FLT Flash Fishing Report!
Not your Daddy's fishing report...
January 16, 2018: How do you know when it is time? I mean really.. When do you say, "OK.. I give up..?"
"You win, Mister Winter.. I can't take it any more.."
From the deepest depths of desolation and darkness. To the coldest and wettest and freezingiest temperatures ever survived by manhood...
Well Zapata manhood..
This is Bullshit.. We ain't supposed to have to live like this..
Yesterday the temps got up in the low seventies.. Which followed Sundays middle sixties..
And guess what.. The fish were up in the shallows getting it on.. A bunch of em.. More in some places than others.
So much good work that had been done.. By the sun.. And the warm.. And now it is all out the window..
Now I know how James Carville felt on election night.. "It's gone... It's all gone!!"
Some of you may get that reference..
I just came back from the post office.. And I had rain freezing on my windshield.. And there is a lot of heat leaving the water as we speak.. As a matter of fact.. Deep Purple is setting up on the old Veleno bridge to do a remake of "Smoke on the Water."
It's freakin cold!
Any way.. I heard of a lot of fish caught yesterday.. And some good ones.. Lots of bloody tails reported.. These fish are on the edge.. They want to go.. They have to go.. They're gonna go.. Some have already gone..
Here's a few pics of recent catches.. Before the freeze..
There are a lot of buck bass in the shallows as well.. Well they were..
But I am sure they have not gone too far from where they were. Just a bit deeper.. And they will be back up there as soon as the water warms back up..
Yesterday water temps were reported at about 61° on both ends of the lake. Up from 51 a week or ten days ago..
And while that is a bit cool for these fish to spawn, I believe the fish got the signal to go.. And a lot did..
And who knows what is going on out there today.
But there ain't nobody fishing.. It is snowing out there right now..
This shit is supposed to be out of here by Friday. And I am praying that it is.. We are supposed to be back in the seventies on Saturday and Sunday.. But it is gonna take a few days of sun to repair the damage done by this clouds and cold.
The lake has dropped to about 283.60, and that is about a foot lower than we were a couple of weeks ago. That's 17.60 feet low. It seems they have started a bit early this year.
The white bass and crappie are still good under the bridge here in the Veleno, and a lot of white bass are headed up the river to spawn as well.
Lots of catfish are being caught on jug and trot lines on cut bait.. Some whoppers as well.. Lots of thirties and forties..
I fished the Veleno on Sunday for a couple of hours.. Above the bridge.. I had one bite and managed to screw that up.. So much good looking water that is fishless.. Or almost..
I keep trying to make it happen up here.. I just cannot believe that the two ends of the lake are fishing so differently..
And I have had no time to get down south as of late.. So I am living vicariously thru good reports..
I heard on the internet that we are heading for a government shutdown this weekend.. What a joke.. What part of it is going to shut down? The money spending part?
The government reminds me of a woodpecker.. It does everything the hard way..
A woodpecker spends his lifetime chopping out holes in wood to find insects and worms.. And there are insects and worms everywhere.. And they're not covered in wood..
All you gotta do is change your diet a little.. And it is quite likely you'll find some grub that you like just as good or better..
So if you are a government employee, get ready for some more paid vacation.. Maybe..
I hate my money being wasted..
And here's another pile of shit.. Why is it that all these companies spend millions to advertise, and during these commercials they tell me how they donated millions to this charity or that event..
Here's an idea.. Why don't you quit fucking overcharging me for everything I buy, and let me decide where I want my charitable contributions to go..
Why don't you pay your employees a little better?
Just some food for thought..
While I'm bitching.. Did you watch the college football playoff thingy? All the football stuff was good.. But if I hear one more TV announcer say "True Freshman," I think I might slit my wrists..
A freshman is a freshman.. You don't say I bought a new Chevrolet Chevrolet..
If he's a redshirt, say so.. But you don't have to keep saying true freshman every thirty seconds..
That's a fucked up premise anyway.. Like having a redshirt hooker..
Well.. She went through the program like all the other hookers.. She worked hard and practiced her technique.. Her tongue work in the off season was really incredible.. And I think she is going to be a valuable part of the team at the whorehouse next year..
Another commercial that drives me crazy is the ones for the Toyota Camry.. Yep the Camry..
Incessantly referred to as "The Wild One."
Really? The Camry? A four door family sedan that makes it to sixty in about a week.. The one whose standard motor has less displacement than a good riding lawnmower..
Toyota makes some fine products.. But this is blatant misrepresentation in my opinion.. When it comes to speed, this thing is a turd.. Maybe it is a wild turd..
How bout all the car dealers trying to sell you a station wagon and telling you it is a sports car.. What a crock of shit.. It's a fuckin station wagon buddy.. Maybe your wife thinks it is a sports car..
But a real man knows a sports car don't have a rear hatch.. Now go shave that three day growth off your scruffy fuckin face.. I hate those cmmercials..
How bout all the commercials for products that kill the odor of shit?
Well shit does stink. As does the air that is closely associated with it..
What about all of us in Texas who do not have a basement bathroom to use when you know it is going to be bad?
I always liked getting invited over to dinner at some gal's house and having to excuse myself in the middle of the meal because I have a very quick digestive system. And once peristalsis kicks in, it's all over. Was that your stomach or is there a cat under the table?
And the girls mother would invariably point to the powder room, just off the dining room..
Well this ain't gonna be good.. No soundproofing.. No Febreeze.. No Stickups.. But it would be a good place for one..
Always made it hard for me to finish desert with a straight face..
Yes I was always number one, when it came to number two..
My Grandpa always called me a "little shitass.."
When I was little.
This report has turned to shit, ain't it..
See.. Here's the problem.. It is too cold and nasty to be outside, and I have been stuck in front of the heater and the TV and have been labotomized by the advertisers..
It's a hell of a way to die..
I have been trying to light the wood stove, but have you ever tried to get some diesel lit using two flint rocks?
This shit just ain't working..
Well all I can say is that we will just have to wait out the cold weather, and make up for it when the sun comes out.. By fishing every day we can, and forgetting this cold winter.
That's why God made the human body not able to recall pain.. You can remember you had it. But you can't make yourself re-feel it..
Which I am looking forward to. But for right now the pain goes on!
See you when the sun comes out!
January 12, 2018: Winter.. Who the hell would have ever thought that it would happen to us?
But let me tell you that we are having one.. Right here in Zapata.. It sucks!
Can you buy insurance for this shit?
While the rest of the country is freezing, shoveling snow, burning, mudsliding and earthquaking, we are stuck in a cold cycle that just won't seem to end. And the fish are none too enthused about the cold water either.
I ain't saying that you can't catch fish. But the bite varies every day with the cooling and warming water.. Not that it is warming a lot.
Water temps have slowly climbed back to around 60, but keeping it there has been a problem.. And we have another cool spell coming for the early part of next week. There is going to be some sun mixed in, but it doesn't look like we are going to be seeing any 65° water in the immediate future.
Yesterday a front blew in and we had sustained winds of thirty MPH with gusts up to forty five.. Not a pretty picture. Blew the stars off the flags..
Today is very nice but a bit cool for my taste.. Guess we'll get to around 62.. Bout twenty degrees light of where I like it..
The mid to south end of the lake is STILL fishing much better than up north. Reports from the Tigers are improving, but the closer you get to the dam, the better the fishing gets.
That being said, apparently not a lot of you like fishing in the cold and wind either, because there have not been a lot of folks out.
Long term the weather looks better.. I'd say that about August I might go out again..
Actually late next week is looking decent.. But I don't trust the weathermen any farther that you'd trust Charlie Scheen with your granddaughter..
A month or so back I was talking about a single boat in the Salanaias that was harassing people, asking for beer, cigarettes, fishing stuff etc.. Well they're back at it..
The Salanaias is the only creek where any tomfoolery has been reported.. But the rub being, that that is where a lot of good fishing has been experienced..
So if you go there, pay attention to your surroundings and if you are uncomfortable with something you see, move on..
We're working on it.. And I'll keep you advised if anything changes.
The mouth of the Salanaias to Benavides have a lot of fish in those pockets as well.
Even though the water is cold, it is time to start thinking spawning fish. A bunch of these fish can't wait much longer. And I have seen several pics of fish oozing eggs in the last two weeks.. A few degrees and we'll have a bunch of bedding fish.. I believe that some of it is going on now.
I ain't fishing over six feet deep for the next two months..
So get down here the first time you can as the weather warms.
Currently the fish have still been biting crankbaits and spinners, primarily. Somewhere in the six to ten foot range. Offshore fishing seems dead from all reports from the folks that have tried it..
All of this needs to be taken with a grain of salt.. Because truthfully, there have not been many man hours put in on the lake. And I have not been on the water in about a week. Hopefully Sunday will not be too bad and I will get out.
Now that I think about it.. I did fish last Sunday.. The wind was howling from the south, and a buddy and I fished six creeks up the river.. To stay out of the wind and just to get out of the house.. As it turns out.. We could have stayed in the house..
Gary missed a couple of tail tugger bites.. And I broke off what was surely a monster on the hookset.. Never seen her.. Never turned her.. My elbow must be about healed..
There is some of the most beautiful water on earth up the river in the back of some of those creeks.. You could not draw it any better..
If I could catch a fish up there I'd shave Rosies back..
I am sorry it took me so long to get back to the computer.. But I have not had much to say about the fishing. And I was at the ranch the last few days.
I watched a lot of bucks, but it don't look like I am going to see anything this year that will make me stick the barrel out the window.
I also spent a day tearing down some old cattle pens and pulling posts. And I am about as stove up as a ten year old pointer after a long day in the field.. Getting old sucks..
But I reckon it beats the alternative.
I hope to see you down here before too long.. It's gonna be good soon.. But don't hold me to a date just yet..
But it's commin'!
January 5, 2018: It has been a miserable week down here, but the sun has returned to some degree, and the air temps have made it up to the sixties. We are supposed to make the middle sixties this afternoon.. And none too damn soon.
Water temps earlier this week dropped all the way down to the low fifties, and we all know what these Falcon fish think of cold water.. Their attitude is similar to mine when it comes to cold..
Yeah.. They don't like it..
But we are on a warming trend and the next five days look pretty good, with a bunch of seventies promised .. Thank Goodness.. I was thinking this shit might never go away..
I was not surprised to read yesterday that this cold spell is caused by global warming.. It is a religion with the lefties..
I reckon that the Noreaster that hammered the New England states just decided to go against the grain..
Poor bastards.. But this is a mobile America we are living in, and I reckon those folks could move if they really wanted to.. But I hope they don't.. Not down here anyway.
The fishing took a hit in numbers on Monday thru Wednesday, but I heard of some fish caught yesterday.. I did hear of a few folks catching some fish early in the week, but not a lot, and there weren't many folks out on the lake.. Which surely made sense to me.
I plan on returning to fishing activities on Sunday, Lord willing.
We had five days in a row that got to freezing down here, and that had not happened since 2011, according to the news in Laredo.. And if it is another six years till it happens again; Well that will be just fine with me.
We got down to about forty this morning with no wind, so it wasn't too bad. And I got invited quail hunting and it was a perfect morning for that. (Shot the crap out of em too..) I likes me some shotgunning.. But then I like shooting my Red Ryder..
There have been a few guides fishing the last couple of days, and they managed a few fish even in the ice filled water.. It was froze over so bad that even a 6XD was a top water bait..
Not really.. But the water was freakin cold. Eight to ten fish was a pretty good outing the last few days, but I believe that in a few days the water temps will bounce back and this crap will just be a bad memory.
A buddy of mine with much thicker blood fished up here yesterday and caught six fish, all keepers, with the biggest being a six and a half. So I guess the fish did not all die off.
I was expecting to hear that a bunch of tilapia died, but no one reported any such thing. But them tropical fish really do not like the cold.
The fish that were caught were all on creek channel edges early in the week, but mi amigo said he caught them flipping yesterday.
It is my personal belief that these fish are ready to hit the bank and make some babies.. But we are going to have to see the water temps bounce back a bit before anything crazy happens.. It could happen quicker than I think, since the water definitely cooled off, and when it does warm a bit, these fish could get the idea that it is time.
I'm sure these fish do not carry pocket thermometers.. But they do sense warming water.. We'll see soon enough.
I heard on Monday and Tuesday that the fish liked crankbaits as good or better than anything.. Something that runs in the eight foot range. Something with Chartreuse or yellow on it.. And that has been going on for a while. Creek channel edges..
The lake dropped about four inches last week, as some water was released. I am not sure if it was irrigation or for increased power generation during the cold spell. It has backed off for now, and we are sitting at 283.99 and have been for about two days. That's 17.21' low.
They have been releasing water from Sugar, and there is no electrical generation there, so I am sure they are pre-irrigating some land down that way. For all I know they may have seed in the ground already..
I hear that the white bass are easy to catch up the river, and chrome rattle traps and spoons and grubs and the like have been catching them pretty good.
They have been real easy to catch in the Veleno on a lot of days, with the same baits..
Crappie are spotty under the bridge, but when you catch one, odds are that there are several others in the same vicinity.
Big blue catfish have been very active on cut bait, and jugs have been very effective here in the Veleno as well.. We have seen and weighed some forty to fifty pounders as of late. And the rod and reel fishermen have been doing good also.
Dealing with the boredom around here this week has had me cleaning the store and the workshop. I'm telling you I was bored..
Cold weather is just as effective at keeping me home as shackles and chains.. I hate this shit..
But hey.. Things are looking up and I plan on soaking up some sun in the next few days. We got a good looking stretch coming..
I cleaned reels and installed new pawls in a couple yesterday.. And changed line.. Just in case I latch on to one of these big mother.. Sorry I Forgot.. I almost typed motherfuckers..
Maybe you should join me..
I'll let you know what happens.
Hope to see you in Zapata!
January ONE, 2018: It's a new year, and let me be one of the first few hundred to wish you New Year prosperity..
I'm sure that by now you have heard the phrase a few times.. Happy New Year!
And in the immortal words of Col. Potter.. "May she be a damn sight better than the last one.."
I guess I have that hope every year.. That the next year will be better than the last.. But if you are living in the United States, and I don't care who you are.. Last year was pretty good..
Don't make me explain why.. Because I can.. At great length..
As a matter of fact, we are about the luckiest folks on the planet.. And we have discussed that before..
Yes, even you democrats have it pretty good.. You are still living indoors.. No jack booted thugs are hunting you down.. We are not hanging gays in the streets.. And your Obammacare and welfare checks are still working..
It's all good.. So sit back and enjoy the financial blessings that are being thrust upon you..
I was wondering the other day if any of the girls/chicks/women/workplace associates and or other folks of the female persuasion (sometimes it is hard to tell these days) could accuse me of sexual harassment..
I guess anybody could, but I know it would never be true.. I did assault some bull calves when I was younger.. I guess cutting their nuts off would qualify..
Now a days we just use rubber bands.. But they still ain't crazy about it..
What ever happened to the good old days when guys and gals could/would look at each other, and if there was any mutual attraction, sometimes things would work out where they could have a consenting adult relationship.
Like the guys ever had to be persuaded.. Women do wield great power over men, especially young men, who think with their balls.. Controlling sex is a basic tool.. Sometimes controlled by men, but not super common I would think..
At least since we quit carrying clubs..
I was there when I was younger, but fortunately I made it past the stage of thinking that every woman was available.
(I did not say that every woman was available, I said I was thinking that every woman was..)
But when you mix power, fame, ambition, talent, money, and opportunity into a relationship..
Well things can get pretty dicey.. And a relationship can be ten minutes or a lifetime..
Yes, sexual harassment.. Is the religion of the day.. I'm not saying that it is ever right, if you are truly being harassed.. But if somebody felt your bra strap thirty years ago..
I am damn tired of hearing about it.. Why is it so important now but it wasn't back then?
Let's put a cut off date on it and and say that all complaints have to be registered by the end of January..
Some of you might get pissed at me.. I know there are a few women that read this page..
And if you have truly been harassed by some asshole, I hope you get your pound of flesh..
How the hell did I get on this.. Nuff said..
It's a new year, and I reckon a lot of folks have made some new years resolutions. That shit never works..
I do make some new years intentions..
I intend to think about what I say a bit when it comes to personal relationships.. Instead of just blurting out the first thing the comes to thought.
But dammit, sometimes shit just jumps out of my mouth before I can stifle it.. So I don't try too hard..
Sometimes shit just jumps out of my fingers onto this blog..
Ah.. That's a rarity.. But it does happen..
I intend to use the F word less on this page.. Unless it is really fuckin' funny..
I started this blog back in 2007.. And for four years I never even used the word, "shit."
Ah the degradation.. It seems I have followed society down the wormhole..
One of my buddies told me I might have trouble keeping it fresh.. Back when I was writing for the Castroville.com website.. Once a month.. In 2000..
Nah, I never been short on words.. Spoken or typed..
I could seriously write a column every day.. If I had the time.. (I type seven words a minute..)
Cause there is always something to write about. Whether local or national or regional there is always something to talk about..
Or offer opinion on.. It's such fun.
On another subject, (finally) you remember the big fish kill behind the construction dam at the new Veleno bridge.. And all the shit stirred up about it.. (Ok, I was doing most of the shit stirring.)
Anyway the contractor doing the bridge work had agreed to donate some work at our pavilion down at the county ramp. And I am glad to say that work is progressing that will make the giant cover accessible and much more friendly to weigh ins, and I believe that a drive thru weigh in will be do-able, although the access road is not as long as I would have liked..
Of course we had to get the EPA involved in order to clear a patch of land as big as your den, so we could make sure there was no bladder weed growing on it..
Thanks to TPWD for coordinating the construction with the county and the contractor.. And the EPA.. Yes.. It did take a while..
So hopefully we will be using the facility for which it was designed in the near future.. Only took six years.. Since it was built..
The new Sharelunker program starts today..
Newsflash! Your fishing ain't gonna change.. We are not going to catch more big fish than we ever did.. We are not going to grow them faster than we ever did.
But you might get a ribbon if you catch a eight pounder..
This new program has, however expanded on what it was good at.. Publicity.. And that ain't a bad thing if you are in the business of attracting folks to Texas to fish.
And hey.. I'm all for it.. I'm the fishing business..
But quit blowing smoke up my ass and spreading rumors that the SL program grows bigger fish..
Cause we all know that is bullshit..
I'll stick with four for the O/U this year.. The years of double digit teenagers is history..
I'll let you know if anything changes..
You know the weather around here has been freakin' lousy for three weeks.. Maybe longer.. We see the sun less than Charles Manson did..
And right now we are in the grip of some bad ass cold shit that won't let go.. There is ice on my desk.. Errr.. Deck.. And tonight is the cold night of the week.. This ain't right.. This is south Texas and I am supposed to be wearing short britches and putting on sunblock and swatting mosquitoes. And catching spawning fish.. It is January after all..
And I am going crazy being stuck in this igloo..
So yesterday I put on some panty hose and all the clothes I had and went out for a couple of hours in the cold drizzle and hid under the Veleno bridge just so I could say I had fished the last month of 2017..
Barely.. I caught four crappie.. Four white bass.. And this pregnant pot bellied fish that ate my 1.5 inch crappie jig..
Took a minute on six pound test.. This fish was 16 inches long and weighed five pounds.
I hate cold.. But these fish are ready to pop I am telling you and when we get a bit of warm weather (probably about June) these fish are heading to the bank..
Jimmy Steed took out Tomas and his Grandpa, and he caught a new PB that weighed 7.92. His Grandpa also a caught a goodun or two.. Only sunny day of the month..
And Zach Seils caught this 9 pounder last week.. Yeah.. That's rain gear...
Well I got so much more to say.. And I will in the coming year.. Lord Willing..
And I hope that you and yours have a great 2018, and that all your expectations are exceeded. I know it can't happen for all of us, but I hope it happens for you!
Falcon is gonna be some fun shit this spring.. So make your reservations now.. And have no reservations about making your reservations..
Happy New Year!
And We Will see you on the water!
December 27, 2017: Trapped.. Trapped like rats.. Or so the story goes..
This shit ain't supposed to happen to us down here. I don't think we have seen the sun since October..
And it don't look like we are going to be seeing it this week either..
This is bullshit..
There are only so many quilt racks, gun racks, plant stands, and coffee tables I can build before I need to get my ass outside.. I feel like a factory worker in Michigan..
I have some of the finest rain gear in the world.. And you know why it is in such good condition?
Cause I never use the shit.. And I ain't about to start using it now..
We are supposed to be in the seventies and eighties..
Water temps had slipped to the very low sixties, and I bet after yesterday and today you will be lucky if you can find any water in the sixties.
And if the water gets in the middle fifties, and stays there very long, you might as well stay at home and play with Mama.. Or your new X-Box you got for Christmas..
Long as somebody has a hold of your joy-stick..
There are a few fishermen of questionable fortitude that are in town this week, even though they saw the forecast.
I guess I should not question their fortitude.. Maybe their sanity..
But when you have time off.. You have time off..
And dammit, I said we were going fishing.. And they are..
I did speak to a couple of folks that fished yesterday.. And today makes yesterday look like a good fishing day..
And they said they caught a lot of fish. I did not hear about any whoppers. But several fours and fives..
I heard there were five rigs at the state park yesterday.. And about the same here in town..
I haven't been on the water in a week, and it ain't looking too good for this week either. Saturday looks like a possibility.. We'll see.
The big fish I have been hearing about, are all full of eggs and bellied up. And some of them are amazingly shallow.. Well on other lakes it would be amazing..
But not here.. There are fish wanting to spawn.. And they are checking out some areas in which to do it.. And when the water bounces back a few degrees.. It's gonna be game on..
I know you think I am crazy.. But I can accept that..
I'm telling you.. It's gonna happen..
The lake is holding steady at 284.28, in spite of a slight increase in release rates. Hell if I know what they are doing.. Or planning..
All the ramps are good.. No hazards to speak of.. It's all good..
When you see a warm window.. You might want to get your ass down here..
I'll keep you posted.. If I can chip the fuckin ice off my keyboard...
Happy New Year!!
December 20, 2017: Well here we are five days till Christmas.. Almost time to hang the new calendar on the wall.
It's been an interesting year here in Zapata, with a lot of happenings, least of which is the twenty two plus feet of new water in the lake. It is awesome.
As we speak there are a lot of fish that are full of eggs, and some of them are getting a little antsy about spawning. Believe it or not. But that is not really unusual for Falcon.
Cover abounds and we should have a good rate of survival of the fry this year, a complete reversal of last years fortune.
Let's hope the water needs of the valley will not be too severe this spring. It is wet down there now, and I hope the rains we have enjoyed will continue into the spring.. Time will tell but things are looking good right now.
We are going to be having a few good days the rest of this week, and I am thinking some nice prespawn fish will be caught the next few days.
I finally made it back on the lake yesterday for a couple of hours, and we ran into a few fish, but nothing to brag about..
Of course we ran into a school of big white bass.. And that took an hour or so..
I'm headed to the ranch for a few days, and I just wanted to to wish you a Merry Christmas.
I hope you get to spend some time with family and friends, and I hope your plans include remembering what this day is all about.
Christmas can be a stressful time for many, and my life is certainly not without drama either.
But I hope you can let Jesus take the wheel for a while and enjoy your time off. I certainly intend to..
We'll see you when you get here..
God Bless you! and
December 18, 2017:
My Sun, My Sun..
Why have you forsaken me?
I long to feel your rays warming my skin..
To slip on my Costas,
And tug down the brim of my hat.
To feel your heat, burning through my T-shirt,
As I work a bank from east to west..
To pick at the exfoliating skin, as it peels off my arms,
After an overexposure..
Oh, to smell the pungent odor,
Of SPF 50...
And sweat like a twenty dollar hooker,
In the back seat of a Nash Rambler..
My Sun, My Sun,
Please make me aware,
That your balmy presence
still exists in my life..
So I may shed my tattered coat,
And get my ass,
Back in my boat..
Two weeks.. Two freaking weeks and I have not been on the water..
Could I have gone? Sure.. But I am not a fucking goldfish..
I am really starting to get a case of the redass..
I will have to say, however, that those that have braved the wind, cold, and rain have done surprisingly well..
Last week I was saying how Matt Reed had a monster day. Well he has had a couple more and so has John Adami.
Evidently these fish are different that the Falcon fish I knew.. The ones that said Un-uh to biting what I was throwing back in the day when I would actually fish days like these..
But in all honesty, I don't remember fishing many days like these, at least not in the last five years..
I ain't go to.. So I ain't doing it..
People ask me why I don't guide.. The last two weeks is a pretty good reason..
From what I hear, the fish are concentrated in some areas, and scattered out in the rest. If you can find one of these pods of fish, you can get fat in a hurry..
But they ain't everywhere..
The south end of the lake is still where it is at..
Think creek channel edges like we have been saying for months..
Throwing a mid depth crankbait or a big spinnerbait in about eight feet of water has been a very productive method of putting fish in the boat as of late.
As you can imagine, we
have not seen a lot of fishermen around here as of late..
Cain't say I blame them.. But the fish are biting.. If you will brave the elements..
You let me know how it goes..
I have some wood projects in the shop I need to finish before Christmas.. And I got a heater..
Here are a couple of fish that were caught during the blizzard.. These are John's clients.. But I have seen a lot more pics of decent fish as well.. Good numbers of four to eight pound fish being caught..
And I apologize for no name and weight on this beastie..
Well yall get your ass down here when you can.. Or when you can stand the weather..
And I'll see you on the water .. If the sun shines..
December 12, 2017: It is cool but fishable around these parts.. The last few mornings have been in the forties and highs have made it to almost seventy.. And that is what is in store for the next week it appears.. Forties to around seventy..
I'd like it a lot better if it started out at seventy..
Water temps have rebounded a bit to the middle sixties the last two days and under the Veleno bridge it was 65° yesterday . Some parts of the lake are slightly cooler..
The lake level continues to creep up.. And I mean creep.. We are at 283.89 this morning, or 17.31 feet low.
The lake looks absolutely awesome.. What else can I say..
Oh Yeah.. I can say that the fishing is pretty damn good.. And for some, a few fantastic days have been experienced..
The wind was a factor last Saturday, and from what I heard, the Quality Bass Club leader only had either fourteen or seventeen pounds after fishing day one.. But the wind was a bitch and no one ventured out of Government or state park cove I hear.
On Sunday the conditions were much better.. But I have no details..
I did talk to Matt Reed on Sunday.. And while I was testing my elbow (The golfing one.. Not the drinking one) at the course, he was having a banner day on the water.
He says that they had thirty fish over five pounds, with an eight and a nine mixed in..
When I heard that I was thinking to myself (because I would never say it out loud) that that sounds like a load of bullshit..
But to my surprise it was corroborated and sworn to.. So I guess I am going to believe it..
Most of these fish were caught on mid running crankbaits in creek channels, not necessarily in the bushes.. I reckon the cooler water has run the fish out of the trees a bit into slightly deeper water.
Falcon has been fishing good.. But not that good.. I need more info..
All this happened on the south end of the lake of course.
I will have to say that I have heard a few decent reports from the upper end of the lake the last few days. But I have also heard some shitty ones..
So I am going to say that the top of the lake has gone from the dead sea to a hit and miss possibility.. The fish have to move back into these creeks sooner or later.. But I have personally had no luck up here..
I have not been on the water in eight days. So I have no first hand info to pass along. You know that cold and James are like oil and water.. We try not to be in the same place at any one time..
But if it clears up and the sun pops out I will have to give it a try..
Especially if I hear any more reports like the one above..
There are very few people in town currently, and I have not spoken to many fishermen. Lots of hunters and Snow Birds.. But not a lot of fishermen..
The white bass are stacked under the Veleno bridge, but few crappie are being caught under there.. They have moved to the bushes so I hear.. Which ones? Well that's your job..
These three young fellows went out catfishing with weenies and shrimp yesterday.. Close to Lakefront lodge.. And here's their first bite of the day.. Thirty minutes later..
I am sorry but I missed the names.. I did hear that it was a personal best though..
So if you get your Christmas shopping done and still have some vacation time to burn, you ought to get your ass down here..
You might find some surprises under the tree..
The Retama tree.. See you on the water!
December 9, 2017: WTF Zapata?
I ain't saying I ain't seen it before.. But Zapata county rarely gets enough snow to build a snowman.. Although this is a miniature version.. But if you look close you can see that there is three to four inches of accumulation on top of this trailer..
This pic was taken just east of San Ygnacio. In Zapata itself we did not have quite as much.. But it did cover roofs in several locations..
But definitely an oddity around here..
Believe it or not there were a few brave souls that fished yesterday in the blustery north winds, and reports were a lot better than I would have thought.
What is a bit concerning is that water temps went from 73° on Monday, to 63° yesterday..
But I guess we need the water to cool down a bit before it warms up a bit to get these ladies in the lovin' mood..
Quality Bass Club is in town with about eight to ten fishermen, and I am sure I will get a report on what happens today this evening.
All it takes this morning is Big Balls, and Overalls..
Cause it is about 40° out there right now.. And if you stand on the skinny pedal.. Well that temp is gonna nosedive..
I'll let you know what happens.. But these Falcon fish can get a little uppity when the water gets cold..
See you on the water! After it warms up a bit..
December 7, 2017: I know I said I would write more often.. But I have been busy..
Are we busy in the store? Not really.. Although a few folks did come down last week to enjoy the fabulous weather and the good fishing. Last week..
And there were a lot of fish caught. Last week.. Before this bullshit weather moved in.. This week..
It is not too often that we have snow in the forecast here in Zapata.. But it has been mentioned by a lot of folks that predict weather for a living.. But we know how good they are at that..
They still have the Astros as underdogs to win it all..
I have been in the deer blind all week thinking that this frozen tundra shit would get the deer stirred up.. And it did to an extent.. But you cain't kill a monster if he don't exist..
More on that later..
Last week I did not get back to the computer as I was fishing my ass off.. And yes Virginia I caught them pretty good.. Some days better than others..
I fished four days out of six and the weather could not have been better.. Low winds and temps in the eighties.. Now that is what winter in Zapata is supposed to be.. Not this bullshit that has my nuts shrunk up to the size of a native pecan..
I hate the cold..
Anyway, three of the four days I fished, I fished the south end of the lake, mainly from the Benavides to the Salanaias.. I had intentions of fishing the Tigers and a few creeks south, but did not make it there..
Yes, cause I was having too much fun in Salsa Land..
Oh I forgot.. I did fish last Sunday morning on the Texas side between Bob's Knob and Pierce's..
And yes I whacked em pretty decent on a spinnerbait in about four to six feet of water.. Best one going about four pounds but not one of the fish I caught was not a keeper.. And I found one sweet spot about the size of the average back yard that had a bunch of fish in it.. This cold wind has probably scattered them to the four winds..
But I am sure I will have to go check on them when the ice breakers can make it that far south..
Two of my trips last week were to the south west end of the lake like I said.. And both trips we did not wear out a clicker counter, but we did manage to catch some quality fish. The kind that still keep me fired up about going fishing.
I caught a couple of fives and a few three to four pound fish, but more importantly than that, I caught a bad case of anticipation..
And I am feeling like I am going to bust a big ole bitch any day.. Too many nice fish have been caught as of late and I know I'm gonna whack one as well..
Most of the fish we caught last week were in about eight to ten feet of water. A LOT of them were in the Retamas.. Good news is that there are a LOT of retamas.. You just gotta find the ones with fish in em..
The big hardwoods are still holding some fish, but not as good as they were the week before..
Of course all of this info is slightly out of date..
And with this weather change, all bets are off for the next few days.. It will be Sunday or Monday before I get the urge to get out there.. It's freakin cold..
Water temps were 72° when I last fished.. I am sure they have nosedived the last three days.. Daytime temps in the forties.. No sun for four days.. We'll be down in the low sixties on the surface in the next few days..
And you know Falcon bass love cold water..
But you do gotta remember.. This is south Texas and this shit won't last long..
Oh yeah.. I almost forgot.. And I'd like to..
My buddy Gary and I went out last week one day.. I think Wednesday.. And we went up the river to take our weekly ass beating..
And that's what happened..
We fished Whitehouse.. Texas Chapote.. The little creek just above Texas Chapote.. Mexican Chapote.. And Hedieona..
Five hours of fishing and we caught one fish.. That's not a typo.. Not one limit.. Not one double digit fish..
One fish.. And I have been in those creeks before.. I am fishing the good stuff.. I made a living out of those creeks for years..
And I can't believe they are treating me that badly..
But I am sure I will be back again, in there next week or so, hoping.. Praying.. Wishing for a miracle.. That some fish swim back in there.. Cause I am tired of going south every time I want to catch some fish..
And some folks have told me they caught some in some of those creeks.. Or maybe that is what I thought I heard them say.. Maybe I imagined it.. Maybe I am caught in a temporal time loop..
But I cain't catch em up there..
Anyway, it'll happen one of these days.. But it ain't yet.. Least not for me..
I sat in the deer blind for the last three days.. Saw a lot of deer but nothing that made me pick up the gun before I picked up the binoculars.. So nothing got dead..
But the rut is in full bloom at our place, and I got to hear a bunch of grunting, witnessed a few sparring matches between the young bucks, seen plenty of noses to the ground, and saw a bunch of does playing hard to get..
I did see a new buck, at least one that I have never seen before. He is about a twenty inch wide eight pointer with short tines and light horns.. And truth be told he probably needs to be shot..
But I was hunting for something better and did not see it..
But let me say something about Mr. eight pointer.. This son of a bitch has a set of nuts like a young brahma bull..
I have nick-named him Pancho Villa in honor of his big balls...
Like the song says, "I could have had him any day.." I'll let one of my nephews take him out..
With all the shit in the news today about sexual harassment, it is a wonder that anything at all can get done at work..
I think it is best that maybe we separate the women from the men so that this kind of stuff doesn't happen..
I say let the women go to work. I'd much rather stay at home and cook and watch the kids and wash women's underwear than deal with all the bullshit that goes along with having a job.. I have had a real job.. Several of them..
Looking back I am gonna say that they all sucked.. But I didn't know any better..
I understand that women want equality.. I always thought they had it.. I certainly did not take it away from them.
And equality don't mean that women and men are the same.. That will never ever be.. In case you have not noticed the subtle differences between the two..
But they also need to understand what they give up when they jump out into corporate America.
And maybe not think only about what they are going to gain..
I am sure I am prejudiced because I am a man..
But I love you ladies. Which ever way you decide to go..
And I hope that if I pay you a compliment it is not misconstrued as sexual harassment..
What did the girls that went up to Weinstein's room at three in the morning think was on the agenda.. Did they think these were normal business hours?
The guy may be a pig.. I don't know.. But it sounds like he is..
But the women that went to "see" him must have been pretty ambitious.. and/or ignorant.. or willing to trade.. At least at the time.. Who knows their mind set? I guess it sounds like a lot of them "saw" more than they wanted..
I am certainly not condoning his behavior. But come on ladies..
What were you truly expecting.. Of course most actresses are young democrats/socialists so you can't expect their intelligence levels to be too high..
It is alleged that his practices were widely known.. But you went anyway..
To those of you who went without knowing a single thing about the man.. To you I apologize. This should never happen..
To the rest of you.. Sounds like a quid pro quo to me..
Why do I even care.. I love to see Hollywood eating their own..
And I love to see the democrats doing the same..
While we're on politics.. President Trump has stated the the new embassy in Israel will be built in Jerusalem..
It was supposed to be done for the last twenty five years.. But we were afraid it might upset the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis..
What peace process??
These fuckers have been fighting for centuries, and will be fighting for centuries to come. And if we are dumb enough to believe the the US can stop it.. Then we'll get what we deserve..
The only way you will get peace between the two is to eliminate one.. And that is not going to happen either.
Well I better get back to work.. Whatever that might consist of today..
It's snowing in Del Rio.. And headed our way!
I didn't sign up for this shit!
November 28, 2017: Yes I am still alive.. Yes the fishing is still good.. Yes I ate too much turkey..
I can yestify to all the above..
And yes I have been fishing.. The last two days.. After being stuck in the store for the two before that.. On two beautiful days I might add.. Although the last two days have been pretty darn nice as well..
Sunday was not predicted to be so good.. But after lunch it turned of gorgeous.. And the fish bit!
Yesterday morning the fish did not bite as good, but I still managed a five and a three and a few other rats..
On Sunday afternoon the fish were really eating and I caught a four and a half and we had a bunch of nice two and a half to four and a half pound fish.
Salanaias of course.. Yesterday my best fish came from the Benavides.. I guess that is because that is the only water I have fished lately..
I need to get to the Tigers.. I hear it has really picked up in there..
My better fish are coming of hardwoods.. In about eight to ten feet of water.. And they ain't on every one..
But on Sunday afternoon, we caught a good number of quality fish out of the middle of the retamas.. I mean in the middle..
And you better be on your toes cause these bastards will wrap you up in a hurry.. You got to get them fuckers coming your way.. Or it is over as quick as it began..
If I had to tell you three things about fishing Falcon right now, I would tell you to fish the south half.. Fish depth changes.. And throw a Plum Ol Monster..
Easy as one, two, three..
Well Ok.. Over the weekend a few folks that were down did not do so well.. A couple of them said that fishing sucked..
And I understand that we can all have our off days.. It happens to me all the time..
But if you'll practice the three steps discussed above, you chances of sucking will be greatly reduced..
I'm not saying that the Ol Monster is the only bait out there.. A lizard is still catching fish as well..
The spinnerbait bite has sucked for me the last two days.. And I gave it a fair chance yesterday.. But they wadn't biting it..
Some fellows told me they killed em in the Tigers on senkos.. Shallow..
But like always.. It is about getting around the fish..
I still have had no good reports from the top half of the lake.. But I will be making my weekly exploratory trip on this end tomorrow or the next day to see if there is any change. But from the folks I know, and I know several, their fishing on this end has sucked..
This "sucking" seems to be a reoccurring theme in this report.. Anyway..
It did not suck when Don Horner caught this nine something this week..
Some of the fish we have been catching are fat as pigs, and I am sure a lot of them are building eggs. Like this pot-bellied pig from Sunday.
And let me tell you that these fish are about as feisty as an Bronx street hooker..
They are mean.. And they don't quit pulling till you get em out of the water.. Of course I am not singling out Bronx street hookers.. I know they have feelings too..
I hope all of you had a good Thanksgiving. I know that this time of year is loved by many, and dreaded by others.
Dealing with family can be interesting..
Oh the drama..
Christmas in now only 27 days away..
I'll try to write a bit more often.. But the fish are biting and the rut is on.. And I have to get fitted for a new Santa suit..
Busy times, my friends..
But you better take time to get your ass down here and catch some last of the year bass..
Or I'll have to catch em all..
See you on the water..
November 19, 2017: The big fish parade continues around here.. But it ain't me that is catching them.. Which ain't unusual..
Mark Pena caught this giant on Friday, and it went 12-4.. Mark ain't no stranger to big fish.. Seems like every year he whacks a DD plus..
Gary Dodak caught this 10-1 on Tuesday I think..
On Friday another eleven was caught but I have not received a certain e-mail I was promised just yet.. But I seen the pic..
And I have heard of a lot of other really nice fish caught over the last few days as well.
I took a buddy out yesterday ahead of the front, and we had a fun day and caught about 18-20 fish before 1:00 fishing the Benavides to the Salanaias. Our best fish was a 4.5 on a Plum Ol Monster. Caught a lot of fish on the POM..We even ran into a small school of schoolies in the Salanaias and caught and missed a bunch of those little bastards..
In any case, fishing has been pretty decent with mixed reports. But the best I can tell you is to Go South my son!
I am headed to the ranch this PM and will be in the deer blind for a few days and will celebrate Thanksgiving with the family.. Should be a tho' down..
I hope you get to spend some time with family and friends as well in the coming week, and we'd like to wish you and yours the best during the Holiday season.
And a big Thank You! for your business throughout the year..
And don't forget to thank God and everybody else that you are living in the best country that ever was conceived on this green earth.
Be careful out there on the roads and I'll see you back here on Friday morning.
Happy Thanksgiving! Now back away from that dressing!!
November 15, 2017: All is well in Zapata as we speed thru the month of November.. Remember a few weeks back when I said we'd be plucking a turkey before we knew it..
Well it is time to get the water hot..
Of course we are way past the barbarity of actually picking a turkey ourselves.. The Butterballs are hard to beat..
Especially with those little thingys that pop out when you know they are ready..
Wish they'd invent one of them for a woman.. Just so us neanderthals would know..
I mean, after all.. A man has one..
Fishing continues to be good.. Especially on the south end of the lake. Much to my chagrin..
I have been spending some time in the creeks above Zapata, and in the Salado.. But my results have been less than spectacular. But when it happens.. I want in early..
I have River Rat stenciled on my ass..
I have had a decent outing or two up here, but if I had a day to fish and the wind was not kicking up, I would still be fishing in the Salanaias.
And nobody is more tired of hearing that than me.. Hell, I'm tired of typing it..
If anything has changed, it is the variety of baits that have been used to catch fish.. A couple of weeks ago I would have said that you needed to throw a spinnerbait or a lizard to catch fish. In fact, I did..
But these days, a Texas rigged worm is as good as any. I am partial to the Plum Ol Monster.. But the Plum Apple or Junebug has been good as well. Put it on a 5/16 tungsten and get to fishin'.
Of course I have been told that a Super Fluke in Watermelon something is working good. And a Baby Brush Hog there ain't nothing wrong with either.
Fact is that your favorite will probably catch em if you're around em.. And sometimes size does matter..
And smaller is a size..
Now don't get me wrong.. A spinnerbait and a lizard will still catch them..
Some folks are throwing a spinnerbait pretty much exclusively.
I talked to a couple of guys over the weekend that said they used six packs of Ol Monsters in one day..
That's my kind of fishing..
Creek channel edges are still the shit.. If you position your boat in casting distance from brush while you are sitting in the creek, odds are you are going to be bringing your bait thru the area and depth where the fish are hanging out.This is working well in a lot of the creeks on the south end of the lake.. And it is starting to up north in some of these creeks.
And after a bit you can fine tune the depth that the fishies are wanting to be that day. Usually it corresponds to the depth where the baitfish are hanging out..
In a nutshell, that's the pattern most productive right now..
This fish was caught by Rick Vannett this week.. It went 9-3. And there have more like it..
In other news..
Big schools of crappie have collided with several fishermen while throwing a small spinnerbait. And some of them have been magnums.
I have heard that Government cove and the Salanaias have both had a bunch of crappie in them. And you'll probably run into them by accident..
One crappie don't mean much.. But if you catch two in a row.. They's probably a party goin' on in that spot.. If you are interested. Hard to beat when subjected to hot grease..
The crappie under the Veleno bridge have slowed way down. But you can still catch a mess if you put in some time.. Eggs in many that have met the knife are very mature and it is my guess that a lot of these fish have headed to the shallower bushes in preparation for spawning..
We have a bit of an Indian Summer going on around here.. These Falcon fish of all species do it when they take the notion..
I went out yesterday afternoon with the guys from PAW to do our fall shocking survey. And they are still at it today.
We shocked from Bob's Knob north yesterday, making about eight stops before it got late. Many places we stopped did not produce much. Two places produces bass in some numbers. Two places produced no bass..
Biggest thing we brought up was one a bit over five pounds, here in the Veleno. We did find one spot that I am going to have to explore farther.. I will report..
But in years past, in places where we have shocked up good numbers, I have had very little luck catching fish.. So it has had little impact on my fishing.. But it has always intrigued me as to why I can't catch em where we found em..
Could be that it was because they had lightning bolts shooting out of their ass a few days earlier.
And being the genius I am, whenever we pull up to a spot, I always render a prediction as to whether we will see a lot of fish. And shit I think looks fishy as hell rarely produces much of consequence. And sometimes do-nothin lookin' water is loaded with fish..
Hell if I know.. Just reinforces the fact that I don't know shit about fishing..
We did see lot of shad.. Gizzard and Threadfin. Some tiny.. Some whoppers.. And lots of good eatin' sized.. For the bass..
We have cover galore, and all I can say is that currently we have a lot of hiding places for the bass. And everything else.
The lake is holding pretty steady and we have actually caught an inch or so in the last week. We are sitting at 283.13.
Water temperature is about 71° all over the lake.
It's all good! Come and see us!
November 7, 2017: I have been going to write a fishing report for the last couple of days.. But frankly I have been kind of disheartened and downright pissed off.
No, not about the fishing.. But about the shooting at the church in Sutherland Springs.. And I am sure that many of you are feeling the same way, and I know that some of you live in and near the area where this happened.
And honestly I have no words to describe the way I feel.
We have a lot of customers that come from the area and all I can say is that we cry with you.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the community and the families that have been affected by this senseless atrocity. And all Texans. And all Americans. This shit has got to stop.
There is no easy or quick solution to this problem. And I certainly don't have any cures that come to mind.
There is no way that anyone in their right mind could ever do such a thing. And that's the problem we have. Mental illness.
Although some may speak to gun control as as a cure all for these events, we all know that someone with intent can do great damage with any number of devices. As we have seen all too often as of late.
The problem is not the method.. It is the individual.
I grew up in a small town where everybody knows everybody. And I can certainly imagine what the community is feeling. But imagining what you are going through and experiencing it are two different things.
And I am sorry to say that about all I can do is pray for you and your community.
And rest assured that I, and millions of other Americans are doing the same.
The fishing on Falcon is steadily improving, and the decent to excellent fishing is moving up the lake. A couple weeks ago I would have told you that The Salanaias was the only sure bet on the lake. And it certainly has been getting its share of attention.. And rightly so.. It is still cranking out the numbers and a bunch of quality fish.
But in the last couple of weeks the midlake has started to produce a lot more fish, and for some folks that have figured them out, the numbers have been excellent..
And another note about the Salanaias.. There has certainly been a lot of boat traffic in there as of late. But there has been some questionable boat traffic reported in there as well.. So pay attention to your surroundings. If you feel uncomfortable in an area, move on..
I have personally been in there a lot, and have seen nothing of note. But that don't mean that the import business has stopped.. So just be aware when you are in there.. I told you I'd tell you what I know.. And I really don't know anything, but a couple of boats reported suspicious activity, but had no contact with anyone..
The pattern, if there is one, is that fish are on drops and brush lines with drops. The retama is the most prevalent green stuff in the water, and it is the thorniest, nastiest, grab everything bush/tree ever.
But the fish are sure hanging around it.
Hardwoods, big and small, also have had a lot of fish on and in them.
It ain't rocket science folks.. Just get close to a creek channel and fish the cover.. Keep your boat in eight to twelve feet of water and knock the bugs off the trees.. And there are a lot of bugs in the trees..
A few weeks ago the spinnerbait was the go to shit, but these days it seems that a soft plastic is working as good or better.. And we have sold every kind of bait as of late.. Long as it is watermelon something..
The green with some chartreuse on the tip is a great choice.. Although yesterday we whacked em pretty good on the Plum Ol Monster.. Go figure..
I have heard of hard baits working and even buzzbaits.. Funny as it sounds, a lot of these fish have been chasing dragonflies, and where that is happening you can catch some fish on a topwater.. For what it is worth..
There is a lot of dragonfly sex going on out there.. What a way to go..
Here's a few pics from the last week.. There have been a lot of nice fish caught..
Ed Knoll caught this 9.06 in the Tigers.
Frank Deviney caught this one last Saturday..
Blake Martinez caught his personal best last week.. 8-13..
Paula Nelson caught this 5.11 PB as well.. Ladies always get a break around here..
And our buddy Carter Williams caught this 9-6 over the weekend as well.. Along with a couple of other fives and sixes..
And John Buffalo caught this 10-3 on a spinnerbait a few days back..
Lots of good fish have been caught of late.. I've seen a couple but my landing the fish skills are apparently degraded..
I do believe the top of the lake is starting to show sign of awakening. But it is not exactly what I would call good as of yet.. As a matter of fact, I'd place the paddles between the the Salado and the Hedieona and yell clear!
I spent an two hours in the Salado on Monday and never took the bat off my shoulder.. Did a little better up on this end yesterday.. But it don't compare to Pierces/Coyotes south..
Deer season is now open, and I am having my annual month of confliction.. The fishing is good.. But I want to sit in the blind.. I ain't killed a deer in a year... But hell I cain't eat the shit anyway.. Instant gout connection.. And I ain't interested..
But I wouldn't mind putting some horns on the wall.. My kids love deer meat.. Decisions, decisions..
Tommy's kids put the smackdown on a cull buck last Saturday.. And this is what it looks like now..
Well actually it is a lot smokier than that now and is drying as we speak..
Samples at FLT forthcoming..
Yall better get down here and get you some of these fish.. It's been good.. It's not 'quit your job' good yet.. But it's coming..
And Oh Yeah! How Bout Them Astros! Congrats to the team and all you life long waiting for a championship fans!
See yall soon.. But a cool front is on the way.. Fishing will suck for a couple of days with the wind.. Think I'll head for the ranch..
This weekend should be good.. I'll be back and I'll see you then..
October 31, 2017: The end of the month has rolled around.. Again.. The older I get the faster it happens.. Or so it seems.. And the older I get, the crankier I get.. And less likely to tolerate a bunch of bullshit..
But hey.. I'm a friendly guy...
Of course today is halloween, and as freaky and fucked up as today's society is, there are probably more folks excited about today than there are about Easter.. It is truly a scary world out there. Just look around you..
If you walk thru a mall (I'm pulling this out of thin air.. I ain't been in one in twenty years..) you'd think every day was halloween.. The way people dress and their particular affliction for body art.. I don't get it man..
And I am not too sure about your chances for employment if you have a fender from a 55 Chevy stuck through your eyebrow and a tattoo across your neck that says, "Hit it and pass it to the right.."
Or you could have the big red lips tattoo on you neck so everyone knows you are a playah...
Let me translate what those tattoos mean for you..
"I will work the rest of my life for minimum wage..."
I know you just need to be you man.. But there needs to be a balance between the cost of tattoos and deodorant..
Like I said, it is a freak show out there.. And the only thing that sucks more than Dracula is the fishing up the river..
You remember fishing right?
The creeks off the river no longer look like witches brew, and actually they look great.. You can see into the water at least a foot in most of them, and in some places even more.. I'm not saying you could see a coffin billed crankbait four feet down.. But it is looking good..
I went into the first creek above Beacon yesterday morning, what is actually old Zapata, and spinnerbaited about a mile of shoreline and creek channel edges that look exactly like the water on the south end of the lake, and caught nothing..
Not even an eye of newt, or toe of frog..
So after an hour of that, I picked up a buddy at Beacon and we headed up the river.. To the Chapote creek on the Mexican side..
And the water in there looks awesome.. First pitch into a hardwood and Bam! I caught a three pounder..
The dreaded first cast jinx.. We fished another hour in there and only caught one more dink, and I had a tail tugger.. And we fished all the awesome rock bluffs and hardwoods that line them.. It just looks too good not to have a fish on every one.. But it don't.. At least not biting fish..
We headed to Texas Chapote and fished the rock ledge at the mouth on the south side.. Looks awesome.. But the fish don't think so.. The shad were thicker than maggots on a corpse.. But it didn't matter..
So we headed to my favorite creek on the planet.. Hedieona.. And fished two of my favorite points/ledges without a bite.. The fish certainly were not gobblin...
But the ghosts of trips past certainly were present, cause every time I throw a Mag Fluke on that one ledge in there, I get the feeling that something big could happen.. But it didn't..
And about that time I was out of silver bullets, so we headed for the trailer.. Although the fishing was poor, we enjoyed the morning and we were still in good spirits.. But we drove a stake thru the heart of the trip and called it a day..
Glad that is over with..
Now the south end of the lake is a different story.. And it is not a horror story..
The Salanaias is the best thing going from all reports.. We caught a lot of fish down there last week as well, and there have been some good quality and lots of numbers being caught. Six and seven pound fish have been pretty common, with an occasional whopper being landed.
A chartreuse and white spinnerbait in 3/4 ounce is about as good as it gets.. I had a split tail chartreuse trailer on mine and they ate the shit out of it.. But like usual our biggest fish was a three and a half..
I must have the bigger fish spooked..
And it ain't just me catching fish down south.. Lots of folks are..
Lizards and Mag Flukes are also catching some fish, and that damn white swim jig with a swimming tail on it has caught a lot of fish as well.
Some of these fish will knock the rod out of your hand..
The Tigers is also putting out some fish, as is Government cove and State Park..
I recommend that you launch down at the State Park, and fish that end.. Stop by the store and we'll talk specifics..
The crappie are still good on anything concrete..
Catfish are just stupid..
And white bass may show up anywhere at any time..
Deer season starts this weekend.. And I'm gonna have to be here at work.. I'd rather wait till it cools off a bit anyway.. But I am sure Tommy's son and/or son in law will dirt nap something on Saturday morning, and by Sunday evening there will be some meat hanging in the smokehouse..
Don't know why I am so excited.. I can just imagine some backstrap or a ring of sausage and my gout flares up.. Guess I will just be hunting horns..
They say you can make a soup out of those horns and it will bolster your boner.. Everything else from a deer makes me swell up.. Shit it probably does work..
I was at the ranch last weekend and the deer are thicker than fleas.. And we seem to be shooting less than we ever have..
With the grandkids coming of age, we built a new family deer blind this year.. I hope the county appraiser don't see it on the satellite.. Forgot to camo the roof..
It's not as big as some I have seen, but it does have split bedrooms and a bath downstairs..
I also checked out a few of my rifles on the bench..
I bought a 204 Ruger last year.. And I know a bunch of you think this thing is a squirrel gun.. But it is the best shooting son of a bitch I have had in years.. And I am gonna do some lasic on a couple of spikes I have seen on camera..
Last year I got invited on a doe kill em all hunt on a MLD north of Amistad.. And we salted the roads and were taking care of business.. And we had a little plumbing issue and we had to go to the top of a mountain and shut the water off from a cistern that fed the ranch from up there.
And while we were there, my host and I looked down from our lofty perch and saw a nanny way the fuck off eating on a road we had fed earlier..
And the only rifle we had with us was that 204.. I asked him how far away that deer was.. And he said, "I don't know.. But it's a poke.."
So I figured, what the shit... I held over her about a half body freehanded and turned one loose..
And after the flight time, she dropped in her tracks..
He looked at me and said, "I'm going to be hearing about this shit for the rest of my life, ain't I?"
And so far, he has.. Later ranged at 364 yards..
That was a 40 grain Hornaday right thru the heart..
Enough braggin'.. But Like I have said.. I have always been lucky..
And you can get lucky too.. Get your ass down here and get you some..
And let's hope the Astros get them some tonight!
October 23, 2017: It was a fairly busy weekend around here compared to late.. And it is good to see folks back out on the water.
I went by the county ramp yesterday morning about ten, and there were thirty rigs in the parking lot. Certainly more than I have seen in quite some time.
Over the weekend, Texas Classic Bass Club was in town, and they had some of the best results I have seen in quite some time. They fished a two man team format, and the leaders on Saturday had over thirty six pounds!
Second place after day one was twenty four and change. I have not received a final report as of yet.. And if you fished the tourney and have that info please pass it along..
After all.. Inquiring minds want to know.
There were several other thirty plus stringers caught over the weekend as well.
Where and what I guess you'll be wanting to know.. And from what I heard, the best stringers came out of the Salanaias.. On swimbaits and spinnerbaits.
Several of our local guides caught them good on the blades over the weekend as well..
In any case, the south end of the lake is still fishing head and shoulders better than the north end. And the water looks awesome down that way. When you look across the lake it kinda looks selsun blue..
You don't have to be too suave to catch the fish either.. The fishing down there has been pretty prell... I mean swell..
And if you hook a big one you might get some swelling in your johnson and johnson..
Don't forget your line conditioner..
White and chartreuse, and white are still the best choices for the spinnerbaits. A swimbait like the Skinny Dipper or the Rage Tail Swimmer that is light or white in color are good choices as well.
I have heard of folks using weighted hooks, a swimming jig, or pegging a small worm weight against the nose of those swim baits.. Any or all of them will work..
Were we prepared for this swimbait mania on Falcon here at FLT?
Uh.. Not really.. But we are about there now.. There has been some innovating going on around here..
Necessity is the mother of invention..
But mostly it is just a mother..
I am so wanting the top of the lake to turn on.. But it ain't there from 95% of all reports.. I did talk to someone that caught four fish in the Hedieona the other day..
And then again a guide buddy of mine spent three hours in the Salado yesterday and did not catch a fish..
I know all them bastards did not swim to the dam.. We were still catching fish in the Salado before the rise.. And some days we were whacking them in the woods across from the Veleno.. Where all these fuckers went I do not know..
But they are going to show up somewhere soon I do know.. And when I find them I will let you know.. But it ain't happened yet..
The crappie are still doing pretty good under the bridge.. It is not lights out.. But if you get out there early and work at it, you can usually catch a limit in a couple of hours or so..
I went and caught a bakers dozen to cook at lunch on Friday. Hard to beat once you get em shucked and fried..
All of the females are building eggs, and one fish I cleaned had a mature set of eggs in her.. So like the bass, I guess these fish will go and do the deed when they take a notion..
Conditions are good, and I look forward to seeing a monster crappie hatch this spring. With great survival..
Don't forget, there is going to be a Alligator Gar tourney this Saturday held down at the state park.. You must fish from a boat, and any legal means of capture will be allowed.. Call Joe Cortez for details at 956-739-5751.
Hopefully Saturday will be a good day to stick a few..
The lake is holding pretty steady, and we are coming up just a scosch every couple of days. We are at 282.62, which equivilates to 18.58 feet low..
Well not watching the NFL on TV has become pretty easy for me.. Especially when the wind ain't blowing..
But that wadn't the case yesterday.. It wasn't howling, but it was predicted to.. Maybe.. So I chickened out and stayed in bed till 8:30.. And that felt pretty damn good..
But dealing with the boredom yesterday gave me a fit, so I turned on the TV to see what other crap was on..
I had the choice of Desperate Housewives.. The Cardashians.. The Dead.. The Walking Dead.. Fear The Walking Dead.. Return Of The Walking Dead.. Zombies.. Return of the Zombies.. And The Dead Zombies Return..
Who watches this shit? I hope the San Andreas Fault swallows up Hollywierd.. And soon..
Anyway I settled on Boxing.. And I really couldn't watch it.. But it did remind me of my one time inside the squared circle.. And the memories are all bad..
I was pitted against a fellow in a charity event..
His name was Gasieus Clay..
Every time I hit him in the belly he would fart like a yard dog..
They had to use the smelling salts on the referee..
Boxing was not the only thing coming out of this guys boxers..
In any case, after the first two rounds, the front two rows of fans had gone to the concession stand.. And the fight was called because there were only two rows of fans.. And they couldn't stand the smell..
The stench was horrible..
And smell is one of the most powerful memory triggers..
And years later, when I was working construction, every time I walked by the Porta-Pottie I just kinda automatically broke out into the Rope-a-Dope..
Well this report has gone to hell in a hand basket, so I reckon I'll put a period or two on the end and turn this thing off.
I think I have gotten my daily digital lobotomy..
Think I'll go catch me some more crappie.. It's late in the day and if I leave real quiet..
See you under the bridge..
Wait.. That didn't sound right...
October 20, 2017: We have had about the most pleasant week of weather around here that anyone could imagine. Highs in the mid eighties and cool mornings around sixty with low humidity.
The perfect fishing weather.. Someone needs to tell the fish..
I'm not saying that the fishing sucks.. But it is not lights out either.
There have been a few folks that have caught big numbers of little fish, and some caught little numbers of big fish. But someone always does.
Jay from High Stakes Bassin went with me to the south end of the lake on Wednesday, and we had a fish plan in place.
And we followed it for a few hours. He had caught some fish down south the day before, so naturally we did not go where he had caught fish.. We're kinda ignorant that way..
But we was lookin for new fish.. And we found some.. But not a lot of em and no big fish. Jay had something on that was bigger on a swimbait.. But we did not get to see it..
Most of our fish came on a chartreuse square bill and a white spinnerbait. Spinnerbait in and near the flooded retamas, and the squarebill worked better anywhere you could get close to the bank..
One time I caught fish on back to back casts, but it was pretty much a hunt and chunk trip. We caught a dozen or so by lunch time..
It is now Friday at three o'clock, and we have talked to a lot of folks that have fished today. And some of them have caught the heck out of em.. With several eights reported. Including some flipping fish.
Which I can't seem to find..
Texas Classic Bass Club is the only club in town this weekend, and several of them say they got em figured out. We'll see tomorrow..
They are still buying swimbait's and spinnerbaits for the most part..
One thing that is agreed.. The south end of the lake is by far better than the top.. As it has been all week.. Or month..
The lake is still creeping up.. We are sitting at 282.42.. Up a couple of inches this week..
The catfish and crappie are still going great guns..
The water on top of the lake is clearing nicely, and it can't be too long before the fish figure it out..
And hopefully I'll figure it out shortly thereafter..
It's all good, and you need to get down here and see all this water..
And hopefully I'll see you on it!
October 16, 2017: Another cool front blew through Zapata yesterday evening, bringing blustery winds, cooler temperatures, and some rain showers from Laredo all the way down to Starr county, and gave us an honest half inch of rain here in Zapata.
And the temps are fabulous here this morning.. Although the breeze we still have is keeping most folks off the lake.. It is supposed to be short lived with light SE winds returning tomorrow and Wednesday.
Seems here lately I have been talking about the weather and rain a lot more than fishing..
But rising water is always big news around here.. And it is not news that has been very common the last couple of years.
But man the lake looks fantastic.
Fishing on the top of the lake and up the river and the Salado has still been disappointing. The fish have just not taken to the new water in the backs of the creeks just yet. But I know they are fixin' to.
I haven't seen this scenario quite as many times as I have seen Tombstone, but I have seen it many times in the past. And I know what is going to happen.
The south end of the lake is a whole nother story as they say.
From the Tigers south, good numbers of fish have been reported, and some folks have caught a shitload of fish. And what on, you might ask.
A kind of different phenomena has been taking place, and it started about the time that the TABC tourney was in town. About the same time the water to to rising.
Of course a lot of those folks fish a bit differently than a lot of us here do, and sometimes showing them something different makes all the difference.
We are not known as a swimbait or swim jig lake, but you need to be throwing one right now.
White is the dominant color, but a sexy shad or shiner color will work as well.
A hairy swim jig with a paddle-tail trailer like the Skinny Dipper or a Zoom Swimming Fluke has been really good.
Throw this thing in fairly shallow flats surrounded by flooded Retama and weeds, and reel it slow like a slow rolled spinnerbait.
And speaking of spinnerbaits, yes Martha you can still catch em on the blades as well.. But not as well..
A squarebill will also catch fish, and you can catch a few flipping. But I told you what the fish seem to prefer right now.
There are a lot of small fish in these schools, but catching a five or an eight happens all the time. You might have to weed through some smaller fish to catch one. But it does happen.
The pockets south of the Tigers on the Texas side have been producing fish, on the same pattern as discussed above. The Salanaias has also been very consistent as of late according to those I have spoken to.
I was in the Diablo on Saturday, and I fished if from where the brush starts way back there, to the very back, throwing a spinnerbait on the way in, and flipping a worm on the way out. I caught zip.
Although I have heard of some fish being caught in there.. They just are not in there in big numbers yet..
But it looks awesome..
Our water temps had not cooled off too much as of yet, but with these continuing fronts it won't be long.. And the shad will be headed back there before too long. And it is gonna be on..
Yesterday the water was still around eighty degrees here in the Veleno.. Where I was catching some crappie under the bridge.. Too fun.. Too easy..
The wind is supposed to lay down tomorrow, and on Wednesday I am going to head to the south end to see if I can catch these fish a lot of folks have told me about.
If you are a cat fisherman, you need to quit your job and get your ass down here. The fish have gone crazy and I have seen with my own eyes piles of whiskerfish caught over the last weekend.
Cut and live bait is catching fish and it has been just beyond description. A group of our hometown boys were here over the weekend and they flat ass put the smack down on em. They quit fishing a day early because they were tired of cleaning fish. Twenty and thirty pound fish were very common, and they had several pushing forty..
Another boatload of fellows put out some single hook jugs with cut bait during the day and never drove off from em before they started to get drug off..
It is stupid..
The gar are also very active and the rising water has them in the shallows chasing the monster schools of tilapia that seem to be in the back of every creek.. So if you are a bowfisherman, you should call in sick at the minimum..
What the hell else is going on..
Forest fires in California.. Earthquakes.. Floods.. Hurricanes..
And the US Soccer team did not qualify for the World Cup..
What is the world coming to.. Especially when the "football" world is so in need of a sport to watch. Being nobody is watching football.. At least "Football Americano.."
I am sure a lot of you are still tuning in.. But I ain't missed it a bit. Those brats can still kiss my ass.
I have always said that soccer would never catch on in the states, and I guess I am both wrong and right.. But it has received more notoriety than I ever imagined.
It is the epitome of hockey on grass.. Another sport a true southerner just can't wrap his mind around.
They should just go to the shootout from the get go and quit killing all that pretty grass.. Or better yet, forget the whole deal and run some Herefords on it.. Either way, you'll end up with a bunch of bullshit..
And the hockey guys.. All that ice, and no Jack Daniels poured over it.. Seems like a hell of a waste..
"It was a riveting game.. Errr.. Match.. A huge Euro crowd, of urine filled baggie chunking fans watched, riveted, as their Legnano Frogs and the Helsinki Roosters grappled to a nil-nil tie, after neither team could muster a goal..."
Sounds thrilling to me..
I'll take the Little League World Series for a thousand, Alex..
Besides.. We got the MLB Division Championships going on.. Go Astros!
I did see that the world championship cornhole competition was on ESPN the other day.. I did not watch it, but I had no idea that ESPN had started to show porn..
But what do you expect from a network that puts cheerleading on, and calls it a sport..
Anything you can do while swilling beer, is not a sport..
Among my other less than mainstream talents, I am a world class washer pitcher, and in the old days, the more beer I drank, the better I got..
Kinda like bowling..
You'll have to admit, that fishing has been a sport a lot longer than soccer or football..
You did not hear Jesus say to the Disciples, "Put away your soccer balls, and follow me.."
Hell no.. They were fishing..
And that's where I am going.. Wednesday..
Report to follow..
October 11, 2017: The first real cool front of the year blew through yesterday, and took highs from the nineties to the sixties..
I already hate this shit..
We had had a north wind last month, but it did not do much to the temperatures.. This one has.. We are supposed to be back in the seventies today.. And I can handle that.. But I know what is coming..
And it ain't a long term warming trend..
Yes, winter is on our doorstep..
We also got almost an inch of rain yesterday, as a lot of gulf moisture was headed north as the front was headed south. And a lot of the valley, and a lot of the valley that we water got good rains yesterday as well..
Awesome.. We should be holding on to this water for a decent amount of time..
Several locals have been venturing out into the river above Zapata, exploring legendary creeks that go by the name of Golondrina, Chapote, Oscars, White House, and of course the Rio Salado..
And of course there are pockets that remain nameless, too numerous to count, that snake their way to the river channel from arroyos that drain into the river above Zapata.
As of this morning, we are sitting at 281.39, which is hard to believe if you looked at the lake level about two weeks ago.. And it is hard not to smile..
That is 19.81 feet low.. The highest we have been since about the end of March back in 2016.. But it seems longer ago than that..
Fishing is decent on the south end of the lake, and I hear that the Salanaias is putting out good numbers of fish.. Pockets on the Texas side south of the Tigers have also been good..
Look for some wind on the rocky, brushy shores. Baitfish abound and a small swimbait has been a good choice as of late. Lots of little fish but some good ones mixed in..
The dam is always producing some real quality fish, but it takes some man hours sometimes to catch one.
There has been a hatch of something in some of the Mexican creeks like Blanco, and the fry are thick.. I am not sure what they are, but they have been reported by a lot of folks.
We will be shocking the lake in early November, and I bet that we will see some baby bass.. It happens every year..
A lot of the creeks on the upper end of the lake have some rotting vegetation, and the fish don't seem to be liking it very much.. But catch rates have been improving in these creeks as the water clears and the funk goes away.
I believe that in a week or two we will be whacking them up here on the north end.
I knew it was going to happen.. And it already has.. The crappie have moved back under the Veleno bridge in a big way.. Time to come get you some.. I ain't been after em just yet, but this weekend I am gonna get me some..
If you are a bow fisherman, your time is now.. Tilapia, grass carp, and gar are in the shallows.. Lots of em..
The catfish have gone apeshit.. In the lake and in the river..
White bass are schooling all over the south end.. Look for the gulls..
It is a great time to be on Falcon, whatever you are looking for..
Deer season is only a couple of weeks away..
Man I got a lot of options.. Life is good..
Get your ass down here.. This shit don't happen every day..
October 6, 2017: The first full weekend in October is upon us, and I can almost hear the Trick or Treaters already..
This year has flown by, as have the last few.. And when you get my age, everything speeds up.. Although I am sure that there are still sixty ticks in each minute..
One thing that has slowed down, is the water rise, as we are about to max out on any thing that you would call real rising water.. Yesterday at 3:54 PM, we hit the 280.00 milestone..
I was not sure early on the we would get that high, but we have and are slowly rising still.. But very slowly..
We are sitting at 280.24 as of this morning.. So we are still crawling up.. Releases from Falcon and Amistad have been slowed to a crawl. We still have a bit of water in the river as the creeks drain back out to the river, and there is still just a bit of water coming down the Salado.
I imagine that unless something else weird happens or release rates change, we'll crawl up and over 281 early next week.
If you are a river rat here on Falcon, as I am, you are going to find that a lot of fishing opportunities are going to be awaiting you pretty soon.. The water is there now.. But I don't think you want to fish it just yet..
And if you head up the river, keep in mind the old bridge abutment in the river just below Hedieona.. That thing is probably still in the kill zone so be sure and avoid it..
If you don't know about it, and are planning on running up the river.. ASK!!
Coordinates for this monolith can be found on the Ramps and Hazards page.. See home page for link..
The talk around here is all water of course, and there are not a lot of people on the lake this week. Well yet..
Ingram and Uvalde Bass Clubs are both in town this weekend, and they will be on the water trying to find out where the fish are.. I'll report on their results..
I launched at the state park on Tuesday, and did more sight seeing that fishing.
The water right up against the dam was a bit off colored, but the water on the main lake and up to the Tigers is pristine..
I got delayed on my trip by a school of white bass around marker two.. There were a hundred seagulls beating the water into a froth, so I stopped and caught a few whites on square bills and a beetle spin.. The small fish were on top.. A buddy was nearby and he had a jigging spoon on and was catching some keepers right off the bottom.
The depth finder was lit up like a Christmas tree.. There are balls of bait as big as a house out there..
Anyway I made it up to Tigers and fished a hump and ridge I like with no takers. So naturally I moved to the trees.
And my luck was not much better but at least I did get a few bites. These trees were in bays and on mini points.. I tried the way, way back of a couple of good creeks, but did not get a bit back there..
But they look freakin awesome.. The fish will get there.. But they weren't there yet.. Or if they were, they would not eat my plum ol Monster..
So I'm kinda leaning towards the, "They are not there yet theory.."
We had some rain around this week, and we ended up with about two inches in the last five days.. Spotty showers, and a good downpour or two.. Zapata County is as green as you will see it in October..
Things are looking up..
The tilapia and gar have invaded the backs of a lot of creeks.. Anywhere you find clear water there are big tilapia to shoot.
We went out Monday and shot em up pretty good. And we couldn't hit shit.. I should have thrown the arrows by hand.. Lots of shots between hits..
I shot at a gar and got a three pound tilapia.. That's how my shooting went..
In my defense, I was shooting with a borrowed bow I was not too familiar with.. Somehow I dropped mine in the lake the last time I was out..
And no it did not float.. There's another five hunnert..
The catfish are going absolutely apeshit, and I weighed a new lake record blue on Wednesday night.. I have seen bigger ones, but they were not recorded.. This one was a sixty five pounder, and she was released alive after being documented. Josh Paul caught this one on a jug line, and he has a giant tub in his giant boat..
They also caught a 56, a 46, two over thirty, and a plethora of eatin size fish from five to fifteen pounds.. All the big fish were released..
The catfish have gone apeshit here with the running water.. Lots of folks have shown me pictures..
They also shot a few tilapia and a few gar while they were here.. This was after a daytime hunt on Tuesday..
And speaking of shooting gar, there is going to be a gar tournament held out of the state park, on October 28..
Registration will be the morning before the event. For more info and registration details, call Joe Cortez at 956-739-5751.
Lots of talk about everything but bass.. Get your ass down here and help me write a bass story..
See you on the water.. Whatever species you are chasing..
October 2, 2017: Well the town is back to normal (if there is such a thing) for now, with the mass exodus of bass boats that headed north and east yesterday afternoon and evening..
And I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of the fishermen and women that came to Zapata to fish the TABC tourney over the weekend.
And thanks to all of you that came thru our store!
You guys were certainly a shot in the arm for the entire town. Thank You!
When all the fishing was done, Shelby County Bass Club came on strong on day two to take the crown.. For the third year in a row!
Those guys can catch some fish.. Congrats!
In second was Austin Bass Club, and in third was Universal City Bass Club.
All these guys did a great job of figuring out what was happening with the fish during the big water level increase during the last week. Some of the guys were here long enough to see the lake catch ten feet of water!
Here's a snap of the final results sheet. These numbers represent a possible thirty fish limit over two days.
Big fish of the tourney was caught on Sunday and it weighed in at 10.12 pounds. It was caught by Tim Champlan.
And there were a good number of fish over seven pounds caught during the event.. Seven or eight on Saturday.. Not sure what the total was for Sunday.
The lake is still on the rise, and as of this afternoon we are sitting at 277.51, or 23.69 low.
I believe we will get to 280 by the weekend, and I am still not sure what all is coming from the Salado..
But to be sure we will be gaining some water for the next week.. Unless something stupid happens..
So I am gonna go out on a limb and say that fishing is still pretty good, but you need to fish from Bob's Knob south for a little while..
But very shortly, it's gonna be on up here as well..
Fish were caught shallow and deep.. Both patterns were good over the weekend, and as you can imagine, with this many fishermen from so many different areas, they were caught on everything from Shakey heads to crankbaits..
It's all good. Come get you some..
October 1, 2017: Well hear's a quick update on water levels and the TABC tourney that is going on.
As far as water goes.. We are up to 275.26. And we are still rising at a decent pace.. Last night at 11:30 we were at 274.50, so we have come up nine inches in the last nine hours..
I do believe we will top out between 278 and 280. We'll see in a week or so..
As far as the fishing goes, it was pretty good considering the conditions.. And half the lake was pretty much un-fishable due to debris and mega muddy waters and the lake, being a lot bigger, fished smaller..
After day one, The Universal City Bass Club was in the lead with 54.03 pounds.
In Second was Shelby County Bass Club with 49.77.
In third was Austin Bass Club with 43.57.
And in fourth was Canyon Bass Club with 37.66.
These are fifteen fish totals.. So you can see the average fish weights are pretty darn good.
Final weigh in this afternoon at 2ish..
Lake is looking awesome and we are going to have some fun this fall..
September 29, 2017: As you can imagine the phone and e-mail and text messaging has been pretty heavy duty around here the last couple of days..
And it's all good! And the news is all good.. About the water anyway..
As of this morning, Falcon has risen just a bit over seven feet from earlier in the week. And of course we are all trying to guess where it is going to stop..
And I've got my theories.. But there are still a few variables to contend with.
The river has crested in Laredo overnight, but there is still a lot of water coming thru town. And in the river above Laredo.
And as I type, the water is back on the rise at Eagle Pass. Which will bring a rise back to all other places between us, but I doubt that it will be as high as what we have seen in Laredo and at Columbia Bridge..
There is no doubt that water is also coming in from the Salado, but it is hard to measure.
I have sent a scout boat out there to check on the current coming in from the Salado..
Well actually.. Them crazy bastards wanted to go look.. So I told em to report on what they saw.. If they don't get swept away..
The river is full of stumps, trees, cane mats, and all the trash that has been thrown into the creeks on both sides of the river from here to Del Rio..
And it will take a couple weeks for most of this stuff to settle out and find its way to the shore..
There are a few boats that have put in here in Zapata this am, and I even saw a bass boat east of the Veleno bridge.. Something not seen in a couple of years.. Some due to bridge construction.. Some due to low water..
But it was good to see..
The TABC directors have moved the weigh in for this weekends tournament to the state park, and I also believe that this is a great idea.. There is a mine field to navigate to get south from the county ramp.
I ain't saying it cain't be done.. And they are going to let fishermen trailer to the state park after a live well check here at county if they so desire..
There are some fish in the Veleno.. But it too has dirtied up..
Ok.. So the big question.. Just like Eve asked Adam.. How big is it going to get?
I believe that we could catch another five feet or so in the next couple of days.. And then a slow rise till the river empties itself, and the creeks that are now backed up with water, run back out to the river channel.
Of course more rain could certainly change the equation..
But it is too early to say for sure.. And the higher the lake gets, the wider it gets, and the more water it takes to raise the level..
In any case, we are all about to piss our pants around here we are so excited..
This is a hell of a time to have quit drinking..
Get ready.. It's gonna be awesome!
September 27, 2017: Just a quick note to tell you a little about the water rise.. And it is going on!
We have caught six inches since 11:00 this morning.. And we have caught 1.53 feet since yesterday morning at 9:00.
We are sitting at 265.19, or 36.01 feet low..
That means that we are back on the state park ramp as of.. Well probably now.. But certainly by tomorrow morning..
It also means that the old Veleno bridge is no longer visible.. But believe me, it is still there..
The big orange markers on the west end of the bridge are still floating on top.. But it could be that in a day or two, they won't be..
So I put a couple of big yellow jugs tied to one of them on about six feet of cable.. If you no longer see the big orange markers.. Just know they are still under the water, and go round these two jugs to the west..
You do not want to hit those big markers either..
We're glad to have the water coming, but hate to see it when we have a big tourney coming to town.
It is possible that the weigh in will be moved to the state park, due to all the debris in the water up here on top of the lake. I'm pushing for it out of safety concerns.. Lots of big floaters out there..
And if you want to fish the veleno it is all well and good.. But the river is a chocolate mess filled with wood.. Go with caution.. But better to go to the state park..
More soon.. I'm all giddy...
September 26, 2017: Well here it is, the week of the big TABC state tourney, and for the first time in a freakin year, they got rain predicted for most of the week..
Not that I would ever curse the rain.. Heaven knows we need it.. (And I guess that's why they are sending it.) But if I had my druthers, I'd much rather have it next week..
So don't forget your rain gear fellahs.. You might just need it..
One good thing that is also on the way with the predicted rain, is some cooler temperatures.. Highs in the upper eighties.. Are you kidding me..
Better bring a sweater too..
Fishing was decent over the weekend so I hear. The Texas Bass Federation tourney had sixteen or seventeen anglers that fished, and in the boater division, Derrick Kurykendal figured them out the best, and he had a two day weight of forty three pounds and change..
In the non-boater division, Doc Pruski came out on top.. But I am not sure of the weight he had.. Details are still a little light on my end, but I am supposes to have a full report tomorrow..
Congrats to both anglers and good luck in the next round..
Of course I was gone all weekend and I have not heard much on tactics and techniques.. But I have heard this AM that crankin and flipping are both still working..
It is a bit windy here today, so I am not sure that the fishermen that are here will have it too easy out there. Matter of fact, I am sure it is rougher than a weekend with Charlie Sheen..
The above was written yesterday.. Got busy and didn't get back..
Several teams have rolled into town for some pre-prefishing for this weekends tournament. And after talking to a lot of folks the bulk of them will show up today and tomorrow.
Yesterday a decent number of fish were caught, but these guys are pretty tight lipped about the methods and certainly the locations.. Cain't blame em.. But they bought a lot of plastics..
It is still not too late to call me with your license information.. I can get em done and have em ready to slap in your hand when you walk in.. I have plenty of licenses.. But you can make it easier on both of us if we do her early..
Anyway.. It is all good down here.. But bring your rain suit..
One thing I need to mention..
The old Veleno Bridge is barely sticking out of the water.. And with water coming down the river, it is possible that it could be under water before this weekend.. Look for the big orange buoys on your way out of the Veleno and stay to the right (west) of them going out of the Veleno.. Trace your steps on the way back..
If you are not sure about the location please ask when you come in the store and I'll draw you a little map..
This is a Must Miss!! attraction!!
Have you been watching any NFL games on TV..
When you are born in Texas, they stamp that blue star on your ass right after they spank it..
And I have been a loyal Cowboys fan, since I was old enough to know what football was. (I know some of you actually don't like the Cowboys and prefer another team.. Strange as that is..)
No I don't go to the games or buy the jerseys and hats.. But I have loved to watch them and many times scheduled what I was doing to be able to watch the game.
Looks like I won't have to quit fishing early on Sundays to catch a noon game anymore..
Cause the entire fucking NFL can kiss my ass..
I guess these spoiled, coddled, overpaid, prima donnas didn't actually get a dose of history while someone else was taking their college courses (that you paid for) for them.
You might have issues with the police, if you create them.
I am not saying that every policeman is perfect.. But can you imagine life in America without them?
And can accidents happen? Sure and they do.. It is not a perfect world..
But of all people to show blatant disrespect for our national anthem..
Those that live in a world that we cannot even imagine.. Whose security and safety is provided by the very same folks that they profess to hate. In a country with freedoms that others can only dream of..
Well enough said.. They are some dumb fuckers..
This is not the place, or time to show your disapproval..
And the same with the NBA.. They can kiss my ass as well.
I used to be a big Spurs fan.. But after Popavitch shot his mouth off last year.. Well it was easy to quit watching them bastards as well.
You might think I am crazy.. And maybe I am.. But I am old school enough to know that this country didn't just appear overnight... And a lot of people put their ass on the line so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have today..
Even if it is something as simple as watching a game.. A freaking game.. On TV..
So keep in mind folks.. That these people are just actors in a play.. And if you don't like the show.. You also have the freedom to get up and walk out...
I'm already in the parking lot..
September 20, 2017: Well believe it or not, Falcon is on a slow rise. And there is actually water creeping back up the creek on the north side of the Veleno. How long will it last.. Hell if I know..
Still not a lot of folks fishing down here, but I have seen pics of several eight pound fish the last two days.. One caught deep.. One flipping..
They're everywhere! Or nowhere..
But decent fish have been caught doing most everything, utilizing whatever style of fishing you might prefer..
It's really hard to get a true picture of what is going on with so few fishermen on the water.. And my time has certainly been limited..
I did get out for a couple of hours on Sunday and we caught a few fish in the trees and a few on the rocks. We did not kill them anywhere, but got enough bites to keep us entertained. Best fish came off a rocky ledge here in the Veleno right on the drop and it was about a four pounder.
It and a few others bit a chartreuse square bill. We caught a few flipping, and I also caught a couple on a chrome rattle trap..
That sounds kinda desperate..
There have been a lot of white bass schooling from the mid lake south, and sometimes you can catch some blacks mixed in or underneath the whites. If you can get a bait down past em..
A senko will often work in this situation.. For some reason the white bass don't seem to like one..
The shad are thick on a lot of points, and if you see a bunch of egrets hanging around it is a pretty sure bet that some bass are not too far off..
And I keep forgetting to mention it, but a spinner bait is also catching fish on those points and it has been working pretty decent in those shallow hardwoods when you clank it right off the woods.
Don't think you are too shallow. If your troller is kicking up mud that is a good thing.. Those laydowns that stretch from the bank out can and will have fish on them.
It may be boring, but the garden variety chart/white is as good as any..
If you are flipping the trees in the stained water on the top of the lake, you need to be tossing a a dark colored bait, like the Fightin' Frog in Junebug Red. A Biffle Bug or Beaver will also work well, and so will the Chigger Craw in a dark color.
Any creature bait will work..
And of course the Plum Ol Monster with some Smelly Jelly on it is the only bait you need.. Plum Apple ain't a bad choice either..
A couple of guys on a guide trip caught some fish on deep crankbaits along the dam on Monday. And I don't think that bite ever goes away.
So basically you have twenty plus miles of water to explore..
Nothing has changed with the launching situation, with the county ramp still functioning decently, and I have been on the county to keep the silt cleaned off it so launching two boats at a time is doable..
The state park ramp is creeping back towards usability.. But not yet. Launching off the bank at the end of the boat ramp cut is still working fine. But a 4x4 is a good idea.. You might not need it.. But it sure as hell don't hurt..
The little hurricane that was looking so promising down in the Baja has fizzled out, but it did send a little rain in the right spot. I am ever the optimist, and we have another month or so of storm season in the Pacific to send some rain over those lakes. I'll keep an eye on it, and next time I ain't gonna talk about it till it happens..
It has been a hell of a hurricane season this year, and our hearts go out to those that were and are being affected by all the damage.
But hurricanes are a fact of life when you live near the ocean. Guess it was just our year..
I'm going up to the ranch this weekend, cause Mama says the doves are lousy.. And I have some shells that are two years old that need to be emptied..
We have been busting it here getting ready for the upcoming tourneys, and hopefully we will have everything you could possibly need when you get here.
And if you are coming to fish the TABC tourney, let me remind you once more to call us and let us have your Mexican license ready when you walk in.. We'll have plenty, but it will sure make it easier on both of us if all we have to do is slap it in your hand..
Call us if you have any questions about anything, and we look forward to seeing you next week.. It should be a fun time.
See you soon!
September 15, 2017: The heat is back on down in these parts, with highs topping out about 105° the last few afternoons.. But with humidities in the teens and low twenties, it don't seem too bad..
There are still not a lot of folks down here fishing, and there have been six to eight boats at the ramp here in Zapata most days. Plenty of room for you and your rig..
We have not seen a lot of traffic thru the store the last two weeks, so we don't have a lot of fisherman input to report on.. And it's been eleven days since I last slid it in..
But it ain't going to be much longer.. I don't care what the doctor says..
But those that have fished, have caught some fish. Are they murdering them? I might not go that far.. But there are biting fish out there to be caught..
Flipping and doodlesocking trees is still king, especially on this end of the lake..
Dropshotting and deep cranking are still good down south. Isolated rock humps and ledges can be covered with fish.. Or barren..
But it you look at a few, you will find some..
Old foundations on the main lake river channel have fish on them from marker nine to the dam.. Let me reiterate.. Not all of them.. But many of them..
The shallow ones can have a bunch on them at daylight or shortly thereafter..
Anyway, it is up to you to cover my slack till I get back on the water..
We'll see a little more of what is happening next weekend, as the Bass Federation Boys will be in town.
I been yammering on and on about the lakes on the Conchos for the last month.. And Amistad has actually been the benefactor of several feet of water from the Conchos in the last three weeks.
And speaking of Amistad, I know a lot of you folks are heading there this weekend for the SIT tournament.. Should be fun.. Good luck.. Wish I was going..
Maybe you are watching what's going on out in the Pacific, maybe not.. But in case you ain't..
There's a little storm brewing up south of the Baja that could be of help to those in need of water.. Like us..
I'm crossing my fingers and toes (well nine out of ten toes) and hoping and praying for a wet, but gentle Cat One to cross the peninsula and rain like a sum-bitch.. (I'm trying not to use motherfucker quite so much..)
But whether it rains like a sum-bitch or a motherfucker I really don't care.. Either one will do..
Here's a screen shot of the storms predicted path at about 11:00 this AM..
I put an "X" where I want twenty inches.. But that general area will do.. A little northeast of there is fine.
We'll see what happens. Like I said, this is our best chance for some running water in a long time..
I hear the TABC has twenty seven teams signed up for the state tourney at the end of the month.. That's 216 fishermen, 108 boats.. Yeah.. That weekend should be a little busy around Zapata..
We look forward to seeing all of you..
Now go pray for rain in Mexico!!
September 12, 2017: It's been eight days since I last wrote. And in that time I have missed out on a lot of fantastic days to fish..
Low winds.. Lows in the sixties.. Highs barely breaking ninety.. Awesome..
And half the last eight days are a blur to me.. That anesthesia shit don't go away the moment you wake up..
Anyway I am up and kinda around, and I am typing with two hands.. So it looks like I am on the mend..
The lake level is kinda hovering in the same place it has been for nearly a month.. We were at 262.94 on the fifteenth of last mont.. And this morning we are at 263.08..
So I'll call that about dead level.. We were a inch or so higher.. But that is nothing to talk about..
Releases from the Conchos are still low.. Prayers for more rain in the Mexican mountains are still high..
We need one of these little storms from the equator to slip up the western coast of Mexico and end up in Chihuahua.. It could happen..
Lakes are still at capacity and above in the right places.. We just need some more rain to force the hand of the IWBC into releasing some water..
They certainly have plenty to share.. But they ain't giving us any..
I hate to bitch about them all the time.. But they are a poorly run organization.. It is a government op..
Meanwhile.. Back at the ranch..
Fishing remains good for most folks.. You can pretty much catch em your way right now.. I am excited about the flipping bite, but the scuttlebutt is that nothing has changed with the deep bite down south.
What is true for sure, that there is very, very, light boat traffic on the lake right now.. We have been here three and a half hours this morning.. And not seen a soul..
So if you decide to come down, you won't have too much competition for places to fish..
We have been getting a few calls about boat ramps.. Here in the Veleno the county ramp is still working fine.. The county has been doing a fair job of keeping the silt off the ramp, but some days the west side of it has some dirt on it.. But it is easily useable..
The state park concrete ramp is still out of the water, and we are only a couple of feet from it being serviceable.. What did I say earlier about the IWBC..
In any case, launching off the bank is easily done at this level. Four wheel drive is a plus, but I am hearing that a two wheel drive truck with good rubber will get it done as well.
Just drive past the concrete ramp.. Turn left and follow the waters edge till you get to the end of the channel from the boat ramp. There is a big boulder near the water.. You can launch on either side of it.. But you'll see where everybody is putting in.. No sweat..
You can also launch in the Tigers off the point south of the camp at El Tigre island.
Traveling the lake is not a problem, but when you get back in the creeks and off the main channel you need to pay attention to where you are. There are hardwoods and channel bends aplenty so drive with caution..
Of course this is a no brainer, but just use common sense and you'll be fine.. We've been a lot lower than this a lot of times before.. It's all good..
The South Texas Region of the Bass Federation will be holding their championship tournament here on Falcon in about ten days, and they will be fishing the weekend of the 23rd and 24th.
I believe that twenty something fishermen have qualified to fish it. Registration and captains meeting will be here at FLT on Friday the 22nd from 5 till 6 PM..
We look forward to seeing you guys again, and thanks for choosing Falcon for your tourney.. I don't think it will disappoint..
Of course in about three weeks, Falcon will be hosting the TABC state tournament, and that is scheduled for the weekend of September thirtieth and October first..
Captains meeting will also be here at FLT under the big top on Friday the 29th in the evening.. We look forward to seeing you here!
Once again let me ask you to order your Mexican license in advance. We'll have plenty, but it takes a lot less time to slap one in your hand when you walk in than to wait in a possible crowd to get yours issued.. We can hold it for you or mail it to you if you prefer.. Give us a call at 956-765-4866 and we'll get you fixed up in advance..
Make it easy on both of us..
There have been some decent fish caught this week I hear, but nothing in the DD headlines.. But good numbers of solid three to five pound fish.
But like I said, not many folks to talk to, and I have been out of commission. I think if my wife wasn't looking I might go out today.. But I know I best wait another week or so.. And it is killin' me..
Let me do a little more bitching before I quit..
Last time I was on the lake, eight days ago, I was fishing the woods across from the Veleno..
And I am happy to report that the survival rate of this years hatch of Cormorants was 100%.
I have absolutely never in my life seen seen so many of these black motherfuckers as I saw last Monday. The size of the flock is mind boggling..
And meanwhile the powers that be could give a crap..
Our biologists are coming down to do a habitat study this week, and I am sure they will get a first hand look at what I am talking about.. Again..
There is basically no habitat to study right now.. Hardwoods and rocks.. That's about it..
What else is going on..
Good dove hunting was reported over the last weekend.. And a group of teel hunters came in on Saturday morning, and they said they shot the shit out of them mid-lake..
I am not sure why I have never gotten into waterfowl hunting.. I love killing flying shit.. Guess I hate the cold and wet and early morning shit more..
Like I need another hobby... Habit..
Well I am still hobbling around like Walter Brennan with a hardon, and my fastball probably wouldn't break a carnival plate..
But I can tell I am getting better and before long I plan on getting out on the water and whacking the crap out of some fish and getting behind a shotgun..
Tommy says there are actually some birds at the ranch, and I feel the need to dispatch a limit or two in a couple of weeks when the south zone opens..
And isn't this split season a bunch of crap.. Only so many doves are going to get killed.. Open the season September one and quit confusing everyone.. Who could possibly dream up this kind of bullshit..
Oh yeah.. The government..
Well I hope to see you before too long.. And I hope I am in a boat when I do.. But I'll settle for seeing you here in the store if that's the way it works out..
Either way.. I'll see you then!
September 4, 2017: It's a holiday for most.. But not all of us.. And most folks in east Texas certainly do not have the day off.. I hope your seeing things get a bit better..
But I know for some of you it is not.. I can't imagine how bad it must be.
The holiday weekend around here was really slow. I put the boat in yesterday at 9:00 and there were five other rigs at the ramp.. Bout the same today..
We saw a lot more dove hunters than we did fishermen.
I have been talking about the water in the Conchos.. And most all the lakes are full on the chain.. And it looks like that's the way they will stay.
As of this morning they have really cut back on releases from Luis Leon.. We got the lakes where we need them.. Now we need a real rain over there..
Amazing how wet it can be in one place.. And how dry in another..
But as I type there are thunderstorms rumbling outside.. Maybe we can at least get the grass watered..
I bought a project boat a few weeks back, and I have been working on it while I have been doing little around here..
And yesterday I took it on a test/fishing run to check things out and see how everything worked..
I stopped near the old Veleno bridge, and I'll be damn but I caught the fish really good on both ends.. But better on the east side. That thing gets pounded but for good reason.. Structure holds fish. Go figure.. All but one were keepers.. But nothing over three pounds..
So after a bit I pointed it south and pulled into Pierces, and fished the island at the mouth.. Bout the third cast I caught a fat three pounder.. On a stickbait..
That SOB will catch fish..
Anyway.. About two minutes later the birds started pounding the water near me as a giant school of small white bass were tearing the shad a new asshole.. And I followed them around for thirty minutes and caught the heck out of em..
I stopped when they ran out of heck..
But it was a fun morning and I always liked reeling in whatever was on the other end.. Even though most of the whites were peter length.. And I ain't talking John Holmes..
I wanted to run my regular boat, so this morning I hit the water about nine.. And headed back to the bridge..
About the third or fourth cast I chunked across a big laydown, and low an behold I hooked into something that I could not turn.. Although I had the tree leaning on a 45° degree angle.. The fish pulled off after a two second epic battle..
Shit it coulda been a two pounder.. Knowing these Falcon fish.. But I don't think so, Tim..
Anyway there were a couple of other boats fishing kinda close, so I headed across the river to the hardwoods on the Mexican side.
I fished the outside of the tree line, which is in about ten feet of water.. And had no luck.
And knowing these Falcon fish, I went inside the row of trees, keeping the boat in about four feet of water, and flipped anything within twenty feet..
And I beat em like a red headed stepchild.. It was fuckin awesome!!
Like the old days..
Well not exactly.. Cause the biggest and last fish I caught was just a shade under five pounds.. But there was not a non keeper in the batch.. And I probably caught three limits.. And missed another two.. Sneaky bastards..
I came in about noon and a buddy stopped in and we compared stories.. He caught a few fewer fish than me but he had two fives and a seven, with only one peckerhead in the batch..
He caught his flipping the trees as well, but he was throwing a Plum Ol Monster.. I was using a Rojas Fighting Frog in Junebug Red.
That sounds backward.. He said he missed a good number of fish as well.. These fish ain't exactly thumping it.. So you gotta pay attention.. And if you cain't find your bait.. Jerk!
I did not get a lot of feedback from the weekend, but I did hear tell of a few folks that caught em pretty decent..
The south end of the lake is still fishing pretty good as well.. And the flipping bite is still good on the Mexican side from the Salanaias to the north..
Come fishing.. You're gonna catch some..
The work on the new Veleno bridge continues, and they are making progress.. We might actually drive over the son of a bitch this spring..
The contractor has done a nice job of removing the dirt dam from under new bridge, and thanks to low water conditions, it appears that the slope from above and below match up pretty well..
You may remember it looking more like this..
The old bridge is scheduled for demolition.. When that will start, who knows..
I have decided that I am watching too much television.. Or make that too much television with commercials..
But I have been hell bent on watching the Rangers piss off the chance at a wild card spot. And if you are gonna watch some baseball you're going to have to put up with some commercials..
And I will have to admit that I am seeing a few less commercials for Viagra and Cialis.. I guess that every fifty to eighty year old male is now walking around half cocked, and just a gumdrop and a swig of water away from being petrified..
But don't worry, we are now being inundated with new unspeakable's. That have become.. Well.. Speakable..
Forty years ago, nobody knew if grandma peed in her pants.. We just thought the roof was leaking while she was taking the biscuits out of the oven..
Now granny can wear depends.. And just let er rip when the feeling comes on.. Even if the feeling never comes on and it just happens.. Convenient I guess..
When I was a kid, mentioning a woman's period was unthinkable.. But now you got that Pearl thingy.. Good for heavy days and easy to remove on the light ones.. So the commercial says..
Condom commercials show everything but them putting one on.. But I reckon it is coming.. In the name of education and disease prevention..
Eight year old boys now know what a clitoris is..
Thirty years ago, forty year old males had never heard of it..
And the newest of the unspeakable's has to do with good ol, One A Day Vitamins..
Yep.. They got a new mission.. To make sure you have healthy sperm when you go to impregnating your significant other..
I ain't lying.. I seen it on TV..
I don't think we give kids time to grow up these days.. With what's on TV..
And who the hell knows what they see on the internet.. Being we have to give them all cell phones by the time they're five..
I heard that in New York and California they have to be able to recite all the positions of the Kama Sutra in Sixth grade.. I had a hard enough time with the fuckin presidents..
Try to figure out that Chinese shit..
I ain't that limber..
Well I better quit before yall figure that my earplugs are touching each other..
Come see us if you can.. Pray for the folks in east Texas.. And donate what you can, be it time and or money..
I am going to have some elbow and toe surgery tomorrow and my arm is going to be in a cast for a couple of weeks.. So I am not sure when I will be able to type.. I'm bad enough with two hands..
Guess that hookset finally got to me.. Or the fuckin gout...
September 1, 2017: Less than 24 hours till the start of dove season.. And there is water in every cow track from San Antonio east.. And hunting doves is the last thing on the minds of the folks in SE Texas..
This storm was about the worst case scenario.. Absolute devastation in many areas and the effects will be felt for years. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of you.
It is hard to imagine and prepare for something that is an unknown. And while Harvey was predicted to be bad, it was hard to conceive of this much water in this amount of time.
It is heartbreaking to see the damage and devastation left behind. But this is Texas, and Texans are currently swarming the coast helping their fellowman. And many from out of state are here as well..
God Bless You all... Victims and Volunteers..
August is a slow month around here. And usually Tommy and I schedule our vacations during this period.. Cause it don't take two to watch TV and sell shrimp..
As luck would have it, Tommy and his family were on a Caribbean cruise last week, and to say the least, their coming home schedule was re-arranged..
He got home three days late, and flew from New Orleans to Atlanta to San Antonio.. And his truck is still in Galveston.. Hopefully not being used as a livewell..
I got back yesterday from a dove hunt down in Mexico, and we were basically starved for information on what was going on back home in Texas..
The term has been overused, but I will have to admit that it is gut-wrenching to watch on TV.. I can't imagine being there..
The Falcon watershed missed out on all the rain, and that is not unusual with these gulf storms. They just very rarely put us on the wet side of the storm..
We have caught about six inches of water in the last ten days, as they slowed the releases from Falcon in anticipation of rainfall in the valley. Which did not happen either..
What is happening, is that many of the lakes in northern Mexico on the Conchos have continued to rise. Including the big lake, Boquilla, which was 99% full yesterday. This is a big deal.
Several of the smaller lakes downstream are still overfull, and they have continued controlled releases from Madero and Luis Leon into the Rio Grande. They had upped the release to around 9000 CFS day before yesterday and it looks like they will continue for an indefinite period.
If you are paying attention, you may have noticed tropical storm Linda that is working its way up the Baja peninsula..
This could be a good thing.. For Amistad and Falcon anyway..
You may have noticed that Amistad has caught about a foot and a half in the last couple of weeks. And there is more in the pipeline.. Maybe a lot more. We'll see..
But this is the best chance we have had at catching some real water in five years or more..
Like I said.. We'll see..
Fishing has been about the same around here.. Still decent.. But not off the chain.. You can still catch em the same way we were last month.. See below..
We see a lot of folks here in the store. And we sell a lot of them a Mexican fishing license..
And the vast majority of the time I'll ask , "Where exactly is that,?" When they tell me the name of the small town they are from.. And over the years we have had fishermen from about every berg in the state.
And there is no doubt that there are a ton of fishermen from east Texas. Many of them make an annual (if not more often) trip down here.
And it is depressing to see the names of the towns I have come to know on national TV, covered in water.
But if there is one thing I know, these boys will get past this, and they will build it back even better..
My thoughts are with you guys. And my prayers are going out to you and your families throughout the day..
Stay safe while you are doing what needs to be done..
And we'll see you when we see you..
August 25, 2017: Just an update on the happenings in Zapata.. It is about 3:40 PM here on Friday.
So far we have only had about a quarter inch of rain.. One shower.. The entire town is full of evacuees, and there is not a motel room available..
Looks like this could be a real rainmaker for the coastal plains, but so far the rains are staying to our east. Not unusual for these storms..
Of course you have internet and TV just like me, and you can see that Houston, Corpus, and points east are getting hammered..
I have talked to several groups of folks that are enjoying Zapata hospitality, but not because they want it that way.
Prayers out to all affected and displaced, and here's to hoping it won't be as bad as it appears.
I'll let you know if anything exciting happens around here..
August 24, 2017: Well Harvey has been peaking the interest of a lot of folks. Both here and across the state of Texas.
For two different reasons I would imagine..
I know the vast majority of folks that are watching the happenings in the gulf are kind of apprehensive about what the storm might bring.
Round here we are are doing a rain dance..
My wife had the weather channel on when I went home yesterday evening. And boy they like to spread the doom and gloom.. You would have thought that there was a Cat 5 out there in the gulf breathing down on us..
We'll see what happens.. But if you think they can predict what will happen four days out, you are crazy.. Much as they would like you to believe they can..
We will certainly welcome the rain in south Texas, and lets hope the valley gets a good soaking and they'll shut off the flow from the dam.
When it comes to putting water in Falcon, now there is another story.
We know that Falcon catches no significant water from gulf hurricanes. Don't we..
Real water for Falcon comes from the Conchos river in Mexico..
Now that we have that settled..
Some good things are happening out west.. Or northwest..
Good rains have continued to fall over the mountainous terrain in the Conchos water shed, and lake levels have continued to rise on several of the lakes in the system.
Including Boquilla, which has come up to 92% as of Tuesday.. Two days ago.. And I have not received a report since then.. But it looks promising..
All of these lakes funnel into the last lake in the line before the water makes way into the Rio Grande.. And that of course is Luis Leon.
And on Tuesday it was at 130% and was releasing 8300 CFS into the Rio Grande..
There are other lakes over pool on the system as well, and what we need is for rains to continue and force the hand of the IWBC into releasing a meaningful amount of water.
Being that no other method of negotiation has ever brought us any water..
The IWBC is run by a bunch of semi academics with no real experience in making a living in the real world..
Typical of government beauracracies.. The size of the organization and amount of waste is scandalous..
Come on Donald.. You got room on your plate for one more course..
While we are on the subject of government boondoggles, the coast guard cadets are back down riding with the Border Patrol doing you the service of violating your fourth amendment rights..
Fucking with you as you try to enjoy a peaceful day of fishing..
So be prepared if you get unlucky enough to get pulled over by the Gestapo..
There goes thirty minutes of your day.. I am sure they will be gone in a few days. These are mostly weekend warriors filing in their quotas.. Some of em got a lot of Barney Fife in em..
But shit this is supposed to be a fishing report.. Not Brietbart..
There have been a couple of groups down this week, and they have bout got the fish figured out. The last few days they have been smoking them in the trees.
It appears that the flipping bite is on, and they have reported fish in the trees from the Veleno to the Salanaias.
They have been really surprised how shallow the fish have been. Many fish, and some good fish, coming from water barely knee deep..
One boat had over a hundred fish on Tuesday, and several of them had thirty five to fifty..
Size you ask.. Nothing reported over seven and a half but some good solid fours and fives for most all boats every day..
These guys are having some fun. And if you are wondering, there are eleven of them..
There is also another small group in town that is whacking them in the woods as well..
And that about does it.. Fifteen anglers on the entirety of Falcon all week.. Plus a few locals.. And they have been doing pretty good as well.
Small flipping baits like a Chigger Craw or a Rage Craw or Super Speed Craw are doing well..
One of my buddies is doing really good on Speed worms in Junebug Red..
There is still a crankbait bite going on, but this week the fishermen prefer the trees..
I guess cause the fish do as well..
Besides.. Who the heck wants to chunk a giant crankbait with a car hood for a bill, when you can pitch a worm in a hardwood, and go at em mano a mano..
That's the kinda shit I like.. Getting a semi just thinking about it..
But if you prefer, you can still catch some fish crankin.. But right now it sounds like the woods is the place to be..
Yeah I been stuck in here for near a week, as Tommy is on Vacation..
And guess where he went.. Yep; on a cruise thru the Caribbean.. Down past the Yucatan..
Wonder if he's ever coming home.. Supposed to land in Galveston on Saturday.. Good luck..
I'm heading to Mexico dove hunting on Sunday.. SO.. If the store is closed on Monday, you know he is probably washed up on some beach, leaning on a coconut tree, swilling rum..
Drink up, Me Hardies, Yo Ho!!
This weekend is looking like a washout (and I hope the hell it is) so I don't reckon I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places..
And once again my Daddy was right..
"Opening weekend of dove season they'll be water in every cow track.."
He's been a lot more accurate than the national weather service..
See you when we bob back to the surface..
August 18, 2017: Another work week has pretty much passed.. And we didn't do too much work around here.
At least not related to selling tackle. It's been pretty slow..
Of course with twenty plus MPH winds everyday, it tends to kill a lot of motivation to get on the water.. Especially the midlake south..
They be monsters here... Monster waves that is..
And every evening about six the sea breeze gets here and it will damn near blow the house down..
On Monday I was talking about things being a little slow in the fishing category.. And wouldn't you know it, several boats managed to have some really good days.
Some buddy's of mine caught a eight and a nine the same morning, on crankbaits on the hump just west of the flood gates.. Yep.. The same one that everybody fishes..
But they fish it for a reason. That son of a bitch holds fish. As does the rip rap on the dam.
Another boat also caught them good on crankbaits with big fish going around six pounds.
Both of these boats reported thirty to thirty five fish per day. They also caught some fish on plastics in the same neighborhoods. A Carolina rig is a good choice with your favorite bait on there. A fluke or a brush hog will work.. Seems that smaller ain't a bad idea.
Some other fellows caught em decent here in the Veleno, around the old bridge and associated rockpiles and roadbeds. They had a five and a six in that general vicinity.
The common denominator for a couple of these boats was a 5XD in Sexy Shad.
I've said it a time or two before that that bait is a dead ringer for our threadfin shad. No wonder why it works..
So that's about it.. Three or four out of town boats were all that were here this week.. It is August and the last week before school starts.. Or in some cases it may have already..
The top of the lake is still off color, and while a lot of you are probably used to fishing stuff that looks worse; I just don't like it. And if the wind keeps up, it's not going to clear up much anytime soon.. Lots of dirt and sand banks on the Mexican side up here, and those waves just keep it stirred up. Water is pretty south of marker nine, and better as you go farther south.
I did hear that you can still catch plenty of small fish on the windblown rocks. A square bill is still catching them, or you can put a speed craw on a short arm C-rig, or throw a drop shot and have a bunch of fun.
On the south end of the lake, white bass have been schooling on shad on the surface and you can catch all you want if you run into a pod of them. Keep an eye out for the seagulls crashing the water..
There have also been a lot of them around the mouth of, and just inside Pierce's cove at marker seven.
The crappie on brush piles have slowed a bit.. I reckon they are hanging out in deeper water. But you can still catch em off the brush.. It just is not as fast and furious as it was a couple of months ago.. There are still catchable fish on the concrete tower at the Mexican outlet.
And no it is not a cement tower.. Cement comes in a sack..
So here I am.. Stuck in the store for nine more days.. Bored to tears..
But I have made some nice arrowhead frames..
I am working on getting ready for the TABC state tourney.. Plenty of details to take care of.. But I got it going on...
That's the last week in September by the way, in case you are making plans.. I imagine that motel rooms will be scarce about then.
Last Monday I was talking about some water coming into the Rio Grande at Presidio, from the Conchos river in Mexico.. I wish it was more, but the good news is that it is still coming at this point.
And it actually just started to hit Amistad yesterday. Those two smaller lakes are still overfull, so lets hope that they will release water for a good while..
And lets pray that the rains keep coming in those mountains in northern Mexico. Because those guys just don't seem to release water unless they have to.. And I want em to have to..
It takes an event to put a bunch of water in Falcon.. And we are on the verge of it being a possibility.. Best chance we have had in a few years.. And it's gonna happen.. Sooner or later..
If the world don't come to an end first..
Holler at me if I can be of service.. And if you are coming down to fish the TABC tourney, do us both a favor and order your Mexican licence in advance. It's liable to be a zoo around here, and if I have your license in will call, or I already mailed it to you it will save you time when you get here..
We look forward to seeing you!
August 14, 2017: Well here we are smack dab in the middle of August, and who would have guessed it.. It's hot and windy. And I don't have to go Nostradamus to predict that it will be hot and windy next August either.
It's that time of year..
The fishing is not as hot as the weather, and the bite seems to be a bit sluggish for most folks..
Of course there are always a few over achievers that happen on a few good fish. But it has been pretty tough the last few days. Fortunately the moon is fading and the morning bite should improve as the week progresses.
San Antonio Bass Club was in town over the weekend and their results were less than spectacular on Saturday. They fish a three fish format, and after day one everyone in the club was still in it, as the heavy sack of the day was just under ten pounds.
Several folks caught some five and six pounders but did not catch much to go with it. I did not get the final results after yesterdays fishing.
It was good to see you folks and thanks for stopping in and leaving some of your hard earned money here at FLT.
The lake has leveled off and pretty much stayed level the last two weeks. We are sitting at 262.94, or 38.26 feet low. We have actually caught a few inches of water the last couple of weeks.
Launching at the state park is of course still off the bank, but at this particular level it is working pretty good.. Four wheel drive is a good thing, but I have heard that two wheel drive is also do-able.
The county ramp here in Zapata is still working fine, although the ramp is pretty flat.
More on water in a bit..
From what I heard, the crankbait bite and the flipping bite were both slow the last few days.
Flukes and brush hogs were probably the best when it comes to soft plastics. The same old hard baits are still working, albeit slower this last week.
When fishing offshore, hard bottoms with a fast depth change are a must.
Smaller fish can be plentiful on squarebills and occasionally spinnerbaits on those rocky windblown points.
Nothing too complicated about it..
And don't be afraid to rig you up a dropshot if things are a bit slow. Throw it out there on those rocky drops and shake it like a dog shittin' peach seeds.. You might be surprised what you catch. That Plum Apple is still a good color choice on the drop shot.
Earlier I was talking about water.. Or a lack of it..
But there is something happening in northern Mexico that has not happened in a few years.
If you are a long time reader of this report, you have no doubt heard me talk about the Concho river.
The Conchos has a pretty big watershed in the mountainous terrain in north central Mexico. And there are a bunch of small lakes on the chain..
And one big son of a bitch..
A couple of weeks ago you may have heard about a bunch of flooding in Phoenix, and the same storm system of monsoon rains dampened the ground, or should I say rocks, on the Concho watershed.
I always talk about three lakes on this chain.
Boquilla, which is almost the size of Falcon when it comes to water volume at capacity.
Madero, which is a goldfish bowl.
And Luis Leon which is even smaller.
But in the last two weeks, Boquilla has gone from 68% to 80%.
Madero has gone from 98% to 103%.
And Luis Leon that has gone from 87% to 144%.
Luis Leon is the last in the chain before the Concho runs into the Rio Grande at Presidio in the Big Bend. And currently they are releasing about 5400 CFS, and that water is hitting the Rio Grande and has been for the last few days.
There was also a bit more rain in the Rio Grande watershed and it has the river levels up a decent amount.
I am not sure how long they will release water, but this is the first time in a while that I am mildly enthused about the potential of us catching some water..
Of course they horde the water in those lakes and often times they won't release it unless they have to..
But it is plain to see that they could easily put some in Falcon if they wanted to.. They've got plenty..
Of course what we need to happen is more rain in the same areas.
There have been a shit ton of storms in the Pacific, but all of them have been heading too far west to help in this area.
What we need is a couple of storms to go up the Sea Of Cortez's ass and drench the aforementioned area. Or have a low sit over it for a good while..
I've got my fingers crossed..
Mazatlan would be a good target point.. I'll keep you posted..
What the hell else is happening..
Dove season is only two week away..
Sharelunker season is only six weeks away..
And I don't know if you heard, but supposedly this year Sharelunker is undergoing a few changes.
Final plans are probably being hashed out this week as TPWD is having their annual confab starting tomorrow.
There have been a lot of ideas put forward, but nothing has been set in stone as of this writing.. I'll let you know what I hear.
I'm going to be trapped in here for the next twelve days as Tommy is going to take some time off.
Oh yeah.. You can start buying your new fishing/hunting license starting tomorrow..
I know I am excited about standing in front of that machine for the next two weeks..
Where's my Dr. Scholls?
August 7, 2017: The first week of August is shot to hell, and we have made it full circle to the full moon.. And like I have said a thousand times before, early morning fishing on Falcon during a bright moon phase can be a little slow. So it ain't a big deal if you want to sleep in a bit before you hit the water..
But the delay in getting on the lake does reduce the time you fish while temperatures are below 90.. Which happens about noon around here these days..
But while I am typing this, a bad ass thunderstorm is kicking San Antonio's butt.. And maybe parts of it will make it down here..
Hope springs eternal..
Fishing conditions were awesome the last week, with the exception of the bright night time moon. We had a week of low winds, and some days no wind.. Which ain't the blessing we sometimes take it for.. It can get hottern' Lucifer's shoes out there in a hurry..
Last Wednesday it was as slick as glass.. And the heat index was a bitch.. Hot enough to make a lizard wear sandals..
I'll still take it over fifty degrees any day.. Fifty degrees at fifty MPH equals a wind chill of thirty nine..
Piss on that.. I'm getting a chill just thinking about it..
How long have we been talking about the deep crankbait bite around here? Seems like forever but I guess it has been a good six months..
Well we're still talking about it.. Cause that what seems to be catching most of the big fish.. Not all of em.. But most of em..
I did see a pic of a 10-2 this AM that was caught on a jig..
There have also been some good fish caught lately on a Drop Shot.. Make that a power Drop Shot.. The power being delivered by heavier line.. These fish could give a shit.. Big line ain't gonna scare em off..
Once in a while a certain color bait seems to out-produce most others, and here lately the Plum Apple has been kicking ass.. (Thought I was going to say Plum didn't you..)
Well it is a Plum variant.. And of course I ain't sure if it is all that important to the fish but it sure has been to several groups of fishermen..
Any ledge or hump top can have fish on it.. Sometimes they are biting, sometimes they are not.. But that's fishing wherever you go..
This ain't first hand knowledge, but I have heard that the Tigers have started to put out a few more fish..
And while we're talking about Tigers, you need to keep an eye on your map in there while traveling at high speed and stay in the creek channels.. There are a bunch of ridges and humps in the big body of water on the north side and if you are headed back to Big Tiger you need to round the corner wide to the southeast..
There is some three foot water well out from the big point when you turn back north.. It's not too complicated, but something you need to keep in mind.. There is still a shit load of good water in there.. You could fish the Tigers for a week and not fish it all..
The flipping bite is still good to fair on a lot of hardwoods that are near deep water.. They can be in two feet and still have fish in them.. But I have found the flats with woods are not as good as the woods that have a creek or drop nearby.
Concentrate on the outer edges of tree lines and break lines and like always, be sure to hit that isolated or last tree on the point extra hard.. There are fish in there.. Don't forget to think shade either..
A Fighting Frog, Baby Brush Hog, or even a Super fluke can be really good in them woods.. Of course the darker the water the darker the bait..
And them crankbait fish still seem to prefer a citrus shad or a blue and chartreuse color in the maker of your choice..
Of course if you are throwing a square bill some, and who ain't, sexy shad is a great choice.. You can also catch a bunch of fish on a chart/white spinnerbait on the shallow rocks.. Look for our feathered friends on the points.. The white ones..
Not them fuckin' cormorants.. Who have again increased in population this year.. I have never seen so many in the summer.. These bastards never leave..
If there ain't ten thousand of them in this flock on the top of the lake I'll eat your hat..
How we coming on that TPWD?
If I was in charge I'd be on the phone to the EPA every day trying to get this cancer fixed..
I find it hard to believe that everyone in the EPA is an idiot, so someone, somewhere, has to be able to see the light and give us a lookover.. The problem being that they do not even know that this problem exists..
Is anybody ever going to help us?
Someone has to make this a priority.. Someone besides me.. They won't let me handle the problem.. Or I'd personally get it fixed..
How come the cormorant problem hasn't been leaked??
At this water level, with no real cover in the lake, it is easy pickens for these bastards.. And our fish populations are being hammered by these mother fuckers every day..
Let's see.. 10,000 birds.. Half pound of fish a day... That's 5,000 pounds of fish a day..
That's a hundred and fifty thousand pounds of fish a month..
That's one Million, eight hundred thousand pounds of fish a year!!
You think the netter's are hurting the lake??
You think fishermen are hurting the lake?
How we can enforce laws pertaining to the last two items mentioned, and ignore the birds is mind-boggling to me..
It's the epitome of the elephant in the room story...
And on it goes..