Saturday, January 17, 2009

Weather Change

The nice weather we have been enjoying during the middle of the week changed to cold and windy on Friday. Tracy and I headed to PPRV #7 and I had high hopes of finding some hungry trout in the river.

The evening sun filtering through the clouds provided a nice backdrop for the evening. I set out the light and tried every trick in the book but there seemed to be nothing in the river that wanted what was on my hook - dead or alive!

I would head to McNab in the morning for a solo paddle and see if I could scare up a redfish or two.

This night heron was "hunkered down" on the oyster reef..

The clouds were still there in the morning and the temperature had actually risen since I gave up fishing in the river. This is the scene from the McNab launch about 8AM.

I found this little guy at the first corner. The 3" Sugar Spice Glow Gulp shrimp was just what he wanted for breakfast.

The small reds were definitely in the channel. I caught several on the way in to the lake.

This guy was just a little too short for the stringer.

Another nice red. Notice that the smaller ones are almost silver. They do have a pretty blue tail!

The presence of these small fish is a good sign that there will be lots of slot reds this year!

I never found the fish in the lake. I paddled all around and kept company with these white pelicans for most of the time.

I got a little close for comfort on the way out and they took flight.

The black wing tips are hidden when they are sitting on the water but clearly visible here.

On the way out, I was fishing with a double rig and got a double!

"Hey - put me back in the water! What do you think I am anyway?"

Snowy Egret on the oysters. This may be the money shot of the day.

"Ole Double Spot" - caught on the way out.

The last catch of the day. In all, I caught about a dozen reds.

I'll be looking for you when you grow a couple more inches.

After lunch, Tracy joined me for some river fishing. She had been a little under the weather but there's nothing like fishing to make you feel better.

Once again, she showed me that I'm not the only one catching reds today.

Here is #2. The lady had the hot hand this afternoon.

Here is my catch of the day. You have to take what you can get!

We made it back home to get ready for church in the morning. It was a short trip but full of fun and memorable times. Each day we are given should be enjoyed. We have a lot to be thankful for.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Fish Knife

Paul provided me with a custom fillet knife for my Christmas present this year and I've been eager to put it into action.

We both had a lot going on this week but found a way to meet for lunch in Matagorda County and make our way to PPRV #7 for a couple of hours of fishing before dark.

After cast netting up some finger mullet, Paul struck first with this little red.

He demonstrated his skill by hooking and landing this guy while talking to Scott on the phone!

I missed the first couple of bites but finally connected with this nice speck.

This red was small but they are always fun to catch.

I had hoped for a redfish to try out the new knife but this big trout proved to be the first.

The blade on this knife has a little more backbone than a normal fillet knife but was flexible enough to do a good job on the tender skin of the trout.

The mesquite handle of the P11 fit my hand like a glove (or a mitten).

Guess what Tracy & I are having for supper tomorrow night?

Now for the "one that got away" story. Paul had just baited and cast his line out when he decided to head to the trailer for a quick break. "Catch a big one", he said in jest but the joke turned out to be on him. Shortly after he left his rod began to twitch and I picked it up and set the hook.

I never got to see the fish but it was BIG and heavy. I fought it for about 10 minutes and he came close to spooling me a couple of times but I kept him in the zip code until Paul returned. He took this picture and went to get the net as I worked the monster up close to the rocks. The fish stayed deep and must have found a rock or a reef to rub against as the line gave way. I'm convinced it was a big black drum the way it was fighting.

The weather was beautiful and it turned out to be a great time of fishing and conversation. We must do this again soon!

Thanks again for the great knife brother!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blow Me Down

Our holiday house guests headed for home this morning and before long I had the yaks loaded and we were on the way to PPRV #7. We had a great visit with Matt & Carly and it was tough to say goodbye but school starts Monday and, like it or not, all good things must come to an end.

I read on TKF last night that the weather predictions for the weekend were bleak and the local weatherman confirmed that a cold front was heading our way. It hit Needville between the time I got the Jeep loaded and when we left. The temperature dropped significantly and the wind switched to the north. We probably should have stayed home but sometimes I have more desire than sense when it comes to fishing.

We could see the leading edge of the front as we drove south and finally caught up to it just before we got to Matagorda.

There was some light rain falling where the cold air and warm humid air interfaced. We hit a pocket of air near the front line that caused all of our windows to fog up almost instantly.

We drove to McNab to check on the water level and saw this cute calf along the way.

Mama & friend are keeping a close watch on "Blanco" the baby bull.

We say another unusual sight on the way through town. I guess Peafowl crossing the street in the middle of the day could be considered unusual - even for Matagorda.

The hen was getting her feathers ruffled over my picture taking.

As a tier of fishing flies, I must admit I was eying those tail feathers!

The water was low at McNab and the wind was really blowing so we decided to fish from the bank until lunchtime and see if things would settle down before launching the yaks. We had just a couple of nibbles on the Gulp but no hookups.

After lunch we took a drive to the beach. The tide must have been high a time or two in the last week as the beach was as flat as a pool table. We drove about 7 miles from the access road and I hopped out a couple of times to search for beans but Tracy wasn't too keen on the 15-20 mph north wind that was blowing sand back into the Gulf while cutting the tops off the breakers.

After returning from the beach, I was convinced that launching the kayaks in this wind would be more foolish than making camping stoves out of soup cans so I opted instead to try my hand at cast netting up some bait.

Throwing a cast net in 20 mph wind has it's own challenges and though I didn't find any bait initially, I was successful at capturing some shad and finger mullet at the McNab bridge.

The live bait proved to be the ticket for tempting the redfish along the rocks.

I caught several small fish, lost two keepers and finally got one that was picture worthy. He was two inches shy of the slot but gave me a good fight and posed like he was a trophy.

Remember to wet your knots! I tied on new hooks on an 18"- 20lb mono leader and got in a rush since it was cold and I wanted to fish. One of the bigger fish I lost pulled the improved clinch knot out and the other one broke me off just as I was about to lift him clear of the rocks. I have a long handled net just for this purpose and you can bet that I will be keeping it handy in the future. When the big boy broke off I was standing right over him and contemplated jumping in and trying to grab him but better sense prevailed this time and I watched him swim away instead.

Tracy was cold but hung in there and finally connected with this pretty red. You can see the shad on the bucket that this guy fell for.

We are all ready for some decent weekend weather for a change. I think Tracy looks good in wool but we could do without the wind.

I'm getting a workout loading and unloading the boats!

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year's Fishing

Well the New Year has arrived and I can't think of a better way to start things off than by wetting a line in the Colorado River at PPRV #7.

Matt & Carly were down for a visit and proved to be pretty good at catching their share. I know fishing isn't supposed to be a competition but I think Carly started off ahead and Matt finished strong under the lights.

Tracy and the kids were chillin' on the deck when I came back from Buddy's Bait Shop with some "fresh dead" shrimp.

Carly and Tracy were into the yellow tail while Matt looks on.

Another first! Carly catches this baby black drum. They fight better than the little perch!

While the rest of us were playing with sand trout and yellow tail under the lights, Carly brought in this nice redfish.

Here is another nice fish - a big sand trout.

While I was helping Carly with her fish, Matt quietly racked up the score by catching lots of sandies and some nice drum.

We all had a good time and had plenty to eat - even if it wasn't fish! Silver Turtles and toasted marshmallows seemed to fill everyone up.

Time to head for home..See you next trip!