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Not your Daddy's fishing report...
January 27, 2015: It sure is nice not to have to wear a coat every time you go outside.. And I am sure that is the way that God intended it.. Adam and Eve didn't wear no clothes.. Till they screwed it up..
Ah yes, it is glorious to stand out side and bask in the sun.. What yall doing up there in New York this morning?
Afternoon temps the last few days have been fantastic with highs in the seventies, and we have a few more days of it coming up this week.. Maybe we can get the water to stay over sixty degrees..
The last few mornings the water temps have been starting out around sixty, and topping out around the middle sixties in some places after the sun does its work. We have been having high thin clouds, which has not really let the sun beat down as hard as it could.
Creeks and coves with semi protected northern banks have heated up the fastest. And those areas have produced spotty good fishing from time to time.. But it really appears that catching numbers of fish is a timing thing.. You have to be at the right place at the right time..
Many the report has said that they fished all morning and caught squat, and then suddenly on one spot in fifteen minutes the switch gets flipped and the fish bite every cast.. Sounds typical of cold water Falcon fish..
There have been a bunch of four to eight pound fish caught lately, and they look like blimps.. It is hard to imagine them any fatter.. The proverbial Rosie fish..
Numbers of them are still less than desired of course, and catching them on a consistent basis has been a challenge.. Ask any of the local guides..
Plastics and spinnerbaits in the shallows have caught the best quality fish it appears. It is possible to happen on a pile of small fish on any offshore ledge from ten to twenty feet.
And be prepared to retrieve that spinnerbait a lot of times with no fish on it..
I truly believe that if we can get some consistent sixty five degree water we will see a bunch of fish caught.. This is a nice warming trend we are on but we are headed back into the murk this weekend. But Thursday and Friday could be the days..
Last week the TPWD commissioners met, and they approved an increase of the limit on Alligator Gar, on Falcon only, to five fish per day. This regulation change will not go into effect till September first.
I know.. It's like telling a man he has cancer, but we are not going to do anything about it for a year.. Don't make a lot of sense..
There will be another public hearing here in Zapata to discuss the regulation change, and it should happen in the next month or so.. I'll let you know when it is going to happen and hopefully we can put some pressure on them to make the change effective immediately.. There will also be an opportunity to comment online about your thoughts on this matter.. And in the not to distant future there will probably not be any more public hearings, due to apathy on the part of most folks, and the cost of planning and attending these get together's to TPWD.
The Internet will soon rule the world..
But it is damn nice to be able to stand up in front of your employees (TPWD) and say your piece.. At least you know they heard you.. Typing a few lines in a text box on a website often leaves one wondering if you have been heard, or if anyone ever even reads what you have written..
You can, if so motivated, still address the formal Commission at their semi annual meetings in Austin.. It does take a little doing.. But it can be done..
I for one would like to see some real world people on the PAW board.. Folks that work outside in the woods and on the waters.. Folks with hands on everyday experience that understand why moss grows on the north side of the trees..
It's no secret that commissioners are appointed by the Governor.. At his discretion. There are no written qualifications..
Oh I imagine making a contribution to the governors war chest come election time can't hurt your chances of getting on the board if that is one of your desires..
Maybe our new governor might be open to the possibility of appointing some folks that come from the blue collar world.. I think it is time to plant the seed anyway..
A new Inland Fisheries Chief has been named, to replace Gary Saul who retired last August or so..
Craig Bonds, who was working in the east Texas sector, and has done about everything that TPWD does when it comes to freshwater fisheries, is our new freshwater fisheries boss.. He is a sixth generation Texan, and that is a good thing.. I wish him the best of luck and look forward to good things from inland fisheries in the future.
Bass Champs will be here on February 21st, and I look forward to seeing what a bunch of good fishermen on the lake can do. I am certain that we will have a lot warmer water by then and I am optimistic that they will catch some nice stringers. I think it will happen before then.. But being that the water has been so cold, they could hit it really good..
And don't forget the IFBBA tourney coming up in March.. It too should have a nice Pay-Day, with 5K guaranteed with a minimum of twenty five teams entered.. It is open to any and all.. Details here..
The next few days could make something happen around here.. And I am gonna get out there tomorrow and the next day.. At least that is what I am thinking..
Water is till coming up about a half inch a day.. Lake is looking good!
January 21, 2015: Believe it or not, we have actually had two nice days.. That included sunshine.. And yesterday we got up to 86°!! That's what I'm talking about!
And although we had a couple days of nice, it is not like the water temps around here have skyrocketed.. But it damn sure helped.. Surface water temps yesterday reached 64° in a lot of areas, and I was in the Hedieona yesterday afternoon and for a second I saw 67..
But a quick warm up has not been enough to thaw all the fish at once.. And I am not sure how long we will keep any of this warmer water.. We are headed for three more days of cool and cloudy.. And I am sure low sixty degree water will be the norm the next few days..
It's kinda like putting a can of beer in the ice chest.. It's gotta be in there a while till the beer gets cold on the inside.. And it works the same going the other direction.. Fish are cold blooded, and it will take them a while to thaw out..
Tell me something I didn't know..
There could be light at the end of the tunnel though, as a warming trend is predicted starting on Saturday.. And it could be extended.. We'll see..
I know I talk about the weather more than Al Roker, but it is as linked to our fishing as much as Al Sharpton is to bullshit.. They go hand in hand.. They are inextricably linked..
I like that word.. Inextricably.. Just kinda rolls off the tongue.. Although I gotta look it up every time I try and spell it..
Warm water is going to bust these fish out of hibernation.. Pretty damn soon..
I have to keep telling myself it is January.. I hate January..
In fact the water has been so cold, that it has kicked the tilapia's ass in a lot of areas.. They are all swimming around like they are on ludes.. Or acid.. Whacked out.. Like an Obamma supporter..
It is nothing like the die off of 86.. When there were thousands of tilapia dead and floating.. But they are tropical fish and water in the high forties and low fifties tends to kill em.. Especially if it hangs around for a while.. I takes a while for that beer to get really cold..
Yesterday was still a tough day of fishing for most. But some folks got on some numbers of small fish. Still hanging around that ten to fifteen feet of water.. One fellow I talked to said they caught thirty two fish.. And only three or four were keepers..
One of my spots yesterday produced an 8-2 on the first cast.. And seven more small fish off the same spot the size of your dinner table.. Too bad it was not me fishing on that spot..
But yesterday was a good day for Harold Buchmeier.. He caught this 11-11 in the Salado.. Same creek (it's really a river) that 8-2 came from..
And day before that Gwen caught this nice Rosie fishing with Matt Reid.. Not sure what this fish weighed but the women always get a break on this page..
Best numbers of fish still seem to be coming from the Salanaias, which often happens this time of year. That north bank is a bit protected and it warms up as quick as any spot on the lake.. As does the north bank of the Salado..
You know that Salado is just a big fish factory.. It has put out more true monsters than any other arm of the lake.. I don't know how many fourteens have come out of there.. And of course the lake record came out of there.. And that's where I had my chance with a lake record about ten years ago.. Not sure she would have fit in a livewell..
I can still see her in my mind.. What little I have left of it..
There are certain memories that are engrained in the brains hippocampus, where your long term memory is stored.. And they say that those that are the most vivid are usually those that are engrained at the same time when a huge emotional situation is occurring simultaneously..
Well I am no brain surgeon, but I can certainly vouch for that..
I not only have the memory stored.. I have the Video.. I can still see her flying out of the water.. Which is rare for a fish of her size.. That's like Rosie dunking a basketball.. Seems impossible..
But for a second she was able to defy gravity and and then defy the laws of physics.. By breaking my new 65 pound braid on a straight pull in three feet of water.. And people ask me why I like to fish shallow..
She was headed for a fence and I tried to stop her.. I could smell my thumb burning on the spool.. But it was not to be.. When the line broke I hit myself between the eyes with my rod and damn near fell out the other side of the boat..
Every time I snap my fingers I can still feel the scar on my thumb.. A lingering and constant reminder of my failure..
But I caught a 12-1 the next week and it helped to ease the pain..
Did you watch the Obiminator on TV last night? Me neither.. But I did see and read a few excerpts.. A couple of my fav's are free college and transsexuals.. Oh I mean transgender people..
Free college? What actually is free college? Let me get out the Jimmy Bendele Lexicon for you..
That means that those that are already getting a lot of free shit are going to get some more.. And it will be free because you are going to pay for it.. That's simple enough..
I can see them setting up new college taxing districts now.. You know.. Just the same way that free public schools are free..
There is no free lunch.. Well yeah there is.. You're paying for that too..
And in closing I'd like to think that if you are born with a dick, you should keep it.. Of course that is just my opinion..
It is mighty handy when you need to piss, and you don't need to squat.. Or wipe.. Just a shake will do.. One of God's finer inventions.. And one of the true advantages man has over woman..
I know it is the twenty first century.. And people are getting weirder every day.. And I even heard a medical firm advertising for this on TV the other day.. Skinner and Whakum, M.D.'s 1-800 Whack-a-PP..
Actually do not call that number.. (unless you want to..) It is some sex site the way it sounds.. I hung up after I maxed out my credit card..
See you on the warm water!
And remember.. If you shake it more than twice you're playing with it!
January 15, 2015: It's gonna happen. The sun is going to shine. I just know it.. And just in time for the weekend. If not then I think maybe I will finally go insane..
This weekend we have three bass clubs headed to town, and from the looks of the forecast they might just get lucky. Scheduled to appear, in no particular order, are Medina Lake Bass Club, Helotes Bass Club, and Uvalde Bass Club.
And it will be good to see some folks in town for a change.. The new year is off to a slow start..
And putting some hooks in the water might actually help us get an idea of what is going on around here. And who knows maybe a few fishermen will catch something like this 11.04 pound beastie that was caught by local guide Billy Tompkins this week while he was out scouting..
There are still a few of these monsters left..
I have always had an unwritten rule that I did not put pics of fish weighing less than ten pounds on this page. And I have not posted many pics as of late.. I reckon we'll start seeing a few more in the next few weeks.. I have seen a bunch of eights as of late though..
And if you can believe it or not there is actually a shadow in that picture.. It was a short window..
Monday was a nice reprieve from the gloom, but alas it lasted only one day and we have been back in the cold and wet for the last three.. So there have not been many folks on the water, and those that have been have not been setting the world on fire. Water temps in the low fifties don't do us a lot of good..
This is a bunch of bullshit.. Texans are not supposed to have to put up with this crap..
Last time I wrote I was telling you about some possible big tournaments coming this fall, and we've got another one on the books.
The Texas Association of Bass Clubs, or TABC, will be holding its annual state championship here on Falcon on the weekend of September 26th and 27th.. It has been four years since they have been in town, and it is good to see them come back. They usually bring about 250 anglers with them when they come, and that is good news for Zapata businesses..
Thanks TABC for choosing Zapata and Falcon Lake..
The fish that are being caught right now are mostly being caught on slow moving baits.. Slow is the key.. Unless you just happen to hit one on the head..
Staging areas off the creeks edges are a good place to look.. And be sure to fish any points that are inside creek mouths.. Whether you see trees or rocks..
TPWD has a new Director of Inland Fisheries, and no offense intended to anyone, but I am glad that they picked a Texan. Craig Bonds has been named to fill the big chair in Austin. He has been around TPWD for a good while and started with them in 1999. He has been the East Texas Region 3 director since 2007. I think he will be a good fit..
I also hear he is a Sharelunker fan.. We'll have to work on that..
TPWD will be holding another public comment meeting here in Zapata in the not too distant future, to hear imput from the locals about proposed regulation changes, not the least of which is the recommendation to raise the alligator gar daily bag to five.
I will let you know when it is going to happen. But it should be in the next couple of months, probably in February or March..
All we need around here, other than a bunch more water, is some freakin sunshine and some south winds..
Oh.. And you..
See you on the water..
January 10, 2015: I know a lot of you.. Hell almost all of you have it worse than we do right now.. Weather wise. And this stuff sucks, today being the worst day we have had of it so far.
It is mid thirties and still misting, nothing you could really call rain.. But miserable is as good a word as one could use.. The winter of my discontent..
But then all of them are..
There have actually been a few folks fishing, and they have actually caught a few fish. And I am surprised and pleased to see a few bigger fish in the mix. I have seen pics of some really fat eight pounders and a few other really healthy looking quality fish. And most all of these have come somewhat shallow.
There is no doubt that these fish want to go spawn.. But the water is just too cold to get many of these fish up in the shallows. But it is gonna happen sooner than later..
I was looking at the long term weather pattern, and if you can believe any of that stuff, it is supposed to warm some after next week.. That'd be fine with me..
Water temps have been in the low sixties and I am sure this morning there are no gauges with a six as the first number.
I wish I had more to tell you, but most folks are smart enough to stay indoors during this stretch.. No offence intended..
We have a small window for fishing maybe tomorrow afternoon and Monday, before the next wet and cool pattern sits on us like a new clutch of eggs..
This is like waiting out a long prison sentence..
The lake is still coming up, and this morning we are sitting at 273.91, or 27.29 feet low. And if you're paying attention, we're up almost another foot in about the last ten days or so.. And it is looking good for the spawn.. We have some decent cover in the water.. And more every day..
The tournament season is about to kick off here in south Texas before too long, and Bass Champs will be at Amistad in just two weeks. They come to Falcon just a month later on the 21st of February, and they should hit it good..
And I want to remind you of the International Federation of Black Bass Anglers tournament that is coming to Texas and Falcon for the first time ever.. It is a team tournament and you can fish it as well. Details are on their site which you can find here.. It will be a two dayer on March 14th and 15th..
First place will be $5000 with a minimum of twenty five teams entered.. See the site for details and contact info.. Some of you local boys should eat this up.. It is a team tourney..
Bass Champs comes back on April 25 for their second go round, and that is it so far as far as what one might call a "BIG" tournament for this spring.
There will be lot of clubs coming to Falcon as well, and we have many of them listed on our tourney page. If your club is coming please let me know so I can add you to our schedule.
In the fall we have a few more bigger tourneys scheduled and we are still working on a few others.. And I'll let you know when they are cemented in place.
And if you or your organization wants to bring a tourney to Falcon please contact me and we'll get the ball rolling.
I am very optimistic that our spring fishing is going to be good.. If we ever get to spring..
The Sharelunker season is certainly off to a crawl.. Last year was the third slowest year in the history of the program and TPWD blamed it on the cold winter.. Which was colder than this one has been so far.. Maybe not nastier.. But colder..
And even as slow as it was, there were four caught by this time.. So far there has been one.. I don't see a lot of fish being caught this year either.. Of course I said that a long time ago.. This year could rival the lowest years in history..
It will certainly be in the bottom 25%.. And if it ain't you can rub my nose in it..
There just aren't that many big fish out there, especially with the low water and drought conditions that we have had across the state in the last decade..
This would, however, be a great time for Sharelunker to prove itself..
And show that genetics play a bigger part than conditions..
But it ain't gonna happen. Cause it ain't so..
And even the most die-hard of you Sharelunker lovers must be starting to see the light..
I know that there are still a few believers in the "Hope and Change" category.. So I guess there can still be a few believers in Sharelunker..
But after near thirty years you'd think that one might begin to see the light..
I think it is time to change the bulb..
See you on the water.. Or at Burlington Coat Factory...
January 7, 2015: Bored.. Bored to tears.. And from the looks of the forecast I will be pullin my hair out about Sunday cause it is only getting worse..
If only I had the wings of Icarus..
It has been a gloomy period around here.. And on days when the sun actually shines, people come out of the woodwork..
Today ain't one of em..
Yesterday was an exception, and we had a decent day with only high filtered clouds.. Not warm mind you, but fishable.
Gary Harlan and I decided to go for a boat ride up the Salado and the Hedieona, and we fished some of the prettiest water you have ever seen.. But the fish must not be holding it in such high regard.. Both of those creeks look incredible, but yesterday they were fishless..
I have written many times before that if the water gets in the mid fifties you might as well stay home and watch Captain Kangaroo.. Well we shoulda done that.. Or went to the golf course..
Water temps in both creeks were in the low fifties and finally got to about 55° by four o'clock.. Bout the time we said we had had enough.. But it was a great day for a boat ride.. We had actually been catching some fish in there the last couple of weeks..
It's gonna be awesome when it warms up a little.. If that ever frickin happens!!
We are currently experiencing a nice little shower.. With more in the forecast and more cold air.. We ain't warming no water up like this..
Here's a pic of the Palapa on the south side of the Salado I took yesterday..
Here's a pic of the same Palapa I took in 2010.. At nine feet over pool..
And here's a pic I took yesterday of Indian Bluff.. Well at least that is what I call it.. Also on south bank just a little farther west of the Palapa. I keep expecting to see some smoke signals up there..
We have had some beautiful sunsets.. Pic does not come close to doing it justice..
And not one pic of a fish..
We did certify a new lake record crappie on Monday.. 2.44 pounds.. There have been a lot of bigger ones caught.. But few people bother to get them weighed.. Maybe this will get them motivated..
They have been catching some whoppers as of late..
I see today that more representatives of the religion of peace murdered a bunch of people in France.. Chickenshit son of a bitches.. It takes a real man to shoot a bunch of unarmed people when they probably were not even looking at you.. You bastards will all burn in hell..
I just don't get it.. You keep telling me.. And telling me.. And telling me.. Islam is a religion of peace.. When are the peaceful Islamic Muslims gonna stand up and purge this cancer from their religion..
I don't see it happening..
And Obamma says we will find and punish these assholes.. I guess now we really are the worlds policemen.. This happened in France.. I think we got all we can do to protect the homeland.. And we don't even do that..
And in some cities people don't respect the policemen we have here.. People who do not respect the rule of law..
I wonder if there were no police forces how long they'd like the laws of anarchy.. You might be a bad dog.. But there's always a badder one..
Makes you wonder..
Well I'm headed to the store to stock up on chickens and chili meat.. And maybe a big jug of whiskey.. Looks like we are gonna have to hunker down for a few days..
I hate this shit..
January 2, 2015: Well here it is 2015, and it looks just like 2014.. Cloudy, cold, wet, and unappetizing for most outdoor activities.. Which would include fishing. But that hasn't kept em all of the lake. But when you're a big wuss like me you tend to stay close to the fire..
Those that are going out today have been greeted by a light mist and temps in the high forties.. And water temps in the fifties.. And these Floridas are not crazy about cold water.. Kinda like me.. They just lay around and pout..
We are still catching water ever so slowly, but when you look back over a couple of weeks it adds up. We are up to 273.45, or 27.75 low. And if you look back to the fifteenth of November, a scant six weeks ago, we are up 2.78 feet.. That's serious water.
Ramps are working fine at the state park and at the county Ramp here in Zapata. Beacon and Lakefront also have working ramps. And you can launch at the Tigers if you have the urge..
There is one hazard to talk about at this time.. If you are a Falcon veteran then you know about the giant old concrete bridge abutment up the river between the Salado and Hedieona. It has about three or so inches of water on top of it and it will ruin your day if you hit it.. So avoid it.. And if you do not know where it is and are planning on a riparian trip then you better ask..
Other than that you are good to go on the rest of the lake.. The two telephone poles in Big Tiger are only about a foot or so out of the water. You really don't want to run over them either..
There are still fish being caught, but I am not sure what an extended cold water event in the shallows will do.. Well that's bullshit.. Of course I know.. It will run the fish out of the spawning areas if it hangs on very long.
We have a full moon on Sunday, but I am not expecting a big wave of fish up there this go round. The water is just too cold. I am sure there will be a few exceptions, but it will not be the norm..
So hit and miss will be the order of the day for the immediate future.. Believe me, no one wants it to warm up more than me..
We have not seen a sunny day in a while, and as a matter of fact we have not had three sunny days down here in a month.. And while that sounds crazy, it is true.. I'm getting a little pissed.. It's like living in freaking Seattle..
Have you made your new years resolutions yet?
Me neither.. I thought of a few but it would just piss off a bunch of people if I actually took them to heart..
Last year I gave up a bunch of stuff I love and all it did was piss me of..
I went from drinking a pot of coffee a day to zero caffeine.. Cold Turkey..
I gave up ice cream.
I gave up cigars.
I gave up eating bread.. Well except for the occasional Whataburger..
And I have been trying to eat better to keep this gout from kicking my ass. Cause nothing sucks worse than not being able to do what you want.. Like go fishing.. Because you can't even crawl out of the recliner much less up on a bass boat.
Thank God for modern medicine..
What if we could make a gout bomb and drop it in the middle east.. Those bastards don't do anything but fight and make love to camels anyway, so the world would not loose the production of anything..
They'd never know what hit them.. And then they'd quit killing everybody cause you ain't doing shit if you got you a good case of the gout.. Maybe we been approaching this all wrong..
I can see it now.. Aktmed and Kasgar are warming themselves over a goat dung fire, and Aktmed says, "Kasgar, me freekeng beeg toe is killing me.. I vill not be able to go to the infidel recognition school tonight.."
I don't know though.. If they all had gout, the number of suicide bombers would certainly go up..
Yeah, I'm a little bored around here..
I been watching a lot of football, and and some NBA, and it has inspired me to make a new app for your Apple or Android device.
I think I'm gonna call it Click-A-Tat.. It will be marketed towards professional athletes of course, but wanna-bees are welcome to log on as well..
Whenever you are bored, like between possessions or during time outs, or when you are serving out your suspensions, you can browse through millions of Tattoo designs to pick out your next art..
The site will be sectioned of course with categories from offensive linemen all the way to power forwards.
It will also have subcategories that will help out with selecting tats for certain body parts.. Because from what I have seen, some folks certainly need help in this department.
Putting a heart on your ass cheek may send the wrong message to a certain crowd.
And tattooing "Mom" on your pecker.. Well.. We might need read some Freud about that one..
Anyway I think it will be a hit, cause I still see a few square inches of un-penned skin out there..
Having a tattoo is fine, but making your body look like a never repainted bathroom stall is a little too much for me..
I guess I am too old fashioned.. I don't even like bumper stickers..
Well.. The 'Obamma Sucks' ones are alright..
I better go before I start to tell you about the Obamma administration's plans to develop and plant cactus that grows popsicles instead of nopalitos on the leaves all along the border.. To help the undocumented Democrats.. I mean illegal aliens.. I mean the best and brightest as they journey into the country..
Happy New Year!
December 30, 2014: Well here it is boys.. New Years Eve, Eve.. And I reckon I have probably typed 2014 on this report for the last time.. And for the last seven years I have had a shit load of fun writing this thing.. I hope you have had a little bit of fun reading it..
And while in the beginning it was pretty much just a fishing report, and a what's happening page about what was going on here on Falcon, I guess it has kind of evolved into.. Well hell I don't know what..
But it is what it is..
All things change..
Hell seven years ago Miley was still on Disney lunch boxes.. Now she's rubbing her box on someone's crotch and licking an imaginary something on TV all the time.. Hell if I know..
Seven years ago I had a cell phone.. Now I got one that can give you a sunburn..
Seven years ago the Falcon Lake record bass was 15.12 pounds.. We've seen that bested twice..
Seven years ago the Bassmaster four day heavy stringer record was broken here on Falcon six times in one day..
Yeah, that don't happen very often.. And won't ever again.. You can write that down..
Seven years ago the state record largemouth bass was an 18.18 pounder from Fork.. Still is..
Seven years from now the state largemouth bass record will still be 18.18 pounds.. You can write that down too..
Seven years ago the Sharelunker program was 21 years old and had not produced a single fish that weighed thirteen pounds..
Seven years later it's seven years older and has still not produced a thirteen pound bass..
You cannot turn Cheetah into King Kong..
Those last two items go hand in hand.. If we keep a bounty on teenagers we'll never break the state record.. You can write that down..
Seven years ago there was no limit on alligator gar in Texas.. Now look what we've got.. A one fish limit on a piece of crap fish.. And a lake full of fish eating mutants run wild..
But you can still kill five trophy sized bass a day.. If there was any..
Last week I wrote an article for the local paper in response to the report on the alligator gar study they published in the same. And it was a long one.. I could write about that subject for days.. Maybe I'll post it here sometime, but you are probably tired of hearing me bitch about the gar.. But I wanted to set the record straight for the locals that read TPWD's side of the story..
If the gar ain't eating the bass, where's all my fish from 2008 and 2010? We should be crawling with eight to twelve pound bass..
I guess in seven years we will be able to look back and see how this one gar per day decision affected the lake.. I already know..
If gar are so precious why don't we have hatcheries and we could stock them in lake Fork and the like..
I know.. I don't own the lake.. But neither do they..
Seven years ago the fishing on Falcon was fantastic..
Seven years ago we had a hellova population of Cormorants on the lake.. Now we have a hellova super tremendous incredible population of cormorants on the lake.. We can't do anything about that either I guess..
Mr Spock once said, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.. Or the One.."
I guess that shit don't wash anymore.. Just like in politics the special interest groups take president.. This country has gone apeshit..
Seven years ago we still had a president with some scruples and some American pride.. Well that shit changed in 2010.. Along with the rest of your life..
And sometimes I wonder if it is too late to pull the stick back before we splatter on impact..
I guess I worry to much. And bitch too much.. Times seven.. But hell somebody's got to do it..
I am not sure what the new year will bring.. Hell, I don't know what last year brought..
But whatever it is you can bet I will be sure to let you know what is going on around here..
Happy New Year to you and yours. Thanks for your support throughout the years, and we hope to see you here this new year..
They may not be monsters.. But the fish are biting.. And they're growin!
December 21, 2014: Remember a few days ago that I said we hadn't see the sun in ten days.. We still ain't.. And I'm starting to get a little pissed..
But hope springs eternal and there is light at the end of the tunnel.. I hope it is sunlight.. Maybe we'll get some for Christmas.. Won't even have to unwrap it..
Despite the cloudy conditions, water temps have remained in the middle sixties, and the fish have remained fairly active, for those few that have ventured out into the soup.. Good numbers of fish, and few more big fish are starting to show up in the shallows, no doubt with lovin' on their minds..
We had not been seeing many fish in the "Nice" category, but more and more of them are being caught. Not a bunch of giants, but some solid four to seven pounders. Points inside creeks, and secondary drains and any kind of rocky point can be holding some fish.
A Carolina rigged bait seems to be real popular, with a fluke or lizard hanging on it.. And several of the folks I talked to said to move it like a cat sneaking up on a field lark..
The big fish have been just sucking the bait up, and the little fish are knocking the crap out of it.
The square bill and the Red Eye are still good choices if you want to run the rocky points and windblown gravel banks.
But catchability is good right now.. For those few that have braved the conditions.. It is cool and damp again this morning and I reckon another fog is gonna set in on us about sunrise.. Status quo..
Christmas is only four days away, and I reckon it is about time to get started on my shopping.. I've only got a few things to buy, and I know where they live.. So it ain't gonna be too hard.
We will be closed most of Christmas eve and all of Christmas day, to spend some time with Family. But I will be here early on the day after so you you can stop by and show me the new reel you got for Christmas.. Even if you did not buy it from us..
I hope this Christmas finds things going well for you, and I'll pray for those of you that it is not. I also hope that you will take the time to remember what Christmas is all about. It is easy to get caught up in the secular activities that surround Christmas, and I have to admit that retail will usually prevail. It's hard to get away from.
I also hope that you get the chance to spend some time with family and friends.
And I want to thank all the folks serving in our Armed Forces, that are scattered across the globe, providing our freedom to to celebrate Christmas in the safety of our own country. They are not going to be home for Christmas, so keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
You guys rock.. God Bless You.
I am headed to the ranch for a few days to see if Bambi is still running the does, and if he is, maybe I can give him a case of lead poisoning. I can see me making some salami about Tuesday..
So from Falcon Lake Tackle and the entire Bendele clan, we say Merry Christmas!
And don't forget the batteries!
December 17, 2014: There has been little sun around here the last ten days.. And it is starting to get to me.. Not that I am slipping into some dreadful holiday melancholy.. I just need some sun on my skin.. I'm starting to turn a little pasty..
And today is no different.. Light drizzle and cool.. Not cold.. But cool.. Temperature wise we are having a great winter.. I like global warming..
Fishing is decent around here, but not spectacular, as many will attest. But it is certainly the best fishing we have had in the last year or so. And on any given day you can catch some quality fish. And a shit ton of little ones..
A Carolina rig fished slowly.. Very slowly.. Will catch some fish. Small flukes and lizards are reported to be doing pretty good. The shallow bite is doing pretty well and the consensus around here is that there are certainly a few spawning fish.
There are so many shad in the water it is hard to believe that a fish would bite an artificial.. But it does happen.. These fish have the feed bag on and they are fat as pigs.. And growing at an incredible rate..
It is the week before Christmas, and things are pretty slow around here, as folks prepare for the upcoming holidays, which for the most part, does not include a fishing trip. Condition normal..
And while the weather has not been Christmas like, we are only eight days away from celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. If you are not a believer then I guess you will just enjoy the extra day or two off.. While the rest of us will certainly enjoy a holiday with much more meaning. I ain't here to preach to you.. But Jesus can and will save your sorry ass, just like he saved mine.. All you gotta do is ask..
I have certainly been blessed to be here in Zapata, and most of that is because of the people I have met. And while living here certainly has its advantages, and some disadvantages, it has been the most comfortable living I have ever done, away from the rat race and traffic. Some of you might go stir crazy living here, but I find this low key lifestyle fits me pretty good.. And regular visits from folks still living in the big towns keep me well grounded..
We have befriended many folks here since the first day we opened the doors. And that has been our privilege. And you know there are some folks you run into that you just automatically take a liking to. You can't help it..
And one of those people was William "Hump" Franklin. Hump passed away this week, after keeping cancer beat back for some ten years or more. He pursued life in a way I am envious of, and he did nothing in a small fashion.
He had a fish camp down at Los Lobos for years, and he decided to buy a lot over near Lakefront and move to the big city.. And when I say he decided to move, he moved. He moved stuff down the highway that the Marines would have left behind.. When I asked him how he got it here he told me "Don't ask.."
He started a welding company in Kingsville in 1974, and expanded it into the oilfield, and the rest is history. Nothing he did was Half-Assed..
He also gave back as much as anyone you will ever meet. He put on an annual golf tournament in Burnet that raised untold thousands for scholarships and charities. And he was pretty darn good at rustling up auction prizes I can attest..
But my favorite event of the year was the "Humpie Howie" bass tournament.. I never fished it.. But damn it I ate good all week. Those boys would put on the feedbag, and Hump and I both have an affliction for oysters.. And every year, even if I could not make it to the fandango, he always made sure the I got delivered a fresh quart of shucked Matagorda Bay raw oysters..
The first year he gave me some I told him I ate the whole quart at one sitting.. They were awesome.. He said "I bet you're still shittin like a pet coon.."
Hump touched the lives of everyone he met, and my only regret is that I did not meet him sooner.
Hump was an avid fisherman all his life, and it was not until last year that he caught his first ten pounder.. Everybody gave him hell about being able to dodge all those big fish all those years on Falcon.. He had a lot of near misses like a lot of us.
Rest in Peace, Hump.. But damn we're gonna miss you..
December 11, 2014: It has been a while since I have written.. But I have been a busy boy.. Well sort of.. The rut finally started at the ranch and I was glued to the action.. And a chain saw..
I wish there was some giant breaking news I could tell you about the fishing around here.. But the truth is that fishing remains steady, with not a lot of changes. We are still catching fish about like we have been for months. And that includes some hit and miss days. And not just for me..
There have been a few bigger fish showing up here and there, and I have heard of a few eight to ten pounders the last week. And not surprisingly a lot of these fish are coming from pretty damn shallow water.. Like less than five feet.. And call me crazy but there are a few spawning fish out there.. And I have have heard of fry being seen from two different people.. Whether they were bass or not no one knows.. But something is spawning.. I seen it before.
It is very early..
Water temps are back up to the mid sixties, from a few weeks ago when we dipped into the upper fifties. And I am sure this has confused a few fish.. I am sure winter ain't over.. But I'd be good with it if it was..
We are still rising, albeit slowly, but we'll take any water we can get. We are up to 272.28, or 28.92 feet low. And there is a decent amount of cover in the lake, although we are still a few feet away from the really good stuff..
28.92 feet low.. That's funny.. I was reading on the web where lake Fork was seven feet down and the people were crying and Dallas was taking all their water and the end is near.. Welcome to our world.. No wait a minute.. You're not even close..
28.92 minus 7 feet equals 21.92 feet closer to pool than we are.. Yall ain't got it so bad.. Quit whining..
Shallow seems to be where it is happening around here, and I can attest to that.. All my fish I have been catching that were in the mid depths (for me), eight to twelve feet have moved.. Or quit biting.. Or have been eaten.. Or abducted by aliens.. Or whatever.. Cause I can't catch them where they were.. And when I go back looking for em I am not going to go looking deeper.. It's bank beating time..
Break out those spinner baits, chatterbaits, and swim jigs.. It's time to get some scratches on the boat boys..
PAW was down here this week doing their usually annual fall shocking survey. And what they found was about exactly what I suspected. They caught a lot of four to eight inch fish, and a lot of twelve to sixteen inch fish. They also caught a few fours and fives and the biggest fish they caught was just under eight pounds.
One other interesting note was that they caught a shitload of hand sized crappie.. And a few big ones.. Which makes perfect sense because that is exactly what I am hearing from the crappie fishermen.. Who are doing quite well by the way.. And they caught crappie in spots from one end of the lake to the other..
And ninety percent of the crappie fishing on Falcon is done right here in the home creek.. I am sure there are crappie in all the other major creek arms if someone was to go looking for them.. A few years back I got on them in Opec and murdered em.. But I ain't really pursued them too much lately..
I will pass on the official shocking results when I get the report.. One other thing they saw a lot of was giant grass carp.. So you bow fishermen can come down here while the lake is rising and have you some fun.. They are everywhere..
What we don't have down here is a lot of fishermen..
There are a million gadgets out there these days to help fishermen, and the computer age and digital technology has certainly bombarded the sport with everything from computer controlled bait casters to touch screen depth finders.. It is amazing compared with what we used to fish with when I was a kid.
And I am patenting the newest device that will revolutionize one aspect of the industry.. After all.. If I could build Shadnick and put it in orbit I can build most anything..
I had originally built that thing in response to Spudnick.. The Russians gave me a lot of shit about naming a satellite after a baitfish.. But I told them at least I did not name mine after a freakin potato..
An eyepad for and eyepad, and a bluetooth for a bluetooth.. That's biblical you know.. But I digress..
My latest invention will be on the market before too long.. It is a GPS enabled, rechargeable lithium powered, self motivating, buoy marker, with on board and remote control capabilities..
Picture this.. You're fishing an open water spot where the rocks are about ten feet under the water and a ledge runs off it to the right.. And you have the sweet spot marked on your dash mounted GPS.. And you don't want to go running up there spooking the fish.. You simply stop a bit short of your mark on your machine..
Pick up the "Marks-a-Spot", and hold it near your machine.. Push the power button.. Push the enable Bluetooth button. Highlight the waypoint you want to mark on your machine.. Hit "Go To" and drop the Marks-a-Spot in the water.. The 360° water propulsion jet drive maneuvers your buoy right to the sweet spot and holds it there.. In winds up to eighteen miles per hour.. With a three hour battery life under those conditions, and up to twelve hours with little or no winds..
It's awesome.. And when you are ready to move to your next spot, simply push the home button on your onboard GPS and the Marks-a-Spot will swim its way right back to your console.. Slip it in to your drop in charger while you run and battery life is extended substantially.. The DLX model will also have sonar capabilities and will relay a picture back to your dash mounted unit via Bluetooth.. Just so you know what's down there.. Where you're fishing..
I'd like to show you a picture of the prototype but those damn Chinese would have it copied before it finished uploading..
Look for it in your local tackle store before next Christmas..
Speaking of Christmas, it is only fourteen days away.. I guess it is time to get ready.. Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Oh and one more thing.. I almost forgot.. If you are looking for a tourney to fish at Falcon in March.. We have been working with the International Federation of Black Bass Anglers organization to get a tourney down here at Falcon.. And I am glad to say that they are coming here in March.. On the 14th and 15th..
Registration will be here at Falcon Lake Tackle under the big top. For more details and registration information go to their website at IFBBA.com There are some details still being worked out, but there is meal planned and typically people come from all over the world to fish their tournaments.. And YOU can fish it as well.. Stay tuned for more details..
See you on the water!
December 5, 2014: I finally made it to the lake yesterday, and while the weather was near perfect, the catching was not.. At least for me.. Maybe I need to hire a guide..
Things started out pretty good but after the first hour I could have put it on the trailer. But gas is cheap right now and I ran down to the Tigers to fish my milk run that has been so good to me lately.. And I don't know if it is the rising water or the big moon or the time of day I fished the spots but the fish were not cooperating.. At least they did not for me.. Several other people that I talked to did pretty good..
Flipping trees in the right spot has had been putting some fish in the boat, but I guess I did not flip the right ones. And I put in some time in the way back of Big Tiger on all those great looking hardwoods.. One more spot eliminated.. At least for now.. But it looks awesome.. I'll be back in there before too long. It looks like spawning paradise..
The fish I did catch were on rocks.. Go figure.. I'm gonna write it off as bad timing.. It seems weird but there seems to be some really good days, and then some not so good days.. But I reckon that is fishing.. You shoulda been here yesterday..
There are so many places on the lake that look great it is hard to pick one out.. I was in Diablo yesterday, and I hadn't been in there in a while, and with the new water in the lake it looks awesome as well.. I did get a few bites in there..
I also fished some deep ledges with no luck.. I'm going back to beating the bank.. Sometimes you need to dance with the one that brung ya..
Overall the lake looks great and I am sure that if you bust it for a few days you are going to catch some fish.. Nice weather stretch still on the horizon.. Not sure if them deer are ever going to run..
But I reckon them deer are like teenagers.. They're gonna have sex somewhere.. You can't watch em all the time..
Is watching deer have sex considered voyeurism? Hadn't thought of that before.. I don't want to be a weirdo.. But I'll have to admit it is hard to quit looking.. I shouldn't have used hard.. I shoulda used difficult..
That was a hell of a segway..
Speaking of sex, did you hear what the Obamminator did with the immigration situation? What a screwin'.. I love it when he says that we are always welcoming the worlds "best and brightest".. What we have been getting is the worlds worst and neediest.. And the snowball is getting bigger and bigger..
And don't confuse the European invasion of immigrants from the early 1900's with a lot of of what we are getting today.. And you can go back farther than that to the mid 1800's..
Those people came with nothing but a hope for a better life and opportunity, and the willingness to learn a new language, and a work ethic that defies description in today's world..
I am not saying that some of the new "immigrants" don't have some of the same.. But the percentage is appalling..
The immigrants from the previous two centurys, for the most part, left their language and flags behind. They became Americans.. They assimilated.. They contributed.. They won world wars..
There is not a thing in the world wrong with remembering, and indeed honoring your heritage. It should be a prerequisite. But it should be secondary to being an American..
My folks did not come over on the Mayflower.. But they did get here in 1844.. That's six years after the battle of the Alamo.. And thank God they came to Texas.. Like I said.. I'm the luckiest Son of a Bitch on the planet..(No offense intended Mom)
And what they got was a piece of land and a promise.. "If you can tame it and occupy it you can have it.." But it came with no guarantees.. Just opportunity..
And Bendeles being Bendeles, they whipped a living out of that section and made a lot more Bendeles.. And we're still doin it today..
No brag.. Just fact..
I guess I have a lot of pent up hostility towards anyone that does not think and feel the same way as I do.. Including the president. I do not believe that he shares the same core American values that I have.
Hell I'm sure of it..
I don't even think he is an American and he surely takes no pride in what Americans before him have done. I don't think he has any skin in the game..
His family did nothing to build this country. He has not contributed.. Only taken..
You can tell he has no pride to build his "Americanism" on.. It's quite evident.. His disdain for American tradition and ultimately the American way of life oozes out of him every time I see him on TV..
But he likes golf.. Maybe we can get him to move to Scotland..
I know I was born in a different generation.. And a different country than him, for that matter..
I grew up in a time where our toothpaste came in lead tubes.. We had iron on patches on our jeans.. We had "One God" in our lives and materialism wasn't even invented yet..
Microwave popcorn? What the hell is a microwave.. But if the president was a popcorn kernel in a bag of Orville Reddinbockers, he'd be the first kernel to pop..
We need some leaders with some balls and a blind eye to political correctness.. And soon..
There are ten other topics I could go on about.. But it is Friday.. And if you're reading this on the toilet your butt is probably starting to go to sleep..
Have a good weekend!
December 3, 2014: Well as luck would have it, I did not make it on the lake on Monday. The dense fog hung in there till almost noon and then I got busy and the next thing I knew it was three o'clock.. And on Monday night we had this front move in, with its moisture and cold and I did not go out yesterday either.. Tomorrow is another day.. We did get a half inch of rain on Monday night..
I was updating the rain and lake level page and was looking at last month's level in the middle of the month and I see that we are up 1.16 feet in the last eighteen days. And looking back a year we are about three feet lower than we were at the same time. I am not sure if this gradual rise will continue but it has been nice to see. Not a lot has changed with the releases from Amistad, which is also on a very slow rise, due in some part to releases from Luis Leon in Mexico.
Let's hope the wet pattern continues and we can keep the valley wet and pick up a bit more water before the spawn gets into full swing. We need another successful spawn to keep us headed in the right direction.
Back to the fishing.. I should have went on Monday.. Everybody I talked to said that the fish bit really good.. Naturally.. I hope they are in the same mood tomorrow.. We are supposed to be back in the seventies for the next few days and thru the weekend.. Sounds promising. I'm still sticking with my mild winter theory.. It has been great so far..
I hear that the fish have been really shallow the last few days, from those that have ventured out. Yesterday was a turd as far as the weather went.. Cold and damp.. But some still caught fish.
Shallow water and seventies in December is something I like.. Hasta Manyana..
I talked to a fellow who cleaned a couple of bass on Monday, and he said he thought they were both males.. Till he filleted them and found them to be well developed in in the egg department.. I did not see the eggs myself and I have no idea how far a long they are developed, but I am telling you that the spawn could come early this year if we continue on this warm pattern.. We'll see.. Maybe I'll whack a couple of them open tomorrow.. In the name of research..
PAW has not made it down here to do its annual fall shocking study, due to conflicting obligations.. But it is quite possible that they will make it next week. I am very interested to see what they might find. I know the numbers of small and juvenile fish are way up.. But I want to see what else is out there..
The crappie are back on the bite here in the Veleno, and there are a lot of juvenile fish taking the bait as well. I hear that there are as many throwbacks as there are keepers. Some of the fish are reported to be as big as Cadillac doors.. But it is good the hear that the crappie also had a good spawn this last spring.
The white bass should be heading up the river, but no one that I have talked to has said anything about them. It is a little early, but it can't be too far away.. Last year we caught a lot of them in the backs of creeks as well as in the river.. On some days the fishermen were lined up shoulder to shoulder on the county boat ramp.. Funny how those fish will congregate in one area.. They seemed to like the concrete on that ramp..
Catfishing has also been decent on most days with all methods. Standing timber around cormorant roosts is always a good place to start. And boy do we have the cormorants this year.. That giant flock that has been here all year has been joined by some of their northern cousins. Currently they are inhabiting the upper end of the lake just south of the Veleno.. By the thousands.. We need a season on these fish killin son of a bitches.. Sooner than later..
Jug and trot lines have also been good.. Cut carp or tilapia is good bait.. The fresher the better..
Everything else around here is pretty much status quo.. The fish are biting.. Warming trend coming.. Life is good..
December 1, 2014: As we enter the last month of the year, I find it hard to believe that we are already at this point. Staring down the barrel of the holidays, twenty four days away from Christmas. Where the hell did the year go?
Thanksgiving is behind us and it is back to work for most of us, and I hope you got to spend some time with friends and family over the long weekend. We did and I think I have finally said goodbye to the last of the turkey. She was a good one..
I have been on hiatus for the last week, in the writing department anyway. There has not been a lot to tell that you don't already know. About the fishing anyway.
Water temps have recovered a bit from the lows a few weeks ago, and they are kinda settled in the mid sixties. We have had a mild week for the most part, but we had a windy Friday and Saturday, with Saturday being very tough sledding, with winds in the twenties all day.. It was not pretty out there.. Yesterday was beautiful.
We have a slight chance of rain today and tonight, but the rest of the week looks awesome, with temps headed back towards eighty.. That's my kind of winter..
There were a few good fish caught over the weekend, and a nine something was the best fish I heard about. She was a fattie and these bigger fish are starting to egg up it appears as we approach the spawn.. I know I know.. It's the first of December.. But it is coming. It don't just happen over night.. There have been many times I have caught spawning bass the day after Christmas.. We'll see what happens this year.
We certainly had a spawn that was spread out this last year. And we certainly had a big summer time spawn, as can be attested by the cast net contents that I have seen and heard about for the last few months. There are lots of four inch bass in the water right now. And lots of eight to twelve inchers.. And in some spots they will drive you crazy..
There were a few folks in town over the weekend, but it certainly was not crowded around here. And most folks that fished did better on the south end of the lake. Up here in the Veleno we have a algae bloom going on, and the water is pea green in some spots. I know it don't bother the fish but it bothers me.
I hear the Salado is in a strange color condition that reminds one of a lake turning over.. Hell if I know. It was beautiful a week ago when I was there.. The south end of the lake looks awesome with about two feet of visibility, that pretty Falcon green.
We are still eaking upwards when it comes to water level, and this morning we are sitting at 271.73, or 29.47 feet low. We have a good bit of cover in the water but five feet would be a blessing and ten would be a miracle.. There is a green jungle about three feet above where we are now. We'll see what happens between now and the end of February.. If we get another good spawn this spring this lake will be crazy in a couple of years.. Especially if we can get some gar killed off..
Crankbaits and soft plastics are still catching the most fish around here. And according to a few folks I talked to the flipping bite was pretty tough over the weekend. But with the winds we had it had to be pretty tough to work the woods very well. I'm headed out in a bit to go give it a try. I got theories..
And don't forget the dropshot.. You don't have to fish it on a fairy wand either if you don't want to.. Your crankbait rod will work just fine.. But that SOB is catching fish..
If you're not through shopping and are reading this on Cyber Monday, I'll let you get back to it..
I'm headed out there to see what I can catch.. Now that the wind has stopped blowing and you are back at work.. I'll let you know what happened..
November 21, 2014: Man if I had a wish it would be for me to be able to control the weather.. Or at least know what the weather was going to be.. Cause it seems that the predictions change every day..
Early in the week there was not a lot of talk about rain for this weekend, but now there seems to be a pretty good consensus that it is going to rain on Saturday.. And maybe it will and maybe it won't.. And severe weather is forecast for the San Antonio area.. We'll see soon enough.
Temperatures will be pleasant though, with highs in the eighties this weekend, something we have not had this week.. It has been cool and juicy the last few days.. Not rainy.. Just juicy.. Enough to say it is miserable out there in the mornings..
And with the cool and clammy weather there have not been a lot of folks on the water this week.. Including me.. I am still struggling with walking from day to day.. And I am getting damn tired of it.. Any of yall know a good podiatrist?
Or maybe an old ships doctor who is good at carving wooden legs? Getting old sucks..
From what I have heard fishing has been spotty this week, but I do not have a lot to go on.. What has interested me is the water temps that have plummeted in the last two weeks. Not long ago we had water temps in the seventies, and now we have upper fifties and low sixties.. That's normally reserved for after new years. Especially the fifties.. Damn that global warming..
The south end of the lake is certainly fishing better than the top, something that has been going on for quite a while.. And if it was me, I would not take her off pad till I got to marker seven.. Concentrate on the rocks and old rockpiles off the river channel, and in creeks bout half way back.. Most of the creeks are loaded with bait..
There was an all day bullshit session in here yesterday about the fishing and the future of fishing here on Falcon. And the consensus was that we have a very healthy but young group of fish in the lake. And I have seen this scenario before.. And no lake bounces back faster than Falcon.. And the pendulum is swinging our way..
This spring should see some very good fishing, even though we do not have the numbers of giant fish we once had..
Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and although we have been talking about it for a while, I can't believe it is already here.. Time flies.. Today is my thirty sixth wedding anniversary.. Something that I wouldn't have bet on thirty six years ago..
On Tuesday I am going to be fifty nine years old.. Something I wouldn't have bet on fifty years ago either.. And while that guy in the mirror is still familiar, he is not the same guy I looked at twenty years ago for sure..
But back on the subject of Thanksgiving, there are not a lot of folks in the world that have a lot more to be thankful for than me.. Because while I bitch and moan about my petty problems, there are lots of folks that have it a lot worse than I do..
My entire life I have had the support of the best family that a man could ask for.. Although some times I did not realize it or took it for granted.. And even though most of our eyesight worsens with age, the older you get, the cleared the vision of your past becomes..
And no one living in this country has more to be thankful for than that. As screwed up as things are this is still the best thing that ever happened on Gods green earth.. Thank you Lord for putting me here..
And we'd like to thank you for your support over the years.. We can't be here without you.. You guys make our work a pleasure and I have never done anything in my life I have enjoyed more.. And we look forward to seeing and serving you for years to come.. Lord willing..
We will be closed on Thanksgiving day, but I will be here bright and shiny on Friday morning if you decide to make Falcon for the three day weekend following Turkey day..
Back in the day it was an annual pilgrimage for us to hit the highway right after eating dinner at Mamas.. Tommy and I would start looking at each other about the time the pie was served.. The next thing you know is, "They gone.." And that triptofan was a bitch on the highway.. But we got in a three day fishing event most every year.. Those were the days..
If I don't see you or talk to you before Thursday then I want to say Happy Thanksgiving! I'm headed to the ranch on Sunday and I might not come out of the deer blind till Thursday.. There are few does starting to come in and those bucks won't be far behind.. Gets a feller in trouble every time..
Hope you get to spend Thanksgiving with your family..
See you soon!
November 18, 2014: It's another cold morning around here, and I had about 38 on my thermometer.. And that's a lot cooler than our norm for this time of year.. But it is sunny and fairly calm with a light easterly breeze.. It'll be fishable today at least.. Yesterday was not.. Unless you like thirty plus north winds.. Maybe not that bad. But it felt like it.. The fleet was grounded..
We are on a warming trend however and the local weatherman says we will be in the eighties this weekend both days.. Yahoo..
Not a lot to report on the fishing front.. Not a lot of folks fishing in this windy period.. But Saturday and Sunday produced the typical fishing we have been having around here.. Lotsa little fish with a few gooduns mixed in. There were also a few fish caught on a jig but the dropshot bite is still the best thing going.. You just gotta go with it..
The lake has risen about six inches in the last two weeks and I am thinking we could use the entire ramp at the the county launch.. But I have not tried it yet. I'll find out and get back to you.. Left two lanes are great.. State park ramp is fine.. Use the center lane.
We are still on a very slow rise.. AM water temps are in the low 60's with slight warming on sunny days..
Ingram Bass Club is on their way here this weekend and they should hit it good..
I am sure having trouble buying into this global warming shit.. How bout you? It's been cold early here again this year, and the prognosticators say that we are in for another cold one.. But I am not sure.
Last year it was a cold son of a bitch and I can't remember being more miserable for such a long time. And I expected it last year cause at the ranch the ground was covered with mesquite beans and acorns were every inch apart under the oak trees.. This year there is hardly any of either! Usually the old timers tell me that means a mild winter. I'll be keeping my eye on it.. But it sure makes the deer come to the corn. When the feeders go off it looks like a damn stampede..
Somebody asked me the other day why I hadn't said anything about the results of the midterm election.. I reckon because I really don't have much confidence that it is going to make a big difference in the long run. I'd like to think it will, but when the POTUS comes out and says that two thirds of the country didn't vote, and he is sure that they all agree with his opinions, and he will act accordingly, because they need to be represented, well that does not give me a lot of confidence..
This guy has his head so far up his ass that he is probably past the point of smelling shit..
And I reckon he thinks that all the illegal's he is fixing to legalize will do the jobs that Americans won't do.. Like vote Democrat..
Have you heard the shit about the framer of Obammacare saying that the American people are stupid. I don't know why anybody is giving him any crap.. He is right.. 50% of Americans have no freakin idea what the hell is going on..
And those assholes should not even be allowed to vote.
What a debacle this Obammacare shit is.. We got it shoved up our ass by a bunch of liars and ignorant bastards that knew nothing of the implications it would have, despite the warnings by those on the right..
"We have to pass it so we can see what's in it." That from the dementia ridden idiot Pelosi that can't remember anything.. Like praising this guy for structuring the plan, (back then) but now she has never even heard of him.. POTUS somehow can't remember him either.. He must have been thinking about getting the course the days he met with him..
What a crock of shit..
Seems like this fishing report has turned a little political.. I'm off my box now..
I have spoken in the past about having an occasional case of gout.. And Friday my foot started to hurt a little.. And by Saturday night it felt like I drop kicked a porcupine.. Of course I couldn't get to the doctor till Monday morning. But bless Dr. Mary's heart she is not afraid to stick a couple of needles in your ass and I feel immensely better today..
I keep trying to figure out why I always have a gout attack at Thanksgiving.. Seems like it happens every year and two years ago I was sure it was going to kill me.. Couldn't get it to go away for a freakin month.. Had every test known to man and X-rays and MRI's and you name it..
And I was trying to figure out why in the hell this happens every November and what coincides with November that could be causing it. And what coincides with November for me is Deer season.. And deer killin.. And sausage and jerky makin.. And eatin.. And eatin.. And I love it..
And while I have read just about everything ever written about gout and it's causes, I had never considered the possibility that venison may be ultra high in purines, the substance that causes the body to create an overabundance of ureic acid that crystallizes in your joints and causes the pain with it's sharp edges and feels like some son of a bitch is stabbing you in the foot with an ice pick every time you move or touch it.
So I did a google search and guess freakin what. Venison is one of the meats that can give some folks a near instant gout attack.. Guess who is evidently one of the lucky ones.. Guess who just made a shitload of fresh and dried sausage, and a ton of jerky and can't eat it.. Guess the kids and family will enjoy.. Jerky is a precious commodity around our place any way.. Maybe I can charge them for it..
November 14, 2014: There wasn't much time in the neutral position when the switch got flipped to winter from summer around here.. It's cold! We got down in the low forties this morning here in Zapata, and that is winter.. Well at least I think so..
I have been at the ranch lookin at deer at shivering my ass off.. At least it is a bit warmer here..
It is quite obvious that I got caught between reports and failed to make notice of Veterans Day on Tuesday. My apologies. So lets set things right..
All of you know, that all of us owe, a debt that we can never repay to all those that have served, and are serving our country currently. And I am talking about from George Washington on.
Without them putting their ass on the line we would be just another third world country mixed in the mire that makes up the rest of the all inclusive world omelet..
And just like the egg holds all the ingredients together, and apart; that is the job the US military has been tasked with..
Cause when you boil it all down, our leaders can say and do so much. And the common man has little imput in the big picture.. Sanctions and threats can only accomplish so much.
Of course with a president that wears panties what can you expect.. (No that was not a precursor talking about Hillary.. I think she wears boxers anyway..)
But when the US Military hits the ground, then the shit is fixin to hit the fan..
You guys rock.. Thank you for your service and dedication to this country. I salute you..
Fishing around here is pretty good, but I'll have to admit that there is not a lot of it going on this week.. There are a few of the diehards and snowbirds out there, but most of us thin blooded south Texans don't think the forties and fifties are for fishing.. Now hunting is a different story..
And no I ain't strapping my ass to a skinny pine tree and standing out in the wind.. I'm sitting in a nice warm blind with windows.. And Pandora.. And a rifle.. Not a freakin bow and arrow.. There's a reason the cowboys won..
Water temps are in the sixties, as I saw it at 69 on Monday morning when I went out for a couple of hours. I fished the Salado for a bit and only caught one fish. I was afraid to go south cause I knew the front was coming in, and I don't trust the weathermen as far as I can throw Rosie.. And at about nine o'clock I decided I could make it to the ranch in plenty of time to hunt the evening.. And I did..
But I bet the surface temps are around 64 right now if I had to guess. Ten degree drop in about ten days.. If the fish don't know that fall is coming then they never will.. Time to start fishing bout halfway back them creeks.. Think edges.. And turns in the creek channels.. The outside ones.. Don't ask me why but they are always better than the inside ones.. I guess cause they are a point and a channel bend all in one.. I must be a genius..
But if you can find some hardwoods on those outside creek channel bends that is a damn good place to look.. Just like you're more apt to find a present under a Christmas tree than a pecan tree.. Damn. I said Christmas.. I swore I wasn't gonna use that word till at least after Thanksgiving.. Only 40 shopping days left...
The drop shot is still catching fish.. If you are having a hard time getting bit, pull it out and throw it.. You can swallow your pride while you are reeling in some fish.. Red Bug or Tomato trick worms will get er done.. I wouldn't lie to you..
The fluke is also catching some decent fish as well fished in the same general areas.. You can flip it or fish it Texas rigged on those rocks.. A steep drop is a good thing..
Zona and Jeff Kriet were in town this week, filming something.. It was either a low budget porno, or a fishin show.. They didn't say.. But they bought some Mexican fishing licenses and they had cameras so either could be a possibility.. If this Ranger's rockin, don't come a knockin..
So guessing of course, look for a show on Falcon sometime in the near future.. And I guess it will either be on WFN or the Hustler channel..
I killed a cull buck on Wednesday night, and processed him into jerky and sausage.. Got my meat hangin'..
The weekend don't look to bad.. Maybe we'll see you here..
November 10, 2014: After a few days of rain last week, the weekend turned out to be about as nice as anyone could ask for.. And although we missed a good chance to put some real water in the lake, the area got some good rains and the state got some pretty general rains including west Texas, and it is hard to bitch about that.
We got 1.80 here at FLT in the three day event.. And the valley got from one to three inches depending on where you were.. And water in the ground is like water in the bank.. And the valley has better sub moisture right now than it has had in years.
What we need to do is convince the IBWC to move about five feet of water here from Amistad in the next month. Especially if they are going to move some here for irrigation anyway.. That way we could have a jungle for the fish to spawn in.. And you don't want to cover that Hydrilla too deep too fast at Amistad anyway..
There were three clubs down last weekend, and they caught about what has been the norm as of late. I did not hear of any double digit fish being caught, but there were some decent fish brought to the boat, and a few stories about the ones that got away.. Funny how nobody ever talks about the thirteen incher that gets off right at the boat..
Saturdays heavy weights were around sixteen pounds (five fish) from what I heard.. Some folks struggled to catch fish and some folks told me they caught a lot of keepers.. Uvalde bass club had a sixteen pound sack on Sunday for three fish.. So it ain't all too bad..
The baits were as varied as the fishermen, but I gotta say that soft plastics and shallow running crankbaits caught the lions share of fish.. And if you have been reading this that should not come as a surprise. Gravel banks with a little wind on them are a great place to start. Although last weekend there was very little wind to speak of.. And flat water was the norm.
And if I had to pick a weekend to fish I would not likely have picked the weather last weekend. North winds although light, a high pressure blue bird sky, and a moon you could read the newspaper under..
But it was great for golf..
I hear we have a son of a bitch of a cold front coming on Tuesday.. I hate that shit.. It starts out nice like last weekend.. And then guess what happens.. The next thing you know your sack shrinks up and your shaking like a dog shittin' peach seeds.. I hate winter..
Water temps are in the low seventies, courtesy of three days of clouds and cool rain. It'll warm up some in the afternoon.. Till Wednesday.. I plan on hitting it tomorrow before the front hits.. Should be good..
There is another chance of rain for us down here as well.. Cold and wet.. I really like that..
Argentina is heading into spring.. There's a thought..
There were also a few deeper fish caught but not in any real numbers. A few jig fish are starting to show up.. Fish it slow I hear.. A super fluke in watermelon something was also a good bait.
We are sitting at 31 feet low as of this morning.. We might catch a couple of inches from what is in the river but no big jump (or drop) in water levels is imminent. There is yet another disturbance in the Pacific that might turn into something and head towards Cabo.. Man it has been an active year on the west coast of Mexico.. And that is a good thing. Wettest pattern I have seen over there in years.. Let's hope this is a trend that continues. It is past time for this drought to go away..
I am sure this drought has been caused by global warming.. Or cooling.. Or whatever mankind has caused the planet to do..
There have been no Sharelunkers turned in yet this year. It is early.. But next year I think we should start the season in August so we'll have a better chance to get the numbers up.. Hope springs eternal..
I just don't see many giant fish being caught this year.. With the low water conditions for the last decade across Texas (in most places) and the aging of our lakes I just don't see us ever having another monster year where you see twenty teenagers caught.. If ten are caught a year I would say that is pretty good.. But I personally doubt if there are ten turned in this year..
And with people starting to figure out that taking a fish out of its life cycle is not good for the fish, much less good for the quest for a new state record, fewer fish are likely to be turned in.
And I'll tell you what.. If you catch a thirteen on Falcon, and I weigh it, (FLT) and you release it, I'll personally pay for your replica.. That's good thru April of 2015.. Guides will be excluded from this deal.. But no one else..
I'd love to see the state record broken.. But we ain't gonna do it if we keep dragging all the thirteen's out of our lakes..
Well I gotta go chop some firewood.. Winter is a commin..
November 4, 2014: Well the big talk around here is not about fishing right now.. It's about water.. Rain.. Runoff.. Flooding.. Well flooding might be a little extreme.. But there is certainly some anticipation around here about what might or might not come to pass.
This slow moving cool front is supposed to interact with moisture from hurricane Vance that is heading up the Sea of Cortez's ass.. And we'll see what it does.. But all of Texas should get some much needed rainfall and some areas to our west and north already are..
But what really interests me is what is going to happen to the remnants of the hurricane and how fast will it implode after landfall in Mexico..
If it can hold together a while after impact, and continue on a path toward Big Bend, just maybe we will put a little more water in the Conchos.. From where all good things come.. Water wise anyway..
Just give me five feet through the spawn, Lord! That's a prayer, not a demand..
Fishing hasn't changed a lot.. Man I been saying that a lot.. I said it for a year when it was crappy.. And now I have been saying it for a few months as it has been pretty good. And it is..
I did not hear of any giant fish since I got back yesterday.. But I did hear more of the same from a few folks that fished over the weekend.. Good numbers of two pounders with a few fours and fives mixed in here and there. Same old baits are working.. See below if this is the first time you ever read this report..
It sure makes it easy to write a fishing report.. See below.. "That's what he said last time!"
The south end of the lake is still fishing better than the north.. Water clarity is still a lot better the farther south you go.. Not that it is horrible up here.. Just not as pretty..
I spent all weekend in the deer blind.. Evenings and mornings anyway.. And I did a lot of lookin.. And seeing.. And while I saw a ton of deer, I did not see anything that made me drop the binoculars and grab a gun..
The does and young bucks are still grouped up.. There is absolutely nothing going on just yet.. Not even any sniffin..
But it was the first weekend and it was almost short pants weather. The bucks are still grouped up as well.
I did see one deer that did get my interest.. Well.. I saw parts of him.. And it was an accident that I saw him.. And three of his buddies..
I was glassing the brush a couple hundred yards away, across our fence on the neighbors.. And if I hadn't been looking thru the glass I would have never seen these four deer.. They were in a thicket that I did not believe a flea could crawl through, doing what bucks do.. Staying out of your sight..
Anyway one of these SOB's has some serious mass but that is about all I can tell you.. And seeing what I did made me sit on Monday morning when I had not intended to.. I have a feeling I will see him again when he gets a hard on.. We've got a lot of does that are going to need servicing..
My nephew did manage to whack a doe and we made some sausage and some salami.. Free samples at the shop.. The new smokehouse works extremely well BTW..
The time change sucks.. It gets dark so early you don't even have time to hit a bucket of balls after work. Kids getting off the bus in the afternoons are carrying flashlights. The sun goes down before we get to Double Jeopardy..
I hate this shit..
Today is election day.. And if you haven't voted yet, I hope you get your ass out there and get it done.. Vote early and vote often I always say..
And if you can't vote because you do not have a proper ID then all I can say is you are dumb as a box of rocks.. And you should not be voting.. Because you are an idiot.. And any lawmaker or pundit that says this is disenfranchising voters is a dumb son of a bitch as well..
What percent of people in this country do not have an acceptable ID? And why don't they? If they are too stupid to have an ID then they are too stupid to vote.. Wouldn't you think that if voting was so important to them that they would get an acceptable ID?
Let me tell you why this is an issue..
Not because some idiot doesn't get to vote because he does not have proper ID.
But because some Democrat who wants this idiots vote may not get it, because he/she is too stupid/lazy/apathetic/ignorant to go get some form of identification.. Where do these people live? Under a mushroom? And you know what mushrooms grow out of..
If you're too stupid to have a ID, then you are too stupid to vote.. How in the hell can you live in this country without and ID.. It's preposterous..
In any case, get your ass out there and vote. Apathy is on our side this go round. Maybe the senate majority will change hands.. We'll see..
So come on rain and come on hurricane Vance.. It would be awesome to see some water in them trees.
And us in there amongst em..
October 30, 2014: I was thinking that it would be cool if Halloween was moved to the second week of November.. Just think of all the deer blood we could use for Halloween decorations..
As weird as the world is these days with all the walking dead, zombies, vampires, grave diggers, witches, and basically just a bunch of whack jobs eat up with diggin the macabre, I figure it would pass muster for a lot of folks..
Too ickie for me..
But speaking of monsters, here's one for you..
This fish weighed 249 pounds officially, and it should become the new lake record.. But just because no one has ever bothered to certify one lately.. There have been several bigger ones we have seen. And we do now have a certified scale here at the shop when you catch one..
Or if you kill that giant buck and want it weighed we can do that for you as well..
There have been a lot of gar seen lately, and a few killed and caught. But this is the biggest one I have seen in a while..
And while I am on the subject, next week is the fall TPWD commission meeting, and I do believe that a recommendation will be put forward to increase the daily bag limit on gar here on Falcon. We'll see.
I do know that the angler survey on gar that has been going on for almost a year has concluded. And the results were overwhelmingly in favor of increasing the limit. As a matter of fact, it was a landslide.. Make that a Reaganesque landslide.
Over eighty four percent (84%) of Falcon fisherman that were surveyed want the limit removed or raised..
And if it is TPWD's intention to give the people what they want, then this should be a no brainer even without the data collected during their study.. But this is politics, and we'll see what happens. Soon..
Fishing remains steady round here. And I don't look for anything to change in the immediate future.. We're still catching lots of fish.. Lots of fish that are not too big.. With a few exceptions..
And while I have personally been on the shallow bite pattern as of late, there are a few jig and fluke and carolina rig fish coming a bit deeper, in the twenty foot range. And you know where those fish are.. All on rocks..
And you know how Falcon is.. Any abrupt depth change you see on your machinery is rocky.. There are no muddy bluffs or ledges.. So keep an eye on those drops and look for fish on your machine.
These fish will be starting to gang up on creek edges and mouths. I'm not gonna call it a pre-spawn pattern just yet.. But Saturday is the first day of November.. And down here, it just ain't that far away..
I know it is kinda late to be talking hurricanes.. But there is something brewing off the coast of Mexico in the Pacific and it is forecast to head for the Sea of Cortez.. After it dances around out there a while. I ain't sayin that this thing is gonna be a water maker.. But I ain't sayin it ain't.. I am the eternal optimist.. With an undeniable streak of realism mixed in..
We'll see about this thing too..
And in case you are keeping score. Boquilla is at 83%, Madero is at 100%, and Luis Leon is at 95%.. All on the Conchos chain.. That may or may not mean anything to you.. But trust me, that is good.. I love October hurricanes..
With the little fish we have in the lake, we are certainly looking bright for the next couple of years.. But man if we can get about a five foot rise before the spawn it'll be Katie bar the door.. It's a jungle up there.. And if they are going to move a little water here for the spring irrigation anyway, I hope they give it to us sooner than later..
We'll see about that too..
Deer season is only about a day and a half away, and nobody down here is excited..
I get it.. The rut around here is still six weeks away.. And a pair of jeans has not been needed just yet.. Which is fine with me..
I have killed more deer wearing shorts that I have overalls.. And maybe I'll do it again this weekend..
If you're headed to the ranch or lease be sure and take your common sense along. Guns don't kill people..
I'm headed out of here in the morning and plan to be back on Monday. And I plan on having some sausage for lunch.. Stop by for a sample.
I gotta go stir my cauldron..
October 28, 2014: It's Tuesday around here.. And probably where you are too.. And it's early.. And I reckon if we are going to go changing the time this will be a good weekend to do it.. But it is hard enough for me to figure when to get in the deer blind without the government changing what time the sun comes up right in the middle of it.. I wonder if they will tell the deer??
Fishing is good, or not so good depending on who you talk to.. I talked to a few folks yesterday that did good.. And more that did not. But in fairness the folks that did not do so good had not fished Falcon before.. And like any other lake it can be hard on newcomers.. But it can also be good to them as well.
Hopefully I got a few of them headed in the right direction.
Have you ever heard of a bait that is plum colored? I'd try one if I was you.. For some reason the fish are pretty tuned in to it right now.. Lizards or Ol Monsters are a good choice..
Find you some hardwoods. Ends of points.. Fish the last trees on the point you can see.. And any group of isolated hardwoods out in the middle of nowhere can be holding some fish. That is traditional Falcon fishing.. And it is working right now..
I had some folks tell me that Saturday was a very good day to be fishing, and a lot of folks caught a good number of fish and some dandy's were caught as well.. Some nice quality fish were caught deeper, in the twenty to twenty five foot range. Some on a jig.. Some on the mag fluke. Fishing the same kind of area. Rocky depth changes.. What else is new..
Or you can fish like me.. Picking the low hanging fruit.. Running the windblown rocky/gravely banks with a crankbait like a red eye shad.. Shit.. You'd think I work for Strike King..
But I am telling you that is a pattern that will work..
Water temps are below eighty in the AM, and mid seventies have been seen. But in the afternoons it will get back up to the high seventies at the least.. The signal that fall is coming has surely been sent to the fish..
Bait is everywhere.. And the little fish are right behind.. And they are growing faster than any other bass in the state.. The feedbag is on..
We are also hearing of some crappie showing up here and there.. And some whoppers.. With a bunch of six to ten incher's mixed in.. Good to hear there are still some around.. They had been scarce for a while..
The catfishing is as good as ever and they like to bite in the fall.. Find you some standing timber and use some punch bait right now.. Catfish go where the cormorants go.. Keep your eyes open.. But near and in the Veleno there have been a lot of fish caught.. Falcon probably has one of the biggest populations of Blues in the state..
I was up at the ranch over the weekend, building a new smokehouse and drying room.. And I was up and down a ladder a few hundred times and all I can tell you is that it sucks to get old.. I used to do that shit for a living.. And it was easy.. Well it used to be.. Well it used to be that I could jump a five wire fence with my dick in my hand.. Those days are gone..
Anyway I am looking forward to using that new facility this weekend, as I plan on dirtnapping a couple of old nannys or maybe something with horns.. No telling.. But after about the first hour in the stand on Saturday morning, Bambys mama is going to have a bad day..
It is always fun to sit the first morning of the year, and see what has become of the bucks you let go last year. If your neighbors did the same.. We are surrounded by a bunch of small properties and there will be some shootin going on..
And in years past there has not been a lot of discretion used in aging deer.. But hell, I have the same problems with my brother in laws son in laws.. Last year I printed out a picture of this deer and stapled it to the wall inside the blind and wrote on it "Do not shoot this deer!"
Guess what Son of a Bitch they shot.. You got it..
This year I am going to try and spray them with orange surveyors paint..
In any case, I certainly have that little boy before Christmas feeling about now..
BTW.. Only 57 shopping days left... Get ready. Here it comes..
October 22, 2014: I can't believe that it is damn near Halloween.. Not that I give a shit about Halloween, but time is going by faster for me all the time.. Ten days till deer season..
Well that's not a bad thing..
Every year that passes reminds me how lucky I have been to fish this lake for so long. It's been good to me.. And I try to return the favor every chance I get..
And yesterday was another of those days where the tranquility and solitude on the lake was awesome. I was the only boat in The Tigers till 1:00..
It was a strange day wind wise, as the predicted wind out of the east blew out of the north all morning long.. And I, and the fish do not like north wind.. Maybe because I just don't catch as many fish with a north wind.. That could have something to do with it.. Most of the spots I have been whacking them on in the Tigers are really set up for a south east wind..
In any case my first attempt at fishing these spots did not work out too well.. Cause the fish just were not on the same places they were last time I was out.. At least not in any numbers.. So I had to adapt.. Which rarely works out very well for me.
But I managed to find a wad of fish on the very tip of a long ridge I have whacking them on. And on the end of that ridge there is a little bluff with about a six foot drop that is pretty sheer.. And that's where I found the fish.. I could not get bit fishing down the bluff.. Only when I fished up it did have any luck..
Hell if I know.. Probably had a lot to do with the fact that I was fishing a drop shot.. And on three occasions when I was hung up/wedged in the rock I caught fish while I was shaking the crap out of it trying to get loose..
This is probably a common occurrence for those of you who fish a drop shot a lot.. And it make sense.. I'm still learning..
And being the wind was blowing pretty good, I ran a lot of gravel banks that had the wind blowing right on em.. And of course I was throwing that Red Eye Shad.. And they ate it pretty good. Including the best fish I hooked of the day (read not caught) that kicked my ass for a few seconds.. Of course I hooked him on a long cast, he took a couple of spurts of drag, came to the top and made a big swirl.. And promptly spit the hook..
I have a love hate relationship going with this Red Eye bait..
I also had five or six fish just whack the snot out of the bait and never get hooked up.. I mean they would hammer it.. And nothing there..
I'm blaming it on the north wind.. They just seemed to be mad at it and not wanting to eat it.. And some days you have to use a 10" pliers to get it out of their throat.. Hell if I know..
I caught about a dozen fish and had contact with at least that many more.. I'll wait till it is sunny with a south breeze to hit em again.. I think that's tomorrow.. I was off the water by 1:00.
Ivan Martin was fishing Monday and caught this long drink of water.. She weighed just under ten pounds.. That's a big framed fish..
The last two bass clubs that have been down have caught a lot of fish. Not a ton of big fish, but a lot of fish. But that is what is going on right now..
The Coletto Bassmaster's are bringing their club to town this weekend to try on Falcon for size. I am not sure if they have been here before, but I am sure they are going to catch a bunch of fish.
The Big Sandy bass club from Round Rock is also going to be here this weekend.. They have been here the last couple of years..
Senkos in a little deeper water have been catching some fish.. Check out the Watermelon Red Magic ones we have in bulk.. They are reportedly doing well.. I was fishing them a month or so ago but now I have this damn drop shot affliction.. I gotta get over that..
I am also hearing that a jig is doing some damage in water from ten to twenty feet deep.. Both of these baits need rock to produce of course.
There are scads of little fish in the lake right now.. Eating the scads of shad..
Overall the lake really looks and feels really healthy right now and I am super optimistic about the near future..
Yesterday was almost a winter feeling day around here and it rained a bit around us and on the lake on the south end.. Nothing to roll up your pants over but every little bit helps. But it was a cloudy winter looking day..
And in honor of that I decided I needed to cook a pot of chili last night..
I'm no rookie when it comes to cooking chili.. In the seventies and early eighties I cooked chili from Terlingua to Tampa and back to Castroville.. We always had a great time and we made a pretty mean pot.. And while we occasionally got in the top three, most of our trophies were for showmanship.. And we had it goin' on..
We were known as the Nilguy Chili Team and that is what we always made our chili out of.. I had a connection for Nilguy meat and even went on a Nilguy raiding party somewhere around the King Ranch a time or two.. Remind me to tell you about the time I sunk a six wheeled Terra Tiger in the intercoastal canal hauling a giant bastard back out to the island.. You'll do some strange things when people with guns are pointing and yelling at you.. But I digress..
You know a lot of products come into being because of a particular incident or happening, and I think I happened on a new one last night.. Wick Fowler take notice.. Cause I think I have come up with a product and maybe even a slogan..
I like it spicy and so does the Missus.. So I whipped up a big batch and holy shit.. It was great.. And after about the third bite it started to get hot.. Like melt a hole in your cracker hot.. But I couldn't quit eating it.. It was awesome..
I was sweating for about a hour and took two showers before I went to bed.. And while it was hot, it was really good, and I started thinking about marketing this recipe in pre mixed containers cause I got a winner here.. And I flopped around in bed trying to think of a name to put on the product till I finally dozed off to sleep..
Many times I go to bed with a problem on my mind and have it figured out by the time I wake up in the morning. But when I woke I was still as perplexed as to what to call my new concoction as I was when I laid down..
I was thinking on it as I sat on the throne for my Morning constitutional.. And then it hit me.. And the fire wouldn't go out.. Felt like I was shitting a Jalapeno porcupine..
But in misery came inspiration.. And a brand name was born..
The name of my chili mix is going to be, "Flamin' Anus!"
I got a commercial in mind already.. Picture this..
A little old lady will be ringing the dinner triangle and the shot will pan to a bunch of kids commin' a runnin'.. The camera swings back and will lock up on granny and she'll say, "When you're servin' Flamin' Anus, they'll come a runnin like their ass is on fire!"
And twelve hours.. And it will be..
Don't forget to tag that Nilguy...
October 18, 2014: Fall, or our version of it anyway, has arrived in Zapata.. Highs this week have only been in the upper eighties and low nineties and I'll have to admit that it feels good.. Although I fear that sooner than later I will be bitchin about the cold..
There was a big cool front that went thru here on last Monday, and it definitely knocked the fishing back for a couple days. But after listening to fishermen this week and this morning, it appears that things are back on track. Yesterday was a good day for a lot of folks and the soft plastic bite has been strong.
And right on schedule the fall colors have arrived..
It is great to see the green fade to yellows, golds, reds, and plum colors everywhere.. Of course I am talking about the wall of Zoom worms on our front wall.. It is just beautiful..
And for whatever reason, the plum everything caught fish yesterday.. From Hoo-Daddys to lizards..
No surprise to me.. If I only had one bait to take fishing, you name the lake, it would be a plum Ol Monster.. If they ain't biting it, you ain't throwing it..
I heard a lot about the Mexican side of the lake yesterday, from Blanco to Coyote.. Those little pockets with hardwoods have had a bunch of fish in them. Along with the big creeks of course..
I also heard that a firetiger crankbait has been catching some fish.. I have not heard of or mentioned that in ages.. But I used to tear em' an new ass on firetiger back in the day.. Bet I haven't tied one on in years..
I have not personally been on the water (on Falcon) in almost two weeks with all the stuff I have had going on around here.. But I'm fixin to change that.. I plan on hitting it hard this week and throwing some things I haven't thrown in a while.. Just to see if it still works..
I have not talked to anyone that has thrown a drop shot in the last few days.. And shit I wouldn't throw one either if they'd bite something more conventional..But when they won't eat anything else, they'll eat that..
It was hard to swallow my pride at first.. But when you start catching fish, it makes it a little easier..
I certainly hope I have not started down the slippery slope.. Next thing you know I'll be using a shakey head..
Maybe that is how it works with politicians.. When they take a bribe the first time it kinda hurts.. They know it's wrong.. But they like the money/graff/goods, or whatever they are getting.. And once they've have decided to be bought, it gets easier to sell your morals as it goes on.. Till the next thing you know, you're trading hookers for airplane contracts..
Maybe that is how it works with the homosexuals.. You know it is wrong.. But once you've gotten the greased salami..
I'm gonna remain with the "good" range with my opinion of the fishing, although I'll have to admit it is hearsay..For now..
But fish are certainly being caught..
Ingram Bass Club is in town, and a few of them have been here most of the week.. And they are reporting catching fish.. But other that observing what they are buying, I am not getting a lot out of them..
But If I was you I'd be buying some plum colored stuff..
The catfish are going crazy.. On jugs and trotlines.. And Rod and Reel.
Mr. Whiskers Guide Service has been whacking the blues.. Lots of em..
Cut carp is the ticket..
I saw on the internet this morning that the head of the Fed is worried that the gap is a growing between the haves and the have nots in this country..
Well first of all, there are no have nots in this country.. There are a lot of work nots.. But not have nots..
Poverty has been redefined by our federal government.. And what "poor" people have these days is a lot better than what I had when we were kids..
And I just wonder.. Could the federal government be the cause of these widening gaps between those that have (workers) and those that have not (Slackers).
Could it be that they have trained millions to eat at the government trough, and removed all incentive from those that had little in the first place, to try and better themselves?
If you are in Texas, and you are not working, it is because you don't want to.. There is more opportunity today than there has ever been.. But you have got to want to work..
It may not be that you can put your Poli-Sci degree to use.. Or your masters in Theoretical Post Modern Art History.. But you can find a job..
You gotta get up every morning.. You gotta bust your ass.. You can't get stoned every night..
And oh yeah.. You gotta give a shit..
Evidently these qualifications are getting pretty rare..
And as long as there is free food, housing, cars, EBT cards for whatever, phones, and health care, there is going to be plenty of lazy assholes lined up to take it..
Maybe that is something that the Fed should take into consideration..
I'll have a better "hands on" fishing report for you soon.. But it appears that little has changed..
See you soon!
October 15, 2014: Things kinda got away from me last week, and I forgot I was leaving town..
Well that's a bald faced lie.. But I never got to the computer before I got in the truck.. More on that later..
The fishing here on Falcon is as good or better than it was before I left.. And with the cooling weather I can only imagine that it is going to get better.. I am the ultimate optimist..
I sure hope I don't get that ebola stuff.. But Obammie said I wouldn't.. And so far no son of a bitch has caught it on a golf course.. So he should be safe..
Because I sure want to be around to catch some of these fish..
Last weekend there were two bass clubs in town.. The Roadrunner Bass Club out of Hobbs, NM, and the Uvalde bass club from.. Well.. Uvalde.. And parts there about..
And they all caught fish. Some bettern others but they all caught em..
Jimbo Beard won Uvalde's tournaments over the weekend, and he had a couple of nice fish including this 10.86. That helps..
I am not sure what the New Mexico boys did, but I heard they caught good numbers of fish, but not a lot of giants..
And that has been the norm as of late..
Shallow fish are plentiful, and will eat a lot of different baits.. The drop shot is still a killer for numbers.. A bigger bait offshore a bit will catch fewer but bigger fish.. There are no secrets right now on Falcon.. Everybody is catching fish.
Happy days are here again..
The boys from TPWD wrapped up their Gar experiment last Thursday, and they did it with a bang, catching more 200 pound class gar than in any of the last trips combined. And I believe it is because they got some nets with 7" webbing.. Those four and five inch nets are just not big enough to catch the monsters.. And the seven inch nets are minimal for the two hundred pounders.. I think they need some twelve inch nets if they ever were going to catch the really big fish..
But I don't reckon we'll ever see this done again.. Certainly not in the manner it was done during this study.. It will be a while till all the data is compiled I am sure.. But even a casual observer can see that we have a shit ton of gar round here.. And some big son of a bitches as well.. They ended up the trip with a total of seventy one fish collected, and the biggest went 215 pounds..
Total fish collected in the four outings was 368. I'd like to see this experiment go on forever..
I have some math to throw at you about this number of fish, and I will share it with you in the near future. And I think it is interesting when you take that number of fish, estimate how many fish they might eat in their lifetimes, and weigh it against the number of fish that are stocked in the lake in the same number of years..
Man I hated math in High School.. But now I have been re-introduced to my little friend..
And for an analogy, no it don't make Rosie look skinny..
I see the Sharelunker season is off to a bang.. Well maybe that is more of a thud..
Thud.. Rhymes with dud.. Coincidence?? I don't think so..
I know it is early.. But I am brimming with anticipation.. I don't think I'll have to take my shoes off to count em this year.. Much less drop my shorts..
I just got back from Mexico, after a fishing trip back to lake Pichachos.. That lake is addicting.. But I am not going back till the spring.. I promise..
It was a totally different lake than when when I was there in May.. Twenty eight feet different.. But it was not too hard to figure them out.. We caught a shitload of fish, mostly one and a half to four pounds.. Till your ribs were sore.. There were a few fish caught from five to eight pounds, but not many. And I never caught one over four and a half.. I did net a few though..
And believe it or not I did not miss a plane or loose a bag on the entire trip.. And fortunately for me I did not stay a night in Mazatlan as there was some gay thing going on at the motel I like.. Yikes.. That could have gotten ugly..
If I stay there again I am going to take my own sheets.. And a black light.. Maybe I need to rethink my stopover..
Any way I will be putting together a story about the trip pretty quick.. If you want info on the trip or costs or whatever shoot me an e-mail.. I'll tell you all about it.. Great fishing. Great food.. Great service and brand new boats.. I got to take one out of the wrapper.
See you soon!
October 6, 2014: Well it has come and gone.. The Metro tourney that is.. And just like having company, it's always good to see em come.. And good to see em go..
Most everything we have in the shop was hauled to the weigh-in and back.. Twice.. And I just got through putting it all away.. I'm getting too old for this shit..
But as far as the operation of the tournament, it could not have gone much better.. Everything worked out really good, from the fishing to the weigh-in to the banquet.. It was all good.
Universal City Bass Club won it this year, with a total weight of 144 pounds.. That's eight fishermen's two day weights, with a three fish limit. Not as big of weights as in years past.. But not too shabby.
Elite Bass Club came in second by less than five pounds.. They had 139.40 pounds. That's a one fish difference in my book..
UCBC had a nineteen plus pound lead going into day two.. So they made up a lot of ground..
Third place finisher was the SAPD club, with 115.25..
There were some nice fish caught, and on Saturday there was a tie for big bass.. Two of them weighed 8.15. But the big fish of the weekend was caught on Sunday and it went 9.50. Part of Elites comeback..
There were also lots of fish from four to six, and a few sevens mixed in..
I want to thank all the locals that I coerced into helping out with the weigh-ins.. Good job guys.. I owe you..
We lost less than twenty four fish for the two days, at least initially.. And I don't think that is too bad for having over 165 anglers. I was down at the boat ramp this morning and I saw zero floaters.. And we did have a south wind.. So I am pretty happy..
You might want to fish some of the ledges near the boat ramp the next week or so.. We imported a lot of fish..
Fish were caught on about every bait imaginable.. From flukes to traps to jigs to crankbaits. We sold a little bit of everything..
And we here at FLT would like to thank all of you who came by the store.. We can't be here without you guys..
We hope to have you here again next year..
The TPWD guys are due here any second.. To get the final lap of Garapoolosa started..
Out of the pan and into the fire..
Busy times around here..
The fish are busy too.. Get down here and get you some..
I'll keep you posted.. More coming soon..
September 30, 2014: September has come and pretty much gone, and it was certainly a month with much improved fishing here on Falcon. And with the improved fishing we are actually seeing a few folks down here chasing them.
The reason a lot of folks have been down here as of late is to prefish for the Metro tournament this weekend, which gets under way on Saturday. And if you are a participant or just fun fishing keep in mind there is going to be a bit of a crowd around the county ramp this weekend. So bring your patience and your common sense..
Oh.. And good parking skills..
The ramp is currently two lanes wide, although there is water across the entire width at the water line. Currently there is not enough water to launch on the other lanes without your trailer dropping off the end.. The lake is rising.. But I don't think it will be enough to make the other lanes work by Saturday..
There is going to be a drive thru weigh-in for metro, most likely on the car parking lot that runs cattie corner across the west side of the road before you get to the truck and trailer paved lot at the top of the ramp. But stay tuned as things could change. A formal announcement will be made at registration on Friday night..
There will be a sign on HWY 83 telling you where to turn to get to the hall. It is on the north edge of town right besides Shorty's Tire.. You will be turning east.. Four blocks down on the left..
The lake has risen to 269.25, or 31.95 feet low. Up about a foot in the last five days. But the rise is slowing as I type..
It would be awesome if we could catch about eight feet of water before spring. We have a forest of Huisache and Retamas growing on the bank. In many places so thick a hog can't get through em.. What a nursery it would be if we could get some water on it.. We'll see..
I haven't written lately as I have been occupied with a lot of stuff.. And when I wasn't I have been fishing.. A lot..
Who could blame me..
And I have been catching a good number of fish.. I fished today.. I fished Sunday.. I fished Friday..
Here's pic of the lake this AM.. You don't see too many days like this on Falcon. And it is still as flat as Twiggy out there right now..
I am still catching them on the same old stuff. The Red Eye is still a Dead Eye.. The drop shot has not gone to pot.. The Old Monster Plum is catching more than some.. The C-Rig could catch you a pig.. And a big crank is money in the bank..
I love it when everything is working.. That means the fish are biting.. You just gotta find the one you like and get with it..
I'm fishing shallow.. Cause I like it.. There's a news flash..
Today was not as good as the last three trips I went out on. I still caught fish.. But I need some wind to get the bait active on the rocks.. And there weren't any.. I was in by 10:30. And no wind equals warm..
But whatever you are throwing, find you some rocky something.. Whether deep or shallow.. And you'll find some fish.
Helotes and Alamo bass clubs were down here last weekend. Not sure what happened with Alamo but it took 22.31 (six fish) pounds to win Helotes. That was Charles Parchman and he also had this 9.73 for Big Bass. That helps..
The 29th annual Sharelunker program starts tomorrow.. WFD.. (Whoopti F&8k%$g Doo)
I do hope you guys don't have your expectations set too high.. You know by now that like Punxsutawney Phil I have to make my annual prediction on the coming season.. And it don't look too Rosie to me..
I'd say that plus or minus two over last year would be about right.. Seven to eleven is my guess with the bell curve leaning toward the bottom third.. That's according to my new Texas Instruments Sharelunker calculator. It's amazing..
You just punch in the number of fish from the last 28 years.. Divide by mortality rate and water levels.. Subtract the tons of hydrilla that have been eaten by grass carp.. Add the entire number of pure Floridas that have been stocked in Texas lakes.. And subtract 99.9876%.. Then divide the percentage of preditation by gar and cormorants.. And that should leave you some where between eight and ten.. But that might be optimistic.. We'll see in Seven months.. Damn that's a long time.. Why don't they do it year around?
If you feel the need to extract one of these grandmas from her home, please be prepared every time you go fishing.. Have a livewell full.. Don't dally.. Take pics later.. Go now.. Not later..
Or better yet, turn her loose with little fanfare..
I've said it before.. These old fatties are very fragile.. AT NO TIME does she have a better chance of survival than if you immediately CPR..
Getting one of these girls alive to Athens is quite a trick.. It's kind of like putting Granny in the trunk and headin' out to Phoenix.. In August.. Some of em are gonna make it.. Some of em ain't..
And then getting Granny pregnant... Well I ain't got time to delve into them waters..
How the hell are we ever going to catch a state record if we keep messin' with all the biggest of fish.. (Hint: The answer is, we ain't.)
I know it's your choice.. So is abortion.. But I'm Pro-Life.. On both counts..
And if you catch a fish in Texas that weighs over 18.18.. I'll personally pay for your mount..
Amistad is still catching water pretty good.. The releases from Luis Leon have slowed a little, but it is going to catch a few more feet even if they stop now.. They are still letting out over 7000 CFS as of this morning..
Hope they share some with us!
September 25, 2014: It's another beautiful day in Zapata, and we have had a couple of mornings in the high sixties for lows.. And you know what that means.. The inevitable is on the doorstep.. Me bitching about the cold..
But I guess I can live with highs nearer ninety than 105.. Our daily highs average 92 right now.. And that suits me just fine..
And it is suiting the fish just fine as well, as we continue to to whack the hell out of em.. Well you will if you break a bit from the norm.. And I'm not talking about too much..
Fact is that you can still catch a bunch of fish flipping or throwing a big crankbait or a Carolina rig.. And those are Falcon staples to be sure. But if you want to catch a whole bunch of fish you can downsize a bit and really whack the numbers.
And downsizing does not mean that you will not catch some quality fish.
I fished Sunday after closing with a buddy and we pretty much whacked em. And we caught a nice bunch of fish with the biggest going seven pounds.. And she and most others were caught on a drop shot with a Zoom trick worm.. I did not throw much else.. Hey, I rarely get it figured out and I ain't changin till they quit biting it.. And they seem to bite it when they won't bite much else.
My pattern is simple and it ain't unique. Rocks and wind. Make that visible rocks.. But they don't have to be.. But it don't hurt em to be.
If it is really breezy I will throw that Red Eye right on the freakin' bank. Yeah, these bastards are shallow.
We had just started fishing on Sunday and Gary got hung up in about two feet of water with a drop shot.. And he was yankin and wigglin and jigglin it trying to get it off. To no avail.. So I headed the boat into the shallows to get a better angle.. And just about the time we were right over the bait a fish nailed it and got him unstuck from the rock his weight was wedged in.. Which really sucked because it was the first fish of the day and it cost me a dollar..
Later in the morning I cast a Red Eye a bit errantly and it landed in about six inches of water. And immediately hung in a crack in a rock.. I could see if from thirty yards away.. And it would not come out either.. So I headed that way.. And I got the rod tip right over the bait. And went to shaking it.. And just about the time I got it out of the crevice, and it was down about half way in the water column, (three inches) this two pounder streaked in from nowhere and nailed it..
I damn near dropped my rod in the water he hit it so hard.. These little fish are jacked up and you just can't hardly pluck them out of the water.. They are a blast.. Specially on lite line and a spinning rod.
There.. I said it..
And you know me.. When I do something I go whole hog.. I done bought me some high dollar rods and reels and I look just like one of them Yankee boys.. This is really embarrassing..
But it ain't like I sold my flippin stick..
Long story short.. Yall need to get down here and get you some..
We have caught about a foot of water in the last two weeks, and we are still on a very slow rise. With the promise of local rain in the forecast..
But the big water news is at Amistad, where water from big rains in the corner are heading down the Pecos, and the water from the Conchos is hitting the lake from the Rio Grande. The Big Friendly has come up a foot in the last five days and will continue to rise for.. Well who knows.. But for the next week for sure. And it should rise a little faster in the next few days.. We'll have to see and we'll have to guess at just how long the Mexicans will spill water from Luis Leon.
I praying for more rain in the mountains in Mehico.. Cause we got two of the Concho lakes at the full mark but not the critically full mark.. A good rain right now could really make a difference. A big one.. That's the glass is half full scenario.. Come on baby..
We have two bass clubs in town for sure this weekend, Helotes and Alamo, both out of San Antonio, or thereabouts. Next weekend of course is the Metro tourney and it will be the busiest weekend on the books for the fall.. So if you are headed down here next week expect a crowd around the county ramp..
Of course as fall approaches the Snowbird population increases and we are not far from that. And with fishing being as good as it is I reckon we'll probably see a good number of folks down.. That's my guess anyway.. And I think we are gonna whack em come this spring..
The TPWD boys will be back to finish up the Garapoolosa study the week of October 6th. This will be the fourth and final gar collection period in their study that is the biggest ever of its kind. And the results are surprising some at TPWD. And no one in Zapata..
Recommendations on gar harvest go to the commission in November.. Stay tuned..
Other than that it's all pretty much status quo round here.. Just waitin on the rain.. Even if it is five hundred miles away..
September 20, 2014: Rain all around us.. Again.. But nothing doing here..
A friend of mine e-mailed me this morning and said that he saw we were in a Flash Flood Watch down here.. And I agreed that we were.. But I told him that means that we get to "Watch" it rain every where else..
Always the bridesmaid.. Never the bride..
But there is some water in the pipe line.. Although it is a long freakin pipe..
Amistad is going to be getting some water.. How much I do not know.. Depends on the Mexicans.. They are letting a bunch of water out of Luis Leon (up on the Conchos) and it is hitting the Big Bend area as I type.. I don't know how long they will continue to release water.. Don't know if they know.. I just hope it keeps raining over there.. Although it looks like it is starting to dry out..
The Pecos also has some water in it far above Amistad.. We'll see how much water gets there..
And who knows if they will share any of it with us.. We ought to drain Amistad and then at least we could have one full lake in Texas.. And if you put twenty feet of water in this thing with the jungle we have on the bank.. Holy shit we might have to rewrite the record books again..
Everybody, for the most part, caught them good yesterday. With the same old baits and some new ones. That just tells me that the fish are biting.. Lots of shallow fish, and some in mid depths around ten to fifteen.. But most numbers in the shallows.. And I mean shallow.. Two feet has produced a lot of big fish.. What they're doing up there I don't know..
But I like em there..
I am going to try and get out there tomorrow.. If I don't have to watch it flood..
I was going to write about something but I forgot what it was..
Funny how you can remember some things and not others.. I can walk out in the shop in back to get something, and have the cats begging for food at their bowls.. So by the time I feed em a bit and I stand up I have already forgotten what I was out there for.. Getting old sucks..
But on the other hand.. The other day I smashed the shit out of my finger, and put a blood spot on my thumb nail.. And I was able to remember and recite the exact same string of curse words I used ten years ago the last time I did the same thing..
A mind is a terrible thing to waste.. Maybe I need better Moral Hygiene..
The other day a couple of stoners came in and they were looking for munchies.. And we don't really sell any.. But while they were here they decided to get a fishing license.. I told them I had to sell them a non-resident license.. And they said, "Dude Why....?" .. I said it was because they were from Bongladesh.. They still haven't gotten the joke..
I have also been taking a problem solving course on the internet.. Being I have so many problems to deal with.. Low water.. Alligator gar.. The Obamma presidency.. Sharelunker.. Rosie's return to The View.. Shit like that..
And I got an A+ on my last two tests..
The first one asked, "How do you eat an elephant?" And I thought about being a smart ass and answering something like "Covered in Gravy", or as "Longnose Guisada." But I thought about it for a long time and wrote down the right answer.. "One bite at a time.." The same way we can fix America by the way..
The second test asked what two things would you use to find the proverbial, "Needle in a haystack?"
My first thought was a set of naked twins.. But I'd of had to be in there amoungst em' and that would have made three things.. So that was out..
So I put down a match and a magnet.. Damn.. I got another hunnert...
So I figure I'm pretty much acing this course..
Perty soon I'm gonna be a regalar Dear Heloise..
If you are still reading this far down, you must be as bored as I am.. But I am stuck in here on a perfectly good fishing day..
But them Som-Bitches better watch out tomorrow..
September 18, 2014: There have been a few folks in town this week.. And the fishing report remains the same.. Good numbers.. But not a lot of big fish.. But they're growing..
Universal City Bass Club was in town last weekend, and they had a pretty good time of it.. And for lack of a better term, the competition was fierce.. The top five places were separated by less than three quarters of a pound..
Doug Friesenhahn came out on top with a two day, six fish limit of 22.95 pounds. Walter Vestal, Scott Hutzler, Steve Connelley and Jeff Mergle all had twenty two plus pounds to round out the top five.. And almost win..
Big Bass was a 8.17 caught by Steve Connelley. Two other fish over seven were also weighed in.. So there are some decent fish being caught..
Thanks Scott Hutzler for the report..
We're hearing more of the same these days, with fish being caught in about every manner you can think of.
If you like crankin, shallow or deep, you can catch fish. If you like flippin.. Flippin is good.. If you like Carolina riggin or that God awful drop shottin.. Both are working..
A rod with a shallow running crankbait is a must to have laying on your deck. And I don't care which one you use, but the sexy shad pattern is still kicking ass. You already know which bait I like..
Keep your eyes open for fish tearing up the surface. Mostly onesy-twosies.. But if you throw that crankbait in there you're gonna catch a fish.. Sometimes several..
Flipping fish are on the woods between five and eight feet.. Six to seven is best.. There are a lot of flats on the Mexican side loaded with trees.. Go beat the bark off of em.. Wait a minute.. None of them have bark.. Concentrate on the shady sides..
Rocks are the secret to deep cranking and Carolina fish.. Most any drop or long point can have fish on them. Throw that drop shot in the same places..
Fishing is good.. Catching is better..
This weekend there are at least three bass clubs in town, and the championship for the South Division of the Bass Federation.
There will be plenty of room..
There has been a lot of rain around us, and we got another 4/10ths on Tuesday. And like a lot of you I have been watching the rains produced from hurricane Odile over in the Pacific. And while it has certainly been beneficial to a lot of the southwest, it went a little too far north before it turned east to really do us a bunch of good..
That being said.. We are seeing some water being let out of the lakes in northern Mexico. Namely Luis Leon and Madero.. And that water is hitting the Rio Grande in Presidio as we speak. But at current rates it will be a slow rise on Amistad.. Although a welcome one.. We'll see how long they keep the Conchos river running. Both of those lakes are overfull. But Mexico usually does not release water unless they think they have to or really need to.. I have seen those lakes at 120 to 140% in the past..
Madero, which runs into Luis Leon, is at 104%, and Leon is a 111%. Madero is releasing 4877 CFS, and Leon is releasing 5749 CFS, which will end up in Amistad. We'll see how long they let it run..
As of yesterday, Boquilla, the big lake above both of these was at 61%, up from 50% back on the tenth of the month. But its rise has slowed significantly for now.
So looking back on Odile, it has certainly been a helper to the watershed, even if we do not see it here.. When it comes to those Mexican lakes, the fuller they are the sooner we will get some down here..
And it ain't all over just yet. It is still raining some in the right places, and even the rains in El Paso and New Mexico are putting some water in the Rio Grande up there..
We'll just have to sit back and see what happens.. But long story short, there is no big rise on the way to Falcon.. At least not yet..
I just drove in from Brownsville and there is water standing everywhere in the valley. So they won't be needing much water in the short term.
Falcon is releasing 283 CFS as of this morning. Amistad is releasing 812..
So there is your water report for the day..
There is a lot of talk in the news about domestic violence these days. And now there's a lot of discussion about disciplining your kids. And some consider them the same.. And both of these topics have come up because of high profile cases in the news. And I do not know a bunch about either of these cases.
But like usual, I have an opinion..
Did you ever get your ass busted when you were a kid? I'm holding my hand up.. I am sure I deserved most of them.. And I got some gooduns. I promise..
And I wonder if today's kids overall, are better behaved and overall just more respectful and better people than we were back in the sixties and seventies. I think not. But like I said, that's just my opinion.
And in the Nanny state we are living in it is hard to discipline some kids. Some kids don't react well to time outs or sitting in the corner.. Some do I am sure.. But a fair spanking once in a while, when needed, will often help to get the childs attention.
I'm not talking about abusing the kid.. The problem is that a lot of folks think that any kind of spanking is abuse.
Look how good I turned out.. :-)
And how about a man striking a woman?? Can this ever be proper?
I have never done it and never will.. Well unless it is some whacked out suicide bomber bitch.. Then I'll hit her so hard her cousins will have black eyes.. But I digress..
But here's something to ponder that really makes one wonder..
And yes, dammit, it involves that old sexist double standard..
Not all, but many women say that they want the exact same rights as men.. And as far as I can tell they have them. I ain't holding them back.. And I certainly give women their due.. And that is the same as mine..
They want to, and do, fly fighter planes.. Some are on the front lines in combat.
They want to make as much money as men.. And a lot do.. It's about your qualifications, not your sex. But we have seen women promoted over men, just because of their sex.
Of course a lot of women think that men have been promoted over women since the dawn of time, just because of their sex.. And that is probably true to some extent. But in many of these cases we are talking about physical ability.
Who do you want to come get you out of a burning building?
Anybody is the natural answer..
But I'll take the twenty five year old male before the female.. Call me crazy.. And sexist I guess..
But what I am getting at here is, what if you get in a argument with a woman. Wife, girlfriend, or the chick downstairs that keeps stealing your newspaper.. Or whatever..
If that person is an equal, in every legal way, and she jumps on you and starts hitting you and clawing your eyes out, in the eyes of the law, and in the eyes of all the women's libbers, why wouldn't a man have the right to strike back?
Me and a few thousand other men are just wondering..
Please understand that in no way am I advocating violence or physical confrontations between women and men.. Or men and men..
But men and women have strapped it on since the apple got pulled off the tree.. And I highly doubt it will ever end..
But the way that men are treated after the fact is just another of the double standards that are more common than highway stripes..
It's hard to be a man in this today's world.. And being a good one is even harder..
I hope you ladies will give that some thought.. And forgive us men who constantly make mistakes.. And keep in mind, that we are not the only ones that make them..
September 15, 2014: It was a pretty good weekend of fishing here on Falcon, and everybody here caught fish.. Some a lot more than others. But that will always be the case.. But overall, fishing was, and is, good..
There were not a lot of giants caught, but there were some eight to nine pounders reported, and I think the big bass in the UCBC tourney was a big eight. I don't have final results yet, and maybe someone will be nice enough to pass them along..
Fishing conditions were hour to hour over the weekend, with rain showers coming and going both days. No giant thunderstorms, but some pretty good rain mixed in to keep the anglers cool..
We had our once a year cleaning of the shelves of rain gear and water proof accessories.. That stuff moves slowly round here..
Speaking of rain, we have received just over two inches here at the shop. Not enough to do the lake much good, but well received by all who live in the area. We have come up about two inches.. And we are sitting at 267.80, or 33.4 feet low.
But I don't think this water event is over just yet. At least I hope not..
We have the valley so wet it cannot hold another drop in most places. And this water should certainly take us a long ways before they need to water anything down there.. So we should have releases at a minimum for the near future.
There is a tropical wave making its way across the gulf from the east, and it is supposed to hit the coastal bend today and tomorrow.. And maybe hang around a day or two.. Hope it gets north enough to do us some good now that the ground is wet.
But what has me cautiously optimistic is the hurricane battering Cabo and the western coast of Mexico out in the Pacific. This storm could do us some real good if it wrings out the rain over those mountains in northern Mexico like four years ago.
While it would wreak havoc with the people in Northern Mexico, it could be just what the doctor ordered for Amistad and Falcon, sooner or later.. Storms like these is why Amistad and Falcon were built.
I may be jumping the gun a bit here but this is the best looking scenario for a bunch of water I have seen in a few years, and one of those Pacific hurricanes that I am always talking about.. It happens every so often.. And I am not sure if this is the one, but I am sure as hell watching it..
Hope springs eternal..
There were a lot of fish caught on crankbaits last weekend.. Deep runners and shallow runners. There were a lot of fish caught on drop shots and light Carolina rigs. And some flipping fish to be sure..
In general fishing was decent for most anglers using a plethora of baits.. The fish were pretty damn active.. And when we are selling such a varied selection of baits, it just tells me one thing.. The fish are biting..
I love October.. Oh wait.. It's still September.. But we did have out first cool front of the year..
Baitfish are everywhere.. I have not made it to the water since last week, but there were many times when I cast my bait, the shad were scattering before it hit the water. They are lousy. And the fish aren't far away.. They are gorging themselves on the shad and they are fat as footballs and growing faster than the national debt..
And they are pissed off.. We had a lot of conversations with fishermen over the weekend about just how bad these little fish are and a two pounder will make you holler "Net!" Till you see him.. And then you're wondering WTF?
The lake will be a little busier the next few weeks as folks prepare for the Metro tourney coming up the first weekend of October. Several clubs have already held their monthly tourneys here, and the next two weekends will see a few more.
If these fish can avoid the gar for the next few years, we'll have some whoppers back in the lake. We're still seeing a lot of fish with teeth marks and torn flesh. And we can certainly use some more gar hunters around here.. I do have a friend that is now guiding bowfish trips here on Falcon. So if you are interested in a trip, give me a call.. I will be adding him to our guide page soon..
This little 180 pounder was caught a few days back on rod and reel.. That's a big ass fish.. And we got a lake full of em..
If you have been following this site for a while, you know that I have been bitching about the gar for a few years. Certainly in the last two. And we have been highly involved with PAW in bringing this issue to the forefront. And because we brought this issue to light, our regional biologist and his staff have gone above and beyond, instigating the biggest and most comprehensive alligator gar study ever undertaken in the history of the world.
I of course am talking about Randy Myers of TPWD, our regional biologist. And what they have found flies in the face of conventional thinking when it comes to the life span, growth rates, reproductive capabilities, and diets of alligator gar.
And just because gar have been around for a long time, don't mean that all gar have been around for a long time. These son of a bitches grow fast.. Really fast.. And we are not missing a year class.. Not a one.. They evidently breed like rats..
In any case, the final go round and collection period of the study will take place in October, and after all data has been crunched and compiled, there will be a paper done on the entire project. That will be a while.
But I am optimistic that a recommendation for raising the gar limit on Falcon will be made.. And if it is, and if the big cheeses at PAW are true to their word, we should see the limit raised..
Time will tell.. And we have been working on this for a long time..
Get down here if you're tired of not getting bit.. We be catchin some fish..
Nine-Eleven.. Thirteen years ago to the day I was in my workshop just west of Castroville putting a small block Mopar in a 1970 Plymouth. I had the CD player cranked up with some Creedence Clearwater Revival.. On Repeat.. And I was living in two hours of ignorant bliss that most of the rest of the country was not.
And I had no idea what was happening till I checked my phone for messages.. And of course a few minutes later I watched the towers collapse on my tv screen..
I am sure you can remember exactly where you were and what you were doing as well..
Ollie North was right..
The American way of life was changed by the events of that day, and not a day goes by where something you do is not affected by decisions made and actions taken as a result of that attack on America. Whether you even notice it or not.
World War I lasted over four years.. World war II lasted six years.. Or longer, depending on who you ask..
The "War on Terror"? Hell we might not have even scratched the surface..
And until you kill every last one of these son of a bitches this war won't be over..
Islam and personal freedom can not co-exist. And until we all understand that as a nation, we will always be under the threat of terrorism. Because until then we will not treat it as the cancer it is.. And wipe it out.
We are basically a nation of pussies, (present company excluded) that thinks that this will somehow just go away. Or that we can talk and threaten our way out of danger.. And that what happens in the middle east will never affect us here..
And it may not come down to shooting the enemy in your front yard.. And I pray it doesn't.
But believe me those assholes would and will inflict any damage on American soil at their earliest convenience..
So keep your eyes open.. And like the old saying goes.. "If you see something, Say something."
We may not be at war with them.. But they are at war with us..
I know those son of a bitches don't have the balls to invade the States.. Because the rednecks (present company included) would would wipe their sorry asses off the face of the earth in a battle that would make Custers Last Stand look like dodge ball in gym class..
And in doing so we would also be saving all the pussies that live here as well.. I'm still torn about that one.. But what you gonna do..
So remember America.. How we got here.. And what it takes to stay here. Sometimes it ain't pretty.. But it is still the best thing that ever happened on God's green earth..
Thanks to all those that have, and are putting their asses on the line everyday, so I can go fishing. You have done a great service to our country and I am forever in your debt. And if the shit ever does hit the fan on American soil I promise you I will be in the hole right beside you.. I got a few bullets saved up..
Speaking of fishing, I went yesterday morning. And I kicked their ass.. Well I was picking on something littler than me but I still kicked their ass.. And I had em figured out..
Rocks are the answer.. And wind.. And knowing where the fish are setting up.. It ain't rocket surgery right now.. It's easy..
If you find wind blowing across a rocky point or shallow hump, Bingo! Throw a small plastic on the backside, or throw a shallow crank on the front side.. I caught back to back fish four or five times yesterday.. It was awesome..
I did not catch a big fish yesterday. Unless you want to count this one. For a minute I thought I had it going on..
That Red Eye catches everything..
The fish are biting.. Better get your ass down here..
September 9, 2014: It's been a great stretch to fish here at Falcon, with temperatures below the norm and an intermittent thunderstorm around on occasion. But we are out of the rainy pattern for a few days and light winds are predicted.. And I predict that we are going to catch a bunch of fish.
I have been out of town for a few days looking down the barrel of a shotgun, (I was on the good end) and taking care of a few chores on the ranch.. And mix in a couple rounds of golf and shootin in some rifles and hauling some wood and spraying brush you can eat up a few days right quick.. And I did..
But it is time to fish.
We had a few folks in town over the weekend, including San Antonio Bass Club, and from what I hear most all people caught em pretty good. Numbers of two pounders have been pretty easy, and usually in the course of the day you are going to stick a good one or two..
Thirty fish a day per boat is no big deal, and lots of folks have done better. And if you roll up on a school of fish you can catch thirty in thirty minutes.. A lot of these fish have been ganged up when you find em.
There are so many baits that are working that it is hard to say that one might be better than another. But crazy as it sounds that damn drop shot is still catching fish. I am not a big fan of the technique, but damn it, it is catching fish.. I sure as hell would rather drop an Ol Monster down the center of a big ass hardwood and just go mano a mano with em..
And that is happening a well. The flipping bite on the hardwoods is a good way to catch fish as well, and every third or twentieth tree you flip is going to have a fish in it. And some decent ones mixed in..
The dam is still holding a lot of fish. And you can catch them on a deep crankbait or on the drop shot.. Take some extra weights cause those rocks tend to eat a few (dozen).
Early in the am the moving bait is still catching them good. I know I have been talking about the Red Eye a lot lately, and for good reason, but it is not the only shallow bait that will catch fish. A rattle trap or a square bill will work well also. You cannot go wrong with the Sexy Shad pattern.. I promise..
Windy points and banks with little or no brush on them have been holding schools of fish.. Some smaller but every now and then you will hang a three to five pound fish.
And that is fun in any language.
There have been a few more fishermen in town as of late, and that is at least keeping us from nodding off during the day.. Most of that is due to the much improved fishing, and the fact that the Metro tourney is coming up, and a lot of clubs are holding their September tournaments here in order to do a little prefishing.
It is still pretty slow during the week. So come on down, we have plenty of room.
Man we got close to some beneficial rain last week.. We actually got some.. We got the valley wet and they have stopped drawing water out of Falcon for the meanwhile. And the Rio Grande out in west Texas got a few good rains and that will put a little water in Amistad.. Not a lot, but some. It should start hitting the lake tomorrow..
We need a few more Norberts to graze the coast of Mexico.. Or plow into it.. So close..
The Mexicans are moving some water around on the Conchos, but they did not get a direct hit from this storm. There's still plenty of time for another.. And there is another one brewing down south.. We'll see what happens..
A few months ago there was stink raised over the stocking of OWR fish in a private lake here in south Texas. And many, including myself, thought it was an ill conceived plan done with no oversight and a misuse of Texas' resources paid for by you and me.
And any results from this "experiment" could never be replicated in public waters. Be that as it may.
But it is interesting to see that in last weekends Dallas Morning News that there was an article written by Ray Sasser that talked about TPWD and its history of stocking private lakes.
And I find it almost impossible to believe that two of the private lakes stocked by TPWD with OWR fish are owned by ex TPWD commission chair Edwin Cox Jr.
What a coincidence!! Isn't that something?? What are the odds?? When I heard this you could have knocked me over with a feather.. (Although I heard about this over a month ago.)
Yes, the good old boy system is entrenched in the top levels of PAW, just like in all political organizations. You do know that TPWD is a political organization, don't you?
But PAW says there is no conflict of interest here..
Surely you jest..
All of this is just another government boondoggle..
I would call it all a crock of shit..
What ever happened to folks that would run from participating in any thing that might be remotely considered as "fishy?"
There's nothing to see here folks. Move along...
September 3, 2014: Clouds to the left of me.. Clouds to the right.. Will we ever get a rain around here?
There are two systems that could be or could have been very beneficial to us here at Falcon.. The little tropical storm in the gulf called Dolly.. And a good storm brewing up in the Pacific called Norbert just below the gulf of California.. We'll see what that one does.. It is the easternmost tracking storm of the year.. But it is not a whopper.. Yet..
And Dolly has headed into Mexico about a hundred miles too far south to really do us some good.. Like her name sake a few years ago.. But we might get some rain in the valley, and that at least might curb some of the demand for water that has been ongoing..
We are still dropping slowly but steadily, and we are sitting at 267.61 as of this morning.. That's 33.59 feet low.
There has been a marked improvement in the fishing in the last couple of weeks, and some good stringers have started showing up. But what impresses me is the numbers of fish that are being caught. Over the weekend I talked to a lot of folks that had thirty to forty fish in the boat per day.
And from my own personal experience I can tell you that the fish are biting.. Not a lot of monsters mind you, but a lot of nice fish in the two to four pound range, with a six or seven mixed in most fishermen's creel in the course of the day.
I fished from eight till noon yesterday and I pretty much whacked em.. Well I guess you could call it that in today's terms.. I started off throwing that damn Red Eye again and I am telling you that these fish are on that thing right now. I caught about a three and a half on my second cast.. Yes, windy rocky, gravely points and humps.. And I caught a few more nice fish on it the next thirty minutes as well.
After that wore off, or at least when I decided to make a move, I headed to some mainlake hardwoods and started flipping trees. I caught a three on my first flip.. But that bite was not repeated in the next fifteen minutes and the waves were pulling my trolling motor out of the water. So I headed to some protected water that had a lot of rock. A rocky point.. Back in a creek.. Texas side.. Midlake..
I have fished this point for years.. And years.. And had not caught crap off of it in a long time.. But I guess I finally showed up on it at the right time.. Cause I whacked em on it for two hours.. Not every cast.. But plenty of action to make me stay put.. And I left em biting..
I also caught the biggest fish I have caught in a while, and when her head came out of the water I was sure she was a ten.. But she was the skinniest and poorest fish I have seen or heard of in a while. With no tail and beat to crap.. Hell if I know but she stretched the spring to 7.89.. This fish should be in a nursing home..
Everybody is catching fish. No we are not slaying them, and no we are not catching ten pounders one an hour.. But we are certainly experiencing the best fishing that we have had in a long time.. You should come get you some..
Dove season opens for real this weekend and I do not expect a big crowd down here. San Antonio Bass Club is scheduled to be in town though.. But there will be plenty of room. Believe me.. A lot of San Antonio area bass clubs will be in town this month leading up to the Metro tourney to be held on the first weekend in October.. That's only a month away..
I am heading to the ranch this weekend to cut up some mesquite trees and to sit under some others.. We have had some crazy wind storms lately and there are some big ass trees and limbs that have either been blown over or broken off.. And I reckon I can keep myself busy till the birds start to fly..
If any of you around San Antonio or Devine area want some oak wood, give me a call.. It's already cut in two to four foot lengths.. You load it.. You can have it.. Winter is coming..
Be careful out there.. I gotta go find my shotguns..
August 30, 2014: Well the three day weekend is here.. And so is a tropical depression that is bumping up against the coast just below Corpus Christi.. And while it may or may not peter out, at least it has brought some shade to south Texas.. I just don't see us getting much rain outta this thing.. I'd love to be wrong..
Yesterday it looked so promising.. But imploded when the thing hit land.. This morning it is spitting out a few storms around Corpus and a few in the valley.. Hopefully some will crawl up here..
I fished yesterday morning till about 11:00 with Gary Harlan, because he convinced me that he was catching some fish on the top end of the lake. And you know how much I have been talking about going south.. And while I still think the south end of the lake will produce bigger fish, and a good number of fish, we did manage to catch an easy twenty five between eight and eleven O'clock.. Most of them in two places.. Exactly where I can't say.. Sworn to secrecy..
But I will tell you this.. The pattern was exactly the same as the one I am fishing on the south end of the lake.. Rocks.. Gravel.. Wind.. Scattered stickups..
It has been a fantastic week to fish down here, with light winds and biting fish.. Yee-Ha..
I think it is time to put the golf clubs up..
While we were running around, we headed upriver to take some pics of the old Bridge abutment in the river and the old bridge to the east of it.. And when you see it you understand why it is important to miss it.. It ain't moving.. Neither are the concrete rails to the east of it.. This of course is in the river channel about 500 yards below the mouth of Hedieona..
What you see in the distance is old bridge rails.. East of this concrete monolith..
We also flipped some hardwoods in the middle of the river channel where a bunch of brush was hung up on some trees.. We did not catch any fish there, but I did rescue an old timer that was stuck in a piece of old net on top of an old hardwood just above the surface.. I think he is gonna make it.. But he was not too happy with me despite of me saving his ass.. Wish I had a sack full..
If you go out on the lake without a red eye shad in sexy shad color you are screwing up.. I am murdering them on that thing.. I was not really a believer in it till late.. But I is one now.. This bait is catching them right here in the Veleno as well..
Enjoy your long weekend.. You deserve it.. After all, it is the laborers in this country that make it great..
Not the no working slacker son of a bitches.. Not the politicians.. But those of you who bust your ass every day to get er done..
Happy Labor Day!
August 28, 2014: While it is late in the month, it is certainly still August around here.. And I don't know how many days in a row we have been a hundred or better.. It is a bunch. But maybe we will break the streak today.
There is a little disturbance down in the gulf just off shore. And I am hoping it will disturb the valley, if not us. It does not look too impressive but at least getting to talk about rain around here is somehow stimulating.. And we have a slight chance of seeing some rain around here.. I hope this thing will get its shit together and come on shore and stay a day or two.. We'll see..
The lake is still dropping as round the year irrigation is going on to the south of us. We are down to 267.94, or 33.26 feet low. We were about five feet lower at this time last year..
We caught water all thru the fall last year. Lets hope for a repeat..
And speaking of low water, lets talk about a couple of hazards that we have kinda of gotten used to in the last couple of years.. The bridge in the Veleno needs to be avoided to the right.. Or west.. The markers on it are all but gone, but there are three still there and you need to skirt the brush to the right of them.. You have plenty of room and water to miss it.. Just be sure that you do..
And if for some reason you find your self scratching the itch to head upriver, be advised that there is not a lot of water above the Salado. There is the old bridge abutment in the river channel just below Hedieona. If you go this far up run the channel just to the west (Mexican side) of this chunk of concrete.. There is an old bridge about a hundred yards to the east of this concrete chunk. And right now it is barely under the water.. It is also something you want to avoid..
From Zapata south you have no problems..
I had to make a quick trip to the ranch on Tuesday, but I did fish on Monday. Till about noon. And I boated about a dozen fish, and had another four or five launch my crankbait like the space shuttle. I was throwing a Red Eye shad in Sexy Shad pattern.. I also threw a 1.5 in Sexy Shad and caught fish on that as well.. After I lost the Red Eye.. Both those baits catch more than fish.. But if you find a bare rock bank and there is wind blowing on it, there will be fish there. I also caught fish on a 10" Blue Fleck power worm..
And I have a little familiarity with that bait.. In days of old, all I would bring to Falcon was a hunnert pack of 7" and weights and hooks.. It is still a great bait..
Fishing is really pretty good right now.. I can only think it is going to get better as the fall approaches.. That should only be about two months away..
Labor Day weekend is just a day away, and many folks and families consider this weekend summers last Hurrah. I do believe that we will have a bit more summer this year, at least here at Falcon.. I know a lot of the midwest and the south are already enjoying some cooler weather.. We gonna have to wait a bit..
So if your journeys bring you down to Falcon this weekend, be prepared for the heat..
Dove season opens Monday for a lot of you, and that doesn't suck. I'll have to wait till the next weekend to pull the guns out of the closet.. But I am looking forward to it..
Somebody said to me the other day that hunting here must be boring after hunting in Argentina.. Not in the least.. I guess I am just eat up with it.. And I have some new dove recipes I brought back with me I want to try.. If you did not get to read about this years trip here's a link to the story.. If you're interested..
We hope to see you this weekend, but wherever you go be careful out there. There will surely be a lot of boats on the water wherever you can still float one. Pray for rain. Maybe we'll even get some here..
And we'll see you on the water..
August 23, 2014: You'd swear it is March around here if you looked at the freakin wind everyday. Of course when you stepped outside you would soon remember that it is August.. Hot and Windy has been the order of the week..
But for those who are bold enough to brave the elements; they have been rewarded with some decent fishing.
I had planned to fish on Thursday, but when I got up and backed up to the boat, and looked at the trees across the street, I said "Screw it," I live here.. I don't have to fish in this shit.. And I can't blame anyone else if they wouldn't either.
There are a few folks down this week anyway, but most of them are hanging it up about noon. And a couple of days it was just plain howling.. And any of you that have been on Falcon much know how this thing gets when the winds get 25 or more.. It ain't pretty..
We talked to a few folks yesterday that did well, including a couple that fished with guides. And they caught em pretty good, but with no fish over seven pounds.
And a lot of fish were caught near the bank out of necessity.
Fishing a finesse style is also working well, if you can find a place where you can kinda hide from the wind. Case in point, the dam.. Throwing a trick or finesse worm on the rocks is catching fish. You have to fish something that won't hang in the rocks too much.. A light weight is a must..
If you get off some main lake points or secondary points, a square bill or a mid-depth running bait is a good choice. A rattle trap or red eye shad in Sexy Shad is also a good bait to throw.. And you can throw it in the wind.. Had some guys buy every one I had on Wednesday.. But not to fear I'll have plenty on on Monday..
Those things do hang up every now and then..
And if you are launching at the state park be sure to use the middle lane of the ramp..
The Lone Star Lunker bass club is in town, and they got lucky with winds predicted to be about 14 today, and 7 to 14 tomorrow.. We'll let you know what they do..
The gar are still active, although they have been hard to hunt with a three foot chop on the water.. But whether we are hunting them or not, they will still be hunting every day.. Here is a pic of a fish that was caught this week.. That crazy fish must have swam into those bad ass thorn bushes again..
We see this stuff all the time..
The TPWD commission is set to meet in September, and I am sure that at the minimum the recommendation will be made to raise the limit on these fish eating machines. And that recommendation will come as a result of the Alligator Gar study that is being conducted here on Falcon. I do not believe that a recommendation for raising the limit on any other lake will be made.
And if the folks at TPWD remain true to their word, then we should see an increase in the daily bag limit here on Falcon.
I am waiting.. Patiently..
We have such a population of little bass in the lake right now that it has given me a feeling of great optimism for the near future. I believe that this spring we are going to be catching big numbers of fish..
Many people that I am talking to do a lot of bank and live bait fishing. And these people throw a lot of cast nets.. And they are a great asset when it comes to knowing what is in the water out there.. In a lot of different locations..
And every one that I talk to that has thrown a net has reported catches of small bass in their nets. From San Ygnacio to the dam.. And that is a good sign.. Last years spawn was near nonexistent.. Thank God we had water in the bushes this year.. I have seen this scenario here on Falcon several times before. And I have never seen any other lake bounce back like this one can.. Squat and watch..
On a different note..
How are you folks feeling about the peaceful allah loving son of a bitches that have been named ISIS.. Or whatever..
Just makes you want to give em a hug, don't it? And for those of you pacifist assholes out there that still think that they are just misunderstood and have been oppressed by western views and actions, then I suggest you pack your shit and go join them.. Cause then when the shit hits the fan, we won't have any problems with who to shoot..
We're coming up on the thirteenth anniversary of 9-11 and I think that a lot of folks have already forgotten about what happened on that day.. Do you remember? Do you ever think about it? Or has what you saw play out on your television screens that day just blended into your memories and become a blur, and you can't remember if what you were seeing was real or just a scene from one of the Die Hard movies..
These assholes want to kill us. Period.. And the reasoning really does not matter to them.. It is engrained in their society.. There is no reasoning with them..
As an American citizen today there is little you can do as an individual to make a change in this situation. And that is the frustrating part. But supporting politicians that understand that this is a problem that will not just fade away is a good start..
I hate the idea that we have become the worlds policemen.. It is bullshit.. But in today's world, WTF are you gonna do.. And to all those other countries that are supposedly our allies and say that we are bullies and should mind our own mitten I ask you this.. When these assholes kill your people, invade your cities, bomb your markets, and rape and kill and mutilate your women, Who You gonna Call??
So pull your heads out of your asses and look at the world around you.. Before you realize that you are no longer in your world.. You're in theirs..
August 19, 2014: It is about as quiet as a cemetery at midnight around here with fewer people in town than I have seen all summer. And the fishing is as good as it has been all year.. Least that is the way I see it..
Some of the reason it is so quiet is that there are at least fifty (50) highway patrol units working out of Zapata and the surrounding area. They have a major task force working out of here and they are all bunking at the Holiday Inn or Sunbridge. So good luck getting a room at either of those two motels any time soon..
That's a lot of black and whites.. I hear that the National Guard has shown up in Brownsville, but we have seen no evidence of them around here..
If you are heading down here for the Metro tourney, make sure and book your room early.. If you haven't already..
I have not put the boat in the water this week, but plan to tomorrow. And I am planning on putting in at the state park early in the am. It gets freakin hot by noon and this week the wind has been howling in the afternoons..
Anyway I have a little intel that I need to check out down on the south end of the lake.. I'll let you know what happens.
There have been very few fishermen to talk to this week, but the few that are here are catching some fish. Still mostly shallow, and still on a variety of baits. A topwater will or should get you bit in the first hour, and I am not talking about the first hour after sunrise. You need to see the sun come up.. It is an early bite..
And the squarebill is still catching as many fish as anything. It is true a lot of these fish are rats. But a decent number of fourteen to sixteen inch fish are also being caught. And an occasional "look at this" fish is being brought to the net.
The soft plastic bite is going pretty strong while fishing bushes and hardwoods, and let me tell you that you better be paying attention to your bait and line. These fish are swimming and biting in stealth mode and many times the bite is so subtle that you just do not know there is a fish gumming your bait..
Kinda like Granny without her dentures eating apple sauce..
If you are fishing the top of the lake take you some Junebug Red brush hogs, and if you are fishing the south end get you some Watermelon Red Magic ones..
Stop by the store and we'll point you in the right direction..
Is it just me or is the world spinning particularly out of whack right now? What the hell is wrong with people these days?
I am not even going to list any the numerous events that are going on across the country.. Or the globe.. But Gee Whiz..
I know there are plenty of reasons to get upset with things on a day to day basis. And with people. And with government. And no one can make you crazier than your own family sometimes. Trust me.. I know.
I think I'm getting to the point in life that I am pretty much irrelevant.
When you get my age you have to pretty much admit that you are late in the third quarter, and might already be into the fourth. And when that clock hits triple zeroes I don't care who you were or how much money you made or how many people are crying or celebrating because you are gone, it is just down to you and God..
And the older I get the more I wonder what God will think of me when we meet face to face..
And when I think about the world today I don't worry about me. I worry about my kids and theirs.. And yours..
So here's my thought for the day.. I'm going to try to improve my little corner of the world, and maybe I will rub off on some others.. And I bet you can do the same thing as well.. If you want to..
Life is too short to run around pissed off all the time.. And I ain't doing it.. I'm gonna go and do as long as I can and wear a smile all the while.
But that won't stop me from speaking out when I need to yell Bullshit..
The world we got ain't perfect, but our world is a hell of a lot better than most folks.. Just look at the news..
So get your ass out there and enjoy life..
And keep an eye on that clock.. You only got so much time to make a difference.. And you never know when the coach is going to pull you out..
August 16, 2014: The Gar Guys are gone, the smell has subsided, and things have calmed down a lot around here.. But the fish have not.. Actually nothing has changed..
We are still catching them shallow, on a variety of baits. But nothing I haven't told you in the last week..
I have been working on my Argentina story and if you want to read it I have finally gotten it finished and posted it. You can read it here.
I'll give you a report of the weekends fishing action on Monday. Have a good weekend..
Whew.. I'm about writ out....
August 13, 2014: Well here we are in the middle of the month, past the super moon, and it is almost time for back to school.. What the hell happened to the summer?
And in an unrelated twist, last night we got 1.60" of rain right here in Zapata, as recorded here at the shop.. It was awesome.. Hell of a light show as well..
This was the first appreciable rain fall since May the 12th when we got 1.65. And seven and a half months into 2014 we have received 5.1 inches total here in Zapata. That is drier than a popcorn fart, as my Dad would say.
And there is little nicer than to wake up the day after a good rain.. No dust.. Puddles.. Birds taking a long overdue bath.. And trees whose leaves are not curled.. Thank you for the rain Lord..
As I talked about earlier we are in the middle of Garapaloosa III around here, and the cuttin and guttin is in full swing. So far we have not had a giant run of the nets, but the fellows and gals have set out nets in new areas that we have not tried before. And some have been less productive than in the past.
Today many of the nets will move to the Tigers area and that is where we have caught a ton of gar.
It is a common observation as of late that there are a lot of gar out in the open water in the main lake. And that is common around here in the summertime. We'll see if we find a concentration of fish today. If we don't it isn't because of a lack of trying. PAW has a bunch of assets here..
The guys from TPWD also have a few interns working with them this go round, and they are all of the female persuasion.. They are pursuing degrees in the biological sciences and this is a good place to get some hands on field experience.. And so far they have been right in the middle of the action..
I'll of course give you a final tally on the gar when they wrap up tomorrow..
Fishing remains pretty steady this week and we actually had a few folks around the last few days. The flipping bite is coming on and I am hearing of a few more better quality fish showing up. But the majority of fish we are catching are two pounders, give or take.. With a few decent ones mixed in..
And if you are not fishing the hardwoods, which there are tons of, make sure you are around some rocks.. Nothing new.. And if you are an early riser, DO NOT forget the buzzbait.. That is some giggly fun..
I am even hearing of some decent fish up here on the north end of the lake. Water up here is certainly fishable but not as pretty as on the south end.. Like usual.. The Veleno looks pretty good but the wind does mix it up when it blows with the receding water levels.. Although we did catch about 2.5 inches last night.. The valley did not get the rains we did so I do not look for them to decrease the releases from Falcon..
Not a lot else going on round here.. We are getting ready for the Metro tourney that is coming up the first weekend in October. Please let me know when you club is coming in September so I can add you to our tourney schedule..
Don't forget you can buy your new Fishing and or Hunting license starting on Friday. No price increases this year that I see.. Dove season is only 18 days away.. And it has been a while since I killed anything.. Cept for these damn crickets..
My story on Argentina is coming along pretty well, but it is turning into a damn book..
See you when you get here.. Or when I get there..
August 9, 2014: Well it's back to catching things instead of killing things.. At least till the end of the month..
Yesterday I woke up at 5:00 and could not go back to sleep. I thought about poking a little fun at the Ol Lady but I have done that before.. She was still in REM sleep anyway. And I knew there were fish out there I had not caught before.. So I settled on the latter.. I love new things..
I am sure twenty years ago I would have done both.. Getting old sucks but I reckon it beats hell out of the alternative..
I launched at the state park and there were two trailers besides me there.. I told you it ain't too busy down here.. The ramp is still fine and there is about seven feet of water in the channel.. But we are still dropping..
It was a beautiful sunrise..
I headed for a rocky bank I know in Government Cove and started throwing a buzzbait.. And on about the third cast I had one whack the hell out of it but no hook up.. I tried him several more times but no cigar..
About five casts later I caught a 13 incher or so.. Man they are mean.. About ten casts later I had a shark attack my bait.. He was half way out of the water coming at it.. Bout a three pounder.. And he blasted it.. But no connection again.. Dammit.
I got hung up on the next cast and had to go fetch my bait.. Which had me really tight to the bank. So I paralleled it behind a few stickups in water I had already fished.. Another Son of a Bitch crushed it, had him hooked for a minute, and then he came off.. What the hell.. Checked my hook.. Like a hypodermic.. Made another cast or two and caught another rat.. And another..
I had fished myself out of the line of rocks so I cranked up and moved to the rocky point just left of the dam and the floating barrels.. Missed a couple and caught a nice one about two and a half..
Lots of fun in about thirty minutes..
I headed to the Salanaias and threw the buzzer around the island at the front right side but no dice.. Big waves were making it hard to fish and I am sure the bait was drowned out by the waves.. I guess. Either that or they weren't no fish there..
So I headed a little deeper into the creek on the right side.. And guess what I found some hardwoods in there.. No shit.. And the second one I flipped I caught my best fish of the day out of that went three and a bit I would guess.. No monster but a meanie..
I continued in the same manner for about an hour and got bit on every ten to twentieth tree.. Lots of little fish.. But some fun action.. I missed a good number of the bastards too. They are absolutely not hammering the bait.. You gotta pay attention.. I think I caught two by accident.. And one of them jumped off because I did not set the hook..
I finished up on the point on the north side of State Park Cove. I had heard there were some schoolers hanging around there. The waves were a bit big for someone just screwing off, and I did not find a bite there..
The cisterns are two out of three out of the water.. Be careful up there.. Lots of rocks..
I made a short morning of it..
But it was fun to get bit.. I was back at the shop by 11:00..
BTW.. The Plum Ol Monster caught all the flipping fish.. Go figure..
When I got back to the ramp there were twelve rigs launched.. Crowded..
The boys from TPWD will be back down here on Monday for Garapoolosa round three.. And Tommy is going on vacation midweek so if I am going to get out of here I gotta get it done by Sunday.. That's Tomorrow.. Dammit..
I'm working on my Argentina story.. Should have it whacked out next week.. For those of you who like to shoot birds..
Here's a link to a U-toober video my buddy posted.. Just for a taste..
Get down here and get you some topwater fish.. I gotta find my Chug Bugs..
August 7, 2014: I am not sure how many days in a row we have been over a hundred degrees, but the number is starting to get up there.. And the next seven are all supposed to be One-O-Something.. Yes, August is here..
And I just came back from a locale that was a mite cooler.. More on that later..
We do not have a lot of folks fishing down here right now, but all of them that are are catching fish. Even the top end of the lake is putting out a few fish, but the south end is surely better, and has been for a while.
Moving baits are the deal on the shallow rocks, and that freakin squarebill is still whackin' em shallow. And while it might be as generic as vanilla ice cream, Sexy Shad is still the best thing going.. And the smaller bait is getting more bites. Period..
But lets talk deeper water.. Like ledges in ten to twenty.. There are several things working in that range. I heard from a couple of fellows that caught them good off the dam and surrounding areas on deep diving cranks. Same place you can throw a C-rig or a Texas rigged plastic.. Like a fluke. The big fluke is catching fish, but you will get more bites on the super fluke.. The 5 incher.. Sometimes less is more..
A jig is actually catching some fish as well.. In those same areas and on some house foundations.. If you can keep from hanging it up.. Cranks and lightly weighted Texas rigs have been working on the rock piles as well. I plan on hitting some of them tomorrow.. Got a new theory or two.. I'll let you know what I find out..
The last two times I have been out, which has not been a lot here lately, I have been charting some fish on a couple of ledges on the river channel.. And I don't know what they are, but there are a shit load of em.. And I can't get em to bite.. I'm thinking I have a species problem. But I have caught hundreds of bass off of them in the past..
Let me just say that I am taking some "alternative" baits out there with me when I go..
I know these reports are sounding like the last ten conversations with an ex wife.. Same old shit.. But that is the way it is.. (feel free to insert "ex husband" into text above if it fits the situation.. I am not being sexist.. Just speaking from a mans point of view.)
Man I am getting too PC.. Anyway..
Best colors in the soft plastics is still a W/M Red or Magic, or maybe a W/M Candy.. But W/M based for sure..
The flipping bite has been tough, but a few folks have been catching a few in the back of the Salanaias on the trees. A spinnerbait is also catching some fish in the trees as well..
Fishing is good.. But if you are deep ledge fisherman and stay on the north end of the lake.. It might not be described as that.. Go south young man.. Go south..
I was talking last week about a gar tourney that was going to be held last weekend at the state park.. And it was.. And it was well attended.. Fifty eight fishermen participated but few fish were brought to the scales. And for good reason.. It was a very windy and cloudy day, which does not bode well for seeing fish.. But I heard all had a good time and the winning fish weighed only 33 pounds.. Not a good day for hunting..
But that is the way it goes.. As with any tournament.. I have often wished for a crystal ball so I could only schedule tournaments on the good days..
I think another tourney is in the works.. I'll let you know..
I got back into town yesterday about noon, and I am still a little draggy.. Twenty four hours and three flights tends to screw up ones rhythm.. Or whatever.. I kept my streak alive with travel problems on the way over..
We got to the lodge at 1:00 am instead of 5:00 pm.. I hate sitting in airports.. But we did it again..
We did not miss out on a day of shooting though.. We had seven hunters in our party and we whacked em pretty good..
In four and a half days of hunting we killed 27,458 doves. And on the last morning a couple of guys did not hunt.. They missed out on an awesome shoot.. But it is not like they did not shoot any..
I personally shot 243 twenty five count boxes.. That's 6,075 shells.. I hit 5,231 birds for a ratio of 86.1%.. Down about 1.5% from last year.. I must be slipping..
This is what greeted you on a typical morning hunt.
It was an awesome trip and I will be working on a story about it in the next week.. I know I said that last year.. But it is coming I promise..
Well I gotta get back to work.. Come see us!
July 30, 2014: The heat parade goes on in Zapata, but it has not driven the fish out of the shallows. And for whatever reason a buzzbait is catching fish.. Well into the day..
It may well be that we are turning into Amistad.. Catching fish on a drop shot and now catching them on topwater while the sun is beating down.. Sounds awfully familiar..
But hey, we are catching fish so I don't really care..
Long rocky points and just plain old rocky edges are holding fish, and you can catch em on a squarebill or you can chunk that buzzbait all day long. And it is certainly better down south.. Anywhere the water is nice and clear.. Or what we call clear anyway..
There are also a bunch of fish out in the ten to fifteen foot range that can be caught on a middle diver, like a 5XD or a DD14.. That Sexy Shad is hard to beat and the Citrus Shad is always catching some fish.. Same places you can catch fish with that drop shot..
Lots of these fish are small and some are undersized in the eight inch to ten inch range, no doubt the product of December and January spawns. And seeing these smaller fish in good numbers gives me a lot of optimism for the spring. And the coming years.. It appears we had a good hatch this year.. Like any year we have some cover in the water.
And while some have pushed the panic button about Falcon, those in the know understand that we cycle with the conditions.. Done it many times before, and we'll do it many times again.
And those in the know also know how fast this lake can bounce back. You should see the shad in the shallows right now.. The water is alive.
Use those techniques this week and you will catch some fish.
Don't forget the Gar tourney this weekend down at the state park. Contact info and information on the tourney page.
And speaking of tourneys.. If your club is coming down in the next few months please let me know when you are coming so I can add you to the tourney page. It helps others plan (including us) their weekends. I know a lot of you are headed down here in September to prefish for the Metro tourney.
And don't forget that your fishing license expires at the end of August. Well for most of you anyway.. New licenses will be available for purchase starting on the 15th of August.
You're gonna need one to go dove hunting anyway..
And speaking of which, I'm outta here.. See you in a week or so..
July 26, 2014: It has been another hot one this week down in Zapata, but it has not hurt the fishing. For those few that are. And methodology has a lot to do with the success or or lack thereof you may have.
Thinking small, and or finessey has been the best way to get your groove back. We have been talking about the smaller flukes and squarebills as of late, and for good reason as they resemble the summer hatch of shad.. In size anyway. The 1.5 in sexy shad has been the hardest working man in shallow water.. Can't seem to get bit on a spinner up there..
The damn drop shot appears to be working again.. But man I have trouble picking up a fairy wand and throwing it.. I keep expecting Tinkerbell to appear and zap me cause of the things I have said about Homosexuals..
But Matt Reid was using one yesterday and he caught this 10.25.. Maybe that is why he fishes professionally and I am a hack.. But anyway.. Nice fish..
He's been catching good numbers on it as well.. Show em' something different I reckon..
We have a shit load of little fish around right now, and many of them are under legal size. And we have a decent population of fish up to three pounds around as well.. But I do not see and hear of many five pound fish. There are some seven to ten pounders here and there, but where the four to sixes are I don't know.. Maybe they are the preferred breakfast of champions.. For the gar.. I don't know..
With the tremendous spawns we had in 2010 and 2011 we should be swimming in five and six pounders.. Call me crazy but I still wholeheartedly believe that lots of em are gar shit..
Speaking of gar, the boys from PAW will be back down here on the 11th of August for their third round of Garapoloosa. And yessir folks the blood and guts will be flying once again..
I can't give you a final report on what is up with the gar around here, but preliminary data surely shows sexual maturity is much younger than believed (with Falcon fish) and growth rates are off the charts.
And of all the things I have seen so far during this study the most impressive is the sheer volume of eggs that these females carry.. It is mind boggling. And it will be interesting to see the development of the eggs in these fish as they get closer to fall.
It is also amazing to see the amount of fat in their bellies.. Stay tuned for reports from round number three in a couple of weeks.
And don't forget that there is a gar tourney being held here at the state park next weekend. If you are interested see the tourney page for contact info. Sounds like fun..
August is traditionally a slow month around here, with kids getting ready to go back to school, and let's face it.. It is just plain hot.. Time to boil up a few hurricanes.. But ain't nothing good happened yet..
We are still dropping very slowly and today we sit at 271.43, or 29.77 feet low. In the last five days we have lost about four inches.. Not a lot of releases from Amistad and just a bit more from us.. Of course there is a lot of water being pulled out of the river between us and Amistad..
There are so many of us dependent on the river for our livelihoods and life itself.. And the demand ain't getting any smaller.. The demands for water for irrigation below Falcon are at an all time high, as year round crops are being grown in places where they did not used to be. Farmers in Mexico are also planting two cycles of corn here lately in some areas... And it is almost all flood irrigated.. No pivots over there.. Lots of water wasted.. Same on a lot of the Texas side..
Zapata and Falcon lake will once again be hosting the San Antonio Metropolitan League of Bass Clubs tournament this fall, after two years in Del Rio. The "Metro" tourney is a big deal and it pits its clubs against each other in a two day event where the top weights of each clubs top eight anglers decide the winner.
The event is being hosted by the Zapata County Convention and Visitors Bureau. A banquet will be held at the county pavilion on Saturday night, where last years top finishers will receive their awards. The date for this tournament is October 3-5...
But Zapata will not have to wait to benefit from this tournament till October.. All of the clubs will be bringing their September tourneys to Falcon in advance of the big show.. To do a little scouting. So the business community will benefit twice from this tourney.
If any of you would like to donate items for goodie bags for this tourney please contact me and we'll get your promotional item in the bags.
We are only 36 days away from the opening of dove season here in Texas.. And I don't know about you but I think it should be a state holiday. And I know I have been picking on PAW for the last eon or so and here is another beef I have with them. They open the season on September 1st every year. Regardless of the day of the week. Labor day is September first and on a Monday this year.. Why not open the season on the 30th of August and give hunters a three day weekend to open the season.. This happens all the time.
Think of how much more revenue would be raised by businesses and the state if there was a three day dove opener.. Many won't or can't get to the lease or to an outfitter for a one day Monday hunt.
It would just make sense.. Maybe that is why they don't do it..
They did raise the possession limit to 45 birds this year. That is a step in the right direction. Now give us the three days to kill the 45!!
Speaking of killing doves. I'm headed out of town next week to do exactly that. And I won't have to worry about going over the limit.. Cause there ain't one..
Last year I killed what would equal about 45 years worth of dove hunting here in Texas, if I hunted eight times a year and killed a limit each trip. And that's in four and a half days of hunting. That's why I like to go to Argentina.
If you are a serious wing shooter you owe yourself a trip there at least once in your life.. It ain't cheap but it is something you will talk about forever. At least anytime you are talking about dove hunting.
If you have any questions about putting together a trip give me a shout and I'll tell you about all the details and hook you up with the right people if you want me to..
Well I gotta go clean out my field bag.. See you on the water.. Or under a mesquite tree..
July 21, 2014: Fishing was pretty good over the weekend, and Sunday appeared the be the better of the two days. It was hot and still out there.. Some might call it brutal.. It is summertime in Zapata.
The Uvalde Bass club had 29 anglers make their way to Falcon, and they did pretty darn good overall, and on Sunday everybody caught fish.
On Saturday Gustavo Chavez won the tourney with three fish for 13.01 pounds. Everybody figured them out a bit for Sunday and Cody Johnson figured them out the best. He had three for 20.78 pounds, including a 8.85 and a 8.55.
Thanks to all of you who stopped by the store. Thanks Ricky for the report and the Pics.
There has been a lot of talk around the Texas bass fishing world the last couple of weeks about a joint venture between TPWD and a south Texas land owner that has built a new 60 acre lake between Zapata and Laredo.
And to this point I have remained silent about the "Deal".
If you have read anything I have written for any length of time you know I am an opinionated son of a bitch.. Been called that.. I kinda wear it like a badge of honor. And I have always told you the truth as I see it.. And will continue to do so. I'm not gonna sugar coat anything and I am not gonna blow a bunch of smoke up your ass telling you the fishing is good when it ain't. ( Fishing is pretty good right now..)
And in the same light I don't like it when someone is trying to blow a bunch of smoke up my ass either.
Which is exactly what is going on with the story mentioned above.
I know both parties in this adventure and have some insight that others may not.
One of them is the land owner, Dr. Schwartz. He and I are friends. I have been to La Perla ranch and fished in the first lake he built there. It is awesome.. And will continue to be.
And I have seen the new lake, before it was impounded. Quite a sight to see a fifty to sixty acre hole shaped and sculpted for optimum fishing structure. And I have no doubt in the coming years it will be a fantastic fishery.
The other party is TPWD, and in particular Alan Forsage who is the head of the Freshwater fisheries Center in Athens, and head of the Sharelunker program.
I met him somewhere in 2009, when I was on the Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Board. Which is basically a bullshit session twice a year where no advising ever gets considered. But I am not here to talk about that.
An alliance was formed between these two, to put Operation World Record fish, fish developed and paid for by the taxpayers, in a private lake.
And that is the part that gives me heartburn.
I don't know, but I would guess that Mr. Forsage and PAW are frustrated with their failed Sharelunker program and they are looking for any means to advance their ambition to grow a bigger fish.
Never mind that even if they did, this experiment can not and will not ever be re-created on any public lake or reservoir.
The Sharelunker program is in its 28th year and has yet to produce a single thirteen pound bass in Texas' public waters.
Oh they'll take credit for the thirteen's that show up. But they had nothing to do with them. And don't be confusing the stocking of Florida Bass with the Sharelunker program. That is just ignorant..
I find it curious that many think this has been such a transparent arrangement between the state and a private land owner. It got real transparent when a few outdoor writers found found out about it.. But not before then..
The contract between the parties was signed on April 24.. The fish were stocked on June 25th.
Some articles in the Lufkin, Nacogdoches, and Dallas newspapers came out talking about it on the 13th of July, drawing some negative viewpoints.
The transparency was started on the 14th..
If this was a big planned event and PAW thought it was a great and honorable undertaking and it was a groundbreaking new research project, then why in the hell didn't they publicize it before they got their hands caught in the cookie jar?
Why in the hell didn't Larry Hodge put out a news release promoting it like they do every time they want to pat themselves on the back? My guess is that he did not know about it.. Or was not instructed to. My guess is also that it was a hush hush good ole boy arrangement. And this ain't the first one that has been done I guarantee you..
I have fielded a dozen calls from people upset at what has transpired.. And I'll have to lump myself in with that group.
I'm not pissed that they did it.. I'm just pissed that they did it in the dark of night..
These fish are nothing but pure Florida bass anyway. As has been evidenced by the failure to produce any bigger fish in the last quarter century. And anyone with an ounce of curiosity can surely see that the biggest of our fish in Texas are getting smaller and less plentiful. Only nine fish were turned in to the SL program this year.
AND NOT ONE WEIGHED FOURTEEN POUNDS. There's something to hang your hat on..
Yeah.. This shit is working.. And don't go blaming it on low water.. This program was designed to grow bigger fish. And lots more of em.. And we have had plenty of high water over the years..
What do you think?? Do you think?? Or just drink.. The Kool-Aid that is served up by the Sharelunker program..
But an artful spin has been put on the whole deal telling the public that this is common practice and it is no big deal. And for the most part nobody gives a shit.
I guess I am just too sensitive..
July 18, 2014: If you are having an outdoor wedding, you need to invite me.. That would assure that no rain would fall on your party.. Of course the bar bill could be a bit higher..
It has rained on every side of us but cannot seem to drop a quarter inch at any one time here in Zapata. Maybe it is me.. We got over two inches at the ranch last night, just after I left.. Coincidence?? I don't think so..
Fishing remains pretty good numbers wise it appears, with a lot of folks catching shallow fish. The 1.5 squarebill on rocky points remains one of the best things going. And don't be afraid to throw some topwater's including chuggers and buzzbaits. We have a ton of bait up shallow and the 1.5 is about the same size as the shad. Keep you eyes open for some schooling bass on the windy points.. And not all of em are little fish.
The south half of the lake is still a lot better fishing than the top end. Even though the water is clearing nicely up north.. If I knew why I'd tell you.. But the north end has just not fished as good for a long time.. Which sucks cause I love fishing up here. And a lot of you do too..
The Salado has some great looking water in it, but if you can go up there and catch five fish I will buy you a six pack.. It has been tough. Same for the other river creeks.. And not a lot of water in them either..
I would not get off the pad till I was south of marker seven.
And don't ask me why but the super fluke has been a fish catching machine as well as of late.. Guess it is a lot closer to the bait size in the lake.. But when you have been fishing with the Mag Fluke, the super fluke sure looks small.. I ain't saying the big fluke won't catch em.. But it won't catch as many.. Least right now.. Stay with the watermelon based baits..
Go ahead and take the time to rig it Carolina style.. And then drag it on some rocks.. But drag it slowly.. And have your cull rings ready..
All you gar hunters take note.. There is going to be a one day gar tourney on August second.. That's two weeks away.. It will be held at the state park.. There will be a $30 per man entry fee. No bank fishing will be allowed. Any legal means of capture will be permitted.. Weigh in will be at 4:00 PM. You can register at the State Park ramp that morning.
Call Joe Cortez at 956-739-5751 for more info.
This should be fun and maybe it will help us get rid of a few more of these fish eating bastards..
Here in the store we have also added a bunch of terminal tackle for gar fishermen, and we have a good selection of Gar hunting equipment, including bows, arrows. retrievers, and and a lot of accessories..
If you can use it to catch or kill gar, we have put it in stock..
Uvalde bass club is in town, and they will have about 30-35 fishermen here this weekend. They also have a great time when they are here and we'll see what they bring to the scales tomorrow.
July 16, 2014: Well I had to run to the ranch for a few days.. Which always involves me sweating from one project or another. We made a bunch of hay and I spent all day Sunday on the tractor from field to barn.. My Daddy would just never let hay sit out in the open.. So we have several Leo Domes to keep round bales in..
He also installed two awesome drink holders on the fenders of the tractor.. So it weren't so bad..
I spent all morning Monday walking coastal patches and chopping sprouting Mesquites and Huisache's.. Rain makes things happen.. And we were lucky to have some really good ones a month or so ago..
And yesterday I was taking care of some giant Mesquites that were hit by lightning and wind during one of those last storms.. Some giant son of a bitches got blown over.. I'm getting too old for this shit.. Where are all those undocumented democrats who used to pass thru all the time looking for work. We haven't seen one in years..
Anyway they were right around the Dove hunting party area at the tank, and dove season is on the way.. Gonna miss that shade..
That was about the baddest SOB I have ever fought.. Couldn't reach around it at the base.. That's a big Mesquite..
The rest of the time was split between spraying brush in the fence lines and shredding a few jungles where I don't want them.. Mostly around the tank of course.. Dove season is on the way.. First time we have had water in it in three years..
Enough of that shit.. Had to come back to work to rest up..
Last weekend Ralph Celadon caught this whopper and did not have a good scale.. So he brought it up for an official weight.. 10.88 is a goodun.. Don't worry. It is still swimming..
There have been a good number of good fish caught lately.. Things are looking up..
If we kill a few more gar...
Last weekend there were three bass clubs in town.. In Helotes Bass Club Mike Ross came out on top with a six fish total of 18.57. Most all of the club had six fish limits for the two day event. Big bass was caught by Fritz Collier and it weighed 8.32.
The Universal City Bass Club was also here and on Saturday the heavy stringer was caught by Jeff Mergle, and he had three fish for 15 and a half.. Or thereabouts.. I do not have final results from their tourney..
And the Medina Lake Bass Club was also here.. Winning stringer was caught by Jim Clauser and it was a ten fish limit that weighed 22.77. Big bass in their event was a 4.44 caught by Steve Strunk..
This weekend we have Uvalde Bass Club in town. Please let me know if your club is headed to Falcon so I can add you to the tourney schedule..
Most of the fish caught last weekend and to date are being caught on square bills and believe it or not buzzbaits.. Folks who caught them today caught em on the square bill in shallow as well..
The small fluke is still working well as well..
Shallow seems to be the best thing going.. The big fish pictured above and the big bass caught by Fritz were caught in two feet and one foot respectively.. Don't you just love freakin Falcon??
Yeah, I like shallow water.. Some hate it.. But evidently the fish like it.. Maybe that is why I like it..
Some fish are being caught on deeper rocks.. Throw that little fluke..
Well after bustin your ass all day a little recliner time is in order.. And for whatever reason there seems to be an inordinate amount of mattress commercials on the air these days.. Maybe because there is a lot of talk about Monica and Bill again.. And who did more for mattress sales than Slick Willie.. Well, maybe Wilt Chamberlain.. I'd have hated to walk into one of his motel rooms with a blacklight.. Yeesh..
Anyway you hear of all the reasons to buy a new mattress.. And all the new innovations in mattress manufacturing..
This one tilts.. This one is adjustable on either side for firmness/softness.. This one has cooling foam.. This one is impenetrable to dust mites.. This one shapes to fit your body.. Yada, Yada, Yada
Why in the hell don't they make a mattress that absorbs sound.. Like from one side of the bed to the other.. If someone made a mattress that absorbed snoring noises their sleep number would be billion$..
What an idea.. Now get to work on it..
But I think there is a lot more money to be made off of people who are a bit more adventurous.. Have you seen some of the chunks of iron people have skewered into their bodies these days? Have you seen those folks with holes in their earlobes big enough to flip a double wide beaver through? I am not sure I get that..
But I have an idea for the homosexuals that might really help them.. After all they are becoming mainstream with all their marches and their drive for equality and all.. And the government surely agrees that they should have all the rights and privileges that any other couple enjoys.. More power to em I say.. And I have an idea that might be something that goes along with piercing's and being homosexual.. I'm not connecting the two..
How bout if they got a grease zerk piercing just above their A-hole.. Couple of pumps from a K-Y Jelly grease gun and they'd be ready to go.. In the heat of the moment it would really speed things up.. Don't you think?
There is a lot of money to be made out there.. You just gotta think outside the hole.. I mean box..
July 11, 2014: Well here it is the weekend again. The summer is flying by.. Before you know it we will be shivering and shoveling snow again.
We have had some lovely weather around here this week.. It was 75° here yesterday afternoon at five o'Clock.. With rain scattered around, but most of the good stuff in Mexico south of us. Although a little did water the lower valley from Brownsville to McAllen.. We got a trace here.. Maybe a tenth.. I was still able to mow the grass so it was not too wet.. I heard there was some good rain in the Salanaias..
The lake is still slowly dropping and we are at 272.23, or 28.97 feet low.. Water temps are right at 83 degrees most days.. Certainly not as hot as a lot of years.
Fish are still biting senkos, and a 5" one seems best. Smaller is bigger I guess. The super fluke is also good, We have been hearing of some good fish on Carolina rigs. Fished slow.. Matter of fact you can fish it like a night crawler.. Let it rot.. Use a plum power worm in the 10" size..
And while we are not slaying the fish, you can go out and catch you some decent numbers. It has been nice to see and hear about the improving state of bass fishing on Falcon.
The top of the lake is starting to put out a few fish as the water clears, but still nothing like the bottom of the lake. Water clarity is getting better on the north end, but it is still nothing like the south end. I know it is psychological, and that every fish in the dirty water is still eating and they did not swim to the dam.. But man it messes with my mind..
I have trouble fishing water that looks like a roux.. Although I have no problem eating anything that is made with one.. I loves me some Cajun cookin.. Been a slow year around here for crawfish..
Last year at this time were were sitting at 264.63, so we are about seven and a half feet better than we were last year. I'll take that as a positive. And with any luck we'll have a few more water adding events this summer and fall.. I'm all about the optimism..
The other day I was talking about the running of the bulls in Pamplona.. And lo and behold the next day I hear someone from Chicago got Shisk-ka-Bobbed..
I thought for a minute.. Could it be??
No such luck.. Obamma was in Austin taking cuts in line to get some Bar-B-Que.. And then he used your money to buy everybody's lunch.. What a guy! Gotta love Him..
I wonder how many Secret Service agents are with him in Texas..
I got a new idea.. He was in Texas on a fundraiser for the Dimocrats.. Two stops.. Lets think this out.. I don't know how much money they raised.. But let's say two million..
Let's think about what it takes to get the pres anywhere these days. Months of planning beforehand by a bunch of GS 21's.. Secret agents scouting out the venues in advance. Money for hookers for the secret agents.. The best of hotels and food for the entire crew.. Flying AF One around can't be cheap.. How bout that Cadillac they roll out the back of the plane.. The Beast.. That can't be cheap.. All them black Suburbans.. Plus flying and feeding the press core.. Snipers on the rooftops.. Those little curly wired thingys all the secret agents have plugged into their ears.. All those sunglasses..
Well I am sure I missed a thing or two.. But any way why don't we just give the Dimocrat Party two million dollars out of the general fund and save the ten million extra it costs to raise that money.. Therefore reducing the carbon footprint of the POTUS. And no one has a bigger carbon footprint that the POTUS.. And in doing so we could keep him out of the state of Texas.
I mean it is not like he came down to check out the flood of children he invited here.. He could at least be at the gate a day or two to welcome them into America and hand out welfare sign up forms....
I figured he'd at least get in a round of golf down here in the Lone Star State.. Maybe it would take too long to search all them bushes around the course..
I'd like to play him heads up for pink slips. You know.. Birth certificates.. If he wins, I move to DC and become a street vendor and a Democrat.. If I win, he moves back to Kenya.. Or wherever..
Start planning the party boys.. We can do it right here at Zapata National on the shores of beautiful lake Falcon and the Rio Grande river.. You know. The one that separates the US from Mexico.. And then maybe at least he would see where Mexico is..
Have a great weekend folks.. Come see us when you can.. We're catching fish!
July 8, 2014: I was gonna go fishing this morning, but when I got up the 10 to 15 had morphed into 20 to 25.. These weathermen stink.. I'm not gonna plan another trip till they predict negative wind speeds..
I was trying to fry some fish a while ago and I had to move into the executive shitter to keep my fire from blowing out.. That exhaust fan came in pretty handy.. And the toilet does give you a two level equipment shelf while you are cookin.. If you remember to put the lid down.. And when you're through you got an instant dishwasher buillt in..
Nothing has changed from yesterday but the date on the calendar.. When it comes to fishing anyway..
I think there were four or five boats on the lake..
There are a couple of clubs headed down this weekend from San Antonio, and hopefully the wind will let them fish. Some high pressure is supposed to sit on top of us this week, so maybe it will spread those isobars out some.. It will be warm..
I saw this morning that the running of the bulls is going on in Spain.. Or should I say the running of the idiots.. Sounds like a good way to end up like Uncle Hilbert..
Headlines read that four have been injured.. No shit..
From what I've seen these people are not very smart..(Goes without saying) And their bulls ain't very big.. These critters have some horns I'll give you that, but they are punie compared to what we call a bull here in south Texas.. That's about the size we send em off to the feeder pen..
But from a country that calls soccer a sport I reckon it is the best they can do.. But you know what.. I can see some money to be made here..
All of the guys in the "race" seem to be wearing the same sissy looking white knickers that we give to little girls here in America.. Sounds like a great place to set up a Kohls or a Forever 21 store.. Bribe a state official or two and pretty soon you'd have to wear the "gear" that the organizers say.. Bingo. Millions..
And WTF Nike?? Why in the hell ain't you sponsoring the best bull runners? You (I mean the Chinese kids) make shoes for basketball, football, soccer, track, tennis, jogging, fishing, cricket and even cheerleading..
Why not a specialty shoe made for running with the bulls? You've already got those kids chained to the sewing machines.. So what if they gotta work another twelve hour shift a week.. Cook another pot of rice and get on with it..
And here's some pointers.. Make a special tread for the bottom of the shoe.. One that will not slip when you step on bullshit.. Or on your own blood.. And maybe you should go Maxwell Smart and build a cellphone in the heel that only calls 911.. For when you have that inevitable horn stuck up your ass..
And I reckon the tongue should be made out of toilet paper so you can wipe your ass when you crap your pants..
You know me.. Always thinking outside the box..
I was trying to think of a sport in America that compares to this event.. And while I can bring to mind a lot of stuff that rednecks do, none of it is on this level.. Cept' Nascar..
And here's a couple of examples to make my case..
The bulls are the Jimmy Johnson's, Jr's, and Gordons of the pack.. The rest of the racers are like the people in front of the bulls.. They're just trying not to get run over.. (I am sure there are some other good "athletes" driving as well, but don't feel slighted if I left you and your favorite driver off my short list.)
Watch three laps of any Nascar race and you'll see my point.
Of course if Danika is "racin" all bets are off.. I am not a Nascar fan but I have seen enough to tell that she should not be allowed on the track.. And if you are driving close to her your sponsor should make you pit..
There should be a nad inspection before the race.. If they can check your carburetors they should be able to check your balls..
And why in the hell does Nascar limit the horsepower that they can have on those stock cars. This is supposed to be racin.. Leave em be..
What's that? It would be too dangerous? It might cause wrecks? Why in the hell do you think people watch the races anyway? Sportscenter don't show em just turning left.. It shows the wrecks..
Case in point.. Why do you think the people come to watch the running of the bulls? So they can get some tacos from the street venders? Shit no!!
They want to see someone get a horn stuck up their ass..
And that in a nutshell is what the running of the bulls is all about.. And maybe to show how macho you are if you are one of the contestants..
Come with me to the ranch and we'll cut the balls off of a few.. Then you'll find out what the runnin of the bulls is all about.. And it is possible that you might need to do some runnin too..
Honor is a gift a man gives to himself.. And it is demonstrated by a mans actions on a daily basis.
Not by jumping over the Grand Canyon.. Or running in front of no panicky bulls..
July 7, 2014: The holiday weekend has come and gone, and around these parts it was done with little fanfare. Oh we had our annual fireworks show on Friday evening.. But other than that it was fairly quiet around town, with a slight increase in the number of fishermen on the lake. Crowded it was not. But fishing was pretty good.
It is hot down here, and if you are heading our way be sure to prepare for the heat.. Shade and hydration.. You know the drill.. Just don't forget it..
Small baits are the order of the day around here, with lots of fish being caught on super flukes and baby brush hogs and the like. Texas rigged or Carolina rigged, a small bait will get you bit.
Points with rock are key and being off the ends of such can find you good numbers when you get in the right spot. Most fish are three pounds and under, but occasionally a few good ones get in the mix.
I have been impressed with the number of small fish around here lately. And that bodes well for the near future.. You know how fast these fish grow down here, and small baitfish are in good supply right now.
We also have a good bit of shallow cover and I am very optimistic about this years fry survival. We were fortunate to get the water we caught last month, and it will certainly help provide some extended protection for our growing baby bass population. Many of this springs hatch are now in the four to five inch size, and are eating anything they can get their mouth over.. Including each other..
Bass do not have mirrors so they have no idea how big or how small they are.. They just figure that if they can see it, catch up to it, and line it up, they can eat it.. Sometimes to their demise..
I was on the water twice last week, doing some fishing and some recon. I found the fishing much better on the south end of the lake as I have been saying. And I have been doing best in the creeks and on the points therein south of the Tigers.
My favorite bait is still a 5" senko.. Which does not go against the grain when we are talking about small plastics.
I talked to a couple of fishermen who whacked them in the Salanaias on Saturday and Sunday.. They said they were the only boat in there. And they caught them on hardwoods as well as rocks..
I like a combo of the two.. But I gotta admit that the flipper in me cannot resist a big old tree anywhere close.. And it is not uncommon to see me on high bypass running from tree to tree.. I know, I know.. There is no such thing as high bypass any more..
We are off to a hellova dry start here in Zapata this year.. It has rained around us and north of us but we can't get a drop here at the shop. So far we have had just 3.35 inches in 2014. Compare that to 14.25 at the end of June last year.. It has been dryer than a popcorn fart. And on we go with our lust for dust..
It is July.. Half a year already shot to hell..
I fished a few spots last week down by the dam.. Community holes for a reason..
I'm gonna show Keith Combs this spot next time he is in town..
Dear Lord please note: Plenty of room for more water..
It is nice to sit out on these humps and ledges with no one else around.. Kinda peaceful..
We're about two months away from our next national holiday, and it is certainly one of my favorites. Mainly because it coincides with the opening of dove season. I always somehow managed to be away from work on the opening day of the season..
Speaking of which, I am only about 24 days out from heading back to Argentina. Already having trouble sleeping. Here's a pic my outfitter sent me a few days ago.. Bastard is messing with my head..
It is that good.. Two years ago I sat under that tree in the distance and melted a Beretta 391.. Well almost..
If you ever get a wild hair to go, give me a shout and I'll hook you up with the best place in Argentina.. You gotta do it at least once if you are a dove hunter.. There ain't nothing like it..
I figure we're fishing as good as anything in the state.. So get your self down here and get you some.. Or I'll have to catch em all myself..
July 3, 2014: I can't believe it.. I just read the five day forecast, and we have winds predicted to be under fifteen MPH for the entire time period.. And after having my shoes blown off three of the last five days that sounds pretty good.
The lake is kinda hovering at just below 273, or about 28 feet low. And while I'd like to see some more water in the Ol Gal, we have certainly been lower this time of year in the past. And I've got this weird feeling that something major is going to happen this year.. I keep trying to hide it but it's kinda like a sixteen year old at his first co-ed pajama party..
Yeah Mother Nature.. I'm aroused..
Now quit teasing me and let's get this thing out of the wrapper..
Big things have happened in June and July in the past, and I keep watching the Pacific.. Yeah lots of folks talk about the gulf, but that ain't where the big water will come from..
It has been a busy storm season out there already this year.. We just gotta get one into the Sea of Cortez..
Fishing remains pretty good here on Falcon, with decent numbers of fish reported. It has been common in the course of the day to run into a school of fish on a point or a ledge and catch you a mess of fish in a hurry..
Throwing what they want can be an issue, and it can change on a daily basis. A square bill has done some damage here lately, but soft baits in the smaller size are also doing well. I told you a while back that I was catching them on a 5" senko.. It is still a good choice. As is a super fluke. Watermelon something is a good choice..
You must get to the south half of the lake to catch any numbers of fish. I was out last Friday and the lake is muddy down to about Bobs Knob.. But better after that. Tigers look good..
The Fourth of July is tomorrow of course, and I wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday weekend. And although I do a lot of bitchin I am also grateful that I am in a country where bitchin is still allowable..
And a birthright.
And a responsibility.
If you see something wrong, it is your obligation to speak up. And do something about it where you can.. Lately there is a lot of dissension about what is right and what is wrong. But most of it is over political correctness and not about the facts.
Good people are still good people.
Sorry Son of a Bitches are still Sorry Son of a Bitches..
And we have em both a plenty here in this country.
I applaud those of you that have not chosen the easy path to your existence and have tried to make things better for you and your family and your country by the sweat of your brow or the churning of your brain. That is what America is all about.
The rest of you users can kiss my ass..
And special thanks to all the fine folks that serve in our military, at home and abroad. Remember those that are spending their Fourth in some shithole defending the freedoms that we take for granted.
And remember those that have given their lives so you can sit a home and watch Opra..
Happy Fourth of July!
God Bless the Founders and God Bless what they created in his name..
June 29, 2014: It's another windy weekend and another bass club is here enjoying the southerly breeze. San Antonio Bass club is in town, and they got beat up a little bit yesterday. It was rough out there..
I do not have exact numbers on their catches yesterday, but I know they are fishing a three fish tourney, and somewhere around twelve pounds is leading it. I hear there were three seven pounders weighed in.. That's about all I got..
Last weekend Helotes Bass Club also fished a three fish event, and the winning two day six fish weight was 16.56 pounds. And the big bass was a 4.10.
They also were subjected to the Big Lewinski..
We are forecast to be a windy locale for the next few days..
I am back to watching the Pacific for some likely storms to shoot up the Baja Peninsula and drop a rain bomb on the mountains in northern Mexico.. There's a couple of things roaming around down there. God made those rivers for a reason.. To bring water to Falcon.. And I'm feeling like we might see some water in em this summer..
Seems funny that summer starts on the day the when daylight hours start getting shorter in the northern hemisphere.. Hell if I know.. Man has made up some strange laws and names while he has been on the earth.. Don't look like we're stopping any time soon..
Most of the fish were caught on square bills and small plastics I hear.. A crankbait was probably the best it appears. There were no points that were not windy yesterday.. So pick one and go at it.. Main lake or big secondary points are a good idea. If you can hold there..
I don't know about you, but I am about tired of having this soccer tournament shoved up my ass.. And I have not watched one frame of it.. But how can you avoid it? If you buy an order of fries your little paper fry holder has a soccer ball on it.. If you turn on the radio they're talking about it.. If you happen to watch TV every commercial has a soccer ball in it..
Soccer.. It is uniting the world.. Horseshit.. It's making me nauseous..
I was half way through a roll of charmin and there it was on sheet number 162.. World cup tonight on channel 18.. Panama Versus Uraguay.. How do they do that?
Who wants to see a bunch of long haired smelly Euros running around on a hay field kicking a round ball. And don't touch it with your hands.. What? And the games are usually a tie.. So then they just kick it at each other till one of them gets it in the little chicken pen looking thingy..
And if the guys with the little queer looking flags point them at somebody, and the fans don't like it, there's quite likely going to be a riot where people get trampled to death, and they hurl baggies of excrement at each other..
Let's face it.. Soccer is a game for pussies.. Unless you are a fan.. Then it is downright dangerous..
What else is in the news..
I heard Kim Jong Il was caught naked, playing with Barbie's.. But don't worry he is having the witnesses executed. When is somebody gonna swat that gnat..
The kids of Occupy Wall street are trying to get a law passed that will outlaw reverse mortgages..
Kim Cardashian is coming out with some new "How To" videos.. That should be educational..
The hosts of "The View" are all quitting.. Except for the one true genius they have there.. Yep Whoopi is staying.. They sure kept the pick of the litter..
The EPA is outlawing any gas powered lawnmowers on golf courses.. From now on only battery operated weed whackers will be allowed inside the ropes.. They say if you want recreational grass then you need to go to Colorado..
I don't know what else. Summer is here.. Fourth of July this weekend.. Yee--Ha!!
June 25, 2014: Still won't rain around here.. But all around us.. Some of you got some.. Some of you got it good..
Well it looks like we are going to top out at about a four foot rise, bout what I figured.. But they did let out at least a foots worth since we have been catching water.. We are sitting at 272.20, or an even 29 feet low.. Even though 29 is not an even number..
We might catch a tad more.. But it will be just that if we do..
Fishing is good, compared to what we had a few months ago.. Still catching good numbers of small fish and a few good ones mixed in..
If your club or organization is planning on coming to Falcon for a tourney please let me know when, and I will add you to our tourney schedule.
I know that the SA Metro tourney is headed down here in October, and that should mean a lot of SA clubs will be coming here in September. Or before.. Please give me a heads up. As it will help others and you schedule your trips to Falcon.
If you hate fishing when there are three boats sitting on your favorite rock, then you need to get down here now.. You will have the lake to yourself.. Virtually.. There was one boat at the state park ramp all day yesterday..
Other that that, Obammas ass is still showin, the wind is still blowin, and Reids nose is still growin..
June 23, 2014: We still ain't got over twenty drops of rain here in Zapata.. But it has rained all around us.. Maybe I should not bitch as we did get some good rain in our watershed.. And there is still some water in the pipeline.
So far we have caught just a shade over two feet, and we should catch another foot and a half or so.. But keep in mind we are letting out the equivalent of about two inches a day.. Not sure when that is going to stop. There are a lot of varied crops being grown in the valley these days and water usage is drawn out over a long period of time.. And it has not rained much there either.. The vast majority of precipitation has all been to our north..
Which is good for catching water in the lake but does not do much for my tomatoes..
The river crested in Laredo last night at about 17 feet, and that is the last of the big water headed our way.. If we get lucky we might catch another two feet.. We'll see in the next few days..
Fishing was pretty darn good over the weekend, with most everyone catching fish.. No monsters mind you, but some good numbers caught by bass clubs in town. Both SAPD and Helotes were here over the weekend.. I do not have final results in just yet.. (That's a hint for those of you that fished..)
It was a windy one again and open water fishing was again tough. But I heard lots of reports of fish on windy points and good numbers of them when you found them. Crankbaits were good on the points and on the dam.. The community holes have been putting out some good fish and good numbers. The rip-Rap on the dam is again producing fish.. It is summertime..
Plum colored Ol Monsters were reported good, and shad patterned DD-22's also caught a lot of fish.
I think the lake is fishing better than it has in months.. Even if a lot of big fish are not being caught.
There were a couple of DD's caught last week while I was gone.. But the pics I got were corrupted.. And I finished them off trying to fix em.. Still no computer skills..
Hopefully later in the week the wind will lay down a bit and I'm gonna hit the water for a few days.. I need to get me some. We do have rain in the forecast all week..
The lake is a muddy bastard down to about marker nine. Creeks off the main river are OK up here.. But the best fishing is still down south. And there are a few things drifting around out there on the top of the lake.. Not as bad as I expected but use caution up north.
Catching water down the Rio Grande can be a little like teaching a fat girl with open toed shoes how to Polka.. There's gonna be a little pain..
Did you hear about... Wait a minute.. That reminds me of the time I threw one of my old girlfriends on top of a table at Quihi dance hall back in the seventies.. No.. Not to service her.. But I missed her hand doing a high speed version of "The Whip." Al Dean and the All Stars were bad ass..
We left early as she got soaked in beer and bourbon.. But it wasn't all bad as I got to give her a tongue bath later.
Dammit, I shouldn't have said that.. I'm sorry..
The guys from TPWD were down here again this weekend doing more angler opinion surveys about the alligator gar. And I have interviewed all of them that have had this duty lately.
Over 95% of anglers want the limit raised or removed completely, and the vast majority of them want a check box on the survey that says kill em all..
This one fish law is ludicrous, and and public opinion bears it out.. It's time for PAW management to pull their heads out and rescind this rule on Falcon.
Will we ever see the results from this survey published publicly? I doubt it.. PAW rarely publishes information that is does not like, facts be damned.. It is a government agency..
Well get your ass down here and catch some fish. I ain't the only one that says the fish are biting.. Come check it out.. See you on the water..
June 20, 2014: It ain't rained in Zapata.. But we're gonna see some water come down the river, if not out of the sky. The rains above Laredo on Wednesday were followed up by big rains around Eagle Pass and Del Rio yesterday evening and last night. And it is still raining around Del Rio and and right on Amistad as we speak.
The Rio Grande in the town of Del Rio is at 10.25 feet at this writing and that is considered major flood stage. These high water peaks might be short lived, but there is some serious water in the pipeline that will take a week or so to make its way to Falcon.
The river crested in Laredo last night at midnight at 14 feet, which is a good bit of water.. And there will be another crest when the water above makes it down..
I'm thinking we could see a four or five foot rise in the lake level here.. That's my best guess.. We'll see but it will take a week for it to all settle out.. And of course we are still letting out a good bit of water as it has not rained south of Laredo.
Lots of variables.. But still a good thing going on..
If you come to Falcon any time in the next few days, you need to think crankbaits and rocks.. Ledges and crankbaits.. Points and crankbaits.. And maybe a fluke on a Carolina rig..
And if you are flippin then a senko is still good. I also had a good report on the Ol Monster in Plum fished on rocks.. Imagine that..
The south end of the lake will certainly be the place to be, because the lake is going to be dirty from damn near the Tigers north.. You heard it here first.. I am sure the backs of some creeks will be fine.. But the top half of the main lake will be chocolate starting a few hours ago.. Well from Diablo north anyway for today.. Also lots of debris and cane will be in the upper end of the lake. Use caution out there on plane..
If nothing else the phone has been ringing with excited folks asking about the water in the pipeline.. I am thinking the spinnerbait bite may just take off with the rising water.. We'll see..
Come on down and watch the water rise..
June 19, 2014: It is good to be back home again.. Where I can actually breathe..
I drove in last evening from San Antonio.. Of course it was right into the teeth of a bad ass thunderstorm. And some of it is still going on this morning just north of Laredo.. I hope it camps out there for a week..
We have still not gotten a drop here in Zapata.. And the only way you can drink a martini is dirty..
I have been out of the loop for a bit, but from the sounds of it not a lot has changed around here.. It is windy once again and that has made fishing tough. There are still a lot of smaller fish shallow. So if you want to catch some numbers you can do it backs of pockets.. A senko and square bill are working OK I hear..
I'll glean some more info today and pass it along to you tomorrow.. But I can tell you that fishing pressure is light and there are not a lot of people to ask..
But I'm on it..
Last Thursday TPWD stocked another 80,000 LMB fingerlings in Falcon, and that puts us at right around a half million for this year. And although the lake is dropping slowly, there is still a good bit of cover for the guppies..
Thanks Randy Myers at TPWD for putting us in for the max amount of fish available.. There is still a possibility that we might get a few more, depending on what's left over when they finish stocking the rest of the lakes in Texas.
No other species is scheduled to be stocked in Falcon this year.
And while it is true that as of late I have said some disparaging things about TPWD, none of it has ever been directed at our hands on, district biologists and technicians. These guys are top notch and understand the unique circumstances that we have to deal with here on Falcon. Something that is hard to see from Austin..
The smell of gar slime is no longer lingering around the shop, and that is a good thing. Those things are slimier than Harry Reid.. If that's possible.. If you have ever had a couple of Gar in the bottom of your boat, you know what I am talking about.. And you need to watch your step.. It gets slick.. Kinda like hanging around a porno shoot..
Caution is advised..
When I got home last night I turned on the news to see what I had missed.. And the first thing I heard was they they were indicting a suspect in the Bengazi terrorist attack..
And the first thing that popped into my mind was that it had to be Hillary Clinton.. Then I heard the rest of the story..
I heard that Obamma addressed the homosexuals at their annual love in.. And after hearing all the things I heard him say I think that he might be homosexual himself.. That's a whole lotta love for his fellow man.. But I guess you pander for votes wherever you can..
I bet there are a lot more bass fishermen in this country than there are homosexuals. When is the last time Barry spoke at the Bassmasters classic??
I guess being a "redneck" does not qualify as a special interest group, and therefore he has no interest in speaking to us.. Just down to us..
Harry Reid is mad at the Redskins for being the Redskins.. And he says it is racist to be called the Redskins. I personally never use this racist term.. I always call them the Foreskins.. If you're a Cowboys fan you gotta hate them.. It's on your Texas birth certificate..
But in this case I gotta say that ol dirty Harry is way outta line.. Maybe he is feeling guilty for screwing the indians out of so much stuff in his own state.. I don't know.. But I think we would be better off if he worked on stuff that mattered a little more.. Like protecting our borders and the economy and unemployment and shit like that.. The public will take care of the social issues.. It always has. Ask Chick Fil A..
He is a freak show.
You know the more I visit other states the more I like Texas.. Colorado is beautiful.. Too bad they don't have any freakin oxygen.. Maybe that is what's wrong with all those tree huggers up there.. Their brains just aren't getting enough oxygen, and this is what happens..
Bottled water or Aspen tap? What?? You'd think they trademarked it.. And if you don't like dogs peeing on your feet then don't eat anywhere in Aspen..
Dogs are people in Aspen.. I was in a public bathroom (waterless urinals) that smelled like a Mexican whorehouse bathroom.. I heard the toilet flush in the stall next door and then out came a guy with his golden retriever.. I ain't sure what happened in there but I got the distinct smell of Alpo.. And I really don't want to know..
I was playing golf with burning lungs.. I had to drive my cart on the greens.. The last three holes were like playing polo. Just substitute the carts for horses..
I just couldn't make it.. I wrestled an oxygen bottle from an old man in a wheel chair in the parking lot.. I've got bruises on my shins from that hickory cane.. Damn that hurt.. But he quit fighting when he ran out of air..
It snowed on us when we were on the course.. It freaking snowed.. It is the middle of June, and it snowed.. And our Tee time was delayed one morning because of frost on the greens.. You gotta be kidding me..
It was so dry that you could pour a glass of Aspen Tap out and it would evaporate before it hit the ground.. Take a shower?? Don't need a towel.. Just stand there for ten seconds.. My nose might be permanently damaged.. I thought I had an embolism in my right lung..
It sure felt good to walk off that plane and run into that wall of humidity in San Antonio..
There is no doubt I am a flatlander.. No offense to those of you from Colorado.. But you have all of my money you are going to get..
And speaking of San Antonio, how bout them Spurs? Good to see a bunch of good guys back on top..
Well I gotta go take care of some business and I'll get back to you with a real fishing report tomorrow.. Or at least something that resembles one..
I think I got some of them marijuana cigarettes left.. So it could be later..
June 12, 2014: It's about as hot as it gets down here this week, as a batch of Mexican desert air has moved east into our area.. So if you are headed this way, be prepared for some high temps.. Bout 105 the last couple of days.. And it is supposed to hang around for the weekend..
Good numbers of fish are showing up for some, and most of the people catching numbers are not fishing too deep.. Even though the wind has relinquished control back to the fishermen.
Senkos, cranks, and even spinner baits are getting them around the outside brush lines. Fish the mag fluke on some deeper main lake rocks. We are even hearing of some fish caught on the north end of the lake.
So it does seem a little better, for numbers if nothing else. But like I said.. If you are coming down , prepare yourself for some sun.. And drink lots of water..
Yesterday was another day of gar work.. And we worked on a lot of them.. And this morning this things wrap up.. We saw a variety of fish in the stomachs of the gar, but 90% of them had nothing in their stomachs at all. These fish are loaded with fat on the inside. It is amazing. The final read on this project will not be in for months. And we have two more collection points to do before it is over. This will be the most extensive alligator gar study ever done.
We also saw the biggest male gar we have caught to date, one weighing right at 100 pounds. We were all surprised. I want to see the age on that one..
I am headed to Colorado for a few days.. Highs in the sixties and lows in the forties.. Why the hell am I going there.. No rods.. No guns.. I am not sure this makes sense..
See you in a week..
June 10th, 2014: Just an update on the gar netting.. We set ten nets in the Tigers and Pierces cove. Eight in the Tigers. This morning we had 42 alligator gar to 120 pounds.. And in that number a school of small ones at 17 to twenty pounds.. We caught em all sizes.. And the twenty pounders were full of milt.. We'll see if we can catch some bigger ones.. But I am not sure the mesh at 5" is big enough to catch a monster..
I know these little fish at twenty pounds are from last years hatch.. We'll prove it when we age em.. And that'll be shortly. Even these little fish were full sexually mature..
The eggs in the fish this go round certainly look bigger than in April.. I am sure of it. So I am starting to think these fish will spawn in the fall.. Or late summer.. Especially after what I saw last October.. It all makes sense.. These fish do not need running water to spawn.. I guarantee it..
Gar are on top everywhere today as it is hot and still.. We just got through processing them at 2:30.. And we will be running the nets again around six.. But night time is much better from previous experience..
It's 105° in the shade and very humid.. Brutal out there..
June 9, 2014: It was a busy weekend for me, and a busy week is in store for us this week as well..
The API tourney has come and gone, and a record amount of money was raised for some good causes. And a bunch of fish were caught as well. Even under the toughest of conditions.
Big bass and big stringer of the tourney were both caught on Sunday. And while I have an idea of the weights I can only speak for a few. The wining two day stringer for six fish was thirty one pounds and change.
Second and third were just behind with similar weights. I am waiting on a printout of the entire list and will provide names and exact weights asap..
Good numbers of fish were reported by most anglers, despite the tough fishing conditions. Dead batteries and tired bilge pumps were the order of the day. Most fish were caught shallow.. Out of necessity..
Flukes and senkos were still as good as anything, but there were also a good number of square bill fish reported on rocky points. Keep an eye out for those egrets.. They ain't there to discuss politics..
Lots of bait on the shallow rocks on the main lake.. If you can fish it.. Some schooling of smaller bass is going on at main lake points. And if you happen on them you can catch a bunch in a hurry. As long as it lasts..
The lake continues it's slow decline, but it is adding up. We're at 269.92 this afternoon.. That's 31.28 feet low.. We're still good on ramps at both ends of the lake, but if we loose another six feet we will be off the concrete at the state park.. Hope they wrap up irrigation soon.. Or it rains.. Both would be good..
The boys from TPWD are back in town and we are underway in Garapaloosa II. So the next few days should be filled with gar guts, gar eggs, and gar slime.. What fun.. I'll keep you updated.. And we'll see how those gar eggs are developing. I find it hard to believe that a gar can instantly be ready to spawn, just because of rising water.. I'm just gonna go out on a limb and call bullshit..
But it's a pretty big limb..
Stocking of LMB and other species is underway across the state, and of course we were one of the first to receive some fingerlings.
I saw on PAW's facebook page for sharelunker that you should run out and buy a 2021 calendar.. So you can mark it and will remember to fish Marine Creek Reservoir.. A small lake NW of Fort Worth. Because this week they are going to put some sharelunker fry in it. And then seven years from now, according to the sharelunker page it could be "swarming" with thirteen pounders..
Ahhh.. Yeah.. I don't think so.. If that is the case, where are the lakes that could be "swarming" with thirteen's now.. Cause I want to go there.. This farce has only been going on for twenty eight years.. I wonder how the private lakes with sharelunker fry are doing?
But in any case I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting on Marine Creek..
I assume that PAW did a habitat and forage fish study on Marine Creek. To be sure that the sharelunker babies will have a place to thrive. But more likely they will just be fodder for the huge population of bass less than one pound that live there now.. Least that is what I hear and read..
My Sirius radio subscription ran out.. And in Zapata that is not something you want to happen.. The only english speaking station you can pick up on FM is Big Buck Country, 98.1 on your dial.. (Or digital display..)
And I been busy as hell and have not had the time to pleasure myself by giving them a call and re-upping.. I just love talking to them anyway.. (Like putting your balls in a vice..)
In any case I have had my radio on Big Buck Country for a few days.. And I want to know, how do you do it?
How can anyone listen to the exact same song sung by forty different people.. Oh the words are different.. Well some of em are.. But most of em ain't..
I have figured that 90% of them have the words beer, pickup truck, moonlight, my baby, stars, creek (crick) dog, cutoff jeans, (short shorts) daddy, momma, hat, boots, my old guitar, front porch, and love at first site.. All in the first stanza..
I might be stuck in the seventies.. But I just can't listen to that crap.. That ain't country music.. I've heard country music.. That ain't it.. I love country music.. It is just damn hard to find on the radio these days..
And I saw a new hybrid commercial on television the other day.. I am sure you've seen the Scotts fertilizer commercial when Scott says, "Feed your lawn.. Feed it!!"
Well this commercial was intertwined with a Cialis commercial where two old blue hairs were sitting in two bathtubs holding hands and watching the sun go down over a mountain lake.. A beautiful site..
Then the old lady turns to her man and says " Feed you penis, Fred! Feed it!!"
I look for more and more of these commercials in the future as advertising rates continue to rise.. Stay tuned..
Oh you sharelunker guys.. You better exhale now.. You're starting to turn blue..
June 7, 2014: It's a Saturday that seems like a Sunday.. Lots of going ons round here..
I said I'd give you a report yesterday but I got tied up at the errrr.. weigh in... Well it wasn't all weigh in. But anyway..
The wind was howling yesterday and again today.. It was brutal out there.. And the weights reflected it.. No one was fishing for long on the mainlake.. Dead batteries by noon were the norm.. It's good to run em all the way down now and then..
Big stringer yesterday was sixteen and change for three fish. Big fish was nine pounds even. There were a lot of small fish weighed, and most of them were caught shallow.. But shallow was the order of the day as it was near impossible to stay on any open water..
It is already blowing this morning.. I'll give a report on the winning weights later..
June 6, 2014: It's Friday morning.. Early friday morning.. And it sure feels like Saturday morning.. I reckon due to the fact that last night was the big preamble to the API tourney over at Beacon.. Which included food, drink, a Calcutta, and lots of noise..
That high volume has left me with a headache this morning.. Five O'clock came awful early..
There are fifty seven or so teams fishing the tourney. A decent turnout I guess.. Over thirty teams in the BBQ cookoff. Gonna be hard to sample it all..
Weigh in is not over till 4:30.. A little late in my book but I ain't makin the rules.. Gonna be hot out there.. I'll give you a report later on what has been weighed in..
On Tuesday, PAW brought a second load of Florida fingerlings to the lake, and the reported total was around 360,000.. That should put us at about 490,000 so far. We'll see if there is a few left over after stocking the rest of the state.. We could get a few more..
And as earlier mentioned, PAW will be back down here on Monday to start Garapaloosa II..
I am getting mixed reports from a few folks about the fishing.. Mostly I reckon cause most folks that I have talked to are fishing the tournament. And being the intuitive SOB that I am I have gleaned enough knowledge to ascertain that a few folks are on fish.
We sold a little bit of everything yesterday, and had a lot of fun doing it. Thanks to all of you who stopped by.
Water temps are right at eighty, and the lake is still dropping an inch or so a day. Sure hope that they get their fill of water in the valley soon.. We are over thirty feet low.. Water quality/clarity is great on the south half of the lake.. Visibility is about two feet in a lot of places.. Maybe more in some..
Good for fishing.. Good for shooting gar.. But if you are fishing where you are seeing a lot of gar.. Pull up the motor and move on..
What else is going on.. Not a lot around here.. But on the national front, I see that we traded five of the worst terrorists son of a bitches we had in captivity for I'm not sure what that some other terrorist son of a bitches had in captivity.. I guess in Obamanomics a one for five exchange is pretty good..
Why don't we trade Pelosi, Reid, Fienstein, Durbin, and a bonus player.. Say Sharpton, for the soldier that they are holding in Mexico.. Now that's something I could get behind.. Getting rid of idiots is where we should start anyway.. And we got no shortage of em. How can the voting public be so damn stupid..
If the founding fathers came back today, tomorrow they would be meeting in some cramped building scribbling out a new Declaration of Independence.. Cause what we got, ain't what they left..
We talked with a lot of folks yesterday, and the vast majority of them are employed in the oilfield. And the oilfield in Texas is boomin.. And one of our buddies who used to run heavy equipment was in and he is no longer sitting on yellow metal but is sitting in the office. And I asked him how he liked the office compared to being in the field.
He said it is all fine and dandy, but occasionally they bring a brand new D-9 into the yard. And he said that he has a reoccurring thought..
Kinda like being in a bar at about 2:00 am when this chunky chick keeps looking at you.. And you're thinking.. "I'd like to get on that.." Old habits die hard..
We're all just searching for happiness..
The hockey cup is going on and I can't believe that this stuff is on national TV.. It should be on ESPN6 or something.. At least in Texas..
The Spurs beat the Heat in game one of the NBA finals.. Without air conditioning.. Big deal.. We never had no air conditioning when I was coming up.. We played in the heat every day.. And the fans watched with no A/C as well.. That was probably just a ploy to sell more of them 12 dollar beers and waffle cones..
That Peter Holt is a marketing genius. You know he makes them big yellow bulldozers..
I'd like to get on that..
June 2, 2014: After enduring six weeks of wind, we have been blessed with a week of near perfect weather.. As far as fishing goes anyway.. Low winds and nineties makes one forget how many endless fronts blew through here over the winter.. Prognosticators say the winds will return some time later this week as high pressure settles in.. But we can handle it.. Round here it as natural as the sunrise..
The tropics seem to be off to an active start, which seems about right as the weathermen have predicted a slow year.. If you have been paying attention to the Pacific you have seen a couple of decent sized storms for this time of year.. One was a Cat four for a day or so.. Sooner or later one of em will head up the Baja and put some water in the Conchos..
I know I talk about water as much as I do fishing, but around this country they are inextricably linked.. Cain't have one without the other..
Falcon continues its slow decline as the irrigation cycle is still in play.. At least it is not currently at a ludicrous rate.. We are sitting at 271 as of this morning, or 30.2 feet low. We've lost about seven inches in the last seven days.
June is typically one of out wettest months. But it does not look like the first week will start off too damp. Looks like we are still running a month behind when it comes to the weather.. We'll see..
Fishing remains decent around here, due to the fact that the little fish are out in numbers and eating a little more than in the last few months. Some days they are actually chomping a bit.. I believe the dropping water has pulled them out of the thick cover a bit and we have more access to them.
Shad and bait fish are pretty thick in the backs of most creeks, and these little fish are putting the hammer on em. They won't stay little too long..
The fish I caught last week were footballs.. And mean.. They are in good shape..
Over the weekend the senko still caught a lot of fish. I also heard of some squarebill fish in those same areas of trees and rocky banks in water less than eight feet deep..
There were also some fish caught on deeper rocks and rockpiles, but not in fantastic numbers. But a few quality fish are coming a bit deeper. Although I did not catch them there last week..
I think I am gonna cast net me up some perch about three inches long, and Carolina rig them on some of them humps in the tigers I like.. I want to know what that is down there on my locator.. Might get my ass drug out of the boat by a hunnert pound blue cat.. I dunno..
The API tourney is this weekend, and we are tuning up for it around here. I will not be fishing, as I am working the weigh ins and doing fish care, but if I was not committed there I certainly would fish it. You should give it a try if you have an open weekend. These guys do a hellofa good job and all the money raised goes to scholarships in the Laredo and Zapata area.
BTW if you are thinking of fishing it, know that the fishing days are Friday and Saturday.. Call us if you want more info or check out LaredoBorderChapterAPI.com for more details.
I read the Bass Champs results from Amistad yesterday.. Ouch.. I know I have spoken poorly of Falcon in the not too distant past, but I have to say that Amistad is really sucking.. But you already knew that..
Choke Canyon should be on the rise, water level anyway, as I type. I don't think it will catch a lot of water but it should pick up a few feet. And anything would be a blessing. I know that water that came down from the D'Hanis area had to fill up a lot of holes and soak a lot of ground. But the Frio river at Tilden is up about ten feet this morning.. It won't last too long but it will give Choke a shot in the arm..
Maybe it'll drown a few of them gators..
I would sure be good to see Choke and Ivie back on a few tournament schedules next year.
I just got an e-mail that says that PAW will be returning tomorrow with another 360,000 bass fingerlings.
Glad we have some cover this year for them to hide in.. Last year it was like throwing some twinkies inside a weight watchers convention..
I don't know if you are a basketball fan or not, but the NBA finals are due to start this Thursday. It's no secret that I'm a Spurs fan and I am looking forward to to the rematch from last year.
And this is a double opportunity for you if you are looking to get a tattoo.. You will see dozens of samples of some of the best ink work money can buy. I guess those guys gotta do something in the off season.. Besides impregnating a bunch of hoochie mamas..
Only a couple of months till football.. Hang in there..
May 30, 2014: After a long hiatus, I have been back on the lake the last couple of days. There has just been too much stuff on my plate as of late, (admittedly a lot of it was screwing off) but I am finally catching up..
So I can get back to working by fishing.. I love my job.. But it ain't all gravy and four bit cigars..
On Wednesday I ascertained that I can't catch fish deep.. On Thursday I found that I could catch some fish shallow.. Flipping the hardwoods.. Hey catching beats not catching.. So I am gonna stick with the shallow water for now.. Till I learn a thing or two.. But it is not like I fished a long time either day or really gave the deep bite an all day test.. But I did fish some of my favorite humps in the Tigers with no luck..
Don't be afraid to get back in the creeks some and hit all the woods you can between three and seven feet of water. A five inch senko in W/M red or Red Magic is a great choice.. Where have you heard that before..
Anyway, it will get you some bites, and occasionally you will catch a good one.. I did not catch anything over three and a half pounds.. But I am famous for catching small fish anyway..
The Salanaias was good to me as were a coupe of creeks on the Texas side south of the Tigers..
The 400,000 bass that were going to be stocked on Wednesday turned out to be 130,000.. And they were released into the Tigers.. We have another batch coming next week and they will be scattered out a bit more.. I'll keep you posted..
Next weekend is the API tournament, then on the 9th thru the 12th the boys from TPWD are coming back for stage two of the Alligator Study, and on the 13th I am headed to Colorado for a few days of "high" level meetings.. I have never smoked any legal marijuana and I am not getting any younger..
I am just not sure if I can blend in with them ultra liberal slackers.. But I'm gonna try.. I have already quit shaving and bathing, and am going to apply for goberment assistance.. And I plan to "occupy" Aspen for a few days.. Still waiting on my camping permit..
Do you think I will get the shits if I just eat Big Mak's for a week?
Anyway life goes on and I got plenty to do.. And if I don't I'll invent something..
The wind has slowed for the last few days. And we have had some excellent water skiing opportunities down here.. Slick as a new corvette.. Water temps are 80 to 82.. And the water on the south half of the lake is beautiful..
I see that TPWD has implemented another law across the state regarding Zebra mussels.. They have deduced that Zebra mussels are the devil and that they can prevent their spread by making you do something.
While it may be true that the Zebra mussel has caused problems with fresh water equipment up north, a lot of folks that I have talked to say that fishing on the great lakes has never been better. Due to clearer and cleaner water, a byproduct of the Zebra Mussel..
Time will tell what happens here in Texas but TPWD does consider them the Great Satan.. But it is unlikely that they will affect many south Texas lakes as the water gets too warm.. It is said that they do not like water over eighty degrees.. We we get plenty of that..
In any case I wish we could get them to consider Alligator Gar in the same light..
A known enemy of game fish..
And fact of the matter is, they won't slow the spread of Zebra mussels by thirty minutes with this new regulation..
Yeah.. Government is government.. And politics rule, not common sense..
I find it embarrassing that our national government can be this shitty.. And our state government has the ability to follow suit on occasion. Texas is not as bad as a lot of other states, but we have been known to stick out heads in the commode on occasion..
I see Obammas VA chief has resigned.. Yeah right.. Yesterday he said he was going nowhere.. I guess even Obamma could see the writing on the wall.. So he accepted his resignation.. Yeah. That's getting fired with benefits..
Fact is that the heads of every department he has, have sucked.. Are there just not any competent people out there? WTF? How can this winner keep selecting more just like himself? They all suck.. At least they suck at their jobs.. But I guess if you are incompetent then it is hard to judge competence..
How many "scandals" can this administration put out??
Stay tuned.. We got two more years of this shit to go.. And all this from "the most transparent presidency in history."
I see that he selected the ultra liberal Mayor of San Antonio to be the next HUD Secretary..
That should be a death sentence for him politically..
I lived just outside of San Antonio in a previous life.. And I seen this game before.. It did not work out too well for Henry Cisneros, the last HUD Sec from San Antonio.. The proclaimed front runner to be the first hispanic American president a few decades ago..
Aw... He couldn't keep his dick in is pants..
Of course not many of these guys can.. Democrat or Republican. And they learn to always have their palm up in a hurry.. Cash is king my friends..
And there is no doubt that Castro is an Obamma lover. But at least he is an American Citizen..
Maybe that is why Hillary had a secret meeting with the Obammanator yesterday.. So he could tell her that she can't run for president cause he wants Castro..
She didn't do too good as Secretary of Fate..
Well I'll get off politics for a bit..
Hope to see you in the next week for the API tourney.. It will be fun..
We're just a little over a week away from killin some gar.. I'm starting to get a warm fuzzy feeling allover..
May 27, 2014: It has been raining everywhere but here.. Close.. But no cigar.. We at least got to watch a hell of a lightning storm just west of us last night.. We did get a tenth..
One thing that did happen is that we have the first day in weeks that the wind is not howling.. And it is not supposed to tomorrow either..
A lot of lakes across north west Texas are catching some water as we speak, which is also somewhat out of character as of late. I told you I feel a wet summer coming on..
There is a big ass hurricane in the Pacific that bears watching as well.. Hopefully it will hit about Cabo and collide with Big Bend.. We'll keep an eye on it..
Fishing over the weekend was good, for smaller fish if nothing else. Lots of fish reported on the hardwoods back in the creeks.. With the lowered water levels some of these fish that have been hiding in the thickets have had to come out a bit.
We are still letting out more water than I can understand.. But it is what it is.. The rise in the river this weekend above us is just keeping up with the outflow.. But that won't last long..
There were also a few nice fish caught I heard about but no DD's.. Here's a nice 8.7 caught by Lori Gilliam on Saturday.
I heard of a bunch of five and six pounders as well.. But no real monsters.
Not a lot of folks fished the main lake again due to the winds. And now that we have some nice weather, there is nobody in town.. Bout normal I reckon..
Five inch senkos and super flukes seem to be working as good as anything. Throw a spinner bait between trees as you motor between them.. And flip the hell out of the hardwoods.. These fish are from three to eight feet deep.. Fish slow of course.. Sometimes you gotta knock on the door a few times..
Parks and wildlife is bringing the first batch of fish to stock tomorrow.. At least that is on the schedule.. Supposed to be about 400,000 baby bass on the way. At least this year they have a little something to hide in.. It would have been sweet if we had the water we had a month ago.. But like I said.. It is what it is..
Speaking of TPWD, I was listening to the commissioners meeting from last week on the internet.. And I gotta tell you it is a hoot.. They certainly are members of their own fan club.. Kinda like a self licking lollipop..
And it must taste good.. I gotta admit that I learned a lot about the sharelunker program from listening to that presentation..
Did you know that the Sharelunker program is responsible for all the state record breakings since it started? Going all the way back to Medina lake.. Yep sharelunker.. Hell I didn't know it either..
Did you know that the SL season was a great success this year? Hell I didn't either..
Maybe they are looking at different data than me..
I thought that SL only had nine (9) fish turned in this year.. BTW.. That's the third lowest number of fish ever turned in since the program started twenty eight years ago..
And also BTW.. There was not one fish caught over fourteen pounds.. Not one.. And half of them were squeakers.. I would like to have watched the official weighing of the perfect thirteen..
Yeah the Sharelunker program is really helping us catch some giant fish..
PAW blames the cold winter for fewer fish turned in.. Or that is the reason I heard.. I say Bullshit..
There just ain't that many.. Damn few..
And you can get used to it for the foreseeable future.. Giant fish? Forget it.. Those days are over..
Breaking the state record? Breaking the world record? I don't think so, Tim..
Keep in mind that the Sharelunker program to this day has not produced one of the fish that weighed thirteen pounds that is in the program. And if by some miracle one day a thirteen is caught that can be traced back to the SL program, BFD.. We have had thirteen's for years..
And if you think that the SL program is growing bigger fish in our lakes, then you need to quit carpooling with Superman and Santa Claus..
I guess that's enough on that. Those of you who refuse to look at the facts won't after reading this either.. The Kool-Aid is on Aisle four..
For the rest of you I am just preaching to the choir..
Come on down and fish where the gar ain't.. You can actually cast between them in a few spots..
May 22, 2014: The wind is not cutting us any slack this week, and it has been giving it hell every afternoon. The mornings have not been too bad, but by about lunchtime it usually gets to humming.
And there are not a lot of folks out fishing in it either.. But those that have are doing fairly well. With the small fish anyway.. Shallow fish have gone to biting decently, and flipping the woods and some spinners are catching fish. Most of these are inside eight feet of water.
A few jig fish are starting to show up on the deeper rocks. But not all of them.. When you find a pod you can usually catch a few in a small area. So when you do catch a fish, beat the crap out of that area for a bit.. It should pay off..
Just not a lot of fishermen down here.. And while the fishing is a bit slow by Falcon standards, we're fishing about as good as we have in a while..
As a reminder the API tourney is coming up in a couple of weeks. Actually two weeks from today the festivities start.. This year it is an open tournament and anyone is eligible to fish it. You do not have to have an oilfield affiliation..
They will be "puttin on the dog" as they say.. You can see rules and entry info at their website.
Not a lot of other tourneys scheduled this summer, except for a few clubs that will make the rounds.
We are still working on a Gar tourney for later this summer, probably sometime in September. That seems to be when the biggest and baddest are most active. Although we are seeing plenty right now..
With all the meetings with State Reps and Commissioners and Judges and business owners and just those putting in their two cents worth we have gotten a lot of local press.. The Laredo and Zapata papers and television from the surrounding area have covered the gar and the shrinking bass situation on Falcon.
Much ado about nothing some might say.. Some say otherwise.
There is also talk from a lot from the locals about the armored catfish, the devil fish, or what is really a plecostomus. A sucker fish that is from central or south America and was introduced into Texas waters by who knows who.. And some around these parts think they are eating the eggs of other game fish to include bass..
I will admit that I know nothing of this fish's habits. But I do know they exist in Falcon in pretty big numbers. I also know that we did not see them here till about four years ago.. They are highly susceptible to the Mexican nets.. You can't kill one with a ball peen hammer.. But that's all I know..
I have seen piles of them where the Mexicans have cleaned their nets..
I do know that male bass guard the nest once fertilization has occurred and until the fry are fairly mobile.. And I know they will defend it against predators but I have no idea what the interaction of these two fish might be if one of these bottom feeders tried to eat the eggs of black bass..
Another thesis opportunity..
But lots of water and lots of spawning bass should prevent this problem, if it even exists.. But we are not long on water or spawning bass right now..
I do however know that Alligator Gar eat bass.. A lot of em..
What else.. I see that the US and Russia have split the sheets over the boondoggle that is known as the International Space Station.. Being we have treated them so bad for invading another sovereign country.. Old habits die hard for the KGB..
I think it is utterly stupid to build a space station and have no way to get to it.. Wouldn't you plan for that? That's like building a vacation mansion on an island and burning your boat when you get back home..
This might be a blessing in disguise though.. We have been paying Russia 71 Million dollars per astronaut to get them there.. For whatever reason we are sending them there.. To date the space station alone has screwed the taxpayers out of $150,000,000,000 dollars.. One hundred and fifty billion dollars.. Maybe we can sell it to the Russians and recoup some of our costs.. Maybe we can trade it for Snowden..
And we can't even take care of our Vets..
Speaking of which, Memorial day is this coming Monday. And regardless of our political leanings, we all owe a debt to many that we can never repay.
To those that serve our country now, and to those countless thousands that gave their very lives so we can live as we do today, I say Thank You!
And on this day we remember the sacrifices they made, some small, some the greatest of all..
And I can think of no better way to say thanks to them than to continue to be the country they were fighting for.
Although we seem to off the path they laid..
So when you're cooking your dogs and burgers this weekend on your extra day off, please take time to remember those that died so that we may live, in the ways of our forefathers.. Or however we see fit.. Within reason..
Wouldn't it be neat if our government had a "restore" button like computers do.. When things to to crap and its frozen and nothing is getting done we could pick a date when things weren't so out of hand and hit restart from that date..
That could fix a lot of shit..
Shit, maybe somebody is doing it already and we don't know it and we are all just stuck in this temporal time loop... Like Groundhog Day.. I think they are controlling it from the International Space Station..
I guess I watched too much Star Trek..
I know I am old school, but I just got my first DVR last week.. This thing is like crack.. Once I figured it out I have started recording everything I watch.. And then I watch it later..
I can zip through all those commercials for hard-ons, ambulance chasing lawyers, cell phones, political ads, cars, hamburgers and feminine hygiene products..
And I can actually watch fishing shows that are not on in the middle of the night..
You guys gotta get you one of these..
Well I ain't said much about nothin today, so thanks for bearing with me.. I'm a little bored..
But don't forget to Thank a Vet and remember those who have died!
God Bless You All!
May 19, 2014: I guess the weather is running about a month behind schedule round here.. We are still getting cold fronts and when that ain't happening we have strong south winds.. And they are forecast for all week..
It'll be great when the dog days set in with light winds.. Whenever that will happen..
It has been tough to fish any open water the last few days, with winds in the twenties and gusting at times.. But a few folks have toughed it out and caught some fish.
Quality Bass Club and C.A. S. T. were two organizations fishing down here last weekend. I heard 17 and change was leading the Quality event on Saturday. Results are not yet posted on the C.A.S.T. site.. I think there was one other club here but my memory sucks..
I have been in debrief mode since I got back from Picachos.. Lots of phone calls and questions.. Let me know if you want info on a trip there.. It's gonna be hard to fish here for a while after that..
But back to work..
Last Friday afternoon the Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism held a meeting in Zapata. There's something you don't see everyday.
The Committee is made up of seven Texas State Representatives, and is chaired by Ryan Guillen, who just happens to be the state rep for Starr county wherein Falcon Dam resides. Also on the committee is Lyle Larson who is from San Antonio, who is an avid fisherman. Also at the meeting was State Rep Tracy King who represents Zapata county, among others..
There were three other board members there and in no way do I mean to slight them by not mentioning their names. I just do not want to be inaccurate as to their names. And like a dumbass I did not write them all down.
My apologies.. But I want to thank all of them who came for hearing us out. And I want to thank all of you who came out to voice your opinions to the Committee..
The top three chiefs from Inland Fisheries were there, including Gary Saul, Dave Terre, and Ken Kurzawski.
TPWD put on a presentation that in my mind, was laced with inaccuracies.. I'm being kind..
But after they were questioned by the committee, I was allowed to testify (that's what they call it) and rebut some of the things they said.. And given more time (I talked for twenty minutes) we could have really had some fun.
I was not the only one to testify, and two hours later I believe that the committee started to get the gist of what the locals were serving up.
Long and short of it is that this town's economy has one thing going for it right now.. Falcon Lake.. And Falcon lake is not in the best of shape.
Of course the management at TPWD, who have not fished this lake in years (or ever), are still reading reviews from Bassmaster from three years ago. That goes for the board at TPWD as well.. They have no freakin idea what is going on down here.. It is hard to see what is happening at Falcon from a Lear Jet at 35,000..
But the folks from Inland Fisheries, mentioned above, should certainly know what is happening.. This was their second serving of Zapata Gar Chowder.. But I am still not sure their taste buds are connected..
Oh.. Their tongues are.. Cause they can sure sling the Bullshit..
Oh darn.. Let's not call it bullshit. Such an ugly term.. Let's just call it spin.. Kind of like most politicians.. We'll just adjust the facts to suit our needs.. Getting a straight answer out of these guys is like getting one out of Jay Carney.. Ain't gonna happen..
In any case Gar were certainly discussed.. At length.. Still not one person in the room likes the restriction on em.. All wanted it totally removed.. I made my case..
Sharelunker came up. When the board asked TPWD how many were turned in from Falcon this year.. Of course the answer was zero.. Only one over thirteen was caught that I heard of this year.. And I hear about these kinds of things. Not even a rumor of another..
And since it was brought up, although it was not on my agenda to talk about it, I threw out a couple of "facts" about Sharelunker.. These people need to know.. They're not fishermen for the most part..
Like the "fact" that of the paltry nine fish turned in not even one weighed fourteen pounds.. Something that happened religiously before the introduction of Sharelunker..
And how a bounty on every thirteen will certainly lead to a decrease of fourteens, fifteens, and the ever so scarce fish larger than that. Including the not-ever-gonna-happen new world record they tell you they are growing..
BTW.. March is usually the month that most SL fish are weighed in.. This year there were two.. Ties an all time low.. Record for March you ask?? 19 in 1996.. Eighteen freakin years ago..
Yeah.. This shit is working.. NOT ONE fourteen pounder!!
Meanwhile.. Back at the ranch..
From what I gleaned, the Committee is not going to wait till fall of 2015 to see some changes for Falcon regulations. I'll keep you posted..
But you knew that..
Fish were reported on secondary points last weekend.. Mostly I reckon cause fishing a main lake point was near impossible.. I took some Chutzpah to fish out there..
Flukes are doing as good as any.. Small ones as well.. Some folks whacked em on the Plum Apple in the super fluke.. The W/M Candy Red is a favorite of mine when the fish get a little persnickety..
And I reckon that the flipping bite has caught up with the bite off shore.. Seems I heard that a lot of fish came on spinners or by soaking your worm near big hardwoods.. That shade is the real deal..
We have leveled off right around 272, about 29 feet low.. I have a good feeling about some big water coming this year.. It could just be gas.. But I have a feeling..
Pacific activity is already kinda ramping up, and I think we are going to get some water out of the Conchos this summer.. But for now we'll just have to hide and watch..
I'm still packing around some wood since I came back from Mexico last week. Hot Damn that was fun.. Now that the pain from the Airline ordeal is over.. I am just remembering the good stuff..
I'm gonna go slam this thing with a tackle box lid and maybe the swelling will go down..
See you on the water. Or at the emergency room..
May 15, 2014: Thank God for the rain.. Hope you got some at your place.. We got about 1.75" here and a lot of places got it better.. Including some spots in the valley.. Which led to shutting down the tremendous releases from Falcon..
And just to keep appearances it wouldn't be right if I didn't mention that if this would have happened two weeks ago it would have saved us about five feet of water.. Sounds like a lot of bitchin..
Once again, thank you Lord for the rain.. I wasn't here when it happened.. But I see its effects already.. There is actually some green showing up around here..
As of this morning we are sitting at 271.66, or 29.54 feet low. We have actually caught a couple of inches the last few days. As of yesterday, Amistad was still releasing about 6000 CFS, and we are releasing about 800..
Not sure where we are headed as they move some water around..
The wind has been quite a problem I hear for the last few days.. Especially this last norther that blew through a couple of days ago.. I wasn't here for it either, but I did find it interesting that this is the middle of May and we landed in Laredo yesterday headed into the gusty north wind.. Very unusual..
Fishing is as good as it has been in a while by all accounts, with fish setting up in a summer pattern of sorts. The big fluke, in watermelon something is a good choice.. It sure feels good saying that because it is one of my favorites, and it is certainly one of the most versatile baits around. No weight, Texas rigged, or Carolina rigged will all work around rocks.. Did I ever mention rocks before.. You should try them.. Honest..
And the shady side of anything made of wood is a good area to flip.. Ah, summertime..
Don't forget to throw a big ass crankbait on the deep rocks either..
You know every time I sit down to post something it seems like I am making excuses about the fishing.. Or bitching about something.. And I don't want to do either one today. Cause the fishing is really not too bad.. Maybe our expectations are just a bit out of whack.. Life ain't always easy.. Neither is fishing..
Well not here at Falcon anyway.. But I just came back from a place where it is.. Holy shit..
I told you last week that I was headed down to this new lake in Mexico called Picachos.. I am not sure what Picachos means.. But I would give it a definition something like this..
Picachos. N/ Body of water held in place by a concrete dam, then stuffed with giant trees and what water was left filled with bass.. Lot of em and mean son of a bitches to boot..
Do not leave a lizard dangling in the water.. If you're not paying attention..
The fishing was awesome and more on that in a minute..
This was the travel trip nightmare of all times.. Well maybe not for you but it was for me.. No.. No bomb threat at the airport like last time I was there.. That trip only wasted two days..
No gangsta problems.. Everything in Mexico was awesome.. This nightmare was created by the airline..
It all seems fuzzy to me now but it went something like this..
We had a 6:00 am flight on Wednesday so we got a motel near the airport just to make the logistics simple and easy on the wives.. Bad enough getting up for a six o'clock flight when you are close, but it is a hard hour to the airport from the ranch.. Besides, it is easier to get some team bonding going on before the trip in a hotel bar than just sitting at home..
Anyway.. We were up and at em early and at the airport by four in the morning.. Glowing with anticipation..
(Faron young and Carly Simon in one whack..)
We were informed that our plane was having some mechanical difficulties.. And we would be boarding an hour late. And then maybe another hour late.. Someone left the lights on and the battery was dead.. I'm Serious.. So they got some jumper cables and got it started.. And then went and flew it around to charge it back up.. And we got ready to board.. We were in line. And then it wouldn't restart.. Or some shit.. And then "Ladies and Gentlemen we regret to inform you that this flight has been cancelled.."
That was the only flight out to Phoenix for the day and the next day the flight was not offered.. So they rescheduled us to Dallas to Phoenix to Mazatlan.. The next day.. So after a lot of hand wringing and bitching we went to another motel and back to the bar to drown our sorrows. We decided we could all add a day to the trip after five of us spent an hour on the phone to work things out.. On all ends.. But we got it done and went to bed with that great anticipation part deaux..
That flight was not quite as early but we were up and at em and on the plane in the early am.. And we sat on the plane for two hours at the gate.. Waiting for a thunderstorm to clear DFW..
And then the inevitable announce came over the PA.. "Folks another plane needs this gate so we are going to have to take you off the plane.." So we got off.. Knowing we were going to miss our connection in Dallas.. And no way make it to the lake for another day.. Shit.. Here we go again..
We found a flight to Dallas that afternoon, and then a straight flight to Maztalan.. But not till the next day.. If we wanted to take it.. But it meant cutting a day off our fishing time.. So after more hand wringing, bitching and anguish we decided three days would better than nothing.. So we stayed the night in Dallas. Three freaking nights in a row in hotels and still no farther than Dallas.. I could have pulled my boat to lake by now and have already fished a day..
And I don't know about you but if I hang around a hotel for three days I can go through some foldin money just being there.. And I find stuff to eat and drink in airports real reasonable.. Of course I did the end to end terminal tour trying to find the best bloody mary.. I think it was a tie. But I can't remember..
We finally got there on I don't know what day and fished the afternoon.. And we whacked em.. I thought.. Me and my partner caught about eighty in four hours.. Best going about five pounds.. Buts lots of three to fours.. And mean.. And willing..
The next three days went similarly, but on Sunday we got em figured out and absolutely killed em in the morning and in the evening.. All fishing days were separated by lunch and a short nap..
On Sunday morning we found a wolf pack of fish in the middle of nowhere suspended in some tree tops down about ten feet. We were throwing some DD-22's and when you felt the trees we would just almost stop the bait and Wham! It was awesome and reminded me of Falcon a few years back.. And we caught them almost every cast for two hours.. Most of these fish were three to five pounders. All solid chunky bad asses..
That was after we slayed them on buzzbaits and Chug-Bugs at daylight.. The buzzbait bite was awesome for about thirty minutes on the same point.. Loaded with two to three pounders.. Every cast.. What a place to make a video..
After lunch it was a hot bitch and we did not go out till 2:30.. And we fished in the shade of some giant rock walls that are easy to find.. And we caught em good, including a six pounder my buddy caught.
And at about 5:30 we headed into a creek that was full of big trees and lots of twenty foot deep flats.. And we were catching them just blind casting towards trees and brush lines.. Too deep to flip and the trees make it hard to get a fish up from the bottom.. So we were fishing the open spots between deep trees.
We got to a spot and we doubled up with four pounders.. And did it again.. There was a tree handy that the breeze wanted to hold us against and we ended up tied to it.. For two and a half hours.. Till the sun went down.. And the moon came up..
I have no idea how many fish we caught. But for two hours solid we never went a cast without getting bit. Our "Guide" was constantly netting fish two at a time while we turned our ribs purple.. Literally..
Only two of these fish were over five pounds. Only three or four were under three.. Mostly cookie cutter four and four and a half pound bad asses..
At first we were casting and after a few minutes we were just letting it free spool to the bottom with your thumb on the spool.. It rarely made it to the bottom. If it did it was just click it and hop it once. And it was on..
My buddy said that absolutely that was the best fishing day of his life. It was certainly a top five for me. Maybe top three.. But I only say that because we did not catch any monsters..
All of the other boats reported similar periods during their days.. When you found one of those wolf packs it was freakin on.. Hard to describe without being there..
My buddy used a dozen packs of Zoom 8" lizards in Kudzu.. They hated that bait.. Then he used all we had in W/M Red..
I was using the Mag Fluke in W/M Magic and Red till I ran out.. And several assorted colors I took along as a test worked well also.. And I think I caught a little bigger fish on the Fluke than the Lizard.. But shit we caught em on everything.. But that lizard is a numbers bait I guarantee..
We did not catch any fish that came close to double digit in size. There were a lot of sevens caught in the group.. My big fish was also a bit over seven..
The lodge is in its infancy, but they are getting things worked out.. Still no A/C.. But it cooled off nice at night.. Food is decent.. Drinks all you want and bottled water abounds.. But this is not and Orvis rated fish camp.. But if you want in on the ground floor you sometimes gotta put up with a few growing pains..
I'd go again in a heartbeat.. Lookin at the calendar. .
That's where the story should end.. But Hell no.. We were still in Mexico and needed to get home.. Back to Maztalan for a one night stay at El Cid on the Pacific.. Nice Hotel.. Great food and drink all around..
Flight out at 12:30 for Phoenix.. No sweat.. Got thru customs.. Got to the gate.. Hour and a half to kill before the flight to Dallas and on to San Antonio.. Giant hamburger and a few cold beers.. Off to the gate..
What the hell you mean the flight is two plus hours late?? Here we go again.. Our plane shows up.. We get on and get off in Dallas bout midnight.. Whole airport in Chaos.. They will not give us a motel because their co-ops are full.. Offer us a cot.. I say.. Well I won't write that here.. But I ain't sleepin in no airport where some idiot can piss on my head while I am asleep.. We call a cab and rent a motel on our own dime.. For now.. But I ain't through callin and writin just yet..
They can't even get us all on the same flight back to SA in the morning.. I find a flight to Laredo.. Other guys finally get settled on a 6:00 am flight. After getting to motel at 1:45.. Not a lot of sleep.. I didn't fly till noon so at least I got some sleep.. Go to Laredo and had wife pick me up there.. Halfway home she realizes she left her phone at airport.. Back to Laredo we go..
Finally got back to shop at 3:45.. Kissed the ground..
I don't recommend any of you guys travel with me..
May 5, 2014: It was a weekend of two halves around here.. Saturday was nice.. But Sunday was a windy bitch.. Was there a political campaign stop somewhere around here??
Ingram Bass Club was in town, but that was the only club I know of that was here at Falcon. And I did not hear final results but they were catching them fair on Friday and Saturday..
Flukes and brush hogs and the Spro DD Little John in Citrus Shad have been some good choices..
I have not heard of any whoppers caught here on Falcon in a while.. There are still some six to eight pound fish being caught but not a lot of DD's as of late.. Or for the last couple of months for that matter..
But fishing is as good as it has been in months.. If not better.. But it is still hard for me to call it good by any means.. I'm a little jaded..
And a lot of the reason for the fishing picking up, in my opinion, is because of the incredible amount of water they are pulling out of the lake.. And I mean they are sucking it.. Monica would have to have been re-liped by now.. We have lost almost exactly four feet in the last two weeks.. And that is not counting the three or four out of Amistad..
And just like the spinning wheel, who knows where it will stop..There is no freaking way they can be putting this much water on crops.. At least not efficiently..
The moving water has concentrated the fish on the ends of main lake and secondary points, anywhere a small bit of current might exist.. Even in big creeks like the Tigers or Salanaias.
And speaking of dropping water, the floats that mark the old 83 bridge here in the Veleno are back out of the water.. So if you go roaring out in the early morning be sure and drive in-between or around them.. Still plenty of water over the bridge.. For now.. We'll see where we end up..
The white bass in the Veleno are still being caught near the boat ramp and around the gravel near the Hwy 83 bridge.. Some of the locals are cleaning all they can catch.. A few times a day..
The gar are easy for anyone who wants to chase em.. They are ruining trotlines and juglines on a daily basis.. But if you like catching them, your ship has come in..
Bring your heavy equipment.. If you chop them right across the head with a machete it kills the son of a bitches pretty good.
There have also been a few gar hit with boats on occasion.. And this can be bad.. I bet PAW will soon put a 5 MPH speed limit on Falcon to protect the gar.. Or maybe we'll have to tie a bell around the front seat pedestal so they can hear us coming..
And while I may be speaking facetiously, somebody is going to hit one of these giants at Mach II, and the results ain't gonna be good..
I am packing for my trip down to Lake Picachos in Mexico, and my dilemma is that I can't fit the entire tackle store into a duffel bag.. And you would think that with all the crap we have around here that I wouldn't have to buy a thing.. Wrong.. I am as bad as you guys.. I have probably spent $400 on shit that I don't want to leave home without..
One kind of big ticket item was a portable depth finder.. I hear the boats down there don't have em.. I also hear you can go to the bank and catch a hunnert a day no sweat.. That might be fine for day one. But I know the bigguns don't live on the bank.. And I'm gonna find me some humps and some offshore stuff.. Cause it has been a long time since I added another lake to my ten pound list..
I'ze havin trouble sleepin already.. Leaving tomorrow.. We'll see if this lake is all it's hyped up to be..
So I won't be posting anything till get back.. On the 12th.. And I'll give you a full report when we return..
I am sure the airline is going to treat me like a $500 hooker at the check in desk.. I should have just bought another seat and strapped my shit in..
Where's that Skycap...
May 1, 2014: Nice stretch of weather around here.. Specially after that blast furnace for a couple of days last week. Highs in the seventies and eighties for the next couple of days.. And fishable winds..
We have a few folks in town that have come to fish. I mean why else would you come to Zapata if you weren't coming to fish.. Maybe I need to read the new visitors guide to find out what else there is to do round here..
Even got a couple of guys that drug a boat from California here for a week..
The super fluke is still catching a decent number of fish. Texas rigged and fished slow.. You still need rocks in your head to catch fish..
Oh you can still catch a few in the shallows flippin the hardwoods and throwing a spinner bait.. But the better quality fish are deeper.. Well maybe not better quality but bigger..
Don't put a lot of weight on that fluke.. Bout a quarter ounce is fine.. Fish it slow.. Imagine yourself as a stoned minnow just slowly flitting around.. And try to make your bait act the same..
The south end of the lake is far out producing the top end. I'd spend all my time fishing from Pierce's south.. But that's just me and that's what I hear.. You won't have too much company wherever you go..
We have actually heard of some decent numbers here and there..
If you are looking to fish a tourney on Falcon next month, the Border Chapter of the API will be holding their annual event here on Falcon on June 6th and 7th.. And breaking form from the norm this year they have opened it up to any fisherman, except for guides and professionals.. Used to be that one of the team members in the boat had to be working in the oil or gas industry. Not this go round..
It is a great tournament with lots of food and drink and a calcutta to boot.. It'll be over at Beacon as usual.. Give us a call if you need more info, but you can go straight to the horses mouth if you email Robert Chavez at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be a BBQ cookoff and lots of other activities..
I know I have been stirring the pot a lot lately when it comes to alligator gar and TPWD and management.. Or a lack thereof.. And in my mind justifiably so.. Maybe not in yours, but I can only speak for myself.
But I can tell you that if you never say anything about anything you are going to continue getting more of what you have been.
"Well that's just the way it is.." Bullshit..
I can't abide that.
And let me be clear, because I don't want to be taken as a basher of all things TPWD. TPWD has a lot of great people that work hard every day. We have had the privilege of meeting with many of them and working with many of them on many occasions. And always look forward to helping them in any way we can.
And our regional biologists and their staffs are the best and most conscientious that you can assemble.
Of course for this consideration we also expect a few things. We expect to be kept in the loop. We expect equal treatment when it comes to stockings and resources devoted to Falcon. We expect transparency when it comes to the dissemination of information that TPWD has developed and attained at the expense of tax payers.
TPWD does work for the people after all.. At least they're supposed to..
And we expect sensible and timely responses to problems.. Not considering what the lunatic fringe might think about an action we might take that is supported by 95% of the fishing population. And financially, that 95% supports 99% of TPWD.
Seems pretty simple don't it? Or are we down to kissing the asses of the lunatic fringe and pissing on the wishes of the monster majority? How is this serving the people?
Balls.. That what it takes.. Balls. And there are none where we need em..
Maybe there is a secret society of eunuchs running our government that we don't know about.. Forget about the Skull and Bones and the Knights Templar.. Maybe we should be worrying about the Empty Sack Society..
Membership is at an all time high..
I said the other day that PAW had basically ignored Falcon for forty years. And while that might be overstating things a bit, it is not too far out of line.
Until Larry Bridgeman and Jim Murray started putting some pressure on PAW for some semblance of equal treatment fifteen years ago, Falcon was certainly treated as the red headed stepchild.. We got the scraps..
If you don't believe me then go to the PAW site and check out the stocking records.. And while we still don't get what a lot of lakes get they now at least admit that we do exist.
I know that removing the limit on alligator gar will not be a cure all for our problems. In fact, we can probably never get the numbers of gar back down to a reasonable level. But it is at least an easy thing to do that cannot possibly hurt.
And if by some miracle we see the number of these terminators decline, we can always reinstate a more restrictive limit.
That's what management is.. And we are seeing damn little of it right now.
April 29, 2014: Well April is about shot in the ass and the warm weather has certainly made itself known around here.. At least for the last couple of days.. We had a freaky dry line move east of us and allowed some desert air to cross the Rio Grande and it was hot.. 109 on Sunday and 107 yesterday.. But another front is on our doorstep and we're headed back to highs in the eighties.. That's more like it..
I'll still take 109 over 40.. Any day..
Fishing remains fair, with the plastic bite on the mend it appears. Super flukes and brush hogs are the best when it comes to dragging the bottom.. The Big fluke is also a good choice.. Rocks.. Yes Rocks are the key to catching fish..
If you read my report before Bass Champs you'll see that it was dead on with what is happening.. Rocks in eight to twenty feet.. And nothing has changed this week.. Except that the fishing might be slightly improving.. If you can find an area that has no gar..
Just not a lot of fishermen to talk to bout it.. It's pretty dead around here..
The locals are still whacking the white bass here in the Veleno. Right around the boat ramp or around the Hwy 83 bridge.
Blue cats are in the deep holes in the river and with all the water that has been rolling thru the lake they have been pretty active..
And speaking of moving water.. We have it.. And we are loosing it.. But it is almost May and this is the first real drawdown we have seen.. We have lost almost two feet in all, but one foot in the last four days.. And they have it running hard now.. We were letting out about 11,000 CFS as of yesterday.. Cowabunga Dude.. Surfs up!
The gar are showing up in most every area of the lake, and in some areas they are unbelievable.. Across the creek from Vela's Camp in the Big Tiger there are some clear water pockets where they are stacked up.. One of my buddies who bowfishes all the time said he has never in his life seen them like he saw them last Sunday.. He said there were thirty or forty in a thirty square yard area.. And they wouldn't leave.. Easy pickens if you are a bow fisherman.. I'm working on a boat deal.. I need to start killin some of these son of a bitches..
Bass Champs results were about as expected.. Some good stringers but not very damn many.. Still took over a seven pound average to win.. Not too many places you can do that.. Lots of folks that caught fish showed me pics of cut up fish.. Guess it is still those damn Retamas..
Thanks to all of you guys who stopped in..
I assume that Texas Parks and Wildlife management is happy with the way that bass fishing is going here on Falcon. They basically ignored us for forty years. Then things got really good down here, no thanks in particular to them.
Maybe the best thing would be for them to go back to ignoring us.. Take all limits and laws off all the fish.. You can't enforce them 99% of the time anyway.. It should be easy to do given the disdain they have for Falcon.
Look at the money we are taking away from Fork..
Then the commercial fishermen could come back.. They'd put a hurtin on the gar and trash fish, and the rest would take care of itself.
Yeah.. Maybe we can secede from the rest of the lakes and rivers in Texas.. Then we could stock as needed from a fund we could collect from Falcon fishermen..
I am sure by now that you think I am a genius or an asshole.. And I am sure this did not sway you either way..
But what is going on down here right now is a travesty.. Purely at the hands of TPWD's management and their board of directors.. Their ignorance and close mindedness is astounding..
I guess if you never look out the window it is hard to see if it is raining..
But they are building one hellova gar lake.. Guess that makes about one percent of Texas fishermen happy..
But I wish I'd of known they were going to do it before I put everything I own into this little venture..
I was hoping we could work together to build and maintain something special. We've got all the tools..
But those special interest groups.. You just can't get away from em.. It is a government agency after all.. And I have seen little in government work worth a shit.. I'm sorry.. I mean effectively..
See you later.. I have to go get ready for a fishing trip.. In Mexico..
April 25, 2014: Did not make it back to the computer yesterday.. Gar wars was still going on.. We should be making a documentary of this shit..
But back to that fishing report I was alluding to..
Now remember that there are almost no fishermen down here.. And Bass Champs is tomorrow so I am not hearing a lot.. But here's what I got..
My second favorite bait is back on top of the list.. Of course that is the Zoom Mag Fluke in something watermelon based.. But basic watermelon red is always a good choice.. It is kinda like a blonde wearing basic black.. Always a head turner..
You can Texas rig this marvelous invention or put it on a Carolina rig.. And throw it on rocks.. Duh..
Fish it slow and pay attention to your line.. Sneaky bastards..
A jig fished in the same water will also catch some fish.. And with both of these two baits depth does matter. Find some eight to eighteen with fast slope or ledges. Don't be in a hurry.. Give the spot a chance..
Old foundations, while composed of rock, are not necessarily the ticket. They are putting out a few fish. But nothing like the natural rock.. Don't ask me why..
You can also throw a big crank bait to tickle the stones as well. Think Citrus Shad..
Up shallow the spinnerbait is still catching some fish. But from what I hear most of these fish are smaller on the average than fish offshore..
People are asking if I think the spawn is over.. I think 95% yes.. It's about done.. I weighed a lot of females at our tourney two weeks ago and only one did I think still had eggs.. So that is my guess.. I am sure there are a few still out there looking to do the deed.. But not many..
A brush hog flipped into wooded cover is always a good bet and I know a few folks that have done pretty good flipping the shady hardwoods..
There is a ton of water moving thru the lake.. And just in the last couple of days have we started letting out more than we are getting. This has moved some fish out to the ends of points and a few fish have started showing up along humps and ledges near the dam.. Go figure..
We are down to 276.01, or 25.19 feet low.. And slowly falling.. For now.. We'll see what happens in the next week. But that is still less than a foot of total drop since the irrigation has begun.. This at the expense of Amistad.. But hey.. It is usually us..
As I guessed about a few weeks back, they are also letting a lot of water out of Sugar.. And it is watering a good bit of land as well, thank God..
We'll see how long this irrigation cycle lasts.. But we are already ten days into it or better..
As a wrap up on the gar survey, at least for this go round, eighty two gar were collected. Very few had anything in their stomachs.. I hear from commercial netters that this is a very common occurrence, as usually when a fish is stressed, as in caught in a net, they will puke up whatever they have in their stomachs. Not unlike a bass in your live well..
I could have used regurgitate but I like puke better.. But I would say that on this adventure we saw about a 15% bass presence in fish stomachs that had fish.. But our sample size is too small to make me happy.. Or the biologists for that mater..
One other thing.. We had two bigger fish yesterday.. And one of them had thirty pounds of eggs in her.. Not a typo.. 30 pounds.. Un freaking believable..
Several more collections are planned so we can track the egg development thru the summer..
This will be the most extensive gar study ever done. And from what we have seen so far, these Falcon fish are way.. Way ahead of anything seen on other water bodies.. But some of us already knew that.. We'll know more when we get the aging back on some of the bigger fish.. Biggest fish caught was about 170 pounds..
I for one do not believe at all that these fish only spawn with rising water. I think all these fish will spawn about September or October. The eggs in the fish we caught last fall were much larger, and I think these fish are a long way off.. That is not scientific.. Just my hypothesis.. I could have used guess..
In any case we were all shocked by the sheer volume of eggs in these fish..
These fish were caught everywhere they put out nets.. But the Veleno and the back of Big Tiger were best. Boat problems and rough water did not allow much netting on the open water..
More info as it becomes available..
I'll give you an update on Bass Champs as I get info.. I think more good stringers will be caught this go round.. We'll see soon enough..
April 23, 2014: It has been some busy times around here the last week.. Not from a fishing standpoint.. Just lotsa irons in the fire.. Easter weekend came and went.. And I never made a mention about the fact that Jesus Christ died for your sins.. And mine.. Thank you Lord.. Hope you thought about that some last Sunday..
I have been resting up since our tourney was over last week.. I'm getting too old for this crap.. Thanks again for coming..
This week the boys from TPWD are here doing another gar netting survey.. And they are getting it down to a science..
Yesterday they caught thirty two, and another sixteen this morning. And the locals are lining up for the free "Catan." Somebody called the cops as they they thought we were causing a traffic hazard.. No shit..
But they will not be given away before they are aged, measured, weighed, sexed, and stomach contents examined.. So far there has not been a lot of fish found in the stomachs of the gar.. Out of the thirty two from yesterday, only four had anything in their stomach. One 54 incher had a 19" bass in his stomach. One 38 incher had a 20" carp in his stomach. Other than that there were a couple of small tilapia and a few unintelligible something's.. Gooie... Several had fish bones from who knows what..
All the gar are loaded with fat inside. Very healthy fish. And even the smallest of fish were all sexually mature. Smallest fish captured so far was about a 36 incher.. These nets have 6" squares so they are not going to hold too many small fish..
But here's the crazy thing. We weighed the eggs from random females, and they are averaging 10% of their body weight. Ten Freaking Percent!
Ok in a ten pound bass they might have a pound of eggs in them.. That's 10%.. These eggs are slightly bigger than bass's eggs.. But ten pounds of eggs from a hundred pounder.. You know how many freaking eggs that is??
Well I don't either but we are going to find out.. But I can tell you it's a lot!
Well Hell.. It's thirty minutes later and I just couldn't stand it.. So I weighed out a half ounce of gar eggs and counted them.. There were 687 eggs in a half ounce.. I ain't too good with math as you know but here we go again.. 687 times two is 1374 eggs per ounce.. Times 16 equals 21,984 in a pound.. This particular fish had 11.87 pounds of eggs in her so that equals 261,389 eggs in this one fish. And this fish was a slight over achiever as she weighed only 84 pounds.. She had roughly 14% of her total weight as eggs.
One fish.. 261,389 eggs. Som bitch. No wonder we got millions of em.. Both of those cellophane looking sacks are egg sacks..
Here's a pic of the techs removing the odoliths for aging purposes..
I'm telling you it is getting pretty medieval around here.. But not as bad as last time when we used a chain saw..
The carnage will be going on around here for another day or so.. I gotta go hire a traffic cop for this evenings garapooloza..
I'll give you a fishing report tomorrow. We're going out to do slip-n-slide on the gar goo...
April 16, 2014: The last couple of mornings have been pretty darn cool down here, and we had a record low yesterday.. Not sure about today.. Not cold, but cool.. And not surprising the way this winter has gone..
Water temps are right around 72° this morning, and will be in the mid seventies this week.. Optimum from a bass's standpoint..
And while were on the subject of water, let's talk about what is going on with the water along the Rio Grande..
Falcon dropped about eight inches in the last ten days, due of course to releases for irrigation. We are sitting at 276.31, and are just starting to tick back up due to releases from Amistad, which are much higher as they are releasing about 6,000 CFS. Compared to the releases from Falcon at about 3,600.
Falcon started releasing water about two weeks ago. Amistad about six days ago.. So we have actually quit dropping for the mean time.. We'll see what happens in the short term. But looking at NOAA's hydrology prediction graphs it appears that this will go on for the next few days at least..
Falcon is also getting about 500 CFS out of Don Martin, the lake that feeds the Salado river and runs into Falcon across the river from Beacon Lodge..
And while all this sounds either good or bad, depending on your perspective, it could be worse..
Sugar lake is still overfull, and it is releasing 2137 CFS for irrigation as well.. This is water that is not coming out of Falcon.. I'm not sure if they are using it soley on the Mexican side or if they are putting water into the Rio Grande with it.. And another good thing about Sugar is that El Cuchillo, that feeds it, (near Monterrey) is at 87% of capacity..
Amistad is dropping rapidly at this time..
Let's talk fishing.. I am not sure if it is the flowing water that has gotten the fish a bit more excited.. Or whether they are finally through with their shallow water antics and are ready to set up in some sort of summer pattern on some deeper rocks.
But the last couple of weeks we are hearing of a lot more fish on rocky points and ledges in water from eight to twenty feet deep. Transitions are the key.. If you can bounce a deep diving crankbait or a jig or a big fluke off the rocks you can get bit. A Carolina rig will also get you a bite or two..
The Spro Little John DD is a good choice.. Try the Citrus Shad (here we go again) or the Cell Mate color.. Put a Magnum Finesse worm on a C-rig and drag it around..
In either case if you quit hitting rock reel it in and repeat..
There are still a few spinnerbait fish in the bushes but there always are. But the flipping bite has slowed a bit it appears.. Calm sunny days are best for the hardwoods.. Hit the shady side of anything..
We got in a few of the new Curado 200HG reels.. 7.2 retrieve.. Already sold most of em but got a few left.. Still ain't got the 200I.. Call me if you have been looking for some.. Also have a few of the Cronarch 150 C14+ in the 150HG..
And while we are talking bout fishing stuff, I also have a special on 10 XD's.. $11.99 ea.. Some colors are are in limited supplies.. But I got a bunch of em..
Enough on the commercials..
We have a new Certified Scale courtesy of TPWD to weigh your new world record alligator gar or blue cat on.. This sucker goes to 450 pounds.. And we are working on getting it rigged up so you can back your boat right under it and we can winch that big slimy bastard up right out of your boat.. No muss. No fuss.. Coming very soon.. Till then we'll use an engine cherry picker.. Bring em by and we'll weigh em..
And speaking of Gar. We are working on putting a gar tourney together this summer. Probably gonna be in late summer.. Maybe September.. More coming on that before too long. It will be an any legal means tourney.. So if you want to Bowfish, trot line, jug line, rod and reel, spearfish, noodle, or wrestle em in I don't care.. I just want you to come here and kill some of these son of a bitches.
Bass Champs will be back in town in a week an a half, and I look for weights to be generally better this go round. Maybe I am being optimistic. But I think more people will find better stringers than the first time.
Now if a fish bigger than the 15.37 gets caught. Well that's a different story..
I know the spawn is about done, but I just think more quality fish are going to be more accessible this tournament. And it won't be too long till we find out.
The sharelunker season is about done and I am surprised by the number of fish caught this year. Nine fish have been turned in. Bout what I expected from Fork and Austin, but I was surprised by Athens.. Although I don't know why.. They have a pipe from the hatchery to the lake..
But I am sure they are beating the shit out of Athens and it will be ruined in a year or two. And TPWD will have all the grass killed out of Austin in another year and the fishing will go to shit there as well. Especially with the dramatic increase of fishermen on the lake.
But that is what sharelunker does.
Any of you happen to notice that to date not one fish that has been turned in weighed fourteen pounds? Just wondering.. Over half are under thirteen and a half.. Hate to say I told you so.. But there is no doubt that our biggest fish are getting smaller..
You're not gonna catch any monsters when you keep taking the very few thirteens that we have out of the lake..
But management at PAW doesn't really give a shit about facts.. As is evident with the SL program and their stance on alligator gar. They'll just make up their own..
What else is happening..
I am headed for a new lake down in Mexico next month to go fishing. It is called Picachos and it is supposed to be the best thing since they started shaving beavers..
And if it lives up to the hype I am hearing I am going to need a recovery period. I'll give you a report when I get back I am sure. I am already having trouble sleeping..
One other pic I wanted to post was of young Mister Nelson here who fished his first tournament at the BassBlast! And he caught this 7.04 pounder.. His first tourney fish and a new PB..
I do think that the fishing on Falcon is improving.. Time will tell. And I am not talking about a lot of time.. And you'll be the second to know the second I know..
April 14, 2014: Well the 2014 version of the BassBlast! is in the books as they say, and while I am always glad to see it come I am always glad to see it go.. I think every thing we own gets utilized and moved at least twice during this week.. And I ain't got it all put away just yet.. But I'm working on it..
Congrats to Ken Fairley and Chris Conner for their first place finish yesterday, with a very impressive stringer of three fish that weighed 20.96 pounds.
That's a seven pound average any way you slice it.. They had a 8.37 big fish.
In second and third were two teams.. Both had 14.83 pounds.
They were Tommy McGuire and Rick Vannett, and Adam Peirera and Mike Long.
The winners picked up $1600 for for first place, and second and third split the places and they each received $950..
Big Bass was caught by the fourth place finishers Jeff Wilson And Cody Ney. They got $600 for fourth, and $500 for their 9.02 pound whopper..
Both the Big Bass and the Big stringer were weighed in early. Thanks for taking care of your fish guys..
Speaking of which, we only had one fish that did not swim away.. Cool water temps did not hurt but good fish care in the boats and at weigh in certainly did not hurt either..
And I would be remiss if I did not thank all of our friends and family that help make all this come together on one weekend. Thank you all. We can't do it without you.. I am in your debt.. Again..
And thanks to Jim Robertson for helping a fellow competitor who had boat problems. You went above and beyond.. In the true character of a sportsman. Thanks!
See you soon.. I need to go lay down..
April 13, 2014: Well if you missed out on on entering the BassBlast! yesterday, you missed out on some mighty fine groceries and a truck full of prizes. We have 37 teams entered this year, down some from a couple years back. But not surprising how the lake is fishing.
Here's a few pics of the festivities and I'll post the results this evening or tomorrow in the AM.. Depending on how much gas I got left in the tank..
April 11, 2014: They say that idle hands are the devils workshop.. If that's the case then I am heaven bound.. Well maybe if I died this week anyway.. Naw.. I know where I am going when I strap down the rods for the last time.. Drop kick me Jesus thru the goalpost of life..
Anyway, my hands have been busier that a couple of fourteen year olds that just found their dad's stash of Playboys.. Did I use that one before?? I can't remember..
Batch number two of brisket is well on it's way to being sliced..
Hope to see you tomorrow.. Come hungry..
April 8, 2014: I guess it is a good thing to have a tournament every year or so.. Makes you clean up around the place a little.. And I been on it..
I think I got the details pretty much worked out.. We'll eat something..
We plan on eating about 5:00 on Saturday, and bout 6:00 we'll give away a bunch of stuff and have a short captains meeting.. Or something that resembles one.. Feel free to bring an adult beverage of your choice. And you can register anytime, cash or check only..
Here are a couple of highlights of the rules..
You may trailer.. You MAY NOT be on plane till safe light. First cast at 7:00.
If you are not in the weigh in line @ 3:00 I will not weigh your fish.. Don't be coming around the corner in the Veleno.. Don't be putting it on the trailer.. Don't be standing by your truck.. Be standing in front of me..
Don't make me be an asshole.. Play fair and be on time..
That's easy enough.
If you have any questions just give us a call. And we have been getting a few this week.
The weather looks like we will be alright.. Maybe a little breezy on Saturday, but from what I have seen Sunday looks pretty good.. But they are probably just guessing anyway.. We'll see.
Fishing has remained the same for the last few days.. What can I say?
Hope to see you this weekend.. But we'll talk before then..
April 5, 2014: The weekend is here, and so is another front.. Not that it is that cold, but I am just wondering when they will stop.. But in all fairness, we were 101° on Thursday..
Fishing is about the same as it has been.. And as long as it remains the same I guess my reports will also remain the same.. Yes we are catching some fish.. No we are not catching a lot of fish..
There has been a slight uptick in fish being caught a bit offshore. And a deep diving crankbait or a jig is actually putting a few fish in the boat.. Most of these fish are not super deep, but more in the twelve to eighteen foot range. You might try a Texas rigged mag fluke as well..
Make sure you are around some rocky stuff when trying the above.
There is still a bit of a shallow bite, with the same old methods involved. About every three hundred casts you will get bit on a spinner bait.. But if you miss him you start over again..
A small senko fished in the leverite pattern is also catching some fish.. Throw it at the base of a tree and leverite there.. Watermelon red is hard to beat..
So there you have it.. My weekly fishing report.. I could copy and paste it the last three months..
And I don't like it any better than you do.. But it is what it is..
The Bud Light Trail is fishing Falcon today.. And I am not sure how many they will have. But I would guess in the twenties. And I'll let you know later..
Next weekend is the FLT BassBlast! of course, and I have been running around like a chicken with his head cut off getting ready.. And so it goes.. But things are falling in place, and I am looking forward to cooking a bunch of briskets and seeing some of you next week.. Tommy just brought back a load of Medina County Mesquite. And there ain't nothin' better to cook over.. Come hungry..
And the next weekend is Easter, and the following week Bass Champs will be back down here for their final home game of the season.
They are starting to pull some water out of Falcon, and just started pulling a little bit out of Sugar.. I don't know how hard and how long they will draw us down.. It is not a major thing as of yet.. But it has begun.. We have dropped slightly to 276.69.. And while this drop is very slight, this is the first week we have lost altitude in months.. I'll keep you posted..
TPWD is down here this weekend and into the coming week doing an angler survey.. Asking you about gar fishing.. As in do you? So if you run into them take a minute and tell them your habits and opinions.. Won't take long..
Speaking of PAW, their leadership is still oblivious to the facts, and evidently do not care what the public thinks. Sounds just like Washington.. Don't make a shit what the people want, we know what is best for you.. So shut up and take it.. I won't do either..
If TPWD was Chevrolet they'd have to recall Falcon, Amistad, and Choke..
And speaking of politics.. I hear that the State of Texas had put off killing a couple of murderers and rapists because we are not sure what kind of pain killer or drug was going to be used to gently put them to sleep.. What a crock of shit.. I guess they took into consideration how they killed their victims..
Well here's a sure fire way to get around the "non transparent" methods and chemicals that we use to put these little darlins to sleep.. And it is "all natural."
Oak trees have been grown in Texas for century's. And heavy cotton ropes are made from products that have been grown and manufactured here forever.. And Texas is also home to some mighty fine horse flesh..
String em up, slap that stallion in the ass and game over.. For a lot less than we're spending on the procedure now.. And what could be more transparent..
"The answer my friend, is swingin in the wind..."
Buy local I always say..
And how about this second shooting at Fort Hood.. Why in the hell is an army base a gun free zone.. At the minimum every officer should be wearing a sidearm.. That makes zero sense..
How many deaths and injuries could have been prevented if a threat of retaliation were present? It is easy to be a badass when you are the only one with a gun..
It's an Army base. What's an Army base without guns? That's like me selling you a crankbait without hooks.. Change the rule for Pete's sake..
Our prayers go out to all the families affected..
On a brighter note, Obammacare is fine and is working well now.. It has cured all the health care problems in the US.. Least that is what I heard..
Well I got to go pay for some briskets I got ordered.. See you soon!
April 1, 2014: I did not grow up on a farm.. But I spent a lot of time on a few.. My Grandpa's mostly and some uncles and great uncles.. And it was always a treat for me when I was at any one of those places, because I could leave the pellet gun at home, and break out the big gun.. The 22..
And I don't know how it was for you, but for me, growing up in LaCoste, Texas, it was about as good as I could imagine. My Daddy always made sure we had plenty of work to do.. Cause, like you have deduced, he was the son of a subsistence farmer. And subsistence farmers did not sit around much watching TV and scratching their balls.. There was work to be done. Always..
And my Dad kept us out of trouble (for the most part) by keeping us busy helping him meticulously maintain our home and property in LaCoste.. From the mundane like burning the trash to mowing the grass.. To spraying our twenty one pecan trees with DDT.. Killin them damn case borers..
We did our edging along sidewalks and curbs with an antique twelve inch meat cleaver.. Not the most efficient but it did a damn tidy job.. And we had plenty of time..
Every day after school we had a "to do" list when we got home. And he better not find you playing baseball when he got home if the list was not checked off.. Or there was going to be some more swinging done..
In any case, (I am trying to get to the point here) part of my job was protecting our tomato plants and fruit trees.. And I mean plural.
We had two gardens.. He couldn't get enough stuff planted in the quarter acre one in the back yard.. So we had another in the side yard.. I think one year he actually affected the commodities market.. But I am not sure..
But back to protecting the fruit and tomatoes..
There were few things that would piss my Dad off more that finding the perfect peach, plum, or tomato that was pecked up by mockingbirds.. If he heard one squawking outside he'd get that look in his eye like Clint Eastwood does before he busted a cap into some low life SOB.. He hated em.. And for me that was a good thing.. Because he instigated a twenty five cent bounty on em..
And before long I was buying rounds of Hippo's at the local grocery store for all my friends. Cause I was a mockinbird killin son of a gun..
I had a Benjamin 22 cal pellet gun, and if you could see it you could kill it.. Well almost.. Ten pumps would go thru a stop sign.. In any case, that was my killin stuff basic training.. Of course I had been weaned from a Red Ryder years before.. And had been promoted to heavy artillery.. And this story is about shootin..
In any case I started out to tell you the story of Fred the Frog Dog.. But even the Constitution has a Preamble.. Maybe this is a pre-ramble.. I dunno. But if you're still readin'..
My Dad's uncle Fred, who was a brother to my Grandma, was a share cropper down a little south of Floresville in Wilson county. He farmed a half section and generally grew milo and hay grazer and ran a few cows. He was the epitome of cowboy, rancher, an farmer all rolled into one.. He loved them trail rides and cold beer..
He had throat cancer at some time in his life and he had his voice box removed.. And he used one of those hand held vibrating devices that he had to hold to his throat to talk.. It was a little scary for some younguns to hear him talk.. And to see him smoke a roll-yer-own by holding it to the hole in his throat.. But when Star Wars came out I was not afraid of Darth Vader..
He was a great guy and I loved him.. And he spoiled me..
I got a hunnert stories about being there on his place..
Like when I was ten and begged him to let me drive his 1951 five window Chevy down to the tank.. Good thing he turned the key off.. I think we was going 40 in reverse once I got the clutch out without out choking it..
And the time he took me to Fox's bar and let me drink a few beers. And then we went to Three Oaks in Pleasanton and I got a big ice cream.. And threw up all over the side of that Chevy on the way home..
I learned early on.. Shit Happens when you're partying..
Anyway we used to go there all the time when dove season opened.. And we practically lived there on weekends when quail season opened.. It was phenomenal quail hunting.. The stuff you used to hear about.. We'd kill a A-Tub full before lunch..
I don't know if you remember Fred Maly, who used to be an outdoor writer for the Express News in San Antonio, but he used to come hunting out there some times. He told me the first time I met him that I was too young to be carrying a shotgun.. And then I killed four doves in four shots and he retracted his statement..
I was using Uncle Fred's single 16 with the forestock attached to the barrel with some rusty old bailing wire.. Probably been that way for years.. I loved that gun. Uncle Fred said I could have it but Daddy said the shells were too damn expensive and if I could shoot a 16 I was ready for a 12.. That son of a bitch kicked like a mule..
I got more stories about that single sixteen and road huntin quail but dammit I came on here to tell you about Fred the Frog Dog..
There were three ponds on Uncle Fred's place. Two had catfish, one had nothin.. Except these bullfrogs.. Bigguns.. I mean really bigguns.. Big enough to make love to a house cat standing flat footed..
Anyway Uncle Fred had this dog that went where you went.. Specially if you was carrying a gun.. He was a mutt for the most part, bout the size and shape of a border collie but no relation.. And I don't know why they named him Fred other that the fact that Aunt Tillie could always get somebody to turn an ear if she yelled "Fred!"
One Saturday we were dove hunting round this tank and the frogs were everywhere.. But no birds. I was sitting on my bucket and hadn't fired a shot. Looking at all those frogs.
The men decided they would change water holes and I asked Daddy and Uncle Fred if I could go get the 22 and shoot some of them frogs. It took some convincing but finally they decided if I was the only one there I couldn't shoot nobody.. So back to the frog tank I went.. With Fred the Frog Dog in lockstep.
I knew them frogs would jump back in the water as soon as I got close, so I snuck up on the tank like Daniel Boone and hid in a tree line. And there them big ol Son of a Bitches were, sitting all around the tank. Sunnin them selves.. I figured I might get a couple if I started on my side of the tank. I was using shorts so they weren't too noisy.. I had it all figured out. I sat on my bucket and leaned on a tree, clicked the safety off and bam! One big dead frog floppin around on the bank.
But I weren't ready for what happened next. Ol Fred lit out for the frog barkin and raising hell. And all of the other frogs hightailed it for the water.. And here came Fred, frog in mouth, and he dropped it at my feet..
I was really pissed that Fred had scared all the other frogs into the water. Now I'd have to wait forever for them to crawl back out..
After about one minute I started seeing frogs popping up in the middle of the tank everywhere.. But they would not come back to the banks.. They were keeping an eye on me for sure..
And the longer I waited the madder I got and after a bit it got the best of me. There was a monster about twenty yards out in the middle of the pond.. And he was looking right at me.. Had about three inches between his eyes.. Coulda worn a pair of Foster Grants if he had ears..
Anyway, I drew a bead on him and let him have it.. Just outta meanness..
To my surprise Fred bolted to the water and did a long jump into the pond, swam out to where the frog was, and brought him back.. Holy Shit..
Well after the commotion settled, the frogs came back up and I shot another one out in the water.. And this one sunk like a rock.. Fred swam out there, dove down, was under water for about ten seconds, and came up with the frog.. My hand to God..
Well I wasn't believing this shit.. I was laughing my ass off. So I shot another one. And another one.. Till I had a five gallon bucket full.. And Fred fetched every one.. Sometimes he would make three or four dives but he never came back without a frog.. And you might think I am full of shit but this is a true story. Swear to God..
Well I walked back to the house and the menfolk were there drinking beer and cleaning doves. And my uncle Lewis said "Well we heard you shootin.. Where the hell is all them frogs?"
I told em the bucket was too heavy and I needed them to drive down there to pick it up.. Of course they all started laughing and went back to cleaning doves.. And when they got through I told my Dad, "Hey.. We need to go get them frogs."
He looked at me and said "You're serious?"
Well the guys got in the truck and we drove down to the tank and there I pointed out my bucket of giant bullfrogs..
I told them the story bout Fred diving for em' and fetchin em' back.. But they weren't buying it.. I had to shoot one more just to prove it happened..
We headed back to the house, with three men in a truck scratching their heads, a bucket full of frogs, and a young boy and a dog on the tailgate of the truck....Both with a shit eatin grin on their face.. Livin in paradise..
I really miss Ol' Fred.. Both of em'...
March 31, 2014: They say that March is a windy month.. I don't know about the entire month but yesterday surely was.. You better check the balls on your wind chimes..
There were a few clubs in town this last weekend, including Mr. And Mrs. from Austin, Fritztown from Fredericksburg, and TI out of the Austin area.. And we also had the International group out of Laredo on Sunday.. So it was actually pretty busy on the lake..
And there was some big water out there.
I do not have final results from anybody as of yet.. But on Saturday fishing was about like it was for the last month.. Hit and miss is as good a way as any to describe it.. I did not get any feedback yesterday..
Hopefully some folks will send me some results..
We are hearing that a few fish are being caught on some jigs in water a bit deeper. It is post spawn time afterall.. There are still a few fish on beds here and there. But I do believe that most of the spawn is done.
Senkos, and trick worms in watermellon red are still as good as any.. Chartruse and white spinnerbaits are still as good as any to cover some water. You gotta chunk it a lot but it will catch fish sooner or later. And while a few deeper fish are starting to show up, better numbers are still inside twelve feet.
I got invited yesterday to go fishing at La Perla ranch, just north of San Ygnacio. I had been invited several times before but was never able to make it till yesterday. And I am not sure if you have ever heard of it or not, but you will.. What they have going on out there is incredible. They are building a fishing paradise, and before too long it will be open to public fishing, but for a price.. A big one.. But for many in their quest for a monster it will not be too much to pay.
Ten to twelve pounders are becoming common and a 14 plus was shocked up this spring. And this lake is only in its sixth year. These fish are fed by several holding ponds of several acres where giant freshwater prawns and threadfin shad are raised and then drained into the main lake..
We did not catch anything over six or seven, but lots of quality fish. The wind was a bitch..
The main lake is a 90 acre impoundment with 7 miles of shoreline.. Not a typo.. You gotta see it to believe it..
And right now they are about ready to fill a new lake that will cover between 50 and 60 acres. It is incredible to see the amount of dirt they have moved, and the structure they have built into these lakes..
You will hear a lot about it in the near future I am sure..
But back on the home front, it is business as usual. There have been some really nice fish caught, just not a whole lot of em..
Mike Williams caught this 10-4 here in the Veleno..
And on the Gar front, this 7'5" fish that weighed 239 pounds was taken in the Veleno as well, along with another that weighed 157. The smaller one is under the blanket..
I reckon that TPWD will be closing down gar fishing on Falcon any day as the gar are spawning like crazy. And here is a pic of a giant longnose fixing to have some group sex down by Pierces cove.. This pic was taken on Saturday.. Is the lake on a big rise?? I don't think so..
That's a big ass longnose..
We have fifteen to twenty four inch gar in the shallows everywhere.. And the bigguns are really starting to show up..
I have been working on this story about Fred the frog dog, but have not had time to get it on paper.. Or in pixels.. Or whatever the computer does with it after you type it.. But I am working on it..
This coming weekend The Bud Light Trail will roll into town for their team event. This is the Del Rio division that has one stop down here..
And of course in just two weeks the Falcon Lake Tackle BassBlast! will be held. I have rounded up a bunch of goodies to give away again, and of course we will be feeding you. You can stop by the shop and register anytime now or on Saturday before the tournament when the meal and meeting will take place. We plan to serve about Five O'clock and will have the giveaways and a short captains meeting shortly thereafter. Click on the link above for more details..
If you want to donate a door prize it is still not too late..
So come hungry and we'll see you then, if not before..
March 27, 2014: Well this ain't gonna be a fishing report, so if you are looking for one you'll have to check back later.. Or read what's below.. No changes..
I have been listening to TPWD's live feed from their commission meeting today. With particular interest to the gar issue of course..
I am sure most of you do not have the time to listen to this stuff.. And I don't want to.. But felt compelled although I already knew what the outcome would be.
A representative of the Texas Bowfishing Association (please forgive me if I got the name wrong) testified to the commission about the difficulty of killing a trophy alligator gar, something that the board has been led to believe is so easy.. He also spoke quite well about the fishermen who pursue them, the populations of gar in general, and the conservative nature of the vast majority of bow fishermen.
He also passed along some information on gar data that they had no idea about.. When asked where he got that data, he told them it was from TPWD biologists and it was TPWD data. The same data I have been passing along to you..
And the commissioner said something to the tune of : Well that's not what we have been told by staff..
You are being told what you want to hear.. And what a chosen few in power wants to tell you.. Nothing more..
And evidently nobody on this board has taken the time to look at studies and papers and actual research.. That would be too much to ask..
Not a person in the room considered what the public had to say about the matter. And how the public is overwhelmingly against this new regulation change..
Oh they talked about all the other percentages on other issues of what the people thought. But not on this one..
I found it quite interesting that Commissioner Duggins actually asked him,"What's the thrill in killing a giant gar?"
Why is this man on the commission?
What's the thrill of killing a big gar? Are you freaking shitting me??
Hell I dunno.. What's the thrill of killing a 200 inch whitetail? What's the thrill of setting the hook on a 28" trout? What's the thrill of shooting a dove or a beard draggin gobbler?
That's the most ludicrous question I have ever heard asked of a sportsman, by an alleged sportsman..
And I am not a psychologist, (but I am married to one) but that question was asked with as much disdain and disrespect as I could imagine..
I have written two letters to all of the commissioners. One ten days ago and one several months back. They also were copied to everyone from the governor, senators, and to our state reps.
I heard back from the elected.. But not one peep from anybody on the TPWD commission. Not a letter.. Not a call.. And I sent them the facts.. Did they call me to confirm them, challenge them, or ask where I got them..
None of the above.. Crickets..
I realize that these rich folks are appointed by their rich buddies and for the most part they are there because it will look good on their resume' when it says that they honorably served on the TPWD commission..
We might have to take that honorably part out..
I also thought it was funny that they had to explain to the board what "recruitment" was..
I have always tried to be supportive of PAW. Way before I came here.. I offer them my facilities and assets on drop of a hat notice and have worked with the biologists and technicians right in there in the ditches when we need to get dirty..
I love it.. And that part I will continue to do if asked.
I have served on the TPWD Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Board since February of 2011. And not that it matters but I will be promptly submitting my "resignation," for lack of a better word.
I actually thought I could make a difference there.. Well.. It will look good on my resume'.
And until we get a leadership change at the top of Inland Fisheries I am through talking with them.. I am not, however, through talking about them..
And I was gonna write a story about Fred, the Frog Dog...
March 24, 2014: You know, this winter has been kinda like an ugly girlfriend.. No matter how bad you treat her or what you say about her, she just won't go away.. And she keeps showing up every time you're hanging out with something much nicer.. Relationships.. I need a therapist..
But I am damn glad I was born and raised and stayed in Texas.. Cold weather Sucks!
Water temps are still right around 68 degrees, with some warmer and some cooler spots. We have been cloudy for the last few days and are supposed to be for a few more.. I don't look for the water to warm up much more this week. But there ain't nothing wrong with 68..
Last weekend was a tale of two days, with Saturday being nice and warm and very calm. Yesterday was damp and warm till about noon.. Then that bitch from the north came back.. With a vengeance..
And while it is not super cool this AM, it is a long way from short britches weather..
Fishing remains so-so at best.. There have been a few folks that have had some twenty fish days, but they are few and far between.. If anything a few of the fish have started to get a bit deeper and are hanging out in the ten to twelve foot range on hardwoods. Close to creek channels on the flats.
Soft plastics are doing the best.. That senko or a brush hog or lizard has been best..
Crappie are still widely scattered with a few showing up here and there. They never got under the bridge in the Veleno this year like in years past. Standing timber has been best..
The white bass that were all over the Veleno have thinned out quite bit as well. There are still a few being caught near the boat ramp and around the bridge. I imagine we will see them school up some this summer.
The giant bream have disappeared as well. I used to whack em here around the rocks but it is not happening this year as of yet. I think most of them have turned into gar shit as well.. What self respecting perch won't bite a wiggler on a hook??
Speaking of gar.. If you are a gar hunter you need to get your ass down here. Or at least be planning on getting here. Normally it is early in the year to really see a lot of fish, but they are already all over the lake in the shallows. I guess just because we have so many of them and that is where all the tilapia and bass are.
I had some friends go out on Saturday.. There were three of them in the boat.. It took them fifteen minutes for them to all get one.. Biggest was just under five feet..
The TPWD commission meets on Thursday I believe.. 66% of people who answered the gar survey disagree with the states proposal to allow the Director to stop the pursuit of gar if they think the gar might be spawning..
Think it will matter? 66% would be a landslide for a politician getting elected.
What do you think will happen? Do you think they will listen to the voice of the people?
I've got my theories..
The BassBlast! is only three weeks away.. Made reservations yet?
See you soon..
March 19, 2014: It is good to be busy, and I've had more irons in the fire than I can handle.. Not that we have been that busy in the store.. But I got plenty on my plate..
First off getting ready for our tournament, which is less than a month away. And I think I got it under control for now.. Of course the shit hits the fan about the Friday before the event.. Like always..
We'll have a bunch of goodies to give away again, and we'll have a 'slap yo Mama' quality meal for you as well on Saturday. Click on the link at the top of the page for more info.. We hope to see you here..
Fishing is still about the same, with a few folks figuring them out but it certainly ain't no fish in a barrel event. Spinners and Senkos.. Spinners and Senkos.. How many times can you hear that without throwing up?
But that is the best advice I can give you.. A 5" senko in W/M Red is as good a plastic as you can get.. And a slow rolled spinnerbait thrown repeatedly is a good bait to cover some ground with..
Shallow is still the order of the day. Make that week.. No.. Better make that month.. Very few deep fish are being caught.
There are still some reported bedding fish, but water color is not as clear overall as it was a few weeks ago. You can usually see a few if you are on your toes.
Get in the backs of creeks as far as you can go.. I really thought we would see some fish up shallow over the last weekend with the full moon but it was not as good as it could have been.. But what has been lately..
I keep saying how bad fishing is down here, but I saw the results from the Bass Champs tourney at Amistad last weekend and I think Falcon is on fire..
I used to refer to Amistad, Choke, and Falcon as the golden triangle of bass fishing in Texas. Now it is more like a rusty rhomboid.. Yikes.. Pray for rain..
It is just hard for me to accept what we have now after having what we had in the golden triangle for roughly the last thirty years.. In all those years I cannot ever remember a time that fishing sucked so bad on all three lakes.. And the lack of big fish is glaringly apparent..
I got some theories on why.. And you already know em..
I am getting a lot of calls about Sugar Lake here lately and what I think of the situation in Mexico.. I figure it can't be worse than going to Detroit or Chicago..
The fishing there has been spotty, but reports have been somewhat better the last couple of weeks.
As always you travel at your own risk. Shallow is the order of the day there as well. It is a real good idea to hire a guide on your first trip over there. Call me for some recommendations on all of the above if you decide you want to make a trip.
We're working on getting some tourneys here in the fall, and on some tourneys for next year. The fishing might not be too good around here, but it beats hell out of a few other places. I'll keep you posted.
There's a lot of crazy things going on in the world today..
The people of Crimea are downloading The Beatles White Album so they can play "Back in the USSR."
A Boeing 777 disappeared from the face of the earth.
Where is David Copperfield these days.. He started out with a fighter jet... Maybe more proof that that Marijuana leads to harder drugs..
I'm going to Colorado this summer. Maybe I'll try me some of that Marahoochie.. I think it is hilarious that government of Colorado tells you how bad cigarette smoking is for you.. And says it is OK to smoke pot.. And promotes it.. I think they're conflicted.. I hear they are going to build a new EzeWider plant in Denver.. But so far they just can't seem to get anybody motivated..
Obammacare is falling apart because the law says you don't have to buy insurance if you think it costs too much.. Maybe Pelosi was right.. You are starting to find out what's in it.. And right now it appears that they are starting to pick the peanuts out of the shit..
March madness has started, and you can watch a bunch of future NBA semen sprinklers play at the college level.. And you'll be able to say, "I watched him before he had thirteen kids.."
Winter still won't release it's icy grip on the folks north of the Mason Dixon.. This global warming.. errr.. Climate change is a bitch.. But Burlington Coat Factory and the Salt Mines are doing fine..
I reckon for some folks this winter has been great. Maybe I'll still be able to go skiing in August when I get to Vail.. If I ain't too stoned..
Come on Summer! I cain't wait forever!
March 14, 2014: Another weekend here on Falcon with good weather in the forecast.. For the most part.. It certainly was beautiful yesterday..
Water temperatures are still not back to seventy, but mid and upper sixties are the norm right now.. The full moon is right around the corner so we should have a few fish up there makin babies.. There has been fry seen in most areas of the lake, although not in numbers that are record breaking.
The lake is still rising ever so slowly, but still rising. Amistad has decreased what it has been releasing slightly, but is still letting out about 900 CFS. we are releasing about 300 CFS, and in an unusual fashion, Don Martin, which feeds the Salado, is releasing about 420 CFS.. I haven't seen that in years.. Or since the flood anyway..
Sugar is still overfull, and El Cuchillo that feeds it is still gaining water ever so slightly as well, and it is at 86% of capacity.. That's awesome..
And the Mexicans are moving some water around in northern Mexico in the Conchos system. They are letting water out of Boquilla, which will end up in Luis Leon, which is the last stop before it would hit the Rio Grande at Presidio.. They are also letting water out of Madero, which will also run into Luis Leon.. Luis Leon is at about 98% of capacity.. It will be back to over full soon. But that is not unusual..
We need a turd floater in the Northern Mexican Mountains again and we'll fill these Texas Rio Grande lakes up.. And it appears to me that the Mexicans may be preparing for one.. Well.. Maybe a little.. I heard they had a guilty conscience and were going to pay us back some water they owe us.. They usually do when they can't hold it any more..
In any case all this bodes well for us.. If this year we can get a pacific system to hammer them up north..
I realize that all this gibberish I have been writing is about worthless without a watershed map.. But trust me.. I ain't lying on this one..
Fishing remains about the same around here, with some folks doing decently, and some folks struggling a bit. Four to ten fish a day has been the norm for a boat with two guys in it. Some quality is still showing up, with several seven to nine pounders reported yesterday. But most fish are in the two to five pound range.
A watermelon red senko in 5" size is a good thing to throw. And when I say throw.. I mean treat it like you are going to throw it away. Like you are never going to move it again.. Fish it slow..
Other than that, a spinner bait is still catching most of the fish. We have heard of a few fish coming on brush hogs and lizards as well.
Shallow is still best, but rumors of some post spawn fish out on the ends of points and creek edges are starting to emerge.. We'll see about that one in the next week or two.. It's gotta happen sooner or later..
Well the big TPWD dog and pony show was in town on Wednesday night. And I don't know if any of what they heard will make a difference, but they certainly got a facefull from locals who hate gar, hate cormorants, and despise the decisions that TPWD has made and are proposing to make.
And after reading what has been released by TPWD concerning their intentions of giving "Executive Order" privileges to the Director, I'd say it is a done deal and all these public meetings are just nothing but show..
Because I guarantee you that 95% of Texas fishermen do not want this gar "Off Limits" regulation passed. And I can tell you that number is 100% here in Zapata. Not one person at the meeting was in favor of it or the one fish limit on gar that is now in place.. And rightfully so.. They have seen what is happening down here..
There were about 65 people by my count that showed up for the meeting..
I want to make one more point about the alligator gar problem here on Falcon. And of course it involves math so bear with me.. It is not my best subject but I can count to 21 if I get naked.. And that's really only 20 and a half.. But I digress..
Much of the blame for the decline in the numbers of fish is blamed on tournaments and meat hunters, and there is no doubt that they play a big part in the lower numbers of fish we have.. But let's do some comparisons just for shits and grins..
I'll start with the fishermen.. We have a lot of fishermen down here, but nothing like the pressure that is on lakes closer to high population densities. We are pretty much on the end of the road in south Texas when it comes to bass fishing. So you gotta be coming here to get here..
So lets grab a number.. And lets not include any tournament fishermen in that number.. We'll get to that later..
So how many non tournament fishermen come to Zapata fishing each year.. How many fishing days are there on Falcon that are not tournament related.. Hell lets start with a ludicrous number.. Let's say 25,000. That should cover it..
So if 25,000 fishermen all keep 5 fish per day, which is the current legal limit, then at the end of the year they would have killed and removed 125,000 bass. (Of course! this number is preposterous.)
And now lets talk about the tournament fishermen on Falcon.. Instead of breaking down the clubs and the championships and the other stuff that goes on here and there.. Let's just say that Bass Champs comes to Falcon a lot.. I mean a lot. Like every freakin weekend of the year. And they bring 150 teams to the tournament every stinking weekend.. (Of Course! this number is ludicrous.)
That should cover it.. And lets say that every team catches three fish . And we kill every one of the son of a bitches..
Lets see 150 teams times three fish.. That's 450 fish a weekend.. Times 52 equals... 23,400 dead fish..
So lets take the 125,000 bass that the casual fishermen kill.. 125,000. And add the number that tournament fishermen kill, 23,400.. That adds up to 148,000 dead fish from angling pressure..
Think that number is crazy? I do too.. But hold that thought.. But punch that number into the M+ button on your calculator..
Now lets talk about those adorable Alligator Gar. And lets be just as crazy with the numbers.. But the other direction.
Using the best data we have available, based on TPWD estimates from Choke Canyon, we'll say that there are 20,000 Alligator Gar in Falcon. (I assure you the number is much higher.) But it is un quantifiable for the most part..
But let's use it because TPWD does.. And let's use TPWD's guess, that bass only compromise 5% of Alligator gars diet. (Which we know is not accurate, and in one study on a lake most similar to ours the rate was over 50%.) But we'll use five.. Just to stay in tune with the ludicrosity of this story we got going here.. I mean, why stop a good thing..
So if we say that we have 20,000 gar. But only five percent of their diet is bass. (snicker..) Well lets just use a number that is 5% of the gar to make things simple. That's 1000 gar. And let's say that they only eat a bass every other day. So we'll divide that 1000 by 2 just to keep things simple.. 500..
Five hundred times 365 equals 182,500 bass a year eaten by gar!!
And I am not even using a leap year!!
Remember that number you stored in memory.. About how many bass fishermen kill?? Well if you don't I'll remind you that it was 148,000..
And the numbers I used were insanely skewed against the anglers and for the gar!
Are you starting to get the picture??
Wake up TPWD. You are killing fishing on Falcon and Choke Canyon. Hell.. It is about already killed..
Remove gar limits completely and beg commercial fishermen back into our waters.
And then you can get started on the cormorants next month..
March 10, 2014: Cold front number 264 hit Zapata on Saturday evening, and this one has been a wet one. It is still drizzling here on Monday morning. And it is a wet cold.. The kind of stuff that makes babies..
We have had about a half inch of rain all together here at the shop.. Some places south of us got a bit more.. Not sure if it is enough to keep them from lifting the gates on the dam before too long.. But it ain't hurting anything..
We are sitting at 276.74 as of this morning, and that equates to 24.46 feet low.. Not too bad a shape compared to a lot of years.. The water temps are back down in the middle 60's, some places a little cooler, some places a bit warmer.
There were two clubs in town over the weekend, The Permian bass club had their annual Classic down here, and they did fairly well. The winner had a six fish, two day limit that weighed in at right about thirty pounds. And a five pound average is not too shabby.. Second and third were not too far behind. I do not have a lot of details on this one.
UCBC was also here, and Saturday, the nice day did not fish as good as Sunday, the ultimate in crappy days. Jeff Mergle had a two day total of 18.13 for top honors. Tom Mix was second with 14.11, and David Glenny was third with 12.83. Big fish of the contest was an 8.18 caught by Mr. Mix..
I think there is still some fish out there.. You just gotta go out there and catch em. And I would love to see the weather settle down once and stay there.. But wait it gets better.. Another front is on the way..
Most of the fish caught were caught on Spinnerbaits and Senkos.. Same thing I been telling you.. Shallow.. Jeff caught most of his fish on the Jo Baby Falcon Special.. Go figure..
Your bait needs to make contact with the cover.. Clank it off the hardwoods and fish it right thru the bush.. Most bites occur when you rattle their cage a bit.. You still need to fish the Senko as slow as you can.
Brush hogs are also catching some fish.. W/M red or something with some gold in it is a good choice also..
The water is still a lot clearer that we are used to on Falcon, but there are several areas with some algae bloom going on. Don't be afraid of the green tea water.. It has been as good as anything.. So if the depth and cover looks good, fish it..
Covering some ground is your best chance to find some fish. If you catch a couple in a small area, beat the crap out of it till you are sure there are no more fish there. We have been finding a few fish grouped up..
I am sure some would argue but I think fishing is getting a bit better.
This kind of weather will make a man (or woman) hold down the Lazy Boy for a day or two. I either fish or golf on Sunday afternoon, but yesterday was a ten in the shitty department..
So naturally we had the TV on in the shop watching movies.. And doing not much..
And I don't know if you have ever seen Friday Night Lights.. It's a football movie.. Duh.. But it was on..
And if any of you have ever played the sport, from Pop Warner to the Pros, then you know there is no question that it is the manliest of sports. And of course on every play something happens.. People get the shit knocked out of them..
Hence the manliest claim.. And if you have played, like I know many of you have, then you know what it is like to 'clock' some son of a bitch that was not looking at you.. And vice versa.. You don't play football and not get your ass kicked every now and then..
I loved that shit.. And what a life lesson for young men.. Football teaches things that cannot be described.. Cheerleaders actually wanted to be at football games.. Ever see a happy cheerleader at a tennis match.. I didn't think so..
Anyway, watching that movie brought back some good and some painful memories.. I guess that is why on any Friday night between September and November in any small Texas town you will see nobody in the local restaurants and businesses.. They will be parked by the acre near the high school.. Just look for the lights..
And after the game is over those same businesses will be packed.. So if for whatever reason you ain't going to the game, get your eatin' done. Cause about 10:30 things are gonna get busy..
On Saturday morning at all the local coffee clutches, there will only be one topic.. Go figure..
Of course I am talking about Texas, and I know a few other states have football too.. But most of em also got Soccer.. The girlie man sport.. Or Ice skating with paddles.. Them guys forgot their canoes.. Hockey is not a sport.. Any game that regularly ends in a tie is not a sport.. Of course Soccer is just hockey on grass.. Good waste of a football field..
We gotta have us a shootout.. Why in the hell didn't you just do that in the first place and save that three hours of boring shit in the first place..
Even little league games are played till there is a winner..
Speaking of Baseball.. It is almost a sport.. And where else but bowling can you have a giant belly and be considered a badass.. Maybe golf.. I know.. Some people love it.. I loved it when I played it.. And I have felt the rush of taking the mound and throwin' smoke.. But striking someone out on a high heater was never as fun as 'clockin' that left side linebacker on a trap play..
Man, I loved basketball.. We had a hellova team my senior year.. I will play horse with anybody out there.. I can shoot the rock.. And when I was younger I could jump out of the gym.. But I am getting too old and fat to do much more than watch.
And while setting a pick or slapping a shot away was fun, it was never as much fun as trying to break somebody's ribs as he reached for a pass that was thrown high.. Clocked another SOB..
That's why football is football.. Even though title 9 has tried to destroy it.. You don't see all those cars at a basketball game.. Hell a blind one armed man could wash all the cars in the parking lot by halftime..
Yeah, Football is the shit.. When was the last time that you did not go fishing on a Sunday afternoon because a soccer game was on?? I rest my case..
And I know that the older we get the better we were.. And I don't mean to sound like I am bragging or anything.. Just remembering how the old days was..
At my age, that's about all a man can do.. But if I find out who's stealing my Sunday paper, I'm gonna clock their ass..
March 6, 2014: Looking in the mirror it has been a cool few days this week. But today seems to be starting out nice.. And supposed to get better.. I need to start looking for my Speedo..
Yeah, every time I start talking doom and gloom, someone walks in with a good fishing report.. But who really knows, one day to the next around here..
That's irony for you.. Well it's not quite like a lawyer getting run over by an ambulance.. But it is irony..
I did hear of some better results yesterday.. No barn burners.. But at least a few numbers.
TPWD did not turn up a lot of fish in their shock survey the last couple of days.. They did find two nines and an eight.. But frankly the total number of fish was poor. Especially if you compare it to a few years ago..
They may shock some of the same areas again next week to see if any more fish move up.
Senkos fished slow.. I mean slow.. Are catching some fish. If you can stand it.. Otherwise throw that damn spinnerbait till your arm falls off.. And then pick it up with the other one..
Chart/white is better on the cloudy days, gold or mouse still top producers on the sunny ones..
And still you must fish as shallow as Paris Hilton to get a bite..
These bass should be dropping more eggs than a blind chicken farmer, and some of them are. But it seems like there should be a lot more of em doing it.. It is March..
The BassBlast! is only a little over five weeks away, and I have been busy working on scraping up some door prizes and making arrangements to get er done.. This years tournament registration and meal will be served here at the shop. I really liked having it down at the pavilion at the park, but the logistics of everything and the weather uncertainty just makes it easier to have here..
So if there is a bunch of us we'll just have to get a little cozier.. It'll all be fine..
If you have a product you'd like to donate as a door prize, we'd love to give it away and put you on our sponsor list. It does not have to be fishing related. I'm starting to get a pile of goodies in the corner..
Of course we will be feeding you some Bar B Que and all the fixins..
You can read the rules here if you have any questions.. But there are two that I'll point out.. If you ain't standing in front of me at 3:00 I ain't weighing your fish.. I don't mean standing on the bank, or coming around the big point in the Veleno.. I mean standing in front of me..
The other is cheating and poor sportsmanship.. Neither will be tolerated, and cheating could be cause for an ass whoopin.. Not by me, but I'll have some big guys handy..
This is a fun tourney so leave your "Macho" at home and come and have a good time.. Of course it has been known to pay a dollar or two to win.. And of coures ALL entry mony will be paid back. What a deal!
I'll have More details before too long.. But if it ain't on your calendar, it is time to circle the date.. That's April 12th and 13th..
Don't forget the public forum with TPWD next Wednesday here in Zapata.
See you then.
March 3, 2014: 92 yesterday.. 42 today.. Is this crap ever gonna end? I'm not sure how much more I can stand.. And they tell me people like to live in Alaska..
And I was for global warming before this crap started.. What could be wrong with hot pants and bikinis 365 days a year? Fish that are not covered by sheets of ice and golf courses with green grass year around? Sounds like a great world to me..
I am not sure that the cold spell that is on us can make the fishing any worse.. As a matter of fact, it might do it some good..
It certainly can't hurt.. So I say come on down.. Misery loves company..
Especially if you are a gar hunter.. These bastards are all over the lake already.. No need to wait till summer.. Come on down..
Bass fishing is poor.
TPWD is going to be here tomorrow to do another shocking survey in search of black bass. If ever they find any it should be this trip. The only fish that have been caught have been in less than ten feet of water. So we'll see what we see.. I am not real optimistic..
There have been a few fish caught, but damn few. And in that mix of thousands of man hours a couple of DD's have been caught. But honestly if two guys fish all day it is not uncommon for them to catch one or two fish.
And I'm not talking about guys that just got their first Snoopy rod..
So if you've got more balls that a driving range, wipe your ass with a porcupine, and can kick Putin's ass, come on down here. We got just your kind of fishin' going on..
Did you give your thoughts to TPWD about the new gar regulations?
Don't forget that on the 12th there is going to be an open forum in Zapata with TPWD to discuss proposed rule changes for the coming year. And Gar is on the menu.. Be there if you can. 7:00 at the Civic Center next Wednesday.
I know you're tired of hearing me talk about it..
February 25, 2014: I know it has been a week since I posted anything. But I have been busier than a three peckered billy goat in a new pen of nannies.. And so it goes.
I wish I could tell you that the fishing is good.. But I can't.. Sure there are fish being caught but not in the numbers that we are used to.. And yes there have been some big fish being caught, but not in the numbers we are used to..
And I can't figure it out.. I'm as frustrated as the customers in the store..
I fished a half a day last Wednesday, and caught four fish.. And while that sucks, I thought I had something working. So I went back on Friday, and caught zero.. Wednesday was sunny.. Friday was cloudy.. For whatever that is worth..
A couple of the local guides are having fair days, and occasionally good days, but overall they are struggling as well. Every day is different. All I can tell you is that you just have to go out there and go fishing.
One thing about the fishing being slow is that lots of different tactics and baits get tried. And lately we have heard of them all.. Never underestimate the imagination of the American fisherman..
I think I am going to Carolina rig a Zorro Spook on my next trip out..
A dark colored buzz bait has caught some fish.. A bubble gum brush hog has caught some fish.. Hell if I know..
But overall a senko, fished slower than you can fish it has caught some fish. A brush hog in Watermelon Gold is as good as anything. And a spinnerbait, with gold or mouse colors has caught them as well. Of course Chart and White is always a good one to try.. But I think it is all about hitting one in the face..
There has been next to no bait in the shallows. Just in the last few days have I started noticing some egrets and cranes standing on the bank. And occasionally they will spear a shad. But that is just starting to happen.
There are very few little fish being caught. Catching an undersized fish has been rare, and usually they will keep you entertained, or at least awake.. If the shad ever make a move up to the shallows to spawn, hopefully we will see a bunch of little fish follow them there. But it is not happening as of yet..
There were no less than six bass clubs in town last weekend, and it was busy on the lake. This weekend should be a bit quieter.
Helotes Bass Club had some so-so results..
Charles Parchman had a two day limit of six fish for 22.64, and he had a 11.47 in the mix.
Felix Huerta was second with five for 11.12, and Mike Ross had two fish for 4.92 for third..
I don't need to translate that for you..
San Antonio Bass Club was here as well, and they brought a lot more folks and did some better.
Rodney Marbach had six for 26.27 pounds to win it. Second was Dennis Asher with five fish for 22.14, and in third was Joe Aker with six fish for 21.97 pounds.
SABC has gone to a three fish limit for all of their tourneys this year, and we commend them for it..
I don't know what to say about the fishing overall. It has been a disappointing spring so far. Many folks that have made their annual pilgrimage to Zapata have gone home with a frown on their face.. And several have cut their trips short, or moved on to other lakes.
When it gets better, I will let you know..
I told you a few weeks ago that TPWD is considering whether to allow the Executive Director, Carter Smith, to make an emergency shutdown in the taking of alligator gar. This would happen when TPWD thought that spawning conditions were right for alligator gar. Because they they think that AG are more susceptible to capture during the spawn. They may be.. They also think they have to be ten years old to spawn, and that they may only spawn every few years when the conditions are right.
And they think that conditions are right with rising and running water in rivers.
Last year in October TPWD caught a bunch of gar in nets here at Falcon. We found a lot of three and four foot gar with eggs in them. And they turned out to be two to four years old. Six footers that weighed about 100 pounds were five years old.. And while the lake may have been on a slow rise, there is not a lot of running water in the middle of Goose Bay..
This lake does not compare to any other east Texas river or lake. Fact is that TPWD's data on gar is very sketchy, and skewed to the direction of their liking. What little of it that they have shared with the public..
Aren't Largemouth Bass more susceptible to capture during the spawn? Have we ever considered stopping Bass fishing during the spawn? Wouldn't that make more sense that stopping the pursuit of Gar during their spawn?
Of course I am not advocating either scenario. Both are ludicrous..
But here is something you can do.. And need to do.
PAW is having a public comment period to hear from... Well.. From the public. There are several proposed changes in the works that include the gar issue. And they need to hear from you.
Here is a link to their site that will tell you which regulations and powers that are being considered for modification. Be sure and tell them what you think about the changes in the comments area.
Please e-mail, call or write.. Robert Macdonald at 512-389-4775. Or e-mail him at:
Mailing address is 4200 Smith School Rd. Austin TX 78744
Please let them know your opinions on alligator gar in Falcon lake. Not MY opinion.. But yours.. Let them know what you think of AG and their one a day limit on them, and their effect on bass and other species. And your opinion on whether they should be allowed to stop the hunting or pursuit of gar whenever they see fit.
Also please copy and paste your thoughts to these two men as well.
These are the number one and two men at TPWD Inland Fisheries. And they make the ultimate decision on what goes on and what is presented to the Board..
They need to hear from you!!
Dr. Gary Saul.. Gary.Saul@tpwd.texas.gov
And Dave Terre.. Dave.Terre@tpwd.texas.gov
There will also be a public hearing here in Zapata on the 12th of March. If you are in the area it would be great if you could attend. It will be at 7:00 PM at the civic center in the middle of town. 605 N US Hwy 83.. Right across the street from the courthouse.. I am looking forward to it..
It is imperative that these people hear from you.. DO IT!
Please take a few minutes to give them your thoughts..