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Lower Laguna Madre Bay - November 13th, 2005
supplied by: Tight Lines Charters RECORDED:84 °FISHING: Excellent
The same pattern continues and there are no complaints from me. With the winds diminishing by early morning, incoming tide, and warm days the redfish continue to stay put in area back lakes. They are showing us their backs and tails and can be found in great numbers. Several factors have allowed the redfish to stay, the boat traffic is light, a strong incoming tide, and small shrimp and crabs are available for the taking. This week we noticed large number of stingrays moved in the area. But, the redfish by far outnumbered the rays. The bird action has been leading us to the larger concentrations of fish. As soon as you near the diving birds you can spot redfish with their backs out of the water.
Look for this pattern to continue until the arrival of the next cold front by mid week. As I have said before pay attention to what the birds are doing they can lead you to a gold mine. The baits of choice were super spook jrís in white & chartreuse head and TTK IIís (Matagorda Magic).
I also got a chance to try out my new kayaks and was glad I brought them along especially when we ran into a landmine of stingrays. I had not witnessed so many rays since I got stuck six years ago. In addition tides are starting their winter drop and fish are showing their winter shoulders. This time of year they are eager to take an easy prey as the days and nights get colder. We continue to wade wet but again we are fishing 8 to 10 inches of water. The time for wearing of waders will soon arrive and so will our methods of fishing change. As the water cools down we will be concentrating in deeper water not overlooking areas near the ICW. But look for fish to move back into the flats after 2 to 3 days of warm weather. I look forward for our winter fishing to be outstanding one.
Colorado River - October 29th, 2003
supplied by: Far Out Fishing Trips FISHING: Excellent
Fall is here...a mild one at that. Dam releases for the Colorado River have tapered off. Cold fronts have been making their way south into Texas, dropping night time temperatures into the 40's and 50's, but the warm dry air is heating up into the 80's during the day time. This has cooled the water temperatures to the upper 60's, not quite as cold as some of the smaller hill country streams in the area. The Colorado is much more temperature stable because of the dam releases.
Bass fishing in the river has been great from Dowtown Austin down to Webberville. Largemouth have been schooling up in the last month or so. We're catching fish in the 18" (3 lb.) range and seeing the occasional lunker of 20+ inches (4-5 lb.). Days are getting shorter and the fishing picks up around noon to late afternoon with the slight warming of the water from daytime heating. Now is the time to fish for big largemouth (as well as early spring) when the water is not so hot and the fish are not so sluggish. Water is running clearer with the cooler water as well.
Right now, we're fishing a lot of big streamers, anything from big woolly buggers to big rabbit strip flies (#2's and #4's, 5 inch long flies with lead eyes). Largemouth are aggressively engulfing chartreuse flies when the timing of the day is right. Guadalupe bass fishing is decent as well. Some topwater action is still available, although not the fly of choice at the moment. Warm afternoons are getting some small bass jumping out of the water to eat damsel and dragon flies, but subsurface works better. Fish are holding in areas of slight to moderate current, 3 feet of depth and shade, especially on the bright sunny cloudless days of 'indian summer'.
Expect continued good fishing until we get a string of cold fronts that will put the water temps into the lower 60's or below. This has a tendency to shut the fishing down as their metabolisms slow. Catfishing on a fly is still very active. Look for big channel cats to be holding in between weed pockets in very shallow riffle areas and tailouts of pools. Small but heavily weighted woolly buggers work well. DON'T MOVE THE FLY when a channel cat spots it and makes a move toward it, they will spook...
San Marcos River - October 29th, 2003
supplied by: Far Out Fishing Trips FISHING: Great
The San Marcos River had a minor rise due to all the rain received in the last couple of weeks. Passage of cold fronts has pretty much shut down consistent topwater fishing and the grasshoppers, which weren't out in full force this year, are even less active now.
However, if you fish correctly, there is still excellent fishing for guadalupe bass. The river is running higher than historically for this time of year due to the significant recharge of the springs from last winter!
Because of the lower water temperatures (upper 60's), the bass have dropped off into the slower (but still moving) water. Many fish are holding a few feet away from the banks and are hanging down low at least 2.5 feet of water. This isn't necessarily the most active period for bass fishing in this river (middle of summer is the best), but then again, when temperatures are in the low 80's, sunny and dry, it's hard to complain (as opposed to the sweltering 100 degree humid sauna that can be Texas in the summer!).
Now's the time to fish moderate to slow EVEN current near the bank, preferably shaded, casting perpendicular or slightly upstream with a weighted streamer and stripping just slightly faster than the current to detect the strike. The idea is to maintain enough tension in the line and enough speed to detect a strike while moving the fly slow along the bottom, similar to nymph fishing for trout.
Done correctly, you can expect several good guadalupe bass. Typical chunky guadalupe bass in this river run about 10-13 inches, much better than average for this species, and in other rivers around Austin. Occasional 'lunkers' of 16-17 inches (2-2.5 lbs) can be expected, if you know where to find them and how to fish for them! Many strikes are several seconds after the fly lands, just at the point the fly disappears from sight a couple of feet below the surface (this time of year).
Top water is not the fly of choice right now, although we are catching a few smaller bass with damsel fly adults hanging out of their throats. Getting a weighted streamer in front of a fish will produce equal and better results, so there's no need to waste time fishing on top except maybe to call up a big largemouth in deep hard-to-read water. I'm alternating between dark and bright flies, all weighted, it doesn't seem to matter much, although I trust chartreuse a little more this time of year for bigger largemouth. Flies should be big, in the 4-5 inch range and weighted for good sink rate.
Because of the fast flow and cooler water temps, big largemouth are a little tougher to find. This is the time of year I find them in shallow 'glassy' (slightly clearer pockets) water near brush piles. If you put a chartreuse clouser minnow in front of one, expect them to instantly engulf the fly. Otherwise, it's tough to fish in the faster current with a slow retrieve.