Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Snookin'

I have been looking forward to a Christmas time snook trip for a while... We got to the Valley on friday night, and we hit the ship channel saturday morning in Keith's friend's Dargel. The morning bite was good, and I landed this 28.5" snook on a Lunker Punker. (same fish, different angle)
From there we had several more on Baby Busters and Gulps, and ended with 6 snook for the morning and tons of big ladyfish.

From there, we went back to Keith's and got his skiff rigged out. We took it for a little maiden voyage into South Bay right before dark. Here's some pics of the (almost) finished product:
It's small, but it's pretty much the perfect ship channel boat! From there, our evening got interesting. We found out that the dogs got loose from the backyard while we were out, and the dog catcher was on the chase. By the time we got home, Rusty and Louie had been shot with tranquilizer darts and were falling out fast. Long story short, Louie got thrown in the clink for the night, and we had to do some fast talking to get him out the next morning because we didn't have his paperwork.... Back to the fishing....

We launched in the ship channel on Chrismas Eve morning and after jockeying for position with a couple other boats that were crowding our spot, we started on a snook rampage for the next 20 minutes. Before the sun broke the horizon, we landed 10 snook and had a double hookup and several back to back fish. They were hitting right against the shoreline and they were very angry!
After putting on a snook clinic for the other boats that were moving in on us, but only catching ladyfish, we headed out to check a few more spots and fish some dock pilings. The dock bite was working well, and we added six more snook to the tally for a total of 16 for the day!! We also broke off a couple of big ones near docks, and sight casted to several giants that were not eating... We also got checked by a game warden who told us he made a trip all the way up the ship channel just to check us because he got a call from another boat that we were catching alot of snook. Hmmmm... We got a good laugh out of that. Very fun morning on the water, and a great way to break in the new skiff!!!!
There's still a trip or two to come before we head back to Austin, so I'm hoping for some more pics soon!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Huge Triple Tail

Keith shot this blog-worthy triple tail today offshore of SPI. It was 28" and he shot it with no reel or float line. Nice one bro!

Aussie boys on Travis

This morning we set up a 4 boat guide trip for the Australian and Thailand fishing team. They are in town to compete in the Hobie World Championship kayak tournament on Lake Bastrop and Fayette. We hit Lake Travis to get them a feel for how the local fish are biting. We started off early throwing poppers over shallow ledges. The topwater bite was working good early, then we went to lipless cranks and shaky head worms on docks and brush piles. We ended the morning with about 20-25 fish. I was impressed with these guys skills. They were dead on with their casting, and I'm looking forward to seeing them do well in the tournament!!

Here's Justin Dingwall with a nice Lake Travis Guadalupe bass:
This is Tim Maas with a largemouth he caught on a dock walkway with a shaky head power worm:
Adrian Baguley of the Thailand team with a nice largemouth that ate a Rapala popper:
Fun morning of fishing, boys!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Port Isabel 10/21 - First Fishing Trip!!

We made a quick trip to the RGV this weekend and hit up Port Isabel & the ship channel on Sunday. Keith and I started the day early looking for a snook bite, and found them stacked up and eating until about 8:00am. We landed three, but we hooked up on several, and missed a few more confirmed snook bites. We also had a couple opportunities to sight cast to 30"+ snook. Unfortunately, I left my flipping stick at home, so I lost a good one that I couldn't slow down with light tackle. We also caught about 8 nice mangrove snapper and lots of crevalle and ladyfish. 

We headed in at about 9:30 for some breakfast, and to meet up with the afternoon crew. Rachel came down with Jeremiah, Noah, Jeff, Serena, and my mom. We loaded up with Transformers and Spiderman fishing rods, got live shrimp and hit up a couple honeyholes in the PI area. The boys had a blast and we caught mangrove snapper, jacks, piggy perch, ladyfish, trout, croaker, and a couple of nice flounder. After getting outgunned with the Transformers rods by big snapper, they switched to the big rods and muscled up! 

Not a bad haul for a first fishing trip!! We all had fun watching the boys reel 'em in & I can't wait to do it again. 

Wednesday Night Finale

I fished the last TTZ Wednesday night tournament of the season with Trey Epich and we took 3rd place out of 25 teams for $140. We caught most of our fish on jigs after dark. It was a close finish, as all top 3 bags were within ounces.

Chandeleurs Redfish

Stephen Gustafson did some damage with his LSU rod again! He sent me this pic of a 40" redfish that he caught at the Chandeleur Islands in Mississippi. Nice catch!!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Redfish Rod Strikes Again!!

Cade Smith sent me this pic of Callen with his first redfish!!! The redfish rod is still doing damage! Congrats Callen! I've got a feelin' that this kid's going to be a heck of a fisherman!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Decker Win

I fished the club tournament at Decker today with Tommy Tomlin. We won it using topwater frogs and spinnerbaits. I had just over 20lbs, and Tommy had over 17. We caught alot of fish and almost all of them came on topwater. Fun morning! That's 3 wins in a row in the club tournaments... Choke Canyon is next!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Quick Falcon report

Dad, Keith & I hit Falcon for Labor Day weekend. It was dirty, low water, and windy. We didn't catch near the numbers that Falcon usually kicks out, but we did manage to boat some decent fish on saturday morning. Sunday was a disaster, as Keith lost his sunglasses, Dad dunked his iphone, and I broke the shaft on the trolling motor. At that point, I tucked my tail and headed home. I did mark some killer spots for next time, especially if the water comes up about 10'... Here's a shot of the biggest of the weekend, 8lbs caught on a chartreuse/blue  Bandit 250.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Catch of the Week!!

Rachel got Catch of the Week on with her 35" snook!! She'll be on TV tonight and on Saturday morning on FSN!! Daddy gets a new pair of Costas!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Tournament Report

After a tough club tournament on Stillhouse in June, the July and August tournaments have gone well. On 7/21, David Gandaria and I won on Lake Georgetown, and this past weekend, Tom Martens and I won the 13hr overnight tournament on LBJ. We were hitting green lights upriver with spoons and crankbaits to catch our fish. The trick was running the crankbait very slowly... Our kicker fish was this one that went about 6.3lbs. It caught the crankbait in the gill and didn't survive, but it made a tasty fillet. This tournament extended my lead a bit in the AOY club standings, so I'm looking to close out the year strong... I have a few rods that have gone out recently without pics, but I should have some new rod shots soon.

Quick Ship Channel trip

That title is a tongue twister... Me & Keith hit the ship channel for a quick morning trip on 8/12. We only had about 3 hrs to fish, and went with minimum gear to try to find some snook. The snook were a little lockjawed, but we did have several followers and about 3 confirmed snook bites. Keith had a good one on for a few seconds... I caught this barracuda on the 2nd cast of the morning. Interesting catch for inshore...  Keith took the stick on the panga and was still sporting his tough new tat that Presley stuck on him. Hardcore pirate!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Big Texas Snook

Here's some shots of the snook we caught on July 4th in the Brownsville ship channel. We found these fish feeding over oyster beds, and caught them on Strike Pro Buster Jerks, Baby Busters, and white 3" Gulp shrimp. We rigged up with 40lb leader & I'm glad we did... Keith started off the action with a 29". From there, we went to the other side of the channel, and Keith caught his personal best 34". Right after that, Rachel and I had a sweet double hookup. Hers was 35" and mine was 33". I had mine on a custom Castaway BB2 flipping stick with 65lb braid, and Rachel had hers on a custom ATC 3 piece travel bay rod with 12lb mono! LaVida caught the only keeper of the morning with her 27". We all caught our personal best snook!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

South Padre Freediving

On saturday, Keith, Lilly & I headed out towards blue water in the Panga. We got a bit of a late start, so we went 35 miles out straight to a rig that they have been in the process of disassembling. When Keith was out there a week ago, it was laid over on its side and there were fish all over it. We ran for over an hour and a half to get to it, and when we got there, we realized that they had finished taking it out. Apparently, there is a new deal that any non-producing platforms in the Gulf have to be removed. They're taking out every single platform within range of SPI... they were working on the 17 mile rig, and Little Sara (the 10 mile rig) is coming out next week. Pretty sad.

Anyway, after running all that way, we decided to go to the Liberty ships. We ran over there, and when we got there, the water was too green to do any good diving.  From there, we went to the 17 mile rig and dove there for about 45 minutes until we got run off by a crane barge coming to take apart the rig. Keith shot one snapper off that rig, and the current was ripping. From there, we went to Little Sara and traded off with Keith's big Ulusub gun and the camera. He shot another snapper, and I skewered a barracuda. There were lots of cuda and snapper, but most of the snapper were 50+ feet down. All in all, it was a fun trip, but we ran a long way for not very many fillets. Here's some pics & video...
Here's the shot on the cuda:
Here's Keith trying to ruin my camera by taking it down around 50ft deep!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lake LBJ - Hangin' with the fam...

We had a blast hanging out with the family earlier this month. Karyn and Steve came in from Kansas, and we had a great time at the lake. Keith and I were very happy to get Grandpa out on the boat. I was hoping like crazy for him to catch a fish, and he put the first one of the day in the boat! He got it on a green pumpkin hula grub. The first thing he did after putting it in the boat was to talk trash to us young 'uns about letting an old man show us how it's done!!

Here's a shot of Dylan driving the pontoon boat... Won't be long before he's behind the wheel of the Cobra!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bass Champs Belton

No pics for this one, but I fished the last event on the Bass Champs Central Trail with Bryan Cotter on saturday. I caught four keeper fish for 8.32lbs including a 2lb smallmouth with about 5 minutes left in the tournament. That got us 11th place out of 128 teams and a check for $550!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

May Tourney Report

Rachel and I teamed up on Sunday for the Big Sandy Creek bass club tournament on Lake Travis. It was a pretty tough day of fishing, but we put together a limit that was anchored by this 6lb 12oz kicker. I caught it on a green pumpkin Reins bubble shaker on a spot remover. This fish was good enough for big bass of the tourney and got us the win!
I also made a little money with Chris Hale last tuesday night. We fished the TTZ working mans tournament on Travis and finished second for $160. We caught our fish on crankbaits and jigs. Travis has been pretty good to me lately!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Blown away on Falcon

Here's a few fish from Falcon the last week of April. I had the opportunity to fish down there a little longer than expected, and ended up spending 5 days on the water. Keith came out on friday afternoon and fished the club tourney with me for the weekend. The wind was absolutely brutal, especially on saturday and sunday. We caught alot of fish, especially when we could get into the trees. They were biting blackberry and Cali 420 brush hogs really good.  The biggest of these was a little over 7lbs. We ended up in 3rd for the tourney. We needed one more fish for the win, but after smashing my trolling motor in the trees, spearing a huge wave, ripping my skeg off, and losing my forward gear, we were lucky just to get back to the ramp, much less get that last fish! It was a fun trip... I got to play with my new side imaging, and got to explore lots of new spots on the Mexican side of the lake. Can't wait to get back down there minus the wind!!

Big Swimbait Rod

Here's a swimbait rod I finished a while back that I've been meaning to post up...
Phenix Ultra Swimbait Series USB-711MH-B
7’11” Mod Fast Tip rated for up to 5oz baits
Spiral Wrapped REC Recoil Guides
CastAway Fully Exposed Reel Seat
Custom Prickly Pear Butt Cap
7” of Tiger Wrap in blue/gun metal

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lake Travis 4/16

Today I took Jason Rice and Louie out for a little sunset cruise. I stopped at a spot where I saw a big fish on sunday and started throwing a Bandit 250 crankbait. On my 4th cast, my crankbait stopped, and up came this 7lb beauty!! I think Louie liked this fish a little too much....

Monday, April 9, 2012

Todos Big Trout!!

Here's a couple of trout that were caught recently on Coastal Bend rods... These came from the Port Mansfield area on topwaters. Matt Klostermann caught this 10lb+ giant while pre-fishing for the Todos Locos tournament...

And James Andreatos caught this one in the final minutes of the tournament to put his team in the money!

Nice fish boys!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lake Austin Monster 3/15

I found this fish yesterday afternoon while on a little cruise with Rachel. I worked on her for about 2 hours with no luck. She wasn't committed to the bed yesterday, but the male was tight to it. I couldn't stop thinking about her all night and this morning, so I went back this afternoon to see if she had moved up. I got out there and it was the exact same situation. The male was about 4lbs and still locked, and she was hanging out in about 6' near the bed, but not committed. I caught the male almost right away on a finesse jig. I put him in the livewell, but the female wouldn't move up. I left for about 45 minutes, and when I came back, she had moved onto the bed. She was still real skittish, and would swim off every time I casted to the bed. I worked he for about an hour with the finesse jig and a senko. From there, I switched to a white sweet beaver TX rigged. After spooking he off the bed, I made a cast about 10 feet beyond the bed, and waited for about 20 minutes for her to set back up and get comfortable. From there, I crawled it to where it was right under her nose. She nosed down on it, gills flared, and it was on... She went for deep water and got deep in the grass. I had her on 12lb big game, and was lucky to get her in... She was spilling eggs as I lipped her, so I kept her in the water and some guys in a wakeboard boat took these shots for me. She was about 27" and weighed 12.7 on my Berkley digital. We got these shots and she went right back in....

It was a weird feeling catching her after we stared at each other for so long... I felt like we had a bond by the end of it. Sharelunker (13+lbs) would have been awesome, but it felt good to let her swim...

Sorry about the lack of rod pics lately. I've had a few go out the door, but both of my cameras are down right now. I should have some new rods up soon!! Bass Champs LBJ this weekend, then FAN LBJ, then a week at Amistad for the BASS State Championship!! Hope my luck holds up!