several amputations of appendages during the day..
A lot of the old houses we fished only had about three or five feet of water on them, and they seemed best.
The lake has come up a bit, and this morning we are sitting at 264.00.
That is the level where I always say that the state park concrete ramp stops working. A few more inches and we'll be able to put in there.. And maybe a metal boat can do it now..
The county ramp is flat but working fine. But if you are alone you are going to get your feet wet.
I reckon that many of you will be watching the presidential debate tonight between Trump and Biden. But personally I don't know if I can watch it.
If you don't have your mind made up by now then you just are not paying attention, you don't give a shit, or you are just a ding dong.
You're certainly not informed.. But a lot of people just want to believe what they believe and there is no changing it.
And I don't think these debates, which I personally thought would never happen, will change too many minds.. Unless Biden totally spaces out and people see behind the curtain.. And I think the curtain is pretty sheer.
I don't think that even Mr. Spock could figure out what's in old Joe's mind with the Vulcan mind meld. And the lack of logic in that void may melt the points off of his ears.
Google synapse lapse..
It seems like we are living in an episode of the Twilight Zone.. If Rod Sterling was alive today just think of the material he'd have to work with..
Personally I think that if I had a moniker like Rod Sterling, I would have become a porn star..
I know things are going to get better.. Soon.. And I look forward to the days when we look back to 2020 and say, "You remember what a fucked up year that was?"
America has survived a lot worse.. And we'll survive this shit as well.
So keep the faith.. I think a lot of folks are having their eyes opened as we speak, and there are some good things in our near future. We just gotta wait it out a bit more.
I prescribe a few days of fishing, and one thing is for sure. If cain't fuckin hurt..
Come see us when you get a chance.. FLT has been here for 20 years, and we'll be here when you get back, Lord willin'.
See you on the water!
September 16, 2020: When it comes to fishing.. Well there just must be a lot better things to do around here.. Cause there ain't much of it going on..
Granted the weather has been a bit unpredictable, with thunderstorms popping up most afternoons. And some days it don't wait till noon..
We have had a little over three inches here at the shop the last week, and we have potential for more.. That being said, we have gained only a couple of tenths of a foot in water level.
But the ground is wet and what falls now will run.. If it falls...
We are sitting at 263.27, or 37.93 feet low.. Just kinda hovering around that level for the last thirty days.. Which I guess is a small victory in itself.
Ramp conditions have not changed. County ramp here in Zapata is fine. Still on dirt at state park and at Tigers. Beacon has a fine concrete ramp on the river on the very north end of the lake.
Basically we have had 30 days of limbo.. Just waiting out the big water.. But I been waiting it out for about six or eight years..
With the lack of fishermen comes a lack of fishing reports. And about all I have had to depend on as of late is the guides, which have also not been too busy. If you follow them on facebook you will see that they are catching some fish, but it has not been lights out as of late.
There are of course some days that stand out above the others.
This morning Curry Reagan caught this nine pound plus whopper out deep..
Texas rigged big worms have been as good as any, fished on the rock or in the brushpiles. Deeper still seems to be a better choice, especially for the bigger fish.
There are still some shallow fish, as there always are, on the points and rocky edges..
The flipping bite is a bit sporadic, as it has been the last couple of months. Sometimes you can find a group of trees that are holding fish. But it is a bit of hunt and peck for sure. Salanaias is still the best flipping bite from all I have heard..
Water temps this morning are holding right at 84°.
The white bass are still everywhere and crappie are good in the brushpiles. All sizes of crappie are being caught, including a bunch of eight to ten inchers.. Looks good for the future.
Catfish are always biting, and the influx of a little muddy water seems to turn them on.. Status quo..
It seems I am always talking about water, rain, storms, Mexican water debt, and the lack of action by our government in dealing with the latter..
And the Mexican president has been talking about catching up on the water debt, that is due by the end of October.. And while it is certainly not enough water to to fill Amistad and Falcon, it is rightfully ours and I want it..
But it appears that the Mexican farmers want it as well, and reports say that they raided the control room at La Boquilla Dam, and tried to destroy the controls.. Which makes no sense to me as the controls would also let water out for them to use..
In any case, stay tuned for more details. I seriously doubt that we will get what is owed.. Despite of "strongly worded" letters from the US gov't threatening nothing if the treaty is not lived up to..
I am watching a weird weather happening in the gulf, just north of the Bay of Campeche.. Some models say that this thing may turn tropical and do a U turn and come up the Rio Grande's ass down about Brownsville..
We'll see.. And as I pray for the folks adversely affected by the storms that have torn up the central gulf coast, I openly support a big rainmaker for south Texas.. But one with not too many damaging factors.. But it is nature and we get what we get.. We'll see..
On another note:
I am no longer and NFL fan. Or an NBA fan. Or a fan of any sport that supports the Marxist domestic terrorist group called BLM.
Do I think Black Lives Matter.. Hell yeah.. But I am not gonna separate them out from the general population of the planet.
That would be racist..
All lives matter.
You know living life presents all of us with choices. And choices have consequences.
And while I've got a needle in this vein, I need to take the time to to point out some cultural appropriation Happening right here in our home state.
There is a pro football team in Houston. Called the Texans..
And frankly I am offended that they use that name, which should garner the utmost respect, in such an anti Texan manner.
They openly trade men of all colors.. Based on how strong or how fast they are.. How much money they can make for their owners.
Sound vaguely familiar? Texans don't do that..
They ignore transgressions committed by these men, as long as they keep making their owners money.
Texans don't do that..
This is not true of all the owners and workforce.. But it is true of a good number of them.
Texans certainly do not run off the field during the playing of the National Anthem. That is a true cop-out.
That is not Texan..
Texans don't do that..
True Texans are known across the globe for our state pride, our manners, and our ethics.. We are famous for it..
Draw the shape of Texas in the sand anywhere there is sand.. And no matter where in the world you are, and in whatever language the locals speak, you will hear from them, with perfect diction, the word, "Texas".. Followed by a a smile..
The phrase "Drawing a line in the sand" originated at the Alamo..
Now that's as Texas as Texas gets..
I could give a shit what the rest of the NFL does.. But the football team in Houston needs to change their name..
This seems to be cultural appropriation at the highest level..
I could go on for hours on the bullshit that is being perpetrated and supported by hundreds of organizations in this country..
But if you give a shit you know who they are..
And act as you see fit.. That is your right.. At least for now.
But I for one refuse to give my time and money to any of these fuckers..
I need to fish more. And so do you..
Come see us..
September 7, 2020: It has been a while since I have written.. But it has been a while since I have done much of anything.
Except deal with about a ten day period of a gout/arthritis flare up.. Yeah that usually puts me in a real good demeanor..
I pretty much take walking for granted, but this shit can sure make being mobile a problem..
But I am back to walking without holding on to something.. That's a start..
Busy we have not been, with the exception of selling a bunch of licenses for PAW. Although this weekend was pretty much a rainout in the dove fields.
Here in Zapata we got about an inch and a half over the weekend, most of it coming in the afternoon hours when someone with the itch to kill a few doves might want to drive out to the fields.
We did get a break from the rains yesterday afternoon, but I can tell you that the birds did not have to fly far to water.
Like Daddy always said; "Come opening afternoon there will be water in every cow track.."
So much for the hunting report.. Let's talk fishing..
There have been darn few bass fishermen in town the last two weeks. And looking for non fished water has been pretty easy.. Typically there are less that eight or ten boats at the county ramp during the week. And maybe a similar amount down at the state park.
Overall the fishing has been pretty good, with those that spend some real time on the water doing a lot better than the casual day fisherman.
And like always, location is as important as ever..
The fish are not everywhere, but in places they are grouped up. And if you are in the right place, you can catch some quality fish, and sometimes a bunch of em.
After talking to several folks, it sounds like the brush piles are the best thing going. Texas rigged worms and senkos are good choices, or if you can keep a jig from hanging up in there it will work as well.
The Plum Ol Monster is a good choice.
If you are point hopping, you can throw a crankbait or a C-rig across them and get bit. This will work on long ridges and rocky humps as well..
Basically we are in a summer pattern, and nothing has changed significantly in months. It's just hot weather fishing. For you and the fish.
Bait is everywhere, and the fish are not having to hustle too much for groceries. Our fish are as fat and mean as I have seen them in years, and they are the meanest son of a guns you will ever catch.
It seems that every species in the lake is doing well, and I guess I will chalk that up to a good food supply..
White bass and catfish have been excellent, and the crappie have been pretty cooperative on the brush piles as well.
We got a few inches of rain above us, and there will be a little current in the river for the next few days.. And I guarantee you that the catfish will be biting up here on the top end of the lake.
Here in Zapata, we got about an inch and a half over the weekend, more or less depending on which cloud you were under.
Enough to wash some silt on the county ramp, but it is not bothering the launching this morning. There were about ten rigs at the county ramp this holiday morning.
A lot has been said about pressure on lakes this summer due to nobody working due to the Whoohan. I can guarantee you that has not been the case here on Falcon.
As a matter of fact, I will go as far as to say that Falcon has gotten in a rest period during all this shit. I know a lot of lakes close to population centers have been hammered, but that is certainly not the case around here.
I wish I could snap my fingers and put about twenty feet of water in the lake, but dealing with low water levels is just a fact of life around here..
It'll happen when it happens.. Just hope I live long enough to fish a few years after this sum-bitch fills up..
The first real cold front of the year is scheduled for Wednesday, and our highs are supposed to be in the seventies for a couple days.. We'll see about that..
But no doubt it will be a lot more comfortable fishing than the 100° stuff we have been having the last few months..
And shortly thereafter I'll be bitching about the relentless north winds!
I guess no matter where you're living, you're dealing with at least one pandemic. Maybe two..
One a health craze, and the other just a craze..
And while we have all been affected by the former, not all of us are affected by the latter. At least not physically.
Psychologically we have all been affected by the hate on display on the streets of a lot of America's major cities for the last three months.
And it makes me want to cry..
I guess it is hard for me to understand this rage and hatred, because I have never personally hated anything or anyone enough to take to the streets and try to basically destroy everything in sight.. Friend or foe..
And while you can put a price on the cost of things stolen or destroyed, you cannot put a price on the damage done to everyday Americans that are trying their damndest to be good people everyday, to everyone, everyday.
Which is what I try to do everyday..
When you meet me on the street, or in the store, I am going to treat everyone of you the exactly the same. I don't care about your skin color or your accent.. I will not ever judge anyone by those criteria..
But I will judge YOU by YOUR actions and how YOU treat other people..
I too, get pissed off to be lumped in with any group of people..
Which is what racism is by the way..
I am not sure where all this is going to end up.. I am not sure if we are headed to a more open and accepting America, or to an America embroiled in a civil war.. Some folks think we are there already..
I just hope at some point we can all live peacefully together.. In one America.. Where the star field is on the top of the flag..
I promise to treat you like I'd like to be treated.. And I hope you'll do the same.
In the mean time, grow some thicker skin, and grow a sense of humor.. Looks like we'll need it..
August 27, 2020: As we head toward another weekend, we find that the status quo in Zapata is just that.
Ain't much going on around here.. Although we did have a couple of club tournies in town last weekend, as SABC and Helotes bass clubs visited Zapata.
It was good to see a few people we know and have not seen in a while..
Their results were mixed but a few folks got on em and caught some good fish. Nothing in the true monster range but a lot of three to four pounders were caught .
Now these two fellers caught a bunch of fish early this week. Had a forty pound plus sack fishing with John Adami.. And caught a bunch of other good fish as well I hear.
Just tells you that these fish are still here.. But it ain't as easy as the old days to catch em.. Cause I reckon back in the "old days" these fish were everywhere.. They really were..
The lake is still dropping a few hundreth's every day, and we are down to 263.06 this morning. Or 38.14 feet low.
A few hundred miles to the east, they have more water than they can use.. Our thoughts are with the folks in the path of the hurricane on the Texas Louisiana line..
We have lots of customers and friends from over there.. Hope yall are alright..
It's only August, but I am personally about ready for 2020 to move on. But I bet we got some more drama to go before this decade is over..
I recommend that you go fishing to take your mind off the problems of the world..
And I reckon a whole lot of folks have taken that advice already.. With record license sales, tackle and boat shortages, packed boat ramps and lakes..
You can't keep people cooped up forever..
And I am thinking that folks have had about enough of this bullshit and they are going to to what they are going to do..
If you're looking to catch a fish on Falcon, I am still going to recommend that you fish midlake south.. Most fish are coming from points, sometimes long ones that stretch out into the middle of the lake.. One might call that a ridge..
Whatever.. Look in that ten to twenty foot of water for the bigger fish.
Of course the dam can put out a stringer on any given day..
Rocks man. Rocks.. Throw a crankbait or drag a C-rig around.
I have also heard of some folks fishing a very lightly weighted wacky worm on the dam.. And on other rock.. A skinny trick worm is a good choice..
If you fish anything very heavy on the chunk rock on the dam, you are going to spend a lot of time chasing your bait and retying I promise you..
There have been a few flipping fish caught, but the fish are not in every line of hardwoods that's for sure. But it is weird how some days they are really hanging on them. And it has been hard to pattern them for sure..
All in all it's just fishing man.. Just fishing.. And you ain't going to catch em sitting on your couch..
Other species are still be pretty cooperative, and the white bass and catfish have been easy to find and catch..
Crappie are still good, but not excellent. If you have some brushpiles located you can still scrape out a limit if you put your time in..
But they do taste excellent..
Slow times indeed around here.. But at least dove season starts pretty quick. And even if there are few doves around, I look forward to sitting under a mesquite tree and watching the skies..
Likely sipping an adult beverage between all the action..
If you have not replaced it yet, your fishing/hunting license expires in four days.. You don't want to get in trouble with the man..
We sell em here, and my feet will be hurting for sure next week, from standing in front of that machine.. Do us both a favor and go to the PAW Outdoor Annual website and get your license there.. They have a great app for this shit..
Well I don't use it.. But I hear it is good.. And that way you have all your license info on your phone.. Can't tell you how many replacement licenses we have sold over the years.. And this will stop all that shit..
There's your PSA for the week..
The county ramp is working fine, on concrete, but the state park water access is still off the bank.. It is fine with four wheel drive.. Unless you are coming out right after a downpour..
Then it is a muddy mess for ten hours till it dries out.
Pitiful what we have to endure. Instead of calling it a boat ramp I think it should just be called a "natural area" like a lot of other state parks.. AKA natural areas..
I hope all is well with you, and that you can keep your sanity in this world of lunacy we are currently surrounded by. Keep the faith.. Keep your head up and your eyes open.
And know that better times are coming.. Soon..
Come see us when you can.. I'll be here.. Or under a mesquite tree..
August 19, 2020: The traditional hottest week of the year has passed, and actually we were cooler here than a lot of north and central Texas.. We were also drier.. If that is possible.
This big ass high pressure that lives over Texas and the desert Southwest has certainly made its presence known this year. It is currently doing its best to steer Hurricane Genevieve, out off the Pacific coast of Mexico, a little farther west than would be optimal.
Currently I believe the storm is a Cat three barely. But with nice, big, fat rain bands to the NE, it would be awesome if it could sneak up the ass of the Sea of Cortez..
But it is not supposed to, according to those in the know.. But maybe it will still drop some beneficial rains in the mountains of northern Mexico, and put some water back in the Conchos watershed.
The lakes on the western side of the mountains are in pretty good shape over there, and I heard Pichachos, just a hour north and east of Mazatlan, is already topping the dam by a couple of feet.. It's gonna really be running over in a few days..
What the hell does this have to do with Falcon you might ask?
It's all part of the trickle down theory, Mother Nature and that gravity thing at work.. Water still runs downhill, even though that hill might be hundreds and hundreds of miles away..
There are two possible storms out in the Southern Atlantic, kinda heading for the Caribbean and maybe the Yucatan, and then maybe who the heck knows..
Either or both or neither of these storms could end up in the gulf. But I am stocking up on whiskey and chickens now.. Just in case..
Back here at Falcon, not a lot has changed. We are releasing a bit of water, and fishing/catching on the dam has picked up. That current, however small it might be, certainly makes a difference in the position and the activity of the fish on that rocky bastard.
Moving water moves fish..
If I was looking for a biggun, and I hate to be redundant, I would spend a lot of my time chunkin a crankbait parallel to the rocks. Some shallow, some deep..
Take your vitamins and get after it..
Of course you can crank any rocky point anywhere on the lake, and I would concentrate on fishing from Pierce's south.
I told you I was being redundant..
Spinnerbaits and swim jigs and chatterbaits can also get you bit on fairly shallow rock. Old buildings from marker eight to the dam have had fish on em. You can also throw some bladed baits in amongst the hardwoods in Blanco and the Salanaias and catch a few.
You can also flip the trees in Salanaias in about six feet of water and get yourself bit.. But do try the very shallow trees while you are in there.. I'm telling you, these Falcon fish are shallow water creatures no matter the page of the calendar you have showing.
I talk to folks every day from literally all over the country. And of course most all of them have heard or experienced fishing on Falcon, and most all of them ask me how Falcon is fishing.
And while I tell them it is currently not the 85,000 acre Pichachos it used to be, I will still put it up against any lake in the country.
We were/are/have been so spoiled by the fishing here, that we just think it should be that easy every time we go out.
But reality is a bitch.. And now you actually have to go fishing.. And truthfully, that is the way it is supposed to be.
Working hard, for your reward.. Well that's what America is all about.
Shit, I think I just wrote a country song..
Every other species in the lake is going crazy.. Maybe the crappie are a bit slower.. But the white bass, catfish, and gar are very active.
Stop in and we'll give you some tips and locations to find em all..
Traffic on the lake is basically nonexistent during the week.. So if you're tired of searching for a parking space at your home lake, come on down and we'll reserve you a spot.
The county ramp is working fine, but there is a little berm that is out at the end of the ramp about at the end of your boat when it comes off the trailer.. But it really ain't no issue..
State park is still off the bank. Working very easily with 4X4. We need about 18" of water to be on the concrete ramp.
In any case, you can certainly entertain yourself down here. As long as you can stand the heat. But if you are in Texas it is likely just as hot or near at your house..
I know many of you out there are followers of the national political scene. I am as well, but I have not watched a second of the Democratic digital convention.
For those affiliated with Jackwagon Joe, it must be like living in a temporal time loop..
Yeah, that's kinda it. To put it in perspective, maybe
we should explain it in movie terms..
Like a melding of Groundhog Day, and Weekend at Bernie's..
The same shit happens every day. While you are trying to convince people that your candidate is still alive..
Maybe mix in an influence or two from 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest..'
Not sure when they will quit call it gaffes and start calling it what it is; Dementia..
But maybe these young progressives have just not been around many old folks..
I would love to put my crystal clear cunning cerebral cognitive capabilities up against Ol' Joe..
But when I told him to "King Me" the third time, I am not sure he would understand what I meant..
I don't think Ol' Joe is up to a chess match..
"No Joe.. The Horsie is not the one that moves in a straight line.."
Poor bastard.. But the Dems have the bit in his teeth and they are trying to beat this dead horse across the finish line..
But they are to stupid to know he crossed it a long time ago..
With all this fuss about the Postal Service, I just don't get what they are all in a rage about.. The USPS is still providing the same fantastic service they have for decades..
Oh wait.. Maybe that is the problem.. It is certainly a bloated and inefficient product of government management..
Put me in charge of the son of a bitch and I'll have it breaking even in two years.
But I am not gonna deliver your letter from Zapata Texas to Bangor Maine for fifty cents..
Cut mail delivery's to twice a week, and forget taking it to your house.. You pick up your mail at the PO or at a box cluster.
That gets rid of one half of the letter carriers and one half of the local delivery vehicles.
Saves on fuel and pollution, cuts down on traffic and accidents caused by mail vehicles.
There is no way that we need mail delivered every day.. If it is that important you know damn good and well that we will overnight it.. I think you can wait an extra day or two to get the weekly flyer from HEB to see what meat is on sale.. Or to be reminded that Fido has an appointment to have his teeth cleaned at the vet in ten days..
Or God forbid getting some mailer from (write in the candidate) telling you how imperative it is that he/she gets your vote to: keep things the way they are/change things from the way they are..
Yeah I could fix it. But I ain't wearing a tie..
You'd love what I could do to the welfare system...
Currently my pole shows President Trump garnering 56% of the popular vote and easily winning the Electoral College..
I'll let you know if anything changes.. And like usual with my shit.. There is very little margin of error..
It's not that I NEVER fuck up.. But it is Rare.. :-)
So forget about all the bullshit for a while and get your ass down here.. No crowds.. No riots.. No smell of tear gas..
Unless you had the Double Bacon Bean taco from Stripes.. Then all bets are off..
See you on the water!
August 12, 2020: Summertime is upon us in deep south Texas, and we are in for some highs in the 100° till early next week. Last week it was not as hot as some had expected, as we had a lot of clouds and very widely scattered thunderstorms for a few days. At lest it kept the highs in the middle nineties.
And in August in Zapata, we'll take it..
Rain is out of the picture thru the weekend as this giant high pressure is sitting right on top of Texas.. Which ain't unusual for July and August.
And while this is going on, there are a couple of Pacific storms that are being steered to the west, instead of hugging the Mexican coast line and bringing some beneficial moisture to the mountains of northern Mexico.
Yes high pressure is in control and blue bird skies are likely the norm for the next few days.. So get out early and enjoy the lower temps.. If you call a low of eighty low..
Last weekend Uvalde Bass Club and Elite Bass Club came to Falcon to hold their monthly skirmish.
And I did not get final results from either, but on Saturday the top two teams in Elite had eighteen pounds and change.
I spoke to a lot of fishermen on Saturday afternoon, and everyone caught fish.. Some more than others, and on a variety of baits.
But the one thing most had in common is that they caught their fish in less than ten feet of water. One fellow told me they caught twenty seven fish, some flipping trees in less than three feet of water.
Another buddy of mine said he caught a good number of fish flipping the trees in Salanaias on Saturday morning.. Shallow trees..
Like I said a couple of weeks ago, when I was talking about the shallow trees and laydowns and rolling a spinnerbait right along em..
Just because you don't think they should be there on a bluebird sky with 90° water don't mean they ain't..
It's likely that we had a little spawning action last week as well, as we are famous for it in August..
It is not a giant spawn, but it occurs every year.. I know you think I am crazy..
And I fuckin might be.. But there is a summer spawn of low magnitude on Falcon every year..
Because we see five inch fish in October and November every year..
And this has been going on here for years.. I used to always say it was an October spawn.. And I am sure there are a few that do..
But all I know is that it does happen.. And not necessarily when we think it does..
But certainly the bulk of the spawn happens in the very early spring around here, like everywhere else..
(Note: Your early spring may be a significantly different date than ours..)
Some of you that reside north of Highway 90 may still be lacing up your skates while we are whacking spawning fish in 65° water..
But that is enough talk about sex..
I heard a lot of different reports of what was catching fish last weekend, and it pretty much ran the gammit from crankbaits to soft plastics to spinner and chatterbaits.
But one common thread that was shared by most folks was that they just kept moving and chunkin'..
Most fish were caught from Tigers south, but a few were caught here in the Veleno and a few in Pierces, at marker 7..
We have been having some launching difficulties as of late, but that is over with.
The county finally got a big ass trackhoe down to the county ramp and got the son of a bitch cleaned off..
The ramp down on the point is now under water, as we have continued to creep up ever so slowly..
This morning we are sitting about still at 263.31, or 37.89 feet low. Up about three feet from the low point a couple of months ago..
I am still hoping for some summertime action in the way of big rains.. We'll see.. It's prime time for us down here..
The lake is absolutely crammed with baitfish, and all species of fish that eat fish are thriving.
The bass are as big around as they are long. And if you have seen some of those heavily Florida gene influenced fish, that are all body with giant shoulders and little mouths, then you have see what is pretty common around here now..
Growing extremely fast. Fat and mean.. Just like I like my politicians..
Last week we had three groups of Gar hunters in town.. From outta town. And they shot some whoppers. One day they whacked a 236, that was over seven and a half feet long, and the next a two hunnert pounder on our scales..
And there were a lot of fish rolling out in open water, and this was the pattern they were working.
There were other good fish taken as well.
Them som bitches are thicker than ever down here.. And I hear up the river around San Ygnacio you can walk across the river on their backs..
Don't laugh. I seen Indiana Jones do it..
The white bass limit here needs to be lifted.. To say they have caught on would be an understatement.. Them fuckers are everywhere..
The catfish are still biting good.. Real good and the locals are wearing them out..
Like Sly and the Family Stone said.. "Hot Fun In The Summertime."
Back to the State Park ramp.. Although we have risen a bit, it has not been enough to put your boat in on the concrete ramp. Last week the road to the point where everyone has been launching was a slippery mess..
But it has since dried up and while a bit rutty, it is no problem to get there and put your boat in the water.. But I do still recommend 4X4 for larger boats.
You can also launch in the Tigers or at Beacon Lodge, and Beacon has a fine ramp at this level..
If I was fishing today, I would start on shallow points at daylight with a buzzbait.. Then switch to squarebills or a spinnerbait after the sun got up.
Later in the day I would take a 5XD and throw it on rock from the bank out to eight feet..
If you are familiar with some old rock house locations that are under water in the one to eight foot depth range you can catch some fish off them as well..
As the days goes along I would try some deeper brush piles with a Texas rigged plastic.
NOTE: The following comments are purely personal opinion. Your opinion may differ..
Are you about sick of this Whoohan shit? Do you think we have been sold a bill of goods when it comes to how dangerous it actually is?
I understand if you have certain conditions, and are of a certain age group, you need to take precautions as you see fit according to the information you have received from whatever source of information you deem credible..
So who the fuck is credible? Our national CDC and AIH and AMA have changed positions more than a hunnert dollar whore at a frat party.. Or a Democratic Candidate for office.
Sorry, I did not mean to insult the whore by comparing them to Democrats.. At least they provide a service and are not afraid to work..
But screwing people is listed on both parties resume'.
Ok.. So you have heard about Hydroxychloroquine.. The Malaria drug that has been around for 65 years. And is prescribed widely for arthritis and Malaria prevention and treatment.
You might say I am a conspiracy nut. And I may be..
But why, after doctor after doctor has come out saying that they have had fantastic results with it, for the early treatment of Whoohan, is the American Medical industrial machine so against it?
Why does the liberal whackjob media so strongly talk about the dangers of this drug? When it it is one of the safest drugs marketed..
Maybe because it fits their narrative.. And they don't want a cure while we have our current president..
If it is found, and I think it has been, (because I am a pathogen expert) that Hydroxy is truly effective then these fuckers are complicit in the deaths of a lot of Americans..
The drug poses almost zero health threats to humans, so why all the resistance?
This really pisses me off..
On another note, Biden has picked his running mate for VP.. No surprise.. But I thought he was going to pick an African American..
Oh I forgot.. He did not pick his running mate.. The DNC did.. But you all knew that..
Harris is not an African American. And she and Biden have more baggage than a Pullman car.
They hated each other in the primaries..
But in fairness so did Trump and all his opponents..
I guess in politics you say what you have to when you need to. You can always beg forgiveness later after you figure out that you got the nod, because the people believed your lies bettern the other guys lies..
All of these long term politicians, with very few exceptions, are certainly self serving creatures from the swamp, and they are harder to wipe out than cockroaches..
I personally do not see Biden having the time to be president, while he is filming all those Prevagin commercials..
And I hear that he is also bringing back a health care product from the seventies.
A shampoo called, "Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific."
Google it youngsters..
It is plain to everyone on the planet that this guy has limited control over his faculties.. And if you think it is going to get better you are as crazy as him..
So get your ass registered to vote if you ain't.. And think long and hard about what you want your country to look like.
You can sit on your hands and get what's given you, or you can get out and make a difference..
And that's true in a lot more than voting..
Hang in there America.. Better days are coming.. And coming soon..
August 5, 2020: Bored.. Bored out of my skull.. At least I have had a good gout attack to keep my mind off of other things..
Like problematic launching, lack of fishermen, struggling with getting product delivered, keeping the ramps cleaned off after downpours, and the unavailability of Weller Special Reserve..
We have caught about three feet of water from our recent low level, and for reference, the bridge in the Veleno is just showing the tops of the concrete posts. It may completely submerge, but at least we have four large orange markers on it. Pass to the west as always.
The lake is still a little murky down to about marker seven, but surely fishable at all points south of the Veleno. But it is surely more off colored on the top end.. Looks Falcon green down around the dam.
We are releasing about nothing right now, as the valley got lots and lots of rain in the last ten days. Let's hope it stays this way for a while.
Robert from Amigo guide service and I drove some posts in the water along the sides of the secondary ramp here at the county park.. I hear that three out of four still survive.. Some of the locals seriously lack some backing skills.. But it will give you a guide for backing your rig in..
Hopefully this will be moot point as the water slowly creeps up.
The main ramp should be back in action today.. We certainly have plenty of water to put in on it if the county will keep the silt cleaned off of it.
Water temps are hanging in the upper eighties and around ninety the last week or so. And with predicted high pressure returning and temps around the century mark nothing is going to change any time soon..
There have not been many fishermen around to talk to lately, but the guides are still catching fish on a regular basis, with the afternoon bite being better during this full moon stretch. Condition normal.
Brush piles in the fifteen to twenty foot range are good targets, as are rocky points and ledges in the same depth range.
Texas rigged plastics and shakey heads are good choices in the brush. A big fluke on a big shakey head is a good thing to try.
Crankbaits are still good on the rip-rap and on long sloping points. And there are still some shallow fish on any shallow points at any time you get there when they are there.
Patience is a good thing.. Typical summertime fishing..
Catfishing has been popular with the locals, and they have caught the shit out of them lately. Hardwoods in the three foot to ten foot range are a good place to start.. Some folks are catching them good on channel edges.
White bass have been schooling down south all over the place, but if you are looking specifically for them, Government cove is a good place to start.
The big gar have been rolling out in open water a lot as of late, and some bigguns have been taken lately. A group from Oklahoma shot two yesterday, with the biggest going 235 and another going 200 even on our scales.
They say there are a shit ton of em rolling out in open water.
Crappie are still good in the brushpiles, but not as good as I have seen them. If you are good with your electronics you can still whack em pretty good.
I am sick and tired of this Whoohan shit, and I am sure you are too.. And I don't know what to believe from anybody.
But if you don't think this shit is over politicized you are crazy. Something has to give before all of us working stiffs are as broke as the government.
Wonder if I can move my decimal point on my account like they evidently do.. Digital money is sure easy to make..
I have been occupying my time in the wood shop.. Making sawdust.. But at least it has kept me from going off the deep end. Maybe I'll open up a cabinet shop.. But for now I have been making trinkets..
I know I have been lax in writing as of late, and I will try to do better.. Thanks to those of you who have e-mailed and called to make sure we are still alive..
But like Papillon (Steve McQueen) said, "I'm still here, you Bastards!"
Not to insinuate that any of you are bastards..
But we do love all you Mo-Fo's..
See you when we do!
July 27, 2020: As you may imagine, our phones and e-mail have been garnering a little extra attention the last two days, with folks wondering about our chances to catch some real water.. And of course we were hoping for a big influx as well.
And while some very generous rains fell here in Zapata, the bulk of the rain fell south of the dam, and flooding conditions were common in Starr county and south of there.
So far we have received about 5.25 inches here at the shop since this storm activity started. We still have a chance for some more rain the next couple of days, but I would guess that it will be heat generated thunderstorms that may pop up due to all the moisture that's around.
As I speak, a lot of the creeks are running into the lake and the river, but not north of the county line, or at least not much to speak of..
The Veleno is running good and I would think it will run for several days.. As will many others. It is at least a couple of feet deep under the bridge, and on Saturday there was no water under there..
The lake should catch a couple of feet from the low of 260.2 that was on Friday. This morning we are sitting at 260.83, so we have come up about seven inches+- in the last twenty four hours.
It was interesting to watch the lake level gauge as the north wind from the storm pushed water to the south end of the lake, and then to see it push it back north when the eye passed to the west.. But we see it all the time on big wind days.. And it is amazing how much water the wind can push.
We have been working with the county on expanding the boat ramp while the lake level is down.. And the project got underway last week.. But it looks like we have suffered a little setback with the major erosion over the weekend.
We won't be launching on the main ramp in the next couple of days.. But the ramp on the point just west of the main ramp will be fine.. But a little too wet to get to today.. We will be doing repair work to ramps as is possible..
And I am sure getting to the water at the state park would be a challenge today as well..
This storm could have added more water, but it also could have left less.. And I have often said that hurricanes from the gulf can bring us some water, but the real water comes down the river.
And we won't be full till Amistad is.. So like always I am hoping for back to back storms in northern Mexico that come from the pacific side. That's where the real water comes from..
I don't really have a fishing report, other than that the SOS was going on up until the storm and winds started.
And it might be a day or two before launching a boat becomes practical given the dirt roads in route to the water..
It is Wet! and that is good.. We'll be watching the rise as I am sure you will be too..
Be nice to everybody.. Even the idiots.. It really pisses them off..
I'll post as soon as there are ramps open..
July 21, 2020: Falcon: Lake 40 feet low. Water stained on top half of lake. Clearer on South end. Bass are good on spinners and plastic worms. Catfish good on cut bait. Stripers and gaspergoo slow drifting the flats.. Crappie fair on minnows.. Trout good under the birds..
Aw shit I thought I was writing for PAW..
Fishing, for bass, has really come on as of late, from all I am hearing and seeing. Recent reports have the fish back on a steady bite, with a lot of fish back on the rocky points and of course the dam rip-rap.
On Sunday morning, these two gents caught a seven and an eight before the sun got on the water..
As you can see, these fish are eating well..
And a buddy of mine and his wife had twenty five fish before noon on spinnerbaits and chatterbaits in two to three feet of water.. And also some nice fish off the rip-rap on the dam..
Brush piles are still producing some good fish as well. The Mag Fluke is doing some real damage I hear.
And a couple of fellows who just left the store said they caught em on Chartreuse/Blue cranks yesterday.. Caught em good.. But not necessarily big..
So I am going to up the outlook to pretty damn good.. Keep in mind that most of these fish are coming from the southern half of the lake.
Go figure.. But that's Falcon in the summer..
Water temps are right at 90° a lot of afternoons.. Right where they like it..
I can't tell you how many times that I have caught fish off the very shallow laydowns right across the lake from Dolly Parton, just north of Blanco, when the water is low, hot and muddyish..
On a spinnerbait with white and chartreuse blades.. Throwing that thing at every piece of hardwood (and there is a shit ton) that is on the bank out to three feet.. Happens every summer..
More on fishing in a bit but let's talk access..
On Saturday evening we had another one of them special thunderstorms that just blow up right on top of you.. And it blew and rained for about a half hour with the rain coming sideways that cain't possibly get in the gauge.. But over an inch of it did..
And at this level you know how the boat ramp at the county gets silted over in a major way.. And I have never seen it this bad. It also blew the dock up against the bank. It was one of those storms when you stay away from the windows..
So on Sunday it was a cluster at the primary ramp.. But it has all been repaired and you can use the ramp there again.
But in case you did not know, there is a secondary ramp at this level you can use that is out on the point due west of the main ramp.. And it is being used a lot here lately.. It is working perfectly at this level. And on Sunday it was utilized by many.
If you have questions abut using it just stop in and we'll get you straight on it..
Here's what the Old Veleno bridge looks like right now..
Down at the state park, of course we are still putting in out at the end of the ditch to the west of the concrete ramp.
It is doable with 4X4 but it is not as good as it was a foot of water ago.. So know if you go that you will be launching off the bank not concrete.. That being said, I heard there were thirty boats launched there on Sunday.
It is amazing to me, that a lake as big as Falcon, with a fishery as famous as ours, cannot maintain a couple of good working concrete ramps.
Especially at the state park.. We have money for utter bullshit but we can't have a concrete ramp in the water. I guess it is just not a priority.. Maybe we need to call in the Seabees.
Find the right spot.. Push a little base out in the water if needed.. Put down some plastic. Pour a heavily reinforced slab about thirty by twelve.. And take a D-8, or two if needed and push that fucker out into the water.. It has been done before..
You just gotta want to..
And in the mean time, are there any ramps being poured that will work till the water comes up back on the main ramp? If we came up a foot or two?
You know the answer to that one as well..
We always have this conversation when the water gets down this low. And then the water comes up and everyone forgets about it..
But meanwhile we are still paying full pop to torture your equipment at the state park. As shitty as the infrastructure there is we should get to launch for free..
I hear that TPWD is supposedly telling all offices to cut their budgets for next year by five percent. So I hear.. In anticipation of a budget shortfall..
And I don't understand that one..
We have broken sales records for fishing licenses during this spell, and the Wallop-Breaux fund should be running over with money as there has been record sales of fishing tackle and supplies across the country..
In case no one has noticed, the lakes in Texas have been packed this spring and summer.. And I hear the same across the country..
One of the main tenants of Wallop-Breaux is to facilitate the access for people and boats to our lakes.. Somebody in power needs to help us..
Cause this is a bunch of bullshit..
Speaking of high volume sales of products. I do things a little differently around here compared to the big box stores and the like.. My inventory is not ordered by computer algorithm. And I am sure some other Mom and Pop stores do it my way as well..
I order what we use and we need down here to catch fish. Every Monday.. I keep up with trends of what is catching fish. Today.. And order accordingly.. My inventory is driven by history and angler imput.
The funny thing is, inventories are at all time lows on many products. But the wholesalers will tell you that they are so busy they can hardly get the orders out. In fact I have an order in with a Major distributor that has been in for six weeks plus.. They tell me all of the product for my order is in stock, and allocated to me, but they just have not gotten to filling my order yet..
And that they are working weekends and overtime to get it done..
It must be good to be that busy..
But it is hard for me to figure how inventories can be so low, and they can't ship what they have for six weeks..
These are indeed strange times we are living in..
I saw a lot of this coming back in February, and ordered accordingly.. And we are still stocked with many of the items we regularly use. But certain items are made of unobtanium.. Despite my best efforts.
But we still have plenty of fish catching baits for you here..
If I was fishing tomorrow I would start early with a squarebill and a chatterbait or spinnerbait on shallow covered rockpiles and on points. And after the day progressed I would move to some deeper rock and brushpiles in the fifteen to twenty foot range.
There is a resurgence of bait early on the shallow rock. And along deeper rock.. AKA the dam..
If you want to catch some crappie, brushpiles in about 17 to 20 feet have been best.. Some of the guides have been really whacking them.. Call me if you have questions..
On another note..
Can you believe what is happening in America's large cities these days? It is beyond belief. Anarchists and felons at best, being allowed to loot, destroy, assault, and basically attack the police in masse.
And if you listen to the leadership in these towns, you'd think these were just kids having fun.
It is despicable.. This has nothing to do with anything except anarchists in pursuit of Marxism..
And from where all this rage comes I do not know. But I am sure one can find out by following the money.
Many are paid protesters and antagonists I am sure..
But to what end.. Have they not looked outside our borders to see other countries with the society's they extol?
I don't get it.. But like Warden Norton said I think it is time to thump some skulls.. And if you think that is un American, then you and I will just have to disagree..
Personally I think that peaceful protest is a great thing.
Personally I think this shit in Portland is no longer a peaceful protest.
Personally I think the stoning of Police constitutes a crime.
Personally I think the Police should return the rocks to the protestors in the same way they were delivered.
Personally I think the Mayors of these cities are a bunch of fucking lunatics that have let the rest of the asylum dwellers have the keys.
But basically they are just a bunch of cowards with no reverence for history, be it good or bad.
They are afraid to face the truth.. That they and their kind have caused and permitted the discord that is now festering into this septic quagmire that oozes down the streets every night of once proud cities..
And it is possible that these shitholes are all run by Democrats..
And no President trump, you don't have to go to Haiti to find a shithole..
I know many of you out there feel the same way as me.. That we just cannot believe that this shit is actually going on, and in many cases being spurred on by elected officials of the cities they run.
I'm a fucking lexicographer, and I still cannot find the words to describe it..
And I believe whole heartedly that you, the silent majority, are going to rise up this November, and vote out these idiots who are abetting these cancerous street urchins, who have no respect for the law.
And seriously, if you can vote for Joe Biden.. Well please stay the fuck out of Texas..
Trump may be extremely rough around the edges. And you might not like it that he loves a fight, and is not afraid to get down on your level. Hell he loves taking the fight to you..
But in my view, he fights the same way for America, and all the people in America. Even you idiots. And if you can't see that then you have your head up your ass..
Keep the faith.. Take care of yourselves. Stay informed. Be aware.
Oh.. And Go Fishing.. It always makes everything better..
See you on the water..
July 14, 2020: It's hotter than a Chicago gun barrel around here, and we still have a few more days to to get thru I hear. But relief is coming by the weekend as we descend to down around the hunnert mark..
Humidity has been around 20% so it really ain't that bad.. But it is dry..
The lake continues to drop and we have gotten down to 261.71, or 39 and a half feet low.. We have almost gotten rid of all the water we caught a few weeks back..
Amistad has started a bit of a release.. But where we are going to be in a month is anybody's guess..
The Mexicans are still not turning any water of consequence loose.. Bout what I figured..
Fishing has changed very little.. Since the dawn of time..
The way we try to catch em has changed.. A lot..
Fish are animals that eat other animals. And things that make them think they are animals..
But I don't think that fish think.. They just react.. According to their instinct..
And if you can fool em into thinking (they don't really think) that your lure is alive and tasty.. Well you just might get one to engulf your offering.. Whatever it might be..
Whatever you are offering them these days, it appears that it needs to be offered in water a bit deeper, and somewhere around fifteen to twenty feet is a good place to start..
That puts a lot of pressure on guys like me.. That like to fish shallow.
Pressure is probably not the right term.. How bout it causes a lot of anguish and hand wringing.. Because basically I don't like fishing deep shit..
That's no news flash..
All of the guides I have talked to, all of them.. Are brushpile hopping.. And mixing in a few crankbait spots on deep rock here and there.
And where you might catch a whopper one day, and nothing else, the next day or a day or two later, you might catch a handfull of small fish.
Yeah patterning fish, and big fish, has been a crapshoot. And there is nobody that is going out and whacking a bunch of big fish every day..
It is happening.. But it is inconsistent to say the least.
And that is the truth.. But if you keep moving from brush pile to brush pile you are probably going to run into a big fish or two a day.
Like Vaughan here who caught this 9.83 Falcon PB yesterday..
I also heard of a giant caught yesterday.. But I got no pic.. We'll see..
In these brush piles a Texas rig is about the best opportunity for you to: 1.Hook a fish. 2. Get her out of the brush pile, and 3. Get her to the boat.
Crankbait... No Bueno.. Too many exposed hooks.. You'd be hooked up to more bushes than Tiger Woods..
Carolina rig? Possible but a lot of moving parts to complicate matters..
Drop shot? Same as above..
Maybe a shakey head..
But nothing will come thru the shit like a good ole Texas rig..
And you gotta remember that what we build our brushpiles out of down here ain't likely to be like what you build brushpiles out of north of here.
We use Huisache and Retama trees because that is what we got. And the good thing is that they are so dense that you do not have to weigh them down.. They sink faster than the hopes of a Cowboy fan in week twelve..
And these trees ain't no weak limbed, slick leaved, willow lookin' suckers..
No sir these trees are covered in thorns from top to bottom. And they've hung up more men than Judge Roy Bean..
But where there is risk there is a possible reward..
And as stated above, if you get lucky, you can catch you a fish of a lifetime..
We'll be glad to help you when you stop in with some areas that might be holding fish.
I hear and see that many folks are having trouble finding specific baits all across the state of Texas.. And to a great extent I can understand their plight.
I spend half my day searching the planet for product to put on the shelves. And while we can not get a lot of things, we have plenty of what you need to catch fish down here right now.
Your guess is as good as mine as to when things will get better.. There have been factories that have come back online, and some that have gone back off again.
And I reckon that will be the fashion for the next few months.
Couple this with all time high demand for fishing products and firearms and it is easy to see how a shortage can occur.
Have you tried to buy a box of 9mm shells anywhere?
The crappie, white bass, and catfish have all been very cooperative as of late.
Crappie also must be found on deep brush and hard ledges.. More in the brush.. But you can find em on deep structure..
The white bass have been on top all over down south.. Drive around and look for birds.. Tigers has been loaded with them.. As have the flats off the main river channel around marker three to the dam.
Catfish can be caught using just about any method, but trees around marker eight have been good, and right here in the Veleno there has been a shitload of nice eating size fish caught.
And I reckon as the river starts to run a bit this week we'll see a bunch of catfish activity on the river.
Well if you're still reading and are coming down to fish.. For bass.. You need to throw an Old Monster or a senko or a big fluke in those brushpiles.
Watermelon red on the senko.. Or similar.. Plum, Plum Apple, or maybe Junebug on the big worms.. Something dark as you are fishing down there deep where there is low light and you need to make a good silhouette.
Crankbait colors are still best in the Citrus or Chart/Blue patterns..
It is summertime down here for sure, so bring your protection from the sun.. Hats and gloves and sunblock and glasses are a must.
Water temps are running high eighties to ninety.. Hard on the fishermen.. Hard on the fish.. Especially in a livewell..
So if you have some in there for whatever reason, please take care of them.. This time of year it is hard to keep them alive..
I am not sure how things are in your county with this Whoohan virus shit. And around here I am not sure either.. I know we have done a whole lot more testing.. But to what end I do not know.
Depending on who you listen to, I think that these tests are not to dependable.. And I believe that the reported results are none too dependable either.
Overall I hear that the tests are about 68% accurate.. Which absolutely sucks.
Where did I get my info you ask.. Same as you.. On the internet..
I have heard from two different sources, that people who were scheduled to be tested, but were not actually tested, still heard back that they were positive.
How in the fuck can this be?
And we are supposed to have faith in this system?
I was listening to the radio out of San Antonio yesterday morning, and they were saying that one in a hundred people are testing positive, and one in a thousand who get it die.
And I understand.. If you get it this can be some serious shit. Especially if you are in poor health.
But what is the end game here. Is the goal zero new infections?
Any thinking person knows that will never happen.
When will it be safe to go back outside? When some politician says it is?
I think not..
Life is filled with risks, and we all face risk every day. And as individuals we all decide how much risk we are comfortable with.
I don't skydive or climb cliffs, and I have certainly never been strapped to one of them spinning wheels in the circus and let some blindfolded fucker throw knives at me.. (Google it you youths..)
But if someone says their bass boat will run ninety well fuck yeah I want to ride in it..
I think a lot of this will sooner or later come down to just how much freedom you're willing to give up.. Or when you decide that you just don't want to be part of the collective..
"You will be assimilated.."
Maybe you will..
But I will not..
Protect yourself as you see fit.. As will I.
And I hope we all live long and prosper...
See you on the street.. If you dare..
July 7, 2020: It is a hot spell done set on us down here. And the next week looks like it's going to be pretty similar with afternoon temps in the 100 to 105 range..
Not for the weak of heart..
But if you can stand the heat it is possible to catch a few fish, and maybe a few whoppers as well.
As you can imagine, we do not have a lot of fishermen down here visiting, with all the hoopla over the Whoohan, the heat, ramp closures, and state park limitations on entrys.
As you all know, last weekend hosted the Fourth of July, and it was a little different this go round.
The Zapata County powers that be, decided to close access to the county ramp and park on Saturday and Sunday. And as I am sure you know, this is an attempt to squelch the mass gatherings that have been deemed offensive and even Un-American.
The county ramp is now open again, and all the gatherings that were to be held at the county park were held at someone's house or ranch.
Glad we got that done..
With limited access and low numbers of folks around, we have not heard a lot about the fishing for the last few days. Other than from the locals who are mostly catfishing, and catcatching.
They have been wearing them out.
Of course there are a few bass fishermen out on the lake, and from the e-mails and texts I have been getting I would have to say that not much has changed.
Our local guides, who are not really that busy, have still reported decent catches on most days, and some days they are kicking their ass.
And if you are heading down here, hiring a guide for a day or so is really a good idea right now. They can certainly short cut your search and put you on some patterns that will catch you a lot more fish.
Much of their catching involves brushpiles and these guys have put in a ton of work scattering these things out from river to dam.
And like I said last week, if you are good with your electronics, you can reap the rewards of their work.
Isolated rocky patches and sharp depth changes have also been holding some real quality fish. Five to seven and eight pound fish are common, with a few double digit fish mixed in.
These fish are being caught with Texas rigs, jigs, deep crankbaits, and a Carolina rig.. If this report sounds redundant, it is.. Not a lot has changed..
The lake level is slowly dropping, and as of this morning we are sitting at 263.06. That's about 38 feet low.
Sounds bad.. But we have seen it a lot worse. We are entering our wet season, or possible wet season, and we are once again hoping for some significant rainfall in Mexico.
There has been a lot of rain between us and Del Rio, and many of the lakes and ponds on both sides of the river are full, or at least in good shape. Now we need a turd floater to make the water run.
As far as Zapata County tanks and ponds are concerned, they are in really good shape, especially north of town and I have received several calls inquiring where people can buy fish. Because their tanks are running over.
Haven't seen this in a while..
As far a hazards go, you can still run the lake with no problems, if you just run the river channel down to about marker seven from the Veleno.
The old Veleno bridge has re-emerged and the top of it is about four inches out of the water.. Run by the west end and you will be fine.
If you are looking for a place to fish and not have to share too much water with other boaters.. You might want to give us a try.. There are three boats at the county ramp this morning..
If you have any questions about anything Falcon, just give us a call or e-mail..
I am not sure what you did on the Fourth, but here we were open and put some dogs on the grill.. To say this is a strange year would be a "Duh" statement.. But it sure is a strange year.
Lots of people are not working.. And lots of people are fishing.. And buying up every piece of fishing equipment the country can import and make..
I spend half of my days lately trying to scrape up inventory.. Mostly inventory that I can sell to the locals.
I have never sold so many combo rod and reels, throw(cast) nets, and hooks and weights.
I order two or three thousand dollars worth of inventory every week, and lately I am lucky if I get a third of it.. And getting it shipped to you is a whole nother deal.
And even though there is a very low inventory at the big national distributors, which I get 90% of my stock from, it is taking them twice as long or more to get the stuff shipped out.
So I ask em, If you have nothing to ship, how can it take so long to get what you do have shipped?
I am sure the answer is that the demand is off the hook for fishing gear.. And the factories and importers have a big lag to catch up on, as most of this stuff is made you know where.. China..
And many factories were/are shut down or running at less than max capability..
It's gonna be a while till all this shit catches up.
I have had to find a few new sources for a lot of products.. But overall we are in pretty good shape.
Well I hope where you are living is not to eat up with the Whoohan. We have had about 50 positive cases in Zapata County, and officially one death attributed to the virus..
But the way they report things has left me unsure of anything.
I am sure of one thing, and that is that this virus, like a lot of others before, will have to run its course. We'll get past it, but the cost of that is still to be seen.
I also know that politicizing it does good for no one.
If you have issues, that are well documented that put you at risk, it is up to you to make decisions about where you go and what you do.
Keeping all these people at home, and not working and producing has brought on a whole bevy of problems that could be as bad as the virus itself.
I pray for a vaccine and or a clear cut cure to be found soon. As I am sure many of you are..
It is ridiculous to watch the sheer politics at play during this national disaster. You would think we were all on the same team..
But the more I look at America today, I think we could start a new league of some sort.. To see who can destroy the country as we know it first..
Wouldn't you like to hold up that trophy..
June 30, 2020: We had an awful nice streak of low winds around here.. But now Mother Nature is making up for it. There has not been a gale warning put out, but you know how much fun it is out there with winds in the low and middle twenties..
You young guys can stomach it a lot better than me.. I'm too old for this shit.
That being said, several folks have reported good fishing and good weights, although the two do not necessarily go together..
A few folks have caught some real quality fish, but not many of them.. And there has been the ying for that yang..
Some folks have run into numbers, usually in small areas, but not a big fish in the bunch.
Brushpiles have taken the main stage it appears, and a lot of good fish have come from them.. But you might only get one out of a pile.
You know old fuckers like me, on a new lake, can really struggle. Those of us, who have good equipment, but have never really taken the time to learn to operate, and understand what your electronics are telling you, are certainly at a disadvantage.
If you have been reading my shit very long, you know that I like to pull up to a line of trees on a creek channel or a brush line, and blindly flip all the trees on that break. And for years I have gotten away with it, because I have been fishing here so long and knew where a hundred of these locations existed.
And I still do.. But for the last year there has been very little water on the woods I have described, and quite frankly, the fish did not really seem to give a shit about being on them.
With exceptions of course. The Salanaias was on fire for a few streaks this spring, but I missed out on a lot of it. And Blanco also had a good spell or two.
And I am sure there were days when you could call your shot on what tree in (X) depth had a fish on it..
But it certainly was not the predominant pattern.
Rock was the ticket all spring long, and it makes good sense cause we had a shad spawn for two months that was hard to believe if you didn't see it. And it lasted well into the warm months.
And I had no problem with it as my second favorite fishing is chunking a shallow crankbait about an inch from the bank and winding it back out to about six feet.
Baits with bills that look like the Aflac duck's ain't tied on to my rods.. I can stomach a 5XD, but that is about the deepest bait I like to throw.. But I like throwing it about six inches from the bank and turning over every rock between the bank and my boat on twenty pound line. It'll run about eight feet deep. Maybe.. On a long cast..
I don't put much faith in a crankbait package that says, "Gets down to 25 feet.."
My ass.. Maybe on eight pound line and about a hunnert yards of it dragging behind. I have fished with hundreds of people and I will have to say that most folks cannot make a cast long enough to get a 6XD or a Norman DD-22 down over twelve feet..
And I'll wager that most guides would agree with me.
Anyway, I hate it when all the fish are out on deep ledges where a one ounce jig takes ten seconds to hit bottom..
Enter The Summer Of My DisContent..
Cause that is where a bunch of these fuckers are living.
So here we go, back to talking about looking at those damn electronics again..
You know my first depth finder was a Ray Jeff flasher with a suction cup stuck to the back of the boat.. You'd think that some one with that many years of experience with the bastards would know a lot more about them.
And I loved that thing.. You know why? Cause you turned the fucker on and that was it. Oh it had a sensitivity knob, (Don't you with your mate had one?) and you could screw with it if it made you feel better..
But mostly it told you how deep it was, and if you were astute you could see a school of fish in the beam or a tree if you were really good. If you were looking at it that exact second.
I don't recall what year it was but I would guess back in the eighties, when I cashed in all my chips and ponied up for the latest and greatest depth finder out there..
The Humminbird "Wide One". This fucker had at least a three inch square LCD screen and pixels the size of Mexican limes.
But it had a Menu button and a digital depth readout. It was awesome..
That Menu button is still the source of much confusion and for old folks it is the gateway to hell..
A menu is supposed to be in a restaurant not on a fishing boat..
I still have some mental flashbacks about it that are not pretty..
Enter Donkey Kong and Centipede.. And the generations that played them..
These kids grew up looking at "screens" and they took to this new technology like a bird to the sky..
My grand daughter showed me shit on my cell phone (Galaxy Note) that I never knew existed.. And she had never seen one before..
"Go to the menu Grandpa.."
I never want to hear those words again.. Unless it is at Ruth Chris..
Anyway this new generation of anglers, let's say born mid eighties or so, certainly have an advantage over the rest of us old farts..
Touch screen has helped a lot, but you still gotta get that fucker "Set Up"..
Enter that damn menu button again..
I keep talking about the brushpiles holding fish.. And they are. And if you are good with your sidescan it will certainly short cut your job in locating fish.
And I'll have to admit that after having it for ten years, even I have kinda figured out what I am looking at. But I did not want to learn it. I want them fish to be in the hardwoods!
Today's electronics are light years ahead of my old Gen One Lowrance's. But I have been with a lot of buddies that have the latest and greatest.
And I'll have to admit that the Garmin Livescope Panoptics is the shit. It is truly video game fishing.
You don't have to pitch that tree if there ain't a fish on it.. But look at that one. There's three on it..
And for brushpile crappie fishing it is just stupid..
Anyway we ain't talked about fishing that much..
Brush and deep rock are the key to catching fish right now. A Texas rigged fluke, big or small might get you bit.
A Senko is a good bet, as is a jig. These are for deeper locales. Of course the jig might catch you a fish in the brushpiles, but it may also catch you a brushpile.. No risk, no reward..
Crankbaits are still catching fish, and if you stick with that big Mo-Fo you just might get rewarded with a big Mo-Fo.
The Rip Rap on the dam and the ledges nearby are still putting out a few good fish.. You need to put your time in and I still say that if you are looking for a fish of a lifetime, I would crank the dam all day long.. Or drag a lightly weighted senko along the same areas.
I'm sure there are others who might disagree with some of these theories.. But it is fishing and if I go out I am starting on a rocky point some where.. And I am not against working it all the way out..
To at least six feet..
This is Falcon after all and there is ALWAYS some shallow fish out there. You just gotta go find em..
I have talked about having fished Falcon since I was a little kid. Bout six. And although I wasn't the one driving on the way here, I was still chunkin what was probably a H&H spinner, A Goober Lure, or a T-16 Pico Perch once we got here..
And I have spoken on several occasions about making my first few trips here in a 1956 Chevy (265 V-8 with OD) with my Daddy and Uncle Lewis.. And we had some great times.. And I learned fishing terminology..
Which my Mother later washed out of my mouth with a bar of Dove.
But I reckon if you have been reading my stuff for long you figured out that I got over the taste of that soap..
And I was going thru a box the other day and I happened on an envelope full of evidence.
This ain't the Zapruder tapes or nothin.. Just a snap of my early childhood..
That led to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment that I am afraid that today's generations will no longer have the opportunity to experience..
Or if they do, it will be damn few..
I could write a book about the hunting and fishing and camping trips we took when I was a kid..
But honestly, I think I already have..
Hang in there.. This shit is not gonna last forever, and keep in mind, "That a country boy will survive.."
And whether it be you or me, or both of us, we will carry on in the finest traditions of outdoorsmen.. And we will teach the generations that follow us that us old fucks really did have the world by the ass..
No matter how fancy your new fish finder is..
See you on the water..
June 23, 2020: It is a very strange time in the fishing industry.. And in the firearms industry.. And in the boat industry..
Who would have believed, that a pandemic, real or imagined, depending on your point of view, could have caused the whole country to go fishing.. Or to buy all the ammo and firearms that are available..
Or to set records for boat purchases..
But then again a lot of things do not make sense right now..
With the Whoohan virus going round, there have certainly been a lot of changes made in day to day life, and quite a bit of rearrangement in fishing schedules across the country.
Not only here, but on a national level as I am sure you are aware. Just now are some national trails doing a bit of fishing.. And a lot of it is spectator less as is the case with a lot of sporting events.
But I think it would be fine for the WNBA, San Antonio hockey, and most soccer games to go on..
Nobody goes to that shit anyway..
If there is any silver lining in this shit it is surely the reacquainting of the family unit.. At least with families with kids still at home..
And while it may be a strain to make all of it work, we have certainly seen more folks out with their kids.. Looking for a way to get them out of the house and doing something more than looking at their phones or gaming screens.
And in Zapata, many children have been introduced to fishing.. And we have seen a lot of locals taking their kids fishing for the first time..
And with that we have showed a lot of folks how to tie knots, rig a float, and set the drag on a Zebco 33..
And we have sold more shrimp, worms, and chicken liver than any time in our history.
Thank you Zapata for keeping our head above water.
And this is not a local phenomenon, this story is playing out across the country..
Fishing tackle wholesalers are struggling with low inventories, sporadic replacement of goods, and record demand from folks like me.
And the trickle down effect has all retailers with inventories that are less than desired.. And while some manufacturers are producing and shipping products, many are on hiatus and many more are not running at full steam.
Yes, you could say that fishing tackle is selling like crime scene tape in Chicago..
There are still some bass fishermen coming to Zapata, but the numbers are surely less than what I would consider normal. Some folks are scared to travel, and local government has not been very friendly to visitors pulling boats..
But if you are hauling in windmill parts from all over the planet.. Well you are welcomed with open arms..
In any case fishing has been good and bad.. Depending on who you ask. Most of the guides are catching fish pretty good. Most of their fish are coming from planted brush piles.. And not all brush piles are created equal.
There are hundreds of them out there. And finding the right one may take a little work. But if you are decent with your electronics, finding them is not too hard..
Not every fish is on a brushpile. There are still crankbait fish being caught on rocky ridges and humps, probably better than on points.
A few weeks back you could go to any point in Tigers and beat on em.. Not as easy now as it was then.
The shad have thinned out up in the shallows, and have taken back to a bit deeper water. You can find them balled up in a lot of creek channels.. Sometimes there are a lot of fish around them.. And sometimes those fish are white bass..
Lots of surface schooling going on down south these warm days.. Look for birds and slashing and crashing fish..
If you are looking to catch some bass, I think it is best to have a few deep running crankbaits, a Mag fluke, a jig, and a senko, smaller version, tied on.
In the brush a texas rigged plastic with heavy line is a good choice.. Try to keep your bait in contact with the brush as long as possible.. And when you get bit you better not pussyfoot around for long.. Getting the fish coming your way is imperative or she'll have blanket woven in the tree with your line quicker than a cat can lick his ass.
I don't know why I like that saying but I do..
And let me tell you that a cat can lick his ass pretty quick..
So try to break that fishes neck.. Give em a knockout punch. And get em coming out of that tree before they figure out what is going on..
I told you last go round that we had a bad storm in Zapata.. Straight line winds up to seventy MPH.. Tore the town a new ass..
We had another one last Thursday night on our end of town.. Still a trampoline hanging on the telephone wires just north of us..
And we got another 2.5 inches of rain in about one hour.. I'm talking about it raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock..
We have been releasing some water, so it didn't help the lake level any.. But I can tell you that every stock tank in Zapata County is running over.. And it has been a while..
The lake is sitting at 263.60 this am, and that means the old Veleno bridge is about three inches under the water.. Give or take..
There are still two markers on it. pass it on the right going out as always.. If you don't know, ASK!
The state park concrete ramp in pretty much non-useable.. Maybe for a flat bottom..
But we launched a 21 footer on the bank on Friday and never turned a tire.. It is no sweat off the bank with 4X4.. Perfect slope..
The crappie are still excellent in deeper brush piles. Bout 20 feet.. They're not in every one.. But if you find the right one it is easy pickens..
The locals have been wearing out the catfish.. From nice eaters to giants.. And rod and reel gar fishermen have caught a lot of fish lately as well..
I reckon of all the species we have down here, the bass fishing is about the toughest.. But I think that is normal..
Every year I talk about the Catch A Special Thrill, or C.A.S.T. fundraiser we do down here to raise money for the organization that's sole mission is to get some special needs kids the opportunity to experience a day of fishing.
Something that may not ever happen for them without this program.
And right now you have the opportunity to treat yourself to some really neat possibilities that may otherwise not be available. From guided fishing trips with the pros to Safaris and fishing products you might want to buy anyway.. And all proceeds go to benefit the C.A.S.T. organization.
Special thanks to all the fishermen, outfitters, and retailers that have graciously donated their time, efforts, and money to this noble cause.
Click this link for all the info and a direct link to the on-line auction that is going on.
There are some great Pros you can buy a day of fishing with in there..
If you have any questions about fishing at Falcon right now, please don't hesitate to give us a call.. We have open ramps at both ends of the lake, and plenty of room for you. No crowds down here, especially during the week. So if you are tired of fishing with three hundred of your closest friends, now is a good time to drive south..
We don't have any idiots toppling statues and spray painting slogans of hate on anything either.
But if you want to you can still bring your tent..
Hope to see you before too long.. Keep the faith.. And keep your faith in America. We'll get this shit straightened out.. And I think it is about time to spank the children..
June 16, 2020: After about a week of really low humidity and mornings in the sixties, we are headed back to a more summer like pattern. Which of course includes highs closer to 100° and a southerly breeze bringing in some higher humidity.
Which is what we are all about down here anyway.. It is summer after all.. Or it will be officially in a few days. I was outside at 9:00 last evening and I could still bout read a newspaper..
We have very little wind to contend with on the lake as of late, not counting a few gusts in the mid afternoons. It makes running the lake easy, but it gets a little warm and the fish certainly do not like no wind on a summer afternoon.
Especially if you are fishing any kind of shallow rocks, which may not be the best thing right now.
It appears that deeper fish are becoming more in vogue, and deep crankbaits like the 6XD, or a jig are catching fish in water in the ten to fifteen foot range. A senko is also reported to be catching some fish, both Texas rigged and even on a Carolina rig.
And here is the biggest factor of all. Location.
I have talked to a lot of folks this week, and almost all of them that are catching fish say that the fish are pretty spot specific.
Many of them told me that they have two or three spots that are holding numbers of fish, while other spots with similar features remain fishless or produce only sporadically and many times not at all.
Long story short, fishing this week has been on the tough side.
There are always exceptions to the rule of course, and a few have done well. I guess that is what keeps us out there chasing them.
Folks who live here, and are out several days a week are doing fair, but they are telling me that timing and location are key to catching any numbers of fish.
And it still sounds like the afternoon bite is better than the early morning. Which should change as the moon heads towards darkness more each night..
Long story short.. Heck if I know.. You just gotta go and show it to em..
The lake level has dropped a few inches and is sitting at 264.32. We let out a small burst of water the last few days for some reason.. But it appears to have slowed a bit this am..
Who the hell knows.. Unless people are standing on roofs in the valley we are always releasing water..
The Mexicans have still not released any water of consequence into the Rio Grande. And as a matter of fact, farmers (reportedly) in Mexico have staged protests and demanded that they not release water to the US at all.
Or maybe they hired some of them antifa motherfuckers to do it for them..
Just call 1-800 Rent-A-Riot..
We'll send some brick throwin, window breakin, car burnin little masked son of a bitches to your location of choice and we'll fuck up your town till you say when..
Easy as gettin a pizza delivered..
But I digress..
Supposedly the US government is putting pressure on the Mexicans to repay their water debt to the US.. That means to me.. And you.. And the folks all along the Rio Grande from Presidio in Big Bend to the delta at the mouth of the river at Brownsville.
According to the latest numbers, the Mexicans have to release 455,000 Acre Feet of water in the next three months or they will be in violation of the treaty..
That sounds like a lot of water, but it really ain't in the big picture.
Amistad is forty something feet low, and has 1,144,000 Acre Feet in storage currently. 35% full..
Falcon is almost forty feet low, and currently we have only 585,000 Acre Feet in the tank. 22% full..
If Mexico repaid all this water, and we put it all in Falcon, we would still be at less than 50% of capacity.
Would I take it? Sure.. But this is not a long term cure to our problems.
We can only fix this problem by bringing water from northeast of us to west Texas..
It can be done..
Falcon, and ultimately Amistad reservoirs were built to help mitigate the flooding along the Rio Grande. And ultimately to regulate its flow to provide a reliable water supply to the inhabitants that live near it.
Growth was certainly predictable along the river, but no one really knew what the future held in store in the middle fifties. And having a controllable, for the most part, and consistent water supply for all parts south of Falcon's dam led to more and more water demand.
Makes sense.. Build it and they will come.. And they did.. And still are..
But a hog has only so many teats..
And right now Falcon has a liter of twenty sucking on her. And sooner or later the sow or some of the piglets will die..
And unless we give the sow some more groceries, things are not looking so good.
Now that's a hell of a fuckin' analogy, but it is about as good as I could come up with.. And I think you get my point.
Something needs to be done.
Enforcement of the water treaty with Mexico is a good start. But it is only treating a symptom of the disease..
The country is printing money so fast that it is running out of ink.. So lets print a little more and spend it on water infrastructure and build the damn ditch from Oklahoma or Missouri or I don't care where and send all that flood water that they would love to get rid of to west Texas..
This ain't rocket science.. If we can put a man on the moon, build the Hoover Dam, and invent a motorcycle that can jump over twenty seven buses we sure as hell can dig a ditch.
And I'll guess that this project would benefit mankind more than two of the above mentioned..
I'll get off the soapbox for now..
Catfish and Crappie are still biting like they should. And good numbers of those two species are being caught..
There have been quite a few gar chasers down here lately, and they have killed some nice ones. They have also whacked a lot of grass carp and tilapia. And the common carp are thick up spawning on a lot of the banks as well..
You can shoot in a crowd and your arrow might look like a shish-ka-bob.. That's why I keep my bow cranked to 70 pounds..
Of course I miss often and I am hard on arrows and tips..
TPWD did stock about 128,000 Florida bass fingerlings here last week. All of them were released in the Veleno.
I hear that the Whoohan virus had a lot to do with low production numbers this year.. Not sure how that worked..
Must have stopped the fish from fucking..
Bass Champs is going to Amistad this weekend, for two one day tourneys on Saturday and Sunday. They are also going to a three fish limit for these two..
Damn good idea this time of year..
Sure would have liked to have seen them down here two weeks ago as scheduled, but as you know our county officials uninvited them. It WAS NOT Bass Champs that decided not to come to Falcon.
That probably only cost the county a hunnert and fifty grand or so..
If you are planning on fishing out there and need a Mexican fishing license give us a call and we'll have one in your inbox in a jiffy.. Or if you're old school and want one via USPS we can do that as well..
I have got to go, as I am working on a new product that I am trying to get to market. And so far it is "holding up" pretty good.
With all these copper infused knee braces, back braces, support socks, underwear...
I have invented a copper infused condom..
And just like those other products, this thing is made ready to go to work..
Gives hours of support and will let you take your workouts to the next level..
Comes in sizes from Pee-Wee Herman to Big John Holmes.. So if you have a phallus as big as Dallas.. We have you covered.. Literally.. In copper..
Soon to be available at your neighborhood drug store..
Product warning: "Do not use in Female Superior position during a thunderstorm.."
I better go before I start talking about Seattle, Antifa, thugs, rioters, looters, and the rest of the sewer rats out there..
It's hard to wrap your head around..
I got some thoughts.. Next time..
Buy American where you can!
Thanks for your support and we'll see you when we do!
June 9, 2020: It's a hot, breezy, and gonna be the hottest day of the year so far today.. Least that is what the weather guru's say.. The tropical storm that went east of us (like always) pulls the desert air from over Mexico upon us and it's like pulling the featherbed over you in the middle of August when you're sleeping without air conditioning..
But after today we are going to get a reprieve with a cool front and highs only in the middle nineties.. That's more like it..
We have been blessed with a few days of low and almost no winds.. Low winds good.. No winds bad..
Falcon fishes differently due to several factors at times.. Rising water, no current to speak of, big moon out all night, and no breeze can make for some tough fishing.
And I experienced some of it over the weekend.. That don't mean that other folks didn't do decently, but the fishing was a little tough, especially in the AM when the fish just went to bed..
I heard from several folks that the afternoon and evening bite has been much better. But the older and softer I get I just don't prefer to fish in the heat, specially thru this stretch.
Me and a buddy launched at the county ramp on Sunday morning, and ran straight to the Salanaias.. And we fished a few spots where I had done well the last few times I had been out there, but we sucked..
Then we cranked some rocky banks at the mouth of the Salanaias, with only a muy chiquito to show..
Then we proceeded to the rip-rap on the dam where we had the best luck of the morning.. Two fish.. Neither over two pounds..
We hop-scotched back along the Texas side on the way home, but our luck did not improve and all we did was run into some white bass..
It was noon and my 84 year old partner said I was tired.. We were on the trailer at 12:12..
Well that sounds encouraging, don't it? I have no defense for my performance other than we were not throwing what the fish were eating where and when they were eating..
Now all that being said, I have talked to several folks that have been doing pretty good. But a good day as of late starts in the afternoon, from about two till six, and catching fifteen or twenty has replaced the forty or fifty from two weeks ago.
I am sure as we get away from the full moon it will improve in the mornings.
This is still Falcon and there have been some very nice fish caught. And I have seen a few pics of DD's this week, and a multitude of six and seven pound fish. But there have surely been some man hours put in to catch em..
And I am sure you are tired of hearing it, but crankbaits and C-rigs still seem to be catching the lions share of fish.
There is probably not a bad crankbait to throw, as long as it gets to the rocks. Shad patterns and something with a little chartreuse on it is a good idea.
Flukes and smaller baits seem to get more bites on the C-rigs.
We flipped fifty or sixty trees on Sunday, and never got bit.. But I have heard of a few fish being caught on the hardwoods..
Speaking of which, the trees directly across from the Veleno have been inundated with muddy and murky water for the last six months.. But the water color on the river right now is the best looking I have seen in ages..
Low winds, no current, and grass covered banks have led to the clearest water in quite some time..
Some of you tree flippers need to get over there and dunk some plastic in them trees. I am sure all the fish have not swam to the south end of the lake.
I just got a report from a buddy in Laredo that fished the Laredo Bass Club tourney on Sunday. They fished a three fish limit because of the heat.
Eighteen+ pounds won it, and fourth place was over fifteen. He said there were lots of four pounders caught and there were about 35 teams in the tourney.
Good to see a few tournaments coming back to the lake..
Speaking of coming back to the lake. I have never seen the lake being so utilized by the locals.. We also have a lot of folks here on weekends from Laredo and from Starr county south of us.
The state park has been at regulated capacity for the last few weekends. And from what I hear, it has pretty much been the same across the state.
Folks are getting itchy.. And they are damn tired of staying at home.. Cain't say I blame em..
And from what I have been seeing this last two weeks, you can pretty much say that social distancing is out the window around here..
Sales of cast nets, Zebco 33's, and terminal tackle has sustained us as of late..
Now if I could just get in some cast nets, Zebco 33's, and hooks and sinkers I would be in good shape.
Orders placed are certainly not arriving anywhere close to filled.. But we are making the best of it and seeking other sources for product.
Never thought I'd order thirty cast nets on E-bay..
We are still well stocked on most bass tackle and plastics, because we keep a deep stock of the stuff that moves..
We got you covered..
Here's the nuts and bolts:
Lake level is at 264.64, and is rising ever so slightly.
Water temps are right around 83 degrees.
The county ramp is fine, but may have a little silt on the edges on any given day.
The state park concrete ramp is being used by a few bass boats as well. I had a friend launch there twice last weekend and he said it was no problem. I usually wait to say it is good till we are at about 265.. Or maybe a bit higher..
I guess the state dredged out the channel while the lake was down.. (NOT!)
But in any case it is reported to be doing fine..
Back here in the Veleno. The old bridge is about five or six inches under the water. Back in the kill zone.. There is currently one of those large orange markers on the west end.. 10' long and a foot around.. Go west of it coming and going. There is also a marker in the middle of the bridge or thereabouts.. DO NOT run in between the markers!
Run west of this marker.
We are supposed to get about 130,000 baby bass tomorrow, delivered by TPWD. If all goes as scheduled. At least this year we will have some grass and weeds for them to hide in.. The last few years we have had nothing but rocks and a few sticks..
There are all kinds of fish being caught as of late, including a lot of Alligator gar. The Veleno had some running water in it and still does even after six days of no rain.. And the gar love that running water.
The catfish love current, and while the creeks and the river were running the rod and reel fishermen were tearing them up.
Over the weekend, crappie were very good on deeper brushpiles, and you just can't believe the quality/size of these fish.
And the crazy ass white bass may attack you from any angle, anywhere.. And more and more of them are starting to school up in the open water on the south end of the lake.
Once we get past this hot spell we'll probably get a little busier than we are today and yesterday. And we have a decent chance of rain coming tomorrow..
It seems that the weather pattern may have changed a bit this spring and I hope the wet continues..
This could be our year!
Yall take care of yourselves in these crazy times.. As will we..
And hopefully I'll see you across the counter or on the water soon!
June 2, 2020: It's been a weird time around here.. It's been a weird time in Texas.. Shit the whole world is in a strange place..
Maybe it is time for the return of the King..
But until that time we humans are going to have to muddle through life and hopefully find a way to peacefully co-exist..
Because what we have going on now here in the USA is absolutely heartbreaking.. And I just about cannot watch it any more..
We all have our own little corner of the world. And I implore you to try and make yours the friendliest square on the board.. As will I.. As I have always tried to do..
There are certainly more important things in life than fishing.. But man cannot live by work and worry alone.. And it is internationally recognized that fishing is about as therapeutic an activity as there is in existence..
And you know me.. I would never go against academia.. Cept I did not have to go to college to figure it out..
Well being this is a fishing report (allegedly) we ought to talk about fishing.. And a lot has happened in the last week since I wrote. Most of it having to do with catching another eighteen inches of water..
We are still on a very slow rise, and water is still running in a few of the major creeks, although it has slowed quite a bit.. Two weeks or so ago the old Veleno bridge was exposed from the roadbed up.. Today the rails are back under water by about three or four inches.
And you know what that means,. The bridge is in perfect position to clothesline your lower unit. Currently there is one large buoy tied to the west end of the bridge. Keep it on your left when going out of the Veleno.
Most of you know the drill.. But unfortunately there are always a few newbies that come to Falcon that we don't get to talk to and when the water levels are wrong this shit happens..
We still have not talked about fishing..
Out in the lake there are a few floaters, but not a whole lot of consequence. But be aware that there is a possibility of some stuff floating around.
Run the channel from the Veleno down to about marker seven, as there are a lot of old hardwoods out on the flats if you meander off the beaten path. The lake opens up a lot south of that, but it is still a good idea to run the river channel.. Especially if you are new to Falcon or are in water you are not used to..
And if you have any questions you can certainly ask us here and we will tell you all we know.. Which won't take that much time..
We have had some downpours as of late, and keeping the county ramp cleaned off and the parking area in shape has been a full time job. But the ramp here in the Veleno is fine. The ramp at the state park is still at least eighteen inches from being useable..
Meanwhile we are stuck with launching off the bank in the same old places.. Maybe I shouldn't have used the word stuck..
4X4 is recommended down at the state park..
We still have not talked about fishing.
Restaurants and motels are back to being open around here, and you should have no trouble finding food or lodging. Our gasoline prices are still the highest in the state, so fill up in Laredo or wherever.. There is no reason we should be forty or fifty cents a gallon higher than San Antonio.. Or Corpus.. But we are..
I have been struggling to keep the shelves stocked, as the supply and shipping chain has had a bad link or two. Oh I still got a ton of shit.. But lots of little things have been hard to come by.. And some big things as well..
I got an order in yesterday that I ordered on the 23rd.. Not of May.. But of April.. Six weeks out.. Because the suppliers have been so swamped..
Yes the fishing industry has carried the country while we have sat on our asses and accomplished little.. If anything..
So good job fishermen and gun owners/buyers.. We have carried the country on our back while no one else was out and about.. And we did it at a safe distance..
BTW March set an all time monthly record for background checks, and April set the record for April.. We bout sold all the guns and ammo we could get our hands on..
I personally have had about all of this Woohan shit I can handle.. I shouldn't even know what the fuck Whoohan is..
The fishing around here has remained pretty steady.. Last week we had a few windy days when few fish were caught, but it is damn hard to stand on the deck with waves washing your feet every third one.. And a bit harder to feel a bite.
The good days were sprinkled with good reports and bad, but folks in the know have been catching them pretty consistently..
Crankbaits in about ten feet of water have caught a lot of nice fish. A five or six XD crank bait in Sexy Shad or Citrus Shad have been about as good as any. Of course rocks are the key to catching fish.. Rocks with brush piles on them are even better..
Speaking of brushpiles, it has been reported that a lot of brush piles have been stolen.. Drug off and relocated to who knows where..
And I gotta admit that this practice is pretty chickenshit.. Brushpiles are pretty much public domain once they are in the lake, but have the courtesy and respect to leave someone else's hard work in place.
Fish em, enjoy em.. But leave em where someone else put em..
Or go cut your own!
A squarebill bite is still in play in many areas, especially when wind is pushing shad up on a rocky point or over the top of a hump. This is a staple on Falcon, and I don't care what time of year it is, I never go out without a squarebill tied on.
I can't count the times I have seen a pod of fish blow up on a school of shad, and having a squarebill or a trap at the ready will almost always get you bit.
A Carolina rig is also another must have right now, and it has been for two months. Smaller baits are working well on it, and a fluke is still hard to beat. Or a U-Vibe in a Zoom bait..
And don't be afraid to cast that C-rig right up on the bank and work it out to twelve or fourteen feet.
More and more deep fish have been reported as of late as the water has warmed and summer approaches. A jig has caught a few good fish lately, and of course hopping one down a rocky slope is a good idea.. Something in a greenish or brown color with a small matching trailer is a good choice..
Even though the water releases have about ceased, areas near the gates on the dam, and the rip-rap itself has continued to put out fish. And if I was after nothing but a big fish, I would throw a big ass crankbait along the rip-rap all freakin day..
Sooner or later those deep water fish are going to move up on those rocks to eat.. I hear about it almost every day..
Of course this area is a community hole.. For good reason..
The crappie are still loaded in the right brushpiles, and some of them are two inches wide.. I mean chunks.. They are amazing.. We also have a ton of small fish in the chain, and sometimes you get on a pile and all that are in it are six to eight inch fish.. There are three distinct year classes of crappie around here.. And the future looks good for the species.
White bass are two on a crankbait in some areas.. And a lot of those areas are the same ones you'd throw that crankbait for bass.. Sometimes you just gotta move on.. They can be that thick..
With the rising water, a ton of baitfish, carp, tilapia, and alligator gar have invaded the shallows. And the gar are spawning in the creeks where the water has been flowing in for a week or so..
The grass carp finally have some grass to eat.. And they are up in the top two feet of water.. Everywhere..
It is amazing what a little water on the way up can do..
I will post some pics one of these days.. I am finally getting a bit caught up with my projects.
Meanwhile if you need to spend some time in isolation, or you just want to get away from the insanity for a while, I can assure you that Zapata is about the quietest and safest city around..
Come see us and get some H2O therapy.. It's good for the soul.
May 26, 2020: This may sound crazy.. But I just have not had time to get to the computer in over a week.. As you may have noticed.. I've got a few projects going that the weather has really messed me up on..
I have been praying for rain for years.. And we have gotten it lately..
A few days ago we got a screaming thunderstorm that dropped over an inch here but lots more in some places.. Lots more..
And last night we got about three inches here in Zapata, and either a small tornado or some bad ass straight line winds.. The whole town is really torn up..
Of course some places were left untouched.. But the Post Office for example, no longer has a roof.. Lots of businesses on main street (83) got torn a new ass.. Trees and light poles uprooted and broken all over the place..
We had some minor damage here but nothing serious..
But Zapata as a whole has got some fixin to do..
Last week the wind blew.. And Blew.. And Blew.. And it was a struggle to fish. Anywhere.. Although a few folks did.. But it was tough going..
And reports during the gales were not very good.
But Sunday and yesterday gave a reprieve, and good fishing was reported by most all we talked to.
Crankbaits and Carolina rigs are still as good as anything going.. But I have heard recently that the Senko bite has come around, and fish are returning to the brush piles scattered from one end of the lake to the other.. Fish it on a light Texas rig..
There are still a lot of fish on the shallow rocky points. Out to about ten to twelve feet..
Several of the guides are out deeper trying to establish an offshore bite, and they have had hit and miss results. But I have heard of a jig bite trying to start up..
But the fish have certainly not abandoned the rocks as of yet.. And a lot of them never will.
The water temp has been held down by the rains this last couple of weeks, and right now we are hanging around 83°. It can certainly be warmer this time of year.
Overall fishing remains good, and we have had quite a few folks down giving it a go.. And the locals have been out in force beating the Veleno into a froth and having pretty decent results. On all species..
We have caught about two feet of water from our low a couple of weeks ago, and I am not quite sure just where we will end up with the current rainfall. We should catch about another foot or so from this mornings and last nights rain up above us.. Currently all the local creeks have been running.. And the ground is wet..
We'll see shortly..
I am about aggravated with the supply chain that has worked intermittently as of late. Shipping from anywhere is a guess and this Woohan shit has about fucked the world over..
Inventory at distributors is hit or miss, and I have a few pegs I cannot get product for. And I hate to see empty hooks..
Thankfully we have remained pretty busy and if I could get anything to sell I might be able to make a living.. Fortunately I keep a lot of backstock.. But I will have to admit it is running a bit low.. And some things are just made of unobtanium..
In my previous life I was Construction Superintendent in San Antonio.. And I have poured enough concrete to fill Falcon lake.. Well maybe Medina..
And I have been trying to get a 60X40 slab poured at our subdivision for over a week. And last nights three inches has delayed us another couple of days.. And I don't know how rain can even get in a gauge when it is coming sideways..
But all I can say is this too shall pass and thank you Lord for the rain..
Yesterday as you know was Memorial Day. And under normal conditions I would never let the day go by without writing a bit about what the day means.
And what qualifies me to say anything about it? Because what I would say about it is only my opinion..
But I reckon that one of the rights that was bestowed upon me, not just by the Bill of Rights, but by the very men that this day is all about, is the ability to speak my opinion as I see fit..
And I have been known to do it on occasion.
And if you want to get real about it, it's not words on paper that make a people free..
It's men with big balls, boots, guns, and a finger in the air for any and all who might want to infringe on or take away those rights.
So many in the world have no idea what I am talking about.. Those that have never tasted the sweetness of freedom. To do as you wish, without fear..
Within good reason of course..
What a novel concept America was.. Unprecedented at the time..
And I'd have to say that the founders were about the Ballsiest badasses that we have ever had living between the oceans..
And all those that have bought into the idea, that knew and know that what we have is worth dying for.. And many, many have...
Well you and me owe them a debt we can never repay..
But Ain't That America..
Thanks to all who served and are serving now.. And never forget those who gave their lives for this great concept.
You know that if the shit ever hits the fan the biggest army in the world will mobilize with a base in every town in the States..
I don't think that will ever happen..
Because every country on the planet knows it would..
I gotta go straighten my flagpoles and put up some new flags.. Them tornadoes are a sun-bitch.
Come see us when you can..
We gonna survive all this shit.. Here in Zapata, Texas..
May 18, 2020: It's been darn near two weeks since I have written, and some folks have been e-mailing me wondering if I have been taken out by the Woohan..
But I'm still here and the rumors of my demise are pre-mature..
And I have been busier than a hooker at a Democratic National Convention.. And if they don't have a convention this year cause of the Woohan, I wonder if Pelosi will come up with a stimulus package to save the call girls..
Maybe they could come up with a catchy slogan like, "No Hooker Left Behind.."
Might have to work on that a little..
The lake has risen about a foot due to local rains, and a reduction in the amount of water we are releasing.. And the valley also got some very good rain in a lot of areas so that is an immense help.. Keep bringing it Lord.. And Thank you..
We are sitting at 260.67 this morning, or 40.53 feet low.. We are on a very slow rise that is likely to peter out in the next few days.. But it was good to see water still running in the Veleno yesterday..
Despite all the doom and gloom about water levels, we still have a lot of water to fish.. Don't let the lower water levels affect your decision on whether to come down or not.. Fishing is very good..
Four wheel drive is certainly a plus on the south end of the lake, but a new access point is being used across the creek from where we have been launching. And it is working very well, and two wheel drive is doable with 95% certainty..
Ask when you get here and we'll give you directions and do's and dont's.. Plenty of parking on that side as well but do not park directly across from the launching area.. It ain't rocket science..
The Tigers is so full of fish they can't be counted.. Rocky humps and ends of points have been stacked with fish. There is also a shit load of white bass in there, so if you want to get the kids in on some good catchin', bring em down here and let em catch a few hundred.. Federal Warning: This kind of practice may lead a child to a life long addiction..
Crankbaits and c-rigs are still about as good as it gets, and the shad in the shallow rocks are still tremendous.. The Spro or the Strike King square bills are hard to beat..
A 5XD or similar is a great bait to tickle down the rocky slopes, gently bumping it off the rocks.
All the coves South of Pierce's can have a bunch of fish in them on the gravel. And you'll find the water clarity on the lower end of the lake to be much better.
Although I did talk to a feller on Saturday that said they caught a bunch of fish from the Mexican trees just across from the Veleno. He said the dirty water didn't bother em, and they just went to a darker bait.. I would think a Tilapia Z-Craw or a Junebug Red Fighting Frog would whack em.. Or a black and blue creature bait..
Trees in the Salanaias are still putting out fish, despite being hammered by fishermen. And the Dam put out several PB's this weekend including a couple of DD's.. On crankbaits..
Overall fishing is very good.. I'd probably tell you to quit your job and get your ass down here.. But shit you probably already don't have a job..
So just get your ass down here..
And when you do, stop in the store for some launching/lake running information.. It ain't hard to navigate but you need to run the channel especially on the top half of the lake..
There are hardwoods on the flats off the river channel that gave hardwoods their name.. They make Viagra out of these sum-bitches.. And they will mess up a lower unit as good as a rock can..
By now I am sure you have heard that Bass Champs was forced to cancel their tournament down here scheduled for the end of the month.
And many of you probably do not know it, but it was not Bass Champs that decided to cancel..
We had been in discussion on how we were going to make it work, and we certainly would have.
The Zapata County judge and commissioners are the ones that made them not welcome.
While we have a ton of out of towners here working on wind and solar projects..
But I guess it is up to the elected to pick the winners and losers..
Follow the money..
But Zapata county certainly just passed up an easy 100K of money spent here..
While the rest of the state opens up, we take the opposite approach..
I have no words. Well that's not true..
I have plenty of them.. But I have to run a business in this town, and do business with the aforementioned.. So I'll just leave my thought's to your imagination..
It has been a frustrating time in the ordering and receiving department around here. I have so many things ordered that I may or may not receive that I don't even know what the hell I have ordered any more..
Oh I got the basics.. And a lot more.. But I hate to see empty pegs on my walls.. It's getting better, but some things just are not available.. And I am sure this ripple affect will take a while to dissipate.
But we are hanging in there, and I hope you are too..
And if you are in need of spending some of that stimulus money, fishing is a great way to do it.. And it'll get you out of the house.. And maybe make life just a little more bearable for a while..
Come see us.. And we'll try to figure out who it is behind that mask..
P.S. Masks are optional in FLT..
May 5, 2020: It was the best of times.. It was the worst of times..
What that shit means I really don't know..
But let's take a shot at it..
Worst: The lake has dropped to 259.65, or about 41.5 feet low.. Here's the Old Veleno Bridge.. I have not been out in a few, and I hear you can see the deck now.. So if you hit this thing now it is on you.. Pass to the west as always.. Plenty of water but scrape the bridge.. There is a rockpile twenty yards west that will be in play shortly..
Best: The lake is fishing as good and as big as it has in a long time. Many times we are catching a lot of fish, and good ones, but they seem to be concentrated in a few small areas and it can get kind of busy on those spots.
But right now we are catching fish from one end of the lake to the other. Not every tree or rock has a fish on it.. But a lot of em do..
Crankbaits are still catching a lot of fish. And a C-rig remains a great way to cover a lot of territory, fishing it from the bank out to about ten feet. Long points, fished across or along have been good.
Isolated rocky patches, even if they do not have a break on them have been good as well.
Old houses are holding fish as well. Rockpiles.. Rockpiles good..
The rock, especially shallow has had a ton of shad on it, and there is still a bit of the shad spawn going on. Big bait balls are still roaming around off creek channels, and of course where there is food, there is fish.
Lots of white bass are also hanging around those bait balls as well.
Flipping trees, which is probably the most funniest shit ever invented, is still doing pretty good as well. It's funny how some trees in similar water don't hold fish while others do.. And sometimes you can catch a bunch in a concentrated area.
That's fishin, Man..
The crappie are still excellent in deeper brush piles, and a few folks that are good with their electronics have found them stacked up on rocky break lines in water about fifteen or so feet deep.
Two pound fish have been very common..
Here's a couple of ugly fishermen with a few from Saturday.
Things are going about as good as can be expected down here.. We have had seven cases of the "Rona" in Zapata county. No fatalities and several recovered and a few pending..
But overall nothing very serious.
But I guess it is serious if it happens to you..
My supply line has had a few interruptions, and some of them are maddening. Fortunately right before all this shit hit the fan, Bass Champs was scheduled to be here in a week or so, and I had ordered a heaping helping of goodies for the store.. And it has sustained my stock pretty well.. But I hate it when I look across the store and see an empty hook.
And I've got a few.. But help is on the way as I have some shit that is in transit.. PTL..
And we'll be in good shape when Bass Champs makes its return on the 30th of this month..
Make your reservations now as this tournament is a "GO".
And if you need a Mexican license before the tournament, give us a call and we will get you hooked up. There are days when the Mexican license connection is non functional, like right now, but if you give us a few days notice I am sure we can take care of you..
These are peculiar times, and I have certainly never seen anything like it.. And I am sure you have not either..
Remember in the old days when we quarantined the sick, not the healthy?
And what is right or wrong is still anybody's guess in some circumstances.
The "Experts" have been none too accurate in predicting the outcome of this shit.
But I got a pretty good idea of what is going to happen if shit don't change soon..
I personally believe that there is a ton of politics and a ton of big business involved in all of this stuff.
And blaming the President for not being Nostrajesus is fucking absurd.
I shudder to think what would have happened if the Clinton regime would have been in power..
And the Democrats now saying the President was slow to act at the beginning of this Woohan shit is absolutely the most hypocritical thing I have ever heard.
Hypocrites is being nice.. Idiots.. Just trying to bring on the downfall of the US as we know it..
To what end? They are just plain Un-American..
Let me ask you a question.. If you are a Democrat.. Dyed in the wool..
Have you listened to any of Joe Biden's interviews? Have you seen him speak? With or without a teleprompter?
I don't think this man could read 'Green Eggs and Ham' without fucking it up..
If there ever was a candidate for Prevagin this man is it..
His cognitive function is about as sharp as a bowling ball.
I have no idea about his previous sexual encounters. But the Democrats know he is innocent of all charges. Just like they knew Kavanaugh was..
But they seem to be approaching it a little differently.
Hypocrite Motherfuckers.. Obstructionists.. With an Anti-American agenda that would turn our country into a third world shithole in a couple of generations..
Insulting to the hundreds of thousands that have given all to America. I hope they meet up in the afterlife and the Vets stomp a mud hole in their ass..
Of course the Vets will have to get a day pass to hell..
Well I better go have a beer and chill out.. It's AM around here.. But it's five o'clock somewhere..
Get your ass down here and catch some fish.. You ain't doing nothing anyway..
See you on the water!
April 28, 2020: It sure is good to have things kinda back to normal.. If there is such a thing in this day and age..
At least we can go fishing and get out and enjoy some sunshine. And we have had plenty of that here lately.
We have been in the nineties this week, with a little wind mixed in, but certainly fishable if you have the itch. Yesterday saw not too many boats on the water as it was a bit blustery..
The lake is dropping a bit a day, and I don't see any real relief in sight.. But I never do right before the lake fills up.. That's the way it works.. One day we are bitching about how low the lake is.. And the next day we are planning a flood party..
But it has been ten years since the last time we danced in the streets..
We due, Baby..
We're sitting around forty feet low, and a lot of you have not seen the lake at this level.. And it has been a while since we been here.. A long while..
Something good gotta happen soon..
In spite of the low water.. Or maybe because of it, the fishing has been as good as it has been in years.. Lots of quality fish being caught.. And they are absolutely the baddest fish on the planet..
As far as bass goes.. They ain't Peacocks.. But they are close..
Usually I will tell you about one bait or method that is better than other.. But currently I know people that are on patterns as different as a bag of Skittles..
Some folks are throwing nothing but crankbaits.. And some folks ain't throwing anything that ain't got a weight on it..
So what that tells me is that the fish are just plain biting..
So you might want to get your ass down here and get you some..
Rocks. And trees.. Not necessarily in the same area..
Shad are still spawning on windy rocky banks.. Get you a square bill and get after it.. You can drag a C-rig on the same points and ledges out just a little deeper..
You can flip a creature bait at a hardwood in about 0 to 6 feet and catch em.. Pay attention to the shady side like I have told you for years..
And if you are doing that you better crank that drag down.. These bastards will have you wrapped around that tree faster than a cat can lick his ass..
I don't mean to make it sound too easy.. But it has been..
I have got my ass chewed a couple of times for not posting this picture from a couple of weeks ago.. But like I said it has been strange times..
But here's a pic of Evelyn Ward with her personal best with a 9lb 6oz fish from a couple of weeks ago.. Falcon loves the Ladies..
It mighta come off the dam..
I'm not sure where all this Woohan Virus shit is headed.. But I hope this crap will make us as Americans rethink a lot of stuff.. Like where we get our stuff.. And where our stuff is made..
We can't do a lot about our elected officials that are currently in power.. But we can do a little more research on the ones we elect in the future..
And I recommend it.. Because in the big picture, they decide where America gets its imports..
It appears that we have had too many eggs in one basket, with so many of our products coming from China.
Sure we all want things to be inexpensive.. So we can buy more cheap disposable shit..
I think Americans have so much discretionary income.. And they are going to spend it on something.. Mostly because it makes you feel like you have accomplished something.. By bringing home that item that you always wanted.
I'm guilty of it too.. And when my TV dies, my new one is not getting smaller I guarantee you..
But maybe a little less materialism might be good for us.
Texas is opening up a few businesses that have been on lockdown for a while. Some partially and some full bore.. With some precautionary requirements of course.
And I think this is just in time to save the sanity of a lot of people..
We have talked about hope before. And a man without hope is a lost soul for sure..
Some of you may not have been affected by all of this shit.. But many of you have..
And I hope for you that things get a lot better in the very near future..
And I was wondering the other day, why did so many people that were not affected by all the closures, that were/are still getting paid their full salaries, Social Security, disability, retirement, etc. need to get a government check?
If your income did not change, why the need?
Just some food for thought.. Maybe they thought it was more about fairness than necessity? But it is none the less another example of government waste.. In the Billions..
Speaking of TV.. I guess most folks that have been in the quarantine/isolation/distancing mode have watched more TV than anytime in history. At least according to what I read..
I like a good movie as good as the next guy.. And we all differ as to what we think a good movie is.. I dig it..
To me a good movie has to have some car chases and wrecks of course.. Some Shootin.. A little frontal nudity ain't a bad thing..
And of course the good guys have to win in the end..
Basically anything that ain't on the Hallmark channel might work.. Oh and that British shit ain't gonna cut it either..
But I think I have watched about everything I can.. I'm at max capacity..
It's a good thing I have a shit load of Jeopardy's recorded.. I'm starting to get some of the answers right on the ones I have seen five times or more..
My wife has absolutely outlawed Tombstone, Braveheart, The Shawshank Redemption, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and the Wizard of Oz..
Although the other day I did slip in a little bit of Casablanca while she dozed off..
"Play it again, Sam."
Naw she ain't letting me play it again.. Any of em.. So I'm relegated out the the shop if I want to watch some good shit..
And if you are staying at home with your wife, full time, and you're not newly hooked up and in the infatuation stage, these can be some trying times..
I am not sure if it is better or worse with a house full of kids.. I only have experience with the former. And yes we are well past the infatuation stage.. If you get my drift..
I think if I had to stay at home all the time, and could not get out of the house, I think I would loose it..
I gotta be doing something.. Whether it is woodworking, fishing, arrowhead hunting or whatever..
Hell my yard is 100% zeroscaped and I bought a zero turn so I can mow the common areas in my subdivision..
If this arthritis shit ever sidelines me permanently, I'm not sure what I might do..
But I am going to fight it till the end..
And I recommend that you do too..
So get your ass down here and fish while you still can..
And I'll see you on the water!
April 22, 2020: It's a strange new world out there.. And here.. And everywhere you look..
With money gushing out of the government like we have tons of it.. Wonder where they are getting it.
And I think the government is part Idiot and part Genius.. And they sure as fuck need to work on the ratio..
Ah, but who gives a shit as long as we can go fishing..
And by God we have open boat ramps here in Zapata, and I asked the county to go down and clean off the ramp and Shazam!
Thanks commissioner Martinez..
And just in time because the fish are on the bite.. Fact is that the fish have been on the bite for the last three weeks.. We just couldn't get at em..
I fished Monday with John Adami and we pretty much had our way with em. Biggest went about six and a half to seven.. But we caught em every way we fished for em.
But specially in the trees.. Jimmie Like..
There is just nothing better than flipping a plastic bait in a hardwood, feeling a thump, or just something funny, and putting a Babe Ruth, Sonny Liston, Arnold Palmer, Chuck Norris or you pick the badass type of swing on em..
That's how I got all those Medina lake fish to be fourteen inches long; by stretching their necks on the hookset.. Occasionally you can turn one of them Medina fish into a projectile..
You ain't yanking these Falcon fish out of the water.. The Mo-Fo's are pumped up and full of piss and vinegar. And I mean they will flat ass put it on you and will not give up till they are out of the water..
And then they'll try to bite you..
We caught a lot of fish on Rage Craws, but I have heard of every plastic under the sun catching fish.. From baby brush hogs to senkos, to lizards to U-vibe worms..
Crankbaits and spinnerbaits are also doing well on rocks.. Nothing changed.. Fish are out points and offshore ledges..
They're on brushpiles..
Hell just go fishing..
The lake has dropped to 261.37, or almost forty feet low. Sounds bad.. And it is.. But we seen it a lot lower and there is still a lot of water out there..
Worst part of the whole thing is the lack of a concrete ramp on the south end of the lake. But with four wheel drive you will have no problem launching and retrieving your boat at the state park.
Here in Zapata we are on concrete for a long time yet.. Unless something crazy happens..
The old Veleno bridge is probably sixteen inches out of the water, so if you hit it now I am going to take away your boat operators license. If you float up..
Tommy and I went out and rounded up the buoys that were on it at one time and are working on getting them back on the bridge.. Just in case you know..
Hopefully this summer will be a wet and wild one and we can catch some water. Or we'll be seining these fish next year..
When I wrote on the 17th, I was not sure when the lake would be back to open for fishing. At least on the Texas side..
And while I had no luck with county officials opening the Zapata boat ramps, I decided I would take a different approach and contact a few folks I knew might have interest in helping get us access to the lake.
And it might have been purely coincidental that the Governor decided to open most all state parks on Monday, three days ago.
But it could also have been due to some influence exerted by two of our State Representatives, namely Lyle Larson and Tracy King.
Thank you! to both of you for your involvement..
I have been openly and actively campaigning to have the lake open back up to fishermen. And we welcome you to Zapata with open arms..
But please keep in mind we too are trying to prevent the spread of the Woohan virus, and during your visit please know that we have rules to follow here as well.
A face cover is is required when you are in public for the most part, and certainly when you are in any kind of business.
Most businesses have a notice on their doors, and often a doorkeeper to limit the number of folks inside at any time..
You know the drill by now..
And I know that fishermen are some of the most intelligent people in the world.
So I don't think we will have any problems we did not have before..
Give us a call if you have any questions at all..
Momma? Who was that Masked Man?
I don't know son.. But he left this..
April 19, 2010: It's Sunday morning and I have been awake since 5:00.. And we were not going to open today,.. But I am so bored at home.. I have painted everything I own and told the old lady I was ripping out the zero-scaping and planting carpet grass..
But I have since rethunk that..
It's less than twenty four hours before we can go fishing, and I am pumped... Kinda like a kid with a tux, a prom date, a six pack of Heineken and a couple of Trojans..
There have been a few folks fishing this week, that have launched at several locations, including driving across the dam and launching in the Salanaias.
And as the state park opens tomorrow, maybe the county of Zapata will follow suit with opening ramps here to the north..
But it's a fifty-fifty to me.. Remember your safe distancing rules and wear your Buff when in crowds..
Reports have been good.. From those that have braved it..
The flipping bite in trees from two to five feet has really come around I hear.. And cranking rocks like the dam and long points is still good.
Also a C-rig should be in your boat in the AM..
And I'll tell you what else is going to be in the boat..
See you on the water!
April 17, 2020: As we raced past the Ides with no open boat ramps, we are still working on getting some boat ramps, any boat ramp open.. And I hope to have news for you soon..
I have had to take a different tact.. Will tell you the details later..
The other day when I wrote I was a little pissed and inspired and may have gone off like a half cocked 1911..
So today's theme song is by Tom Petty.. "Don't do Me Like That."
Of course I am talking about the county.. I feel like a jilted girlfriend.. One with special skills but not that good to look at and maybe you don't want to be seen in public with..
But you know I am still staring at you from over by the popcorn stand..
The other day I focused on a lot of the bad.. But in hindsight I need to remember all the good stuff I was/am involved in; stuff that was good for the county, the town, and ultimately good for me and Falcon Lake Tackle..
The first few years we owned the store, we put on the Bass Blast! tournament every spring.. About this time of year as a matter of fact.. Business was booming.. Everybody wanted to come to Falcon, and everybody wanted to fish a tournament..
We were making money and we gave a little back feeding everyone some of the best brisket on the planet, (No bragg.. Just fact..) and giving a door prize to everyone that fished. Some bettern others of course.. And we paid back cash money 100% of the entry's..
And we had a hootin and hollerin good time, while bringing hundreds of folks to Zapata to fish and spend money..
We helped organize several Kid Fish Saturdays with great help from several oilfield company's. And several individuals put in a lot more work than me.. But every child kept their rod and reel and we gave away everything from bikes to footballs and hoola-hoops..
Natural gas was selling from 10-14 dollars a CMC back then, and raising money was easy..
It was a melee..
Now a days the C of C puts on the Kidfish event with the help of PAW and the county picks up the tab for the rest.
We donate terminal tackle and bait, but don't get hands on involved given my tenuous relationship with the C of C..
I have been a board member of the Zapata County Convention And Visitors Bureau for years..
And during that time I have secured funding for, and brought the San Antonio Metropolitan League of Bass Clubs here for their annual tournament on several occasions.
Usually a couple of hundred folks involved in a two dayer.. Plus all the clubs move their monthly tournament here the month before to prefish.
I have negotiated and landed at least three TABC state tournaments here at Falcon.. As a mater of fact we have one on the books for this October. Probably 250 fishermen and staff involved in that one.. Lots of these guys stay all week..
Recently, with the obvious lack of negotiating skills demonstrated by the C of C, I have taken over negotiations with Bass Champs, who this year, for the first time in a few, scheduled Falcon twice on their trail.
Mo Big Mahoney..
I talk up Falcon all the time and if I ain't Falcon's biggest cheerleader then I don't know who is..
I looked pretty good in them pleated skirts.. But I did destroy them pictures..
I have been highly involved in the API tourneys over the years. And I have worn a lot of hats.. I have been the weighmaster on many occasions and do fish care, and have even taken on the auctioneers role a time or two..
I can't tell you how many weighins I have done fish care at..
We have been involved in a fund raising tournament for the South Texas Food Bank.
We have held countless tourney registrations here at the shop, and have provided food and drink on more than a few occasions.
I don't have enough fingers and toes to count the times we have gone out on the water and rescued people who were broke down, and/or ignored by the Game Wardens and Border Patrol..
I could tell you some stories..
In the last few years I have gotten involved with the Catch A Special Thrill (CAST) organization. Several guides and I donate a day of fishing with auction money going directly to fund a day of fishing for special needs kids at Lake Calaveras in San Antonio.
And a shout out to all the guides that have contributed.. You know who you are and we thank you. And you will receive a special mention from me when I get through grousing here..
I can't tell you how many people and kids we have taught how to tie knots, set up a Texas rig, or C-rig here in the store..
And there is nothing I enjoy more. That's building a client base.. And throwing in a bag of old worms with dust on em don't hurt either..
I fuckin' love my job..
And over the years we have met some of the nicest people that have ever walked the earth. From every state in the union and and probably every continent on the globe.
And the pleasure has been all ours. And it is because of you that we get to do what we do.. We have had real jobs..
I like this one better..
If I seem a little upset the last couple of posts, it is certainly not with any of you guys..
It's with the management of Zapata County..
Why you wanna do me like that?
When I think about all the things I have seen down here in Zapata in my lifetime, I am reminded of the Grateful Dead song, 'What a Long Strange Trip It's Been'.
The first time I saw Falcon was 1961. I didn't drive here, but my Daddy did in a 1956 Chevy. 265 V-8 with overdrive.. But it pulled that 14' Lonestar.
That was 59 years ago.. But I got a memory like a fuckin' elephant..
We came when we could, and when I was old enough and financially able the first thing I bought was a POS boat and a POS motor but I made it work.. And I made it work on Falcon and the river above San Ygnacio.
I was making my living in San Antonio, but there was never a day gone by that I did not think about being on Falcon.
And I was here all I could and more than I could afford. But I did it cause I loved it. And luckily my boats got a little more modern as my credit grew..
In 1989 me and some buddies bought a lot just outside of Lakefront Lodge and moved a deer lease cabin there from the La Mesa over on Mines road north west of Laredo. And we built on a 20x24 addition with a breezeway and covered parking.. While we should have been fishing.
My kids grew up here on long weekends and holidays and ran amuck in the park.. It was awesome..
It was paradise with no limits and an escape from the 6 to 6 world I lived in five or six days a week.
In 2005 my brother and I got out of the deal at Lakefront, and bought a house on Yucca St, two blocks behind the store.
It was awesome and we owned it until recently.
Larry and Barbara Bridgeman opened Falcon Lake Tackle about 2000.. And I don't remember exactly when I met them, but I had to be one of their first customers.. Many of the fixtures we have in the store came from the old Redwood Lodge, where Lakeview and Aqua Bar stand today.
I got to know the Bridgeman's really well, and I started working in the store on weekends when there was a big tournament in town. Of course back then I'd be about half liquored up and would work the floor and have a blast..
Larry would always say, "James, you're a natural.. I'm drawing up the papers.."
Funny how things work out..
Larry passed away in 2007, and before did, he had become a great defender of Falcon Lake, and even started the Save Falcon Lake Association.
And had some successes with it and was instrumental in getting TPWD's attention as far as stocking Falcon went, and he was always at battle with the IWBC when it came to water issues, and was not afraid to point out the spineless US government in not enforcing the water treaty with Mexico.
I took over the website here at FLT soon after the passing of Larry. And although I knew nothing of running a website, and some say I still don't, I wasn't short on opinion or the will to share it..
I got a lot of comments early on, from non-fans.. And I always told them the same thing.. "Listen.. I am not throwing my paper in your yard.. If you don't like it, don't fuckin read it.."
It was going well.
On March 17th, 2008, my brother and I owned the tackle store.. Much to our wives disbelief..
The Stren series had finished up a national tournament in January, and the results shocked the world. I don't remember the weights. But they were Falcon Old School Impressive.
We owned the store a few months later, when the Elites came here and broke more records than the Beatles..
We got a crash course in Retail.. And after the news got out about Falcon it was too late for Katie to bar the door.
The first shit I got into around here, not counting the fucked up and evidently corrupt Chamber of Commerce of the time, (more on the current one later) was when I made a big stink about the very large numbers of big fish that were killed by the Elite tournament.
It was the first time I got called a liar and drug thru the mud by folks on the internet that knew Jack Shit about what had gone on down here.. Seems that BASS had somehow forgotten to show the dead fish on TV or even mention the dead fish.
I still got the pics.. Just like the old sniper in Shooter that still has the shovel..
The facts came out a little later and I told all them know it all motherfuckers on the internet to suck it..
But a good lesson learned.
At that point I promised to always tell you the truth. If fishing was good, I'd tell you it was good. If it sucked, I'd tell you it sucked..
And there were several occasions when I told you to quit your job and get your ass down here..
I'd almost tell you that now, but fuck, most of us don't have a job, and we can't get on the lake.. (more on that soon)
We've had a few other problems around here to deal with as well..
We had record flooding in 2010.. Which shut down the lake for a couple of weeks because the Coast Guard of all people said that the results from it would not have a significant impact on local businesses.. Well I guess at least it had insignificant impact on their paychecks..
Still got the letter from the Admiral.. Just like those pics and that shovel..
Right in there came the saga of the Hartleys.. And to this day Falcon is still considered a war zone by many across the country..
And I have had way too many conversations about that subject..
Then we had the period of the "Pirates" on Falcon.
What a fun time that was.
I have also had plenty of conversations with the IWBC.
Many battles over the old bridge in the Veleno, and trying to keep it marked.. Most of the time I had to do it myself with my own makeshift materials. (Thanks to those many of you who have helped me over the years)
We fought illegal netting for years till PAW decided that we weren't exaggerating about how bad it was. And now we have a full contingent of wardens here, although they would rather chase bad guys on the road than on the lake.
We fought with PAW about the alligator gar numbers in this lake. And after five years of study they agreed we have a crazy number of them. And raised our daily limit to five per day per angler here on Falcon.. And their numbers are still growing.. These gar ain't like your gar.. All those samplings and testing's were done here at FLT.
We have fought and cursed fishermen who come here and fillet giant bass like crappie..
We worked with TPWD to design and test the best fish care oxygen system in the world to help protect the giant sacks of tournament fish caught here on Falcon
We saw the construction of the new County Park and pavilion.
And we fought with TX Dot over a massive fish kill that occurred while the new bridge over the Veleno was being constructed. Still got the pics..
And got their contractor to do improvements at the new pavilion to allow for drive thru weigh ins. In exchange for a hold-harmless clause regarding the fish kill.
Somewhere in there I had a five year running battle with TPWD about the Sharelunker Program. Seems I liked facts and they liked hype and publicity..
BTW.. It still has not made any bigger fish in Texas..
Somewhere in there I was appointed to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee. (Still got the letter from Peter Holt.)
After two years of running all over the state and finding out that advising was the last thing I was doing, I resigned.
I guess it looks good on your resume..
Until very lately most of my fight has been regarding Cormorants.. Talk about a virus.. These son of a bitches kill the host from the inside out and leave you with a shell of what you once were..
But I guess there is always something more important..
Today our county commissioners court decided that it is just too dangerous for you to launch your boat and go fishing.
While allowing ten things I can think of that are ten times more likey to get someone to pass on the Chinese virus.
Follow the money..
Of all the things I have had to fight for, and defend Zapata and Falcon about, this one hurts the most..
And I am sure I have left out a bunch..
I never dreamed that we would become our own worst enemies..
It's gonna make me rethink a few things..
I am sure we will get past this.. And one day it will all be a bad memory. And this was not the report that I was hoping to write today.
I will keep you updated.. When I know something, you will..
April 14, 2020: Well.. Over the years I have seen some bullshit.. But I probably just saw the biggest pile I have seen..
The Zapata Commissioners Court decided that people fishing from boats were a danger to society, and that all Zapata county boat ramps, public and private, will remain closed at least for another week, and maybe thru the end of the month.. And then who knows when..
Seems they don't want people coming to town. Staying in our motels, eating at our restaurants, (take out only) buying our products and using our services.
Oh except if you are working on the windmills.. We currently have a couple of hundred windmill workers staying at our motels and RV parks, eating our restaurant food, going to grocery stores, gas stations, taco houses... Yada, Yada..
But I guess those folks are immune to the Woohan.. And from spreading it..
And they have trucks by the hundreds coming and going out of our county all day long, six or seven days a week.
Seems a little hypocritical don't you think?
We just need to hunker down and get past this and suck it up and tighten our belts and...
But don't worry I am sure they are still getting their checks each month.. So you don't have to worry about the ruling class going hungry..
Do I sound a little pissed off? Yeah.. Hell Yeah..
And I am sure it is going to get worse..
Not sure what the State Park is planning.. But I will let you know when I hear anything about anything.
But right now I am too pissed off to write.. I'm sure I will give you an update soon..
April 8, 2020: It's been an interesting couple of days down here. Days mixed with good news and bad.
The good news is that the fish have gone crazy, and a LOT of fish have been caught. The fish have finally gone to the woods in a lot of places, and flipping and spinner baiting them has been easy.
You can still crank em and Carolina rig em as well, on most any rocky area.. From shallow to deep..
It has been good/awesome..
But here is the bad news..
In a move that defies any logic, at least to me, and I make Mr. Spock look like a third grader; Our county fathers have decided to close all boat ramps in Zapata County, public and private..
I probably don't have to tell you what my opinion of this is..
But you know I am gonna..
Here's a copy of a letter to the editor that will appear in tomorrows paper..
An Open Letter To The County Judge and Commissioners
This week in emergency session, you, the court, decided to close access to the lake via all public and private boat ramps.
Besides being unconstitutional, you have overreacted in a manner that not only affects businesses, who are already struggling, it also affects the wellbeing of many people, who are practicing proper social distancing, while getting some exercise and and escaping from the prisons of their own homes.
You are denying two of the tenants of the Declaration of Independence by denying the people their right to Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
I can understand the closure of the County Park on Easter weekend, with the history of local celebration of the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I don't like it.. But I understand it..
Many people and families gather together there in large groups in celebrations that are anticipated for months.
And right now we all understand the need for separation of peoples, as hard as it is on families and friends.
We'll get past it.
But there is no way that familial members, fishing together, or alone, from a boat, out in our wonderful 40,000 acre playground, pose any threat to the general wellbeing of our community.
If you must, close the park and all other boat ramps to gatherings. But allow the launch and retrieval of watercraft, where no rules of safe distancing will be violated.
A little common sense here will go a long way and will help with the drudgery of waiting out this time in purgatory till this dark period in time passes.
I implore you to do the right thing, and give us our access back to the park and the lake WE own.
I'll be in commissioners court on next Tuesday, saying my piece..
And hopefully you won't have to come bail me out of jail.
If you would like to express your opinion to the county, in favor of opening or closing the ramps, the number to call is 956-765-9920.
I'll keep you posted.
I am sure by now you know that the state has closed the state park.. While the national park on Amistad remains open.
April 6, 2020: This morning the Zapata County Commissioners court decided to close the Zapata County Park, including the boat ramp.
Which to me is stupid.. Or at least that is the word I will use.. I can think of a few others. Go figure.. I understand the desire to keep the general public from gathering..
But what better way to isolate yourself than in a boat out on the lake..
Easter is is a big time here in Zapata.. And I understand the Pachangas that go on down at the County Park get big and a lot of folks are in the same area.. And I can understand them trying to stop that.
I told then to rope off the area but leave the ramp alone.. But they say they don't have the resources to keep the people out.. So they'll lock the gate..
But all those people that would gather at the county park will still gather somewhere else..
I am currently not sure about the ramps at Tiger Island and at Beacon or the State Park for that matter. At 9:00 this am I could contact no one at the state park, and their website still says they are open..
Will advise when anything changes..
April 4, 2020: I'd sure like to have a time machine.. That could jump the planet to about four months from now..
Of course if I didn't like what I saw, I'd want to come back..
Seems we're stuck in a temporal time loop.. Every day seems the same.. Waiting for some good news..
Damn.. I just read that and it sounds really depressing.. Because it it..
All we hear about is doom and gloom.. If that is all we listen to.. People preaching doom and gloom.
I've pretty much quit it.. Information overload.. And most of it is pure speculation anyway..
And if you dwell on the doom and gloom, guess what you are going to get..
Doomier and gloomier..
I know that things pretty much suck for a lot of folks.. Especially if you are stuck in a big metropolitan area and there are not a lot of places to escape to.. Guess it is a good time to paint the house and trim the trees..
Anything to keep your sanity..
Hang in there folks. One day this will all be a bad memory.. And hopefully a learning experience for all..
If you're one of the lucky ones, you might be able to slip off to the lake or river in your part of the world.. And wet a line..
Down here, in the middle of BFE, things are pretty quiet as well.. But folks are still taking the kids to the lake for some time out of the house..
Locally, the county has decreed that no gatherings may occur at the lake, except for familial units.. People living under the same roof basically.
You have probably heard me talk about it in the past. Easter weekend is the biggest throwdown of the year in Zapata.
Folks have their area at the lake staked out for a week in anticipation of big family and friend gatherings.
Not this year..
And this year will be the first in many that we have not all gathered at the ranch to celebrate the Risen Christ..
Seems like a strange dream..
Zapata county as its first confirmed case of the Woohan virus.. I would think there are more, but who really knows without testing every soul in the county. Just FYI..
Meanwhile.. The fishing is about as good as it has been in months.. Maybe years.. The years might be a stretch, but it has been really good.
There are few folks fishing, but the ones that are have mostly been spanking them.. Especially on the south end of the lake. Nothing has changed.. Mostly on rock.. But some flipping fish have also appeared on creek channels in the hardwoods..
Jim Klick caught this monster on Tuesday.. 12.31 pounds..
I was going today, but believe it or not, it is raining.. We have had a half inch overnight.. More than we have had in a single event since I can't remember when.. With the possibility for more..
The state park ramp is about out of service as of today.. People still used it yesterday, but I hear it was minimal.. Don't know what will happen with local rainfall or releases if the valley gets wet.. But it does not look like a washout just yet.
I'll keep you posted on local events and any news that might make a shit.. But the lake is still available to fishermen and what better way is there to pass the time than by fishing out in the middle of nowhere..
That's my kind of quarantine..
Give us a call if you have any questions concerning Zapata and Falcon Lake.
And we'll see you when we can..
April 2, 2020: It's the day after April fools day.. And I didn't hear one April fools day joke that was was worth repeating..
I guess nobody is in the mood for a bunch of silliness with all the Corona/Woohan/Chinese virus bullshit going on..
Every year I keep thinking this is the year I'm gonna do it..
I'm gonna write a official looking press release and make it look like it came from PAW..
To the effect that PAW, in its continuing efforts to keep the Alligator gar species thriving in Texas, will be transplanting 154 Mature Alligator Gar, varying in size from four feet to six feet in length, from Falcon International Reservoir, to Lake Fork.
Alligator gar, (Atractosteus spatula) have been widely extirpated from many of its once native northern waters, and we feel that many more people would be able to pursue and enjoy the benefits of these fish being added to the bountiful waters of Lake Fork.
And then sit back and watch the heads explode..
Shit I think it would be funny anyway.. But the folks at PAW would probably get all pissed..
But as I recall, they have been pissed at me before..
Hell. Then we could trap about 10,000 cormorants.. Clip their wings so they couldn't fly for a year or so, and take them up to Fork also.. They could still dive and swim just fine..
So people would not have to drive all the way down here to stare at these magnificent birds thru their binoculars..
Think what a boon it would be for the NE Texas economy..
Maybe next year..
Meanwhile.. Back at the ranch..
Fishing remains very good down here.. Although I read in the TPWD report that the bass fishing is good around flooded vegetation.. That's a good one.. There ain't any..
But the bass are very active on rocks.. Those you see and them you don't.. Lots of three pound meanies..
And a few like this 10.21 Larry Ward caught..
Got a tail like a push broom..
I hear that crappie are increasing to fair.. Shit we been murdering them big motherfuckers.. So if it is getting better, I need to get my ass out there..
They got close on the Catfish thing.. They say good.. I say great.. Especially when the river was running.. Big MO-FO's and lots of em.. Jug liners have been wearing them out.. As have the rod and reelers..
Speaking of the river running.. It ain't.. Releases from Amistad have been cut to about 2K CFS.. And we're still releasing about 9000 CFS..
Dropping like the stock market.
Good reports are still coming from the rip-rap on the dam.. Best quality of fish coming from there. Still.
It can be a little tough practicing your social distancing along those rocks.. Popular area.. For good reason..
Your favorite bait will catch them.. An underspin with a little swimbait. A squarebill in shad pattern.. A Carolina rig.. Deeper divers on the mid depth rocks.. Spinnerbaits..
In general the fish are biting.. You might find something that works better one day than the next.. But like usual it is almost always about being around feeding fish.
And after basically a two month hiatus, the fish have the feedbag on..
I really wish Bass Champs would have been able to come on their scheduled date. I think you'd have seen a shitload of limits, and some very decent weights in the top ten..
Hopefully in a few weeks we will see things start returning to normal.. And maybe we can get a few tournaments in before it is all over.
If and when we do have some tournies back here at Falcon, I think it would be prudent to consider a three fish limit if we are fishing in 80 plus degree water..
Food for thought..
Last night I was watching the news on FOX.. Whooda guessed it. I like to check in for an hour or so a day.. That's all you need.. Trust me..
Anyway she had a doctor on there.. Stephen Smith. He was talking about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine against the Woohan virus.. And in the patients he has treated with it, it has had tremendous results.
And he actually said that he believes that this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic..
Much has been made of this malaria drug as of late, including statements by the President. Haven't heard a bad thing about it..What I want to know is why in the fuck isn't every patient with positive testing for the virus being treated with it?
Supposedly it is cheap and plentiful and has a long history of being safe..
Maybe that is the problem. It is cheap and plentiful and there is no money to be made by Big Pharma..
Naw.. No way they'd put dollars ahead of public safety..
In any case.. Pull the rag out of your asses and start using this stuff on a giant sample of people.. And do it now..
Evidently we have nothing to loose.. And neither do those that are infected..
I should rephrase that. Yes.. Many people have everything to loose..
The American People are as resilient a race (Yes we are all one) as exists on the planet.
But even the most hardened of us desperately want to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
For a man without hope is certainly in dire straights.
Nerves are frayed and people are living in fear of the unknown..
And to those of you who are, let me suggest that you focus on the known.
There is not a food shortage.. Or a toilet paper shortage. The electricity is not going off..
Communication with family and landlords and creditors is a must.
And all of them are going to need you when this shit is over..
I know many of you are going a bit stir crazy.. But hang in there.. Better days are coming soon..
And you'll want to be around to enjoy them, I promise..
Keep the Faith America..
You may or may not believe in God.. But HE Believes In You..
March 31, 2020: Well the end of the month is here, and I will have to say that it ended unlike any other March I have spent in Zapata.. Or anywhere else for that matter..
The locals are getting a bit restless, and I am sure that is true no matter what town you live in. I'm just glad that we have a lake and a lot of open area to enjoy while we wait out this Woohan bullshit..
We are still open, and will remain so for the foreseeable future, as we have been designated an essential business for the preservation of personal sanity in a non forward area.
We have sold every cast net, Zebco 33 combo, baitcast combo, pyramid weight, and catfish hook we had in stock..
Well not really. But we have sold a shit load of em..
Of course the local kids are all out of school, and a lot of folks have taken the kids to the lake as a way to break up the day.
We have sold a shit ton of ammo and a few firearms, and I hear that more FBI background checks were done in the last few weeks than in any similar period in history..
It appears that Woohan is better at selling guns than even Obamma..
If you are down here fishing, you are probably dealing with this shit as good as anyone can.
So about the fishing.. I have fished the last two days, both as the guest of others, and we caught a bunch of fish. But no whoppers.
Neither day did I make a cast directed at a tree.. But I'm getting used to it. And a Carolina rig is becoming my new best friend. (Really I despise the son of a bitch but it sure is catching fish)
Catching fish is all about being around rock, whether it is near the shore, or out in the middle of the lake. Rock ledges, rock flats, rock points.. I really like feeling my sinker going clank, clank, clank on the gravel.. Cause I know I'm about to get bit..
Now don't get me wrong.. It ain't the only way to catch a fish.
A crankbait is still catching a lot of fish as well.. As is a spinnerbait.
I think mostly it is just that the fish are in an eating mood.. And they are fat and sassy.. And mean..
Water temps yesterday were about 76°. We have had a few undulations from there.. And been around eighty a few days.. But that's about the norm..
We are hemmoraging water right now, as Amistad has greatly reduced the amount of water being released. And we are loosing about two inches a day.. Maybe more as the river flattens out..
State park concrete ramp still working as of now, but for how long I don't know.. But you will always be able to launch down on the point.
County ramp here in Zapata is fine.. No probs.. It is a little like Twiggy though.. Pretty flat..
The old Veleno Bridge is still about six or eight inches under water.. And definitely in the danger zone.. We are working on getting it marked better.. Stay tuned.. And stay to the west bank going out of the Veleno!
I fished with Matt Reed yesterday, and as is often the case when I fish with one of our local guides, we do a lot of looking and poking around. Hell, I am just glad to get outside..
We did not catch a fish over four pounds, but we caught a bunch of three pound meanies..
After fishing with Jay a couple of weeks ago in his new Ranger, and with Matt in a new Nitro, both 21 foot boats, I'll have to admit that the new Mercury 250 four stroke is a beastly motor out of the hole.
Of course I have been running the Yamaha SHO for eight years, and all I can say that it is about time Merc caught up with Yamaha in the torque department..
Totally changed the driving and riding experience in those two boats compared to the Optimax.
There's my motor review for the year.. Although I do miss the smell of two stroke smoke..
But I still have my weed whacker..
I know there are a lot of folks working from home, and you are the lucky ones.
I know there are a lot of folks at home and not working at all due to this latest Chinese export.
And I feel for all of you/us. Such a total disruption to your daily life, plus for very many a giant loss of income, and living with the fear of contracting this shit.
As Americans, it is certainly not something we are used to.
Maybe when this shit passes, and it will, we will come away with a more appreciative attitude about where we live, and how we live.
Maybe we will learn to not take everything for granted. That it will always be there.
Maybe we will learn to put some money away for a rainy day.. Cause there is a monsoon a blowing..
Maybe we will learn a little more respect for our fellow man.
Maybe we will learn to be a little more generous in our thoughts and deeds.
And maybe we will learn that God should be our first option, not our last one..
Like all things in life, this is a numbers game.. And I wish you and yours the best as we get through this tough time. But there is no doubt that all of us will be touched by this in some way before it is over..
Hang tough, because that is what Americans do.. And to our international friends, and we have met many of you, yall hang in there as well.
And we hope to see all of you as soon as we are able.
If you need to talk to us or have questions about anything give us a call or e-mail me at James@falconlaketackle.com
I'm bored to death as well, so send me an e-mail to keep us both awake..
Come fishing if you can.. It's good.. And Zapata is a good place to hide and stay to yourself.
See you soon I hope..
March 26, 2020:
If you're feeling a little stir crazy, this might be a good time to escape the bonds of matrimony and and get your ass down here before the world comes to an end..
Fishing is good, and fishing is good therapy..
And I heard that two stroke smoke will kill the virus.. Or at least it might..
Breathe deep, the gathering gloom, start your outboard in an enclosed room..
People are certainly crazy, and I ain't seen this much commotion since Gilligan filleted Flipper..
Ramps at both ends of the lake are still open, with no plans to close either I hear. If you have been to Zapata, you know there ain't too much to do here but work and fish.. And a lot of folks aren't working, so fishing has become a way to kill a few hours for the locals.
And seriously, and I am rarely serious, what is a better way to get away from people than to get out on a boat in the middle of nowhere and away from the crowds and go fishing.
Might help you keep your sanity..
I rarely write anything without bitching about something so I want to interject a complaint about a fisherman..
Some low bred son of a bitch threw out twenty catfish carcases right on the boat ramp here at the county ramp.
What the fuck..
There are dumpsters all over the place. There are 5000 acres of brush and creek beds around the boat ramp.. What kind of asshole does shit like that..
I have no idea who did it, but that is total bullshit. We talk about respect for others.. That is about the most inconsiderate crap anybody could do to other fishermen.
I hear rumors that the park service at Amistad is going to close the lake. That's more bullshit.. I can understand postponing tournaments and gatherings. But telling individuals they can't go fishing is beyond the pale..
Like I said before, what's a better way to be sequestered..
The people making these decisions are Covidiots.. And farther crippling the livelihoods of those that support their local economies..
You splain it to me Lucy..
All I can say to you is that we are still here. We are taking common sense precautions with those we see and serve.
And we've got plenty of room for you if you need to get away..
Keep the faith folks. We'll get through this mess and get the wheels back on her soon..
Holler at us if we can answer any questions about local conditions.
Every species we have are biting good, and even the flipping bite has re-appeared.. And we'll be glad to point you in the right direction..
Hope to see you before too long..
March 24, 2020: It has been a busy week around here, with a lot of folks doing what they can to keep from going crazy. This living at home with Mama and the kids is a little tougher that it sounds..
There are a few frayed nerves around I am sure.. But in the big picture, it is an opportunity for a little family bonding.. Or Not..
We have had some fishermen of both sexes come down, either to just get away, or to do some social distancing of the finest kind.
And the fish have not disappointed either..
Catches of good numbers of fish have been reported every day. A few whoppers have been caught, but it appears that the two to five pound fish have been most active.
Crankbaits and spinnerbaits on rock have been very good. The dam continues to produce fish, from one end to the other. Points, especially with a ledge on one side have been particularly good.
Rocks.. Rocks with drops.. Yeah, that's the ticket.
I also talked to a fellow yesterday that caught some fish flipping trees. In five foot of water.. Not Six.. Not four.. Said they were really particular about the depth..
We are seeing more and more spawned out fish, and it is about time. But there are still some fish with a gut full of eggs that have not dommminoed just yet.. Ain't sure how long they can wait..
Main lake and secondary points are seeing a ton of shad still up spawning on the rocks. Incredible numbers.. So thick you can catch a bucketful with a crankbait. Well.. If you're there a while.. But I mean there is a shitload of em..
And where the bait is, the bass are.. And the white bass.. And the crappie..
The white bass can be a nuisance in some places, and you can catch one every cast. And if you are looking for some meat for the freezer these fish are ready to fill the void.
The crappie are back in the brushpiles, but you can still catch them on scattered hardwoods as well.
Overall, the fishing here is good for all species, including catfish. We had some buddy's down last weekend and they whacked em on jug lines. But the rod and reel fishermen are doing really good as well..
Bait is easy to catch, and a big shad will get you bit by something.. No telling what.. You better keep an eye on that rod..
We have no problems here with the ramps at either end of the lake. We are holding pretty steady currently, as the imput and output are similar. We'll see how that holds up..
We had the biggest rain we have had in months last weekend. .4 Yep 4/10 and it was glorious..
We have sold a ton of ammunition lately.. Seems that folks are a little freaked out.. Our town is about wiped out of toilet paper (that's funny... Wiped out..) and ammunition..
So I guess if you can shoot and shit you are good to go..
Our store shelves are doing pretty good at keeping up with the hoarders.. But if you run out of toilet paper, remember that there is finally a good use for most of the newspapers across the country.. There's mostly shit in them, so it will be fine to put some shit on them..
But what someone is going to do with 12 dozen eggs I don't know.
If it was Halloween back in the 70's I could understand..
We don't have a supply problem.. We have an idiot problem.
Which is being fueled by the liberal fradie cats and a few generations of pussies that have never had to deal with any kind of adversity on their own.
In any case we have plenty of room for you to isolate yourselves down here in Zapata. The fishing is good and you can eat what you catch and not even have to go to the store..
I'll report before too long on what is happening.. But Falcon Lake is open for business, and so are we..
Come see us.. Cause, what else you gonna do?
March 17, 2020: When I moved to Zapata about twelve years ago, I remember writing about a lot of hysteria going on here in Zapata county. And people were flocking to Zapata by the truckloads, in spite of near four dollar a gallon gas..
Why? Cause there was a ten pounder in every inundated tree..
Today there is hysteria nationwide, but not so much here in Zapata.. And gas is selling as low as a buck fifty in some places..
Which certainly does not make for a good Texas economy.. Oil and its offshoots are top dog in the Lone Star state.
Times change, and rather quickly it seems.. The last ten years are a blur.. And I hope the hard time we are all going thru right now will just be a bad memory in a month or two..
If I wasn't an optimist, I'd have checked out long ago..
Here in Zapata, things are not as wild as I hear tell in other parts of the country and state. We are not out of toilet paper, water, soaps and cleaners, and we are not out of common sense either.. (edit: It could be starting)
There are certainly a few folks in town that have bought up a years supply of the above.. But it is a long way from crazy.
And the re-supply chain seems to be holding up pretty good.
The re-supply chain is also holding up pretty good in the tackle business. And my suppliers tell me there are not much changes as of yet in their chain of merchandise from manufacturers.
And I just ordered a shit load of stuff in preparation for the Bass Champs tournament scheduled for next weekend..
Which is no longer scheduled for next weekend, as you probably know by now.
Bass Champs has re-scheduled their Falcon number two tournament for May 30, which is a good ways off. And by then this Wuhan virus shit will hopefully be a bad memory.
And it is a damn shame, because the fishing here on Falcon has been better than it has been all year. And I was looking for some big sacks to make it to the scales..
But hell if you ain't skeered and you already got a kitchen pass for that weakened, get your ass down here.. We ain't Fork.. We don't fish within six feet each other so you should be good to go..
And if you call in your order, we will just step out the door and throw it at you from a distance..
I had a mean slider in High school. But my accuracy was less than Smoltz like.. And I was known to crack a few ribs..
But I think I can still land em in your boat..
As of today, I have not heard of any cases of Corona in Zapata. Except for the local retailers, of course.. They also have them in six and twelve packs..
Here in Zapata we are taking a few other steps to prevent the transfer of the virus due to face to face contact.. No kissing during sex, and for the next thirty days it will be doggie style only...
There have been a lot of fish caught lately.. And on a lot of different baits.. Of course all this is due to the fact that the fish have in general gotten a lot more active.
Water temps are in the low to middle seventies, and I mean that the shad spawn is ON and they are all over the bank. The last three times I fished I have caught a lot of shad on crankbaits.. A lot.. And often you can feel your bait bouncing off of them on the retrieve..
And the fish ain't far from the food supply. From the Salanaias to the Veleno, they are thick.
The locals are throwing a cast net twice and catching all the bait they need.. Three weeks ago you would wear out a good set of arms to catch a dozen..
We have caught nearly a foot and a half of water, but like I said, I don't think this water will take up permanent residence here.
The state park ramp is working fine back on the concrete. It isn't overly deep there at the end of the ramp.. But it is certainly deep enough to launch whatever boat you have. You might keep your motor trimmed up to keep your water intake a bit farther from the silt..
The old Veleno bridge is back under water, but CERTAINLY NOT deep enough to drive over. Stay to the west exiting the home creek.
The river is dirty down to at least marker nine, and south of that it starts to clear up.. Pierce's south looks awesome.. Falcon Green..
Carolina rigs are still catching a lot of fish. Smaller baits like a U-vibe worm or a super fluke are doing well.. Tie you up about a twenty inch leader with a 3/4 oz tungsten weight and drag it around like a pull toy..
Pay attention to your line and if you can't find your bait you better be jerking.. Cause something done got ahold of you..
Crankbaits from square bills to DD-22's are catching a lot of fish.. And quality fish are being caught on it as well..
And a bait that has really come on strong is the spinnerbait.. We have a great selection of the Jo-Baby's in stock. And they are catching fish..
Here's a few recent fish..
Carl Vance caught this DD..
Young Luke Standerfer caught this new PB at about 8.5..
Mark caught this 11.5 and a 7 off the rocks..
Mrs. Montz caught this DD yesterday..
I fished with Jay on Sunday in his new boat, on a virgin ride.. Being I am experienced with virgins.. (It's a Catholic thing.)
And I busted that hymen with the first fish in the new boat.. I didn't want to.. But I couldn't help myself.. But don't worry.. Doggy style rule was in effect..
But what amazed me is that we actually caught four or five fish flipping trees.. I remember why I like it so much.
A six inch senko was the best bait in the trees.. Although I did catch a nice one on a POM..
We also cranked the Mexican Rip-Rap and Jay caught a rod and reel.. A Garcia rod with a Shimano reel on it.. If you can answer a few questions you can pick it up here at the shop..
Overall I am going to give the fishing a 7.5. Which is way up from anything we have had lately..
This Woohan Chinese shit that is going around certainly has a lot of folks on edge.. I can't say I don't pay any attention to it.. But I am certainly not letting it consume my life. But I sure have a song in my head by The Knack.. I have written several new stanzas of it as well. But when I went on You Tube a lot of pro's had already beaten me to the punch..
There's a way to waste a hour or two..
Here at FLT we have our own Woohan Wipeout Officer.. TCB, baby..
This is the only case of Corona Virus I have seen caught in Zapata so far..
You know that I have been talking for years about the Chinese. Not so much the people in general, but their totalitarian government and their lack of respect for the planet and their own people.
And I can't understand why we keep buying their lead infested shit anyway.. Or maybe I can.. Cause we want cheap shit..
Might be time to rethink that..
These Son of a Bitches are communists after all.. But then again I think half of our country is leaning that way.. Maybe this will open some of them stupid fuckers minds.. But I doubt it..
But communism is what you get when you are willing to turn your ass up.. And you ain't going to be the one who decides where you go and what you do.. You'll be taken care of by the government. Yeah.. Just like in China..
Well you folks might want to get down here and do some fishing before the end of the world. And maybe you can pick up some toilet paper while you are here.. I got reprimanded yesterday for leaving an extra roll out in the executive shitter..
But I will admit.. When you need it, you need it.. Jeez I hope a national case of the scowers (sp) don't set in.. Or the shit is really going to hit the fan..
So take care of yourself, take reasonable precautions, and we'll get by fine..
I've got a big pot of boiling water out in the shop.. And I'm fixin to go dunk Chicken Little in it..
See you on the water!
P.S. Just heard that Zapata is closing restaurants dining rooms.. To go food only for two weeks..
Here we go!
Editorial note: I don't mean to make too light of the current situation. But I think a little humor is a necessity in all things.. So I am here for a little comic relief. Be smart.. Take care of yourself.. And leave a roll for the next guy..
March 10, 2020: We're five days away from the Ides, and the fish have finally decided to bite a little.. Or in some cases, a lot.. Fishing has been good, especially for those in the know.
A few giant fish have been caught, but a lot of three to eight pound fish have have been brought to the boat as of late.
For those of us who want to catch the fish in the trees.. Well it still ain't happening.. At least not a lot..
Best numbers have been on rock.. And some of the best numbers for size have been right on the dam. Fishing the rip-rap from one end to the other has produced some really nice fish.. Like this 12.8 that David Williams caught..
And his Buddy Michael caught a good one there as well.. But they caught a lot of really good fish off the dam.. And that is all they fished for a week..
And like always, when the dam gets hot, it can be a little busy down there.. It can be downright Forkish..
There are a lot of ways to catch fish off the dam right now.. And if you can think of a way, I am sure it is being used.. But the two best are crankbaits and slow rolled spinnerbaits. That 12.8 shown above was caught on a squarebill two feet off the rock.. Go figure. That means even I have a chance..
But the dam ain't the only place that fish are being caught.. ANY sloping rocky point can produce fish right now. It is the bite we have been waiting for..
Well not the bite I have been waiting for.. I want em in the fuckin' trees... But they ain't there yet..
Me and a lot of my wood loving brethren have beat em to death.. With 10% of the success that rock hounds are having..
I'm starting to like rock..
We also have a population of spotted bass in Falcon.
I fished yesterday with a buddy and we caught em pretty good on long sloping points. Well actually one long sloping point.. We never really moved.
I caught em on a Spro mid running crankbait and on a Carolina rig.. A super fluke worked well on the C-rig.
And the white bass were lousy as well.. Had to wade thru em to catch a bass.. And I don't know how many shad we foul hooked with the crankbaits..
The shad spawn is well underway, and the point we were fishing yesterday was loaded with em. Sometimes you could feel your crankbait bumping them while you reeled..
And my wife says I'm not sensitive..
If your bait suddenly felt like it wadn't running right.. Yep. Big ole shad on one of the hooks.
I did not throw a spinnerbait, but I probably should have. But when something is working I try not to fix it.. But the Blade report has been really good the last week..
I spoke to three or four guides yesterday, and all of
them had thirty to fifty fish. And a few folks that have been down here a while
have had similar results. And some thirty pound plus stringers have been
Finally.. Good fishing has landed on us.. Bout freakin time..
Giant crappie are also being caught in good numbers as well. Brushpiles and hardwoods.. True two pounders.. I told you so..
I do believe that we are seeing the start of the spawn.. I guess these fish have finally decided if they are going to get it done they better start.. And why they are not spawning at the bases of the freakin hardwoods I just don't know..
Most of the fish we see are still all bellied up.. But is has started I do believe..
It has been a weird weather year, but ain't they all. We have now had consistent water temps and warm nights the last week. And I think that is the key to having active fish. Water temps right under seventy most days.. Your results may vary depending on sun and location and time of day.
We have had one or two day flashes of good fishing.. But this has been the best warm streak we have had this spring.
Another consideration is that the shad have been out deeper for the last two months.. And with the warming water moving them shallow, it certainly hasn't hurt the accessibility of the fish.. They have certainly followed the bait up in a lot of spots.
The lake has come up about six inches with the releases from Amistad. But we are passing a lot of water through. And I hear tell that boats are launching back on the concrete at the state park. Guys with metal boats tell me it is no sweat.. And even some bigger boats are doing it as well.
The Veleno bridge peeked out of the water last Saturday, but it has gone back out of sight. If you are coming here and don't know about it.. Please stop in here and ask.. It will fuck up your day.. (Not coming in here.. Hitting the bridge.)
The Water in the river and up here on the north end of the lake is dirty and has some debris in it.. But not bad.. But.. You should be on the lookout for some floaters on the upper end of the lake.
Well it is that time of year again.. Time for me to beat on you fishing philanthropists for some help.
If you have been reading this site for long, you know that I get involved with the Catch A Special Thrill organization every spring and try and help raise funds for a special day of fishing for some kids much less fortunate than you and me..
My timing might not be the best given the current stock market turmoil.. But hell I am only talking about a couple of shares of Apple.. At current prices..
In any case, C.A.S.T. will again, this May second and third, host eighty special needs children for a day of fishing at Calaveras Lake in San Antonio. TPWD will be stocking a netted off cove with channel catfish for the participants to angle.
The kids are mentored by many volunteers and taught some basic fishing skills that can stick with them for life.
Each child is provided with a Lew's rod and reel and a Flambeau tackle box which is theirs to take home for use in future adventures with their families.
Lunch and an awards ceremony follow the morning of fishing.
Many of these kids would NEVER get the opportunity without the efforts of all the afore mentioned.
In any case, the following guides, in no particular order, have given a day of their equipment and services, in order to finance this operation for the day.
Instead of the old auction style we have gone to a Buy It Now type of deal so you know when you bid, you will win the trip.
All of these guides will sell for $600 on a first come first served basis.
The guides for this years auction are:
If you are interested in fishing with one of these full time guides, and contribute to a great cause, e-mail Jim Behnken at email@example.com
Or if you would like to make a donation of any size, you may also e-mail Jim, or drop off your donation here at FLT.
You can't spend your money any better..
Thanks for your help!
On a different note, back to topics of the lake, we have been blessed with the presence of the United States Coast Guard for the last ten days or so..
And many of you, who have been here a while, and have been inspected three or four times, have my sympathy.. I feel your pain.. But hopefully, like a bad cold sore, they will be gone soon and forgotten shortly thereafter.
I understand they are doing training.. I guess they are out of room at the ocean..
TPWD is also in a collective mode, with a lot of officers down here, wasting a lot of money and fuel..
I'm not going into the description of all I have witnessed the last week..
But don't worry.. Evidently both the state government and the Feds have plenty of money to spend.
If you are worried about traveling during spring break, due to the Corona virus, let me put your mind at ease.. Zapata is a Corona free zone.
That is, there have been no reported cases of the virus in Zapata, and you know we have a crack team working on it down here..
Or either that team is on crack.. One or the other.. I can't remember which..
But anyway I don't think you'll get infected by some bat eating Chinaman in these parts..
So load up the kids and get your ass down here for some desert bassin..
The fish are biting, and the bugs are not..
See you on the water!
March 4, 2020: The Bi-Polar fishing continues down in our part of the country.. One day it's hot.. The next it is not..
But the more days that we keep the nights out of the forties and fifties, the more consistent it will get.
You noted at the top of this report that I said March.. Winter is supposed to be a bad memory down here by now. But last week we had one night in the middle thirties, and a couple in the forties.
Lets hope that shit is strictly in the rearview..
Looking at national weather maps, I see that winter is far from over in other places.. Yall enjoy..
The last couple of days down here have been awesome.. Highs in the middle eighties, and more cooperative fish.. At On Rocks.. On Rocks..
The flipping bite still sucks.. And I can attribute to that. Yesterday I flipped two hundred trees.. And caught zero fish on them.. After I pulled my head out of my ass and started throwing some crankbaits on points, I caught a few fish..But I want them fish to be on trees.. I want to flip an Ol Monster in there, feel that thump, and proceed to break their fricken neck..
Yeah.. But that shit ain't happening.. I have fished a lot lately.. At least by my wintertime standards.. And on my last three outings I have flipped several different baits at standing timber.. Good stuff.. And have had ZERO bites in the woods..
And I'm not talking about flipping eight or ten trees in a small area.. I have literally beat up more wood than a carpenters helper with a 24 ounce Estwing.. In some of the prettiest water on earth..
I have heard of some C-rig fish.. And they are throwing them on rock for the most part of course.. And it don't hurt if your sinker lands in the water and you bait on the ground.. Just work it out those long points till you figure out what depth they like..
And you can do the same thing with a crankbait.. Like a 5XD or a Rapala DT 10 or 12..
I have always hated throwing a C-Rig.. More moving parts than a shooting gallery.. And usually by the time I have figured out that I have a bite, the fish has done gone Linda Lovelace on it and I have to pry my hook out of her tonsils..
The fish I did catch yesterday were in about three or four feet of water.. And I am hearing a lot of the same..
I am not saying you can't catch fish in ten or deeper, but I do think it is important to work those drops and ledges in areas where you'd expect fish to be moving up.
I am not sure if we are going to see a giant wave of fish storming the shallows this year.. It seems like mini streaks of good fishing interrupted by a few days of suck..
Of course a lot of this has to do with the fronts that seem to reach us every week.. Hopefully that will be over with soon..
But not today. Supposed to gust to 40 this PM.. Oh Boy.. Only those that drove a long way to get here are fishing this morning.. Well.. And maybe a couple of crazyies.
The lake is still holding kinda steady, and Amistad is releasing water that has so far offset what we are releasing.. And as I type, they are letting out about 10,000 CFS.. Which is a shitload of water.. Which makes me think that we will soon be doing the same.. But Who the Hell really knows..
We still have plenty of water on the Zapata County ramp, and actually at this particular level the slope is about right. Working fine..
The Old Veleno bridge was visible yesterday, but barely.. Could go either way in the next few days.
State Park ramp is still being used by small boats, but most folks are launching on the bank down the canal a bit... By the big rock.. You can't miss it..
The Mexicans have started to release some water out of Boquilla on the Conchos.. It wadn't a great amount yesterday but they had been releasing zero.. It flows down to Luis Leon, which is turning some water out to the Rio Grande.. Water that will end up in Amistad..
I'll be keeping an eye on it and will advise if I need help moving to higher ground..
The local and state elections are finally over.. Maybe we can get rid of some of the sign pollution in our town. They're an eyesore in Zapata and I hope they use as much energy in taking them down as putting them up.
If you're wondering.. Business to continue as usual in Zapata..
And nationally I see we're getting rid of some airwave pollution, as a bunch of democrats that never had a chance in hell of getting elected have dropped out of the race.
Man I could have saved em some money.. And the planet a lot of pollution. All that travel and all that waste.. Just filling up our landfills with Vote For (fill in the blank) signs and sticks and hats and pins and mail outs and holy shit they spend millions on this stuff..
But I guess that is what makes America's economy tick. Stuff.. We need it, we make it, we use it and we throw it away..
I think during the sniff and smell section of the primaries (early on) they ought to do it all on line.. Anybody that gives a shit will do their due diligence.. The rest of the idiots don't need to be voting anyway..
I guess Mike is not going to get it done.. Half a billion later..
Mayor Peter pulled out..
Klobuchar took the gas..
Steyer had a better chance of dating Rosie..
Warren will get out by the end of the day if she has any sense.. So who knows how long she will linger.. If her campaign was on life support, I'd pull the plug.. And I think it is..
I just don't think she's resonating with the voters..
There were some names on the ballot I never heard of.. In both parties..
Looks like it is boiling down to Bernie and Biden.. Also looks like the DNC told the other window dressing candidates to GTFO and who to back.. That could just be a conspiracy theory on my part though..
So they got two old geezers left with a shot at getting the nomination..
One mostly senile guy that is very touchy feeley.. And another old Mad communist..
I just don't think I can break ranks just yet..
Well I gotta get back to work.. I have some things to get done.. And we are checking in an order of sails this afternoon..
It's a Blowin! But looks like a good weekend coming up though! See you on the water.. And if you are lookin for me, look in the trees..
I'm gonna make these motherfuckers bite one of these days!
February 26, 2020: Today would be a good day to hole up with a cheap bottle of whiskey and a fifty dollar hooker in shit hole motel.. Too windy for outside activities..
Sounds like a Mickey Spillane movie from the fifties.. So do the prices.. But you could probably find two out of the three here in Zapata.. But I ain't sayin' which two..
Yesterday and the day before and the day before were beautiful fishing days on the other hand.. And even I continued my fish catchin streak on Sunday.. Man, I am on fire..
And I only say that because I have been really stinking it up as of late. But I do see fishing improving the last week or so, especially when we get some consecutive warm days.
I also finally saw a picture of a fish that was spawned out.. It was like looking at Rosie after a guttural purge and all you see is a couple of acres of floppy skin.. Ickie...
And while nothing crazy is going on, overall the fishing is improving, as numbers have gotten better, and I hear less and less reports of really crappy numbers.
Crankbaits are still catching more fish than plastics, as the flipping bite is just not happening.. At least by most reports. Including mine.
On Sunday we flipped a hundred trees on the Mexican side across from the Tigers. The water looks fantastic, and the hardwoods are thick and big.. And if there is a better place for spawning fish I haven't seen it.. But we caught zero out of those trees.. We also flipped fifty trees out in front of the Coyotes, in depths from ten to three feet..
No fish on a soft plastic. But I did catch a nice one there on a spinnerbait.
Rockpiles and rocky points produced much better, and that has been reported by most all fishermen. And the rockpiles have produced worm and crankbait fish..
I caught this spotted bass on Sunday.. I think it is half black finned shark..
But most of the fish still look like this.. Bout to bust..
Those rockpiles also tend to eat your baits, so you will get some knot tying practice in as well. And then again, that's why we are here..
I have been throwing a Rapala crankbait in a shad pattern and have been having decent luck with it. And when fishing it, like always, just ticking it off the rocks after you make contact is the recipe for getting bit.
Of course it is also the recipe for getting hung up.. But that is part of the game..
A chatterbait has also been a good producer as of late, and several folks have told me the high-dollar Jackhammer is the way to go, and it catches a lot more fish that a standard chatterbait..
Does it really? I don't know.. But a lot of folks think so.. But it is hard to spend $18 on a freaking chatterbait.. But then again, I don't know too many fishermen who won't trade a Jackson for a sure fire shortcut to catching fish.
I'll be waiting for your report..
The lake is kinda holding steady right now, and has only wavered a few inches either way the last two weeks.. The old Veleno bridge is still just under the water, and has claimed a few more victims the last ten days. You can see it on the right day, with the water lapping the tops of the posts on the rails..
If you have not been here in a while, and are reading this in advent of your trip down here, please stop in the store for your complimentary map of the danger area. I can't sell you no more baits on day two of your trip when you total your boat on day one..
The lake is sitting at about 263.90 right now, and that equates to 37.3 feet low. We are actually up a few tenths since the middle of the month.. But we'll see how it goes.
I know the powers that be are pressuring the IWBC and TCEQ to not let us drop any farther.. But who knows what is in store.. The Mexicans are still not releasing ANY water out of the Conchos.. Barely enough to keep the river alive..
When we get this level, the municipal water supply folks start to get a little antsy. And of course our water quality does not improve with a low water level.
What we need down here in Zapata, is for a pillow company to move here.. Like My Pillow or something like it..
With all the fuckin' cormorants and pelicans we have here, we could make pillows for all the homeless in America. And we could employ hundreds, pluckin them fuckin' cormorants after I kill em.. After the government pulls their head out of their ass and allows us to protect our fisheries, habitat, water supply, and economy.
This is just retarded.. And according to Webster, that means very stupid or foolish.. I think both definitions apply..
Speaking of retarded, have you watched any of the Democratic debates. What a shit show.
These people will tell you that they are forward looking, enlightened people, with a vision for America far beyond anything we can even comprehend. Free everything. For everybody...
Well if you have a problem comprehending what they are envisioning, take a look at Cuba.. Or Venezuela.. Or pick any other third world shit hole country you want.
I find the semantics used by the politically correct so freakin funny.. Remember when there were Third World Countries? No. NO.. That term is strictly passe'.. Now they are Developing Countries..
Yeah, my ass.. They won't be developing anything anytime soon..
Unless the US develops it for em.. They may have the raw materials to make bread.. But the United States is the yeast that makes it all possible..
Don't believe in American exceptionalism? Then you haven't paid much attention in class..
How do you think that America got to this point in time?
One word. Capitalism..
And what does capitalism reward?
Now pay attention kids.. This will be the bonus point question at the end of the lesson.
The correct answer is; Hard Work.
Now 'hard work' includes more than the definition of the term.
Hard work encompasses many aspects that include not only hard work, but to work smart. But how do you work smart if you are stupid. Or ignorant..
Ah.. So education is also a part of hard work..
There are many types of education. I personally went to the school of Hard Kocks.. Got a fuckin' PHD..
But I was never afraid to get dirty, get after it, and get a paycheck..
And if you have any desire at all to make a decent living in America, it ain't hard to figure out..
But you can't be afraid of the bonus question answer..
If you are, then you will always be dependant on the likes of the "everything will be free" candidates that you see on TV.
And you will never achieve shit, in the big picture..
Because something given, will never be worth the same, as the same thing earned.
I'll get off the soapbox and return you to your regularly scheduled fishing report..
These fish are fixin to spawn and I intend to fish my ass off the next warm stretch starting this weekend. And maybe I'll finally catch a big Mo-Fo.. I'm overdue.. And so are you!
Hope to see you on the water and if we can help you in any way give us a shout..
And P.S. If you are a gun guy, check out my new page on our gun inventory. I have a few oddities in there you might be looking for..
See you on the water!
February 20, 2020: We're racing thru the month of February, and two months from now all this cold shit will be a bad memory.. Not that we can complain too much, it has been a mild and wonderful winter..
Didn't think I'd ever use wonderful and winter in the same sentence.. But it has been very nice overall.. All the Yankees down here haven't even broke out their long britches yet..
OK. So we were on this long warming streak that ended on Tuesday night. When this cool front blew in. Not with a vengeance, but it got cool and damp, and yesterday we stayed in the middle fifties.. Down from 88° the day before.. And we got two more days of this torture to live thru before the sun is going to make its return over the weekend..
On Monday, we started hearing of some decent reports of numbers of fish, and fish that were definitely up shallow doing the deed, making babies.. About time..
And Tuesday, the day it got really warm, lots of folks reported very good numbers of fish, and most of them in water in six feet or less.. We got several reports of over thirty fish, which as of late has pretty much been unheard of.. And the quality has been very nice. Lots of six to eight pound fish, and some DD's mixed in..
I had a feeling that something was about to get going because even I caught fish last Sunday, which was a perfect day for fishing.. And I caught em on crankbaits, on shallow rocks.. Here in the Veleno.
But in the last two days I have heard of fish coming from almost every creek towards the back on hardwoods.
The cooler weather did not seem to bother the fish too much yesterday, but we'll see what day two of the cooler temps does to em today..
Of course today is supposed to be a little wetter, and a little windier.. So it will surely keep a few more folks off the lake.
Soft plastics seem to be the best for these shallow fish, but a spinnerbait or a squarebill thru the hardwoods will also catch em.. But no doubt plastics are king when it comes to catching fish that are in the bedding mood. More time around the beds, with a slow presentation increases the chance of you getting bit..
We are not seeing fish on beds as our water is not clear enough for that. But you know they are bedding fish, and they act like bedding fish.
Be attentive to your line, as a lot of the bites are fish moving the bait without really eating it.. Lots of folks saying that they think the fish are just moving the bait out of their area.. Very common down here.. But you can catch a lot of these fish if you are on your game..
Damn.. I just reread what I wrote and this report almost sounds optimistic..
I do realize what is happening.. I remembered what my old friend, "The Chief" told me years ago.. Of course I am talking about Gaylon Gilbreath of Beacon Lodge fame. Of course that ain't all he is famous for.. You don't run into a man every day that can piss over a school bus.. Long ways..
But I digress..
The Chief always said that till the Huisache trees start blooming, them fish ain't going to spawn. And for whatever reason we have a late bloom on the trees this year, but they are busting out right now like crazy.
It is still dry as a popcorn fart down here, so our spring color in the pastures might not be what it usually is. But what color we have is fixing to expose itself brilliantly in the next two weeks.. The blackbrush is a site to behold when whole hillsides are covered in white and yellow blooms.
The Huisache will be a dull to bright orange engulfing the entire trees..
I remember the old days, when the trees were surrounded by water.. And at the end of the day your entire carpet would be orange..
It'll happen again.. I just hope I still have the same pair of shoes..
Reports of lots of mega sized crappie being caught near the hardwoods while bass fishing have been very common. These fish are also making their push to the shallows to spawn. Lots of real two pounders have been caught this last week.
Here's a few pics of a few fish we saw this week. And a couple from just a bit back.
Ben Eaddy made his first trip to Falcon about two weeks ago.. And while fishing was tough, he hung in there and threw crankbaits off the dam and end ended up catching this 11.52 pounder. He says he thinks he'll be back.. Another PB from Falcon..
Here's another fattie caught last week..
Jerrod Crouch caught this Rosie this week as well.
And here is a pic of a fish caught out of two feet of water on Tuesday.. Tail worn and and it looks like it is half spawned out.. Somethin' is goin on..
That fish was caught by one of the water wagon boys that are here for their annual Falcon invasion.. They said they slayed em on Tuesday..
Well if the spawn has started in earnest, all I can say it it's about time. But I think it will take a few more days to make a definitive acclimation to whether it is really on..
I gotta go.. And I hope you gotta go.. Fishin of course.
See you on the water!
February 11, 2020: The last few days have been pretty nice, and yesterday was beautiful.. And then today happened.. And it ain't what was predicted a few days ago.
At two this afternoon we are sitting in the low fifties with a light north wind.. That wasn't supposed to get here..
Yesterday it was middle eighties and light south winds.. Perfect.. With water temps up to sixty seven.. And some numbers of bass caught up shallow. On spinnerbaits and flipping and squarebills..
Maybe something is fixin to happen.. But this cloudy and cool weather ain't gonna help any..
I'm just glad to hear of several groups of fishermen catching over ten fish. In shallow water no less..
I told myself that I just wadn't going bass fishing till I heard about some of this.. Bout damn time..
It sounds like a lot of different baits were used to catch em in the shallower water.. Flipping fish and some spinnerbait fish.. In three feet or less. Like this one caught yesterday by Tom that weighed 10.71.
He was fishing with John Adami..
There were some boys down a few days last week that wore em out on the dam.. Throwing crankbaits on the rocks where they run out in about fourteen feet of water.. They caught a ten, several eights, and this 11.42 caught by Bryan Waitman. Said it was the best trip of their lives.. While a lot of folks were struggling..
There have been some real nice fish caught, but know that the man hours put in have been great.
Pat White caught this one weekend before last in the Atascosa Bass Club tournie.
Larry Shadrick caught this 11.40 last week.
Charlie Daniels caught this non-weighed fattie last week as well..
And last weekend in the Universal City Bass Club James Kosub caught this 10.86..
Kendall Collier caught this 10.21 last week as well..
If you look at al the pictures you will notice all of these fish are big, fat, Rosies.. That have not spawned. And I have still not heard of any big fish that have been caught that have spawned..
I have never seen any animals that have held off this long to make love..
The lake is still falling ever so slowly, and this morning we are sitting at about 263.80. Amistad is releasing a bit more than we are, but it is getting used on the way here and by us of course.. The Mexican lakes on the Conchos are still not letting any water out.
El Cuchillo is releasing about 9000 CFS into Sugar, in anticipation of irrigation I am sure.
The concrete ramp at the state park is about unusable unless you have an airboat. But lots and lots of folks have been launching on the bank after you follow the canal out on the west side of the ramp. 4X4 is a plus in this endeavor.
Launching at the Tigers is good off the bank as well.
The county ramp here in Z town is fine and still on concrete for a long time. We have dropped 1.75 feet in the last month.
The old Veleno bridge is just under the surface, and if you look you can see it just under the water. If we drop a few more inches we will switch from IFR to VFR..
Look for the two orange Freon cans tied together located right on the west end of the bridge. Proceed past the bridge to the west of the floats about ten yards and you are good to go.. If you don't know, ASK!!
I'm anticipating this place to bust open and day.. But I have been saying that for a month..
Most of the bait balls are still about ten to fourteen feet deep, and evidently the fish have been happy to stay out there and pig out while avoiding anything artificial.. Fuckers must have all had Lasic..
In any case I don't have a magic bullet for you right now.. You just gotta go fishing and jerk when your cork goes under..
If you just came here looking for a fishing report, you can X out now..It's probably just gonna get worse from here..
I was thinking the other day, which often gets me in trouble, but I came across a thought that surely could make someone some money.. And if you fuckers (term of endearment) have been paying attention, you know I have come up with a lot of ideas you could make money on.. For you entrepreneurial types.
I see and hear all these commercials for male enhancement and for Low T centers that will jack up your testosterone levels to that of a budding porn star.. Make you carry around more wood than the Santa Maria..
I also see a lot of commercials for the manly types, selling what else, but Cold Beer..
Why in the hell ain't somebody making Cold Beer with Testosterone in it?
No man thinks he's sexier than with a ten beer buzz, and this way he could still deliver the goods during inebriation..
Just wait till Budweiser gets a hold of this.. As a nation we are falling far behind the Chinese in reproduction.. And if we are gonna beat them Communist son of a bitches we need to do more procreating..
Football season is over, and golf now fills the airwaves on Sunday afternoons. Which ain't a bad thing.. At least these millionaires earn what they get by performance, rather than negotiation..
I am not sure what will happen first; Falcon filling up or the Cowboys winning a Superbowl.. I'm no bookie, but I think I'd bet on the Rio Grande..
Did you watch any of the political theatrics for the last two months performed by a bunch of assholes up in DC? No square inch of America was immune to the bullshit show that oozed out of the House like puss from a brown recluse bite..
If it wasn't so pitiful it would be funny.. But it ain't.
I do think it is time to start negotiations to separate the two sides from each other. It can be done peacefully..
All of you fuckers (not a term of endearment) that like baby killin', illegal immigration, full scale drug legalization, rampant homosexuality and pick your sex, atheism, and soccer, need to be separated from the rest of us.
Draw a fuckin line.. North to South or East to West.. And I'll get on my side of it..
Or better yet let's get Texas out of the union and put me in charge of immigration.. And deportations..
I always wanted a government job..
Of course the first thing I would do is dig a ditch from Missouri to west Texas.. After I kicked out all the son of a bitches described above.. I guess that'd be the second thing.. They got too much water. We ain't got enough.. WTF this is a no brainer..
I'd also make I-35 and IH-10 ten lanes wide from border to border.. Ala Rick Perry.. But he couldn't get it done.. The Trans-Texas corridor.. Short sighted son of a bitches.. Texas is bustin at the seams..
We're the best in the world at what we do.. So let's quit fuckin around and get it done..
The sky's the limit Baby! If it happens in the world, we do it here.. And we do it good..
I could go on to talk about a lot of other things.. And I am sure I will.. But this is low dose radiation and we'll have another treatment fore too long..
Get your boat ready and line up a kitchen pass.. Cause the shit is going to hit the fan soon.. It has to!
See you in the funny papers..
February 6, 2020: I have been busier than a Chinese mask salesman this last week, and I just have not had time to sit in front of the computer and type..
February is always our busiest month, and combining that with all the other stuff I have myself involved in, and trying to fish a bit, has got me behind on several fronts..
Speaking of fronts, we had one blow thru here the last twenty four hours, and we have had lows around forty the last two mornings. I am not sure what that is going to do to the fishing.. But I don't think it can hurt it..
Reports are all over the board. From one fish to twenty fish. And buck bass to double digits.
Finding something consistent has been the hard thing. Bout the time you think you have em figured out... Not..
There have been some beautiful fish caught this week, but the catch rate per hour has been less than spectacular.
And I don't know what it is going to take to get these fish to spawn.
I have seen pics of several ten pound fish this week, and they still look like they are going to bust. And all of the smaller females in the four to whatever size they are, look no different.
I have yet to see a pic of a spawned out fish.. Or have anybody tell me about one..
I am sure surface temps have taken a little dip in the last twenty four hours, but it is going to be short lived. I would bet water temps this AM are right about 60°, but will be back in the mid sixties in a couple of days..
In the last couple of days, not counting yesterday, (nobody we talked to fished yesterday) the crankbait bite in the ten to twelve foot range has produced the most quality fish. My brother talked to a couple of guys that tore them a new ass on the rocks.. On the dam. Go figure..
There are still some fish being caught off the brush piles, and a Texas rigged bait like a brush hog or a senko has been good.
But make no mistake, the fish are still spotty.. And often times it is difficult to repeat what worked so well yesterday.
It seems that the fish are hanging around in the ten foot range off shelves and ledges, and once a day or so they move up and feed. And if you are in the right place at the right time, you can be reminded why you drive all the way down here.
I have often said that the spawn is the most unpredictable time to fish. And this year is proving to be no different.
I have also heard of several alligator gar being caught on crankbaits.. That'll mess up your tackle..
Like always, persistence is key. You gotta get out there and show it to em..
We have had quite a few folks down from all over the place, to include a lot of Okies and Cajuns. And a lot of folks from north Texas as well. And for Falcon, we have been pretty busy.
A few of you have sent me e-mails with links to the story about Mexican farmers storming the dam on Presa Boquilla up in northern Mexico. Boquilla is the first link and the biggest lake on the Conchos river chain, the source of where all big water comes from that eventually gets to us.
Rumor has it that the Mexican president is talking about repaying some of the water debt owed to the US and the farmers are demanding that the water be retained for their use.
Currently Boquilla, which is similar in size to Falcon in water volume, albeit a little smaller, is sitting at 69% of pool. Madero, the next lake on the chain, which is much smaller, is at 97%. And the third and lake lake in the chain, Luis Leon, is at 77%.
Currently there is about zero water being let out of any of them. After water finally leaves Luis Leon it runs North to the Rio Grande near Presidio in Big Bend.
I'll be waiting..
The last two weeks have seen several boats hit the old Veleno bridge.. Including one this morning.. If you are reading this and are coming down here, do yourself a favor and stop in here and get details on its location.
I've got some pics to post, and a few opinions on the current state of the union..
But it is going to have to wait till I have a bit more time.
If you need a Mexican fishing license, give us a call and we'll have it ready when you get here.
And we'll see you then!
January 28, 2020: If you don't like winter, Zapata has been the place to be.. Unlike last winter, the fronts that have made it down here have not had the punch, and low temps have been balmy.. Jimmy like..
And with that being said, our water temperatures have not been close to the fifties in about a month. Daytime highs have been in the eighties a lot, and currently our water is about 67 degrees, some days a bit cooler and some days pushing seventy in the shallows.
And with water temps like they are one would think that the bass should be spawning. But if they are, evidence has been harder to come by than in the impeachment hearings..
In both cases I have heard plenty of bullshit, but no concrete proof..
There were several beautiful tens caught last weekend, but there were a lot of man hours being put in for the results.
Also saw pics of an eleven yesterday.. But I haven't seen the picks in my e-mail just yet.
Where are all the little fish, and the males in the shallows? When you figure that out please let me know.
I have heard of a few numbers of fish caught up shallow, but the pattern has been hard to duplicate. Nobody I know is going out and consistently catching a dozen or more fish in a half day of fishing.. It should be easy.. But it ain't..
Best pattern for big fish is time on the water, and chunking a deep diving crankbait. Ten feet plus is still producing more big fish than anything else.
Other deep water tactics are also catching a few, like a C-rig or a shakey head fished on the same ledges and humps.. If I was after a big fish, I would still be fishing in sight of the dam or in the Tigers.
The Deep Diving Spro is still as good as any to throw. Stop by and I'll show you the colors that are working best.
A senko is also catching some fish, and you can fish it Texas rigged or on your favorite.
The crappie have been nothing short of excellent, if you are fishing sunken brush or hardwoods. Good electronics are a must, but I hear that some fish are starting to show up a little shallower on some hardwoods in the six to ten foot range..
Way back in the creeks in Tigers or the Veleno are two good choices.. You dip a bunch of trees and you are gonna catch some fish. And they are some beautiful fish as well.
White bass have still been good on the main lake and you can run into a school of them and they will eat you up. The locals are wearing them out up the river in San Ygnacio.
The catfish are also good, on most anything you like to fish with.. From weenies to chicken liver to shad.. Stinkbait around standing timber is also good..
Water levels have been hanging around just above 264. Amistad has been releasing about what we have, so we are dropping ever so slowly.. We may stay level if nothing else happens.
The old Veleno bridge has claimed a couple more victims this week. Including one today.. See the map below to learn how to avoid it and stop by the store and I will give you farther instructions.
I hate that we have this problem, after all these years of bitching about it to IWBC, it is still causing thousands of dollars in damages to boats on a regular basis.
Even if they won't remove it, they should surely keep the son of a bitch marked. Another government agency that could really give a shit.. Our tax dollars at work.. Actually it is insulting..
Falcon has always been the red-headed stepchild of Texas lakes. Any other lake in the state this would be a non issue..
Bridge rant over.. Just in time to start another one..
Sharelunker season is underway, and I don't guess anyone has caught one yet. No I am not talking about a eight or a ten pounder. I'm talking about a thirteen pound fish.
Those fish are nice fish but not monsters.. What Sharelunker has promised to do for some thirty years.
I hear people talking about all the data that is being collected by this new SL program.. I seriously doubt if many people are taking fin or scale samples of these fish and mailing them in. I'd really like to know the number..
They advertise that they can find out if your fish is related to a parent sharelunker.. Whooptie-do..
What matter does that make? In the very near future all brood stock at TPWD will come from previous SL fish. At least that is what I hear. Fine and dandy.. But that ain't gonna grow bigger fish. These fish are nothing but pure Florida fish that happened to live in an environment that was conducive and got lucky to not be eaten by fish, fowl, or man.
I truly believe that a very high percentage of Florida bass will grow to 13 pounds. Under the right conditions.
But you cannot force mother natures hand.
If we put more money into the lakes than the stocking we would be light years ahead.
Aging lakes and their loss of habitat is the biggest enemy of big bass.. And PAW killing everything green in a lot of lakes don't help either..
It is hard and expensive, but growing bass to a larger size before stocking would help the survival immensely. No one knows for sure what the survival of fingerlings are, and I am sure every lake is different. But it is miniscule, I assure you.
In the last thirty years there have been two 13 pound fish that are descendants of pure Florida SL fish.. I'm a little more results oriented than that. And when someone catches a teener they don't really give a shit whether it is a pure Florida or not.
Sharelunker has been a marvelous tool for advertising Texas fishing.. You'll get no argument from me there..
But if you look past the hype and look at the the facts about SL.. You'll see that it has made zero difference in growing bigger bass in Texas.
I can make a pretty good case that it has hurt big bass fishing in Texas.. And has certainly hurt the chances of ever breaking the state record..
I know in the future Falcon will refill.. And what will happen afterward will again be epic.
But that is controlled by mother nature.. Not Austin. And there is no telling when that might be.
If Choke Canyon or Ivie would refill, and keep water a few years, the shit will again hit the fan..
New lake syndrome.. That's nature baby.. And keep an eye out for Choke in the next two months..
But all the lakes in North and East Texas, with fairly consistent water levels, will have little chance of turning out the giant numbers of giant fish like they did in the past..
Certainly they will put out some monsters here and there.. But those days of twenty and thirty SL fish in a season are long gone..
If I sound like a Debbie Downer, I'm sorry.. But I like to use facts instead of hyperbole when it comes to this shit..
But don't worry, you can still get a ribbon for an eight pounder..
There is no cover on the banks at Falcon at this water level.. It's rocks and sticks.. And the outlook for a good spawn and survival of the fry is poor. Some will survive, sure.. But piss poor numbers..
I have started cutting and planting brush in the lake at various locations right along the shoreline. Not offshore.. It ain't much when you consider the lake is 25 miles long..
But it cain't hurt. So grab your axe and get your whacks..
I'm feeling skinnier already..
And I know in the next few weeks I am going to fuck up some pinnerbait fish along these banks..
We hope to see you down here before too long..
And I hope to be back with a "Get your ass down here " report one day soon..
See you on the water!
January 21, 2020: Here we are three weeks into the new year, and it still don't seem like winter has come and lit.. Of course I'm not one to complain about it not being cold. I'm just trying to figure out if the fish know winter has done come and gone..
Or has it?
Water temps yesterday were sitting in the middle sixties, and some folks reported 68 in the afternoon. That's shallow protected water of course.. But 68 is spawning water for sure..
I'm just not sure if we ever got cold enough to let the fish know that we did cool off.. And now it is time to get shallow and make babies..
We only had a couple of days where the water even got down in the high fifties..
I think they are confused.. I know the fishermen are.. I did talk to a couple of folks that fished yesterday and did pretty good. Most of the fish were still a bit deeper, but it appears that they are starting to show up a bit shallower, just a bit higher on the ridges and humps.
The big fish pics I have been seeing show mis-shaped bellies that are as rotund as can be, and look like they are going to pop.. Something has got to happen soon.. I have seen no pics of flabby hollow bodied fish that have spawned.. But I believe it is imminent..
It is possible that these fish will spawn a bit deeper this year, with the falling water levels. If it keeps falling.. Who knows.. I saw yesterday on the lake levels page that Amistad increased the output.. They told me last week that they weren't going to..
Bass Champs has come and gone, and while results were nothing spectacular, they weren't too bad either.. Twenty six and change was the winning weight, and anytime you catch a five pound average well that ain't too shabby.
I know everybody wants 2010 back, as do I, but that ain't where we are right now. And looking at current water levels, and available cover in the lake, this year does not look like we will be in re-building mode..
But you put water in the lake, and I don't care what time of year it is, these fish will bounce back so fast you'll think it was impossible.. Seen it too many times to deny it..
And we did have a decent summertime spawn this year.. Call me crazy.. I can live with it.
Bass Champs held the weigh in under the pavilion roof down at the county ramp this year, and I think it worked out really well. Especially with predicted rain, that did not appear. We're gonna do it again in March, and I think as the fishermen get used to it it's all gonna be good. No use standing in the sun and getting sand in your eyes when we've got a big roof and concrete to stand on.
We also had a little shuttle service to help fishermen to their trucks and to the weigh in with sacks of fish.. Worked out pretty well I think..
And granted the worst part of it all is that we only have two wide launching and loading at the ramp.. I heard more complaints about that than anything else.. Wish I could fix it..
Thanks to all of you who came down, and to all of you who came in and spent your hard earned money with us.. We really appreciate it..
Texas Bass Nation also fished last weekend, and I have not heard their final results.. I think they had thirty two fishermen. I am sure results are on their website.. But I ain't got there yet. It's always a pleasure hosting their registration here at the shop.
From most reports, fish were mostly caught deeper than ten feet. Crankbaits were still the most popular, but fish were also caught on Jigs and C-rigs.
Any crankbait with some chartreuse on it can catch some fish. Citrus Shad is still a great color as well..
The crappie are still going great, especially if you find the right brushpile.. Surprisingly, many of them are still in twenty plus feet of water.. But they are going to head for the shallows soon.
The white bass are lousy and can be caught in almost all areas of the lake.. Many have headed up the river to spawn, and the locals are tearing them a new ass up in San Ygnacio off the bank.
Not all the white bass go up the river, and lots of them are being caught on points, where the blacks should be.
Catfishing remains steady, with most anybody who knows their habits catching all they want. A few whoppers have been caught lately on rod and reel as well.. This lake certainly has got em..
I'm doing a trip this Thursday that I donated to the Catch A Special Thrill organization that we do each year.. So I'll have a couple of hard core fishermen with me, and it will force me to stay out there and bust it for a change.. And I will follow up and provide pics of the giants that we catch.. You gotta believe, baby..
I think that soon, very soon, we just have to have a wave of fish come shallow. That's what I live for.. And when it happens I'll let you know..
Hopefully soon. Very soon..
January 17, 2020: Hey Kids! What time is it?
That's right.. It's Bass Champs time!
And all of the gettin ready has pretty much been done around here.. And now it is time for fishing to get underway..
Registration will be down at the County Ramp this afternoon, and I imagine that about lunchtime we'll see more boats in town than we have in a year..
To all of you launching a boat this weekend.. And beyond.. If you don't know by now the old Veleno bridge on the way out of the creek is just under the water, and it is a hazard that must be avoided..
It is easily done by running the west side of the creek when exiting the Veleno.
We have marked the west end of the bridge with several floats and markers, the biggest of which is two orange freon cans tied together. Exiting the Veleno put them on your left and you will be fine..
By Saturday morning the tops of the bridge railings may be visible, but were not yesterday.
I'm neither Lewis or Clark, but here's a rough sketch of the layout..
Running the lake is no problem if you run the markers or the channel on your GPS.
So if you kids pay attention you should have no problems traveling the lake from top to bottom.
Yesterday we saw the Highway Patrol boats down here.. And some of the Coast Guard guys are here on vacation riding with the Border Patrol..
I have no idea what they are doing.. But they be burning some fuel...
Not much has changed this week.. Except the water temperature.. Upper sixties the last few days..
Something is fixing to happen..
We are still dropping a bit each day, but the water is not pouring out.. Heard from IWBC.. They are not planning on replacing any water here till they release another 100,000 acre feet.. In my estimation that's about three feet of water..
We'll see if Mother Nature helps us out any with rain in the Valley..
Several lakes in MO and OK still have too much water.. Time to start on that pipeline.. That's another subject..
Time has been short for me this week, and it is again today.. But I hope to see you today.. Or sometime soon..
January 10, 2020: It's Friday in Zapata.. And probably where you are too. And the wind is blowing out of the south like a Mo-Fo..
And tonight it is gonna swing to the north like a Mo-Fo..
I know Dallas is getting hammered as I type..
I would never tell you to not go fishing.. But today and tomorrow need to be treated with caution.. This kinda shit will make you get or remember your religion if you are out on the big water..
"Lord please just get me back to the ramp and I promise I'll never do this again.."
Yeah.. Till next time.. Been there and done that.. But I find as I get older I want to get older.. So I try to err on the side of caution..
Not many folks out on the lake today as you can imagine.. But there were a lot yesterday. And the reports were mixed but I heard a few folks caught some bucks up shallow on spinnerbaits..
It's gonna happen sooner or later.. Full moon you know.. Water temps 62ish..
The main reason I am writing today is to let you know the the Mexican License system is back up and annual licenses are available again. So if you are needing one, by whatever means you want to get it, do it now.
We will be glad to help you if you need a license.. Just call us at 956-765-4866..
Next Friday, the evening before Bass Champs, we may or may not be able to help you..
Hope we have good weather next weekend.. We'll see..
Also, yesterday Robert Riessig and I put a marker on the west end of the Veleno bridge.. It is three jugs tied together.. Orange, blue and white.. To the west of that marker is another gallon jug with red paint on it.. It is safe anywhere between the two..
The bridge is still about 15" under water, and not in sight. I will put a large marker on it when the water goes down a bit more and I can see it.. Hopefully I will have it on there before next weekend..
The lake is on a slow fall.. No telling what the release rate will be this week.. I have gotten no reply from IWBC when I e-mailed..
See yall soon!
January 7, 2020: Seems a little strange typing and writing 2020. But I reckon I'll get used to it.. I ain't messed up a check yet.. But I am sure it is coming..
We have had a windy day or two the last week, but we have also had some of the prettiest winter weather that anyone could imagine.. Middle seventies the last three.. Low winds..
That's why Jimmie lives here.. I hate the freakin cold..
The fish are not liking the blue bird skies as much as I am, according to most reports. The fish have been playing a little hard to get.
Well a few folks have done well, but most folks are struggling to put a numbers game together. Six to twelve fish a boat has been a common report, but a few folks have caught some numbers of good fish.
But overall I have heard more bitchin than bragging..
A shakey head has been pretty good, if you can say that about any bait. A deep crankbait is still outselling any other bait, even if it may or may not be outfishing any other bait.
And the Carolina rig is still catching some fish as well.
I fished the last two days just because the weather has been so beautiful. And I will have to say that for me the fishing is less than stellar.
On Saturday I fished the Veleno and specific spots of trees on the river on the Mexican side from Beacon to Diablo. I proved to myself that there are damn few biting fish in the hardwoods.. And the water looks crappy up on this end of the lake as well. Two small fish in three hours is not good fishing to me..
Yesterday I fished Pierces and a few spots in the Tigers with no better results.. I saw a couple of nice fish being netted.. But I wasn't doing any of it..
So I went crappie fishing..
Water temps were right around 62°. The water color from midlake south looks awesome.. But you have to get at least to marker nine before it gets very pretty.. But I know a lot of folks who fish chocolate water and they think this shit is pretty clear.. I guess it is just psychological to me..
If you are a serious crappie fisherman, then you have a much better chance of getting your jollies. The paper mouths have been delicious.. I mean devouring a tube jig..
Limits have been pretty easy for the skilled and if you are good with electronics you can find them clinging to hardwoods and brushpiles.
Red and Chart jigs have been good, but Monkey Milk and Electric Chicken have also been a staple. The Electric Chicken has really been good in the dirtier water.
Jared Gonzales has been taking some folks out on crappie trips and they have been whacking them.
Call him if you wanna go catch a few.. 210-294-0630
They've been everywhere lately.. And are really running up the river above Zapata and in San Ygnacio.. Access up there is the hard part.. But you can find them scattered all over the lower end of the lake as well.
Look for birds and surface activity.. They have also been hanging out in the Veleno and on some days you can catch them good right on the boat ramp.
The 1/4 oz Blue Fox with a bucktail is a killer, but a small crankbait or Trap in a shad pattern will also catch a bunch.. You can also catch them fishing vertically with a spoon in deeper water.. Good electronics can really help..
They love the cooler weather and have been really active.. Rod and reel fishermen have been catching them really good on stinkbait and all sort of dead and cut bait.. Find some hardwoods on a drop off and chunk er out..
Some really nice sized fish have been caught, and some whoppers on large cut bait on jugs and trot lines..
And sometimes the rod and reel fishermen catch some monsters too..
Well them motherfuckers are everywhere.. But this week they have reservations here in the Veleno.. They must have gotten a group rate.. Holy shit..
Still not a peep out of PAW or any other entity about any plan to control these thousands of sons-a-bitches.. They're a poison going unchecked and ruining our fishery and habitat and water supply.. It is truly sad.. I can't believe we are this stupid..
The lake has started a slow drop as water is starting to be released for what I will assume is the beginning of irrigation season. As of today the state park ramp is operational, but I am not sure how long it will last. But not long at current release rates.
If it keeps falling I should have a marker on the Old Veleno bridge by weeks end.. We'll see..
The county ramp is fine but flat, and two wide..
Cover for spawned fish is virtually nonexistent.. Rocks and hardwoods.. Manmade brushpiles.. Bout it..
Heard today from the company operating Online sales for Mexico that Annual licenses may not be available for two or three weeks as they are waiting for a contract renewal from CONAPESCA..
Currently only weekly and daily licenses are available.. That's as of today.. I do not know what will happen in the next few but will advise when annuals are available again.
A quote from them: "We are waiting for the new contract to arrive from Conapesca. The monthly and yearly options should be available in two to three weeks."
But the weekly and daily will be available till then according to management.
That might put a kink in some plans.. But for the time being we can still get you the weekly's to keep you legal if desired/needed..
Bass Champs comes to town on the 18th, after opening their 2020 season at Sam Rayburn this weekend.
We look forward to seeing a lot of you guys again and we have already seen a good number of you.. Thanks for coming in!
If your bass club is heading to town any time soon, or/and if your club has it schedule for 2020 done, I would appreciate it if you sent it to me. I'll add you to our tournament page so others can see who is coming when.
Other than that, everything is quiet around here.. The town is full of snowbirds and sunshine and that is the way we like it..
I have heard of no instances on the lake where anyone has been bothered. There are a lot of netters midlake.. And occasionally a net on the US side.. Like always, be aware of where you are, and pay attention to your surroundings..
Reckon that is true no matter where you are..
I have been watching some football lately, and with football comes commercials.. Mostly shitty ones.. And ridiculous ones..
Here's a couple of my favs..
Have you seen the new T-Mobile commercials about 5G? The ones where they show pink/fuscia laser beam like streaks going across the sky.. Heading out in all directions enabling your connection to internet heaven?
Star struck people and children staring into the night sky.. Their mouths agape.. Drool running down their chins, as they marvel at the beauty of 5G..
Are you fuckin kidding me? This ain't the Aurora Borealis.. You can't fuckin see microwaves..
But maybe too many people have stuck their heads in the Radar-range while they heated up their Swanson's.. I mean home cooked gourmet dinners..
That's about the most intelligence insulting shit I have ever seen..
Not to be outdone, Toyota has a new one out about their newest Humvee.. I mean Camry..
A man and his daughter are up early.. Eating breakfast.. I don't think he had a hair bun.. But he might have.. Each eyeballing the clock..
Suddenly they both spring up, and jump into the family assault vehicle.. And the dad skillfully dodges all sorts of calamity including craters and a barrage of exploding mortars as they navigate across the barren and bombed out war zone on the way to junior high..
This ain't fuckin Iraq.. Give me a break..
In a car that sports a four cylinder engine with less displacement than my fuckin' lawnmower.. Yall probably already forgot about the commercial proclaiming it the "Wild One".
The good news is that we are just a few months away from total saturation of the airwaves by political candidates telling you how they can make America a country where we can all live in peace and harmony and have everything provided for everyone..
All the while blowing flowers and rainbows up your ass..
If you need it, we are going to provide it..
What a crock of shit..
Ain't nobody, nowhere, ever gotten anywhere, for any length of time, without good old fashioned hard work..
I ain't talking about the Richie Rich Motherfuckers that were born with a Silver Spoon up their ass.
I'm talking about you and me.. The Common Working Man..
And trust me those candidates that are promising the moon ain't talking to the Richie Rich Motherfuckers..
Richie already has the moon..
But candidate X needs something you do have.. Your vote..
And they will lie, cheat and steal to get it.. And promise you shit beyond your wildest dreams if you just get them into power..
And if you are that stupid, to believe that all this shit can be manufactured and supplied to you, at no cost and with no effort by you..
Well then you really are a stupid Motherfucker..
And as Walter Cronkite would say, "And that's the way it is.."
Whatever your situation, long term, only you can change it. And if you are counting on someone else to make you happy and successful.. It's gonna be a tough life..
Well shit, I gotta go.. I got work to do.. Getting ready for your visit..
I'll see you soon.. Hopefully on the water!
December 30, 2019: Here we are at the end of the decade, and twenty years past the turn of the century.. Lotsa folks said we'd never make it this far..
But darn it the old world just keeps on turning.. And as fast as the world is spinning you'd think that it would toss all the fish out of the top of the water with all that centrifugal force..
Gravity is a bitch..
It has been a dry but pleasant stretch down here. Cool mornings but really pretty nice days. It is about January after all..
We are predicted to get some rain this week.. I'll believe it when I see it.. We are going to end the year with less than twelve inches or rain. And that is dry, even for Zapata..
The last week has been really hit and miss with the fishing down here.. For bass anyway..
A lot of folks have told me it has been really tough, with numbers of fish being really low. Reports of three or four fish a day have been common..
There are a few overachievers that have been out, and I reckon they happened on a school of biting fish at the right time. But it is not the norm.
In that mixture of poor reports have also been a few reports of nice fish. Here are a few from last weekend..
Bill Cirone caught this 10.25..
Dave Dobronski caught this ten off the rip rap on the dam..
Noel Taylor caught this 10.03 in the Veleno..
And a few casts later his boat partner Jerry Rinehart caught this 8.13..
Deep diving crankbaits are still the best big fish bait. But I am hearing more and more about fish being caught on jigs. Most of the bigger fish are still coming from between ten and twenty feet of water from all reports.
And it is still about rocks, rocks and rocks.. The hardwoods have produced few fish from all I have heard. And there is just no small or thick cover in the lake, other than brush piles that have been put out by fishermen.
And none of them are in spawning depth water. When the fish do move up I am sure that anything resembling a laydown or a tree with some gnarly root system will be good place to find a bedding fish, although there is going to be very little to no sight fishing this year. Water color in 95% of the lake will not allow you to see over a couple of feet deep.
And that is not unusual. Water color on the south end of the lake is really nice by Falcon standards..
Water temps are still in the middle sixties, and I don't think we have had the dip in water temps and then the rise that signals the fish to spawn..
Maybe I am crazy but it seems that rising water temps are the biggest trigger.. Usually we drop into the fifties a bit and sometimes for a while.. But it ain't happened yet.
I guess it could anytime.. And I always cringe when I hear the weatherman say, "There is this big chunk of arctic air that is headed south out of Siberia..."
And it is only the end of December.. Winter is just starting.. Well maybe. Maybe not.. But who the hell knows what the weather is going to do..
Well maybe some junior high school kids do.. And some twenty somethings.. Fucking geniuses..
The crappie are still going great guns, and there are some whoppers being caught.. Still in the brushpiles, although there egg development is coming along.. Another month should find a bunch of them in the shallows.. Will advise..
The white bass are all over the lake and giant schools of them have been reported down south. They ought to be heading up the river.. But I am sure all of them don't go.. You can run into them most anywhere.. The locals have been catching them off the bank here at the county ramp.. Some days better than others..
Bass Champs comes to town on the 18th of January, and it will be the first BC tourney of 2020. Falcon should be a great place to kick off the new decade. I am not sure what is going to be happening in three weeks..
Maybe I'll have to ask Gretta.. We'll see what the weather does between now and then.. But next weekend looks great from this far out.
One more time I am going to tell you to please get your Mexican fishing license in advance of coming here. If you would like us to procure one for you just give us a call. We'll have it ready when you walk in.
The Mexican licence's are now done online, (in case you have not heard) and their server is down more than Cowboy fans..
And if you walk in here on the Friday before Bass Champs, and want a license we may or may not be able to help you.. So do us both a favor and get it in advance.. Call me with any questions..
The Old Veleno bridge took out another couple of lower units this week. Don't forget about it on your way out of the Veleno..
If you are coming here for the first time stop in and get info on how to avoid it.. And yes it is fucking ridiculous that they can't keep the son of a bitch marked..
I'm working on my new years resolutions, and like Bob Seger I can't decide what to leave in and what to leave out..
But I am getting old and I figure at this age I better do more of the shit I like and quit trying to cut out things that might not be so good for me..
A man is only going to live so long..
I've decided it's OK to smoke a few cigars.. And good ones.. And if I want a second or third Johnnie Black then it's OK..
I'm gonna be more direct with folks and quit sugar coating everything... And I'm gonna say "Bullshit" more when I hear it..
That's about as far as I have got.. But I think it is a good start..
I certainly hope that you had a good year and decade.. Cause we are about to start a new one. And if you are out and about on New Years Eve think about where you are and what you are doing..
I leave New Years Eve to the amateurs..
UBER is a good thing on occasion.. And this is one of them..
Party safely and we look forward to seeing you next year..
Till then! Happy new Year!
December 18, 2019: I just can't seem to keep up these days.. To many irons in the fire, too many kettles to watch, and too many promises to keep..
I think old man time is catching up with me.. I guess he catches up with everyone sooner or later.. Even though we still remember ourselves as bad asses..
I remember when this shit was easy..
It has been eight days since I wrote, and I guess in the big picture it really doesn't matter. Nobody should be loosing any sleep over anything as mundane as a fishing report that has not really changed in a month. And though I try to keep it interesting by stirring in some bullshit and some brilliance, (rarely my own) it is not hard to see that things have just not changed much here on Falcon..
The water level has not changes in a month..
The bridge in the Veleno is still about fifteen inches under the water, and there is still not a marker on west end of it.. I am going to make an effort to put a weighted/anchored marker on it before Bass Champs gets here on January 18th.
That's right.. Only about thirty days away.. And the 2020 fishing season for the spring will be underway..
The ramp at the state park is still working fine.. Albeit there is not a lot of water in the ditch.. Just go easy till you get out of the canal.
The county ramp is still kinda flat but working fine.. Two wide is basically all it is.. Three if people could back up a trailer.. But we all know how that shit works..
And I don't think we will be catching any water in the next sixty days.. It just ain't that time of year.. Of course we didn't catch any when it was..
And though the lake is low, it is still 24 miles long and two miles wide down south so you better not be thinking we just have a mudhole that don't get rough when the wind blows.. Especially the north wind..
But truthfully the south wind ain't much better.. This Mo-Fo will eat your lunch.. And dinner.. So keep that in mind when you'ns are looking at the flags and says 'It really ain't that bad..'
We don't want anyone's next trip here to be their last.. I'm just sayin..
Water temps are in the upper sixties.. Least they were yesterday.. This morning is the coldest of this fall and we're sitting right at freezing as I write.. And pay no attention to the reported temperature for Zapata.. That is out at the airport and it always reads four to five degrees cooler than it actually is here in town.
For years Falcon Lake Tackle was the official reporting station for the NWS for temperature and rainfall. But dealing with that everyday was a pain in the ass.. Wanting to know how much it rained on a foggy morning.. Calling in temps every afternoon.. Yada, Yada, Yada.. I don't miss it too much..
They did have a really neat rain gauge though.. And I guarantee you that a rain gauge in Zapata will never wear out..
It looks like we are going to wrapping up the year dry, and to date we have received 11.4 inches of rain here at the shop.. Zapata's annual average is about 18 inches, so you can see we have under achieved. On only five occasions did we get more than one inch in 24 hours, with the most being 1.65 inches at the last of March..
That will barely keep the weeds alive.. There were six months when we received less than an inch of rain..
But then again, we are in the Chihuahuan Desert..
Water color is good in the Veleno, but out in the river up north the water color is a bit off.. It ain't chocolate by any means, but it ain't as clear as Hornitos' Silver either..
Once you get south of Diablo it gets a lot better, and from Pierce's south it looks awesome.. And the farther south you go the cleared it gets.. Not that it is clear anywhere.. Just pretty Falcon Green..
I was out of town last weekend to attend a funeral, but I got several e-mail reports from folks who were down. Some did better than others, and none of the numbers were earthshaking, but the common denominator was that they all caught some quality fish. Six and eight pounders were fairly common in their reports, and a couple of them said they caught no undersized fish.. All keepers.. And threes and fours made up the bulk of what they caught..
Daily catches of eight to fifteen fish are common. Some folks are doing better on certain days, but repeating more than twenty fish on consecutive days has been award winning here lately.
We're still selling more crankbaits than anything else. Baits that can get down fifteen feet or more are most popular and the blue/white/chartreuse based baits still are best.
A shakey head or a C-rig is also still a good choice..
I told you nothing has changed..
Lately most fish are being caught in fifteen feet of water, give or take. Twenty ain't too deep. Ten ain't too shallow.
And I hear more and more of fish up on the very shallow rocky edges. I mean throw it on the rocks shallow..
I haven't heard anyone tell me they whacked them in the hardwoods, as much as I would like to say it was so.. There is nothing I would personally rather do than deforest a few of them big sons-a-bitches..
There is just something about flipping a soft plastic into the middle of a big basket hardwood or a laydown and feel that "thump".. And the anticipation from the time you get that tap till you set the hook, although a millisecond, (at least in my younger years) is one of the most awesomenesest feelings that releases all kinds of endorphins and adrenaline into your blood instantly while you are trying to break his/her fuckin' neck..
Well at least that's the way it is for me..
If it ain't that way for you.. Well golf is a lot of fun too..
And just cause you stick a hook in that bastard don't mean you have the fight won. No sir..
If it's a big bitch, and there are trees, twigs, stumps, limbs, or brush anywhere close, you can bet your sweet ass that she is headed there.. Regardless of what pole you have or what drag setting you have selected..
It's a crapshoot and you have no better than a 50-50 chance of getting your picture taken with her..
I still have a scar on my scalp where I drove guide number one down to the skull when my braid broke back in 03..
A day that has lived in infamy.. The blood and tears mixed together running down my face.. Could have been on the cover of a Stephen King novel..
I get all giddy just thinking abut it..
I can't tell you how many big fish I have broke off, misplayed, nonchalanted, mis-netted, mis-lipped, and basically just fucked up back in the day..
And I am sure we all have our stories of regret on a giant or two where things just did not go right.. And I am sure we all have a few stories where we were some lucky som-bitches to get the fish in the boat..
And I think those two types of stories are what drives us to keep going back..
In any case, I hope you can get out and do some fishing before the year ends. I looks like a nice weekend coming up and maybe we'll see you down here doing some scouting..
If we don't see you before next Wednesday, then I'd like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas..
We'll be closed Christmas eve by noon and all day on Christmas. But I'll be here on the day after sporting some new socks I am sure..
And keep in mind the reason for the season. Jesus lives, and he lives in you and me. So don't be timid about letting him pop out of you on a regular basis..
God Bless You, and Merry Christmas!