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Not your Daddy's fishing report...
April 16, 2014: The last couple of mornings have been pretty darn cool down here, and we had a record low yesterday.. Not sure about today.. Not cold, but cool.. And not surprising the way this winter has gone..
Water temps are right around 72° this morning, and will be in the mid seventies this week.. Optimum from a bass's standpoint..
And while were on the subject of water, let's talk about what is going on with the water along the Rio Grande..
Falcon dropped about eight inches in the last ten days, due of course to releases for irrigation. We are sitting at 276.31, and are just starting to tick back up due to releases from Amistad, which are much higher as they are releasing about 6,000 CFS. Compared to the releases from Falcon at about 3,600.
Falcon started releasing water about two weeks ago. Amistad about six days ago.. So we have actually quit dropping for the mean time.. We'll see what happens in the short term. But looking at NOAA's hydrology prediction graphs it appears that this will go on for the next few days at least..
Falcon is also getting about 500 CFS out of Don Martin, the lake that feeds the Salado river and runs into Falcon across the river from Beacon Lodge..
And while all this sounds either good or bad, depending on your perspective, it could be worse..
Sugar lake is still overfull, and it is releasing 2137 CFS for irrigation as well.. This is water that is not coming out of Falcon.. I'm not sure if they are using it soley on the Mexican side or if they are putting water into the Rio Grande with it.. And another good thing about Sugar is that El Cuchillo, that feeds it, (near Monterrey) is at 87% of capacity..
Amistad is dropping rapidly at this time..
Let's talk fishing.. I am not sure if it is the flowing water that has gotten the fish a bit more excited.. Or whether they are finally through with their shallow water antics and are ready to set up in some sort of summer pattern on some deeper rocks.
But the last couple of weeks we are hearing of a lot more fish on rocky points and ledges in water from eight to twenty feet deep. Transitions are the key.. If you can bounce a deep diving crankbait or a jig or a big fluke off the rocks you can get bit. A Carolina rig will also get you a bite or two..
The Spro Little John DD is a good choice.. Try the Citrus Shad (here we go again) or the Cell Mate color.. Put a Magnum Finesse worm on a C-rig and drag it around..
In either case if you quit hitting rock reel it in and repeat..
There are still a few spinnerbait fish in the bushes but there always are. But the flipping bite has slowed a bit it appears.. Calm sunny days are best for the hardwoods.. Hit the shady side of anything..
We got in a few of the new Curado 200HG reels.. 7.2 retrieve.. Already sold most of em but got a few left.. Still ain't got the 200I.. Call me if you have been looking for some.. Also have a few of the Cronarch 150 C14+ in the 150HG..
And while we are talking bout fishing stuff, I also have a special on 10 XD's.. $11.99 ea.. Some colors are are in limited supplies.. But I got a bunch of em..
Enough on the commercials..
We have a new Certified Scale courtesy of TPWD to weigh your new world record alligator gar or blue cat on.. This sucker goes to 450 pounds.. And we are working on getting it rigged up so you can back your boat right under it and we can winch that big slimy bastard up right out of your boat.. No muss. No fuss.. Coming very soon.. Till then we'll use an engine cherry picker.. Bring em by and we'll weigh em..
And speaking of Gar. We are working on putting a gar tourney together this summer. Probably gonna be in late summer.. Maybe September.. More coming on that before too long. It will be an any legal means tourney.. So if you want to Bowfish, trot line, jug line, rod and reel, spearfish, noodle, or wrestle em in I don't care.. I just want you to come here and kill some of these son of a bitches.
Bass Champs will be back in town in a week an a half, and I look for weights to be generally better this go round. Maybe I am being optimistic. But I think more people will find better stringers than the first time.
Now if a fish bigger than the 15.37 gets caught. Well that's a different story..
I know the spawn is about done, but I just think more quality fish are going to be more accessible this tournament. And it won't be too long till we find out.
The sharelunker season is about done and I am surprised by the number of fish caught this year. Nine fish have been turned in. Bout what I expected from Fork and Austin, but I was surprised by Athens.. Although I don't know why.. They have a pipe from the hatchery to the lake..
But I am sure they are beating the shit out of Athens and it will be ruined in a year or two. And TPWD will have all the grass killed out of Austin in another year and the fishing will go to shit there as well. Especially with the dramatic increase of fishermen on the lake.
But that is what sharelunker does.
Any of you happen to notice that to date not one fish that has been turned in weighed fourteen pounds? Just wondering.. Over half are under thirteen and a half.. Hate to say I told you so.. But there is no doubt that our biggest fish are getting smaller..
You're not gonna catch any monsters when you keep taking the very few thirteens that we have out of the lake..
But management at PAW doesn't really give a shit about facts.. As is evident with the SL program and their stance on alligator gar. They'll just make up their own..
What else is happening..
I am headed for a new lake down in Mexico next month to go fishing. It is called Picachos and it is supposed to be the best thing since they started shaving beavers..
And if it lives up to the hype I am hearing I am going to need a recovery period. I'll give you a report when I get back I am sure. I am already having trouble sleeping..
One other pic I wanted to post was of young Mister Nelson here who fished his first tournament at the BassBlast! And he caught this 7.04 pounder.. His first tourney fish and a new PB..
I do think that the fishing on Falcon is improving.. Time will tell. And I am not talking about a lot of time.. And you'll be the second to know the second I know..
April 14, 2014: Well the 2014 version of the BassBlast! is in the books as they say, and while I am always glad to see it come I am always glad to see it go.. I think every thing we own gets utilized and moved at least twice during this week.. And I ain't got it all put away just yet.. But I'm working on it..
Congrats to Ken Fairley and Chris Conner for their first place finish yesterday, with a very impressive stringer of three fish that weighed 20.96 pounds.
That's a seven pound average any way you slice it.. They had a 8.37 big fish.
In second and third were two teams.. Both had 14.83 pounds.
They were Tommy McGuire and Rick Vannett, and Adam Peirera and Mike Long.
The winners picked up $1600 for for first place, and second and third split the places and they each received $950..
Big Bass was caught by the fourth place finishers Jeff Wilson And Cody Ney. They got $600 for fourth, and $500 for their 9.02 pound whopper..
Both the Big Bass and the Big stringer were weighed in early. Thanks for taking care of your fish guys..
Speaking of which, we only had one fish that did not swim away.. Cool water temps did not hurt but good fish care in the boats and at weigh in certainly did not hurt either..
And I would be remiss if I did not thank all of our friends and family that help make all this come together on one weekend. Thank you all. We can't do it without you.. I am in your debt.. Again..
And thanks to Jim Robertson for helping a fellow competitor who had boat problems. You went above and beyond.. In the true character of a sportsman. Thanks!
See you soon.. I need to go lay down..
April 13, 2014: Well if you missed out on on entering the BassBlast! yesterday, you missed out on some mighty fine groceries and a truck full of prizes. We have 37 teams entered this year, down some from a couple years back. But not surprising how the lake is fishing.
Here's a few pics of the festivities and I'll post the results this evening or tomorrow in the AM.. Depending on how much gas I got left in the tank..
April 11, 2014: They say that idle hands are the devils workshop.. If that's the case then I am heaven bound.. Well maybe if I died this week anyway.. Naw.. I know where I am going when I strap down the rods for the last time.. Drop kick me Jesus thru the goalpost of life..
Anyway, my hands have been busier that a couple of fourteen year olds that just found their dad's stash of Playboys.. Did I use that one before?? I can't remember..
Batch number two of brisket is well on it's way to being sliced..
Hope to see you tomorrow.. Come hungry..
April 8, 2014: I guess it is a good thing to have a tournament every year or so.. Makes you clean up around the place a little.. And I been on it..
I think I got the details pretty much worked out.. We'll eat something..
We plan on eating about 5:00 on Saturday, and bout 6:00 we'll give away a bunch of stuff and have a short captains meeting.. Or something that resembles one.. Feel free to bring an adult beverage of your choice. And you can register anytime, cash or check only..
Here are a couple of highlights of the rules..
You may trailer.. You MAY NOT be on plane till safe light. First cast at 7:00.
If you are not in the weigh in line @ 3:00 I will not weigh your fish.. Don't be coming around the corner in the Veleno.. Don't be putting it on the trailer.. Don't be standing by your truck.. Be standing in front of me..
Don't make me be an asshole.. Play fair and be on time..
That's easy enough.
If you have any questions just give us a call. And we have been getting a few this week.
The weather looks like we will be alright.. Maybe a little breezy on Saturday, but from what I have seen Sunday looks pretty good.. But they are probably just guessing anyway.. We'll see.
Fishing has remained the same for the last few days.. What can I say?
Hope to see you this weekend.. But we'll talk before then..
April 5, 2014: The weekend is here, and so is another front.. Not that it is that cold, but I am just wondering when they will stop.. But in all fairness, we were 101° on Thursday..
Fishing is about the same as it has been.. And as long as it remains the same I guess my reports will also remain the same.. Yes we are catching some fish.. No we are not catching a lot of fish..
There has been a slight uptick in fish being caught a bit offshore. And a deep diving crankbait or a jig is actually putting a few fish in the boat.. Most of these fish are not super deep, but more in the twelve to eighteen foot range. You might try a Texas rigged mag fluke as well..
Make sure you are around some rocky stuff when trying the above.
There is still a bit of a shallow bite, with the same old methods involved. About every three hundred casts you will get bit on a spinner bait.. But if you miss him you start over again..
A small senko fished in the leverite pattern is also catching some fish.. Throw it at the base of a tree and leverite there.. Watermelon red is hard to beat..
So there you have it.. My weekly fishing report.. I could copy and paste it the last three months..
And I don't like it any better than you do.. But it is what it is..
The Bud Light Trail is fishing Falcon today.. And I am not sure how many they will have. But I would guess in the twenties. And I'll let you know later..
Next weekend is the FLT BassBlast! of course, and I have been running around like a chicken with his head cut off getting ready.. And so it goes.. But things are falling in place, and I am looking forward to cooking a bunch of briskets and seeing some of you next week.. Tommy just brought back a load of Medina County Mesquite. And there ain't nothin' better to cook over.. Come hungry..
And the next weekend is Easter, and the following week Bass Champs will be back down here for their final home game of the season.
They are starting to pull some water out of Falcon, and just started pulling a little bit out of Sugar.. I don't know how hard and how long they will draw us down.. It is not a major thing as of yet.. But it has begun.. We have dropped slightly to 276.69.. And while this drop is very slight, this is the first week we have lost altitude in months.. I'll keep you posted..
TPWD is down here this weekend and into the coming week doing an angler survey.. Asking you about gar fishing.. As in do you? So if you run into them take a minute and tell them your habits and opinions.. Won't take long..
Speaking of PAW, their leadership is still oblivious to the facts, and evidently do not care what the public thinks. Sounds just like Washington.. Don't make a shit what the people want, we know what is best for you.. So shut up and take it.. I won't do either..
If TPWD was Chevrolet they'd have to recall Falcon, Amistad, and Choke..
And speaking of politics.. I hear that the State of Texas had put off killing a couple of murderers and rapists because we are not sure what kind of pain killer or drug was going to be used to gently put them to sleep.. What a crock of shit.. I guess they took into consideration how they killed their victims..
Well here's a sure fire way to get around the "non transparent" methods and chemicals that we use to put these little darlins to sleep.. And it is "all natural."
Oak trees have been grown in Texas for century's. And heavy cotton ropes are made from products that have been grown and manufactured here forever.. And Texas is also home to some mighty fine horse flesh..
String em up, slap that stallion in the ass and game over.. For a lot less than we're spending on the procedure now.. And what could be more transparent..
"The answer my friend, is swingin in the wind..."
Buy local I always say..
And how about this second shooting at Fort Hood.. Why in the hell is an army base a gun free zone.. At the minimum every officer should be wearing a sidearm.. That makes zero sense..
How many deaths and injuries could have been prevented if a threat of retaliation were present? It is easy to be a badass when you are the only one with a gun..
It's an Army base. What's an Army base without guns? That's like me selling you a crankbait without hooks.. Change the rule for Pete's sake..
Our prayers go out to all the families affected..
On a brighter note, Obammacare is fine and is working well now.. It has cured all the health care problems in the US.. Least that is what I heard..
Well I got to go pay for some briskets I got ordered.. See you soon!
April 1, 2014: I did not grow up on a farm.. But I spent a lot of time on a few.. My Grandpa's mostly and some uncles and great uncles.. And it was always a treat for me when I was at any one of those places, because I could leave the pellet gun at home, and break out the big gun.. The 22..
And I don't know how it was for you, but for me, growing up in LaCoste, Texas, it was about as good as I could imagine. My Daddy always made sure we had plenty of work to do.. Cause, like you have deduced, he was the son of a subsistence farmer. And subsistence farmers did not sit around much watching TV and scratching their balls.. There was work to be done. Always..
And my Dad kept us out of trouble (for the most part) by keeping us busy helping him meticulously maintain our home and property in LaCoste.. From the mundane like burning the trash to mowing the grass.. To spraying our twenty one pecan trees with DDT.. Killin them damn case borers..
We did our edging along sidewalks and curbs with an antique twelve inch meat cleaver.. Not the most efficient but it did a damn tidy job.. And we had plenty of time..
Every day after school we had a "to do" list when we got home. And he better not find you playing baseball when he got home if the list was not checked off.. Or there was going to be some more swinging done..
In any case, (I am trying to get to the point here) part of my job was protecting our tomato plants and fruit trees.. And I mean plural.
We had two gardens.. He couldn't get enough stuff planted in the quarter acre one in the back yard.. So we had another in the side yard.. I think one year he actually affected the commodities market.. But I am not sure..
But back to protecting the fruit and tomatoes..
There were few things that would piss my Dad off more that finding the perfect peach, plum, or tomato that was pecked up by mockingbirds.. If he heard one squawking outside he'd get that look in his eye like Clint Eastwood does before he busted a cap into some low life SOB.. He hated em.. And for me that was a good thing.. Because he instigated a twenty five cent bounty on em..
And before long I was buying rounds of Hippo's at the local grocery store for all my friends. Cause I was a mockinbird killin son of a gun..
I had a Benjamin 22 cal pellet gun, and if you could see it you could kill it.. Well almost.. Ten pumps would go thru a stop sign.. In any case, that was my killin stuff basic training.. Of course I had been weaned from a Red Ryder years before.. And had been promoted to heavy artillery.. And this story is about shootin..
In any case I started out to tell you the story of Fred the Frog Dog.. But even the Constitution has a Preamble.. Maybe this is a pre-ramble.. I dunno. But if you're still readin'..
My Dad's uncle Fred, who was a brother to my Grandma, was a share cropper down a little south of Floresville in Wilson county. He farmed a half section and generally grew milo and hay grazer and ran a few cows. He was the epitome of cowboy, rancher, an farmer all rolled into one.. He loved them trail rides and cold beer..
He had throat cancer at some time in his life and he had his voice box removed.. And he used one of those hand held vibrating devices that he had to hold to his throat to talk.. It was a little scary for some younguns to hear him talk.. And to see him smoke a roll-yer-own by holding it to the hole in his throat.. But when Star Wars came out I was not afraid of Darth Vader..
He was a great guy and I loved him.. And he spoiled me..
I got a hunnert stories about being there on his place..
Like when I was ten and begged him to let me drive his 1951 five window Chevy down to the tank.. Good thing he turned the key off.. I think we was going 40 in reverse once I got the clutch out without out choking it..
And the time he took me to Fox's bar and let me drink a few beers. And then we went to Three Oaks in Pleasanton and I got a big ice cream.. And threw up all over the side of that Chevy on the way home..
I learned early on.. Shit Happens when you're partying..
Anyway we used to go there all the time when dove season opened.. And we practically lived there on weekends when quail season opened.. It was phenomenal quail hunting.. The stuff you used to hear about.. We'd kill a A-Tub full before lunch..
I don't know if you remember Fred Maly, who used to be an outdoor writer for the Express News in San Antonio, but he used to come hunting out there some times. He told me the first time I met him that I was too young to be carrying a shotgun.. And then I killed four doves in four shots and he retracted his statement..
I was using Uncle Fred's single 16 with the forestock attached to the barrel with some rusty old bailing wire.. Probably been that way for years.. I loved that gun. Uncle Fred said I could have it but Daddy said the shells were too damn expensive and if I could shoot a 16 I was ready for a 12.. That son of a bitch kicked like a mule..
I got more stories about that single sixteen and road huntin quail but dammit I came on here to tell you about Fred the Frog Dog..
There were three ponds on Uncle Fred's place. Two had catfish, one had nothin.. Except these bullfrogs.. Bigguns.. I mean really bigguns.. Big enough to make love to a house cat standing flat footed..
Anyway Uncle Fred had this dog that went where you went.. Specially if you was carrying a gun.. He was a mutt for the most part, bout the size and shape of a border collie but no relation.. And I don't know why they named him Fred other that the fact that Aunt Tillie could always get somebody to turn an ear if she yelled "Fred!"
One Saturday we were dove hunting round this tank and the frogs were everywhere.. But no birds. I was sitting on my bucket and hadn't fired a shot. Looking at all those frogs.
The men decided they would change water holes and I asked Daddy and Uncle Fred if I could go get the 22 and shoot some of them frogs. It took some convincing but finally they decided if I was the only one there I couldn't shoot nobody.. So back to the frog tank I went.. With Fred the Frog Dog in lockstep.
I knew them frogs would jump back in the water as soon as I got close, so I snuck up on the tank like Daniel Boone and hid in a tree line. And there them big ol Son of a Bitches were, sitting all around the tank. Sunnin them selves.. I figured I might get a couple if I started on my side of the tank. I was using shorts so they weren't too noisy.. I had it all figured out. I sat on my bucket and leaned on a tree, clicked the safety off and bam! One big dead frog floppin around on the bank.
But I weren't ready for what happened next. Ol Fred lit out for the frog barkin and raising hell. And all of the other frogs hightailed it for the water.. And here came Fred, frog in mouth, and he dropped it at my feet..
I was really pissed that Fred had scared all the other frogs into the water. Now I'd have to wait forever for them to crawl back out..
After about one minute I started seeing frogs popping up in the middle of the tank everywhere.. But they would not come back to the banks.. They were keeping an eye on me for sure..
And the longer I waited the madder I got and after a bit it got the best of me. There was a monster about twenty yards out in the middle of the pond.. And he was looking right at me.. Had about three inches between his eyes.. Coulda worn a pair of Foster Grants if he had ears..
Anyway, I drew a bead on him and let him have it.. Just outta meanness..
To my surprise Fred bolted to the water and did a long jump into the pond, swam out to where the frog was, and brought him back.. Holy Shit..
Well after the commotion settled, the frogs came back up and I shot another one out in the water.. And this one sunk like a rock.. Fred swam out there, dove down, was under water for about ten seconds, and came up with the frog.. My hand to God..
Well I wasn't believing this shit.. I was laughing my ass off. So I shot another one. And another one.. Till I had a five gallon bucket full.. And Fred fetched every one.. Sometimes he would make three or four dives but he never came back without a frog.. And you might think I am full of shit but this is a true story. Swear to God..
Well I walked back to the house and the menfolk were there drinking beer and cleaning doves. And my uncle Lewis said "Well we heard you shootin.. Where the hell is all them frogs?"
I told em the bucket was too heavy and I needed them to drive down there to pick it up.. Of course they all started laughing and went back to cleaning doves.. And when they got through I told my Dad, "Hey.. We need to go get them frogs."
He looked at me and said "You're serious?"
Well the guys got in the truck and we drove down to the tank and there I pointed out my bucket of giant bullfrogs..
I told them the story bout Fred diving for em' and fetchin em' back.. But they weren't buying it.. I had to shoot one more just to prove it happened..
We headed back to the house, with three men in a truck scratching their heads, a bucket full of frogs, and a young boy and a dog on the tailgate of the truck....Both with a shit eatin grin on their face.. Livin in paradise..
I really miss Ol' Fred.. Both of em'...
March 31, 2014: They say that March is a windy month.. I don't know about the entire month but yesterday surely was.. You better check the balls on your wind chimes..
There were a few clubs in town this last weekend, including Mr. And Mrs. from Austin, Fritztown from Fredericksburg, and TI out of the Austin area.. And we also had the International group out of Laredo on Sunday.. So it was actually pretty busy on the lake..
And there was some big water out there.
I do not have final results from anybody as of yet.. But on Saturday fishing was about like it was for the last month.. Hit and miss is as good a way as any to describe it.. I did not get any feedback yesterday..
Hopefully some folks will send me some results..
We are hearing that a few fish are being caught on some jigs in water a bit deeper. It is post spawn time afterall.. There are still a few fish on beds here and there. But I do believe that most of the spawn is done.
Senkos, and trick worms in watermellon red are still as good as any.. Chartruse and white spinnerbaits are still as good as any to cover some water. You gotta chunk it a lot but it will catch fish sooner or later. And while a few deeper fish are starting to show up, better numbers are still inside twelve feet.
I got invited yesterday to go fishing at La Perla ranch, just north of San Ygnacio. I had been invited several times before but was never able to make it till yesterday. And I am not sure if you have ever heard of it or not, but you will.. What they have going on out there is incredible. They are building a fishing paradise, and before too long it will be open to public fishing, but for a price.. A big one.. But for many in their quest for a monster it will not be too much to pay.
Ten to twelve pounders are becoming common and a 14 plus was shocked up this spring. And this lake is only in its sixth year. These fish are fed by several holding ponds of several acres where giant freshwater prawns and threadfin shad are raised and then drained into the main lake..
We did not catch anything over six or seven, but lots of quality fish. The wind was a bitch..
The main lake is a 90 acre impoundment with 7 miles of shoreline.. Not a typo.. You gotta see it to believe it..
And right now they are about ready to fill a new lake that will cover between 50 and 60 acres. It is incredible to see the amount of dirt they have moved, and the structure they have built into these lakes..
You will hear a lot about it in the near future I am sure..
But back on the home front, it is business as usual. There have been some really nice fish caught, just not a whole lot of em..
Mike Williams caught this 10-4 here in the Veleno..
And on the Gar front, this 7'5" fish that weighed 239 pounds was taken in the Veleno as well, along with another that weighed 157. The smaller one is under the blanket..
I reckon that TPWD will be closing down gar fishing on Falcon any day as the gar are spawning like crazy. And here is a pic of a giant longnose fixing to have some group sex down by Pierces cove.. This pic was taken on Saturday.. Is the lake on a big rise?? I don't think so..
That's a big ass longnose..
We have fifteen to twenty four inch gar in the shallows everywhere.. And the bigguns are really starting to show up..
I have been working on this story about Fred the frog dog, but have not had time to get it on paper.. Or in pixels.. Or whatever the computer does with it after you type it.. But I am working on it..
This coming weekend The Bud Light Trail will roll into town for their team event. This is the Del Rio division that has one stop down here..
And of course in just two weeks the Falcon Lake Tackle BassBlast! will be held. I have rounded up a bunch of goodies to give away again, and of course we will be feeding you. You can stop by the shop and register anytime now or on Saturday before the tournament when the meal and meeting will take place. We plan to serve about Five O'clock and will have the giveaways and a short captains meeting shortly thereafter. Click on the link above for more details..
If you want to donate a door prize it is still not too late..
So come hungry and we'll see you then, if not before..
March 27, 2014: Well this ain't gonna be a fishing report, so if you are looking for one you'll have to check back later.. Or read what's below.. No changes..
I have been listening to TPWD's live feed from their commission meeting today. With particular interest to the gar issue of course..
I am sure most of you do not have the time to listen to this stuff.. And I don't want to.. But felt compelled although I already knew what the outcome would be.
A representative of the Texas Bowfishing Association (please forgive me if I got the name wrong) testified to the commission about the difficulty of killing a trophy alligator gar, something that the board has been led to believe is so easy.. He also spoke quite well about the fishermen who pursue them, the populations of gar in general, and the conservative nature of the vast majority of bow fishermen.
He also passed along some information on gar data that they had no idea about.. When asked where he got that data, he told them it was from TPWD biologists and it was TPWD data. The same data I have been passing along to you..
And the commissioner said something to the tune of : Well that's not what we have been told by staff..
You are being told what you want to hear.. And what a chosen few in power wants to tell you.. Nothing more..
And evidently nobody on this board has taken the time to look at studies and papers and actual research.. That would be too much to ask..
Not a person in the room considered what the public had to say about the matter. And how the public is overwhelmingly against this new regulation change..
Oh they talked about all the other percentages on other issues of what the people thought. But not on this one..
I found it quite interesting that Commissioner Duggins actually asked him,"What's the thrill in killing a giant gar?"
Why is this man on the commission?
What's the thrill of killing a big gar? Are you freaking shitting me??
Hell I dunno.. What's the thrill of killing a 200 inch whitetail? What's the thrill of setting the hook on a 28" trout? What's the thrill of shooting a dove or a beard draggin gobbler?
That's the most ludicrous question I have ever heard asked of a sportsman, by an alleged sportsman..
And I am not a psychologist, (but I am married to one) but that question was asked with as much disdain and disrespect as I could imagine..
I have written two letters to all of the commissioners. One ten days ago and one several months back. They also were copied to everyone from the governor, senators, and to our state reps.
I heard back from the elected.. But not one peep from anybody on the TPWD commission. Not a letter.. Not a call.. And I sent them the facts.. Did they call me to confirm them, challenge them, or ask where I got them..
None of the above.. Crickets..
I realize that these rich folks are appointed by their rich buddies and for the most part they are there because it will look good on their resume' when it says that they honorably served on the TPWD commission..
We might have to take that honorably part out..
I also thought it was funny that they had to explain to the board what "recruitment" was..
I have always tried to be supportive of PAW. Way before I came here.. I offer them my facilities and assets on drop of a hat notice and have worked with the biologists and technicians right in there in the ditches when we need to get dirty..
I love it.. And that part I will continue to do if asked.
I have served on the TPWD Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Board since February of 2011. And not that it matters but I will be promptly submitting my "resignation," for lack of a better word.
I actually thought I could make a difference there.. Well.. It will look good on my resume'.
And until we get a leadership change at the top of Inland Fisheries I am through talking with them.. I am not, however, through talking about them..
And I was gonna write a story about Fred, the Frog Dog...
March 24, 2014: You know, this winter has been kinda like an ugly girlfriend.. No matter how bad you treat her or what you say about her, she just won't go away.. And she keeps showing up every time you're hanging out with something much nicer.. Relationships.. I need a therapist..
But I am damn glad I was born and raised and stayed in Texas.. Cold weather Sucks!
Water temps are still right around 68 degrees, with some warmer and some cooler spots. We have been cloudy for the last few days and are supposed to be for a few more.. I don't look for the water to warm up much more this week. But there ain't nothing wrong with 68..
Last weekend was a tale of two days, with Saturday being nice and warm and very calm. Yesterday was damp and warm till about noon.. Then that bitch from the north came back.. With a vengeance..
And while it is not super cool this AM, it is a long way from short britches weather..
Fishing remains so-so at best.. There have been a few folks that have had some twenty fish days, but they are few and far between.. If anything a few of the fish have started to get a bit deeper and are hanging out in the ten to twelve foot range on hardwoods. Close to creek channels on the flats.
Soft plastics are doing the best.. That senko or a brush hog or lizard has been best..
Crappie are still widely scattered with a few showing up here and there. They never got under the bridge in the Veleno this year like in years past. Standing timber has been best..
The white bass that were all over the Veleno have thinned out quite bit as well. There are still a few being caught near the boat ramp and around the bridge. I imagine we will see them school up some this summer.
The giant bream have disappeared as well. I used to whack em here around the rocks but it is not happening this year as of yet. I think most of them have turned into gar shit as well.. What self respecting perch won't bite a wiggler on a hook??
Speaking of gar.. If you are a gar hunter you need to get your ass down here. Or at least be planning on getting here. Normally it is early in the year to really see a lot of fish, but they are already all over the lake in the shallows. I guess just because we have so many of them and that is where all the tilapia and bass are.
I had some friends go out on Saturday.. There were three of them in the boat.. It took them fifteen minutes for them to all get one.. Biggest was just under five feet..
The TPWD commission meets on Thursday I believe.. 66% of people who answered the gar survey disagree with the states proposal to allow the Director to stop the pursuit of gar if they think the gar might be spawning..
Think it will matter? 66% would be a landslide for a politician getting elected.
What do you think will happen? Do you think they will listen to the voice of the people?
I've got my theories..
The BassBlast! is only three weeks away.. Made reservations yet?
See you soon..
March 19, 2014: It is good to be busy, and I've had more irons in the fire than I can handle.. Not that we have been that busy in the store.. But I got plenty on my plate..
First off getting ready for our tournament, which is less than a month away. And I think I got it under control for now.. Of course the shit hits the fan about the Friday before the event.. Like always..
We'll have a bunch of goodies to give away again, and we'll have a 'slap yo Mama' quality meal for you as well on Saturday. Click on the link at the top of the page for more info.. We hope to see you here..
Fishing is still about the same, with a few folks figuring them out but it certainly ain't no fish in a barrel event. Spinners and Senkos.. Spinners and Senkos.. How many times can you hear that without throwing up?
But that is the best advice I can give you.. A 5" senko in W/M Red is as good a plastic as you can get.. And a slow rolled spinnerbait thrown repeatedly is a good bait to cover some ground with..
Shallow is still the order of the day. Make that week.. No.. Better make that month.. Very few deep fish are being caught.
There are still some reported bedding fish, but water color is not as clear overall as it was a few weeks ago. You can usually see a few if you are on your toes.
Get in the backs of creeks as far as you can go.. I really thought we would see some fish up shallow over the last weekend with the full moon but it was not as good as it could have been.. But what has been lately..
I keep saying how bad fishing is down here, but I saw the results from the Bass Champs tourney at Amistad last weekend and I think Falcon is on fire..
I used to refer to Amistad, Choke, and Falcon as the golden triangle of bass fishing in Texas. Now it is more like a rusty rhomboid.. Yikes.. Pray for rain..
It is just hard for me to accept what we have now after having what we had in the golden triangle for roughly the last thirty years.. In all those years I cannot ever remember a time that fishing sucked so bad on all three lakes.. And the lack of big fish is glaringly apparent..
I got some theories on why.. And you already know em..
I am getting a lot of calls about Sugar Lake here lately and what I think of the situation in Mexico.. I figure it can't be worse than going to Detroit or Chicago..
The fishing there has been spotty, but reports have been somewhat better the last couple of weeks.
As always you travel at your own risk. Shallow is the order of the day there as well. It is a real good idea to hire a guide on your first trip over there. Call me for some recommendations on all of the above if you decide you want to make a trip.
We're working on getting some tourneys here in the fall, and on some tourneys for next year. The fishing might not be too good around here, but it beats hell out of a few other places. I'll keep you posted.
There's a lot of crazy things going on in the world today..
The people of Crimea are downloading The Beatles White Album so they can play "Back in the USSR."
A Boeing 777 disappeared from the face of the earth.
Where is David Copperfield these days.. He started out with a fighter jet... Maybe more proof that that Marijuana leads to harder drugs..
I'm going to Colorado this summer. Maybe I'll try me some of that Marahoochie.. I think it is hilarious that government of Colorado tells you how bad cigarette smoking is for you.. And says it is OK to smoke pot.. And promotes it.. I think they're conflicted.. I hear they are going to build a new EzeWider plant in Denver.. But so far they just can't seem to get anybody motivated..
Obammacare is falling apart because the law says you don't have to buy insurance if you think it costs too much.. Maybe Pelosi was right.. You are starting to find out what's in it.. And right now it appears that they are starting to pick the peanuts out of the shit..
March madness has started, and you can watch a bunch of future NBA semen sprinklers play at the college level.. And you'll be able to say, "I watched him before he had thirteen kids.."
Winter still won't release it's icy grip on the folks north of the Mason Dixon.. This global warming.. errr.. Climate change is a bitch.. But Burlington Coat Factory and the Salt Mines are doing fine..
I reckon for some folks this winter has been great. Maybe I'll still be able to go skiing in August when I get to Vail.. If I ain't too stoned..
Come on Summer! I cain't wait forever!
March 14, 2014: Another weekend here on Falcon with good weather in the forecast.. For the most part.. It certainly was beautiful yesterday..
Water temperatures are still not back to seventy, but mid and upper sixties are the norm right now.. The full moon is right around the corner so we should have a few fish up there makin babies.. There has been fry seen in most areas of the lake, although not in numbers that are record breaking.
The lake is still rising ever so slowly, but still rising. Amistad has decreased what it has been releasing slightly, but is still letting out about 900 CFS. we are releasing about 300 CFS, and in an unusual fashion, Don Martin, which feeds the Salado, is releasing about 420 CFS.. I haven't seen that in years.. Or since the flood anyway..
Sugar is still overfull, and El Cuchillo that feeds it is still gaining water ever so slightly as well, and it is at 86% of capacity.. That's awesome..
And the Mexicans are moving some water around in northern Mexico in the Conchos system. They are letting water out of Boquilla, which will end up in Luis Leon, which is the last stop before it would hit the Rio Grande at Presidio.. They are also letting water out of Madero, which will also run into Luis Leon.. Luis Leon is at about 98% of capacity.. It will be back to over full soon. But that is not unusual..
We need a turd floater in the Northern Mexican Mountains again and we'll fill these Texas Rio Grande lakes up.. And it appears to me that the Mexicans may be preparing for one.. Well.. Maybe a little.. I heard they had a guilty conscience and were going to pay us back some water they owe us.. They usually do when they can't hold it any more..
In any case all this bodes well for us.. If this year we can get a pacific system to hammer them up north..
I realize that all this gibberish I have been writing is about worthless without a watershed map.. But trust me.. I ain't lying on this one..
Fishing remains about the same around here, with some folks doing decently, and some folks struggling a bit. Four to ten fish a day has been the norm for a boat with two guys in it. Some quality is still showing up, with several seven to nine pounders reported yesterday. But most fish are in the two to five pound range.
A watermelon red senko in 5" size is a good thing to throw. And when I say throw.. I mean treat it like you are going to throw it away. Like you are never going to move it again.. Fish it slow..
Other than that, a spinner bait is still catching most of the fish. We have heard of a few fish coming on brush hogs and lizards as well.
Shallow is still best, but rumors of some post spawn fish out on the ends of points and creek edges are starting to emerge.. We'll see about that one in the next week or two.. It's gotta happen sooner or later..
Well the big TPWD dog and pony show was in town on Wednesday night. And I don't know if any of what they heard will make a difference, but they certainly got a facefull from locals who hate gar, hate cormorants, and despise the decisions that TPWD has made and are proposing to make.
And after reading what has been released by TPWD concerning their intentions of giving "Executive Order" privileges to the Director, I'd say it is a done deal and all these public meetings are just nothing but show..
Because I guarantee you that 95% of Texas fishermen do not want this gar "Off Limits" regulation passed. And I can tell you that number is 100% here in Zapata. Not one person at the meeting was in favor of it or the one fish limit on gar that is now in place.. And rightfully so.. They have seen what is happening down here..
There were about 65 people by my count that showed up for the meeting..
I want to make one more point about the alligator gar problem here on Falcon. And of course it involves math so bear with me.. It is not my best subject but I can count to 21 if I get naked.. And that's really only 20 and a half.. But I digress..
Much of the blame for the decline in the numbers of fish is blamed on tournaments and meat hunters, and there is no doubt that they play a big part in the lower numbers of fish we have.. But let's do some comparisons just for shits and grins..
I'll start with the fishermen.. We have a lot of fishermen down here, but nothing like the pressure that is on lakes closer to high population densities. We are pretty much on the end of the road in south Texas when it comes to bass fishing. So you gotta be coming here to get here..
So lets grab a number.. And lets not include any tournament fishermen in that number.. We'll get to that later..
So how many non tournament fishermen come to Zapata fishing each year.. How many fishing days are there on Falcon that are not tournament related.. Hell lets start with a ludicrous number.. Let's say 25,000. That should cover it..
So if 25,000 fishermen all keep 5 fish per day, which is the current legal limit, then at the end of the year they would have killed and removed 125,000 bass. (Of course! this number is preposterous.)
And now lets talk about the tournament fishermen on Falcon.. Instead of breaking down the clubs and the championships and the other stuff that goes on here and there.. Let's just say that Bass Champs comes to Falcon a lot.. I mean a lot. Like every freakin weekend of the year. And they bring 150 teams to the tournament every stinking weekend.. (Of Course! this number is ludicrous.)
That should cover it.. And lets say that every team catches three fish . And we kill every one of the son of a bitches..
Lets see 150 teams times three fish.. That's 450 fish a weekend.. Times 52 equals... 23,400 dead fish..
So lets take the 125,000 bass that the casual fishermen kill.. 125,000. And add the number that tournament fishermen kill, 23,400.. That adds up to 148,000 dead fish from angling pressure..
Think that number is crazy? I do too.. But hold that thought.. But punch that number into the M+ button on your calculator..
Now lets talk about those adorable Alligator Gar. And lets be just as crazy with the numbers.. But the other direction.
Using the best data we have available, based on TPWD estimates from Choke Canyon, we'll say that there are 20,000 Alligator Gar in Falcon. (I assure you the number is much higher.) But it is un quantifiable for the most part..
But let's use it because TPWD does.. And let's use TPWD's guess, that bass only compromise 5% of Alligator gars diet. (Which we know is not accurate, and in one study on a lake most similar to ours the rate was over 50%.) But we'll use five.. Just to stay in tune with the ludicrosity of this story we got going here.. I mean, why stop a good thing..
So if we say that we have 20,000 gar. But only five percent of their diet is bass. (snicker..) Well lets just use a number that is 5% of the gar to make things simple. That's 1000 gar. And let's say that they only eat a bass every other day. So we'll divide that 1000 by 2 just to keep things simple.. 500..
Five hundred times 365 equals 182,500 bass a year eaten by gar!!
And I am not even using a leap year!!
Remember that number you stored in memory.. About how many bass fishermen kill?? Well if you don't I'll remind you that it was 148,000..
And the numbers I used were insanely skewed against the anglers and for the gar!
Are you starting to get the picture??
Wake up TPWD. You are killing fishing on Falcon and Choke Canyon. Hell.. It is about already killed..
Remove gar limits completely and beg commercial fishermen back into our waters.
And then you can get started on the cormorants next month..
March 10, 2014: Cold front number 264 hit Zapata on Saturday evening, and this one has been a wet one. It is still drizzling here on Monday morning. And it is a wet cold.. The kind of stuff that makes babies..
We have had about a half inch of rain all together here at the shop.. Some places south of us got a bit more.. Not sure if it is enough to keep them from lifting the gates on the dam before too long.. But it ain't hurting anything..
We are sitting at 276.74 as of this morning, and that equates to 24.46 feet low.. Not too bad a shape compared to a lot of years.. The water temps are back down in the middle 60's, some places a little cooler, some places a bit warmer.
There were two clubs in town over the weekend, The Permian bass club had their annual Classic down here, and they did fairly well. The winner had a six fish, two day limit that weighed in at right about thirty pounds. And a five pound average is not too shabby.. Second and third were not too far behind. I do not have a lot of details on this one.
UCBC was also here, and Saturday, the nice day did not fish as good as Sunday, the ultimate in crappy days. Jeff Mergle had a two day total of 18.13 for top honors. Tom Mix was second with 14.11, and David Glenny was third with 12.83. Big fish of the contest was an 8.18 caught by Mr. Mix..
I think there is still some fish out there.. You just gotta go out there and catch em. And I would love to see the weather settle down once and stay there.. But wait it gets better.. Another front is on the way..
Most of the fish caught were caught on Spinnerbaits and Senkos.. Same thing I been telling you.. Shallow.. Jeff caught most of his fish on the Jo Baby Falcon Special.. Go figure..
Your bait needs to make contact with the cover.. Clank it off the hardwoods and fish it right thru the bush.. Most bites occur when you rattle their cage a bit.. You still need to fish the Senko as slow as you can.
Brush hogs are also catching some fish.. W/M red or something with some gold in it is a good choice also..
The water is still a lot clearer that we are used to on Falcon, but there are several areas with some algae bloom going on. Don't be afraid of the green tea water.. It has been as good as anything.. So if the depth and cover looks good, fish it..
Covering some ground is your best chance to find some fish. If you catch a couple in a small area, beat the crap out of it till you are sure there are no more fish there. We have been finding a few fish grouped up..
I am sure some would argue but I think fishing is getting a bit better.
This kind of weather will make a man (or woman) hold down the Lazy Boy for a day or two. I either fish or golf on Sunday afternoon, but yesterday was a ten in the shitty department..
So naturally we had the TV on in the shop watching movies.. And doing not much..
And I don't know if you have ever seen Friday Night Lights.. It's a football movie.. Duh.. But it was on..
And if any of you have ever played the sport, from Pop Warner to the Pros, then you know there is no question that it is the manliest of sports. And of course on every play something happens.. People get the shit knocked out of them..
Hence the manliest claim.. And if you have played, like I know many of you have, then you know what it is like to 'clock' some son of a bitch that was not looking at you.. And vice versa.. You don't play football and not get your ass kicked every now and then..
I loved that shit.. And what a life lesson for young men.. Football teaches things that cannot be described.. Cheerleaders actually wanted to be at football games.. Ever see a happy cheerleader at a tennis match.. I didn't think so..
Anyway, watching that movie brought back some good and some painful memories.. I guess that is why on any Friday night between September and November in any small Texas town you will see nobody in the local restaurants and businesses.. They will be parked by the acre near the high school.. Just look for the lights..
And after the game is over those same businesses will be packed.. So if for whatever reason you ain't going to the game, get your eatin' done. Cause about 10:30 things are gonna get busy..
On Saturday morning at all the local coffee clutches, there will only be one topic.. Go figure..
Of course I am talking about Texas, and I know a few other states have football too.. But most of em also got Soccer.. The girlie man sport.. Or Ice skating with paddles.. Them guys forgot their canoes.. Hockey is not a sport.. Any game that regularly ends in a tie is not a sport.. Of course Soccer is just hockey on grass.. Good waste of a football field..
We gotta have us a shootout.. Why in the hell didn't you just do that in the first place and save that three hours of boring shit in the first place..
Even little league games are played till there is a winner..
Speaking of Baseball.. It is almost a sport.. And where else but bowling can you have a giant belly and be considered a badass.. Maybe golf.. I know.. Some people love it.. I loved it when I played it.. And I have felt the rush of taking the mound and throwin' smoke.. But striking someone out on a high heater was never as fun as 'clockin' that left side linebacker on a trap play..
Man, I loved basketball.. We had a hellova team my senior year.. I will play horse with anybody out there.. I can shoot the rock.. And when I was younger I could jump out of the gym.. But I am getting too old and fat to do much more than watch.
And while setting a pick or slapping a shot away was fun, it was never as much fun as trying to break somebody's ribs as he reached for a pass that was thrown high.. Clocked another SOB..
That's why football is football.. Even though title 9 has tried to destroy it.. You don't see all those cars at a basketball game.. Hell a blind one armed man could wash all the cars in the parking lot by halftime..
Yeah, Football is the shit.. When was the last time that you did not go fishing on a Sunday afternoon because a soccer game was on?? I rest my case..
And I know that the older we get the better we were.. And I don't mean to sound like I am bragging or anything.. Just remembering how the old days was..
At my age, that's about all a man can do.. But if I find out who's stealing my Sunday paper, I'm gonna clock their ass..
March 6, 2014: Looking in the mirror it has been a cool few days this week. But today seems to be starting out nice.. And supposed to get better.. I need to start looking for my Speedo..
Yeah, every time I start talking doom and gloom, someone walks in with a good fishing report.. But who really knows, one day to the next around here..
That's irony for you.. Well it's not quite like a lawyer getting run over by an ambulance.. But it is irony..
I did hear of some better results yesterday.. No barn burners.. But at least a few numbers.
TPWD did not turn up a lot of fish in their shock survey the last couple of days.. They did find two nines and an eight.. But frankly the total number of fish was poor. Especially if you compare it to a few years ago..
They may shock some of the same areas again next week to see if any more fish move up.
Senkos fished slow.. I mean slow.. Are catching some fish. If you can stand it.. Otherwise throw that damn spinnerbait till your arm falls off.. And then pick it up with the other one..
Chart/white is better on the cloudy days, gold or mouse still top producers on the sunny ones..
And still you must fish as shallow as Paris Hilton to get a bite..
These bass should be dropping more eggs than a blind chicken farmer, and some of them are. But it seems like there should be a lot more of em doing it.. It is March..
The BassBlast! is only a little over five weeks away, and I have been busy working on scraping up some door prizes and making arrangements to get er done.. This years tournament registration and meal will be served here at the shop. I really liked having it down at the pavilion at the park, but the logistics of everything and the weather uncertainty just makes it easier to have here..
So if there is a bunch of us we'll just have to get a little cozier.. It'll all be fine..
If you have a product you'd like to donate as a door prize, we'd love to give it away and put you on our sponsor list. It does not have to be fishing related. I'm starting to get a pile of goodies in the corner..
Of course we will be feeding you some Bar B Que and all the fixins..
You can read the rules here if you have any questions.. But there are two that I'll point out.. If you ain't standing in front of me at 3:00 I ain't weighing your fish.. I don't mean standing on the bank, or coming around the big point in the Veleno.. I mean standing in front of me..
The other is cheating and poor sportsmanship.. Neither will be tolerated, and cheating could be cause for an ass whoopin.. Not by me, but I'll have some big guys handy..
This is a fun tourney so leave your "Macho" at home and come and have a good time.. Of course it has been known to pay a dollar or two to win.. And of coures ALL entry mony will be paid back. What a deal!
I'll have More details before too long.. But if it ain't on your calendar, it is time to circle the date.. That's April 12th and 13th..
Don't forget the public forum with TPWD next Wednesday here in Zapata.
See you then.
March 3, 2014: 92 yesterday.. 42 today.. Is this crap ever gonna end? I'm not sure how much more I can stand.. And they tell me people like to live in Alaska..
And I was for global warming before this crap started.. What could be wrong with hot pants and bikinis 365 days a year? Fish that are not covered by sheets of ice and golf courses with green grass year around? Sounds like a great world to me..
I am not sure that the cold spell that is on us can make the fishing any worse.. As a matter of fact, it might do it some good..
It certainly can't hurt.. So I say come on down.. Misery loves company..
Especially if you are a gar hunter.. These bastards are all over the lake already.. No need to wait till summer.. Come on down..
Bass fishing is poor.
TPWD is going to be here tomorrow to do another shocking survey in search of black bass. If ever they find any it should be this trip. The only fish that have been caught have been in less than ten feet of water. So we'll see what we see.. I am not real optimistic..
There have been a few fish caught, but damn few. And in that mix of thousands of man hours a couple of DD's have been caught. But honestly if two guys fish all day it is not uncommon for them to catch one or two fish.
And I'm not talking about guys that just got their first Snoopy rod..
So if you've got more balls that a driving range, wipe your ass with a porcupine, and can kick Putin's ass, come on down here. We got just your kind of fishin' going on..
Did you give your thoughts to TPWD about the new gar regulations?
Don't forget that on the 12th there is going to be an open forum in Zapata with TPWD to discuss proposed rule changes for the coming year. And Gar is on the menu.. Be there if you can. 7:00 at the Civic Center next Wednesday.
I know you're tired of hearing me talk about it..
February 25, 2014: I know it has been a week since I posted anything. But I have been busier than a three peckered billy goat in a new pen of nannies.. And so it goes.
I wish I could tell you that the fishing is good.. But I can't.. Sure there are fish being caught but not in the numbers that we are used to.. And yes there have been some big fish being caught, but not in the numbers we are used to..
And I can't figure it out.. I'm as frustrated as the customers in the store..
I fished a half a day last Wednesday, and caught four fish.. And while that sucks, I thought I had something working. So I went back on Friday, and caught zero.. Wednesday was sunny.. Friday was cloudy.. For whatever that is worth..
A couple of the local guides are having fair days, and occasionally good days, but overall they are struggling as well. Every day is different. All I can tell you is that you just have to go out there and go fishing.
One thing about the fishing being slow is that lots of different tactics and baits get tried. And lately we have heard of them all.. Never underestimate the imagination of the American fisherman..
I think I am going to Carolina rig a Zorro Spook on my next trip out..
A dark colored buzz bait has caught some fish.. A bubble gum brush hog has caught some fish.. Hell if I know..
But overall a senko, fished slower than you can fish it has caught some fish. A brush hog in Watermelon Gold is as good as anything. And a spinnerbait, with gold or mouse colors has caught them as well. Of course Chart and White is always a good one to try.. But I think it is all about hitting one in the face..
There has been next to no bait in the shallows. Just in the last few days have I started noticing some egrets and cranes standing on the bank. And occasionally they will spear a shad. But that is just starting to happen.
There are very few little fish being caught. Catching an undersized fish has been rare, and usually they will keep you entertained, or at least awake.. If the shad ever make a move up to the shallows to spawn, hopefully we will see a bunch of little fish follow them there. But it is not happening as of yet..
There were no less than six bass clubs in town last weekend, and it was busy on the lake. This weekend should be a bit quieter.
Helotes Bass Club had some so-so results..
Charles Parchman had a two day limit of six fish for 22.64, and he had a 11.47 in the mix.
Felix Huerta was second with five for 11.12, and Mike Ross had two fish for 4.92 for third..
I don't need to translate that for you..
San Antonio Bass Club was here as well, and they brought a lot more folks and did some better.
Rodney Marbach had six for 26.27 pounds to win it. Second was Dennis Asher with five fish for 22.14, and in third was Joe Aker with six fish for 21.97 pounds.
SABC has gone to a three fish limit for all of their tourneys this year, and we commend them for it..
I don't know what to say about the fishing overall. It has been a disappointing spring so far. Many folks that have made their annual pilgrimage to Zapata have gone home with a frown on their face.. And several have cut their trips short, or moved on to other lakes.
When it gets better, I will let you know..
I told you a few weeks ago that TPWD is considering whether to allow the Executive Director, Carter Smith, to make an emergency shutdown in the taking of alligator gar. This would happen when TPWD thought that spawning conditions were right for alligator gar. Because they they think that AG are more susceptible to capture during the spawn. They may be.. They also think they have to be ten years old to spawn, and that they may only spawn every few years when the conditions are right.
And they think that conditions are right with rising and running water in rivers.
Last year in October TPWD caught a bunch of gar in nets here at Falcon. We found a lot of three and four foot gar with eggs in them. And they turned out to be two to four years old. Six footers that weighed about 100 pounds were five years old.. And while the lake may have been on a slow rise, there is not a lot of running water in the middle of Goose Bay..
This lake does not compare to any other east Texas river or lake. Fact is that TPWD's data on gar is very sketchy, and skewed to the direction of their liking. What little of it that they have shared with the public..
Aren't Largemouth Bass more susceptible to capture during the spawn? Have we ever considered stopping Bass fishing during the spawn? Wouldn't that make more sense that stopping the pursuit of Gar during their spawn?
Of course I am not advocating either scenario. Both are ludicrous..
But here is something you can do.. And need to do.
PAW is having a public comment period to hear from... Well.. From the public. There are several proposed changes in the works that include the gar issue. And they need to hear from you.
Here is a link to their site that will tell you which regulations and powers that are being considered for modification. Be sure and tell them what you think about the changes in the comments area.
Please e-mail, call or write.. Robert Macdonald at 512-389-4775. Or e-mail him at:
Mailing address is 4200 Smith School Rd. Austin TX 78744
Please let them know your opinions on alligator gar in Falcon lake. Not MY opinion.. But yours.. Let them know what you think of AG and their one a day limit on them, and their effect on bass and other species. And your opinion on whether they should be allowed to stop the hunting or pursuit of gar whenever they see fit.
Also please copy and paste your thoughts to these two men as well.
These are the number one and two men at TPWD Inland Fisheries. And they make the ultimate decision on what goes on and what is presented to the Board..
They need to hear from you!!
Dr. Gary Saul.. Gary.Saul@tpwd.texas.gov
And Dave Terre.. Dave.Terre@tpwd.texas.gov
There will also be a public hearing here in Zapata on the 12th of March. If you are in the area it would be great if you could attend. It will be at 7:00 PM at the civic center in the middle of town. 605 N US Hwy 83.. Right across the street from the courthouse.. I am looking forward to it..
It is imperative that these people hear from you.. DO IT!
Please take a few minutes to give them your thoughts..
February 18, 2014: If it got any nicer around here it would be hard to take.. I mean.. How many days of mid eighties and low winds can you take..
Thanks you Lord for the arrival of spring.. Even if you interrupt it a time or two more..
And all this warmer weather has the water temps and the fish warming up. I have heard from a lot of folks that they are seeing a lot of fish moving into the shallows. And we have the clarity to see fish in the water..It is amazing by Falcon standards..
Now all that being said, shallow fish do not equate to biting fish all the time.. Has it gotten better? Without a doubt. Is it great? Not yet..
Will it get great? Stay tuned..
Water temps have been reported over seventy degrees in several places, and that is a good thing. But I have heard of water that is still 60 degrees in the main lake.
Most of the guides I have talked to say that fish are definitely more active than they were a week ago. I also hear that a lot of the fish in the shallows will move your bait without eating it.. Sounds like spawning fish to me.. Anyway, the spawn is upon us. Put your polarized glasses on and be on the lookout for fish..
Fish water six feet and in, and make long casts where possible.. These fish are pretty damn spooky up shallow. And they can see and hear you before you see them..
A spinnerbait is still catching fish, but a flipping bait is is really starting to take off. A brush hog is a good choice or any creature bait of your choice. Fish it slow.. Concentrate on woods with bushes at the base.. That is Falcon SOP..
As always some folks are struggling, some are doing pretty good.
By now I am sure you saw the big fish pic from Bass Champs, but here is another courtesy of the folks at BC.
That is the second biggest fish ever caught here, at least that we know of.. One perch short of a new lake record. Caught on a spinnerbait in four feet of water no less I hear.. Maybe even I have a chance..
It took about a nine pound average for first place.. About an eight pound average for second.. And about a seven pound average for third..
And I don't give a shit what you say, you're just not gonna do that on any other lake in Texas..
And by the way.. If you leave out the B when you type in BassChamps.com, you're not gonna end up at a site that is talking about fishing.. And that is why I was an day late writing this report..
There was also another monster caught on Falcon on Saturday. And this one was 7'3" long and weighed 203 pounds. It is winter and these fish are supposed to be hibersleeping.. Here we go already.. Other big gar have been reported in the shallows as well.. Where the food goes the gar goes..
I forgot to tell you that last week PAW was down here doing some gill net surveys. In one net that was 125' long they caught 43 gar. Only one alligator gar and the rest were long nose and spotted.. Many of them three to four feet long.. I wonder what they eat.. That's a gar every 2.90 feet.. That was in Little Tiger.
Lots of small blue cats showed up in the nets. A few big blues, but not a lot of mediums.. A few white bass, a few blacks, and a ton of big gizzard shad. Not many tilapia..
They will be down here in a couple of weeks to do an additional shocking survey specifically looking for bass. And it should be the ultimate time to find fish.. If we're ever gonna find fish.. I'll let you know what happens..
They will also be down here quite a bit in the spring and into the summer doing angler surveys. So they can get the info they want straight from the fishermen's mouth. I have yet to see what the survey will ask. Upper management did not like the last one or the results they received from it. So they are going to do a survey where they do not directly ask what you think about alligator gar. Or so I hear. I have not seen it yet..
And I believe that they think that filling out a survey in a local tackle shop is a bad idea. As certain tackle shop owners may persuade some anglers to skew the poll against the gar.
But I can promise them that what they received in their original poll was pure unadulterated angler opinion. And results of future man power wasting polls on alligator gar will illicit exactly the same answers, if they ask fishermen what they think of gar and their effects on other species that co-habitate the lake.
And here is a question they won't ask bass fishermen.. Would you care if gar populations were reduced by any means, to levels that are 75% below current levels, whenever we find out what that number might be.
I'll put the over/under for the "NO" at about 98%..
And so it goes..
I did not know that curling was such a popular sport.. They have given it more coverage than the O. J. trial.. Now I am just hoping that they get the olympics over soon so I can go back to watching the local news at 10:00..
Curling was invented by some Scotsmen back in the 1500's.. Now we know why Scotsmen don't wear underwear.. Cause when you slide along the ice, just before you release the rock and start yelling for the sweepers to get busy, your body has to be at exactly the right level above the ice.. To make the perfect release.. Just about the time your nads start scraping the ice..
Hey.. I just do the research and report..
I was also noticing that the Obaminator has appointed some new ambassadors to some of our ally countrys.. Like to Norway, Argentina, and Iceland.. Or Greenland.. Or one of them other ice cube countrys..
And all of these folks are highly qualified to do the job.. Some of em can't even spell the countrys they might be appointed to.. All they know is that they raised a bunch of Jack for Obamma's campaign..
What I want to know is when is he gonna give one of his buddys an ambassorship to Benghazi??
I don't see none of em applying for that job..
Shit.. I am a lot more qualified to be the ambassador to Argentina than his current nominee.. I have been there.. I have tasted the culture.. I speak Spanish.. I have friends there.. I have helped the poor farmers living in their country by ridding them of thousands of natural pests that destroy their crops.. I have stimulated their economy by spending copious amounts of money on shotgun shells and tipping the bird boys at ludicrous amounts..
I have consumed cases of Malbec and seen the starry skies of San Miguel de Tucuman.. I have smelled the smoke from burning sugar cane fields.. I know their president by first name! I have seen Eva Peron's grave..
I have read the graffiti all over the buildings in Buenos Aires..
I'll take the job!! I am good at drinking champagne and I do own a tux..
I think that's a hell of a resume.. When can I start??
Well get down here and sample some of our fantastic weather.. And maybe some good fishing??
Bass Champs Update: Here are the heavy weights from when I could stand the sand no more.. These are not official!
This 15.37 was just weighed in at Bass Champs.. Congrats to Bruce Benedict! She was released after weigh and pics in great shape!
February 15, 2014: It is about as nice as the weather can get.. Anywhere.. Light winds, if any.. Headed for eighty degrees..
Busiest day of the year so far on the lake.. Bass Champs has 170 boats on the water.. And I'll give you a report this afternoon on what they caught.
Water temps are gonna hit the low sixties this afternoon I would think.. Not sure if it is enough to get the fish busy.. But they just might in the next few days.. Looks like eighties all week and warm nights..
Bout damn time..
More this PM..
February 13, 2014: I am not sure what we will do with a week of sunshine.. I haven't been this excited since 1969 when that knot fell out of the fence at the nudist colony..
Yesterday was a bit cool, but sunny and nice. Today is predicted to be 72 with light winds, and Friday is supposed to be around 87 freakin degrees! We ain't been there in a while..
And Saturday is supposed about 82 with light winds and a morning low of about 53..
Sounds like a great day to have a tournament.. So all I can say is..
Water temps rose a degree or two in response to the sunshine yesterday, and I heard that it was sitting around 58 or 59 in the afternoon in the shallows.. It should improve a bit by the weekend, but I am not sure if it will warm enough to start a mass migration to the spawning flats. But it can't hurt anything..
A lot of where the fish are going to want to spawn is a jungle and you are going to have to get in there amoungst em.. There might be a few new scratches on the old Hogmaster this month.. But that's what they make rubbing compound for..
The water in some places is so clear it is hard to believe you are on Falcon. My depth finder said six point five feet the other day and I could see my spinner bait laying on the bottom.. I don't think I have ever seen this much water this clear on Falcon.. So go easy in the shallows as it is easy to spook some fish that usually won't see you.
Spinnerbaits and senkos are still the bait of choice round here. But nobody is killing em on anything. Long story short, not a lot has changed. But this warming trend has me optimistic, and Hope Springs Eternal..
If nothing else, it is finally going to be a nice stretch to fish.. I need to get me a sunburn..
Inland Fisheries is here this week doing a gill net study looking for white bass, crappie and catfish. They haven't done one of these in a couple of years I don't think. Next month they are going to do another shock survey looking for bass. And I am most interested to see what we will find once the water warms up a bit.
Also planned for this spring and summer is several alligator gar netting surveys. The first one is planed for April I hear. This will be the first real study done on these fish in our area and I am excited about the prospect of exposing the sheer numbers of these fish in Falcon and their impact on other species that inhabit the same waters.
Also in the works is a possible public imput meeting with TPWD that will be held here in Zapata. I'm looking forward to that one.. And I'll let you know when it is going to happen..
Have you been watching the Olympics? I have and I know you have been glued to the screen as well. It has been hard to contain my excitement while watching the curling matches the last few nights..
How in the hell can this be considered a sport? Where do they get their athletes.. Surely not from the top ranks of colleges.. I will assume their best come from janitorial schools and bowling alleys.. The only thing missing is a waitress.. "Another pitcher of Bud Light please!"
I have come to realize, that due only to politics, I do not have an Olympic Gold Medal.. I am a washer pitchin Son of a Bitch.. And I could be standing proudly on top of that podium chomping on that gold circle.. If only they would let Washer Pitchin' be an olympic sport..
How bout the ice skating.. Yeah. That's a sport.. I saw the Russians bust their ass twice in one performance last night.. And they still got a bronze medal.. That wasn't rigged..
Any competition that is judged, is not a sport.. If there ain't no scoreboard.. It ain't a sport.. It can be an exhibition.. But it ain't a sport.. Any game that ends in a tie.. That ain't no sport..
Put all them skaters out there at one time.. Let em use them skates like the knives on fighting roosters.. Then that would be a sport..
At least all the gay sports bars were busy last night..
The sun is shining.. See you on the water!
February 10, 2014: It is a busy time around here in Zapata.. Yes February is here.. And so are a lot of fishermen. But much to their dismay, so is the cold water..
But it is getting better.. Yesterday we heard of water up to 60 degrees.. But it may be short lived..
We have a cold front on the steps as I speak.. But it is supposed to be short lived, with a stretch of nice headed our way.. Allegedly..
There were several bass clubs in town over the weekend, including South Houston, Uvalde, and Capital bass club from Austin. And the South Texas 5 tourney was here as well.
Thanks to all of you for stopping in, and thanks to the fellows that passed on pics and reports.
Uvalde bass club frequents Falcon, and they weighed in 34 fish each day of the tourney. And overall they reported slow fishing.. They had two sevens, an 8.90, and this big bass of the shindig that went 10.33. It was caught by Javier Avila..
South Houston Bass Club reported tough fishing as well. The few fish that were caught were on creek channel edges. And that was only when the sun came out on Saturday afternoon.
The South Texas 5 tourney saw a bit better results on Saturday. The winners were Walter Caddell and Bubba Gibson, who had four fish for 21.05, with the big bass of the day that went 8.05 pounds. They also had a seven something..
Second place was another four fish bag that went 15 pounds even, and third was five fish for 14.10..
Ty Watson caught this 9-13 in the the Diablo on Saturday.. Not quite ten, but a Rosie for sure..
There have not been a lot of ten pound fish caught as of late. I have heard of a dozen or so in the last month. I have heard of a lot of seven to nine pound fish.. But not a lot of 12 to 15 inch fish..
The last few years I was hearing of six to ten DD's every day.. And if you followed this report long I am sure you can attest.. I certainly have not had to work too hard on pictures this spring just yet.. I'm hoping to show you a few more once the weather, and the water warms up..
I don't know if there is a best bait right now. I do know there is a best place to fish right now.. I am just not sure where it's at.. And it keeps changing day to day..
We have heard of fish being caught on a plethora of baits, from a swimbait to a rattle trap.. From a spinnerbait to a fluke.. I think it is about being in the right place at the right time.. And hitting one in the head.
I did hear of a few very deep fish. But most caught on creek edges and channels in about six to twelve feet of water. Same old song and dance..
The lake is still rising ever so slowly.. We are sitting at 276.13, or 25.07 feet low.. And the water looks awesome, with visibility down to six or seven feet in a lot of areas.. Yes Falcon will have some sight fishing going on this year.. If any fish ever get up there in the skinny water..
Water temps bumped up against the 60° mark yesterday afternoon.. But it looks like it will drop a bit before we get on a steady climb.. The cool front hit FLT at 1:30 this afternoon..
And don't forget to circle the date on your calendars for the FLT BassBlast! coming up in April.. That's the 12th and the 13th.. I am already working on scraping up some door prizes and the like.. And we will be having some mighty fine dining on Saturday.. You'll need to dress for dinner.. So wear your best T-shirts.. ..
And if you're fishing Bass Champs this weekend, you'll be glad to know that the county ramp is launching four to five boats at a time.. Depending on who's doing the backing..
I was talking to a fellow on the phone the other day, and I was telling him that the fishing was tough. And he said something like, "Cain't you just lie to me?"
I told him, "Who do you think I am? Obamma?" He surely has no grasp on the ninth commandment.. But then a Muslim probably did not study the bible too much..
I reckon he didn't get the eight commandment too good either..
How bout Windy (not misspelled) Davis running for Texas governor.. Her platform is that it should be legal to kill babies that are over twenty weeks old.. Unborn babies anyway.. Let's see.. Twenty weeks.. Divided by four.. You know I am not very good with numbers.. 20÷4=5.. Five months?? 5x30=150.. 150 days.. A hundred and fifty days to decide whether you want to kill your baby or not??
I guess it would be too inconvenient to have to get an abortion within only the first 150 days of your pregnancy.. They build houses faster than that.. But I guess I can see that if you're irresponsible enough to get pregnant it would be hard for you to get to the clinic within the first five freaking months..
Why don't you duct tape your knees together before you go out clubbin'..
I know there are exceptions.. Don't tell me about em..
How Bout Greg Abbott.. He's making a lot of points with me with his commercials showing gun ships running up and down Texas waters.. Isn't that what the freakin Navy is for?? Are we expecting an invasion? Last time we got invaded was in 1836.. And I got news for you Greg.. Santa Anna is dead as fried chicken..
Besides.. By the time you got that ship in the water us rednecks on the border will have already kicked their ass.. What a freakin waste of good taxpayer dollars.. I know.. I know.. Perry started that shit..
Do you really think that
there is anyone out there that really cares what the Constitution says? Maybe
if we would reprint the Constitution on 80 grit sandpaper they would quit wiping
their ass with it.. I know there are a few good guys out there.. But Obamma ain't
one of em..
I hope come November you get the urge to purge..
I reckon by now I have already pissed off all the Dimocrats.. And that makes for a good day.. So I might as well go work on my ice machine..
Thou shalt not put finger in contact with back of circuit board... Yeeeoowwww!!
February 4, 2014: It has been a while since I posted anything.. I reckon cause I watched Bambi too many times when I was a kid.. "If you don't have something nice to say, then don't say anything at all."
You know that has always been my mantra..
I wish I could say something nice about the fishing.. Or the weather..
I will say that we have some really nice customers that do have a great sense of humor.. And patience..
And a great outlook.. Several in the last few days have told me; "Hey man.. It beats the hell out of standing in the snow at home.."
And I reckon that is right..
We have been on a weather roller coaster without doubt. One day in the forties and the next in the eighties.. And the cycle continues.. I think we're back in that temporal time loop like in Star Trek.. Or at least like Groundhog Day.. Winter will just not go away..
Water temps are still in the fifties, with an occasional short term rise into the low sixties.. The mercury in the thermometer must feel like a prairie dog up on the plains.. Every time you stick your head up it gets blown off..
I'm counting on March from here on out.. Maybe it will be the new February..
There are still some fish being caught.. But numbers of fish are still a tough proposition. And most of the fish I am hearing about are four pounds or bigger.. Catching a bunch of rats is just not happening..
And sometimes you just want something to stretch your string..
I wish I had something better to tell you.. But we are just going to have to wait them out..
Spinnerbaits are still the most popular baits, and soft plastics and square bills are a close second. Small plastics seem to be best, like a 6" senko or a maybe a small beaver or brush hog.
Sandy Ghere did catch this nine pounder last week.. Nice fish!
I wish I could tell you something better, but I got no silver bullet at this time.. I just hope for an end to the long procession of cold fronts that have kept our water so cold. And hopefully that is what will bring a few fish out of suspended animation.. We need 65 degree water.. Sustained.. We'll see when that happens..
The South Texas 5 tournament is here this weekend.. And if you are itchin' to fish a tournament here on Falcon then here is your chance. You can find them on the web for more info.. But it is a team tourney and it is on Saturday..
Of course next week is the first coming of Bass Champs for the year. And I think we'll see a good crowd of fishermen turn out. They had almost 200 at Amistad.. We'll see how many make it down our way..
I was reading the TPWD fishing report for south and west Texas this morning.. They say that bass are good at Choke Canyon and Amistad, and fair on Falcon.
Who's writing these reports? Jay Carney?
Seems that the entire state of Texas is fishing poorly overall.. I know a lot of it is due to the cold weather.. Enough said about that.
Sharelunker season is doing better than I thought it would, with six fish turned in already.. I bet Lake Athens is getting beat like Tina Turner.. On the days when it is not frozen over..
Three from Fork, and one from Lake Palestine.. A first for that lake..
Not one of the fish has weighed fourteen pounds..
Falcon has produced none that I know of.. And odds are that we would have heard about it if it happened..
Do you think there will come a time when fishing in the state of Texas will be good all over the state? Do you think that stocking and regulating harvest can control how good the fishing is? Because basically that is the only control that man has over any public fishery.
Do you think that we have already seen the best days of bass fishing in Texas?
Do you think that water shortages, pollution, poor management strategies, over harvesting, or under harvesting will someday leave us in a state where consistently catching a limit of bass will be a problem?
Some might argue that we are already there..
I guess the most important thing is to make sure that a lot of the things I mentioned above DO NOT happen at the same time.
And there is no doubt that we will go thru periods of too much water, and not nearly enough..
And we have very little control over that..
Would it be possible to have great fishing all over the state of Texas if every lake was constant level?
Will it ever be possible to balance the wants and needs of all of the people who have different ideas for the same lakes?
Should we designate certain lakes as recreational lakes, and leave them for Skiing and Wake boarding?
Leave them to themselves as far as fishing goes and concentrate on managing lakes with better structure and cover for gamefish? Getting a better bang for the buck by being able to better focus personnel and assets to intensely manage these fewer bodies of water?
I know that these things will never happen.. Just thinking out loud..
But Texas certainly has a challenge ahead trying to juggle all of these issues and keep everybody satisfied.. Which is an impossibility.. But that is the task that water managers and Parks and Wildlife deal with every day.
Some of you may have inferred that I do not like Parks and Wildlife. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I know a lot of great people that work there, and we work with them every chance we get. And being on one of their many advisory boards has given me some insight into the workings of the organization that many do not get to see.
And like any state agency, TPWD is a political animal. And of all the things they have to consider, the first thing they think about is, "How will we look to the public" before any decision is made..
For better or for worse..
And as old Walter would say, "And that's the way it is.."
Hope to see you down here before too long. These bastards have to eat pretty soon or they'll starve to death..
January 30, 2014: I have been reminded as of late that I am good at bitching.. No..No.. Not by my wife.. Well, maybe a little..
But there is a big difference between bitching and pointing out things that need attention.. Or changing.. Or fixing.. Or managing..
And while it is true that I am not one to sit on the sidelines and say nothing when I see something that needs doing, or fixing, I try to do it in the most constructive manner that I can muster. But there comes a time when asking nicely don't feed the bulldog.
There is an old saying that says, "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself." But I believe the saying should be, "If you want something done your way, you have to do it yourself."
And I live that one.. And I ain't afraid to get dirty.. Or to break a nail..
But sometimes there are things that need to be done that a man can't do on his own.
Currently I am engaged in a debate with Parks and Wildlife about the numbers of Alligator Gar in Falcon Lake and their eating habits. And this is not a new thing. I broached the subject of Gar and their numbers at several Advisory Board meetings in the last two years, and my concerns about the incredible number of cormorants on Falcon since my appointment in February of 2011.
To date, I have had no impact on influencing the control of numbers of either species. When it comes to cormorants, the reply I always get is that the birds are protected by international treaty, and federal law, and PAW is not interested in opening that mess kit.
Meanwhile many reservoirs are being depleted of baitfish and small game fish. Studies have shown that adult cormorants can, and do eat up to a half pound of fish a day.. In some cases more. And I don't know if you have ever seen one of these things swim underwater but they make a sea lion or an otter look like a humpback whale.
And I can't imagine there being many lakes where there are more of them than Falcon. I know Choke Canyon has a lot of them, and I hear about a lot of them all around the state from fishermen we talk to every day..
Fact is their numbers are exploding and their control needs to be a serious topic of conversation at PAW and whatever step up the ladder it takes to get us the ability to control them on public waters.
This year South Carolina opened a two month season on them, and it is currently underway. If they can do it, we certainly can do it.. And I'll be the first one to sign up..
But more pressing right now, certainly at Falcon, is controlling the alligator gar.
I understand the concerns about preserving a fish that has been around since the dinosaurs roamed the earth. And I am not advocating for the extinction of the fish. But a balance is something that we should all be able to agree on.
I realize that there are areas in the country where gar used to be plentiful, but are no longer that way. And programs are underway to reintroduce the fish. More power to em..
But in south Texas we are not short on gar..
Since the 2009 rule change in Texas that changed the daily bag limit for gar to one a day, several lakes in our area have gar numbers that are out of control. The two most notable are Choke Canyon and of course Falcon.
In 2009 the fishing on Choke was awesome, with six Sharelunkers caught. But on the decline from its glory years ever since.. Only one has been caught since, and that was in 2010. And now if you catch a bass there it is reason to celebrate.. It's that bad.. Some due to low water.. A lot due to gar.. And alligators..
And in 2009, Falcon was in the middle of its incredible run of fishing. I mean the best bass fishing the world has ever seen.. But the conditions that made the bass fishing incredible were also conditions that made the gar population explode. And given the few numbers of people that fish or hunt for gar, and the one fish limit for those that do, the gar population and the size of the gar went apeshit.. And remains that way to this day, while the bass numbers have been depleted so bad that catching a fish here on some days is cause to celebrate as well.
Maybe I'm and idiot, but I think this is poor management at best. Let's look at it from this angle..
When it comes to fishing in Texas, no fish produces more income for PAW, towns, and the businesses therein than the Largemouth Bass. More money is spent on bass fishing than all other fish in Texas combined.
Bass are like Football in high schools and colleges.. They are the money makers.. But title 9 forces the other sports to be paid for by the one that produces the money..
Seems that PAW has incorporated the Title 9 thinking into their thinking.. All fish are equal.. And deserve equal attention and protection..
And I don't have a problem with spreading the wealth around.. When there is some. A lot of PAW money is spent on stocking catfish into put and take fisheries, and stocking trout in rivers where they are not native. And neither of these is a good return on money invested..
I can't tell you how much I have heard about trout at advisory board meetings, and all the complicated regulations about where and when and how big and what part of the river at what time of the year.. Creates an information and an enforcement nightmare.. But we're doing it..
And I don't have a problem with it..
Let's talk about Gar.. Maybe one percent (1%) of fishermen in the state of Texas fish for gar on a regular basis..
And these fish are so valuable that we can only kill one per day. A fish that in the big picture generates next to nothing in revenue.
And we can only kill ONE per day..
Largemouth Bass, that produce the vast majority of money for Inland Fisheries, and garners the huge percentage of fisherman hours in the state of Texas, are limited at five (5) per day.
What? We can slaughter five trophy bass per day.. But only one freakin gar..
A fish considered by 98% of fishermen as a trash fish..
I realize that you two percenters are as passionate about shooting the gar as I am about catching bass. And I am all for it. I love it when you have a great hunt. I'm fixing to take up the sport myself.
And we have plenty of em.. All over the state from what I hear from people telling me here lately. And being we have so many here I might as well get in on the action.. And believe me, I have heard from hundreds of fishermen on this issue.
And if you want to whack a trophy then get your ass down here this spring/summer. Keep your ears open for a tournament this summer..
The job of PAW is to manage the wildlife that runs thru the woods and swims in our waters. And one of the principal jobs of managing is to change rules and regulations as conditions and populations warrant.
And this should be based on facts. Not on a guess or emotion..
We need relief from this one fish limit yesterday.. And a return to common sense management practices with decisions made by people that are in the field, not in Austin.
If we see gar numbers reduced to the point of concern, the law can always be modified.. That what management is..
But I can guarantee you that with the number of fishermen chasing gar on Falcon, that will never happen. A five fish daily limit would be a good start and we can take it from there.. And it, (five fish limit) with the number of fishermen we have down here, would probably still not make any noticable impact on gar mumbers..
This law reminds me of what Nancy Pelosi said about the Obammacare bill.. "We have to pass it so we can see what's in it.." That's the same thing doctors say about a stool sample..
And this gar regulation, it's a piece of stool sample as well..
January 28, 2014: I guess I might as well talk about something other than fishing.. On second thought, I guess I can talk about fishing, but I can't talk too much about catching..
The news here is the same as the news across the south.. Cold.. With cold water.. And Florida bass living in the cold water.. And Florida bass and cold water equals a lot of casting and a little catching..
I'm not saying that no fish are being caught.. But it is still a tough grind out there..
Seems like every time we get a little warming trend going, another front comes down the pike and we head back into the refrigerator. And sometimes the freezer..
It is sleeting in San Antonio as I write, and we have another chance at some frozen something falling out of the sky tonight.. And that just ain't right..
I figure that when this crap finally does break, it's gonna be like a boatload of sailors hitting the beach on shore leave.. There is gonna be some lovin' and there will be some sea men spreading some semen..
Dammit.. I promised not to make any sexual innuendos this year.. I'll try harder.
In any case I think there will be a lot of fish sex going on whenever the day comes that we get the water back to 64° and hold it there for four or five days.. And I am looking for that to happen sometime between now and the end of June..
The real shallow bite has backed off a bit, at least for now, and most fish are in the creek channels not far from the shallow flats. Find about eight feet of water and throw a crankbait or a senko along the trees on the creek edges. This seems to be the best thing going right now.. They'll move back up when the water warms.. For the fifth time..
There have been a few folks down doing some looking around in preparation for Bass Champs.. Which is only two and a half weeks away.
And don't forget to schedule the weekend of April 12th and 13th for the FLT BassBlast! tourney.. It is bound to be warmer by then.. Either that or we'll have all frozen to death and it won't really matter..
The fish that are being caught seem mostly to be good quality fish, with lots of six to eight pound fish in the mix. There is a shortage of double digits so far this spring. I make it a habit to only post pics of fish that are ten and over, and I have not had too many to deal with. I'm hoping that will change before too long.
But in the meanwhile we wait.. And wait.. Come on sun.. Burn a hole in this crap..
January 24, 2014: It's a cold son of a gun down here this morning..
We did get close to freezing but no road problems or weather related issues, other than being nasty, are affecting Zapata county. But it did snow for about an hour just after sunup.. That's something you don't see every day in Zapata..
Here's a pic of some fellows boat that drove in over night. Not exactly flip-flop weather..
There have been some decent fish caught this week, as the water temps reached about 64° before the cold front hit yesterday. But any real numbers of fish have been hard to come by for the common man.
These guys all caught nice fish this week.. And so did some other folks.. Just not a lot of em..
One thing of note is that maybe a mouse colored spinner or a gold skirt is doing a little better than the generic chart/white..
There have been more fish caught in areas that might indicate that some movement towards the shallows is taking place. The creek channels on the edges of flooded flats, just off the edges are starting to collect some fish. Typical pre spawn fish..
It is not unusual for these fish to be here and back off several times each spring, with the passing of major fronts, not unlike the one that is visiting us now.. And again this year it appears that they will be up and down more than a cheap hookers panties..
A wacky rigged senko is also catching some fish.. Throw it at the base of a hardwood and let it sit.. Roll one up and hit it twice before you move it.. I'm talking about Bugler.. We're not in Colorado..
Fish it slow..
The PAW commission board met on Wednesday and Thursday, and they discussed a lot of things.. And during that discussion they talked about and authorized the director to make an "Emergency" regulation to stop the taking of Alligator Gar during the spawn.. If they can figure out when that might take place.
And all of this is due to the fact that the commissioners on the board have faulty information. I don't fault the board.. All they know is what they are told by the people at inland fisheries.
And for the most part it is purely conjecture..
I am not sure what else has to be done to convince them that gar are adversely affecting the fishing on Falcon.
Our regional PAW biologist, using PAW's numbers, estimates that there are at least 20,000 gar in Falcon.
Lets say that of the 20,000 gar in the lake, they only eat every other day. So to make it simple then we'll use the number of 10,000 fish in the lake eating every day.. But let's say that only 5% (five percent) of a gars diet is bass.. (which we know is bullshit but that's what we'll say..)
So if five percent of 10,000 gar eat a bass a day, then that is 500 bass a day being eaten..
And I am not good at math but I think that adds up to 182,500 bass per year.. And that is only if bass make up 5% of gars diet.. And I refer you to the statement above.. The part about bullshit..
And according to the only serious stomach content study ever done, and that was at Lake Guerrero, done by the Aggies no less, that said stomach contents were about 60% bass.. 60%!! 60 damn Percent!
Hell.. I'd hate to do the math on that one.. Aw shit.. Let's do it anyway..
So if 60% of 10,000 gar ate a bass a day.. Let's see.. Naught form Naught... That's 6,000 bass a day! 6,000 times 365 is... 2,190,000 bass per year..
Holy shit.. Maybe that has something to do with the numbers of bass shocked up being 66% less than a year or so ago.. In back to back studies..
Now that is hard data.. But the powers that be don't see a correlation there.
Now I'm not an idiot, (some people might argue) and I know that right now the gar are not eating that many bass.. But two years, three years, and four years ago they were eating bass like Rosie eats Twinkies.. Because we were loaded.. I mean freakin loaded with bass.. Now we are freaking loaded with gar..
Gar are opportunistic feeders and if there are a lot of bass they are gonna eat a lot of em.. It don't take a biology degree to figure that out..
Show me some research.. Come on TPWD!! Show me some freaking data to substiantiate your claims..
You got Nothin..
And I got a lake full of gar..
This makes about as much sense as the global warming bullshit or Obammacare.. Stay tuned for more..
January 19, 2014: It has been pretty busy around here this weekend.. No less that four bass clubs are in town. Uvalde, Medina Lake, SAPD, and Helotes, and are all here.
And though no one is setting the world on fire, there were a few that found some fish.. Biggest fish I heard of yesterday was a nine something. There were also some that did not catch a fish..
We have more people in town than we have had in a long time, and once again the place to find some lonely women is in Oklahoma.. Cause half the states men are down here..
Spinnerbaits and senkos, fished shallow, are still the best things going.. There are some staging fish in the ten foot range that can be caught on deeper cranks.. But be advised, neither deeper or shallow fish are overly aggressive.. It takes some patience and time to catch some fish.. Keep your eyes open in the shallows as you are likely to see some fish.. The water clarity is awesome in a lot of areas.. Some places six feet of visibility..
I'll give you a report on the final results of the bass clubs when I get em..
Lake still rising ever so slowly.. Awesome weather.. See you soon..
January 15, 2014: A warming trend is upon us, although we are still having some cool mornings. But beautiful sunshine has taken over south Texas and we are supposed to be in the seventies for the next week.. And this sun will warm our water a bit. But not in a big hurry.
But that's more like the winter we're used to round here. Today is fabulous.
I talked to a lot of fishermen the last couple of days, and the consensus is that fishing sucks.. But probably no worse that the last couple of weeks.
This cold water has the fish in a non eating mode..
The only bright spots, if you can call them that, is in the very back of some of the creeks.. In the very backs.. These are the warmest of places in the afternoons, and a lot of buck bass and a few females are up there checking out the maternity wards..
I still think that the water is too cold for any major kind of spawn to take place.. But if we get up into the sixties and stay there for a few days, things could get interesting.
Water in most areas is still around 58° but 60 or a little over has been reported in a few places the last couple of days. And with lows in the 50's and highs in the mid 70's for the next week.. Well.. We'll just have to wait and see.
I know that winter is far from over, but it is not uncommon to have fish up and down several times during the early part of the spawn.. And February seems to always have a cold and wet period for us.
The lake is still on a slow rise, and we are sitting at 275.58, or 26.62 low. If you're wondering, we were at 271.7 at this time last year. So we are about four feet above where we were a year ago.
If you make it back there to the back of some of those creeks, take some W/M Red or Red Magic lizards with you. The lizard always catches fish during the spawn and this year will be no different.. Besides.. A little birdie told me they are catching some fish.
Of course a spinner bait is still a good search and destroy technique..
When I say the back of the creeks, I am not talking about as far back as you can comfortably get.. I am talking about as far back as your boat will float. Every year the shallowest of fish get caught by the few that are not afraid to get a few scratches on the ole Hogmaster.. And that is where the few good fish that are being caught are getting caught.. Least that is to the best of my knowledge. And I have talked to a LOT of people..
On a different front, I am still working on getting PAW to eliminate, or at least raise the bag limit on alligator gar. There was a big meeting yesterday within PAW Inland Fisheries to discuss gar on Falcon, and in general. Of course I was not invited to this one. I have been promised a meeting with the department heads and the gar "experts" that work for PAW.
The only problem with with PAW's data on gar is that they have very little.. And certainly not enough to warrant instigating a one fish limit on Falcon. And next to ZERO on data on Falcon, except for the 36 hour study we did last fall.. But that is about as much as they have for anywhere in the state.
Next Thursday, the TPWD Commissioners meeting will be held in Austin. And after reading their agenda, I can see a spot where Alligator Gar might be discussed. I will be listening to the webcast of the meeting to hear if any of our pleading and enlightening has made any dent in the misinformation that the commission may have previously heard.
After all, none of them have been to Falcon.. Including the gar "experts" that are employed by PAW. Much less any of the commissioners..
This kind of reminds me of "Taxation Without Representation" .. Where did you hear that before..
Back to back shocking surveys show bass numbers down 66%.. After two periods of over full lake levels and the ultimate in spawning and fry survivability conditions..
We should have two four pounders and a six pounder in every bush.. Where the hell are the fish?
I can tell you that most of them are gar shit..
More on this as it progresses.. And in the next two weeks it is possible that we may hear what may or may not happen.
I promise I will let you know what is happening, and may enlist you to help me.. Because I know that you too, care about the fishery here at Falcon, and do not want to see the demise of Falcon continuing.
January 14, 2014: Tough.. I guess that is the best way to describe it.. Despite of a pretty decent stretch of weather.. With some wind mixed in..
Fishing has been just that, with not a lot of catching mixed in. And it doesn't matter who you talk to.. The reports remain the same..
Despite the sunshine we are still seeing water temps under sixty degrees. And this mornings low was right at freezing, so we are not making any strides in the right direction..
I just checked the calendar.. It is January 14th.. What the hell did I expect..
I guess what I expect is that we have a winter a little closer to our norm, not this Siberian tundra we have become.. I haven't worn a pair of short britches in months, and I am getting as pasty as Rosies inner thighs..
I need some sun.. And so does the lake.. It seems that the older I get, the longer and colder the winters become..
I had a wonderful dream last night. I was standing on the deck of my boat. It was 109°.. I was flipping a brush hog to the shady side of a big hardwood.. I was sweating.. It was awesome..
But then I woke up and discovered that the cat had knocked into a broom that was leaning against the wall and it hit the thermostat and turned the heat up to 95..
It was good while it lasted..
Nothing has changed around here when it comes to bait selection and depths.. Everything has been glued in place.. Or so it seems.. If you spilled your martini on the chessboard no pieces would have to be reset..
Status Quo.. SOS..
Patience is a virtue they say.. And patience is not one of my strengths.. At least not when it comes to fishing..
The white bass are showing up quite a bit as of late.. So there is something that is biting.. Throw a chrome rattle trap or a grub on a lead head and reel the hell out of it in the backs of some rocky creeks..
More info soon.. But it may sound similar.. Like the last month..
January 9, 2014: We're in one of those kind of transitional states this morning here in Zapata.. The transition between cold and warm.. And the transition has created some fog as thick as the pubic hair on a seventies playmate.. And like anything else, you just gotta work your way through it..
Caution is needed in these types of conditions as there are more boats on the lake than yours. And many of the Mexican netters are out bright and early, no matter the conditions. And unless you have radar on your rig, that GPS can't help you dodge objects that weren't there yesterday.
Believe it or not, the sun finally popped out for a few hours yesterday, and almost made shirt sleeve weather of the afternoon. It was good to stand outside and let it soak in..
There were a few fishermen on the water yesterday, and fishing was reported slightly better than the last few days. Any kind of warming would help. And it appears that we will be in the seventies for the next five or six days.. And that is sweet music to the ears.. Somewhere between AC/DC and Ray Price.. I love em both..
It was sad to hear of Ray Price's passing last month.. But he made it a hell of a lot longer than Bon Scott..
Warming water can only help the fishing, and if this little heat wave persists, who knows what might happen. We have fish ready to spawn by all appearances, and time will tell whether any numbers of fish take to the deed.. But they're gonna sooner than later..
A squarebill is still a pretty good idea on the edges of the brushy creek channels. We still have a lot of flooded salt cedars and retamas in the water.. And these plants both take the water pretty well and are still quite green. It will take a while to kill them, and they should provide a great hiding place for freshly hatched fry once the commingling has been done..
There are staging fish out on the creek channel edges and points, but getting them to bite has been a tough proposition. Several guides that I know well have told me that they are seeing fish in the very backs of creeks in very shallow water. And getting them to bite has been tough as well.
Slinging a spinnerbait in the shallows still seems to be the best numbers bait. But odds are good that you will not have to take off your shoes or get naked to count your fish. If you and a buddy go out and catch twelve or fifteen then you have had a great day. I expect that to change soon.. But of the fish that we have been catching there has been some really nice quality in the mix..
We are still rising slowly, and we are sitting at 275.37 as of this morning. And that equates to 25.83 feet low. Not too shabby when you consider that we were 41 feet low last summer..
I have a optimistic outlook for this spring when it comes to water drawdown.. Two reasons..
The valley is wet, and I am hoping they have enough water in the ground to keep them from pre-irrigating before planting this spring..
Sugar lake is at 110% and El Cuchillo, which feeds it is at 76% and rising.. The Mexicans owe us a bunch of water and I hope they put some of this water in the Rio Grande for the American farmers to use as well..
The lakes on the Conchos also have good water in them, and several of them are overfull.. But they are just letting about 450 CFS into the Rio Grande at Presidio, which makes its way to Amistad.. But that and springs above Amistad is what has kept Amistad and us rising ever so slowly.. Along with a few spotty rains..
Carranza, or Don Martin, the lake above Falcon on the Salado river, is at 66% of capacity.
So overall we have a decent stockpile of water. But the best thing that could happen to us is rain.. In all the right places.. It's on the way.. We just gotta wait.. It is damn sure time for this drought to be over..
We have a club or two in town this weekend, as the good guys from Ingram bass club invade town for sure. And the weather should suit them fine.. Maybe we'll have some good fishing to report on Monday..
The Falcon Lake Babes catfish tourney is also on Saturday.. Those gals have fun no matter what..
We're settling into the new year here in Zapata, and yesterday I took the Christmas lights down.. Seems like Christmas was a long time ago..
Back to work.. See you soon.. I gotta whack a nanny this weekend as deer season is winding down.. And all my kids, nephews and nieces have raided my dried sausage and jerky supply..
See you next week..
January 6, 2014: It ain't too often that you see snow in the forecast for Zapata, TX, USA.. 78076..
WTF.. I guess winter has arrived.. And somebody needs to take Al Gore to the woodshed.
The front hit Zapata yesterday morning about nine thirty, and it hit with a vengeance.. No rain but some weird clouds and a wind that gusted to.. Well I don't know.. But it was a blowin..
And a lot of the college kids fishing got their first Falcon Lewinski.. A lot of em were off the water by noon..
Can't say I blame them. Fishing was tough for most of the contestants, but the guys on the fish had decent stringers both days, considering the conditions.
The winners had 29 pounds and change, and second place had 27 something. Here's a pic of the top five teams from left to right.
Only one fish died during the tournament, another testament to cold water being easier on the fish.. That hot water just doesn't hold much oxygen.. But I bet it would hold more active fish.
All of the fish caught were beautiful healthy fish. Fat as corn fed hogs and so marked up that you'd think they were spots.. That's what clear water will do.. And we've got it.. At least by Falcon standards..
The lake continues to slowly rise, and as of this morning we are sitting at 275.33, or 25.87 feet low. The valley is wet, as all parts here and below us had up to three inches of rain last week, all the way down to Brownsville.
Sugar Lake is at 106% of capacity, so I am hoping the Mexicans will be using a lot of that water on their side. They can also put that water in the Rio Grande around Rio Grande City if need be. And all of Mexico in the valley area got the same rains and some places more that we got on the US side..
So what I am getting at is that I think a lot of the farmers will not need to pre-irrigate this year.. And maybe that will delay our annual big drawdown by a month or so.. And who knows, maybe we will get lucky with some more spring rains..
But it is just as possible that they pull the plug and we drop five feet in two weeks come February.. Hell if I know..
But for now I am being optimistic, and hope the wet pattern continues.. We surely need it, as does much of south and west Texas.
Here in Zapata we finished the year with over thirty inches of rain. More than ten inches over our average.
In 2012, we had 20.2, which is just about average, and back in 2011, we had only 13.15..
I'd like to see the rain continue it's trend, and give us about 40 inches this year.. If we're having climate change, that's one I can get behind..
Lots of fish that were caught this weekend were still caught on a spinner bait, but we are seeing more and more caught on crankbaits.. We just need some warm water to get things going..
But that might be a while..
January 4, 2014: I am handling the weigh-in and fish care for the College tourney here this weekend, so I figured I'd give you an update.. I just came back and this is what I saw..
First place (three fish tourney) weighed in three sisters for a sack that went 20.45, I believe.. Second was 15 something, and there were a bunch around 12 pounds. There were two bass weighed over nine pounds.
Twenty six teams fished the tourney. Eight teams did not weigh fish, but that is an unofficial count.
I will have the final results with accurate figures, on Monday.. I did not write down anything as I was busy, so these numbers might be off a tad.. But not much..
Not one dead fish and not one that was weak.. They were the prettiest and fattest and most spotted up falcon fish I have ever seen.
Final results to come..
January 3, 2014: If you bought a new Mexican fishing license from me in the last few days, be sure and check the dates I put on it.. I am having a ton of trouble writing an expiration date of 2015.. Somehow that just don't compute.. But here we are..
I remember a teacher asking the class when I was in the first grade, how old will you be in the year 2000..
I did the math and figured I'd be dead.. Nobody lived to be 45.. But looking back, 45 seems pretty young..
Another year in the books.. And a new one off and running..
And we're off and running around here as well. The South Texas College Championship tourney is starting tomorrow, and from the looks of things they just might have a pretty good turnout. We have seen quite a few of them thru the store.
They have been hampered by about the worst weather possible this week as several groups of them have been trying to do some prefishing. Cold, wet, and yesterday windy conditions have plagued their efforts. And their catching.
But today started out frost covered and clear, and no real wind to bother anybody on the lake. And Glory Be! the sun is shining! And tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and warm as well.. Maybe up to 70.. But then on Sunday we get hit by the next norther..
So I really don't have much to say about the fishing, at least nothing that I have not said before. It is still tough. Last Sunday was the last sunny and low wind day we have had, and it was the last day that I heard of generally decent fishing. Not that I had a good day..
Water temps this week have started out around 55 degrees.. Too damn cold for these fish.. Fifty eight is about the warmest I heard of all week.. No sun and highs in the forties will do that for you..
I'd like to tell you about a hot new bait that is tearing them a new ass.. But there ain't one. The best bait in your box is one you can fish slow and cover a lot of water with.
Fact of the matter is that we are just going to have to wait out the cold weather before the fish are going to get very active. It sucks.. But I am a realist.. Just the way it is..
So now that I have you all excited about heading down, we can talk about something else..
The duck hunting is awesome.. Really.. We have a ton of birds on the lake in the backs of creeks and access is easy.. Easy limits are reported by the few that are hunting..
Catfishing remains pretty good on trot lines and jugs.
The crappie are slow, and have still not moved into the Veleno.. I hear of better luck in the Tigers arms in the trees. Back of Big Tiger has a few nice crappie in the woods on the right days.. Goose Bay does not have any game fish left in it.. The Gar ate em all..
You think I am kidding..
And on the gar front, I am continuing to contact anyone and everyone I can that could possibly help us get out from under the one fish limit imposed on us by TPWD in 2009. I can't say that I have made any progress.. But I can guarantee you that a lot of talk is circulating within PAW, and that is a good start. And I won't stop until I am finished..
I would love to see commercial fishing for gar opened up here on Falcon.. I figure that will never happen. But something has to be done.. Soon..
I don't know if you are a fan of M*A*S*H or not, but I will put down the remote if a Mashathon comes on..
One of my favorite episodes, is when the 4077th is being hit by a mortar barrage.. By US troops.. And Radar is on the phone with ICOR telling them that they are being hit by friendly fire.. And the Major on the phone tells him, "Son, I assure you; you are not being shelled.." As jeeps and latrines are getting blown up all over camp..
That's the way I feel about the gar.. When PAW tells me, "You do not have a gar problem.."
It is hard to see what is going on from a leather chair in Austin..
More on this subject in the near future I promise..
The spring tournament season is upon us, and Bass Champs heads to Amistad next weekend to kick off their south division opener. And a short six weeks from now they will be here at Falcon. I hope both lakes fish better than they are currently by the time we get into February.
The South Texas 5 will have their one visit to Falcon this year on February eighth. It is also a team event and you can get all their info on the web.. Just google South Texas 5.. It would be a good warm up for Bass Champs the next week..
The C.A.S.T. folks will be in town on the weekend of February 23rd..
Of course we are already making preparations for the BassBlast! tourney on April 13th.
And speaking of tourneys.. If you club has a trip to Falcon scheduled, please let us know so we can put you on our schedule. It helps other clubs doing their scheduling, and us plan and prepare for your visit.
We may have a big tournament or two in the fall, but that is a long way off. But big tourneys don't happen over night and we will be working on the details in the next month or two. I'll let you know what happens.. Or is going to..
There are a lot of Snowbirds arriving daily, now that the first of the year is here. And from the looks of things up north, it's a good time to be in Zapata..
But when ain't it?
December 30, 2013: After a beautiful day here yesterday, we're back in the soup this morning, as another cool front has forged its way into south Texas. And it is cool.. And wet.. I remember why I hate winter..
Basically because it sucks..
And being it was such a nice day I decided to ditch the golf clubs and hit the water.. And I am glad to report that all my equipment performed flawlessly..
Other than than that I can't say much about the fishing.. Other than that it was slow.. I boated one fish and had another one smack my spinner bait right at the boat.. And I think I had a couple of em tap a worm.. But they surely did not eat it..
I fished the Tigers and no where else, and it has some of the best looking water I have ever seen. There are thousands of acres of flooded timber and brush and if you had to draw a picture of what bass habitat should look like then this would be it..
This is the creek channel in the back of the Little Tiger.. Well.. Not all the way back.. It goes on forever..
I assume that 58.3° water has some to do with it.. These fish do not like cold water.. Seems like the fish were nipping the bait but not eating it.. In any case, they were not very active for me.
I talked to some folks on the water that did better than me, and they said the bite was better early.. I was not out there early as I don't like forty something degrees either..
I was telling you about how healthy the fish look around here.. And here is a prime example of what a Fat Rosie looks like as of late..
A lot of the better fish lately are looking pretty plump.. And some of them are coming deeper on crankbaits and and a few on big flukes. These fish are being caught out on the corners of creeks in early staging areas..
I am waiting for the days when they are out of that crap and up in the bushes where I like to fish.. Someday.. But we still gotta live thru some winter first..
Well the suffering is over.. The Cowboys season has finally come to an end.. Just about what I figured.. But in the immortal words of Cowboy fan.. "Just wait till next year!"
Hey.. I love the Boys as well.. And I know when you are born in Texas, right after they print your birth certificate they stamp that Blue Star on your ass.. We all suffer together.. Next year baby..
I see that Phil on Duck Dynasty has been returned to action after a slight period of "Persona non Grata.." I guess that money talks and bullshit walks.. Least that's what my Daddy always said..
And the folks at A&E network are in business to
make money after all..
I just find it grating that when anyone with an opinion that differs from the homosexuals opinion renders it, they are pounced on by all the leftist whackos. Like we do not have the right to have an opinion unless it agrees with theirs.
What a hypocritic bunch of Son of a Bitches.. If you want to be mainstream America, then start acting like it. Pull your panties up and quit bitching and whining every time someone says anything you consider offensive.
You go crying to the media like it's your Mama.. "They're pickin on us..."
You certainly practice your first amendment right.. So quit crying when someone else exercises theirs..
If you don't like beards, ducks, Bibles, deep fried foods, praying, and shootin, then don't watch.. None of the people bitchin are watching that show anyway..
Do I call the networks every time I see two homosexuals swapping spit on TV? I don't think so.. It ain't worth my time.. And this ain't worth yours..
Heaven knows that we rednecks get picked on for most everything under the sun. And you don't see us making the stock prices of Kleenex rise..
Global warming.. Yep.. Rednecks.. Driving them pickups..
Gas prices.. Yep.. Rednecks. Drivin them damn SUV thingys..
Obesity.. Yep .. Rednecks.. Drinking 44 oz Big Gulps and eatin' Big Macks..
Flu Epidemic.. Yep.. Rednecks. Swappin spit and makin' babies..
Frackin Oil Wells.... Yep.. Rednecks.. Killin our planet and ruining our water..
School Shootings.. Yep Rednecks.. Gun loving bastards..
Anti Abortionists.. Yep.. Rednecks.. Thinkin' that a fetus is a person.. How ridiculous..
Cruelty to Animals.. Yep. Rednecks.. Killin Bambi and all..
The Missionary position.. Yep Rednecks.. Only having sex two ways.. Up and down..
And you don't hear us crying and whining. So shut the hell up..
I think I'm gonna start some clubs with some fancy acronyms for a catch phase..
Maybe RATSOA.. (rat-so'-a) Rednecks Against the Spread of Aids..
Or RFTPOL (reft-pol) Rednecks For The Proliferation of Life.
Or the RAATAT (ra'-tat) Rednecks Against All The Anal Thrusters. That ones kinda catchy..
If you want to be equal, the best way to treated equal, is to ACT equal..
So shut the hell up, and go campaign for Hillary.. I hear she leans to the left..
And somehow that is considered "Normal.."
Happy New Year!
December 26, 2013: After five days in the deer blind, too much food, too much drink, too many presents, (not for me.. I just had to carry em all) and a day of high volume with a house full of Bendeles, it is good to get back home to good old Zapata.. Where it is peaceful.. Till I opened the store this morning..
Seems that a lot of folks took the opportunity to take advantage of a few days off. And what better place to kill a cold and miserable wet day than in a tackle shop.. If it is too nasty to go fishing, at least we can talk about it.
And the scuttlebutt around here is that nothing has changed.. Nada.. Zip.. Zero..
It is now December 27, and it is early.. At least right now.. And it had been drizzling for 36 hours. And it is cool.. Yesterday we had about 3/4's of an inch of rain. And we are over an inch now..
Beautiful fishing weather..
We have a 80% chance of more rain today, according to the NWS, so it looks like another washout.
There were a few boats that braved the conditions yesterday, but I have not talked to any of the fishermen as of yet. Maybe they decided to wait a bit before going out..
Water temps before this cloudy and wet and cool spell were about 60°, and I can't see this mess helping matters any. We have a little warming trend coming, or at least that is what the long term predictions say. So maybe we will have some good conditions for next weekends College tournament.
A little bit of sun would be great..
Of the limited number of people that I talked to, about fishing anyway, the report remains the same. Tough.. But the fish that have been caught are quality for the most part.
The spinnerbait is still king, and 90% of the fish being caught are in water less than ten feet deep. Why these fish are up here in the shallow cool water remains a mystery to me.. And a lot of others..
One would think that some fish would gang up on some deeper ledges and edges. But no concentrations of deeper fish, or at least catchable fish, have been reported. There is still a ton of fish showing on your electronics, but turning them into biting fish is another matter.. Maybe my machine is set on simulator mode.. I don't know.
While winter has her icy grip on us I am not sure how much things will change. I do believe that if we get a week of warming weather some things are going to happen. Many of these fish are swollen to the point of critical mass and before too long something has got to give.. I'm cutting open the next three pound blimp that I catch to see what's in there.. These are either the fattest fish I have ever seen, or they are about to lay more eggs than the Obamma administration..
So here we are at hurry up and wait..
I reckon it's a good time to stop and reflect on the past year, being we're closing in on the end of it.. And I reckon that overall 2013 was a decent, but not spectacular year here on Falcon.
There were still a lot of big fish caught, but nothing like the past few years.
We saw water levels drop to over forty one feet low in April, as we lost twelve feet of water from the middle of March to the middle of April..
We saw good rises in July, with a drop in August, but October and November brought us back up to 275+-, and we sit today at about 26 feet low. That's about eight feet higher than we were last year at this time.
In May we had 8.1 inches of rain, and in September we had an incredible 11.40 inches. Those two months delivered our average annual rainfall. We are sitting right at 30 inches for the year. These readings were taken here at the shop..
So while it is dry in a lot of areas, we have been blessed right here in south Zapata.
And with the moisture, our summer was not as hot as in some recent years. We only had one week of "Holy shit it's hot!" weather..
Giving fishing a rating is always subjective.. I guess it depends on what and when you compare it to.. Compared to 2010, fishing sucked.. Compared to 2002, it was freaking awesome..
It's all relative.. But I will still bet you that more people caught their personal bests on Falcon last year than any other lake in the country..
Bassmaster's came back to Falcon in 2013.. Results were not as good as they were in 2008.. But anybody coulda told you that.. Before or after.. But there were three stringers (4 days) over 100 pounds I believe.. Where else you gonna do that..
The Sharelunker season had twelve fish turned in last year. Only two of the fish were Pure Floridas.. They both allegedly spawned.. One of the Fx fish came from Falcon..
I'm not looking for a good numbers year for Sharelunker this season.. Poor conditions statewide, mostly having to do with water levels and fishing pressure will probably keep submitted fish to well under ten.. That and the fact that more and more people are realizing that the SL program is not working.. You can rub my nose it it in the spring if I am wrong.. But you can bust my chops any time you like.. If you need something to do..
Falcon received about 500,000 pure Florida fingerlings this spring. The only bad thing was that there was very little vegetation in the water when they were stocked. But bass are born in the spring, so there is not much you can do about that.. I wish we'd of had the cover in the lake we have now.. But I am sure a few survived..
The white bass are making a comeback of sorts in Falcon. It is now common to catch one or three if you are throwing a crankbait. Schooling activity has been reported on the south end of the lake on several occasions. There are a some adult fish, about 12" long and last summer we were seeing a lot of two to three inch fish in cast nets. I look for this trend to continue and the white bass to become a fishable population in 2014-15.. Unless we see really low water conditions again, and if that happens the netters will hammer them again I am sure.
The crappie that were so abundant the last few years have done a disappearing act as of late. The last few years have been awesome here in the Veleno, but currently we are seeing very few. The better numbers have come from the south end of the lake. Thousands of giants were filleted the last few years. We'll see if they show up here in the home creek anytime soon.
The catfish in Falcon are doing.. well.. Fantastic. If you are a blue cat fan then you should be here.. Jugliners and trotliners and rod and reel fishermen are tearing them up.. Bigguns.. We see an occasional yellow, and some channels on stink bait.. But if you want to catch some big old blues, get you some cut carp and set some jugs on a creek channel edge.. Then the work starts..
The Gar population on Falcon has exploded the last few years. At the detriment of our bass.. And whatever else they can catch. If you are a bow fisherman then you need to plan a trip to Falcon this spring, and anytime thru the summer.. We have some creeks that are loaded.. It's like watching the whales off the coast of Maui..
We are working on a gar tournament for May or June of next year.. Stay tuned..
Other than that it is pretty much business as usual around here.. We are just waiting for the sun.. At least I am..
December 20, 2013: Not a lot of days left in the year, and not a lot of days left to get your shopping done. And if your not through with one, you'll have little time for the other..
We want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and once again thank you for your continued support. And please keep in mind the reason that we celebrate this time of year.
We share time and gifts with our family and friends, and often get caught up in the materialistic meaning of Christmas.. Take some time to yourself and remember what this holiday is actually about.
I don't want to get preachy on you.. But remember that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth, died for your sins, and paved the way for you to get to Heaven.. Believe it or not.. Put your faith in him and you got no problems..
We will be closed on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, and Christmas day. But I will be here bright and shiny the day after Christmas.. Sporting a new fishing pole if Santa comes through.. I was naughty a time or two this past year.. But I am hoping he can overlook those times I picked on a few people..
But hell... They deserved it..
God Bless you and your family and we'll see you next go-round.
And from all of us here at Falcon Lake Tackle, and the entire Bendele family, we say
December 17, 2013: Eight days till Christmas.. Hmmm.. Better get started on that Christmas shopping.. Throw in a few days of fishing and you got yourself a situation..
And what a time to be fishing.. Back in the seventies and eighty by the end of the week.. Awesome.. And there are even a few fish being caught..
I know what I am about to say will be viewed by many as pure lunacy by a bunch of folks... But I'm used to that.
There are a few spawning fish on Falcon.. I know.. I know.. I'm a freakin idiot.. But like it or not, it is happening..
Water temps struggled to hit sixty last week, it was cloudy and cold.. But big, fat, Rosies are being caught in some mighty skinny water.. Dripping eggs, bleeding tails, and well.. Spawning..
You call it what you want..
The full moon is in full effect, so add that to the equation.. I know some of you don't think the moon has anything to to do with it.. Yes, yes.. I've gotten your e-mails.. And you wouldn't think that this water temperature is conducive to spawning..
Ok.. Ok.. So let's say they're not spawning.. They're just up in the shallows, with a case of the red-belly; they look like the Hindenberg, and and they need to be wearing a Kotex.. Sorry for the visual..
It is not unusual to be catching spawning fish on Falcon on Christmas day. I have done it a lot of times in the past.. But not usually when the water is this cold. All I can say is that Mother Nature does some strange stuff.. And with the advent of Global Cooling these fish just might have to spawn in cooler water..
Yes Global Cooling.. Get used to it.. If those idiots can sell Global Warming, then I oughta be able to sell Global Cooling.. But personally I like global warming better.. I hate the cold..
Anyway, there have been a lot of nice fish caught as of late.. I'm not talking twelve pounders, but decent numbers of six to ten pound fish. Lots of eights..
I'd like to tell you they have been caught on jigs and worms.. But they ain't.. The spinnerbait and the shallow crankbait have been best, and that is basically no change. For the last month.. But hell.. If it works, don't fix it..
Here is one caveat.. Not everyone is catching fish, or a bunch of fish. But some folks have got on em pretty good.
The south end of the lake is still better than the top. Mexico is still better than the Texas side.. And I know exactly why.. Because that is where there are more biting fish..
I am not saying the the Texas side is devoid of fish, but Mexico sure seems better from all accounts..
Last weekend San Antonio Bass Club and Helotes Bass Club were in town. Neither club brought a crowd.. And neither club whacked em.. I did not hear the final weights from SABC, but Helotes fished a two day, three fish tourney. The winner had only five fish, but they weighed 27.03. That would be Mike Ross.. Charles Parchman was second with six for 20.32.. All three of Mikes fish weighed over six pounds on Sunday..
Caught on spinnerbaits and cranks.. Thanks for the report Charles..
Here's a couple of fish caught very shallow last week.. Sorry but I got no names for the fishermen..
Both nice fish.. And we should start to see a few more fatties in the weeks ahead..
You'd be wise to take note of the cover behind door number two.. The flooded vegetation in water less than eight feet is where most of the fish have come from as of late. There are a few deeper fish starting to show up and a deep diving crankbait is catching a few.. These have been quality fish for the most part as well. I don't know where in the hell the small fish are..
The South Texas College Championship tourney is only two and a half weeks away, and from the sound of it, they might have a pretty good turnout. They surprised me last year and I am not sure why. The interest in fishing in the college ranks and in the High Schools these days is awesome. It is great to see our sport blowing up with the younguns.. Don't buy those X-Box POS.. Buy em a new Lews.. Or a Shimano.. Or whatever..
If you are a college student and want to fish the tourney, e-mail Derick at email@example.com. He can fill you in on all the details..
Bass Champs is headed to Falcon on February 23rd, for the second stop of the south circuit.. Why they scheduled Amistad in January is a mystery to me.. That can be a cold and slow time of year on The Big Friendly.. Maybe it is logistics.. Maybe they got a deal with the Del Rio Chamber.. Maybe I don't know what I am talking about.. But I would have scheduled Falcon in January and February, and went to Amistad three in a row in the coming months..
If you think Falcon is tough.. Head out to Amistad for a couple of days..
And I know it is a long way out, but Lord willing the Falcon Lake Tackle Bass Blast! is back on tap this year and we have it scheduled for April 13th. You might want to put that on your calendar..
Last year both Tommy and I had a few health problems we were dealing with, but I reckon we're up to about as full a head of steam as we can muster. And yes you can count on some good groceries and a shit load of door prizes again for all who enter.. It'll give you a chance to prefish for Champs.. Which is two weeks later. Separated by Easter.. Yall come..
This week should bring out a few good fish.. And weather wise it is the best looking forecast we have seen in three weeks.. Better come get you some.. If you've got some vacation days to burn..
Yeah.. Merry Christmas!! And God Bless You!
Not Happy Holidays.. Bunch of pussies are afraid to say Merry Christmas for fear of offending some idiots.. They can all kiss my ass..
Well I don't want to get myself out of the Christmas spirit so I'll leave it at that..
If we don't see you soon, then we'll see you next year!
December 11, 2013: I hear that every few million years the poles on planet earth reverse and what happens in between can cause some freaky weather events.. Like the new record low recorded in Antarctica, of minus 136°.. Give or take a few tenths.. Don't look for Al Gore to report on that.
But maybe we are heading towards a new ice age.. It has certainly felt like it around here the last two weeks.. The very idea that winter actually exists in Zapata is a bit repulsive. And nobody round here likes it, including the fish.
As the temperature goes down, so does the number of fishermen on the lake. We did have a couple of boats that were here thru the last week, and being they had driven so far, and had the time scheduled off, they tuffed it out and were on the lake every day. And while they caught a few nice fish, they were certainly not compensated equitably for their efforts..
Another day, a warmer time.. What can you do..
Water temps are somewhere around the lower sixties the last few days, and I don't look for a big shift in the short term. I would love to see a stretch where these arctic fronts don't make it down to us. We have certainly had a cool start to the winter this year.
We do have a few winter Texans down here that do not mind the cooler temps and are fishing on a fairly regular basis.. And while they are not sunup to sundown fishermen, they do put in some hours on the water, especially on the warmer days. And they are having some decent, and some tragic days as of late.
And the best I can tell you is that it is hit and miss. The fish seem to bite in spurts. You might get an hour of decent action, and then not catch a fish for the next two hours. That has been very common. So if out you go, take your persistence and patience with you..
And I know that I have said it a thousand times of late, but the freakin spinnerbait is still the best thing going. And I truly believe that it is because you can cover a lot of ground with it.. And I think that is the key to catching any numbers right now..
A few folks are throwing some square bills and some mid divers in the hardwoods and in the brush where you can get it done. And catch rates are about the same as the spinner bait. And if you are fishing the same water where ten boats have been throwing a spinnerbait for weeks, showing them something different can be a good idea. You do have to go fetch it every now and then..
And after talking to dozens of fishermen the last few days it still sounds like the best numbers of fish are inside ten feet of water. They gotta get deep one of these days.. But as of yet, I don't think so.. Or if the bastards are out there, they just ain't biting. I guess they have all the bait they can eat out deep. Because the shad have left the shallows.
How can you say that, you ask? Because yesterday I was coerced into being a net man on a TPWD shocking boat. And we covered a lot of shallow water.. While we shivered.. And we saw damn few shad at the dozen or so different locations that we shocked. Which included the Veleno, Opec, Pierces, and a few un-named creeks along the way. They were headed for the Tigers this morning.. I stayed in bed.
I guess you want to know about what we found in the way of bass.. I would call it poor.. Not a lot of fish, and no fish over four pounds. But what can you expect in 60 degree water devoid of baitfish.. Hell if I know..
I was not expecting much.. I know if we were in a warming trend we would have seen a lot more fish. But schedules are schedules..
The fish we did raise were some butterballs, and some of the prettiest, dark green, heavily marked, healthy looking fish I have ever seen.. We did see some gizzard shad, a ton of grass carp, plenty of common carp, big talipia, and zero perch.. What you might call brem..
And keep in mind we were working water mostly in the six foot and less range. Shocking is not effective in water more than eight feet deep..
It is always interesting to go along, because you just never know what you might see. We also saw a world record picastumus, (the only one we saw) and we made a thirty pound blue cat shit his pants.. I couldn't get him in the net.. And if you're wondering, these fish are fine after you let off the juice.. Occasionally you can fry one, but it is usually the big grass carp or common carp, I hear because they are a lot bigger and more lectricticity hits em.. Hell if I know.. But if one of those big grass carp is on the edge of the current field, they come out of the water like a Tomahawk missile out of a Trident sub.. They no likie..
The sun finally came out about four.. Thank God..
And being the weather has sucked for the last week, I opted for the deer blind last weekend instead of the bass boat. And while it is still cold, the deer blind is holding still.. And it has windows.. The rut is raging at our place and I ought to be there now, but like I said above, schedules are schedules.. And I gotta work sometime.. Dammit..
It was a cold SOB.. And you rarely see this picture at our place.. The ice anyway..
And as luck would have it, I made a mess the first evening I was there.. And a bunch of it turned into this..
I had never made Salami before, but I figured that if I can make sausage, I can stuff some salami.. And who knows more about stuffing sausage than some old squareheads like us.. Making sausage at our place has always been a family get together and a bull-session.. More often than not a lot of "catchin up" gets done and a few corks get pulled.. It's one of my favorite times of the year. And the time of year that I miss my Dad the most.. But as Ol' Hank would say, "We're just carryin on an old, family tradition.."
And I hope that long after I'm gone they'll be doing the same..
It turned out really good too.. Stop by the store and I'll give you a sample..
P.S. FLT gift certificates make some good stocking stuffers.. While we're on the subject of stuffin..
December 5, 2013: Remember the last two winters when we were were fishing in short britches right around Christmas? And when a pair of blue jeans would last five or six years? Don't look like that is going to be the case this winter.. At least not the way it is starting out..
I will have to admit that this week has been very pleasant, and we had two days in the ninety degree range.. And light or no winds.. Beautiful fishing weather..
But somebody should have told the fish..
If the fish bit any better at all after the last front, it was only yesterday, and reports of active fish were only slightly better. Ten to fifteen fish per boat has been a pretty good trip as of late.. It is still tough.
The aggravating thing is that before the last front, we had been whacking them pretty good.. Not killing em'.. But catching em pretty good. In the shallows, on spinnerbaits and chatterbaits..
But after last weeks three days of no sun and highs in the forties, we had surface temps that were starting out in the upper fifties and in the afternoons you might see it warm up to sixty four or so.. Yesterday water temps were around the sixty eight to seventy range.. Just enough to get the fish a little more active..
Now here we go again.. And like I have told you before, if Falcon water gets down in the mid fifties.. You might as well stay home and watch captain Kangaroo.. This cold weather, and water, is certainly early by Falcon standards..
A lot of the fish that have been caught lately have been good quality, with a lot of fish in the five to six pound range. And they are meaner than Rosie on a diet.. So fishing with braid on a spinner bait is a good idea. These fish know where every tree and bush is and when you hook one they will be headed there post haste..
The flipping bite was really coming around as well, and senko style baits were working well, along with a big ribbon tail worm like the Ol Monster.. But with all these baits a slow and repetitive presentation was a must..
Not what I would call the most active of fish. But sooner or later you were bound to happen on a few biting fish. Enough to get your itch scratched..
I too, have been less that enthusiastic about fishing, being ruined by the last half decade of the most incredible fishing ever seen on planet earth.. But I am still very optimistic about the spring.. Meanwhile, I, and you will have to endure another three months of natures savage cruelty, known as winter..
I've got a good stockpile of wood, about six chickens, some jerky, and two gallons of Old #7.. Hopefully that will get me through this coming blizzard..
As long as the lines don't go down from all the ice on them I reckon it will be a good time for me to get on the internet and try to get signed up for Obammacare.. I hear it can take some time..
I understand, that setting up a website that has the supposed capability to handle thousands of customers.. Wait.. Customers are not forced to buy anything.. So they can't be customers.. A website that is designed to collect a tax from people who are compelled to give their money for something they may or may not want.. That's better..
A website that allows said individuals to pay their tax for socialized medicine.. Ah.. That's better..
In any case, where in the hell did they get the geniuses who set this thing up? Three years and untold millions of dollars for a completely unworkable piece of binary bullshit.. I haven't seen such incompetence in government since Benghazi.. You do remember Benghazi don't you..
Oh I know it is hard to keep up, with all the scandals, incompetence, lying, hypocrisy, and war between the parties that have surrounded this administration.. But now at least Jimmy Carter can die knowing that he was not the worst president that the United States has ever seen..
Maybe it is just me, (and that possibility exists) but have you ever noticed that generally poor people vote Democratic, and all it has gotten them is more poverty.. Do you think that maybe they should take a step back and take a look at where they are and what has gotten them there..
It is certainly easy in this day and time to survive as a slacker.. You can get free rent, free groceries, free gas, free electricity, free phone, a raise every time you knock out another kid, and spending money, just by being good at being a lazy irresponsible slob..
Sounds pretty good don't it.. And let me tell you millions of people have their applications in.. And we have millions that are over qualified.. Yep.. No problem filling those positions..
Where are the people from a couple of generations ago that would not think of taking welfare.. The ones that busted their ass and did whatever it took to get by, raised their children with some morals, put Trust In God first in their lives, and had faith that those things would deliver them to a far better destination than any government could..
Oh Yeah. I forgot.. Those are the retired people living in their mortgage free homes, cruising the country in their motor coaches, taking cruises, jetting around to all parts of the world, and enjoying life.. Because they worked and took care of their money.. Not because the government gave it to them..
Unless they were a high ranking politician..
I am appalled at what gets by these days as news.. Pop culture has become the new normal and all else fades into gray.. If a rapper does it it must be cool.. If you have no talent then just make a porn movie and put it on the internet.. You may have to swallow a few things.. Not the least of which will be your pride..
December 1, 2013: The last month of the year is here and Christmas is right around the corner.. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around that.. Another year shot to hell.. Almost..
And from reports from the last two days I'd say that the fishing has been shot to hell as well.. It seems that the cold front from last week has had some lasting effects on the fish.. Like they ain't biting..
And as soon as I say that this warming trend will put em back to eating.. But it hasn't yet..
Not everyone that I talked to did poorly.. But most of them did..
And it is not like we had no one in town. There were, and are, quite a few folks out on the water..
Hey.. I promised to tell you the truth. It has been slow..
One good thing is that we have four days in a row coming up that are going to be in the eighties.. High eighties.. That can't hurt anything..
Morning water temps have been in the high fifties, if you can believe that, and warming to about 63 or 4 in the pm.. A far cry from the middle seventies we had last week before the front..
But that's what three days of no sun and highs in the forties will do for ya..
I have heard a few stories of fish appearing to be spawning.. It is a bit early.. But I can't say that a few couldn't be doing it..
I have heard of a lot of fish cut up from gar here lately.. And the gar are still very active for this kind of water temperature..
I'm telling you that these fish have hurt, and are still really are hurting our bass population..
Here's a couple of pics of fish caught last week with gar bites on them..
I have written letters to everyone with a title the last few weeks, in an effort to get the bag limit on Gar raised or eliminated. Do I think it will make a big difference? No.. But it sure as hell can't hurt any thing..
I cannot understand why some at TPWD have become so enamored with alligator gar. When in reality, probably less than two percent of fishermen pursue gar.. And the rest of us consider them a trash fish.. And those that do pursue gar don't like the one fish bag limit either.. And don't try and tell me that they are low numbered or over fished..
Purely and simply PAW over reacted with their blanket the state law change that was done with NO scientific research. If anything we should allow commercial fishing for gar here on Falcon..
We have them coming out of our ass.. And the recent gar study that we did here on Falcon showed that these fish are very young, and some of the eighty and ninety pounders were only five years old.. You gotta eat a lot of fish to get to that weight in five years.. More netting surveys are planned for the spring..
Shocking studys from last spring showed our bass numbers down over 50%.. Could that be a signal?
You are gonna hear a lot more about this problem in the near future.. Choke Canyon is also suffering from the same problem as us.. And fishing there is about as bad as it has ever been..
There is an ongoing study of netting, tagging, and releasing gar at Choke Canyon. And the re-catch rate over there is less than 2% I hear.. It is full of gar..
I have been trying to get my point across to TPWD for two years.. But I have had no success getting anything changed to date.. I have a lot more to say on this subject.. But for right now I am biting my tongue, and giving them a chance to do right.. But it ain't going to last much longer..
November 29, 2013: It has been a cold, miserable stretch around here, and colder where I have been.. But not a lot.. Highs in the forties and windy is not my favorite kind of weather.. Matter of fact I can't think of much worse.. Unless it was snowing.. Fortunately we don't have to deal with much of that round these parts..
And as you can imagine not a lot of folks were out on the lake for the last few days. But no matter the weather, there are always a few die-hards that are going fishing no matter what..
And I have not talked to a lot of people the last week, other than Jack Daniels, Drop Dead Gorgeous, and to this freakin' woodpecker who was making love to my deer blind all week.. I've still got a headache..
But those who have braved the elements have done decently with some really nice fish being caught. And some that I did hear about were still shallow, and still being caught on the blades.
I was thinking that the cold might run all the fish out of the shallows, but evidently not. Pitchin some trees is still a good idea, and several pitches to the same tree can pay dividends as the fish can be a little slow to make a move on your bait. Those trees should be close to the creek channel, and if there is a little depth change on a tree line that is a great place to start..
That never seems to change around here..
Senkos and big worms seem to be about as good as it gets when it comes to bait choices..
I am still hearing next to nothing about offshore or deep structure fish. Occasionally I hear of a fish or two, but the lions share of biting fish are still in the shallows, or water less than ten feet deep.
There is a warming trend going on this week, according to forecasts, and if anything, I think there will be more shallow fish in the coming days.
But right now water temps are starting out in the mornings in the high fifties.. That's January temps.. Low to middle sixties in the afternoons.. They should come up a bit in the next few days..
Since I started this report, I have talked to three groups that fished yesterday afternoon.. None of them fished the Mexican side, and none of them did very good.. But that sounds a lot like what was going on before the front.. One boat had a big fish day yesterday.. They only caught ten fish, but they were all whoppers.. I saw the pics but not a lot of details just yet.. They did say they were on the Texas side..
I meant to write a report before Thanksgiving, but I never got to it. And I don't have an internet connection at the ranch.. That's probably a good thing..
But I certainly intended to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving! and thank all of you who have stopped by the store in the last year. Or ever for that matter. We certainly could not be here without you.
We appreciate your business and look forward to seeing you the next time you're in town.
And while we're on the subject of Thanksgiving, I hope you'll take the time to give thanks for all the blessings we receive daily just living right here in the United States.. It ain't perfect, and God knows I do my share of bitching, but it is still the best thing going.. I just want to keep it the best thing going..
So enjoy your turkey sandwiches, and your long weekend, and we'll see you when you get here..
Thanks For Your Business!
November 20, 2013: We've been enjoying some awfully nice Fall weather the last week, with highs at or near 90° the last few days.. But all good things must come to an end..
Looking at the forecast for the coming week makes me want to stock up on chickens, chili meat, and long johns.. And firewood..
We are supposed to have highs in the forties on Saturday and Sunday, with wet conditions to boot.. Don't sound like no global warming to me.. And the whole week of Thanksgiving is going to be cool as well.
And don't tell me that it is Thanksgiving, it's supposed to be cold.. That shit is for Yankees..
Meanwhile the fishing remains pretty fair, but not everyone is catching fish. If you are fishing the Texas side only, you will be handicapping yourself.
Speaking of fishing Mexico.. Mexican Licenses are back in stock! We got them in yesterday afternoon..
Spinner baits are still the best thing to throw.. You may (or may not) be tired of hearing me say it but it will out catch any thing else.. Flipping the edges of channels is still a good thing to do as well.. Big worms still seem to be in demand by the fish. Try an Ol Monster or similar in a dark color. Plum comes to mind..
The spinner bait fish are in the green stuff.. I said they are in the green stuff.. Look for the salt cedars and anything else that is not brown.. Seanie Beans are an exception, and the mixture of Seanie Beans and Salt cedars is good stuff. But concentrate on the green..
Flip the hardwoods, patiently, and fish them in the five to ten foot range, but best results seem to be in the six foot range.. Some flats have had fish on the woods, but edges of creek channels seem to be the best.
I will say again that the the south end of the lake is producing more fish.
Some folks have recently tried to fish some deeper rocks.. But little to no luck has been reported on them. Remember a few months ago when you had to take a number to get on the dam? Well it ain't so now.. But if you want to cruise around over there mapping the bottom, now is a good time.. And you won't end up with a spook stuck in your ear.. Even the local trollers have pretty much abandoned it.. Maybe they ate all of them already..
I am hearing a few stories about some American side bass. A few isolated spots in the Tigers and State Park Cove. And Pierces has been putting out a few numbers.. School bus is putting out a few fish as well.. Way in the back. Diablo up here on the north end has been hot and cold.. Of course that is in Mexico..
Water temps have been down in the high sixties some mornings.. But not the last few.. Seventy three or five is pretty common this week.
Well one thing about the cold snap is that it just might convince a few fish that winter is on the doorstep.. And around here that means that spring ain't far off.
And a good cooling trend, followed by a warming trend can can make some early spawners start to think about getting shallow.. Or staging to get shallow anyway.. I have caught a lot of spawning fish at Christmas in the past.. Just a little over a month away..
You do realize that Christmas is only thirty days away, don't you? Time to start checking those light bulbs..
Sitting in the deer blind sounds a lot more appetizing than sitting on a butt seat the next week.. And I am gonna do a little of that.
Speaking of Thanksgiving.. We will be closed all day. But I'll be here bright and early on Friday for those of you who push back from the table and jump in your truck.. We used to drive down all the time after dinner at Mamas.. That triptofan is a sumbitch.. Travel safely.. There's nothing wrong with Turkey sandwiches in the boat either..
I was playing golf last Sunday afternoon, my version of it anyway, and while it is not unusual for me to score a birdie or two, I got one in a rather unusual way. I was in a spot more suited for lumberjacks, but but it was still in bounds.
And If I couldn't scramble, then on most holes I wouldn't get there..
So I pulled out my trusty six iron, and was planning on playing a hooded cut, back in my stance, around a Hackberry tree, and roll it up on the green from about 150 out.. I had it perfectly mapped out in my mind..
But as luck would have it, I got under it just a bit, and it came out a little hot, and with a little too much elevation.. And clunked right into the middle of the Hackberry.
Well from a hundred yards away I saw a clump of something fall out of the tree, and my partner was laughing, especially since I had so vividly described how I was going to escape the prison I had been in..
And while I figured what I had knocked out of the tree was a piece of Mistletoe, I was surprised to find something completely different when I reached my ball, lying under the tree.
No other bird flew out of the tree either.. This was just a case of bad timing for Mr. Dove.. And certainly a one in a million. And while I have killed thousands of doves in a single day before, I have never killed one with a golf ball.. Until now.. Got him right in the gizzard..
I looked down at my six iron and found it was still set on Argentina..
I think this shot is right up there with Costners shot off the shithouse onto the green..
Have you got your new Obammacare insurance yet? I am so glad to see that I now have coverage for maternity, diaper rash, and mono.. I am also getting the rider that covers circumcision .. Just in case..
I don't think I'll be impregnating anything in the future.. As a matter of fact, I don't think I could survive raising teenagers again.. And this time around they might not survive it either..
But I digress..
If you're heading out on the highway next week, make sure and get back safely. And I hope you are getting to spend some time with your family and friends. I'm sure looking forward to it..
More on Thanksgiving later in the week.. Looks like there will be plenty of time to sit in my office and type..
I gotta go clean out the flue..
P.S. Gar Wars.. Look for it coming to a lake near you.. I mean me..
November 15, 2013: I can't believe that it is the middle of November already.. I haven't even killed a turkey yet.. I've heard em.. But I ain't seen em..
The last few days around here some big fish have been starting to show up. There are a few fellows here from Ingram Bass Club getting ready for their tournament this weekend. And yesterday one boat had one over eleven and another had a 10-4. So far I only have a pic of this fish caught by Roy Lee Graham. This one is the ten..
My neighbor had an 11-11 on Monday..
Yesterday Jim Edwards had a 10-7 and a 8-4 in four casts..
Suddenly some bigger fish are starting to show up.. And I heard of a few other whoppers but have not talked to the fishermen themselves..
The eleven caught yesterday was on a chatterbait, and the other three big fish were all caught on a spinnerbait. And if I was going fishing today I would have one of each tied on.. And you might want to tie it on some braid if you are up in these bushes.. The cover is a little intense in a lot of places..
Before I forget I need to warn you that Mexican fishing licenses are not available right now.. I ordered them two weeks ago and still have not received them. Normally this is a three day turnaround, but they are having a problem with the people who print them I hear. I may get some next week.. But it is hard to tell.. So if you are headed this way and have access to Mexican licenses somewhere else, from someone who does have a few left, you better get them there till I can get a new shipment..
It sucks.. But it is out of my control. And I'll let you know when I get more..
Our water temps have finally gotten down into the seventies, and the fish sure seem to like it. Or maybe they just like the flooded brush and accompanying bait that is up in the flats. I'm not gonna question it either way. I am just glad they are chomping a little..
But needless to say, the spinnerbait and the chatterbait are tops right now.. You may hate it or you may love it.. But that's what is working best..
Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries is scheduled to be here late next week to do some fall shocking surveys. And with what appears to be a lot of shallow fish right now, I am interested to see what they find. I might have to go with them just in case they happen to run into some shallow crappie..
They are also doing an angler survey in relation to the gar. You will be able to find a survey sheet at some local businesses this weekend. And of course we already have them here. If you are in town please make sure to fill one out. TPWD is seeking opinions on gar and their popularity.. Or unpopularity as you may see fit. Just takes thirty seconds to fill out so please take the time to give your opinion. Believe it or not, angler opinion weighs heavily in decisions made made by PAW..
Last week or so I was talking to some fellows who fish Amistad all the time and Falcon on occasion. We were discussing the reasons why we think the fishing is so slow at Amistad right now, and why a lot of the fish are so poor. I am sot sure what to make of the fish's condition, but I do know one thing that can have some to do with their condition. The picture below is from a two and a half pound bass caught at Amistad two weeks ago. It died in the live well and it was cleaned. And the guys who caught it said it was skinny as all get out..
All seven, yes seven of these old plastics, came from the stomach of this one fish. I don't think he got all seven off of someone's hook. I am sure this fish picked up most of these off of the bottom. Please don't throw your used plastics in the lake. Most fish cannot digest them and most can't pass them. And this leads to a fish that will slowly starve to death..
So for the fish's sake, please dispose of your used baits properly.
I hear there are finally some shallower crappie starting to show up in the Veleno.. No record catches.. But a few are being reported.. I know crappie like concrete.. And sooner or later these critters will end up rubbing their fins on the concrete posts under the 83 bridge.. I wouldn't mind powder coating a few of them myself..
Well I gotta go order some more spinnerbaits.. See you out there.. Between the bushes..
P.S. Here's a link to a story on Falcon and mean bass and Big Tackle.. And some other stuff..
November 12, 2013: Sorry I have not written lately.. But I got cheated on the first weekend of deer season, so I wasn't sitting out the second.. Well cheated ain't exactly the best choice of words.. But I wasn't there. Tommy and his son did manage to get some sausage made the first weekend.. So it ain't all bad.. More on deer blind stories later..
The fishing remains good here on Falcon, with more of the skinny water fish being caught. I know a lot of you like to sit out on structure and do the Levinworth style of fishing, (beating big rocks into little ones..) but for for us shallow water lovers, things are good.
The spinner bait bite remains strong, and there ain't anything wrong with a chatter bait either.. White or chartreuse and white is still the ticket.
Senkos and ten inch worms are still the best bet for pitchin or flippin.. Colors are running the gamut as of late, but Mardi Gras and Baby Bass are a couple of good choices..
The south end of the lake is still doing better than the top. But the Salado is starting to turn out a few fish. You may recall that a couple of weeks ago I was talking about some rotten weed smell up the Salado and in the backs of a few creeks. Most of that is over with now and the water on the top end of the lake has cleared up a lot. And all of the lake is in a fishable color to me..
There are a lot of Seanie Bean bushes mixed in with the Salt Cedars, and this is a combination that has been good. Those Seanie Bean stalks are pretty tough, and they will last for a few months.. Once the bean pods dry out you can hear the fish chasing bait in the bottoms of them as they shake the stalks.. There were years when we fish the bean rattle pattern.. And it is liable to happen again this year..
Don't laugh. It works..
The lake is barely eaking up, as Falcon water releases have slowed since the rains last week.. Or maybe that is not the reason at all.. All I know is that for right now releases are low. Oh I also know that I have no idea what they will do with our water levels.. I am hoping we can hold what we have till the spring.. We'll see..
But I hear that they have a good crop of grasshoppers in the valley and they are trying to keep em growing..
We are sitting at 273.5, or 27.7 feet low. Amistad is sitting at 1080.1 or 36.9 feet low..
I was supposed to go to Amistad to fish the SA Metro tourney last weekend, which got pushed to November because of the all important government hatedown. I had already missed the first weekend of deer season, and the fishing at Amistad sucks, so I opted for the deer blind.. Good choice. Saw lots of deer. And it rained on Saturday morning.. Another reason I quit fishing tournaments on the calendar.. I am more and more a fair weather fisherman.. Guess I am getting old.
On Saturday morning I saw a buck and I watched him for thirty minutes at the feeder.. I was sure that if he turned sideways he'd have Hoover stamped on his side.. I couldn't decide whether to shoot him or not.. He was a ten pointer and I figured him at about 18-19 inches. Which is a monster at our our place given the propensity of our neighbors to shoot anything that has horns.. Here's a pic of him..
I was packing my brand new gun.. Well it was made in 1966 but it was new to me.. And I had shot it in at 100 yards a couple weeks before, and it was putting them all in a quarter.. Laying on a sack of corn across the tailgate..
So I was confident in it, but the trigger about had to be hit with a two pound ball peen to get the SOB to go off.. I made a mental note to take it to the smitthie to get a trigger liposuction and remove a few pounds of unwanted trigger fat..
But like I said I am getting old and forgot to drop it off locally to get it done.. So it was with me on Saturday morning as I had not had time to shoot my 25-06 that I affectionately call "Drop Dead Gorgeous". And I just won't hunt with a gun that I have not shot in a year.. Guess I shoulda..
Any way after lookin at this pig gobble up all my corn, I finally decided to shoot this bastard.. And he turned broadside at about 97 yards.. Could have been 98.. I don't know..
Anyway I put the hairs on the spot bout where the skull meets the neck and squeezed the trigger.. And then I pulled the trigger. And then I yanked the trigger and remembering thinking "Is this mother ever going to go off?" Bout that time it did and I reckon I shot under him about three feet..
He stood there and looked at me like, "What was that noise?" Then he ambled off into the brush looking back at all the other deer that just stood there..
I didn't want to fool with a deer all by myself anyway..
I got back to the house and my Mom asked what I saw.. I said "I missed.."
She said "You missed! You never miss!"
I love my Mama..
But fact is that I got what the little boy shot at..
And me being the "show-me" type guy that I am, I went back to the range, which is really a mountain of oak logs and a pickup for a shooting bench a hundred yards away.. And I stuck that gun in a Lead Sled and shot at a one inch square of duct tape on the target frame.. Woulda center-punched a dime..
So after gathering my ego from the tops of my shoes I drove to the gunsmith.. He had five pounds of stack weights and the bastard still wouldn't go off.. I told him it hadn't been shot in fifteen years till I did it.. He told me I shoulda brought it to him earlier.. I thanked him for that sage advice.. He also said that the oil and grease in that trigger mechanism was probably thicker than play dough and a good cleaning would probably do the trick.. I said that that was fine.. As long as it has a one and a half to two pound trigger when I pick it up..
I'll probably see this deer again, if the neighbors don't whack him. And if I do I'll probably give him a pass.. I think he earned it being he gave me a free shot.. Still have not seen "The Ghost" the last two years.. Maybe he has gone on to the the happy hunted grounds.. But I ain't seen his picture in the paper..
He is slicker than a minners dick.. Maybe he is still around..
In my hurry to get out of town last weekend, I overlooked the fact that Yesterday was Veterans Day. And I apologize..
I cannot even start to thank the Veterans that have served, and are serving our great country. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands that have given their lives for this country since its inception.
Thank you for your service, dedication, and excellence in all that you do.
I know that there are a few whackos out there that have no idea what you do, while you provide a blanket of security for us here at home. And many of them have no sense of gratitude towards our Military. Ignorance is Bliss I hear..
But rest assured that us rednecks have your back.. And if the shit ever hits the fan here at home we'll be right there besides you.. I promise..
Thank You For Your Service!
Another thing to pass along, is the passing of Jessie Warren of Rio Grande City. He was an avid supporter of Falcon Lake, and fished Falcon for over thirty five years. He was an active member of Starr Bass Club and recently the president of Los Lobos Bass Club.. He will be sorely missed by Falcon Lake, and all his fishing friends. RIP Jessie..
Get down here and get you some of this shallow water fishing.. Best we've had in a while..
November 6, 2013: Ever had one of those times when you're not very busy but you can't seem to get it all done? Or at least it seems that way.. I've got ten projects going on and I can't seem to get the last screw in any of them..
We are still in the middle of the gar battle.. And I am not sure how things are going.. Our goal is to get the one fish per day limit raised or done away with down here. I am not sure about the latter, but I am hoping we can get the limit raised at the least. I'll know more later this week. And hopefully we can get the limit raised without too much fanfare.. But I may need your help.. And as Paul Harvey would say, "Stand by for news!"
The fishing is still pretty damn good, especially if you compare it to a month or two ago. Lots of shallow fish being caught. And we're talking about the get in there amoungst em style of fishing..
I fished yesterday and did decent for someone who has sucked as of late.. More on that later..
If you're coming to Falcon, bring your flippin stick and a spinner bait rod.. We're done with that drop shot and shakey head shit for now.. And don't worry if your crankbait rod needs a new tip.. Leave it in the garage.
Yessir the story of the day is still shallow, with most fish coming from inside ten feet. Some from one foot. And that is spinner bait and chatterbait country. And be prepared when you get bit cause these fish are about as jacked up as I have ever seen em.. I caught a ten pounder in the bushes yesterday that tipped the scales at about three and a half.. Meanest bastard I have caught in months.. And then the SOB bit me while I was trying to get the bait out of his mouth..
The flipping bite is doing pretty good as well, and a lot of folks caught fish off the hardwoods in about six to ten feet of water..
It appears that a Junebug or a Redbug Ol Monster in the hardwoods is working pretty good.. I wouldn't rule out Plum either..
Most of the better fishing is still going on on the south end of the lake, on the Mexican side.. And there were plenty of boats down there yesterday. And most all of them caught fish..
I was in the Salanaias for a good while, and worked my way back down the lake.. The forecast I saw was for eight to ten mile an hour winds.. So no sweat.. I launched at the county ramp, put the Skeeter on 70, and was there in less than twenty minutes.. And it was near dead flat at the south end of the lake..
And fishing was slow till the breeze came up, and that seemed to turn the spinner bait bite on.. But as with all things, too much of something is not always good.. And when I got ready to leave the Salanaias I knew the water would be a little wrinkly.. And it was.. The ride back was a lot closer to thirty than seventy..
And halfway back I decided to stop into Pierce's cove to check out a couple of rocky points that are back underwater.. And stopping would give me a chance to get my guts stuffed back up my ass..
Anyway, I know that there have been very few fish on the rocks as of late.. But I wanted to check it out.. Remember two months ago when I said you Have to be on rocks to catch fish?? Well forget that for now..
Anyway.. I worked the rocks with a couple of plastics.. And threw a spinnerbait at em as well.. But nothing happened.. But back in the cove a bit was a stand of Seanie Beans and some salt cedars mixed in.. So I proceeded to fish that way chunking the spinner bait.. I was casting into about two feet of water and sitting in four.
And on the only eventful cast of the visit to Pierce's, my bait landed between a salt cedar and a little hardwood sticking up to the right.. And about the time I clicked the reel into retrieve mode something got ahold of my bait.. And I couldn't do a thing with it. I tried to turn the crank but this bitch had other ideas.. I was just holding on.. Trying to stay in the boat..
All this crap happened in about two and a half seconds.. Whatever it was swam to the hardwood and when my line hit it, it was all over..
I know what you're thinking. It was probably a gar.. I thought that too for a minute.. But if it was, it would have made made a huge wake taking off that fast in that shallow of water..
So either I foulhooked a Trident Class submarine.. Or a big Goddaaamn bass kicked my ass..
I'm done with this fluorocarbon shit on the spinnerbaits.. Back to braid..
Cause at my age I don't know how many more chances I'll get with one of these big bitches.. I'm gonna say she was between three and fifteen pounds.. Somewhere in there..
In any case.. Find you some water that looks like this.. And throw you a chartreuse and white spinnerbait in there.. Like the Jo Baby Falcon Lake Special.. Good medicine.. For bad fish..
The Falcon Lake Babes international catfish series is holding their first tournament of the year this Saturday. This is a "ladies only" tournament series so if you are a member of the fairer sex and are looking for some tourney action, this is the place for you.. Registration is at Beacon Lodge rec hall this Friday from four till six..
They will be fishing once a month and I will have their schedule posted in the tourney section ASAP.. They have a lot of fun.. I promise..
Come catch you some shallow fish before we have to go chase em off shore again.. See you on the water..
October 30, 2013: Halloween is almost here.. But it is hard to think of the month of November with afternoon temps in the mid nineties.. And that is fine with me.. I'd like winter to be outlawed..
The lake has stayed about as level as an Olhausen the last week, and we are currently sitting at 273.32, or 27.88 feet low. Amistad is doing about the same with fairly steady water levels for the last couple of weeks.
Mexican lakes on the Conchos remain full or over, but no water is being released from them that will make any difference. Sugar lake is now full due to great releases from El Cuchillo.. I would hope they filled it in anticipation of using the water this spring for irrigation.. But a full Sugar will require me to make a trip before to long.. I think my brush piles are still intact enough to hold some fish..
But meanwhile, back at the ranch.. Falcon is still turning out a good number of fish. And the Mexican side of the lake is by far out producing the Texas side.
Spinner baits and chatterbaits are still the best things going. Find some clear water in the back of big creeks and secondary creeks, and start slingin'.. A senko is still a good bet, and flipping it or a soft plastic at a hardwood that is surrounded by flooded brush is the ticket..
And speaking of flooded brush.. A lot of the weeds and soft stemmed brush are starting to break down and some areas are down right stinky.. And I ain't talking about the fishin..
This degeneration of vegetation has some areas devoid of fish, while others are loaded.. Your assignment, if you decide to accept it, is to find the areas that are holding fish. A lot of the locals and most all of the guides down here are having some really good days. If you want to eliminate some of the hunting, hiring a local guide for a day will really help your success..
However, if you catch no fish we will disavow any knowledge of your trip..
The last two days the wind has blown a lot more than anyone likes.. And traveling the open lake and fishing the windy side of anything has been a bitch. Of course there is not a non-windy side..
The top of the lake is really starting to clear up.. It's not gin, but maybe a more of a Evan Williams.. But it is fishable in most areas.. There are still a few spots of muddy water, but it is all starting to settle out..
The gar are still plentiful on top in a lot of creeks. And with the warm weather around here, they still think it is summer..
And speaking of gar, I am headed to a public meeting this afternoon in Roma where citizens will be able to ask representatives of TPWD what is up with the fishing, and what is up with the gar. I am not sure who all will be there from PAW, but I hear that some state officials will be there as well with questions and comments..
To date, no decision has been made on raising the daily bag limit on gar.. But I am working on it. As are a few others.. A lot of it is politics.. And I am not very good at it.. I am a more of a direct and to the point kind of guy.. But we'll play it this way for now.. And hopefully we will get the response that we want, and the lake needs..
These two young ladies had a good day fishing with Jim Behnken the other day. Of course they both caught their PB's..
That's a great way for some time with Grandpa.. Congrats..
Well how's that Obammacare insurance thingy working out for you?? I hear it is going swell.. And lots of people are saving big bucks.. Err.. Not..
And when did it become a law that employers had to insure their employees anyway. When I was in the "Employee" world, having health insurance provided by your employer was a perk.. Something they offered you because they liked you, and wanted you to hang around.. Now employer provided insurance will be the reason many companies will not survive.
I don't have a problem with single payer insurance.. But I want all single payers to be treated the same.. And that ain't gonna happen.. Health insurance, for many, under this POS will be another entitlement, to go along with your welfare, WIC, food stamps, housing, and EBT cards..
And I still talk to liberals all the time that think this is the best thing since boneless bananas.. And I got to be around a few of them last weekend at a wedding in the hill country.. Not bananas.. Liberals.. And my blood pressure is finally about back down to normal..
There was also a state rep there that I know and he said that the last few weeks in DC were the worst thing he ever experienced.. (in politics) And that the divide between parties is so great that he is not sure if things can get fixed.. That's good news..
Meanwhile working people continue to get fleeced by those unwilling to work.. This crap is going to be one of the biggest tax burdens ever put on the American worker..
What was the Revolutionary war all about anyway? I wonder just what it will take this time to push working Americans over the edge.. Will it start with an individual, a small group, or an organized grass roots uprising.. Just wondering..
Those Patriots that started this country warned us about over-reaching government.. They also tried to prevent it with our Constitution. The one that is now a floor mat at the entry to the Oval Office..
Don't forget to wipe your feet..
October 24, 2013: Fishing is picking up a bit around here, and we are starting to hear a few more good reports.
Spinnerbaits and Senkos are doing the best.. Spinners in the shallow clear water in the flooded bushes and weeds..
Senkos on hardwood and rocky slopes.. Fish it slow...
The south end of the lake is starting to get going as well..
There was a lake record caught here this week.. Hell it might be a state record.. Hell it might be a world record.. The current state record is 290, and the world record is 365.. From what I can discover..
This fish bottomed out a 300 lb scale.. And a game warden in Star county is hopefully going to get it certified.. Somewhere.. I'll let you know what the official weight turns out to be .. Hopefully..
This fish was 8'9" long..
Wonder how many bass this bastard has eaten in his lifetime..
October 22, 2013: There is still a lot of ziggin and zaggin going on on the top end of the lake.. At least for the people in boats.. There are still a bunch of logs, trees, cane mats, and beer bottles floating down the river..
With that being said, navigating is still easily done.. But I do not recommend running the lake at Mach II with your eyes watering..
There are still fish being caught on the top end of the lake, but you have to get into the back of some creeks and find some clear water. Or get down past marker seven where the water is a bit clearer.. Earlier in the week the water was off color down to the mouth of the Tigers..
It is better now and some of the upper creeks are starting to clear up. The Salado is still muddy and I think there is still a bit of a flow down the river.. But not a lot..
We have slowed down on the rising, but in the last three days we have come up three inches. We are currently at 273.25, or 27.95 feet low.
I have been curious about how much water is under the Hwy 83 bridge,(cause I like eating crappie and big ole perch, (brem to you yankees..) )so this morning I headed that direction instead of south. And while I figured there was seven or eight feet of water under there, I was surprised to see ten feet! I followed the creek back to around the corner where the creek turns south and I followed it for another four hundred yards.. Ended up right behind our shop to the east and the water is still six feet deep.. And it looks awesome..
I threw a buzzbait and a spinnerbait for an hour and never got bit.. Lots of gar in there..
I had heard of a few folks catching some fish back there, but I did not.. But it looks like spinnerbait paradise..
I caught a big perch off the posts under the bridge and had a few other bites with bass equipment.. I'm gonna head back with some worms and catch me a batch.. And I am sure some of the bites under there will be big ole crappie.. I better stock up on cookin oil..
There is not one boat trailer at the state park ramp this afternoon.. And it is a beautiful day.. About eight boats at the county ramp when I got off the water..
So fishing reports are few..
But everyone tells me that a spinnerbait is still the best thing going.. Or a senko with some chartreuse on it.. But finding clear water is key..
I still have an AOL account.. I have no idea why.. Because it really does suck.. And it, like any ISP or e-mail provider, make their living selling stuff.. And AOL is about as ad ridden as anything I have ever seen.. And when I got off the water and turned on my Commodore, like everyday, they have a top twenty or thirty stories of the day.. And what they call news, I would not..
I can see a story about a Bigfoot sighting being like number twenty or something like that.. And hell if Jen has a new diet plan I could see it mixed in somewhere in the top fifteen..
But today's top story was that Jenna Jameson was whacked out during a TV interview..
That's it.. That's the hottest story out there.. I'm not sure what planet these people are on.. I know of three better stories right here in Zapata.. But I'm not a gossip..
I am not sure if you know who Jenna Jameson is.. She is an over the hill porn star that was famous for taking it...
I better leave that one alone..
But suffice it to say that Stanley Steamer turned down the job of trying to get her clean..
Maybe she got nervous in front of the cameras because she had her clothes on and there were not five naked men around.
What passes for news these days is incredible.. Maybe these stories are put out there to keep our minds off the real problems..
Another headline I saw lately was "Mans Shoots Himself While Cleaning His Gun." Maybe we do need more restrictive gun laws..
Like we will not allow idiots to have guns.. Instead of a background check maybe we should give an IQ test.. Naw.. That wouldn't work either.. I know a lot of "smart" people who could not pour piss out of a boot with the directions on the heel..
P.S. The first rule of cleaning a gun.. Unload the SOB.
Rule Two: Repeat rule number one..
There was a headline that I saw last week that I was sad to see. A Texas legend passed away.. And I am talking about Bum Phillips. You probably remember him best for being a Professional Football coach.
And probably one of the greatest things he ever said was that "People fail every day.. But you're not a failure till you blame someone else for it.."
Lot of truth in that..
And speaking of being Texan, Bum had a special way with being Texan.. And this story is credited to him.
And while you might not have time to read this right now, read it when you get time. It will make you appreciate the man if you do not already.. Even if you hated the Oilers..
Reckon I'll quit bitchin for now.
I got to go sign up for Bamacare.
Come on down here and give me something to talk about..
October 18, 2013: It' s good to see some water under the Veleno bridge here in Zapata. Even if it ain't lappin at the bottom of the bridge.. We have about seven or eight feet of water under there.. And it won't be long till the Snowbirds will be catching a lot of crappie off the posts.. And who knows what else.
Fishing has gotten a lot better this last week, especially when you can find some clear water on the top end of the lake. Pockets in the creeks above marker seven have had some very good numbers of fish in them, and and those fish have been shallow.
Newly flooded brush with hardwoods mixed in has been holding a lot of fish, and a few good ones. I know a few of the local guides have been catching from thirty to fifty fish a day. And most all of these fish are shallow.. Inside six feet..
A white spinner bait or chatter bait has been catching the lions share of fish. You can still catch some flipping.. But a moving bait has been best.
The south end of the lake has not been putting out the numbers that are being caught up here.
We are still catching a bit of water, and currently we are sitting at 272.65, or 28.55 feet low. The last time we were at this level was mid February.
The old bridge in the Veleno is well under the water at his level. You might still want to stay to the west as the floats on the bridge are just under the water.. But they are not as hard as concrete..
The county ramp is also back to four lanes wide.
We are in pretty good shape going into the fall. And hopefully we will get a bit more water before they start letting it out again..
There is a good bit of water in El Cuchillo in Mexico, and they are releasing a lot of water at present into Sugar lake. The Mexicans have the ability of letting water out of Sugar into the Rio Grande, or into their canal system that parallels the the Rio Grande most of the way down to the valley. I hope they will use some of this water before before they start on water from Falcon.. Who knows.. But every drop that does not go out of our dam is a good thing.. And being they owe us a bunch of water... Nah.. I must be dreaming..
Several of the lakes on the Conchos are over full, but they are currently releasing zero up there.. Today is the first day that I have gotten a water report from Mexico, due to the Government meltdown..
And speaking of which.. What a farce all of this bullshit has been.. Some folks got some paid vacation they were not planning on getting.. Hope they were not fishermen.. Millions got their vacations ruined.. All because Caesar got his panties in a wad..
The liberals won again.. It won't be long till we wake up and wonder how we are living under a global ruler.. With no shred of the freedom that we used to have here in America.. But that is what happens when you have a band of 90% gutless cowards in charge.. Leading a nation of sheep.. And we put them there..
I am not sure how I am going to die. But I wonder all the time if it is going to be at the hands of my own government.. And I don't think that this country was designed that way..
On Tuesday I was up in the hill country at Heart Of the Hills fish hatchery. It is Texas' oldest hatchery, started in 1925 or so.. It no loner produces fish, but the ponds are still there, and they are used only for research programs. But it is a little slice of heaven for the eyes.. I understand why you people want to live up there.. But I can't live nowhere where you can't plant a carrot or dig a post hole.. Those hills are pretty to look at.. But I am a flatlander..
I was there for our semiannual Freshwater Advisory Committee meeting. And there were a lot of things to talk about.. Everything from Alligator gar to Cormorants, to budgets, to Zebra mussels..
And speaking of the former, we presented our research results on Falcon, and the results of a study done in Mexico on lake Guerrero in 1998. And it appears that the powers that be are open minded to the possibility of raising the daily bag limit on Alligator gar here on Falcon, and maybe Choke Canyon.
I am pushing for a five fish bag limit, but we will see what happens.
There is currently a gar study going on at Choke. There has not been a lot of research done in the US on Gar. But the one in Mexico on Guerrero showed that gar preferred Black bass to eat, with bass being in their stomachs 51.5 % of the time. But bass made up 78% of the volume of stomach contents..
There were also 18.5% of unidentifiable fish.. And to me there is no reason to believe that the proportion would change in relation to prey/food species. So I think you can add another 9% to both numbers above..
Other fish in the stomach contents were Brem and Tilapia at 15.7%, and shad at 12.9%. Catfish also checked in at less than 2%.
We'll see what they decide to do, but I believe that we have way too many gar in Falcon, and that they do eat a lot of bass. The evidence certainly supports my claim. The ball is in TPWD's hands.. Stay tuned..
Well the golf season has wound down, and we'll see if Tiger sticks with Lindsey or if he feels the need to get his putter re gripped..
The NBA has started preseason, and soon we'll see how many more illegitimate kids are born as a few hundred semen sprinklers start crisscrossing the country in search of championship rings and hoochie mamas..
The NFL is heading into week whatever with some tribulations of their own.. Those guys are always good for some new mug shots every year.. And the Cowboys are at .500.. Condition normal..
Hockey is.. Well Hockey.. and nobody around here cares about that..
Baseball is boring me to death and I have been able to skip across those games on the TV screen.. Being that the Rangers put their underwear on backwards down the stretch..
What else is there to bitch about.. Not much.. Deer season opens in a couple weeks..
Hell, Life is Good.. And the fish are biting.. I'll see you on the lake.
Watch those floaters!
October 14, 2013: All the whoopin and hollerin is done here in Zapata as a busy weekend has wound down. Now we're all sittin around waiting for the rain.. More on that in a minute..
Congratulations to Bill Wilcox and Gib Coats for their win in the Texas Team Trail tourney over the weekend.. They caught over forty eight pounds of fish in a two day event that featured some tough fishing.. Somebody always finds them around here..
For complete results you can go to the TTT website here.
There were also some good stringers caught by the bass clubs that were in town as well. Hopefully someone will send me some final results when they get time..
All, or most all reports of fish, and a lot of good fish, came from water shallower than six feet. Finding a mixture of newly flooded brush with hardwoods mixed in was a good pattern.
Spinner baits and flukes seemed to be among the top producers. And weirdly enough, a lot of folks said you had to have some blue in the skirt. Or the bait.. I've already got a lot more on the way..
Small baits ruled I hear..
We have a bit of water coming down the river, and the potential to get a little more if the rain starts up again this afternoon. The Columbia bridge crossing is forecast to go to flood stage tomorrow and crest at about 16 feet.. That water takes a few days to get here, but there should be enough in the pipeline to give us a foot or so.. Maybe more if things work out right..
We'll have to wait and see what happens, as there are a couple of storms in the eastern Pacific hanging out around Cabo, and that moisture is streaming up to the Big Bend area.. That's right where we need it to be, and we'll see what kind of rain gets squeezed out of the clouds..
I do not believe that Mexico is releasing any water from their lakes on the Conchos just yet, but this is in their wheelhouse if it turns into big rains.. We'll see..
Due to the government assholes we have no info from TCEQ and IWBC.. So I am not able to get reports from them on what the releases are over in Mexico..
I hear that the Mexicans already owe us about 500,000 acre feet of water that they will not release to us. Even though some of their lakes are over full.. But we continue to release water to them from the Colorado in accordance with treaty agreements.. We're just stupid.
I also hear that when a meeting is scheduled to discuss it, they send only someone qualified to.. Well to do nothing.. And that is exactly what happens.. Nothing.. Did I mention that our federal government sucks??
And on a much sadder note..
I know that many of you know Jimmy Johnson. If you have fished tournaments anywhere in south Texas or across the south you will have run into him, usually picking up a check.
Jimmy was murdered last evening in Mississippi at a motel where he was staying while practicing for an upcoming tourney. Word is that he confronted a thief or thieves breaking into his truck in the parking lot.
Details are still very limited.
Jimmy was a great guy and a tough competitor, and the fishing community is less one great ambassador for our sport. Our condolences go out to Jimmy's family and friends. May he rest in peace.
October 12, 2013: Tourney Update
The first day of the Texas Team Trail tourney is in the books, and weights were about as expected. Big stringer was twenty five and change, and there were about ten stringers over twenty pounds. There were about six or seven fish over eight pounds. Big fish was an 11.05 or something close.. Here's a pic but I did not get a very good one..
I'll let you know what happens tomorrow!
October 12, 2013: There are more people in town than we have seen since the last Bass Champs tourney in the late spring, and it is good to see some boats at the local restaurants, motels, and gas stations.. Oh yeah.. And tackle stores..
Thanks to all of you who have stopped in..
There are eighty three teams that have come to Falcon to fish the championship of the Texas Team Trail, and we talked to a lot of them the last few days. And for the most part, fishing has been reported as "What the hell is going on around here..?"
Fact is that fishing is slow.. But no slower than it has been. It has been tough for a while.. But some folks are going to figure it out.. They always do.. And not everybody we talked to said it was tough..
There is also the South Houston bass club in town, along with the Ingram bass club. There are also a few folks that are here because of the idiocy in Washington.. We received a lot of calls from fishermen that were going to Amistad or other lakes that are closed because our politicians are trying to scratch the shit out of the grooves in their cerebrum.. But I am not too optimistic that they will get it done..
Any numbers of fish that are being caught are coming mostly on small offerings, like a shakey head or drop shot.
What? On Falcon? I'm not sure what to think..
The baitfish are everywhere and you'd think that if you were around a lot of bait, you'd be around a lot of fish.. Well you might be, but getting them to eat a lure has been tough. A small spinner bait has had some success, and white seems to be best. Chart and white is OK as well.
But you will definitely get more bites on a small bait. Whatever you are throwing..
And a trick worm in redbug or junebug on a drop shot or shakey head appears to be catching more fish than anything. That sounds ickie just talking about it..
But some fish are being caught on most everything.. It's all about hitting one in the head.
Water temps are still right around eighty, and some warmer in the afternoons.. So we have not cooled any to speak of, even with the couple of cool fronts that have made it down here.. We continue to hold about steady at 267.9. or 33.3 feet low.
I can't believe what the federal government is doing to its people the last two weeks or so. Well I guess I can. Remember a few years back when we had very high water and they closed Falcon because one electric wire was within ten feet of the waters surface.. And instead of helping us out by manning the area or buoying it off from those that probably needed to be eliminated from the gene pool anyway, they just decided to close the lake because it was the easiest thing to do..
And they deemed the losses to local businesses as "insignificant". Their words not mine.. I bet they never missed a paycheck.. Assholes..
And what we are seeing is just more of the same from a bunch of people that are so detached from reality that it makes the TV show Survivor seem credible..
I empathize with all of you who's businesses are being harmed, some to the point of closure, because those in power decided that we need to suffer.. Just to let you know how mean and nasty those old Republicans are..
This has nothing to do with money.. They are spending more money closing our parks and lakes than they were when they were open. And they are generating zero revenue from the assets.. That are owned by the people.. Not the government..
A different set of Assholes.. But Assholes nonetheless..
This is purely on the president and his henchmen. His decision.. Don't blame it on anybody else..
He is like the talentless neighborhood rich kid that owns the football..
And... Well you know how that story goes..
October 10, 2013: It has been a busy time around here this week. Matter of fact I will have my nose to the grindstone and my hands on the wheel a lot this month.. Lots of irons in the fire.. And I ain't even a blacksmith.
I was at the ranch last weekend working on trees, fences and deer feeders. Well.. I like one out of the three.. I was supposed to be at Amistad fishing the San Antonio Metro tourney, but as the story goes, King Obamma said, "Let them fish in private ponds.." Isn't it funny how the government owns the lakes.. More on that later..
But back here at Falcon, we are still open for business, due to nothing but luck and location..
And if you have been paying attention you will remember that I was talking about the TPWD coming down this week to do a study on the alligator gar. Well they did.. And we were involved.. All the way down to the slime..
We put out some gill nets to see what we could catch. And these were not your run of the mill gill nets. These were heavy duty nylon, two hundred feet long, with 4" webbing, and floating nylon top ropes.. If these gill nets were trucks they'd have balls hanging under the back bumper.. They were stout..
We set them out in about a twenty acre area in Goose Bay, the southernmost creek in the Tiger trilogy.. So keep in mind that we were checking a minuscule area of the lake.
We observed the area for a while, and saw a lot of surface activity. And there had been a lot of reports of gar hanging out in this area as of late.. But I hear that from a lot of places.. We picked it because of the reports and because of it's semi-protected location from high winds, if they decided to blow.
We set four nets and monitored them for several hours. And although we saw a lot of gar activity on top, we captured no fish.
We left the four nets out overnight in about a ten acre area. Three in open water about ten to twelve feet deep, and one in a wooded flat about six to eight feet deep.
The next morning we had fifteen gar in the nets.. None in the shallow net.. So we set four more in the same general area encompassing about a twenty acre area.
During the course of the day, nine more fish were caught. And four nets were left out the second night, that yielded only four more fish.
So in all we collected twenty eight fish, from about thirty pounds to a bit over a hundred. I am not sure that a true giant could get caught in these nets.. But he could get tangled I guess.. Most all of these gar were caught around the gills.. Guess that's why they call em gill nets..
All fish were brought to the shop and processed, which included aging and sexing, (not to be confused with sexting, although we did take a lot of pics..) We also weighed, measured, and checked stomach contents.
We found most every kind of fish in their stomachs, but many fish had nothing in their bellies at all. We found mostly carp, some tilapia and bass, and some big gizzard shad. Which confirms what I believed, that gar are pretty much gonna eat what they can catch. I doubt if they have very discretionary pallets when it comes to eating.. If they can catch it, they'll eat it.. Other studies in the past have shown that they prefer black bass..
And you know that I believe that.
And there is no doubt that they are the ultimate predator on Falcon. Or most any freshwater lake for that matter.
And if I took anything away from this adventure it is that it has overwhelmingly confirmed to me that we have an incredible population of gar. And a bunch of big ones..
And even after removing these fish from this one section, there was still a lot of surface activity in the area. And we were working a very small area of the lake, when you consider the size of Falcon, even at this level.
Here's a few Pics of the carnage..
I'll be back up to speed before long..
October 4, 2013: Well from most reports the fish took the day off yesterday.. Maybe they are non-essential biters and stayed under a rock all day..
The folks that did catch fish seemed to do best on shakey heads and some drop shots, mostly rigged with trick worms and mag trick worms. Redbug and Junebug seemed to be in demand..
A day or two ago it was spinnerbaits.. And some folks did fair on the blades yesterday. But no one I talked to had a banner day.
And a couple of groups said they did poorly on the rocks on the south end of the lake.. Hell if I know..
The lake is still rising, albeit very slowly. We are at 267.35, or 33.85 feet low.. I find it funny that I am excited about being 33 feet low.. But it does sound a lot better than something that starts with a 4..
Water temps are still right around eighty, so if you're fishing a tourney, please make a special effort to take care of your fish. It may be fall, but we do not have fall like water temps.
The ramps on both ends of the lake are working fine. We have been dealing with some sediment that washes in on the county ramp every hard rain, but we will have it cleaned off as is needed.. But the ramp is still working fine, just a bit flat.
I will be surprised if we catch another six inches, unless something changes. We have a chance for rain this weekend, but it does not look like a washout at this point.
We are still releasing more water than I can understand after the recent rains in the valley.. But I guess I will never figure that one out.. But if we can hold this level for a while it will be great..
Lots of juvenile fish have been reported, and several people told me that the baitfish were thick on the banks, and they were snagging them with crankbaits. I will have to agree after seeing what comes back in the cast net.. Lots of shad around..
Catfishing still very good.. Crappie are fair, but seem to be more active..
If you're stuck on land this weekend because of the geniuses in Washington.. Come on down.. Falcon is open for business!
October 3, 2013: We have seen a bit of an increase in the number of people in town the last couple of days. Mostly due to fellows prefishing for the Texas Team Trail Championship coming to town next weekend.
And some due to your friends and mine; the US government.. Who woulda ever thought that they might do something good for Zapata..
It appears that the "shutdown" has closed a lot of lakes and parks across Texas and the country.. And some folks that had a trip planned this week have redirected their travel plans to include Zapata.
We're glad to have ya..
The closing of parks and ramps at lakes across the country is about as ludicrous as any thing any one could imagine. Why are we punishing.. Wait a minute.. That's not right.. Why are "they" punishing the very people that made all those lakes and ramps and their jobs possible..
With a stroke of the pen the Obaminator could open all lakes and parks. But he is having another of his tantrums and if he can't have it just his way he will make all of us suffer. I can see him laying on his belly kicking and screaming and beating the floor.. "Why don't they like me?? Why don't they like me?? Go get my golf clubs.."
The working men and women of this country are certainly a second class in the eyes of our elected..
They won't let us work.. And now we can't play either..
The schedules of hundreds of tournaments and millions of people have been disrupted by these A-holes.
And they are costing businesses millions a day in the process.. Businesses that normally collect their taxes for them.. We all loose..
I think an IQ test and a family mental history should be required before we let any of these dingbats run for office.. But I guess that'll never happen.. We can't even get them to show us a birth certificate.
If my Daddy was in charge of this crap, he's go out and break off about three feet of vinyl garden hose, and start putting some stripes on some asses..
The base of all this dick measuring is certainly Obammacare. And whether you are for it or against it, you have to admit it is about the most controversial and divisive piece of legislation ever crammed down the throats of Americans. Because it basically tells you what you have to do. That you have to buy insurance.
I never saw that in the constitution. Ah.. But the Supreme court said it is not a directive of the government to arbitrarily tell you what to do.. It is a tax.. So the government has the ability to enforce said tax.
Then why it is it that you have the ability to choose the amount of tax you want to pay.. Re: The choosing of which plan you would like..
Well I would like the Platinum plan.. But I am on a Bronze plan budget..
So I would only be able to buy what I can afford.. Well isn't that exactly where we were before all this shit started? What if I can't even afford the Bronze plan. Then the government will pay for your health care for you..
So why didn't they just pass a law saying that you had to have health insurance. Oh.. This is supposed to make it affordable.. So to make it affordable, we need all the young healthy people to pay for all the old sick peoples health care.. Now I get it..
Now don't get me wrong.. I think that health care, and good health care, should be available to all people. And so far, the USA has the best health care system ever invented on the planet. That is why people with means flock to the US to get procedures done that their countries socialized medicine says will take couple of years to get to..
I can see why Americans are wanting some of that.. And that is what Obamma care will become.. Socialized medicine..
But my Libertarian innards tell me that we all have the ability to do whatever we want. Although I know it is not true..
And certainly we as Americans have a problem with priorities. I among them.. I could have the best insurance on the planet. With zero deductible and no co-pays..
But I couldn't have a nice boat and the money to fish.. No more Argentina dove hunts.. And vacations would be not too far and not too luxurious.. And not too often..
So when you boil it all down, it's about personal choices and preferences. And gambling..
Well it used to be..
Obamma care is just another government tax that you have no choice in.. And if I was in my twenties.. I'd be pissed.. Cause your gonna pay for this shit for the rest of your life..
Your freedoms are eroding every day America.. Wake up!
September 30, 2013: Just a quick update to tell you that we got 3.25 inches of rain over the weekend, with the bulk of it coming on Saturday night and into Sunday morning. The lake took a bit of a jump and we have caught about nine inches of water in the last 36 hours. There is still some water in the river and we should catch a bit more before we are done. We are sitting at 266.44 as of this morning.
I see that the Mexicans have seriously decreased the flow in the Conchos, so you will see Amistad start to level off as the week progresses.
We have gotten over eleven inches of rain this month here at the shop. We need one more good one between the mountains in Mexico and us now that a lot of the tanks and ponds and small lakes are full over there.
Here's a couple of snaps from off the Veleno bridge yesterday evening.
September 28, 2013: Things have picked up a little bit around here in more ways than one. The lake level is still rising, and we are up to 265.44, or 35.76 feet low. We have been catching a couple of inches a day, but looking at the water in the river, we should flatten out tomorrow or so.
The old bridge in the Veleno is back under water, and that means that the state park concrete ramp is back in operation. And several folks I talked to the last couple of days have used it.. There is about three feet of water in the channel, so just take it easy till you get out of the cut..
There have been a few folks in town fishing this week, and some of them are here doing some looking around for the Texas Team Trail tourney that will be here on the weekend of October 12th and 13th..
I have heard mixed results from them but a few have a found a thing or two. I suppose we will see a few more down here this week checking it out.
There should be eighty five to a hundred boats in this tourney, and it is the only big event of the fall here on Falcon.
There have been some spinner bait fish starting to show up these last two weeks, and you can't throw one too shallow. All white is best it sounds like.. Double willow..
We have a bunch of weeds and a little light brush in the water right now. And the spinner is catchin some fish around them. A small fluke or jerk bait is catching a few shallow as well.
I have been monitoring the bait fish in the Veleno via cast net results, and there are a lot of perch, (bream) and some big threadfin shad showing up. It seems like for the last two years all the shad I have seen have been small. These are some whoppers.. Good to see some adults in numbers again. I might have to take that 1.5 off and tie on a 2.5..
And speaking of fish.. Whether you like em or not, the white bass are on their way back. They are being caught on a pretty regular basis. Most are not legal sized just yet, but they tend to eat like pigs and before long they will be keepers.. There have been schools of them seen on top trashing the shad.. Look for them coming to a cove near you..
I don't know if you were around here fifteen years ago when the white bass were so thick you could walk across the lake on them. There was rarely a day when you would not run into a school of them somewhere.. And if things remain the same, that will probably be happening in the next few years. Some folks don't care for them.. But I think that if you coat em in corn meal and flour and give em a hot oil bath they are really good..
I know they compete with the bass for food, but there is not a lot anyone can do about them. Cept catch em and eat em.. And we have plenty of groceries to go around. And besides, they coexisted with the blacks in the lake for forty years.. And it didn't seem to hurt the fishing.. Maybe they'll eat up some of the bait and make the bass a little easier to catch..
And I know that bass think white bass are tasty.. So stay tuned.. You'll be hearing more and more about them..
The catfish have gone nuts in the river with the increase in current, and the deep holes above the Salado have been putting out some whoppers. Cut carp or tilapia seem to be working best.. Fresh cut perch are good as well.
Use caution heading up the river and stay in the channel. There are some shallow spots in there, but stay in-between the trees on the channel edges and you can do it..
Rock piles are putting out a good number of bass, but you may have to check a few before you get into any numbers. A square bill is a good choice around them. If you haven't checked out the Bomber deep diving square bills you need to give them a try.. They run about 10-12 feet and work great crashing them off the rocks. We have had them for a while and folks really seem to like em..
We did get a couple of new things in recently.. Zoom is making a senko with a fluke tail on it.. They call it a Fluke Stick.. Haven't fished it yet.. But we have a few colors to try out and we have them in stock..
We are also getting the new Revo ultra high speed reels in this week. 9:1 gear ratio.. They call it the Rocket. That'll get a buzzbait on top in a jiffy.. We'll see how them gears hold up on a walrus down here..
We also have some of the new Lews crankin reels on the way. I can't believe they discontinued the Tournament Pro in the 5.4:1.. They worked great I thought.. And better yet they sold great.. I guess I don't understand how business works..
We had a good shower down here yesterday evening bout dark.. Didn't make any water run, but we have a chance for some more today and tomorrow.
I am headed to Amistad next weekend to fish the San Antonio Metro tourney.. Oh Boy.. If you thought Falcon was fishing bad.. Some of the reports I have been hearing make me want to go dove hunting..
There are a few Snowbirds starting to show up down here, and before you can say Halloween we'll have town full of em. Maybe I can get a heads up on the crappie before too long. I hear that most of the crappie being caught are on the south end of the lake. The Berkley Gulp minnow is still king.. That stuff catches everything.
It's cooling off a little, and before we know it we'll be needing long britches and sweatshirts. I hate cold weather.. But I can stand some seventies.. And it ain't far off..
Holler if we can help you.. See you on the water.. Or at pumpkin carving class..
September 24, 2013: Last week was a bit more exciting around here, as we watched with anticipation the rains and runoff and ensuing lake level rises. But like a lot of things, it just wasn't as good as it could have been. But I ain't complaining..
Del Rio saw a lot of rain, and if the cold front that blew through would have been a day or two later, we would likely have seen a lot more in the Laredo and Zapata area. But the cold front swept the moisture south and mostly east and it went by here quicker than the flavor goes out of your bubble gum..
During the rain event, we got 8.25 inches, give or take a hunnert or two.. But if you have been around here long you know that local rain don't do much good for water levels.. Just like Grace, it has to come from above..
And that is where we are getting a bit from right now.. Some of the rains on the east side of the mountains below Amistad are still draining into the river, but it is not a lot of water. We are sitting at 264.20, or exactly 37 feet low.. That's up about three feet in the last couple weeks. We need a bit more to get us back on the concrete ramp at the state park. The comfortable number is 266 for the state park ramp. I wonder if the IWBC even knows the level where it quits working..
Lake Don Martin, that is on the Salado above Falcon is still only at about 40% of capacity. It caught some water, but not a lot.. I thought it would do better..
A couple of lakes on the Conchos, in northern Mexico, are over full, and they are spilling some water into the Rio Grande that is headed for Amistad. Neither of these lakes are monsters, but Madero is sitting at 123%, and Luis Leon is sitting at 113%. Madero runs into Luis Leon. Madero is releasing 2606 CFS, and Leon is releasing 7147 CFS. These figures are both as of yesterday afternoon.
You have heard me talk about these lakes before. Lake Boquilla is above these two on the conchos, and the furthermost west. And it is a big lake. But it is well on the west side of the mountains, and it did not rain much over there.. When that lake gets full.. Well that's when the good shit happens.. It did come up about 10%, but not enough to warrant any releases.. It is currently at 48% of capacity.
I have no idea how long they will release water from these two lakes into Amistad.. No other Mexican lakes in our watershed are releasing any water..
And no matter how much water Mexico owes us, they will only pay it back when they no longer have the capability to hold it.. We have a water treaty with Mexico, but it is as worthless as the paper it was written on back before I was born. Because we have a bunch of politicians with no balls to enforce that one either..
We'll see how long they let the water run. But if history is any indicator, they will quit as soon as no threat of flooding is perceived as likely. And as winter approaches, very little rainfall is likely in the area of the Conchos..
BTW.. Amistad has caught about twenty feet of water from the low a few months back.. They are now right at 40 feet low..
Fishing remains about the same as it was a few weeks ago.. I hear there are some very shallow fish you can catch with a spinnerbait or square bill. Water clarity on the top of the lake is spotty, but once you are south of marker nine things get better.. Water on the south end of the lake is beautiful..
The Bud Light Trail tourney on Saturday had very few fishermen. I hear only ten teams fished. Results were not great but there were some decent fish caught. The weather did not help turnout I am sure..
The Texas Team Trail will be holding their championship here in two weeks. We have seen a few fishermen down here poking around. It will be good to see a tourney of some size on the lake to give us an idea of what the fishery is doing. But I can tell you now that it will put out better stringers than any other lake in the state..
I have been doing a lot of bitching about our gar problem here on Falcon, and I wrote a few letters to a few folks up the food chain and it appears that we may get something done.. No guarantees.. But the TPWD is going to be doing a gill net study on gar the second week of October.
I am not sure how it will go, but I am looking forward to seeing what they catch and cutting the heads off some of these bastards.. They might not say it exactly like that..
I am gonna keep my mouth shut till the results are in.. But personally I don't see the need to spend a ton of money to research a known fact. Water still boils at 212° no matter how many times you stick the thermometer in it.. If you got holes in your bread bag, crumbs fall out of the cracker package, and little brown pellets are all over your cabinet floors, you got a mouse..
Like the viagra commercial says.. The time for action is now..
What else is going on.. Let's see..
A bunch of Muslims killed a bunch of Christians at mall in Kenya.. A couple of Muslim suicide bombers killed scores of Christians at a church in Pakistan.. Yeah.. These Muslims are a bunch of friendly and peaceful sons a bitches.. I told you.. Islam and personal freedom cannot co-exist..
Stay tuned for more senseless deaths at the hands of Muslim Islamic assholes.. Quite possibly coming to a mall near you.. And watch as Obamma shakes the blood stained hands of a bunch of these bastards at the UN this week.. Of course he is a Muslim.. Who said the sweetest sound he ever heard was the Islamic call to prayer.. His words.. Not mine..
What else.. NASA is reported to be studying the glow of the moon.. There's some money well spent.. Let me save you some money.. Look in a mirror.. That is a reflection.. Look at the moon.. That is a reflection.. Game over..
It is time to end this science project call NASA.. At least till we can afford to fund the military.. And give the people on Social Security some of their hard earned money back.. Oh.. And till we can stop borrowing a billion a day from the Chinese.. Oh yeah. Maybe we can take care of our veterans..
Satellites are fine.. And we got plenty.. But because a handful of "scientists" get their jollies from landing a robotic Tonka Toy on Mars we are spending billions on bullshit.. We can't get it right on this planet.. Why do we have the need or right to go screw up another one.
The US Postal Service may need an emergency rate hike to stay in business.. No Shit? Who woulda ever thunk it?? Here's your instant cure..
Immediately retire all those eligible.. Deliver mail two times a week. That automatically cuts down on mail carriers by one half. Get rid of half of your delivery vehicles. Mail carriers will run two different routes. One on Monday and Thursday, one on Tuesday and Friday. Nobody needs daily mail delivery.. If we do we'll send it overnight with Fed -Ex or UPS or whatever.. We already do.. The theory that we need daily mail delivery is ludicrous..
Besides.. Your food stamps and welfare all come delivered electronically these days.. And no bill is due before you'll get it .. I promise..
Congress is debating de funding the government.. Where do you go with that one? Hope you have hoarded up some food and supplies.. Cause this could be the end.. Our government is an embarrassment..
I'm telling you.. I could cure all this crap in six months..
I went to the ranch Sunday go shoot some doves, but went to a buddy's place in Castroville instead.. They have a planted sunflower field.. Oh yeah.. And a lot of white wings.. They have been and still are day leasing it.. I killed my limit in thirty minutes.. My 12 ga seems like a cannon after shooting those 28's in Argentina.. But nonetheless.. It kills the shit out of em..
And while I was there I checked out my oat patches.. I finally did something right.. Or at least I timed it right. Add 2.25 inches of rain and seven days later you got green.. Where they weren't none before..
Thanks for the rain Lord..
September 19, 2013: Hurry up and wait.. The story of my life.. I'm waiting on a current water report.. And on some more rain.. And on the storm in the gulf to do something.. And for the storm down at Cabo to explode with rain showers to its northeast.. Like all good hurricanes are supposed to do.. So far it is not exactly drenching the Mexican mountains between it and El Paso..
I couldn't take a marks-a-lot and spot the storm any better on the map.. We'll see what happens.. But we'll have to wait...
Rain is starting to pile up in NW Texas around San Angelo, and to the west in New Mexico again.. And I got no problem with that.. But I am cheering for the rain to fall on those mountains.. Them rocks don't absorb much water.. And they are done holding all they can..
We have a few more spotty showers around here this PM.. But no deluges.. Since this stuff started a few days ago, I have dumped 8.15 inches out of our gage here at FLT. An exercise I rather enjoy.. I hope to get in a few more reps before the weekend is over..
Falcon has risen just over a foot in the last four days, and we are gaining about 3-4 inches a day right now.. There is a little current coming down the Salado, and a bit in the Rio Grande.
Here's what the Veleno looks like from the bridge looking west, or towards the lake.
And here is what the county ramp looks like this AM.. After the county had just bladed the parking lot yesterday.. OOPS..
And somehow I let this pic slip through my pixels last week.. I swear I didn't see it Jay.. I'll always give it up for the kids.. Of course this 9-11 is a bona fide whopper..
You couldn't wipe that grin off with a bottle of vinegar..
It's 4:09 and I still don't have a river report from Mexico.. If I write long enough maybe one will trickle in..
I was thinking.. And that can be dangerous.. But I think that there is little worse out there in today's world than child pornography.. And I think that people who view and collect it are low life Son of a Bitches. I can't even say on here what I think about the people that produce it..
So I think that some new laws need to be enacted. And if we can't get them all outlawed, then at the very least we need to start putting some limits on them..
Well of course I am talking about cameras..
Especially the ones with the long lenses.. They look way to scary.. And if they have a flash and a tripod then they definitely need to be outlawed..
There is no way anybody could need a camera with more than five megapixels.. Even if they are just taking pictures for fun..
And a chip that holds over two two gigabytes?? That is ludicrous..
I think that we also need to limit the number of SD cards that any one individual could own..
And a thorough background check is certainly in order for any potential camera buyer. There is no telling what crimes the buyer of a camera could be contemplating..
Because there is no doubt that cameras cause child porn..
Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, gun haters..
You can't fix stupid..
Well I still do not have a water report from Mexico.. But you know I will pass on any pertinent info as soon as I get it..
Let it rain!
September 18, 2013: There have been some really good rains all around us, and looking at the radar this morning it looks like the onshore flow is still producing some showers, and should for the next day or so.. And the NWS gives the storm on the yucatan a decent chance for development in the coming days. The remnants of Manuel in the Gulf of California are sending some showers to the western side of the mountains in Mexico, in the Rio Conchos watershed.. And water in the Rio Conchos always gets my attention.
And speaking of which.. The Mexicans have started releasing water again from Luis Leon, which is sitting at 114% of full pool.. And Madero, that runs into it, is sitting at 122% of full pool. As of yesterday, they were releasing 5247 CFS down the Concho, which runs into the Rio Grande at Presidio..
That's good news for Amistad. And speaking of the Rio Grande, it has been running a bit above normal due to the flooding out El Paso way. There is also water headed to Amistad down the Pecos. But after watching it for a few days it does not seem to be as much water as I thought it might be.
But hey.. We'll take it all.. Cause sooner or later it will end up here.. This water won't hit Amistad for a couple of days..
As far as Falcon goes, there are still a couple of wildcards in play. Will they pass us any water on out of Amistad? Who knows..
But the one thing I have no info on is how much water might be coming (or not) down the Salado river. The Salado of course runs into Falcon at the top of the lake right across from Beacon Lodge. And it can be a major player if the rain falls in its water shed. Don Martin, or Carranza dam is the big lake on the Salado between us and the mountains. As of yesterday Don Martin was at 31% of capacity, but that is up a bit. I don't expect it to fill up, but there is an awful lot of drainage into the Salado river basin between us and there.. We'll have to wait and see what shows up.. Not a lot of infrastructure between us and there.. Translation. No river gauges.. We'll see..
But this is about as optimistic as I have been in a while.. We just need some more rain to fall.. Like always..
So there's your water report.. Lots of variables.. But it is what it is..
Fishing remains hit and miss, and a lot of it depends on who you're talking to. There's not a lot of folks to talk to. Daily storm threats have kept most people off the water. But those that are fishing are catching some fish. We're not killing em, but we're catching a few..
Crankbaits still seem to be catching fish, and you can't throw them too shallow. Depth changes.. Did we ever talk about depth changes? Like edges of ridges, rockpiles, ledges, and ends of points? If I somehow forgot to mention that in my earlier reports please forgive me.. But those are good places to throw a crankbait.. Or drag a rig..
And as ickie as it sounds, a drop shot or a shakey head will catch you some fish..
You may have already seen this fish, but Carlos Mondragon caught this one this week.. It went 11.44!
Yep.. That would be another personal best out of Falcon.. I wonder how many people have caught their personal best out of Falcon the last four years.. I bet the number would blow your mind..
I wish I could catch my personal best out of Falcon. Cause if I do it will be a sombitch.. My PB is still from Sugar.. But I'm workin on it..
What else is going on..
I'll give you another reminder that the Bud Light Trail will be holding a team open here this weekend. Check their website for details. They are considering a Platinum Trail for next year that would fish Amistad and Falcon. That sounds interesting.. Not sure if they could fill the field at a grand a pop.. But you never know.. There are a lot of folks from San Antonio and points south and west that just might be interested..
I see that the Elite series won't be visiting Texas anytime next year. Their schedule came out this week.. Lots of lakes to the east.. Well.. They are going to Toledo..
Haven't seen a Bass Champs schedule for next year yet.. So I don't know when they'll be here.. Reckon we'll find out before too long.
Some deranged wacko in DC decided to murder a bunch of people at the Navy Yard. What the hell can you say about that.. They said he was hearing voices.
Why is it that every time someone is hearing voices, the voices tell them to kill someone.. Why don't the voices ever tell them to go plant flowers.. Or bake a cake..
This will add more fuel to the Gun Control debate.. But keep in mind that this happened in a place with some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation..
And those gun control laws have worked out real well in New York and Chicago and Detroit as well.
Crazy is Crazy.. And you can't guard against all things Crazy. It just can't be done..
I'll let you know if we need help to move to higher ground.. But don't go rent the U-Haul just et..
September 17, 2013: Goodness.. It has been a while since we have seen this kind of rain around here.. We are right around the 6.75 mark, with most of the rain falling yesterday afternoon and last night. We have no phone service and no internet.. So I am writing this off-line to post when we get it back.. So if you have been trying to call us.. Don't believe all that Time Warner propaganda..
So I do not know what else has happened around here.. Weather channel says there was some good rains above us.. We'll see what it does to the river, if anything.. Hopefully the Salado will be running..
There is another tropical wave down on the Yucatan that could come this way as well.. But the best thing that can happen to us is if this remnant now moves north along the mountains in Mexico.. We are supposed to get some scattered showers this afternoon.. We'll see!
And redevelopment of the storm in the Pacific. It could happen!
September 16, 2013: Two inches here at the shop so far.. And counting.. And waiting.. Hoping this thing keeps slinging the rain out to the north.. We'll see!
September 14, 2013: Now here's an interesting situation.. Two tropical storms headed Texas' way.. Or at least a lot of moisture is.. I'm hoping the best for our rain chances.. And I hope both of these son of a guns collide over central Mexico and climb their way up the mountains and stall out just south of Big Bend..
That'll make some shit happen..
The Pecos is already on a rise, and that is going to put some water in Amistad.. Hard to tell at this point just how much.. Not gonna fill it it up or anything.. But it ain't gonna hurt.. And the Rio Grande below El Paso also has some water in it.. But it ain't all that we need.. But it ain't gonna hurt.
I wish we could get the water that is heading south out of Colorado.. But it should end up in lake Meade. They can use it as well.
A lot of the water in southern New Mexico will go into Elephant Butte.. And it really needs it as well..
But like always we will take whatever we can get, and thank God for every drop.
But for now, it is just a waiting game.. I am pretty sure we are going to get some rain, and some in the right places.. We'll see how much. We are long overdue to fill up a bunch of lakes across the state.
Fishing has been decent this week, with a lot of small fish showing up. And more of that schooling activity is taking place that I was talking about the other day. Several boats got into some top water action where the fish were pounding the shad on the surface.. Not that they were using top water baits.. But the fish were there.. Didn't matter what you threw I heard..
That's my kind of fishing.. And October is known for that kind of stuff.. We'll see it it continues.. Or gets better. I hear that most of these fish are twelve to fifteen inches.. With a good un mixed in once in a while..
A Carolina rig or a Drop Shot seem to be working well on the south end of the lake. Get off a ledge or rocky point and shake that drop shot.. A Biffle Bug is a good choice to rig on there.. The ball and chain is working as well..
Flipping is still catching a few on the top of the lake. Fish the shadows.. And you should always throw a big crank bait on some deep rocks..
The Bud Light Trail is holding a Open Team Tourney down here next weekend. If you are tired of not catching anything anywhere else, come on down and get you some.. Registration will be here at FLT the evening before the tourney.. This is the last open down here till early next year..
A customer of ours passed along a pic that he got off of his game cam. There are still a few of these bad boys around here in south Texas..
Rain is a commin! I'm headed to the ranch to plant oats!
It is hard to believe that it has been twelve years since a bunch of cowardly, Muslim, Islamic, America hating Son of a Bitches hijacked some airplanes and flew them into the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and into the ground in Pennsylvania.. I am still pissed.. Hell I'm still pissed at the Japs..
But it seems that many in America have forgotten just who perpetrated this shit. I'm not saying that we as Americans have forgotten the incident. Or the people brutally murdered.
What I am getting at, is that we continue to try and get along with, appease, coddle, support, (monetarily) and enable a bunch of Sorry Bastards that hate us.. And for what? For a few barrels of oil? That we don't need? We're exporting more than we're importing..
I am sure there are a lot of you out there that are smarter than me.. Will someone please explain to me why we do what we do.
And no mater what we do, these people are still going to hate us..
Get us the hell out of the Middle East, with the exception of Israel. And let it be known, that if anybody messes with them, they're messin with us..
But that would take a president and a congress with some balls.. Something that we are seriously lacking..
Our foreign policy is about like a bunch of sorry ass parents we have today.. "Stop that or you're gonna get a spanking.." You can say it a hundred times.. But if you never give em a spanking then their fear of one is non existent..
That's a pretty good analogy of our relationship with most of the middle east..
Why are we babysitting these assholes anyway. There is no good side to be on over there.
Islam cannot co-exist with personal freedom.. Get it thru your head..
I don't wanna get too worked up but I do want to remember those who were murdered on this day twelve years ago. And I hope you do too.
Say a prayer for them and their familys, and say a prayer that our leaders will somehow magically pull their heads out of their asses and get our people out of there and leave these idiots to themselves..
Keep the faith America.. Just because we are in a leadership slump right now don't mean that the heart and soul of our country ain't still here.. We're due for a winning season.. We just have to find the right head coach..
September 10, 2013: It's nice to look at the forecast and see rain in the picture for the rest of the week. But it would be even nicer if we could get some of this moisture out of the clouds and on the ground.. I hate to say it, but a whole lot of Texas needs people standing on tops of cars and rooftops..
Now I don't want you to take that the wrong way.. But there are always folks that drive into low water crossings and build too close to creeks and rivers.. It happens.. But not lately..
It is all a cycle and it is about time for the pendulum to swing back to the wet side.. Being from Texas we are used to some drought conditions, but this has gone on long enough..
I was reading a report yesterday about the Arctic Ice extending from Canada to Russia, and how the ice coverage is over a million square miles more than last year.. Maybe that Polar bear you saw on TV drifting away on a chunk of ice will finally be reunited with her cubs..
A million square miles.. That's a lot of area.. I hope they'll still be able to get to the king crabs..
Many scientists are saying we are entering a global cooling period, and already have.. I think they used an AlGorerythm to figure it out.. There's another hustler for you..
Meanwhile, Falcon is cooling just a bit, but don't expect any ice coverage.. Our water temps are still around 84° and dropping slowly.. Our average high temperature these days is 96.. But we have been well below it it the last week due to all the clouds and rain in the area..
Fishing remains decent, and reports of a few pods of schooling fish have been heard. It is usually pretty common in the summer months, but we did not see a lot of it this year. October has always been one of my favorite months to fish, and it ain't too far away.. We'll see if this year's fall is as good as some of the pasts..
There are a few tourneys coming up, with some clubs returning to Falcon for some fall events, and the only big one is the Texas Team Trail championship that will be the weekend of October 12-13th.
Not a lot of San Antonio clubs will be down here before November as the SA Metro tourney will be at Amistad again this year. And most if not all of the clubs fish it September for a pre-fish, and the tourney in October. So it will be a slow entry into fall this year around here..
It won't be long before the Snowbirds start rolling into town, as hard as that is to believe. The first wave usually hits town about October 15th, and the number grows untill right after Christmas.. Only 106 days left to get your Christmas shopping done.. Better get busy..
The 2014 FLT BassBlast! is scheduled for the middle of April, barring any problems around here.. Last year both Tommy and I had physical problems, I couldn't walk and Tommy had spine surgery.. This year I hope all is back to normal and we'll only be dealing with our mental problems.. But we're used to that..
I am waiting to set a date till I see a couple of circuit schedules, but it will be sometime around April 15th. I'm giving you seven months notice.. So plan on it..
I heard yesterday that a lot of kids are having withdrawal pains.. From their smart phones.. During school hours they are not allowed to text and chat and tweet and post and e-mail and surf and game and hashtag and all of the other things you can use a phone for..
And I reckon it is a true reflection of today's society.. If Siri doesn't answer, a lot of folks don't have anybody to talk to.. I guess that's why they are talking to their phones..
In my day text was what was on a page.. Not some twenty minute conversation consisting of finger jabbing a glass plate while waiting for some other conversationalist to finger jab a glass plate somewhere else.. Why in the hell don't you just call them.. I know your phone can do it.. I've seen it happen..
But to a lot of folks when they hear that ding, ping, whistle , bleep, duck, cow, horn, cricket, or whatever is textacy..
Chatting was something you did with a girl before you got her top off.. After you got it off there wasn't a lot of time left for chatting..
Tweet was what a bird did right before I whacked him with my Red Ryder.. I shut many of em up..
Post is what we nailed Barbed Wire to..
E-mail.. Well there wasn't no e-mail when I was a youngun.. The only mail we had was the US postal Service.. And stamps cost 4 cents when I was a kid.. And going to the post office gave you a place to ride your bike..
Surfing was something that Hippies did.. We didn't live near no ocean.. I never saw a Hippie when I was a kid.. Seen a lot of crew cuts though..
Gaming has a whole new meaning.. We used to play baseball, football, basketball, kick the can, cowboys and indians, war, Red Rover, and a plethora of things that were only limited by our imagination..
And a hashtag was a number sign.. Or a bunch of marks in your chonies..
I guess I'm just a little old fashioned.. Maybe a lot.. Remember when we went from a rotary phone to a phone with just numbers on squares? That was a technological breakthrough.. But it has been all down hill since then..
I want them to make some improvements in things that matter.. Like apple pie.. 270 bullets.. Car Jacks.. Bubble gum.. Toothpaste tubes.. Pump up sprayers.. Fly swatters..
They make everything unbreakable.. Except for your heart..
I guess technology has its place.. But there is an awful lot of good things we have left behind..
The one thing I would like to see return is common courtesy.. And that starts with me and you..
Well I gotta go polish my Lone Ranger lunch box.. I'm going on a picnic tomorrow..
September 5, 2013: It has been a great week weather wise around here, with the daily thunderstorm mixed in. And nobody is complaining about that.. Well.. Maybe a couple that got caught on the lake..
I don't own a smart phone.. We let me rephrase that.. I own a couple.. But I don't carry one.. My wife and kids say they are nice.. But it is a good idea to keep your eye on the radar in the afternoons around here these days.. And for the next few the way it sounds..
I like the looks of the mess that's brewing in the gulf.. We might actually get the valley wet with this one..
We are still releasing about 1800 CFS as we speak.. And we are below 40 feet low..
We are dropping very slowly, as Amistad is pulsing some water out in the afternoons.. I reckon they are generating..
No changes in conditions around here, either real or imagined.. County ramps are fine.. State Park is still off the point.. Four wheel drive is a great asset if you're launching down there..
Water quality on the south end of the lake is awesome.. I don't know why the upper quarter of the lake won't clear up..
The Gar are still running rampant on Falcon, and the gar hunters are having a good time.. Of course the gar are still eating everything in sight..
TPWD has decided that the gar are more important than the bass in Falcon, as they have decided not to alter the one per day limit on gar. This is typical of government. With no research into the gar numbers here, or most lakes I'd imagine, they decided to move the whole state to a one per day limit.
That happened a few years ago, but recently they were reconsidering making a three or five fish per day limit. But it appears that that died and we are stuck with a one a day bag limit.
This deters many that used to come to Falcon from all over the country to kill a trophy or two..
I hear next year we are going to have a five bird limit on doves..
Remember a few years back when they had commercial fishermen at Choke Canyon catching the gar? Sanctioned by TPWD? I fished it all the time back then.. And you NEVER saw gar like you can see them here now..
I don't think that moving the limit to five fish would be a cure all, or make that big a difference.. But what the hell could it hurt?
Meanwhile the Gar continue to feast on bass..
Whether you believe it or not..
This pic is a bit gross.. But if you have ever gutted a buzzard you've seen worse.. This was not a monster gar.. The bass weighed right at four pounds..
I guess that TPWD cannot admit that they made a mistake, but what do you expect from the same people that brought you Sharelunker.. And continue bringing it to you..
So pull up your panties, and change the freakin Gar limit to five.. It ain't that hard..
If you get bored at work, and you must be if you're reading this, send an e-mail to our State Reps.. And tell our Senators as well.. They ain't doing nothin anyway.. If you are a bass fisherman or a Gar hunter this is where you need to get involved.. Tell em to fix this shit..
Speaking of our elected, I wonder how they are going to vote on the Syria invasion.. Hell yeah it would be an invasion.. Where we do not belong. I am hoping that they do as their constituents wish, and keep us the hell out of there.. Latest polls say that 80% of Americans do not want us to go in there.. But you know that they know better than us.. We are just a bunch of dumb asses.. Remember this crap in 2014.. Elections are not that far off..
Oh.. About Obamma.. I told you so.. Before the first go round.. This guy is in so far over his head he has to look up to see the grass.. And I don't see why they got mad cause a rodeo clown wore an Obamma mask.. Down here we have Obamma pinata's..
He's not even qualified to mow the grass in the Rose Garden, much less speak from it..
I guess there are some people who like him.. The way left of center guys.. The homosexuals like him..
I have a new slogan for them.. Heard it at a rummage sale.. "One mans junk is another mans treasure.."
It's hard to go wrong when you've got good material..
I love old school sayings, specially ones that you just don't hear anymore.. I worked for a Carpenter when I was a kid.. And I mean if the product contained wood, this son of a gun could make it. From an apple crate to a piano.. He was amazing and I worked for and with him during the summers and weekends when I was in High School. Learned a trade from him and a lot more..
Whenever he saw a skinny girl walking down the street he would say; "She ain't got no more ass an' a mockin bird.." Or if he saw a plump girl with big cheeks walking by he would say; "That thing looks like two bulldogs fightin in a burlap bag.." Or if I really messed something up he would say; "That looks like a quart jar of smashed assholes." Or if I accused him of stretching the truth he'd say; "Boy if I tell you that a rooster dips snuff, just look under his wing for the can.."
RIP T.J. Peters..
had a million of em and most of em I
My Uncle Lewis was quite a character as well, and he was on many a trip with my Dad and I when I was a kid.. And he was known to occasionally pull a cork in his younger years..
And when I would get on him about his driving he would always say; "Boy.. A'v drove more miles backwards, at night, than you..." That meant for me to shut up..
One particular quail hunt, when that cork mighta fell out of the bottle, he said "If I hit em on the first shot I'm gonna shoot the other three at the moon.." And he did all morning..
He sold insurance, to everybody, everywhere, and my dad always said he could sell ice to eskimos.. He was the first person I ever heard say, "Water covers bout 2/3rds of the earth.. I cover the rest.."
Whenever you come in the store ask me to tell you about the deer and the mailbox.. It's a classic.. But I am not sure if the statute of limitations has expired yet..
He was a great Uncle.. Everybody should have one like him.. I could tell you stories all night.. And we'd surely have to pull a cork.. RIP Uncle Lewis.. I miss you man..
The fishing around here is the same as it was last week.. Call me if you want detailed information about the baby brush hogs, Carolina rigs, and the Chartruse Blue Back 6XD's..
I'm headed to the ranch and the surrounding area to kill some doves.. It ain't Argentina.. But it is dove hunting..
Bring me some shells!
September 1, 2013: It's official.. The sun is up and dove season for 2013 is officially open.. If you live in the right spot.. We have to wait till noon..
And I am officially tired of standing in front of this license machine.. I think I need to get me some Dr. Shoals shoe inserts..
Fishing remained spotty yesterday, with some folks catching em pretty good, and some folks struggling.. But if you just keep thinking rocks your gonna get on some fish sooner or later.. Or if your fishing hardwoods then just put your head down and go.. I heard that flipping to a tree four or five times can make a difference.. Guess you gotta piss em off..
Any depth on the rocks can have fish, but a ledge or drop makes it ten times better.. Fish in the trees have been from dirt to ten feet..
I was looking at the banks when I was out there on Thursday.. And if we could get about fifteen feet of water in this thing it would be awesome.. The vegetation line is about five feet above current levels, and above that it is a jungle.. We have had a lot of decent rains this summer, and the brush on the bank is going wild.. Just add water, baby..
Franki Medford caught this 7.38 yesterday.. Falcon is always good to the ladies..
And there were some other gooduns caught yesterday as well.. But no tens that I heard of.
I hear that our chickenshit in chief decided not to bomb Syria yesterday.. At least not till he confers with Congress.. Well that's a novel thought.. He hasn't consulted with them on anything else.. He usually uses the constitution for toilet paper and does whatever he wants.. Then he went and played golf..
I guess he felt the polls were against the idea.. I hear that 80% of Americans think like you and I do.. That we should leave them to their own demise.. And that it is not worth the cost.. In dollars and collateral damage.. This is a no win situation..
Of course there are some war hawks out there that say that they have crossed the line.. And while I think that using chemical weapons is reprehensible, and the people who ordered its use will have their own special place in hell, those people who were killed with same are no more dead than the hundreds they killed with bullets.. And how is US killing thousands more going to make the situation better?? Or make the people there like us any better..
It is high time for some contraction of the US policies of "control them by whatever means" and leave them to themselves.. Let Allah take care of them..
Because, and I guarantee you, that in one year, the difference we make will be very unremarkable.. And the country will still be just as volatile and in turmoil..
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ISLAM AND PERSONAL FREEDOM CO-EXISTING...
IT CAIN'T HAPPEN!
And that is the one thing that no one wants to admit..
So save our resources.. Save our warriors.. And get the hell out of their way. We can deal with them if they piss us off later..
If you have been busting it to take care of your family and working your ass off for the common good, then I hope you have a great day off tomorrow celebrating Labor day.. You deserve it..
But if you're one of those that are sucking off the rest of us, I hope your day sucks..
Happy Labor Day!
August 30, 2013: Well Labor Day weekend is here, and for a lot of the country I reckon that means the end of summer.. Or close to the end.. But not around here.. We should still be around a hundred for the next couple of weeks anyway.. But I am noticing the sun starting to move to the south..
There have been a few boats rolling into town, as some have stretched the holiday out and extra day.. Something I have been guilty of in the past myself. And why not.. This holiday is for the working man.. And that's the man that pays the bills..
Those welfare riding SOB's have labor day everyday.. At least we get one a year..
Labor Day was originally started by a bunch of Yankee union workers.. Go figure.. But at least it was a time when the unions were more about the workers.. And less about politics.. But that's a discussion for a later date..
I fished a few hours yesterday, and found a few fish biting.. But I did not do nearly as well as a few folks I talked to.. One fellow I talked to said he had the best day he has ever had on Falcon.. Throwing a Carolina rig on some rocky ledges on the south end of the lake..
I fished some trees midlake, and beat on a bunch of rockpiles in old Lopeno, close to Bob's Knob.. And while I did not catch any whoppers, I did catch some mean, fat fish. They were like teenage Rosies.. Not fully mature but fat young bitches that were still trying to bite you when you were turning them loose.. It's that same meanness that being a Rosie requires..
Give em a little time and these fish will breaking rods and hearts..
Here's a pic of the trees that line the old streets of Lopeno. And just like we'd do today, most of the old rock houses are on the east side of the trees.. Shade was more important then.. Well... Maybe not.. But at least we have air conditioning..
There is still a lot of water out there.
And here's a site you don't see much these days..
Many of the old rock houses are well out of the water, but there are a lot that are still under, and some just came out the last couple of weeks..
We'll see if many more get exposed, or whether we cover em back up.. But run the river channel and you have no problems..
If you are heading into Pierces cove from the state park, give the point on the south side plenty of room.. That sand bar sticks out there a ways.. Follow the creek channel.. Still lots of water in there..
The flats on the Texas side between marker eight and nine have a few hardwoods sticking out. And the channel swings way toward the Mexican side.. Not a bad idea to follow it but you can still run along the Texas side if you don't mind running thru a few tree tops.. But it is those tree bottoms that worry me..
I threw a Citrus Shad crankbait yesterday and it did the best for me.. I even tried some red baits just to say I tried something different.. They did not like red..
But it sounds like I should have dragged a rig.. I hate that crap.. I don't really hate fishing it.. I just hate tying it.. And casting it... And retying it.. And un-hanging it.. And... Yeah.. I hate it..
Dove season opens Sunday state wide, with limitations in the south zone.. So that is your reminder to get your new license.. No price increases for the second year in a row.. Kinda surprising.. I think it is just a matter of time before they come out with a black bass stamp.. It can be another subcategory..
Kind of like buying a fishing license.. Then buying a freshwater stamp.. Then a bass stamp..
I like the way they kind of slipped that $5 increase in there to build the hatchery.. And then it never went away.. I don't mind paying the tax for the license.. But they could just be straight about it and say that this tax is never going away..
Back to dove hunting.. This year you are allowed to have three daily possession limits with you.. Provided the season is three days old..
Now here is the genius behind that.. They have the ultimate opportunity to give us a three day opening weekend.. But no.. We won't open the season till Sunday.. That's plain stupid.. How much more money would be spent, and made, if they opened the season on Saturday.. I don't think the birds would know the difference..
This ain't the first time it's happened..
I was at the ranch last weekend doing battle with a gargantuan oak tree that had a giant limb break off and try to destroy a couple of barns and some fence and gates.. Damage was minimal.. Other than to a few backs and chain saw blades. And a few fence posts.. Let me know if you want some oak wood.. Bring a trailer.. I'm serious..
But while I was up there I got the deer feeders going.. And that is what the first weekend of dove season is all about.. Getting back to the lease, cleaning out the blinds of all the coon crap, wasps, and other critters that use your facilities during the year, drinking a few beers, dippin some snuff, smoking some good cigars, and killing some doves.. You can support all three branches of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms all in one weekend..
God I love Texas..
College football also starts this weekend.. Can things get any better??
See you on the water.. Or sitting on a bucket under a mesquite tree..
August 28, 2013: I guess Zapata is the equivalent of a good prize fighter.. Able to bob and weave and avoid any hard punches.. Cause we have sure been able to stay out of the way of a lot of the rain showers that have been all around us..
And from the sound of it, we got it better here at the shop than most folks around town. We got about 9/10ths over the weekend, but some really good rains fell right around us.. Best news is that the valley got a decent covering and they have slowed the draw from Falcon a bit.. And since Monday Amistad has released a bit of water in the afternoons.. Generating I guess..
Long story short, we are holding level the last couple of days..
As has the fishing.. No changes.. Nada nuevo.. Nullus mutare.. SOS..
There are still fish being caught, but as in the last few reports, I cannot say it is any better or worse than it has been.. Put in your time, and you'll catch some fish..
I have heard that the Mag Fluke on a Carolina rig is doing pretty good.. But only a couple of people have fished it..
The Laredo International Bass club held a tourney on Sunday, and I heard it took about 19 pounds to win it.. But I am not sure if that was three or five fish.
Also the Heart of Texas bass club had their championship here last weekend as well. But I was not here to hear how they finished.. Hopefully someone will let me know..
The Bud Light Trail is holding an open team event here on September 21st, so that is your next chance to hit Falcon with some money on the line.. And maybe it will be a little cooler by then..
There is an awful lot of crap going on in government and politics these days, and for a while I have kept my opinions to myself.. I am a very introverted individual after all, and I rarely let my true feelings out..
And from everything I have been hearing and reading, it is bad for a person to keep all their emotions and feelings pent up.. And I hear that venting is good for the psyche and will actually lower blood pressure and give you a better erection.. Or make your nipples harder if you happen to be of the female persuasion..
I don't know if it's true, but my anniversary is coming up so I figure I'd give it a try..
Let's start with the topic of having to have an ID to vote.. Well.. That should be the end of the conversation. But it Ain't..
I have to have an ID to enroll in school. And a birth Certificate.. I have to have an ID to open a bank account.. I have to have an ID to fill out a job application.. I have to have an ID to get a credit card.. I have to have an ID to get a drivers license.. And sometimes a birth certificate.. I have to have an ID to use my Credit Card.. I have to have an ID to file for my food stamps.. I have to have an ID to file for my Social Security Disability.. I have to have an ID to use my Lone Star Card and Cash my Welfare checks.. I have to have and ID to get a Pay Day loan.. I have to have an ID when I hock something at the Pawn Shop..
I have to have an ID to check into a motel.. I have to have an ID to get on an airplane.. I have to have an ID to buy a hunting License.. I have to have an ID to apply for a car loan..
But I shouldn't need to have one if I wanted to vote.. Naw that would be too much to ask.. That would be disenfranchising me to ask for a freakin ID when I am about to do the most important and critical thing an American citizen can do..
The judges and lawyers that decide and allow some of this shit must be a special kind of stupid.. The ones who are being disenfranchised are the voters that vote legally.. Their votes are being negated by illegally cast votes..
I mean really.. If you are a citizen with rights to vote, how hard can it be to get a freakin ID.. What a crock of shit. And anyone that is against voters having to have an ID must be a cheating Son of a Bitch..
I used to think that Jesse Jackson was the biggest hypocrite in the country.. But I demoted him to number three or four.. No one could ever surpass Obamma, but I have Al Sharpton breathing down his neck..
He is the most myopic man I have ever heard speak.. Sees what he wants to see.. Ignores anything that does not conform to his attack agenda.. And will never give a straight answer to anything.. He'll be the first one to play the race card in front of any camera that will point at him.. But when the shoe is on the other foot, what do you hear from him.?.. Crickets... He is a hustler, and nothing else..
How bout Syria and Egypt.. Yeah.. I think we should invest billions and billions more over there... And get a bunch more of our best and boldest young men killed for no reason..
What's that?? You've got a good reason to do it.. I'm listening..
But don't tell me it's to help stabilize the region.. Or we need their oil.. Or it's the humanitarian thing to do.. Or just because we always did it..
The middle eastern countries, with the exception of Israel, have been shitting on us for decades.. I can't believe we are that Co-Dependent that we keep sticking our dicks under the hammer.. There's some more of that special kind of stupid..
We're borrowing money from the Chinese to give to these America Hating bastards.. Stupid don't even begin to describe it.. They hate us, and they have been trained and brainwashed by their religion to despise western culture.. And it appears to me that they have very little regard for human life.. Especially women.. Go tell em you want homosexual marriage over there and see where it gets you.. (Probably gets you killed..)
Screw em all.. The best thing to come outta there in years is the camel on the Geico commercial..
Our troops and people would be a lot better.. Bring our guys home.. We got plenty of wars to fight right here in America..
The other day I saw a commercial for a "Mommie Makeover." No wonder they hate us.."Come on over and we'll hook the Shop Vac to your ass and belly and suck that fat out.. We'll have you looking like you did when you were sixteen!" Maybe they could just use a dust buster and suck the part out of their brain that controls vanity.. I'm sure it is covered by Obammacare..
Shit.. I said the word.. Talk about a circle jerk.. This POS program is coming home to roost on the presidents shoulders.. And that of the entire dimocrat party.. And it appears that the shit is just starting to hit the fan.. Stand by for economic implosion as this signature black hole program consumes all that comes near.. Stand by for real poverty.. Not this current poverty where everybody that has cable TV and a Smart Phone and is on welfare.. I'm talking about the real shit..
I saw a commercial that is advertising a wet wipe for your anus.. That's right.. You're supposed to use it before your toilet paper.. And then finish up with the Charmin.. Sounds a little redundant to me.. But I am having a case delivered to the White House.. Cause this administration stinks..
Seriously... Do you think I could have done a worse job??
Speaking of cleaning your anus.. And I know nobody like to talk about these things.. But I don't reckon there are too many unmentionables these days.. At least not since Miley Cyrus was jerkin off a.... Never mind..
But when you are in the shower washing your anus with a bar of soap, do you need to wash your hands when you're finished??
There are some things we should not see commercials for on network TV..
Here's a few..
Ambulance Chasing Lawyers..
Prescription Drugs in general..
And commercials for Taco Bell.. (In the public interest)
There's dozens more.. But I am sure you are getting bored..
How bout gun control.. Yeah them guns are terrible.. I opened my front door and leaned my rifle in the opening and put out a box of ammo right besides it.. Hundreds of cars and pedestrians went by.. And that gun never killed nobody..
I'm gonna test a spoon next and see if it makes anybody fat..
I ain't even scratched the surface bout what what gives me heartburn.. Well.. I did mention Taco Bell..
But I'm gonna quit before I get too riled up..
Come on down and we'll talk about it..
August 21, 2013: Well the beat, and the heat, goes on around here, although it is not as bad as it was a week or so ago. And for the next seven days we have a chance of rain, according to the the weather guessers.. And with the cloudiness and humidity we will have lower high temps.. I hope they are right..
I saw a terrapin yesterday that was holding a sign that said "Pray for Rain"
And those things get a drink of water about as often as I get... Well not very often..
We are still dropping in water level, and we are still releasing about 2000 CFS.. Amistad has not moved the gate up or down lately either, and they are releasing about 900 CFS..
Amistad has caught about twelve feet of water from their low a couple months back.. But the rise has all but stopped at this time..
The depression in the gulf fell apart, but we have a few tropical waves headed our way I hear.. We'll see what comes of that.. But what interests me is the potential storms in the Pacific that are forecast to move northward some.. We need em in northern Mexico and that is where a lot of my prayers are currently directed..
Fishing remains spotty, with decent and poor reports being heard daily. There were a couple of DD's caught this week, like usual.. And more little fish than anything else..
Most of the fish caught are coming from the trees, and some quality fish are coming from the trees as well. Just not a lot of em. Six to seven pound fish are pretty common, and most folks that fish a day or two usually stumble upon a few.
The same old baits are still producing most of the fish, and smaller offerings have been preferred as of late. So don't be afraid to tie on a 3/0 quality hook and a baby brush hog or beaver.. Stick with the darker colors on top of the lake and lighter colors on the south end. But Plum will get er' done on either end of the lake.. Something with some gold in it has been good as well I hear..
You don't know how bad I would like to tell you to quit your job and get your ass down here. But I promised to tell you the truth about the fishing back when I started this thing. And I ain't gonna start lying now.. I rate the fishing at about a 5.. And I am not sure when it will change..
But this is Falcon and you always have a chance to catch a monster on your next cast.. I'll leave it at that..
Yesterday I took the day off and went and played the new golf course in Laredo called The Max. And let me tell you it is a very nice track.. I will go back. And on Tuesdays they have an all day $26 special. It costs that much to play here in Zapata.. You can't beat that deal with a stick..
I did not break par.. Didn't even bend it.. But enjoyed the course immensely.. If you are in the area and have some time to kill, I recommend the course..
And now I see where a lot of our water has gone..
And here's where a lot of our bass have gone.. Look at these two big SOB's..
The gar are still all over the lake and the Gar hunters are having a blast..
These two youngsters caught a couple of nice fish this week fishing with Tim Griffin..
Falcon is always nice to the younguns..
And Justin Furnace caught this 10-4 on Monday.. Flippin', with Tommy Law I hear..
I'll let you know if anything changes.. But we might have to catch some water first..
August 17, 2013: Well as we suffer thru another hot August around here, I am taking a bit of solace in the fact that we are about to head into the fourth quarter of the year.. Which means September. Which is still a hot one around here, but a step closer to cooler temps.. Yesterday I had 108 on my thermometer..
It was hot..
I wish I could say something different about the fishing. But fact is that not a lot has changed.. And I don't think it will till it cools off, or we catch a bunch of water.. And odds are that it will cool off before we catch a bunch of water.. So I'm bettin on that..
But one thing I do know.. We never get an e-mail thirty days before we get a bunch of water.. It will happen when it happens.. And we ain't going nowhere.. I seen this show before.
There were some crappy days this week, and some good ones, depending on who you are, and where you fished. But day to day you will catch more fish flipping trees than anything else.. And you will have a chance to get a good one or two. But if I was after a Rosie then I would sit on the rocks from marker three south..
And speaking of Rosie.. I haven't heard anything out of her lately. Must have a big ole furball stuck in her throat.. I ain't complaining..
Water temps are still in the mid eighties, and water clarity is good on the south end of the lake, from marker eightish south.. A little murky on the river channel above that.. But it is all fishable..
We are still dropping a bit, but have slowed slightly this week.. We are 39 plus feet low.. Amistad on the other hand is still catching water, but the rise is soon to be concluded, as releases from the lakes in Mexico are slowing down considerably.. Amistad should get another foot and a half before all is said and done as the river descends back to normal this week. The river at Presidio dropped to below minor flood stage early this week, and releases from Luis Leon were at about 2000 CFS as of yesterday.
We need another low to camp out over the mountains like the last one.. Now that those lakes are full..
There is that little disturbance roaming around in the gulf, but who knows what it is going to do.. I am an optimist so I reckon it will be raining like cats and dogs here early this coming week.
No tournaments in town this week.. Except for the Kid Fish event going on over at Bravo Park here in Zapata. If I could draw like that I would have a tourney here every weekend.. I'm guessing that there are over 200 kids there.. It is a zoo.. They'll need two tanker trailers of Johnson's Baby Shampoo to get out all those tangles.. But it is a fun event..
Dove season opens in two weeks.. And I can't wait.. There is just something about taking the life of something flying that is unexplainable.. I think I would have made a good B-52 tailgunner..
Matter of fact I applied for a job as a tailguner on a Budweiser truck in Chicago.. But I didn't get it.. Forgot I was wearing a Miller Lite cap the day of the interview..
But I don't need to explain hunting to most all of you..
Save the e-mail, haters.. You know I talk about killin' shit all the time..
But there's a lot more to it than just killing birds.. Fun with family and friends.
Bout the same as bowling.. But more challenging.. Birds are flying.. Pins are holding still.
I took it easy on the birds in Argentina this year, as I only shot 4,126.. I shot 34 fewer boxes of shells than last year. Not for any particular reason, just the way it worked out.. But I could have shot all I wanted.. Or afforded..
That's the equivalent of 275 Texas one day limits.. If I killed eight limits a year, and that is more than I have killed the last few years, that would equal 34 years of hunting here at home..
That's why I go to Argentina..
But hunting is still hunting and I look forward to to killing some Texas birds..
I am working (albeit slowly) on a story about the Argentina trip. But here is a pic from the first morning when we were hunting close to a feed lot.. The Golden eagles are thick in northern Argentina, and when they hear shootin, here they come.. Easy pickins..
And here is a pic of a tree that was near my buddy Dave Krantz on day two of the hunt.. He said he'd fire three or four quick ones into it about every twenty minutes or so.. Had to pick em up with a corn scoop..
You just gotta see it to believe it.. If you want or need some info on a trip just e-mail or call me.. It don't get no better than the place we go..
See you on the water.. Or under a mesquite tree..
Me and Uncle Hilbert are gonna whack em...
August 13, 2013: Don't you just love it when a plan comes together.. And don't you just hate it when it don't?
This morning was not my morning to open.. And I have still not gotten to sleep in since I got back from Argentina.. But I have an itch to fish and I got up early anyway..
So I headed to the gas station and filled the boat up.. After I had spit shined it yesterday and got all my crap loaded back into it.. Last time the boat was on the water my brother took his daughters family for a boat ride..
And somehow the key got left on.. And when I hit the trim switch and it didn't even make a sound, I figured out that I wasn't going fishing.. At least not too early.. But it turned out to be not at all.. I came back and put a charger on the battery.. And cleaned the carpet.. It did need it..
So here I sit in the shop..
I know.. I could have put a new battery in the boat.. But those battery straps with the flip over tie downs give me the Heebie-Jeebies.. I can never get em right..
I always tell people I will help em get their new batteries in the boat.. And make the electrical connections.. But they are on their own with the tie downs..
There were four boats at the ramp this morning.. And one other guy using some colorful vocabulary..
Not many people in town again this week.. But a few did stop in the store late this morning..
So long story short, I got no fishing report for you today.. But I'm workin on it...
But at least Tommy did bring some shrimp back from the coast.. And I got em soaking in milk and eggs.. And I'm fixin to powder coat em and give em a hot oil bath..
And for whatever reason, when I was pouring some milk over the shrimp I got to thinking of the old days when I was a kid, and we used to get our milk delivered to the front door every other day by the Metzger's Milk Man.. Boy that was some good milk.. We always had to be careful not to shake up the bottles so the cream would stay separated.. Or we'd get an ass whoopin..
We always got a free bottle of cream, cause our Uncle Hilbert was the milkman.. He wasn't really our uncle.. But that's what we called him.. Something about an aunt's sister who married a cousin that had a kidney once removed.. Or something like that Mama said.. I really can't remember.. I was just a pup..
Later in life I heard that Uncle Hilbert was relieved of his duties before he was really ready to retire.. Evidently for providing services outside of his job description..
I found out years later that he was delivering more than just milk to several addresses. And that there were several little Uncle Hilbert's running around town..
And while that is not super remarkable, the story that led to his demise does hold some interest..
Of course this information is all second or third hand, but I believe it to be true..
Word around town was that Doctor Bobby Donald, the local hometown lady doc that made house calls, and had an office in her house, was visited by uncle Hilbert one spring morning, about Nine O'clock..
She was not one of his regular customers and she was a bit surprised to see him pull up in his refrigerated truck. But when she saw him hobbling barefoot up the driveway, she quickly surmised that he was in dire need of medical assistance..
Come to find out, an object that is barely in use these days was responsible for his demise..
You gotta remember that this was circa 1959, or thereabouts.. And aluminum or plastic clad windows were as visionary as the Commodore 64.. Just wadn't happening..
And all windows, at least in our town, were made out of wood.. And they had wooden window screens.. Held in by the still common, but not nearly as widely used, hook and eye..
The hook part being attached to the screen.. The eye to the top of the beveled window sill..
Looked kinda like this.. Only slightly rustier, with the eye section bent open a bit more than factory standards..
While Uncle Hilbert was making one of his morning deliveries, it was unbeknownst to him that Mr. Kirchinski, who ran the local laundrymat, and owned the bedroom, and the wife attached to it, was back home from work to get a new shirt, being he had spilled coffee on the one he was wearing.. And Uncle Hilbert, being a fairly spry fellow with cat like reflexes, jumped off Mrs. Kirchinski and out the bedroom window when he heard the back door open.. Boxers and britches in hand..
This wasn't his first rodeo.. But here is where the bronco started to buck..
One of the things that made him so popular with the ladies, got him into trouble that day..
It was said that uncle Hilbert had a hell of a sack of nuts.. Down right dangly.. Made noise when the wind blew.. And due to bad timing and a screen latch eye that was slightly sprung, Uncle Hilbert left a couple inches of foreskin and a few seminal vesicles hanging on that hook.. And a blood trail that led to the driveway and a fast moving milk truck..
Mr. Kirchinski went crazy and whacked his wife in the side of the head with a sock full of quarters that he brought home from the laundrymat..
Mrs. Kirchinski was whacked semi-delusional and she was running topless around her front yard screaming for Uncle Hilbert to deliver the cream.. According to eye-witness reports..
Well in a small town it did not take long for Mr. Kirchinski to track down the milk truck.. In front of Doctor Bobby Donald's house.. With a blood trail leading to the breezeway office door..
It is said that Mr. Kirchinski kicked in the door, screaming that he was going to kill Uncle Hilbert, but stopped cold, and then burst into laughter as he saw Doctor Bobby Donald stitching up Uncle Hilberts nut sack, one nut short..
I guess Mr. Kirchinski figured that the screen eye had exacted his pound of flesh for him.. He returned home to find his wife rolling coins like nothing ever happened..
Little more was said about the ordeal, but it did become known locally as the "Torn Scrotum Incident.."
And although the new milkman that replaced Uncle Hilbert was near eighty years old, you never saw the Metzger's truck in front of the Kirchinski house again..
And every Tuesday and Thursday evening, you would see Mr. Kirchinski lock the laundrymat, walk next door to the grocery store, and exit with a quart of milk, and a pint of cream..
August 12, 2013: Well it turned out to be a pretty nice weekend to fish around here, as we stayed under a hundred both days, had light winds, and the fish actually bit pretty good.. Saturday was a good day I heard form a lot of folks, and there was some pretty good results in the SABC tourney, in which they decided to go with a three fish limit..
On Saturday the leader had over nineteen pounds, and there were a hand full of stringers in the top spots over fifteen pounds, and some bigger.. I do not have their final numbers yet but I'll pass them along to you when I get them.. And hopefully some pics..
I also heard of several DD's caught on Saturday. And I heard that a bunch of good fish were caught by the dam near the flood gates, as there is a lot of water being released and you know how these fish like that current down there..
I got a bit of my memory back, and I can tell you that the kids that Skeeter brought down here were from the Lumberton High School bass club. They were the top anglers in the club and were rewarded with a trip to Falcon.. On Skeeter.. And they all caught some quality fish.. Here's a few pics of the younguns.
Alyssa Moore caught this one..
Dakota Cline caught this one..
And Luke Hodgkinson caught this whopper..
I read all the time about high school bass clubs starting up and the participation of so many young gals and guys.. I think it is awesome. Not just because they are my future customers, but because fishing teaches so much more about life than setting the hook.
And more and more colleges are getting involved in sponsoring fishing teams, and I am sure that some scholarships will be in order.. Maybe I will have to rethink title 9. If they can get a scholarship for interpretive dance then they sure as hell should be able to get one for fishing..
Maybe when I retire I can get a job as a professor.. I could teach Doodlesocking 101, and a new class called "The Rise And Fall of Sharelunker.." You cain't fail when you've got good material..
Naw.. They'd probably want someone with credentials.. But hell if Obamma can be president, I should be able to teach kids about fishing.. At least sometimes I know what I am talking about..
In any case, thanks to Steve Crowell and Mike Woods of the Skeeter Demo team for bringing the kids fishing.. I think that Falcon now has them hooked..
I am headed to the dam area tomorrow morning to see if I can get get hooked up with something bigger than I have been catching on the upper end of the lake. I have not been fishing a lot here lately, as I have been screwing off and it has been too damn hot. But I'm fixin to change that as the fish seem to be a bit more active here lately, and fall is not that far away..
If you are looking to fish a tourney down here at Falcon, your next chance will be September 21st, when The Bud Light Trail will host an open event.. More details on their site.. That's just a bit over a month away..
I must have been sleeping, or at distracted at the very least, because football season is almost upon us.. And there are few ways better to kill an afternoon and a six pack than watching the Cowboys not cover the spread..
I wonder if this could be the year..
No.. No.. Not that they could win the Superbowl.. Just a couple of playoff games.. Or a playoff game..
The two most important positions in the USA.. President of the United States. And Quarterback of the Cowboys.. And both of em suck.. What's the world coming to?? At least I'm not paying Romo...
Bill Clinton having fun in the Whitehouse.. Troy Aikman and Cowboys fans having fun across America.. Coincidence.. I don't think so..
There'll be plenty of time for Cowboy bashing later in the year I am sure, so I don't want to go off on em too hard just yet.. I'll wait till they get our hopes up and then once again crush us before I give em too much grief..
Lake still dropping.. Amistad still rising.. I think they need to share.. See you on the water!
August 9, 2013: Well after a decent night's sleep, I do feel a little bit better.. But I do find myself missing the all you can eat of whatever you want thingy.. I haven't seen a Pancakee de Leche de Dulce since I got back.. Probably for the best.. I had to buy a new belt when I got back to Laredo..
After talking to a lot of folks the last twenty four hours, I will have to admit that I could copy and paste the last few fishing reports here and be just as accurate..
It is hot.. The lake is dropping.. And fish are still being caught at a rate that is less than one would desire.. But it sounds like the whole state is fishing that way..
Flipping is still the most productive when it comes to getting bites.. But deep rocks are holding better quality fish it seems.. A big Texas rigged worm is as good as anything.. Or a brush hog..
Shallow fish on woods are still being caught with smaller baits fairly regularly.. But there is no lights out bait around here.. Get your favorite and get after it.. Like I said.. Not a lot has changed..
We actually have a few folks in town today.. There is a group of kids from east Texas fishing with some of the Skeeter demo team for a few days.. They won the trip by virtue of.. I forgot... This getting old sucks.. But anyway, kudos to the Skeeter folks for making it happen.
The San Antonio Bass Club is also in town, and they will be holding their monthly contest here this weekend. I'm pretty sure they will be having a paper tourney.. But I forgot to ask.. This getting old sucks..
I hadn't seen the wife in eight days, and last night I went to bed and went to sleep straightaway.. This getting old sucks..
Where was I..
Amistad is catching three to five inches of water a day, give or take, and we are loosing about two to three.. Water is still coming down the Rio Grande, via the Rio Conchos in northern Mexico.. Releases from Luis Leon were still at over 8,000 CFS as of yesterday, and even if they cut it off today, Amistad will still be rising for a week.. Unless they did something crazy and gave us some.. But I don't see that happening..
Amistad is releasing about 800 CFS.. We are releasing about 2600.. And we can't blame the Mexicans this time.. The US is letting out about 2300..
There is probably about 15" of water under the Hwy 83 bridge over the Veleno.. Just for a reference point..
I don't think all of you guys out there are praying..
It is kinda neat to go Argentina, to see what the future of America looks like..
Graffiti all over every building in the capitol.. Including the American Consulate in Buenos Aires.. As far as the eye could see and as high as the common man can reach.. Protests in the streets every day, with streets shut down to allow for the protestors.. Next to no infrastructure.. Almost no expressways..
Except for the roads and subway.. It is similar to D.C.
Buenos Aires is a beautiful city.. Or was.. And parts still are.. Inhabited by a lot of nice people.. Along with a lot of morons.. It is also the pickpocket capital of the world..
People living in giant slums.. No windows in a lot of the housing.. People out in the country living in houses made of visqueen (plastic sheeting).. You know the giant sheets that we use under concrete slabs..
Rural towns with beautiful squares that were once vibrant, now in decay.. The once huge railway system across the countryside.. Abandoned and for years rusting in place.. Along with all the grain elevators that used to be serviced by it.. I hear that the politicians in place at the time made a deal with the truckers..
I hear the percentage of people on government assistance is well over 50%.
Wait a minute.. Maybe we are already there.
I'm not picking on Argentina.. I love the place.. But it is amazing to see what greed and bad politics; read socialism, can do..
Their president is the female version of Obamma.. But to be fair, she is not reason they are in the shape they are.. But she ain't helping.. (Neither is he..)
So there you go..
The bird boys at the lodges are rich compared to most out in the country.. I guess that is why it is easy to find good ones..
Now don't get me wrong.. But when the government has to put up signs everywhere telling you how good things are, there is something wrong..
Most all of the things I noted above also exist here in the U.S.A. Depending on where you are looking.. And your point of view..
But I see the same thing there that I see here.. Those willing to work, can do very well.. But if you want to be a slacker.. You can get away with it there as well..
The above are casual observations of an American tourist in Argentina.. But a casual observer from Argentina visiting the US could just as reasonably write the same.. Depending on the area he visited..
But if you want to go dove hunting.. You still cain't beat it with a stick.. And I am already planning my trip for next year.. And frankly it will have to get a lot worse before it would keep me from going.. Never once did I feel the least bit unsafe.. And people are friendly wherever you go..
I am working on a story about the trip.. And I'll talk a bit more about BA when I get er' done..
It is hotter than the hinges on the gates of hell down here today.. Bring your sunblock!
August 8, 2013: Man I feel like the Grateful Dead after a month on the road back in the Seventies.. Especially the Dead part.. And I am Grateful to be back home.. Although I could have shot a few more.. But three flights and thirty hours later here I am.. I am not 100%...
And Holy Cow did we shoot the birds.. It was awesome.. I will be working on a story about it.. But here is what we were met with the first morning..
And yes every one of them specks is a dove.. More on that later..
The fishing remains steady but not great by Falcon standards.. Little has changed in the week I have been gone.. We are still loosing water every day.. And Amistad is gaining some every day.. Wish they'd hold us level.. Or keep us on the state park ramp.. Guess that is wishful thinking.. The Veleno bridge is back out of the water.. And the state park ramp is done, for now..
I hear this afternoon that the flipping bite is still producing some fish.. Including a few whoppers yesterday..
I will get my stuff together tomorrow and let you know what else I found out.. But it does not sound like much has changed.. I gotta get some sleep...
July 30, 2013: Have you ever wondered, along with all the other great philosophers; "Why are we here?" It is certainly a subject that I have been giving a lot of thought to the last week..
And no, not in the great scope of wonderment or amazement as why mankind is is living on this giant rock hurtling thru space.. What I mean is what in the hell am I doing here while clouds of doves are darkening the skies over south America?? I gotta get outta here..
It is true that I have been around here only physically the last week or so.. My mind is somewhere else.. Hovering over the edge of a giant cornfield while taking in the spectacle that you have to see to believe..
It is truly a field day for the senses..
Feeling the cool winter morning on your skin.. (It was 105 here yesterday..) The smell of burning Dupont as you're stuffing four more in your Beretta.. Hearing the thud of birds hitting the ground in close succession.. And seeing the smile on your bird boys face as he yells "Quatro por Quatro!" But his smile ain't no biggern yours.. It ain't possible..
Aah yes.. 58 hours and seventeen minutes till wheels up...
Where was I?? Oh yeah.. Zapata, Texas..
Boy it sure got hot around here this week.. We have been having a relatively cool summer so far, but Mr. High Pressure is back to sitting on top of us and the temps are higher than Charlie Scheen..
But fall ain't far away.. When you look at the big picture..
There have been quite a few shallow fish reported this week, and while these ain't trophy's for the most part, they're damn sure fun fish to catch. And while we might not be catching the numbers and size of fish that we have become accustomed to, these fish still have all the "mean" in em that you remember.. They are jacked up..
Better fish, or numbers of them, are hanging out in the eight to twenty foot range.. On rocks.. No shit...
But shallow trees can have you a bunch of fish in the boat in a short order.. If you find the right trees..
The mainlake hardwoods are hot and cold as of late, and consistent bites in the same area can be hard to come by. Kill em one day.. Next to nothin the next..
I'd tell you what baits are working best, but the keys on my board are worn out from typing the same thing so many times in a row.. I can now type Strike King 6XD without looking at the keyboard.. I'm pretty proud of myself..
The lake has started dropping.. Well it hasn't started, its dropping.. It started last Friday.. And they are puling it hard.. I expect the State Park ramp to be kaput' any second.. The bridge in the Veleno is barely under water.. Buoys still in place.. Stay to the west, going and coming..
Other than that, all I can tell you is that you can't catch em on the couch..
If you are a gar hunter, then you need to get your ass down here right now.. They are everywhere.. Bigguns..
This one was shot yesterday.. And I have seen lots of pics lately.. That's a three liter bottle by the way..
Well I gotta go do something to distract myself.. 56 hours 42 minutes...
July 26, 2013: Summer is back in Zapata, and the rain has gone away, at least for the time being. And anything outdoors after 2:00 is something that needs to be rethunk..
It is hot..
The weathermen did miss the wind forecast yesterday, and what wind there was was just enough to keep you alive.. It was smokin..
There were about five guide boats out yesterday, and I talked to most of them in the late afternoon. Word was that most boats caught fifteen to twenty fish, and there were no numbers of big fish. An eight something was the biggest I heard of.. Some of the boats flipped.. Some cranked.. Seemed like similar results.
The wind has the mid and upper lake whipped up a bit, and water clarity is not as good as it was last week.. The south end of the lake still looks great.. Water temps are at about 84° and we are pretty much holding steady..
I got the water report for the Rio Grande again yesterday, and it is interesting.. Well.. Maybe not for Falcon, but for Amistad..
I talked about the Conchos running yesterday, and now they are letting water out of Madero, another lake in the area, that drains into the Rio Salado as well. And they are letting about 5000 CFS out of it. Madero is not a big lake, but it is currently at about 125% of capacity.. So as of yesterday afternoon, they were letting over 12,000 CFS out of their lakes into the Rio Grande.
Water from earlier rains last week is now impacting Amistad, and it rose about eight inches yesterday.. Water from these released will take a few days to reach Del Rio.. And while we are not talking about a lake filling event, it will be a good start. And sooner or later that water will be in Falcon.. Just not sure about what year.. But sooner than later I hope..
We need another system or two like the last one to camp out in the same place.. It doesn't take a hurricane to fill us up.. But location is everything when we talk about beneficial rains.. And those mountains in Mexico don't absorb much water.. Specially now that we have em wet..
I must be getting some ADD cause I am having a hell of a time concentrating around here.. And I can't sleep worth a crap either.. It's 7:30 AM and I am already having trouble staying awake.. Why I have my schedule backwards I don't know.. Maybe I'll have to double up on the Jack Lunesta tonight..
I think most of my problem is anticipation.. I'm ready to go dove hunting.. But I still have six days to wait..
A few of my friends are flying back today.. They said they annihilated em.. Hope they saved me a few..
July 24, 2013: Well boys and girls, when it is the dead of summer and it is 104° and the wind is howling, there is not a lot of fishermen on the lake.. And in that all inclusive group of fellows is me.. I ain't out there either. I think there were five trailers at the county ramp this morning.. I checked it out on the way to the golf course.. At least there the breeze is welcome.. It does tend to intensify my fade a bit though..
But what I am here to tell you about is not fishing.. Well.. It is related to fishing.. It's about water.. Last time I checked the fish still live in the water.. And I don't think that Obamma has made that illegal just yet.. And we always need more water.
The other day I was talking about the rains in the mountains in northern Mexico, and the watersheds of the Rio Conchos. And if you are a long time reader of this site then you have no doubt heard of the lakes named Boquilla and Luis Leon. These are two lakes that are on the Rio Conchos in northern Mexico. And unlike most rivers in the northern hemisphere, this river runs north.. And a little east.. But north for the most part. And the Rio Conchos is a tributary to the Rio Grande, with their confluence being right around Presidio, in the Big Bend area.
And a couple years ago, when Amistad and Falcon both went to record high levels, that is where the bulk of the water came from.
Boquilla is a big son of a bitch, and it is the first lake on the Rio Conchos chain, and closer to the base of the mountains.. The river flows northward to Luis Leon, second in line, and then to the Rio Grande..
On the 11th of July, Boquilla was at 17.40% of capacity, and Luis Leon was at 95%. As of yesterday. Boquilla is at 23%, and Luis Leon is at 142%.
Now before we get too excited, I will tell you that they often keep Luis Leon over pool.. And it is often in the 120% range.. Even when they owe us a bunch of water, and even if it hasn't rained in months..
But I can say this.. The Rio Grande above Amistad has been on flood stage, even if barely, for a couple of days.. And there is a decent bit of water in the river already headed for Amistad.. Not a flood, but some water that should pick up the lake level a few feet..
And today the National Weather Service has issued a warning that the river will continue to be around flood stage till at least the weekend. Due to releases from Luis Leon.. And there is a bit more rain in the Big Bend watershed..
What does all this mean? Hell if I know.. But Amistad will catch some water.. And what is good for them, is good for us.. Sooner or later..
I promise you, we will not fill up till they do..
So keep your fingers crossed for some more good rains in the northern Mexico mountains.. I'm personally hoping for a turd floater.. Or a frog strangler.. And high water rescues.. And if it were to rain a bunch we'd see some.. You can't fix stupid.. Turn Around! Don't drown! There's my PSA.
Fishing is still fair to middlin' around here.. Nothing much has changed.. I'll have some good report in a few days as a few of the guides around here have a few big groups this weekend..
I'm still geeked up about Phil winning the British Open.. That was actually held in Scotland.. So much so that I played golf a couple of times this last week..
And I have an invention for some of you computer gurus to build, and I promise that if you build it, they will come.. (That is what I saw on a building permit for a whorehouse in Vegas last week..) But I digress..
If you watch any golf these days, they have this thing called a balltracker, or flight tracker, or something like that.. It is a blue line that follows the ball from the POI at the club to the landing point..
If that technology exists on TV, then it can damn sure exist in a good pair of sunglasses with a computer chip or two.. Some of you techies need to get on this shit.. It is costing me $4 a pop for ProV1's and I can't afford to keep loosing them at this rate.. Remember me after you made your first million..
And while it might take some R&D to develop that product, here is another that would make millions right off the bat..
Why doesn't somebody package a loaf of bread that is half wheat, half white, and put a twist tie on both ends of the freakin bag.. This idea is pure genius.. That way I can have my white bread, my old lady can have her crappy ass wheat bread, and we wouldn't throw out half of our current bread supply cause it is only qualified for a penicillin project.. I don't know why I haven't thought of this before..
I too, have decided that I like and, a lot better than I like or..
Lobster, and, Cracked Crab..(Trading Places.)
I'll let you know what the water does..
July 22, 2013: It was a little busier around here over the weekend than it has been, mostly due to the the fact that there were a few club tourneys down here.. Universal City Bass club, Helotes Bass club, and Medina Lake Bass club were all here. And a few other anglers were in town to give it a go..
Universal City went to a three fish format with a two O'Clock weigh in.. Which is a mighty fine idea this time of year.. I heard that on Saturday about fifteen pounds was leading it.. I did not hear the final results just yet. The biggest bass I heard of on Saturday from either club was a seven something..
There were some fish caught flipping, some caught cranking, and some fish caught on a spinnerbait. The dam got a lot of attention but that is not where the heavy stringers came from on Saturday. But like usual, it did put out some fish.
There is no such thing as too shallow or to deep right now. I have heard of quality fish coming from water as skinny as two feet, and as deep as thirty. So I believe that anyone out there should fish their favorite kind of water and methods.. It's all working.. And none of it is..
Persistence is the best bait in your box..
We are sitting at 264.71, or 36.49 feet low. And kind of just holding steady the last few days. Amistad is releasing about what we are, which isn't very much right now. But at least they have shut down the releases from here.. For now..
We got about a half inch of rain on Saturday evening and night.. And about a foot of lightning.. There were better rains around us and the lake caught a couple of inches.. But that's about it.
It has been raining in the mountains in northern Mexico, and a bit of water is in the Rio Grande above Amistad.. A couple of spots were at flood stage, but it is not enough water to get too excited about.. But every drop helps.. The Rio Conchos in Mexico also had some rain fall around it, and the river rose a bit before it hit Presidio..
This is the area where big water can come from.. But it stopped short of being a flood maker.. And it takes a national news maker to put a lot of water in Amistad and or Falcon.. A low sitting over the mountains like the one we just had can do it.. But this one, although it was a rain maker, was not a flood maker.. But it was a good start..
And back to speaking of tournaments, one more has popped up on the schedule for January.. The 4th and 5th to be exact.. And while it does not pertain to all, if you're a college student you just might like it.
The second annual (I guess) South Texas Bass Fishing College Championship is returning to Falcon Lake. Last year I think they had 26 teams or so, and I thought it was a good turnout for the first time out of the chute.. It is being sponsored by Texas A&M at Corpus Christi. Contact Derick Mangold for more details. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration will be here at FLT on the Friday before the event.. We're liable to cook something.. But I am not sure if we can afford to feed a bunch of college kids.. Them boys can eat..
We have been having some really nice days around here as of late, with the occasional rain shower and light winds, and air temps that are below normal. But this week is supposed to be back in the heat and wind, more like or norm.. I am still holding out hope for a few rogue storms to pop up out of nowhere.. Like the one last night that just missed us to the west.. It was a goodun but it stayed in Mexico..
George Cabasos ran into this 10-6 last week.. There are still a few of em around.
It is summertime.. And vacation time.. And I know a lot of you have been running around the country enjoying some time off. It is nice to get away from the day to day for a while, and do something different.. I can't believe that it is almost back to school time already.. But it must be looking at the commercials on TV..
I need to remember to get to Wal-Mart and get my Hank Parker Backpack before they run out.. Does anybody really take their lunch to school anymore.. I saw a commercial for lunch box kits and I wonder how many mothers, or fathers, really take the time to make lunches for their kids these days.. Seems like that is pretty much a thing of the past..
I had a Lone Ranger lunchbox when I was a kid.. But if I flipped the latch and Johnny Depp jumped out I' da shit my pants.. Don't look like no Tonto I remember.. I hear the movie sucks.. What the hell is an Armie Hammer anyway.. Is it for hitting jeeps? I am sure that is the name on his birth certificate..
There was finally something good on TV yesterday morning.. And of all places it came from Scotland.. The land of William Wallace.. And yesterday Phil had the William Wallace ability to shoot lightning bolts out of his ass.. And to make some putts. And to come from five back to win "The Open" by three..
I know a lot of you don't care anything about golf.. But that was something to see.. And I got some long odds on Phil to win on Saturday night.. That'll buy some shotgun shells..
And speaking of which. Dove season is a mere forty days away.. In Texas anyway..
But I know a place where it is open year around and I am headed there next week..
I have been picking up beer cans, mowing lawns, and waxing boats to pad my shell account for this year.. And I plan on shooting six or eight thousand thousand rounds when I get there.. Lord Willing..
Keep praying for rain.. It's working!
July 17, 2013: The middle of summer is here, and so are summer crowds.. And the summer crowds are not very big.. It's a nice time to be on Falcon..
And of all the ways there are to fish, the standard around here is changing a bit as of late. And I have sold more trick worms than mag flukes in the last month.. It seems that the fish are preferring a slightly more subtle presentation.. And if it works, who am I to question it..
A very light Carolina rig has been doing well, and some folks are even using a squeeze on weight about two feet above the bait and just retrieving it real slow.. Sounds kind of ickie to me..
Not what you might expect out of a power fishing lake.. Maybe we're not a power fishing lake anymore..
Good numbers of fish are being reported on the finesse baits.. Gotta fish em on the rocks of course..
Now don't get me wrong, there are still fish being caught on big worms and big crankbaits.. And squarebills on the shallow rocks are still catching fish as well.
The Tigers is a good place to throw either of the shallow baits discussed above. Lots of gravel bars in there to beat on.. The big worms and cranks off the ends of the ridges near the creek channel will catch you a few fish as well.
Repetition is the key, and this fishing report is getting very repetitious.. It seems that not a lot has changed around here in months.. I just ordered three hundred more 6XD's..
If it works.. Don't fix it..
Flipping the trees on the north end of the lake is still my bread and butter if I want to get some bites. I am not catching much size in the process.. I did hear of a few bigguns the other day up shallow, but evidently I am not flipping the right trees..
Remember last year when the fish were in the trees just across from the Veleno.. By the thousands.. They're not there like they were before.. But there is some in there.. And a few quality fish in there as well.
It has been raining all around us the last two days, and spots just above Laredo got two to five inches. We have been skipped the last few days right here.. Maybe we'll get it tonight.. The lake is holding steady right now, as releases have decreased and the river has a bit of water in it..
I know this does not pertain to a lot of people, but if you are one that likes to bowfish, you need to get your ass down here right now.. The gar are everywhere.. Try the Veleno in the backwaters.. Or Goose Bay for a bonanza of targets.. You'll have some fun.. And I'll consider it a personal favor..
And speaking of shooting stuff, I got in some more 223 and some 9mm if you need some.. Let me know if you need some shipped..
What a great time it must be for the Ammo manufacturers.. I hear that most every factory is running around the clock.. Shoulda bought some of that Remington and Federal stock a year ago..
I cannot believe that the demand is still this high.. There must be stockpiles of ammo in record amounts across the country.. Besides what the government is buying up.. And they are buying plenty I hear..
We still cannot get ammo from our regular suppliers, as we are a low volume buyer, and that makes us a low volume seller.. Which puts us about level with whale do-do when it comes to priority for buying ammo.. So you know when we get it back regular, then the rush is over..
But it ain't yet..
I have been reading a lot of printed materials and a lot of on-line writing about how poor the fishing is across the state of Texas this year.. And I am not sure if we are all that spoiled or if the fishing is really that bad. I know that low water conditions are hurting a lot of south, central, and west Texas lakes.
And I know that numbers of fishermen are down on a lot of west, central, and south Texas lakes as well. And fewer fishermen certainly contribute to lower numbers of fish caught.. Duh..
But all we need to cure a lot of our problems is water.. We're all still waiting..
Here's a list of all the lakes in Texas and their water levels.. Pretty pitiful..
All things cycle, and years of famine are often followed by years of feast.. I guess we are somewhere in-between here at Falcon right now.. I'm just not sure which of the two we are headed towards.. But that's the nature of being mortal.
Lots of folks have it worse than us.. Some have got it better.. So I am not gonna bitch about it.. But I reserve the right to..
See you on the water.. Don't forget to pray for rain!
July 12, 2013: Well after a few days off in in Sin City, I remember why they call it that.. That town is out of control.. And it has changed a lot since I had been there, a long time ago.. More on that later..
The reason I went out there of course, was for you guys.. That's right.. I was thinking of you.. Because if there is anything out there that will help you catch fish, then I want to have it in the store..
Only problem is that most of this new stuff is not really fishermen tested just yet.. Well I am sure it is fished some.. But there are a lot of baits that come out that don't remain in production very long..
But before you catch a fish on a new product, they (manufacturer) have to catch me, (retailer) and I have to catch you.. The fisherman.. And the fisherman is surely where the rubber meets the road..
There were a few new and innovative items out there, but most folks are still trying to re-invent the light bulb. I will have to say that I saw a lot of new soft plastic designs, and a lot of new finishes on crankbaits. And of all the things I saw, I will have to say that many of the new crankbaits have some of the most incredible finishes I have ever seen. And detail in the molds are nearing that of soft baits..
Some pretty neat stuff.. Like this new bait from Missile Baits called the Baitball.. That's thinking outside the box.. Or inside the bait..
And while I knew this show was not just for bass fishermen, I guess I was not prepared for the size of the displays and the number of manufacturers of fly fishing gear and tackle. They carry on their back what we carry in our boat.. Well kind of.. Those guys are obsessed.. They even had a 100 foot by 60 foot casting pond set up in there for you to try out their equipment.. Pretty cool..
And if you are a bay or offshore angler, then you were covered as well.. You think your Core or Steez reel is expensive?? Go check out some of those tuna reels.. You can buy a bass boat for what a setup for the back of your Bertram costs..
I think I'll stick with bass fishing..
But basically, if you can use it to catch fish recreationally, it was there.. In Spades..
I got to play with the new Humminbird 360° simulator.. It is cool.. But left me a bit confused on operation. I am sure with a little time I could figure it out..
Of course the Lowrance touch screens were there, but I have already got to play with one of them..
Raymarine has some really neat machines as well.. But my mind is too small to try and figure them all out..
Garmin also has some really simple touch screen units. With nice features..
And I know I am a simple man, and to me, rods are rods, and reels are reels. There are certainly a lot of choices out there.. But lighter is the trend, and all of this is fueled by new technology and materials.. Some of it feels really good, but I am not sure all of it will stand up to Falcon fishing conditions..
I tried to splain it to a couple of folks, but only when it comes to flippin rods.. Some folks have got it.. Some don't.. And you and I both know there are some high dollar rods that just won't hold up down here..
I did run into a lot of folks I know, and met a few that I had gotten to know on the phone.. And I also met a lot of manufacturers of products that we sell, and it was fun and interesting to talk to them about their products and how we use them and sell them.. And maybe made a few connections to buy some products direct..
There were a lot of the Elite pro's there, and I talked to a lot of them. Of course they were working their sponsors booths.. There's no free lunch.
Most of them asked me how I found my way there from Zapata.. And most of them said they want to come back. We'll see.. But I don't think any of that is up to the fishermen..
It was a damn good excuse to get to Vegas.. And as a buddy of mine says.. "That's a duck..." Meaning deductible..
My flights were screwed up coming and going. Very late leaving.. Which put me there at midnight Vegas time.. And that made me stay up till 7:00 in the morning Vegas time.. Which was all good cause I woke up about noon with a couple of chips left..
And here's my latest collection of light bulbs..
I had not been to Vegas in sixteen years.. It has changed a bit.. And it is surely a freak show.. Kinda gives a boy from Zapata a bit of a reality check..
There is no right or wrong when it comes to dressing. It just don't matter.. Skirt length is also optional, and there were several gals there that needed a hair net.. If you know what I mean..
But freaky socks and flip flops, cowboy hats and dew rags, bald heads and corn rows, golf shirts and bikini tops, and three pieces are all allowed..
I saw people there from every continent except Antarctica.. And heard languages I can only explain as "Not From Texas.."
People watching is certainly a sport.. Some of it was harder on the eyes than others.. There were only a few flamers around, and one of em was working in a high dollar cosmetic store.. My wife said he is a good salesman.. Or woman.. Or whatever.. I try not to judge..
There were a couple of chicks going at it in front of a fountain in the casino.. Which brought a mixed reaction from the crowd.. They had all their clothes on but I was starting to wonder if they were going to start using each others clitoris' as tongue depressors right there in public..
Hey.. I just report what I see..
Guess I'm too old fashioned for most of this stuff.. And I'm glad my Boots Sprouted Roots here in Texas.. I've already got the song written.. Working on the arrangement..
We were supposed to fly out at 3:20 Vegas time yesterday.. But I have come to realize when you fly on Allegiant Airlines, the departure times are more like approximations.. Or loose guidelines.. Very loose..
The plane arrived thirty minutes late, and by the time they unloaded it and changed crews, we boarded it an hour late.. Then it was off to the Taxiway.. Where we sat with very little A/C for about forty five minutes while their compass got its shit together.. Aaand when the compass finally figured out where it was, they decided we needed to go back and refuel.. WTF... I figured that at any minute the stewardesses would be coming down the isle collecting quarters so they could put some air in the tires.. Another forty five minutes later we finally got the wheels up.. I arrived at FLT at 12:05.. AM..
Fishing hasn't changed much since I left and returned.. Still spotty. Still some quality.. Still some numbers.. But a combination plate is a tall order..
Walt Adams caught this 11-2 this week..
We are still dropping slowly, and another week and we'll be off the state park ramp.. Water temps in the lower eighties.. Few fish starting to gang up on deeper structure.. And some fish in the trees. As always..
July 8, 2013: The weekend has come and gone, and for a lot of you, going back to work after four days off can seem like going back to work with a hangover.. Least it used to for me.. I was always a little draggy..
I fished Saturday with a buddy that came to town from the homeland, and while we caught a few fish, I am definitely going to say it was less than spectacular.. And of all the people I talked to, we did some of the poorest..
Maybe it was the guide.. But most everybody else I talked to said they caught some numbers of fish. We only caught about a dozen, with no whoppers in the mix.. And I stunk it up.. Don't know why I was so slow on the hookset..
It's hell to get old..
There were a few boats in town, but I surely would not call it a busy weekend. I did hear of some quality fish being caught. But not big numbers of em..
We fished some rocks and drops with rock, but caught most of our fish flipping the trees. It was hit and miss for sure, with a fish coming here and there. And not here and there.. If there was any one bait better than another it was a lizard or ol Monster with watermelon base..
We also fished the south end of the lake, which in my defense, is a little out of my comfort zone here lately.. But I was looking for some bigger fish. Gary Harlan and his clients fished the same morning and had 35 fish or so and did not burn a lot of gas.. I fished from the Salanaias to the Veleno.. You cain't fix stupid..
James Necker caught this new PB that weighed in at 10-2. And they also had an eight something and a bunch of other quality fish on their long weekend..
There were quite a few boats along the dam and flood gate area on Saturday as well.. I guess that is about normal these days.. And we saw a fish or two caught.. But we did not stay around the area too long. I'm kind of an introvert and I don't like crowds..
And speaking of which, the Icast show is in Vegas this week. It is the annual tackle show where all the new products are unleashed on the market. And it is an excuse for a lot of gamblers with a fishing problem to head out west and see what's new.. And buy a couple of Chandeliers..
I have always wanted to go to one of these, and with the advent of Allegiant Air coming to Laredo, with some dirt cheap deals to Vegas, I figure this is as good a time as ever.. Besides the people from the MGM said I need to come back and dust the Chandeliers that I bought them last time I was out..
I really do not know what to expect, but I imagine there will be representatives from most all major manufacturers there, and a bunch of them that want to be.. This is marketing USA style.. Sounds interesting..
I'll take some pictures if they let me, and I'll surely tell you all about it when I get back.. I wonder if they will have waitresses serving free drinks like in the casinos? I bet it would boost sales.. Specially if they were all dressed like "I dream of Jeanie.."
I haven't been to Vegas in years, and the last time I was there I ended up in a little bitty place (by Vegas standards) right across the street from the MGM Gardens that was called the Silver Dollar.. I hear it is not there anymore.. Too bad..
It was certainly my younger days when I was known to imbibe a bit, but I do remember getting a standing ovation after singing "Silver Wings" with the band..
My wife says I picked up a guitar from a stand, wrestled the mike from their front man, and proceed to do my Elvis impersonation.. While singing a Merle Haggard tune.. Kinda like a cross between Snoop Dog and Jed Clampitt.. Good thing this was before I-phones..
But I am not sure I believe my wife. She was drinking, after all...
Happy Fourth of July from FLT!
July 3, 2013: It's that time of year again.. Time to roll out the BBQ pit and scorch some tasty animal flesh.. We're cooking some briskets tomorrow.. Mostly because burgers and dogs don't take enough time.. There is a difference between grillin and Bar-B-Queing.. And although I like both, tomorrow we're cookin bout half a cow..
It has been so pleasant around here you'd think that fall has set in.. Yesterday we never made it to ninety here at the shop.. There was some rain around and it stayed cloudy all day with a light north wind.. Awesome.. And the next few days are forecast to be under the century mark, which is unusual this time of year..
Fishing has been decent for most folks, but there are not many people in town. Maybe that will change this evening and tomorrow as the four day weekend starts.. Well, for some folks.
The flipping bite on the top of the lake is still good, and a baby brush hog in a dark color will get you bit in the woods. Some of these cane mats are holding some fish as well.. These fish like the shade..
Shallow water in the four foot range is holding some fish.. Give it a try..
The south end of the lake is still cranking out some nice fish, with the same old baits doing most of the damage. You'd think these fish would wise up, but they keep biting the same colors..
The deeper diving baits are really starting to catch some fish.. The 10XD is starting to pay off on those deeper rocks that you just can't get to with something less.. Of course you can throw a Big Fluke or a Carolina rig to get to em.. But they seem to be liking a moving bait.
Not all crankbait fish are deep, and a lot of the rockpiles from the top to the bottom of the lake are holding fish. After all, this is Falcon, and there are always shallow fish..
Speaking of which, this fish was caught on some shallow rocks.. And you don't see em here all the time..
But it is the fifth or sixth smallie I have heard of in the last couple of years.. I still think they came out of Amistad during the flood of 2010.. But who really knows..
And speaking of species we have not been seeing till recently.. White bass by the dozens are starting to show up in cast nets and occasionally on crankbaits. Give it another year, and they will be catchable in numbers.. At least that is my thoughts.. Any of yall remember the old days?? Incredible.. What I can't believe is that they were able to wipe em out.. (netters) I also think these came from Amistad..
We tried to stock some a few years back.. But they did not take..
Tomorrow is the Fourth of July of Course, and I hope that sometime during the day you will remember all the sacrifices by so many that gave their all for this country. And I am not just talking about the servicemen and women..
I am talking about the people who had the balls to leave their comfort zone and headed to lands unknown to forge a new life. And what they created was nothing less than incredible, and it has never been duplicated.. They not only tamed the land and brought forth a new country, they set an example so high that people these days are afraid to try and maintain their work ethic and faith..
We do have a country with a lot more pussies than we need.. And the pendulum of idiocy has certainly swung far to the left.. But keep the faith America! We'll be back..
And for all of you slackers out there. Pull your head out of your ass.. You have been given an opportunity to be part of something that most people cannot even conceive. At no charge.. So make the best of it, dammit!
So Happy Fourth of July! and God Bless America!
June 29, 2013: I know it has been a while since I wrote, or much less reported on the fishing round these parts.. But I have been busy.. Well.. Actually that is a big lie..
It has been deathly slow around here this week. And with the way the wind blew the first three day of the work week, I can't blame anybody for not fishing.. But that is behind us now and we have had a couple of very nice days lately, and a few more forecast for the weekend.
But hot it is.. We will be in the 100's again today.. And tomorrow.. Probably bout 105..
The lake is really calming down and clearing up, and there is no part of it that I think the water is too nasty to fish. Even up here on the top end of the lake. We fished from marker seven north yesterday for a few hours, but mostly went site seeing and spot checking..
There are a lot of cane mats up on this end of the lake.. And I plan on punching them a bit tomorrow or Monday morning.. They are primarily on the Mexican side of the lake, and mostly blown into the pockets scattered from the Salado south.. But several big ones near the Veleno.
A few years back, when there was a bunch scattered here and there, those fish were ganged up underneath em. Most of the better ones were up the river a bit, north of the Salado.. But I don't think there is a lot of water up there just yet.. But I am surely going to check out the ones I can get to easily.. These are some big shady areas and sometimes... We'll see.
The south end of the lake looks good from all accounts, and the fish have been pretty active, even if the fishermen aren't..
There have been a few folks bringing their kids down for summer vacation this last week or so, and the younguns have been whacking em pretty good.
Jackson Jurnigan, left, whacked him a new personal best last week..
And Andrew Lindberg caught these two nice fish the same day.. Wednesday to be exact.. Nice birthday present..
Baylor Hall caught this 10.42..
Landon Barclay caught this 4.88 pound beast..
And this 10-2 was caught by.. Well.. I dunnoo..
I went out for a bit with Jay Grieshaw yesterday, originally to check out a motor issue.. But once we figured that out, after bout 30 seconds, we figured if we was on the water we might as well check on a few spots.. So we did.. We both fish some of the same places, but he fishes ten times more than I do these days. And he likes the open water and I like flipping the trees. We rarely run into each other on the lake.. But we do cross each others wake once in a while..
Anyway we did not have a lot of time, and we hit a few rockpiles that are kinda of off the beaten path.. And we caught a few fish.. Nothing to brag about.. But we did not beat on em either.. I did break one off on a Carolina rig that coulda been a ... Well... You know the rest..
Have a great 4th Of July!
June 24, 2013: The lake is settling down a bit, and it is also going down a bit.. We have already dropped about four inches from the high last Friday. But for right now, everything is OK.. We are just waiting on the next round of flooding to occur..
Lots of the cane that was floating down and around in the lake has made its way to the shore, and it is scattered along the banks here and there, mostly on the Mexican side of the lake.. I said mostly.. There are still a few bigger trees and drifting logs here and there.. So be careful out there, especially from the marker eight area to the north..
Water clarity is improving daily.. But it will be a little while before the top of the lake gets very green. But it is getting better..
Fishing is still decent, and the south end of the lake, with its clearer water, seems to be doing a bit better. You can find some decent looking water on the north end of the lake if you get off the river channel and into the back of some of the creeks and pockets.. It ain't pretty, but it is fishable..
The wind has been a real bitch the last few days, and it is blowing again today. And it is supposed to blow for the next several. And we are supposed to be right around 100° for the rest of the week.
We are pretty much entering the "No Tournament Zone" for the next couple of months. There will surely be a few small club tourneys around, but not a whole lot for the next little while.. As it should be.. The water is just getting too warm to be hauling a bunch of fish around all day.
And for those of you that are going to be fishing tourneys in your clubs, it is a good period to do a paper tourney, or better yet, a weigh em yourself tourney.. And I am not just talking about here at Falcon.. I'm talking all over the state. The water is just too damn warm..
The next "big" tournament on the schedule is not till mid October, when the Texas Team Trail comes to town for their championship. Hopefully the water will be a lot cooler by then.. And hopefully we will have a lot more of it..
For whatever reason, I feel a hurricane coming on.. We are past due to get one right up the chute.. We have had some close calls the last few years, but this year the gulf seems to brewing them up pretty early.. We'll see.. But the one we really need is a Pacific storm that comes up the Baha, and settles in the northern mountains just west of Big Bend.. That's the money maker.. And we have the ground wet, and the ponds and tanks full on the east side of the mountains.. At least in northern Mexico.. Lake Don Martin', AKA Carranza, the lake on the Rio Salado, that feeds into Falcon on the north end of the lake, is only at 24% of capacity.. And it is north west of us at the base of the mountains.. And it will have to catch a bunch of water before they turn any loose to us..
The Mexicans do owe us a bunch of water.. But what else is new..
Maybe we can do an exchange program with the illegal's coming across the river.. Right now there is a lot of talk about immigration reform..
So let's say that anyone coming from Central and South America, and southern Mexico, where all the rain forests are, will have to bring two gallons of water to pour in the river before they cross it..
And then we can give them some special treatment when they apply for citizenship. We ought to have her filled up in three months or less.. And that rain forest water is a lot cleaner that this crap that washes down the arroyos between us and Amistad..
And then we could open a plastics recycling plant right along the river, to properly dispose of all those water jugs they will be carrying.. Instant employment for the new work force.. That sounds like a win-win scenario to me..
I'm calling Pelosi..
June 20, 2013: It's been an awful quiet week here in Zapata, with next to nobody on the lake.. And next to nobody in town.. I guess the rising water and debris in the lake has scared most people off.
The debris field in the lake is starting to break up, as the south wind disperses it into the trees and creeks, mostly on the Mexican side. You still need to be careful out there, as there is still a lot of crap floating around.
But launching at the state park cures all these issues, and launching on the concrete ramp is no problem.
The dirty water extended almost all the way down to marker four on Tuesday, but it is dissipating as we speak.. Inside the Tigers is fine, and from there south you will find lots of great looking water. But it is going to take a week or so to get the water on the top of the lake into anything you might call good looking..
But like I said, if you like fishing the south end of the lake you got no problems..
The lake has about topped out this rise, and we are sitting at 266.98 as of this morning. That's 34.22 feet low.. We might catch another inch or two. But that's about it..
It would have been nice to get that little storm in the Bay of Campechie up this way.. Since we had the ground wet.. But it is going to stay far south of us due to the high pressure sitting on top of us, which is very common.. They named the storm Barry in honor of Obamma.. Cause all it did was make a mess and got nothing accomplished..
We have a lot of flooded grass and bushes in the water right now, and I think it is time for Kermie.. Last time the water did this we whacked em on the frogs.. Think I'll give it a try tomorrow morning.
There is also a ton of grass carp up in the shallows, rooting around in the greens with their backs out of the water. If you bow hunters want some action, head to the state park cove.. And take some extra arrows.. Lots of magnum sized gar being spotted here lately, and the locals are putting the smack down on em here in the Veleno on rod and reel..
See you on the water.. Wait a minute. I ain't seeing anybody on the water..
June 17, 2013: We're up to 264.8 at 4:00 PM.
Border Chapter API held their annual fundraiser on Falcon last weekend, and Fifty-Five
teams entered the event.
June 17, 2013: Well boys and girls, there is some water in the pipeline.. And a lot of it is here already.. The old Veleno bridge is back under water, so pay attention to the markers.. There is a debris field from Laredo to marker eight in the river channel.This is what the river looked like yesterday afternoon from the scenic overlook just north of San Ygnacio. And there is a lot more water there right now..
The river crested in Laredo in the middle of the night, and that water is hitting the top of the lake right now.. Jim Behnken sent me this pic from the marker ten area this morning..
We may catch a little more than I originally anticipated.. And that would be fine with me.. We are sitting at 264.44 as of eleven this morning.. That equates to 36.76 feet low.. That is up two feet from Friday morning. And by the time you get to the state park ramp it will be working fine..
I am still working on getting final results and names for the API tourney.. And will post shortly. But I can tell you that you can't catch what they caught on any other lake in Texas.. Specially for a bunch of guys that fish Falcon once a year.. Well.. Not all of em.. But a bunch of em..
June 15, 2013, API Conclusion: Well the fishing is over.. But I am sworn to secrecy till tonight when the winners are revealed.. But I can talk about the weights..
The winning team brought in over twenty four pounds, for a two day total of.. Wait a minute I can't say that yet.. I promised.. They also had the big bass of the tourney with an 11 something..
But suffice it to say that even with the rising water and the muddy conditions on the upper lake, the fish still bit.. And good.. Lots of good stringers again today..
I'll post the full results ASAP.. Like tomorrow..
But there were another bunch of twenty pound stringers again today..
P.S. The lake is on the rise, and it looks like we will have a decent rise the rest of this week.. I'd say about three feet. That's my guess, and I am talking retrospectively from yesterday evening.. I'd love to be surprised.. But I do believe we will have the State Park ramp back in the water and useable by about Tuesday. And that will be awesome!
June 14, 2013: API Report.. I just got back from the weigh in and there were some pretty impressive sacks brought to the scales.. There were five sacks over twenty pounds weighed in.. (Three fish limits)
Big fish was a 9.86 if memory serves, and there were several other big nines..
Top weight was 23 and a half or so.. But there were a lot of high teens caught as well. Fishermen dodged rains most of the day..
And speaking of rain, it is.. All along the the border.. Let er rain..
June 14, 2013: Low pressure is a good thing.. And we have had this big low sitting in the gulf and moving slowly northward, right over us and towards Amistad and New Mexico.. And it has been dropping a lot of rain in our country, and above us.. It rained about 5-6 inches last night near the dam, and Lopeno was flooded for a few hours there.. The lake has come up about three inches overnight, and a lot of runoff is still making its way into the lake..
The area a little east of Eagle Pass also hot hammered last evening and night, and some decent amounts of water should be on the way to the river.. And the Rio Grande in Big Bend, around Presidio is also on minor flood stage, so that water will make it to Amistad in a few days..
We got 1.25 inches here at the shop in the last twenty four hours..
Now this is not water that will make a huge impact, but it does have us with some wet ground when the next one comes by.. And I like the pattern we have had for the last forty five days or so.. Certainly a big change from the last year..Or three..
There were a few folks on the lake yesterday that got a wet ass.. And it might happen again today..
The API tourney is underway, and they had a pretty good turnout. There are about 55 teams in the fray, and I'll have an exact number later today. These guys know how to throw a party, and last night the meal and Calcutta was fun to be at.. I'm feeling a little fuzzy this morning..
Day one weigh in is this afternoon at 3-4 O'clock.. I'll be working the scales and the fish as needed.. So I'll post a report about what is happening this evening.. This is a three fish tourney, and it has been cloudy and cool so water temps are down a bit, but still right around eighty.. The humidity is about like Pierre Part.. Steamy..
See you later.. Come on Rain..
June 10, 2013: It was a kinda busy weekend around here, with fishing that seemed awful spotty.. Friday everybody caught fish.. But I heard that Saturday and Sunday were slow..
Good thing I skipped the weekend I reckon..
The south end of the lake has certainly been getting a lot more attention than the upper end, in spite of no decent boat ramp at the state park. It is still fairly easy to put in down at the state park.. Long as you don't mind launching off the point.. On the gravel bar.
We were so close to having the concrete ramp working again.. But we have lost about a foot of water in the last ten days or so.. What they are doing with it I don't know.. But we are releasing about 2000 CFS and Amistad is releasing about 900.. Minus what is being pulled out before it gets here..
I am not sure if there is one particular pattern that is better than another right now. I do know that better quality fish are coming deeper, from ten to twenty feet. And it certainly is no news flash to say that these fish are being caught off of rocks. Rock piles or rocky ledges with a depth change. SOS..
A big Texas rigged worm is catching fish about as good as anything.. In the same places you would throw a jig or a deep crankbait.. Watermelon Red or Motor Oil Red have been popular choices as of late..
The Ol Monster in Plum or W/M Red is a good choice..
Also popular around these parts is the Spro Little John in Citrus Shad or Chart/Blue Back..
Of course the 6 XD continues it's incredible run in the same two colors that are mentioned above.
And BTW, I actually got in some Powder Blue Back Chartreuse in the 10 XD's if you have been looking for some.. They have been hard to find..
If you are fishing the deep crankbaits, make sure you are bumping them off the rocks.. Once you make contact with the stones, slow down and just have it ticking off the rocks.. You'll lose less baits that way and catch more fish.. Most of the bigger fish just seem to be loading up on your rod. Occasionally they will hammer it.. And it is not unusual to not see your bait when she jumps.. They just suck it in..
The shallow bite is where I am having my best luck.. Flipping those damn trees. And if there is a blank space along a stretch of bank with rocks on it I will hammer it with a square bill. Something with some chartreuse on it..
This weekend the API tourney is in town, and we saw quite a few folks pre-fishing for it this past weekend.. Looks like they may have a pretty good turnout.. Competition days will be Friday and Saturday.
On Sunday the South Texas 5 will be here. Registration will be here at FLT on Saturday evening..
Info about either tourney can be found on our tourney page..
We are continuing to drop slowly, and as far as the short term goes, I guess not a lot will change.. There is a continued chance of rain this week, so we'll hope the valley gets hammered and they'll stop the releases from here..
I know we are a long way from breaking the drought, but it has been good to see it rain in the western part of the state. Maybe it will keep it up and we can get some water back in the lakes. Just seems to me that the pattern has changed a bit.. Hope so..
Allen Warren is talking about Falcon this week on his radio show.. Well it actually aired on Saturday past.. You might enjoy listening in. Here is a link to the podcast and you can listen to the show anytime.. Click on the date 06-08-2013 of course, if this link does not take you right there..
With all the snooping into private citizens affairs here lately..
I have been a bit worried about all of my communications being monitored.. I certainly don't want anyone to find out that I may be a conservative.. That I am a gun owner.. That I am Catholic. That I am Pro-Life.. That I like to shoot, catch, and eat animals.. I like a cold beer.. Hot chicks.. (Lookin' at em anyway.. Just cause you are on a diet, don't mean you can't read the menu..) I'm old.. But I ain't dead..
I am not Homophobic.. That would infer that I am afraid of Homosexuals.. Nothing could be farther from the truth.. I am not afraid of them.. I just don't like em..
I don't like Muslim and Islamic people as a whole.. I am sure there are some good ones.. But I haven't met them yet.. I would like to meet the first one that stands up in America and condemns all the acts of terror that these sorry Son of a Bitches commit across the planet.
But what do you hear from them.. Crickets...
But mostly I don't like them cause they don't like me.. Think I'm crazy?? Try to go to services in a Islamic church .. Bet you don't get past the entry.. Any of their kids on your kids baseball team? I didn't think so.. Any of them in your bass club??
There might be a few exceptions.. But damn few..
They'll take your money at their gas station.. But that's about it.. And if you don't like me cause I don't like them.. I can live with it..
I don't like no working, sorry bastards that would rather work at getting out of work, than actually being a productive part of society instead of a leech on all the hard working people that made this country so great.. And I don't give a crap which nationality or color you are.. A no good Son of a Bitch is a no good Son of a Bitch.. And dammit if I was running this outfit I would pull the tit out of their mouth so fast they'd chip their teeth.
Other than that I am pretty much just your run of the mill kind of guy.. And if you want to call any of the above hate speech.. So be it.. Hell if I care..
I just find it so hypcritical that you can say anything in the world about me; a male, white, conservative, Catholic, Texan, Redneck country hick, and no one ever bats an eye..
But it is the way I feel.. Resentment is probably a better word.. I resent the special attention and pandering that is bestowed on these groups.. Like it is our responsibility to bend to their likings, because they are "special." Like we owe them something..
They can all kiss my ass..
Well there you go.. If everybody in the country came clean like me, then the government wouldn't need to be listening to, videoing, recording, and wire tapping all of our citizens.. Some one should start a web page where we can all put down our likes and dislikes, with no judging of others, and then when the government needed to know something about somebody, they could just google the person.. Think of the savings..
Feel free to copy and past my info there..
June 6, 2013: I always think that things will slow down around here and that I will have time to just sit on my ass.. But it ain't so.. And even if it did, I couldn't sit still for long.. There is just too much stuff to get done.. And if not I'll invent something..
A couple of weeks ago I told you that PAW brought down some 200,000 Florida fingerlings, and that they were going to bring down 300,000 more.. Well yesterday they did, and I understand that these fish were also distributed on the top end of the lake.. I have been out of town for a couple days, so I was not here to make any special deliveries. Or to urge them to drive down to the south end of the lake..
This time I ended up at the ranch to fix the gate opener.. Like I said.. Always something.. But it did give me a chance to pick up some sweet corn fresh off the stalk and some home grown tomatoes..
The lake is back to dropping.. What they are doing with the water I have no idea.. I guess that have taken to growing mosquitoes down in the valley.. Gotta keep those ponds full..
We are down to about 262.83 or 38.37 feet low.. Water temps are at 85°.. Perfect..
Reports lately are that there are a lot of fish being caught, but no bigguns.. Or not many bigguns anyway. And that is the same luck I had last Sunday when I was last out.. We never caught a fish over three pounds.. But that is kinda normal for me..
What has been nice is the low winds that we have had lately. The last five days you could fish anywhere you wanted.. We have a chance of some showers tonight and tomorrow, and it certainly has been wetter than our normal for this last month.. And June is our traditionally wettest month of the year. We'll see..
And the first gulf storm of the year is headed to Florida.. Maybe we'll get the next one..
Not a thing has changed when it come to what is catching fish around here.. Still the same old same old I hear.. I have heard of wacky worming a trick worm on the rip-rap on the dam being productive some days.. That's too icky for me.. You try it.. Or give it to Mikey.. He'll try anything..
In any case, fishing is still pretty decent.. But it might be a little farther between the bigguns..
Not a lot going on this weekend around here, but next weekend is the API tourney.. See tourney page for info..
It was a week or so ago that I got these pics.. But Like I said I have been busy. Sort of..
Anyway, Claudia Thomas caught this Back to Back pair fishing with Tommy Law..
And Burt Pruitt caught this PB DD about ten days ago as well.. He was guided by Dave Dobronski..
There were no surprises, at least not for me, at the Bass Champs tourney.. Bout what I expected.. In turnout and in winning weight.. Congrats to local boy Mark Pena.. And he one man showed it.. Nice..
Are any of you out there tired of the current regime we have in charge in Washington.. I'm just wondering.. And how many feet does the president have.. Cause we have had a lot of shoes dropping as of late..
In his latest move he has appointed whatsername Rice to be a National Security Advisor.. What?? Are you kidding me? I guess her covering for him and Hilary on the Benghazi thing got her a lot of points with the King. And she sure knew what was going on there.. Rest easy.. Your National security is no sweat..
The government is listening to all your Verizon conversations, (Trust me.. They are listening to them all) Holder is off the chain and whatever says and does he does with impunity, The IRS is targeting conservatives, (Whooda thunk it) And reporters are being targeted because they can find out what the government can't..
This terrorist Son of a Bitch Hassan, who murdered his fellow men and soldiers at Fort Hood has been in jail for three years and we have paid him $280,000 in that time.. WTF is wrong with this country?? Are we really this stupid? And we don't call him a terrorist?
Obammacare is blowing up, as employers are already laying off people and cutting hours so they can avoid the cost implications.. Tommy and I are both trying to lay each other off..
Maybe I can get on Disemployment...
Yeah.. This is gonna be good for America..
See.. This is how Socialism works.. Don't worry.. It gets worse..
But don't worry.. Harry Reid said we all need to just "calm down.."
And these Whackos that are "leading" the country are depending on half of its ignorance..
Now don't confuse ignorance with stupidity.. Although a lot of these "leaders" and their followers possess both qualities..
I'm not sure where we are headed but I have a pretty good idea..
And it scares the hell outta me..
Bass Champs Update: These results are unofficial @ 3:40 PM.
Mark Pena single sticked it I hear.. Results could change.. But it is late..
Big Bass was a 10.11 caught by the team of Guevarra and Chavez..
I hear that the AOY South Division leaders look like they are going to hold on.. But that too is unofficial..
June 1, 2013: Well the first day of June showed up with some wind, and 120 teams to fish the Bass Champs last tourney of the South division. And while it is a bit breezy, it is not unfishable..
I reckon that 120 ain't too bad, considering lake levels and the perception of slower fishing..
Thanks to all of you guys who stopped in yesterday..
I'll post some kind of report this afternoon after the weigh in!
May 29, 2013: I had almost forgotten what it was like to be awakened by the sound of thunder.. But it happened again this morning.. And while we did not get much actual rain here at the shop, it did rain in our immediate watershed.. But not a lot.. But with the ground being wet for a change, it does not take a lot to make the water run.. Most of the rain this morning was on the west side of the river.. There were some big rains on the east side of the mountains across from Eagle Pass last night.. We'll see how much of that water makes it to the river..
We are up to 263.31 or 37.89 low. If you need another reference, the old Veleno bridge is about eight to ten inches out of the water.. You can blast right past it on the right.. But DO NOT go running the bank edge going out.. The old road bed is probably far enough under the water to pass over it.. But why chance hitting something when you don't have to..
Navigating the rest of the lake is not a problem at all.. But running the Interstate is a good idea if you are not familiar with the access roads.. There are a few hazards lurking beneath the surface, but not if you run the channel..
You can even get into the Salado if you want to, but when I was up there on Saturday, it looked like a crapuchino... Nasty.. If you run above the Salado in the river. You are on your own.. Be careful up there..
But I do hear a few catfishermen are wearing them out in the deep holes up the river.. This is not for the weak of heart or wallet.. There are things up there that go bump in the light..
But currently the water up the river is muddy.. I cannot speak of access to the rest of the small coves up the river. But we are not far from being able to get to them with less concern..
Fishing over the weekend remained pretty good, but I will have to admit that most of the fishermen that were here were prefishing for Bass Champs this weekend, and I am not sure I was the getting the straight skinny on what was going on.. Seemed like I saw some covert smiles behind those Foster Grants.. And like the Eagles said, "You can't hide those lying eyes..."
And you all know fishermen are liars.. The only time they are telling the truth is when they are calling another fisherman a liar..
Works the same with politicians..
The big crank bait and the C-rig is still doing well. And I was having trouble getting enough Citrus Shad and Powder Blue Back Chartreuse in the 6-D's.. But I got that shit corrected.. And we got you covered..
A big Texas rigged worm is working well also.. A ten or twelve incher is catching some quality fish.
The best locations are still rocky ledges and rock piles. As long as it is rocky and has a depth change I really do not think it can be too shallow or too deep.
Of course the last time is was out, last Saturday, we whipped up on em pretty good flipping.. Not cause that is where the big fish are, but that's where there are a lot of fish. And that is what I like to do..
And if you like to flip some shallow trees, don't be afraid to use a small bait.. A baby brush hog is a good bet.. Red or candy in the pretty water.. Junebug or similar in the off colored water.. We had several trees with several fish in them..
And the freakin shad are thick as dogs hair in a whole lot of places.. Throw that square bill or a chart/white spinnerbait in there.. A small spinnerbait is good as well.. But they just don't hold up very good.. And don't tell me you have a 1/4 or 3/8 that will not break. These fish are mean.. And I have casted out spinnerbaits and retrieved pretzels many a time.. And I am sure many of you have too..
It is good to see a lot of small bass, barely keeper sized in the lake.. I don't know where they were for the last six months.. But they are back in the shallows and many of them are fat as pigs.. Baby Rosie's.. That's right.. Rosie before she had to go to the high capacity Health Meter..
Could you imagine being Rosie's scale.. Seeing her waddle out of the shower.. With three gallons of water still clinging to the surface.. And stepping on that scale with those with those nasty landing gear.. Yikes..
Makes you glad she is hitting for the other team. If you woke up with that, chewing your arm off wouldn't do it.. Better have a cyanide capsule stored in a crown like those secret agents..
"That's A Whole Lotta Rosie." Check out Angus in this one.. Back in the Day..
I know a lot of you fellers with a few more gray hairs than me will be saying, "What the hell is that crap?" But a lot of you will have the office rockin and people lookin..
And while it is a day gone by, it was AWESOME growing up in the 70's..
And don't tell me what they call Rock and Roll these days is Rock and Roll.. And what they call country.. Well they can kiss my ass...
I had my granddaughter down a couple of weeks back.. And it was hot.. So we had popsicles.. And it reminded me of a time a little before AC/DC was blowing up speakers.. So for you guys a little bit older, here is one you might remember. But have not heard in years.. Sorry about the commercial..
And that concludes this weekends edition of Flashback..
Fishin is good.. And if the wind don't beat us up too bad, you're gona see some good weights this weekend.. I think it will take over twenty four pounds to win it, and I will not be surprised if a couple of teams bring in some 26-27 pound sacks.. So be prepared to take care of your fish!!
Time will tell..
I gotta go polish my 45's...And I ain't talkin about my Colts...
May 28, 2013: Just a quick update to let you know that we received our 2013 allotment of Sharelunker babies today.. And while we appreciate any stockings we get, I don't want you thinking think that this will make a difference in the size of the bass in Falcon.. If 2% live to sexual maturity, that will be 84.. That's one to the acre.. Pretty heavy stocking.. (at full pool)
TPWD Inland Fisheries brought 4200, give or take, and we put them all in the Tigers.. And these were some of the biggest and healthiest looking fingerlings I have ever seen.. The hatchery certainly did a good job with these fish.. I saw ONE dead fish in the whole tank.. And I think he got smashed with the lid..
Did that sound a little Jekyll and Hyde??
In any case, we will always take whatever we can get.. I wish we had better cover for the fish, but it is what it is..
We are scheduled to get another 300,000 fingerlings in the next few weeks, but these will be the inferior Pure Florida Bass.. (Allegedly..)
This stuff makes good headlines, so here you go.. Just so you can say you read it here first..
Falcon Lake Receives More [potentially] Giant Bass!!
Should have had my shutter speed jacked up.. Cause these fish were!
May 25, 2013: It's was a bit of a wild and woolly ride around here yesterday, but today was a fisherman's dream.. For the most part..
We had a three hour thunderstorm hang around here, and we got three inches of rain here at the shop.. And it was coming down let me tell you.. We have gotten over eight inches in the last twelve days..
A lot of folks got caught on the south end of the lake after they had launched on this end.. And I can tell you it wasn't pretty.. If you were down lake when this thing blew up you were pretty much screwed..
Of course the weathermen missed it, and they predicted that it was not supposed to rain until today.. So far nothing around here, but east of us, in San Antonio and south they got hammered. SA got upwards of nine inches at the airport I heard.. The San Antonio river, which does not run into Choke Canyon and Mathis is on a big flood thingy.. That'll put some fresh water in the bay..
The aforementioned lakes should get some water though, as a little rain fell in their watershed as well. We'll see. Lord knows they need it..
No big winds on Falcon today as earlier predicted.. This storm threw a monkey wrench in the weather round here.. Hope the wet early summer continues.. We have caught about six inches so far from this go round, and we should get another six inches or so..
Here's a pic of the Parking Lot near the ramp at Zapata.. We'll have it fixed soon..
May 22, 2013: There are not a lot of people in town this week, and windy conditions have hampered the fishermen that are here, when it comes to running around and fishing much open water.
And the humidity and the hanging smoke, courtesy of the Mexican farmers on the Yucatan, has been heavy duty in the mornings..
How come everything the Americans do, except for the good things, is world headlines, and we are ruining the planet for everyone else. But if the Mexicans or the Argentineans put out more smoke than Mount Saint Helens, no body says a word about it..
They're starting fires.. And we're trying to put em out.. Go figure..
But those that have fished have been doing pretty good. No record breakers, but damn decent fishing..
Nothing has changed with the ramps.. Still sucks launching at the state park.. Zapata is fine..
Big crankbaits are still the ticket for the best stringers I reckon. A Carolina rig is a close second. People are putting everything from 6" lizards to dishwashers on the C-rig.. And catching fish..
Seems like all baits go thru stages, and right now the 6-XD is still king. Citrus Shad and Powder Blue Back Chartreuse are the two hottest baits going it appears. I guess you can't argue with success..
With all this talk about crankbaits, there has not been a lot said about the flipping bite.. But it is still there, and it is still good. Not every batch of trees have fish in them. But a lot of them do. And I do not think you can fish too shallow.. So don't be afraid to stir up some mud with your trolling motor..
The water on the south end of the lake is gorgeous, but it starts to get a little stained around marker eight.. As stated in the last report, there is some nice looking water in the backs of creeks on the north end of the lake.
I have not heard from one person that they went into the Salado.. There has to be enough water to get into it, but I am sure there is not over six to seven feet of water in the main ditch.. But it probably needs to get checked out.. Might have to put that on my to-do list..
Young Will Wisenhunt is now ruined, as he caught a new PB last week on Falcon. This one went 7-12..
Another Rosie from last week..
Kenneth Clements caught this ten pounder last week..
And there has been a lot of this stuff going on here lately. Big blue cats with a liplock on each other. It has been reported by several folks that have come in the store.. Not sure if this is some kind of mating ritual or what.. I'd throw some water on em but...
If I could make the wind quit blowing everything would be fine..
It sounds like there are going to be quite a few folks in town over the weekend. Most colleges are done for the year, and only another couple of weeks for government schools..
So I guess we better stock up on 33 Combos and worms.. It is about that time of year. We have a decent population of kids here in Zapata that have recently become active fishing from the banks during the summer.. And they catch on quick. And a lot of times they will give me some really good info about what is going on here in the Veleno. And it is always funny to hear their stories about the big one that kicked their ass. Especially when it is told by a twelve year old.. They are a special kind of excited..
And believe me, there are a bunch of big fish in the Veleno that can kick your ass..
And they are whacking the catfish and alligator gar as I speak.. Well maybe not today, but they will be this weekend. Just because they ain't hittin from the blacks don't mean they ain't in the game..
And there ain't a lot of things for kids to do in Zapata during the summer..
I was looking at the Sharelunker web page the other day, checking up on my buddies at Athens.. And while I was perusing the data from last season, I saw this link to the Sharelunker facebook page. Well I clicked on it, but it wouldn't let me look at the page unless I "Liked" the page..
What the hell is that? Where is the link to click on if you if don't like the page..
This is America dammit and equality is the rule.. There should surely be a "Hate" link to click on as well..
And speaking of facebook, which I think is a total waste of time, what makes everybody think any of the rest of us give a crap if your dog had kittens.. All you are doing is eating up a lot of my bandwidth when I am trying to download the latest pics of Rosie from the web.. And these are large files...
Where's the old fashioned personal touch of forwarding an e-mail..
Ah well.. I guess it is a good site for the predators and thieves to track you..
I think it is a worse idea than reusing a condom..
But evidently I am in the minority.. My wife loves to send me crap from facebook.. I tell her if I wanted to see it I would go see it..
I never went in the dark tent at the carnival to see the Bearded Lady either.. To scary for me.. I have a vivid imagination.. Where might his beard be growing??
I dated a French girl once.. And while she had some neat features, I just couldn't get past her leaving hair on my stick deodorant.. There are some things better left alone..
And I hear that the bearded lady has a facebook page...
See you on the water...
May 18, 2013: Fishing continues to be pretty good around these parts, and there are actually a few folks in town this weekend. The Deep Crankbait bite remains strong, and we have been having trouble keeping some colors in stock.. But it ain't cause I ain't ordering em..
The 6XD in Citrus Shad and the Norman in Tropical Shad or Chart/Blue have been really popular.. All of these are deep water baits, and the jig is starting to catch a few bass as well as the fish are kind of getting set up in their summer pattern.
This has been the first week where water temps have stayed over eighty degrees from start to finish. And I do think that the fish are liking it.. If you are fishing a tourney down here please take the warm water temps into consideration. It will take some extra care to keep your fish healthy..
Why haven't you installed an oxygen system in your boat yet?
Has your club gone to a three fish limit on Falcon Yet?
Or a paper or weigh em' in your boat tourney?
You can weigh ten fish in a paper tourney.. Just like the old days..
If you're keeping fish then move your weigh ins to 2:30 or 3:00.. Nine hours is plenty.. It's too damn hot down here this time of year anyway..
So please take care of your fish..
Make that "Our" fish..
I was out on the lake yesterday, and the water is starting to clear up a bit in the river.. But just a bit.. If you get off the river channel it looks pretty good.. The small pockets up here on the north end are pretty fishable.. And a week ago the Diablo was solid mud, now it looks pretty damn good.. Same for School Bus.. Even the little pockets, like the one just across from the mouth of the Veleno, look good.. But you got to get in the back..
The bait fish and shad were thick in the Diablo.. Throw a 1.5 in there on them rocks.. There are fish in there.. Pierces Cove also has square bill fish on them rocks.. Fish the old foundations on the river channel when you can as well..
Netters are thick in the midlake area.. They are pretty bold right now, and they seem to have no fear in setting on the Texas side. So be on the lookout for them when you are in shallow water. Even on the Texas side.. Law enforcement is not keeping up for sure.. We need more wardens on the water and less on land.. And less in the office..
Even if they ain't catching em, their presence is a deterrent..
Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend.. And there will be a lot of folks with an extra day off in observance of the holiday. And I hope that some time over the weekend you will take the time to remember what the holiday is all about. And make an effort, every day, to thank a veteran, or an active duty service man or woman, for the work they do.. Just tell then you appreciate their service.. And they'll appreciate that, I guarantee..
Like I said before, a lot of better guys than you and me gave their lives so we can live in the best and freest country that ever existed on this planet. Let's hope we can keep these bastards from screwing it up..
It's been a hot week here in Zapata, and with the ground wet from last weeks rains, it has been brutal the last couple of days.. Heat indexes in the 110 range.. Not what we are used to.. Humidity may be good for cigars, but it sucks when the temps are 100 plus.. Next week looks a little better..
But I don't want you thinking that I am bitching about the rain..
We are still creeping up. And I mean creeping.. And I don't think we have enough push to get the concrete ramp back in operation at the State Park. Another couple of feet would do it.. But not yet.. We need a little more water out of Amistad..
I am sure there will be some kids tagging along next weekend, so don't forget some good sunblock and shade accessories for the kids.
I remember my Dad taking me out of school now and then for a fishing trip that encroached on a school day. And the teachers never minded if there was some learning going on on these field trips..
And boy was there..
The biggest thing I learned was a lot of new vocabulary.. And when I got home and used some of it at the dinner table, I got another lesson.. In Hygiene.. As my mother washed out my mouth with a bar of Zest..
Nothing like farting bubbles..
Of course a biology lesson was always in store back then. Cause we gutted and gilled every thing we caught.. Well most of it.. And I am sure that the first innards I ever saw were that of a fish..
Well maybe not.. There was that time we shoved a Black Cat up a horny toads ass..
But I digress..
Of course I learned a lot of other things.. Like how to assemble an Army cot.. Not to touch the glass on a Coleman Lantern.. How to cook bacon and eggs on coals in a cast iron skillet.. How to get the top off a bottle of soda water with your teeth.. How to tie an improved clinch knot.. And to leave your campsite cleaner than it was when you got there.. (We did a lot of camping back then..)
These days I think a Holiday Inn Express is roughing it..
And I learned that when an uncle tells you not to tell your Mom.. You didn't. That could lead to reduced privileges in the future..
Yeah.. It was the good old boy system.. And I loved it..
And along the way I learned to love the outdoors.. And just being outside.. I am sure a lot of you did too..
And there is not much more important, that a parent can do for his kids, than to teach them respect for nature, and appreciation of its awesome beauty and power.. And along the way that kid will learn respect for himself, and others..
Holy crap.. For a minute there I thought I was writing for some yuppie magazine. .
But that's where I grew up.. In the woods and on or in the water..
Which reminds me of a commercial I have been seeing on TV.. And it just don't sit right with me..
There's a Subaru commercial where this lady is talking about her daughter.. And about how her daughter grew up in the back seat of her Subaru.. That just don't sound right..
Now I'll admit I am a bit old school, but that is not something that would have been used back in the seventies.. Me and several girls I knew grew up in the back seat of my Chevy..
But somehow I don't think this gal is talking about the same thing..
But from personal experience, I can tell you that drive in movies, a station wagon with a fold down tailgate and back seat, a sleeping bag and a large popcorn was something good that this generation will never know.. And it's their loss..
I guess these days you can just park in the back yard, put a movie in the DVD player that has a screen in the headrest, and do a reenactment.. As long as you have some Orville Reddinbacker and a microwave..
Don't forget to hang the speaker back on the post before you leave..
See you on the water.. And don't forget to thank a Vet!
May 16, 2013: Well it never fails.. I went to the ranch for Mothers Day.. And ended up working like a slave.. We had a big storm go thru last week that tore up a bunch of tin roof on an old barn, and kind of rearranged its shape.. That took a while.. And the well motor went out so we pulled that and replaced the pump while we we were it..
And then there is the never ending fight with the fresh growth of baby mesquites in the coastal fields..
If it involves a ladder, or anything with a handle, I am getting less and less infatuated with it..
Like Danny Glover said.. "I'm getting too old for this shit.."
Anyway, I got back just in time yesterday to go out with the boys from TPWD's Inland fisheries, and turn loose some 200,000 Florida Bass fingerlings.. Hell I guess they're Floridas.. But with PAW's recent epiphany about their genome mapping, who really knows.. But they were baby bass..
And they were in great condition. Fewest dead bass that I have ever seen in a delivery.. Not a dozen.. And these fish came from the hatchery in Athens.. That's a long way from Falcon..
These fish were scattered on the north end of the lake. We have another 300,000 coming in a few weeks, and they will be distributed on the south end of the lake. And I plan to make some special deliveries using my boat, just to help spread them a little farther..
I hear we are also going to get some Sharelunker fry pretty quick as well.. Maybe next week..
Thanks for the fish, Boys!
And speaking of fish, there have been a bunch caught here lately.. And it appears that Falcon has gown out of its funk from the last few months..
And as I was on the lake yesterday, I thought I heard it say.. "The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.." Credit Mark Twain..
And TPWD.. And catch and release anglers.. And Mother Nature.. And God..
We have received over five inches of rain in the last seven days, and more than that has been recorded in a lot of areas above and below us. We have gained over three feet of water in the last two weeks.. And we are still on a very slow rise.. If we catch another foot or so, small boats may launch at the state park concrete ramp.. Water is up on it.. But barely.. So now that we have the ground wet, let's all pray for a turd floater..
San Antonio Bass Club is going to be in town this weekend, along with the anglers from C.A.S.T. So we will have a few folks around. And of course next weekend is Memorial Day, and I hear a lot of chatter about folks being in town on the long weekend.
Water on the top of the lake is still quite dirty, but the Veleno looks pretty good.. You have to get down to marker nine or so before it starts to clear much.. Looks a lot better at seven of course..
Rocks, rocks, rocks.. What else can I say.. Fish the rocks.. Of course there are always some flipping fish on Falcon.. But I am one of the few chasing them.. Throw that lizard or a baby brush hog in there.. And hold on to your panties..
And the report is getting a little redundant, but deep divers and square bills are both catching a lot of fish. And a lizard on a C-rig has been money on any gravel bar in the Tigers. Similar structure in other areas is working as well.. I hate a carolina rig.. But I am throwing it along with a lot of other folks..
Paul caught this 10.64 fishing with Jay Grieshaw last week.. He said they have had a bunch of giants on lately, but have had little luck at getting them in the boat.. These bastards are mean..
And I need to give credit where credit is due.. In my last post I posted a couple of pics of that were caught while fishing with Jim Behnken. The young boy and the young lady.. Kids and women get special privileges here at FLT.. Who says chivalry is dead..
All of the guides have been stroking them pretty good, and Tommy Law has been whacking them pretty good as well.. See his site for pics.. And Jays site as well..
Here's a pic of a fish that is pretty uncommon here lately..
Ray Westmoreland caught this white bass in the Tigers last weekend.. Second one I have heard of this last couple of months.. And hell.. If they can make a comeback, maybe there is even hope for the Republicans..
And not that I would ever get political in this independent blog, but the Dimocrats seem to be trying to hang themselves the last week or so.. Or at least a lot of gallows building has been uncovered and disclosed..
But you know that the truth is that whether your a flaming liberal or a staunch evil conservative, neither party gives a crap about you and me.. All they care about is getting re-elected..
If they gave a crap, then we would not have the mess we are in.. They can fix it.. But they have no balls.. 538 Americans, and the president control our debt and our future in their hands..
And have no fear, they are right behind us.. I think they are right behind us.. And here lately it feels like their hands are on our hips..
But like Hillary said.. "Does it really matter?"
The current administration needs a courtesy flush.. The water in the bowl still looks a little off color, even after a lot of the rats jumped off the burning ship..
I think the new Star Trek movie took their title for their new movie from from the Obamma administration.. "Into Darkness"
"Dammit Jim, I'm a community organizer, not a president!"
Oh well.. Three more years.. What could they possibly do to hurt us in just three more years..
What time does that Doomsday Preppers show come on?
May 12, 2013: Happy Mothers Day! It has been raining off and on since about 4:30 this morning.. And some of the rain in the early morning hours was heavy duty.. I just checked the gauge and we have received 1.5" since midnight..
And Friday night, we got 1.4 here at the shop, and it also fell in a hurry.. Yesterday was a decent day to fish, with some wind and some periods of calm mixed in.. Today looks to be the same..
And fishing was decent I hear.. But there is almost nobody in town.. I hope you're all at your Mamas..
The lake rose about six inches in the last twenty four, and we are up to 39.82 feet low.. Most of that came from the Laredo area, as they had a good rain on friday night as well.. We could stand another month or so of this.. It's been a crazy year so far water level wise, and if we were a pair of panties, our elastic would be worn out from going up and down..
This low is supposed to hang out over northern Mexico for another day or so.. Let's hope it stays productive a while longer..
I think my raincoat has dry rotted.. See you later.
May 10, 2013: There has been a bunch of rain in the general area, but none right here at the shop.. Maybe today. It rained a bit above Amistad last evening and night. But nothing that will help the lakes.. But it cain't hurt anything either.. Amistad is just above 61 feet low.. We have stayed as level as runny snot this week.. Maybe just gaining a tad.. We are still just a bit over forty and a half feet low..
Nothing has changed with the ramps since last report.. Still on the rocks at the state park.. Concrete ramps are fine here in Zapata..
Not a lot of folks in town this week, but those that are here right now are catching fish.. Tigers is still a good place to start.. Or finish..
Think rocks.. Or get in the hardwoods and knock the knots out of them.. Fish them slow for best results..
Malcom Kitchen and Ray Westmoreland(rt) fished with Rebel Bass Club last weekend, and they caught some Beauties.. The big fish was an 11 something..
And a couple of other visitors to Falcon were rewarded with a couple of nice fish..
Jackson Hawkins caught this 6.4 this week.
And Tara Tritt caught this 6.1 rock dweller.. I am not sure if she is a member of a Country Club, but now she is in the six pound club..
Falcon is always nice to the Kids and the Ladies..
Small baits are still catching a lot of fish, and that has been going on for a while. Fish em whatever style you prefer, and a C-Rig is as good as any, but Texas rigged or wacky will work as well.
And I reckon that small is always a relative term.. A few years ago I used to think that an Ol Monster worm was huge.. And that the Zoom Mag Lizard was a big bait.. It's a runt..
That lizard is anything but Magnum sized.. But it does catch fish.. I just think it is misnamed..
But right now it is the right size.. Some folks are using the 6" version. But I just can't go that small..
If you walked in the store right now and asked me what and where, I'm going to tell you to go to the Tigers and throw a 1.5 in sexy shad on the rocky points, or throw a C-rigged lizard in W/M Red or Candy on the submerged gravel bars..
You can do the same along any mainlake points on the Texas side. Fish the rocks..
And there has been plenty of room down here this week. It would be a good weekend to take your Mother fishing, but we might be dodging a few storms around here if the forecast should come through..
You did remember it is Mothers Day weekend didn't you?
And I have some good news for you if your Mom has not been able to find any 9mm ammo as of late..
I got in eighty boxes this week, so holler if Mom needs some.. I'll ship em to you if needed.. They have been impossible to find.. I paid way too much for them, and so will you if you want some.. But it was all I could get..
I still have a couple cases of 223 left as well..
The last go round of Bass Champs is just three weeks away, and I am gonna go out on a branch and say that there is going to be some big sacks caught in that event.. I have heard of quite a few upper twenty pound, three fish stringers the last two weeks.. And I look for it to remain steady as long as our water stays warm.. And it has to hit eighty, one of these days.. But it still has not. I saw 77 the last time I was out there, and that was before the last few cloudy days..
The water on the upper end of the lake is clearing a bit, but it is still far from clear.. You might have six inches in a few places up north.. But there is not a lot of up north.. Certainly not much north of Zapata.. The Salado is a crapshoot, as there is very little water in it.. And some good silt bars near the mouth and the confluence with the Rio Grande.. Use caution if you plan on heading that way.. A lot of it..
Other than that, it's all good.. Even I'm catching a few fish..
Don't forget to call yer Mama!
Happy Mothers Day!
May 6, 2013: If you have not been to Falcon in the last few weeks, you're probably missing out on some of the best fishing we have had since the first of the year..
Despite the falling water.. And the rising water.. And the cold fronts.. And the dirty water..
At least it is still dirty on the top half of the lake, and it has been for some months now.. But when you get south of marker eight, things look a lot better, and when you get south of marker seven, the water color is great..
The one bad thing is that there is no decent launch on the south end of the lake.. It is doable, but there is no dock at the state park, and somebody is going to get their feet wet getting in and out of the boat..
I hear that four wheel drive is not a necessity for launching there. But it does not hurt to have it in your back pocket, just in case..
Launching at the county ramp here in Zapata is no problem.. The main concrete ramp is a bit flat, but with two people it is easy.. Just back out there a ways.. There was a bunch of silt washed on top of it last week, but a call to the county commissioner got the debris, or most of it, off the ramp..
The ramp out on the point, to the west of the main ramp and dock is perfect.. There is no dock out there, but with two people it is the place to be.. You can step from the rocky point right into the boat..
When you exit the Veleno, drive right by the old bridge on the west side.. Do not run twenty yards from it.. Go right beside it.. The old roadbed is very shallow and you will damage your boat. But it is nine feet deep right beside the bridge.. No problemo..
I do not understand why the state park, after all these years, has not come up with some kind of portable/movable dock that they could manipulate to accommodate..
It would not have to be anything fancy.. I could build one in a weekend.. But I guess that is too much to ask.. And I am sure they are not charging you anything to launch there, being there is no ramp..
Yeah, right.. But if they built a dock, then they'd have to maintain and move it.. Who's gonna do that?
Maybe they should close the state park office, and quit charging anybody for use of the ramp until there is one..
Just leave the gate open.. We'll be just as good off..
But back to the fishing.. There'll be time enough for bitching later..
Fish are being caught from marker eight south, in a variety of ways. If you want to flip the trees, hit the Mexican side of the lake, and find you some water in the three to six foot range.. Most of what I am talking about is near the river channel. It is pretty unprotected, so a big wind will make this tough.. But on them nice weather days, it can be great.
But most folks are fishing rocks. Solid or gravel, it don't matter much. There are ten miles of gravel bars, banks, and humps in the Tigers right now, that have fish on them. You can throw a square bill on them, in a shad pattern and catch fish. Smaller the better.. I caught some in Pierce's Cove on Saturday, same scenario..
A Carolina rigged lizard is one of the top baits right now as well. We have been talking about the C-rig for a long time.. And it is the real deal right now.. Drag it on, over, along, or up a gravel bar and see what happens.. Great reports on this here lately..
And of course there is the hard bait army.. There are many baits that are catching fish in the Deep Diver category, but the 6XD is probably still tops.. The Spro Little John is also a winner, but they are a bit pricey.. But it pulls a lot easier and it catches fish.. Of course the Norman DD-22 is always a best bet down here.. Try the Slick, or the Chart/Blue.. Of course..
There were some really nice fish caught last weekend, and I am still working on pics and results from the tourneys.. I hear that Rebel Bass Club whacked them good, with an 11 something big bass, and some thirty pound sacks.. Details to follow.. Yesterday was a great day I hear..
SWRI was also in town, and the Star County club had a tourney as well..
A friend of mine gave me a copy of Bassmaster magazine last week, the one with the top 100 lakes in the country.. And while I find that list about as useful as a box of tampons, I did read what they wrote about Falcons "fall from grace." And while they did mention that we were suffering from low water levels, they seemed to blame the drop to number seven on the locals, who "eat every bass they catch, regardless of how big it is."
If you are down here much, you know there are not many people in this town, and there probably aren't twenty locals who have a bass boat.. At least those that might "eat every fish they catch." There are some bank fishermen who do eat "every fish they catch." We do have a lot of people who come here to "eat every fish they catch."
Hmmmm.. They did not seem to mention that they had some to do with the fishing here as well. Being that they put Falcon on many's radar.. That lots of people have come here because of Falcons #1 rating last year.. And that many of them took home fish to get stuffed and that many of them stuffed their ice chests with filets..
And how the many tournaments down here kill a lot of fish..
And that when they were here in 2008 they killed hundreds of big fish.. Yes hundreds.. Big fish.. There's a few lake records that did not make it to live thru the awesome conditions we had from 08 to 012.
I don't have a problem with the rating of #7.. Matter of fact, I love me some Old #7..
But I would prefer that if they were going to blame poorer fishing on the locals, that they would just not have said anything at all.. I believe that they might be calling the kettle black.
It's always easy to point the finger at someone else..
What's that word my Daddy used to use... Oh yeah.. Chickenshit..
Well the Sharelunker season is over, and wouldn't you know it, those two pure Floridas both spawned.. Almost at the same time.. I guess one was sympathetic to the other..
And I find it funny that the SL program is touting the 12 pound plus fish that came out of Naconiche as a descendent of a Falcon SL fish that was turned in years ago.. That fish was not even a pure Florida.. And this fish is not a pure Florida.. Why are they talking about this scab?? What's it got to do with Sharelunker? It was the daughter of a big old bass.. Why did they even spawn this fish anyway?
Or maybe new technology found out that this old fish was really not a pure Florida..
Perish the thought..
That would mean that all of their data might be suspect, especially on the fish that were caught and turned in prior to the new technology..
But I do think that the Sharelunker genetics are working.. Through their genetic engineering program they have been able to grow a third arm on all the TPWD folks at Athens, so they can pat themselves on the back..
I think we should call Obamma and demand an oversight committee..
I was watching TV the other night, (when ain't I) and I saw a Viagra commercial.. Maybe it was Cialis.. I don't remember..
Any way, this couple was sitting in a restaurant, and the announcer was talking about how good it was to see "her" doing those little things that she used to do.. As she reached across the table and stuck her fork in his piece of pie..
I thought to myself, Now that's pretty risque'..
If that's what Viagra does, then I don't want any.. The commercial could have been much more effective..
And the stage was set..
That table had a full length tablecloth.. And napkins everywhere..
That would have sold some little blue pills.. There's just no imagination in advertising anymore..
I better quit before I get myself in trouble..
I gotta go check my leghold traps for my neighbors cat..
April 30, 2013: It has been a beautiful couple of days to fish around here, and today is awesome.. What the hell am I doing in here?
Listening to other folks tell me about them catching fish.. Don't seem right..
We have talked to a lot of folks that are catching some fish, and some damn good ones. With the limited number of fishermen in town, it is much easier to sit on the sweet spots, especially on the south end of the lake.
The Tigers south is still putting out some decent numbers, and some good quality.. I talked to some fellers that had a 10.52 this morning, and a couple of nines and some other quality fish.. Deep crankbaits of course.. On the south end of the lake.. Here's a pic of their biggest..
The flipping bite is still decent, and some good numbers have been coming off of the hardwoods.. And shallow is good.. Small dark baits are still doing well.. Throw it in the middle of the tree and let it sit..
The bite is very light most times, so if you feel something that doesn't feel right, believe me, it is..
Jerks are free.. So set the hook..
That damn 6 XD in several colors is still by far the best crankbait going.. The same old suspects.. I have seen more pics of that bait hanging out of fishes mouths than I can count.. But I do have to get naked to count to 21.. And really that is only twenty and a half..
We got almost two inches of rain here last Sunday morning, and it fell in a hurry.. I was standing out under the big roof on the south side of our shop, enjoying watching it pour, and lightning hit the power pole just across the street. It was one of them where the sound beat the light.. Suddenly I realized I was closer to the action that I need to be.. I think I passed a little bean sized turd..
And it shut us down early with no power, no phones, and no credit card machine..
Nobody wanted to be out in that crap.. But a lot of folks were..
The Bass Federation South division was holding their championship last Saturday and Sunday.. And a bunch of em got a wet ass, as my Daddy would say.. Along with a few other folks.
Sometimes you gotta just hunker down out of the wind, and take your ass whippin.. Twice in my life I have tried to run out of a big thunderstorm.. And it ain't worked either time.. So unless I can surely see a good outcome by traveling one way or the other, I'm gonna run it in the brush or up on the bank and wait it out..
Nothing like trying to run the lake in a downpour when you can't see the end of your nose.. And why does the storm always come from the direction you need to go..
I did not get the final results from the Bass Federation tourney, but on Saturday eighteen plus was leading it.. (three fish) And there were some other stringers close I understand.. Somebody please e-mail the final results please..
We fed all the contestants on Friday evening before the tourney. And we enjoyed having all of you guys here.. Thanks for giving me a reason for firing up the pit.. Thanks for your business and thanks for stopping in all year long..
Rebel Bass club is headed here this weekend, and I know of no other tourneys here as of yet..
Bass Champs south division is at Amistad this weekend, and I don't envy anybody hiking up that ramp..
Amistad is leveling off, but the bad thing is that it is leveling off at about 60 feet low.. That is not a misprint.. We have risen to about 41.75 feet low.. And we are still catching some water..
We'll see where it stops. There is still some water in the pipeline and we will continue to rise for the next few days.. We have pretty much shutdown our releases, with the rains in the valley over the weekend. They had to be under water as it was.. Amistad is currently letting out about twice what we are, but it is way down as well. Not sure what is in the cards for later this week..
The catfishermen are tearing it up, from bank or boat, and I have some pics to post of some big fish..
Samuel Esparza and some buddies have been whacking some monsters off the bank here in the Veleno.. Here's one of many..
And a group of our Homies from Castroville came down last weekend and put out some jugs. And these Squareheads know catfish.. Yeah.. They kicked their ass..
These were run of the mill..
And this was their big one, over fifty pounds.. Bottomed out the scale..
The Giant Bream are on the rocks on the dam.. I gotta go get me some...
See you on the water!
April 24, 2013: If this global warming ever takes a-hold, then we might get the fish to bite around here a little bit.. We are headed for a high of 52° around here today, with a nice north wind blowing some light rain and mist.. Just the kind of day you would expect here in Zapata in April.. Almost May..
It was 97 here yesterday.. That's more like it..
This has certainly been a strange winter around here, and probably in your neck of the woods as well.. There is still snow falling in the Rockies, and maybe the skiing season will make it thru the Fourth of July this year.. It is not normal to watch fireworks in your Ski bibs but once a year..
Water temps are still around 72-74 here on Falcon, and typically we are closer to 82 than 72 this time of year..
The water level roller coaster is back in operation, and we have picked up about six inches of water in the last 36 hours.. And projections are for water to keep coming our way thru the end of the month..
We'll see what happens.. I sure seem to talk more about water these days than fishing.
But if we ain't got no water, we ain't got no fishin..
Speaking of fishing, it ain't too bad.. I spoke to a couple of people who struggled yesterday, but I also talked to a couple who did pretty good. Most all folks are fishing the south end of the lake, throwing crankbaits.. And throwing crankbaits..
The dam continues to put out some good fish.. Not a lot of DD's, mind you, but some good quality fish in the six to nine pound range.
Flipping the right bushes will also still get you bit.. Think shallow.. My wife says I am good at it..
Two feet is not too shallow.. Clearer water and hardwoods.. Between the bark and the sap.. They're in there..
The Bud Light Trail was in Zapata over last weekend, and they had very few boats in the tourney.. I guess that the low water has a lot of folks scared off. It still took over seventeen pounds to win, (three fish) and the winners did not have big bass.. A nine something was the big fish I hear.
Bud Light Trail is holding an open tourney here next month, that's May 26th. And the weekend after that is the final Bass Champs event of the season for Falcon and for the south region, (I think). I am also not sure where their championship is going to be held, or if they have decided just yet.. Might be waiting to see where there is some water to fish in..
If you are affiliated with oil production in any way, the annual API tournament is going to be held June 13-15th, and like usual it will be HQ'd out at Beacon.. One member of each team has to be employed in the oil or gas industry. They will also be holding a cookoff and the usual bash that goes with it. A lot of money is raised for kids in the Border Sector and most goes for scholarships I understand. It will be a fun time..
I'll have a link for contact info as soon as they get it posted..
If you are a shooter, and like shooting for fun, in competition, or hunting, then you know how hard it has been to get any ammunition here lately.. It is crazy, and it just don't make sense.. Wish I owned an ammo factory though..
Our normal munitions supplier still has nothing to ship, and we can't even get any 22 shells.. But by some freak of luck, one of our recent visiting customers is a distributor, and he got us the hook up on some American Eagle 223 rounds.. Steel jacketed.. Call or e-mail me if you need some or know someone who does..
I went to the dentist the other day, and I have been going to this place for years.. And my dentist is in Mexico, just across the border.. And while you may believe that Mexico medical is still in a barbaric state, I can tell you that they have the same technologies that the US has, and maybe a few more.. For about half price.. Give or take..
And while this story is about going to the dentista, it is more of a story about their new hired help..
I got there early as usual, and was sitting in the waiting room, reading the latest copy of Novelas, the Mexican version of Soap Opera Digest.. Actually I was just looking at the pictures.. Those Mexican gals on those TV shows are some beautiful women.. But I digress..
I heard a voice that I did not recognize say "Senor Jaime?" I looked up and saw a new face behind the receptionist's desk.. Actually I looked up and saw about four inches of cleavage, bound tightly by a set of scrubs that could only be custom made.. I thought I was still looking at the magazine..
In any case she motioned for me to come on back, and she escorted me down the hall to one of the exam rooms.. Of course I know the drill so I sat down in the chair, and she proceeded to tilt it back to get the torture started. Of course this gal was not a dentist, but a dental assistant..
And when she bent over me to look at the tooth we were going to cap, all I could see was a pair of what Steve Martin would call "Golden Bozos.."
My mind was not on getting any dental work done.. I actually flashed back to the balcony of the Rainbow Theatre, Castroville, 1971..
I am not sure if you ever saw the movie "Billy Jack", but there is a scene in there where the bad guys son, who has a Corvette of course, is trying to "Persuade" this young gal to do the deed with him.. He gets her shirt off.. And let me tell you..
In any case, this badass kid has a switchblade, (of course) and he is toying with it for a while. The titillation is extreme..
And he slides the blade behind the front strap of those D cups.. You could have heard a zipper pop.. I think I did .. It could have been mine..
In any case it was dead silent in that balcony.. Till he cut that piece of elastic..
Those things jumped out of there like a cheetah on a springbok.. And thirty fourteen year olds saw their first pair of double D's on the big screen. It was awesome..
But I digress...
We were at the dentist.. Remember??
Anyway, I am big wussy when it comes to dental work.. I can get ten stitches without anesthesia but when it comes to the dentist I just freak out.. So I am always on the gas.. And I know how to work it..
There is nothing like a little Nitrous to relax and to take the edge off.. And once I am in the zone I just kind of relax and close my eyes and try to zone out.. And follow directions from somewhere within..
So the dentist came in and was doing his thing fitting the crown, and grinding and gluing.. And I was in the back seat of a Corvette somewhere..
I heard someone say "Bite Down", and I did..
Suddenly there was an ear piercing scream that filled the room.. And usually when I hear an ear piercing scream in a dentists office, it is coming from me..
I opened my eyes and in my gas induced semi-coma I found that I had a very tasty nipple locked between my new crown and one of my natural lower bicuspids..
Hell it wasn't my fault.. But after a suggestion from the dentist and a whack on the head from the dental assistant I released my fangy grip.. But the taste lingered on my tongue for hours...
And when I paid my bill and was walking out, she had a hell of a smile on her face..
I used to run a wood lathe back when I was a kid. And the first thing they teach you is that you do not wear baggy clothes, and to keep all your appendages away from your work..
Maybe they need to send that old safety instructor down to Mexico..
But not on my account..
Don't forget about those 223 shells...
April 22, 2013: It's been a while since I have written, but I have been doing some serious screwing off.. And I needed it..
I spent a few days last week along the Texas coast driving from seafood restaurant to seafood restaurant.. And if you can't find any shrimp where you are, you can blame it on me.. And I am feeling pretty manly as well, cause I also ate about a bushel of oysters..
I love seafood..
But I digress..
Fishing here on Falcon is as good right now as it has been in a long while.. Some may disagree.. But if you are a flipper like me, and are willing to knock the bark off a couple thousand trees a day, your gonna catch some fish.. And some good ones. And I mean shallow.. More on that in a minute..
Of course there are the folks that are still throwing big and small crankbaits, and catching fish.. And some good ones..
Most of the crankbait action seems to be on the south end of the lake, scraping the tops of old rock piles, and bouncing the bait off rock in a descending manner.. And it don't hurt to use a deep diving bait in shallow water.. Contact with the rock is key..
Water clarity greatly improves once you get south of marker nine.. And the farther you go, the prettier it gets.. Some pockets up here on this end don't look too bad.. Once you get off the river.. But it ain't gin by any means..
The lake continues to drop, but it is slowing down a bit, and I expect it to really slow down if the water releases from Amistad remain where they are.. Of course who the hell knows what they are going to do..
As of Friday afternoon, Amistad was releasing 7946 CFS, and we are releasing 7239... Water from the Conchos in northern Mexico has slowed a bit, (it hits the river in Presidio, in Big Bend) but some is still hitting the Rio Grande.. No water report as of today just yet.. But we have slowed our decent somewhat..
We are sitting at 256.51, or 44.69 feet low.. It is ugly.. Water temps this morning were only 74 degrees..
Here's a pic of the bridge in the Veleno.. Water is 6.8 feet deep today right beside it.. Stay on the right side going out..
Here's a pic of the big boat ramp in the Veleno.. It will turn to the right soon.. Time to move that dock.
Here's a pic of the boat ramp out on the point in the Veleno, west of the main boat ramp.. It's a good one.. Right now..
My buddy Gary Harlan called this morning and said let's go fish a few hours.. So we did.. And we whacked em pretty good. We had a 7-1, a 6-0, a 4-15, and a 4-13. And about ten other fish in the one to four pound range.. And we just fished from 10:30 till 2:30..
All these fish were fat and mean. Not a skinny fish in the mix.. And a couple of the two pounders were Rosies.. They might have still been wearing training bras, but they were Rosies.. Good to see the fish looking good again.. And I have not seen this many shad in the water flipping around in a long time..
Almost sounds like a hint of optimism..
We caught all our fish flipping a baby brush hog.. Dark colors.. (dark water) It was fun..
Granted, this is not the fishing of a year ago.. But it was pretty damn good.. Of course we missed a few as well..
You may or may not recall that last year we did a little promotion that we called the Spare-A-Lunker program.. And the purpose was to get you to release any fish over ten pounds after taking a pic and weighing her in your boat, and submitting your pic to us here at FLT..
The lucky winner was Ty Blackshear, and he finally made it back to Falcon last weekend, and while he was here, we presented him with his free mount.
Congrats to Ty, and special thanks to Fish Scale Taxidermy for doing the mount for us.. Thanks Kevin!
And speaking of ten pounders, there have been quite a few reported as of late.. And a lot of quality fish in the six to nine pound range as well. There are just very few people down here fishing right now..
I know that you, like me, were appalled by the bombing at the Boston Marathon over the weekend.. In times like these, about all that we, as run of the mill Americans, the backbone of the country, can do is pray for those directly and indirectly affected by this terrorist act..
But hell.. That's all of us..
What a pack of cowardly Son of a Bitches.. And I am sure there are more out there like em.
There is no way that we can ever prevent every attack from happening.. At least not if our country and freedoms are going to look like anything we have today. And I don't think anybody in our land wants to turn the USA into some POS nation living in fear, afraid of what may come to pass..
It's not our style.. We lead by example.. Fearless.. Feared.. Generous to our allies.. And wrath filled to our enemies..
And it is time for a little less talk, and a lot more action..
If it was up to me, we'd ducktape this last Son of a Bitch to a light pole in Boston, and give every kid in town a pellet gun..
And I don't imagine that this web site is required reading for the average Islamic, Muslim, American hating, cowardly, terrorist, piece of shit..
But I'll make them a deal.. I think they need to qualify first..
Come down here to Zapata.. Look me up. I'm easy to find.. I'm the tall guy behind the counter..
And me and you will go at it, Man to Man.. Or man to Chickenshit..
And I'll have your Adams Apple in my pocket..
Keep the faith America.. Even on our darkest days, we are still the brightest light on the planet..
And don't let nobody tell you otherwise..
April 15, 2013: I wonder if they know that there is a limit to the amount of water there is in the lake..
Our role as the red-headed stepchild is certainly not in question. They won't even leave us on a concrete ramp at the state park..
Yessir, it bass fishin rodeo style.. Watch her head.. I think she's fixin to buck..
If you plan to launch at the state park, keep in mind that it can be done, but take your patience with you.. And a four wheel drive ain't a bad idea either. I am not saying that you can't get er done with two wheel drive.. But on a day to day basis things are changing.. And what and where might be fine one day.. But not the next..
The county ramp is fine for the mean time, although it is a bit flat. The ramp out on the end of the point is the best thing going, but there is no dock, and there is shallow water to the east side of it.. If you are not familiar with it, use the main ramp.. It is still fine..
We are over forty one feet low this morning, and still in free fall.. If memory serves the main ramp at the county will work for a while, but will turn to one lane and turn out to the right toward the channel in another few feet of water.. And it starts to get a little ugly after that..
When exiting the Veleno, it is probably best to skirt the west end of the bridge on your way out. That way you can study some thirties bridge architecture on the way by.. Check the depth on the roadbed on your first trip out.. It is shallow towards the trees of course.. That roadbed does have quite a hump up, but was cut out years ago when the lake was down, right against the bridge. And hopefully we will be able to pass the bridge on the right, till it gets low enough to go under it.. But God I hope we don't see that again.. But it could happen.. Soon, if the water don't quit falling..
Fishing remains decent, even with the falling water.. Maybe the moving current has something to do with it.. The dam continues to put out the fish, as it has been for a while.. Shallow clumps of main lake hardwoods are also holding some pods of fish.. You can catch them flipping the trees.. And shallow too.
Isolated groups of trees are popping out of the water on the Mexican flats south of marker seven. Be on the lookout for them. Both for safety and good fishing.. It is easy to run up on them real fast if you are running around way off the river channel..
Rock piles are still putting out a lot of fish, and if you were around here back in 02 or so then you might remember where a few of the deeper ones are.. Most boats were not equipped with GPS back then, but hand helds were were pretty popular.. Now is a great time to drive around with a six pack of Big Red and do some marking.. It will pay off big time in the future..
I wonder if they have the pipe right at the bottom of the river channel.. And I wonder what they are going to do in the Valley when they open the faucet and nothing comes out..
At least they'll have pretty grass..
April 9, 2013: The lake is still dropping like ammo inventories, and yesterday saw the release rates ratcheted to a new high for this go round, with water being released at over 9000CFS.. That's 67,320 gallons per second going out of the lake.. That's 538,560 sixteen ounce soda waters.. A second.. A freaking second..
That's a lot of water.. And you thought your old Ford 460 could go thru some juice..
Water is no longer showing up on our dipstick..
The old bridge in the Veleno is out of the water now.. At least the top of the rails are.. And now that they are out, I saw the powers that be putting some markers on them this morning..
That's like closing the door after the horse is out of the barn.. That's like putting on a Trojan for the second go round.. That's like bitching about a politician stealing after you helped get him elected..
That's like... Normal...
At least they are using cables this time.. Maybe some time the water will come back up and they will be useful.. Sometime.. Maybe they let all the water out of the lake so they could mark the bridge..
The top of the lake is very dirty in the river channel, and way off color even in the creeks. But that don't mean there are no fish there..
Exposed muddy banks and big winds have muddied up a lot of the northern creeks.. Farther south, where more rock circles the lake, and the lake itself is wider, it looks a lot better.. Once you get past marker seven it gets pretty decent.. But you had to want to go past marker 7 today.. It was pretty rough..
We have a big north wind on the way for tomorrow.. Here we go again..
Water temps were 72° this morning..
The south end of the lake is where it is all happening it seems, with good numbers of fish coming off rock from the Tigers to the dam.. And the community holes on and near the dam are community holes for a reason.. They produce fish.. Some days you need to take a number.. But during the week it is not too bad..
The concrete ramp at the state park is done for, unless you have a very small boat.. And that won't be happening for long.. Most of the bigger boats are going off the point this morning..
Deep diving crankbaits are still all the rage, with the 6XD in Powder Blue Back Chart and Citrus Shad being the top sellers.. But jigs and brush hogs are catching some fish as well.. Hell I guess that anything might, but the aforementioned will up your odds..
But patience and persistence are the best things in your tackle box.. So be sure and rig em up..
Numbers of caught big fish are surely down this year, and I reckon that numbers of big fish are down, period.. But it is not like they will answer roll call.. I know of only two bonnafide thirteen's that were caught here this spring.. And that is way off from last year.. I guess my prediction of a possible new lake record was none too accurate.. But I know there's some in here.. At least a few..
There are very few fish that have not spawned here at Falcon.. There are a few.. But not many..
The sharelunker program is winding down for the year, and so far there have been twelve turned in.. Only two of them were pure Floridas... Most have been returned to their home lakes.. The very first fish caught this season, was back on October 16th, and that fish still has not spawned.. I am not holding my breath on that one.. It came from Lake Austin..
The second one caught came recently, back on march 19th. She has not spawned either as of yet, but still may have a chance.. She came from Amon G. Carter..
In the last couple of years PAW stopped taking fish caught in April to the SL facility, because most of these fish have already spawned, or it is too late in cycle.
Don't worry.. If you catch one they will still give you your jacket and a plastic fish.. But it probably will not go to Athens..
The SL main page has been updated to show the fish caught this year, along with their disposition status, for the most part..
It could be that this year will be the first ever for zero production of Sharelunker fry.. Or of course me writing this could make both of them squirt out a five pound pile of eggs. I sure hope so.. I'd hate to see the Sharelunker program not improve fishing here in Texas.. Wait.. What??
I'm not holding my breath.. In either case..
The catfish are still going berserk around here, and the crappie are still spotty. Not too many people out chasing crappie.. More people than ever chasing the catfish..
**** The Following has little to do with fishing.. Well actually it has nothing to do with fishing..
You have been warned.. Time for you liberals to eject..
We are still trying to rustle up some ammo to sell around here, but we are a low volume seller, and that makes as a low volume buyer.. And way down on the shipping list for any..
But I do need to give credit where credit is due.. I would like to thank president Obamma for helping us sell a lot of old stock ammo that has been sitting around here for a long time.. And some of those calibers we had I thought we'd never sell.. Still got some really unpopular calibers I guess.. Call me if you're looking for something off the wall.. Cause that's all I got left..
And I tell you what.. If the pres comes to town I will buy him lunch.. Least I could do.. And then I could ask him a few questions.. Some that nobody else will ask him..
Like how come he keeps talking about banning so called "assault rifles" and connecting them with the Sandy Hook School shooting when an assault rifle was not used?
How come you never mention that crazy Democrats did all the mass killings in the last few years..
Do you actually think that banning magazines over ten rounds will save a life? Takes about two seconds, tops, to slap in a new one.. Do you think banning them will make em disappear? That's silly..
Are you going to ban pistols as well? They kill hundreds more than AR's do.. But then so do hammers.. And bats.. And knives.. And cars.. And Texting..
But why let facts get in the way of politics..
Bet you like the Sharelunker program? It don't work either..
Did you burn the hell out of your fingers when you were skeet shooting? That pic I saw of you on the TV with your fingers wrapped around the forestock don't speak to me of anyone that shoots much..
That steel part, we call it a barrel, will get pretty hot.. You see.. The projectile, in this case a bunch of projectiles, travel down the barrel at a high rate of speed and creates friction, along with the heat generated by detonating a powder charge inside the cartridge.. You know.. That red thing they put in there for you, before they closed the breach... Oh never mind..
Have you ever listened to any of your campaign promises since 2008? Someone could get the the idea that you are a liar and a hypocrite.. But they'd have to be paying attention.. Which half of the country ain't..
Are all those people, protesting for immigration reform, citizens?
Why would citizens need reformation?
Are we letting non-citizens tell us how to run our country?
Don't we have, and allow, and welcome, immigration?
Have you ever read Mexico's immigration requirements? Makes immigrating to the US look easy..
Do you think the government is supposed to help people, or subdue people?
Do you think the US government is helping people when it gets people ON welfare?? Or when it gets them OFF??
How come you and congress don't have to use Obammacare?
How come yours and Congress's kids don't have to pay back their student loans?
How come all of you get to keep your salary for life?
So many questions.. So little time.. You'll have to stay for supper..
We'll have cake...