January 2011 Guadalupe River Trout Report

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 | Posted in Fishing

So, It is that time of year again, and by that time I mean anywhere between November and March when the trout are in the river.

This was our first trip down in 2011, and our first trip down on a weekend in a while.  It wasn’t as packed as we thought it was going to be, and not near as many TU’ers. (Trout Unlimited lease members).

So… to the goods-

The weather was dreary, cloudy, a front about to blow in with some rain, and the fish were still all morning.  No one on the river was catching much, until about 11 AM.  A guy fishing with what appeared to be a deep diving “bass imitation” (read grean lure) hooked up with the first trout that we saw.  About 15 inches.

A few minutes later, using a similar yet branded (RAPALA) deep diving Shad Rap, also Bass imitation design, pulled in what we like to call a ‘slab’.  It was the first time on that river I have caught a keeper trout- over 18 inches.

And unfortunately no pictures.  It flopped out of the net and busted the line.  And made off with the last deep diver I had.  I had a mid and a shallow, and unfortunately, neither of those drag the bottom in the deeper water, which is apparently the best way to catch a trout in the Guadalupe–silver shad rap casted down river, reeled up river, dragging the bottom.

Luckily, this started a small little spree of fish.  My brother pictured here catching the next trout on his fly rod.  I believe a black mid sized wooly booger.

I went on down river fishing to have a slow afternoon, and my brother caught a few more.

Our friend Kenneth, who accompanied us after a previous day of duck hunting in El Campo, was on his first Trout Expedition.  Also, his first Guadalupe River Fishing Trip.

He reeled in this nice one: I went and picked up a few more deep runner Rapala’s, (silver, brown, bass, and a metallic one)going to try them out in a few weeks.  Maybe give a nice review of how they performed.  Until then-

Redfish Rodeo

Monday, August 23rd, 2010 | Posted in Fishing

by John Henry

The day began with the breakfast bell ringing at 5 am.  We were in the truck in no time and took the short ride down to Cove Harbor Marina in Rockport.  By 6 :15 we were in the boat and ready to go.  Little did we know the day would turn out to be one our best days catching Redfish.  As my brother stated, “This was the greatest day catching reds ever and you never forget your first time or who it is with,” referring to limiting out of course.  This was our 2nd trip on a guided bay trip and we were somewhat hesitant, not really knowing what to expect after our 1st trip 2 summers ago.  We had a different guide this time, long time Rockport guide Todd Adams.

We have become accustomed to fishing various reefs and shorelines ranging from Carlos Bay down to Redfish bay.  As Todd advised us, however, the trout fishing has gotten very inconsistent because of the recent tropical storms and heat.  He said we may catch 5 trout or 25 trout.  Our typical tactics were not going to get it done so we barreled (all 250 horse power) out of the marina across Estes Flats to the Lydian Channel.

We began by fishing the inlets into Redfish bay off the channel by free lining piggy perch.  Within 5 minutes, our dad had a nice one in the box.  We thought we may have one of those big days.  After several 14 inch trout, we decided we would move.   We moved a few hundred yards down the channel, anchored and had another 4 in the box within a few minutes then we got a nice surprise.  A group of kayakers paddled right by the boat to the inlet where we were casting.  These guys paddled right in front us and stopped.  We could have easily hooked one (and should have tried).  We knew they were professionals when they were stomping around and throwing a bobber with about 6 feet of leader about 5 feet in front of them.  We were sure they were going to limit out in no time so we left it to them.  By mid morning, we had 5 trout and decided to go look for the Reds.

Todd decided we would go sight cast for some reds before the Tide fell.  Red fish have without fail been, caught at low tide.  We were near the north side Hog Island, when we spotted a giant school of redfish, biggest school I had seen in nearly 3 years, likely several hundred.  By the time we spotted them, we were right on top of them so they were spooked.  We decided to loop back and trolled around for roughly an hour with no luck, Todd thought and they moved to deeper water.

It was 11 am and we moved over to South Bay and tried to get set up before the “Rodeo” as we called it, began.     The tide was slowly falling which is what we wanted.  We were on the outside edge of the break, near some sand pockets.  We spotted a few boats hooking up a single here or there but nothing major.  Being on the edge, we were just out of casting reach of the schooling reds.  By 11:30 the armada moved in and the boats began to line up, one right after the other, probably 15 across.  Everyone was learning about the school of nice reds that were being caught in South Bay.  It looked like bumper to bumper traffic in a major city.  It was crazy, one person hooking up after the other.  If you had a line in the water, you were going to land a 25” red, no doubt.  It looked like dominos.  Rods would begin bending on the boats to the west and would work down the line to the east.  Some boats were handing rods to each other in order to keep the fish out of the other boats motor.  Finally, one of the guides called Todd and said we could have his spot, so we trolled over and anchored.  It was long until we had our first on the line, unfortunately, it got in the motor and broke off.  Dad stated, he just lost his biggest Red ever.  After about an hour, a broken dip net, and almost lost reel, we had our limit.  We slowly moved out, and 2 other guides took our spot.  As we moved a way, we watched and those boats took their turn.

Quote of the Day:   “Turn off your motor, your scaring the redfish D_ _ _  HEAD” (This was in reference to one of the guides yelling at a tourist, defined as anyone who is not a guide, trying to get into the action and coming a little too close).

The day turned out exactly as Todd called it, Trout early, and then hammer the Reds when the TIDE falls.

"..You never forget your first time or who it is with.." - Special thanks to the author of this story, John Henry (right), his brother Stephen (left), and their Dad for their contribution of this article and overall support of The Sportsman Dispatch.

A Hole in the Back Yard

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 | Posted in Fishing

I’m spoiled.  There is no getting around that fact.  I have had the chance to experience fishing in places that most others will never get to.

The White

My first fly-fishing trip ever was on the White River in northern Arkansas in the Ozark Mountains.  I had never tied a fly on, nor cast a fly rod in a body of water when I waded out into the river.  And I had a great time learning, as I reeled in trout after trout, even catching a nice size brown trout.

But, in contrast to the trip, I have also been fishing the same holes at some old family land.  It’s two tanks, maybe 50 yards across and 100 yards long, total.  I know the structure and drop offs from swimming in them, I know the little valleys from seeing the wash outs leading into them, and I’m damn sure I’ve been catching the same 10 bass for the past 20 years.  But that’s not the reason I love it.  I wouldn’t care if I had a swimming pool in my back yard with one fish in it, I would sit out there and try to catch it over and over.

The point of this post is to emphasize the importance of not the location, but the experience.  Because when the day ends, tackle is being put up, and a cold cousin(Coors) is  being popped before the ride home, it is the fact that feeling a bite, setting the hook, and hearing the drag spin as you reel is an experience that separates the fisherman from the rest of the world.

It’s a feeling of success, a quick rush of adrenaline, when you get to yell, “Fish on!” It’s different then hitting a good drive on the course or making a basket to win the game.

It’s you and the fish.  That’s it.  No crowd, no points to score.  And that’s what makes it different.  Whether you are in the middle of the greatest fishing hole in the world or under the interstate with a Zebco reeling in some perch.  It’s the experience that I crave.  After catching hundreds, maybe thousands of fish in my life, I still want to catch more.